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  1. Hello everyone I apologize if I don’t write so good I hope I made sense in my writing , English is not my main language … I was at the emergency room last month i. The middle of May due to panic attacks and they refer me to a mental clinic and when I was there last month I had no choice that to take the meds that they were giving me first lexapro 10mg with klonopin I don’t know the mg that was on my first day. on my second day the give me lexapro 10mg and gabapentin 3 times a day I don’t know the mg but it was 1 big pill of gabapentin and the nurse keep giving me the same doses of lexapro and gabapentin for the following week then After that 1 week I got discharged and when I was at home I only took lexapro for 2 more days the I stop cold turkey because of the awful side effects like racing heart ,brain fog ,increased anxiety and insomnia I didn’t sleep at all those 2 days ,,and then like 5 days after I quit I started experiencing weird feelings in my throat(feels very very very dry all the way to my stomach) it’s really hard for me to sleep now I keep waking up with this weird sensation and I have it all day but is more uncomfortable at night also my nose feels kinda dry as well I been having weird stools very soft but the main issue is the feeling of dryness that I feel in the throat I feel like is hard for me to breathe even though I went to ER again recently to see what is going on and they told me my oxigen levels are perfect they check my lungs and they are fine idk what to do i don’t know if I will feel better I regret so much that I took those meds because I feel worse now after I took it than before … oh and also I have slightly head pressure specially in the nights … I had ringing in my right ear the very first days that I stopped taking those meds and it seems like the ringing of ear has been fading .. I forgot to mention that the 3 days after of me stopped the med I was waking up with chills and sweating but I was feeling a little bit cold …I been searching if someone have similar issue as me of this weird dry feeling in the digestive track and throat after stopping lexapro but I haven’t found anything and I’m scared because I only took those meds for just a short period of time I don’t know if a person can experience withdrawal when they only took a few doses it’s been 3 weeks now that I’m feeling this way I stopped taking lexapro on May 26 and this weird symptom started like 5 days after = ( I feel so hopeless
  2. Hello to all users of this forum! This is Jan - husband of Dominique and father of a 4.5-month old son. I am currently writing here for my wife, who is lying in bed next to me and is of course aware of this forum and my contribution. My wife gave birth to our son in July. A lack of postpartum and a few other things led to her getting postpartum depression in August with difficulty sleeping through the night (only 3-4 hours a day). At first we couldn't really place it and for a few weeks we suspected other things as the cause. I tried to support her where I could, but the sleep problems (depression) continued. That's why we had a blood test done at the hospital at the beginning of October to check whether the pituitary gland was damaged. According to the test results and the doctor, there was nothing wrong with the gland. However, she informed the psychiatrists at the hospital who asked us to come for an appointment. They told us that my wife suffers from depression and that she urgently needs antidepressants. 50mg Sertraline and 5mg Diazepham at the beginning. There could be side effects at the beginning (which exactly were not said), but these would soon disappear. My wife would soon feel better. One of the health officers told us that she might have suicidal thoughts at the beginning, so it was important to watch her intake very closely. We have always lived a very healthy life and have not taken any medication so far. I consulted a few friends and the unanimous opinion was "Antidepressants are not good, but a short-term crutch. Once the depression / sleep problems are better, stop it again". Already very exhausted by the last few weeks and encouraged by the doctors' and friends' assessment, I did not consult further and persuaded my wife to take the antidepressants. A terrible mistake! Taking the medication over time like this: 13.10.21 - 50mg Sertraline + 2mg Diazepam (doctors suggested 5mg, stop after 7 days). 13.11.21 - 75mg Sertraline (doctors suggested 100mg) 14.11.21 - 50mg Sertraline (reduction because side effects) 15.11.21 - 10mg (decission to stop sertraline) 16.11.21 - 20mg 17.11.21 - 20mg 18.11.21 - no more Sertraline since then The side effects: The first few days went relatively well. My wife was able to sleep a little more (6.5 hours - thanks to Diazepham?). Strong side effects were not noticeable at the beginning. Weaning off the diazepham after a few days was uncomplicated. After we had a conversation with a doctor every 2-3 days at the beginning, the critical initial phase seemed to be over. After some time, my wife noticed slight hair loss and increased bruising. However, she could not pinpoint the cause. A lot of cortisol from the depression could also have been a reason. A head pressure, especially in the morning, was noticeable and slowly became stronger. About 4 weeks later, my wife told me that she was having suicidal thoughts and that I had better lock the front door. I was surprised and shocked. I had the feeling that the anti-depressants had made the anxiety disappear and that there were no more panic attacks. Of course, I was in an absolute alarm mood and took my wife's statement very seriously. I started to inform myself about Sertraline. 