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  1. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  2. Hello everyone. I'll try to organize this as best as I can. There is a lot going on. I was on benzos from age 17 to 36 and on Cymbalta from age 35 to 36. Went off both together for a 2 year nightmare. Absolute pure hell. I wont get into the details and symptoms of that withdrawal in this post as it is it's own little novel. Some things improved during those 2 years and I feel I've beat the benzo part of the nightmare even still, but at age 38 I was still suffering enough that I agreed to go on Lexapro to see if I'd improve. I did improve hugely but it stopped working as well after 3 years and I was switched to Prozac. I have taken the Prozac ever since and it felt like it was failing around 4 months ago. I missed a lot of doses around 3 months ago and just tried to stop CT for just over a week around a month and a half ago. I started feeling withdrawals so I went back on and the withdrawal feeling is still getting worse. My memory and focus went first, then the inner restlessness and anxiety started and dizziness. I am also having the disconnected dream like feeling 24-7. I am so depressed and fearful all of the time. I've been taking the Prozac without missing a dose for over a month again and this is still happening to me. It's as if the combo of Prozac tolerance and coming off for the short time has started a withdrawal that even going back on can't stop. My doctor wants to take me off the Prozac after a slow taper and start me back on the Lexapro. The hope is that since it worked before and I've been off of it for almost 3 years that it could pick me back up and end this nightmare I'm back in. I am really considering just tapering the Prozac and staying off all ssris; so no going back on Lexapro in that case. I am so afraid of entering back into a nightmare like a was in coming off benzos and Cymbalta. My current state is terrible but the previous experience was truly worse; being benzos and Cymbalta together. It is really hard t say what withdrawal symptoms were coming from which pill. There were so many. I am so terrified of how I am feeling right now, but mostly for the days to come. If I come off the Prozac entirely I know my current state will worsen. I will be thrown back into a situation similar to the first nightmare. If I taper the Prozac and go back on Lexapro and it actually works, I'll still be doomed because I'll be back on another pill waiting for it to stop working again and most likely going through it all again. If I go back on the Lexapro and it doesn't work I will just aggravate my current symptoms with throwing more chemicals on my already hurting brain. The first time around withdrawal I had terrible akathisia and I am already feeling it brewing and I am still on the Prozac. I don't want to go through this again! Also from what I've been experiencing this month it seems a lot of what I assumed were due to the benzos were possibly due to the Cymbalta withdrawal as it's so similar. Also, I forgot to mention that I am on 500 mg of Depakote XR as well. I was put on this a couple of months after the Prozac as I felt a bit agitated. It helped but I got worried about my liver and quit it after 4 or five months and had a mild withdrawal from that but it passed. Just a couple of weeks ago after my current situation started I went back on the Depakote to see if it would help and it hasn't. I'll most likely be stopping it again as well. I had an account on Benzo Buddies during that ordeal and it gave me an outlet and some hope. I've set this account up here and got my story out in advance as I am leaning towards just stopping the meds and I'll be needing all of the support I can get! I'm seeing my doctor on January 3 so whatever I decide to do it will be starting then.
  3. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  4. Hi all, found this forum via google searches many a night on how to cope with withdrawals! Like many others on here and I am sure everywhere in the world, I started on on anti-depressant and it just spiraled into larger and larger doses then multiple meds and meds on top of that for side affects. So a general summary was that I went to the Dr around 14 years ago for depression. I was put on Cymbalta 30mg straight off the bat. The side affects were unpleasant but I don't recall specifics of what they were, just that I did NOT like how they made me feel and I stopped them cold turkey. Withdrawals for several months of course, though fairly mild with major brainzaps being the one I most remember. Somewhere along the way I then went onto Mirtazapine. 15, 30 and then up to 45mg over a short period of time, maybe a year or so ramping up? Basically a result of going to the Dr, saying that I wasn't feeling the best on these meds, so they just increased them. I stayed on 45mg for probably 5 years or thereabouts. During that time my personality changed a lot (on retrospection I see how much). I became anxious, paranoid, ALWAYS tired, I started having panic attacks, grumpy, short temper making me snap at people for little, and isolated myself a lot. This went on for years. Each time the Dr would just tell me 'its not a magic pill' and leave it at that. Along the way my marriage fell apart and I moved to a new city. To 'cope' with the enormous increase in anxiety and stress, Dr gave me Olanzapine.... I took maybe 3 doses ever, as that stuff turned me into a zombie. I found a new doctor who I discussed how I felt on Mirtazapine and was switched over to Effexor XR. Ramped up from 37.5 to 150mg in the space of a few months. Generally felt 'good' but then noticed side affects that were persistent, sexual side affects galore, my BP sky rocketed, and hey look my anxiety was still very much around and panic attacks were a semi frequent occurrence. Dr's response was to switch to Paxil - which resulted in a heightened state of anxiety and rolling panic for days until I stopped them completely. Went back onto Effexor, despite the side affects and stabilized. Mirtazipine was then added to the Effexor for 'californian rocket fuel' - still anxious, still having panic attacks.. My BP was now concerning my Dr so was given a Blood Pressure pill, which then became two sets of BP meds, then three. My Blood Pressure still stayed high. Propranolol was added on top to reduce the heart rate and stress on my heart in general. This year was the hardest, I was referred to a psychiatrist, who every 6 weeks would get me to start a different drug. So I went from Effexor to Pristiq 50, then 100mg, Pristiq + Mirt, then onto Pristiq plus Seroquel at night (which made my anger turn into rage), then over to Luvox and some Respiradone and Valium to 'help' with the panic. Luvox basically kept me in a state of permanent nausea for 5 or 6 weeks - the dose was also increased to 100mg. So I spent around 4 months going through a cycle of drug withdrawal and startup over and over. I couldn't cope with being nauseous and feeling awful ALL the time anymore. At which point I had my next appointment with my Psychiatrist who just told me to 'just take half a dose for a few days and then stop them'. I asked that just ceasing any and all anti-depressants after FOURTEEN YEARS on them sounds very dangerous, she just shrugged. So I cancelled any future appointments with that practice, and after much research decided to cross taper from Luvox over to 15mg Mirtazapine and taper down from there. I chose Mirtazapine for several reasons - one was it stopped that permanent nausea everyday from the Luvox immediately, two it was a med my brain and body knew well and would tolerate almost immediately (which it did) and three i knew precisely what I would feel and how it would change me. After around 4 weeks of brainzaps and mild gastro issues as my body cleaned the last of the mix of drugs out of my body, I started to work my way down on Mirtazapine. Have currently gone from 15 > 7.5 > 3.75 with 6 or so weeks between drops. I will stay here until I stabalise again. So far the steps down have been very mild and tolerable (brain zaps for a day or two then fine), so my body is tolerating the 50% drops ok. 10% is recommended here, but so far for me personally its been ok dropping at 50% each time and stabilizing. The only noticeable (and expected) WD would be insomnia. My sleep quality has really tanked. Though interestingly enough despite low doses of Mirt meant to INCREASE your sleepyness, it has had little affect at all. So thats where I am currently at. I'm taking supplements like Vit C, Fish Oil and Vit B in the mornings and the small dose of Mirt at night. From here, I may need to look at a compounding chemist to begin tapering more slowly on the lower dosages, as cutting a tablet into 8th's is getting very difficult, even with a pill cutter. So the methods of diluting in liquids or a compound chemist will be the plan for the taper slow down (if needed) from here and my goal of being drug free hopefully within the year the final target.
