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  1. I officially stopped antidepressants in January 2022 after being on a multitude of them over the last 12 years. Some of the symptoms once officially stopping are: -dizziness -intrusive and obsessive thoughts- I can’t get bad images or thoughts out of my head -panic attacks -suicidal thoughts -shivering/chills even though it’s not cold -fatigue to the point I can’t keep my eyes open Are these normal withdrawal symptoms and can I overcome them? I’ve been trying so hard to do everything possible to overcome my mental instabilities with therapy, mindfulness, journaling, exercise, etc, but nothing is giving me full relief. After being off of antidepressants for two months and doing research, it says my brain should be back to normal. After reading that apong with the symptoms I was having I felt like I can’t handle living like that so I got on celexa a week in a half ago. After one week I had such bad side effects I’ve decided to quit again. I have had side effects from every antidepressant I’ve been on (Effexor, lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa). Although I’m mentally better, I can’t handle the side effects. The doctor doesn’t think there’s probably an antidepressant that would work for me, and that I’ll have side effects no matter what I’m on. Ultimately I don’t want to be on them, but feeling hopeless of whether I can be due to the symptoms. Is my brain truly messed up?
  2. Medication HIstory: Prozac 1993 to 2016 for anxiety and depression (actually have Complex PTSD) Switched to Celexa in 2016 and took until Feb 2022 Switched to Lexapro in Feb 2022 then Zoloft in June. Switches were due to bad anxiety and now tapering off because SSRIs seem to be causing anxiety rather than reducing it. At 25 mg Zoloft presently for 3 weeks. Symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, stomach ache, anxiety. Also taking Lorazepam 1 mg and Zolpidem 10 mg. Just started Accel for nausea and it's helping.
  3. Hi. I've been on SSRI meds for a long time. I'm currently tapering from Zoloft. I'm at 26 mg. I'm reducing at 2.5% every 2-4 weeks. My CNS is a mess and I can feel every taper. I'm so tired all the time and have no energy. I'm taking cal-mag citrate, Barleans Omega fish oil, Vitamin D3/K2, and an iron supplement for anemia. Sometimes I take Coq10. I'd like to know what has helped others with the inability to focus and with fatigue.
  4. Hi, I found this website from someone's post who seemed to be going through the same as what I am. Sorry if this is long but I'm not sure which info is necessary! I was taking Citolapram for alittle over 2 years, mostly 20mg but I upped to 30mg near the end. I weened off them within a week but after almost a month I went back of them (20mg). I only stayed on them for a week and then came off them cold turkey. About 7 or more weeks since, I randomly woke up one day with PGAD. It's a horrible, progressive, non-curable disorder that makes your genitals feel constantly aroused, sometimes stabbing, burning, feeling the need to pee, zap feelings and a lot of throbbing. I've had this for a month now and feels worse these past 2 days (coincidentally I was pescribed Amitriptyline 10mg but after 2 days of taking them I decided I don't want to go back to ADs - apparently PGAD is mostly caused by withdrawing from ADs) I've had so many breakdowns because of this and there is no way I can live with it, especially because it can cause spontaneous orgasms and a lot of pain which I haven't got yet. I'm so scared and my doctors have no idea about the disorder and just try to convince me it's in my head which despite my obvious symptoms and causes I'm hoping it is. My history of OCD could explain it too. Before taking ADs I had a fear of farting in public which as stupid as it sounds, kept me house-bound for years. It went away after I took ADs and started college. Then a year later I had a bad sickness bug which led me to a fear of throwing up, with that I felt sick literally every single day and not always just mildly. I had tests but nothing explained it. Then I started hearing alot about PGAD just before mine started, once mine started my sickness has completely gone (so all this time it must have been in my head which is crazy because I almost threw up it was so bad). And now I'm getting all these symptoms of PGAD constantly. But I'm still not convinced it's all in my head because it is a fact that withdrawing from ADs too fast can cause it, plus I think I have some damage in my pelvice since I went on an exercise bike during my 2nd withdrawals. This gave me what I thought was piles in my perineum which went away after a week and then came back with my PGAD. I have a huge skin tag in my perineum which fills and becomes solid if I'm too active and I start getting a pain around it (in my legs/butt cheeks). I'm thinking I've damaged my pelvic floor and that these things could be connected? Although the PGAD didn't start straight away? I'm sorry this was so long but I am so so terrified of having this disorder, it is honestly such a horrible, embarrassing, painful and hopeless thing to live with and has always been my biggest fear since I learnt about it. I have so many things that could have caused it which makes me think that maybe it isn't just in my head. It's driving me crazy and if anyone has any hope or experience like this I would really love to hear from you. Sorry again for the long post.
  5. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  6. Hi, this will take a while to write down as i’m suffering to remembering things clearly. When I was 16(2013) I got diagnosed with ADD, social anxiety and a learning disability. I was put on Atomoxetin and Sertraline where I refused to take them most of the time as I just didn’t want to be different from the other kids. Didn’t experience any side effects at all and I quit taking the pills CT a year after without any WD. In mid 2018 I was put on citalopram 20mg and seroquel(25mg but told me I could take up to max 75mg a day and switch between doses if I felt like I needed it) for sleep, after I developed an ED and a depression due to a past abusive relationship. had severe side effects at first, but wanted to feel better desperatly so I held out. In 2019 my anxiety got worse and my doctor increased my dose to 40mg of citalopram and lastly to 60mg. In start 2021 I began feeling almost sicker, having severe headaches, extreme irritability, stomach aches, bloating and numbness. decided I didn’t want to live like this, I educated myself on the medications I was taking and I was shocked to say the least. I contacted my doctor and we started started tapering down from 60mg citalopram in 2021 in May to 30mg, with no problems but experienced extreme withdrawal when i tapered down too fast from 30 to 12mg after a month. on a steady dose of 15mg of citalopram from July up to now. Been Tapering down on quetiapine from august 16th 2021 to (75mg, 50mg, 25mg, 12mg and been on 6mg for my last dose in April 2022. I wanna keep updating my progress here since i’ve had horrible withdrawals from the quetiapine tapering for the past 4 months, with very little windows.
  7. Hello, This is my introduction post where I will be sharing my drug history, experience, and goals towards a drug free life. A little about me: I am a 26 years old male with interests in animals, nutrition, fitness, socializing, movies, and other things. I have been taking citalopram for 21 years and my goal is to taper off of my current 10 mg dose down to zero. I would appreciate tapering advice from anyone with experience with successful SSRI tapering, especially citalopram. Backstory: I started medication around the time I was 5 years old, just starting kindergarten. My parents had recently gotten divorced and I was taken to a child therapist and then a pediatrician. I had a lot of tantrums as a toddler, poor eye contact, trouble making decisions, and I would frequently get in trouble at preschool. At the advice of the pediatrician I was put on 40 mg of citalopram, brand Celexa, and what seemed to be at about the same time, 60 mg of dextroamphetamine, brand ProCentra. I still would get in trouble a lot at school up until high school, but I was a very happy kid. I stayed on both of these medications at the same doses till I was 17 when I successfully requested to be taken off of some medication. I tapered off of dextroamphetamine with no trouble at all. It was a little tougher to concentrate on hw, but I didn't mind. After graduating high school and starting studies at my local community college, I decided to taper off of citalopram. As with the dextroamphetamine, I worked with my pediatrician to help me taper off of the medication. I was told this would be difficult so I tapered off between spring and summer studies. I didn't notice any negative effects all the way down to 10 mg of citalopram. I felt different being on a lower dose, but I liked how it felt. Tapering from 10 mg to zero, however, did not go well. I developed pretty unbearable irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At this time I am starting my second year of community college and I am 19 / 20 years old. Besides having IBS, I had heightened senses, a bit of depression and anxiety, and I was less hyper and less enthusiastic. I became diet obsessed and tried to find food I could eat without getting bloated and or having digestive pain. I lied to my pediatrician and I said I was fine and decided to stayed off of the medication. I visited digestive doctors, got blood tests, and looked for diets to solve my problems. After about 6 months, I saw my general care doctor and asked to go back on citalopram at 10 mg. Before taking citalopram I requested to try a different medication, a tricyclic antidepressant. I can't remember why I thought this was a good idea. I started at a low dose and had unpleasant headaches among other weird feelings. After a month or so I decided to go back to citalopram. I believe I started with 5 mg and then worked my way up to 10 mg. I had almost constant headaches getting back on the medication, and driving felt different, possibly due to the medications effects on balance. I can't remember if I had headaches tapering off of the medication. After two to three weeks, I felt pretty good. At this time I believe I was entering my third year at my community college. I found my digestive system was generally okay if I ate whole foods and stayed away from cooking oils. My anxiety was still much more present than when I was taking 40 mg, and I didn't feel as happy. I have stayed on my 10 mg dose of citalopram since then. To help manage my anxiety, I meditate, stay physically active, eat as healthy as I can, and socialize as often as I can. There is so much misinformation out there, even in scientific research. I am not sure what to believe about the harms and benefits of antidepressants. I was for sure much happier on a higher dose, but I was also a kid when things were easier and I was still growing up, so its hard to say. These are very stressful times in the world, but there might never be a perfect time to try to taper off of the citalopram. I would appreciate any advice on tapering or any shared stories of similar experiences. Thanks for reading, VeganLife