2 days later I had another appointment with a psychiatrist and my wife also had to pick up a new pack of Sertraline from her doctor. Both advised to increase the dose to 100mg after one month. However, my wife did not mention her suspected side effects and suicidal thoughts at the appointments. Instead of 100mg, we only increased to 75mg. The side effects after taking it, especially the suicidal thoughts became even more intense. For us, there was now a clear connection between the side effects and Sertraline. Stop Sertraline: Suicidal thoughts as side effects are gross. That's why we wanted the stuff out of my wife's body as soon as possible. A doctor's appointment was imminent. Here I dealt more comprehensively with the subject of antidepressants. A change to another class (tricyclic?), additional drugs to tide her over until she was adjusted to the new antidepressant. In forums I have seen how one gets more and more dependent and how it becomes more and more difficult to stop. We no longer had confidence in the doctors who surprised us with the diagnosis of depression and the immediate prescription of antidepressants (we were there for an examination of the pituitary gland). Doctors who had not informed us about the blatant side effects. In my opinion, they also started us on too high a dose and recommended increasing it to 100mg. Hence the decision to continue without doctors / psychiatrists from now on. My assessment was that the intake period of 31 days at 50mg is relatively short and low. A very short intermediate step (3 days with 20/10mg Sertraline) would hopefully be sufficient. The side effects with suicide thoughts extreme. I thought it would be dangerous to stop for weeks/months. Since 18.11. my wife has stopped taking Sertraline. Current status: The time after stopping Sertraline was / is really intense! I don't feel it myself, but as a husband and father I am with my wife 24 hours / 7 days a week. Look after her and take care of her. Shortly after coming off the suicidal thoughts became very strong. I have locked away dangerous objects from the flat and sleep with my mattress outside her door (so I can also look after our son who sleeps in the next room without waking my wife like that). The suicidal thoughts have decreased now, but I am still extremely mindful. The worst side effect / withdrawal symptom for my wife is the head pressure. This head pressure started insidiously when she started taking Sertraline. However, it still persists and is consistently at a very high level. From 6 - 10 am in the morning this time is extreme. She then takes high doses of vitamin C and I have to stroke and comfort her. But the head pressure is really very extreme. My wife says "head pressure of death", "I'm losing my mind" and says I don't want to go on living like this. Cries, screams and is desperate. From midday onwards, a kind of "switch" seems to be flipped, even though the head pressure is still there. Luckily we can usually go for a walk then and have been to cafes / restaurants. We hope that this really blatant side effect will diminish over time. The sympthoms of depression have now returned. My wife sees a lot of things negatively, thinks of the good times during pregnancy and blames herself. Fear of little sleep and headaches in the morning has returned. There have also been three mild panic attacks since then. These things are ok and we are looking at different ways to get better. With the "anxiety" coming back, other feelings are coming back too, which is nice. After 4 weeks of Sertraline, I have found my wife to be an emotionless robot. There are no other side effects. The bruises on the legs have decreased significantly, the hair loss has decreased. What we do to alleviate the side effects / withdrawal / depression: - Freshly squeezed juices - Only raw vegetables and nuts if possible - Vitamin C in high doses (especially in the morning) - Vitamin B complex (very cautious, as it may increase headaches in the short term) - Vitamin D (very cautious) - Omega 3 (very cautious, as it may aggravate headaches) - Drink a lot (water, lemon juice + Himalayan salt) - Walk every day if possible - Meditation / positive visualisation if possible - Epsom / magnesium bath - Sleep goggles - Daylight lamp (still cautious, as it may increase headaches) - Towards evening, if possible, "normality" (watch travel reports) - NO sugar or bread etc. Our contribution may read simple and not serious. But I can say that the last 5 weeks on Sertraline were really physically and mentally extremely exhausting - first of all for my wife, but also for me. Since the months before were also very exhausting for various reasons and with a baby, we are really at the limit. I am of course aware that most people on this forum have had much longer and more gruelling experiences with antidepressants. I have an inkling of what this may mean and what strong personalities are on this forum, but certainly tragic fates as well. It saddens me that people can be so destroyed by antidepressants in the hope of help. My wife and I would be very happy to receive assessments, perhaps valuable tips and an exchange of experiences with people who also have extreme head pressure due to Sertraline / Zoloft. Jan & Dominique
  3. Last summer (July 2021), I had issues with renewing my Lexapro. As my signature shows, I’ve been on it since 2008. I naively decided to just stop taking it cold turkey. At the time, I was working extremely long hours, so I thought that my mood swings and crying were due to stress and fatigue. To deal with the stress, I occasionally started taking a second dose of alprazolam (I had been taking 0.25 in the am only until that point). I didn’t give it another thought. I had some depression for a few months, but I’ve struggled with depression since I was 16, so it was nothing new. I carried on. The main things I noticed once off the Lex were that I no longer had a voracious appetite, and that I actually ended up feeling a bit less depressed. I started feeling better, so I stopped taking the second dose of alprazolam unless it was really needed for anxiety. All hell broke lose Dec-Feb. In December, I had a recurring UTI. At the end of January, I developed the following symptoms, that progressively got worse: intense head pressure stiff neck and shoulders fullness in ears occasionall tinnitus occasionall vertigo severe TMJ The head pressure was the worst. It felt like my brain was being squeezed out of my skull. I went to emerg and was told it was a tension headache. I’m also in perimenopause, so my mood swings were attributed to that. Needless to say, I thought something was severely wrong with me and my anxiety ramped up. I once again started taking a second dose of alprazolam. It didn’t do much, but it helped me relax a little bit and not worry so much that I had a brain tumour or something. (I recently had an MRI and it came back normal). I started researching, and my symptoms seemed to align with benzo tolerance. I started to taper the alprazolam on my own. I had a very bad reaction to cutting my pm dose from 0.25 to 0.125, so I was advised to go back to 0.25 twice daily (I never stopped taking 0.25 in the am) in order to “stabilize”. Against my better judgment, I did so. Unfortunately, I had maybe 2 days where I felt almost normal, but then it was like I had hit a wall. The benzo takes the edge off slightly, but I feel sick most of the time. I could barely keep my head upright and needed to lie down constantly. The 2 hours before my second dose were the worst. This is what is known as