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  1. Kristine

    Kristine: not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  2. Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Rabe: questions re how ro navigate clonazepam, viibryd, and amiloride Hi, I am new on the site having been so impressed with the knowledge and personal experience that I have read as I continue my journey of tapering psychiatric medications. I have been on Clonazepam for many years for a severe panic disorder with agoraphobia and had no problems with it until I moved, had surgery, was exposed to environmental toxins and my doctor doubled the dose. I broke out in a weeping rash and was so very ill. I tried tapering on my own and became very very ill, lost weight, muscle and fat and was extremely depressed. My children brought me to a treatment center to get help with the tapering but instead I was put on an antidepressant. I am now finding myself tapering the Clonazepam and the Viibryd with a doctors help, but his knowledge seems quite limited. We did taper the Viibryd to 10mg in the spring and it was not too bad. I tried tapering by about 10% now and had horrible HA, nightmares, depression, stomach upset, agitation, anxiety, headache, electrical feelings in my head, weakness... I saw the doctor today and he would like to split the dose to 5 in AM and 5 in PM to help in tapering. My concern is that I take Premarin and the larger Clonazepam dose at night and I am concerned about having to eat that late d/t GERD, about less anxiety coverage during the day as well as the sleepiness from both the Viibryd and Clonazepam together at night. I was wanting to get any thoughts or experience on this if possible. Thank you so very much. This has been such an overwhelming and physically and mentally draining experience with little support for almost 2 years. I am grateful to be here!
  3. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  4. I have been on Prozac for about 25 years. I tried to taper few times in the past, but it didn't work. So what can be different this time? I am hoping this board will make the difference. I know I can't do it alone. I am now taking 10 mg Prozac daily. I was on 40 mg about 2 years ago, and took it down very slowly, cutting 5 mg every few months. One reason that it took so long was because I was also tapering clonazepam. Another reason was the failed attempts in the past. What I learned from tapering clonazepam I hope to put into use while tapering Prozac. One lesson that I learned is that you need to do it slow. There is just no other way. Another lesson is that you need support. I am looking for my next cut in a few months and my goal is to be completely drug free by the end of the year. I have been on disability during the last couple of years while recovering from clonazepam withdrawal. It's been hell and I'm still not completely recovered. I am looking to get back to work as soon as I can but I know it could still take more time. The biggest challenge will be to deal with withdrawal and setbacks without going back on Prozac. My hope is that I will be able to do that with the help of this board.
  5. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  6. Moderator's note: link to benzo forum thread - EmmiseA: Can I taper an antidepressant and benzo at same time? Hello, I came on here for some much needed advice/ reassurance. Back in March 2018 I had a horrific reaction to being put on Sertraline 25mg for postnatal anxiety/depression. After 2 weeks, the insomnia was dreadful, anxiety and depression was through the roof. I switched onto citalopram 10mg and after no change in symptoms after a few days apart from developing horrible Hypnic jerks, I was told to come off it by my psychiatrist. The brain zaps, skin crawling, heart palpitations and other side effects lessened over a few weeks but I couldn’t sleep due to these awful jerks and my anxiety and depression were through the roof. I went back to my psychiatrist who put me on quitiepine and pregabalin and 1mg clonazepam. I slept on the clonazepam no problem, but still noticed a few jerks on sleep onset. I successfully tapered off the pregabalin, quitiepine and clonazepam with no new effects but the doctors decided I needed an antidepressant and put me on 30mg of Mirtazapine. I am now on Mirtazipine and down to 0.375mg clonazepam, this being given to me again to help the jerks. 5 months later I still have the Hypnic jerks and muscle fasciculations. They haven’t got any worse on the Mirtazapine - if anything they have got somewhat better - but I still have a few nights a month even when I’m this low dose of clonazepam where they don’t allow me any sleep at all, the twitching is so bad. I really really need to hear some success stories of the jerks going away, please!! I’m afraid to touch anything at the moment in terms of the antidepressant, but am still tapering clonazepam with the aim of being off it soon. My aim is to try and get stable with these jerks and my sleep patterns and then very slowly taper off mirtazipine. Please no horror stories, my nerves just can’t take it!! I need to hear success stories. Many thanks xxx
