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  1. Hi there, Been using antidepressants for nearly 20 years. Started with Prozac, then citalopram, escitalopram, Zoloft, Cymbalta, amitriptyline, Remeron, tried Lyrica and some others as well. Nice years ago I tried to stop cold turkey (I was taking 20 mg citralopram back then) and had the worst year of my life after that decision. Had conflicts with everyone, had terrible back pain, living was Hell. Now I'm back a tapering, because at some point it was too much: I was drinking alcohol, drinking coffee, needed 20 mg melatonin to get asleep, took L-theanine, Remeron that knocked me off, 20 mg amitriptyline and 60 mg Cymbalta. I had ED from Remeron and the others, and felt really bad. Enough was enough. So I changed things. In the last month, I eliminated everything except for the Cymbalta. I stopped alcohol, caffeine, amitriptyline, Remeron, L-theanine, and melatonin. And I started tapering off Cymbalta, going down 3 mg each week for 10 weeks, which is my objective, to be at 30 mg for winter and maybe try to taper off again next Spring. So far it's difficult. Anxiety is going through the roof, sleep is only marginally better, feel anger all the time. I take magnesium, D3 and K2 to help me, but it only helps a bit. Is my tapering strategy too fast? Any advice? Should I keep going or stabilize first, and any way to manage anxiety? Any supplement that could help? I think I was vitamin depleted from so many years of AD... Thanks
  2. I started taking MMJ two years ago to help “manage” my anxiety so I could come off of 50 mg of Amitriptyline and .50 of Klonopin. My doctor was completely on board with this as he said it’s “natural” and really wanted me off Klonopin. This past February I ended up accidentally overdosing on MMJ and started to hallucinate. I was told my metabolism must have changed and that I would have to readjust the dose. Even in my state of mind I knew that was a horrible idea and CT’ed the MMJ. I had NO idea what I was doing or what was in store for me. I was put on 2 mg of Abilify and was told that it would help “speed the withdrawal process.” I never even decreased the Amitriptyline or Klonopin the entire time I took the MMJ. I was told after a month to just stop the Abilify. I can’t even attempt to describe the terror I felt the next two months. I had de realization, depersonalization, disordered thinking, panic attacks, it goes on and on. I didn’t sleep AT ALL the first month and then the second month I was getting 1-2 hours a night. I didn’t even know that it was physically possible to go that long without sleep. I developed paradoxical insomnia as well as a fear of insomnia. I stopped the Ability after one month. I decided by the third month I would taper the Amitriptyline since I initially took it for sleep and it wasn’t helping. Did I mention I had NO idea what I was doing? I went from 50mg to 6mg in two months. I honestly was about to throw in the towel at this point and go on an antidepressant but then found this site. I knew at this point I was in PAWS from MMJ but didn’t realize cutting the Amitriptyline this fast was a contributing factor. I thought that this was my “mental illness” coming back. I increased back to 10 mg in July and am holding steady. I am currently on 10 mg Amitriptyline and .50 mg Klonopin. Seven months later I still have a lot of issues. More importantly I have a lot of hope. I worked with a wonderful hypnotist and am at the point where I don’t worry about sleep. I eat well and exercise every day. I practice gratitude and am learning to live in the moment. I still wake up every 1-2 hours a night; most nights I fall back asleep and I am grateful for that. I’m learning to observe my thoughts and use my anxiety and fear as guides. I am already the strongest person I know. I’m only starting my journey but wanted to share early hope for those that may be struggling with acceptance. I also want to thank everyone on this site, you have been a part of my journey.
  3. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  4. Hello, Im a 38 years old Woman, im registrated new to this board. Im a quiet reader since 2 Years. I thought its time to share my story and finding some new answers. I took Amitriptyline 20 mg fo 2 Years because of my Vulvodynia, but it didn't help. In this 2 Years i never had any side effects. In December 2019 i suffered from a bad sinus Infection and forgot to take my AMI. I remember waking up 2 nights later with a bone dry mouth followed by bone dry eyes a week ago. Then i started to wean off in a really unsteady way because my state of mind was so confused. About a month i tortured my body with diffrent dosages from really high to zero. I had the most horrible time in my life with suicidal ideations depression, heartracing, nausea, loss of appetite and brain zaps. In January a Psychiatist told me to wean off slowly, what i did. I took me 2 Years come off and quit in January this Year. My Dryness never improved. I had windows and Waves through the whole weaning Process but not as bad as now. After 2 Weeks when i hit Zero, i started to have the worst reflux and stomach pains ever, was suicidal again and felt like that 3 Months, until it faded away. From May to July i felt pretty good besides the Dryness in my Eyes and Mouth. In August i started to have new Symptoms: Extreme Fatigue, Muscle Weakness, Depression, Anxiety, Heartracing in the mornings,OCD. Its so worse that i cant work. Im really concerned if this all is still withdrawal and my Dry Mouth and Eyes never improved. Im starting to believe i have Sjogrens Syndrome. Does Anybody had similar Symptoms. Im really desperate. Doctors in Germany are really no help, cause they dont believe in a long lasting withdrawal. Thanks for everyone who is reading this.
  5. Hi , looking for some help with my situation. I started 10mg amitriptyline in May 2022 for a nerve pain problem at the back of my head. It worked for the pain I was experiencing but I wasn’t reacting well to the medication so came off cold turkey after 3 weeks. I then experienced what I was consider normal withdrawals for around 3 weeks eg palpitations, anxiety , flu like symptoms. However, in between this at the 2 week mark I had a stressful situation which set off a numbness in my head and for 2 months after this never went away and developed various brain sensations 24/7 that are honestly torture. To describe it as a headache would be downplaying it. It feels more deep embedded within my brain ... the doctors obviously just think I'm being a hypochondriac. During this time I have spiralled into depression and am a shell of who I once was as a consequence of the physical symptoms. Bit of background - prior to this would consider myself very stable with no mental health issues and have never felt anxiety or depression in my life. Also not on any other medication or take any supplements and live a pretty active/ healthy lifestyle. I am confident that the brain numbness , pressure , weird sensations are as a consequence of the amitriptyline with it coinciding with the withdrawal.. obviously the stressful event did not help. Is this possible or I have I just coincidentally developed some form of chronic illness within my head. Really hopeful that it is not the latter. 2 weeks ago I was really desperate so under the guidance of my doctor went back on amitriptyline. It has not changed anything at all and so now I want to know if I should come off and let my brain heal and what would be the best way to do this. Does anyone have any suggestions for me. Given that the amitriptyline has not worked should I come off (again) and what would be the best way to do this. Any suggestions on dealing with the horrible brain sensations welcome and if anyone has experienced this and healed would be really appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance- appreciate the help on here.
