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  1. Hello, I quit drinking alcohol 11 years ago and a doctor at that time thought the anti depressant Zoloft would be beneficial for my "anxiety" from quitting. This is how I started using these drugs. It has taken me forever to finally quit. I'm a 43 year old male. I've quit Lexapro 2.5 mg 24 days ago and have had the worst three day stretch to date. I feel extremely tired and fatigued. I feel symptoms of brain fog, memory failures, cognitive decline, crying spells, sadness, slight headache, head pressure, eyes tired, some body ache, and slight brain zaps. I'm trying to stay positive and day to day but this is brutal. I feel like a zombie and would just want to sleep. I also have mild sleep apnea in which I have started using a cpap machine a week ago but have found no relief. I think I'm going to stop using the Cpap machine for a month to rule out the machine being the cause for recent three day stretch. I want to believe that the withdrawal symptoms are what is causing me to feel this way but I'm unsure now. I have always had some of the described symptoms on a day to day basis before. These symptoms went as far back as the last two to three years. They weren't nearly as severe. I haven't heard of anyone having the described symptoms as a result of actively taking the antidepressant drug. If this is something that can be confirmed I would feel much more at ease as I would have to wait out the withdrawal process. I guess I am looking for words of encouragement and hopefully some validation that these symptoms are from the withdrawal and this is a normal process. Last night I started myofacial exercises as an alternative to the cpap. I know it will be sometime before I see any benefit from them. I also ran 2 miles yesterday. This morning I practiced some Pranayama and will continue this daily. I'd appreciate any feedback and thank you for reading my story. Matthew
  2. Chlo

    Chlo

    HarperValley •Celexa 40mg 1999-2021 •COVID August 2021 •Celexa stopped working •Zoloft 100mg Sept.-Oct. •Zoloft did not work •Lexapro 10mg Oct.-Nov. •Lexapro did not work •Lexapro 5mg Nov- current •Mirtazapine 15mg at night Oct-current •Current supplements: B12, Magnesium Glycinate, Ashwagandha, Multivitamin, C, D3, Nac, CoQ10, CBD. No longer seeing a Psychiatrist, I am seeing a Holistic doctor now.. She will start my taper of Lexapro 5mg. mid January. I have severe anxiety and depression with panic attacks. Being that I'm treatment resistant will i continue to have withdrawals throughout my taper? Also..will my withdrawals ease up with lesser & lesser tapers? Or will withdrawals be my new norm? I have been having withdrawals since Covid in August 2021 because of my resistance to antidepressant. Also having phantom smell of burning ash tray.
  3. The signature shows how short of a time I was on Sertraline. I only went to the doctor because I was feeling a bit fatigued from life and within 5 minutes I was leaving with a prescription for Sertraline (Zoloft). From the very first pill I took, I could tell that it was doing nothing but damaging my brain and body. The sad part is that everyone, including doctors and the internet, tell you that it gets so much better with time and to just ride it out. I felt spacy and anxious, like I couldn't breath the entire time I was on the "medicine." It got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore and I just tapered off quick. The doctor I went to said that I wasn't on the drug for very long so I could just half the pills for a few days and stop taking it. Its been about 7 weeks off of the drug and I can say the only thing that brings me here is the depersonalization/ derealization that is not going away. I can't even tell if it is getting any better in the slightest. I wouldn't have any anxiety or depression if the dpdr wasn't so debilitating. I haven't been able to work since the day I took my first dose of the poison and am afraid I will never be able to find myself again. Honestly the suicidal thoughts and depression brought about by the thought of having to live like this forever are overwhelming. From what I've read you all are going to try to tell me to reinstate the drug but to be honest, I'd rather eat glass than ever take another ssri or other psych med again. I've talked to a psychiatrist and she prescribed me olanzapine ( I never took it) and then she prescribed me abilify (never took it either). I decided to start talking to a therapist and doing emdr therapy to try to lessen the stress of the whole situation and so far have only done one session. All in all, I'm just trying to get some input from the community about how this might get a little better. From what I've seen very little people on here have stories about recovering from sertraline.... It's almost like it should never be given to anyone. I haven't been able to find anything about how long the dpdr will last or if it will ever get better. I feel like I have lost who I am. My eyes feel like they are permanently damaged from the drug. I have a very hard time focusing on anything and when I do I still feel like what I am seeing isn't real. Do your eyes ever recover from sertraline?