  7. Summersun

    Summersun: Advice

    Hi, new to this forum. Clonazapam 27 yrs, Effexor 22 yrs..weaned off April 9, 2019 ..Seroquel 5yrs, Gabapentin 5 yrs. supplements: magnesium, D3!, B100, plus CBD oil. Over the past 3 yrs I've been tappering above meds on a rotation..Clonazapam 3 mg 2015 ,May 2019 .50 morning- .75 evening. Seroquel 300mg 2015 ,May 2019 25mg... Gabapentin 2015 900 mg 300 x3 times a day..May 2019-200mg 100mg x2 times a day.. I have tried to taper off 25mg going down to 12.5 of seroquel 3 times ,but had to reinstate..That was before going off Effexor a month and a half ago..I've recently 4 days ago tried to cut Seroquel in half but found the taper to be to difficult...I thought I would be okay because of been off Effexor but maybe I should of held longer after going off Effexor..It was rough. I'm not sure what my next taper should be..?..Is it better to taper Gabapentin till off completely before Clonazepam? I'm really feeling quite worn out any encouragement or advice would be much appreciated..I've been doing this on my own for so long ,except for the Ashton manual, so I much appreciate finding this group..🙎‍♀️
  8. I was given 20 mg of Prozac back in 1997 for depression. I was still technically a minor back then. I had an initial "high" from the Prozac which was mistaken for me not being depressed anymore. A few months later, Prozac stopped working and I had completely lost my sexual functioning. I told my doctor about this, so I was switched to Effexor. I kept on being switched from medication to medication in an attempt to achieve the initial "high" of the Prozac and to reverse the sexual functioning but things just got worse. One day I was put on a medication called Wellbutrin and that caused a manic episode from the first dose which caused me to have to be put into an inpatient facility. I was now switched from just being depressed to having bipolar disorder. I was put on Depakote which stopped the manic episode. Depakote caused me a lot of suffering, so I decided to cold turkey the medication about 6 months later. This led to another inpatient hospitalization and now I was polydrugged with Depakote and Zyprexa. This was the first polydrug combination I was on. This combination of medications was even worse because I was sleeping at least 16 hours a day. After another 6 months or so, I cold turkeyed both of these medications and that led to another inpatient hospitalization. I was fortunate in some ways to have the Zyprexa removed and be able to function somewhat ok on just Depakote and now Klonopin. I stayed on Depakote for years but my sexual issues were never solved and I had a lot of other side effects from Depakote such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease like symptoms. In around 2005, I discovered the first person who had described the same sexual issues I experienced. It was called Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. I discovered forums similar to this one, and consumed books by people like Dr. Breggin. In 2007, I was able to successfully withdraw safely from all medications by switching over to lithium and valium and using a compound pharmacy to taper down. I felt a lot better and recovered from some of the damages caused by the medications. I began social drinking in 2008 because I felt like I missed out on such a big part of my life. About 6 months later, I completely lost my ability to sleep probably due to the alcohol damaging what the benzos had already damaged. I was forced into a state psych ward and given a diagnosis of bipolar NOS, psychosis, anxiety etc. After 3 or 4 months in the state psych ward, I left on a combination of Depakote ER and Ativan. I had to eventually updose the Depakote ER and switch to Klonopin again. So for the last 3 years or so, I've been on 1250 mg of Depakote ER and 3 mg of Klonopin. While I am not suffering nearly as much as I did when I was bombarded with antipsychotics like Haldol and Geodon, life isn't nearly as good as I know it could be. That's why I want to get help in coming off of the Depakote ER and Klonopin safely. My confidence level is a bit low because I feel like I may be damaged beyond repair due to being on dozens of psychiatric medications and due to the past experience with insomnia I freak out when I cannot sleep and that is what is happening now. I started to taper off of Depakote ER on 11/24/2014 and I'm on 750 mg Depakote ER now and 3 mg of Klonopin. That's my intro but I'm not sure what to do next...
