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  1. Link to Hibari's Introduction topic: hibari-tapering-remeron-and-want-to-start-tapering-lamictal I first want to say that we do heal and life does get better. I am someone who was poly-drugged, on benzos twice, and now am 15 months off all medications. I made mistake like forgetting doses, getting misdiagnosed with Lyme, taking supplements for my adrenals and being treated badly by both doctors and holistic practitioners. I still made it off the medications. I feel well most of the time and optimistic about life. I couldn't feel that at all when I was on medication, (benzos in particular) and while I tapered, so I now know it was the medication. Thank you @Altostrata for starting this site and collecting all the information needed planning and tapering. Med History: Put on and off a variety of medications for short periods of time after having a nervous system breakdown from excessive caregiving and overworking. (You can see my signature). What helped me: One thing that helped me during benzo withdrawal was to look up the side effects, not withdrawal symptoms, of Clonzapam. I saw that depression was one of the main side effects of the medication and even though I felt deep despair at the higher doses, I keep reminding myself that the medication itself was causing my crushing depression. Support In addition to the support I received on this site and benzo buddies, the first two things on this list I wish I had known about earlier. 1. I worked with a Psych-K practitioner (psychological kinesiology). This practitioner had gotten off of a cocktail of medications using the Psych-K technique. I met her by chance, heard about the work and decided to try it. This method helps to balance the brain and body. With this support I was able to continue tapering my benzo 20% a month till the end. We worked remotely even pre-pandemic and I found it incredibly helpful. I continue with her to this day. If anyone wants more information on this, please PM me. 2. The second thing was that I worked with a benzo coach from Lucid Lane, a fee for service support site for any medication dependence. I spoke or should say, cried to my coach on a regular basis. I found it really helpful to talk with someone who understood my pain. Here is their website. https://lucidlane.com/ 3. I connected to some wonderful people on this site @freespirit @Shep @Santino @leahy @brassmonkey and others who I’m sure I’m forgetting. I found the people who I resonated with the most and they were a lifeline to me. Not everyone here will be the right fit for you nor have the right guidance for you and that’s okay. 4. Advice: Take what you like and leave the rest. This site has wonderful resources and offers very solid advice on tapering. And you also have to trust yourself. That might mean sometimes going against what works for others and that’s okay. For example, I couldn’t handle fish oil during my tapers, it had the opposite effect. I didn’t try and push it once I discovered that. Some supplements like L-Theanine worked during my Remeron/Mirtazapine taper but not during my benzo taper. Your body has a lot of wisdom and if it’s saying no, it’s no. 5. Mental: Two shifts occurred during this process. The first occurred when I finally realized that being stable enough to taper did not mean, feeling great. For me it meant, being functional enough to make the bed, wash the dishes and stare at the TV. Later it meant, I could go for a walk, meet a friend and then start working a bit. I got confused for a while thinking that if I were stable, I would feel more upbeat but that was not what stable was for me. It was all about being functional enough to keep going in my taper. I used a scale from 1-10. If I was in the 5, 6, 7 range, which was uncomfortable but tolerable, I kept going. If I went to an 8 or 9, I held till I was back to a 6 or 7. Tracking this way helped me move forward and also allowed me to see if there were any patterns of when my cuts hit. The second occurred, during my final taper. I realized that I whenever I wanted to change something in my taper-the method, the rate, the brand-that it was me trying desperately to have some control over the process. This hurt me especially at the end of my Lamictal taper. I am very compassionate about it now and saw it was my attempt to feel more in charge of something I felt helpless about. I had to really fight that urge during my final year of tapering and it worked to my benefit. 6. Belief: You don’t have to believe you will heal to heal. I had a lot of despair and fear during my tapers and especially during my final benzo taper. I thought I was actually a depressed person and was unable to meditate, exercise or do anything that seemed to work for others (until the Psych-K work) and I still kept healing. I know now that it was hard for me to believe that I would feel good again because of the temporary brain injury and withdrawal. Now I know for sure I am not a depressed person and look forward to life. 7. Food: I lost my appetite at times and could not eat much for different periods. For the most part I ate cleanly, no sugar, alcohol, or caffeine during a majority of my taper. I was not perfect and did eat candy at times when that was what was going to get me through the next hour. I now drink a cup of coffee a day and am fine. I do eat healthy now about 95% of the time. I did put on 30lbs during the time I was taking Remeron/Mirtazapine and when I went off, I lost 25lbs in about 2 months without dieting. It was all medication weight. Choose what works for you, whether it’s plant based or keto-you get to decide. 8. Supplements: The only supplements I really take are Magnesium Glycinate, which I took on and off during my tapers. I take between 50-150 mgs at night to help me relax into sleep. I do drink an Adrenal Cocktail, 1/2 cup natural OJ, 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt and 1/4 tsp of creme of tartar to support my adrenals. I drink it now as needed but when I was in withdrawal and too revved up to relax at night, I drank it 2x a day at 10AM and 2PM. In about 10 days the hyper feeling subsided and I started to sleep better, which at that time was about 3 hours a night with many nights of little sleep. There are versions of this cocktail that use other liquids if you can't handle OJ. You can Google those recipes. 9. Exercise. I walked my dog during withdrawal but during the last part of my Lamictal/benzo withdrawal I did not exercise much due to the agoraphobia and weakness. I also tried exercising more vigorously after I stepped off the benzo, but it would cause mini waves. I went back to exercising at about 13 months off and can now handle dance classes and fitness classes. I’m out of share but optimistic I will get physically fit again. 10. Spirituality/Faith: I do believe I was transformed for the better by going through this. I felt pretty spiritually abandoned especially during benzo withdrawal but my spiritual beliefs were not so solid to begin with. That has changed over the past year. I also had to learn a hard lesson about how I was living my life pre-medication. My habit of giving too much and doing too much wore me down. Now after meds, I have to continue to keep an eye on that tendency though it is so much better. 11. COVID: I think I may have gotten Covid early on but was never tested. I had a very bad sore throat in the fall of 2020. It was so bad I took an antibiotic (which I could handle) and it cleared it up. I have been vaccinated 3 times and the first time I was vaccinated I was off benzos for 3 months. Aside from the usual reaction to a vaccine, aches, chills, etc, I was fine. I am someone who never got flu shots and don’t plan on getting them in the future but I knew a handful of people who got very sick with COVID including two who now have long COVID so I was willing to take the vaccine. What Remains: My sleep has gotten better though it is not where it was at pre-medication. However, I have gone from very light sleep, waking every hour or so to sleeping 6-7 hours a night and waking up between 2 or 3 times. Dropping off is still not as easy but I’m not wired or hyper. I just think I’m still low on something the brain and body produces to ease me into sleep. I also occasionally get some temperature fluctuations/hot flashes but am okay with them. When I first stepped off of Remeron/Mirtazapine, the sweat poured off of me at night and I was so drenched I had to get up and change. I was post-menopausal so I knew it was the medication. That’s it for now. As with anything I've mentioned above, please do your research and learn to trust your body's responses. The capacity for our brains and bodies to heal is real. I'm wishing everyone on this journey continued strength to keep going. Remember how courageous you are to take on this challenge. You will heal and have the life you want for yourself again. Hibari