  6. Hello. In February 2020 I was a new mom and was prescribed domperidone for lactation: 50mg/day. Which affects dopamine. I took this until April 2020 and then tapered by 10mg/week until off. During my taper I became extremely anxious and was started on sertraline 25mg increased to 100mg in June 2020. In July I fell and hit my head and sustained a concussion. Sertraline made me feel weird so I tapered off over 4 weeks. then the headaches started. I blamed my concussion but in hindsight I think it was the sertraline withdrawal took nortriptyline 10mg and sertraline 25mg for 6 weeks (nov-dec 2020) . Headaches resolved and I weaned off because of dizzy spells and I didn’t want to hit my head again. Headaches back by December . in January 2021 I had had daily headaches for 6 weeks so dr recommended nortriptyline 10mg alone daily. I did and felt great no headaches. Then by March 2021 I got tachycardia and the doc suggested I wean off. I opened capsules and did a wean over 4 weeks. A week after stopping I got leg cramps so bad I couldn’t stand it. Restarted nortriptyline at about 4mg and weaned it over 2 months. Stopped it may 12. may 18-25 extreme anxiety out of no where. Doc started me on escitalopram 5mg which I took for 6 days and stopped. It made my anxiety horrible! Maybe caused kindling? Then 4 days later I felt like myself for about a week. After being off escitalopram for 10 days the anxiety and headaches creeped back in. is this all still nortriptyline withdrawal? Do I reinstate ? Will this get better ? My dose of nortriptyline was so small. Down to 2mg at the end.
  7. Hello all, I'm new. And I'm scared. You have all been a tremendous source of strength. I'm trying to figure out how to fix my signature so sorry if I'm putting it all out here. I have been on 150mg amitriptyline for 6 years and tapered off of it in 8 months. During that time, I didn't realize I was going through withdrawal symptoms. Now, I realize I had, and three days after I went off, the severe depression/anxiety set in. I was reinstated at 25 mg by psychiatrist's orders for a week, and then another 25 mg this week. I realize I had broken a cardinal rule of antidepressant withdrawal, which is not to reinstate at a high dose. But I was told to do this, which of course makes it par for the course. On 25 mg, I began to feel better for 3 days, and then the depression/anxiety began to creep in again towards the end of the week. Then, I reinstated at 50 the next week per psychiatrist orders, and I'm now stable but with worsening insomnia and floating lights in darkness, a sign of withdrawal. I have made a big mistake, of course. I'm so fearful about the week ahead. Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm so scared about my future, especially because of what I've just done. If you were me, what would you do? Thank you all so much. You are my only source of information right now as I find a new psychiatrist.
  8. Hi there I am new to the group. I have been on amitripline 20mg for about 3 years and want to taper off. My doctor says no need just stop it. I have contacted my compounding pharmacy as I have used them for my Klon taper which I have finished 7 months ago and they agree to taper but think it would not be as bad the K taper and maybe over 2 months could be done. I am very sensitive to most meds. They will go with whatever I feel comfortable with. My doctor scripted the pills for a year to another pharmacy I use and when I asked for the liquid suspension she only scripted 2 months because she does not feel I need to taper. What difference does it make to her what method and how long. I really do not get it. I have read that new information out there says we should be tapering AD's Any feed back appreciated. Kathy
  9. Hi i am new here so let me introduce myself and give you the history of why i have become member. I originally got tinnitus about 18 months ago from noise. I was a sound engineer when younger so my past had caught me up. I went and had all tests and was told nothing could be done. I started to get headaches and siatic pain down left side which seem to come on at same time thetinntus did. The doctors prescrided me 20mg of amitriptyline to be taken at night to help prevent migraines and help with sleep. I took it for about 11months but for last couple months i started feeling anxious, paranoid and suicidal in waves. I attended to A&E department who said that only way to tell if the symptoms were side effects of drug was to come off them and that i would have see GP. I went see the GP who didn' t believe the drugs were causing issues and that i had aggitated depression and needed to take different anti-depressent and stop the amitriptyline. I wasnt feeling well and did what GP had said and stoped the amitriptyline with no taper and started citrolpam. I took citrolpam for 4 days but just felt out of it so i stopped it. I didn't sleep for 14 days and had massive waves of syptoms. Went back doctors and he said i was ill like he had said and looked anxious. Tryed get him understand it was withdrawl syptoms. Doctor told me i needed to go back on amitriptyline but 50mg this time. I questioned the dose increase but as i wasn't feeling mentally or physically well i got tablets. I reinstated back onto the amitriptyline but only took 25mg for first week. The withdrawl symtems were still there but slowing a little. Decided to take the 50mg as doctor said as i really didnt know what i was doing by then. Made feel even worse than i was feeling. Friends told me to go back to GP but get second opinon from different doctor. Changed doctor and explained i was in withdrawl and i wanted to come off amitriptyline due side effects. She listened but still really didn't want say it was in withdrawl altho see did agree if i felt i wasnt depressed i should drop back to the 25mg as only been on 50mg for few days. I have had to take 9 weeks off work and am taking 25mg amitriptyline hoping i will stabilise to some kinda human being. At first i was having the windows and waves were as last few weeks i feel like the windows are getting smaller and waves bigger. I saw the mental health team who again avoided the whole withdrawl thing and tryed blame me. I advised her i want get off the drugs and after reading many forums realise i need to do a very slow taper as i am super sensative. I come here as many do in hope of some feeling like i will be able to come off the amitriptyline at some point and regain the person that i feel i have lost.
