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  1. Hello, My name is Olivia and I’ve been on and off antidepressants for the last 10 years. It’s crazy to say that, because it goes to show how much it has affected my life. Since the first pill I took in 2009, my life was forever changed. It started when I CONVINCED myself I had ADHD, even going as far as to cheating a medical exam that “could prove” if I had it or not. Actually taking the medicine, I felt so good, so absolute sure I was going to be cured, and successful. That all came to an end when the lack of sleep lead to a full blown panic attack that lead me to the ER, only to find I was in fact NOT dying of a heart attack. When I got off the medicine (40mg 1x day of Dexedrine), I went into a downward spiral. This was when I decided to take a semester off from art school, and get better at home. The break didn’t do much, I really needed therapy but instead I went back to finish school, this time I would take another drug to help me focus and something to help me sleep. It was trazadone and focalin I took next. It got me through my senior year of art school, barely. As soon as I walked to get my diploma, I decided to cut those drugs cold turkey. I was in a fog. My boss at my new job, working at a grocery store, almost fired me because I didn’t appear present nor happy. But I assured them I wanted the job, just needed to get some personal stuff out of the way. To which brought me to Zoloft. It helped my energy and feeling of balance again. The side effects, I didn’t realize until years later, were joint pain. I was blinded by the fact that this drug was helping me, that when I started to have severe pain in my body, I thought for sure it was something I had developed since my family has a history of autoimmune diseases. Sure enough, I went on to taking in addition to Zoloft, a non narcotic pain medication by the name of Neurontin. I was taking neurontin 3x day 300mg each. It helped, but I was still a mess. I lost most of my close friends from college, even though we lived in the same town. I was living with a family of alcoholics just so I could live in the expensive city I went to school in. Then I decided to go back home. It was the best choice I had ever made. It lead to the support of my family and eventually, I was able to get off the meds. It took seeing my family to help me take a good hard look at myself and to decide what to do next. I got off my meds cold turkey, had the worst zaps whip and zip throughout my body and brain. For two weeks I couldn’t stop crying. Eventually those withdrawal affects went away. I would like to say I continued off the meds, but only after two years of being off them, I was in another crisis and too afraid of my emotions. I was dealing with a whole new set of life changes again, and I didn’t know how to cope with them. But the new therapist who I had really could understand me and she helped me find a good combination of antidepressants. It’s been three years since I started back on the antidepressants. Im currently taking 40 mg of Paxil, and 150mg of Wellbutrin. A lot has changed over the course of three years. I ended up moving back to where this whole cycle started, living in my college town, but this time with a new feeling of confidence. I started a new career. I gained a new relationship with someone really understanding and great. I don’t feel the need to change anything. Except for one thing. I want children. It won’t be for another couple years until I start trying. But I think about the complications and what my medicine could do to a child if it were in my body. I also wonder long term. Can this really be safe? Why am I taking antidepressants if I no longer feel depressed? I thank you if you’ve gotten all the way through my story. I know it’s a lot of information. Please give me any advice or tell me how you honestly feel about antidepressants. Seeing the harm it does to people really scares me and I’m very afraid of being off the medication. I wonder if I’m tainted or damaged because of my history with them. I wish I could go back in time, never had taken the pill that started this whole ordeal from the beginning.
  2. Hello Everyone, Let me introduce myself. You can call me Sebas (38), i'm from Amsterdam. Hope my English is okay. I was diagnosed with anxiety issues around 2004 and then started using Seroxat, I believe it's called Paxil in the US. I'm aware by now of all the problems this medicine is causing. In other words, i've read a lot, and i mean A LOT about it. I can almost graduate about the subject After several attempts to stop, I found out in 2015 or 2016 about the 5-10% reduction rule. That helped me from 20 mg (10 ml) tot 12 mg (6 ml) in about 1,5 years (estimated). I'm using the fluid suspension and some squirts for accurate dosage. From 6 ml down to 5,8 took me 5 weeks to feel allright, then i stabilized for a week and went back down from 5,8 tot 5,6. All the usual withdrawal symptoms occur during tapering periods such as illness, nerve system problems, visual, fatigue, stomache cramps and also i'm countering eye circles. Since the last dosage (from 5,8 tot 5,6) i've been feeling bad for 9 weeks already. Especially my stomache and my energy. So i'm now wondering what to do, wait (and wait...), go back to 5,8, go back to 6,0 of try to switch to another AD. Cause this one is really @#$%&* mainly cause of the fast half-life period. I've read about a cross tapering method. I asked my doktor for a psychiatric consult about it. Or...could it be my body (and mind) is telling me this dose is beneath the minimum that i just need for my personal wellbeing. I'm familiair with magnesium, omega 3/fish oil and multi vitamin for support. I'm looking forward fto exchanging some knowledge. Bye Sebas
  3. 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!