  8. Hey everyone, I said that once I was healed and felt back to normal again I would write a success story and I do believe that today is finally the day for it! It was a very long journey for me personally, but I know that others have been going through it for even longer. So for those of you that are still in the thick of it, I will tell you this! Keep on going and going and going!! Never ever give up! I truly do believe that everyone heals no matter how long it takes!! For some it is shorter than others, but it's coming for all of us! You can read my intro topic and see that I really didn't find this site until I was almost 8 months in deep. I was one of those who CT quit everything because nothing was working for me and I got tired of trying different things to feel better. I was extremely fortunate to meet a wonderful lady who had survived the process and she reached out to me. She was able to encourage me daily to keep going and helped me to get through the very worst of days! I was so lucky because most people do not have that support system, but it was a life saver. Some things that I learned while going through this process: 1. Stay as positive as you possibly can! I know it's hard, believe me. There were so many days I just wanted to get in a funk and stay there, but I knew how dangerous that was. If you let yourself always see the bad in things, then eventually that is all you will see! Take what is happening to you and turn it around. Find something positive in your day. When I was having the worst of symptoms, instead of feeling bad about it and moping about it, I would turn it around and tell myself that I was having a good strong day of healing! The harder the symptoms, the more healing that was taking place. I made it a positive thing!! 2. Acceptance!!! I know this one is hard!! It was for me and took me a very very long time to learn it, but once I did it made a world of difference for me. The symptoms no longer had the power over me that they once had. Yeah they were still there, but I would just acknowledge them and then move on. There was nothing I could do about them, so I just let them happen. Besides it just meant that I was doing some more healing. The sooner you can learn how to accept the process the easier the process becomes. 3. Time!!! Unfortunately in my experience I found that there are no shortcuts in this process. There is no magic pill or drug that I could take that was gonna heal me any faster. I had to be patient and wait for my brain and CNS to heal! There was no way to speed up the process or make it any easier. I just had to get through it! That was it. Time time and more time!! Each day you go through is one day closer to your ultimate healing so don't give up!! 4. Distract!!! Find something anything that you can use to distract yourself and make the time go by. For me it was long walks, paint by numbers, etchings, diamond dots, models, board games with my children!! Just anything to pass the time! The more I was able to distract myself, the more healing that was taking place without me worrying about it! When you sit around all day and don't engage your mind, it has nothing to do but ruminate on what you are thinking or experiencing. Distract!! 5. Keep track of the good days! I experienced the normal waves and windows pattern that is normal for a lot of people. I would keep a journal daily where I would write down what I was thinking, how things were going. And for me most importantly, when I was feeling good in a window, I would write about it in the journal. I would write notes to myself reminding myself that I could feel good again and that I would feel good again. That way on the hard days I could go back and see what I had written to myself to know that I was gonna be ok. And that's honestly about it! That's what worked for me! Just remember that what you are going through is temporary!! This is not the rest of your life. One day you will be healed and able to move forward with life and enjoy the days. This whole process has made me such a strong and more resilient person. Little things in life no longer really bother me and I have found I have so much more patience and understanding than I ever did before. As much as this whole thing sucked, it has made me a better person!! Just remember to keep going and going for as long as this takes!! You've got this and you know it! I will be sticking around the forums to help others. I always told myself once I made it through this I was gonna pay it forward and help others as well. Don't hesitate to reach out if needed! Ken
  9. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  10. Hi everybody I'm Soren from Denmark, 50 years old, and just started tapering 18 years of Mirtazapine-use. Earlier I have tried to withdraw from mirtazapine three times and every time by doctors instructions (50% two weeks, 50% of the remaining dose two weeks, then stop), and the last time I nearly hurt my beloved cat in rage. It was the most frightening out of control experience and periode in my life. I'm not long into my taper (down to 20 mg from 30 mg) and my taper it is going well at the moment (5% every three weeks). As almost universally experienced by other mirtazapine 'withdrawalees' I suffer day 4 or 5 after a reduction, but come day 8 and I am stabilized and on day 10 I feel a little better than before the reduction. I will write more about my experience with both citalopram, brintellix (trintellix), and mirtazapine later but for know I just want to say thank you. You see I have for over 6 months been browsing survivingantidepressants and even though I can feel the heartbroken, desperate loneliness in peoples struggles, I feel that you are a little more non-lonely when when you are visible for each other. More importantly I will no longer just be a browsing antidepressant surviver. If I (and everybody else who are anonymously browsing) continue to free ride on sites like surviving antidepressants the real magnitude of the antidepressant problem will never be known and the work you do never be recognized (enough). I have seen somewhere (maybe a YouTube video) that survivingantidepressants.org has over 14.000 members. My guess is for every site-member in the withdrawal community (on FB-groups, twitter, RxISK, innercompass etc) there are +1000 more browsing non members out there. So here you have one more grateful member so you hugely important work can become a little more visible. Soren from Denmark
  11. My original post: So, as of right now I am 17 months completely off all medication. I consider myself fully healed and am so happy to be able to write this because I want others to know that full healing IS possible, even in extreme cases. As I spoke about in my original thread, I was put on an SSRI at 5 years old for anxiety. While at first it seemed to 'help', as I got older my psychiatrist kept on raising the dose until I was essentially a zombie from about age 14-18. It caused many problems and I went from being a very social and happy kid to a sullen, antisocial, shell of what I was. I believe it also gave me bouts of depression, as I never had depression before I was on it and my most depressed periods always came after a dosage increase. It was very painful to me to think about how I had my adolescence and happiness taken from me by this drug and the people who kept me on it not seeing what it was doing to me, but I've reached a point in my life now where I can forgive and am too happy about life now and my future to dwell on that. I really want others to know, if you were put on these meds before you were even old enough to consent to being on them, I understand your pain, and assure you that even in a case like this, you CAN heal, and a life without depending on these drugs IS possible. I know there likely aren't many of us but I know others like me do exist and I hope somehow you find this post and my story can help you in some way. The medications I was on during this period were Zoloft and Celexa (I switched to the latter when I was 13), and I was on the highest doses of each (200mg and 40mg, respectively). When I was 18 years old, I had a stressful period and since it was my first time living away from home at college I started to come to some realizations about how crazy the whole thing was that I was taking these medications without even really understanding as to why I was on them still and not feeling like it was in any way my decision to take them. This was in 2014 and because I was young, and felt invincible and naive I essentially just stopped taking it (Celexa 40mg at this point). I'm not sure about how much detail is necessary here about what followed (although I'm more than happy to answer any questions anyone has and am an open book), but basically, I was ok for a couple of months, but then suffered for the next 4 years with intense, excruciating withdrawal symptoms that ranged from extremely painful physical and medical things to hellish mental symptoms. To this day it amazes me what this drug did to my system, as I never imagined that it could affect things that it affected (my blood tests from my first year of withdrawal confounded even the fancy, expensive doctors I went to). I suffered more than any teenager/young adult should ever have to suffer. I spent literally 3 years basically bedridden, in severe physical and mental pain, not knowing what was going on or if it was ever going to end. I felt like my soul was in crisis, and like I had no sense of self or purpose anymore. Growing up on these meds, I had to come to terms with the fact that I hadn't really been myself from age 5 to 18. But instead of starting over, and forming who I really was, I was unable to even do that because of the physical and mental pain I was in and inability to do anything with my life. I could go on and on with more specifics, but I feel it's more important now to explain what I believe really healed me (And I do consider myself healed now-- I went from being bedridden in pain, dysfunction, and chaos, barely even able to stand and walk sometimes, and completely hopeless about life and feeling out of control, to completely healthy, functional, happy, and living my best life). I think all of us who go through this suffer on a level that others can't really comprehend. But some of us may not realize that there is, in fact, an upside to this. When we're immobilized by pain, and crippled with mental symptoms like depression and anxiety, we have no choice but to just sit and be with ourselves. And this is where we find and understand who our true selves are. This might sound strange or "woo woo", but the major catalyst that really jumpstarted my healing was finding the calm within the storm. I highly recommend meditation for everyone going through this because for me it is what helped me access the part of me that was happy and calm independent of all external circumstances. The more I was able to quiet all my thoughts, the quicker I felt my healing process going. I really went through a spiritual journey, especially this past year when my healing really cemented, and I can honestly say that I've emerged not only healed, but a happier and wiser person than before this all started. I made the decision that I was going to heal, I made the decision that I was going to find happiness and joy and the life I wanted, whatever it took. I feel happier and more excited about life than I ever have (and my body and mind feel amazing). When you let go of stress, worrying, sadness, and negative thoughts, even when the situation outside you really is negative, you will be shocked at how things change. This whole journey is a spiritual journey for all of us. Yes, there are physical effects from this drug, but healing really takes place when we harness the light that exists in us even when things are at their worst. It's a highly personal path, but I really believe it is possible for everyone to overcome this. Supplements can help, but the power of the mind is limitless and infinitely more rewarding. Sparknotes version - meditate daily- quiet your mind. This is so beneficial for mental and physical health. - be aware of your thoughts, and as best you can, limit stressful and negative thoughts. For the first few years of withdrawal, my thinking was constantly "Life is so unfair", "I'm in so much pain", "What if this never ends?", "I am in hell", "Life sucks", etc. If this process has taught me anything, it's that your thoughts do matter, more than you know. Once I started changing my thoughts, my body and mind literally started to change. - journal. Writing down your thoughts can be very cathartic and can even help purge negativity that could be holding you back. Also, as counterintuitive as it may sound, you can even "fake" journal, i.e. write as if you have already healed, write as if you are happy and healthy. - Something I didn't mention in the full post, but VERY important-- when it comes to supplements, start one at a time, and start at a low dose. I know this is mentioned on this site many times, but I didn't take it seriously. I can't tell you how many months I literally lost because my SUPPLEMENTS were giving me symptoms that I thought were just part of the withdrawal, but were actually from the supplements I thought were supposed to help my withdrawal! As Altostrata is always saying, our bodies are very sensitized when in withdrawal and we can have seriously adverse reactions to things that seem super benign. Fish oil, for example, gave me heart palpitations. Ashwagandha, a 'gentle herb' that I had only read good things about, gave me major joint pain and digestive issues. PLEASE start supplements one at a time, at a low dose, wait a couple weeks and see how you're reacting to them. Everyone is different, and only you know what works and doesn't work for you. Keep track of what you're taking and don't fall into the trap of thinking "Oh, it's just a natural supplement, that can't be causing anything". That's how I used to think too and I went through even more pain because of it. There were times that I thought because my brain had developed on these drugs and I was on them so long, I'd never heal. But I did, and I'm in an even better place than I think I would have been if I hadn't gone through this. I am a genuinely happy person, I've formed deep connections with people, I have hope for my life and feel so happy and secure on my path, and I have really learned to appreciate the little things. Most importantly, I learned the importance of my thoughts and how they really affect all aspects of my life. I believe we are all meant to have a happy and healthy life, and it's possible to reclaim that right even when things seem utterly hopeless and bleak. Remember that you have more power than you know. We are a greater and more powerful force than these drugs are!