  2. Hello - I've never posted on a site like this. Please bear with me. I had my first depressive episode at age 20 (2007). Was prescribed fluoxetine 20mg. This helped for years. I had maybe up to a year here in there where I was not on it. But always started again. I had some anxiety at the beginning of 2014. Was prescribed xanax as needed to help me get through. I continued taking xanax occasionally (sometimes more than occasionally) after a terminal diagnosis and death of a parent. In 2018 fluoxetine was increased to 30mg. i had a panic "episode" for the first time in July of 2019. It was awful. I saw a psychiatrist for the first time and they upped my fluoxetine to 60mg and started me on round the clock clonazepam - finally capping at 4.5-6mg a day. He wanted me on more, but I was starting to fall asleep at the wheel. I was also to take xanax for "break through" anxiety. I tapered down a little bit before the pandemic started. But then stopped all tapering for a while. April 2021 I took what was supposed to be a "last dose" after doing the whole cutting my doses by .25-.5mg every couple weeks or so. I wasn't really on a schedule. After that "last" dose I could not sleep. My legs were SUPER restless. It was awful. I was told it was not related to benzos. I trusted this. I was told it might even be because of the fluoxetine, despite never having that symptom before in over a decade. So, I took a benzo to sleep. I did this off and on till the end of July, 2021. Then I got a new psychiatrist (the other one retired) they prescribed my gabapentin for the restless legs. It helped. I slept without the benzos. However, I would still take them on occasion for anxiety, but less and less. Cut to end of November 2021, sudden loud tinnitus that amped up my anxiety so high. I was in a panic. I was put back on daily benzo use. I was also started on during the day gabapentin doses as well as propranolol. I was then told I should try ketamine to help with my anxiety. You can't be on benzos and do ketamine, so I tapered off starting in January. I did .25mg-.5mg every cut... I was not on a specific schedule. MY LAST DOSE OF BENZOS WAS MARCH 28TH, 2022. Two days later I started 5 ketamine treatments over the course of 3 wks. It was awful. I do not know if ketamine just wasn't for me, or if it was benzo related. I had severe anxiety and panic, and due to the ketamine, could not take benzos for relief. maybe that was a blessing, because I definitely would have otherwise. After the ketamine, I stopped propranolol. I was tapered off prozac and started on 7.5mg mirtazapine. Shortly after starting the mirtazapine I stopped the gabapentin. I stayed on the mirtazapine for 6-8 wks. I had weird dreams and it made my head and eyes feel pretty awful. So I was switched to sertraline. I recently went up to 75mg and plan to go to 100mg starting on August 8th. I don't know if starting another SSRI was the right thing or not... but, honestly, I'm desperate and have even thought about just asking for benzos again. 130 days post benzos and all these other med changes, I feel really awful. I had about two weeks in May where I felt pretty good, but crashed quickly. I find I cannot stop crying. Anxiety is always there. I suppose that my body has been on benzos so long it doesn't know how to manage the anxiety on it's own. Doing anything feels like climbing a large mountain (like even unloading the dishwasher). I wake up almost every day between 3 and 5 and then can't go back to sleep. Napping is next to impossible unless I just get very lucky. Sleep is the only relief. Tinnitus is still there. I sleep with a headband on that has headphones in it that I can play nature sounds on so I can sleep. Sleep is the only relief. Mornings are the hardest anxiety wise. Evenings I feel a little more grounded, which makes me not want to go to bed because I know I will have to wake up to the anxiety again. Like if I could just stay awake, then it wouldn't come. And then I wake up and cannot wait for night to come so I can sleep again. My hope is in the idea that if I just keep waking up and going to sleep, eventually, life with end. I just have to keep doing it. My faith and prayer helps get me through to the evening. I don't know what I would do without it. For a couple months there, getting off meds and getting my body healthy was highly motivated by wanting to be a mom. However, my husband recently let me know that he does not want to be a parent ... and my mental "illness" plays a large role in the reason for this. I'm crushed. I honestly often feel like there is now no reason to try and be off all of these meds anymore. Whats the point? I feel better on the benzos. But my husband also hates how much I was just "on the couch like an addict passed out." Which, is probably true. The benzos knocked me out. But it was relieving. He says he is empty and has nothing left to give. I feel so awful about it all. I think he might leave me. I wouldn't blame him. At this point, I feel crazy. I'm told I am not hearing things that people say correctly. I really thought I was getting better, but then my family was talking about having me go inpatient somewhere. None of them really think this is benzo related at this point - my doctor definitely does not. I don't know what to think. I'm going to take leave from work for a few months. But don't know what I will do with myself. But I'm ironically, a mental health therapist, and just can't do it right now. I didn't know that benzos could be addictive. Or I did, but I thought if they were taken outside of how they were prescribed. I always took them as prescribed so thought I was fine. I was never told about withdrawal symptoms expect to let the doctor know if "my anxiety increased." I had no idea. I feel so dumb. I didn't even look anything up on the internet. Positives (limited at this point): I no longer get tingling sensations in my face and feet. Hot flashes seem to be gone. Sorry this is so long. Any thoughts or advice are appreciated. Is this normal? Will I get a window soon? Thank you
