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  1. MOD NOTE: This is Gemma92's topic. Before Gemma joined SA her sister icerose posted requesting assistance. I've merged the two topics so that all of Gemma's history is in one place. _________________________________ Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
  2. Hi all, I'm at a complete loss regarding my situation so I'll start from the beginning. During the summer of 2016 around july I began taking Sertraline 20mg for what I would now describe as mild anxiety, when struggling with initial sides of increased anxiety and sudden insomnia my doctor prescribed me flupentixol which I then took with the sertraline for around 3 months and then went cold turkey on due to severe drowsiness. I continued the sertraline for around 9 months before going cold turkey. I'm so confused regarding my situation because in order to cope with the insomnia I also smoked weed every night whilst taking it to help me sleep which seemed to work wonders. Even after dropping the sertraline I continued smoking weed in order to help me sleep. I had actually never smoked weed prior to this insomnia (I was 26 BTW) and it was a friend's suggestion. Anyway I attempted to quit smoking several times last year after dropping the ssri but noticed an extreme feeling of anxiety at all times whenever I did and and inability to sleep until early hours of the morning. This pattern went on until early this year where I smoked once again before bed internally praying that I would be able to stop somehow. That night and for the next month I suffered the most extreme anxiety attacks I never thought possible, which definitly helped me to cut the weed permanantly. The strange thing is, ever since then I have experienced various symptoms associated with withdrawal which are, Extreme rage/anxiety/depression constantly alternating. Headaches sometimes unbearable migraines. Horrendous restlessness which after reading some accounts on this site I think is akathisia. Burning and aching throughout my body. Extreme hatred towards family and friends which comes and goes. Blurred vison Awful digestive problems (burping nonstop everyday, diarrhea and constipation and bleeding. Bloating Brain fog feels as though someone has hold of my brain smothering it. Vibrating in my ears. Sometimes I spend the entire day crying uncontrollably with anguish twisting my hands and feet with worry and anxiety. Muscles twitching all day and almost zero appetite. I guess my question is, Can withdrawal sometimes take a year to fully manifest? because the weed aswell as cbd oil seemed to keep the anxiety and insomnia at bay then suddenly almost a year after dropping the sertraline I developed all these mental and physical symptoms. Or is there something else wrong with me because I've had cameras in me, been to three different doctors and various homeopaths and they say everything seems fine when it clearly isn't. I've lost my job my friends three stones and it feels as if I've lost control over my entire body and mind. Someone please help lol. I have many other symptoms to an extreme degree but I've actually lost track of everything I'm going through. Still sane though I think.(hope)
  3. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Wildling: Tapering oxazepam Hello wonderful humans and co-sufferers. I decided to write here, in the hope of finding some light in the midst of darkness. First of all I apologize in advantage of my possible misspellings, english is not my native language. I started SSRI medication in the fall 2016, they were prescriped for generalized anxiety. First Sertralin, too much side effects so doctor changed to Paroxetin. Spring 2017 still too much bad side effects so doctor decided to change to this new "amazing and well tolerated medicine called Brintellix." The first 3 months indeed were better on this new drug, although I felt numb, put on some weight and had an increase in my fibromyalgia pains. But fall 2017 it all changed: one day suddenly out of nowhere I started to feel detached from reality. Like the world dissapeared around me (later learned it was in fact derealization). It's been over a year now and this feeling has been 24/7 since in addition with other major symptoms. During that time I didn't experience any major trauma or stress and am convinced it has something to do with the medication since it had been a struggle with them from the beginning. I'm usually very sensitive to any kind of medicine. Doctor at the time was convinced it was due to anxiety (of course you feel anxious when world "dissapears" around you) and suggested I'd raise the medication from my low dose of 5mg to 10mg. That months was even worse so I decided enough is enough, these toxic medications have to go. At that time due to the high anxiety and panic caused by the DR, I also started taking oxazepam, first when I needed and then daily. Highest dose I ever took was 1 and a 1/2 pills per day. So I tapered Brintellix in 2018 January-July, but now after reading peoples stories feel like the doctor adviced for too quick tapering. During that time, in addition to the constant DR I started to feel also bouts of depersonalization, like I didn't recognize myself in the mirror or my voice sounded unfamiliar and started to have very painful existential rumination and my OCD skyrocketed. I had burning pressure in my head and spine and couldn't sleep. I had bad memory, my perception of time was off and I had severe fears of dying or going crazy or having some sort of serious mental illness. I still have all of the symptoms above and more and it feels like they are worsening every day. I didn't get support from my therapist or psychiatric doctor so I'm afraid to ask them advice. I have been tapering from oxazepam the last 3 month according to their advice. I currently only take 1/4 or 1/2 of a tablet if symptoms become too unbearable. So, could this all be SSRI and oxazepam withdrawal? I've also had mold and parasite issues treated and suffer from whiplash trauma in my neck (this happened around the same time I started to feel DR). I hope my story isn't too confusing to read. If you have any words of encouragement, I'm happy. It has come to a point where I no longer live, but survive from minute to minute. This constant fear of going crazy or losing control, not being able to silence the constant existential rumination, dissociation, not feeling safe or finding peace within and not being able to be present & hence enjoy everyday life is so hard and scary. I used to be good at handling anxiety (meditation, yoga, walking in nature, eating healthy etc. but these do not work at the moment at all.) Thank you in advance.
