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  1. Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to start with a quick synopsis of my medical background below. I took SSRI antidepressants for 17+ years. I started with Prozac for 5 years from 15-21. Then I took Escitalopram from 22-32. Along the way I was put on Trazodone, Buspar, Ambien and Wellbutrin as well. All in an attempts to control my anxiety/depression and inability to sleep. Also a little mental history - I was bullied from about the age of 9 to the age of 16. It's pretty obvious in hindsight why I was depressed/anxious. I thought the people in this world were mean. I thought everywhere I went was an unsafe place because at this time it was. In response to this I took up boxing and working out so I could become stronger than my bullies. In all honesty it worked. As soon as I became strong and in shape I became popular out of nowhere, which was an interesting transition. Anyways, that's another story for another time. At 15 I visited the doctor because I always held things to myself because I never told my parents I was being bullied or that life outside of my bedroom sucked. They just thought I was sad/depressed. Depression also runs deep in my family. My mother has been on an extreme cocktail of antidepressants since she was about 20. Although this cocktail has been quite a rollercoaster for her as well. She thought this was the only way to help. I had no one to talk to and I felt like the world was an unsafe and scary place so when the doctor prescribed anti depressants and the anxiety disappeared I thought it was a miracle. At this time the extreme side effects didn't matter to me. The fact I lost my ability to feel empathy because I was numb didn't matter because I didn't like people enough to care to empathize with them. I thought I was going to make it in this world on my own come hell or high water. This idea set me off on a path of perfectionism, egocentrism, hedonism and drug abuse. This life is not meant to be lived alone. To make sure this story doesn't become a novel I'm going to go ahead and summarize it here. For 16 years I went on a binger of sorts. Chasing all the highs this world has to offer. Whether this be dating multiple women, chasing drugs and festival culture, chasing adrenaline highs in the form of mountain biking, power lifting or cliff diving. I kept chasing thrills to fill the emotional void left by the SSRI. I also had to be perfect at this point. I had to have a straight A's in college. A quick aside (I had a long period of alcohol addiction that ran in parallel with my SSRI usage from about 16-21). This caused me to fall behind in life so I felt like I had to catch-up quick, mixed with the perfectionism created from early bullying it caused an immense amount of anxiety in my day to day life. I wasn't allowed to rest, make a mistake or simply apologize when I was wrong. This caused insane amounts of chaos in my relationships throughout these years. Finally when I hit about 31 I decided I had enough of this chaos. A 6-year relationship and all of my life long friendships finally collapsed on me. They were built on a false human. They were built on a man that didn't exist. I see myself as two people honestly. The person that was on anti-depressants is not the same human I am off them. Honestly in my mind half the withdrawal is realizing you built a life not suitable to the person you are off the medicine. I moved to a new area and started a new life. I also quit my anti-depressants. I began hiking and looking inward. It took about 6 months from the insomnia, brain zaps, panic attacks and extreme social anxiety to subside. I managed these symptoms with extreme self inquiry. I also started walking daily. I'm running out of time to write this so let me summarize this pretty quickly here. I'm not perfectly better now. I think anxiety/depression are a part of existence now. I accept there will be days I'm tired/scared and will have panic attacks, but I've learned to sit with these emotions and understand this too shall pass. Getting of my anti-depressant also gave me my empathy back. I built closer connections with people than I've had in the past 17 years. It was extremely hard to rebuild a social support system and a new life while quitting the SSRI though. I would say overall life feels deeper now though. In summary: 1) Took SSRI's for 17+ years. Felt like a zombie. I won't say it was all bad. If you are suicidal and have no other options I would say these are better than that alternative. If you believe you have any other options though I would urge you to try them all out. 2) Quit SSRI's at 32. Created a new life. 3) Anxiety/depression still exists but I now just believe these to be a part of life as opposed to something to get rid of. 4) Found a social support system that saved me, built around the real me. Sorry for jumping around so much on this post. I was trying to work from home at the same time. So I kept jumping back into it. If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know!
  2. Hello all. Lost my Mom in 2011 which sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and severe weight loss due to lack of appetite. Was put on Paxil 12.5 mg. It was a nightmare but I was able to taper off using 5% drops. It took a long time but I made it and have had nine good years of being "normal". In October 2021 our only son left home to start his first job in another state. He was homeschooled and then home every night from college. The last two years all of his classes were at home online. His leaving has affected me and the anxiety and panic attacks returned along with the lack of appetite. In December my dad was taken into the hospital very ill and subsequently died. He was in England and I'm in the US. He had liver cancer. I've been doing my best for him from so far away. unable to travel due to Covid and responsibilities here (farm animals). My husband was away at the time so on top of the panic attacks I was already experiencing I was having to keep up the farm work and deal with the hospital and then his death. It's been such a trauma. I've gone from 117 lbs down to 96lbs. Still no appetite every day is a struggle to eat. I don't want to go back on SSRIs. Around January 12th I asked for something for anxiety and the doc put me on Buspirone 5mg . It hasn't helped. January 20 th she increased the dose to 7.5mg. I started having waves of cold and then profuse sweating. January 28th I called the doctor and she told me to go back to the 5mg dose "for a few days". I'm having constant anxiety/panic and shake all the time, The lack of appetite is making it worse. I worry about eating all day long. Having to push food down even though I have no interest in it. It's so hard. I start meeting with an online therapist (local but online for now) tomorrow afternoon. I hope she can help me. I'm getting to the end of my rope. Can hardly function, Husband is having to do almost all of the farm chores. I can barely manage to keep the fire going and the dishes washed. THere's also the stress of sorting out my dads estate in England. I do have someone over there to help with that but it's still a huge stressor. I don't want to go back on an SSRI and afraid to increase the dosage on the Buspirone. I just want to get better but don't know how.