  4. Hi everyone this is my first post so please excuse any errors or things I don’t do correctly. I see a lot about inserting signatures but I am not sure how to do this… So this year after 3 years on Prozac (swapping from Seroxat from June 2018) I decided to taper off very slowly because I was in a good place in myself. This was equivalent to one every other day for 1 month and then 1 every two days for another month and so on. This started in June 2021. By September 2021, I felt at the point that the tapering was perhaps enough so stopped approx Sept 15th. I felt I was doing ok but then on 15th November I got Corona and for some reason my system completely got messed up with severe anxiety and on 28th November I reinstated my on the advice of the doctor the Prozac at my usual 20mg - Big mistake. The doctor then gave me 20mg Temazepam for sleep and Oxazepam 10mg for the anxiety and upped me to 30mg Prozac. I stuck this for 2 weeks and the side effects were so bad I dropped back down to 20mg and continued but I had such extreme nausea that I lost 9kg in 6 weeks and this Monday just gone the Psychiatrist has taken me off the Prozac immediately and told me that he will try me on something else after two weeks!!! I’m really scared for more side effects but he said he is not worried about that because it takes such a long time to leave the system. I am in general anxious so worrying about this is also not helping. Do I need to re-add my drug history as I already did this when I registered? I hope for some good advice or reassurance. Thank you
  5. Hey guys, I'm just going to create a topic about myself, my current situation and my experience with antidepressants/benzos as well as ask for some advice for what to do next. This is going to be a full picture. Lorazepam = Ativan Sertraline = Zoloft I'm a 22 year old. Starting the 19th November - I caught respiratory infection due to being extremely stressed and highly anxious (never before seen in my life, literally pulling my hair out from irrational worries) Starting the 26th November - I started to get headaches and nausea, most likely due to this stress. On the 1st December - stress ended, but the nausea and loss of appetite with the headaches persisted. 20th December - I started to take a beta blocker for stress due to paranoia about the headaches (thinking it could be a tumour due to the continued headaches with loss of appetite) 23rd December - I was prescribed Sertraline to help with the stress and freaking out about the headaches and health issues. I took one pill, where I noticed my pupils went completely dilated for the next week. I didn't continue the drug after that one pill as it gave me insomnia. It may be worth considering serotonin syndrome? Around the 23rd December - I started to get a numbness squeezing/bandlike pain in my foot that climbed all the way up to the top of my leg over the next few days, my current hypothesis that this was either, stress, the beta blocker, or starting the sertraline that caused this. 25/26/27 December - I went to Accident and Emergency, where the Doctors thought I could have MS and didn't consider ask about current drugs. This sent me into a big spiral as I worried a lot about this. Around this time my headaches, nausea and loss of appetite stopped. 27th December - I started Lorazepam (2mg) 31st December - Started up Sertraline 50mg at the advice of the doctors to help with my stress. My head MRI came back fine, all normal (So not MS). 5th January - Muscle cramps, and widespread pain with bandlike sensations in legs and arms. 14th January - 3mg Lorazepam with and increase to 100mg advised by my doctor. 19th January - Tapered off lorazepam and started to notice stiffness in back, legs and wrists. 26th January - completed off lorazepam. 1st February - Reduction of symptoms around this time, except obvious lorazepam withdrawal of shaking and sweating. The only other symptom that persisted was very tight calves. 2nd February - Reduced to 50mg of Sertraline. 