  5. Hi, I'm 20 years old male from Canada, and I was prescribed Cymbalta for depression back in November of 2019. I took Cymbalta on and off and didn't like it at all, it made me feel really dumb, I could stare at simple math questions and nothing would come to my mind for 5 minutes straight, I felt jittery and anxious, numbing in genital and it just wasn't helping at all, so I didn't stay on it for longer than 1-2 weeks max, and whenever I quit it, my old self would always return to normal, however Lexapro is a different story. Later down the road when my anxiety got really bad, and I was desperate so I return to my doctor and told him Cymbalta didn't work and I needed something else, he gave me Lexapro for GAD and this was around December 2020. This time I was more determined and so I took Lexapro for 2 months straight at 10 mg daily, but I believe due to my undiagnosed ADHD, all Lexapro did was made me a zombie, unable the positive feelings or negative feelings, it made me feel flatline which then got kicked out of my online course because I procrastinated the entire time and lied on my bed the entire day and didn't care about a thing, also it gave me gynecomastia (man boobs). I decided to quit Lexapro, I first cut the pill in half to 5 mg and took it for 1 week then stopping completely like an idiot, because I'm supposed to do this taper for as long as months. The first month of discontinuation was cool, I didn't notice much of withdrawal effects, but when the second month came in, everything felt as though it just flipped a switch, I couldn't focus or concentrate, I felt very brain dead, reading was impossible, my short term memory was extremely bad that my digit span went from 10 to 5 (how many numbers I can remember at once = https://timodenk.com/blog/digit-span-test-online-tool/), I lost emotions, motivation and pleasure, got PSSD (orgasm weakness), anhedonia, slow processing in information and reaction time (https://humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime, I could get 210 ms consistently prior to lexapro, now it's 210 ms one moment, and 400 ms next moment, so focus issues), very bad fatigue, and my video gaming skills went down the drain, I just felt as though my dopamine got depleted which is weird because this drug acts on serotonin. Now it's 3 months out and I still feel different, never the same again, though oddly enough, there was a window of 2 weeks where I felt completely recovered, orgasm was extremely powerful and my cognition was powerful, then after those 2 weeks, it's back to withdrawal symptoms. I just feel like it made my undiagnosed ADHD symptoms worse. I really hope within this year, everything will be back to normal.
  6. I'm weaning off cymbalta I've only been on it for about a month as it gave me a cough and severe chest tightness as well as neuropathy in my feet. Due to these effects I've weaned rather quickly about 2 months and today is my first day off completely after a week at 10ml I would've gone longer but the chest tightness was too much to bear. Anxiety is for sure picking up and I'm using .25 Xanax as needed which is less than 1 time a day since I try to fight my anxiety as much as possible. Any advice?
  7. Hi,everyone. My name is Manny.my psiquiatrist wants me to reduce the cymbalta from 60 to 30 mgs. I know it is a 50% reduction.i should decrease only 10%.how do i taper off 10%? And how long it takes? Should i open the capsules and count the number of beads and remove that 10%? How do i ingest the 90% remaining? With water? With juice? Can i do water tritation? I take cymbalta 60,abilify 25,ativan 2.5,risperdal 7.5 mg.
  8. Hi all, I've been tapering off cymbalta for, several years, after having taken it on and off for about 15 years. For at least the past year I've taken 5 mg (1 bead from the Lupin generic). I took my last 5 mg dose about six weeks ago. I felt fine for about a week, but then briefly had brain zaps. Twitching in my feet and legs (a minor no big deal thing that happens to my anyhow) got significantly worse, to the point where it is interfering with my sleep. I'm also generally not sleeping well, and so my mood is labile. Or it's just labile because of the withdrawal? My question is does it seem legit that this could be withdrawal even though 5 mg is such a low dose? I'm considering taking a dose to see if the symptoms go away, but I worry that might start the process over. Any ideas, feedback, suggestions are appreciated. Thanks! karla posted this back in 2017 in the PSSD topic (only one post made):
  9. Hi Everyone, First of all, thank you for having me in this community and for the time you will dedicate to support. It's already a relief to be able to speak about certain problems here. I have been trying to get off Cymbalta 60 mg (which I have been taking for almost 15 years); I never really had problems with it, if not for the fact that it personally makes it quite difficult to climax during sex. As I would like to become a father, I tried (regretfully) to stop and go cold turkey. For the first 2 weeks, except some brain zaps and general irritability, I have to admit that things were not so bad. After that phase, I was feeling pretty ok. Then real hell started: after something like 6-7 weeks I started feeling chest pain and left arm numbness, associated with, anyway, a constant feeling of tiredness. Some sleeping problems but not impossible to cope with. As I got really scared about the physical pain (something related to the heart?) I got back on the medication, but this time with half dose, 30 mg, at least to cope with the symptoms (which are definitely reduced, if not almost disappearing) and it seems to be doing the trick. Anyway, in few days I am going to a psychiatrist to discuss about all of the above, as I still consider professional help advisable and I admit it was reckless to stop abruptly (at least, for me). My questions are: 1. Does anyone have problems ejaculating while on Duloxtine? If so, is there any way to cope with it / improve it? 2. About withdrawal symptoms, has anyone ever felt this pain that seems to be heart related? I have to assume it's a withdrawal sign, since once I took back the medication, pain basically went away. Thank you to anyone who will reply, I really appreciate it. I want to send all of you positive feelings, good energy and strength. Do not EVER give up.
