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  1. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  2. Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to start with a quick synopsis of my medical background below. I took SSRI antidepressants for 17+ years. I started with Prozac for 5 years from 15-21. Then I took Escitalopram from 22-32. Along the way I was put on Trazodone, Buspar, Ambien and Wellbutrin as well. All in an attempts to control my anxiety/depression and inability to sleep. Also a little mental history - I was bullied from about the age of 9 to the age of 16. It's pretty obvious in hindsight why I was depressed/anxious. I thought the people in this world were mean. I thought everywhere I went was an unsafe place because at this time it was. In response to this I took up boxing and working out so I could become stronger than my bullies. In all honesty it worked. As soon as I became strong and in shape I became popular out of nowhere, which was an interesting transition. Anyways, that's another story for another time. At 15 I visited the doctor because I always held things to myself because I never told my parents I was being bullied or that life outside of my bedroom sucked. They just thought I was sad/depressed. Depression also runs deep in my family. My mother has been on an extreme cocktail of antidepressants since she was about 20. Although this cocktail has been quite a rollercoaster for her as well. She thought this was the only way to help. I had no one to talk to and I felt like the world was an unsafe and scary place so when the doctor prescribed anti depressants and the anxiety disappeared I thought it was a miracle. At this time the extreme side effects didn't matter to me. The fact I lost my ability to feel empathy because I was numb didn't matter because I didn't like people enough to care to empathize with them. I thought I was going to make it in this world on my own come hell or high water. This idea set me off on a path of perfectionism, egocentrism, hedonism and drug abuse. This life is not meant to be lived alone. To make sure this story doesn't become a novel I'm going to go ahead and summarize it here. For 16 years I went on a binger of sorts. Chasing all the highs this world has to offer. Whether this be dating multiple women, chasing drugs and festival culture, chasing adrenaline highs in the form of mountain biking, power lifting or cliff diving. I kept chasing thrills to fill the emotional void left by the SSRI. I also had to be perfect at this point. I had to have a straight A's in college. A quick aside (I had a long period of alcohol addiction that ran in parallel with my SSRI usage from about 16-21). This caused me to fall behind in life so I felt like I had to catch-up quick, mixed with the perfectionism created from early bullying it caused an immense amount of anxiety in my day to day life. I wasn't allowed to rest, make a mistake or simply apologize when I was wrong. This caused insane amounts of chaos in my relationships throughout these years. Finally when I hit about 31 I decided I had enough of this chaos. A 6-year relationship and all of my life long friendships finally collapsed on me. They were built on a false human. They were built on a man that didn't exist. I see myself as two people honestly. The person that was on anti-depressants is not the same human I am off them. Honestly in my mind half the withdrawal is realizing you built a life not suitable to the person you are off the medicine. I moved to a new area and started a new life. I also quit my anti-depressants. I began hiking and looking inward. It took about 6 months from the insomnia, brain zaps, panic attacks and extreme social anxiety to subside. I managed these symptoms with extreme self inquiry. I also started walking daily. I'm running out of time to write this so let me summarize this pretty quickly here. I'm not perfectly better now. I think anxiety/depression are a part of existence now. I accept there will be days I'm tired/scared and will have panic attacks, but I've learned to sit with these emotions and understand this too shall pass. Getting of my anti-depressant also gave me my empathy back. I built closer connections with people than I've had in the past 17 years. It was extremely hard to rebuild a social support system and a new life while quitting the SSRI though. I would say overall life feels deeper now though. In summary: 1) Took SSRI's for 17+ years. Felt like a zombie. I won't say it was all bad. If you are suicidal and have no other options I would say these are better than that alternative. If you believe you have any other options though I would urge you to try them all out. 2) Quit SSRI's at 32. Created a new life. 3) Anxiety/depression still exists but I now just believe these to be a part of life as opposed to something to get rid of. 4) Found a social support system that saved me, built around the real me. Sorry for jumping around so much on this post. I was trying to work from home at the same time. So I kept jumping back into it. If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know!
  3. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  4. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  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. Have been taking zoloft at 150mg since December 2021 and have decided to go off. Over the last four weeks I tapered and completely discontinued usage on 5/15. I hadn't found this site yet, so I didn't know a slow taper was advised. It all went pretty well until yesterday (5/17), and now I'm feeling some weird effects. Major difficulty concentrating, a weird tingling all over my skin, dizziness, fluctuating vision, and a mild return of the anxiety that put me on the med in the first place. I'm sort of debating whether I should try to reinstate a smaller dose, or just push through since I wasn't on it for terribly long. Current meds: no zoloft (tapered from 150mg since December 2021, last dose 5/15/22 100mg gabapentin daily (tapered from 600 mg since December 2021) 5mg ambien daily (tapered from 10mg in the last two months- have been on this for many many many years, I don't even know how long) Goal is to get completely off all of it. Open to any input/thoughts/etc.