  3. Hello, looking for guidance. 2013-Nov 6 2021 I was on lexapro 7.5 mg Cannabis 2015- Nov 6 2021 Had a panic attack, Dr took me off Lexapro and to stop cannabis and said it wasn't working well and advised Buspar 10 mg 2x per day. (Nov 12). He should have never took me off lexapro after that many years... Tried Buspar for 2 weeks. Mild symptom relief. But then withdrawal symptoms happened. Head has always burned after stopping Lexapro. Then Developed burning throughout body, brain zaps, hot flashes/then shivering, derealization, fast heart rate, trouble sleeping, decreased mood, hypersensitive to sound and light, trouble concentrationing, can't watch TV or listen to music at 1.5 weeks of stopping Lexapro. Stopped working my job. Reinstated 2.5 mg of Lexapro 3 days (some improvement). Then 5 mg 1 day, 3 mg? 2 days.. Had Akathisia bad. Really bad. Increased anxiety. Was told to take klonopin .25 mg each day. Reduced Lexapro to 1.25 mg (Dec 1-3). Akathisia went down some on Dec 3. Still feel very antsy in chest, head and arms when I wake up. Burning on head all day. Still sensitive to sound and light. Body temperature has improved. I have 5 mg Lexapro pills I have been cutting into quarters for 1.25 mg. I have read about low reinstatement after I experienced Akathisia and that's why I lowered. Do I continue with 1.25 mg? I was off Lexapro for 20 days. 14 days of withdrawal symptoms before Reinstatement. I really want my life back. Thank you for any help.
  4. I have struggled with the evil twins of depression and anxiety for all of my adult life. I'm now in my late 60s. Current meds: citalopram 40mg/day; bupropion SR 100mg/day; buspirone 20mg/day; I've been on citalopram and bupropion for many years. Buspirone was added about three years ago. Under medical guidance I tapered too fast off benzos two years ago, a hellish withdrawal experience. I'm 99% recovered and ready to chip away at the heavy load of psych meds I'm on. I'm determined to do a slow careful taper to avoid anything resembling what I went through with benzo withdrawal. I just ordered the Gem I'm not certain which med to start with. I'm thinking the citalopram dose is the most immediate concern because it's so high but I'm hoping to get feedback on SA. Thanks
  5. I have bad brain fog, can’t focus, can’t remember anything, have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. I also get headaches, anxiety, digestive problems, dry mouth, neck and shoulder stiffness, crying spells, and tinnitus. I suspect a lot of these are side effects from taking Citalopram or Buspirone, or both. I have had depressions off and on since I was a teenager. 2003 I had a burnout, and started taking Lyrica for anxiety. Some years after that I got diagnosed GAD and started taking Citalopram, the doc thought my anxiety was caused by an underlying depression. 2014 I replaced Lyrica with Buspirone. I dont know if I am depressed anymore, and I still have anxiety (but less the last 3-4 years) so I am not convinced my meds are doing much. Im not seeing a psychiatrist ’cause I don’t have insurance. I get my medicine from a GM. A couple of times I tried tapering buspirone on my own (can’t remember when or how, but maybe three times the last six years), but every time it got so bad I had to start taking them again. After reading about tapering and how accelerators and brakes work, I now realize I did it wrong... My plan is to start tapering Citalopram VERY SLOWLY. If it takes years that’s fine, as long as it’s working. I’m pretty sure I will have plenty withdrawal symptoms even if I go slowly. For now I’m reading up on slow tapering, and thinking about how to do it. How much do I go down, and how often? Do I cut pieces off the tablets? I’m glad I found this forum, and any input is welcome, I know basically nothing about tapering.
  6. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  7. Introduction topic: ☼-mranxious-3-months-off-effexor-xr-6-years-on Heyyyyyy 😊 I am alive !!!!!! Out there living a life that I am proud of and comfortable with. Pheww I am one of the blessed ones to have breached the other side and lived to talk about and YOU WILL TOO !! That was one hell of a ride. One that is FAR FAR FAR in the rearview mirror 🙃 If you have read my story, you will know that I went through literally the most traumatic event in my life and that was "Effexor Withdrawal". From start to finish I was unsure I would make it through this time, but here I am and let me tell you "Its a process". This will not happen overnight...BUT if you make the right moves, eat healthy and take your vitamins, time will heal, only time BUT everything you do in the mean time will make the difference in the end. Here is what I did : -Increased Omega 3:6:9 daily -Lots of purified water -Maximize sleep if you can and set a goof environment to be able to sleep(No sleeping drugs) -eliminated processed foods and to a whole food plant based lifestyle(THE BIGGEST GAME CHANGER for me and healer I believe* -Cut out all toxic people -light walks/bikes/swims daily(Key word "light". -meditation- daily(Prayer as well daily) -Church -daily mantras "I will heal" "I will get better" "I am getting better" -Reading books, occupying my time -Multivitamin and mineral support tablet I went from being a very anxious person once off Effexor for months and months of withdrawal , to now years later, a fully functional human being again 😎 I fully believe that in order to fully heal, you need to be fully off any pharmatheuticals (Per doctors orders of course, my disclosure) ughh 😋 Oh yes and find a good doctor that will listen to you and meet your needs "YOUR NEEDS". I have found a wonderful doctor and he is all about my plant life and healing and he is all about me living my best life drug free. Whatever you are going through right now, just know it gets so much better. It can takes months to years to recover. Realize this is your journey and a special one. Myself personally believes that god has transformed my old life into my new life and I can't be ever more thankful and grateful. One hell of a adventure but "hey" I love who I am more now and have grown exponentially since this ordeal. I have days where I cry happy tears over the smallest things, butterfly on a flower, old person smiling, to the breeze blowing off the lake , to the food on my plate. I never appreciated it before Effexor and I took it for granted, now it just happens and i love it 😊 I guess it all depends how you look at it, but when things get grim and they will, come back here, read my story and just know you are all in good hands😊 The effort you put out now in the throws of this awful withdrawal, will eventually become the reward you see in your future !!!!! YOU ARE GOING TO RECOVER MY FRIENDS, ALL OF YOU !!!! STAY CALM AND SOLDIER ON, stay safe and always consult your doctor before making any moves and if they don't listen to you : FIND A NEW ONE !!!! But always stay in close touch with them please 😎 This website has been a game changer and so are all the admins* Beautiful hard working volunteers 🧡💛💚💜💖 *Taper, taper, taper your mediction , this is most important, don't rush a taper just because you start feeling good. It will catch up to you, stay the course 😎 or possibly suffer grave setbacks * *Feel free to message me* MR. A
  8. Hello, I am 68 and this is my first experience with antidepressants. I began having severe stomach pain summer 2020 and lost 20 pounds. A gastroenterologist prescribed 7.5mg of Buspirone taken 2x/day. Because I was depressed about my stomach issues, my family insisted I see a psychiatrist who prescribed 7.5mg of Mirtazapine 1x/day. I began taking both about the same time in early December. In addition I began taking Hcl with pepsin for the stomach issues. My stomach issues have resolved and I have gained 6 pounds. But the drugs make me so lethargic and fuzzy brained. At first the Mirtazapine helped with sleep but now I frequently sleep very little, often less than 2 hours a night. I have decided to taper off the Mirtazapine and have just started with a 10% drop begun 5 days ago. I have felt ok so far just a little nausea. I need encouragement and ideas for sleep please as well as for my journey. I currently take 400mg of magnesium glycinate (100mg in the morning, 300 mg before bed), do restorative yoga before bed, do guided meditation, and meet with a therapist. Can’t take melatonin, gives me diarrhea. Also my gastroenterologist told me to get off the Mirtazapine but he thinks it can be done in 2 weeks. I am very frightened and anxious about the whole thing.
  9. I recently got pregnant and went from 10mg paxil to 5mg in one week and then completely stopped. I then had a miscarriage (about 2 months ago) and am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Would it be safe to go back on a low dose of paxil and try to taper off properly, or is it too late? I am miserable! Thanks in advance. Update as of March 29, 2017: Link to post below
  10. Hi all, I am currently 4 months removed from any pharmaceuticals after a lengthy 6-7 month withdrawal from Pristiq, then a relatively quick taper of Buspar/Buspirone (1 month). I spent half of my life (starting at age 22) on anti-depressants such as Lexapro, Zoloft, and most recently (the last 12 years) Pristiq. I was on 100 mg of Pristiq for most of that stretch. Around the end of 2020, my psychiatrist added Buspirone to help with anxiety...which did help. I later discovered that an SNRI, according to my psychiatrist, can cause anxiety in some people. If true, I was certainly one of those people. During this entire 22 year ordeal, my depression and anxiety was fairly under control, but I was absolutely crippled with daily insomnia and unending sexual side-effects. Starting around February of 2021, I started taking a new approach to self-care, my health, and I finally enrolled in proper counseling first time in my life to address to root cause of my depression and anxiety. In addition, the book Breaking the Patterns of Depress by Dr. Michael Yapko was a huge help. I worked with both my psychiatrist and my primary care physician to slowly taper down Pristiq (which wasn't too bad until I hit the lowest possible dose of 25mg). I started the the final taper of Pristiq in October 2021...and it was brutal. What actually carried me through, personally, was a temporary increase in Buspirone (recommended by my primary care doc), which seemed to ease my anxiety and help with some of the discontinuation symptoms of dizziness and brain-zaps. Finally, in November of 2021, I completed my taper of Buspirone. Although I've had peaks and valley's during this recovery, I feel the best mentally...in the history of me! I was never a heavy drinker, but I have completely stopped drinking alcohol to give myself the best chance at this recovery...and I also exercise daily for the first time in my life. Although the sexual side effects are around 50% better (praying this continues to improve) my insomnia continues to be absolutely debilitating. My main question: Even though it's been 4 months since my last dose, could my brain/system still be recovering from the 2 decades of SNRI/SSRI use? I can't seem to find a consistent answer online, nor through my doctors. Thank you!