  10. Hi. My story should maybe begin with med history I suppose. Back in 2017 I was hospitalized and put on trazadone, zoloft, and zyprexa. After only barely a year of this cocktail it was determined that I was too tired to function with trazadone and zyprexa caused an odd issue with blood sugar which required immediate discontinuation. After another year and a half of zoloft, I asked my PCP (primary care physician) to manage my meds and help me try something new. I was tired of driving to see my nurse practitioner, who formally managed them. My PCP suggested Paxil, and also placed me on imitrex for chronic migraines. She discontinued zoloft, she felt it was a low enough dose. Shocker. This was the end of January 2020, so covid was nearly upon us. After only one month of being on it she decided to bump it by 10mg, to 30mg. We also decided imitrex sucked so I got put on maxalt which I'm still on today. I felt as though it was helping me with irritability, which is a problem I've had for a long time. Paxil mellowed me out it seemed. It made me not really care much. All visits after February were done via zoom due to covid. In November of 2021 I was feeling at a wit's end with the increase in head pain frequency. Taking all 9 of your maxalts every month and having more migraines on top of it just sucked. I also was having more s******l ideations, I always have had passive ones but having more than usual was bothering me. She said she would add 10mg of amitriptyline because "it helps with migraines and mental health so it'll kill two birds with one stone". Well it seemed to help me sleep. However, I'd been slowly gaining weight while on paxil due to my low motivation and lack of caring... which I think amitriptyline just further encouraged. My pharmacist was a little concerned about the combination. She mentioned serotonin syndrome being a common issue, but my doctor said I'd be fine. Well I continued to just kinda suck things up, my fault, but I just really appreciated how chilled out I was. May 26th 2022 I go to my PCP in person because 1. I developed a twitch in my thumb, tendinitis from typing. 2. Because I finally got the courage to talk about my meds via pro con list. She determined the tendinitis, we got that fixed. However, when I wanted to address meds she actually cut me off and just started talking about my blood pressure and (obvious) 30 pound weight gain. This was the first time she's seen me since increasing the paxil, mind you. I understand her concern. My blood pressure was some kind of record high, I'll admit it was so high I couldn't believe it for my age. She said I needed to get blood work done asap and that after she looks at lab results THEN she will discuss meds. That Friday, may 27th I messaged her on mychart (she's nice about this) about my concern regarding med combination. I told her I was curious about whether paxil in combo with other meds could've been my reason for high blood pressure. She said "well, hold your paxil until you get your blood work and until I can get another blood pressure reading". LOL. I said sure thing, because what could ever go wrong. I got very sick, but got the labs done that next tuesday and sadly couldn't get my blood pressure done until that next Friday due to staffing issues at her clinic..I ended up having my work do it since we have nurses, and just messaged the bp read on mychart. Believe it or not my blood work was pretty emaculent. My blood pressure went down 30 points on systolic and 10 diastolic (idk if points if the right term) but still it was high. She messages me on Mychart that friday afternoon to say she got my results, and wanted me to continue "hold (not take) your paxil because I think it was affecting the blood pressure". Yay. She scheduled to see me June 10th to talk about a beta blocker if my blood pressure was still high. June 10th comes and she still wants me on a beta blocker, it's still high but going down slowly. I have tachycardia on top of it, so she was pretty concerned. I told her about my very horrible experience with paxil withdrawals, to which she said "you're the first to say that. I've never had a patient have a problem or get withdrawals from stopping paxil". So I said, well maybe I'm sensitive and reminded her about my zyprexa problem. I thought it kinda sucked to have her brush off my withdrawals that took two weeks to go away completely. =/ I ended up added omega 3 and magnesium to help with brain zaps, which actually helped me but I can't say how or why. She was fine with the new supplements and said I would now start atenolol (beta blocker). Scheduled me out to see her on June 24th. So I guess that's my story so far. My blood pressure is slowly but surely going down. I'm feeling more energy again, less headaches, less weird hyperthermia feeling, still some issues with motivation but still seeing small improvements. My concern is how my body will adjust to not having paxil in the long run. It very much wasn't good for me, and I feel bad for not getting it check out sooner but I really just didn't care enough at the time. It was kind of scary. I know CTing can have long term effects, but I also JUST started feeling somewhat normal again and don't want to go back to feeling addicted to paxil to ever return. I also just feel alone in this, if that makes sense?
  11. Hi there, I'm a new one here. Luckily, I've found this website because we don't have any single website which helps people who want to stop taking antidepressants in my country. My name is Anastasia, I'm 32. I work as a teacher at school. I'm married and have a lovely cat. I take antidepressants for 11 years. I've always been a shy person with lack of confidence. Since my childhood I've suffered from intrusive thoughts just about any imaginable staff. The first time I went to the psychiatrist was because of intrusive thoughts about my relationship. And my horror story began. I had various reasons for my constant painful thoughts. I had permament nausea, irritable bowel, which didn't let me leave my house, a sense of guilt, depressive thoughts, anxiety. constant tears and just liying at home and staring at one point - not all at once, of course. These were the reasons for many many visits to the doctor. Each time antidepressants helped a lot and I was back to life again. Can't say I was always in a good mood, but, nevertheless, I could live. I really don't remember the years and dosage of medicines, but in different periods I took amitriptilin, venlafaxine, zoloft, duloxetine, fluoxetine, phenazipame, atarax. One day pills stopped helping me. I changed three doctors hoping someone'll help me. The first one finally said that my brain had become tolerant to drugs and I had to quit. I tried so many times and always my thoughts came back and tortured me. The second doc said I had endogenous depression and it's ok to take antidepresants just for the whole life. She also said that if one medicine didn't help, so let's try another. And we tried and changed. My thoughts and depression didn't go away, but I felt not well, not bad. The third doc finally said that my diagnose was anxiery disorder and eating disorder. Insisted on treating my depression to the end and then quit. My latest medicine was venlafaxine 75 mg. But I decided to come to my first doctor and tried to withdraw like 37, 5 - one week, 18,75 - two weeks. Now it's three weeks I'm off. And it's just a hell. My thoughts (now about my weight and shape) have become more painful than they were on medicines. I find it hard to go outside because I feel really uncomfortable in all my clothes. It seems they are too tight. I'm depressed, angry and nervous. I can't do anything and distract myself. Even in my pyjamas I feel fat and uncomfortable. The story of my eating disorder: when I got married, my husband and I gained some weight. Then we started keeping to a diet. We lost weight and I felt just great for some time. Then it wasn't enough and I started to eat 1000 calories a day. But still I had a fat belly and wasn't satisfied with my weight and the way I looked. I gave up dieting and gained half the weight I had lost previously. Now I'm obsessed with my weight and it's just a nightmare. I think about it 24/7 but can't stop eating. Food is the only thing that gives me pleasure. I tried Gestalt therapy and CBT a bit, but I'm convinced that these sessions just do nothing. I understand everything, nod to the psychologist but don't believe it can help. I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life. The only wish I have now is to stop this suffering, by means of drugs or not, I don't know. I 'm studying this website and try to understand all the mechanisms. I'm not sure I'll manage to tolerate this for many years, it's been only three weeks but I'm completely exhausted. The reason why I wanted to quit was to have a baby, but it's practically impossible to think about pregnancy and birth now because of my condition. Seeking for help and support. Thank you in advance. PS: I was really frightened to start my topic here because of the country where I live, because of my nationality. But I want you to know that I just can't stand all the hell that is going on right now in the world. Of course, it adds a lot to my anxiety and depression.