  7. Stopped and started Zoloft twice this year after taking it 9 years. First time I stopped for 2 months because a naturopath told me to and take Sam-e instead. I didn’t feel better and restarted it around March. In withdrawals now and bad insomnia plus fatigue and lots others. I have a history of pots, Epstein Barr and RMSF. Was being treated heavily with antibiotics this past year and tons of supplements and in Aug I had a seratonin syndrome like episode. Took megadose cbd for sleep and it started that. So dr said to stay off everything except Valium and I did but 2.5 months off the second time I started not sleeping, tremors, adrenaline rushes, chills, weakness, muscle spasms, muscle tightness and more. My dr suggested reinstating Zoloft so I did. Been on half dose 3 weeks then full dose 12 days now. So far my sleep still not returning unless I take ambien and I’m so fatigued with muscle aches and tightness. Can’t get out of bed for a month now Having a few better days but still exhausted and scared I won’t sleep on my own again. My psychiatrist gave me hydroxyzine to sleep but it barely gives me sleep so he wants me on Mirtazapine and I don’t want to. I didn’t know how severe stopping an antidepressant could be. Will I continue to get better with reinstating? My hopes are to get stabilized then later slow taper. Any experiences with reinstating anyone? Please help. Drs do not help with this
  8. Hi, im from Brazil, so my english is not very good. Id like to know if anyone ever took two antidepressants togheter. The reason i ask is because im on paroxetine 40mg and venlafaxine 37.5. I have been on paroxetine since 2017 on and off, always trying to quit, but recently i changed the doctor, i was in severe WD from paroxetine,( i CTed from 20 mg, initiali i was taking 40 mg and started lowering dosage and was feeling so good, i was so stupid i couldturkeyd from 20 mg), and he asked me to try venlafaxine, but had no reliefe, made me so anxious, like akathisia. Now i went back to my old doctor, and he asked me to go back to paroxetine, and i went, but he said o should stay o venlafaxine too, otherwise id have some problems. Now im taking both along with zolpiden( sleeping piil, not benzo) and dont know much what to do. My plan is to continue taking both AD untill i stabilize and then start tappering venlafaxine. And then much time later start tappering paroxetine again( witch is the drug im more sensible to, since im taking it for more or less 3 years.) Any advices would be so helpfull, im from brazil and doctors here have no ideia what is withdrawal. My worst symptom is severe dizziness.
  9. Hello, I did a relatively quick taper from Lexapro using 1 mg per week water titration from 10mg with my final dose mid-November. Acute withdrawals lasted a couple weeks then subsided. Around Christmas the weeping and depression set in with a vengeance. At the same time insomnia started. I could not sleep unless I took 50mg of Seroquel. i am still battling the insomnia but ironically last night I slept 7 hours without having to take meds. Today is my 5th day of reinstatement on 5mg of Lexapro. Seroquel as stopped a week ago and replaced with Ambien, which I have not taken for 2 days. The insomnia is taking it's toll on me. My T3 thyroid is starting to go low, I am having cold temperature intolerances, hair is falling out, strange "feelings" in my hands and legs from time to time, and inability to relax or make myself comfortable. It's like I am always in a restless state. Since I have reinstated the weird feeling in my hands and legs are subsiding and are more flair up in nature. I felt relaxed when I woke up this morning and when I layed down last night. I do have the typical startup anxiety/tiredness that is all too familiar. the head fog is very bad also. How long will I know whether or not this reinstatement is going to work? Also, how long should I stay at 5 mg before I go to 10 mg and plan to hold there? I did not want to reinstate but the insomnia will put me to an early grave if I do not get it under control. Dr. Shipko's blog also scared the crap out of me. If I would have read that back at the end of last year, I would have never goin off in the first place.
  10. I am going through same bad times. I was started ( 4/21) on Zoloft, Lunesta and Diazepam for my anxiety, after a health scare. Not my first episode. Usually on Effexor, Valium and some Z drugs. Always been able to taper to zero once the crisis is over. This episode I and took Lunesta and Diazepam for a couple weeks, and sertraline, after my surgery (for a few days). Due to increased jitteriness and sleep issues, my doc switch me to mirtazapine, increasing to 45. Sayed there for 6 weeks or so...no improvement. Cut the mirtazapine down to 30 in a month (I know, too fast...). Switched to Ambien, then to Ambien CR, since I was sleeping 3-4 hrs a night. Switched to Ativan, since Diazepam was making me sleepy during the day. Even tried Risperidone for a couple weeks. Used to have windows in the evening. After cutting to 30 mir and adding/discontinuing risperidone, no windows. Until last evening. Got a good 5 hr window. As of today (8/22/21) I am on 2 or 3 mg Ativan (depending on the day), Ambien CR and Mirtazapine 30mg. No more risperidone. I am torn between doing nothing, tapering something (mirt , I guess) and cross-tapering. The cross tapering would be to Zoloft, since my last episode (5 year ago) Effexor stopped working and I was put on Zoloft (which helped, I assume, since I recovered). I need some advise. I can't say I am stable. What should I do : hold and do nothing, keep tapering mirt, cross taper to Zoloft. I would also need a mentor, ideally someone who was on mirt and get off of it. For now, I don't want to touch the benzos and Z drug. My understanding is that you taper the sedatives last. I really appreciate you reading this and giving it some thought. Thank you, Mario
  11. Original topic title before reducing the length: FosterTheCritters: after 19 years on antidepressants, I discontinued, reinstated, tapered up and down, and discontinued again, and I'm a mess. Looking for helpful advice. _______________________________ Hi. I'm so grateful to have found this amazing group; it has given me hope which I badly needed. I have a very complex situation and don't know, even after reading a lot on this site, what my next move should be to help myself. Here is my story. In fall 2004 I started on 20mg of citalopram for GAD and panic disorder. I had typical side effects for a week or so and charge through because the improvement of my symptoms was fast and drastic. I increased to 40mg after one or two weeks with no trouble and I felt amazing. My anxiety was so diminished and my life got some much easier. Fast-forward to 2015. I had many stressful years leading up to 2015 and 2015 was particularly bad. I thought maybe I could use something different to help with my increased anxiety and situational depression, so I switched to 60mg duloxetine. The psychiatrist had me switch with no taper at all and fortunately the switch went smoothly. I didn't notice any change on the duloxetine, but my husband was also on it, so it seemed convenient to stay on it. After a few years I started to feel apathetic and lost motivation for doing a lot of things I enjoyed. I wasn't really depressed and my anxiety was managed fine, so I hit the pause button on switching meds even though I figured the medication might be causing the apathy. In May 2021 my husband was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer (he's cured now via surgery). Even on meds, I'm terrible with uncertainty, and I had a really rough patch of anxiety as there was a lot of waiting involved in diagnosing and staging and my brain got away from me. Sometime in early June my duloxetine refills ran out; I needed to reach out to my doctor to submit a new prescription and I forgot. I take so many supplements and medications each day, and fill containers weekly; combine that with my worry about my husband and I didn't even notice that I wasn't putting duloxetine in the tubs. So, I stopped the duloxetine cold turkey and I don't really know when. I do know that at the end of June I recognized