  10. Hello. I'm 21 y.o. male. My story with ADs. I was taking Cytalopram ~8 months in 2019, then I stopped it myself as I was not seeing any effect. 07.07.2022 I took first 30mg of prescribed duloxetine before sleep. (Also I was prescribed it with Lamotrigine, Atarax. I strated them a week or two before.) After 2.5h of sleep I woke up with strange feeling. It was difficult to focus, it was getting dark in my eyes. Seems like my pressure got low so I even called to ambulance, but they said ti is just adverse effect and it's ok. Then it got better, but it was a strange feeling in my head all next day. I drank a lot of water (~6 liters) to decrease this drug effect. I was trying to sleep, but wake up every 1-2 hous. I read about a possible PSSD, even after a few days of taking it. Fortunately, yesturday I tried and it seems like it was ok with orgasm. Also I slept today and seems I'm feeling better, but have slight kind of lightheadedness. Of course, I wouldn't take this drugs anymore. Maybe you can reassure me that nothing terrible will happen to my brain from one pill? I would like advice about some lifestyle changes/supplement/diet to minimize effects of this drugs and reduce anxiety. Btw last few months I used to go to the gym and eat healthy diet. When is the best time for me to exercise? Thank you in advance. I appreciate this community.
  11. This is my first posting here and I apologize in advance if the topic of LDN is well known. LDN is the acronymn for Low Dose Naltrexone. Naltrexone has been used for many years to help treat opiate and alcohol addictions. I was put on Cymbalta in 2010 after the death of my 21 year old son in a car crash. I was in shock (still am) but I also felt like my body weighed 3000 lbs. The Cymbalta DID help relieve me of that unbearable heaviness. I did eventually reach the max dose of 120mg. I had run out of my prescription a couple of times, due to forgetting to pick it up etc. I do recall becoming tearful and the "zaps" in the head. The last couple of years are much a blur anyway. My most recent incident occurred during a trip out of state to see my brother. I ended up staying an additional week to help him with a number of things but had only packed my "pillbox" for a 5 day stay. Needless to say I started to feel terrible pretty quickly. I remembering saying to my brother that I could relate to the heroin addicts that always feel sick until their next fix. I at first thought that I could tuff it out. No I could not! By day 3 I called my PCP for a script to be faxed over to an out of state pharmacy. That was in October 2013. I did discuss this event with the psychiatrist that prescribes my Cymbalta and it seems to be a rare occurrence according to him ? Well I did go from 120mg down to 90mg after that appt without a problem. Fast forward to January 2014, I am doing some research on autoimmune disease as my siblings and I have developed a few. I came across the use of LDN ( low dose naltrexone) in a number of auto immune disorders and requested a prescription from my PCP 2 weeks ago. I read as much as I could find and it made sense to me to try to further reduce my heroin like addiction to Cymbalta to see if the LDN may reduce the awful withdrawal symptoms. I am currently taking LDN 4.5mg at bedtime along with only 30mg of Cymbalta! And I am happy to say not only do I feel a little better from the LDN I have not experienced a single uncomfortable symptom from the reduction in Cymbalta. I am a bit nervous about going from 30 to 0, I may wait a couple weeks. I did want to put this info out here tho. LDN is not very well known, it's cheap, off patent etc. Just google LDN and educate yourself. It may not work for everyone. BTW, my auto immune disorder was/is Transverse Myelitis. My withdrawal symptoms had NOTHING to do with the TM. I had TM in 1977 with a 90% recovery.
  12. Hi, I just joined and wishing to learn to be away from drugs. I tried to stop my medicine voluntarily but experienced withdrawal symptoms. I resumed medicine but with a low dose of 30mg Cymbalta. I have been taking various medicine since 2011.
  13. Hi there, I'm a new one here. Luckily, I've found this website because we don't have any single website which helps people who want to stop taking antidepressants in my country. My name is Anastasia, I'm 32. I work as a teacher at school. I'm married and have a lovely cat. I take antidepressants for 11 years. I've always been a shy person with lack of confidence. Since my childhood I've suffered from intrusive thoughts just about any imaginable staff. The first time I went to the psychiatrist was because of intrusive thoughts about my relationship. And my horror story began. I had various reasons for my constant painful thoughts. I had permament nausea, irritable bowel, which didn't let me leave my house, a sense of guilt, depressive thoughts, anxiety. constant tears and just liying at home and staring at one point - not all at once, of course. These were the reasons for many many visits to the doctor. Each time antidepressants helped a lot and I was back to life again. Can't say I was always in a good mood, but, nevertheless, I could live. I really don't remember the years and dosage of medicines, but in different periods I took amitriptilin, venlafaxine, zoloft, duloxetine, fluoxetine, phenazipame, atarax. One day pills stopped helping me. I changed three doctors hoping someone'll help me. The first one finally said that my brain had become tolerant to drugs and I had to quit. I tried so many times and always my thoughts came back and tortured me. The second doc said I had endogenous depression and it's ok to take antidepresants just for the whole life. She also said that if one medicine didn't help, so let's try another. And we tried and changed. My thoughts and depression didn't go away, but I felt not well, not bad. The third doc finally said that my diagnose was anxiery disorder and eating disorder. Insisted on treating my depression to the end and then quit. My latest medicine was venlafaxine 75 mg. But I decided to come to my first doctor and tried to withdraw like 37, 5 - one week, 18,75 - two weeks. Now it's three weeks I'm off. And it's just a hell. My thoughts (now about my weight and shape) have become more painful than they were on medicines. I find it hard to go outside because I feel really uncomfortable in all my clothes. It seems they are too tight. I'm depressed, angry and nervous. I can't do anything and distract myself. Even in my pyjamas I feel fat and uncomfortable. The story of my eating disorder: when I got married, my husband and I gained some weight. Then we started keeping to a diet. We lost weight and I felt just great for some time. Then it wasn't enough and I started to eat 1000 calories a day. But still I had a fat belly and wasn't satisfied with my weight and the way I looked. I gave up dieting and gained half the weight I had lost previously. Now I'm obsessed with my weight and it's just a nightmare. I think about it 24/7 but can't stop eating. Food is the only thing that gives me pleasure. I tried Gestalt therapy and CBT a bit, but I'm convinced that these sessions just do nothing. I understand everything, nod to the psychologist but don't believe it can help. I'm really confused now if I have to be on medicines or not and don't know what to do... Living like this is not a real life. The only wish I have now is to stop this suffering, by means of drugs or not, I don't know. I 'm studying this website and try to understand all the mechanisms. I'm not sure I'll manage to tolerate this for many years, it's been only three weeks but I'm completely exhausted. The reason why I wanted to quit was to have a baby, but it's practically impossible to think about pregnancy and birth now because of my condition. Seeking for help and support. Thank you in advance. PS: I was really frightened to start my topic here because of the country where I live, because of my nationality. But I want you to know that I just can't stand all the hell that is going on right now in the world. Of course, it adds a lot to my anxiety and depression.