  3. ADMIN NOTE If you have any recommendations for doctors, therapists, or clinics knowledgeable about tapering or withdrawal syndrome, please add a post to this topic. Here are other sources for doctors who might be helpful regarding tapering or withdrawal syndrome: Doctors who will diagnose drug withdrawal See Benzo-wise doctors who will assist in benzodiazepine tapering for withdrawal from benzodiazepines. (This list may contain some entries that are out of date, but has been added to recently. These doctors may also grasp tapering of other drugs.) MadinAmerica.com has a list of practitioners who would withdrawal, mostly therapists but some doctors http://www.madinamerica.com/service-directory/ Safe Harbor's list. Look for MDs and DOs, who can prescribe. The physicians, who take an integrative approach, have volunteered their contact information and generally answer the question "Help take patients off of psychiatric drugs?" with "Yes." This list is a little difficult to use, you may need to look at it page by page. The doctors below have shown concern and knowledge for slow tapering off antidepressants and indicated willingness to work with patients on treatment plans including non-drug treatments. Before making an appointment, follow the links next to a doctor's name for more detail and use search to see comments about the doctor elsewhere on the site. Unfortunately, many doctors have reservations about the drugs but think they know more about tapering than they actually do. If you consult any of these providers, please let us know your experience. If you do not wish to take any other psychiatric medications after quitting, they should respect your wishes. If you find they do not, please let us know and we will remove them from this list. Click on their links to see more about these doctors: PHYSICIANS UNITED STATES US East Coast Mark Lichtenstein, MD, Hardwick, VT Alice H. Silverman, MD, Montpelier, VT Mark D. Green, MD, Medford, MA Bill (Wm D) Slaughter MD, Cambridge, MA Judy Tsafrir, MD, Newton Centre, MA Harold R. Jordan, MD, Northampton, MA Visions Medical, Wellesley and Dedham, MA Bruce I. Goderez, MD Hadley, MA Windhorse Integrative Mental Health (inpatient), Northampton, MA and San Luis Obispo, CA Holly Major, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, QTTT, Griffin Faculty Practice, Integrative Medicine Center, Derby, CT Kelly Brogan, MD, New York, NY Samoon Ahmad, MD New York, NY Ernest Shaw, MD, Kingston, NY Laura Kelly, PhD, RN, APN-C, Eatontown and Asbury Park, NJ Denis Moonan, MD, Providence, RI 02911 (closing practice) Michelle Barwell, MD, Pittsburgh, PA Joe Tarantolo, MD, Washington, DC (removed from list) Julia Frank, MD, Washington, DC David Pickar, MD, Cabin John, MD (removed from list) Eric Taswell, MD, Washington, DC Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, Washington, DC William Ronald Gaertner, MD, Richmond, VA US Southeast David Allen, MD, Bartlett, Tennessee (retired) Daniel Johnson, MD, Asheville, North Carolina (inpatient only) David D. Harwood, MD, Montgomery, Alabama Noel T. Rivers-Bulkeley, MD, Atlanta, Georgia (deceased) Charles Whitfield, MD, Atlanta, Georgia (deceased) Kathleen Carroll, MD, Brandon, Florida US Central Toby Hazan, MD, Farmington Hills, MI Elizabeth McMasters, MD McHenry, IL Andrew Pundy, MD, Park Ridge, IL David Bransford, MD, Grand Rapids, MN (Itasca Psychiatric Services) Henry Emmons, MD, Minneapolis, MN (will do Skype and phone sessions) Marie Casey Olseth, MD, St Louis Park, MN George P. Dawson, MD, Saint Paul, MN Varsha Rathod, M.D. Saint Louis, MO Mark Foster, DO, Greenwood Village, Colorado (practice to open in 2013) Tammas F. Kelly, MD, Fort Collins, CO Scott Shannon, MD, Fort Collins, CO Libby (Elizabeth) Stuyt, MD Pueblo, CO Florian Birkmayer, MD, Albuquerque, New Mexico US West Coast Maria Yang, MD, Seattle, WA (relocating, not currently taking patients) Prachi Garodia, MD, Medford, OR James R. Phelps, MD, Corvallis, OR Malika Burman, MD, Portland, Oregon Paul Conti, MD, Portland, Oregon Paul Abramson, MD, San Francisco, CA Ira Steinman, MD, San Francisco, CA (antipsychotics only) Steven Balt, MD, Walnut Creek and San Rafael, CA Eleanor Hynote, MD, Napa, CA (deceased) Peter V. Madill, MD, Sebastopol, CA Elizabeth Bowler MD, Davis, CA Christina Lasich, MD, Grass Valley, CA Kent E Rogerson, MD, Stockton, CA BENZOS ONLY Eric Noble, MD, Los Angeles Allen T. Pack, MD, Los Angeles, CA Linda D Moghtader, MD, Beverly Hills, CA Brett D Shurman, MD, Los Angeles, CA David Rekar, MD, Los Angeles, CA Stuart Shipko, MD Pasadena, CA Joe Gallagher, MD, Freedom, CA (see Pajaro Sunrise Center) Debra London MD, Ojai, CA Windhorse Integrative Mental Health (inpatient), Northampton, MA and San Luis Obispo, CA CANADA Javeed Sukhera, MD, London, Ontario IRELAND Terry Lynch, MD, Limerick, Ireland (not accepting new patients) Ivor Browne, MD, Dublin, Ireland Pat Bracken, MD, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland John Lalor, MD, South Kildare, Ireland UNITED KINGDOM Robert Lefever, MA, MD, B Chir., South Kensington, London (addiction focus) Bob Johnson, MD, London (not accepting patients) Sami Timimi, MD, Lincolnshire Peter Haddad, MD, Greater Manchester Duncan Double, MD, Suffolk and Norwich David Healy, MD, North Wales Nagore Benito, MD, London AUSTRALIA Rob Purssey, MD, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (will Skype in Brisbane) - note: see this post Yolande Lucire, MD, New South Wales, Australia Dr. Shaun Tampiyappa with Conduit Health in Melbourne Australia NEW ZEALAND Tony Coates, MD, Auckland FINLAND Jeremy Wallace, MD, Vantaa, Finland Hasse Karlsson, MD,Turku, Finland DENMARK Lisbeth Kortegaard, MD, Hoejbjerg, Denmark NETHERLANDS See the 22 psychiatrists listed at the end of http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5195-tapering-strips-to-be-produced-for-paroxetine-and-venlafaxine/?p=66738 INPATIENT (RESIDENTIAL) FACILITIES CooperRiis Center, North Carolina Pajaro Valley Sunrise Center, Watsonville, CA (in fundraising stage) PSYCHOTHERAPY John Breeding, PhD, Austin, TX Mary Jean Paris, PhD, San Francisco, CA Barbara Croner, MFT, San Francisco, CA Jon Keyes, LPC, NCC, Portland, OR (will refer to Amenda Clinic for tapering, prescribing, nutrition etc.) Will Hall, PhD, Portland, OR Eric Buck, Holistic Therapy Onlilne, Sacramento and Davis, CA National Empowerment Center (Dr. Daniel B. Fisher's organization) guide to consumer-run organizations http://www.power2u.org/consumerrun-statewide.html Aku Kopakkala, psychologist, Finland If you consult any of these providers, please let us know your experience. Midwestern Center for Anxiety and Depression -- Has anyone tried this program? I keep reading good things about it, but I'm sure its biased sources. I'm curious if anyone has tried it
  4. Hi there, I'm a new one here. Luckily, I've found this website because we don't have any single website which helps people who want to stop taking antidepressants in my country. My name is Anastasia, I'm 32. I work as a teacher at school. I'm married and have a lovely cat. I take antidepressants for 11 years. I've always been a shy person with lack of confidence. Since my childhood I've suffered from intrusive thoughts just about any imaginable staff. The first time I went to the psychiatrist was because of intrusive thoughts about my relationship. And my horror story began. I had various reasons for my constant painful thoughts. I had permament nausea, irritable bowel, which didn't let me leave my house, a sense of guilt, depressive thoughts, anxiety. constant tears and just liying at home and staring at one point - not all at once, of course. These were the reasons for many many visits to the doctor. Each time antidepressants helped a lot and I was back to life again. Can't say I was always in a good mood, but, nevertheless, I could live. I really don't remember the years and dosage of medicines, but in different periods I took amitriptilin, venlafaxine, zoloft, duloxetine, fluoxetine, phenazipame, atarax. One day pills stopped helping me. I changed three doctors hoping someone'll help me. The first one finally said that my brain had become tolerant to drugs and I had to quit. I tried so many times and always my thoughts came back and tortured me. The second doc said I had endogenous depression and it's ok to take antidepresants just for the whole