that I was having abnormally bad anxiety and panic along with some eye movement abnormalities and realized my mistake. I wish I could go back to just those withdrawal symptoms as that was easy mode compared to my life since then! I contacted my psychiatrist to correct the issue and he prescribed 30mg duloxetine, which I started on July 2nd, 2021. I used to take my duloxetine at night and did that again; I didn't sleep at all the first night and the very first day after restarting I had terrible eye pain, neck pain, stomach cramps, diarrhea, felt like I was on stimulants 24/7, and severe facial and neck flushing in addition to emotional fluctuation and intense anxiety. Since I had never tapered up on Cymbalta before, and didn't know my reaction to that process, I assumed all the symptoms I was having were that, and stuck with it a week. My symptoms did not improve at all throughout that week even as I switched to taking it in the morning instead of at night. My psychiatrist told me that I must be in withdrawal and prescribed going up to 60mg duloxetine after that first week at 30mg. I had the same symptoms but more intense even after some time at 60mg. I continued at 60mg at least a week, but things were so bad I asked my psychiatrist for a change. He prescribed 10mg citalopram. I stopped having the stimulated feeling I was having on the duloxetine, but all my other symptoms persisted. My psychiatrist was still convinced that a higher dose was going to ease what he was still sure were withdrawal symptoms so on August 27th, 2021 he had me to go to 20mg after two weeks on 10mg. Again my symptoms seemed to worsen, so I dropped back to 10mg after about 2 weeks on 20mg. I'm not sure if my symptoms were improved after dropping back to 10mg because they were still very bad. When I saw the psychiatrist again, he told me that the physical symptoms I was having were clearly not related to the medication both because they weren't improving on the meds, and he'd never heard of anyone having eye pain or flushing due to antidepressants. So, I decided not to see him again and went to get my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist. She couldn't find anything, so assumed eye inflammation and prescribed steroid drops that didn't help. I also asked my excellent primary care doctor to take over managing my antidepressant journey and he agreed. At this point I was taking so little medication in comparison to what I had been before June 2021, and my googling had me convinced that I was having some sort of serotonin toxicity with the flushing and diarrhea, so my irrational conclusion was that I must have a carcinoid tumor. That fear consumed me and I had my doctor run the urine test for carcinoid tumors which came back negative. At this point, my husband, who has been very supportive, started searching for other answers and found survivingantidepressants.org. He suggested I try doing a very slow taper and see if I could get off the medication and see if my body would reset. I talked to my primary care provider about this, and I got discouraged when my doctor found out the local compounding pharmacy would need at least two weeks before they could provide my first taper dose. I didn't want to continue with the current situation any longer, so I discontinued the citalopram at the end of September after being back at 10mg for about 3 weeks. My symptoms are still awful, but they have improved a bit after being off the medication a week and seem so be in a positive trend. I have slightly fewer crying bouts/meltdowns. My flushing is fainter and the facial telangiectasias that developed have faded considerably. My eye pain happens in shorter segments throughout the day. I still have stomach cramping at times of the day and night, but the diarrhea has become less frequent and less severe. My sleep is still terrible, and I forgot to mention that during this four month journey I've tried clonazepam, trazadone, Lunesta, Ambien, and Xanax for sleep, and I'm still on the Ambien and Xanax. Even with those drugs I struggle to fall asleep, wake up one or more times per night, and often feel pretty hung over in the morning. Thankfully, after spending time on this site, I have at least realized that whatever is going on is likely a nervous system reaction to the antidepressant changes that have occurred and it has given me hope that I will recover. My questions are these: 1. What does it sound like happened when I tried to go back on the meds and developed physiological and mental symptoms and couldn't tolerate the medication? Does that sound like a sensitized nervous system that didn't want to readjust? Does it sound like I was in withdrawal the whole time? Is this likely just because of the speed and flip-floppy nature of all the changes? 2. Has anyone out there had eye burning and pain and neck and facial flushing as side effects/symptoms going on or off antidepressants? 3. Now that I've been off the medications over a week and have had some improvement, does it make sense to try to go back on to something and slowly taper or just continue to try to heal from withdrawal? 4. I have no idea what to do about the sleep meds. This is the first time in my life I've had trouble sleeping aside from one week in 2004 when I was starting citalopram. This poor sleep has been going on for four months and I'm scared. Should I stay on them until I hopefully have some improvement in sleeping on my own or try to wean off now? 5. I've been taking LDN for autoimmune disease for a few years now and it has been amazing for me. However, in trying to rebalance my nervous system, it seems like anything that affects neurotransmitters might be a problem right now? Plus there is a little bit of evidence that suggests naltrexone might affect serotonin and norepinephrine, in addition to, dopamine. Should I discontinue it, reduce it, or leave it alone? Thank you so much for reading and for any advice/experience you can offer!
  12. I’ve been taking 300mg of lamictal for years. It was given to help with neuropathy . Currently tapering off of Ativan- and I have always taken them together-8-12 and 6:00. I thought the first thing to do was get off the benzo, but joining this forum I’m not so sure. I also take 25 mg of amtriptyline and 12.5 of ambien for sleep.
  13. Wasn't sure which forum to put this in. Hope this is ok. I'd found previous thread on this topic. I have had this horrible issue a couple of times. I did take an SSRI briefly a few times in past, very low dose, but sexual sensation prior to that was waning. I thought it was just old age. Basically, felt nothing and orgasm was weak. I also felt odd feelings "down there." Then one day I did a stretch of my left hip, felt a snapping sensation down there and the PGAD started. Hell on earth. It eventually subsided and I actually returned to sexual activity (w/o intercourse) and felt fairly normal if a bit hypersensitive. Then it came back again. It's been quite now for some time but with odd sensations I'm always afraid it's right on the edge of coming back. I don't think I can live through it again. Nobody knows anythin about it, and likely think you're just sex obsessed. One urology nurse practitioner had never heard of it but had no interest in what I brought to show her. I have small fiber neuropathy from uncertain causes. My neurologist says it is SFN of pudendal nerve. I am so anxious with the autonomic issues and right now on screech. I've been thinking about inositol but if that works similar to SSRI it is scary. I found one person in a FB PGAD group who mentioned it started after taking inositol. Now afraid of that. In a prior post in this group I saw posts about CES - some kind of cranial stimulation. I wasn't sure if that was for the PGAD or not, but I did communicate with a doctor who is using transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat it - not many cases. Anyway, anyone tried the CES for PGAD? Is that something you can buy at home? I just am terrified this will come back and it makes you feel so disgusting and inhuman. You don't want the feeling but know if someone touched you during exam it could trigger orgasm, which would be horrifying. My OCD nature doesn't help.
