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  1. Before describing my situation, I want to start by thanking all those who have posted here, particularly those few who keep it updated and try to organize it. Even though today I'm in at a really low point, the information I've found here has been extremely valuable. I hope that I can not only continue getting good information, but that maybe my story might help somebody else sometime. Apologies in advance if I am too long-winded or detailed. CASE HISTORY AND WD SYMPTOMS: I'll skip the ancient history. In short I started taking citalopram in my twenties for depression., and I'm now 46, so it has been around 20 years. I can't recall dosages, but for the last few years I've been on only 10mg. Finally feeling like I was in a fairly stable place in my life, I thought I'd see if I could go off them. I knew this had to be done "slowly", but what this meant exactly was pretty vague. I dropped down to 5mg, and stayed like that for a long time (6 mo?), with no ill effect. I had the impression that this was the lowest medically effective dose, so I could do no more tapering. I may have done a couple weeks of every-other-day, but in February 2020 I stopped altogether. I thought (wrongly, it seems) that was tapering enough. I recall having a couple of weird initial weeks, but I'd describe the withdrawal symptoms as manageable (no depression, just dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and what I now know to be "brain zaps"). My doctor had given me 0.25mg tablets of Alprazolam (Xanax, "benzo") and I was instructed to take 1/2 a tablet only when feeling sufficiently bad, but I tried to take that as little as possible. These symptoms mostly lifted, and, if I recall correctly, I proceeded to have a couple of quite decent months. It was a lovely spring in spite of Covid, I was focused on my work and quite happy overall. But there were some odd things: I was irrationally irritable and easy to anger. Idiotic things (the sound of food being chewed, etc.) were extremely irritating to me. Then, at the end of April, I had a really horribly depressed day out of nowhere, and my sleep started to fall apart. I would wake up every night at almost exactly the same time, around 5am, and I'd be extremely hot (night sweats). I also started experiencing serious pain in the back of my neck, which I attributed to sleeping funny and a fall I had while skiing several months prior. At this point I had made no connection between these symptoms and coming off the SSRI, as I had never heard of SSRI withdrawal syndrome. But something wasn't right, and even the zopiclone I was given for temporary help sleeping didn't prevent the 5am wake up. I started keeping a journal, charting my sleep, exercise, sleeping-pill intake and so on. My strong feeling was that I didn't have a "mental" problem (not depression, not anxiety), I had a hormone problem causing sleeplessness. My mind might race a bit, but my symptoms all felt more physical than emotional. I recall forcing myself to get exercise (short runs) and eat healthy (lots of smoothies, etc). At this point I googled something about irritability and SSRIs, and made my way to this site. Here I learned (from "Altostrata" - thanks) that my nervous system was likely hypersensitized, and the 5am wake-up was caused by an over-reaction to the hormone cortisol, which is naturally released around dawn to start the wake-up process. This made a lot of sense, and explained my situation perfectly. (Thank you again!) THE IMPORTANT PART FOR ME NOW: I experienced several "windows" (term used on this site and elsewhere to indicate a period of mostly clear, good days, in contrast with "waves" of heavy symptoms), but by the end of July I began to think I needed to go back on something. My goal, then and now, is quality of life, and if that meant I did indeed need some small quantity of drug, so be it. (Just MY point of view, not a judgement of anyone else!). I read on this site about the dangers of going back on at a "normal" dose, like the 5mg recommended by the doctor. My particular situation was at high risk for "kindling", since by this point I'd been off the citalopram for around 6 months, and citalopram has a short half-life. (All this learned from this site!). I tried a 5mg tablet cut in 4 (about 1.25mg), but on day two felt like I was freaking out. After a few days, I tried again, an 1/8th of a pill, smaller than a grain of rice. I ordered a scale to weigh the dose, as suggested. By the second day I was experiencing GREATLY REDUCED WD SYMPTOMS, and felt like I was out of the woods. I wanted to create an account and tell everybody about my success story, to help others. But by a few days later, things started going downhill again. Was that just a window? The hot flashes and brain zaps were gone, but a general lethargy combined somehow with nervousness persisted. I thought perhaps I had adapted to the miniscule dose, and went up to 1/4 tablet. To cut this long story a bit shorter, I slowly progressed over the course of a few weeks up to 1/2 a tablet. I felt I was in the extremely difficult situation (for which I'm seeking the community's help) - Is my situation caused by too much drug (kindling) or not enough?? How to distinguish WD symptoms and symptoms caused by going back on the drug? I saw my doctor, who feels that anything less than 5mg is just not going to