  14. In August of 2021 will be a four-year ordeal that began with a breaking through (tolerance) of the SSRI medication (Celexa) I was on for 20 years. During this four-year period, I experienced over 75 symptoms associated with psychotropic medication withdrawal and at two different times was at zero quality of life. Once for five months (within the first year) and the once for four months (in year two) three months after my last dose of medication. I have been treated by a Psychiatrist, several counselors, two functional medicine doctors, two nutritionist, two specialists with psychotropic medication withdrawal, a geneticist and spent over a year and a half treated by a Dr. who specializes with hard-to-treat depression and anxiety cases. I have been on several strict diets (anti-inflammatory, vegetarian) and taken countless supplements. I have been tested for many possible underlying conditions. Although my condition has improved slowly (many symptoms have abated) I am still impaired living with severe insomnia, depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Concentration, speech, motivation, fatigue are all residual issues that continue to come and go with no predictable pattern but as of late cognition, speech and energy level have all improved. Prior to taking psychotropic medications, I lived with dysthymia (PDD) with major depressive episodes until 34 years old. I was not aware of the condition until that time. Looking back it effected my motivation, outlook on life, self-confidence and career decisions. I took Celexa for 20 years and it worked well for about 12-15 years. A whole new world of consistent positive emotions opened up soon after starting the drug. The last five or so years I was emotionally numb with no real highs but depression, insomnia and anxiety were not factors. It should be noted that for about eight of those years the dosage was 80 mg. In the summer of 2017, I noticed increased anxiety levels and insomnia had returned similar to when I when on medication. I then realized I was breaking through the medication. Agitation and aggression also started increasing. My psychiatrist then prescribed multiple medications over a period of five months. I experienced intense acute withdrawal symptoms. These drugs included Lexapro, Cymbalta, and Prozac. I stopped all meds after five months in December of 2017 for a period of one and a half months (symptoms intensified). At the end of the month and a half, I tried Ketamine infusions and my quality of life was reduced to zero. This intense period lasted five months. During this five-month period, new and previously prescribed drugs were given including Prozac, Trintellex, Lexapro, Klonopin (5 mg.), and Trazodone. In May of 2018, I began a slow taper with an organization to come off all medications. The taper ended in August of 2019. The order of the taper was Trintellex, Trazadone, Klonopin, and Prozac. During the taper, a number of symptoms lessened but would return later with varying intensity and duration (e.g., visual distortions, brain zaps, dizziness, numerous cognitive issues). However, after the taper, several symptoms slowly increased in severity including insomnia (severe), depression (moderate to severe), concentration (moderate), anxiety moderate to severe), depersonalization/derealization (moderate). The symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression were the most constant. Immediately after my taper, quality of life was reduced significantly (close to zero). This in spite of working with a functional medical doctor and nutritionist for treatment. Three months later, I reached zero quality of life again and in the winter of 2019 I went to a clinic that specialized in hard to treat cases in hope they could help. My condition improved slowly but not much. I was put on supplements to address sleep and high free copper levels. The treatment for free copper lasted over a year with zinc supplements reaching 250 mg before it was determined my free copper levels were down. Sleep problems remained unchanged. After two years of being treating I was still severely symptomatic and was told I was one of only 10% of patients that they were not able to help. In desperation and on recommendation, I reached out to an organization the deals with genetic testing. They put me on more supplements in which I reacted negatively. Currently, insomnia remains bad. I wake every night after about three hours with an intense mixture of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression, guilt, shame) that have no basis in circumstances. My sleep is tumultuous at best, waking multiple times before experiencing electrical like sensations about 45 minutes prior to waking. Most mornings I cannot go back to sleep because of these sensations. My sleep hygiene is very good and has been for a while. Nothing seems to help in this area. I take magnesium and have taken a number of other supplements and natural sleep aids, but none have worked. However, I now go through withdrawal if I forget to take the magnesium. In summary, this August it will be four years. Two of which have been medication free. My symptoms have improved in number, intensity and duration. However, I still deal with insomnia, depression and anxiety in varying patterns. I do have some windows but never a full day and have not slept through the night except once in 4 years. Trying to discern withdrawal symptoms from underlying symptoms is challenging. Sleep was never a problem prior to taking medications and nothing close to what I live with now. I do not understand why is so bad when I have practiced excellent sleep hygiene for a while. The anxiety and depression have similarities to my pre-existing condition but also have major differences. For example, I can be dealing with a situation in the morning that seems to be causing depression or anxiety and in the evening I am thinking about the same situation and feel neither anxiety or depression and can view the situation in rational emotionally stable state. I am very strong in my belief about my identity but will sometimes experience strong emotions of insecurity that I know are absolutely baseless and absurd. The same goes for anxiety and depression. The emotions seem to have a mind of their own. There is a strong disconnect between what I know to be true and my emotions. Like fearing something that you know is rationally nothing to fear. I have many questions that I probably already know the answer, but I will throw them out for your feedback. 1. Did the poly drugging exacerbate the withdrawal/healing process. 2. What about the ketamine? That drug sent me off into the abyss of torturous emotions. It was like I was being brutally tortured non-stop for five months night and day. The emotions were beyond description. Zero peace and joy. 3. Are my current symptoms (they still can be very debilitating and intense) uncommon this far out from being off meds? 4. I did a slow taper and was told I would probably heal quickly only to go back to zero quality of life three months later. Any thoughts? 5. Although most of the people who have tried to help have been well-meaning, none have been able to significantly alter my condition. I have appreciated their encouragement and compassion, but their treatments have not been able to move the healing needle. Most supplements inflated my symptoms or did nothing at all. The free copper diagnosis and treatment did bring a little relief but only a little. 6. I have read that sleep is one of the last things to return to normal, but four years later it still is bad. Any thoughts? Feel free to ask questions or make comments. Thank you for taking the time to read.
  15. I started on Cymbalta 60 mg 4 years ago, (after 1-2 weeks @ 30 mg); the scrip was from a psychiatrist for major depressive disorder. My depression lifted significantly. After 1 year (+/-) the psychiatrist and I agreed that my family practitioner would handle the prescription and supervision. I was ready to go off the cymbalta and was planning to go of the meds until a couple of deaths close to me occurred. I agreed with my doc that it wasn't the time to make changes in the meds. About 15 years ago I was on Effexor XR and had a helluva time getting off it, even with bead counting. After having read the slow pace recommended here, I probably decreased too quickly. I remember the roller-coaster ride of symptoms (physical, emotional, and cognitive) but forgot about the bead counting. When I started both Effexor & Cymbalta, I had nausea for a couple of days. On my FP's advice, I started going off cymbalta in Feb. by taking 30 mg every other day for a few weeks, then every 3 days, etc. This last week I was starting with 30 mg every 4 days. Fortunately I was using a calendar reminder in my google calendar to keep the schedule. I say fortunately because on Tuesday I had nausea and on Saturday. When I looked at my calendar to mark the reminder as "done," I realized that the nausea was probably related to the cymbalta. Now that I think of it, I started having disrupted sleep and messed-up wake/sleep cycles in March. A web search (DuckDuckGo instead of the big G) led me here and reminded me that slow tapering and counting the granules worked better for me before. My plan now: I have 6 capsules leftover from 60 mg doses. I'll split each into 3 doses, approx. 20 mg, and try 20 mg/day for 18 days (to use them up), making adjustments if necessary. Based on how that goes, I'll either continue at 20 mg or start a 10% taper to 18 mg over 28-30 days.