  9. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  10. I am a 67 year old retired Medical Office manager of 18 years. I have been bridged on various anti-depressants for several years...Zoloft, Lexapro, for generalized musculoskelatal pains that the drs attributed to "depression". 20+ years ago I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Approximately 10+ years ago was bridged to Cymbalta. It seemed to help generalized pains, anxiety for awhile but then slowly over time I didn't feel like it was working any longer, and my dr increased to 2-60mg q d....I didn't see a difference in improvement...so being clueless...I dc'd the additional 60mg in the morning...looking back, I was clueless that this could cause me problems!!! I forged on...approximately 18 months ago, I noticed that my anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia were getting worse...my dr then started me on Ambien 10mg for sleep, and this worked great...when I was stressed or nervous I could take my pill and go to bed for 10-12 hours of sound sleep. I later still struggled with nervousness and dr started clomazepam lowest dose and said I could take 1-2 a day. I very rarely took one but over time I found myself taking one regularly and occasionally take 2. I would find myself waking up 1:00-2:00 AM and could not go back to sleep and frustrated and desperate to sleep I would get up and take another 1/2 Ambien...when my Ambien script ran out the pharmacy called and said the dr REFUSED to refill it because they are saying you used too much. I scheduled an appointment and went in with my husband and explained to the dr what I had been doing....He still REFUSED to refill...so I was c/t off of Ambien and c/t off clomazepam...and I was STRUGGLING!!!! Anxiety, nervousness, GI issues, dizziness, severe headaches (I guess ya'll call them brain zaps) so I started reading and saw where I should have never had to go c/t on the Ambien or Clomazepam...so I started reading on my Cymbalta...and boy was that eye opening!!! and right then I decied I'm getting off. So I found the on facebook called Cymbalta Hurts Worse and they explained about the slow taper no greater than 2-10% and holding for 10-14 days. So I started...and man I have been sick ever since...going on 2 months. So here I am...old and shaky and counting beads out of a capsule and refilling with exact amount needed and am currently on hold due to symtoms....no quality of life...and wondering will I ever be normal again?
  11. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  12. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  13. Mort81

    Mort81

    Hello everyone glad I found somewhere to find good information and support . I'll just give a little introduction. I've been off Ciprelex 30mg for 6 months now after being on the ssri for 7 years.The side effects were far out weighing the benefits. My doctors seemed clueless when it came to the tapering, from what I know now as well as the withdrawal I am currently feeling . I tapered fairly fast from what I read on this forum.My main symptom at first was abdominal pain,panic, discomfort and very poor digestion. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and I know for some people that's good but for my build, not so good. Most of my symptoms at first were digestive related and my doctors didn't suggest withdrawal. Has anyone in here experienced horrible digestive issues right away ? So I had a million tests run, which came with months of worrying about every disease in the book. My tests came back clean which was good. However I am still feeling alot of discomfort, sensitivity in the stomach(feels like I'm bruised) coupled with fatigue, vivid dreams and insomnia. I have been experiencing all this while working a Fulltime job, which I love. I have missed more days than I wanted to for the obvious reasons. However I've decided to ask for time off because my body hasn't recovered and I feel the only way for a better recovery is to get away from my schedule and take extra time for myself. I see two different doctors. The one I saw today wants me to start a pain med and believes my stomach pain is related to migraines I used to get, which at times still show up. I am so scared of all medication but want this stomach pain to go away. I have improved over the 6 months so I'm leaning towards staying the natural course. Does 5HTP help for withdrawal?? After all the suffering I have gone through in the last 6 months you would think my doctor would give a note to go on sick leave,but apparently that's like pulling teeth. They just see a healthy young man complaining . Either way I need time for myself and recovery and sorry if I'm ranting. I'm glad to be hear in this forum and look forward to have a place for support and information because I feel my doctors are out too lunch on this topic. Mort