  11. Hi friends! Thankful to discover this forum. I’ve had a heck of a year and been through many SSRIs, SNRIs, benzos and betas. I had been on lexapro for about 7 months until recently when I just felt like I was laying in bed a lot and not motivated to do much. It had either stopped working or never really was. I was also on propanolol for a few mos with the lex and that helped a lot with extreme panic moments. When I talked to a psychiatrist last week she said I could stop taking lex and prop and switch to buspirone to try. I told her I wanted to at least taper the lex while trying buspirone. So I did that and was on it for a week at same dose and then she said do one week every other day. The first day I skipped my lex was a nightmare. Went to urgent care and they did negative flu and COVID tests because symptoms were so bad. They said they don’t know what to recommend for the meds but it’s likely withdrawal. Called my psychiatrist and she had me stop the lexapro and buspirone and start effexor and hydroxyzine. So I started effexor at 37.5 7 days ago with hydroxyzine 3x daily. It was fine until this week (1 week later) when she recommended Increasing to 75mg effexor. It was Awful and I suffered all day. Tried to get a hold of psych and she didn’t call back didn’t call back and then this morning I just took 37.5 mg because that was the lower dose and i wasn’t about to double it again. Her staff finally called back and said I could just stop effexor. When I asked what I should do next or if I should just lower back down to the dose I started with they had to ask and call back. So then they called back and said I could go back to the lower dose. So today I’ve heard two different things. I can stop taking it or I can go back to lower dose. I just want to be off. It’s only been a week but I’m over it. I’ve tried too much and my body just isn’t handling it. Do I need to taper having only been on the lowest dose for a week? I have a video call with her on Monday but I don’t want to just “stick it out” on the low dose til then if I’m planning on getting off of it Monday anyways. I’m going to suggest starting propanolol again by itself. I just don’t know what to do at this point with the effexor.
  12. Hello I will give a brief summary of what has happened after taking most recent drugs. I am a 21 yr old college student, low-income and person of color who recently had to drop their studies (September) due to what I think is OCD and quit their job (November) due to never before experienced debilitating and frightening symptoms. These began after stopping Luvox 50 mg and Prozac 20 mg. I have never been warned or informed or properly tapered off any psychotropic drug by any psychiatrists I have seen including the one (due to insurance I can only speak with him once a month) who prescribed me the last four recent drugs. I was unfortunately very naive in my decisions surrounding these drugs. For clarity: I was being treated for "depression" and anxiety. Started at age 17. My signature is copied off records of prescription dates. For the most part I did not take pills regularly, I remember last year organizing my room and seeing that I had bottles full of pills I never took. A lot of prescriptions were what the psychiatrists called trial and error, so I was trying pills to see their effects which were miss which made me realize they were making me sick so I stopped. I unfortunately cannot remember which ones I did take consistently prior to this year (2021). Up until summer I was taking propranolol as needed for anxiety/stress (it had been I think ~1 yr more or less since I had taken any drug). During the summer I needed and wanted guidance to cope with anxiety/stress in the form of therapy. Through my insurance I emailed and left calls for many people but did not get responses and was getting discouraged. I was so desperate for relief that I was prescribed buspirone 10 mg, which did initially provide a calming relief. In the beginning of September 2021, I was overwhelmed with work and inability to properly cope with my internal problems which was taking a toll on my studies. *Here is where details become very blurry. I let the current psychiatrist know and he prescribed me Fluvoxamine 50 mg. The first two times I took it in the evening and found that it made me restless, it did not let me sleep. So I switched to taking it in the mornings and cut it in half; it still made me restless and I would be very sleepy during the day. I let the psychiatrist know and he told me to switch to Prozac 20 mg. I took it once it the morning before work and the restlessness was awful, I could not sleep at all. Note: I do remember taking advil pm and even buspirone alongside the fluvoxamine at the same time to abate the restlessness. I ceased all medications and after that and since then I have been experiencing things I have never experienced before. -acute short-term memory loss and other gaps in memory* -frightening confusion* -cognitive problems* -weird thinking and feelings I do not know the words to describe* -vision problems (after-image, visual snow/static, visual distortion, stars in vision)* -loss of personality and identity* -head ache/pain/pressure mostly* (this has been consistent, I remember waking up one day before work in October to a sharp pain only in the right side of my head, then afterwards feeling pressure localized around only the right side of my head/eye, and now a bit of the top of my head) -slipping in and out of consciousness when closing my eyes* -dpdr* -auditory problems (cannot focus on what I'm listening)* -feeling stuck in my head* -intrusive thoughts like never before* -hypnagogia -disorientation -delirium -coordination and balance problems -fear and dread -lack of motivation -bizzare dreams -heart/chest pain -dreadful anxiety for no reason -severe depression/anhedonia (I have never in my life experienced actual depression)* -crying so much There are more but I cannot remember right now. The ones with asterisks are the most concerning for me. Everything came on so suddenly and abruptly and unprecedentedly. I am so afraid that I am developing a more serious mental illness and that I will have to take more drugs which I do not want. I have no support system, my family is busy and other people I know are as well. The psychiatrist doesn't think the drugs did anything. With what strength I have, I was able to schedule a neurologist appointment and will be getting studies done. I feel that I am wasting their time. I think deep down I want this to be something physical that can be cured. Which I know is wishful and doesn't serve me good. I am trying my best to not let my fear get to me but I am constantly reminded of my decisions. I am beyond heartbroken, this is not who I am. I am a spirited and passionate person, I do not know what to do as I wait for answers.
  13. Hi - New to the forum. I am actually trying to help my daughter (teen). She was on duloxetine (60 mg) which we tapered up and then down over 6 months. She was having significant joint pain and numbness in her legs and feet. Well, she got off it towards Christmas time 2021 but she is suffering from withdrawal symptoms - body sweats, dizziness, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, tinnitus, brain zaps. Well, doctor slowly added in fluoxetine 1 mg at a time given her history of serotonin syndrome / sensitivity. We are up to 6 mg of fluoxetine. Most of the symptoms have faded. Brain zaps first to go, body sweats, nausea, tinnitus definitely disappearing or on verge of disappearing. However, stomach pain is intense, constant, and at times pulsing pain to the point that she's doubled over. Preliminary blood work and x-ray have ruled out simple GI issues. The question is that the GI issues appeared 10 days after discontinuation and much later than other withdrawal symptoms. Could this be withdrawal? If yes, will going up on fluoxetine help? Any other thoughts?