  16. Hi, So I finally understood that it is strongly recommended to write a little something about my experiences here. I will just copy some parts of my posts I have shared in this forum to sum up. Recent developments: I myself have intolerable withdrawal symptoms even reducing 5% of the drug. They are unbearable, both physically and mentally. They totally incapacitate me for weeks (I sleep up to 15h a day, terrible brain fog and dizziness up to the point where I cannot walk, of course the brain zaps and lots of pains in different parts of the body etc) (I will not mention the mental effects, they are really bad...) and then on it is still bad but keeps stabilizing very slowly. At this point (after tapering for years) I am seriously considering coming off the 8,44 mg altogether because I am just unable to go through the symptoms that come after a reduction so many times any more. Because the withdrawal symptoms are extreme for me I am thinking it would be better to cut off the drug now at 8,44 mg and hope the nervous system will start balancing itself out than to go through this hell for at least another year (which is the very optimistic time frame). Note: I have decided to go with this idea - I am going from 8,44 to 1 mg in 8 days. (today being the 3rd day: April 3rd 2015 ). Before judging please read the history of my experiences to understand why I personally have decided to take this approach now in the very end of tapering. My experience: I have been tapering at different pace throughout the process. Since the beginning I have made the reductions by 10% or even 5 % when I realised that the symptoms were directly caused by the reductions. I was aware (theoretically) that my symptoms can be caused by the drug, its side effects and withdrawal, but I didn't really believe it for a long time. Or it would be more correct to say I always had doubts whether it was still more me being crazy and ill. So for a long time in the beginning (I have been tapering for over 2 years) I kept tapering with intervals that I now realise were not nearly enough for my brain to stabilize, but I was not fully aware that the withdrawal symptoms could be so severe and last for so long that I figured the reason had to be somewhere else. I just tapered according to the planned schedule, keeping aprox. 3 week intervals (and unfortunately, optimistically 2 week intervals). I also tried micro tapering every week, but needless to say that proved to be harsh on my nervous system and was keeping me in a constant state of agony. During the last 9 months or so I have had to keep longer periods between reductions in order to stabilize (I realised more and more that what I was experiencing was due to the reduction of the medication and the link got clearer by the day), but I cannot even estimate the stabilization point. For some of my friends it is perfectly clear - their withdrawal "cycle" is short and simple: they know that their symptoms will come 1-2 days after the reduction and last for about a week (max). This is not the case for me. One week for me is the extremely acute period (which would correspond to maybe the 1st 1-2 days of my friends' cycles) and as much as I would like to see a noticeable improvement during week 2, I can only say that it gets slightly better than the extreme, but not nearly enough to function to a standard that would/could be acceptable or tolerable. After recently having a 6 week and a 2 month gap between reductions I can say that during the 2 month gap I guess you cold say that I started to feel like the symptoms were starting to actually stabilize for the fist time for me subjectively. That enabled me to observe how the affects of withdrawal came about abruptly and directly connected to the reduction. In more detail: I'm having a hard time remembering exactly how long I have been taking certain drugs. Seems like forever. I was first prescribed Fluoxetine when I was 17. I am 30 now and for 13 years I have constantly been on and off different antidepressants - the whole spectrum of them. For a very short while I was even on antipsychotics (a month or so). I have always had awful side effects and have discontinued the drugs after a while, switched from one drug to another etc. It wasn't until a few years ago when I finally became aware and educated myself on the topic of antidepressant withdrawal and the harm they cause. (I would really suggest two books for a real eye-opening: Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide, and Crime by Peter R. Breggin and Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker). When I think back on the years on these meds and realising now what they have done with me, it makes me indescribably angry and sad. I have had awful side effects for years and discontinuation effects that I only realise in retrospect for what they were. Last drug I discontinued before Cymbalta was Venlafaxine (Effexor) which is another nightmare next to Cymbalta. Unfortunately then I was not aware of the methods of slow tapering and the discontinuation symptoms literally almost killed me (the "brain zaps", disorientation and dizziness were so severe that I almost tumbled in front of a moving car one day). By then I was already google-smart on the discontinuation side effects these meds have but was still unaware how to slowly taper. I was very reluctant to start taking Cymbalta but was convinced it was necessary by mu doctor. I started with the idea that I would only be taking the drug for a few months. Well, months become a year before I started tapering. I was taking 60 mg of the drug. When I started tapering it was very difficult for me to distinguish between the effects of withdrawal symptoms and my usual symptoms. A lot of the time I did not believe that the drug could be causing all the mental and physical symptoms and was afraid that it was just me. By know (as I described in my previous post) I have realised that a lot of this has been the drug's effect, but I am still afraid whether these effects can be undone. I have no way of knowing whether the decade of these drugs has caused permanent damage on my nervous system. I have tapered using different strategies. I have never tapered more than 10% of the last dosage, but I did reduce very often for a long time (after making a schedule I tapered every 2-3 weeks). It was because I could not really believe that my symptoms were so severely caused by the withdrawal. Later when I tried longer stabilizing periods I experienced how the withdrawal effects were sudden and obvious and followed a certain pattern (for Cymbalta and for me it is 1st day - no different, 2nd day slightly lowered mood, mild brain zaps etc, 3rd day - hell!). Withdrawal symptoms: The first week, on day 3 I start to have terrible crying spells. Literally for days I keep crying. Well, of course not 24/7 but for most part of the first days I am in tears. I am not sure how long that lasts but at least half a week. At some point the crying is replaced by despair and major depressive feelings. This is the worst symptom and the best I know to describe it is that while having this I feel that I cannot bear living for another minute more. I just want the suffering to stop. And it doesn't. And that can get better for half a day or even an entire day, but still last for... well, an unknown amount of time. I know I could handle any kind of symptoms - all the pain and crying and everything, but this is unbearable. The only thing that helps is numbing the feelings with Xanax. I do not drink alcohol but I can totally understand why people would choose to numb their pain with it. I suppose it is not at all different from taking Xanax - they're both a sort of a poison for the body and the brain. From physical symptoms the strongest ones I have is exhaustion (up to the point where it is ridiculous even), I have strong neurological symptoms (brain fog, brain zaps - they are a sort of a mini seizure, extreme sleepiness - sleeping up to 15h a day, not being able to shake the drowsiness and fogginess for the most part of the day, I have strong neural pain in the left side of my body - in the left arm, shoulder, back of the head, behind the eye, vision problems, extreme sensitivity to sounds (!) and a general sensory oversensitivity, nausea