  4. Topic title: Reinstating Ecsotalipram Will it help? Today is my second day of reinstating Ecsotalipram that I tapered off of for 3 months and spent 18 days completely without. My last tapper was from 2.5mg down to 0mg. So to reinstate I took 5mg yesterday and today. Yesterday and last night went well I felt a little nauseous and jittery. I did feel pretty great for a few hours. Today hasn't been so well I feel very anxious and nauseous. Feeling some of the same symptoms as I did with the 18 days of withdrawal. I'm afraid I took too long to reinstate the drug and now it wont work like it did before. If I am too late and it wont work is there still hope? Or is it too soon to tell and I should give it a few more days? I have tried to contact my doctor but with no answer. Her office is in Aspen and I am almost 2 hours away from her. Not sure what i should do.
  5. Hey all, Looking for some advice and encouragement :(. Just to give you some dates and background. October-November 2016 - suffered sudden hearing loss that was treated with high doses of prednisone. Caused me to have severe anxiety and panic attacks, which I'd never had before. November 2016 - Went to a psychiatrist on encouragement of my doctor since I was having so many side effects from the treatment from my hearing loss. Psych told me to take 50mg Zoloft for 3-6 months. Upon starting Zoloft, I started feeling really depressed, jittery, anxious, fatigued, etc. Felt really terrible. January 2017 - Evened out on Zoloft and started feeling pretty good again. June 2017 - Was told my treatment was over and was told to just stop taking Zoloft. I was told just to quit cold turkey. June-August 2017 - Became very depressed (but was still functional), sensitive, crying spells, obsessive thinking etc. Things I never had before. Didn't know that I was possibly experiencing withdrawal and that I hadn't tapered. September 2017 - Doctor recommended I take 10mg Lexapro. On day 1 of 5mg, all my depressive symptoms went away, but the drug made me feel very anxious. Never went up to 10mg. Stayed on 5 mg for 2 months and then took 2.5 mg for 3 weeks and then got off. November 2017 - Stopped taking Lexapro entirely. Since then it's been a rough journey. Sometimes feel very depressed, sometimes very anxious, and sometimes fine. It makes me very angry because I didn't experience depression at all before I started taking the first anti-depressant. I'm doing what I think I should be doing to manage and let things take their course. I exercise, see friends, am working, etc. But there are some days it's just really tough. I don't want to go back on another drug because I'm 100% convinced that these drugs are the cause of these issues to begin with and I don't want to be on this crazy train for years and years. I know I took substantially lower doses of these drugs than other folks, but I'm generally extremely sensitive to all forms of medication. Is there anything anyone can recommend to help me get through this, so that I can help with my recovery? Is there anything else to do besides "just dealing with it?" Any supplements, herbal remedies, exercises, relaxation techniques anyone can recommend? I'm currently taking vitamin d, magnesium, and tumeric. Doing running, yoga, weighlifting, swimming. And trying to take it easy. Any love, support, and advice would be very much appreciated. All the best, Michael Try
  6. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Blondiee1915: Xanax taper. Need help 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 ❤️
  7. StillSinging

    My journey to be off psych drugs

    I always took my medication without thinking really. I had a psychotic episode (due to insomnia, stress, and anxiety most likely) after Christmas in 2007. I was 13. I had been taking Lexapro for a few months. My M.D. prescribed it for me. I don't quite remember why. I think I might probably have been depressed and anxious. I only now realize that taking the Lexapro could very well have caused the insomnia and resultant delusions. Anyway, I had a breakdown. I was seen by a psych. She (Dr. S.) prescribed Lamotrigine. It seemed to quell the delusions. I was back at school, medicated and delusion free. Over the years I developed fatigue, irritability, and apathy. I kept taking the drugs. For fatigue, I was prescribed Bupropion (Wellbutrin). I can't remember if it helped or not. I did develop hypomanic episodes at some point which further supported my bipolar 2 diagnosis. I would also have bouts of depression. Not the crying kind. Just apathy and mild anhedonia. I say mild because I still did some things I loved such as piano, art, singing. I did eventually lose my passion for art though. It showed up now and then sometimes. I always was told by my mother "It will get better", and "It won't always be this way." It didnt comfort me much. Though, looking back, it did get better. Eventually. It took around a decade. But I'm not off meds yet. I moved with my parents to a smaller comfy house in 2014 and joined our local Orthodox Church, met some loving, supportive people and made a really good friend. It did get better. But I still didn't know that there was an alternative for taking medication. I took my meds. I needed them. Or I thought I did. So did my mother. Now, my mother really has been with me all way. She's taking psych drugs too since I was in first grade for depression and anxiety. I went to 2 mental institutes. Thankfully never the hospital psych ward. I know a lot of you on here have been. From what I hear it's not fun and can be traumatic. I remember the people I met at the institutes. Broken, struggling people trying to get by and looking for a little hope. I connected with them. I still miss them and hope they're still fighting. I have a long story so I'll cut it up some in chunks. This is my first post. I'll write later about my experience at college (traumatic) and other things. I have some funny memories too so I'll put those in there as well. Don't give up! Anyone's welcome to share their experiences and stories too. -StillSinging
