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  1. Hi all, my name is Matt, I am a 36 year old husband and father of three whose life has been turned upside down by these drugs. Although after reading the wealth of information on this site, I feel I finally understand what is happening to me, though it doesn’t make going through it any easier. I reinstated Zoloft on May 1st and I know I probably reinstated at much too high a dose, but I unfortunately was following “doctors orders.” It has been a tough four months to say the least, and at times I feel I will be stuck this way forever. However I have gone on vacation twice in the last 4 months. The 1st one was over the Fourth of July, during that time I would say I was 50-60% of my normal self. Only to come back, get to work, and get slammed by waves again. Last week I went on an end of summer vacation with my family, this time I would say I was closer to 75-80% of normal, and hopeful this was finally the beginning of the end for me and I was stabilizing and could in a few months begin a slow taper the proper way. However this past week back home and back to work have been unbearable. Unrelentingly anxiety and akathisia from the second I wake, that eventually calms a bit at night, but sometimes not til like 8-9PM. My question would be, can being on vacation really make that big of a difference in withdrawal? I would think it was just a fluke, but it has happened twice now. But it is like, almost feeling back to normal, vs not being able to fathom making it through another day. The difference is astounding. Any thoughts would be appreciated, also should I be getting worried that I am 4 months into reinstatement and holding and not stabilizing? Thanks, this site is amazing and all these people are amazing SURVIVORS!
  2. Amira123

    ☼ Amira123

    Hi all, P.s english is not my first language I started taking 30 mg cymbalta back in june 2016 due to having panic attacks, OCD and depression. During the past 2.4 years things have been really amazing and i got so much better. in june 2018, i broke up with my fiancee, and in october i decided that i will stop the Medicine. I stopped in october 2018. And at the same time i left my job and become unemployed since then. I did not slow taper, took a 30 mg pill each two days for two weeks and then stopped completely under the supervision of my phsyicatrist. I have experienced brain zaps and dizziness which stayed for only 2 weeks and then went away, however, i have been living in hell since then, i have suicidal thoughts, severe depression, panick attacks, feeling of hoplessness and what really concerns me is heart pounding and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light. i need your advice, it has been now exaclty 3 months sine i stopped taking cymbalta. Should i return to it again and taper slowly and in a safe way? If yes, please advice me how to taper given that in mu country the minimum dosage we have in pharmacies is 30 mg. Thanks, Amira
  3. Hi, I have no psychiatic history. I was forced on zyprexa after an external stress reaction waking me up with high blood pressure and pounding heart beat, pressure feelings in the brain, need to urinate often and a fear of what was happening to me with these severe physical reactions. Having no idea I gussed maybe poison at first but with doctors finding nothing I thought perhaps sudden electrical allergy due to the new 5G test nets I read other people were worried about. I didn't know I was that stressed and that that could be the reaction. But that's what I think now. Being unable to sleep for 6 days and finally desperately trying to sleep outside of the city to avoid radiation I utltimately went to the psychiatric ward to get sleeping pills I got the diagnosis psychotic symptoms and they wouldnt let me out even though I felt okay again after first night off sleeping with medicine they gave. Initially they tried to force me on 20 mg zyprexa but agreed to 10 mg after a negotiation. There was also benzo and a sleeping pill they put me on but I have succesfully gotten off those. They wanted me to stay on 10 mg zyprexa when I was let out after two weeks and they said I should continue the medication till next appointment and they gave me 4 different other medicines to use if I felt I needed (benzos etc). I had gone from being a person having no medicine at home to one having the whole bread box filled. I never used any medicine but zyprexa though. On next appointment they said I should stay on zyprexa till next meeting again. But after a month they finally agreed to give me a tapering plan and I wanted as quickly as possible since I dont want to be on medicine in general since I used to be a healthy guy without. Also I really didnt think I was that sick, just had a long term stress reaction. They said it nothing bad with this medicine, just protective. I got the plan 2.5mg down every two weeks. During this time I read that the drug causes brain atrophy and was very scared of being on it and why the doctors had told me just the opposite. I followed the plan with biweekly check ups and finally I got to 0 mg, but sleep disappeared after two days. After two weeks of 0 mg with no sleep instead, anxiety, tremblings sweating, pressur in head, burning inflamed feeling etc I became more scared of what was happening to me then I was of taking another pill. I called psychiatric emergency and they said I had to go back up to 5 mg. That not working I tried 7.5mg and then 5mg with a sleeping pill too. But I still got no sleep. They said it was the underlying illness that was causing problems now. I said I slept 12 hours on 5 mg before going to 0 mg and they changed subject. Also I didnt think I had an illness just a stress reaction initially. Having searched for info myself the tapeing I got seems more like a cold turkey. Having been on 5mg for a while with sleeping pills that also didnt give sleep I weaned off the sleeping pills and also started weaning zyprexa, still scared of atrophy, but careful to go much more slowly having searched for my problems and read this forum some. Sleep wasn't returing so no point being on high doses I felt. Also my trust in their "health care" recommendations is not really 100% percent after this. Im not sure I've ever slept since december last year but Ive gotten less tired after getting up duing the days so by feel 0-4 (assumed) hours while also getting down to 0.12 mg zyprexa. Approximately 10 days ago I jumped to 0mg again (6 months past) and felt ok for four days, but the 5th day had diarrhea and spasms, burning sensations and only 1 hour sleep instead of lets say 3 that Im used to, 6th day also head ache increasing and 1 hour sleep. I called sick from work thought maybe it was covid. Being very scared to lose my sleep even more permanently I went back up to 0.12mg for two days in case it was withdrawal and last night 0.25 mg due to spasms and restelessness in bed, I almost called emergency psychiatric care but got 1 hour sleep finally with the dosage doubling. And now we're at today. I hope I can stay on 0.25 mg tonight and stabilize. What should I do? Im considering calling the pro's again but this forum has seemed to have better methods as far as I've read. What should one expect when dropping to 0mg even from a very low mg? Im thinking maybe I should never try 0 mg again and just stay at 0.25mg or so. I don't fear use of zyprexa so much at these low leves. Or if health allows some time from now taper to 0.06 mg (smallest plausible part for me) and do it every, then every other day, then every third? is this a viable super extended low end taper? Should I jump up to a higher mg now? Thanks for any support than I've already gotten from reading some here. Theses were my tapers just prior to going 0 the second time (4 mar 2020) 0.63 mg 21 day (25 mar 2020) 0.31 mg 16 day 0.41 mg 36 day (had to go up and stayed till I felt like maybe 0-4 hour sleep again) 0.31 mg 10 day (26 may 2020) 0.25 mg 12 day (7 june 2020) 0.12 mg 8 day Thanks
  4. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  5. My brain going into dream condition but not into sleep condition every night or day when ever I attempt to sleep I have believed the information about remote neural monitoring in all over internet and browsed internet 2 years heavily which resulted heavy thought process ,doubts and suspicion over near and dear. So I went to a psychiatrist and requested to bring me out of heavy thoughts.He made me use lorazepam for 10 days ,risperidone and trihexyphenidyl combination drug for 30 days.After 30 days my thoughts reduced so I did not go to doctor again.What a mistake ,I was ignorant of how psychiatry medicines work and slow tapering nor my doctor warned me while prescribing an anti psychotic.It is happened in july 2016. From then my brain going into dreams when ever I attempt to sleep.In october 2016 again I went to the same doctor and reported about the condition I am in.He prescribed olanzapine silently.I started using olanzapine ignorantly and innocently.When i was experiencing stomach upset that is when I researched in the internet about risperidone and olanzapine. Now this is june 2017 I have tapered risperidone and olanzapine safely and became drug free safely.But the thing is my brain still into dream condition and not allowing me to sleep when ever i attempt.My querry is what risperidone and trihexyphenidyl and lorazapam [10 days]did to my brain?what chemicals they blocked.Now stopping them cold turkey did what on my brain?what chemical i should take to get my sleep pattern back.?If I wait patiently with time will the brain correct its condition naturally?Any brain researcher please help.