  14. So I've been through the mill since May 2019.. Med free prior to this was put on and pulled off so many meds since then including zoloft ambien high dose, switched from klonopin to valium. Im currently on 9.5mg V and 900mg gabapentin.. In constant pain nerve and muscle. Severe abdominal pains DP and Dr.. Everything went raally badly when I was taken off 50mg zoloft in 2 weeks that was several months ago but I also abused ambien for about 3 months as was the only thing that could calm me down from having. Constant panic.. I now am left with severe pains and a host of neurological and mental symptoms. I'm 37 and desperate to have a family.. Please help.
  15. I am a 67 year old retired Medical Office manager of 18 years. I have been bridged on various anti-depressants for several years...Zoloft, Lexapro, for generalized musculoskelatal pains that the drs attributed to "depression". 20+ years ago I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Approximately 10+ years ago was bridged to Cymbalta. It seemed to help generalized pains, anxiety for awhile but then slowly over time I didn't feel like it was working any longer, and my dr increased to 2-60mg q d....I didn't see a difference in improvement...so being clueless...I dc'd the additional 60mg in the morning...looking back, I was clueless that this could cause me problems!!! I forged on...approximately 18 months ago, I noticed that my anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia were getting worse...my dr then started me on Ambien 10mg for sleep, and this worked great...when I was stressed or nervous I could take my pill and go to bed for 10-12 hours of sound sleep. I later still struggled with nervousness and dr started clomazepam lowest dose and said I could take 1-2 a day. I very rarely took one but over time I found myself taking one regularly and occasionally take 2. I would find myself waking up 1:00-2:00 AM and could not go back to sleep and frustrated and desperate to sleep I would get up and take another 1/2 Ambien...when my Ambien script ran out the pharmacy called and said the dr REFUSED to refill it because they are saying you used too much. I scheduled an appointment and went in with my husband and explained to the dr what I had been doing....He still REFUSED to refill...so I was c/t off of Ambien and c/t off clomazepam...and I was STRUGGLING!!!! Anxiety, nervousness, GI issues, dizziness, severe headaches (I guess ya'll call them brain zaps) so I started reading and saw where I should have never had to go c/t on the Ambien or Clomazepam...so I started reading on my Cymbalta...and boy was that eye opening!!! and right then I decied I'm getting off. So I found the on facebook called Cymbalta Hurts Worse and they explained about the slow taper no greater than 2-10% and holding for 10-14 days. So I started...and man I have been sick ever since...going on 2 months. So here I am...old and shaky and counting beads out of a capsule and refilling with exact amount needed and am currently on hold due to symtoms....no quality of life...and wondering will I ever be normal again?
  16. A little introduction. I work in the IT industry, and am currently in-between jobs. Thought it would be a good time to wean myself from all my meds since I have always believed that I need my “cocktail of drug” to function in my job. At least that’s the story I have always told myself. Also, without a job, medical expenses are killing me. My drugs are very expensive! But I guess the main reason I am withdrawing from these drugs is to try to see what my baseline is at least and start from there. I don’t like the feeling of being on drugs for life. I want to see the real me... warts and all. It’s been a struggle, to say the least. The med that I need the most when working is Vyvance, for ADHD. Without this med, I can’t seem to concentrate enough to do the detail work needed for my data analysis job. Stopping this drug is not a problem, as my main symptom being off the drug was my original reason for taking this drug... serious lack of direction and focus. Boy do I have that. Can spend the whole day in bed. The other drugs that I am withdrawing from are Cymbalta and Ambien. Ambien took a good week or so of withdrawal to be able to sleep on my own again. It’s was a very rough week. But my sleeping and wake-up experiences are very different since I’m not taking the drug every night. I took it for YEARS. Not sure it’s better or worse, just different. The Cymbalta withdrawal is bad too. I am feeling very depressed since I have been off. Feel my life is meaningless. That I am a terrible wife and mother. That I do not like myself. I need to completely wean off to find out if it is because of withdrawal or truly just underlying depression. I want to know. It’s been several months since I have stopped taking Cymbalta. I’m glad I found this group... hello to all! Please let me know if anyone has been though similar experiences ... and when (and if) you started to feel better.
  17. Link to Penny's success story: PennyLane26 Success Story- Protracted Paxil Withdrawal Hi all- I am new to this site and would like some advice. Here is the deal; I have been weaning off of 15 mg Paxil slowly since January 2016. Before that I was on it (off once 4 months ) for approximately three years. I had been supplementing with five 5 HTP and it helped me get down to 5 mg. Like an idiot, I took way too much and gave myself serotonin syndrome. I was then instructed by my doctor to stop all supplementation as well as the 5 MG of Paxil . This is when withdrawal hit. I was then prescribed 5 mg of Ambien as I was having severe insomnia. I reinstated 1 mg of Paxil in April to stabilize, and it helped somwhat. I have been doing pretty well up until now as I was getting sleep. Sleep is my biggest issue right now I do feel I cannot cope without it. Now the Ambien seems to not be working as effectively and I am having increased anxiety, severe depression and no motivation. I really want to get off the Ambien and I am contemplating reinstating even more Paxil to stabilize. If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!