  4. Hello Sorry for my poor english I took Seroxat at the request of the doctor because I was suffering from slight anxiety and took it because I trusted the doctors and I took the medicine for 4 months and the last dose of the medicine was 18 months ago: Previous symptoms: - Extreme anxiety, I have never experienced anything like it in my life -Dark Depression (I've never experienced something like it in my life) -Panic -Tinnitus -Eye floaters -A slight electrical sensation in the head -Insomnia Current symptoms: -Eye floaters -Lack of pleasure -Insomnia(Very bad) -Tinnitus(Little improvement) Does it disappear over time or will it last forever? thank noh1995
  5. Hi, Came across this website trying to find others who've gone through withdrawal and experienced skin issues during the process. I took 5mg Trintellix medication for the last two years which worked wonders for me. Though, due to financial circumstances and having a shingles outbreak, I had to stop taking the medication cold turkey. My Dr. did blood work and everything came out fine. Chalked my shingles outbreak due to excessive stress. Over the last month and half that I've stopped the medication I've gone through crying spells, anxiety, insomnia/interrupted sleeping cycle, eating binge (sweets), fatigue, muscle weakness.. Right now, I'm experiencing headaches that stop and switch to IBS symptoms then switch back to headaches, some fatigue, focusing issues (eye), skin breakouts (pimples, red spots, hives) on my arms and chest. Today, a new hive or spots came out on my right oblique. I'm scared that it might shingles again or just the continuing break out due to my withdrawal. Just wanted to know how those who've had skin breakouts managed this or let it just be.
  6. Hello I am desperate as many of you are or have been. I had a traumatic even in Sept 2010 and could not sleep and I was anxious and crying alot. I am 41 years old and have never taken anything before. Have had a lot of stress and loss in my life though from a young age. I was given Citalopram and Zopicone. I took the Citalopram for one night and stopped as I felt strange and not myself, but decided to try the Zopiclone. Within a few days I got more anxious and began to have a burning sensation. The doctors said it was anxiety. I continued taking the Zopiclone for 10 weeks (even though I was concerned about addiction) and weaned myself off it over the course of a week with the agreement of the doctor.Big Mistake I realise now far too quickly. My sleep went from originally waking at 5 to surviving on only 2 hours sleep a night and having severe paranoia, thinking my husband wanted to kill me. I became suicidal. To combat the poor sleep, paranoia, anxiety etc of the sleeping tablet the doctor put me on Cymbalta 30mg at first. Then 60mg after a month. The start up was horrendous, but I was told to persevere and was frightened so I did. I experienced burning, jerking legs, anxiety, depression, poor appetite. By Christmas I also had severe head pain. In February the psychiatrist said I could come off it, from 60 to 30 for a week and then Zero. He wanted me to use Valium but I refused. I got to day 10 and thought I would die. I reinstated the 60mg and with the help of a charity agreed to do it more slowly. This was February. As my system began to go get the 60mg back in my system again, I made a mistake. I took 2 60mg tablets in error. I was told by the doctor this was not a problem. I thought I would explode that night. The end result of that was facial paralsyis on the front of my face, back of head and left shoulder and a 30% loss of hearing (diagnosed by the hospital). I had severe stabbing in my right kidney. I knew at this point I was in serious trouble with this medicine and needed to get off it. I began the journey of reducing more slowly but have made a complete mess of it. I reduced too fast at times (like now I think)I had a severe reaction to iron. Thought it was withdrawal and feel I did some serious damage until I realised. My fingernails have a clear strip at the end of them now and I have been told there is damage to my circulation. Since August I have had three kidney infection (which I have had to diagnose with strips) and fear they may have been there longer, since Cymbalta is a painfiller. Foods now hurt my kidney and stomach. Foods like red meat, acidic foods like tomato, potatoes (high potassium?) in fact