  6. I really can't go into many details right now, as I am in the midst of things. You guys can read my history. I had a mini nervous breakdown after a period of intense life threatening stress, with with a war of nerves from family members, strangers etc. etc. too long of a story. I was misdiagnosed with depression, then as you can read I was repeatedly attacked with drugs. At the moment I can't read a book, go out, hold a conversation... I used to be a computer whiz and I can't re-arrange a few folders on the computer, I am completely drained of any energy, I can't cook for myself, and I suffer from mental pain that ranges from the horrible, completely intolerable pain to the barely tolerable. I 've seen all facets of hell. I 've gone out 10 times in 8 months. I smoke tobacco like a chimney. I 'm terribly addicted to benzos.I am mortified by what I am reading about tardive dysphoria. ------------------------------ Invega 9mg tapered to zero over 6 months Levomepromazine 25mg for 3 months Citalopram raised from 20mg to 80mg over 3 months, at 80mg for 1 year and 5 months Venlaxafine raised from 150mg to 450mg over 3 months (after citalopram) maintained for 1 year and 2 months. Alprazolam from 0.5 to 7(!) mg due to the immense stress of the ads. Down to 2.5mg. Discontinued abruptly with almost no tapering within a week and a half, against all guidelines first the citalopram then the effexor. Moclobemide raised from 200mg to 800mg during a month and half discontinued with no tapering. Fluvoxamine and Venlaxafine 300mg and 450mg, abrupt start, no tapering in discontinuation. 30mg Mirtazapin at night. Currently on 2.5mg alprazolam, Diazepam 5mg for 1.5 months.
  7. Hi I feel I am writing this too late as I have made many errors in my withdrawal from Mirtazapine and subsequent reinstatement but I only found this website and information recently. Perhaps you can still help me. In October, I tapered off from just under 1.5mg Mirt where i had been for several months following a slow taper from 7.5mg (18 months total time). The doctor told me this dose was too low to have therapeutic value but if I wanted to taper i should miss alternate nights, then 2 nights etc...and I should be off in a month. I did this but had insomnia on the missed nights but it seemed to settle. My sleep deteriorated though. In early December and exhausted, I was hosting a party and needed to sleep so I took a 1.5mg dose of Mirt for 2 nights only and slept. 6 days later, I had shocking vertigo and sickness and could barely move. Luckily, this passed in a few hours but it alarmed me and I vowed to stay away from Mirt. My sleep was deteriorating again and exactly 2 weeks later it went completely. Christmas was awful. I didn't really know what the problem was tbh but I didn't want to take any Mirt so I used Phenergan to sleep. After about a week, the Phenergan stopped working and without it I could not sleep at all so I reinstated Mirtazapine. The low dose worked and then didn't work so a week later I increased it to 7.5mg. I know now this was too large an increase but I was desperate. I saw a big improvement but it was still erratic so a week later I tried 10.5mg for 2 nights. This didn't make much difference so I went back to 7.5mg. By now, I had found this website and learned about waves and windows etc.. That next week, things improved but I had a couple of bad nights around day 4, which I thought was the dose change causing problems. Then the next few nights improved again, but last night and the night before I had about an hour and am feeling dreadful. I suppose my questions now would be: does this seem like windows/waves? Or could I have 'kindled'? I dont know much about this or when it would happen but what would I do if it is? I presume I stay at 7.5mg now? I presume it's too late and unwise to reduce this dose? This is a truly awful experience and I'm hoping to stabilise and taper slowly again. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I know I have probably done everything I'm not meant to do and I'm really paying for it. I wish I had never taken this drug and don't think I should have been prescribed it in the first place but that's another story.
  8. Hi all, I’m so grateful for websites like these. I was on Mirtazapine for over a year at 15mg/day for sleep. Can’t remember exactly how long. I’m so stupid I stopped cold turkey. I just didn’t want to be on them anymore. I did not keep record of timeline but I believe after 8-12 or more weeks of stopping all of a sudden I couldn’t sleep. However, I’ve been going through a lot of relationship issues that has caused me emotional pain and anxiety which I though it was that until I researched withdrawal. I panicked and took a dose of 7.5mg and 15mg here and there. It wasn’t working like it used to so I decided to go on 7.5mg everyday for last two weeks. Panicked and up it to 15mg for a few days. Now back to 7.5mg. I’m so scared. I can’t sleep. Some night I can’t sleep at all. In the last week I sleep for four hrs and automatically always up same time every night (4hrs of sleep). I don’t know what to do. I jus want to come off again and deal with the insomnia. No other symptoms except for what I’m feeling with my personal issues. I shouldn’t of come back on and just went with insomnia. Should I just stop it all together again since I cannot sleep anyway?
  9. Hi, I am new here and terrified. Was prescribed low dosage TCAs for 2.5 years. Nortriptyline 20-30 mg from May 2012 - Dec 2013. Then desipramine from Jan 2014 - October 2014. In October, my neck and tongue started twitching. I'd been having muscle tremors since about May, but my stupid doctor couldn't ever tell me what it was. I finally looked at the side effects of the desipramine and put two and two together and quickly tapered down. I was told that was okay since I was on such low dose. Was actually told it would have been okay to abruptly stop since the dosage was low. In hindsight, I now suspect that some muscle stuff I noticed on nortriptyline were actually side effects. Now it looks like I have tardive dyskenisia, which is apparently rare from TCAs. Please, will I recover? Has anybody on here recovered from TCA-induced TD? I see that people have recovered from TD from other classes of meds. Looking for hope about my situation. It is apparently so rare with TCAs that I can't find info and I want a full recovery. Please note: meds were prescribed for pain, not mental health.
