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  1. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  2. I started on a medicine called anafranil about 6 months ago in July. By far the worst decision in my life, I'm suffering from the worst widthdrawl symtoms. Including emotional blutness, pssd, lost of memory. My whole identity and personality is gone, I'm in emoitonal pain and depressed every day. I notice on the med that I completely lost my sex drive and erections we're completely gone. I'm very scared that I will never have my sexuality back again. I'm young and can't live like this for long. These meds prescribed to me were supposed to help me. I suffer from anxiety and depression with OCD . From what ive researched and read there's no cure for pssd! I've read multiple accounts and posts with no hope. I dont know what I'm going to do moving forward. If anyone could help please!
  3. Hello from Bulgaria i get my first panic attack before 5-6 years.I am a proffesional singer.I didnt have any problems with family or money or something else , just one day i make a panic attack and i didnt know what is this.I went to doctor and he puts me on seroxat(paxil).i was on 40mg for 2 years and on 20mg for the last 2 years and i was feeling good.i decide to stop it cold turkey from 20mg.I didnt experience withdrawal immediately but 2 months after stopped the seroxat i start feeling electric shocks sensations,anxiety mini panic atacks and many other side effects.So after 2 month off seroxat i got bad.I went again to the doctor and he said me that it had relapse because i didnt have withdrawal immediately and because after 2 months start having side effects this was relapse ,so he puts me again on seroxat. This time put me on 60mg but didnt work.I was start having depression, low mood, no emotions at all and many other side effects After this the doctor put me on effexor for one month on 300mg.He starts me on 150 mg one week ,then 225mg one week and at the end 300 mg but didnt work.So i decided to change the doctor.I found a new doctor and he told me to stop the effexor for one week and stay 20 days without the med and see how i will feel.So i stopped the effexor and this was a real hell.I had very bad symptoms i was feeling like i am dead, i had depression, emptiness, brain zaps, anxiety,anhedonia and many other side effects.The doctor said me i have major depression,unipolar depression and maybe have bipolar disorder.I dont know where he found symptoms for bipolar disorder He prescribed me zyprexa,lithium and seroquel.I said to him that i am not going to take these meds because i think are not for me... So i start again to search for a new doctor.I found one i talked with him about my problems and heputs me on anafranil(clomipramine) I started on 25mg for a week then 75mg and 100mg and i was feeling better but after 4-5 months i was feeling thats its working less than it worked at the beginning ,maybe was the dosage i dont know.So the doctor add to anafranil the ludiomil 50 mg (maprotiline) before going to bed. I felt little improvement but i found that i dont have emotions any more after all these drugs so i stopped the maprotiline cold turkey because i didnt want to be on coctail and i stayed only with the anafranil.I could function but i became anhedonic,melanholic,low moods,inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions. So i told the doctor how i feel and he decide to stop the anafranil from 100mg to 75mg and then to 25mg for a week only and start me on zoloft. Now after tapper off the anafranil for 1 week (i think its fast taper off) i am meds free since 3 weeks.I feel depressed,brain zaps,anxiety, sweating,heavy head,anhedony,low mood ,dizziness,gastrointestinal upset, nausea, lack of energy ,no emotions and many other side effects.Are these side effects a relapse or withdrawal symptoms????? i want to stay without meds.I want my life back,i want to feel, i want to have emotions, i want to love, i want to be able to experience the pleasures of the life!!Its all started with some panic attacks and anxiety and now i am depressed without emotions and many other symptoms I am not sure but i think the way i am feeling now is caused from all these meds in my brain I think also that my job is a problem with my anxiety,maybe thats the reason to start my panic attacks. I have to sing at the stage for 400-500 people and i got very anxious when i do this.Every time that i am singing i think that i will get panic attack.I dont know what to do.if i stay off medications can i feel again normal person with no depression,anxiety,low mood and anhedonia?How much time it takes this withdrawal to go away?Can you please tell me what do you think about my situation?Thanks in advance!!Sorry for my bad english
