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  1. The signature shows how short of a time I was on Sertraline. I only went to the doctor because I was feeling a bit fatigued from life and within 5 minutes I was leaving with a prescription for Sertraline (Zoloft). From the very first pill I took, I could tell that it was doing nothing but damaging my brain and body. The sad part is that everyone, including doctors and the internet, tell you that it gets so much better with time and to just ride it out. I felt spacy and anxious, like I couldn't breath the entire time I was on the "medicine." It got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore and I just tapered off quick. The doctor I went to said that I wasn't on the drug for very long so I could just half the pills for a few days and stop taking it. Its been about 7 weeks off of the drug and I can say the only thing that brings me here is the depersonalization/ derealization that is not going away. I can't even tell if it is getting any better in the slightest. I wouldn't have any anxiety or depression if the dpdr wasn't so debilitating. I haven't been able to work since the day I took my first dose of the poison and am afraid I will never be able to find myself again. Honestly the suicidal thoughts and depression brought about by the thought of having to live like this forever are overwhelming. From what I've read you all are going to try to tell me to reinstate the drug but to be honest, I'd rather eat glass than ever take another ssri or other psych med again. I've talked to a psychiatrist and she prescribed me olanzapine ( I never took it) and then she prescribed me abilify (never took it either). I decided to start talking to a therapist and doing emdr therapy to try to lessen the stress of the whole situation and so far have only done one session. All in all, I'm just trying to get some input from the community about how this might get a little better. From what I've seen very little people on here have stories about recovering from sertraline.... It's almost like it should never be given to anyone. I haven't been able to find anything about how long the dpdr will last or if it will ever get better. I feel like I have lost who I am. My eyes feel like they are permanently damaged from the drug. I have a very hard time focusing on anything and when I do I still feel like what I am seeing isn't real. Do your eyes ever recover from sertraline?
  2. ADMIN NOTE Also see: How to cope with worry, stress, and anxiety -- and what's the difference? Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms ____________________________________________________________ From: https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/anxiety-self-help/ see website which includes some self help videos ____________________________________________________________ List of symptoms - more details are provided below: Smothering sensations and Shortness of breath Racing heart, slow heart beat, palpitations Lump in throat & Difficulty swallowing Skin losing colour (blanching) Sweating Shaking or shivering (Visibly or internally) Neck & shoulder pain & numbness in face or head Rapid gastric emptying Sexual Dysfunction Symptoms of urinary tract infection Skin rashes Weakness in arms & tingling in the hands or feet Electric shock feeling anywhere in the body Insomnia Nightmares Fears of going mad or losing control Increased depression & suicidal feelings Aggression Symptoms like 'flu' Distorted vision Disturbed hearing Hormone problems Headaches & feelings of having a tight band around head Sore eyes Agoraphobia Hallucinations Creeping or pins and needles sensations in The skin Hyperactivity Dramatic increase in sexual feelings Pain in the face or jaw that resembles a toothache Derealisation and Depersonalisation Good article Panic & Anxiety disorder www.npadnews.com/anxiety-symptoms.asp Anxiety & Panic Attacks Symptoms It is not important to try and understand the physiology of the human body but it is important to remember that each of the anxiety symptoms you experience can be explained. Do not dwell on what you are feeling, instead, project yourself into more useful subjects, do something constructive, exercise, learn a skill or craft and escape the body trap. The following list of anxiety symptoms includes the most common ones reported by actual anxiety sufferers. Whilst the list is fairly comprehensive, there may be symptoms that you experience that are not listed; this does not mean that you are more ill or suffering from something else, we are all biologically different in many ways and some people simply react differently during anxiety. If you have any symptoms to add to this list, please email them to me with a description of the sensations you experience. .... Smothering sensations and Shortness of breath These sensations are amongst the more distressing anxiety symptoms. Sometimes it feels as if your chest will not expand to accommodate the air your body needs, other times it feels as if someone is pushing a pillow into your face. The one thing to remember should you experience this is that it is only a sensation caused by exaggerated nerve impulses. These symptoms will not and cannot harm you; you will not stop breathing, pass out or suffocate. Racing heart, slow heart beat, palpitations Anxiety releases adrenaline into the blood stream making the heart race and feel as if it is missing beats, (palpitations). This is perfectly natural and will not and cannot harm you in any way. Later I will discuss methods you can use to help stop these feelings. A slow heart beat is also a common feature of anxiety, again it does not mean that your heart will stop beating, it may feel odd and alarming but again do not give it any credibility and it will go away. Chest Pain Caused by muscle tension, chest pains can make you feel very scared. The initial reaction of anyone with anxiety who gets pains in their chest is that they are dying of a heart attack. This is not true. Heart pain is very different to this pain and very often does not start in the chest. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises are a very effective way of diminishing these unpleasant symptoms. If you can get somebody to massage your upper back, shoulders and chest, it will help to relax tired and achy muscles. Lump in throat & Difficulty swallowing Globus Hystericus is the correct term for this symptom. It is caused by the muscles in the throat contracting due to anxiety or stress. Sometimes it feels like you cannot swallow anything and trying to makes it worse. This is another example of a symptom, which will improve if you give it no credibility. It is totally harmless and will not cause you to stop breathing, eating or drinking, it is just very unpleasant. Skin losing colour (blanching) As blood is diverted to the muscles during the 'fight or flight' response, the fine blood vessels in your skin that gives the skin that pink, healthy colour receive reduced blood flow and the skin loses some of its colour. It is not dangerous and will return to normal as the body starts to normalise after an attack. Some people with generalised anxiety