life. She also said that if one medicine didn't help, so let's try another. And we tried and changed. My thoughts and depression didn't go away, but I felt not well, not bad. The third doc finally said that my diagnose was anxiery disorder and eating disorder. Insisted on treating my depression to the end and then quit. My latest medicine was venlafaxine 75 mg. But I decided to come to my first doctor and tried to withdraw like 37, 5 - one week, 18,75 - two weeks. Now it's three weeks I'm off. And it's just a hell. My thoughts (now about my weight and shape) have become more painful than they were on medicines. I find it hard to go outside because I feel really uncomfortable in all my clothes. It seems they are too tight. I'm depressed, angry and nervous. I can't do anything and distract myself. Even in my pyjamas I feel fat and uncomfortable. The story of my eating disorder: when I got married, my husband and I gained some weight. Then we started keeping to a diet. We lost weight and I felt just great for some time. Then it wasn't enough and I started to eat 1000 calories a day. But still I had a fat belly and wasn't satisfied with my weight and the way I looked. I gave up dieting and gained half the weight I had lost previously. Now I'm obsessed with my weight and it's just a nightmare. I think about it 24/7 but can't stop eating. Food is the only thing that gives me pleasure. I tried Gestalt therapy and CBT a bit, but I'm convinced that these sessions just do nothing. I understand everything, nod to the psychologist but don't believe it can help. I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life. The only wish I have now is to stop this suffering, by means of drugs or not, I don't know. I 'm studying this website and try to understand all the mechanisms. I'm not sure I'll manage to tolerate this for many years, it's been only three weeks but I'm completely exhausted. The reason why I wanted to quit was to have a baby, but it's practically impossible to think about pregnancy and birth now because of my condition. Seeking for help and support. Thank you in advance. PS: I was really frightened to start my topic here because of the country where I live, because of my nationality. But I want you to know that I just can't stand all the hell that is going on right now in the world. Of course, it adds a lot to my anxiety and depression.
  5. Long story short, I have anxiety and panic disorder. My doctor stopped my Prozac CT in April 2022 after 14 years stable on antidepressants. Said would be no issue due to the long half-life. Started getting physical symptoms and severe depression 6 weeks later, so he started Effexor 75mg cause it worked in the past. Since the have had days I feel okayish but the past week has been hospital visits due to SI and severe panic. They just keep giving me benzos but it’s making me worse. I had clonaz once and fainted and still don’t feel right. They want me to wean my Effexor onto Zoloft. What do I do? I can’t go on much longer like this…
  6. Hi.. My story is, “briefly“, that I have within the past 3 years, been on... so. Much. Crap. And I am currently in withdrawal torture from hell and have been for years now. In the beginning of 2019, I had a very bad stress / anxiety reaction, and I was quickly put on medication. Benzodiazepines for two months along with starting Zoloft. Quit Benzos cold turkey (doctor’s orders) and then Zoloft was upped to 125 mg (in hindsight I am pretty sure it was because I reacted strongly to Benzo quitting). I felt completely horrible on Zoloft and tapered off over the course of 2.5 months (doctor’s orders). Then I was in complete hell and couldn’t sleep so after being “clean” for one month, I was put on 7.5 mg. Mirtazapine. I could FINALLY sleep and it did seem to help my anxiety a bit? I still had a lot of strange horrendous symptoms though but I don’t know if that was from Mirtazapine or SSRI withdrawal ...? Can a dosis of 7.5 mg. Mirtazapine cancel out severe SSRI withdrawal? Anyway - So in 2020 I was on Mirtazapine up and down weekly between 7.5 and smaller doses (doctor said I could just adjust from day to day). I ended up just completely wrecked and just lied in bed in a haze.. so they took me off Mirtazapine and started me on 60 mg. Duloxetine plus Promethazine for sleep. Total haze still, awful.. So off it again after 7 months - tapered from 60 mg. Duloxetine to 0 over 4 weeks. Then felt .... HORRIBLE (!!!) and started self medicating with Benzodiazepines while I waited for withdrawal to end for two months- until my doctor found out and said stop that. Then I was put on Pregabalin and Escitalopram 10 mg. from March 2021 until I wanted to quit (because I was a complete foggy hazy wreck on that as well). Stopped Pregabalin in May and Escitalopram in July (tapered from 10 mg. to 0 over 4 weeks). In September I tried to take a tiny dose of Escitalopram to ease the horrendous withdrawal symptoms .. but that didn’t work and I felt worse. So I just thought I’d push through this indescribable nightmare... in December however I took 1/2 pill of Benzodiazepine twice because it was so unbearable. So.. now it is 9 months since I stopped Escitalopram (/6 months since I tried a small dose for a week) and 4 months since Benzodiazepines.. I can’t describe how much of a hell it has been AND STILL IS 😔 I have constantly tried to tell myself that it WILL and MUST get better soon. And while some symptoms have gotten better, I have almost no life by now. I hardly see anyone because I just can’t due to symptoms, I hardly exercise or leave my apartment. Some days, like today, it is almost constant torture. A week ago I tried Melatonin (4.5 mg. over two days) and then I’ve tried some Valerian root pills.. somehow it’s gotten worse now. So.......... bottom line: I’m thinking about starting Mirtazapine just to ease the withdrawal symptoms and to make sure I sleep better. Right now no matter how much I sleep, I am never rested and feel like I haven’t slept for days everyday. But I am BEYOND scared that it will make everything worse, and then I have yet another drug to get free from. So yeah.. does anyone know if Mirtazapine can help SSRI withdrawal symptoms? I honestly don’t know what to do. Thanks and sorry about the long message. I feel pretty desperate. 😔 Best Louise
  7. Hello I always wanted to return to the site and thank all that helped me in the dark hours and also the forum owner and originator for the tireless work that has helped so many people Heres my thread when I first asked for help http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6865-andy-hello-tapering-from-zyprexa/ I wont go into how I finally quit the drug because it wasnt the normal 10% approach although I tried 5 times and failed miserably.I found a good understanding doctor who helped me reduce and more than anything listened to me without prejudice.This helped enormously,I finally jumped off at 1.25mg and to be honest it wasnt to bad,by far the worst reduction was going just under 2.5mg,I had severe migraines ,nausea,heart palpitations,sickness,depression,mania,mood swings and relentless insomnia.The insomnia was by far the worst symptom as it made me anxious and very irritable ,all this while trying to be a good father and holding down a very stressful and demanding job.Of all the drugs I was put on Zyprexa was the hardest to quit,it was hell and back but it can be done I have recently started my Taekwondo training again that I practiced for over 15 years but couldnt while I was on this terrible drug,I now feel calmer and sleep well.I put on over 3 stone while on zyprexa even though I ate a well balanced diet,I felt lethargic and had no interest in life,that has all changed and the weight is coming off steadily. Excercise has been the most helpful tonic for me and even when I had had zero sleep I went to my class and worked out.It slowly but steadily improved my sleep and made me feel confident again that I could get over all of this,when you start to see improvements you start to see light at the end of the tunnel Things are heading in the right direction and my outlook on life is positive once again.I feel good Once again thankyou for all your help and for people just starting the journey dont ever give in it can be done,god bless you all Andy