help. She suggested taking 5mg and warned me that the first two weeks were likely going to be difficult, so I should take .25mg of xanax as well for the first two weeks. I've tried this for the last few days, and indeed they have been difficult. But I'm not convinced that they'll get better in two weeks! Now, seeing all this in black and white, I think likely I've increased my dosage too quickly, and I'll do better to go back down to maybe 1/4 tab. I'm just so disappointed that there doesn't seem to be an obvious right answer that makes me feel better more quickly! So many other sites say "SSRI withdrawal syndrome can be cured in a couple days by going back on the drug" - but this doesn't seem to be the case. I feel totally lost and unsure of how to proceed. I'm so exhausted by trying to figure this all out, I just want to get checked into some magic rehab hospital where they knock me out and I wake up four months later feeling fine. Looking back I can also see that my symptoms have shifted very much from "purely physical" (like hot flashes) to the emotional. I've had whole days lost in front of the TV, or, like this morning, terrified to get out of bed or check my email. The insomnia is AWFUL - after 4am I can neither wake up nor fall asleep. If I try to wake I'm exhausted, when I try to sleep I can only seem to get to the brink, when some sort of nervous reaction zaps me awake again. Feelings of total despair, a strong sense that there is no way out of this (I seem to be damned if I take the stuff or not), and recently, hints of some very dark thoughts indeed, as I cannot imagine having to face mornings like this one for the rest of my life! On the plus side, I do have a very loving wife who is very supportive and understanding. I'm totally ashamed of all this, of who I am right now, and would give anything, everything to simply go back to that day when I decided to go off. Things were fine, or as fine as can be expected for me. But regret gets one nowhere, and we all have to remember that there ARE good days ahead, somehow. CONCRETE QUESTIONS for anyone who is able to chip in: 1) On the one hand it seems pretty clearly I've tried to reinstate too fast. Likely best to go back down, but not to zero? Try to stay at 1.25mg for at least two weeks? 2) How does the Alprazolam (xanax) fit into this? I read something about how it helps temporarily, but then you can go into a "benzo hangover", which is worse? 3) Am I just bailing out of the full 5mg dose too soon? My doctor said it would be a hard two weeks, maybe I should just try to tough it out? She's lovely, but I don't think this sort of thing is her specialization. 4) Should I find a psychiatrist (even though where I live it will likely be a month or more before I can get in)? Or will they just start saying I'm bipolar and pumping me full of other things? Anyway this is getting pretty rambly now so I'll stop. Thanks to anybody who reads this and has any thoughts. Anyone else going through hard times right now, just keep hanging in there - the only thing that is sure is that things will change.
  2. Hi all, Im male 23 from South India. English is not my first language so please forgive my grammatical mistakes. I had a bad breakup with my Ex girlfriend and went into depression,low libido and anxiety disorder. I was put on Escitalopram 5mg for one month(Mid September to mid October 2018) and I just Cold turkeyed it. My libido didn't improved but anxiety disorder was cured. First 2 months im completely fine but after that I literally faced hell. Below are the withdrawal symptoms that I have faced till date. 1. Insomnia :- I hardly slept 4 hours with this symptom. This is observed in mid January to mid May of 2019. After that it gradually improved. Now I'm able to sleep six and half hours of sleep. I feel like it improved around 70%. 2. Eye floaters :- This one just freaked me out. I started observing them since mid Feb 2019. They are really bothersome for me that time because, i can see them on my PC screen too. Gradually they disappearing. I can say they reduced to 50% of what they were earlier. I think eye folaters are related to sleep. So I hope it may be cured once im completely recovered from insomnia. 3. Diarrhea:- This one comes and goes randomly. I don't know when this will go completely. 4. Sweating :- It started in End of May 2019 and still there. 5. Loss of appetite :- No improvement at all. 6. Lack of confidence (no comments) 7. PSSD :- This one ruined my life. I have no feelings at all. No emotions nothing. Visual simulation is not making me erect anymore. I was suicidal after reading about PSSD. Now it's been 1 month since im using black maca powder. It helped to get back my morning erections and random erections. Now I'm getting erections just by fantasizing something by closing my eyes. But the URGE or DESIRE to have sex is ZERO. I'm planning to continue on Black maca for some more months. If it not works then im gonna try Inositol and SJW. Interesting thing is...... I don't know that Antidepressant do give withdrawal symptoms. My doctor didn't warned me regarding this. I passed through this hell without knowing about it. Last week i got to know about this website and then I understood what I have been through. As I was unaware of withdrawal symptoms and PSSD. I felt like I only had low libido. So I just did all the necessary stuff to bring up my testosterone. Like hitting gym(mainly squats), eating veggies (mainly leafy vegetables) fish eggs nuts, sunbath (for vitamin D). Yes, I definitely gone through waves and windows. But Im unaware of them. So I cant figure out when I had wave and windows. Hereafter I will note it. I have read so many success stories on this website and they truly helped to build my confidence. I need all of your support and advise for me to recover from this pssd. I will keep posting my status on regular basis. Thankyou all (namaste 🙏)
