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  1. Hello! Seeking advice and support having discovered how dependent I am after over 20 yrs of taking paroxetine. Withdrawal symptoms of extreme sustained insomnia, excessive sweating and intense anxiety are making life unbearable and I am horrified at how ignorant I have been about my meds. I now realise GP probably made things worse by suggesting a change to mirtazapine before returning to paroxetine. GP suggested back to 20mg but I couldn't bare the thought of possibly having to repeat the withdrawal so decided on ½ dose (10mg). Not sure if I've done the right thing as still have severe symptoms after 7 days. I now realise all these changes were far too fast but do I hang on to this dose to see if I stabilise and how long do I give it?? I'm just beginning to realise that this is likely to be life changing....not what I'd planned at 58....as may well loose my job and it's a huge strain on family and friends. It's confusing and frightening. See gp on Thurs and feel it would be good to have an idea of what I should be aiming for re medication. He gave me propranolol (a beta blocker) for the anxiety but I've since discovered it could be contributing to the insomnia. Has anyone got any experience of that? With thanks and hoping to be able to share experiences!
  2. This is my first time posting in a forum because my psychiatrist told me three months is generally the end of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were on a low dose like I was. Yet I'm still having bad symptoms. I was on Lexapro for about 15 months at 5mg with one month trying 10mg only to drop back down because of bad side effects. Now after nearly four months off the main thing I have is severe anxiety around my period. Two-three days before and lasting through the week after. I get shaky, anxious, panicky, have pressure and pain in my head and face, sore throat. Is this a normal reaction? It seems extreme for four months off of only 5mg, but since I couldn't up to 10mg maybe I'm more sensitive to this type of med? I know this can't last forever but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm literally incapacitated for almost two weeks per month.
  3. Hello, I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety and prescribed 200mg sertraline at age 15. I took it with few side-effects for 6 years until a psychiatrist advised me to try getting off of it, citing the poorly-understood long term effects of the drug, especially on those who begin taking it while young. I waited several months until I felt stable, then reduced from the 200mg to 0 in several weeks. I had no serious side effects at the time. Within several months, I felt more intense emotions again, including happiness, but also sadness at realizing how my numbed mind had allowed me to stay in unhealthy, unfulfilling relationships/jobs. I began to wake up with intense panic, and had chronic swelling and pain in my jaw. 8 months after going off sertraline, the chronic pain intensified and did not respond to painkillers. I began experiencing extreme fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and flashbacks to traumatic experiences. After many months of inconclusive doctors' appointments, a rheumatologist diagnosed me with Sjogren's Syndrome, although I have no dryness symptoms and am much younger than most people with the disease. I began to have daily panic attacks, increased fatigue, and disorientation. I went back on sertraline in 2017 and took about 4 weeks to get up to the 200mg dose. Since starting the sertraline again, I have remained fatigued, have occasional panic attacks, intense periods of depression/anxiety, and many difficult physical symptoms (body aches, nerve pain, tingling, rash, bowel issues). I decided last week to begin tapering, but to go slowly this time and learn more about the process. I joined this forum to share what I know in case it's helpful, and to add another voice to these shared experiences of living on and off of psychoactive drugs. Best wishes, Alice
  4. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  5. This is really more like a side-effect from taking SSRIs rather than the symptom of WD itself, but some of those who are still on drugs and are getting ready for tapering may find it really helpful. Weight gain While on drugs my body weight went up by about 55-60 pounds. I was able to get rid of it thanks to lowering my carbs intake. What worked in your case? Interestingly, no amount of physical exercise was enough in my case to help lose weight - the whole endocrine system, metabolism, and what not, was so much out of whack, that even running three marathons a day wouldn't do a thing.