  8. I have been reading this forum for a long time, but I only now decided to post, because my story is quite complicated and it stresses me out just to write about it. I started my first AD amitriptilin when I was 18 years old. Now I’m 44. It was prescribed for OCD and insomnia. I didn’t feel it helped much so I stopped it after a few months, I don’t remember exactly. I had no WD, at least I don’t remember. My OCD was manageable. After 3 years (not sure) I was having really stressful life and my insomnia and OCD became unbearable, so I went to a GP and he prescribed me Paxil. It worked wonderfully, my insomnia was gone and OCD almost. The problems began when I tried to stop it. I didn’t know anything about 10% reduction in tappering, so every time I tried to quit CT or fast tappering it was a disaster. Once I couldn’t sleep (like 0 sleep, although I know about micro sleep) for 9 days, and that was after I reinstated. After that I went to a psychiatrist and lamented about sexual problems that I have ( low libido, no orgasm for years) and she prescribed me another AD, and then another one and another...without success for months. Things calmed down only when she put me back on Paxil. So I excepted my sexual problems and lived my life quite successfully. In 2016 I thought I was ready to quit Paxil again because I wanted to get rid of that poison. And I ended up suicidal. I actually did it, but was saved. After that I run off Paxil, since I was in the foreign country and I started taking Prozac, but I was in a really bad shape and had really complicated life so I became suicidal again. I decided to go back home and directly to the psychiatric ward. There they put me on sertaline high dose and Mirtazapine 45 mg. I started to feel amazing so my doctor said I probably don’t need Sertaline any more so he almost CT me. For about 3 months things were great, almost too great. I could work, I could sleep, I could party. I was drinking alcohol and smoking weed. After that all hell broke loose. I started to have my disturbing OCD thoughts again and for some days I started to sleep too much and after I couldn’t sleep. I thought I need SSRI ( I was still on Mirtazapine ) because of my chemical imbalance and I reinstated Sertaline, but it didn’t help. I went back to psychiatric ward again and there they have thrown at me some antipsychotic and benzodiazepines. Nothing helped, things got just worse and worse. I experienced DP, DR, brain fog, I couldn’t think logically and clear. My OCD went out off control. I was severely depressed and anxious. I became suicidal again. Doctors told me they are unable to help me, so they send me home. Since then I tried to reinstate Paxil again, but it didn’t help. So I thought my only hope is to get off all the medication. It has been 9 months since my fast tapper of Paxil again. I also tapered Mirtazapine from 45mg to 15mg. I didn’t take benzodiazepines for 3 months now. I understand that this was all too fast, but since I didn’t know any better and was already a mess, I thought that was the best solution for me. So my current situation is OCD uncontrollable, 24/7 high anxiety, depression, nightmares, insomnia (most of the night I get 6 to 7 hours of broken sleep I think of Mirtazapin knocking me out) I don’t have much of DP/DR anymore, my mental functions have recovered to some degree. I’m not able to work since April 2019. I’m trying really hard to get my life back, but my CNS is for sure all over the place. The thing that bothers me the most is this constant crippling anxiety. It starts when I wake up and stays with me all day. I’m not able to relax. I had some windows. Some came just for an hour, the first and the last long one was in November 2020. Since then I’m in a tsunami. I know there is not much you can do for me. I have read a lot of staff here on this and on other forums. I’m trying my best to walk every day, to eat healthy, to distract myself (the most difficult part, since I am anxious all the time and my brain is in fight mode all the time) I go to the shop when I’m able to. I can’t socialise much because of my constant state of fear. I’m very grateful for this forum and success stories has encouraged me a lot. I hold my taper on Mirtazapine for 6 months now, because I can’t imagine what would happened if I loose my sleep and I also understand that my CNS has been through a lot. So yeah I fight to survive every day, waiting to get a window now and than and that’s my life. I’m very lucky to have a supportive partner and mom. I can tell them all my disturbing thoughts and they provide a needed comfort. I would appreciate any positive comment and suggestions. Thank you.
  9. I came off of Paxil (last does was Oct. 2020). I was on it for 27 years and no psychiatrist ever thought to take me off of it. They just kept increasing the dose each time a major trauma happened in my life. I was ignorant and had no idea what this drug was doing the my mind and nervous system. I was on 40 Mg when I started to tritrate. The psychiatrist I was then seeing, said to cut the pills in half every two weeks and I would have no problem. The nightmare started around 7.5 mg. After I finished the last does, I stopped sleeping. I go for up to 11 nights (so far) without sleeping. I have been in a psych hospital 5 times where I was made to take more drugs or they wouldn't let me out. I have never been in a psych hospital before this. Those other drugs did not work (Remeron, Elavil, Olanzapine, Tradazaone, Benedryl, Melatonin, Seroquel, etc). They made me extremely anxious. After Paxil all drugs seem to have the opposite effect. I have seem numerous uncaring dismissive psychiatrists over the last 10 months. I was put on every benzo and they did not work. I took Xanax in the last 3 months and unintentionally od'd on it. I could not sleep and kept taking more. It made me so anxious and turned me into an emotional freak. I had to go into detox to get off of it. But, it was only 8 days, and they gave me phenobarbital which is still in my system. So many drugs in 10 months. Today, I have regressed into a child. I have lost my motivation for life. I isolate and am agoraphobic now. I am embarrassed. My friends all abandoned me which makes sense since I am a wreck and they have their own lives. I have severe akathesia. My body vibrates, and then I sweat, I take to myself, very suicidal. I don't want to take any more drugs, but not sure how long I can take this torture. I am miserable each minute of each day and so sleep deprived. I have lost all joy and envious of all people. I live in a pity party and very self obsessed. All I think about is me and my misery. How could this have happened, and yet it did. And now everything I have tried can not get me back to stability. I feel hopeless and helpless. Therapists say I am too unstable (which I am), psychiatrists say they are at a loss and don't know how to help or they keep prescribing...and they all have a differing opinions (not one is on the same page and I have seen 8 psychiatrists in 10 months). I am writing this, just to vent. It stopped me from crying and panicking for 10 minutes. I need support. I need people who understand the nightmare and torture I am experiencing. I live in a world of 100% negativity. Any advice would be appreciated.