anything that anyone with kidney problems needs to avoid. But a scan says they are fine. I have had three courses of antibiotics (which made withdrawal hell) and my stomach is now not right (undigested food). I have gone from working part time and walking every day, to not being able to move off the couch as this causes constriction in my chest and throat and racing heart. My sleep has gone to around 4 hours. I react to every supplement. More recently probiotics (which I continued to take as it helped the kidney pain) but gave severe head pain and my heart rate plummeted.I am worried I have damaged my heart. I am now anxious in the extreme (far far worse than before the medicine. I have reduced haphazardly. From around 27mg to 18,5 since the end of June. I have been on 18.5mg for two weeks. Sometimes I have reduced by a gram, last time only 3 beads. I was in hospital for the kidney thing at the start of September. My question is this. I think I have reduced too fast and am now in a spiral. Can't sleep, can't move, can't eat properly, anxious all day. If I am stuck like this how is my brain going to repair to reduce again? With no excercise or sleep how do I repair my brain? Have I caused damage with the probiotics and the Cipro (antibiotic) I am getting worse day by day. I should mention that 2 weeks ago I forgot my tablet and the charity helped me to make it up over 7 days by taking it at shorter intervals.I lost 10 pounds in a week when I had the kidney infection. I am just under 8 stone and am 5 foot 7. My bones stick out. No matter how much I eat I either lose or maintain my weight. I feel because of this push to reduce quickly I am damaged and can't get back on track (not that I ever was on track). I am due to see a psychologist and I think my family want me on some kind of medicine or to up this dose as I am suicidal and crying. I know the things that help. Baths, reading, being engrossed in something, but the pain at the moment is excruiciating, pain in joints, kidney, head (severe), burning sensation like on fire, high anxiety, pain on eating, chest pain and heavy beating heart, lack of sleep and I feel I can't do this anymore. Eat day is worse than the last. I used to drink a glass of wine most nights of the week prior to medication (not anymore) and wonder if that damaged my brain. Perhaps my adrenal system is damaged as I read they excavate what is there. I read the story of Leon from Germany on here today, he was on Effexor which is the same class as Cymbalta. I feel for him and understand what he went through. I cried all afternoon and became hysterical on reading that.I feel I too have reduced too fast and can't now do the things to stabilise, due to lack of sleep and anxiety, can't get out of this at the moment. My doctors are largely dismissive of what is going on although the GP gets it a little, just does not know how to help or advise me apart from testing for infections. There is stress at home, falling out with children, a partner who understands one day but the next gets angry with me for crying and the mess we are in, which sets me off again as I feel sorry for him and feel so useless I cannot help him. Please please help me. I am begging anyone who can offer any advice. I will post my signature when I figure out how to do it. So sorry for the long post. So sorry for anyone who reads this who probably thinks of course you can do it, stop getting upset....but I am despairing and have lost hope and belief...I am getting ready to let go..if it was another medicine perhaps...but an SRNI...I feel I have no chance.....I read so many severe reactions to these and perhaps for some people it can't be done......
  7. Hi there! Need a bit of advice. My father passed away Christmas Eve :-( I have been on mirtazapine 15mg for 4 years. Since my father passed I have been experiencing a lot of strange & worrying stuff which I can only explain as withdrawal symptoms from mirtazapine. Depression - severe, insomnia, mind chatter, body buzzing, twitches, jerks of legs/arms, panick attack, anxiety etc. I went to see my doctor as my friends and family are concerned. She wants me to up my dose but am not sure i should do it. Could it make things worse? I feel upping may cause more problems. I felt sooo depressed this morning and slowly withdrawing from everybody...scared! Thanks in advance.
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