  12. Hi, this site was recommended to me and I'm very grateful to have found a place where people might understand what I'm going through. My story with antidepressants starts 10 years ago, but I've only really had problems with them within the past year. In 2017, I was switched from fluoxetine to citalopram. The citalopram worked for me, and I was quickly upped to a dose of 30mg, which I happily stayed on for 4 years. This takes us to November(ish) 2021. In November I was really struggling with my anxiety, and physical symptoms which were new to me. I had lots of tests done to rule out any physical illness, and nothing abnormal came up so I was just really confused about what was happening. Everyone kept saying it was anxiety but I couldn't really believe it, because the symptoms were so strong and I'd been dealing with anxiety my whole life and it had never presented like this. My doctor suggested that I increase my citalopram to the maximum dose of 40mg. I'd never been on the maximum dose as I'd always been warned off it because I am underweight, but I did it anyway. I tapered up to 40 by January and stayed on it for about 6 weeks. It didn't help whatsoever - in fact I just felt worse, because I had some side effects from the increase that I'd never experienced previously. Skin crawling, tingling and numbness on my left side, etc. It was horrible so I decided to reduce back down to 30mg. I'd achieved this by late February. At this point, my mental and physical health has been feeling awful for about 4 months. I wasn't able to work, socialise, or do anything at all really. I'd developed extreme health anxiety from having all these new symptoms which I was convinced could be a serious medical condition, and I had now started to develop constant nausea (my worst symptom, as an emetophobe). At this point my doctor started to talk about me switching medications altogether. I was open to it, because in 2017 I'd made the switch from one SSRI to another and it went so smoothly that I just thought this would be the same. She suggested Sertraline, so I started to taper down the citalopram in preparation for that. I got down to 20mg by May and it was really difficult. The nausea, foggy headedness and tingling symptoms were constant. But, looking back, in mid May when I'd settled on 20mg I actually felt a bit better for the first time in a while. I was able to do slightly more and felt less sick every day. I think a wise decision at this point may have been to stay on 20mg and just allow my body to calm down and give myself the chance to have a life again. BUT back in April, I'd had my first appointment with a psychiatrist. After telling him everything, he suggested a medication I hadn't really thought about, Mirtazapine. He told me that when I came off citalopram completely, I should start 15mg of mirtazapine then work up to 30. I sort of took this as a better idea than sertraline, I'm not sure why really...I think because I knew that mirtazapine increased appetite, and I wanted desperately to gain weight because anxiety always takes my appetite away. So I ditched the idea of sertraline (which my doctor seemed fine with after hearing the psychiatrists new recommendation) and continued to taper down further. I got to 15mg by the start of June, and tried to drop again to 10mg. Things were just getting awful, I felt I was worse than I was in May, and I couldn't see myself being able to get all the way to 0 without just having no life anymore and becoming a shell of a person. At this point my doctor prescribes me 7.5mg of mirtazapine to take alongside 15mg citalopram, as a sort of crossover, so that I could continue to taper down citalopram but have the mirtazapine to make me feel a bit better. I took the mirtazapine for a total of 5 days - it made me very sleepy, very groggy in the mornings, and very emotional. I did in some ways feel mentally better - my overthinking definitely reduced and I was finally hungry again which was amazing. But when I told the doctor that I'd been very groggy and tired and had felt very off kilter, she told me to stop the mirtazapine immediately and just stick to 15mg citalopram for a while. This brings us to now. I'm at a loss - I stopped the mirtazpine last week (which has given me withdrawal symptoms too, even though I was only on it for 5 days - headaches, pulsatile tinnitus, worse brain zaps and tingling) and now I'm just sitting with being on 15mg of citalopram, half of what I've been on for 4 years and feeling pretty hopeless. The worst part of all this is the physical symptoms which just disrupt everything. After reading on here and on reddit, I think I'd describe them as brain zaps - a sort of constant tingling in my head which makes me nauseous and makes me feel like my head is fuzzy. I also feel sick at the thought of doing anything - its so hard to describe, but I literally cant picture myself doing anything without feeling spaced out and nauseous. I feel like I am just not on the same plane of existence as anybody else - my head is spaced out, I can't enjoy anything, I feel like crying, my thoughts are quite literally racing and my body is just messed up by all these medication changes. I feel such regret for ever trying to withdraw from citalopram in the first place, especially when I was in a bad place to begin with. I can't imagine how to get out of this hole that I've dug for myself. After reading about medication tapering online I realise I've done it at the wrong time, and far far too quickly, and I'm living with the consequences now. As for trying to settle the symptoms, I've of course tried lots of different supplements with limited success. In fact, since stopping mirtazapine, I'd say supplements make it worse. A few days ago I took a vitamin B supplement and the next day my head was pounding and I had pulsatile tinnitus, and last night I tried a magnesium supplement and today my head is pounding again. I'm very lucky that my family is able to look after me during all this, but they are constantly telling me to 'get out and do things', which I think is their reaction to the idea that all of this is just anxiety, and nothing actually physical. Its so hard to get people to understand that it feels like my body and brain are falling apart, and that withdrawing from my medication (something I chose to do which was meant to lead me on the road to recovery) has made things so so much worse, mentally and also physically. I hope that this will be the lowest point for me and that things will improve, but I have no idea. And I don't even know whether my next step will be more withdrawal, or reinstating the citalopram, or just staying at the dose I'm at. But I'm pretty scared for any of those directions because I've just bounced from one bad experience to another, and somehow I'm scared that it could get even worse.