  10. Hello, new family. I’m a 39 year old man, 14 months off benzos. I am not doing well; withdrawal continues. But I want to start coming off of this other crap that I’m sure is worsening my situation too. I trust what I’ve been told about you much more than I trust my psych alone about how to do this. BENZO/WITHDRAWAL HISTORY: I was on Klonopin about four years. In an voluntary inpatient setting I was taken from 3mg to .5mg in one week. This gave me a manic episode that I was then blamed for. (“You must not have been taking your bipolar meds.”) I was reinstated on equivalent Ativan and then tapered more reasonably although still too fast; ultimately found the Ashton Manual and tapered according to that for my final 1mg. 14 months out I’m still in hell; in fact, while I could work even in my first month, I haven’t been able to since Thanksgiving. I had a gravely serious setback last summer when I moved and overexerted myself physically and I think my system is still recovering. I had another bad setback in January when I was put on an antibiotic (for nothing.) Current physical symptoms include involuntary jaw movement / facial contortions that are incredibly distressing. Tinnitus. Tremor. GI distress. Involuntary eye movement. Bizarre hard to describe sensations in head and body. Heart palpitations. Hives. I’ve been sick with multiple bugs basically the entire fall and winter. This is the short list. Psych symptoms: intense depersonalization. Strange vision issue; I don’t think it’s quite derealization but a hyper-awareness of depth perception. It feels like I’m inside a Facebook 3D Photo, or that things are HD instead of SD. Racist thoughts. Frequent suicidal ideation. The worst anxiety of my life, far worse than anything the Klonopin was meant to medicate. CURRENT GOALS / REQUEST FOR HELP: I want off of everything now. I no longer believe in any of these drugs and believe psychiatry has done far more harm to me than help. I need to be careful as my system is so messed up. But I have come to suspect some significant part of what I’ve been calling benzo withdrawal 14 months after jumping must be due to gabapentin and lithium. Lithium - I had a manic episode in 2015; no history of mania or bipolar prior. I was told I was bipolar and had to take lithium the rest of my life. (I was also on Seroquel for a while but have been off for a couple of years.) This diagnosis is in question, given that bipolar emerges in the teens, I don’t have alternating periods of mania and extreme depression, etc. Whatever the case, my psych has given me clearance to taper down and I’m just trying to come up with the best plan of attack. He had said we could go down by 150 monthly and see. Gabapentin - I had been on 1200mg/daily since fall 2018 to help while I was tapering the benzo. I tapered very successfully (100mg/week) down to 900 in January but then held when things got bad with my antibiotic setback. My psych also said I should stay on the gabapentin, actually, as it could help with the lithium taper (is that true?) I dream of being off all psych meds by my 40th birthday in six months, but I of course don’t want to rush. Those are what I’m most concerned about, but I’m also on primidone 50mg for tremor that I’d like to drop (not sure if that drug comes up here or if it even needs to be tapered.) I do take 150-200mg trazodone for sleep which seems pretty non-negotiable right now though I also want to drop that eventually. (I also take allopurinol but that’s another story.) I’d appreciate any thoughts as to the wisest plan of action for ridding myself of gabapentin and lithium against a backdrop of ongoing benzo withdrawal. Thank you so, so much.
  11. First, excuse me for my English, I speak just French. I’m new on this group and would share my story. My story with shrink medications: It’s the most important rules, the golden rules if you want quit all this crap with minimal damage: stay on the original molecule and taper SLOWLY. I’m destroyed now because I have follow my Dr in this process: 1. Ten years on Tramadol and two years on Klonopin due to neurologic pain after a failed surgery. 2. Almost CT withdrawal of the two molecules , at this time I don’t know a clue about Ashton Manual and withdrawal, I trust my doc 3. Results: depression, anxiety, seizures, ...DR ad Olanzapine and Cymbalta (first time in my life that I take antipsychotic and AD) 4. Results: suicidal ideation, I inform my doc, he up the dosage of the AD! 5. Result: Suicide attempt two weeks later, cardiac and respiratory arrest , 2 weeks in intensive care at hospital 6. They give me Effexor, Pregabalin high dose (Lyrica ), Fentanyl, massive dose of benzos 7.Result: serotoninergic symptômes, they stop CT the fentanyl and Tramadol but ad Trazodone and sleeping pills 8. Results: psychosis, seizures, panic attacks, bowel obstruction and direct to ER! 9.Result: they cut CT the Effexor, Pregabalin, Trazodone and start with anSSRI (fluvoxamine), sleeping pills, Propranolol for tremors and heart rate, and start to cut the benzos but at a rythm of 25% each week. 10. Result: panic attacks, sweating, tremors, insomnia, suicidal tough, akhitisia, enable to eat (lost 30kg in 6 months), depersonalization, weak as hell! 11. Result: 10 weeks in detox clinic...they continue to cut the benzos but 50% each week!!! I talk with the Addicto in charge about Ashton and Breggin, about FB group... Never hearing this!!! 12. Result: back to home with SSRI but nothing else, BUT PAWS off hell: insomnia, dizziness, POTS, PSSD, PTSD, DEPRESSION, CNS AND GI SYSTEM DESTROYED, Anhedonia,SEIZURES, PANIC ATTACKS, ... 13. Result: my Dr stop the SSRI CT and reinstate pregabalin and another SSRI. 14.Result: more anxiety and insomnia. Dr CT the pregabalin: hell 15.Result, I change of Dr and search for a treatment with plant medicine Iboga, change my diet due to benzos belly and all damages due to AD and tapering the SSRI. 16. Go in a clinic for treatment with plant medicine Iboga / Ibogaine. Overnight no more PAWS, insomnia, pain, anxiety, ... was a life saver! Iboga reset all neurotransmitters, like if I was a baby born. 17. Return to home with no PAWS, no medication , but weak, tired and depression (My mistake is that I tapering to fast the Last SSRI, at this time I just want do die but my instinct say to me to microdosing with plant medecine Iboga or psilocybin...but was to down to follow my instinct) 18. Back to the shrink who give me SSRI ( insomnia, anxiety returns, give me Mirtazapine, but adverse effects, ad pregabalin and CT after 3 months, back on benzos too and ad Quétiapine into the cocktail...) I have two lovely kids and a wonderful wife, but I have lost everything: my job, my health, my family... because I’m just able too stay on the couch with horrible symptoms, kindling effect, and pain all day long, sometimes I can eat but the GI system is so painful and destroyed that I can’t assimile nutrients correctly. When I can sleep 2-3 hours it’s a very good night for me, but usually with a lot of nightmares and sweating... Today I have received by mail the decision of health services of my country: I’m considered as 100% invalid. IN CONCLUSION: FOR THE PEOPLE WHO WANT STOP SHRINK DRUGS: 1. SLOW TAPERING DON’T GO CT 2. STAY ONLY ON YOUR ORIGINAL MOLECULE 3. DON’T STOP MULTIPLE MOLECULE IN SAME TIME 4. DON’T FOLLOW IN ANY CASE THE DR ADVISE ABOUT TAPERING OR DIAGNOSIS DURING WITHDRAWAL 5.DON’T AD NEW DRUGS IN THE COURSE, NEVER! ONLY TIME, HEALTHY DIET, EXERCISE, SOME VITAMINS ARE THE KEY 6.GO **** YOURSELF ALL BIG PHARMA AND DOCTORS WHO WORK FOR THIS. MY SON, MY DAUGHTERS AND MY WIFE HAVE NOW A VEGETABLE IN PLACE OF A FATHER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH MOTHER****ERS! HOPE THERE IS A DIVINE JUSTICE AFTER... Good luck for everyone 🤞🤞🤞hope you will be better than me. ❤️❤️❤️
  12. https://www.facebook.com/innercompassinitiative/?hc_ref=ARRdIIjHYzgACJg-XE4ALjq7mDuGx2nKOqs1uEG3SG5KNfs-cTophiNVJCkdIAwSLro