  8. readyfortheworld

    Introduction from Texas

    Hello everyone, I’m a 25 year old male from Texas. My journey started January 2016, when I experienced a panic attack (that appeared to come out of the blue) on my way to visit my sister while I was riding a bus. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was about to pass out. From that day on, I started to have panic attacks that would last all day for several days. I wasn’t sure what was going on so I asked my mom to take me to the doctor. The doctor said I was having panic attacks and also anxiety. He prescribed me a Mexican medication named Adepsique (I live in a border town and decided to go there since health care is way cheaper there than in the US). I took that medication for around 6 months and started to have suicidal ideation and just felt in a low mood most of the time. I attributed those symptoms to the medication and “tapered” off it fairly quick. Once I was fully off it, I started to have unbearable insomnia/anxiety and wasn’t able to sleep for about two days. I felt like I was going crazy so I asked my mom if she could take me to an actual psychiatrist and she obliged. The psychiatrist prescribed me 10 mg of escitalopram and 2.5 mg of olanzapine. I don’t really feel like it helped that much but I felt better on it. I decided I didn’t want to be on medication for the rest of my life so I decided to start tapering it off. I might’ve tapered too quickly off it but I was just anxious to get off those medications. I don’t really remember how long the taper lasted but I was off both medications by the last week of April 2018. I dealt with several withdrawal symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, anxiety, mild motion sickness, insomnia, irritably, aggression and intrusive thoughts. That lasted most of 2018. Around October of that year, I started dealing with IBS-like symptoms such as stomach pain, frequent gas, constant bowel movements and urgent bowel movements. Most of my other withdrawal symptoms have been reduced but I’m still stuck with the IBS issues to this day. Although I’ve been suffering for these last couple of years, I’ve felt like I’ve grown a lot as a person. I have changed my diet to a whole-foods plant based diet, I exercise daily, and do things I wouldn’t have thought I would do when I was younger. Sorry if this post is too long.
  9. 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
  10. Hi, everyone! My name is Franny, and I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but I need to just type this out. So I just got over the flu and have just been catching no break, but for some reason, after I recovered, I started having anxiety symptoms I’ve never had before such as waking up in the middle of the night with elevated heart, feeling hot, then trembling and just an overall, very terrible feeling every day. (This is just so out of the blue and just so severe that I’m scared). I haven’t taken paroxetine in a year (quit cold turkey) and was doing pretty well. Life is good, I’m surrounded by good people. However, this panic/anxiety has been so bad recently, that I dug out the paroxetine (20 mg) and took one yesterday and the day before (haven’t taken one today yet). This morning when I woke up with this panic attack, I went to the hospital because maybe it was something else, and of course, I just have terrible anxiety so they gave me a lorazepam. (I did notify them I took paroxetine within the past two days). I felt pretty calm from the lorazepam but now I’m kinda getting anxious again. The only time I could get in with a psychologist is 2 weeks from now. In the mean time, I just don’t know what to do. Do I continue taking this 20 mg of paroxetine everyday until then? I just felt so desperate, and I’m just so upset because college is where I thrive and I just don’t know what’s happening; I could just cry right now. Again, I apologize if I’m not going about this in the right way, but I really appreciate your support and how strong you all are. Thank you.