  6. Hey, everyone. Here's my introduction (I hope it's not too long): In 1994, at 19, I suffered panic attacks from being bullied in school and having cognitive errors in my thinking (perfectionism, negative self talk, etc.) My parents took me to a psychiatrist who told me I had a "chemical imbalance in my brain," prescribed me 80 mg of Prozac a day, and kicked me out the door. I received no therapy and from that day forward saw myself as a mental health patient. This diagnosis changed the course of my entire life. My Prozac took six weeks to kick in, and it brought with it a slew of side effects: generalized anxiety, hypervigilance (constant surveying the world and my body for signs of panic), stomach cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome. Like the proverbial boiling frog who doesn't notice the raising temperature, the side effects eased in to my life so slowly I thought they were a part of me and my "chemical imbalance." In essence I had a paradoxical reaction to the drug: it amplified my existing struggles but I had no idea my medication was the source. I was never told this was possible, nor was I told about the danger of trying to come off. The side effects made work outside the home, socializing, and dating extremely difficult because I was always afraid of the next wave of anxiety that would send me racing to the washroom. I watched my friends grow up and have careers, partners, and families, while I tried to buoy what was left of my self-esteem with self-help books and different therapists, none of who ever questioned the drug or the dosage. After two years of cognitive behavioral therapy to untwist the errors in my thinking, I tried coming off the drug under the supervision of my doctor in 2006 but the initial reduction of 20 mg every two weeks proved to be far too steep. When I reached zero I had a few days of bliss, then an absolute mental collapse. I developed akathisia and was unable to sit still and paced relentlessly and lost control of my emotions. I felt completely hollow and cried for no reason, all the while suffering from unspeakable anxiety. My parents debated admitting me to a hospital but was told that the doctors would check my medication levels then ask me to leave as there would be nothing they could do. I went to my psychiatrist who misdiagnosed my condition not as withdrawal but as depression and anxiety that the Prozac had been treating. Desperate not to lose my mind, I restarted the drug and lost another ten years to side effects. Two years ago I lowered my dose from 40 mg to 30 mg. Three days later I was to meet friends for dinner for as long as my anxiety would allow. I braced myself during the meal for the inevitable tsunami of mental anguish but what I felt instead was a mere ripple. I was stunned, then perplexed. When I realized what was happening and that the drug had been the cause, I burst into tears. Instead of racing home after the meal as I so often had in the past, my friends and I went to a movie. Over the past few months I've been easing off Prozac at 5 mg every six weeks. My quality of life improves with each reduction. My hypervigilance and anxiety all but vanished at 20 mg. At 15 mg I have become more social than I have ever been, and at 10 mg I feel like myself again - sort of. I've been on 10 mg of Prozac since May 9th, and I'm also on 50 mg of Seroquel. I want to get off the Prozac completely but I'm going to stay at 10 mg for at least three months until I know I'm stable. Though most of my anxiety is gone, I had a panic attack last week. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday over how much I've missed out on from the medication and cried through the whole thing. Naturally she was concerned that this might be a relapse of depression/anxiety, but I honestly feel better now than I ever did on the higher dose. So...that's me!
  7. Blondiee1915

    Dating in WD

    Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone had any experience dating while being in WD? I am still not feeling great and have long way to go but I am better than where I was a year ago and was thinking about trying to go on a date and meeting someone special. It gets lonely and I am in my early 30s and get worried that the clock is ticking and I will end up as a lonely woman with 30 cats and dogs. I struggle with fatigue, anxiety, dizziness and some dp/dr. I got an advice that I should try to live as of a normal life as I can and get myself out there. Of course easier said than done. Maybe it can help to take my mind off things, but then I worry about how do I explain to that person that I cannot hang out bc I am not feeling well and going through WD or that I cannot drink? Maybe it is better to wait until I am much better, but at the same time I do not know when this will be. Any experience and advice will be greatly appreciated. B.
  8. Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  9. Many people experience overpowering or disturbing emotions while tapering and as part of withdrawal syndrome. Many of the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome arise from autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The distressed nervous system itself can generate intense uncomfortable feelings -- see Neuro emotions The best way to treat this is to help your nervous system to repair itself, to return to its "factory-installed" state. Recovery from withdrawal syndrome is gradual, inconsistent, and can take a long time. In the meantime, you can help your nervous system heal by using non-drug techniques to lessen your anxiety about your condition, deal with long-standing emotional issues, and cope with symptoms. You may also get anxious or depressed about having odd symptoms because you have beliefs that add to your distress, such as a feeling of helplessness or being a failure. Or, you may feel strong emotions as the drugs no longer mask underlying emotional pain. Read these non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms for ideas that may aid your recovery. Whether they are "neuro-emotions" caused by neurological upset, distress arising from your situation, or a natural disposition towards worrying, anxiety, pessimism, or self-sabotage, learning techniques to manage them will benefit you throughout your life. __________________________________________________ WITHDRAWAL-RELATED EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization Uncontrollable crying spells during and after withdrawal Waking with panic or anxiety- managing cortisol spikes Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness Disconnect between interest and action/motivation Derealization or Depersonalization "Is it always going to be like this?" What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement _______________________________________ UNUSUAL AND OVERPOWERING EMOTIONS Neuro-emotion Dealing With Emotional Spirals Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism Coping with irritation, anger and rage Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety Rebuilding self-confidence, accepting anxiety Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms OCD: obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors __________________________________________________ MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system Mindfulness and Acceptance Good links for anxiety/worry Inhabiting our bodies in meditation http://wp.me/p5nnb-aSX Meditation can heal the brain which can heal the mind and body Mindfulness, Meditation, and Prayer After Brain Injury Pranayama Breathing for Anxiety and Depression __________________________________________________ COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY Free online Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons Best CBT techniques for anxiety, depression, or getting through a wave? __________________________________________________ FORGIVING YOURSELF Blaming yourself for mistakes? Try this. Shame, guilt, and self-criticism __________________________________________________ HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS The Magic of Helping Others __________________________________________________ OTHER THERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES The Dr. Claire Weekes method of recovering from a sensitized nervous system Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms Behavioral Activation Therapy: Getting out and doing things helps depression "Forest bathing" reduces cortisol, aids mood, immune system EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Neuroplasticity and limbic retraining Self-directed Neuroplasticity Reframe stress to become more resilient Art Therapy Journaling / Journalling / Writing Therapy / Therapeutic Writing Music Therapy / Music for Wellness and Healing
  10. Hi, I've been on SSRI's now for about 20 years except for a few years in the middle. First it was Prozac with BuSpar, and over the last 10 years Paxil with Klonopin. I'm in search of who I am off of these meds, and I'm sick of the side-effects (mainly sexual side effects of Paxil for me). I successfully tapered off of Klonopin over 1 year from 0.5 mg (finished that in May of '16), and I've been tapering off of Paxil for the last year and a half from 30 mg. to my current dose of 10 mg. This is my second deliberate attempt to get off of SSRI's. The first attempt was done very quickly in 2012 (over about a month) and it was a disastrous fall into extreme anxiety resulting in voluntary hospitalization for five nights in a locked unit. In 2014 I was switched from Paxil to a different drug altogether (Lamictal), and that was also a terrible event because the doctor had me go off of the Paxil too quickly, resulting in a quick descent into anxiety, then the worst soul-crushing depression I've ever experienced. I was out of work for 5 weeks. I'm happy to share more details later, but for now I'll focus on the here and now. So back to the current withdrawal attempt. I was down to 10 mg of Paxil in November, 2017, and I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to continue the slow taper. He prescribed liquid Paxil at the equivalent of 9 mg for 2 weeks, then 8 mg, but when I went to pick it up I was told it would be over $150. Yikes! The pharmacist recommended I look into having it compounded elsewhere to save money. After searching for a compounding facility, calling my doc and writing him a letter, I finally got the prescription for a compounded version of Paroxetine for $70 / month, plus $5 shipping. A couple weeks later it arrived, and I was very happy to continue my slow, controlled taper. That was around Dec. 22, 2017. That's when things went wrong. After a couple days I started feeling a bit cantankerous, fidgety, and my appetite increased. I had just re-started working out, and this adrenaline rush fueled my anger and appetite. You know that feeling when you've run out of fuel and you've got that hungry, angry feeling inside? I was feeling like this almost all the time. About five days after starting the compounded Paxil I had an incident at work where I lost my temper. I apologized and things smoothed over, but I'm pretty convinced that something wasn't right with the compounded medication. Maybe it was measured wrong; maybe the bitter cold affected it in shipping. I don't know, but I strongly doubt it was 9 mg. Paxil. So I went back to the 10 mg., and that's when I've been on for the last 5 nights. But my mind and body are both very much off-kilter. My anxiety's increased and the insatiable hunger continues. I have a high-metabolism which is even higher under this stress, so I can't seem to satiate my appetite. I'm hoping that after a few more days things will even out, and I plan on staying at 10 mg. for at least a couple weeks before I start a taper again. I've since picked up the prescription for the liquid Paxil; I decided that when I continue the taper, I want to make sure I'm very confident of the accuracy of the medication. I don't trust the compounded version now. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement would be much appreciated as I re-stabilize.