can look a little pale most of the time, again this is quite normal and will return to normal. Sweating Sweating is a normal bodily reaction and is designed to reduce the body temperature. As the body heats up sweat is released onto it through sweat glands. As the sweat evaporates it takes heat with it, cooling the body. During periods of anxiety the body is preparing itself for either flight or fight and releases sweat to cool the impending exertions. As the anxiety subsides sweat levels return to normal. Shaking or shivering (Visibly or internally) We all shake or shiver when we are nervous or cold. Shaking is a normal reaction to fear and/or a drop in body temperature. Shaking occurs when the muscles spasmodically contract creating friction between muscles and other body tissues. This friction creates heat which raises body temperature. During anxiety it is quite normal to experience shaking or shivering. It will pass. Neck & shoulder pain & numbness in face or head The blood vessels and nerves, which supply the face and head, originate in the neck and shoulders. Many of these nerves and blood vessels are routed across the head to the face. When the body is under stress these areas of the body are usually the first to become tense. Facial numbness can be very disturbing but is usually nothing to worry about and is usually the result of this tension. Rapid gastric emptying This can be a very unpleasant side effect of both anxiety and tranquilliser use. This condition causes the sufferer to feel full very early on in a meal, sometimes making them feel as if they cannot breathe. Then soon after eating they can experience diarrhea and feel as if their whole digestive system is emptying very quickly indeed. Indigestion, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea During periods of anxiety the body diverts blood from various parts of the body to the muscle tissues in order to supply them with the oxygen needed by them during the flight or fight response. One of the main areas where blood is used most is around the digestive tract. Blood is sent there to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. As blood is diverted away from the stomach during anxiety, the digestion slows and the muscles around the stomach can become knotted. This can cause indigestion, heartburn and diarrhea or constipation. Sexual Dysfunction Impotency, or failure to achieve or maintain an erection, effects many men for many reasons, sometimes there is a physical reason for this but more often than not there is a psychological element. Symptoms of urinary tract infection Medication can have many and some times quite obscure side effects including the symptoms of a urinary tract infections. It is always advisable to get these things checked out by your doctor but even if you do have an infection it can be easily treated. Drinking plenty of water is always advisable to maintain good, general health but even more so when the body is under stress. Skin rashes Skin rashes, spots or dryness are all very common symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is quite common to get an eczema like rash around the nose, cheeks and forehead. They are nothing to worry about and usually disappear when you start to feel better. Weakness in arms & tingling in the hands or feet The flight or fight response is an intense reaction and causes many systems of the body to react. Circulation, blood oxygen and blood carbon dioxide levels change and muscle tension is altered in preparation for action. All of these bodily changes have a profound effect on bodily sensations, feeling week in the extremities, (arms, hands, legs or feet) is one of these sensations. Tingling is usually caused by the pooling of blood carbon dioxide in the limbs, shaking the hands, arms, legs and feet can help increase circulation to these areas. These symptoms are not harmful and will return to normal. Light exercise is very helpful in reversing these sensations. THEY DO NOT MEAN YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A STROKE OR ANY OTHER NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION! Electric shock feeling anywhere in the body The nervous system is a very complex network of electrically charged nerves which are found in every square centimeter of your body, around every organ, muscle and across your skin, the largest organ in the body. Abnormal nerve impulses due to anxiety can cause a vast array of strange sensations; although quite harmless these can be very disturbing. Dry mouth As fluids are diverted for use in other parts of the body during anxiety, the mouth becomes dry. Sip water or suck sweets to lubricate your mouth. In extreme cases your doctor can prescribe a liquid to do this but it is expensive. It cannot harm you and will go away after the anxiety subsides. Insomnia One of the more distressing effects of anxiety, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep. It is important to regain regular sleep patterns as lack of sleep can lead to disturbing symptoms. Follow this link to The Linden Method cure for insomnia Nightmares Dreams and nightmares tend to mimic what is going on in our daily lives. If we are relaxed and contented we have pleasant dreams and usually do not remember them. If we are disturbed or confused our dreams are more likely to be too. Nightmares are unpleasant but harmless, the more you master good sleep and practice breathing and relaxation exercises the better your dreams will become. Fears of going mad or losing control We all have a fear of going mad or losing control but rest assured you are not going mad. Going mad is not a conscious act; those who are suffering from severe mental illness are unaware of their journey into it. You are not going mad. Confused nervous messages to the brain along tired nerves in a tired body do not constitute madness. Thoughts are an unconscious product of brain activity. If you are anxious, angry, sad or stressed your thoughts are affected, not only by mood, but also by your physical body chemistry. Blood oxygen levels can affect brain activity and the central nervous system, as can many other bodily chemicals like adrenaline, hormones and even vitamins. These un-pleasant thoughts, emotions and totally irrational fears are not harmful to yourself or others. Any thoughts of harming yourself or other people are perceived only. As you body becomes more relaxed and less anxious your thought processes will return to normal. Increased depression & suicidal feelings Depression is a word that is commonly misused to describe a variety of conditions. I hear many people in every day life who say, "I am depressed, I feel terrible, I am so fed up". This is, in most cases, not depression. Depression is a series of chemical imbalances that create a clinical illness that has strong links with anxiety disorders and can be a side effect of them. Anxiety has many features of depression and can mimic it quite strongly. When someone goes to the doctor complaining of feeling run down and fed up, it is all too easy to write a prescription for Prozac, Seroxat or another anti-depressant. I wonder how many people are on anti-depressants