  12. I’m at a total loss as to what to do. I’m in the worst wave of my life which was worse than acute for me after tapering from a benzo. I feel as though I am in severe withdrawal. I am kindled and it’s to the point I can’t eat anything without having a reaction and have been unable to shower. I was in the hospital back in December and am back here again and am only worse. In some ways when I take my Gabapentin dose, it helps some symptoms and in other ways, it makes me feel horrible. I cannot get stable to taper Gabapentin. I really am at a loss as to what to do. They don’t understand here and recommended a few options for me with them being ECT, TMS, IV Ketamine and the medication that was recommended was Ritalin and Vyvanse as my levels of dopamine are low along with serotonin and norepinephrine. I had gene testing done and that was determined along with the MTHFR gene mutation, so l-methylfolate was recommended. I can’t take anything without my system overreacting. I am kindled a few times now and my dosing schedule for Gabapentin has been all over the place because I feel I reached tolerance and some days I end up taking more than I normally do. I wish I could just be placed into a medically induced coma and taken off my meds because I don’t know how I’m going to get through this being in this condition. I want to get off of this med, but have no idea how to do so at this point anymore. I was titrating in water and reducing that way, but I am totally stalled out as I’m not functioning. Things are totally unbearable and beyond uncomfortable. I’m losing hope every passing day. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you! Ativan - two years consistently - February 2016 - Up to 10 mg/day - March 2016 - 1.5 mg/day - April 2016 - 0.75 mg/day - May 2016 - 3.0 mg/day - August 13, 2017 - 0.15 mg/day - September 4, 2017 - Switched to 1.5 mg of Diazepam - May 1, 2018 - JUMPED!! Zolpidem (Sublinox) - March 2016 - 15 mg/night - July 22, 2017 - JUMPED!! Trazodone - 87.5 mg Gabapentin - 542 mg Amitriptyline - 5 mg
  13. Hi, and thanks for so much letting me join the community here. Below is my current history. AMITRIPTYLINE HISTORY (PUT ON THIS FOR GUT ISSUES) - - All these symptom/severities are atypical for me. - - Early Dec 2019 - 10mg, ~6 weeks - depressive episodes started, foggy, gut slower than normal Late Jan 2020 - 20mg, ~1 month - depressive episodes, foggy Late Feb 2020 - 10mg, 2 weeks - flu-like aches, foggy Early Mar 2020 - 5mg, ~4 days - very strong flu-like aches, emotionally ragged, foggy Mid Mar 2020 - 10mg, ~1 month - flu-like aches, after break emotionally ragged again, foggy Late Apr 2020 - ~15mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter) - flu-like aches, foggy Early May 2020 - ~16mg, ~2 weeks (pill cutter) - foggy [Mid May 2020 - 1 episode of diarrhoea] instantly followed by severe ongoing depression, tingling scalp, foggy Mid May 2020 - 17mg - 4 months (compounding chemist) - severe ongoing agitation, then severe ongoing depression (tingling scalp), then both, foggy, memory problems 22 Sept 2020 - 1 missed dose - felt almost normal 23 Sept 2020 - 10mg - depression 24 Sept 2020 to present - 17mg - ongoing depression, severe agitation, tingling scalp, fogginess, memory problems, gut still slower than normal OTHER CURRENT MEDS Multivitamin: Since early 2017 - 1 tablet, irregularly; since Sept - 1 tablet, daily Motillium: Since late 2017 - 10mg, 3 times a day Movicol: Since early 2017 - varied amounts daily Ural: Since ~Sep 2020 - ~4 sachets a day Electrolyte: Since Jul 2020 - ~1 tablet, irregularly Vitamin C Powder: Last several years - ~1 teaspoon, irregularly Coloxyl + Senna: Since ~Late Nov 2020 - ~2 tablets, irregularly PREVIOUS MEDS (TAKEN BETWEEN 2017 AND 2018) Ondansetron, metaclopramide, simethicone (also briefly in 2019), prochlorperazine, valium, fluoxetine, oxazepam, olanzapine, pregabalin, atenolol, perindopril Thanks in advance for any help with this. I really appreciate what you do here.
  14. 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
  15. 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?>
  16. Hi I’m new here. I was put on antidepressants for panic & anxiety. I was on lexapro for a year then stopped working then went to Prozac and it helped great with panic & anxiety. I was on 30mg for over a year. It gave me horrible restless legs and Insomia so my dr added amitriptyline to help with sleep & pain. I came off Prozac last summer by tapering down to 10mg then off (per drs instructions) I was totally fine. Then I came off 5mg amitriptyline in November and I got horrific severe deep dark depression that I never had in my entire life.. so so severe so I went back on Prozac… Prozac seemed to worsen the depression with each increase so I stayed at 5mg for like a month then 2mg for a month and then came off. It did help stabilize me a little and then 4 weeks off Prozac and I have this debilitating deep dark depression. I feel like I won’t make it. I don’t think I can ride this out. It’s soooo severe. My brain feels permanently damaged. What do I do? I was thinking of trying Wellbutrin to stabilize or maybe reinstating a different med and doing a super slow taper. I need help. Is there anything natural that could get rid of this ?? Tried 5htp and it helped some depression but gave me more anxiety.