6th February - Started to get a whole host of symptoms -Burning Legs and lower spine, muscle spasms, vibrating left eye, nausea, diarrhoea, dark stools, less appetite, insomnia, numbness/tightness in limbs, vertigo, enhanced smell - (I could smell empty wine glass from the other side of the room, slight instability. 10th February - Reduction to 25mg Sertraline. 14th February - Saw a neurologist who told me the sertraline had nothing to do with this since I was on such a low dose, but also said everything seemed fine from an neurological assessment (I could walk fine, I could feel everything he done). Thus, he told me to stop taking the Sertraline completely. ( I now see this as a big mistake.) Present day (3rd March) - Many of those symptoms have gone, although currently persisting: Much rarer burning (less than before), muscle spasms (less than before), slight instability, nausea, tight bandlike sensations in legs and arms, hyper sensitivity to cold (causes pain if something too cold touches me, almost like my nerves are hyper sensitive to everything. I did start to have really bad physical ticks for a week after stopping the sertraline completely, but they seem to have stopped completely now. I also got brain zaps, but that seems to be very rare now. I was thinking about going back on the Sertraline to help with the burning sensations and muscle pains (and other symptoms.) It's interesting to note that these were also the same symptoms I had first coming on/ upping my sertraline dose. Does anyone have any advice whether it would be best to: A.) Wait out the withdrawal, and if so, how long until I'm back to normal again? Will these symptoms eventually go? The muscle tight band pain is definitely the worst effect I have. B.) Reinstate at a low dose. If so, how low a dose should I reinstate back at? How long should I stay on that dose for before dropping the dose? How much should I drop the dose? I also wonder if some of these effects could be lorazepam protracted withdrawal coinciding with the sertraline side effects/withdrawal. It seems the lorazepam could have been masking some of the side effects I may have had from the sertraline. Thank you for reading, any advice would be much appreciated. I'll be sure to return the favour once I'm well and help others suffering from withdrawal and antidepressant mis-advice from doctors.
  6. My telemedicine doctor has prescribed me Fluvoxamine because it has been shown helpful in preventing long-hauler's covid. I plan on taking this SSRI for no more than two weeks. HOWEVER, I am concerned that I might develop withdrawal problems from even this short time on the drug. Has anyone had problems coming off an SSRI (any SSRI is relevant) after only two weeks on the drug? I am a survivor of Benzo withdrawal and I never want to go through anything like that again.
  7. Started Zoloft 6 years ago and it worked for my GAD & Health Anxiety and I took it for 2-3 years and went off it cold turkey. 3 years later I got covid Dec 27 2021 and my anxiety was back then got the first dose of the vaccine Jan. 17 2022 and was prescribed Zoloft Jan. 27 25 mg and took it for 3 days then upped to 50 mg for 2 days and was in ER twice for heart palpitations. Discontinued zoloft. Startedmirtzapine 7.5 mg Feb. 3rd and only took one dose and discontinued. Then was giving Trazadone 25 mg for insomnia/get my sleep under control on Feb. 10th. I Was then put on Buspar 5 mg on March 2nd and took for 6 days before ending up in ER for burning sensations and internal vibrations and discontinued buspar. Then was put back on zoloft 25 mg March 17th and took it for 4 days and vibrating sensations got worse and are now constant in my head, which I can’t sleep, and throughout my body.Discontinued again and not sure if I messed up my brain/nervous system from the medication or if it’s Covid and was wondering if I should start a new anxiety medication or is this all happening from going on and off meds or if it’s from covid. I’ve taken trazadone, gabapentin, and melatonin throughout the past 3 months for insomnia. Would really appreciate the help/advice!