interdose withdrawal. Because of this, I was advised to follow the Ashton method and crossover to diazepam, as it is longer acting. I am currently doing this. It is extremely difficult and my only peace is the 5 hours of sleep I get a night. It does help with the interdose withdrawal somewhat, but I definitely feel the decrease of the alpraz. Now I’m wondering if my cold turkey from escitalopram (Lexapro) is the root of everything. I didn’t make the connection before. Why, I dont know. Obviously, I still intend to taper off the alprazolam, but is it possible that I foolishly did this to myself? Can it take months for severe withdrawal symptoms to appear? Did I do damage to my brain by this cold turkey? Is it possible that my being on Wellbutrin and alprazolam helped “cushion” the withdrawal? Is my benzo taper going to be more difficult because of it? Would reinstating the Lexapro after all this time help? My Dr has suggested it I have other questions, such as how to taper the Wellbutrin when it’s an XL, but I want to focus on the other stuff first. I’m scared and angry at myself for what I’ve done. I can’t change it, so am looking for insight and support. Thank you for reading.
  4. Dear withdrawees ... I hope i find you all well... Or at least amidst a window rather than a wave . I've been scouring SA for some time now, picking up whatever bits of helpful and positive information i can about this horrific ordeal. I now feel its time to introduce myself and my history on AD's to the community with the hope of being provided with additional support and a view helping others in the future when this experience is more of a bad memory rather than a living hell . I have been taking Sertraline on and off for the last 6 years since 2013 after a series of horrific circumstances happened one after another. Despite the drugs having good effect, I've always been uncomfortable with masking what are obviously important emotions using a daily consumption of a drug. This has led me to unwittingly withdraw multiple times across the 6 year period which lead me to believe i was confined to a life of drug taking, this was until June this year when I first found SA and became aware of SSRI withdrawal . Of course I was left somewhat shocked but not surprised after feeling neglected previously on multiple occasions by the medical sector. Despite that though i found a new sense of hope knowing that a life beyond drugs was not only possible, but likely. Recent Drug History OCT 2016 - I quit Sertraline 50 mg CT after a family bereavement had turned my life upside down .. as a result it felt the drug was totally ineffective. MAY 2017- After what had been an appalling 6 months (which i thought was horrific grief but now realise it is likely withdrawal is the more likely culprit) I reinstated Sertraline at 50 mg before raising the dose to 100 mg due to not feeling any effect (again this is something that makes sense now). In time i had started to feel normal again and presumed it was because I had worked my way through my prolonged grief. FEB 2019 - Life was now back on track and decided it was time to try and rid myself of the shameful daily pill pop that is AD's. I quit Sertraline Via a fast taper... but may aswell have been a CT. JUN 2019 - I found SA . .. realised i was withdrawing .. and had inadvertently made multiple mistakes along the way. NOV 2019 - I'm roughly 8-9 months into withdrawal & STRUGGLING MY SYMPTOMS: A thick brain fog Anxiety an inability to feel emotions / make connections with people Loss of communication skills & wit muscle weakness Fatigue As I've said previously.... i am currently at the 9 month mark and I'm coping okay (I Think🤔 ) when i compare my battles to that of others.. but i am beginning to really struggle with the isolation that seems to be a natural part of the process. I have always naturally been an extroverted person who loves talking to people and being at the centre of attention although currently this couldn't be further from the truth and is taking a huge toll on my daily life. Every time I am confronted with some form of social situation my brain draws a blank. Its as if the lights are on but nobody's home. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CHARM AND CHARISMA? I wanted to ask for advice from anyone whose been in a similar situation: What can i do right here and now to aid myself when dealing with these symptoms? If you've surpassed the 9 month point of withdrawal with these symptoms still rearing their ugly head, at what stage did you notice a marked improvement? Has anyone any advice on how to work towards improving other areas of my life, such as love or working life and learning new skills whilst withdrawing? If you've made it this far thanks for reading and i look forward to any replies? Cheers
  5. Hey all. My name is Kelly. I’m new here, but I’ve also been apart of a few Facebook groups that led me here. I’m going to try to make a long story short. About 2 years ago, I was placed on 50 mg of Zoloft because I was tearful and told my OBGYN office that I was feeling overwhelmed and uninterested in sex with my husband. At the time, I just gave birth to my newborn twins, I had an 11 month old at home and a 4 year old step son. Life was very stressful and chaotic. I didn’t feel depressed or anxious before beginning this medicine. Fast forward about 3 months of being on, I and the people around me felt the medication was changing who I was. I was becoming angry and just not my normal self. I forgot to take the Zoloft for about 2 days and I felt like I was okay and getting back to feeling more normal. I decided to continue to skip taking the medication. About 5 days after abruptly quitting, I was going to lay down with my 11 month old in bed, and I got the fleeting thought of “What if I just smothered her right now and nobody was here to save her?” The scariest feeling came over my body. I was terrified of myself, am I actually capable of hurting my sweet and precious girl? Following this came many more intrusive thoughts about harming my babies, my husband and myself. I had thoughts and visualizations of me hurting others, cheating on my spouse, etc. I felt like I was going insane. I had crazy anxiety, I couldn’t sleep, heart palpitations, dizziness to the point I thought I was going to pass out, I felt depressed, easily angered, agitated, I was having vivid dreams, I had increased awareness of every noise around me, depersonalization, I would cry every single day because I didn’t know what was happening. I checked myself into the hospital where they tried to give me more medication and I refused it. I was lucky enough to have a