  14. Hello all, I`m new here. I`m also a member of benzobuddies.org forum. English is not my first language so I appologize for possible grammar mistakes in advance. The reason I joined your forum is that I`d like to come off Mirtazapine and Buspirone asap. I`ve been suffering from anxiety disorders since I was a teenager (I`m 37). I was diagnosed with GAD and SF. In the course of time a depression developed too, but nothing serious. In June 2013 I started to attend a psychotherapy due to social phobia which helped me much. My issues with psych drugs started after a renal colic followed by a surgery in April 2015. In May 2015 I first saw a psychiatrist in my life. I was looking for some relief. A huge mistake! She prescribed me Zoloft 50mg. At the very first night I got a horrible panic attack which I`d never had before. This repeated next night. I went to ER next morning and got prescribed Rivotril 0.5 mg twice a day. I had to stop taking Zoloft two weeks afterwards and got another antidepressant called Trittico (trazodone) which had no positive effect. I tried to come off Rivotril after two months, tapering 1/4 of the pill every week. I had terrible withrawal symptoms. I only survived a few weeks without Rivotril and then started to get panic attacks at night. So I began to take Rivotril again, this time only 0.5 mg divided into two daily doses which was sufficient for me. It was last September. I also went to another psychiatrist`s. We`ve tried severeal meds like escitalopram, moclobemidum, venlafaxinum, olanzapin, lamotriginum, mianserin so far to help me get rid of Rivotril. Only venlafaxinum (Olwexya) helped me with my depression, but it had side effects like restless legs and bad sleep with severe sweating so I had to stop taking it after six months (at the begining of April). I made three unsuccessful attempts to come off Rivotril while I was taking Olwexya. My depression returned, I started to feel drowsy and tired all day. I started my next taper attempt at the end of June. I took one 1/4 of the pill in the morning and 1/2 of the pill in the evening. One week later I took 1/4 of the pill both in the morning and evening. At night I had a nightmare, slept very bad. My withdrawal symptoms were: sleep disturbances, increased anxiety, social phobia, perceptual distortions, depression, poor memory and concentration, intrusive memories, weakness, fatigue, influenza-like symptoms, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, metallic taste, sweating, halucinations. My doctor said I couldn`t be phyzically addicted only on 0.5 mg. Very funny. At the end of July when I was on dose 0.2mg, I was hospitalized because I couldn`t go to work. They stopped giving me Rivotril almost immediatelly. I didn`t want to take any new pills. I just wanted some help to survive the withdrawal. I agreed with Buspirone because I considered it the least harmful. But later they tried to give me something to beat my insomnia - Atarax, Quetiapine, Valdoxan. Mitrazapine was the first one which alowed me to sleep. I didn`t feel any side efects besides horrible dizziness when I went to the toilet at night. Two weeks later they added Venlafaxine (California rocket fuel). I had many side effects including terrible panic attacks which I complained about. After all the meds my dizziness got worse. On September 9th I was released from the hospital. I agreed with my doctor to stop Venlafaxine 75mg within 10 days (I took it only for three weeks). Last Wednesday when I was still on 25mg withdrawal hit me. I had vivid dreams, influenza-like symptoms, mood swings and cry spells and terrible dizziness. It`s much better now except the dizziness. The dizziness is literaly ruining my life. I feel like I was constantly drunk. I can`t drive and I even refrain from walking. I suspect both Buspirone and Mirtazapine are the cause. I definetely can`t live with Mirtazapine because I sleep 12 hours day and still feell drowsy and tired all the time. I have no energy. They say my dizziness is somatized anxiety but I don`t believe it. Anyways, current medication has done nothing with it. I`d like to ask for your opinion which one I should start to taper first or whether I can taper them both at the same time? I`ve been taking them only for about two months. 10% taper a month seems very slow to me. I`ve never had big issues when coming of antidepressants. What do you think? Thank you.
  15. I tried Citalopram for 2 weeks had terrible symptoms so stopped, was given buspirone stopped after a week then trazodone because i couldn’t sleep, stopped that after 5 days was horrible, now I can’t eat or sleep can barely function, that’s been 5 weeks since then
  16. I was put on Buspirone by my PCP, 10mg as needed. About 1.5 months later, I met with a psychiatrist who upped me to 20mg. Two weeks later, he increased me to 40mg. Almost 1.5 months later, he had me on 60mg. At 60mg (max dosage), I went crazy and couldn't stop panicking or having irrational thoughts, realized it was the buspirone, and (reading that it had no withdrawal effects), brought myself down way too fast. I went from 60mg --> 30mg in the span of three days. I ended up in the ER for suicidal ideation. I then held at 30 for a month. After that, I spent about 1 week on 25mg, 5 days on 20mg, and a few days on 15mg, 10mg, and 5mg, before stopping. Extremely rapid taper, possibly justified due to adverse reaction. This was my first time taking psych meds, and I was completely missing the symptoms and side effects I was getting from this drug. I thought I was having weird symptoms (diarrhea, extreme panic, difficulty concentrating, intrusive thoughts) because of reliving my past during talk therapy. I have been in a depressed fog since going to the ER, nearly two months ago. On the max dosage, I lost feelings for my partner (whom I love deeply) nearly overnight, but they have been super kind and supportive, although I have had a lot of difficulty being in the relationship with feelings gone and my thoughts going all over the place. I was set to begin a Master's program this month, but I can no longer go. I feel like a skeleton of my former self - I was adventurous, social, and nonchalant, and nothing really bothered me. I went on the buspirone because I was having anxiety for a period, but I'm afraid I won't return to my normal self. Every night I have vivid dreams, some of which worsen the SI. Muscle twitching, reflexes, and lately night sweats make sleeping difficult. I wake up in the mornings with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additionally, I feel like I have almost no emotions, and I can't enjoy food or sleep. Nothing seems to be helping this process - exercise, acupuncture, reading. I'm really terrified that I may have permanent damage from the drug, or that these withdrawals will make me not the same anymore. Is there any hope that things will get better?