  8. 10 years on paroxetine 20 mg.20 years plus sleeping pills. New on the site and still trying to figure out how to use it and how to be succinct. Started taking the former in 2009 .tried to quit cold turkey around 2014.deep depression.Back to 20mg.personal situation worsened as from 2015.personal losses economic hardship.no resources to afford psychotherapy.in 2019 around december got infected having all described covid symptons.almost simultaneously psychiatrist got sick.she provided meds for free.she cut all contact and i was left adrift.Forced withdrawal.lockdown.isolation.zero income.rescued by a friend who sent food parcels and dog food for my beloved pets.despair.fortunately had already reduced meds to 10mg.and withdrawal symptoms had already started.but i did not know.I knew nothing.nothing about tapering.nothing about consequences of quitting.I survived.still do not know how.insomnia.horrible mood swings.irritability.muscle pain.unbearable anxiety.eyesight problems.tachicardia.nausea every day since cutting from 20 to 10mg.now after one year and a half.still exhausted.difficulty to go out though i do.mainly for my pets.sorry if i am not clear enough.I have absorbed a huge lot of info concerning psychiatric drugs in the last 72 hours.still processing it.point being i feel physically and emotionally debilitated.live in south America.nothing is heard about all this.friends who have fortunately reappeared after a long time want me to see a psychiatrist.well I am not taking any antidepressant again in my life.desperately trying to find different pathways.difficult .no resources.no medical insurance.defficient public health services.even buying supplements is costly here.but somehow I am determined to start.magnesium.something.there has ato be a way out. I do not want to die yet.do not want to leave my pets.
  9. Hi all, i'm absolutely desperate for some help. I found this site on a Google search, and found a member on here who posted in April and has experienced the exact same side effects as me. I only started citalopram 5 weeks a go as I thought it would help my social anxiety which I've had on and off for 6 years. Its worse if I'm stressed and I've just moved and had to leave my job as I was living with my husband in tied accommodation with his job but he got sacked and I could no longer commute to my old job. I've taken citalopram before, after switching from fluoxetine. I was on the citalopram for about 2 years and came off successfully. The citalopram side effects have been unbearable this time round. The gp started me at 20mg and as soon as I took the first dose I felt an incredible sense of worry. Things got worse. I got intrusive harming thoughts about 5 days in about others-I've never had these before in my life ! I couldn't eat or sleep for 10 days and went to out of hours gp who prescribed me lorezepam .5mg to take if im desperte and advised me to cut down to 10mg for one week then increase to 15mg for a week then take 20mg for a week. The harming thoughts went after a couple of weeks and my appetite has returned slightly but now I'm having terrible negative mind chatter that lasts all day long, like my subconcious is constantly talking to me, I find it so hard to get to sleep and worry I will be like this forever ! No matter what I do walk the dog, see friends do house work it's there. I'm convinced this is being caused by citalopram. I'm now on my 2nd week at 20mg (approaching 6 weeks all round). I found when I was 10mg for a week I felt a bit better, and could watch TV and concentrate a bit. I can't concentrate on anything at that the moment and feel in a constant state of worry and anxiety thats just getting worse. I want to come off cit as I don't believe this is my anxiety, I believe it's the citalopram. My gp wants me to stay on for another 2 weeks and prescribe me 25mg quetiapine to take in the evening. I'm no longer taking lorazepam or diazepam. I don't think I can face another 2 weeks of this menatal torture, I just want my old self back. Can anyone suggest how to taper off safely? Thank you
  10. Hi Everyone - I am 38 year old male and have been on SSRIs for most part of a decade now! I was put on SSRIs to treat generalised zed anxiety disorder an panic attacks. March 2011 - May 2012 Venlafaxine - 75 mg (CTed without any problems) Nov 2013 - Oct 2014 Citalopram 20 mg (not very effective) Oct 2014 - April 2017 Venlafaxine 75 mg (stabilised on this dose. Tried to stop medication with 4 week taper after feeling normal but had to reinstate fully due to WD symptoms) July 2017 - Nov 2018 Zoloft 50 mg (GP puts me on Zoloft after Venlafaxine withdrawal on 3rd attempt to quit. I stop the Zoloft in Nov as I felt I was cured) Hell breaks loose Jan - March 2019 as I experienced pretty much all imaginable withdrawal symptoms. That's when I find this site while googling my symptoms and learn that what I was experiencing