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  1. Hello there, I am new to this forum and am seeking any guidance you can give me as I am in despair and feel horrible. I had been on SSRI’s for over 25 years and have always wanted to get off them but never could. Always tapered too fast and ended up feeling horribly sick so I would start back up. It was just easier staying on them. Several years ago, I realized that my mood had become really flat and I had trouble getting excited about anything. I wasn’t necessarily sad or depressed about anything but I felt that there was more to life and believed it had to do with the Prozac. So, I made the decision to taper differently this time – very slowly over the course of a few years. Unfortunately, I tapered completely wrong. Just because I was going more slowly did not mean that I was doing it right. How I wish I had found this website sooner. I began skipping doses and taking 20mg every other day. Maintained that for about a year. Then began taking it only a few days per week and maintained that. Then dropped down to 2 days per week. Then instead of taking 20 mg, I began taking 10 mg 2 days per week. All this time, I was having intermittent withdrawals, but did not recognize the symptoms for what they were. I ended up in the ER twice with chest pressure that was diagnosed as acid reflux but it was withdrawals. I had bouts of severe muscle pain/burning in my shoulders and neck that would last for about a week and then go away and then resurface down the road. My doctor suggested I had Fibromyalgia and prescribed Cymbalta which I refused to take. I never believed that I had Fibro but I still hadn’t connected the dots that my symptoms were withdrawals from tapering so poorly. When I got down to 10mg twice a week, my doctor told me since I was on such a low dose, to just stop it. So, I stopped the Prozac in March 2019 and began taking amino acids – Tryptophan 1000 mg, DLPA 1000 mg and GABA 125 mg (upon the advice of a holistic doctor). Since then, I have ranged from feeling ok to pretty good. In fact the week before the horrendous withdrawals began on July 24th, I thought I was getting close to my “normal” self again. My husband and I were even planning on doing an embryo transfer later this year in the hopes of having our first child. The holistic doctor advised me that amino acids were safe to take while pregnant, however, I recently came across articles that say otherwise. Unfortunately, I played with fire and wanted to see what would happen if I stopped taking the DLPA. So, I stopped the DLPA, for 3 days. On the 3rd day, all heck broke loose and I became extremely dizzy and off balance for most of the day. The very next day, I resumed the DLPA hoping it would alleviate my symptoms but they continued and evolved into other ones as well. Initially, I thought that the symptoms were withdrawals from DLPA but now I believe they are protracted withdrawal from the Prozac. I think the aminos were keeping the lid on the Prozac withdrawals and then once I lifted that lid off, everything boiled over. After a week of terrible withdrawals and calling in sick for 2 days, I couldn't take it anymore and decided to reinstate the Prozac. I came across the SA website and the recommendation to reinstate a very small amount. I only had 10mg and 20 mg pills left so I made liquid Prozac out of the 10mg and reinstated at 1.25 mg. Although, I did not have any negative effects from 1.25 mg, the next day I was scared that I reinstated too high and only took .5 mg. That is where I have been at for 9 days now. I am pushing myself to work each day and it is so very difficult with my symptoms: feeling sick/hungover, chest pressure, difficulty breathing, fatigue, insomnia, neck/shoulder tension, sometimes a burning sensation in my neck/shoulders, too. Over the past 9 days, I would say that I am better than I was before the reinstatement but I am still miserable. There have been a couple of times when I have experienced a wired feeling, too. I did go and see my new PCP and it did not go well. Of course, she told me that there is no way I could be in withdrawals if I quit Prozac in March and that she believes I have underlying depression and anxiety in which she suggested I take Effexor. I told her I would never take that. I am looking for guidance as to whether it is time for me to increase or hold at .5 mg longer. I apologize in advance if this was too long winded and does not make much sense.