  17. So here I am, I've gotten some good information from the site before but mostly remained a lurker, right now I think I need a little bit of support from people that truly understand what I've been through While this journey starts in 2007 I have to clarify that it wasn't my first time dealing with ADs. Much younger, in 2001 I was hooked up on Zyprexa for what I feel was an irresponsible reaction to something that required another set of actions (heavy bullying, and I'll leave it at that). That experience made me very weary of the effects of antidepressants and how fast medical personnel relies on them. Thankfully I got off them (mostly) fine So let's fast forward to 2007 I was getting very preoccupied by a girl thing during that period and had no one to talk to. I decided, sure, why not? and went to a psychologist. I got to say it was a very pleasant experience and overall it helped a lot But then this happened. I've always had trouble with insomnia since I was a kid. Out of nowhere I had a whole night episode of insomnia. It was like something popped in my head and the feeling of sleepiness was removed. I had never pulled an all-nighter before. It coincided with a trip to the psychologist He over-panicked and took me to the psychiatrist office, saying that wasn't normal and he prescribed me two meds: Amitriptyline, 25mg and Perphenazine 10mg. I really wish to know what would have happened if I had, you know, just tried to sleep normally that night again In short, those pills felt like magic, they were like sleep on a pill, for someone with sleep issues all his life it was very tempting to continue using them. Sure, they made me sleepy in the morning, but nothing a cup of coffee couldn't solve A couple of years later I had to change doctors again, the new doctor prescribed me with bipolar II and added 500mg of valproic acid, sometimes more. I have no idea how he reached that conclusion since valproic acid felt like a placebo to me Over the years the side effects started to get more noticeable, specially after my doctor made a mistake and gave me 4mg pills of perphenazie instead of 10mg. I pointed this out but he told me it was "impossible" to put me on 10mg again since I would get more sedated. To him, my insomnia was caused by bipolarity and everything working was the perphenazine and valproic acid. For some reason he claimed that amitriptyline was only making me drowzy in the morning. He tried to remove it completely and playing with varying degrees of the other drugs. But I was already working by that time, my job requires me to have a good mental performance. So I never tried any of his variations or new drugs for more than 2 days of zero sleep The last two years The side effects ended up being unbearable. Before that I had bad days sprinkled here and there, from now one I graded the days by how bad they were. I had depersonalization, lost the train of thought, got extremely dizzy, physically and mentally tired all the time, this made my job unbearable. On top of that I started to develop serious bladder and gastrointestinal problems, both urologists and gastros I visited not only agreed that the drugs were the culprit, they pushed me to start questioning what was going on. My doctors (and really all doctors after that) are very prone to minimize side effects or downright deny them and give the most useless advice (change your coffees for something stronger like a redbull) With this doctor I tried to quit the meds completely with what was a fairly "normal" taper of a quarter of a pill every two weeks. Side effects continued and insomnia got worst until I lost the ability to sleep when I went off them completely. Lasted 4 days until I got back to them (job responsibilities couldn't wait). He told me to not take the valproic acid becausee "maybe it's not bipolarity". His las try was using midazolam but it didn't work November last year Reached a breaking point and quit my job, there was no way I was going to be able to fix this and work at the same time. My plan was to do a slow taper and see how it went. Sadly, I ended up listening to some family members that took me to "two of the best doctors in the region". From november to february I took, in really short periods of time: quetiapine, mirtazapine, pregabaline, estazolam, agomelatine, levomepromazine, trazodone, sulpiride. They either didn't work at all or gave me way worst side effects The last doctor was particularly bad, not only did he denied I had insomnia and returned to "everything is just bipolarity" but he also gave me diazepam, it didn't made me sleep and he only gave me amitriptyline again until I begged him I need to start sleeping again. I told him I didn't want diazepam, I knew the risks, I had reacted terribly to benzos before, but he insisted in exchange of the amitriptyline, and told me it was "a soft med, I give it to old people". Anyway, after a month he took me cold turkey off the diazepam and for 2 months I had the worst withdrawal symptoms I felt in my life. He insisted it was all in my head. I had to convince my family to take me to another shrink I personally researched who obviously said I was suffering from benzo withdrawal and in his opinion "nothing in my medical history sounds like bipolarity" He gave me the same meds (amitriptyline and perphenazine) and have been "stable" the last two months. "Stable" means feeling exactly how I was feeling in November with the exception that the gastro issued haven't returned at full intensity again So, next week, I restart work again, maybe it was a bad decision, but I haven't worked in 9 months, bills don't pay themselves and don't see an end in sight. I see my doctor in August, I want him to agree to a 10% a month taper. He laughed about it saying it is "too conservative" and was petrified when I told him about dissolving the pills on liquid. I read about the scale method and plan to order one and hope he will agree to it On top of that, I'm going to a CBT-i doctor. I have tried it before and can say it helps greatly with sleep, sadly, it does nothing for the side effects. I can say without a doubt my only problem is insomnia. The last few months, the short periods I've been off zero meds I have felt great, I can think again, my body feels right. Sadly, I can't sleep and it starts to take a toll around the 4th day. My record in January was a 9 day period of zero or close to zero sleep time, I expected that the brain would just shut down if I force it, but it didn't So, any help would be appreciated, specially in the side effect department. I need to function normally in my job again. I've read about taking modafinil, huperzine or other cholinergic agonist to see if they might counteract the amitriptyline symptoms
  18. Greetings all, being a guy and biologically averse to reading instruction manuals and following directions I began a taper last fall and it has been five months of misery. I was taking Ami 10mg for nerve pain for 14 years and my plan was to drop 25% every 30 days or sooner depending on how the reduction was tolerated.. November 1st I dropped to 7.5 mg, November 25th 5.0 mg, January 2.5mg and discontinued completely on March 1st. The drop to zero on March 1st was delayed because I was feeling lousy and my wife had knee replacement surgery and I didn't want to add to the difficulties. As each reduction became more difficult it finally dawned on me that my math was deeply flawed. While the first 2.5mg reduction was from 10mg to 7.5 and was in fact 25% I believe the subsequent reductions were actually 33%, 50% and 100%. ( In addition to not reading directions well mathematics was never a strong suit). Quite likely the original drop from 10 to 7.5 was too aggressive and each subsequent drop compounded the problem. The first drop was fairly well tolerated but from the second reduction forward things have gotten progressively worse but I stupidly thought that this was expected and continued. It became more and more obvious that things weren't improving so in desperation I began reading tapering info on this site and the light bulb over my head flickered dimly. My "plan" was too aggressive in the beginning and compounded by bad math became increasingly difficult. On March 28th I reinstated from 0mg to 2.5 and finally had a decent nights sleep and on the 29th woke pretty much pain and anxiety free. I woke this morning with some return of pain and mild anxiety and that's where we stand now. From the information I'm still reading on the site I believe I should try to stabilize the symptoms and possibly adjust the dosage to allow things to settle down before making another attempt at tapering. Any thoughts, advice, comments etc would be greatly appreciated.