who just needed to reassess and restructure their lives. Aggression When you feel tired, ill, fed up and held back by your condition you are bound to feel angry. One of the main causes of true anger is actually sadness. Think back to a situation that has made you feel anger, if you dissect that event you might find that the true reason for feeling so angry was a feeling of sadness. Aggression is a normal reaction to fear also, the fight or flight response prepares us to either run or fight, sometimes to fight may seem to be the best response. Symptoms like 'flu' Influenza causes the body to release anti-bodies into the blood stream to attack the virus. This combination of anti-bodies and infection makes the body feel weak, sweaty and painful. Anxiety can have a similar effect, weakening the muscles, making you clammy and achy. Believe it or not the more you do physically the better this will become. Distorted vision In order to prepare the body for impending danger, adrenaline release causes many physical changes. During the anxiety response the body prepares the eyes to notice any slight movements; it does this by dilating the pupils allowing more light to enter. This is why anxious people become more sensitive to bright light and often wear sunglasses to minimize the eyestrain it causes. Disturbed hearing This is called tinnitus and is usually experienced as whistling or screeching noises in either or both ears. Hormone problems Anxiety can affect various systems of the body, one of which is the endocrine system. This system is responsible for balancing the glands, which secrete hormones in the body. Although these glands secrete the hormones needed by the body, they do not control the levels of these chemicals, this is done by the brain. Disturbed messages in the brain and nervous system can cause slight irregularities in the secretion of these chemicals. When anxiety levels return to normal so will the hormone levels. There are few examples where these hormones cause serious problems and if they do your doctor can correct them. Women may find that their menstrual cycle is temporarily effected and men may find that they have mood swings whilst testosterone levels are affected. Headaches & feelings of having a tight band around head As discussed earlier, tension in the neck and shoulders can cause immense discomfort, migraine and numbness. The feeling of having a tight band around your head is caused by muscular tension in the sheath of muscles covering the skull. Restricted blood vessels and nerves within this tissue can cause very severe symptoms including pain in the eyes, face and teeth. Sore eyes Reduced lubrication in the eyes when body fluids are diverted elsewhere during anxiety causes the eyes to feel sore, dry and painful. Agoraphobia Agoraphobia is a natural response to anxiety and self-preservation. If we feel threatened we tend to retreat to somewhere safe, like a tortoise into its shell. In anxiety it is important to gain control of this response as soon as you feel it developing. Avoidance of situations is not an effective tool in the fight against agoraphobia. Hallucinations Mostly experienced by people in withdrawal, hallucinations can be very frightening indeed if you do not understand what they are and where they come from. Hallucinations are another example of transient symptoms. If you are in withdrawal they will pass, if you are not in withdrawal consult your doctor, as they may be a side effect of the drugs that you have been prescribed. Creeping or pins and needles sensations in The skin The nerve endings in your skin are alive with electrical impulses, these can feel like creeping sensations, pins and needles or tickling, they are the result of confused nerve impulses and cannot harm you. Increased sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell All of these sensitivities are to prepare your senses to see, smell, hear and feel more when in impending danger during the fight or flight response. All of these feeling are unusual but not dangerous, they are temporary and will return to normal as your anxiety levels reduce. Hyperactivity Hyperactivity is a way of describing a range of symptoms that cause you to feel as if you need to talk faster and do things faster. It can make you feel confused and irrational and can make you do things that you would not usually do. This is a common feature of anxiety and drug withdrawal and will pass in time. Dramatic increase in sexual feelings As the brain copes with disturbed and confused messages from all around the body, some of the mind's thought processes can become a little distorted or exaggerated. Sexual thoughts and emotions are typically very strong even when in good health, they are what drive the attraction mechanism when we meet people we find attractive and create the sexual feelings we feel for some people. Pain in the face or jaw that resembles a toothache The term 'face ache' comes from this feature of anxiety. Most of this symptom is caused by tension, not only in the face, neck and shoulders, which can refer pain to the jaw and teeth, but also in the jaw itself. Derealisation and Depersonalisation These are both symptoms, which affect the way you experience yourself. Derealisation is the sensation that you and everything around you is not real or dreamy, as if you are seeing everything through a fog or some kind of filter. It has been noticed that people experience both depersonalisation and derealisation during panic. It seems that some people dissociate first which then causes panic and derealisation. poodlebell
  3. Hi all , I am 8 months off reinstated sertraline for a month ( by doc) and Aripropazole. History Its around 4 years back when i passed out my college and not get placed even after making to finals in many interviews .. that i decided to write competitive exam for PG. I had taken coaching but just before exam I came back and found myself unable to recall things. My brain is just like nothing in it. I found myself in despair and stopped studying. This fog is happening all the time since my engineering but I managed to get average marks sometimes and sometimes very good . There is more in back history but I ll get to it later. So, my parents took me to a psychiatrist ( family known) and he put me to Olanzapine and one more thing. He diganosed me bipolar2. I got about 10 pounds on it but its not help . Meanwhile after 4 months, with the help of a relative , I got intern in a company and I moved out with fog to a distant city. TThere in a hospital, they put me on floxetine and Amisulpride for 3 months . Then i moved to a private psychiatrist ... where it starts getting haywire . He stopped fluoxetine and Amisulpride . And put me on Venlafaxine and Seroquel... As i was interning, i get usual heat racing in between job times but my doctor convinced me to stay with it . 