nurse that googled for me “What happens when you abruptly stop taking an antidepressant”. I was so shocked to find just about every single symptom on the packet she printed me, I was experiencing. I showed the packet to the doctor and he agreed. I was released 3 days later. It’s been a roller coaster ever since then. I am now 19 months off of a cold turkey Zoloft and I feel so much better, but I still suffer with waves. When the waves come, the repetitive thoughts return and my brain feels so out of whack. I feel anxiety and feel down. I never experienced real anxiety and depression before until after coming off of the Zoloft. But it passes after a while when I go into a window. My life at home is so chaotic and I know it does not help. I am happy I am able to live a normal life now compared to when I first came off. I can tell I am healing, but it has just been so rough. It’s taken a toll on my relationship, I feel so much guilt from the thoughts that I’ve had about harm, cheating on my spouse, and more. I carry this big lump of guilt that mostly makes an appearance when I feel myself going into a wave. I will say that my husband has been my biggest supporter this entire time. He is actually the one that told me from the beginning when I got the prescription, “Kelly if you take that pill it’s going to mess you up”. I wish I would have listened to him. I guess I’m just writing here to get some support, to see if anyone has experienced something similar, and just to express myself. I had no idea withdrawal was even a thing from antidepressants until I went through it. I would have never touched these types of medications if I knew I was going to go through this. Any advice, success stories or anyone that can relate to me would be so appreciated. (At one point I went on Lexapro to “help the thoughts” but it made everything much worse and I decided to taper down. I even believe at one point I had an auditory hallucination after I abruptly stopped, but it was only one time. The rest of the time it was just intrusive thoughts). Thank you for reading if you made it this far!
  6. Hi Everyone I just wanted to introduce myself. I have been lurking this forum for long enough now. 🙂 Male, 28 My story starts in November 2018 when I went partying with a few friends and consumed different recreational drugs (MDMA, Cocaine, Speed and Alcohol). I wasn't new to these drugs but I made the huge mistake to not test any substance and not dosing correctly. However I didn't feel bad throughout that weekend and the hangover was as expected. After four days the panic attacks and the depression started and it just did not get any better over time. A month later I had enough and went to my GP who immediately put me on Effexor and Seroquel. Later on Seroquel has been exchanged first to Mirtazapine and then Trazodone (see signature). The drugs definitely helped with the panic attacks but Side Effect were just unbearable I felt 40 years older, manic, aggressive, suicidal, without any motivation and completely emotionally numb. There was just no way I would stay on this horrible stuff any longer so I went cold turkey after two months. The first two months were kind of ok but I still felt drugged. After that the emotional symptoms kicked in and it became a fight for survival day by day. I will not go into detail about it because you probably all know what I am talking about. Sixth month later I made some progress, the symptoms became a little bit less intense and I had some windows. Over the next four months I made some further minuscule improvements, windows became longer. I started to feel kind of stable in my recovery, it gave me some hope that I didn't lose my job and my girlfriend throughout all this time. Next month I will be drug free for a year but it is still a massive struggle every day. Right now I seem to be in a long wave (5 weeks so far) with a great change of symptoms. The anxiety and the panic attacks have become a lot worse recently and there are a lot of physical symptoms like dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and generally feeling miserable. I have become less active, less motivated to exercise but on the other hand I am also feeling kind of ok with it. Also my sleep seems to have changed quite a bit, I didn't have very bad insomnia so far only very intense and draining dreams. They are mostly gone now but instead I am sleeping two to three hours less per night. I try to see these changes as my brain being at work 🙂 I can't differentiate if I am still in Withdrawal or if this is the after effect of the recreational drug incident (any ideas?). All I can hope for is that my brain will heal the same way as it does if I had taken psychiatric drugs only. Throughout my life I only had a few bouts of mild depression and anxiety (and three mild panic attacks), nothing I couldn't cope with. I also have never been on any psychiatric drug. I will try to document my recovery in this topic. Massive thanks to the people of this forum without you I would probably have gone back on psychiatric drugs a long time ago. You can't imagine how much hope I got reading through these pages! 🙂
  7. Olivetree2000

    Olivetree2000: CT Effexor

    Hi all! so I am also on my own journey of stopping Effexor. I however did stop cold turkey. I’m 15 days in and mentally I am completely fine but I would like to reach out to this community to help with the physical side effects. My short term memory seems to have gotten terrible, and I’m quite “in the clouds.” I also have developed pharyngitis coupled with a cough and cannot seem to get rid of it. In the first week I was also very nauseous and I had a fever, but that is no longer the case. I understand my body is in shock so I would like some guidance with some vitamins to try and get it back to strength. I am currently taking Olive Leaf morning and night, and Vitamin C, magnesium and iron in the morning. Please let me know if anyone has some more advice. Thank you so much, olivetree