  18. Hello all! I feel very happy to have found this place today! I am a 49 year old guy, single, not because of lack of women but because of the difficulty to keep a relation besides of being chemically castrated by psychiatric medications for 35 years in a row. Before dealing with my mental issues I was a very healthy guy, loved sports, had excellent grades and was very sociable and happy. I come from a very dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father and a sex offender neighbor who abused me many times but I never told anyone. At that time of my life I could not realize that I had been traumatized by the sexual assaults of my neighbor, but because of a change in behavior, my mother knew something was going on with me. So she decided to take me to a Pediatric Psychiatrist and the Pandora's box jut opened. I was a living trauma and for the first time in my life I was medicated. It has been 35 years without having a normal, enjoyable life My whole health decayed big time in many aspects. During treatments I developed: diabetes, hypercholesterol, hypertriglyceridemia, cardiovascular disease, whole body nerve damage, fibromyalgia, darkening and peeling of the skin in my legs, burning tongue syndrome, impotence and harsh tooth decay. I could be a 49 year old man but specialist doctors tell me that I am a high risk patient and that the situation of my physical health is the same as of an 85 year old man and that with all my health conditions, I could die anytime. It wasn't til last week that I decided to put an end to all of this, no matter how. I have used any single psychotropic medication, the old and the new and all of them are really bad for you but the FDA and the Big Pharma Industry want your money and will try you to keep on consuming their products. They don' really care if you feel good or not at all. I was feeling miserable, lying on bed for weeks because my body pains were so severe that I could not barely walk. Then, one day I started a research on psychiatric medications side effects in detail and I could relate to my state of physical health. So I made another research on how to withdraw from psychiatric medications but using natural supplements and that information has helped me big time. My current cocktail last week was Depakote 2,000mg Seroquel 800mg Efexxor 225mg Xanax 6mg Ambien 10mg Adderall XR 60mg Neurontin 1,600mg Estazolam 4mg I made a research of every single one, selected the hardest to eliminate, and decreased their dosages. Right now I am taking: Depakote 200mg Seroquel 200mg Efexxor 75mg Xanax 4mg Ambien 10mg Adderall XR 30mg Neurontin and Estazolam are history. It feels like kind of hell but this is my goal and I know I can accomplish it and at the end I will have the kind of life that I deserve. For next week I will keep on reducing dosages and going into "full time " natural supplementation with: Vitamin D, Chelated Magnesium, Turmeric, L-Carnitine, Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Vitamin C 1,000, Garlic, Ginckgo Biloba, Coenzime Q10, Flavonoids, Copper, Alpha LipoicAcid, B Complex and B-12 separately. Do your research for your own good. You were not born with all those meds and undesirable side effects, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! The information I posted is based on my own opinions and experiences and in NO way I instruct you to do the same, I just think that my history may inspire you in making things the better for you. Many blessings to all, HEMARO
  19. Hi all, I had been taking 2mg/night of pimozide, an antipychotic for a skin infection from last Sept-Nov 2017. By mid-November, my brain snapped into wakefullness and I did not sleep for 2 months straight. I stopped the drug completely because insomnia was a side effect then later turned into a withdrawal effect. Its been about 4 months of chronic insomnia now. In the first two months of insomnia, I tried herbs, alcohol, sleep hygiene, meditation, exercise, several sedating antidepressants: lorazpam, seroquel, etc. , none of which worked. I then tried Ambien/zolpidem which worked ocassionally at high doses then lost its effectiveness with a many side effects: nausea, dizziness and nightmares. I tapered off all of these since they did not work. The next month, I had some sleep 2-4 hrs/night cycling CBD oil, Ultra PM (Phenibut) and tryptophan. However now after a month of use, they are all losing their effectiveness and am needing to up the dosage to see if they will continue to work. I also tried neurofeedback therapy for 2 months but it did not resolve insomnia and was very expensive about $4K for 3x/week. I tried taking Mind Lab Pro a nootropic blend during the daytime to see if to could help repair brain, but instead has had me up 4 nights straight, when I was sleeping a little prior to taking this. Was too stimulating, trial and error I guess. I am considering reinstating pimozide to see if it will help bring my brain back into balance from withdrawal, but I am fearful that it could make insomnia worse since insomnia happened as a side effect during taking it regularly. Any thoughts or advice on antipychotic withdrawal, reinstating and how to beat chronic insomnia without meds?