4 months and I just started feeling agitated due to stress. It happened that I slapped a senior on abusing me and there I left a job I never happened to get physical in my school or college .. but it happened. Doctor told me to scrap the prescription he wrote of raising Venlafaxine. And he put me paroxetine + Oxcarbazepine. In his words , it is best tolerable and has lesser side effects. I managed to get a job by my own and cracking first time. But this time there is lot of work and culture pressure. Its a startup with full of politics . Boss and his boss .. all keep on putting things. Let office aside, I started feeling some well .. overly casual ... excited .. raged .. Iits about 25 mg Paroxetine and 300/600 mg Oxcarbazepine. I had unusual violent acts .. had hit a school friend .. insomnia.. I decided to leave the paxil by asking the doctor . He said half in a week and then other half a week to off. Thats when it all started , i cannot sleep whole night and with day light i start getting a nap. I left going office with fear of state i was in . I cannot wake and even if I .. i was too tired and angry . Doctor then gave me Mirtazapine which didn't help . I resigned job telling muly boss about all and came back home. It was Nov,2015. I start getting yhese uncontrollable rage that I locked myself in a room. Parents took to a local shrink who put me on Venlafaxine+ Mirtazapine(CRF), lamotrigine, resperidal, Seroquel. The NEXT Day I woke up so fresh .. all calm like 12 yrs back .. i was smiling happy.. but it lasted only 4 hrs .. and i am doomed again . I took those meds 10 days and i decided to go off. Physical Damage. I got brain zaps as sounds with eye movement .. While on Paxil I got severe neck stiffness and movement pains - which came out as Osteophytes. Anger , heart race , memory, fog , chest pains , fatigue ... All I beared for 4 months. Reinstatement after 4 months. Father took me to another psych who put me on Sertraline+ Aripropazole+ Seroquel. I started having increases restless legs than before and the doctor asked me not to go over net. After 2 visits and when he said it wslas Aripropazole for restlessness all time.. and he is cutting it . I stopped all meds . Withdrawals in 8 months. All first symptoms with some new like utter sensitivity in teeth. It is while breathe in most of the teeth . Muscles gone from forearms .. My left hands gone ulnar neuropathy and i got surgery done when no hope lived. Right hand has stiffness too . MAnger I am living with .. I have stopped talking .. I have decided to go sit on my Shop but I was unable to understand the talk . In spite anger biuts and memory makes it difficult to adjust. I keep forgetting people faces .. important talks . So i stopped . Now I am muted all the time with burst inside . Read success stories and play CoC. This is the most I can write now.
  4. Hi there I am on 112mg Venlor, from 225mg. I’ve been tapering slowly. I’m also doing brain training which supposedly helps. Has anyone experienced a very heavy head, like a truck has hit you. Also, dissociation from your body. Like you living behind a wall. Could this be permanent damage?
  5. I have been taking different antidepressiants for a decade, wellbutrine and lamotrigine for 5 years and I have tried some antipsyhotics, but has started to refuse them, because I have seen that they weren't helpful. I am withdrawing from these drugs. I have been about 1 year off, however I stopped taking wellbutrine some months earlier. I didn't quit cold turkey, however it could be more slowly... The reasons for my questioning is the fact that everyone who is withdrawing, is confused: "Is it a symptom or not?" 1. It's hard to make decisions for me and it is so sick... If I am thinking about one banal decision, it seems an option A will be right. But lately I start thinking again, I doubt about this decision. I become tired of thinking over and over again and I implement an option A. But when this is already done and there is no way back, my feelings become more and more unbearable (panic, fear, disappointment...) and then my thinking become twisted: "Was an option A the right one? Was an option B better? Did I make a decision to quickly... This form of (not) making decision is literally generic for me, when I have to decide everything. My question: is this a symptom of WD or not? Has anyone experienced something similar? And if it is symptom, is this depersonalization or derealization? Both? Or is it just anxiety? 2. I realized that before my "treatment" I had, understandably, some feeling of being a person, but during the treatment I was feeling like I am someone else. Now, when I am withdrawing, I don't know who am I... In the past I was sure about some aspect of my life, like they are important for me. But now... I am confused about everything... The personal opinions or positions are not the key there, but the feelings are. Has anyone experiences something similar? And which symptom is that? DP/DR again? 3. How to act in terms of making decision. If we know about DP/DR and also that these meds are shrinking the brain (cognitive decline) how smart is to create decisions like changing a place for living or taking a new job. Sometimes I think that, objectively, am not enough reliable, so it's time to wait... On the other hand I think that not making decision will make my negative feelings more intense: I will feel more am more vulnerable and confused and also dehumanized... What to do? 4. I've read that a lot of you don't or didn't sleep well. Personally I don't know yet. I wake up by myself not by alarm, I don't drink caffeine and my sleeping last long enough. On the other hand, I have a feeling of having enough sleep. I often want to sleep more, but I can't anymore. My explanation is that during withdrawing you simple can not sleep well because of stress, just because stress is something permanent for persons who are withdrawing. Sometimes stress is stronger, sometimes weaker. But it is present simple all the time. Does this explanation makes any sense? 5. And another thing . We know that perceptions connected with traumatic events are rising anxiety. And for someone who is withdrawing this is present in a higher degree. But there are two reasons for it. First one is that because of lack of receptors for serotonin and dopamine, the nervous subsystem for calming down is injured. And another cause is that REM sleeping in suppressed by antidepressants and we know that this phase is important for cutting of the traumatic memories. I know it's hard for answer, but is there any idea which cause is more important? Has anyone who is withdrawing simple cut off some traumatic aspects of his life, like changing a traumatic job, where he was employed during taking antidepressants? Was his stress, a common WD symptom, then reduced? I know that there is not clear cut example. But is there any usable story? 6. What about brain scan? I know that it doesn't show a lot, but what if brain damage is more serious as we think? Are there any known examples of serious brain damage that happened to people who had been taking these drug? We don't know the whole mechanism of these drugs, after all... 7. Sorry, because I haven't find answers by myself. But for me it's hard to focus, my short term memory is very ***** up, my concentration is poor, and I simple can't read: I read and everything fade and I become tired... Hard to explain. But again. Do you think this was caused by drugs or not?