  13. So this whole disaster started when I was in high school. I had been recently diagnosed with ADD, and was prescribed Retalin (a form of Adderall [for you Americans], and a sh*tty one at that). Before long I started having tachycardia, lack of appetite , I was jumpy and irritated and and was not fun at all. Now, the same neurologist, (as I believe he was) who prescribed me the drug, didn't not prepare me for all of this; the bastard didn't even scheduled a follow-up appointment or something, and didn't inform that there are other drugs at this family of drugs and if I develop any of the symptoms above to an unbearable extent I should just stop and switch to another drug. But as behooves an unprofessional and cynical bastard, he didn't bother. And so, in the midst of a Math test, junior high, I had my first panic attack🤙🤙 I, of course didn't have clue of what happened to me, I seriously thought I was going to faint and thought it was just a one time thing. But of course, life had more devious plans for me than that--next test I had another one. My mother, who suffers as well, understood what was unfolding immediately, but was reluctant to say and diagnose in fear of scaring me or just misdiagnosing. I decided to to get off Retalin, (I have been taking it for almost a month), but what a surprised--the panic attacks persisted. Not only that it persisted, it expanded--it now harried me in class and other places. Then, I was told, diagnosed and referred to specialist. I started CBT with an amazing young therapist and prescribed Citolpram with the starting safe-net of some Benzos. It worked wonders! But I was now another person, much more confident, too much confident to the point of insolent and aloof even. Nothing could distress me. Panic attacks were rare, and when they visited I have managed to reduce and level them out. I finished high school, and decided to fly to Berlin before my induction to the army, (a mandatory 3 years of service in Israel). And then, it's when I remember (it may have started before), that I started sleeping 3 hours a day every early afternoon. Plus waking up was a real pain in the ass. But nontheless, I thought it was normal, that I could stop sleeping everytime I command myself to it, and that everybody's morning looked like that. It took me 2 and a half years to realize that maybe I was wrong. Now the real whirlpool of disasters began. My psychiatrist, a new one, my second one, suggested that I try Milnacipran, I don't remember her thinking about it too much, her decision was very arbitrary. No gradual weaning off the Citolpram, just "take straight away after the old one". I was beset with hellish migraines! I then tried Prozac, Cypralex and fluvoxil, every one for 3 months or so. They all were the same as the other--the fatigue persisted, and they didn't cover the anxiety to a satisfying extent. The fatigue was worsening and I decided that first time in 5 years to wean off them. I stopped Flufoxil CT, of course I didn't know what it mean "Cold Turkey" at that time, because the new Psychiatrist I was seeing didn't believe it exists. The fatigue did go away, which was reassuring, but I was mentally unstable, and suffered from debilitating acute anxiety at night before sleep. This lasted for months without end. One profound anxiety attack of a different order of magnitude made me go back to a different psychiatrist. He prescribed me with Cymbalta. Now, ladies and gentlemen, the real orchestra of diabolic dissonance is about to play! This pill, I kid you not, upon the first day of taking it has killed my libido flat! Sugar was too much to bare and life was a big numb. After two weeks it got worse, I started having crippling migraines that last for 3 hours each and made me puke my soul on each one's end. On my 22th birthday, we went to the local lake, and I suffered such a extensive migraine that I remembered the thought that I wanted to be put to sleep, comatose, for at least a year. I was seriously considering it. I came off it as well, also with no gradual tapering off, and waited until I felt clean. Although I didn't, and it was worse than the cleanse. My mental state deteriorated and I was put on Brintellix, and was promised it was a new ground breaking drug that will solve all of my problems! Even take care of my ADD. I ended taking it for 4 months or so, upping the dosage this time, thinking maybe that some of the symptoms are from the previous pill, and they will pass either way. It ruined my stomach, and made acidic as hell. They didn't. This time, I was determined to cleanse off gradually as I have seen in some forums like this. I have started reading more on the internet and trusting less the institutionalized system of Pharmacology. I am now 4 months after my last pill of Brintellix, and there is no light in the end of the tunnel. I am experiencing a plethora of symptoms that doesn't seem to go away or even abate: my stomach acidic, my brain is foggy, I suffer from light migraines through out the day. I can't concentrate, and I have horrible fatigue attacks that can't be beaten by any amount of caffeine. I am not sharp as I used to be, I suffer from panic attacks and back pain. AND IT ALL GOES AWAY ONLY BY TAKING Lorazepam, but that makes a bit disoriented and tired as well. But only on benzos , my symptoms seriously abate and I am free to live. What should I do? I CAN'T WAIT YEARS ON END LIKE THIS, I need to earn a living and continue my life which has been on hold for 5 months or so. Should I come back on the pills? will it make the symptoms go away? I don't trust any pharmacological solution to get me out of the mud. I have lost hope, and I want to get my life on track. what should I do?
  14. I have successfully stopped using SSRI's (Celexa 40mg daily) and Benzo's (Xanax/Klonopin 3-4mg daily) for three years now after using them for 16 years. I tapered down from the Benzo’s first over a period of four months and then tapered down from the SSRI’s over the next four months. Of the nine subsequent withdrawal symptoms, I experienced since stopping both medications, three years later I am down to three symptoms that are lingering. Specifically: Sleep problems (waking up every 1-2 hours – inconsistent patterns) Elevated blood pressure (high-norm 140’s over 80’s) Ringing in the ears My PCP recommended I see a neurologist and he advised that the lingering symptoms are a result of the damage caused by the SSRI's and in time they will go away. Does anyone know when these lingering symptoms will leave and is there any recommended treatment I can utilize until they are gone? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  15. Hi, I've been on Lexapro for a year. My highest dose was 5 mgs. Since Aug. 4th I tapered to 1,25 mg daily. I am feeling terrible. A complete lack of motivation. Unable to get out of bed, wash myself. Stopped working a year and a half ago, am on disability benefit. Lots of anxiety, compulsions and obsessions (hand-washing), terrible insomnia. The additional problem is I'm taking Valium and Ambien. For sleep also Seroquel, a tiny amount (a quarter of 25 mg). Also anti-acne (BC) medication Diane-35. Used to be on Lexapro 10-15 mg in years 2007-2011, switched to Effexor for two years 2012-2013. This caused me terrible acne and post-acne scarring, then to Wellbutrin for 1 month (hot flashes, gaining weight). Then to Prozac for a year. Could normally function, work, but developped severe anxiety, which finally led me to benzos. Zoloft acts on me similarly to Prozac. Severe anxiety. Overall, I've been taking antidepressants for 15 years. What should I do about Lexapro? Reinstate? Quit completely? Feel like killing myself. Hugs, Melanie
  16. 75% of med students are on antidepressants or stimulants (or both) Posted on September 4, 2017 by Pamela Wible MD http://www.idealmedicalcare.org/75-med-students-antidepressants-stimulants/ "I’ve been on an antidepressant since being premed—18 years now. Little did I know it would be impossible to wean myself off and that my entire class was using Adderall.” I haven't posted an article in years. Please edit as needed.