  20. I beat withdrawal and in the process I beat a depression that had been plaguing me for half my life. I’ve been meaning to share my story for sometime now but have failed to take the time to do so. When I was in the thick of it back in 2016 I heavily utilized this site for answers, for comfort, and for inspiration. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be a lot of success stories but I am proud to say I am one. It was quite a daunting task writing this all down, I swear I could write a novel based on my experience with depression and antidepressants. Irregardless I hope my story can help encourage those currently in the midst of withdrawal just as stories I had read on this site encouraged me during my withdrawal. I am a 27 year old man and I took antidepressants from 2010 to early 2016. My first year was on Zoloft and the next five years were on Effexor 150mg. Depression entered my life around the age of 13 and it more or less stayed there up until recently. Sure there were periods of time where it subsided but eventually I would always return to my depressed default state. When I was about 13 my father died unexpectedly, a few years later my grandfather was murdered. My teenage years were very lonely. Affected by the deaths and trying to understand my sexuality pushed me into a state of isolation, it was during this time where I developed a very strong pornograghy addiction. Rather than talk about my issues through friends and therapy I chose to keep them hidden and use medication to do the work for me. Soon after starting college I got on Zoloft. It suited me, I felt calm and content but I craved something more stimulating. I had previously been prescribed adderall, but I recognized the ill effects it had on my personality so I stopped taking it. The campus doctor recommended Effexor, he said I might find it to be more stimulating. Therefore without question I took the prescription and worked my way up to 150mg where I would remain the next 5 years. During this time I was also taking ambien nightly, and between these two drugs I was able block out any of the persistent issues that were bothering me. I was numb. Years later I was living in a house with two very supportive roommates. These two guys would become my best friends and for the first time in my life I actually opened up about the things that truly bothered me. I also finally decided to get into therapy. In retrospect I could see that I was not actually happy on the antidepressants. I was just going through the motions, numb to the good and numb to the bad. I could see my growing disconnect from people. Up until those roommates I didn’t have close friends, I wasn't dating, and I certainly wasn’t having sex. I was almost 25 and still a virgin. The antidepressants removed the desire to be intimate with people, I was living in perpetual loneliness. So in January of 2016 I made the decision I was getting off Effexor and that was that. As with most doctors, my doctor had no idea how to get me off. There are no established plans to get people off of antidepressants, once your on them your expected to stay on them. So every two weeks I would half the dosage, and at the lowest dosage I was to take it every other day. That was completely idiotic as Effexor only has a 12 hour half life, essentially I would be playing ping pong with my brain chemistry. Fortunately I did not follow that last part of the plan but I did get off too quickly. After five years on the drug, six weeks is not long enough to get completely off. My first day off of Effexor was also my first day on a one month solo trip through South America which was during my birthday month when I would be turning 25. The trip was fantastic but it gave me a false sense of security as to what life would be like without the drug. While traveling you are processing so much new information and your brain is naturally producing tons of dopamine through all these new experiences therefore I was not accurately feeling what real withdrawal would feel like. I had some minor headaches the first week of the trip but that was really it. By the time the trip ended I thought life without antidepressants was going to be a piece of cake, boy was I wrong. When I came back it was time to face reality, and I had to do so without relying on Effexor. We were moving from our house, my two awesome roommates were going their separate ways and I was on my own. On top of that I had a very important all consuming project at work to figure out. My anxiety was through the roof. I had a prescription for Ativan that I used very sparingly to get me through, but the anxiety was so bad I thought I needed a more permanent solution. I had to do whatever it took to get through this move and this project so I went back to the doctor to try a different antidepressant. He put me on Lexapro, I believe it was only 5mg but I could feel it instantly. I was finding I was hypersensitive to everything now. I was only able to tolerate Lexapro for 5 days because on the fifth day I was contemplating suicide. Whatever fire I had inside me that had always gotten me through the tough **** felt extinguished and I just wanted to die. I ended up going back to Effexor only taking 10 or so beads from the capsule, just that small amount made a tremendous difference in my anxiety. I did this until I had settled into a new place and my project was complete. While my anxiety was calmed my emotions were neutralized and my libido was extinguished. These were the exact reasons I got off in the first place so I knew I had to stick with the plan of staying off for good. Things were calming down but I was very depressed and had a complete lack of motivation. I was trying a lot of things like B-vitamins, Magnesium, L-theanine, and Fish Oil. I could feel some benefit from each of them but after a few days I would be back in my depression. I had very low energy and I was sensitive to everything. Just eating bread would make me feel terrible even though I had no apparent gluten intolerance previously. It was around this time a good friend of mine talked me into doing Improv. I thought it was crazy but I had nothing left to lose. So even at my worst I did Improv and I also continued training in the martial art Krav Maga. No matter how bad I felt I would show up and make a fool of myself in Improv or hit the **** out of something in Krav. I always felt much relief whenever I did either and I credit both of those activities to helping me beat my depression in the long run. I opened up a lot to my friends and family about what was going on in my head, and whenever my anxiety felt high I would challenge myself into doing something that made me uncomfortable. I performed on stage, I did sparring at my gym, I went on dates with guys, and I opened up to my Mom about my sexuality. My motto was “oh you think you’re anxious now? Wait till you do this!” While all these lifestyle changes helped build up my confidence I still struggled to find relief from my depression. I thoroughly researched the neurotransmitters and what vitamins and supplements help support what. I determined that my issues seemed to lie with Dopamine. So I went back to my doctor to get on Wellbutrin. I was not happy about throwing in the towel again but I also wasn’t ultimately finding relief. I was open to Wellbutrin because it supposedly did not have as severe of sexual side effects. I started taking it and I actually felt pretty damn good. Unfortunately I also broke out in hives. So it was back to the drawing board. I tried St. John’s wort and SAM-e, neither of those did anything. Finally I tried L-Tyrosine, this seemed to make the biggest difference. Like I hypothesized, my problem stemmed from dopamine and L-Tyrosine is a precursor in the creation of dopamine. While I found some relief, it was very finicky. Taking too much made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack, too little of course did nothing at all. It was also very easily influenced by the digestive process so it was hard to find consistency and consistency was what I needed as I was about to hop on a very stressful 6 week project. I threw in the towel again this time looking at Cymbalta. I had read that it was less likely to cause the sexual side effects that Effexor does. It was true, I found my libido did not seem to suffer as badly however I downright felt badly. I felt achy, my head hurt, I felt dehydrated, and I was terrified to force my body to adjust to this seemingly toxic drug. I knew that I had no intentions of staying on antidepressants my whole life therefore if Cymbalta feels this harsh to adjust to in the beginning then I can only imagine what it would feel like to get off of. This whole withdrawal process shook me to my core. While I was desperate to find relief so that I could function at work I also knew that I never wanted to withdrawal from an antidepressant again. I tossed the Cymbalta and I went back to taking a few beads of the Effexor. Once again I felt relief but once again my libido vanished as did my emotions. The most striking difference I noticed once I was back on the Effexor had to do with a coworker. I had a thing for one of the girls I was working with and I knew she felt similarly. Whenever she smiled at me I could feel an electricity rush through my body. When I got back on Effexor and she smiled at me, I felt nothing. That was it, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I could be depressed, anxious, and barely able to function but I was not going to lose the feeling of being human. I was not going to lose feeling a connection with someone, caring about someone, and I sure as hell was not going to lose my libido, not at 25. Antidepressants were out, I had to find another way. That’s when I discovered a different form of L-Tyrosine called N-Actetyl-L-Tyrosine, this form is less affected by digestion and crosses the blood brain barrier more easily. It took a lot of experimentation with how to dose the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. It caused a lot of headaches but it was relieving my depression and anxiety. Finally I developed a regimen that included several of the vitamins I had previously tried that offered relief but couldn’t fix the problem as a whole. My regimen consisted of a B-complex, Fish oil, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D during the day; at night I would take Magnesium, melatonin, and every other night 150mg of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine. After 6 months of suffering and countless experimentation I finally found stability again with my own personal regimine. I more or less stayed on this particular plan for a year, and the extreme depression and anxiety stayed away. I had never felt better because I was actually feeling everything like a human being should. I was also very in tune with my emotions, as soon as I felt depressing thoughts creeping in I would identify them and root out what may be causing them. I continued challenging myself with the improv, krav maga, and anything else that my old self would swear I could never do. I also continued therapy and being open and honest with those around me. I beat the depression that had been plaguing me the majority of my life. I didn’t stay on that particular set of vitamins and supplements indefinitely, I started dropping things along the way. After about a year the N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine started acting finicky again, I was suffering headaches similar to when I first got on it. I ended up dropping the Tyrosine several months ago and instead started experimenting with Rhodiola Rosea. So far it has been working well. If the Rhodiola Rosea stops working I’ll try something else, the important thing is that my mindset has changed. I’m extremely self aware, I’ve accomplished so many things I thought I could never do, and I know that I no longer need antidepressants to function. Depression will always be something I will battle but I’m finally now in the driver's seat and I am not going to give up my spot so easily this time. Withdrawal is horrible but its an important process in forming a new and better self. Just because L-Tyrosine and Rhodiola Rosea have helped me doesn’t mean they will help everyone. It took a lot of trial and error to find what seemed to click. Ultimately it was challenging myself, being honest and open with those around me, and learning mindfulness that truly brought me into the light. I hope my story can provide some ray of hope for all of you out there in the thick of it. It can be done. It’s not the end of the world to reinstate just know what your ultimate goals are and stick to them.