  19. Hi everyone! I'm here because I'm about to start to taper Amitriptyline 75 mg that I've been taking for my migraines. This is not my first drug-tapering rodeo, but I'm still not looking forward to it. I was first prescribed medication for my migraines in 2004. I was put on trials of amitriptyline, depakine and then topamax. None of these worked, and I had a severe reaction to the topamax that resulted in panic attacks, agoraphobia and suicidal ideation [i had a plan]. During this crisis, I was prescribed Ativan, but I became addicted to it after 8 weeks. I crossed over to Valium 10 mg and tapered off that in 7 months. I was off all migraine preventative drugs for 6 years. Then my migraines started to become much more severe and frequent. After a lot of procrastination, I agreed to start Depakine again. Amitriptyline was added because I was having scalp allodynia – my hair and scalp always felt like it was on fire. I tapered off the Depakine in 2013 because I was starting to feel very ill taking it and the side effects were becoming worse. I stayed on the amitriptyline and needed to increase the dose as my migraines and allodynia continued. Last year, I tried to do a 10% taper of the amitriptyline, but was unsuccessful and needed to reinstate. In the meantime, I started to do the program of Dr. David Buchholz, “Heal Your Headache”. Between the dietary prescriptions and the radical reduction of my migraine rescue remedies, my migraines became significantly better – less frequent and much less severe. The funny thing is, now that my migraines are more under control, I feel quite well on the amitriptyline. The side effects – chronic constipation, chronic dry mouth and weight gain – are annoying, but manageable. Nevertheless, I don't like the idea of being on it and would like to see if I can taper off it and still have good migraine control. If I don't, I'd rather try a calcium-channel blocker like verapamil or diltiazem. Having done this before, however, doesn't make me any less apprehensive about starting the ordeal again. I am planning to do a very slow taper this time, starting at a 2.5% taper and seeing how that goes. I also plan to do a liquid taper. I didn't know about this option in the past, but I think it will be ideal for me this time around My plan is to begin next month. In the meantime, I am upping my supplements, getting my diet lower carb, so that I can get into ketosis, and preparing myself mentally for the long slog. I do have a question: at the present, I am taking tablets for my daily dose. Would it be preferable to start to take my doses of 75 mg as a liquid dose before I start the taper? Or is it advisable to continue with the tablets until I'm ready to start my first cut with a liquid dose? Thanks for any counsel. I've been reading the forum for a few weeks now and already I have gotten so much information. Thank you for all you do!
  20. Original full topic title before condensing: coming off low-dose Amitriptyline after 8 years, the under-informed way - deeply awful.... not sure what to do now... Hello, I came across this forum thankfully, after looking for info and advice/support for withdrawal from Ami. The rough timeline and history etc are in the signature. It is 4 weeks since my last dose of Ami. I was under-informed by the GP when I first went on it 8 tears ago. He told me something like "it's no big deal, you're on such a low dose (10mg or on occasion 20mg per night for anxiety induced insomnia after a triggered latent trauma episode), you can take it as needed - no worries"...... NO mention of having to stick to a regular every day dose, or the horrific withdrawal effects, or tapering, or long term effects etc... nothing. So, to try to cut a long story as short as I can, without compromising context, here goes: Please use the signature timeline to get the picture of how things have passed. I came off Ami "unconsciously" and only really clocked it when I suddenly had a **** yourself horrendous headache, and a "wave of despair" and "rotten-ness" experience one day, and because I kind of recognised the headache, in particular, as feeling somewhat "chemical" in nature, I thought about it, and then realised that I had not had any Ami in about a week. I had been cutting back on the Ami since end of Dec 2021 into Jan and Feb 2022, as I was concerned about a few "low blood pressure/hypo" type experiences I had been having, and wondered if they may be caused by the Ami. I still don;t know whether this was the case or not, but regardless, I started to cut back on Ami, and miss doses here and there, sometimes taking herbal sleep aids to help with sleep.... I was not paying too much attention to what I was doing with the Ami, as I had the story that it was "no big deal" as mentioned above, from the GP. Of course, I realise now, after having done some research after the event, that this was a disaster waiting to happen. I had "accidentally" gone cold turkey, and also spent 2 months on some kind of hap-hazard detox/retox behaviour. I had been suffering from constant diarrhoea for most of Jan Feb 2022, but put this down to a prolonged bout of IBS, which is something I have had, on and off over the years anyway. Notably though, previously I had always had IBS on the constipation side, rather than the other side. Once I realised that it was likely the Ami, I reinstated at half doses (5mg) straight away, and sure enough the "chemical" savage headache reduced in intensity the next day, by about 60%. I continued like this for about a week. The following week, I reduced the dose to about 2.5mg every other night for about a week. Then I took my last dose on March 5th. Obviously I know now that this was way too quick a taper. I am having a deeply awful experience with severe symptoms. The headaches have been getting a little better over this last month, but are still there daily. I have high anixiety and my guts are absolutely trashed. I have had