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. I was referred here by my therapist after voicing concerns when my general physician put my on venflaxine, the generic for effexor, about a month ago because of my anxiety. Due to my history with SSRIs (below), she wanted to put me on something different, and put me on this SNRI, and the effect was almost immediate. I am on cloud nine every day, have become more extroverted, more confident, happy about everything, full of love and excitement for the world. Honestly its was wonderful, it was like a weight was lifted from me, and suddenly I was free of the anxiety and depression that had been weighing me down for years. I am 21 years old, and I have been dealing with terrible mental health symptoms since I was 14, so having this relief felt like Heaven. But it isn't real. Its unsustainable. And I understand now that coming down from cloud nine is going to feel like Hell. I am on 37.5 mg two times a day, and one day I missed a dose, as happens sometimes, and everything became dark. There was no happiness in anything. Everything was terrible. The weirdest was that was like someone had stuffed cotton balls in my head, even for three days after I continued doses as normal. I was cautious starting this antidepressent, because I have had a bad history with them, and I hate the idea of becoming dependent on a drug. In the fall of 2017 a psychiatrist (who I no longer see after it was revealed he liked to experiment on his patients) started me on lexapro, and after about a month of really bad symptoms he weaned me off and got me on paroxitene. I never finished my perscription, and must have just quit taking them (don't really remember), but I remember having terrible paranoia/anxiety/weight gain while taking the drug. Now with venflaxine, I don't know why I started, but I want off before its too late. I am terrified. I am terrified of throwing myself back into the anxiety and depression that has plagued me for years, but I know I deserve to get better without this drug making me high. I am terrified of the withdrawal effects, because after missing a dose I am thrown off and basically out of commission (paranoid, cotton ball in head feeling, nothing seems to make sense) for days, and I am currently in school studying engineering, which requires I be on top of things every day. I don't know what to do, or how to escape this drug. I need advice. I am scared, because this drug has shifted my entire reality, and I know that shifting things back is going to be horrible. I need advice. How do I get myself off this drug, without completely sabotaging my life, before it is too late?
  14. 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 Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take? "Is it always going to be like this?" The importance of recognizing you're feeling good Creating a new self after withdrawal What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement _______________________________________ UNUSUAL AND OVERPOWERING EMOTIONS Neuro-emotion Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism Coping with irritation, anger, and rage Sudden fear, terror, panic, or anxiety from withdrawal Ways to cope with daily anxiety Rebuilding self-confidence, accepting anxiety Dealing With Emotional Spirals Withdrawal causing intrusive or repetitive thoughts, rumination, and increased panic? Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD: Repetitive, intrusive thoughts, compulsive behaviors For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal __________________________________________________ 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 __________________________________________________ FORGIVING YOURSELF Blaming yourself for mistakes? Try this. Shame, guilt, and self-criticism __________________________________________________ HELP YOURSELF BY HELPING OTHERS The Magic of Helping Others __________________________________________________ PSYCHOTHERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression, or withdrawal symptoms Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Radical Acceptance 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 Reframe stress to become more resilient Art Therapy Journaling / Journalling / Writing Therapy / Therapeutic Writing Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep
  15. Has anyone tried a Stellate Ganglion Block (i.e. needle in neck) to alleviate severe anxiety/panic in protracted WD? I read a story on Beyond Meds that mentioned relief but for only 2 days, so it doesn’t sound like a viable option. I know there has been limited success with soldiers experiencing PTSD. Thoughts?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Hi everyone I have stopped my AD without taping, from one day to another. I felt this whole AD-thing took over my live and I was also afraid that the drug would not work anymore and I can't new ones because I am not in treatment. So I stopped. I had of course no clue what the symptoms would be, how long it takes to get to a normal state again. The first two months were ok, I felt fine but since a month I am really struggling, heavy anxiety, depression attacks, spiralling (which I also learned on this forum). I am basically clueless, so I apologize for my questions. How long will it take till I am completely off the ADs? When do the symptoms stop? What brings ease? Should I go back on meds for a while and then start going off again but then by tampering? Thank you all for your advice and help.
  19. 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.
  20. LINK to scottly9999's Success Story 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??
  21. Nevertoolate

    Ways to cope with daily anxiety

    [A simple technique for headache, racing thoughts or anxiety] This is a very simple method I've found works for me. I hope it works for you too. Simply sit or lay down, close your eyes and massage 💆 your forehead firmly between the eyes in an anti clockwise direction. Continue as long as it takes.