  21. Hi I'm Crystal. I'm 28 years old. I have been taking Ambien 10 mg every night for 9 weeks and I want to get off this medicine. This morning I woke up still terribly sleepy with a headache. I am wanting to go cold turkey. Any advice would be appreciated.
  22. Hello, On March 29, 2017, I was prescribed 10 MG Ambien at ER after 3 nights of no sleep due to racy thoughts, and extreme anxiety that made me shake and my muscles twitched. I thought I was gonna die. Next day, I was prescribed 1 MG Lorazepam for anxiety. after a month, I cut Lorazepam to 1/2 pill and cut the Ambien to 1/2 pill too but was told by doctor to not cut the Ambien and just cut it after 6 months. During those months taking the pills, I experienced all side effects (extreme headches and weird sensations on my forehead, neck and ears, ramdom pain and pulses all over my body, fatigue, anxiety, more heart palpitations, abdominal pain, weightloss, etc.) The muscle twithcing did not disappear. I went to different doctors and complained about my symptoms, they said it was just stress and anxiety and told me to just take more of the Lorazepam. My blood test showed I was low in Vitamin D, low Iron, low HDL cholesterol & had slight dehydration. Everything showed "normal". I'm now taking supplements Vit D3, comfort Iron, Magnesium Glycinate, Sodium Ascorbate (non-acidic Vit. C), Omega 3 Fish Oil, some Whey Protein. I have asked my family doctor on getting off the pills and she said that I could just cut them and I won't have withdrawals since I've only been taking a small dose of Lorazepam. Starting June 26, 2017, I started cutting the Lorazepam dosage by cutting/weighing the pill deducting 0.02-0.03 MG everyday and the Ambien 0.3-0.4 MG everyday too. Since cutting the pills, I've had 0 sleep on some days which occurred every 2-5 days, extreme anxiety, heavy muscle twitching on my legs and back, extreme fatigue, depression plus all the other symptoms I had while on the higher dose of the drugs. These horrifying misery that I don't want to experience again. The Lorazepam went down to 0.22mg and Ambien to 8.2mg but my husband (who helps with the cutting/weighing) have since added doses everytime I get 0 hrs. of sleep. Since 2 nights ago, I've been taking 9.4MG Ambien (Zolpidem) and 0.27mg Loarazepam (ativan). I need help/guidance on how to taper properly, all the tips you can give on what to do to survive withdrawal and lots of encouragement (and love) to get off these drugs and heal. I want to get my old self back, the energetic, bubbly, hardworking mother of 4 that I used to be. Not the sickly, depressed, unfunctioning woman that these drugs have turned me into. I'd specially encourage those who have tapered off Ambien & Ativan successfully, to please post your tips. I appreciate any and all help that you could extend!!!