of course. Oh, I remembered for some period during the tapering I sweated extremely. I usually sweat really little. I also sweat a lot during the night. The flu-like symptoms occur. Ohwell... the list is so long it is embarrassing. And these symptoms don't really seem to pass fast. They just last and last so that I get to thinking it is ridiculous. But it still keeps happening. Oh and from time to time comes the agitation and irritability. I can feel how my thinking gets impaired - it slows down, the memory gets really-really bad, I cannot remember words and names (I used to think it was just me or a symptom of depression, but now I have established a clear link between the symptoms and the reduction of the meds). Oh, and the restless legs of course. My method of tapering: I have developed a method for myself for tapering off Cymbalta that I have not encountered in this forum or any others so I thought I should share it. For the very reason that the beads inside a Cymbalta capsule are not the same size (two capsules might not contain the same amount of beads) and I do not have a scale to measure such small portions, I have come up with an alternative. What I did is I folded a paper in half from the middle, creating a void where I could pour the beads and they would stay in a straight line next to each other. In that way I created a measurable line of the contents of a capsule. Right now I use a 30 mg capsule which creates a 25,5 cm line (fits on a regular A4 paper), but when I was using a 60 mg capsule I had to devide the beads into portions and measure them all and calculate from there on. Now I am not particularly fond of mathematics, but with a few simple calculations and a lot of concentration ( ) I was able to calculate how many mg of the medicine was in a line of the medicine of a certain lenght. So when 30 mg of Cymbalta is 25,5 cm, that meas for example, that 15 mg of Cymbalta would be 12,75 cm etc. (This is specific to the capsules I use bought from Estonia, yours could be very different so you should always measure your own medication!) I use the same folded paper (with markings on it) every day to pour a certain amount of beads out from the capsule. So if I am using a 30 mg capsule and I am - let's say - at 20 mg daily dosage I would have to calculate how many (what lenght) beads I would have to extract from the capsule before taking the medicine. So I have established that 30 mg = 25,5 cm. That means 20 mg = 17 cm. I know that there is 25,5 cm of beads (30 mg) in the capsule so I have to pour out 10 mg = 8,5 cm. It really makes no difference, if you calculate it in cm or mg after you have established the relation between the two. So I have a marking on the paper and each day I pour out a 8,5 cm line. And if i reduce the dosage I just make another marking. It is actually very easy to do the reduction just visually, when you have drawn the lines beforehand and calculated what necessary. You also have the history of your reductions right there under your eyes. I always write the date of the reduction next to the specific line every time, so I have a good visual overview of what, when etc.
  17. Hello I have been on Anti Depressants since 2016. The only one that made any difference for a few months was Duloxetine 50mg. That stopped working for both depression and anxiety so I discontinued it back in 2019. I was ok for a couple of months but then started feeling anxious again, and the GP reintroduced it. Fast forward to 2021 and a bad dose of Long COVID, and I had to stop the Duloxetine as it was giving me heart disregulation. I then tried Escitalapram for a few weeks but was unable to tolerate it, so the GP prescribed me Mirtazapine. This was put up to 30mg in March 2022, then I developed severe anxiety and discontinued, having a cross taper to Duloxetine again. Whilst cross-tapering, I discovered that the combination of Duloxetine and Mirtazapine seemed to stop my anxiety and so the GP has prescribed this combo. I am only in week 1, but some days I feel fine, and then like today, all I want to do is crash out. I have no job at the moment and feel pretty hopeless. After reading the report in today's news regarding the lack of evidence for the Serotonin hypothesis, I feel like just binning the whole lot of antidepressants, and using diazepam to withdraw off the lot. However, every time I come off antidepressants, I feel like my symptoms rebound. I am starting to feel like a chemistry play set, and don't want to feel this way. I am 47, wife a family.
  18. Original topic title before shortening: a story of lamictal, prozac, cymbalta all switched or tapered too fast, ending in a disastrous bout with an antipsychotic. Thank you for your amazing service. I was a very anxious child. And i started feeling depressive episodes as early as 7 years old. In my adolescence I self medicated with alcohol and quickly developed an addiction to this and other drugs as I grew into an adult. I mostlyd loved drinking (anti anxiety) and i loved psychedelics (anti depressive). In 2001 I was in my early twenties and spent a year living in New York, I was working in the Twin Towers when the attacks occurred. The experience triggered my addictive behaviors and my life in NY became very destructive. I entered a severe depression, complicated by substance abuse. I returned to my home in Mexico. I was in therapy but after some months my therapist said we were not advancing, she considered I could benefit from seeing a psychiatrist and getting some extra help for what seemed to her like a chemical imbalance. The psychiatrist prescribed me 50 mg of Lamictal. it helped me tremendously, I still had all the feelings, but I had an ability to distance myself from them, not let them pull me down into a hole. My life got back on track. I worked a lot, I made successful pieces, I started exhibiting my work, I got married, I found some stability. the only problem was the allergies, In my childhood I had been allergic to cats, but as an adult I adopted a pair, I was really allergic to them at first and slowly the allergies subsided. When I started taking Lamictal the allergies came back, but I solved it taking antihistamines almost daily (!!!) Then one day, after eating some strawberries I had a severe allergic reaction, my throat started closing up, my skin was full of red spots. I had to go to the pharmacy to get a shot. After that I always carried an epi pen with me, as it kept happening with different things I was not previously allergic to. Shrimp, Nuts, Concrete. My doctor related it to the Lamictal and decided I should go off it with a quick taper, as my psychiatrist recommended. After that I went back to drinking and drugging heavily. In 2007 I went to do an artist residency in Madrid, where my drug consumption led to me having a psychotic break. i was convinced I was on a mission, everything spoke to me, everything was a message. I never felt more connected. This trip was disastrous to my life, my career seemed to be thriving but my marriage was really hurt. I returned to Mexico and my husband and I separated. I hit a new bottom, I wanted to cut back on my drinking, I had never been more depressed. I would stop drinking for a few months but I always relapsed. I had no support, no tools to do it. I continued struggling with anxiety and depression, but considered them to be a normal part of my hangovers and periods of withdrawal from alcohol. In 2009 I met someone who lived in Barcelona, he suggested I should see a psychiatrist, I did and was put on 5 mg of Lexapro, I had a hard time adapting to it, especially because it caused me terrible nightmares, and when i drank I would immediately blackout, in the months that followed I moved to Spain, I was in love but still struggling with depression, the medication seemed to help but my emotional instability was intensifying, I was still drinking and doing psychedelics once in a while. We moved back to Mexico in 2010, I am ashamed as I write this since I realize how messy I was, taking medication while being an active alcoholic. I would go on and off the medication, I knew I shouldn't drink when on it because of the blackouts and so sometimes I would stop the medication in order to drink the way I wished to, then I would