  2. Awhile back JanCarol asked me what I was going to do if tapering lithium didn't work. It hasn't been disastrous, but I am really stuck. I am thinking about going to Mensah Medical in the Chicago area. Has anyone related to them? The two doctors there were part of the Pheiffer Institute which closed. Dr. Walsh was head of the Institute and now heads the Walsh Institute, which does research into the biochemical basis of mental illness (this whole post may need to be deleted) and educates physicians on nutrient therapies. The Mensah Medical docs are the clinical people. The website mensahmedical.com has a resources page, if you can get it to come up with lots of resources, they are really interesting. Sadly, I am not nearly smart enough to know if the theories are true. My sister has been going to a very expensive integrative doc for about four years. I think he has been doing these concepts (she isn't quite as fascinated as me, lol). Anyway, he pronounced her ready to go off Prozac after seventeen years of therapy with a two-week taper...and so far she is fine. I'm not jealous at all .
  3. I went to see a chiropractor/homeopath who my mother recommended and who I'll call Magic Nancy. I don't no what training alternative practitioners typically receive -- it varies I'm sure -- but Magic Nancy got into the healing business fairly recently after a longish career in an unrelated field. My experience with Nancy was negative. (Here's the simplified story) First, I am pretty open to alternative therapies. I won't list all the crap I've tried, but take my word for it. So I was open to Magic Nancy. I saw her a couple of times and developed some concerns. Nancy likes to read my body talk and then tell me what I am thinking beneath the conscious level. I saw this practioner in December and she told me that I was ready to heal and that I needed to repeat a mantra -- something like "I'm ready to let my body heal itself" -- and I was only one week away from a full recovery and good health. Ok. My body didn't heal itself on her schedule and I moved on. Recently I've had some problems and to appease my mother I revisited Magic Nancy where I had an extremely upsetting experience. I brought along a number of medications and supplements for her to muscle test. She listened to my body and then told me I didn't need to take almost any of it. She got strong "NOs" from my body on diazepam and clonazepam and said I shouldn't take them. Okay, whatever, I'll keep your recommendations in mind. Then she did her body reading session where she said I said that I am struggling with fear of failure, memories from age 16 and self-posioning. She said, by and large, that I once again am "ready to be well" and that I should put the past behind me and go out and be healthy and ... I don't know, get off my ass, basically. Her dismissiveness frustrated me. I told her so and we then had an awkward conversation which ended with Magic Nancy saying "I'm only telling you what your body is saying it needs, you don't have to listen to it if you think this is crazy, you're in charge, I'm just the messenger." Yea, I said but I don't know these things that my body knows and speaks to you. You're claiming I should do x,y, &z but not a,b,&c and you can't tell me why besdies "that's what my body wants" which is not a good enough reason to cold turkey benzos or to follow other recommendations. It's just not enought. Finally, Magic Nancy, your general attitude that I am A-okay except for my persistent clinging to a "fear of failure" pisses me off. I don't know if I am afraid of failure or not. But you telling me I am, is not enough reason to stop medications or buy supplements from you. Clearly frustrated, she told me that her work was difficult to understand and based in quantum physics which is incompatible with western medicine. She said I take a course in quantum physics and human health to better understand. Then, on second thought, she told me there is no such course that would apply to what she does because she is on the cutting edge. Of quantum physics!! The cutting edge of quantum physics research and application is on a gravel road behind the market in Williamson County Texas, who knew!? In a trailer home to boot! Anyway, I left. This was a very upsetting experience because some of the things Magic Nancy said actually made sense to me. However some advice didn't ring true at all. But my biggest complain was her hostile attitude. Her attitude implied I could be healthy if I was willing and that by implication only psychological fears and my unwillingness to listen to my body (from my subconscious to her) is keeping me sick, if I'm sick at all. It's messed up to play head games with a sick person. My illness is not my fault nor is it imaginary. One layer here is that I'd seen Magic Nancy earlier and not taken her full recommendations fully seriously. She was upset that I didn't make an appointment earlier, I think, and clearly brought a lot of hostility to our meeting. That my mother is a regular customer made things more twisted up. Anyway, she didn't take me seriously and she played a very nasty game of blaming the victim that made me feel icky and angry. Magic Nancy was the most upsetting health experience I'd ever had or close to it. It was uniquely bad as the one that felt the most emotionally exploitative. I wanted to share this experience because I'm sure we've all been treating poorly or misunderstood by healthcare professionals when all we want is help.
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