random weird bruising on my arms, not caused by impacts. These have been fading in the last 2 weeks though. Chronic dry skin and rash on the tops of the shoulders and upper back, maddening itching all over. Chronic fatigue, chest tightness, dry mouth, muscle aches and pains, tingling sensations, restless legs at night sometimes, insomnia, early morning wakefulness, nausea, feeling faint, coughing in the morning, runny nose all day. I'm listing these for completeness, not for a sympathy vote! Just so we have the details and scope. I am trying a few supplements: Zinc NAC and Milk Thistle Activated charcoal Digestive enzymes at mealtimes, plus peppermint oil capsules And a few days ago, I started L-tryptophan 500-750mg with valerian root, at night - don't know whether this is making things worse on the physical side, and the anxiety.... So, I have, at least, a couple of questions please? The pharma companies state "up to 3 weeks" for the withdrawal process to be over? (not that I trust big pharma one bit of course), but it appears lots of us are experiencing effects way beyond 3 weeks? What is the explanation for this discrepancy, and what is a more realistic timeframe for my case? I read about reinstatement, but have not done this, as I was already at 4 weeks with no Ami, once I began educating myself about it. I am reticent to go back on the drugs at this stage, but at the same time, I can;t see myself being able to cope with this level of ill health for weeks more on end..... Should I be considering re-instatement, given what is said about it being "too late" to try this, in that it may not work or even make things worse? I would say the most distressing and intolerable symptoms I am dealing with right now are the body pains/tension/anxiety, and the totally screwed digestion - I have a lot of intense pain in my guts, and this affects sleep also. i dread mealtimes, as I just don;t know whether, in an hour's time I'm going to be totally screwed and in pain. Any advice or comments would be truly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening, Kev
  21. Hello I am new here, though I have read your stories. Thank’s for all the information I’ve got. Dure to hormone problems, I started antidepressants about 4 years ago. First Cipralex and xenax, because I didn’t work I stopped half a year after after tapering 2 months. Then I was worser and was put on Duloxetine 30 mg, Diazepam and beta-blocker. I came of half a year after with 2 months tapering. Then I became worser than ever, and was put on Deanxit 2/day, Amitriptyline 50 mg and Kratium 10 -15 mg/ day. Nothing helped and the side effects were horrible, so I called my doctor in UK and was told to go of cold turkey and start with Duloxetine 60 mg instead, but at that time I didn’t want more antidepressants and I realized that I was so sick because I had stopped the contraceptive hormone pill cold turkey. So I Started the pill again and stopped Kratium direct, and tapered Deanxit and amitriptyline 25 mg on 2 months. It is almost 10 months ago and I have been very very sick. I was on Deanxit and Amitriptyline 50 mg 5 months before starting tapering. I have been stronger since and the anxiety has gone down a little bit, but not any windows. Instead I have been more emotional cold and not any emphatic, I actually cannot feel any love. That is worrying me so much. I had it from the beginning as well, but I feel more and more like I don’t care about anything. I know that those symptoms that I hate most can actually come from the amitriptyline plus that the other side effects are not nice, so I decided to start tapering the 25 mg that I have left. It was 9 days ago. I started with 0,5 mg. First week was fine, I even felt a little better at one time during 5th day and I was hoping for being better, but when I dropped the next 0,5 mg day 6, I felt within half a hour after I took it, that my anxiety started to raise. And it has just been worse. My question is if I can get such a reaction? It’s not even 5%. I have decided to wait to do more tapering before I calm down again. As I have only have been tapering 1 mg, I don’t want to go up again. I was wondering if I got some bad reaction to the medication or if it’s “just” withdrawal. I also read your topic about amitriptyline being metabolized to another drug, but don’t know if I can be so sick of that? Thanks again for your website, and that I can ask my questions. Future
  22. So let me introduce myself. I’m a male of 19 years old from Argentina. I discovered this forum through the Reddit’s Talk Therapy forum and I’ve been seeing some Peter Breegman videos that have very good explanations about the psychiatric drugs so I decided to do something about my situation. I was having a lot of severe symptoms of OCD and anxiety and I’m now diagnosed with depression and anxiety. The thing is that before being diagnosed psychologically I went to a neurologist because of my pediatrician because I was having so heavy headaches. The neurologist gave me these 2 meds thinking it was Post-COVID headache and it wasn’t. The doses changes are described in my signature section and as you can see I’m not taking any meds but while I was taking them my symptoms nor my headaches diminished and I was feeling like a zombie. Now that I’m off the meds I’m not like a zombie but I feel like my mind doesn’t function like before. I feel like my mind is less sharp and is like sticky. I’m still depressed having headaches and I think I’m still expieriencing withdrawal symptoms. Can you help me to fully detox my brain of these meds? Because I had no idea that it was bad to taper with that dose changes like you can see in my signature. Now I’m not taking them but I don’t know if I have to start taking them again, how to do it, etc. I wanna start therapy because I really need it but I think I can’t in this situation where my brain doesn’t function normally. Please help me if you can! Thanks for reading!