  14. ...and still dealing with anhedonia. Is that what you'd call this? It's not nearly as bad as it was back in 2012. The first few years off prozac were a nightmare. I was a total robot, unable to feel present, to empathize, etc. I could barely compose a facebook status, even that required too much focus. (You can tell how much better I'm doing by the fact that I'm FINALLY POSTING IN HERE.) I had a job but didn't do much. The weird thing was, whenever I got my period, I would kind of "come alive" - at least somewhat. It was like a wall went down and I was able to connect with myself again. I could feel my feelings (kind of), feel more present (kind of). Even though the switch wasn't perfect (didn't get all the way back to "normal"), the change was always very drastic. I would feel like this during the first day or two of my period, when I was bleeding heavily. Immediately I would get online and start researching, trying to figure out WHY I felt better on my period... and then the bleeding would end and I'd go back to being a robot... At some point I thought that perhaps my serotonin was too high (isn't your serotonin supposed to be "low" on your period? so maybe my period brought my serotonin down to "normal"?) - like the SSRI had increased my serotonin too much and left my brain kind of stuck that way. The only thing I figured I could try to drastically lower serotonin was to take MDMA - simply for the serotonin crash/reset the next day. I was able to try it in early 2015 and it did exactly what I'd hoped it would do. The CRASH felt like heaven. The wall went down. I was suddenly able to concentrate. I could stand outside and look up at the sky and feel the breeze and watch the birds and just be still and present. That day I curled up and read half a book - something I had been unable to do for years. My therapist noticed a difference in me right away - how I seemed more connected and present. I don't think she believed in my prozac story (I mean, it sounds crazy to me as well - why would I still be messed up YEARS LATER???), but she did agree that I had changed. After this, my life started moving forward much faster... but I still wasn't completely myself. I still felt more myself on my period, which meant I was still somewhat out of it and disconnected the rest of the time... But at this point I had become so used to the anhedonia, or whatever you want to call it, that I just accepted that that was how I was. And then... last year, I tried a benzo for 2 months, for stress. Obviously a big mistake. I had only taken prozac for 6 months, and I still feel strange 5 years later... Why the hell would I try another psych med??? BUT I did. So anyway. The benzo withdrawal nightmare lasted a good 6 months...and a little longer than that to get all the way back to normal, which I feel like I am now. At least the benzo didn't cause permanent damage. Anyway, what I wanted to say is: twice during benzo withdrawal, when I was on my period, I felt COMPLETELY, 100% NORMAL. The "normal" I had once felt before prozac. Totally emotionally with it. Had totally fluid social interactions. And so on and so forth. Colors were actually BRIGHTER and DEEPER. My vision literally changed!!! My palms were sweaty - random, I know, but usually my skin is SO dry - that was just one of the things I noticed, and I want to document it here. One night I laid in bed and started listening to music and I just cried and cried because I could FEEL AGAIN. And it was so ******* sad because I knew my ability to feel would slip away yet again... So, anyway, a good 4 years later I finally had real genuine windows...pretty depressing, right? I'm sorry to anyone reading this...I'm sure most people don't take this long to recover. My brain is ridiculously fragile, I guess... I had a bit of a window this month on my period, too (not as amplified as the windows from a few months ago, but I still felt way more normal than usual)... I'm not sure what all of this means. Maybe the recovery my brain had to go through after getting off klonopin helped to further heal whatever change happened in my brain from prozac? At this point, at least, I'm convinced that I don't have "brain damage" (which for years I figured I must have, and so I avoided this forum and avoided thinking about it because it was so terrifying). I guess there IS some kind of slow gradual healing going on. Maybe at this point it comes down to a hormonal or mineral imbalance of some kind? I don't know. I'm terrified to go to a doctor and ask for help about this, I assume they'll just laugh. I can never take another medication again after all of this, anyway...I'm scared to even try something like birth control. I don't know. Anyway. It's been many years and I wanted to finally admit to myself that this is actually going on by joining this forum... I have had some hope lately that I can find myself again after all of this. Oh, and another awful thing is prozac made me lose all sense of gender. I think because of that, for these past few years, I have identified as trans... and just in the last few weeks I have had moments where I look at myself in the mirror and feel a strong connection to myself (rare) and I "realize" I am not trans...and it's just that I couldn't feel my gender for a very long time... It's ******* horrifying. But I wanted to write that down here. I need to admit this. My period just ended the other day, which is why I'm thinking about all of this at all. I'm sure these feelings will slip away soon... I'm seeing how long I can hold onto myself this time. I'm hoping I will keep posting here and not give up. Thanks for reading. P.S. I've read about inositol resensitizing serotonin receptors - not sure how true that is, but I have started taking large doses of it. I'm not really sure what else to try at this point. So I guess we'll see how that goes. God I feel nuts writing about all of this.
