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  1. Hello, my name is Sturm! I am from Austria and am looking for someone to read over my story about getting off of Effexor, since, quite frankly, I am terrified that it will last a few weeks more, or that I could get addicted to benzos (see more about that later) in the process (as the worst side effect I have atm is very bad insomnia). I hope I am posting this in the correct place. So, this is a bit of a long story. I have been taken Venlafaxine / Effexor for around 7 months (since January 2022). Around two months ago I decided to taper it (I was at 150mg). We tapered to 75mg. I don’t recall any psychological side effects from this, but I did notice muscle pain (especially from my left leg). I stayed on this for around two weeks, when I tapered again to 37,5mg. I stayed at this dosage for two weeks, and didn’t notice any psychological change besides muscle pain. I was then told I could get off Effexor, or I could take it every other day. I took it every day for a week. By this time, I noticed brain fog, but nothing extremely strong. At this point, after a week of this, I asked the psychiatrist about a prozac bridge, knowing the withdrawal effects would undoubtedly be terrible. The next day (Friday 21.07.2022) I was off Effexor and took 10mg prozac. At this point, I had a decent amount of nausea and akathisia, a reduced appetite, as well as chills, but never experienced brain zaps. The 5th day had the worst nausea. By day 7, the nausea was seemingly gone, and I thought the withdrawal was over, so I stopped taking prozac a few days later (31.07). The next few days were pretty recent, little to no nausea. By August 5th, (roughly two weeks since being off of the Effexor), I had some mild nausea, chills were back, and worst of all, I started having really bad insomnia. Despite bot having taken any prozac in 8 days, I took it again on August 7th, thinking the insomnia happened due to stopping prozac and being off of it long enough for its half life to expire, therefore allowing more of Effexor’s withdrawal effects to occur (since prozac normally suppresses most of the nasty ones). This, however, doesn’t seem to be the case, as of today, August 10th (day 19), I still am having sleep problems. I am also concerned that I could have become dependent on prozac for taking it for around 14 days. Could dependence on prozac be attained that early, or does it normally take around a month to occur? It has been nearly three weeks since I am off of Effexor. When should I expect the rest of the withdrawal to end? When should my insomnia end (before yesterday and the day before (I was proscribed lorazepam, I hadn’t gotten any sleep in three days due to the insomnia). I was proscribed lorazepam 2,5mg to help me sleep at night. Is this safe to take, or will I get addicted? The psychiatrist and nurses at the hospital where I was given this prescription said it shouldn’t be an issue unless I take this dosage for months. Do I believe them?
  2. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  3. I have depression and anxiety. My former prescribing ARNP started me on Latuda to augment sertraline (an off-label use) but I didn’t notice any effects. We then switched 150mg sertraline to 20mg trintillex from November-December and I felt good but I had eye twitching and found out it was expensive so I decided to try an ADHD medication as recommended by my prescribing ARNP. I lowered my trintillex (I think to 10mg) and started the ADHD med but I was anxious and nauseous on it so I stopped and went back up to 20mg trintillex. A few weeks after that, I started having severe symptoms (see below). I have a feeling that increasing the trintillex caused my current symptoms but Latuda is not covered by my insurance so I want to get off it as well. I know I need to titrate slowly but I don’t know which one to start with. I was working with an ARNP and we discussed starting sertraline and then decreasing trintillex but she dropped me after I asked started asking questions about and wanting to change the tapering schedule. She discouraged me from stopping the trintillex alone and said my depression would get worse. Since January 11th, I have been experiencing debilitating anxiety, crying uncontrollably (for the first two weeks), nausea, vomiting, racing heart, heat sensitivity, insomnia, stomach pain, suicidal ideation, obsessive thoughts, memory issues, cognitive issues, itching, agitation, feeling detached, irritability, waves of panic, self doubt, and constipation. My questions are as follows: Should I start decreasing the Latuda or the trintillex first? Do you think decreasing the Latuda could help my anxiety symptoms even though it didn’t seem to have a positive affect on me when I started taking it? Would it be unsafe for me to start decreasing trintillex without adding another SSRI? Would it be safe for me to start on sertraline before dropping the trintillex? To the best of my memory: 2006-2010: sertraline 2006-2007: risperidone 2010-2016: took fluoxetine and citalopram as mono therapy 2016: trial Effexor for a few months 2016-2020: escitalopram (polyrugged with Wellbutrin) 2016-2020: Wellbutrin, months on and months off May 21-Nov 21: tapered from escitalopram to sertraline 150mg August 21: trial of lamotragine (rash) August 21: started latuda (off label) at 20mg, then up to 40mg and 60mg but back down to 40mg November 21: two week taper from sertraline to trintillex 20mg, experienced eye twitching and itchiness (5mg trintillex for 5 days, day 6 decrease sertraline to 100mg, day 10 decrease sertraline to 50mg and increase trintillex to 10mg, day 14 stop sertraline, 10 days of 15mg trintillex and then up to 20mg trintillex) December 21: quick taper down on trintillex to I think 10mg and trialed dextro-amphetamine for a week, 10-40mg, anxious and nauseous (1/2 of 40mg pill in am, then 1/2 pill am and 1/2 pill pm, then 20mg am and no pm, then 20 mg am and 1/2 pm, then maybe 20 mg am and 20 mg pm) December 21: quick taper back up to 20mg trintillex, some lip and foot twitching January 22: lorazepam for a few days January 22: clonidine .1mg-.4mg per day, currently taking .1mg am and .1mg pm January 22-March 22: ashwagonda, L-theanine, and probiotics Current medications: Latuda 40mg Trintillex 20mg Clonidine .1mg am and .1mg pm Fish oil Vitamin D Levothyroxine .112mg
  4. I had Bilateral Carotid Body Tumors (benign) removed in 2005. I developed numerous symptoms of Autonomic Dysfunction due to vagus nerve damage. Feeling down in 2016-17 and decided to try Escitalopram. Wasn’t really depressed or anxious, and should never have started. Went into a gradual mental decline. Developed a lot of negativity, cynicism, anger, fear, paranoia. Decided to come off Lexapro in late summer. Went from 10mg to 5mg to nothing over the course of 6weeks. Once off developed severe withdrawal symptoms. Current symptoms are mostly heavy anxiety. Went to ER once about 3 weeks ago. They prescribed me some Hydroxyzine to alleviate anxiety. Have been using them sparingly (maybe one every other day). Been using some CBD oil, Athletic Greens, Omega 3/6/9 over the last two weeks to reduce anxiety. It comes in waves for me. I don’t want to reinstate if possible. Are there other things I should consider to reduce anxiety levels? My timeline is currently at about 4-5 months since cessation. Thanks so much.
  5. Hello everyone, I first got started on Celexa in May 09 after my mind slipped into an inescapable panic state induced by an accidental overdose of the anti-histamine diphenhydramine. I should of know way back then, after a few weeks, then I should of stayed away from all drugs and given my brain a chance to calm down and repair itself on it’s own, but I was truly, truely frightened that I had down some serious damage or I was on my way to the depths of psychosis. So I went to my GP got diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I switched to Cymabalta in November 09 after a personal event triggered an intensification of agitated depression which had never really left despite treatment with Celexa. Sticking with Cymbalta was, again, an irrevocably stupid decision - but I had faith in the psychiatrist who was prescribing me these things. Suicidal ideation was commonplace both in an experiential context and in circumstantial context – my anxiety was so severe I just wanted out and I was astounded to what life had been reduced to. On cymbalta I felt tired but wired with a generalised irritability and massive cravings for sugar, which when I gave in and ate only triggered an intensification of irritability. I look back during this period and I’m struck with just how bizarre and Kafkaesque the whole experience was. Why the hell didn’t I get of the ******* thing earlier? I weaned off Cymbalta in in June 2010. However, the suicidal panic now morphed into a suicidal malaise and all-consumng tiredness, severe anhedonia, and an inability to concentrate - which has stuck with me since. I got put on Zoloft in Oct’10, 4 months after my last drug, and after a visit to a GP where I told me him I was suicidal and planning to go through with it. He sort of shrugged and just told me to go back on a med. The Zoloft induced both akathisa and a “despair beyond despair” at my situation. I flew out to Thailand with the intention of having a last hurrah and then taking myself down to one of the gun ranges and putting a .357 round into my frontal lobe. (Guns aren't readily available in the UK) I flew home when my parents found out where I was, despite my (I thought) well-constructed plan to deceive and explained to them the extent of which I was struggling. We sought the services of a psychiatrist whom I thought was progressive and looking at the bigger picture. By now, I was mostly concerned with the brain fog and chronic fatigue - which prevented me from most activities which might have led to an improvement with my lot in life - which led me to conclude my problem was neuro-endocrine based. I agreed to a low-dose of Lexapro, some compounded