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  1. Kristine

    Kristine: not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  2. Lollypops


    Hi, I was on cymbalta for 7 years and previous to that I was taking Effexor for 3 years. It was very hard to withdrawal from Effexor (at 21 years old), it 6 took months of rest and klonipin to stop panic attack, brain zaps, irritability, anxiety, agoraphobia, anger, abnormal sensation in my body, dizziness, nausea.. the list goes on. I don’t remember the exact dose I was on because it was so long ago but my new psychiatrist at the time mentioned it was too high for someone with my body weight and severity of depression. The doctor said I needed to establish my routine and force myself to follow through with getting through work each day while I withdrew. Needless to say, I got passed the withdrawal but by far that was the worst I ever felt in my life. I was 29 when I came off of cymbalta( 90mg), it only took 2 months to withdrawal. I had severe mood swings and excessive hunger... I did not have any sensation issues or brain zaps. I was taking a prenatal vitamin because my husband and I were planning to have another baby (one baby came out being twins btw) I think that what made it easier to withdrawal from cymbalta was the vitamins I was on. I still remember 2 days after being off cymbalta, I was having really bad temper problems! I also suffered from memory issues and slight paranoia but it was fairly quick to get rid of those symptoms. I don’t think I mentioned this already but I suffer from major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia, and really terrible panic and anxiety disorder. I was able to successfully withdrawal from the cymbalta and Effexor with routine, vitamins, plenty of rest, and a lot of encouragement from family. I am now 35 and have been on Prozac for about 5 years. About 3 weeks ago, my psychiatrist took me off of the Prozac (60mg) cold turkey and put me on Wellbutrin. I have to say, I was feeling really good until about a week ago when I started experiencing the brain zaps, dizziness, sleepiness, frequent body pain, headaches, and vertigo. Today I started having irritability issues and feel like I am going to snap at anyone who talks to me in any sort of way that I feel is aggressive, almost like someone else is taking over!! I really hope that I am successful getting off of prozac because I almost feel like I could go off the deep end when I start to feel the irritability coming on. Personally, I think cold turkey is the wrong move for me coming off Prozac.
  3. Good Morning Everyone, I wanted to go ahead and introduce myself to this wonderful community. I believe I may be experiencing some protracted withdrawal from SSRIs and have some questions. I started my SSRI use around 10 years ago with Sertraline, with 150mg being my eventual dosage. This helped to eliminate some physical symptoms I had been experiencing that my doctor and I thought might be stress and anxiety related. After a few years I complained of some sexual side effects and Wellbutrin XL 300mg was added to my regimen. This didn't really resolve the issue, but I remained on both medications until I abruptly stopped about 4 months ago. As implied, I quit cold turkey. I now know that was not a smart thing to do and potentially dangerous. If I could go back knowing what I know now I would have started a long tapering process. Unfortunately I did not. To make matters worse, the time that I quit was right before I moved to a new state to pursue a promotion and new work environment. Writing this now makes me feel quite foolish. I did not experience any noticeable withdrawal symptoms during the typical acute withdrawal time period. I felt great up until about 2 weeks ago, when I fell into a state of constant anxiety and likely also some depression. I had begun to become very introspective about my career and the move I had just undertaken. I feel that my existential concerns and my added stress at work led to me falling into this state of anxiety and depression. I feel a high level of anxiety all day that will not go away and it particularly bad when I wake up in the morning. The anxiety level fluctuates a bit throughout the day, but is always there. It is extremely taxing and I am generally tense and slightly nauseous most of the time. It has become very hard to get things done at work and I am concerned about my ability to continue to hold onto my job. Since falling into this state I have been doing a lot of reading here and elsewhere and have now become familiar with the concept of protracted withdrawal. I am unsure at the moment if this is withdrawal or not, as I don't have symptoms beyond the extreme anxiety. However, the level and duration of anxiety I am experiencing is unlike anything I have ever experienced before, including before I started taking AD drugs. As I am finding it hard to cope and am concerned about the effect this is having on my life, I am considering reinstating the Sertraline to try and stabilize. Especially since I stopped my AD use cold turkey, it seems like it might be a good idea to try to reinstate and stabilize and then begin a slow taper once I am in a better place. While I know that the members here cannot diagnose me or give me medical advice, I am hoping that your insights might prove useful in helping me make a decision on reinstatement. I am currently seeing a GP and a therapist, and both are supportive of reinstatement if it is what I want. I have read the thread on reinstating and know that it seems to have worked for some and not for others and that we are all different. Given this, do I seem like a candidate for reinstatement? I see some recommended reinstatement dosages for various SSRIs, but since dosages between the drugs differ, I was unsure on what a good reinstatement dosage might be. I see it is recommended that a very small does to start is recommended due to potential hypersensitivity. For Sertraline, is there any consensus on what this kind of does would look like? Thank you for any insight you can provide. It has been a very challenging few weeks and I am so glad that there are communities like this for me to reach out to!
  4. I have been inspired by a friend who is a user of this site to research how best to taper off several anti-depressants, including: Trazodone, Buproprion, Prestiq and Amitryptiline. I currently take 50 mg of Trazodone before bed. I also take the Amitryptiline before bed. My psychiatrist has suggested I can stop the Trazodone because the Amitryptiline should have enough of a sedative effect to get me to sleep. But when I've tried to stop the Trazodone altogether, I've not been able to sleep. So, I'm thinking about cutting the 50 mg and taking 25 mg. I'm also considering reducing the Buproprion 200 mg. Unfortunately, it is extended release. I don't think my psychiatrist would be willing to prescribe a lesser dose but it's possible. I have considered just taking the 200 mg. pill every other day, which I suspect might be viewed as reckless. The Prestiq seems especially complicated. I don't plan to address it anytime soon. And I'd like to drop the Amitryptiline dose because, being an older anti-depressant, it leaves me with a dry mouth and the potential for sexual dysfunction. I am open to any and all advice about how to proceed. I don't know exactly how this forum works and am open to feedback about that too. Grizzly
  5. Hi, I have been on Paxil for 18 ( ) years, with one year about 10 years ago off of all ssri meds. I started trying to get off of paxil about 4 years ago, per paxilprogress - tapering every 8 weeks and reducing my dosage by 7.5% each time, just to be completely safe. (I've lowered it in the past 5 mg per my uninformed dr. and it didn't go very well). Long story short - I've got a bunch of endocrine issues now (thyroid, adrenal, hormones) and I'm on t3 medication and I'm having sleep problems that I have had for years. I've gained about 10 lbs, and I just want off this paxil so bad. I got down to 6 mg a year ago, but then my father passed away unexpectedly, my dog became paralyzed and I got into a legal battle with my siblings over my father's will........ I am better now, but I had to raise my paxil to 12.5 mg for the past year. This Jan, 2015, I started tapering again. I am now at about 11 mg, and will be lowering my dosage to about 10.25 mg Feb. 1. I have a dr. that is helping me with my adrenal / thyroid / endocrine issues, and apparently she believes buproprion helps people lose weight. I would rather not be on any ssri meds, but if I can switch from paxil to buproprion safely, and then just wean off of the buproprion, I'd like that. Just to be off of this paxil finally. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Thank you so much! on paxil / various ssri meds since 1994 at about 20 mg started tapering off paxil in 2010 got to 6 mg in 2014, had to go back up to 12.5 mg due to fathers death in 2014 jan. 1, 2015 started taper again - now at 11 mg paxil / day tapering 7.5% per month
  6. carbonek3