  10. Context [This thread may sound familiar because when I felt the most hopeless and suicidal I made a different thread on PSSD forums, but some user copied that thread here to hide the fact it was the same person as another banned account. I waited to post here until I got to know at which points in time I was supposed to take my medicine. I've been off them for about a year] I started taking the anti-dipressant Zoloft/Setraline for Depression, the stress and anxeity I have from my aspergers and Pure OCD. Everything usually felt dark, heavy and really really sad but there were moments of happiness. I've always been over emotional on the inside, although it might have not looked like that on the outside. I hesitated getting Anti-Dipressants for a long time because I was afraid of permanent affects. I intentionally did not read internet horror stories so I would still take the pill and was truly convinced by my doctors that if I'd stop taking my pills, I'd go back to normal. But that isn't the case. I haven't felt like the same person ever since. I kept having a strong urge to meet up with an old crush of mine again (in the platonic sense) after a long time of not seeing her. I even had dreams about it. When I finally did, I felt almost nothing except physical tiredness even though we technically had a good time. It was that moment I realized just how little actual happiness I can feel yet how easily I can still feel physical pain and tiredness and I started to feel hopeless again. I then also realized how little I felt for the most recent ''crush'' and how back when I was in love with that old crush it was so strong it was unbeliabale. [Timeframe and dosage] I have now finally been able to contact my psychiatrist to find out in which two periods I was supposed to take them. one of about 4 months. The other of about 8. However, I'd sometimes forget my dosage and I stopped cold turkey twice sometime before the end of these periods. -Period 1: -12 December 2017 to -6th of march 2018. -Period 2: -10th of april 2018 to -somewhere in november 2018. It's likely I already stopped by december as I pretended to take them for a while. Something seems off here too, I remember there was a longer period of time I stopped taking in between these two periods. Likely because I also pretended to still take. This means it's likely been a bit more than a year since stopping. In each period I started with 10 mg, very quickly moving to 20 and feeling relatively positive results. Then after moving to 50mg I'd feel too emotionally blunted and it'd scare me so I'd stop and I'd thought it'd go away. Only it didn't. [Experience] The first time I took my pills I immediately felt a bit of relief but thought such quick effect must be in my head. I did quickly get stomach cramps, flatulence, constipipation and diarrheah issues from it which lessened over time. I didn't notice much else at first. Then I got super over emotional and went through one of the hardest periods of my life. I couldn't stop crying and I was constantly anxious and tense and barely slept at all. As it went awayIfelt much less anxeity than ever, I felt a bit more energy and could think more positively. I used to always have an anxious/nervous feeling in my stomach regardless of how I actually felt and it was gone. However I also couldn't feel orgasms anymore and had genital numbness.I still liked the effect for a while. My thinking got more positive and I thoughtI could finally beat depression if I'd just work at it. I was less emotional, but that seemed like a good thing. Until the dosage was upped to 50 at one point and I felt like a complete zombie and I started to get freaked out. I noticed that all this time even on the lower dosage I couldn't cry well and I wasn't actually any happier and in fact found it even harder to feel happy. I cared less even less about doing anything than I did before because I couldn't take anything seriously and nothing made me feel better so I may as well do nothing. I stopped cold turkey (dumb I know) so I'd get all my emotion back but I didn't. I didn't really notice that much initially. Except that I got a lot more tired,. Like..A lot more tired. [Lasting issues] Now I have these issues.. -Cognitive: -General ''brain fog'' type feel. Worse short term memory, much worse concentration, can't process information well esecially if new, More interrupted sleep no matter how calm I am (partially already had this due to GERD), a left eye that twitches a lot, blurry vision that resets a brief moment after every blink, and even less motivation. Like way less. Busy places are much more distracting and tiring than they used to be, yet the anxious feeling I'd usually get from them is gone. I've barely felt functional. It also effects how well I can hear in noisy enviorments and process speech sound. -Emotional: -More irritability/anger. Blunted emotions in general. Harder to cry. Harder to have sympathy/empathy. The hardest to feel feelings are happiness and sadness. Happiness even harder, yet I have no trouble feeling stress. I notice my body still reacts physically asif the feelings are still there (my voice sounding sadder/softer, my heart rate increasing..), yet I can't sense the emotion on the inside like I'm on some kind of anasthetic. I can tell I need to cry but then can't unless in extreme scenarios and when I finally can I don't feel it nearly as well. At least I never lost my ability to laugh. I still get goosebumps/shivers in my head/chest area from certain thoughts, though I tend to need to force this out of me by thinking instead of it triggering by something happening around me making it feel incredibly forced and I notice a disconnect between the no response reality and the excitement of thinking about my desires. My stomach area feels the most numbed of all. It has made me feel more suicidal than I was before. It feels like purgatory. And Like I'm watching a movie of my life instead of living it. -Sexual: -Genital Anasthesia (asin no sexual pleasure from touch) as well as anorgasmia type PSSD. Already had this a bit due to a past porn addiction but it wasn't that bad at all. If I just touch myself to imagery, anything else would be more exciting. If I conciously think about how exciting this is supposed to be, I get shivers down my upper body and am in a state of enjoyment. More than with anything else at least. But I constantly notice the disconnect between feeling nothing of pleasure in my lower body. Especially with the orgasm I feel absolutely nothing exciting whatsoever which is a total anti climax. A sneeze is much more tense. I now have a biological urge (My libido remains unaffected) that I can't actually satiate. No matter how calm I am or how excited I am mentally, my body does not co-operate to make it physically enjoyable yet functionally/on the outside everything works fine. -Other: Still have some gut problems. As a result I have trouble doing anything at all that isn''t more involved than browing random internet forums and listening to gaming reviews on youtube. [Not taken seriously] My dad told me I'm just making this up to avoid having to solve my problems and that its all in my head despite me wishing that was true. Sure I don't know which issues are all caused by the pills but I sure do know it made that nervous feeling go away ever since so it DID make permanent changes. Doctors and psychiatrists and the like don't believe it's possible. My mom believes it's possible but she acts like it's better than what I used to be and that I should just accept this and hope it gets better. Both parents think I shouldn't believe ''those people on the internet and that you're not part of them''. My mom keeps getting mad when I get mad about the problem because ''Well what do you want me to say or do?''. Even though when I was wrongfully treated by a past school of mine my parents fought them with rage yet when my humanity is taken away from me they just expect me to suck it up. Most people either don't believe it at all because doctors say effects can't persist, OR they kind of act like they do but I can easily tell they don't believe and instead just want to support me feeling better. People keep expecting me to function on the level pre ssri. They keep telling me I'm smart yet I'm struggling for reasons that aren't depression. They keep expecting me to care about small things when I even have trouble caring about the things I used to care about most. [Progress] PSSD has not showed a single bit of progress. I've been having a less difficult time feeling sadness however. Tiredness has been lessened by living a better lifestyle but I still don't feel like my old self even though I didn't do these things back than. To not feel like I'm mentally handicapped from tiredness, I started to eat on time everyday and pay more attention to what I eat (including so I get less GERD,) for which I stopped eating late in the evning). I went to the doc for a blood test and the result was low vitamin d and low bloodcells (which I likely have always had yet back then I wasn't that tired) but anyways I got vitamin D supplements (I'm black so it's higher than usual). I started to put all my screens on low blue light filters. I also started to go to go to bed and wake up at certain times (though eventually staying asleep is futile). I want to add some exercise to it soon and make some adjustments to make my GERD better. I today got noise cancelling headphones so I can actually hear what I want to listen to outside. PLEASE SOMEONE give me hope my emotions can get better. Everything feels so pointless when putting in effort to do things only leads to more tiredness and no happiness despite in the past being able to feel happiness.