thyroid hormone and about 20 different supplements to treat any bodily pathologies. Despite this ambitious protocol, there was very little change in mood. I tried to stay working but got overwhelmed again and my suicidal ideation reached a zenith. I flew back out to Asia with my father, this time to Cambodia but to join a volunteer project building houses. I figured a dose of 3rd poverty might take my mind….off my mind. This time I also agreed to start lithium. It was a humbling experience for sure but I was still weak, foggy, anxious and depressed. I also felt intensely guilty at being in my depressed state amongst so much poverty and in a country with the worst auto-genocide in history. I also picked up a stomach infection which led to post-infectious gastroparesis which I have been struggling with since. Early in 2011 I discontinued the lithium, at the time we hadn’t worked out the stomach problem and where concerned the lithium could be causing the GI stuff. I continued with Lexapro in the AM and 25mg amitrypltine to get me off to sleep in the PM. Life was just a haze punctuated by bouts of panic and despair. My ability to work and socialise properly had all but disappeared by now, so I got used to life being what it was. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to take a break from AD’s, they didn’t seem to have improved my lot in life much, maybe coming off them would do some good. This was when my concern, finally, about TD started - I continued to feel like absolute ****. What if the drugs were the problem all along?. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the epiphany really took hold and I realised the full horror of what I subjected myself to. I realised the whole thing was being exacerbated by the very treatment that authority deemed to be of help. Back when I came off Cymbalta in 2010 I just assumed this was my depression anxiety ramping up and the exhaustion was a natural extension, but now I was still horrendously depressed and the other **** kicked in. I curse myself that I didn’t see the connection the first time round and have spent another 2.5 years on psych drugs….. Note, I tried a few drugs of now more than about two weeks duration in 2012. Again this was before the idea of drug-induced harm became cemented in my mind. My last drug ingestion was Tianeptine in November. My question to anyone who has any suggestions and or experiences is in my title – what the hell do I do now? I’m a complete invalid. Living at home with a parent at 25, unable to enjoy much of anything at all, I can’t lose myself in a movie like I did years ago, my mind is just inexplicably turned inward and focused on it’s own arid desolation and fogginess. Reading is a significantly challenging endeavour and writing is difficult (it’s taken me about a week to knock this up into something coherent and semi-legible). I’m just having such trouble formulating a strategy which might give me a chance of getting well again. Just reading this site has given me a bit of hope in that people can get their lives back on track. There’s people here that appear to have got off far harsher drugs and had been on them for longer periods, so I need to keep a perspective of sorts, I’m just terrified at this stage that I’m past the point of no return and that putting what was a fragile brain/mind to begin with in drugs might just have been…… Any help or words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Jack
  6. Hi. I've had problems with drugs most of my life and withdrawn from things like heroin and methadone as well as finding out that benzodiazepine withdrawal beats opiate withdrawal anytime. I"m also taking 50 mg of trazodone, 3mg of clonazepam, and 0.4mg of clonidine daily, as well as this 15 mg mirtazapine. Now that I've conquered the opiates (more like learned to live without them), I want to be totally drug free. I'm going to mention that I'm also struggling with a sleep disorder that the DSM categorizes as Circadian rhythm disorders: Delayed sleep phase type, which basically means that my night owl tendencies have gotten out of control and I'm sort of stuck sleeping from 10am to 6pm. This isn't something I want, but it's something that I"m trying to cope with and explore treatments for. So, I won't write a novella here. Suffice it to say that I'm looking for advice about and shared experiences of withdrawing from mirtazapine. I also have a degree in clinical psychology and have also had a great deal of experience with drugs and drug withdrawal, so I hope that maybe I can help someone else here.
  7. I am on Fetzima80 mg, Geodon 160 mg, Depacote 1000mg, Desaryl 600 mugs Klonapin4mg, Neurontin 1000 mg, Clonadine 25 mg, Percocet2 tabs/day and Tinzanadine 3 tabs/day plus meds forthyroid and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I feel like the meds are a major food group and I'm sick of taking so many meds I have been on this regiment for10 years. I need help on Howard whatto taper off first?
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