  13. Hello everyone I developed an anxiety disorder during the pandemic. I didn’t know I was having anxiety at first because I never had it before so it took forever for me to actually start treating it. My anxiety was so bad it caused silent acid reflex. Anyways with time it got better naturally & then I started meditating everyday for about 3 weeks & it really got better the acid reflex was improving too. I got impatient because I wanted my life back already so I thought that taking 10mg celxa pill for a few months to finally get rid of the acid reflex would be ok. I took the pill at night time & felt calm when I woke up, I also noticed my reflex was like 95% gone which just proves it was from anxiety. Anyways later on that day I all of a sudden out of no where I got a headache, rapid heartbeat & shaky hands then I got a “s” thought ( I don’t wanna say the word) which I never had before it was like a voice in my head. I immediately threw all the medication down the drain & didn’t take another one. So I only took ONE pill. After a about a week my acid reflex came back. Since then I’ve had intrusive thoughts, ocd thoughts, brain zaps, memories of bad things that have happened, thoughts focused around violence, fear for no reason, mood swings sad for no reason, crying for no reason, extreme anxiety, frequent urinating, increase of my acid reflex, unable to sit still for long etc. This is obviously all from the pill. this is ridiculous & super scary that just one pill can cause all of this. I don’t know what to do besides wait. I do yoga every morning & breathing exercises & sometimes ride my bike. I had to quit my job. I’m only in my 20’s. Any advice or similar story is welcomed. I took the pill on April 25th so it’s been about a month now
  14. Day 600 (March 11th 2017) 4 months shy of my two year mark. My Introduction: - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10847-%E2%98%BC-rockingchaircat-recovery-from-psychotropic-drugs-that-were-prescribed-willy-nilly/page-1 I’m a male in my early 50’s, and I’ve been on several antidepressants: Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Paxil, and other psychotropics (as prescribed by the pill pushing Docs): Benzos- Xanax and Ativan, and other crap. These pills do not ‘balance your neurotransmitters”, that is a lie- for there is no balance. Instead it’s more akin to a Symphony: Every neurotransmitter has its own part to play at it’s own time and place. My taper strategy was something I came up with in desperation after trying out some boneheaded strategies involving either: A) going cold turkey and then following the advice of a medical doctor. The Route: Cold Turkey- Freak Out. Go on Benzos. Reinstate Antidepressants. Taper off Benzos. Taper off Antidepressants. Lose what’s left of my mind. Try to regain it in recovery. The Cold Turkey route resulted in my freaking out, which segued me into trying out the Benzos on the advice of a medical doctor- which worked GREAT, but only for a short time. Then they stopped working completely. After a while with more of the same useless advice of “give it a few weeks” Or “increase the dose”- I got fed up with the docs and found the website: Benzo Buddies. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=122050.0 There- I learned of the Pharmaceutical Blasphemy- of the necessity of not taking pills. Then I got better advice about how to go about weaning myself off of Benzodiazepines properly. It took a few months but I managed to wean myself off of the Benzos that I was on. Then after a couple of stable months- I decided to taper off of my antidepressant ‘slowly’, as recommended by a different doctor. But, even that was faster than I should’ve tapered-. I thought at the time that my antidepressant withdrawal would take about the same time as it took me to wean myself off of the Benzos. Boy was I wrong. It took me much longer. Which doesn’t come as a surprise now- after all I’d been on more of them for longer than I was on the Benzos. My Coping mechanisms/Strategies during my withdrawal- included the following: 1) Amino acids, 2) Beans, 3) Exercise, 4) A Full Spectrum Light, 5) Hobbies, 6) The Internet, 7) Meditation, 8) Motivation 9) Music, 10) Nature, 11) (Orgasms), 12) & Sunlight. I also found it helpful to cut out chocolate, coffee, and eventually dairy products. Chocolate left me with a severe heartburn. Coffee left me an increased level of anxiousness- cutting it out decreased my anxiety by a measurable amount. And dairy foods made me sleepy- to the point that it was a miniature nasty fatigue day. My Withdrawal Problems: 1) Anxiety 2) Depression 3) Nasty Fatigue Days 4) General Fatigue 5) Cortisol Spikes 6) Mood Swings So- what was it like for me? Hell. I cannot put it any other way- It was Hell- it was the absolute WORST thing I’ve ever had to endure. Anxiety- A general fear that dogged me constantly- from the numerous times I woke up in the middle of the night, dealing with it’s intensity during the day- and then trying to cope with my existence after work and not being too terrible an Ogre to my wife, daughter, friends, and house cats. The fear had grown, to where everything wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t even read a novel- because of fear that the fictional characters were going to encounter hardship. And the boredom, despite the almost constant anxiety waves, I was bored out of my mind. Every hour felt like a day. Every night when I couldn’t fall asleep long enough to catch rest- I stared at the ceiling and tried to get my racing heart to calm down- for hours. Ironically enough- the first few hours of most nights I could sleep- until I started to dream. And when I started to dream- the Cortisol Spikes started up. But dreams are the time when you need the rest the most. Depression- will come back with a vengeance since you don’t have a pill to push it away anymore. So you must fight it. Depression is the Enemy. Depression- Lies. It will do its utmost to deny you reality. It will tell you that it’s not worth trying. But it’s all lies. Because it IS worth it, life is worth it. It’s all worth the trouble. During the early withdrawal phase- I often thought of steering my car into a tree, but I had to fight those thoughts, what I came up with: That driving into a tree was no guarantee of the release I sought. That in fact (knowing my luck) I’d be horribly injured, out of a truck, left with a massive amount of bills to pay with no way of paying for them- and lose my house, my job, and most importantly- the medical insurance my daughter needs to survive on. I refused to let myself end that way – that would’ve been a coward’s way out. In fact- just about anything and everything depression tells you isn’t ‘worth it’: IS. Try to remember this: If depression tells you it ain’t worth it- then you know it is. Nasty Fatigue- That was something I used to get on a regular basis- every two weeks or so during my early days. A depression so extreme that it was torture to get out of bed, and all I could manage was to lie around utterly depressed with existence and stare at the wall in complete and utter despair- for hours, often days. It was an effort to get up and go to the bathroom. I would eat- but only at the behest of my wife, and even then I could only manage a half sandwich- a day. Like so many other symptoms- it’s gone, but it took a while for it to go away. It didn’t so much stop as it melted away. In the depths of it- I would sleep. But it wasn’t in the least restful sleep. And the only way out of it that I could find- was to fight it. I forced myself to get up and stay awake. Words fail me- I simply do not have the words necessary to convey how difficult it was. It was stubborn- I had to out stubborn it. General Fatigue- everything was hard. I had no energy. I went so far as to have my Thyroid hormones checked. ALL of them, not just the usual ones the docs usually pawn off onto you as being ‘comprehensive’ when it’s not. But even that checked out fine. So in the end- no matter how awful I felt about it- I just forced myself to do things. Eventually, my body stopped fighting me so vigorously – and gave in. It was an uphill battle. Cortisol Spikes- During my Benzo withdrawal- I got to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night at FULL ALERT! Often- many times a night. Every time I dreamed- I woke up in a panic. Naturally- this ended up with me not having a decent night’s sleep- so I tried to compensate by increasing my napping. That didn’t work- because invariably I’d wake up after a second or two with still MORE anxiety from another Cortisol Spike. It took me over a year before I could nap again. Alas, I still have a bit of a phobia against naps now. Eventually the Cortisol Spikes increased to the point that I simply wasn’t getting sufficient rest. And in fact I broke down several times at work in hysterics- from sleep deprivation. Most, yet not all, were when no one else was around. Mood Swings- Self Pity- was the biggest one. Which often segued into Furious Rage at the seemingly endless hours of unending mental and physical torture. So how did I endure all of this withdrawal crap? By getting my Neurotransmitter Symphony working again; and how did I do that? Read on. Windows/Waves. I too got the Waves and Windows that just about everyone gets. But along the way I learned of ways to extend the Windows, and shorten the Waves. Full Spectrum Light/Sunlight- I got a window or two even during the beginning. But they didn’t occur often enough- or for that matter long enough- I’d get a few hours once a month- maybe. But there was one thing that initiated my first several day long window: A Verilux Full Spectrum light. It helped pull me out of the winter blahs and the crippling depression that came from decreased sunlight. Now though I never had another several day window start up because of it-even so it has helped in the subsequent recovery process. I’d recommend one for your own use- but I’d also recommend following the instructions- no more than a few minutes a day at first. Why? Because we’re all photo-phobic during our early withdrawal, and you might end up with a sunburn if you’re not careful. Because you need sunlight to help you get better. Our bodies- crave it. Sunlight sets our Circadian Rhythm- that same rhythm that was thrown out of whack by the pills. It helps us release Serotonin (to wake up) and Melatonin (to fall asleep), both neurotransmitters that help us. And I use mine every day. I’ve got the tan to match. Exercise- During all of my withdrawal- I exercised. For me, in earlier days (prior to my withdrawal) I had obtained and used a small work out gym set that I placed in my garage for weight training. I’m hardly buff, let alone ripped, but it has helped keep me fairly strong. And it made for a nice routine 3x a week. Additionally I had a bicycle I used for aerobic activity 3x a week. 1x a week I just didn’t do either- but even then I did something. Usually I did yard work or went for a walk. The point is- do something, anything. Even if all you can manage is one set of pushups- DO IT! Even that little bit will do you good. Walking- Walking is Good. I preferred to do that every day (weather permitting). Walking in a natural setting- it helps. I’m lucky in that I have a pine forest in which I can skirt. And the body needs that. You NEED to get out of the house. You MUST get out and get some fresh air. You’ll hate it at first, I guarantee it. But nonetheless You NEED to do that, Every-Single-Day. (And exercise is excellent dealing with the excess energy that comes with constant anxiety attacks.) Exercise comes with it’s own built in Happy Ending: The Endorphin rush. You’ll eventually get it, and crave it enough to keep going at it. Why? Because the Endorphins are another form of Neurotransmitters that you need. Amino Acids- Along about the time I started getting hysterical due to lack of sleep I was getting desperate. I was grasping at straws- and that’s when I discovered Taurine. It, along with some magnesium- was as close to a god send for my sleep as the Happy Light was for my depression and fatigue. The first couple of weeks taking Taurine/Magnesium- I was able to turn a corner and started getting something akin to a decent night’s sleep. Not much, but even that little was better than none. Nowadays- I still get the occasional middle of the night wakefulness from a Cortisol Spike- but it’s usually after a long stretch of dreaming. And with that success- I