  11. Hello,first of all I really want to say that I am glad I found this site. I started using medication at age 14 for no reason really(besides not listening my lessons). They prescribed me Ritalin,Prozac and Concerta. If I remember correctly I used Prozac for 6 months. At first Ritalin wasn't used continuously. I used It for exams and some days in school because of my family's attitude. I hated that drug. After the Prozac usage doctor started Zoloft 100 mg. I was unable to care for daily matters.I used it for 1 year but because of inability to care I stopped cold turkey.I had exams so I started using a lot of Ritalin and Concerta(my family pressured me). They were giving me hell. Paranoia, brain zaps and even hallucinations. I quitted them after 1 year once again abruptly. I wasn't seeing a Doctor and was a kid. Then I started on Zoloft again(on my own). This time I was using 50 mg. I was once again talkative social and good. But there was sexual side effects and I was using alcohol with that so after 1 year once again I quitted cold turkey(18 yo). For 4 months I was good but then I started smoking weed. First ones were not problematic but the last one (5th) hit me hard. I had tingling and blood rushing in my brain with weird sensations of shock. I got in a bad state. After that I still have brain shocks, pulse, throbbing,weird sensations,vertigo,brain shakes in my head. I cant focus on something because my head throbs. I was stuck in home for a long time thinking I was dying. It got better but I cant function. I went to doctor which reinstated me on lustral 50 mg. I tried it 25 mg but I got huge brain shake and restlessness. I got something at night which my neck got numb derealization and convulsions. They gave me Ativan for sedation. I dropped medication and went to another doctor which gave me Lexapro 12,5 mg. I got the same feelings once again and had to use Ativan. I have huge sensitivity to substances like caffeine they give me weird brain sensation and throbbing tingling. I cant find a good doctor they say anxiety and prescribe everything. I dont feel anxious I just feel these things all the time. I feel hopeless because I got in a good university but cant be me. I am 19. Thanks for all the help
  12. Hi all, I've lurked in the forum for a little while now but thought I'd finally introduce myself to give my bit to the community and hopefully track my progress too. I took citalopram 20mg for 6 months in the first half of 2018 to try to help with symptoms of generalised anxiety. I tapered (in what I now know to be a rather quick fashion) over about 10 weeks and hence have been antidepressant-free since August 2018, one year ago. Luckily, I never really suffered with many of the physical side-effects that many describe here, whilst on the drugs, tapering, and off the drugs. But the biggest thing for me by far has been the sense of blunted emotions, anhedonia and sexual dysfunction that has arisen. I noticed these increase gradually while I was on the meds, and then increase dramatically after coming off. Whilst on the meds and even tapering, my overall experience was mixed - whilst the dulled emotions and sex drive bothered me, my anxiety was definitely reduced and I did have more of a sense of resilience to difficulties. The problems really started once off the meds. I assumed that these side effects would go away once I was off, but they actually got significantly worse. Combined, they have really led to a real sense of having lost who I was. The loss of libido has been particularly upsetting, having had quite a high sex drive previously and sex having played an important part in my life. Almost as bad is the loss of enjoyment in music, which I simply don't experience in quite the same way any more. A phrase that resonated with me a little was that of listening to an orchestra, but with the strings and percussion missing. You hear the music, but it just doesn't quite seem full or right. Emotionally I feel less empathy and love which impacted my relationship. The anxiety has still been numbed, the one small positive. But everything is numb. With regards to my sex drive, it's not at 0%, and I do have windows where things seem better, but they feel so fleeting and hard to grasp onto. And often the more I chase these feelings (via porn, say) the further away they seem. Progress seems so painfully slow and there are definitely low periods where I feel like it's never going to recover. But there are times when I can be aroused somewhat by porn/sex and a few magical times where it seemed like everything was back to normal. Recreational drugs sometimes helped me feel something too, though clearly aren't any sort of long term solution. I have found forums like this a mixed blessing. There is an awful lot of negativity around, from people sadly in a very bad place, who have been suffering for 3/5/7/10 years etc who are convinced that this is permanent, they'll never recover, life isn't worth living etc. In my bad times it can be very easy to follow this line of thinking, look at the timescales involved and fall into despair. Nevertheless the forums have been an invaluable source of information and sometimes inspiration - I tend to try to focus on the success stories and positives rather than wallowing in the tough bits. I can completely understand why most people wouldn't want to hang around here when they feel as if they've recovered - they move on with their lives - and I'm convinced that there is a lot of unreported recovery. People don't stay in the hospital when they are better, as the saying goes. Also however painful and slow, it would just seem very surprising to me if anything like this was really permanent. Brains just don't work like that and they are capable of remarkable healing, given enough time. I've recently been in quite a bad wave, brought on to a large extent by difficulties in a relationship which has now sadly ended in quite a difficult and messy way. Though I feel numbed, the end of the relationship has clearly impacted me and in a sense I guess is manifesting itself in this complete anhedonia (rather than high anxiety, which it might have done pre-meds.) Though I feel horrifically numb and flat at the moment, it's all still a bit recent and I know that I need to give myself some time and a chance to heal from the break-up. Anyway - I'll try to pop back here to post any updates I have or answer any questions from fellow forum members. Variance
  13. G'day SA community My name is Anthony and I have been lurking on this site for a few weeks and thought it time that I start my contribution. And hopefully get some well needed support without being too selfish. I would firstly like to preface my intro by thanking all the members, staff, moderators and founders of this site. It is helping me get through a dark time in my life that I have never ever experienced before. And it has been and still is scary. My story is long (as is most sufferers) so I will do my utmost to be as concise yet brief as possible without losing the important information. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Aeroman in particular as His success story is what I have needed and his time and investment in answering all the questions from the members relating to his journey has been inspiring to say the least. I won't go into the usual diatribe about how I suffered as a child in a dysfunctional home from physical, emotional and mental abuse of which was the case but my story is more about the incompetent people in white coats we see as all knowing, professional, caring and are in their chosen field because they like helping people and not the money! It all started when I was 21 years old. I had recently finished my apprenticeship with a National Manufacturer as a HVAC & R Technician (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and was around two years into starting my own business. Things were going very well when all of a sudden and out of nowhere my heart started racing and I was feeling faint. It was fortunate and by coincidence that I was working next door to a Medical Centre. I literally crawled into the Medical Centre and was dragged by a lovely receptionist wo a consultation room. She got me glass of water and informed a doctor. Unfortunately by the time the doctor arrived my heart had suddenly reverted back to normal and I was feeling fine. Tired but, well. He did all the usual work up of tests, including a 24hr Holter monitor to check my heart but basically put it down to either