  8. Needing Encouragement just hit another wave 5 years out I am a mother of two and have been on this journey to find healing both from the trauma from being in mental health system and a very long withdrawal. I have been in withdrawal from a too fast taper and have now been off for 51/2 years. This CT withdrawal was recommended by a doctor as I was pregnant. In some ways I don’t know if i would do it differently, as I had an unmedicated pregnancy. Much improvements since the. and probably back to 65%-75% of my normal self. My sleep returned at year four. I now sleep through the night on a regular basis. I also have days where I feel absolutely wonderful, as if it’s all over. I think I attribute my long withdrawal from too short of taper and having had given birth and cared for two small children during my withdrawal, with the hormones being very hard to deal with and exasperated all of my symptoms to the nth degree. I was diagnosed with PTSD from all of this, ironically enough. There was specifically a very terrifying time after I gave birth to my first daughter after having CT during her pregnancy. I am mostly healed from that, but a big part of that has required me to identify, name and grieve the ways the mental health system took my power, created fear in me, contributed to a lot of shame, made the first few years of my daughters lives very dark by virtue of an unwell mom and damaged my nervous system. This has been one of my biggest losses, the loss of how a mother daughter relationship should have went. I still wonder about the ways they have been affected, it just devastates me. I have been thinking about composing a letter to the Canadian psychiatrist association to close that chapter soon. I still have waves, where my sympathetic nervous system gets very heightened and it mentally feels awful, especially sensitive to sound. I still get muscle spasms, tinnitus, palpitations, brain zaps and very tight muscles. The muscle pain is the worst. I still have random bouts of terror and anhedonia. Also blood sugar issues, no diagnoses just a reaction to changes in blood sugar and very bad PMS. I have still been drinking coffee and alcohol not in huge amounts, but may try to come off to hopefully heal the rest of the wAy. This ones a hard one for me as it’s a way I bond with my friends and find a bit of joy in this long process, with a nice glass of wine or late. Hopefully now that my ptsd is slightly better this may help too. I sometimes don’t know what symptoms are from which, PTSD or withdrawal. I do know that through it all, a greater healing and restoration is taking place. Four years into withdrawal, I deeply felt in my heart God making a promise of restoration to me. So I keep going. I have had to learn to deal with my anxiety in ways I never thought I could as withdrawal forced me, since the anxiety and dread is like no other. if you have any encouragement for people this far out still healing, I would appreciate it. Thank you alto strata, I am so glad I found your site. Thank you for your advocacy for all of our devastating losses we have had in this journey. My heart is forever grateful to you. 2013 CT from 20mg celexa after 4 years being on it. Was pregnant at the time 2014 baby born crashed HARD went back on celexa at 15mg thinking I had ppd, now see was also withdrawal. 2015 started to stabilize but had ptsd from crashing so hard, wasn’t diagnosed until five years later 2015 started to taper over 8 months coming off entirely by July 2016, been in withdrAwal ever since December 2018, gave birth to second daughter December 2021- 65-75% healed Take magnesium, Mag07, Vit d (although recently had a bad reaction when I tried to increase it), vitamin c, Ashwaghanda helped me in my postpartum with my second child but took only as needed Bad reaction to fish oil, 5htp, same
  9. Hello, I am a young adult under 24. I've been depressed since 2015 (it also runs in my family). I also suffer from anxiety but this started later. I have gone through periods where I have been managing it well and periods where it has completely crippled and controlled me. Since the start of the whole covid mess I have moved back home and been in a difficult patch. My family and doctor had been pushing me to try an antidepressant for a long time despite my aversion to them. I caved at the start of this summer (2021) and let my doctor prescribe one. I picked bupropion (wellbutrin) because it seemed to have the least amount of serious side effects and members of my family have tolerated it in the past or continue to use it (actually found this site while trying to decide). I still did not like the idea and got prescribed the lowest dose available (150 mg wellbutrin xl). I picked the prescription up a month later and left on a shelf for another because I decided I still didn't want it and I had been improving myself by exercising again (I had stopped with the move when I was in a bad patch) and getting out and doing things. On August 21 (2021) I took the first pill in the middle of a breakdown and I was considering trying other drugs, in hopes it would maybe fix something (I also thought having taken a prescription may support my case for taking less courses at university like my doctor had said, it definately weighed in). That day I felt incredibly motion sick from walking (walking is my coping mechanism, how I sort things out in my head and feel most at peace) I couldn't even get more than a kilometre without feeling awful. I didn't feel great emotionally either. I wanted to stop then but my family said I can't just stop and the side effects would fade. My brain felt even more dull than before and I felt worse about myself. After three days the nausia started to fade but my nerve endings seemed to be less sensitive (everywhere) and I was experiencing headaches, my eyesight also seemed to go weird. On the 27th of August 2021 (7th day) I had a much worse break down and decided I wasn't going to take them anymore. I decided that at best they were having a nocebo effect because I hated myself and resented every time I took a pill and at worse they were actually messing with my brain and body in a bad way like suspected. During the week I had delt with a family emergancy and everything was completely opposite to the "possitive new habits/therapy" that are supposed to accompany the start of taking them. I tried to throw the last tablet up while I was upset (no it didn't work and no I am not bulimic, I was just upset). I just haven't been taking them since then. I have had a worsened head ache, reduced nuasia, still feel worse cognitively than what I would consider my normal and things appear to be worse sensitivity wise. Now my questions are: 1) has anyone else experienced the same side effects while taking wellbutrin? (Nausia, cognitive decline, vision changes, headaches, short term memory issues, reduced sensitivity (I thought that bupropion didn't cause sexual issues!)) 2) I have since read that anti antidepressents permanently change the structure of/damage the brain even with only one tablet! Most of this research seems to be with SSRI's and I could only find this case study for wellbutrin .