stop drinking and go back on the medication. Meanwhile my depression and anxiety were worse than ever. I kept cancelling everything, sometimes i would stay in the car crying unable to go into the grocery store, sometimes I couldn't get out of bed, but i was able to keep making work on the good days. I eventually went off the Lexapro completely, probably with a very fast taper. In 2012 I went to a new psychiatrist who started me on 20 mg of Prozac, I was on Prozac for years, every 6 months or so I would try to get off it. It was always a fast taper and I always failed, it felt like I relapsed (now I know it was ADWD), so i was put back on it and usually upped the dosage to 20 mg one day and 40 mg the next. I was on 40 mg daily for a while, and when i was feeling better went back down to 20. Prozac was easier, the only side effects I had were a constantly clenched jaw and I was anorgasmic (which at this time in my life I didn't mind). In 2015 I began my recovery from drugs and alcohol, I had been going to meetings for a while, but in 2015 I finally stopped relapsing ( I am over 7 years clean today). When I quit drinking and drugging my emotional stability got better. I still had ups and downs but the downs lasted a lot lot less, just a couple days tops. But usually just one day of being out of commission. In 2016 When I was one year clean, I tried going off Prozac, I thought being clean I would be able to do it, i felt good. I did (what i now know was) a fast taper (as my doctor suggested) one day on, one day off, one day on, two days off, etc. (I now know this is terrible) My body collapsed, I was in so much physical pain I couldn't walk. I had brain fog, I had panic attacks, I was in bed for weeks with the pain. I saw many doctors, I had an MRI, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, inflammation of the nerves, dysautonomia, fibromyalgia, one osteopath said i would have to be on opiates from now on for the pain (Luckily being an addict in recovery I turned them down). Let down by allopathic medicine I went to see a naturopath, She put me on an elimination diet. I went off gluten, dairy and sugar and was able to walk again as the pain stopped. It was a scary episode that lasted around three months. I had gone back on the Prozac after 6 weeks of being off it, but my depression came back and I went to see the psychiatrist, when i explained the pain I had had she said i probably had fibromyalgia, she switched me to Cymbalta 60 mg. The switch was easy, my mood got better, the pain didn't come back. The major side effect with Cymbalta was that I was just perpetually constipated, I had to really watch my diet and take psyllium husk everyday if i wanted to go to the bathroom every other day. I did not like this but it was ok considering how horribly i had felt when off the medication. I was on Cymbalta from 2016 thru 2019, several times i tried to go off it with a taper (which I now know was extremely fast) as my doctor recommended. Usually cutting down to half my dose for a couple weeks and then half again. Every time I tried i failed and had to go back on it with a higher dose than before. (up to 120 mg when i had been taking 60mg) I was tired of being constipated forever. I was ready to go off the Cymbalta. I switched Psychiatrists, he said we could do it, first he switched me back to Prozac, and then we tapered off (again, not slowly enough!) For the first time in my life I was not able to work. I have not been able to work since 2020. When the depression came back the psychiatrist put me on another antidepressant (not an SSRI, something relatively new... I cant remember what!) i was on that for a month and when it wasn't working he proposed we switch to an antipsychotic, Sulpiride 200 mg, ( I think its not available in the US). The antipsychotic made me very calm, my mood was pleasant, but i felt as if my body was almost shutting down. And then it actually did, my libido was gone and then my period stopped. I thought maybe I was an early menopauser (I am 46) but after 6 months I suddenly started lactating. I went to a doctor, had some tests done and my hormones were all over the place, I had dangerous levels of prolactin and extremely low progesterone and estrogen. The doctor was shocked and asked if I was on any medication, when I mentioned the Sulpiride she said I have to go immediately off it. She mentioned i was at risk of developing a small tumor in my pituitary so i had to go off it and fast. I was afraid to go off the medication. I knew i had tried many times in the past and the results had been bad. So this is my recent experience going off medication: I tried to do it right this time, I am so bummed I hadn't found this site. I made A LOT of mistakes. I now know. First I got a Journal, so its all written down, I tapered of the 200 mg of Sulpiride during the course of 4 weeks, going from 200 mg to 150 the next week, to 100 the next, to 50 the next, one day on one day off the next. (this was the instruction from my psychiatrist) After only a week off the Sulpiride, on April 11th 2021, I started microdosing with psilocybin, i did the Paul Stamets protocol. I was told it would help my brain create "new connections", it sounded good. It actually was a mess. I went into the highest anxiety period of my life. I woke up feeling someone turned on a high voltage switch in my chest. My whole body vibrated. I felt like i was choking all day. I couldn't see people, I couldn't be indoors as the walls caved in, I couldn't be in the street as I was paranoid. I spent my days in the garden looking up at a tree, trying to breath. I was convinced the psilocybin would help me through the transition, but I am sure now that it only made my WD symptoms much worse. I was on the Psylocibin protocol for 2 weeks, then i decided to stop. The anxiety continued for another month, in that time I saw my naturopath and she prescribed St. Johns Wort 900mg daily, GABA supplement at night to sleep. Ive been practicing CBT techniques, EDT tapping, Ive been praying, I have a strong network of support from my 12step group, my boyfriend, my family, Ive been calling people everyday, Ive had so much help. But still it felt unbearable. On May 30th the anxiety stopped! I fell into deep sadness and cried for 3 days, but compared to the anxiety it was a huge relief to be crying. I then found your site and started reading non stop and getting informed. I got off the St. Johns Wort. I am still taking the GABA to be able to sleep. (Should I stop it?) Every day I have different symptoms, the anxiety has subsided mostly, but waves of depression hit me two days at a time, I lose all hope, I feel there is no help, I lose my faith. I have intrusive obsessive thoughts, too. But I am no longer maintaining suicidal thoughts. I have been able to label them as unreal and turn them off. Some days the anxiety comes back but nothing like the days on the psilocybin. These past 3 days my nerve and joint pain came back, I spent two days in bed since i could hardly move around. Its better today. But these days of pain my mood has been good. My last day on Sulpiride was April 10th. Its been three months and my period is back, Ive been testing my hormones and they are still off but getting slowly back to their normal levels. I feel like apart from the WD I am also dealing with a really tremendous hormonal imbalance caused by taking the Sulpiride. I feel like three months is too long now to reinstate, but Im not sure about this, and reinstating Sulpiride is out of the question due to my very bad reaction to the medication. Im very grateful for this forum, just knowing more about why I feel and how I feel is enough to make it more bearable. I was already losing hope and dreading the fact that i might have to go back on another antidepressant and probably be on them for life. I now know that is not true and i am willing to navigate the WD however long it takes. I feel that is possible because i wont have to do it alone. I am shocked by all the information shared here on this forum and feel it is so important to inform others who are on medication about how to get off them safely. Even if I didn't find out in time, I am so grateful to have found this valuable resource. Thank you for all your work.