  15. Moderator note: link to Linus' benzo thread - Linus: Klonopin question Hi everyone, I like this forum, I think the moderators are sensible people who give good advice, compared to some other websites. I have already come a long way with regards to withdrawing from Escitalopram, from 30mg to 1.8 mg. It has been hell but hey here I am I know that by now even small cuts are problematic. My first question would be if anyone has a clue as to whether there comes a point in the withdrawal where things get easier (like at 1mg or 0.8 mg) or does it stay funky all the way down to zero?
  16. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  17. Hi, Ive been taking Antidepressants since January 2016(I was 22 then, 25 now), when i had hard time focussing at work & broke down in office in front of everyone, out of nowhere. The symptoms although had been showing up since 2013, when I started feeling vague, blank & angry,frustrated. I also started having panic attacks (2 times) in august & october, 2015. Most bad thing about depression is lack of confidence, ability to make firm decisions about academics ,job. Constant body aches have also worsened my mood, function. My limbs ache a lot; Ive gradually given up on physical activities, jogging, playing soccer,cricket,etc..these days i force myself to gym thrice a week, cause i had put on a lot last year. I grew up in a clumsy, difficult family , I grew up watching quarrels,skirmishes between my parents & was always very sensitive..Kind of people pleaser, not offending but also very harsh on myself kind of person. My first psychiatrist(Jan,2016-June,2018 ) : He started me with sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline), and later added on escitalopram in the mornings. There were other drugs too, for brief periods like miratazapine,etc.. Mood would improve/boost, i would function well for about a few weeks, & then would crash down. sensival 25 mg (Nortriptyline) is something that was constant throughout that period. I soon realized it's something more than antidepressants that i should be looking for, something holistic to solve the problrems that i had in personal family life, my nature, my worklife, etc...Medicines seemed to hit a plateau, but my doctor wouldnt listen to my continual requests to wean off. Only when i developed serious constipation, weight gain(12 kgs in 8 months..also abruptly gave up my job due to fatigue,lack of direction ) that i decided to switch my doctor. My second psychiatrist (June 2018 - present ) : Constipation did ease, my new doctor is more willing to lend an ear..Alprazolam 0.25 in the morning &{ Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)} is something that ive been taking since... But confidence, work issues still persist, I also started to work with my dad around the same period to present day. it's very stressful, demanding on my dad's part, but this atleast is keeping me moving, pass my life, however miserable, painful it is. I also cocooned at home for 3 months before reluctantly joining him at work. It's a blue collar job at a paint shop, wherein im required to match paints, deal with diff customers(throat dries up in fear,anxiety). in stark contrast to the desk job that i had prior to this, im now standing for 7-8 hours a day, experiencing wrenching fatigue when i get back home. My life feels very poor, miserable. Ive never seriously contemplated suicide, despite wanting to when in ruins(wincing bodily pain, scolded upon)! I get to work with iso-cyanide containing accelerators at my shop, that could painlessly kill me in milliseconds (As lab people claim.), but ive always collected myself into believing that my life could turnaround for the better. Fast forward, feb 2019, i decided to also take up homeopathy treatment for my problems, slowly my homeopath asked me to give up(cold turkey, 4-5 weeks on, now) alprazolam 0.25 in the morning, as my mood improved. I witnessed increase in pain, twitching, weight loss(something i like), upon giving up alprazolam 0.25, psychytrist says i must put up with this pain, & ill soon get used to it(Good & frank on his part, most psychiatrists never want you to wean off)... Meanwhile, with my homeopath it's work in progress, & down the line, when my cold turkey symptoms normalize, Ill also think about giving up my evening dose of { Escitalopram (5 mg) + Clonazepam (0.5 mg)}, slowly tapering this time... My increased sleep, due to fatigue is something that i must overcome to become a regular at work. This forum, has given me immense hope & ideas about how people like me are dealing with their stuff. Like 10 % tapering rule, success stories by hope2heal, etc.. are heartening to read. I wish to thrive and function normally in life, rather than just miserably slogging,surviving that i have been doing now. Thank & Cheers, entcian24 Mumbai, India.