dehydration (as it was the middle of summer here in Australia) or anxiety/stress. Anyway, I was given the all clear. A couple of years later, with out any warning, the same thing happened again. And then again. and then again and again and again. There would be sporadic episodes of this that would last from anywhere from 3 minutes to as long as three hours. It would also involve many Emergency Department visits, ambulance call outs, blood tests, tests for this or that, tests for something else more visits with a GP and yet nothing could be found other than that old chestnut. ANXIETY......STRESS......DEPRESSION. Duh...of course I'm stressed out, I am as anxious as all get up because I feel like my heart is either about to stop or beat so fast its going flop out of my chest.......and nobody can find what the...is wrong with me. So fast forward a couple more years and with still no answers I decided to start seeing psychologists, Chinese medicine Practioners, hypnotists, more GP's, more Psychologists, even a Psychiatrist who suggested the bad word.....Anti Depressants.........of which I have never been one to even take a paracetamol for a headache let alone nasty stuff like that. Well, they all promised they could resolve my anxiety and stress related heart problems but none of them ever did. I was eventually convinced by a psychologist (and my wife) to try Zoloft because I was one of those people that was either born with a chemical imbalance or I acquired one due to my childhood traumas. Well lets just say that those three days were what I thought at that time to be pure hell on earth. Stopped CT and straight in the bin with the free sample. With all the money I spent over the years I could have bought my own little Island retreat somewhere in the Pacific Islands. Fast Forward a few more years and continually dealing with my heart palpitations I got married, had two daughters, multiple businesses and generally a reasonably good time even though that this heart issue was hanging over my head constantly my Quality of Life was very restricted. Fast forward a few more years and Feeling pretty bad about this and being at that age where I wanted more out of life I hunted down a new GP who was the mother of my daughters best friend at school, I had known her a few years personally and my wife thought she would be able to help with this trouble that I was enduring. Well now is where trouble really starts but I did know that till recently. Into the first consultation and boom, out comes the Mental assessment questionnaire and what do you know, I have anxiety and stress bordering on depression. WTF? Being tired of all this I caved in, desperate for my heart to be normal I took the free sample of Lexapro with my tail between my legs, went home and told my wife who was ecstatic (in her defence she only wanted the best for me and a happy life with her husband and the big house and cars and white picket fence and she believed all the doctors saying I was mental blah blah blah). Sucked back my first tablet and went back to my life. Yeah, I thought my life was coming back and that these medicines really do work, why didn't I persist last time because I don't even think about my heart anymore.......A year down the track I went back to my doctor and told her that it feels like it wasn't working like it was 6 months ago, boom, up my dosed from 10mg to 20mg. Well well well, wouldn't you know it. 11pm on a Tuesday night I woke up, my heart was going crazy, I was ill, vomiting, fainting and feeling like I was going to die. Told myself to suck it up, it was all mental, I was mental, I have something seriously mentally wrong with me, the doctors and everyone said so.........three hours later I called for an ambulance, woke up my wife and kids and told them what was happening, my kids were freaking out......The ambulance arrived and as the paramedics came into my bedroom a thud and my heart slowed down to normal, I felt okay, all the stress and anxiety and ill feeling gone just like that. A two day stay in hospital with all the usual tests again and the doctor comes to see me, "Yep, unable to find anything, must be stress or anxiety". Great I thought. So much for Lexapro, time to get off this rubbish because I don't feel anything anymore, no fun, no anger, no happiness, nada......Two weeks later I tapered as per doctors advice and against her wishes I was off the AD's for good. Three months later I was back in her office begging for some relief, I was in bad shape, out of work and my wife again seriously wanted to go back on the meds or there would be repercussions maritally speaking. This time the Doctor said I now had Major Depression Disorder, those words alone stressed me out. Anyway, time to start the heavy hitting SNRI now, I was in bad shape she said..........Well two days later I ended up having another heart episode that was the worst I had ever had, I really thought that I was going to die, I screamed at my wife to call the ambulance, my kids started crying immediately, the Ambulance sent an Urgent care Hi-Priority paramedic who was in my bedroom hooking my with ECG leads all over my body, cannulas in both arms and then said quite casually..."It okay mate, no worries, your not dying....you got SVT. Just relax and Ill fix it for you in a minute I just have to get this ECG trace to show the docs and will get it done" What? SVT? Did I eat something bad, what is SVT. Isn't it anxiety? I asked the Paramedic. 'Nah" he says. Got nothing to do with anxiety. you may have anxiety from having this but having this is definitely not from anxiety" Anyway, a few valslva manoeuvres and a couple of jokes when the transport ambo turns up later I'm feeling quite calm. Off to the hospital for further tests and the Paramedics hang around for a while and with the Doctor explain to me what SVT is. Also known as PSVT (Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). 24 years of my life chasing this, never not once did any medical or other professional suggest I go see a cardiologist but they were all too willing to take my money...............For those of you who don't know what PSVT is or don't want to use google, I had AVNRT (Atrio ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia) type of heart arrhythmia, there are several, of which I had an additional pathway next to my AV node causing my heart electrical conduction system to short circuit causing my heart to beat at extremely high rates which was captured on the ECG at 230bpm. Diagnosis meant that it was not life threatening, just very unpredictable and uncomfortable...No Joke! After my hospital stay I was referred to a cardiologist for follow but decided I should see my GP so I can stop the Prisitq because I have found out, after 24 years, that I am not mental, or at least the reason why I am a bit skiddish is because the actual heart problem. Again, my wife and GP convince me to stay on the Pristiq to just help get over the next couple of months until I sort out this heart arrhythmia and me, after all these years being brainwashed what did I do....I agreed, good idea, just to get me over the next hurdle because now I have to go and have a heart operation I need to be in the right mindset..............how stoopid am I? I am now back at home waiting to see the specialist cardiologist and everyday my mood is getting worse and worse. I am constantly crying, panicking, thinking I am going to die and I haven't even seen the cardiologist yet. This snowballs to the point that during my Consultation with the Cardio I was in a very bad emotional state my wife had to talk for me. When the Cardiologist found out I was on Prisitq he asked me why I was on this junk, I should get off it as quickly as possible, and medications like these are only for people who are in dire need of help and in Hospital. The Heart operation, Electrophysiology Study and Cather Abalation will resolve the heart issues and I won't have to worry about heart arrhythmias ever again. I informed him that my GP told me I needed to stay on them, well after that there was some correspondence back and forth from my Cardioligist and GP about this and finally my Cardiologist gave up. Operation day arrives and I go to the hospital, supposed to be a day procedure, should be home that night.......Two procedures and two weeks later I am sent home with some complications that the Electrophysiologist had some trouble sorting out. I wouldn't want to go into detail but I was an emotional wreck, my kids were destroyed