  6. Hi Everyone, My name is Daniel, I'm 19, and I'm new to this site. I'd like to hear other people's experience with SSRI withdrawal and what they've done to help alleviate it/speed the process. A little bit about my background to start. I'd like to apologize in advance for the long, long post but if you have the time please hear me out, or at least look at the main points listed at the end. As a young child, I always felt different from and alienated from my family. My parents are very religious people, so I was raised in a really strict, sheltered environment. From a young age I was always hyper and impulsive, which didn't go will with my father's dictatorial parenting style, and looking back was more a result of the way he treated me. I was put on my first SSRI, luvox (fluvoxamine) at age 6, because of anxiety (which was partially caused by my relationship with my dad). I took it for a few years. Ritalin was added to my cocktail when I was 7 due to "ADHD", and I was on it until 14. I experienced crashes at the end of the day and could not function at all if I missed a dose. I know that these two meds at such a young age caused irreversible changes to my brain structure, although I don't recall any serious negative withdrawal effects (I was tapered off of it). I was put on numerous other non SSRI medications between 7-14, including abilify, other stimulants, and non stimulant ADHD meds. I never really knew what "normal" felt like because I was always being medicated. I was also diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 11, and have been gluten free since then. I had stopped growing for a few years, which led to the diagnosis. I'm sure eating gluten for all those years also had a detrimental effect on my anxiety and ability to focus. At 14, I came out to my parents as gay. Things in my life devolved from here. I wasn't accepted for who I was and began to experience depression. My behavior became more erratic as the feedback loop of being yelled at and punished led me to continue to act out. At 15, I was admitted to a psych hospital where I developed depersonalization from the stress. I was given 20mg celexa, 300mg wellbutrin, 1mg tenex (guanfacine) twice a day, and 50mg seroquel for depression, "ADHD", and anxiety. I have a wonderful memory, but my time on SSRIs is definitely more blurry in my mind. I was (wronfully) in a residential psych facility for six month (my parents didn't know what to do with their "trouble child". My father announced that I was being sent to a Christian boarding school in Texas, ans at this point I called CPS on my parents. The state determined that they were not fit to take care of me and were emotionally abusive. Through my first 3 years in foster care, I stayed on the Celexa/Wellbutrin/Tenex/Seroquel cocktail, but decided to taper off because I didn't want to be on meds anymore (June 2014, age 18). My sorry excuse for a psychiatrist that was employed by the foster care agency I was placed under refused to let me get off them, so I decided to do it myself. Looking back at this blurry time of my life, I can tell that I was an emotionless euphoric zombie the whole time, and emotionally did not grow at all as a result. Not knowing what I was in for, I tapered off all my meds in two weeks. I also started smoking weed regularly around this time because I was not feeling as good as I used to (meds completely destroyed my ability to regulate my mood, which would be bad enough without traumatic memories of emotional abuse, false imprisonment, etc.) It provided me relief from my withdrawal symptoms, but I was smoking too much so I've slowed down considerably because it doesn't solve any problems. I don't think that my depersonalization ever really went away when I was started on meds, but I got used to the new normal of chemical euphoria. After a few months of no meds, I got rebound depression, anxiety, and depersonalization like I've never had it before. I never had out of body experiences, but my dissociation was very severe. Anyone who's experienced this terrible symptom knows how hellish it can be. My mind could longer smoothly synthesizes my sense of perception and consciousness like it used to. Every waking moment since I've stopped these meds has been a perceptual mind****. I am in a full scholarship college program and I work 2 nights a week in order to have money to get by, so my life is ridiculously busy and stressful. I wonder sometimes how I manage all of it without breaking down. Since getting off my meds, I feel maybe 20% of the range of emotions I used to. I feel almost numb. The worst part is that I can never sit still, have a much harder time focusing than ever before, have trouble falling asleep but then sleep for way too long and have a hard time getting up. I'm dysphoric almost all the time, and my anxiety has been terrible. I overthink everything in ways I never used to and feel trapped in my body and mind. I sweat way more than I should, and my muscles got so tense about 6 months ago (beginning of 2015) that I started to develop small biceps. It's been 16 months or so since I got off my meds, and I've noticed about a 30 % reduction in my withdrawal symptoms including depersonalization, but I still feel trapped and terrible most of the time. I eat pretty well, follow my GF diet, and take 5-HTP to supplement my brain with serotonin as well as vitamins and minerals. When I'm awake, I feel dissociated (sometimes I feel like I'm just a sum of what's around me in the present moment), worn out with little energy and motivation, and pretty emotionless. By the time evening comes, it feels like my brain has used up all available serotonin and I feel like an anxious, dysphoric zombie. My way of perceiving the world is not smoothly integrated and my mind jumps around. I forget where I put things 5 seconds ago, and it feels like I'm only 30% here. I'm a very intelligent person and I know that if I'm able to feel better and have a more concrete sense of self and feel focused and in a decent