  11. Hi, I'm running out of what to read, who to ask and soon what to say. Ready for this? 1. I am consciously normal and functional 2. and only 2 I have a brain and body that is not cooperating. I feel guilty, or fake. When i'm at work and talking well - in my head I'm like "Who are you? You were never smart"... < probably my childhood echos > Once a major mistake occurred 6 years ago - I fell to the ground mentally - not able to let it go, no matter how many angles and closures I sought. 5 years this misery lasted to where I did get a human validation, but quickly was influenced into something else that made me question my "healing" - and now those 5 years of misery was much easier. To add to my pain - just months after ground 0, my Dad went to jail, my mom move in with me, my cat died weeks after that... Symptoms since: Head tension, Tinnitus, Neck tension, Dizziness, Anticipatory Anxiety, Feeling like I have a tumor in my head (pressure), Depersonalization moments / Derealization moments (Rare but terrible). Had a bout of agoraphobia. I think it's rooting in excessive guilt that I'm putting myself in mental prison. Now I lost my job in July and been on unemployment - and fearing getting a new one... not sure if I can mentally handle it. I feel total burnout. Medication History > After years of CBT - it was suggested I get on medication. Prozac - by day 22 I wanted to die (literally) but gladly i'm too afraid to and go off it when the Dr. kept pushing me to "Give it more time" Celexa & Paxil - gave me an intense panick attack. Paxil sent me to the hospital (One Pill did that) Zoloft & Lexapro - These numbed my brain, but I lost all emotions - that was my first de-realization and very scary Anafranil - this felt like someone poured mercury in my head - zips and zaps Buspar - These gave me brown outs of the brain Xanax - I put this last but I was on it for 6 years... it was great! BUT ... in time .25 didn't work, .5 gave me a hangover... 1mg wouldn't work if I was really scared - like going in an MRI Machine. When I tried to come off - my brain EXPLODED in Withdrawl. I tried many courses - as my DR just told me "stop it - it's ok"... That was when the Tinnitus and Pressure started (4/2016) along with the agoraphobia. I suffered through a water taper I came up with and it worked to a point and was too hard. My Dr. humored me giving me Valium to taper. It SORT of Worked but he gave me only 2 weeks and low dose. I pushed through and now I'm 9 weeks off (i did cheat on a 0.125 two weeks ago). Finally I'm trying St. John's Wort I followed an online suggestion ... but I did it wrong... by end of week 2 I got a massive Burnout feeling, brain buzzing and a STOP EVERYTHING cry in my sub-conscious mind... never had this happen. I dropped my cleaning tools and went to bed. I have not felt good since. I cut down to ONE 300 pill per day... but i'm all over the place. I now wonder if I even have a Serotonin issue? How do I know it's not an Acetylcholine issue? Or just a lack of GABA & Dopamine? (I took up a study of Neuro-Science among other medical classes... of course it's all theory) I'm just not happy, I can't play guitar or do anything I love... I don't care to eat. Thank you all for whatever input you have -Rob
  12. Hello everyone I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given. I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing. I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening, and a lot of support from a few friends and family members. Sometimes I am afraid this will never end. At times I get more hopeful. At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home. Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? Thank you everyone for the support.
  13. just signed up. information and advice is overwhelming!!!! I can only take in some information at t time. I can't believe this isn't more common knowledge. it is a horrible existence. but God is good and He heals. *1991-2003: 12 years on increasing amounts of Prozac, then *2003-2013: 10 years on increasing amounts of Effexor alchohol abuse issues throughout along with nicotine addiction *2013: pscychMD guided 5 month taper from 300MG to zero Effexor while quitting alcohol and nicotine at about the same time ( awful process , so painful and scary)Dr had me adding prozac to reduce the "discontinuation side effects" *then November 2013, not on anything... ------Bad bad bad ( probably and unknowingly, tapered way way way too fast and unknowingly into some Med PAWS and paws from alcohol ( 8 months without etoh at this time, 4 years now ) * Ran to psychMD and he put me on Latuda then Brintellix ( now called trintellix) *4 months later those about killed me and landed me 3 days in the hospital and then in intensive treatment for depression/anxiety for 5 months. During that time they tried different things too fast and furious with a lot of bad reactions to stuff. Chemical Assaults!!!! this included seroquel, Depakote Summer 2014 finishing up intensive treatment ("pills and skills" what a crock...): I ended up on a cocktail of xoloft, Wellbutrin and elavil. I didn't need more drugs. I was suffering from protracted w/d and chemical assault shock/ptsd. the medical community has no idea. they say "your mental illness is chronic and progressive so you have to manage it continually with drug additions/changes". you can't make this stuff up for a horror movie. *At this time (summer of 2014) I was diagnosed with MS (significant brain lesions and positive other tests for MS) and told I had to go off Humira. I had been on Humira or Enbrel for 13 years, as well as anti inflammatories for arthritis. I stopped these. One year later I started a 4 month taper of these psych drugs. This was way too fast and probably caused more damage/ptsd March 2017: Now I am 14 months total medicine free and dealing with recovery from the damage caused by the actions above. I don't know what is what in terms of cause and effect. I only know that it has been and continues to be awful. a hellish relentless anguish of a myriad of symptoms, an awful existence...after having lost my marriage, family, career possibilities, life...other than faith...I still have my faith in Jesus Christ and God's promises of who HE is, what He's like, and who I am. God Loves me and has taken and continues to take care of me in miraculous ways... He just hasn't healed me fully yet. Is it MS? Immune dysfunction? ANS dysfunction? Damage while taking medicines and self medicating with alcohol ? PAWS from alcohol? PAWS from psych drugs? Chicken, egg or road? It amazes me how after not being on meds for a while, we can suddenly get drastically worse with new or worsening symptoms. 25 years of pschych drug chemical assault and 2 way too abrupt tapers have left me in this state. not to mention MS. Such a mess. Hell on earth. Anguish. So many symptoms.