  18. Hello everyone, I came across this site a little while ago and over the last few months, it has given me a great deal of insight as to how I should treat myself and, hopefully, come back from the horror that has been the last year. So to begin, I was always prone to depression throughout my teen's as a result of being abused and tormented in school at young age, so going through college with irrational thoughts as a constant theme crossing my mind was just natural. It's probably why I became an artist in the first place! About midway through, i'd gotten into a pretty messy break-up (Oh young love), and suddenly found myself spiraling downward into something else entirely. I was sent to my family doctor who simply shook his head and said, "It's just depression," gave me a prescription for something called 'Celexa', and off I went. The medication DID help, but i'd only had money enough for about 6-7 months worth, and knowing what I know now, am still a bit fuzzy as to what kind of withdrawal effects I may have had after stopping it altogether. Well time passed, and I wasn't able to find work after a couple years of searching and trying to hone my artistic skills to no avail. Eventually, I began having various symptoms that scared me at the time, though I know now as being associated with a low vitamin B12 level. Back I went to the family doctor, who, scratching his head in confusion, sent me to a specialist, a psychiatrist. This 'psychiatric professional' told me about the wonders of the various drugs at the time, and how they could help make life so much easier to navigate. Being in desperate need of an answers, I was all like, "Hey, okay! I was sent home with a prescription for Fluoxetine (Prozac). I'm going to fast forward a little, as in the time-span between starting the Prozac and stopping, i'd gone back to school to acquire my Bachelor of Arts in Animation and try my hand again at looking for meaningful work, to suddenly having that anti-depressant cause most of the issues it was supposed to 'help fix' in the last five years since graduating. Never ONCE was I told by my psychiatrist, whenever I called him for a refill, that this medication should only be used in the short term. Over TEN YEARS of use, from the first 3-4 being fairly stable, to having it slowly lose it's effectiveness, to outright causing most of my issues. And now the truly major event that began this whole train-ride to hell. A little over a year ago from when I typed out this introduction, I was diagnosed with a pair of massive blood clots in my leg, at age 32. (This is several months AFTER i'd been MIS-diagnosed by my family physician as to having gout.) Turns out, a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and a previously undiscovered genetic disorder in our family (Factor V Leiden) led to my developing a pretty terrifying blockage in my deep vein. I was placed immediately on an expensive name-brand anti-coagulant, which I was told by the "nurse practitioner" they sent me to, was my only option. Despite having given my medication list to them, they did not clue in to the fact that Fluoxetine is by far one of the WORST of the anti-depressants to take while on an anti-coagulant. An entire month of savage hell passed, with enormous panic attacks bordering on heart attack, the shakes, brain tears and zaps of all kinds, as well as a host of other problems I can't even remember, I figured it was all just the side-effects of the anti-coagulant (In this case, Xarelto). So I demanded to switch to a different brand, after finding out that that nurse hadn't known her arse from her elbow when knowing about the various meds that can be taken for this issue. ANOTHER month of hell, this time on Eliquis, and by the end of that, I'd demanded to switch to the old, tried-and-true Warfarin, Ye olde rat poison derivative. This one