started researching into other aminos and eventually settled upon: Tyrosine, Taurine, and Theonine. They all had one thing in common. They were/are Neurotransmitter Pre-cursors. And what is a Neurotransmitter Precursor? It’s something the body can take and create a Neurotransmitter with. Now backing up a bit- what I learned at Benzobuddies- was that our brains and bodies- are inherently Lazy. Our bodies produce a Neurotransmitter called GABA. It’s used by the brain to calm things down. When we use a Benzo- the body adapts to it and stops producing GABA. That would be one thing. But our bodies are fiendish in that after we’ve gotten used to the pill- we develop ‘tolerance’- which is to say- that the pills stop working. The tolerance is when our bodies chose to stop producing the neurotransmitter we were augmenting/replacing with by using a pill. Thus if we stop using the benzo - what little defense we have against overstimulation- isn’t there in the quantities that it was prior to the pill use. This end result creates the waves and windows we all get to ‘enjoy’ during withdrawal. Our bodies still produce the needed neurotransmitters- just not often enough or in large enough quantities. And every now and again- for I’ve no idea reasons why- for a few hours or days our bodies produce just what level of them we need to feel OK. Those are the windows. But they don’t last- and the Waves of symptoms start up again. It’s the same thing with anti-depressants. The pills cause us to stop producing enough Serotonin or Dopamine (depending on what you’ve been prescribed). So what the hell are we supposed to do when we go off the pills? We need those neurotransmitters- yet we don’t produce enough of them anymore. Taking straight neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, or GABA, is counter-productive, when what we need is to get our bodies to produce them again. So after a suitable amount of self-research- I settled on the Amino Acids that are neurotransmitter precursors. Tyrosine is used by the body to create: Dopamine. Theanine is used by the body to create: Serotonin. And Taurine is used by the body to create GABA. And the nice thing is that you won’t overdose on them. Your body will use them to make ‘just enough’. The aminos helped me immensely. They didn’t cure the problem, but they took a LOT off of the rough edges and made my recovery- tolerable. It’s gotten to the point that my body does produce the necessary neurotransmitters on it’s own- that I’ve started tapering off of the aminos I’ve been taking. And on a couple of days- I’ve forgotten to take them without noticing that I hadn’t. Meditation- During all of this- I meditated when I could. Invariably during such meditations- I fell asleep. But even that helped in its own way. It helped me learn how to suppress in a small way the anxiety that did occur- a bit of biofeedback that helped me learn to calm down and distract myself. The suppression techniques still come in handy even now on day 600, and I imagine that they’ll still be doing me good for years to come. Though in the early days I often just wrapped myself in a heavy comforter, turned on the room fan, and stared off into space for hours while sitting on the bed in the middle of the night, and I’d do the same on the weekends both during the day and night. Hobbies- Do something you enjoy- or did. Go back to it. Even if it’s a mighty burden, sit yourself down and work on your hobby. Even if it takes you an hour- to do something that you have done in seconds before- do it. Eventually- you’ll remember the fun that you had with it before. You’ll notice that by immersing yourself into it- you can ignore the pain for a bit. Naturally you’ll look forward to doing it again. Me? I work on spaceship models. And from what I’ve learned- by taking the time to do even 5 minutes a day, and doing it slow- I do a much better job on them now. See- I learned something. Internet- I spent many an hour researching these conditions that fell into my lap. Such research led me to Benzo Buddies and Surviving Antidepressants. But it also made me appreciate how wonderful that the internet can be when it comes to distracting myself from my pain. I read somewhere that we all get a dose of Dopamine when we open another interesting page on the net. Hey- whatever works. Online games- such as Lumosity- give me something to gauge my progress in such things as fine motor skills, memory skills, and Hand/Eye coordination- all of which has suffered during the worst of my withdrawal. Of late- I’ve been trying the stuff I had to cut out: Chocolate, Coffee, Dairy foods. I’m back to eating those things again, and in fact it does make feel better to be able to do so. Chocolate makes me feel good after eating a bit. Coffee makes me feel good after drinking it. I had my first slice of pizza just the other day- it felt good after eating it. (I imagine that if I eat too much of the above I won’t be feeling quite so good- after seeing what my bathroom scale has to say!) Motivation- It’s what kept me going. What kept me going? My Wife, My Daughter- they are what kept me going. (And my Mom- she made me promise to keep going too). (No Dad though- that’s another story) I was needed - my family needed me. It wasn’t much. But sometimes that was the only thing that kept me going- was the thought that they needed me. I cannot remember how many times I woke up just as it was time to get up- and simply didn’t want to keep going anymore. I didn’t want to face yet another day of constant anxiety or fear. But I got up and did it anyways. Snuggles with the wife- helped me, the physical touch was something I needed. And Snuggles releases a neurotransmitter- Oxytocin. And there were some phrases that helped motivate me through many a hard day- and they’re still something I occasionally have to fall back on when things get tough mentally: 1) Be Here Now 2) Accept 3) Pain is Mandatory- Suffering is Optional These three phrases tie in with each other. #1 Be Here Now; is the motivation that you are only in the now- and for you to not fixate upon the timeline of your withdrawal. The past is done, the future will come, but it’s best to focus on the immediate now and what you can do with it. #2 is about the immediate now- refusing to accept what’s going on in withdrawal will just make it worse. By Accepting that this is the way things are- you actually gain a sort of control over it all # 3- There is the Pain of Withdrawal- you can find ways to cope with the pain. Suffering is what comes about when you refuse to accept what is. You can choose to not be the person subjected to an endless misery of withdrawal. Yes I was in Withdrawal- but I choose to be more than a person in withdrawal- I chose instead to try and enjoy life as much as I could in between the wave crests. In both my benzo and antidepressant withdrawal blogs- I griped something fierce about it all. For that I make no apology. For I also chose to try and grab onto whatever little pleasures and triumphs I could garner when I was able to. Nature- There’s something about the forest, or even alone time next to a lake that helped me to calm down after a particularly grueling week or day. I got a few spiritual moments from the interplay of light in the clouds along with the wind in the leaves. Those few moments came at a time that I needed them. Music- I remember reading in a Science Magazine- that Music gets just about every area in the brain running. And that’s something that you need. The pills make our brains ‘soft’, music helps reboot it, it’ll evoke memories both good and bad. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh. And that’s what you need to do to get your neurotransmitters kicking in again. Beans- So what’s the big to do about beans? Gastrointestinal Health is paramount. Even though all of the other stuff I’ve listed above helped- I’ve also still had a number of problems involving Cortisol Spikes, the one thing that helped me well with that (after the Taurine) were Beans. I’ve found that the addition of a couple of tablespoons worth of Black Beans with dinner- seemed to lessen the number and frequency of Cortisol Spikes. I’m not exactly sure why this happens- though I have my suspicions. From what I understand- they’re a good source of something called Oligosaccharides. I learned about them after watching a documentary about Human Breast Milk. Apparently- Human Breast Milks’ primary ingredients include: 1) Water, 2) Fats, 3) Proteins, and 4) Oligosaccharides. So what are they? They’re a form of sugar that humans cannot digest. Now why on earth would humans produce something that babies cannot digest? Apparently the oligosaccharides are digested by a form of bacteria in the human gut- Beneficial Bacteria. The kind of bacteria that not only promotes our health in our guts but also helps us from - amongst other things- getting depressed. Long story short- Beans help you calm down and helps to prevent you from getting depression. Weird huh? Orgasms- Orgasms make you feel better. Orgasms release several feel good neurotransmitters. If you can- go for it. Hitachi wands are helpful in that regard for some folks. What’s it like for me now? I still get depressive. I still have bad days. But I’m also having good days. I’m enjoying life again. My hobbies are fun again. I’m spending time with my wife enjoying the amenities that my house and internet has to offer. (Netflix!) I’m honestly laughing again. For the longest time I forced myself to. After a while- I was able to give an honest laugh. That was a relief. Laughing- makes me feel better. Now- I can laugh spontaneously. Laughter releases Neurotransmitters. Crying- that too was near impossible for me. Now- I cry every few days. Crying- makes me feel better. I’m not up to crying spontaneously- but I’m working on it. I appreciate the time I have with my wife. I appreciate the time I have with my daughter. These times are so precious to me now. Weight loss- I still get hungry and I’m inclined to overeat if I’m not careful. Somehow I’ve still managed to lose about three pants sizes. I’ve still a ways to go, but such is a nice feeling. On the antidepressants- even mild hunger felt like I starving to death. In fact, there were times that I kept shoving food down my throat despite being so full that I was vomiting out food- but I was still famished- I couldn't achieve satiation. Now- it’s not. It’s bearable. I feel hunger, and it’s easily satisfied. I’ve lost a lot of my health due to trusting the medical doctors. I now am short one gall bladder- due to the gastrointestinal upsets my body underwent from the initial cold turkey. It was a journey of discovery for me when I found out that so many medical doctors- just don’t give a damn about folks’ suffering. Compassion Fatigue it’s called. My antidepressants- also caused me to react to allergens even more violently- I now need a CPAP to breathe at night- due to an Emergency Room visit in which some idiot botched my intubation during a visit due to a food impaction in my esophagus caused by a food allergy. During that little escapade they also managed to pierce my esophagus and I came close to needing a transfusion. And it managed to screw up my trachea too, Joy. For some reason- I find I cannot trust the Medicos as much as I did before. Why should I? They give us pills when they know they shouldn’t. During my withdrawal- I ended up going to the ER at least 6 or 7 times for things. On 5 of those visits- they gave me a scrip for Oxycodone tablets. Only two of which I put in for at the time. The other 3 I just tore up and threw away. And of those I kept- I used maybe a half dozen tablets- the rest of the contents of the bottles- I threw away. Day 600. March 11, 2017. 4 months shy of my two year mark. That’s the two year mark after tapering off of my antidepressant. That’s not including the time I spent from going cold turkey to now. Let’s see, including that turns out to be: 1048 days. Nasty. I’ve lost nearly 2 decades of my life to this crap. Thanks for nothing there Mr. Hippocratic Oath. And I’ve found that I’ve been having an issue with a short temper quite often of late. It could be a form of PTSD, it could be part of my personality that I’ve always had but never learned to control or channel. If so- then it’s past time for me to learn some anger/frustration management techniques. Which I'm doing now. Now, I'm having to relearn how to be a mature and responsible adult. It's an interesting time.