was WD. However, based on advice from Psychiatrist I reinstated and eventually stabilised on 50 mg after an initial adverse reaction. Since then I made it very clear to my Psych that I want to withdraw from the Sertraline. However his recommendation was to see the Pandemic through before I start withdrawing as the Pandemic might make matters worse with undue stress. I get my vaccinations (Moderna) and both doses do not cause any major side effects. I had a relatively stable time on the Sertraline till around August 2021 when I felt I was not responding to usual life stressors normally and felt a bit unsettled. I ignored this as a just another Wave. Cut to Dec 2021 - I get my booster dose (Pfizer) on the 19th Dec and within 6 hours start experiencing WD like symptoms as if the vaccine kindled my nervous system. My anxiety was back with palpitations and insomnia. However the symptoms resolved over the next 5 days and I started feeling stable again within a week. I assumed it was just a wave. However, I tested positive for Covid-19 on Jan 25th 2022 and have since started developing WD like symptoms (anxiety, restlessness, health anxiety, pins and needles). My Covid symptoms resolved within 6 days but the anxiety is persisting and it seems only getting worse. Here I am wondering - 1. Is this another wave triggered by Covid-19 infection? Shall I wait it out? 2. Or am in a 'Poop out' situation where the AD has stopped being effective? Please advise me on what should be the best approach for me? PS - The only change in medication has been that I now take the Zoloft 50 mg as a solution in preparation for my WD
  11. Looking for some opinions, advice and thoughts regarding a situation I’m currently experiencing. i have been on 20mg of Lexapro a day for 3 years. We recently traveled to my husbands hometown and spent a month there. My Lexapro prescription was running low towards the end of our stay and we somehow managed to get covid. Being that we had to isolate and recover, I took the last of my prescription and had the hardest time getting my prescription filled across state lines. It took my provider 5 days to finally get back to me and by that point we had pretty much completed our 10 days of quarantine and we’re ready to head back to our home state of Texas. By this point I hadn’t taken my Lexapro for 6 days and I started experiencing confusion and terrible migraines. I picked up my prescription on day 7 and took my first dose. That same day, I felt as if my sugar levels were low, I was shaky and weak, I felt these strange tingling sensations on the back of my neck and I had anxiety like I’ve never had before. I couldn’t sleep or shut my mind off. i took my next dose on day 8 and felt even worse. My heart felt as if it was going to explode and I could barely move without feeling like I was going to fall over. i messaged my psychiatrist and questioned wether It was possible that i was going through withdrawals. She laughed it off and said that I was experiencing lingering covid symptoms and that I should reach out to my PCP instead. I explained to her that we only had covid symptoms for 3 days and that I had already tested negative. The way I had been feeling felt nothing like how I felt during the rough covid days. I was so anxious, I began to cry and she urged me to go to an ED and get treated for covid again. i took another test, tested negative, and I still feel weak, dizzy and extremely anxious. I’d love to hear what you all think about my symptoms. Are they lingering covid symptoms or could I be experiencing Lexapro withdrawals? thanks in advance!
  12. Hello forum. In March of this year, due to fear of covid, I started using fluvoxamine. I also had a bit of depression, so I thought why not take it. I started with 50 mg a day, the standard dose for fluvoxamine. I took it from March until June, and I did taper. Fluvoxamine did help with anxiety and depression and the only symptom I felt while tapering was brain zaps. It felt like having an electrical shock every time I would try to move my eyes, sometimes it would hit me in my arm, other times in my head. Generally, just an annoying symptom, that went away completely after tapering until 12.5 mg of fluvoxamine. At one point I thought that if my brain zaps don't go away with just fluvoxamine, I might discontinue it and move on to fluoxetine, which has a long half life, preventing or minimizing any withdrawal. But I pulled through without anything else but only fluvoxamine. I would go 1-2 days without fluvoxamine and when the zaps would hit, I would either take the same dose or lower it a little bit to see how I handle it. Anyway, I made it back to pre ssri 100%. But in August I finally got covid and I wasn't on any medication whatsoever. I caught covid on 22 of August and my symptoms started on 24 of August with a little bit of a sore throat. Then, on the 26 of August I couldn't sleep