  23. I'm having a bad problem right now involving Remeron, Ambien, Xanax, Benadryl, Anxiety, Insomnia, GI problems, and fibromyalgia. I have a history of ambien use. 2 years ago I used 5-10MG of Ambien every night for 9 months. I started gradually having mild anxiety and depression throughout the 9 months so I decided to quit and then I did a 3 months taper. It was probably too fast because I had terrible anxiety throughout the process and it never stopped after I jumped. I was clean for 4 months. Then 5 months ago I had an incident which has since plunged my life down the toilet bowl and I have been terribly ill ever since, lost 30 pounds, and my anxiety and panic disorder has transformed into full blown agoraphobia. It started when I took an antibiotic for an ear infection. I had an allergic reaction and I had to start taking 50-75 mg of Benadryl every night. The next day I started a 5 day course of a different antibioitic, took corticosteroids, and took 0.25mg xanax to get to sleep. All was fine until 3 days later when I suddenly got chest/back pain, gastric burning, and a panic attack. This started a 5 month cascade of gradually elevating anxiety and gastric symtoms which was misdiagnosed as GERD. I went on many medications including prilosec, zantac, benadryl, antacids, tylenol, an experiment with librax (about 8 pills), and a few doses of muscle relaxer. I was on a cycle of using Xanax every 3 days and Benadryl every night. Every 3 days I would have a panic attack and take 0.25mg of Xanax, which has an interaction with Prilosec so it was probably actually more like 0.5mg. The gastric symptoms would strangely improve whenever I took the Xanax and then deteriorate over the next 3 days until it was time for the next Xanax. My nightly dose of 25mg-75mg Beandryl also helped and I would typically be better in the beginning of the day and then deteriorate throughout the night until it was time for the next Benadryl. At the time I thought Benadryl was just an antihistamine and did not know that it was also an anticholinergic and a mild SSRI. 3 months ago the gastric symptoms went into a constant steady state with no remissions and I started having wierd muscle twitching and electric sensations. So I went on a witchhunt to remove all of my medications in suspicion that one of them was causing my GI symptoms, which had eluded my GI doctor and all of his tests. First I got rid of the prilosec, zantac, antiacids. This didnt help. Then I tried to get off the Benadryl and that's when the **** hit the fan. Muscle stiffness and Insomnia from trying to quit Benadryl drew me back to Ambien. It started with 1mg doses and then quickly went to 2 and then 5 in a matter of days. The first day off Benadryl I had terrible anxiety and I was immediately in a state of having extreme insomnia and after a couple nights of taking Ambien or missing sleep I also had fibromyalgia, which further prevented me from sleeping as I could not find a comfortable position to sleep in. I've never had fibromyalgia in my life. For the next 2 weeks I would flop between different combinations of Benadryl and Ambien as my condition continued to deteriorate. I was averaging 2 or 3 hours of sleep per night. 2 weeks ago I saw a psychiatrist sleep doctor who Prescribed Remeron 7.5mg. I started by cutting it to 3.75mg which worked wonderfully for the first 5 days. I didnt need any Ambien and was getting 9 hours of sleep. However, I had side effects like dry mouth, dehydration, weakness, exercise intolernce, anxiety, suicidal ideation, memory issues, binge eating on junk, and daytime tiredness. Then on the 6th day I was having muscle stiffness, muscle spasms/twitches, and insomnia. I could not sleep on 3.75mg. After a drink (i dont normally drink), a hit of weed (i dont normally smoke), and then another 3.75mg to bring it up to 7.5mg, I STILL could not sleep. I could not sleep until I added 2.5mg of Ambien, and then I slept for 3 hours. This situation might have been amplified by having a steroid trigger point shot and a sedated procedure 2 days prior. Nevertheless, it scared me away from Remeron. I was scared of the side effects, the dose escalation, and possibly Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. I also quit Claratin 10mg, which I'd be taking for years while going on an antihistamine witchhunt and suspected I had 'Histaminosis'. For the next 4 days I would use Ambien 2mg and then 5mg and then two nights at 10mg, and I was still only getting 3-5 hours of sleep. I was hoping my GI symptoms would go away, if I was on just Ambien for a while. They didnt. Soem of the twitching was still there too. My psychiatrist told me to go up to 12.5mg of Ambien CR. Hell no. I was already possibly getting addicted to Ambien and didnt want to cement that with a long course of high doses and cement this addiction after everything I went through over the past 2 years. Over the last 2 nights I did an experiment where I 'reinstated' Remeron at 1mg and used 1mg of Ambien. One to initiate sleep and one to maintain sleep, instead of using an unnecessarily large dose of a long acting drug to initiate sleep or an unneccessarily large dose of a short acting drug to maintain sleep. Miraculously it worked. On only 1mg of remeron and 1mg of Ambien I have gotten 9 and 10 hours of sleep during the previous 2 nights. However, today I am again having some issues with minor twitching and electric sensations throughout my body, which I woke up with, and after thinking of it too long I am having bad anxiety. I don't know whether I am having a withdrawal from Ambien, a withdrawal from Remeron, side effects of Remeron, a withdrawal from one of the previous drugs (I havent had Xanax in 2 weeks), etc. After having only about 10 or 15 doses of Ambien at an average of 3-4mg per night, am I already addicted? Am I KINDLED? Do I need to taper Ambien in order to avoid seizures or brain damage, regardless of Remeron? For how long - a week, a month, months? Am I having some rare side effect syndrome of Remeron and need to go back on just ambien? Do I need to taper the tiny dose of remeron I took for a week? Do I need to go back on Benadryl or Xanax? Did I get addicted to the Xanax every 3 days? I feel like I urgently need a professional to work all of this out and tell me which doses of what I need to take over what time frame in order to avoid harm or seizures and assure me that I'm not having Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or something like that. I want my life back. I know these all look like tiny doses and time frames to you guys but I feel like I'm going insane, or I'm going to die. What do you guys think?
  24. Hello all, About three weeks ago I had a panic attack right as I was falling asleep. I only slept four hours each night the next two days. I learned that my family has had a history of anxiety issues, and because I was having trouble calming down, I was prescribed 50 mg trazodone to be used once a day, and 10 mg zolpidem tartrate to be used as needed for sleep. These did help me sleep, but I was still only getting consistently 6 hours of sleep a night. So, I talked to a counselor and saw a doctor. They both recommended a SSRI, presuming that the anxiety was the reason I wasn't sleeping as much as I had previously, so I was perscribed 25 mg sertraline HCl (Zoloft). After taking it for four days, I decided that the long-term side effects were pretty scary (brain zaps, "lower IQ," memory issues, weight gain), and that given that my anxiety was pretty mild by this time, I decided to stop taking it and try to go with just cognitive behavioral therapy. (I'm in grad school BTW.) I've found that I can't fall asleep without trazodone (now it's been about three weeks taking it), so I'm considering tapering. Do you think the insomnia is really because I don't have the trazodone, or is my sleep anxiety playing more of a role than I am giving it credit for? Should I reconsider Zoloft? I'm not really worried about having another panic attack, but I'm not sure whether I should take a combined therapy/medication approach to the anxiety or just try to do it with only therapy. Your advice is much appreciated. (you can delete my post in the tapering forum)
  25. Hi, I have been on Paxil 40mg for 22 years. I have also been on Ambien 10mg for 7 years. About three weeks ago I reduced the Ambien by half to 5mg. Once I am off the Ambien I plan on tapering off the Paxil.
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