  15. Hello. I'm 21 y.o. male. My story with ADs. I was taking Cytalopram ~8 months in 2019, then I stopped it myself as I was not seeing any effect. 07.07.2022 I took first 30mg of prescribed duloxetine before sleep. (Also I was prescribed it with Lamotrigine, Atarax. I strated them a week or two before.) After 2.5h of sleep I woke up with strange feeling. It was difficult to focus, it was getting dark in my eyes. Seems like my pressure got low so I even called to ambulance, but they said ti is just adverse effect and it's ok. Then it got better, but it was a strange feeling in my head all next day. I drank a lot of water (~6 liters) to decrease this drug effect. I was trying to sleep, but wake up every 1-2 hous. I read about a possible PSSD, even after a few days of taking it. Fortunately, yesturday I tried and it seems like it was ok with orgasm. Also I slept today and seems I'm feeling better, but have slight kind of lightheadedness. Of course, I wouldn't take this drugs anymore. Maybe you can reassure me that nothing terrible will happen to my brain from one pill? I would like advice about some lifestyle changes/supplement/diet to minimize effects of this drugs and reduce anxiety. Btw last few months I used to go to the gym and eat healthy diet. When is the best time for me to exercise? Thank you in advance. I appreciate this community.
  16. Hello everyone. I hope is doing well. I've been taking celexa for 10+ years now. I think from 2011 when I started it. But the last few years I've been feeling okay. Lately tried to jump into a new career. But because I take antidepressants I couldn't get the job. I want to use this opportunity to finally get off the medication for myself and be free. How I take celexa is a bit different. I would take 30mg then skip a day and take 30 the day after. I've been taking it like this for years. So my question is how do I taper from this?
  17. I have been on Celexa 20 mg for 20 years. Wellbutrin 300XL for 18 years. I want to taper off as slowly as possible. Is there anyone out there that has been on this same cocktail for this long and tried weaning off? Is there any hope that I can do it? I'm thinking I should start with the Wellbutrin. 2 years ago I tried going off them extremely fast and crashed, of course. Bad BAD choice. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
  18. In August of 2021 will be a four-year ordeal that began with a breaking through (tolerance) of the SSRI medication (Celexa) I was on for 20 years. During this four-year period, I experienced over 75 symptoms associated with psychotropic medication withdrawal and at two different times was at zero quality of life. Once for five months (within the first year) and the once for four months (in year two) three months after my last dose of medication. I have been treated by a Psychiatrist, several counselors, two functional medicine doctors, two nutritionist, two specialists with psychotropic medication withdrawal, a geneticist and spent over a year and a half treated by a Dr. who specializes with hard-to-treat depression and anxiety cases. I have been on several strict diets (anti-inflammatory, vegetarian) and taken countless supplements. I have been tested for many possible underlying conditions. Although my condition has improved slowly (many symptoms have abated) I am still impaired living with severe insomnia, depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Concentration, speech, motivation, fatigue are all residual issues that continue to come and go with no predictable pattern but as of late cognition, speech and energy level have all improved. Prior to taking psychotropic medications, I lived with dysthymia (PDD) with major depressive episodes until 34 years old. I was not aware of the condition until that time. Looking back it effected my motivation, outlook on life, self-confidence and career decisions. I took Celexa for 20 years and it worked well for about 12-15 years. A whole new world of consistent positive emotions opened up soon after starting the drug. The last five or so years I was emotionally numb with no real highs but depression, insomnia and anxiety were not factors. It should be noted that for about eight of those years the dosage was 80 mg. In the summer of 2017, I noticed increased anxiety levels and insomnia had returned similar to when I when on medication. I then realized I was breaking through the medication. Agitation and aggression also started increasing. My psychiatrist then prescribed multiple medications over a period of five months. I experienced intense acute withdrawal symptoms. These drugs included Lexapro, Cymbalta, and Prozac. I stopped all meds after five months in December of 2017 for a period of one and a half months (symptoms intensified). At the end of the month and a half, I tried Ketamine infusions and my quality of life was reduced to zero. This intense period lasted five months. During this five-month period, new and previously prescribed drugs were given including Prozac, Trintellex, Lexapro, Klonopin (5 mg.), and Trazodone. In May of 2018, I began a slow taper with an organization to come off all medications. The taper ended in August of 2019. The order of the taper was Trintellex, Trazadone, Klonopin, and Prozac. During the taper, a number of symptoms lessened but would return later with varying intensity and duration (e.g., visual distortions, brain zaps, dizziness, numerous cognitive issues). However, after the taper, several symptoms slowly increased in severity including insomnia (severe), depression (moderate to severe), concentration (moderate), anxiety moderate to severe), depersonalization/derealization (moderate). The symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression were the most constant. Immediately after my taper, quality of life was reduced significantly (close to zero). This in spite of working with a functional medical doctor and nutritionist for treatment. Three months later, I reached zero quality of life again and in the winter of 2019 I went to a clinic that specialized in hard to treat cases in hope they could help. My condition improved slowly but not much. I was put on supplements to address sleep and high free copper levels. The treatment for free copper lasted over a year with zinc supplements reaching 250 mg before it was determined my free copper levels were down. Sleep problems remained unchanged. After two years of being treating I was still severely symptomatic and was told I was one of only 10% of patients that they were not able to help. In desperation and on recommendation, I reached out to an organization the deals with genetic testing. They put me on more supplements in which I reacted negatively. Currently, insomnia remains bad. I wake every night after about three hours with an intense mixture of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression, guilt, shame) that have no basis in circumstances. My sleep is tumultuous at best, waking multiple times before experiencing electrical like sensations about 45 minutes prior to waking. Most mornings I cannot go back to sleep because of these sensations. My sleep hygiene is very good and has been for a while. Nothing seems to help in this area. I take magnesium and have taken a number of other supplements and natural sleep aids, but none have worked. However, I now go through withdrawal if I forget to take the magnesium. In summary, this August it will be four years. Two of which have been medication free. My symptoms have improved in number, intensity and duration. However, I still deal with insomnia, depression and anxiety in varying patterns. I do have some windows but never a full day and have not slept through the night except once in 4 years. Trying to discern withdrawal symptoms from underlying symptoms is challenging. Sleep was never a problem prior to taking medications and nothing close to what I live with now. I do not understand why is so bad when I have practiced excellent sleep hygiene for a while. The anxiety and depression have similarities to my pre-existing condition but also have major differences. For example, I can be dealing with a situation in the morning that seems to be causing depression or anxiety and in the evening I am thinking about the same situation and feel neither anxiety or depression and can view the situation in rational emotionally stable state. I am very strong in my belief about my identity but will sometimes experience strong emotions of insecurity that I know are absolutely baseless and absurd. The same goes for anxiety and depression. The emotions seem to have a mind of their own. There is a strong disconnect between what I know to be true and my emotions. Like fearing something that you know is rationally nothing to fear. I have many questions that I probably already know the answer, but I will throw them out for your feedback. 1. Did the poly drugging exacerbate the withdrawal/healing process. 2. What about the ketamine? That drug sent me off into the abyss of torturous emotions. It was like I was being brutally tortured non-stop for five months night and day. The emotions were beyond description. Zero peace and joy. 3. Are my current symptoms (they still can be very debilitating and intense) uncommon this far out from being off meds? 4. I did a slow taper and was told I would probably heal quickly only to go back to zero quality of life three months later. Any thoughts? 5. Although most of the people who have tried to help have been well-meaning, none have been able to significantly alter my condition. I have appreciated their encouragement and compassion, but their treatments have not been able to move the healing needle. Most supplements inflated my symptoms or did nothing at all. The free copper diagnosis and treatment did bring a little relief but only a little. 6. I have read that sleep is one of the last things to return to normal, but four years later it still is bad. Any thoughts? Feel free to ask questions or make comments. Thank you for taking the time to read.