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662168/. (It sounds positive in this case but not in other articles) I don't feel like my self and I am honestly terrified that I'll never get my old brain back (And body/eyes). Can I fix it or did I make an idiotic mistake one week that will ruin the rest of my life? This is my main concern and why I am writing today. 3) I know I'm asking this early on but do the majority of people find that they go back to the way they were before after taking these medications, especially if they have only taken them for a short time? 4) is clitoral atrophy a thing with antidepressants?! I hadn't even heard of it until I started googling my symptoms this morning. (I know that is an awful idea.) Between those articles and all the antidepressents ruined my life comments on every article I click on I think I seriously screwed up. 3) Is physical exhaustion/ mental stress mostly responsible for all these issues? (I have had a lifelong issue with insomnia that gets worse with depression) the last week and a half has been hell first with the drugs and then with everything else. Is it psychosomatic? A little extra info. I will be moving to another city to start university in less than a week. I will be going alone as one parent is hospitalized in the icu and the other has to keep visiting them and the rest of the family functioning. I've been out of school for a while and it took a lot to force myself to apply and get everything ready. I feel completely underprepared and the most stupid and incapable I have ever felt. I am scared I will not keep up, fail, drop out before I start and just wind up wasting all my money and preparation. (I may manage to get councling through the school and will finally get extended medical at least) My parent who was my main person to talk to (not hospitalized) understandably doesn't want to deal with my situation now. I my apologies if I've been over dramatic in my post and especially if my last little rant is not what this forum is for, but I think it gives an accurate representation of where I'm at. I just want the old me back and think I may have ruined my brain right when I was improving and before something I was terrified to start in the first place.
  10. LCatherine Hello, I am 25 and sometimes feel that my life is over because of Lexapro that was only taken for just shy of two months. I don't know where else to turn, my family and doctors do not believe me and my friends have never been through this hell, so they don't understand. I was a healthy, happy girl for 24 years. Mild anxiety, mild depression, but no severe mental health issues, especially compared to what I've experienced over the last 9 months. It started in September of 2019 when I decided to go on a hormonal birth control for the first time in years. Horrible mistake, I was immediately hit with crippling anxiety and waves of panic attacks. I could barely leave my home and cried all of the time because I didn't know what was happening. I had to go to work so I saw my primary care doctor and he prescribed me Zoloft. I had taken Zoloft roughly a year and a half prior for mild depression (again, NOTHING compared to what I've experienced recently) and it made me feel okay at the time so I thought I would give it another shot. It heightened my anxiety and made me very suicidal the second time, I believe because my hormones were out of whack so it wasn't really ME that it was treating if that makes sense. I went back to my doctor after only taking it for a week and he prescribed me 5mg Lexapro. This was the beginning of October. The first few days I thought maybe it was working, my anxiety was down and I felt calm. Something was instantly not right though, and I felt extremely off. I wrote in my journal that when I was speaking it felt like it was not really me, like there was a space between my thoughts and my words. My inner dialogue was completely silenced which was terrifying. Brain fog set in, things didn't connect or make sense, I felt nothing. I couldn't eat, I couldn't leave my bed and the next two months were a blur that I still have trouble remembering. My head constantly hurt, my ears rang, my vision was compromised, I was dizzy all of the time, had severe depersonalization/derealization and it felt like I had severe inflammation of the brian. I had adverse side effects and it truly felt like I was in hell. I was bumped up to 10mg despite feeling horrible. On Thanksgiving I was sitting with my mom and childhood best friend and her mother. I didn't care if I died, if they died, I just wanted to disappear and I knew I had to get off of Lexapro. I didn't have proper medical guidance and stopped cold turkey. It's been 5 months since stopping, and I would love to say that everything is back to normal, however that is not the case. The bizarre brian sensations, which I later learned were brain zaps, have subsided, but I still have horrible brain fog, waves of DP/DR, my inner voice is much quieter than it once was, and when I get stressed or anxious I feel like I may pass out. I still have ringing in my ears and eye floaters. I have been to the ER several times, I had an MRI done and multiple tests and everything came back fine. I have seen two different psychiatrists who just pushed more drugs, most of which I did not take. I did take a low dose of Amitriptyline briefly but stopped because it made me feel sort of manic and had other weird side effects. I should mention that I have been very sensitive to medication my entire life. I asked my psychiatrist if Lexapro could still be causing these symptoms and he said no, that when people come off of antidepressants they experienced flu like symptoms for 1-2 weeks and then are fine. I had to do research myself, because I never experienced any of these symptoms until I took Lexapro. I could feel it destroying my brain, and it has not recovered. It feels as if my nervous system is wrecked. I take fish oil, D3 daily and occasionally magnesium. My mom believes that the symptoms I'm experiencing are caused from breast implants that I got when I was 22, although I had them for years with no side effects, or due to vaping which I also had no problems with for a year prior to all of this. My question is, will it get better? Sometimes it feels like I will never be myself again. I have lost all pleasure in things I used to love. The idea of going back to school and starting a career seems impossible, and sometimes I feel like I will just be a vegetable and waste away. I try to stay positive most of the time, I have read success stories that give me hope, but other times I feel very hopeless. I don't want to go the rest of my life feeling brain dead and like I have no purpose because of a pill I was prescribed for two months. Please help.