mood like I used to feel before I was ever started on the pills from hell, I can do a lot for this world. About 2 weeks ago, I started on 10mg Prozac (against the advice of my psychiatrist, who wants me to wait the withdrawals out but doesn't really understand how terrible I feel) because I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown with school starting. Within 2 days, my brain felt like it could finally breathe and I have been functioning much better. I've stopped sweating, my body is relaxed, and my brain is thankful for the serotonin, but emotions have disappeared and I still feel like a zombie, just a more relaxed one, completely numb and it feels very fake. I don't really feel alive. I missed my dose today and the depression I felt this evening before loading with a high dose of 5-HTP was much worse than the usual withdrawal, and I've decided that it's not worth it, I'm done with meds for good!!! But I'm tired of being in this hell. I'm tired of life being a perceptual mind****. I'm tired of being on edge and anxious and depressed and dissociated. I've been in psychotherapy for almost 2 years and have made remarkable psychological progress, but the physiological/mental symptoms of my withdrawal are a living hell and it's often hard to distinguish withdrawal symptoms from symptoms of underlying problems. THANK YOU FOR READING!!! In summary: -Stopped SSRI and SNRI (doses were way too high), with way too fast tapering, about 16 months ago -Symptoms have reduced by about 30% but are still hard to bear. Depersonalization, bad anxiety, sweating, trouble falling asleep/waking, lack of concentration, altered perception, emotional blunting up to 80%, dysphoria, lack of energy -Taking high dose of 5-HTP/vitamins Any additional supplement/herb recommendations, personal withdrawal timelines, or any other suggestions will be highly appreciated!! Thank you so much! -Daniel
  7. Hello, my name is Jonathan. I’m 21. I started taking Lexapro after being admitted into the hospital for intense panic attacks that resulted in suicidal ideology. The first dose I took of Lexapro I immediately felt this numbing/ quieting effect in my mind, like my internal dialogue was shut off, which then resulted in me feeling so removed from reality I just remember crying and staring at a wall for 2-3 hours before I eventually fell asleep. I feel like I had such adverse effects due to an overall hypersensitivity to medication which was confirmed because I also tried Wellbutrin and switching to Zoloft and both of these medications resulted in me feeling adverse effects immediately. I was on Lexapro 5mg morning 5mg night starting June 2018 and it was miserable the whole time. I felt the emotional numbing, general apathy which I expected. But the worst thing was the dissociation. It was like everything physically was numbed out. Bright light, foggy days, nature in general made me feel like I was stuck in this dream state. I often felt like I had lost all connection to myself, like I was a gathering of vague memories floating through with no meaning. This started bringing lots of panic back and crying spells multiple nights a week. I decided I wanted to come off Lexapro and I stupidly, the spring of 2019, tried cold turkey. Being so sensitive to the drug, after about 3 days I went into a 104 degree fever which lasted 15 days. Luckily my parents came into town and took me home from college. this was the start of an extremely slow taper that lasted until just recently Beginning of April 2020 where I am finally off the drug. I was hopeful for the first time in a while that things might return to normal, like before I was on the drug at all. However, I’ve been feeling a lot of the same feelings I had every time I would taper on Lexapro. Crying spells, the feeling that I am not real. All concepts have lost meaning. Space, time, memory. I wake up in the same familiar bed with the most obvious feeling that it couldn’t be farther from alright. Everything is off. I drive down the same roads I’ve been on my whole life and I can’t help but feel the fog creep in until it has covered my memories, convincing me that my reality has been manipulated and I am no longer able to see things as they truly are, or were. Color is faded. Light is surreal. Overcast days fill me with dread. I’ve lost all connection to the physical world. Those concepts of space and time bring on the most intense feelings of fear and despair. The only sensations I feel anymore, the only ones that remind me that this feels like a nightmare. It honestly feels like hell and I don’t know how to find relief. I’ve started up therapy again but talking about all these feelings make it worse. I’d rather completely numb/ distract myself in my room all day then be forced to relive all these moments. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to feel like things are ok again. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  8. rnnstr91

    rnnstr91: PGAD

    I have developed PGAD 8 times in my life while on a variety of antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Pristiq, Lexapro, Seroquel, Lamotrigine, and most recently Amitryptiline). On Prozac it was severe and lasted 2 years. The other times it went away within days/weeks of stopping the drugs. I’ve currently had a mild case caused by Amytripline for 3 weeks now. I stopped the drug two weeks after starting it as soon as I felt the pgad begin. I am worried this time it won’t go away which is terrifying because there isn’t really a successful treatment for it. This is my fear every time I get it. My issue is that I have severe depression, anxiety and depersonalization disorder and feel I cannot get better without psych meds. Each time I try a new psych med it either gives me PGAD or doesn’t help my depression/anxiety. I am at a loss for what to do. I have an amazing life that I can’t enjoy and since I can’t seem to tolerate any drugs even a partial recovery seems hopeless. Any advice would be appreciated! Not sure what to do anymore.