  19. KittenLePurr, here. Thank you so much for maintaining this site and for welcoming me here❤️ I was put on psych meds as a child, at age 12. I'm still working through a lot of anger around that. My parents did the best they could but, you know, they were traumatized by their parents, who were traumatized by their parents, etc., and they were all taught to blindly trust doctors and to essentially live in fear of their bodies. Thanks, Western medicine. Anyway, so, as a highly sensitive child who felt deeply depressed and uncomfortable in the world, I presented quite a set of challenges to my parents. I had a month-and-a-half-long period at age 11, so my mom took me to an OBGYN who did no tests or anything to see what was up with my hormones; she just wrote me a prescription for birth control. 🙄 My mom was concerned about that but gave it to me. I became even more depressed after that and, when I was 12, told my mom I thought I needed help. She took me to a counselor who suggested I see a psychiatrist, who wrote me a prescription for Zoloft. Oh, and talk therapy. The gold standard of care. Zoloft and therapy didn't seem to help, so I was then put on Prozac...and then, on a whole host of other meds. I took a jumbled handful of different cocktails I can’t even remember, including Effexor, Wellbutrin, Trazadone, Remeron, and a number of mood stabilizers. It was a rollercoaster on top of the hormonal rollercoaster I was already on, being a preteen on birth control. At age 13, things felt increasingly bleak, as I was having issues with my friends at school and felt unloved and completely hopeless, and I decided it was time to end it. I took as many pills from the medicine cabinet as I could without throwing up and lay down in my bed, waiting to die. But it took too long; I got impatient and decided maybe I didn’t really want to die...not if it meant lying there, excruciatingly nauseated. So when my dad got home, I told him I needed to go to the hospital and they pumped my stomach. The pills I'd taken the most of were Effexor leftover from my brief stint on it months prior. I thought I was going to throw up the charcoal until a social worker put a cool washcloth on my forehead, and the nausea passed and I felt this giant wave of relief and joy from still being alive. I told my psychiatrist about that, and she took that to mean Effexor was a good med for me. So I went back on it and stabilized on Remeron, and over the next few years, things did get a little better. Meaning we were sort of managing my depression. But I was still deeply, deeply troubled. I was attracted to drugs and alcohol because I was so depressed and uncomfortable in my own skin and altered states felt better to me. I was on a constant quest to find the best and most complete escape from the pain of normal, everyday life and started partying and skipping school to smoke pot and take drugs. I was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Adderall, which gave me horrible side effects but also appeased my longing to escape sobriety, so I took more and more of it. Up to 120mg a day. I flunked out of public school and my parents sent me to private school, at which point I finally chilled out on the partying and graduated. I was managing my symptoms a little better. In college, I had a serious boyfriend who pointed out it was not normal for a girl like me to have such severe sexual dysfunction. I’d never been told anything about that by my doctor or even realized it was abnormal, and when I found it was a common side effect of antidepressants, I was outraged and decided to stop taking my antidepressants, cold turkey, between doctor’s visits. I’d never heard of withdrawal symptoms. But I didn’t experience any! Different biology?? I don’t know. When I told my doc I’d stopped taking the meds, she was pretty surprised that I seemed okay. This was the most stable period of my life. I wasn’t “happy” or even well-adjusted but I was managing, even after I got off the meds. I wonder why my more recent experiences have been so different. I’d developed TMJ my senior year and in college, guzzling Adderall and stressing out, my anxiety and jaw pain got much, much worse. I would have flare-ups where it felt like my jaw muscles were being stabbed with an ice pick. I went to the emergency for a particularly bad episode and asked my psychiatrist if there was anything she recommended. She prescribed lorazepam. I started off only taking that here and there for my jaw but eventually, it became a daily habit for anxiety. Life was just better when I took it. It’s what I’d always been searching for: peace. I vowed never to take antidepressants again but benzos were okay in my book because I had no idea they also came with a slew of negative side effects, and they made a much bigger difference in how I felt. For a while, anyway. Eventually I graduated to Klonipin and was taking 1-2 mg a day, every day, sometimes more. I dropped out of college to pursue a music career and my love of getting inebriated spiraled out of control. During a particularly low point in my life, I started taking pain pills to get through work and got addicted to them. I spent the next few years battling opioid addiction which progressed to heroin addiction. I checked myself into rehab in 2012 and during that month, I was put on Lexapro for depression and Seroquil for sleep. Seroquil made me feel frightened, so I talked to the doctor and he put me on Remeron again. I was like a zombie. And I couldn’t stop eating the junk food they had there. I felt AWFUL. So, as soon as I got out, I stopped taking all the meds. Not sure whether I had withdrawals because, unfortunately, I also relapsed. I battled my addiction a while longer until my beloved boyfriend at the time OD’d and died in front of me. I was obviously crushed and blamed myself. I was more depressed than ever but didn’t want to die, so I entered a methadone maintenance program and stopped doing street drugs. I’m so grateful for that methadone clinic...it saved my life. But the doctor there kept urging me to get back on an antidepressant and I didn’t want to. Because I knew it would only be harder this time. But I still had no other coping skills and had these health professionals telling me I had a chemical imbalance and the only way to fix it was with medication, so I relented. I was on 75mg Effexor and 1.5mg Klonipin. My doc lowered my dose of Klonipin a few times over the next few years; he wanted me to get off of it now that the FDA released a black box warning about cognitive effects. In 2017, I switched from Effexor to 20mg Citalopram, which he thought would help with my anxiety. It didn’t. And she tapered me off the Effexor over the span of about a week and a half...it was brutal! I knew better by that point, too, but I chose to just trust her anyway. I barely slept and the anxiety was incapacitating. It took me a couple of years to connect the dots but Citalopram gave me horrendous brain fog. I’m a writer and musician, and I had a health and wellness blog I really took pride in. Once I was stable on the Citalopram, I stopped feeling able to write or make music entirely. I could barely think straight. For 3 YEARS. And for the first year and a half of that, I thought I was just tired and lazy because my doctor said it wasn’t related. But in 2017, I discovered holistic psychiatrist Kelly Brogan on a podcast and learned the truth about antidepressants and learned I was not the only person whose creativity was stunted by them. I learned game-changing lifestyle practices that actually DID help with depression and anxiety--unlike the meds--and I underwent a huge health transformation and had an awakening around the medical system and society at large. And I got to a place where I felt more centered, joyful, and more MYSELF than I’d ever thought possible. I vowed to get off meds for good--this time, not to just “manage my mental illness” without meds, but to live a full, vibrant, healthy life. I was most eager to get off the things that stifle my creativity, so I microtapered off my remaining 0.35mg Klonipin in Spring of 2020. I got through it using my lifestyle practices--clean eating, meditation, intentional movement, grounding, EFT/tapping and emotional regulating practices/shadow work--and had only a few severe panic attacks. The brain fog was INTENSE and I’m so grateful to have been laid off from the lockdown because I could not have worked. I basically lay around all day for months, aside from doing my self-care practices. I tried to move right into tapering Celexa because I want OUT but my body said NOPE just about immediately with severe insomnia, crippling anxiety and even worse brain fog. I’ve been balancing out over the past year and am feeling 9,000,000,000 times better than I was right off of Klonipin. I’m ready to get off of Celexa. I’ve lowered my dose of methadone over the past several years, too, and I’m at half my original dose. I know this isn’t a forum for that but it’s part of my journey...and getting off an opioid is no walk in the park but I’m honestly concerned that this Celexa taper is going to be even harder. That’s why I signed up here. I’m currently at 14.35 mg; my original dose was 20mg. I don’t really know what to expect (aside from anxiety and sleep disturbances) but I know I’m going to need support. Figuring out the math to do each cut feels really difficult. My brain fog is still really thick. I’m honestly disappointed it hasn’t improved more by now, having been off Klonipin for almost a year. I’m taking lion’s mane mushrooms, which definitely help but it’s still a challenge. I’m still unemployed and have been hesitant to cut my dose because I keep expecting to lose my unemployment and have to be able to perform, create, be productive, etc. I don’t feel comfortable going to a workplace with what’s going on out there now, so I started learning copywriting last year during lockdown and was planning to start a freelancing business but kept going back and forth between prioritizing that and my healing. I couldn’t write during Klonipin withdrawal; I don’t know if I’ll be able to during this taper. I have so much fear around this. I’m doing a lot of inner work, a course called Core Wound Healing and lots of shadow work, which I know will help me through this. Still, it’s difficult. So much fear! But since I only have 1 ongoing freelance client and it’s really easy work, I’m back to prioritizing my healing, and I cut my dose by 10% this morning. I’m just telling myself “I got this” over and over. Going to see how I feel in a few days, a week, 2 weeks. And I’ll go from there. Thank you so much if you made it to this point!! I know this was a novel!! (I'm a writer...I edited this about 10 times but brevity isn't one of my strong suits😬)
  20. Curious to know if anyone can give me their thoughts on my situation. My GP gave me Celexa at the beginning of February for general anxiety...very mild. I took the Celexa for 2 days and it made me few worse. She switched me to Paxil (took 5 days) and it did the same. I had panic attacks, felt like I was coming out of my skin, etc. I then went to see a psychiatrist, hoping he would give me advice on going the natural route. He said he thought SSRIs were not compatible with me, but suggested I try Zoloft. I really didn't want to, but he promised me it would be worth the shot. I took it for 11 days and on the 10th day, began having unwanted, depressive thoughts. He asked me to immediately stop the medicine, so I did. I had taken 12.5 mg for 5 days, 25 mg for 5 days and 36.5 for 1 day when I stopped cold turkey. The unwanted thoughts and anxiety increased for about 2 weeks and last week, began to taper some. I'm 3 weeks into being off them meds, but the depressive thoughts have not diminished. I was never depressed or experienced anything to do with mood swings or depression before SSRIs. I know what I am dealing with has to be my chemistry trying to balance out, but it's miserable. The doctor says I should be back to normal by week 4, but I'm struggling to have confidence in that...especially since he didn't think the Zoloft would mess me up in the 1st place. I feel like I've really messed myself up. I just want to be back to my normal self like I was before all of this. I don't like having thoughts of hurting myself or others...it's not me and I want it to go away. I would love advice or thoughts from anyone with similar situations.