  4. Greetings! I am very fortunate I found this site. I will not go into to much detail but here are some facts about my current situation. I have had anxiety/panic my entire life, from the earliest I can remember I used to have horrible separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and just plain being scared of silly things, like when I was younger I was terrified of thunderstorms and elevators I had to do exposure therapy while I was little and that was pretty difficult but it defiantly was not enough. My mother didn't put me on pharmaceuticals until I was 12 or so because the SSRIs were fairly new and she wanted to wait as long as she possibly could do try one of these medications. Flash forward to 2005, my father dies on the treadmill right in front of me, I am still in high school, and my anxiety up to that point was manageable, put when that happend my anxiety went through the roof. I couldn't finish high school in public but I was fortunate enough to have some retired teachers come to my house so I could graduate with my class. Of course during this time I was seeing a psychiatrist. Now he is an intelligent man and I have a number of medications to be thankful for, especially getting me out of that trauma. I was on a Tricyclic Anafranil 150 mg, from 2006 to 2013 for anxiety. During November 2013, I tried getting off the medication because it wasn't working and it was effecting my speech (probably from the anticholinergic effects). I tried to get off of it several times before but was given bad withdrawing advice (cut dose in half and 2 weeks you will be good), well that never happened of course. The old, see you need your medication, none of these brain zaps you speak of cannot occur with these drugs. So I followed the doctors advice and continued taking the Anafranil for a few more years. In November 2013 I tried to get off Anafranil for good. I wanted to do half the dose but just stay on that dose for like a month and then go down another quarter or something and try it that way. I had no idea how wrong both the doctor and I were. As soon as I lowered the dose I became a basket case. I started crying for no reason, I lost a bunch of weight (about 25 pounds in a month), vertigo, heart palpitations which scared the crap out of me because my father died from a birth defect we were not aware of at 49. I went back to the psychiatrist who I had seen for 6 years and was slapped with a bi-polar diagnosis. After doing a lot of research and looking into these drugs I didn't realize that the withdrawal could be so severe, or that most doctors had no idea that these drugs were capable of producing such a profound effect upon discontinuation. I reinstated the drug after 6 months of shear terror and my heart rate returned to normal, my crying stopped and it was like none of it ever happened. Now my main concern is with my heart because part of my anxiety would be dying in a similar fashion my father did. I have a great cardiologist who I have been seeing for years. He was fortunate enough to understand what was happening to me. I had every test imaginable and everything came back normal. Even when my heart was skipping a lot during the withdrawal, the holter monitor didn't pick up anything. He said its not so much your heart, its the receptors on your vagus nerve which is the main problem which makes since because they up regulate and down regulate depending if you are starting or stopping a drug. He said these drugs can effect the QT prolongation of the heart sometimes, but every EKG and Echo looked good so thank god for that. I stared back on the 150 in mid 2014 and currently I am on 60 mgs as of now. Now I think I misread because I tapered 10 mg every month instead of 10 percent of the dose, which is what a lot of people recommend. So what I am going to do as of now is try to stabilize on 50 mgs for a few months, since I am almost done with the 60 mg, and then taper down 5 mg every month which is roughly about 10 percent of the dose, I have calculated. I just hope this process goes a lot smoother than it did before because when I first tried my psychiatrists way it was absolutely horrible.