seems to work well enough, with some of the aforementioned side-effects disappearing. THIS is where I had gone back to my psychiatrist and gave him an update as to what had been going on. And he non-chalantly told me that I shouldn't be taking Fluoxetine with an anti-coagulant, and thus told me that I needed to stop taking it. Immediately. No mention of weaning. No warnings. Nothing. He DID give me a prescription for Clonazepam at 0.5mg, which I have to this day, in order to help with the host of sleeping problems I'd been having. A few weeks later, I discovered through the wonders of the internet, that what i'd been going through was not due to the anti-coagulants, but was in fact acute withdrawal from the Prozac. I told him this and he was surprised, and a little disbelieving. Not overly so, just enough to ensure I didn't lose it in his office. He gave me the option of starting on one of the other types that DO play well with Warfarin, and I turned him down, in part because I was disgusted with him and the entire medical system, and also because i'd gone this far after going cold-turkey, and wasn't about to start walking backwards. So now, a year later from all this happening, i'm still slogging my way through these dark, muddy woods, hopping that there's a bright clearing at the end. It's been an awful time, but things HAVE gotten better. A few weeks ago I hit a pretty sweet window, and I keep telling myself that 'things WILL get better', like some kind of mantra. The more severe effects, such as the nocturnal panic attacks have lessened greatly, and only occur when my gastrointestinal system acts up, which can be irritating since it's the anxiety that can cause THAT to flare up. These days i'm dealing with the typical brain-fog and anhedonia associated with so much of the protracted withdrawal, but I still try to keep up hope that it'll all eventually get better. And throughout this ordeal, the most painful part hasn't been the host of troubling withdrawal effects, it's been the lack of understanding from family and friends. They can't possibly know what it feels like from day to day, and after a while, they inevitably tire of the constant moaning and venting. That's been hard. Anyways, thankya kindly for letting me share here. If nothing else, at least I proved to myself that I can still punch through enough of the brain-fog to type a letter of introduction! (Thank goodness for spell-check)
  19. naturalborn-successful-story hi i'm new at this forum and i'm brazilian, 20 years old, started effexor when i was 18 for depression, stayed on it for 8 or 10 months, with almost no side effects, after this tried going cold turkey , since then have been dealing with all possible kinds of side effects, i tried reinstatement on january of this year (after 4 months of wd) obviously didn't worked, stayed on them for more 5 months, went to rehab. tapered effexor there and started trazadone and seroquel. now i've been taking 150 mg of trazadone and 25 mg of seroquel, was kind of "ok" so tried to reduce trazadone to 100 mgs, wasn't able to sleep for 3 days, went back on 150 mgs, and added 2 mg of klonopin to use when needed, but since that abruptly quitting of effexor i haven't been the same, dealed with EXTREME anxiety (never was a problem before), SEVERE imsonia, sometimes 5 days without any sleep, chronic pain and numbess and poor coordination on the right side of my body. the left side seems ok, i have no idea why. derealization, poor memory, poor concentration, diahrrea, akastisia, poor stress tolerance, emotional numbess, brain zaps and brain fog, anyway i have been dealing with pretty much all the symtoms you can come up with, pretty hopeless, desesperated, regreted, scared, feeling like it will never be the same. i really want to know what you guys think, is there any hope for me ever being the same again?