  21. Hi, I'm purplehummingbird, PHB for short My journey with psych drugs started 20 years ago when I was 17. I was experiencing emotional difficulties stemming from a traumatic childhood and subsequent recreational drug taking from the age of 15. My doc prescribed me fluoxetine. I took one that night, felt like a zombie the next day and so threw the rest away. I wish that had been my only brush with psych drugs, but 9 years later, still experiencing the emotional difficulties and still recreational drug taking, I went back to the doc who put me on 50mg Citalopram. I took it for four months, decided it wasn't helping and then tried to stop. Queue 11 years of unrecognised withdrawal, misdiagnoses, medical gaslighting, more drugging, repeated attempts to stop and finally poly drugging. Currently taking 7.5mg of Citalopram and 11.25mg of Mirtazapine. I quit recreational drugs in 2013 and last year I quit nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. I am so relieved to have found this incredible site and to finally realise what's been happening all along. That I was never 'mentally ill' (whatever that means), that I never 'needed' to take psychiatric medication and that it was the drugs themselves causing all the problems. I'm looking for (and hoping to give) support, guidance, connection, help and encouragement and to explore the deeper lessons in all of this as I finally taper off these drugs for good. I am intrigued by the non drug coping tools, as my toolbox is pretty bare, and I hope that I can use this opportunity to create healthy habits that can last me throughout my journey to freedom and beyond. PHB x
  22. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  23. Hello all, I’m glad I found this site, and knowing there is people like me. I’ve been looking on this site to read and gather as much information as I can. Let me start from the beginning. I’m typing this with intense brain fog. In junior high school I was diagnosed with ADD, depression and social anxiety, was put on the drug merry go round. I honestly don’t remember the dates of being on these dugs or the dosage. I do remember being on Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft, Remeron, Tarzodone, Strattera. I’m not sure when I stopped these drugs with help from the psychiatrist. The next part my memory is better. In 2007 I was having bad anxiety from my job and my up to date drugs then was Klonpin .5 mg tablet 2x a day, Celexa hbr 20 mg tablet 1x in the evening, Concerta 36 mg tablet 1x in the morning. I wasn’t my real self on those drugs. In 2014 I had a back injury, I needed to work without being in so much pain. I think around 2015 I was put on Flexeril 10mg tablet up to 3x a day, Hydrocodone-acetaminophen 5mg-300mg tablet every six hours, Tramadol 50 mg tablet 3x a day, Mobic 7.5 mg tablet 1x a day, Prednisone 20mg tablet 1x a day. All while still taking Celexa, Concerta, and Klonpin. I was a walking zombie. I couldn’t function, simple tasks for me became the most complex to do. I know I wasn’t functioning at “normal” level, but I didn’t know what else to do with being in so much back pain. In 2016 the pain from my back was going into my feet, I was put on Gapapentin 600mg tablet 3x a day. At this time, I was put on more Klonpin cause I reached a tolerance, 1mg tablet 3x a day. During this time I had a surgery scheduled for my back, I told this to my gp, and he literally cut me off from Klonpin. Dr said tapper 2 weeks off Klonpin and your fine, but I knew better. My dad is a drug and alcohol counselor, and brought home papers on Dr. Ashton for benzodiazepines withdrawal. I knew it was going to be tough. This part is a bit hazy to me, I do remember Tapering off of K for months, maybe 4 to 6 months. I forget the exact dosage I did. That was a nightmare, I’m glad I didn’t do it in 2 weeks. I had the brain zaps, hot, rage, restlessness, feeling like jumping out of skin, depression. Definitely, one of the most difficult things I have gone through in my life. The lack of sleep I feel like was the worst part of it all. I decided not go through with the back surgery. For whatever reason I starting to taper off the other drugs. I tapered one at time with a good amount of space before I started my next taper. I forget the dates, but I tapered off of Tramadol, Flexeril, Gabapentin, and Hydrocodone. It was not easy but I did it. I would just go to my room blackout the window and stay there. I was also put on medical marijuana around this time. In 2019 is when I feel like I was coming out of the withdrawals. The only way to describe me before and after the drugs is night and day. I could process information, think clearly. I could feel emotions to a point. I felt really good. I was still on Celexa hbr 20mg 1x in the evening and Concerta 36mg 1x in the morning. At the end of April in 2022 I went on medical leave from my work because of my back, it hurt to stand. So 13 days ago I saw my gp told him I was feeling sedated from the Celexa, he said to take it in the morning. I tried that, and couldn’t sleep, so decided to take it at night to sleep. Last Thursday, I picked up my rx for Celexa. I told the pharmacist the same thing, he said take it in the morning, and let your body get used to it. I did as he said, and I took Celexa 20 hbr 20mg at 7am. I noticed a change and how I was feeling. At exactly 4pm this intense drowsy, dizzy, brain fog hit me. Also, noticed my breathing at this time is slow and shallow. 4pm is when I would normally take Celexa. This intense drowsy, dizzy feeling was only happening at 4pm. I wanted this to go away, so two days ago I decided to take my Celexa at the normal time 4pm. Today at 7am I started feeling that intense drowsy, dizzy, hot, almost feeling shaky, brain fog. It is so difficult to do simple things. I’m having back surgery next month, don’t want to be in this condition when that happens if possible. What do I do? Need help? I’m going to a cvs minute clinic soon, so they can check me out, but I don’t think they will be much help. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Every single one of you guys on here are amazing, don’t ever forget that! If people really knew the struggle we go through, I think they would have more respect for us. Much Love to you all!
  24. Hello! On the advice of my therapist, I was told to look into this site with the goal of finding resources and assistance for myself as I try to ween off of Celexa. I have been taking a low dose (10mg) for the past four years and have decided I no longer want to take it yet even with the 10% taper am experiencing some horrendous side effects. I have noticed an increased in irritability, rage even, where I will curse at my dog loudly (my sweet dog), feel as if I am crawling out of my skin and then proceed to try to alleviate this feeling by going into my basement and smashing household items against the walls, suicidal thoughts and poor attempts (trying to hang myself knowing I wouldn't succeed), crying spells, lack of motivation, fatigue, and apathy. I am currently down to 5mg yet am wondering if what I am experiencing is withdrawal or if I truly just need medication and need to go back to my prescribed dose. I am having difficulty knowing whom I should trust...therapist who is anti-meds, or doctor who is pro meds. Anyways, not sure what I am really looking for, hopefully some others who may have had similar side effects to know it will pass. I am most concerned about my irritability and suicidal behavior. I look forward to browsing around and hopefully gaining some insight.
  25. Hi All, I've been tentative to post here but thought I'd add my own experience in preparation to begin tapering off Gabapentin after ten years depending on it. I've been on psychiatric medications since age 14 for GAD/MDD, a diagnoses which was later specified as BP II (though I take any diagnosis with heaps of salt given the likelihood of inter-rater bias). From 14-18 was on a smorgasbord of various SSRIs, mood stabilizers, and anti-psychotics. Lots of medication churn because I was young and dumb and too impatient to give anything enough time to work. That is until the first day of college orientation, and waves of crippling anxiety led me to try gabapentin from a family member scrip. It was also around this time that I settled down with one SSRI (Celexa -> Lexapro) at 20mg (subsequently raised to 30mg at age 22). Gabapentin seemed to work, so I brought it up with my psych who agreed to prescribe it (no mention of dependence or withdrawal, obviously) and went on my merry way. Well, no so merry, as my mental health led to me leaving my hard-won spot at a liberal arts college and return home to attend CC while living with my parents. For the next 4 years my anxiety and depression were manageable, if only because I avoided any situations or experiences that I deemed too stressful or emotionally wrought, and I graduated from a state university with a degree in psychology (a major chosen due to my own struggles, and one I deeply regret). I then fell face first into the workforce six months before the coronavirus shut the country down. My tendency to self-isolate became more insidious as I could argue for it on the grounds of public health. My alcohol intake also greatly increased. Thankfully I met a friend through work who needed a new roommate, and moved in with them, though our subsequent romantic entanglement was ill-advised and devastating). Fast-forward to early 2022, and an alcohol/benzo/relationship mediated suicide attempt leads me to first take time off work for outpatient treatment, then quit my well-paying job altogether. I used the time in the outpatient facility to taper off Lexapro and switch onto Wellbutrin. I speed-ran titration, going from 30mg to 0mg in just over a month. My thinking was that since I didn't have work or responsibilities, it was the perfect time to go trough the hell of withdrawal. And honestly? It wasn't bad at all. I know I'm in the minority there, and extremely lucky. Now I'm back living with my parents at 28, working on certificates to change careers, and working retail part-time for a quarter of what I previously made while struggling to pay off debts accrued when I was sure I wouldn't live long enough to see them collected. So all that brings me to today, and my decision to taper off of gabapentin. I've read horror stories here, but I attribute their prevalence to response bias (i.e. folks who had a worse/memorable experience are far more likely to report it than those who had an easier time). That isn't to discredit the hell others have been through, but it does allow me to approach this taper with optimism. Since my last med decoupling was relatively painless, I'm hoping this will be similar. Medications currently taken: 10 years - Gabapentin 600mg 1-2x daily (was on 1200-1800 daily until December 2021) 4 months - Wellbutrin XL 300mg daily I'm planning to start tapering starting next Monday, going down by 10% every two weeks unless withdrawal symptoms become too severe. Any insights, advice, experiences, or kind words would be amazing. Thanks for reading until the end
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