emotionally as well I am happy to delve further into the complications during and after the procedure if anyone wants to know but, .Lets just say that I had almost, almost was going to have a pacemaker installed but thankfully it was found out that I had some complications from some "Medications" Namely a SNRI Pristiq. Basically I am still not right after three months and I am diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate sinus tachycardia that needs to be controlled with some heart medications. Hopefully this will resolve with time. Nonetheless, I was totally traumatised by that event and I am struggling with it mentally still. So out of hospital I meet with my GP as I had lots of Chest pain, and irregular heartbeats etc etc and to finally get off the Prisitq. But no. now that I am in pretty much an uncontrollable state she suggests and refers me to a Psychiatrist to re-evaluate and possibly change medications and wants me to look at going to a Mental Hospital and to help get through the next few days while I am waiting for the Psych Doc appointment that I should start on Valium and Sleeping tabs to get me through. Wait, what. Now I'm treating this med with another med. Anyway, I'm so desperate ill do whatever......... Finally see the Psych doctor and she DSM's me as Panic Disorder only, stops the Pristiq immediately, but after three days break I need to start Lexapro again at 10mgs and then three days after that start 20mgs. Oh by the way, its because you have a chemical imbalance disease in your brain, you will need these the rest of your life, its like insulin for diabetics, most people are on these now, its what you need to live and get by........................................These nasty people play on your vulnerability!. Well I stopped the pristiq on a Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up like a new person. No Crying, energy back, no dizziness, my heart was beating regularly and slowly and I felt brilliant. I told my wife that I didn't want to go on the Lexapro again but after some heated discussion, what she and the kids had been through recently and the potential issues going forward I handed my genitals back to her to put in her purse for safe keeping..........Start sucking those poison pills down again as directed by all those who had never been on this rubbish, two more weeks in bed feeling like death warmed up, headache, nausea, sore mouth, teeth sore everything, could not talk could not eat, that's when I woke up one morning and trashed the lot of pills in the bin. That was the day I Cold Turkey again Wrong move I know but boy, was I sick. The suicide ideation, the gory vivid dreams, the grim reaper and death is all thought about for those two weeks mixed in with insomnia. Well, I haven't recovered from these two weeks of Lexapro, they have changed something in me and I didn't get the relief I got from when I stopped Pristiq. This time Lexapro, only for two weeks has done something to me and I feel these withdrawal symptoms are going to take something special from me to get through...................These drug pushers need punishment for their actions. All these years of feeling intimidated by these charlatans and all along I had an issue that should have been resolved with a day procedure. Yes it was heart surgery nonetheless but still, my family and I are in a world of hurt now that was unnecessary. Thank You for letting me to get this out, I needed it. I am struggling with the WD side effects and I am concerned for the future and pain that is coming from this but I will no longer be controlled by these poison pills..........................
  14. Hi all, I hope it’s ok that I’m posting here. The website says to make an intro post. i started on meds in 2005 when I had anxiety attacks during a really stressful period. I didn’t know what was going on and felt like I lost my mind. It turns out I was having panic attacks from too much stress in my life. At the time, a doctor prescribed depakote. My girlfriend at the time strongly objected and I never took it. I was later prescribed celexa by another doc. I took celexa and then lexapro for the next 14 years. in 2019, I started having really bad anxiety again. My doc put me on seroquel 50 mg. Because I didn’t feel much better, I tried the following meds: Wellbutrin, cymbalta, prozac, Zoloft, then mirtazapine. All during this time, I stayed on seroquel. the mirtazapine helped a lot with the anxiety and I’m currently on 45 mg. I decided to taper off the seroquel 50 mg at the beginning of 2020. At my doctors instructions, I went down to 25 mg for 5 days, 12.5 mg for the next 5 days, then off. looking back now, the taper schedule was way too fast. I’m having a lot of withdrawal symptoms: foggy head, headaches, agitation, depression, irritability, palpitations, fatigue. once I’m fully recovered from my seroquel withdrawal, I’d like to eventually get off mirtazapine. id love to hear if anyone who has had experience getting off seroquel (I took the generic quietiapine). How long until withdrawal passed? Anything to reduce withdrawal symptoms? much love.
  15. Hi all, Breifly, I stopped taking fluoxetine in February after 3 years on it, with 7 previous years on different SSRIS. I didn’t taper. its been 3/4 months now, and I want to ask if what I’m experiencing could be withdrawal, and if anyone has experienced any of the more unusual symptoms below**. 1. intense emotions and sadness. 2. EXTREME irritability 3. loss of pleasure in pretty much everything 4. (** I don’t know how to describe this, but a strong, impulsive feeing of hopelessness, feeling trapped in my existence), almost like a suicidal feeling, and subsequent terror that I’m actually suicidal. 5. Impulse to self harm (never acted on, possibly OCD resurfacing). Im struggling immensely. If alarm bells are ringing, rest assured Im not going to act on the impulses. They feel unnatural and dystonic. Could the above be withdrawal? Is it possible to experience withdrawal after 3 months, especially on fluoxetine with its long half life?
  16. has anyone experienced protracted for more then 5 years? I'm on my 7th, has anyone gotten severe acne from this? im afraid it will never end, but I've heard a few stories like mine, and also have seen even 10 years....please if anyone can respond just let me know if this will end
  17. Hi everyone! 24 yr old here (my birthday is in 7 days though!) had a really horrible reaction with Escitalopram after only 2 1/2 weeks on 10mg around mid-September and i've been struggling with the symptoms since. My body and nervous system is hypersensitive to medication, like even a typical mosquito bite will cause my arm to balloon up. Unsure if it was neurotoxicity or what exactly went wrong but i basically had to cold turkey immediately, the ssri was prescribed for panic attacks and it's giving me a whole ton of anxiety-inducing symptoms that persist like: onset of multiple drifting floaters in my visual field that i've *never* experienced in my life before which are super distracting when having conversations, or looking at bright white surfaces like a phone or computer screen, these seem to have calmed down slightly after 6 weeks off but remain, and i'm worried they're permanent. About 2-3 times per week if i'm overly stressed or fatigued i'll wake up with a blotchy red spot in my field of view that disappears after a few seconds which is absolutely terrifying, this has improved from seeing it daily on the 1st week of withdrawal - i've searched the net and it seems like i'm the only person that has this symptom when driving or looking into far distances there appears to be a mirage haze or heat-wave vision.. the closest thing I can describe it to would be gas shimmering in the air, (in the middle of spring?) and when i'm having a realllyyyy bad day the the walls look like they're shaking until I look away. This is totally a nightmare and taking Lexapro was the worst decision of my young life, before the antidepressant I had never hallucinated, never taken psychedelics, and now I don't even want my friends to see me like this. I can't remain asleep for more than 3 hours without waking up and i'm scared daily but trying to remain hopeful!! I also get hypnic jerks and trembling/shaking while drifting off to sleep but it's rare enough to be manageable, i've found approx~ 100mg of magnesium and two capsules of fish oil in the morning and night really helps. Thanks so much for reading :3 just need some reassurance that all of this will pass!