  20. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Freedom1975: Zopiclone and clonazepam So i have been reading advice on how to get off these drugs and following the protocol of the 10% taper. It is mentioned to only come off 1 drug at a time. Its a littlle scary thinking that this could take years just to get off one drug and then attempt the next drug after. I am not sure what i am looking for here. Just a friendly voice of encouragement and maybe some more guidance of how to navigate through this hell of withdrawal
  21. Hello, New member here. Had been on Klonopin for 15 months for insomnia caused by hypothyroidism. Been off K for 10 months now, with the help of 75 mg Trazodone for sleep. About 2 months ago, T was losing its effectiveness and I decided it's time for a drug-free me. I went from 75 mg to 50 with no problems; at 50, withdrawal hit hard. Insomnia (of course), shakiness, anxiety, you name it. I did a fast taper as I did not have it in me to go through another long taper after the K experience. In 2 months, I went from 75, down by 1mg every night to 50, to 25 for 2 weeks, 12.5 for another 2 and finally off. I have been off for only about 3 nights. Withdrawal after quitting seems manageable so far, although it is too early to tell if it will get worse. My main issue is with insomnia. I feel if I can manage this, I will be OK, especially after the horrific K withdrawal. My question for those who have used Trazodone: how long did it take for sleep to return after quitting trazodone? Please include how long you had been using T and the dosage. Thanks for your input and hope we all survive the trials of psychotropic drugs. Survivor1
  22. Hello everyone. I'm very, very grateful to have found this site before I found my way back to a secluded ledge at the Grand Canyon I found four years ago with my now ex-wife. The ledge had no appeal then, but has come up repeatedly during rough periods. I just found this site and I just came to understand just how extensive and pervasive my WD symptoms have become. They did not really start to become that active until 5 months ago. Now they rage. I have to laugh and cry at the same time because currently I am living in a travel trailer and I have no idea where my next stop or step is going to be. 5 months ago I sold my condo, closed my art business, ended an engagement, bought a travel trailer, and have been staying with a friend in rural VA. Now I'm in Phoenix, AZ. Several times in the last 3 months I have tried to start over by making decisions and implementing a plan of action for work and living arrangements and have been unable to follow through with even the beginnings of restabalizing my life situation. Once I start to initiate changes to my situation, violently intense emotions begin to arise and my ability to think clearly falls away. I abandon the plan and fall back. Strangely, in the midst of this pattern, I have been in some intense therapy sessions, uncovered and addressed some deep wounded issues from my past that I'm sure were being masked by the meds. I had a 7 week period recently during the therapy where every day was filled with almost nonstop continuous waves of shame, sadness, and some rage (all I believe being old repressed and masked emotions but probably way more intense from WD or is it the sum total of repressed emotions finally getting out). It's like I'm split at times with two completely different personalities with two completely different agendas. I just read the posts about neuro emotions and realized I have been experiencing them intensely. They have been running my life since I become abstinent. There is a lot of intense healing going on inside me physically and emotionally, and I didn't realize just how deep it goes. I am not the same person anymore and it frightens and excites me at the same time. It's like a spiritual journey through hell. I feel at times very peaceful and supported by the universe and at times like a want to die. I will stop there and ask for the wisdom of the forum for what I have posted. I am a sponge for your help now. Thank you!! Mark
  23. Cyndihb

    Cyndihb

    Hi, I'm new to this site but not new to antidepressants. I am currently trying to stabilise after Prozac pooped out after 13 yrs. Sent me into a hellish nightmare of where I'm at now. I'm afraid of getting on meds after reading the info on this site. Lexapro is helping with intense anxiety. I was originally prescribed Zyprexa for agitation and sleep. I've decreased from 10 to 5mg. I dont want to be on these meds especially after reading the withdrawal hell written here. Any words of support would be helpful. I'm not stable enough to taper anything else but just wanted you to know I appreciate your site Lexapro 15mg Lamictal 100mg Zyprexa 10 down to 5mg Clonazapam 2x daily
  24. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  25. marsha-preparing-for-my-librium-taper Hi. I hope I'm in the right place because antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants and benzodiazepines have caused permanent brain damage and I have trouble navigating on this sight. Is it possible to taper off geodon before gabapentin? I have read in the Road Back Program that I must taper off gabapentin and clonazepam before I can finish tapering off geodon. I am terrified of antipsychotic drugs. I want to get off it after I finish tapering off clonazepam. I successfully completed tapering off trazodone and propranolol and have tapered the clonazepam to 1 mg and have tapered the geodon down to 80 mgs. I was misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia and now am working with a team of doctors to taper me slowly off the drugs that robbed me of my memory and pleasure and motivation. I am desperate to get off these terrible drugs. Especially the clonazepam and geodon. I'm tapering off slowly the clonazepam right now. I have read that if you taper off geodon before gabapentin and clonazepam it increases the clearance time of clonazepam and gabapentin by as much as 50% causing you to go into clonazepam and gabapentin withdrawal even without lowering the dosage of the clonazepam and gabapentin. However, I have also read in the book "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal" by Peter breggin md that you should make it a priority to get off the antipsychotic drug first especially if you are non psychotic. My doctor thinks I can just stop taking the geodon but I know that is wrong. I appreciate any help you can give me.
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