  17. I am a grandmother of 5. My two adult daughters walked out of my life almost 7 years ago and I haven't seen them or the kids. After going through the worst hell you can imagine I finally found a doctor that put me on the right meds, but after two years I can't deal with the side effects any longer. Horrible dreams, excessive weakness and staying away from people as much as possible. The meds relieved the crying, shaking and general sadness but I'm ready to get my life back. I've come off Buscar and am now weaning off Viibryd. I'm 68 and this has not been easy. I raised my three children alone with zero help from their father but that was nothing compared to the difficulty of discontinuing the meds. I pray I never use them again. God bless you.
  18. I began tapering risperdol Feb 2017. It's been about 6 weeks now. I taper 5% every week. My original dose was 1mg each night. I am now at .70mg. I have no physical symptoms but the mental symptoms are the same as the side effects only much worse. The side effects are derealization, severe brain fog, severe depression, emotional flatness and what feels like lowered I.Q. I am sleeping fine and my appetite is good. I didn't gain any weight while on this poison and instead lost quite a bit. I have been taking risperdol for 3 years. I started at 2mg and lowered the dose to 1mg about one year ago. I was told by my pdoc that I could go off of it and I jumped at the chance. He tapered me way too fast and I think I experienced a psychosis or extremely high anxiety. I reinstated at that time. (I hope this post makes sense. I'm not thinking too clearly.) My question is, will these side effects start to diminish while I'm tapering? Will this start to go away as I am ingesting less and less drug? I've read many horror stories online and I'm really reaching for some success stories. I'm very afraid that these side effects will last long after the taper is complete. I am so depressed and do very little but sit on the sofa. I have to force myself to do anything and I have no interest in anything at all. Nothing brings me joy and I cannot feel love anymore. I don't laugh and I don't cry. I am zombie like. It is completely miserable. I've lost everything since I started this med. I've made very bad choices and lost my relationship, my job and my home. I am now living with my grown daughter and her husband. Without them I'd be homeless. Any advice would be very much welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
  19. Hello all, Been reading this forum for the past 3 weeks as I have been struggling from heavy withdrawal post cold turkey'ing off of 2 antipsychotics (Zyprexa & Risperidone) that I have been on for just over a year. I also stopped taking Clonazepam after about 4 to 6 weeks. I realize this was a bad move but I had no real choice as the Psychiatrist I was working with will not renew my prescriptions and has since put me on Rexulti (I am also currently on Sertaline and Buspirone). I knew that I would be experiencing withdrawal, I just didn't know it would be this debilitating both mentally and physically it was going to be. Between the horrible insomnia, to dizziness, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, muscle fatigue, fatigue in general from not sleeping, feeling like I am suffering from a really bad hangover after I wake up, sweating, anxiety, Dissociation, clenching my jaw, and the list can go on. I feel like every single symptom one can mention I am suffering. I truly would not wish this on anyone as it truly has kicked the s**t out of me. I think I am too far into quitting to go back. I am scared as hell some days. I know this was not the optimal way of stopping but there is nothing I can do about that. Looking for anyone to share their story about withdrawal, quitting cold turkey, symptoms, or any sort of advice or success story...just looking for a friend during this extremely difficult time. Thank you.
  20. I started Effexor (venflaxine) excuse my spelling 75mg and buspirone 7.5 mg on Wednesday last week. Friday night I had an adverse reaction. Skin burning, dizzy, tremors, rapid heart beat, dilated pupils, muscle stiffness, I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting right now. I did not take the meds after Friday night. Now Thursday (4am) I’ve been having withdrawal symptoms. Tremors, anxiety, insomnia, no appetite. I see my pysch today at 130. I actually went to the hospital twice in the same day because I could not sleep, eat, or relax. I couldn’t go to work but I am going to try today. I was wondering if maybe Prozac or sertraline would help me ease these withdrawal symptoms or if anyone else has experienced this after on three days of being on meds!!!