  5. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Fightingawar Ativan Taper I have been on antidepressants for 16 years many different ones, the last one I was on was Clomipramine I was on it for a year and a half. I recently had to go the ER for high blood pressure and my heart rate being very high I was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome and was took off my antidepressant rapidly (10 days) I am now on day 16 of being completely off and suffering terrible withdrawals, how long does this last and how do you get through it. I am still taking Ativan twice a day but I feel like I’m fighting a war and I’m so desperate to win 😪
  6. Hello to all. I have been on a low of 50mg of Anafranil for 25 years for Pure OCD. This is the 4th time I'm tapering of this medication. I mainly rely on the therapy, i.e.: CBT, ERP and insight for managing my OCD condition. I've had no clinical depression for over 20 years but the anxiety is always there. I'm fairly convinced the medication has hardly any benefit apart from an anxiolytic effect which does help anxiety a little although I've had enough of sleeping 12 hrs a day for all this time. I decided to taper down very slowly as I rushed a little in the past and have had to restart the original 50mg dosage. I cut the small 25mg tabs in 4 and started with 43.75mg for 2 months. There was no problem. Then I started on 37.50 for 2 months. There was no problem. Next I started on 31.25 for 2 months and there was no problem. About 1 month later which was 1 month ago and after feeling somewhat triumphant I started 25m. 3 weeks later as of just over 1 week ago my tinnitus has doubled in volume and my anxiety has increased which is also amplifying my OCD condition. Its difficult because its relentless but tolerable. I haven't seen any small window of abatement and this is what is a little scary. The question I ask is, what if this goes on for months or is even permanent? I also start thinking that maybe I could reinstate the extra 6.25mg which is where I felt stable at this last dosage for at least 2 months and then decrease by an even smaller amount like half of that? Ideally I would like to carry on the way I have been and hope that soon I shall see some improvement. Obviously there are no garuantees but how long should someone continue experiencing these side effects before making some type od decision one way or another. I understand that being on medication for 25 years and expecting no withdrawal symptoms when tapering off is a lot to ask for which is why I decided to taper off 25mg over 8 months. Unfortunately stressing about the side effect of anxiety probably perpetuates it but these thoughts come instinctively through years of experiencing them. I'm trying to stay aware of this. Hope you're all doing better, what a ride this is! Any thoughts you may have will be appreciated and I thank you in advance.
  7. I have come to this form to try and wean myself off Anfranil 50 mg. My DR has recommended a schedule for withdrawal that is far to fast and he would also like my to change my medication to Zoloft. He said that I would experience anxiety without the Anfranil and would eventually need some drug to cope. I left his office very annoyed as he talked over me when I commented that I would like to try to manage without medication Having read many stories here I feel he is not up on withdrawal from these meds. I am going to taper as suggested in the forums ,no more than 10% at a time.
  8. Hello to all of you First of all I want to thank all of you for the information posted on this page. I am a guy living in Copenhagen, and I'm currently taking clomipramine. In a couple of months I will turn 30, and by that time I will have spend the last 12,5 years of my life on antidepressants. I am diagnosed with OCD, which most of all manifests in GAD like symptoms today. The first 10 years I was on 20 mg of citalopram, and it was only increased a couple of times during this period. Last year I was seeing a psychiatrist, and we tested a lot of different medicine (paroxetine, pregabalin, mirtzapine, sertraline, escitalopram), but none of it helped with my symptoms. I wanted to try clomipramine as a last resort, which my doctor prescribed me. It felt good for a couple of weeks as all the other drugs have, but I simply can't stand the feeling of being doped any more. I feel like I have to get back to me in some way, but talking about me is also kind of crazy after being on antidepressants for 12,5 years. I was taking 25 mg of clomipramine which I cut in half about a month ago. It's been kind of a tough month. The anxiety and anger overtakes me, and today I have made a water solution and taken 20 mg instead of 12,5 mg. Hope the symptoms will improve! I do have some worries now. The whole water solution makes me really nervous. Like do I get enough, will the solution get stronger as I get near the bottom of the glas etc. Like doing the whole water solution is agony, when you suffer severe anxiety. Do you guys have some calming words or any suggestions to combating the anxiety? I have made my mind up about wanting to stop the medicin, and I'm planing to do the 10% method etc. That make me drug free in 2020 or something, but just decreasing the drug slowly will be a reward in it self. I'm so tired of feeling numb, apathy and not being able to love like I once did! Greetings Henrik