  9. Hi everyone. I wonder if anyone could tell me how long it took to get your emotions/sexuality back after stopping ssris. I’m currently 17 months off sertraline and I’ve seen windows of my emotions returning, but for the most part I’m constantly empty, flat and anhedonic. I’ve been suicidal because of both this and pssd, which go hand in hand. I can’t live like this. I took the drug for 16 months in case anyone is wondering. I’m hoping someone can give me some information about when their emotions started to come back. Or, if you are 10 years out and you still have anhedonia (just like I know quite a few people who are 15-20 years off SSRIs and have both PSSD and anhedonia), do tell, because that’s useful information too. I just really want to know what I’m dealing with here.
  10. In 2007 I was put on meds at 19 for depression. Then they decided I was bi-polar, the bi-polar where you are just really depressed. So from 2007 until November 2012 I was on a cocktail of meds. Three meds at a time. I was on abilify, wellbutrin, sequel ( only for two weeks because it made me extremely tired) Lamictal, Depakote, Effexor and so on. So what would happen is my psychiatrist would prescibe meds and I would feel better and didn't want to take them so I would stop or miss a lot of days. When I would go to see him I lied and said I was taking them and they didn't do anything so he would prescribe a different medication. It was always three at a time and I would stop or skip days of taking the medications. So this went on for 5 years. So in I believe July 2012 I was prescribed Effexor and was also on Lamictal and something else. So I was missing days as usual for months and in mid November 2012 I woke up and had this really weird detached feeling like I was in a dream, things weren't real. So I freaked out. I had been trying to get a hold of my psychiatrist and had learned within two weeks he unexpectedly retired and fled the country and no one could communicate with him. A few days later I stop the Effexor, Lamictal and whatever that drug was cold turkey. I didn't know what to do. Oh I forgot to mention, my leg went totally numb in August 2012. In early December 2012 I got double vision. So my family doctor sent me in for a MRI. I had an appointment in Cleveland on December 23rd 2012 and they diagnosed me with multiple sclerosis. So I thought "this feeling" I had was caused by my ms. So in January 2013 I was put on zoloft, Lamictal and abilify. Later that summer 2013, I had a breakdown bc of being diagnosed with ms and was hospitalized. They changed my meds to abilify, zoloft and depokote, because I had been on them before. Then from that time to now I have switched meds. Zoloft was a constant and I tried, Topamax, and the invega and abilify shot. So for the past year, I have been on latuda 40mg and zoloft 200mg. I have started weening off. My doctor just started me on 20mg of Latuda to ween off. I am starting with Latuda and then zoloft. So I thought for years this feeling was due to my ms, but I am learning more and more it's most likely due to the on going meds I have been on. Hence why I am finally weening off and stopping! Can someone please give me any advice or info, thank you for any help. I was wondering if you think my derealization/ depersonalization is from the meds?? Will it go away after weening off these meds for good? Do you think it will take years to heal and get rid of this horrible dr/ dp? Is there anything else I can do to help myself go back to normal and get rid of this feeling for good? I will still be taking my ms medication which is Tecfidera. Please and input would be much appreciated, Thank You
  11. Surely medications can work very well for the right people...but for anyone considering anti-depressants, I will be sure to give persistent words of caution. I was always a very passionate person. A lover of the arts and emotions. I was also always very anxious. Towards the end of my senior year of high school (2012), I decided that my anxiety was hindering my academic abilities more than it needed to. My mom, a nurse anesthetist, was very skeptical of medications (anti depressants, in particular). In hindsight, I wish I was able to share in her skepticism. Ultimately, the doctors put me on Sertrailne, or Zoloft. I began the med around May 2012, gradually working my way up from about 25 mg. At the end of the summer, I believe I was on about 100 mg (this is for sure the highest dose that I've ever been on). It was a rainy afternoon in August 2012 at my grandparents cabin that I noticed was feeling very off. I didn't think much of it, but little did know, this was likely the beginnings of my brain accepting the med. Then college came, and the side effects worsened. I guess my anxiety was gone, but at what cost?. I was feeling emotionally numb and depersonalized. Eventually, I opened up to my parents about how I had been feeling (over the phone, because I was away at college). They figured that I had been taking the med for a short enough period of time that I could quickly wean off of it with minimal side effects. But this made me feel significantly worse. My first experience with withdrawal led me to believe that I was better off on the med. Long story short, my parents encouraged me to come home once my first semester of college was done and register for some classes at a community college so I could live at home with them. So, I went about two more years on the med before I decided I had enough. I wanted out. I did not want to be under the control of some pill, especially if it was going to make me feel the way that it did. I felt sort of like a zombie or robot. It was very hard to enjoy the simple things in life. I was having sexual problems, and I had a very annoying appetite (I always wanted to eat, despite not being truly hungry). In all of this, the real me was still inside, and it knew it didn't like the I was feeling. So in October 2015, under the instruction of a doctor, I began weaning off. The weaning off process left me feeling very similar to how I felt while of the med. The last time I took the med was in early-mid January 2016. Since then, I've gradually felt some pretty horrifying side effects. In a nutshell, what I felt while on the med seemed to be amplified. I had a hard time enjoying all of the things that I once did. But it hasn't all been bad, as I have had some glorious days that left me feeling like my old self. I could sit down and watch a movie just like I used to. Colors seemed brighter and music sounded better. But this is only some of the time. Starting last Tuesday, I truly felt like my old self. This led me to believe that the withdrawal side effects had finished, but then today, they gradually reintroduced themselves. I began feeling subtly nauseous and irritable. So in a desperate attempt for support, I searched the web for help groups. No matter how much or how hard you try to explain your situation to someone, they won't really understand unless they've experienced something similar. I just want someone to tell me that things will get better. The last week now seems like a cruel joke, because I truly thought that the withdrawal was over. Any words of encouragement would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