  18. Hi, Came across this website trying to find others who've gone through withdrawal and experienced skin issues during the process. I took 5mg Trintellix medication for the last two years which worked wonders for me. Though, due to financial circumstances and having a shingles outbreak, I had to stop taking the medication cold turkey. My Dr. did blood work and everything came out fine. Chalked my shingles outbreak due to excessive stress. Over the last month and half that I've stopped the medication I've gone through crying spells, anxiety, insomnia/interrupted sleeping cycle, eating binge (sweets), fatigue, muscle weakness.. Right now, I'm experiencing headaches that stop and switch to IBS symptoms then switch back to headaches, some fatigue, focusing issues (eye), skin breakouts (pimples, red spots, hives) on my arms and chest. Today, a new hive or spots came out on my right oblique. I'm scared that it might shingles again or just the continuing break out due to my withdrawal. Just wanted to know how those who've had skin breakouts managed this or let it just be.
  19. LocoLarry Hope im doing this right. Just wanted some info on what to do if a person has just up & stopped taking 100mg of Zoloft after 7 years of continuous use. Would like to learn if people have had similar side effects like uncontrollable crying spells etc.
  20. I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October. My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only. No sleep since. So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes? I’m 72 yrs old. Since last August, I lost all my bad eating habits, and lost weight, no more high blood pressure. So I thought I could stop Amitriptyline 25mg prescribed to me for insomnia in early 90’s. Few years ago, I took only 2/3 to sleep. I thought I could stop. I failed. Very bad side effects. Finally, I saw the light, and Amitriptyline reinstatement. And tonight, I stopped cardiac coherence breathing 3xday. I’ll update my progress. I've read some topics and will read more. I discover very needed new info every day. Thank you to all for contributing to this peer support forum.
  21. Please I’m having some expyramidal effects and I’m scared it might be permanent. Does this symptoms ever go away
  22. Hello all, Been looking for anything I could find to help with tapering, discontinuing trazadone. I have been using Trazadone 50 mg approx 2.5 years now. I've stopped trazadone 5 times since January 2019, abrupt discontinuations usually due to side the effects that worsened to the point that daytime functioning severely impaired. To describe it, usually experiencing more side effects and even less sleep. Usually the trazadone tolerance starts 2-3 weeks after restarting. Past discontinuations I usually suffered some withdrawal effects after 2-3 days and but any uncomfortable withdrawals I did get subsided, but rebound insomnia was intense. This of course lead me right back to trazadone, the longest stint was 10 days in which sleep deprivation took its toll on me physically so I got right back on it. Forward to today my last discontinuation was 11 days ago, withdrawals have been insane. I read about reinstating, after 4 days after the abrupt discontinuation I took 1/2 a pill, approx 25 mg. I was worse than ever and took my self to the ER at 4:00 a.m. not able to walk due to severe debilitating dizziness, shortness of breath. severed headache, nausea. I had blood work and CT scan (all normal). The ER dismissed my concerns about withdrawal and stated "trazadone is a benign drug and can be taken with just about anything else and does not cause these symptoms'. I was treated for migraine and nausea and sent home. I called my sleep doctor (new doctor) the next day, he too dismissed my concerns and said "it's unlikely trazadone' would cause this effect and wrote me a new prescription for Remeron and told me to stop the trazadone. I have NOT taken any Remeron as I surely do not want any further serotonin inhibiting medication. I'm not being heard, as another example 2 months ago had a physical and extensive blood work done to rule out any medical conditions. My primary complaint was insomnia, she too dismissed my concerns and told me to just stop the trazdone and go to bed later to fix my sleep issues. So as you can see why I stop and restart. I am scheduled for a Sleep Study mid June, my doc said he needed me sleeping so I should take the medication, but the side effects and the fact they aren't working for sleep... so why keep taking them? I am 50 years old and of course taking into consideration hormonal issues and possible apnea, RLS or anything else that be disrupting my sleep, as well as long stint of trazadone use. I have not had any trazadone since that last dose of 25 mg taken 6 days ago, my withdrawal was intense after that for 4 more days, sleep actually came in waves those few days but now I am only getting 2.5 hours in waves with being woken up every 40-45 minutes. Reinstating at this point is out of the question, all those nasty side effects I was having went away and my dizziness is about 2/3 out 10 now. I cannot find anything through searching to find out how long this will last, should I consider a reinstatement this far out and if I do and I'm still not sleeping do I just stop again? The cycle won't end, I am at a cross roads and even after my sleep study I don't get back in to see my sleep doctor till the first of July. I am starting to get a lot of anxiety and resorting to being in a depressed stated as I do not want to be prescribed more medication for aniexty and depression. Sorry the long post hoping there is someone hear that might point out something I am missing in the mix of all this chaos I have created for my self. Thanks so much. ps: was not sure where to post this topic.
  23. Hey Guys, m 24 years old.... I was prescribed escitalopram in 2014 10mg,then after my dose was reduced to 5mg...So in December 2017 I quit it without tapering, which m now learning was a big mistake..... Everything was fine till February 5th when I had my breakup.... Suddenly my brain started behaving differently..... I started feeling like everything is Getting away from me.... Anxiety came back.... Slowly slowly symptoms began to get worse.... I used to wake up in the middle of the night, felt like crying most of the time, loose motion, sweaty hands, chronic fatigue.... Now from the last three weeks I feel like my memory is fading, it's like I don't remember all these years wt actually happened, I do remember most of the things but it just feels like I don't remember them with all the feel.... So last week I went to see my psychiatrist and he said it's a relapse case.... I told him maybe it's the withdrawal symptom then he said they only last for 10-15 days..... AND told me to get back on 10mg again.... At night I took my first dose of 10mg, the next day in morning I started shivering and feeling cold..... I went to pee and felt like m gonna faint.... There was a burning sensation under the skin of my arms and back..... I decided not to take these meds.... So m asking you guys wt is the best thing for me to do now.... Should I reinstate with the small dose and then taper it down or just hope that everything gets better with time?