  17. Hey guys, I'm Dale . I'm really glad to be apart of this community . Here's my brief drug history : -In the summer of 2013 I experienced the beginning of a near death experience that produced years of anxiety and insomnia . My GP Rx'ed me xanax 1mg, klonopin 2mg, and restoril 30mg to be taken as needed . -In January 2014, I saw a psychiatrist who Rx'ed me 40mgs of Latuda, 75mg of lyrica , 900 mg of trileptal , and 10mg of lexapro to take every day . By the end of summer of 2014 , due to side effects, I ended up on just 10mg of zyprexa everyday until the fall of 2014 where my dose varied from 1.25 to 5mgs . -Life went on (crappily) . I was placed back on 5mg of lexapro in the fall of 2015. Eventually dose of zyprexa was increased to back up 5mg to 10mgs by the early winter . The lexapro was dropped again in january of 2016 and the zyrepxa stayed until February of 2016 . -Benzos were reinstated for a month from feb. 2016 to march 1st to manage everyday insomnia and anxiety . After side effects and low quality of life, I decided along with my psychiatrists permission to stop all meds march 1st 2016 . Haven't touched anything since . I came on this website because despite nearly being 3 months free from Zyprexa, I am still experiencing withdrawal effects such as hypervigilance and not sleeping more than 4 hours a damn night despite good sleep hygiene . While I can "handle" the anxiety, the lack of sleep is driving me to a dire breaking point . I used to be a fitness enthusiast benching 315 for reps , deadlifting 500 for reps, and squatting 405 for reps . Now I look anemic and am weak compared to when I was healthier because my muscles don't recover from in between workouts due to the goddamn insomnia . Because I'm less muscular (I've lost 35+lbs of muscle) and weaker (by 100's of lbs for each lift) due to the withdrawal driven insomnia , my body image linked self esteem has taken a big hit . (I know it's not healthy but I'm just being honest here) In addition academically, I've really been slammed as well . The insomnia keeps me from attending school full time and thus has significantly delayed my graduation and my dreams of becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner . The low energy keeps me from working more than 10 hours a week as well, and from dating and making much needed friends . My withdrawal related insomnia has really put my life on hold . I simply cannot keep living on 4 hours of sleep a night when I regularly need 8-10 to function plus a 1/2 hour to 2hr nap on those lazy cuddly days . I JUST WANT MY G*****N LIFE BACK .
  18. Please help me. I have experienced much akathisia and distonias, I am still taking benzos and SSRI's but extremely depressed/ suicidal. No appetite. Confusion. Headaches. Lost hope. Don't know who to trust. Brain feels very sick.
  19. Currently taking 40 mg Prozac (fluoxetine), approx 1.5 mg Ativan, and 600 mg Gabapentin for nerve pain. The gabapentin is new (2-3 mos) after a year of awful nerve pain in feet. I am convinced it is related to 12+ years of Klonopin/Ativan (either intra-dose withdrawal or just exhausted receptors, because it would subside with extra Ativan). Basically always low and tired, with intermittent awful anxiety and despair. Can will myself to do things but get exhausted. Foot pain flares up occasionally. Need Ativan to sleep and have weird spacey dreamy sleep. Also being treated for adrenal exhaustion: basically, no cortisol at all. Low serotonin, GABA, dopamine, very high epinephrine. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- I was first prescribed Klonopin in 2001 for anxiety and IBS symptoms, which were causing me to lose weight. I also needed it for sleep in unfamiliar or stressful situations. I didn't take it regularly until around 2004 (0.5 mg and never increased), and twice switched to Ativan, back and forth. I disliked the nightmares I often got from Klonopin, but found the same issue with Ativan. I was diagnosed with major depression in 2011, and given different AD's like Pristiq, Abilify, Wellbutrin, and Prozac. The Prozac is the one I tolerated best so I have stayed on it except for about a year in 2015 when I tapered off it because I didn't feel any better. Wanted to use acupuncture and diet for mood swings. But I felt worse without it and was weepy and overwhelmed. Back on Prozac in 2016, doc went straight to 40 mg. She wanted to try other things for sleep but I didn't want to add something new when I knew I couldn't stop Ativan. Foot nerve pain finally diagnosed and treated with gabapentin, no one mentioned that this is even more GABA receptor confusion. I'm exhausted and don't know how to make changes without major symptoms and crises.
  20. Disposition

    Disposition

    HI all, I am new here! I am Dan My signature sais it all but basically I am here for support to taper remeron. I have only been on it for about 3 weeks to help with insonia from benzo withdrawl. I seriosuly thinking it is making things worse with my head so I want to taper to half of 7.5. As of now I am on around 7.0. I have a sesitive scale so I could use your advice. I will also read the forum here for info. Thanks for having me! Dan-
  21. Hi All, I'm in dire straits. Trying so hard to wean off of klonopin. Was at a high of 2 mgs for a month or so, after starting down this horrible road back in November of 2013 ("1 mg - as needed"). This eventually turned into 1-1.5 mgs "as needed" which was just about every day. Currently stuck at 1.25 mgs with too many physical and mental symptoms to list. My first sign of tolerance - slight ringing in the ears - began in January 2015. The docs told me it was just stress. Had a complete breakdown in late May 2015 and was bumped up to 2 mgs of klonopin and also 25-then-50 mgs of zoloft. That's when the insomnia kicked in. Gradually weaned off the zoloft by mid-August, while also dropping back down to 1.5 mgs klonopin. Within a couple weeks I was down to 1.25 klonopin. Then back up to 1.35 for 6 weeks (symptoms got a little better), and now stuck at 1.25 for the past month and suffering miserably. Somehow still working, but barely, and only because I have a family to support. In summary: due to the improvement is sleep once Zoloft was removed, I likely tapered the klonopin too aggressively in the beginning. As mentioned above, I've been holding at 1.25 for a month now. Never really stable throughout the entire process. Working with a compounding pharmacy to provide 3 equal doses per day. Not sure what to do, other than hold at this dose, pray for some stability, and then start reducing *very* gradually. Others have mentioned a crossover to valium (Ashton method), thinking that perhaps klonopin is just too difficult for my body and brain to heal from. Stuck and miserable and afraid.
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