  21. Success story: mranxious-update-years-later Hello folks, Wow I came across this website and it definitely helped my outlook on this horrid process of withdrawling from Anti- Depressants. Here is my story. Life was good I was 23 years old, sitting in my University Class seminar, participating with my class, when out of nowhere all these feelings came rushing over me, people started to go sideways, couldn't really talk. Long story short I dropped out of University and went home to parents. I Went to an emerg clinic and was diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder(Gad). Immediately I was giving a prescription for Effexor xr 150mg, followed up with my doctor and was up at 225mg for awhile and 150mg for awhile over a 6 year period. I am now 29 years old, about 4 months ago the effexor pooped out, well it may have pooped out a year before that, but we all know how addicting it is. Went through the stigma , perceived personality changes, felt brilliant and ability to talk, got lots of good jobs, was able to be social, felt at times like it was a miracle drug, then slowly over time I lost my jobs, gf's , starting smoking marijuana heavily, took up smoking cigarettes and had anger and frustration issues, never had this before the medication. My doctor just refilled my prescriptions and never really questioned how I was doing on this medication. If I missed a dose one day I would have horrible symptoms. Long story short I feel effexor got me through the first initial espisode I had, but eventually ruined my social life, career life etc. It's been a tough trip. So after this medication pooped out 5 months ago I figured lets try to go off this and tapered off during a two months period.150mg to 75mg to 37.5 then half of 37.5 and then half of that,then off. I quit Effexor on March 22/2012 after being on it since 2005. Wow Lets just say after I came off it I felt so amazing, I saw everything in a fresh new light- like this is what life is like off this? Colors are brighter, Smell is better, everything changed for the positive after coming off it. Rose colored glasses you should say came off. I quit my 2 addictions of Cigs and pot immediately, was so proud of myself, fixed up debts that I wouldn't have touched on effexor. I felt like I had total control of my life, except for how to deal with these raw emotions , felt like a brand new person. Until... The 3 month mark being off Effexor, wow. Anxiety, Insomnia( not sleeping til 730am), not being able to look at somebody and talk to them in a normal light( was never a issue all my life). One week ago I tried Wellbutrin for 5 days and then withdrawled off it 150mg xl. It was just making me more anxious etc. Now the biggest problem I face is feeling like my memory/words have disapeared, can't make sentences or think of what to say and this was never a problem in my life and it's bothering me big time and I don't know what to do, as I feel like my brain has been messed up by 6 years of effexor highest dose 225mg but mostly 150mg. How do I get this back? I need some good responses here because I feel like a complete dummie as my mind has been erased. Thank you for reading this extremely long post, but I didn't want to leave anything important out, and I really want to move on with a life that I can accept and enjoy. Where has my memory gone? Will it comeback? How long if so? My words and ability to talk to people and come up with things to say? Very scared, What can I do? Use to be so smart I am Martin and that is my story, Glad to be a part of this group (29 years old) ^6 years on effexor , now 3months off 2005-2012 , March 22/2012 Off Effexor
  22. Need your help. Started Buspirone,10mg and Duloxetine, 30mg at 1 x 2 weeks and then 2 x 4 weeks. Reduction - 1 x 4 days and then “none”. This is day 3 and it has been pretty rough. Any recommendations would be great. Thanks
  23. Topic title: Welbutrin use for 10 years have done with tapering but awful things happening almost 2 months still My daughter has been in and out of er spent a week in the mental ward. Since getting off these meds we are at a dead end she is a awful mess. She was put on buspar 2 weeks ago to help cope , any insight any help would be so welcome at this point.
  24. Hi, I'm 39 years old and have been lurking on this site intermittently for at least seven of the eleven years I've been on polypharma. I've never posted. The reasons I ended up on the meds I'm on are different than I've seen from anyone else, which has felt isolating. So for those who have the patience to read my story, I'd love to know if you share commonalities with me. The short version: escitalopram, buspirone, bupropion for 11 years. Mirtazapine for 8, following an unsuccessful too-fast escitalopram taper. Meds prescribed for terminal insomnia after ten years of cortisol-related early AM waking and being unable to go back to sleep, except bupropion, which was prescribed to counter side effects. Here's the long story, if you want. Rewind a bunch. I'm seventeen years old. I've been on depo-provera for a few months, which I don't realize is making me terribly depressed, because I have such little self-awareness. It's my first night away at college. Also one of my first few times very, very drunk. I don't know that it makes you dehydrated. I don't know that there's a cortisol spike in the AM hours, and that drinking makes that higher and earlier. I don't know much of anything, especially about how to take care of myself in a world full of interesting opportunities to experience altered states. I wake up at 4am with my heart racing. I can't get back to sleep for hours. This has never happened before. My childhood insomnia was about falling asleep, not staying asleep. The 4am wakeup and long sleepless period happens every single night, beginning that first night at college. Even the nights I don't drink. I try melatonin, Benadryl. Nothing helps. I develop anxiety around sleep, but I don't realize that's happening. I'm too young and have too little self-awareness. Drinking quells the anxiety enough that I can go to sleep. I don't realize it's making the cortisol cycle worse. - Now I'm in my early 20s. I dropped out of college to drink and take a lot of all different kinds of illicit drugs. It's mostly in an attempt to medicate depression and sleep issues, but I'm starting to realize that the drugs and drinking are making it worse. I am pretty sure I've done some damage to myself somehow by now, especially with MDMA. I'm still waking up at 3-4am. Sometimes I drink myself back to sleep. I spend part of a year taking prozac. It doesn't seem to help me. I stop taking it. If I have withdrawals, I don't notice them, probably due to drinking. Eventually, after a beloved pet disappears, I check myself in to the psych ward, suicidal and having panic attacks, but unwilling to admit that my primary issue is alcoholism. I've already convinced a psychiatrist to diagnose me with Bipolar I and send me home with Depakote and Seroquel. Being in a psych ward seems a logical next step. After I'm released, I find that shaking from the Depakote interferes with my ability to pour beer from pitchers, so I stop taking it. The seroquel makes me balloon up in weight (I've always been naturally very thin), binge on fast food, sleep 14 hours a night (still with a 4 am wakeup), and be unable to get off the couch when I am awake. I eventually stop taking it too. I don't notice withdrawals. I'm drinking far too much to notice something like that. - I've just turned 25. I haven't worked in years. A sequence of awful events leads me to get sober. I'm not on any psych meds. I don't take any drugs. Sobriety gives me so much, hard as it is. I'm still waking at 4 am, heart pounding, sleepless for long periods. My recovery friends tell me it gets better. I practice ridiculously impeccable sleep hygiene. I exercise regularly, but not too hard. I go to acupuncturists, naturopaths, cranio-sacral practitioners, therapists. I check into a sleep clinic. I wake up 164 times that night. They tell me they can't find a reason for my insomnia. Two years pass. I still wake at 4 am, can't get back to sleep for over an hour. I am in college. I am working. I am pulling my life together. But I feel awful every single day from sleep deprivation. In the middle of yoga class, I fall asleep once doing downward dog, waking as I collapse on the floor. I am exhausted. I am desperate. I still don't drink, don't use drugs. I am 27. I get referred into the closed private practice of a neurologist. At my request, he tries tons of supplements first. I do not want to go on medications. I did not get sober for that. He is happy to work with supplements. He's past retirement age and clearly cares about his patients. He does this for love, not money. I am grateful. The supplements do not help. We try many. I am too poor to raise my dose more with some of them, even though he sells some of them to me at cost - the ones he can get at wholesale prices. Medications are cheaper. I cave in. He writes a prescription for Lexapro and buspirone, which I fill. I sleep through the night. It has been ten years since I got a good night's sleep. I wake in the sunshine in my high-ceilinged room, blocks from the university where I'm about to begin attending classes to finish my bachelor's degree. Everything feels like it is finally falling into place. I don't sleep through the night again, but every morning when I wake at 4am, I immediately fall back asleep. I am rested. I'm able to learn, to make use of my therapy and all my internal work. I've lost huge parts of my sexual functioning, which activates trauma from younger years, but I don't care enough to go off the meds. Sleep is too important. I do ask my neurologist if there's anything that can help. He prescribes bupropion. It sort of helps, a little. Maybe. I'm 29. I've lost a lot of my sexual functioning. I've also become disconnected from my spirituality, which was a fundamental part of my life since...since forever. It will take a few years before I attribute the latter to my medications. I'm still on three meds and a bunch of supplements. Now I'm 32. I've met the man I plan to spend the rest of my life with. We are talking about children. I am advised by several doctors not to have kids when I'm on this cocktail unless I'm certain I'm willing to go through whatever they may experience as a result of me being on them - which is a huge unknown. They may be born healthy. They may be born needing a lifetime of 24/7 care. I know I have to get off the meds. I find this site. I do a half-hearted six month taper off of ten mg of escitalopram. As I come off the last of it, I can taste my spirituality again and my sexuality begins working again. But none of that matters, as I lose my grip on sanity at the same time. I work with my neurologist to try a ton of other kinds of meds. None of them work well for sleep or mental health, but mirtazapine seems to help a little for sleep. So I stay on it. My neurologist runs out of things he can and will prescribe to a former addict. I go back on the escitalopram too. Then I raise the dose of the escitalopram from 10mg non-generic to 20mg generic, because the generic doesn't seem to work as well. I can sleep again. I exhale. No babies for me, no orgasms, no spiritual connection, but at least I can sleep. One time, when camping, I miss taking my lexapro in the dark. I don't realize it's still in my pill case. I have an overwhelming suicidal episode that lasts until that night, when I discover my mistake, take my dose, and am fine-ish the next day. I now know this is not a medication I can easily change. It's 2018. I'm 38. I have the dubious luxury of being between careers and the indisputable luxury of having someone else who can pay the bills, if barely. I am hearing scary things about antihistamines, which is what mirtazapine mostly does at the 7.5mg dose I'm on. It is drying me out. I know this cannot be good for me. I am still sleeping. I want to see if I can be on less of my meds and still sleep. Maybe I can get some of my sexual functioning back. Maybe some of my spiritual connection. Maybe just a healthier life in ways I can't identify for sure. Slowly, carefully, following the 10% or less rule, holding when I feel unstable, I begin to taper my mirtazapine. The lower I go, the worse my sexual functioning gets. I know the escitalopram has to be reduced. Last night, I took 18mg of carefully made liquid escitalopram instead of the 20mg tablet I've been taking for the last eight years. In the past few months, to deal with being on less mirtazapine, I've been carefully experimenting with CBD. I'm not afraid to trade off one thing for another, if I can sleep and have a side effect profile I'm ok with. I smoke and vape it to avoid the first pass metabolism interactions with my meds. I'm not sure if that actually works that way, but it seems to interact with them less than when I take it orally. I know this method of consumption isn't ideal, because it incurs health costs too. I feel concerned about my options. But I am determined to be on less of the meds that are giving me these side effects. Maybe someday I can reduce or get rid of the CBD too. Maybe the side effects from it are just not as frustrating. I'm not anti meds. I believe they saved my life. I was suicidal from ten years of daily terminal insomnia. And the meds still work for me. But want off of them, as much as I can be and still mostly sleep. I don't know if I get back my sexuality or my spirituality, at any dose or no dose. But when I quit lexapro before, it looked like I might, and I miss the life energy those things gave me. So I'm here to offer support, and to receive it. I'm sure I'll need to do both to make it through this process. I'll add meds to my sig later, when it's not so dang late.
  25. 20 years on effexor and buspiron due to depression - anxiety. One year on lamotrigin. I started tapering in 2016 because of adverse effect. Effexor 150 mg to 75 mg by addwise from doc. No problems. Next on 37,5 and hell broke loose. Reinstated on 75 and kept it there. While tapering I was sat on lamotrigin 300 mg over a couple of month. No effect! Started tapering buspiron 10 mg x 2 august 2017 and is know on 6+6 Started tapering lamotrigin nov 2017 and is now on200 mg. After reading here I got in doubt. Am I tapering in the best way? Recomondation?
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