  11. Hi, I'm trying to get off psych meds because they've been making my short term memory really bad. An example of this could be putting a water bottle somewhere and within 10 to 15 seconds forgetting where I put it. I also other have problems with sleep and want to get off psych meds. I've been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Thanks.
  12. Hi everyone, I’ve just come across this website and sounds like there is some great forums and support. So hoping for some guidance and assurance! So I’ve taken 100mg of Sertraline for approximately 10yrs. Initially prescribed for post natal depression and anxiety. While on medication I experienced a traumatic incident, therefore medication was increased to support with the depression and PTSD. I’ve attempted to taper off Sertraline before, without success. I had recently forgot to collect my prescription and after around 3 days of no medication. I thought it could be an opportunity to cold turkey from the medication. I am now on day 7 and having the worst withdrawal symptoms ever! Feeling tired, headaches, brain zaps, feeling so irritable! I’m awful to be around! And so emotional, just breaking down and sobbing. I feel helpless and and so low. I’m being irrational and not being thinking straight at all. Now I suppose my query is, has anyone else experienced this, how long for, is it worth trying to hang in there? How long does this awful feeling last? I’m a senior manager at work and need to be focused, I can’t take time out either, it’s a new promotion. Any support or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thank you everyone 😊
  13. Hey im a 23 year old female, i got on paxil at 18 years old so 5 years ago, iv been off cold turkey since febuary 20th of this year so 112 days. I tried to reisnstate 2 weeks ago i took the medication i think 4 times got an adverse reaction it caused extreme akathisia almost immediately. I stoped taking it and the akathisa is gone now. I knoq every single story is different every person is different, does anyone have a similar story to mine, of how long they were on the medication, the dose and when they started to feel better, sorry if this post is all over the place. I have severe issues concetrating, severe confusion alot and no deep emotions and i just cant think, dont feel connected. I just want atleast a full day or two that i feel like i can think and feel emotions i want to see when some of you guys broke through that wall when going cold turkey from a high dose of paxil and around 5 years being on it prior than you!!!
  14. It has been 3 months since i quit using sertraline 50mg and mirtazapine 15mg. I have used mirtazapine 15mg for 4 months with sucess and had a bad adverse reaction to prozac after using it for 3 weeks before this. But i have been going downhill ever since. It started with being slightly unfocused but now i can't remember what happened few hours ago! I lost every ounce of personality i ever had. I have no problem solving skills and i am not intelligent anymore. I am losing all my acquired skills too. I lost my musical ear and i am not as good as i used to be with speaking English (not my native language.) It feels like i never even started playing piano 3 years ago and it drives me nuts! I lost everything in my life because of my need to ease anxiety. No one thinks this could be true. Psychiatrist thinks this is good ole anxiety and threatens me to put on antipsychotics. My family refuses to believe me and prefer to listen to ''professionals'' instead of me. I have a few friends to listen to but none to truly understand (or want to understand) what i am going through. I can feel the stress literally burning my mind 24/7 non stop. I really do feel my mind burning and it does not look like it will go away soon. I have lost everything yet it still destroys me nonstop. I just want this to end. If this goes on like this i don't think i will want to live much longer. I am just a whiny depressed person in other peoples' eyes and i refuse to recover by not taking pills. They won't acknowledge anything i say about losing myself with the introduction of the drugs or the stress-like burning mind sensation that started with the drugs. Anything i say and do is being used against me to show how depressed or anxious i am and how much i need meds. I have lost all hope and i am expected to attend university in 2 years with the mind of an 8 year old. So if i don't show any prowess after 2 years i will end it all without a single doubt. I don't want to live a life i am not happy in. Please share anything that you can relate to this issue. Have you ever experienced something like this? When did you start to recover? How much did you lose and how much did you manage to recover? Even the tiniest bit of hope is enough to make my day and push me forward. Right now all i can do is crying.