  22. Back in 2012 I had an episode of major depression after a relationship break up. I was commended on duloxetine (Cymbalta) and quetiapine (Seroquel) for a couple of weeks to get sleep and appetite back. It all worked well and I had 5 very stable happy years on duloxetine 90mg. However as I have endometriosis we were due to undergo IVF to try to conceive so I very gradually weaned off duloxetine - got some brain zaps and other unpleasant symptoms but they only lasted a few days after each dose drop and i managed to get completely off. After a month or so I started to feel some depression symptoms returning (mostly lack of enthusiasm and tiredness) so in April 2018 just before IVF i went back on duloxetine but it was a COMPLETE DISASTER. Within days I was a quivering wreck, unable to sleep at all, extremely anxious (was never really anxious before), no appetite. After 10 days GP changed me onto mirtazapine (Remeron) which initially helped with sleep but then the anxiety and insomnia gradually. IVF proceeded and was successful so I am now pregnant and did due in March 2019 but mental health remains terrible Liz Transferred to care of psychiatrist and got put on quetiapine(Seroquel) too which unlike before was not successful in making me sleepy. Changed to sertraline - made me worse so stopped after 11 days - was hospitalised due to suicidal ideation. Quetiapine (Seroquel) pushed up higher and now at 500mg a day. Also give Ativan and Ambien but now tolerant and still can’t sleep. Started on Amitriptyline but anxiety did not improve so weaned off after 10 weeks. Still taking quetiapine, lorazepam (Ativan) and zolpidem (Ambien). Still nowhere near back to normal - anxious all the time and get a couple of hours of sleep max a night and wake with heart racing and feeling panicked. Terrified all these meds have not helped but I won’t be able to get off them desperate to try and get myself better before my baby is due but don’t know how :(?
  23. 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.
  24. 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!
  25. Hello. I first took venlafaxine (immediate release) in late 1998 at the lowest dose (75mg, i.e. 37.5mg x2 daily) I continued on that dose until July 2003 when (without consulting anyone, I'm now ashamed to say) I started to omit every other morning dose. I continued doing this until the beginning of 2006 (unfortunately I have lost the diary for that year so cannot be precise as to by how much and over exactly what period I further reduced the dose) when I began reducing the dose until by March or April 2006 I was not taking any venlafaxine. I do not recall any problematic symptoms, but during that time I did have access to diazepam, so perhaps that may have masked them. I had also started psychotherapy at the beginning of 2005. I felt fine for the rest of 2006, including coping with the sudden death of my father and the stress of dealing with his estate. Toward the end of January 2007, I started experiencing a return of the symptoms that led me to be given venlafaxine in the first place. In February 2007 I went back on to the original dose (75mg, i.e 37.5mg x2 daily). Within 6 weeks or so I felt fine. I continued on that dose until October 2017 (I wish I'd found this site a year ago!) when I reinstated the omission of every other morning dose ( I told my GP I was doing this). Everything seemed to go okay until the middle of May when I began to feel the returning symptoms of depression, anxiety and tension until at the end of June I just seemed to cross a line where nothing could reach me. I went to my GP and started taking 37.5mg x2 daily again, hoping for a similar effect as in 2007. After 8 weeks of no improvement the GP put me on 150mg of venlafaxine (75mg x2 daily). I stuck it for 4 weeks and went back to the original lower dose while I try to figure out what to do. As a result of searching the internet I discovered the phenomenon of “poop out” or tachyphylaxis, which made me think that perhaps I should give venlafaxine up altogether (and not replace it with sertraline,as my GP has suggested), which is how I ended up at this site. Certainly the venlafaxine has not restored me to feeling “normal” by the standards of 2007 to 2017. In fact I feel worse than I have ever felt. The worst symptom is a continuous tension in my neck/head/ upper spine that does not respond to anything (massage/valium/hitting a punchball/stretching) and feels like a mixture of physical and emotional tension. Anybody recognise that? I have discussed with my GP getting a liquid version of venlafaxine (available in the UK from this company: http://ipsspecials.com/) but he said he cannot prescribe it (even though I offered to pay for it myself) because it is unlicensed. Disappointing, to say the least. I told him about this site and the 10% taper method, and, while he didn't say it was rubbish, I could tell he thought it was unnecessarily cautious. The methods used here (making a liquid or weighing powder) do seem daunting. The dilemma I have at the moment is whether I ought to start tapering or whether to continue taking 75mg daily to see if any “improvement” happens before deciding to taper. I should also state that I have been taking diazepam 5mg (“as required”) for the last 20 years. My usage probably averaged out about 5mg daily for the last 10 years, but recently, because of the state I'm in it has increased. I have also had two acupuncture treatments recently, in the hope that it might make me feel a bit more like my old self, but perhaps acupuncture isn't appropriate at this stage.
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