  14. Hi all, I'm a 24-year-old female who has been on some kind of antidepressant since I was 17. 1. Zoloft, 1 year (2011) 2. Wellbutrin, 2-3 months (end of 2011 in conjunction with Zoloft) 3. Viibryd, 6 months (2012) 4. Buspar, 2-3 months (2012) 5. Lexapro, 1 year (late 2012 to late 2013) 5. Prozac, 3ish years (late 2013 to mid 2017) I started tapering off of Prozac this April, going down by 10mg a month for 7 months. I was on an 80mg per day dose for at least 2.5 years. I finished tapering at the end of October 2017. I didn't have any particularly bothersome symptoms until the last 10mg and these have persisted or gotten worse in the last two months. My biggest issue right now seems to be irritability. I feel like I go through multiple mood swings per day and sometimes I can't even describe how I'm feeling. My anxiety has also increased - fears about my loved ones dying or that I'm going to get into a car accident on the highway, that kind of thing. I know it's still soon, being only 2 months since I completely stopped taking Prozac, but are these all withdrawal symptoms and if so, how long can I expect them to last? Sometimes I wonder if I even remember was normal feels like anymore, since I've been on antidepressants since before I was even an adult. I felt pretty good on Prozac moodwise, but disliked the weight gain that resulted (65 pounds!) and I worried about the long term effects on being on it.
  15. my husband was diagnosed about 18 months ago with MDD and GAD, and has been taking zyprexa (evil, evil drug), ativan, paxil, mirtazapine and gabapentin at various dosages. as i learned more about these (he is too scared to do the research himself and refuses to look up anything on the web), it seemed that we should start with getting him off the zyprexa (originally 15 mg and then down to 2.5mg over the 18 month period.) but the movement from 2.5mg to 0, which has been in the last 2 weeks or so, has been extremely difficult and his doc is resistant to the idea of microtapering because "it doesn't work." the doc is an idiot and we must find a better provider asap who will write a microtapering Rx. he continues to take the ativan (.5mg at night, sometimes during the day when he feels like he's "jumping out of my skin.") he's taking 30mg of mirtazapine. the stupid doc wants to increase this to 45mg, because more is better. last nov., the same stupid doc thought that it would be good to increase the paxil from 20mg to 30mg. that little experiment resulted in suicidal ideation, return to the ER and 5 days in the locked-down unit. he's taking about 1200 mg/day of gabapentin, which stupid doc says is "benign" but it strikes me that NONE of these poisons are benign enough to stay on them for one more nanosecond than is necessary. i'm also interested in your point of view on TMS. we have a facility nearby, it's covered by our insurance, and they claim they can deliver good results for folks with depression/anxiety issues. we're getting ready to try this (i hope) before changing up any of the other meds so we'll know if in fact any improvement comes actually from the TMS vs. other change. i should point out that i have been married to this man for 15 years, and have known him for nearly 20. he was exceptionally normal for 18.5 of these years. all of this pile of crazy started following a kidney transplant in the summer of 2012. he had had an earlier kidney transplant in 1986, which lasted 25 years, so we were optimistic abt this one. in all of those 25 years, he had no psych issues. initially he was fine following the recent transplant, but about 6 months later, everything went to hell in a handbasket, and nobody can tell us why. all i can tell you is that my normally calm, collected, unflappable hubby has become agitated, anxious beyond belief, scared, irritable, timid, hysterical and a whole bunch of other not-normal behavior SINCE HE STARTED TAKING THE MEDS. idiot doctor says the symptoms now are the underlying disease. but since hubby didn't have this disease before, doesn't it seem that the meds are in fact what's making him crazy? does anyone have any suggestions on how to manage the zyprexa WD symptoms? (especially the anxiety, fear/dread, "pit in stomach" feeling, racing thoughts?)