due to inflammation, so I immediately followed the FLCCC protocol for covid, and I took 50 mg that night, however I still couldn't fall asleep. The next day I started taking 50 mg x2 a day as they suggest on their protocol to lower the chance of something bad happening. Nonetheless, I regret taking fluvoxamine big time. Covid stopped on 28 of August, so in total it lasted only 5 days, however, once I started 50mg x2 a day of fluvoxamine, I continued for another week, until I thought I can stop taking it altogether. When I stopped taking it, I went through some unbearable withdrawal this time, that I didn't experience when i first tapered in May-june when I took fluvoxamine the first time ever. I had headaches, crying spells, irritability, lack of motivation, problems with concentration and memory, insomnia or bad sleep, and finally akathisia. I started taking fluvoxamine 50mg x2 a day on 26th of August and stopped taking it on the 10th of September. So 16 days, 5 days like 50mg x2 a day, and I tried to fast taper to 50 mg for 3-4 days and then taper to 25 mg for a few days. I was going through withdrawal and at one point my headaches were getting to me, so I thought I would reinstate on the 10th of September just 25 mg again to see if my headaches would go away. That was the final day I took flluvoxamine, because after that I experienced akathisia for like 2-3 minutes, which I immediately recognized, after reading about it being a cause for ssri use. Scared of progressing to more severe daily akathisia, I quit taking fluvoxamine once and for all. Now, 24th of October, it's been 44 days since the last 25 mg dose of fluvoxamine and the only remaining symptom that I have that bothers me is muscle weakness in my legs and arms. It feels like my arms are holding a gallon of water, instead of a cup of water, that's what it feels like. I have this increased weakness that was way worse in September and gradually got better, but still didn't go away completely yet. Some days I don't experience any weakness at all, like 1-2 days and then it comes back. As I understand, the mechanism of action of ssri is inhibition of reuptake of serotonin, so that more is available in the synapse, and at the same time too much serotonin inhibits dopamine as both of these neurotransmitters compete with each other. Why didn't I have crazy withdrawal when I was on only 50 mg the first time? Well, it has to do with the dosage. 50mg might be enough to raise the serotonin levels without affecting dopamine levels much. But at a higher dose, the dopamine gets inhibited and that is when someone might experience akathisia, loss of motivation tied to dopamine and memory and concentration problems. Only when I started taking 100 mg day one and then quit a few days later, did I experience withdrawal that was unbearable enough that I thought about reinstating again. And reinstating it gave me the pleasure of experiencing akathisia. Anyway, insomnia, crying spells, headaches all went away in about 3-4 weeks, and the only remaining symptom is muscle weakness that I experience on some days and some days not. I want to know for how long can this go? Did anyone experience anything like this? I don't want to reinstate again, I down want to feel akathisia ever again, it was brutal. Why is it taking the brain such a long time to rebalance? I'm 24 y/o male.
  13. Hi everyone! My background is that in the summer of 2020 I was still a normal, functioning person - I enjoyed time with my family and friends, was often jogging in the forest, swimming, doing daily yoga, gardening etc. besides my work. I did not have any special health issues that needed attention or medication. Then I got sleeping problems in Oct 2020 mainly because of stress at work and physical injuries in my back, which prevented me from sleeping well. In Nov 2020 I was prescribed Imovane (zopiclone) for my sleep, but I still slept only 3 hours a night due to pain in my back and was very exhausted. I was diagnosed with fatigue syndrome in Dec 2020. In the middle of Dec 2020 I began having fever and could not sleep at all. I also got symptoms such as breathing problems and a feeling of "burning legs" and I quickly got anxiety due to the frightening symptoms. My normal doctor did not know what to do and sent me on to a psychiatrist, who prescribed Mirtazapin for my sleep, declaring I had general anxiety disorder. I was also advised to take fast walks outdoors for my anxiety. I started out on a high dose (30 mg). The drug did not help me sleep more than 5-6 hours per night at most. My breathing problems got worse and the fever came back. I was extremely fatigued and the walks outdoors made me extremely sick, but the psychiatrist still advised me to exercise "to keep my anxiety down". Eventually the tests for covid-19 finally returned (after more than a week) and I realized I had been sick all along in covid-19. I was now