  24. will351

    will351: off Luvox

    Altostrata, I dropped my luvox 25mgs 3 days down to 0. I went to fast having bad withdrawals I am also on 50mg sertraline. Should I reinstate at 12.5. Thanks Lynn
  25. I'll try to keep this kind of short. I've finally decided to post an intro today after reading posts on this site for a few years now which has helped a lot with understanding what's going on since most doctors just told me my SSRI discontinuation/withdrawal symptoms-which were unlike anything I'd ever experienced before and physically and emotionally worse than I'd ever felt-were a return of my depression & anxiety or possibly a bipolar disorder according to one doctor. I knew for a fact that it was not my original anxiety & depression, but I had no idea what was happening in the beginning or how to explain it. I had social anxiety, depression, & general anxiety since age 12 and was not allowed to drive/take the bus/go out or do much by myself other than going to school (because everything was too dangerous) by controlling, religious parents with their own high anxiety and agoraphobia. I was never allowed to receive counseling for these issues & when I went off to college, it was an extremely difficult struggle going from not being allowed to do almost anything to suddenly being responsible for figuring everything out on my own. I was also not great with time management skills & knowing how to plan ahead. (I actually relate to a lot of symptoms of ADD & Asperger's, which both greatly affect social skills & ability to get through college and would explain a lot of problems I've had. I have learned more about them in the past year, but can't afford to get diagnosed right now so I've just been looking at support groups for days when my nausea is lessened.) I felt overwhelmed all the time and all my negative thoughts worsened severely. I didn't see the free counselor at college during this time either because I was embarrassed about everything and about asking for help. I finally decided I wanted to try to make a change and try counseling the summer after sophomore year of college at age 20 and was at rock bottom, desperate to not feel depressed. I knew someone who said their antidepressant helped them, so I asked a doctor for medicine and they prescribed sertraline. After taking the first pill, I had a surge of anxiety and racing thoughts that made it impossible to concentrate. Within the first couple days on 25 mg of sertraline, I was gagging and dry heaving over and over for at least 20 minutes as soon as I ate anything. I would also throw up multiple times in a short timespan after one snack or meal. I called my Dr & was told to skip a dose and then change the time I took the dose from morning to night. After a week of this (dry heaving & vomiting all meals) on 25 mg, and another call to the doctor, I was told that digestive issues are a possible starting symptom and to increase to 50 mg. As soon as I increased, the gagging & vomiting increased even more. After 6 days of this, I called the doctor again and was told I could stop taking it altogether since it had been such a short amount of time on it. And to come in for a different medicine Rx after the weekend. The very first day that I didn't take the sertraline, I felt the worst nausea I had ever felt in my entire life. I ended up asking a friend to drive me to the ER because I felt so sick. I told the Dr how I had just stopped sertraline. The doctor said that my pupils were dilated and my reflexes were overactive. Then, he listed off illegal drugs & asked if I had taken those. (No, I've never tried any drug before). He said "You need to tell me what else is going on because the antidepressant couldn't have caused this." And I said "I don't know" and started crying. I do know that people in my family are highly sensitive to medicines and have since found out I have a gene that causes me to metabolize slowly so things build up for longer in my system. Anyway, the Dr left the room and at one point I was given Ativan in an IV by the nurse which did ease the nausea. When the Dr came back, he told me I had SSRI discontinuation syndrome, (he didn't explain what that meant), that I could never try another SSRI, and gave me a Rx for a small bottle of Ativan. My mom said he mentioned something on the phone to her about serotonin syndrome which dilated pupils and overactive reflexes are symptoms of, but I don't remember him saying anything about it directly to me. He also mentioned reinstating a small amount might help but my mom didn't pass this on to me until much later because she didn't want me to take it. After that, I experienced: -more dry heaving which gradually lessened in frequency -random times of vomiting after eating and after exercising when I wasn't sick & the food wasn't bad (or sometimes nothing was left to vomit & only a small amount would come up) -continuing debilitating nausea & dizziness -olfactory hallucination (putrid smell that wouldn't go away, would intensify around strong scents such as soap & car exhaust) -uncontrollable crying at every tiny thing (neuro-emotion, not regular sadness) -uncontrollable rage (neuro-emotion) -intrusive thoughts & floods of bad memories which I "word vomited" in texts to my sisters -didn't want to be around people who I associated with bad memories because it would greatly intensify neuro-anxiety. (I'd guess the feeling is similar to what people mean who talk about experiencing bad drug trips and how it's important to be with people you trust) -nightmares -paranoia/suspicion/distrust (felt like my mom & sister were not really my mom and sister even though logically, I knew it was them. Things feel creepy & sinister -almost like a horror movie sometimes. A post I read here compared the sinister feeling to a bad LSD trip. I have never tried LSD, but I understood what they meant & is the closest way I found to describe it. -cognitive fog (thinking, processing speed, & reaction time is noticeably slower) (I was a slow thinker/processor before, but it feels like I have brain damage now) -memory problems (I was somewhat forgetful before, but am even more so now) -depersonalization ("it feels like the medicine changed who I am & I don't have an identity/sense of self which I still hadn't fully formed before sertraline) -derealization (feel emotionally disconnected & distant from people/atmosphere. I know things are real, but they don't feel real. Sometimes it feels like consequences won't matter or there is no sense of helpful anxiety even in a potentially dangerous situation. Logically, I know they do matter and still want to do the right thing) -anhedonia/apathy/emotionally numb (don't care about things or have the same amount of passion for interests or feel empathy for other people's emotions or feel spiritual even though I had some spiritual beliefs before. Couldn't feel hopeful about anything/future or feel love towards or from anyone. These emotions have slowly returned to a certain degree since then & levels of ability to feel them have changed at different courses of time) -blurred/cloudy vision (when DR was at most intense, vision was different. Hard to explain) -eye floaters ( random black specks & lines) Didn't notice these until a year after DC-ing -constant yawning/air hunger -stomach/digestion issues -burning, tingling, itching, numbness, redness in feet -brain zaps/"crackles" (sometimes annoying, sometimes painful, but my most tolerable symptom) -head pressure/tightness, feels like head is being squeezed -headaches There was also a period of 6 months where I thought certain symptoms were over and after that period, the dizziness returned. Those are most of the symptoms I've experienced in the past approx 3.5 years. They're not in order. I'm 24 now. A few have gone away for the most part (vomiting, olfactory hallucination, yawning) and most are less intense. I have really improved a lot, I don't mean to sound overly negative. But, I still have the issues I went on the SSRI for & I have trouble accepting where I am & worrying about where to go from here & the uncertainty of how long this lasts because it has put lots of areas of my life on hold (I wasn't able to go back to college, I hope to someday) and ended up making things harder to deal with when I was told it would make them easier. (BTW, I am now seeing a counselor). I don't understand why people say SSRI's are not technically drugs when they have this much of an effect on your mind, mood, & perceptions. Sorry if I have over shared, I might need to post a shorter version of this at some point that's easier to read. And I'm still figuring out the layout of the website & where to post about certain questions & topics. I just know that sometimes other people's explanations made me feel better because I had some understanding of what was happening & words to describe feelings I'd never had before and didn't know how to explain. I've also had other stress & health issues and a few (physical health) medicines that have affected my withdrawal progress, but I guess that's a topic for a separate forum. Any advice, similar experiences, recommendations, tips for using the site, or insight into what happened to my brain is appreciated if anyone feels so inclined :)
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