  16. Hi All I'm relieved to find a forum out there that fits my situation. The doctors say withdrawal symptoms should stop a month or two after stopping ssri's but I think they are wrong and I'm sure many of you agree. Thanks for listening to my story, I'll try to keep it brief. 13 years ago at age 25 my anxiety got the better of me I developed social phobia in the form of constant blushing and shaking when interacting with people. It psychologically crippled me. I lost my job and could barely leave my house. I left it a year before I went to a doctor by which time I was a complete mess. The doc prescribed me 20mg citalopram and that drug worked wonders! It stopped me blushing 95% of the time and meant I could lead a normal life again plus it made me cheerful and carefree. Amazing! But, every time I tried to come off it my blushing would return so I ended up staying on it for 11 years. I didn't really have any side effects until after 8 years when I started getting tinnitus and night sweats. These got worse and worse, I would lay in bed with my ears ringing so loud it was like I'd been to a nightclub! And the night sweats became unbearable, I would wake up 4 times a night soaked to the skin, freezing cold, need to change my clothes, bedding, take a shower I got so tired from bad sleep. So I went to doc and she put me on beta blockers which are working great and I don't need to take them that often as my blushing is nowhere near as bad now I'm 38. Great news BUT the side effects/withdrawal of coming off citalopram has been sooooo tough. Ive been off 8 months now. For the first 3 months I was so depressed, I wanted to cry all day and even felt suicidal at times. For the second 3 months I had terrible anxiety and would get to almost having panic attacks. For the last 2 months I feel a little better but have little interest in people, people just get on my nerves and I feel distant from everyone, I have a 'don't care' attitude and my marriage is suffering because of it as I'm moody and quick to anger Plus throughout the 8 months I still have those damn night sweats combined with bad insomnia! It's been 8 months but I still wake up soaked to the skin and even when I'm not sweating I just can't sleep! I don't know how I'm functioning normally as I slept better when my kids were newborns!! Some nights I just lay in bed with my eyes shut but awake for hours and hours looking at the clock every so often and thinking 'I can't believe it's 4:30am, I havent slept yet and I need to get up for work at 7am!' Has anyone else been in this situation? How long do the sweats last? My doc says they should have gone after a month or so and has booked me blood tests to check for early menopause, but I know it's due to citalopram use. How about the insomnia? Have I somehow damaged my nervous system and it's going to take years to repair itself, if ever?? I'd never have stayed on citalopram that long if I'd known it's legacy would be so long lasting. Thank you for reading my history. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling like I am 'surviving' antidepressants. I have no one to talk to as I'm a private person and none of my friends know about my history and my husband lost interest a long time ago. Any advice is welcome xxx
  17. Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much <3
  18. I lost a sister to suicide in 2007 and was put on antidepressants by a justifiably nervous mother. She and I both now realize what a sham the whole thing AD$ thing is, and I have desperately wanted to get off of the stuff for years (I'd only been taking it to avoid withdrawal) but I worry I won't be able to get to a normal state again. I stayed on Lexapro through high school and college and was certainly able to do alright through certain traumas ( I was disagnosed with C-PTSD from the loss and an assault when I was 18. I'm now 24) but here without the Lexapro I'm feeling worse than I ever have in my life, panicking and projecting negativity... I was never like that, I've always been an optimistic high-achiever, and now it's as though my brain just isn't working anymore. I feel slower, as though vocabulary has just fallen out of my brain... Perhaps this is hurting my ego more, having been regarded as "gifted" growing up... I worry that I was on these drugs for too long throughout my developing years. I have worked through so much emotionally over the years in various forms of therapy, but this feels like a complete physiological thing that's just taking control over me. I was able to feel okay in the few months after my final tiny bit of Lexapro taken in February (after a very gradual taper over many months)- I was in another country with few responsibilities, which made the taper relatively easy compared to previous attempts. Near the end of the trip some irrational upset began... Now I'm back home (3 weeks ago) and I'm having a complete meltdown like never before. I am having extreme anxiety especially in the AM, ruminating on negative thoughts, fits of crying (sometimes for hours), suicidal ideation (I won't do it because of my sister), complete self-doubt, absolute anguish.. I can't go on like this. I was never like this, before or during Lexapro. I feel no joy in my work (Which used to be so healing for me) or desire/ability to do what I need to... I'm exercising, meditating, I've tried so many supplements... There was one day of clarity when I took 5-HTP, but the next I was a nervous wreck again... I tried L-tryptophan later... I don't know what to do at this point, I've been so down that I caved and took a Prozac today as some people use it to get off of Lexapro, but I don't want the SSRI's anymore... Today I felt so tired and out of it, my moods are cycling like crazy... Of course it won't work in just a day, but I am so desperate to get away from these horrible feelings... My mom wants to send me to a rehab specializing in this type of thing, but it's insanely expensive and although I'm so grateful that she'd consider that I don't know if a month's worth of help can undo the years I was on the SSRI... Looking back at all of this I feel so ungrateful and unworthy of the goodness in my life that I know of, but cannot feel... I feel so lost and hopeless... Any input is greatly appreciated Lexapro 2007-Feb 2016
  19. Hello forum! Female, 33, Sweden. Have been on Paroxetine, 20mg, for more than 5 years. In April 2017 I had my first major panic attack and ended up in the ER. My life completely changed and I developed panic disorder along with some GAD. Though the GAD may have been the underlying cause of panic, I don't really know. Since September 2017 I have been reducing my dose of Paroxetine, and am now on 10mg. Somewhere in December I got down to 10mg and thought I'd wait until I'm stable at this dose before continuing my taper. I have been using the Claire Weekes-method of trying to completely relax in the face of panic, and I seem to only have smaller attacks now. Palpitations have lessened, and I am less startled by my nervous system signaling panic. I have lately been feeling very off-balance/dizzy and sometimes theres an intense feeling of anxiety and dread in my body. Feels like there are bugs crawling around inside. Weird buzzing nerves? Dizziness is so bad I have to lie down sometimes. Last night I was holding on to the walls when moving around in my house. Feels like I'm losing my balance all the time, even when sitting on the toilet, but I can stand on one leg and walk in a straight line. So it seems to be some sort of misinterpretation happening in my brain, rather than an actual problem with my balance. Now to my question: When I wake up in the morning I usually feel perfectly fine. It is after taking Paroxetine that all of the horrible sensations start, and they seem to calm down slightly in the evening. Is this normal during withdrawal? Or does it sound more like I'm having actual adverse reactions to Paroxetine? They sort of worked until I developed panic disorder. But I clearly remember growing increasingly fearful and illogical during several months before I had that massive panic attack. Thank you in advance.