  19. First time on site. Looking for help. I went off my Paxil after 13 years waaaaaaay too fast and am now experiencing horrible PAWS symptoms. Panic, anxiety. My dr is treating it as a relapse, but never felt that was really what was going on. Last night I read about post acute withdrawal syndrome and knew I had discovered what I was experiencing. About 2 weeks ago my dr put me on Duloxitine. Still not helping. Does anyone have any suggestions on drs or clinic that might be able to help? Also, what about going back on a low dose of Paxil again. I am open to all suggestions! thank you
  20. I’m really really struggling lately. Suffering akathesia. Depression. Suicidal thoughts. It’s overwhelming and horrific. It’s been 13 months since this started and it doesn’t seem to be improving. My mind just won’t shut off with the negative ruminating. I feel there isn’t any way out of this. And it kills me this is my life. Just needed a place to vent my thoughts. Thank you for listening
  21. i swore i would never take an snri again after what i went through on effexor, but he suggested i try cymbalta for the chronic pain and told me that generally there are less side effects/zaps than with effexor, so i said i would give it a try. my psychologist and his super decided that i have bipolar 2 not mdd, but the pdoc waved this away and didn’t even consider mood stabilizers. when my pdoc raised my dose of cymbalta after i expressed a wish to discontinue, and wrote in my record that i display “abnormal illness behaviors” (which just means i disagree with him?), i have decided to get off the ADs once and for all.
  22. Hi.. My story is, “briefly“, that I have within the past 3 years, been on... so. Much. Crap. And I am currently in withdrawal torture from hell and have been for years now. In the beginning of 2019, I had a very bad stress / anxiety reaction, and I was quickly put on medication. Benzodiazepines for two months along with starting Zoloft. Quit Benzos cold turkey (doctor’s orders) and then Zoloft was upped to 125 mg (in hindsight I am pretty sure it was because I reacted strongly to Benzo quitting). I felt completely horrible on Zoloft and tapered off over the course of 2.5 months (doctor’s orders). Then I was in complete hell and couldn’t sleep so after being “clean” for one month, I was put on 7.5 mg. Mirtazapine. I could FINALLY sleep and it did seem to help my anxiety a bit? I still had a lot of strange horrendous symptoms though but I don’t know if that was from Mirtazapine or SSRI withdrawal ...? Can a dosis of 7.5 mg. Mirtazapine cancel out severe SSRI withdrawal? Anyway - So in 2020 I was on Mirtazapine up and down weekly between 7.5 and smaller doses (doctor said I could just adjust from day to day). I ended up just completely wrecked and just lied in bed in a haze.. so they took me off Mirtazapine and started me on 60 mg. Duloxetine plus Promethazine for sleep. Total haze still, awful.. So off it again after 7 months - tapered from 60 mg. Duloxetine to 0 over 4 weeks. Then felt .... HORRIBLE (!!!) and started self medicating with Benzodiazepines while I waited for withdrawal to end for two months- until my doctor found out and said stop that. Then I was put on Pregabalin and Escitalopram 10 mg. from March 2021 until I wanted to quit (because I was a complete foggy hazy wreck on that as well). Stopped Pregabalin in May and Escitalopram in July (tapered from 10 mg. to 0 over 4 weeks). In September I tried to take a tiny dose of Escitalopram to ease the horrendous withdrawal symptoms .. but that didn’t work and I felt worse. So I just thought I’d push through this indescribable nightmare... in December however I took 1/2 pill of Benzodiazepine twice because it was so unbearable. So.. now it is 9 months since I stopped Escitalopram (/6 months since I tried a small dose for a week) and 4 months since Benzodiazepines.. I can’t describe how much of a hell it has been AND STILL IS 😔 I have constantly tried to tell myself that it WILL and MUST get better soon. And while some symptoms have gotten better, I have almost no life by now. I hardly see anyone because I just can’t due to symptoms, I hardly exercise or leave my apartment. Some days, like today, it is almost constant torture. A week ago I tried Melatonin (4.5 mg. over two days) and then I’ve tried some Valerian root pills.. somehow it’s gotten worse now. So.......... bottom line: I’m thinking about starting Mirtazapine just to ease the withdrawal symptoms and to make sure I sleep better. Right now no matter how much I sleep, I am never rested and feel like I haven’t slept for days everyday. But I am BEYOND scared that it will make everything worse, and then I have yet another drug to get free from. So yeah.. does anyone know if Mirtazapine can help SSRI withdrawal symptoms? I honestly don’t know what to do. Thanks and sorry about the long message. I feel pretty desperate. 😔 Best Louise
  23. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  24. Hello. I am wanting some advice on withdrawing from the drugs I am currently on. I am taking 60 mg cymbalta, 5 mg zyprexa and 7.5 mg mirtazapine. I would like to withdraw from all 3 at the same time. Is this possible
  25. Introduction topic: karenrose-what-a-journey Hi everyone. I guess this is my success story check in. I've been off for almost a year (just a few more weeks) and feel better than I have in years. This forum and the help I got here was literally a life saver. Thank you so much to the people who helped me when I was suffering so much I could not stand being alive anymore. I still struggle a little bit with blood sugar issues, mucus, and restless sleep but it's getting better. I am no longer depressed - amazing. Not anxious. I have had many waves but the last few ones have been tiny. I am prepared for bigger waves but no longer scared of them. And haven't had one for a while. I feel healed and withdrawal is becoming a distant memory. What helped me the most to come off and to heal? I am not recommending any of it - just saying what worked for me after trying just about everything for years. In case it can inspire someone. Ultra slow tapering - feel free to take a look at my journey. The key was listening to my body, not the numbers. It made all the difference and I learned it here. Whole foods super nutritious diet without allergens. No sugar, caffeine, alcohol. I used the AIP diet. Lots of clean water. EFT tapping and EMDR for pervasive trauma, emotional pain, stress and anxiety. Dancing for exercise and stress release (no need to go out - did it at home). Still working on getting back in shape. Coffee enemas for migraines and feeling toxic and achey. I know this is controversial and may not be for everyone. It worked very well for me. Meditation in the morning - five to ten minutes. I was convinced at several points I could not do it. If this is you, know that you can. Much support and hope, Karen
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