instead prescribed to rest and not exercise. However, my breathing problems got worse and I was eventually hospitalized for a while. Also, after two weeks on Mirtazapine I developed severe tinnitus (which I had not had before in my life) and immense sensitivity to all sounds inlcuding my own internal sounds (like swallowing). In the beginning of Jan 2021 I got a new doctor (while my doctor was on leave), who took me off Mirtazapine cold turkey ("this is not a problem after just a few weeks"). After 3 days I got severe anxiety. The good news was that my tinnitus disappeared and I was very happy about that part. However, the anxiety was not like anything I had ever before experienced in my life so I returned to the doctor after 5 days. The doctor now diagnosed me with depression and prescribed Sertraline. For my sleep I was prescribed Olanzapine 5 mg. After two days I got back tinnitus, but now much worse than before. After 3 days I got numbness in my arms and strange feelings in my skin. Also after 3 days I felt as if I were "drugged" and outside of my body. After 4 days I got permanent dizziness, that has not got away ever since then. My doctor advised me to "keep pushing through". At least I slept well now and was slowly recovering, but I was extremely foggy and tired all the time. I could hardly chew my food. After 1 week I discovered that my eye sight had changed, I had trouble focusing and I had got very light sensitive. The symptoms described above did not vanish, so my doctor let me quit olanzapine after a few weeks. Cold turkey was not a problem, she said, because you have only taken it for a few weeks. After 4 days of stopping olanzapine the dizziness got much worse and I felt numbness in my face and my scalp in addition to all the other problems. The doctor explained that it was impossible to be related to olanzapine. Another doctor examined me and declared that the dizziness and eye problems came from taking Sertraline. He decided that I was to immediately quit Sertraline cold turkey. After a few days I got really sick - more dizzy, paresthesia etc. The doctor explained that it was impossible to be due to taking the prescribed medications. Instead the doctor suggested that I suffered from post covid symptoms. For two months I was taken on and off olanzapine a few times by different doctors. For example one doctor thought it was a great sleep aid medication to take, while another thought I should quit because it was not suitable for someone with my problems. Every time I quit I would feel great for two days and then develop severe anxiety, paresthesia, chills, insomnia and severe dizziness. I was eventually referred to a doctor specialized in post covid symptoms (neurologist), who made a very thorough examination. But she declared that my symptoms were not at all typical of post covid. She instead suggested that my symptoms were due to fatigue and anxiety problems, but also said that she was not an expert on this. She had not idea whether my symptoms could be caused by medication and did not comment on that. My normal doctor was now back from his leave and said that he belived all my symptoms to be related to fatigue. He prescribed Escitalopram and I started taking it on 30 March 2021. At the same time I took olanzapine for another two weeks. I felt relatively OK on 5 mg escitalopram, although I had some side effects with cramps, insomnia and tight jaws. After two weeks I was taken off olanzapine and at the same time the Escitalopram dose was increased to 10 mg (which according to my doctor is the lowest therapeutic dose). My anxiety returned with vengeance, the dizziness got much worse and I felt thoroughly sick. This lasted for a couple of weeks. I got some new side effect: hand tremor, different parts of the body would shake involuntarily when I wanted to sleep, my eyes did not function properly anymore (extremely hard to focus), very light sensitive and the colours were all "wrong" (a yellowish kind of colour). So my doctor decided to up the dose to 15 mg, because in his experience this would help. However, it did not. I felt more foggy, the tremor in my hands was so bad I could not hold a fork, I was extremely dizzy and barely managed going to the bathroom - and I had horrible anxiety. After 3 weeks the dose was decreased to 10 mg and I felt somewhat better. My doctor advised me to stay on this dose for at least 6 weeks, but after a couple of weeks I decrease my dose to 7.5 mg and I felt even better. However, "better" is a relative term - I still had permanent dizziness, light sensitiveness, eye problems, tinnitus, tremor and involuntary shakes. But the anxiety was much better, which my doctor thought was very strange. Also, I could take walks and enjoy a little bit of things in my daily life again. My doctor now belived that I am very sensitive to all kinds of medication and we agreed to try to stop taking