  20. One of the tools I have found that really help me when I am feeling anxiety is binaural beat sound waves that I found on-line and then downloaded onto an MP3 player. You do need headphones to get the full effect. I was pleasantly surprised how much this helps! Here is just one of thousands of links I found on youtube. You can found the countless others listed on the right side of the page where I found this one video: I am grateful to those who allow us to download for free and then donate to their work in this area. I have downloaded several types for different brain waves. The theory is different sound waves like the theta wave, for example, can persuade our brains to either relax or they can help the brain/mind move through and clear our chakras. There is a plethora of information on this theory on-line for you to read. Look at the links below the videos for more information. It is a great way to meditate when our brains are just all over the place and our regular meditation session is just not happening. This method helps my brain to follow the waves and calm down and then I am either ready to meditate or, it has helped me to fall asleep at times. There are binaural beats for sleep too. Happy hunting on this subject. It is amazing how I have found such wonderful help in using different modalities for anxiety and sadness here on-line. It is valerian root through my headphones!
  21. rnnstr91

    rnnstr91: PGAD

    I have developed PGAD 8 times in my life while on a variety of antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Pristiq, Lexapro, Seroquel, Lamotrigine, and most recently Amitryptiline). On Prozac it was severe and lasted 2 years. The other times it went away within days/weeks of stopping the drugs. I’ve currently had a mild case caused by Amytripline for 3 weeks now. I stopped the drug two weeks after starting it as soon as I felt the pgad begin. I am worried this time it won’t go away which is terrifying because there isn’t really a successful treatment for it. This is my fear every time I get it. My issue is that I have severe depression, anxiety and depersonalization disorder and feel I cannot get better without psych meds. Each time I try a new psych med it either gives me PGAD or doesn’t help my depression/anxiety. I am at a loss for what to do. I have an amazing life that I can’t enjoy and since I can’t seem to tolerate any drugs even a partial recovery seems hopeless. Any advice would be appreciated! Not sure what to do anymore.
  22. I am a little over a month into this part of my tapering story, (Celexa-free now) and last week I had a lot of anxiety, which did not come as a surprise to me. I had somatic obsessions, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and sometimes I wince from the intrusive thoughts or images that come up. My partner has been witnessing moments of this struggle which sparked a discussion. She says it hurts her to see me in pain and she urged me to think more critically about why I am doing what I am doing. When I tried to explain that sometimes withdrawal is just hard and requires patience, she said that I was rationalizing everything and didn't have any plan in place for when I should stop what I was doing or increase dosages again. She feels as if I don't leave enough room for her feelings or take into account how my actions in this process affect our relationship. She does not have personal experience with mental illness or medication which for some reason makes hearing that from her feel even harder. I feel judged in moments, though I really do think this is my own projection, and as a result I am not able to comfortably voice how I feel. I responded to all of this rather defensively. It felt like she wasn't trusting me to know what I need and it also seemed like this process, (which is hard for me already) was burdensome to her somehow. I felt like this is incredibly challenging for me and I need her amazing strength, love, and support right now, more than ever. I care so much about how she feels and this relationship but I want to be in control of this very personal process. She also thinks I am undergoing this journey in hopes of an idealized vision of reality without medication. While I do have hope for what life might be like drug-free, I try really hard to stay grounded and not have too many expectations. Maybe she's right in that regard. I don't know how to create more space for her to have feelings about how I'm feeling. It feels messy. I start dissociating during our conversations and losing time, losing information. She is very sharp and has an amazing memory so I simply cannot compete. We have barely talked in the past two days, we both feel really frustrated. We have both explicitly stated our needs and yet this still does not feel resolved. Neither of us can seem to relax into a willing state of mind until the other does. I feel so angry and I can't tell where it is coming from. Does anyone relate to this? I'm not sure how to move forward? Otto
  23. Grayskies

    Feels like waking up