    Carbonek3 Intro

    Hello all! I've joined this forum after some serious soul-searching this week. While I have tried to read and absorb the rules, I am not yet hip to the culture here. Please forgive me if I make any newbie mistakes and let me know if I use terminology that makes you uncomfortable. I have taken anti-depressents for the past seven years, following an episode that was diagnosed as MDD, but may have been PTSD. I imagined the drugs would be a short term solution, not anticipating the difficulty of quitting a psychiatric medication while a full-time student holding multiple jobs. After a prolonged struggle with substance abuse and illness, my dad passed away this November. I resumed counseling and sought a professional psychiatrist to seek extra support during the grieving process . Previously, I had been seeing a GP who spent about 5 minutes on me per appointment. I thought, naively, that a psych RN would be better able to help me with increased dosing, if needed, and would support me in my ultimate goal of beginning to taper off one of my meds this year. The doctor began an initial taper of buproprion SR by 50 mg. I reduced to 100 mg of buproprion and after a week and a half, feel slightly calmer, if otherwise foggy and fatigued. I had a mild episode of panic in the first few days. At my last appointment, the doctor said she would like me to hold to the 100 mg of wellbutrin, start taking 1/2 to 1 mg of klonopin nightly, reduce the celexa to 15 mg then 10 over a 2 week span, and then begin taking 25 mg of lamictal, to be increased to 75 mg as I tapered off celexa. Given my recent and previous experience with celexa and buproprion withdrawal (celexa withdrawal included brain zaps with sides of dizziness that has made it difficult to stand) , I told her that I could not imagine reducing anything else so soon, let alone adding a new medication at the same time. She was very dismissive. I started my own research, and found this board. While this recent diagnostic experience has cost me upwards of 600 dollars , it has awakened me to the fact that I need to be a better self-advocate --and has increased my resolve to reduce my medication and eventually live med-free. I do not want to start anti-convulsants. Now I'm just at a loss as to how to manage my meds when I have a small income, need to pay for meds entirely out of pocket, and just blew a chunk of savings on this last psychiatrist. If anyone has any experience with telling a psychiatrist goodbye (I haven't yet cancelled my next appointment) finding a doctor knowledgeable in or at least consenting to slow tapering I would greatly appreciate it! Nice to "meet" you, and thank you for listening.
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