escitalopram. However, when going down to 5 mg I developed severe physical withdrawal symptoms - paresthesia, chills, headaches, worse eye problems, worse tinnitus, and severe dizziness. According to the guidelines my doctor was following, withdrawal only lasts for 1-2 weeks (at most 6 weeks). I got a new doctor, because my previous doctor quit his job. My new doctor told me that it was obvious the medication never gave me any positive effects, which I agreed on. So I stopped the medication from 5 mg and after two days experienced extreme symptoms. I was entirely incapable of anything at all for weeks. My family was and is taking care of me. Now it has been more than 6 weeks. To be specific it has been 9 weeks and 2 days. My doctor tells me it is impossible to have withdrawal symptoms after 6 weeks so I really feel I am on my own here. I strongly belive I have been having withdrawal symptoms and side effects all along. Being fatigued (and also covid-19) has probably made my whole system more sensitive to all kinds of medication in the first place. I have now finally found this great forum. Unfortunately, a bit late. My withdrawal symptoms are the following: Constant dizziness (like being on a rocking boat), cramps in the scalp, pressure over the temples (which I associate with cramps in the head muscles), paresthesia (numbness/tingling) in my face, scalp, hands and feet, eye problems (extremely sensitive to lights, difficulties with focusing, floaters), feeling foggy in my head, memory problems, extreme fatigue, severe tinnitus, feeling "swollen" in my body and limbs and ears, occasional "brain zap" (although this symptom has got much better lately). Also after I quit Escitalopram I cannot eat anything with sugar, I cannot drink coffee or tea, because these all make me much more sich within minutes. A few times a week I also experience bouts of anxiety, but they usually last for only around 30 minutes at a time. My main problems are the physical symptoms. I do feel rather worried about my physical symptoms, which is understandable. Will they pass? Did I "destroy" my nervous system by quitting from 5 mg to 0 mg? I realize that my nervous system is over-sensitized now. Since my withdrawal symptoms are still severe I wonder if I should reinstate medication? My doctor suggests taking 5 mg again (although he does not acknowledge that I should experience these symptoms at all after 6 weeks), but reading through some of the information in this forum makes me believe that 5 mg may be much too high for me. Also, I understand from your information that after 1 month of quitting (I am currently at more than 9 weeks after quitting) there are no guarantees that my system will react well to reinstatement. I also understand from the information here that reinstatement may even make me more sick. But I also understand that there IS a chance that I might feel somewhat better with reinstatement at a low dose. To sum things up, I would happily receive some experienced thoughts about different options in my situation. My days are extremely limited right now and I am entirely taken care of by my family. I manage some meditation, qigong breathing exercises, a short outdoor walk per day and making my own breakfast - that is more or less all due to the physical withdrawal symptoms. If I want to attempt a reinstatement - how much and how should I do it? Is it the same drug (escitalopram) or should I try to get citalopram instead and why so? Many thanks in advance! I am so glad I eventually found this forum!
  14. January 14 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm US Pacific Time / 8:00pm to 10:00pm Eastern. As the numbers of the chronically ill grow rapidly worldwide due to what is being called “long Covid,” there is much to be learned from the experience of those who were grappling with the effects of difficult-to-diagnose, understudied, and invisibilized diseases long before the appearance of the novel coronavirus. What do the experiences of the chronically ill teach us about how to survive – not just physically, but emotionally and socially – in the face of huge knowledge gaps and medical disbelief? How can patients separated by vast distances and often unable to engage in traditional political organizing join together to demand answers and treatment? What do patient voices tell us about how the organization of medicine needs to change in order to better serve the well-being of us all? To register, please see: https://ucsc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Mx5NkZQfSdGgTkdn2tN5gw One speaker is Jennifer Brea, from the ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome community. She's a co-founder of #MEAction, which seems a very successful patient advocacy group. I wonder if there are any lessons we could learn from them. I suspect a recording will end up on youtube eventually.
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