  9. Hi there Im newish here. After 20 years on and off (mainly on), I have started a very slow gradual tapering of Clomipraimine,(brand name Anafranil), an old tri-cyclic. It has helped my chronic pain and depression, but I have put on so much weight, my health is now badly affected. Plus, I find it really hard to wake up in the mornings and my memory is shot. I have successfully slowly gone from 100mg to 55mg over a period of 5 months. I usually cut about 6 mg at one time (pill cutter). My last drop I must have calculated wrongly or this is a really hard drop, as all I want to do is sleep and when I stand up, my body is so stiff and achy, I feel like Im 90 (im 55) But Im determined to carry on as the 20kg wight gain has now affected my health. Im sick of it. I dont want to die young because of this drug. Any tips or someone who has actually cut Clomipramine successfully would be most helpful. Im also thinking of taking on a new job...but wonder if I should.... Many thanks, Liz
  10. I do not know differentiate clearly, the withdrawal symptoms, disease, drugs and supplements I took no supplements because Altostrata warned us that no commercial program is good. The best is to do so slowly and patiently removed. I was doing the supplements list TBR to buy, but I suspended it. Currently 1/2 comp clomipramine (Anafranil) 50mg and 10mg Valium middle of composing. It's the first time I try WD reading survivingantidepressants. Always I did on my own. Today the symptoms are weak but sometimes are accentuated. I have symptoms as if anything was a big scare that spreads in seconds, until becoming a huge wave of the sea. Many things become disproportionate for me to bear, but without panic really. Today I travel alone, I submitted myself to surgery without problems,etc... but I have many emotional pain. I feel small, bad thoughts,etc... dizziness, wheezing in the ears, as if listening to the "silence the noise" (beginning two months), and more symptoms that I describe in my signature...and more many, many others symptoms I am very confuse with me and as i sad in Topic Title: i dont know diferenciate bettween those kind of symptoms and dont know if i am right with my WD
  11. Hello! First off I want you to know that I read english every day but I hardly never write in English so please bare with me... My name is Mr M and I started using antidepressants(anafranil) in a weak moment in the year of 2002. I had a long battle with OCD since the early teens and it took me a long time to accept the condition and to ask for help. My OCD was mostly about washing my hands and avoiding contact with other people and all kinds of things that I felt was "dirty". I also faught against cumpulsive things like turning on and off the lights in a special pattern, things like that and of course I was very depressed. I think Anafranil helped me a little bit in the beginning even though I realized a long time ago that therapy with a skillful psychologist would have been enough. When I started using Anafranil it was very tough, alot of anxiety, being nervous and sweating like a pig. But it was manageable and it took about 4 weeks for my body to accept the medicine. The sideeffects kind of snuck up on you and I didn't quite realize the differences until I was looking back and thinking about how I was before the medicine. My stomach has never been the same since I started using anafranil. I'd better have a toilet nearby or an accident could have easily happened. It was hard to get things done you know like your daily shores. I was very very tired most of the time and slept alot. Things like a dry desert-like nose and mouth, hard to pee, hard to keep my Johnson hard and hard to reach orgasm, gaining weight, nightmares, nosebleed etc. wasn't funny at all but still manageable. It didn't help at all against my washing problems though... Things kind of moved along and life wasn't that bad even though I was on sick-leave. I had moved to another city and to my own first apartment, I had a couple of good friends, a couple of cozy romances from time to time, spending much time in bars and discos, meeting new interesting people. In 2009 I started to get terrible pains in my stomach, it turned out (after many painful months) I had gallstones. I got my gallbladder removed in the summer of 2009 and was on a very low dose of anafranil. A year before I started to lower my dose from about 150mg because I wasn't believing in the medicine anymore and I wanted to try to live without it. This is were my severe problems started and every day is now a long battle... After the gallbladder-operation my daily dose of anafranil was below 25mg. I now realized that the medicine and the withdrawal had turned on me and was causing painful sideeffects. I was feeling weaker, more tired, less focused, extreme low bloodsugar, had to eat all the time, got scared of sudden sounds, didn't enjoy sunlight, extreme stress, started to get