    I have just read almost all of “Prozac backlash” and It kind of blew my mind. I am sure this is old news for most of you on this site, I just had no idea. I also had tried to go off Effexor pretty much cold turkey and basically was a ball of nerves, sobbing uncontrollably the whole time. I thought at the time, “my anxiety must really be this bad, i guess i really cannot function without my AD.” OMG. I had no idea this was such a universal experience for people to go through such difficulty when trying to get off them. And to try to do this without any coping skills too? That was entering a losing battle. I am now seeing a therapist and I feel empowered to do this for the first time in my life. Having this community is really great too, to know it’s hard to do for all of us. For the first time in my life I suddenly see that this has been a lie I have told myself for years, that I need these to function. I always assumed “some people need meds for mental health and some don’t.” Reading this book demonstrating the actual figures for people who manage their depression/anxiety without meds is truly uplifting for me. I have had a rough month trying to start the taper. Someone tried to attack me at my job (this has never happpened to me before) and I was quite affected by it, starting to feel my anxiety sky rocket even on my full dose. This event set off some really tough emotions for me as I already have a stressful job and have been working on ways to move to something less stressful for me. For financial reasons, I need to stick with it for another 1.5 years. I feel pretty angry and anxious the first few days after a taper, I have noticed and the lightening strike emotions are there. I think mindfulness and encouraging self-talk in preparation for this possibility is key for me. Like positive visulations, even practice (role play) like what will i say if XYZ happens. I am on 121.5 mg of my effexor right now which is the second taper I have done. Much of my focus has been on the bad sides of my withdrawal. I go to Zumba pretty religiously and yesterday in my class I felt something I haven’t felt for a very long time—- it was joy. I felt joyful as I moved, and used my body, and felt alive. I felt free. I realized that this feeling has been covered up for some time in addition to my demons I am now facing. I was sitting in the sunshine with my dog and drinking coffee, listening to the birds sing, and I thought.. this is truly a perfect moment. It has been so difficult for me to feel moved in any way for the last 7 years. And in the back of my head I can feel my anxiety telling me “this won’t last, you could still be in trouble, you could still be unsafe...” And I am letting myself just for now to feel alive, like I am waking up.
  24. Hi everyone. I just started a gabapentin taper yesterday and am starting to feel the effects. Have been on the medication for 5 years and previously was on antidepressants for 15 years prior. Went off antidepressants cold turkey almost 4 years ago. Decided I wanted to get off gabapentin a few years ago and started a taper but haven’t been able to get lower than 600mg without going into wirndrawal and having it effect my level Of functioning. Lately I have been getting really uncomfortable feet and hand vibrations that I think may be a paradoxical side effect of taking the medication. My dr. wants to try tapering off to see if the feeling goes away (this telling us if this is a medication reaction). Today is my first full day reducing by 200mg and I’m experiencing serve anxiety. Also thoughts of self harm which I haven’t had in a long time (so I’m assuming it’s med detox related). I’ve thought about increasing the dose tomorrow but when I think about doing that I feel so defeated and dependent. I want to get through this- or at least give it a real chance. Any advice on getting through this period? Also- has anyone else felt this way... and how long does it last? Thanks for your support. cali
  25. Hi everybody, I have been reading this site for a while, but I didn't have the push to write my story. I was hoping to be free of Paxil forever and I was planning to write my success story after half a year, or one year. But this plan changed 2 weeks ago, when I had a breakdown I started on Paxil, 2 and a half years ago, after another breakdown, worse than now, I was not functional, couldn't exit the house alone, dizzy, miserable. Paxil helped me (with a delay, a psychiatrist bumped it up to 20mg, and this hurt not helped). I recovered. I started slowly decreasing to 17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5, at least one month at each step. It was not easy, I had different symptoms, brain zaps, tremors (even if nobody could see me trembling), dizziness, but it was manageable. I have been working full time all this time. I became free of Paxil 3 months ago, just before holidays, when I had some time off. Again, I had symptoms in the first weeks, but it was bearable. And then, slowly I started feeling worse and worse, under control until 2 weeks ago, but after some stress at work (nothing out of extraordinary, nothing I didn't go through before) I had this new crash. The problem is a very high anxiety level, I wake up trembling inside, and feel my stomach in a knot all the time I am awake. I am continuously in high alert, I cannot relax. I can hear my heart beating all the time, I am scared without reason. After a couple of days like that I became very tired. I sleep relatively well, this is the only moment when I relax (but even then, I wake up after 6 hours, difficult to sleep back). Yesterday I took 1 mg of Paxil in the afternoon (I still have a lot of pills from last year), and after only one hour the high anxiety went away. Instead I got dizzy, lightheaded, the veil on my brain is back This morning I took 2mg and I plan to continue like that, better slightly dizzy than trembling. I know that 2 mg is a very low quantity, just one tenth of the "therapeutic" dose, but for me it feels like a lot. This looked like the only solution right now. I tried different supplements before, nothing helped, not even Magnesium or Omega 3 - they didn't hurt either ( the B vitamins did hurt, but I had not taken them for a long time). I am not drinking coffee, not eating chocolate, I avoid sugars, I try to eat balanced and healthy.
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