  23. Hi everybody, I thought I'd introduce myself, and let you know that I'm going to be starting a weekly withdrawal log to map my progress, support others and hopefully receive support. Below, I've included a few points, and I'll be adding different things as I go on. For now, I wanted to keep it simple and get the ball rolling. Who am I? I'm currently taking 35mg of Amitriptyline for sleep, and as of today (01/01/18), I am starting a very slow taper off the medication. I have taken Amitriptyline since May 2016. Why am I doing this? I've had two withdrawal attempts prior to this, and in my last attempt, I stumbled across this website and realised that it was going to be something of a pilgrimage rather than a quick affair. I've also been interested in writing since I was a kid, and I've recently started up a creative writing practice again and thought that it would be great if I could start capturing my withdrawal journey because it'll hopefully be useful to somebody else in future and also provide me with context and a wider understanding when things start to get tough. My medication history / explaining the situation? I'll try to keep this as short as possible, so I'll use dot points: I have an OCD personality, I enjoy feeling good and things being perfect. I obsessed about sleep a lot. I moved out of home, couldn't control as many variables around sleep and started to get really frustrated when I didn't feel well rested. Cycles of frustration continued for 6 months, before I stopped being able to sleep altogether. This resolved, and was replaced by a 2 - 3am panic attack, being completely unable to fall back asleep. The 2 - 3am rising continued for 4 months, before I started waking 2 hours after falling asleep and being unable to fall back asleep. Tried everything, nothing worked and in my defeat, tried Amitriptyline 30mg. This worked, however the somatic and psychological impacts of the nightly panic attacks and sense of being "broken forever" remained. Withdrawal # 1 I had been taking the medication for about a month, and I was worried about weight gain and felt like a failure for taking it. I was also obsessed with "proving to myself that I could sleep without it now" because I had previously thought I was broken forever. I tried to taper off quickly, using a variety of other sleeping aids to mask the taper. In October 2016, when I had tapered down to about 5 - 10mg, I had a huge panic attack and reinstated, ending the withdrawal attempt. Withdrawal # 2 This withdrawal started in March 2017, when I tried to taper down much more slowly (but not slow enough). I fully came off in October 2017, however due to having family commitments and still working with a high level of anxiety in evenings, I reached my capacity and ended the withdrawal attempt. I reinstated to 35mg because I was so anxious and uncomfortable that I felt like I couldn't relax unless I took a larger dose. What I'd like to achieve? So now that I've had two withdrawal attempts, I realise that the challenge is going to be a combination: The physical and psychological fear of being permanently broken, and unable to sleep again without medication. The physical and psychological fear of feeling tired and how that triggers me. The obsession to feel in control re: sleep, and the fear of relaxing into a sense of flowing with life. The chemical experience of withdrawal. I believe that the process of withdrawing is going to be therapeutic in that it'll trigger each of my fears, and allow me to soothe them directly and rewire my nervous system over the withdrawal period. Hopefully, once I'm fully withdrawn, I would've also cleared out and rewired the triggers around sleeping. Eventually, I would like to be in a position where I am able to relax into the knowing that sometimes I'll sleep well, sometimes I'll sleep badly, and not reject one experience and try to cling to another. What will my taper look like? It's going to be a slow taper, going from 35 -> 32.5 -> 30 etc, in increments of 2.5 per month. I'm aware that I have a limited capacity to approach challenge with composure, so if I need to hold or reinstate, I'm completely comfortable with doing so because this'll be more like a marathon than a sprint and ensuring that I maintain a healthy capacity is going to be key for this. The goal is to feel comfortable at each reduced dose, and spend enough time at each increment that I feel completely confident that I could sleep with this amount. I need to do this, because when I have withdrawn at a quicker rate, I realised that I wasn't certain I could sleep on any of those increments and when I reinstated, I had to go back to the beginning to feel comfortable again. Please note that I'll be sharing more stuff, like the supplements I take, practices I use - for now, I just wanted to keep it simple
  24. Link to Introduction topic: ☼-squiggle Hello, I have waited a long time to post this message, to be precise, one year, as I wanted to be sure before I wrote. I had previously had a thread in the main forum, under the name Squiggle. I posted there about my three failed attempts to get off Mirtazapine, the last one being in 2014. I note that Altostrata asks for a link to be made to that previous topic but I am a technological idiot and have no idea how to do this - so please forgive that. So bruised was I by the third attempt, that I waited over a year before once again trying to begin to come off. Indeed, I never really again termed it fully coming off, merely trying to get as low as possible whilst staying well. During that year, I gradually reduced until I was taking c. 0.1 - 0.2 mg (it's hard to be precise at that level) in a gelatine capsule each night. I had some rough patches but nothing too bad. One problem about waiting so long to report is that it is hard to remember the details! I remembered the saying attributed to Samuel Beckett, "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." So how did I do it in the end? Very, very slowly - it took me from Feb 2016 to July 2017 to come fully off that tiny dose. I took all the advice that I had read about over the years from here, CITA and many other places and did it in a way that felt right to me. I had read a lot about how the brain works and in particular fear reactions and concluded that for me, a big problem was not so much the withdrawal per se but that its effect, disrupted sleep, made my fear reaction kick in and this is what was my biggest issue. I therefore needed to deal better with my fear so I constructed a programme, loosely based on the CITA withdrawal timetable (but over a much longer period) where I gradually replaced my nightly dose with a "placebo". I slowly increased the frequency of the placebo doses and extended the gap between doses. I increased the gap roughly every two months but was never rigid about the timetable - this time, I let my brain and body guide me. What was the placebo? It was a little ground up Magnesium Citrate (which I took at 250 mg per night anyway for menopausal issues) in a gelatine capsule. Understand that I made these "placebos" myself and knew very well that they were fake. Whether they really helped or not I don't know but I carried on taking them until about a month ago just in case. I know that dose dropping is not recommended here but remember that this was from a microscopically small dose. Also, what I wanted to do was to precipitate gradually a degree of withdrawal symptoms so that I could practise dealing with them, knowing that the following night I could take a dose. It worked for me. What I actually found as the process progressed was that I noticed that on the nights I took a real dose, I slept very heavily and felt slow, sluggish and horrible the following day. When I took the placebo, my sleep was shorter and maybe lighter but more refreshing. I grew to hate the way I felt when I took a dose and this made it easier to finally give up. I also made changes in my life. I took up regular mindfulness meditation and became a serious practitioner of yoga. These both helped enormously. Anyway, there it is. I am now one year off and in that year have done much, including recently qualifying as a yoga teacher. I have menopausal sleep issues which I believe were covered by the Mirtazapine but using yoga and meditation techniques I manage these effectively. I still take 250 mg Magnesium Citrate a night. I have no other symptoms and am well and happy. I'd like to finish by saying that I know the road can seem endless but do not lose heart if you try to come off and it doesn't work. Every attempt is a learning experience and you can take from it and try again and eventually, as I did, you will get there. Listen to your body and brain - I am sure that whilst we can learn a lot from each other, in the end, your path is yours alone and your experience will be different from anyone else's. Trust and value yourself. I wish all of you the very best for your healing. It is possible - never doubt it.
  25. I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October. My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only. No sleep since. So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes? I’m 72 yrs old. Since last August, I lost all my bad eating habits, and lost weight, no more high blood pressure. So I thought I could stop Amitriptyline 25mg prescribed to me for insomnia in early 90’s. Few years ago, I took only 2/3 to sleep. I thought I could stop. I failed. Very bad side effects. Finally, I saw the light, and Amitriptyline reinstatement. And tonight, I stopped cardiac coherence breathing 3xday. I’ll update my progress. I've read some topics and will read more. I discover very needed new info every day. Thank you to all for contributing to this peer support forum.
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