intrusive scary thoughts about hurting people I ran into, people I care about. I'm very very scared! I increased the dose of anafranil again but it didn't help at all. Near the end of 2009 I tried Sertralin but that was an completaly horrible experience and I don't remember much from that 6 week period so I went back to Anafranil again. I kept fighting, reading as much as I could on the net. At this moment I wasn't aware of that all of this was probably caused by that damn medicine and what it had done to my body. I removed the old amalgams filling from my teeth, nothing happened. I met with an osteopath, nothing happened except being free from pollenallergy for that summer. Trying many diffrent vitamins, omega 3, msm powder and more with poor results. I met a doctor in 2010 who found out that I have slow metabolism and started eating medicine for that. Sure, I wasn't extremely tired anymore and if I rose up rapidly it did get black infront of my eyes but other than that, nothing. In june of 2013 I went under that magical dose of 25mg of anafranil again and started to get horrible, extreme stomach aches and a ton of other hard symtoms. In september that year I met a doctor who wanted me to give mirtazapine a try, bad idea... Horrible symptoms, didn't help at all. Gave it about 7 weeks and then switched to Cipralex.... Cipralex must be the medicine from hell... I can not explain in words that extreme painful insertionperiod and it lasted for about 6 month before some of it disappeared. After that I developed strange, horrible symtoms I didn't know was possible. It only got worse and worse. In November of 2014 I had been on Cipralex for 1 year and finally came across an article in a newspaper about extreme belly problems caused by long use of medicine. I thought it through and started lowering my dose carefully. It was very hard even though some weeks was quite ok, in comparison. I took my last pill in 2015-03-08 and it's been a wild ride. Once again I'm not sure if I can put words to what I've been through but I've read some of the contents on this site and it looks like I've found people going through the same hell I'm fighting every waken moment. I'm into my seventh month without the pills and the pattern seems to be windows and waves. Everday is a long battle and I know that nobody can answer this question but I must ask: How long will it last? Since my last pill I have noticed positive differences like less crying, less sweating, less compulsive handwashing, less nightmares and less reaction to them, perhaps a little better vision, I can use ordinary deododrants again, better memory, clearer mind, less fogginess. I had brainzaps for about 2 month then they disappeared. And probably minor things I'm not aware of. I'm very thankful for those things but my daily focus is the battle of surviving the day of the symptoms that are tormenting me I there a pattern here? Is it possible to predict what will happen next? The hardest things for me at the moment is the pain in my belly, extreme stress, hard to be still, afraid to lose control and go crazy, hurting strangers, friends and family members by violence, must eat all the time or else my bloodsuger run low and the symptoms above gets even harder, panic attacks and all of this causes alot of anxiety. I'm not a diabetic so this low bloodsugar thing is very strange. Can it be caused by the medicine and the withdrawal? Puh! It's hard to express these kind of problems in Swedish and even harder in a foreign language. =) Any help and tips are welcome and feel free to ask questions!!!
  12. lucky12

    lucky12 Brain zaps

    I now have this close to a month and it's driving me crazy. I'm on Paxil 20mg Anafranil 150mg Lamictal 200mg Seroquel 75mg at night. Have not started to taper off of from any medication which is the most disturbing part of this situation. I started to have these incredibly uncomfortable brainzaps. It starts after a few hours from waking up and gets worse the whole day. When I move my eyes and change the direction I am looking, it gets triggered to the peak of this "volt" "electrical shock" and I can not even function at one point. I am afraid to move my eyes and to look somewhere else. I am afraid of any kind of movements. Nothing but sleep seems to help. I am missing my life, got a lot of work to do this week but I simply can't participate in life with this incredibly disturbing feeling. I've waited and waited for almost a month for it to pass on it's own. And my research always ends up with the same thing: "ssri withdrawal" or "tapering off drugs". See the point here is I am NOT withdrawing from anything. Not even tapering off. I am desperate for some help. Went to the neurology department of a hospital but I was feeling well during the EEG MRI and other tests. Everything turned out to be fine. I also sweat A LOT to the point that I get completely wet as a result of a minimum effort movement like climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor. And this is totally new for me too. Any kind of answer, help, suggestion would be very much appreciated. Best regards.
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