  15. Hello out there! I'm 10 months into quitting lithium and citalopram cold turkey after more than 10 years of use. I've always been a highly functioning overachiever but became increasingly depressed, agitated and anxious at the age of 15. I was soon diagnosed with bi-polar II disorder and put on dozens of different medicines at the request of my parents and many doctors. But after gaining 50 pounds from seroquel, experiencing an increase in anxiety and anger and a host of new symptoms I decided to get off. The bad news... This has been the HARDEST 10 months of my entire life. From suicidal depression to random aches and pains, muscle stiffness, intrusive thoughts and now obsessive compulsions I can't believe I'm still here! This has been incredibly hard on me, but also on my family. Being in social situations is difficult and many of the things I use to enjoy, no longer make me happy. On top of all that I work a 9-5 which means I mask my symptoms 8 hours a day, 5 days a week so I can pay rent. Life is generally unpredictable and overwhelming... The good news... In 10 months I lost 35 pounds- down 50 from from my heaviest. Everything is SO vivid and bright-all my senses are heightened and I experience a state of awareness I never knew existed. On top of that, getting off medicine led me to a spiritual awakening. Now meditation, mindfulness and intentional living fill the space between the windows and waves. Despite my mood swings and anxiety, I am more in touch with my spirit than ever before and HOPEFUL that the worst of the depression and physical pain is OVER. Now if only the anxiety and compulsions would end....
  16. We are helping our daughter, 21, through withdrawal from Zoloft. She had a manic event that peaked approximately 2 weeks ago. She was on Zoloft, for approximately 8 months, starting at 150mg, and down to 100mg. She started taking the Zoloft irregularly, we believe precipitating the event. She was admitted into a psychiatric ward in the city where she lived, and based on the manic symptoms (racing speech, delusional theories, looping over the same topics), they began to treat her for bipolar disorder. She was in the ward for approximately 9 days, and received everything from Olanzapine, Lithium, Ativan/lorazepam, haldol, benzocaine, benadryl and klonopin... She had adverse reactions to all of them (hot/cold chills, swollen tongue, eczema, racing pulse), and she refused to take any more meds. We got her out of the psych ward, and brought her home to where we live outside of Boston. Unfortunately, since any licensed psychiatrist would immediately diagnose her as bipolar again, and put her back into inpatient, we have treat her at home, alone, and cold turkey. When we brought her home, she was coming of 2mg of lorazepam and was still manic (though nowhere nearly as badly as earlier). That night she slept for 10 hours. The following day, the rapid speech was still present, but reduced. However, she could not sleep and spent the entire night talking and pacing. The next day the rapid speech slowed even more, pacing was absent, and she got a good nights sleep. This morning however, she went exhibited severe anger/rage and pacing returned. She also started experiencing hot and cold chills. We are giving her vitamin supplements, including zinc, magnesium, iron and omega 3. We have been avoiding tylenol, and caffeine, though she insisted on coffee this am. We are also avoiding breads, pasta, sugars, etc. Questions. Is this pattern typical? How long does each of the cycles last? Can we expect rapid cycling to continue? Does anyone know how long this rapid cycling will continue. Are there any other supplements or techniques we should consider for managing these cycles. I have taken her for walks on the first two days (about 2 miles each). Any practical guidance will be appreciated on these topics.
  17. hey everyone. im new here and just wanted to say hi. im currently 13 months off of Wellbutrin right now. for the most part im doing okay i guess. except that im having physical symptoms that did not start until about 7 or 8 mos after my withdrawal originally started. having balance issues (like the feeling that im either gonna faint, fall on the floor, or that my legs are gonna give out on me.) vertigo, dizziness, my blood pressure gets low alot of the time (especially when im at work.) i get brain zaps, and the electric, shock-like sensations in my body, and formication, the creepy, crawly sensation like bugs or insects are crawling on/under my skin. i suffer from parathesia(s) probably from my Topamax. i get numbness, tingling, burning sensations in my hands, fingers, arms, legs, feet, etc. sometimes there is even a temporary loss of strength in my hands and wrists associated with this. i hope that this withdrawal will be over soon, so that i can get back to being more like myself again. when i am recovered from this later, i plan on doing a slow liquid micro-taper of my other remaining meds, one at a time. thank you so much for having this forum, it is vital to have a supportive community like this.
  18. I am going to do my best to type this out so that it makes sense. I am suffering severe anxiety & it is clouding my thoughts. I have been on 400mg of Lamotrigine for over a year now. I have recently had to stop taking it abruptly. I can no longer afford it. This is week 2 of my life without it. I made it through the first symptoms, brain zaps, felt rushed up, tired & out of body. I have now moved on to having anxiety. The anxiety started in a mild way, I thought that it would be something I could get through. The past few days though, the anxiety has become extreme. I can not force myself to keep a clear head & I am on the verge of a panic attack. I feel so overwhelmed. I keep thinking how long will this last & can I make it through it. I am new this morning so I am still learning to navigate this forum. Are there any topics on here dealing with just lamictal withdrawals? How long have others taken to get through the worst of it?
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