  3. Hi everyone I was on Paxil 20mg for 19 years- most of which time it worked well (except for some weight gain and bloating). While studying at grad school I started taking Adderall for four years until it developed until a problem and managed to come off it inn July 2017. Went through the PAWs from that which lasted for a long time (and is maybe still ongoing). However, since I came off the Adderall, the Paxil appeared to have stopped working (either than or the PAWs from the Adderall was overriding its effects). So 5 months ago I decided to do the Prozac bridge to see if Prozac would work for me. I did a straight switch to Prozac 20 mg without any tapering and felt some withdrawals and also felt weird most likely from starting on the Prozac as well. While taking Prozac I have been up and down, with good weeks and bad. However, in the last two weeks I have had what seem suspiciously like the 'waves' I hear about on this site. I have felt the worst I have ever felt in my life and it seems very much like SSRI withdrawal to me (I've experienced withdrawals from Paxil several times before when I either ran out or tried to quit). This time symptoms include a sense of impending doom, nausea, tinnitus, hypersensitivity to stress, depression. It seems unusual to be suddenly hit with withdrawal symptoms 5 months after giving up Paxil and while still taking Prozac right? So my question is- is this some delayed withdrawal to the Paxil I stopped taking 5 months ago or is it some adverse reaction to the Prozac (even though I have had periods of feeling fine on it). I am leaning towards to the possibility of coming off the Prozac and reinstating the Paxil. Even though I was feeling pretty depressed when I was on Paxil last I didn't feel like this now where I basically feel like I'm losing my mind. Any recommendations on what I should do?
  4. Hi,could you help me please? I was on mirtazapine for 8 years. 15mg for 6,went into poop out and upped to 30 for 2. Withdrew from the 30 over 5 month.30-22.5 for month,22.5-15 for a month,15-7.5 for a month then off. No withdrawal at all. Then 2.5 year later woke up with an extremely stiff neck then anxiety came. Jumped back on 15mg hoping that would work,but felt like I was getting palpitations and had a bit of burning patches. Felt like I was gradually worsening so came off without tapering as I was only on for 3 week. Feeling gradually worse as no-one believes me and am expected to go back to work till time and look after my children and everything else. Partner thinks it's an anxiety episode,I'm so confused. Please don't tell me any bad news as I don't think I could bear it. My system is hypersensitive now.Been completely off for 1 week.
  5. Hello, I started lexapro for mild social anxiety and was on it for 6 years (3 of those years I was on 60mg which I found out later was 3x the Max dose). I never had any issues on the medicine if I skipped a dose or went up or down in dosage. I abruptly stopped taking it about 2 years ago and had horrible withdrawal symptoms. I went right back on the medicine but was never able to have coffee after that and had palpitations. After that scare I wanted to get off the medicine so last year starting in January i weaned down from 10mg to 0mg in a 4 month period. I never had any issues while tapering off. Then in June (3 months after stopping) one day I randomly felt 2 sharp electric shocks in my head while reading and started to have an onslaught of symptoms after. Dizziness (feeling like a bobble head when walking), extreme fatigue, heart issues which caused me to go to ER a few times, sensitiviy to noise, visual disturbances etc. I went to many doctors and everything was normal. In September my symptoms got progressively worse to the point where I had to move back home to my parents. For the past 2.5 months I have basically been bed ridden am developing POTs type symptoms and have extreme fatigue and dizziness. I tried taking Xanax for 3 days in September, lexapro for 4 days at 1mg in nov and this past weekend I took Zoloft at 25mg for two days and I had a bad reaction to each, especially the Zoloft. I now have brain zaps and shocky like sensations whenever I move my head or eyes. I wanted to get advice to see if this sounds like it’s attributed to lexapro as every doctor has assured me it’s not and if so, if there’s any hope for healing. Thanks.
  6. Hi everyone, I'm wanting advice on how to taper if my withdrawal symptoms are delayed - ie they occur several months after the taper is completely finished. If I have no symptoms during taper, should I proceed to the 'Fast Taper' guidelines (4 weeks x2, then 3weeks x2, then 2 weeks x2, then weekly until done)? In the past I have thought I was relapsing, and resumed the medication. Now I understand it was probably WD from too fast a taper (4 months). Any thoughts? Tikki Tikki
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