  12. this may be long but its a complete overview of how psych drugs have destroyed my life(hopefully temporarily) I was put on zoloft at 14 for depression and severe OCD. the effects were actually extremely therapeutic and healing. I havent had any compulsions since( 6 years ago). so I do not regret going on it looking back, but i had no idea i was going destined to go down the rabbit hole of psychotropic meds. zoloft made me develop a duodenal ulcer and berets esophagus which made me feel nauseas all the time, thankfully nexium seemed to fix it and I haven't had gastrointestinal problems since. fast forward 3 years after i moved away to start my first year of college. amongst the workloads and new experiences i accidentally cold turkeyed my meds and decided to stay off. I slowly started to experience depression which seemed managable until i began to feel the anxiety creep back in. it got to the point where i was freaked out enough that my OCD would return that went to my psychiatrist, he thought the logical thing to do was to be put back on the zoloft but i was not keen on that idea because of my fear of furthering my gastro problems in starting the medication back up. I was also tired of feeling exhausted all the time, so he suggested an SSNRI and put me on wellbutrin. i only managed a couple weeks on it i believe as it aggrivated my anxiety, so he took me off and put me on effexor. the effexor worked pretty well for me as i increased my doses. i believe i was on 225 mg. after my freshman year i moved back home because i had made changes to my degree path that the university i was attending couldn't fulfill. I again began taking my meds sporadically and feeling the effects of it, some brain zaps, slight change in though process, anxiety and pretty bad depression. i eventually cold turkeyed the effexor(idiotic) and felt the depression worsen by the weeks. thankfully i was at home where i could be as upset and weird as i needed to be thanks to the worlds most understanding mother( dealt with two of her siblings' bipolar disorder). as i waited for my appointment with a new psychiatrist in my home town, things got to the point where i was ready to take any medication in order to feel better, so i went into my sessions with my new psychiatrist with a completely open yet naive perspective about meds, considering it was the effexor that that screwed me up. he immediately pointed out the other doctors mistake in changing drug classes too quickly. so he decided i should stick with the ssri's. I was hesitant because i thought i was so messed up i was beyond that. boy was i wrong. he put me on lexapro and said it was one of the more heavy duty ssri's. i began taking the medication and felt a slow leveling of my mood as i worked up to 20mg( 3 years ago). however, i was not satisfied with my progress after about a month, so he decided that adding abilify would help things. after taking one abilify pill i would never underestimate the power of psych meds again. I took the abilify at night and went to bed but the abilify would not let me sleep a wink. everytime i would doze off i would jerk awake as if i had a nightmare. there was also a slight feeling of restlessness and anxiety. it was torture but thankfully only lasted that night as i never took a second pill. at this point i figured that the lexapro was enough and it was for about 2 years as my well being kept increasing and i felt completely in control of my emotions. at the time i had bad cystic acne and wanted to go on accutane as a last resort. my psychiatrist approved despite my worries of the potential psychological effects, he thought the lexapro was a good enough safety net. so i went on a 7 month cycle of accutane and developed no psychological issues. however i did feel a dulling to my mental processing nothing too extreme but something i was aware of. I thought it was without a doubt the accutane because at the time i was sold on the effectiveness and benefits of psych meds. 4 months after stopping the accutane i decided to taper down to 10mg, and i did as my doctor instructed, but as we all know now, standard medical protocol for tapering off meds is pretty inaccurate. i started noticing diffuse pain in my body. i thought i was just working out too hard, as i exercised and lifted weights 6 days a week. but the pain progressed to a point where my workouts had to be compromised and my muscle movement became slightly rigid and my connective tissue was snapping and popping, so i eventually went to the doctor. i was referred to a rheumatologist who did a full work up and found no signs of inflammation. which was both relieving but also unsettling because the nonspecific diagnosis of fibromyalgia was not good enough for me. I was also told that i may or may not be developing an autoimmune disease which scared the **** out of me( ha if only i knew how much worse things were going to get). the popping and snapping made me believe i was developing rheumatoid arthritis. the fear drove me to an alternative and proactive approach to healing. I began eating vegan, then paleo/anti inflammatory. the diet was difficult and made me lose a lot of muscle mass. but i kept on it until i was invited to a friends 21st birthday party in vegas. during that weekend i threw away all dietary restrictions all at once and payed for it. the very first night of heavy drinking exacerbated all of my symptoms and added a neurological flavor to it; i began to experience weakness and tremors.this occured eveyrtime i drank in the future. i didnt want to miss out so i powered through it. I managed to come back and continue my diet temporarily before i moved for school again. fall of 2014, I moved to SF for school and was so excited about the possibilities awaiting me in the city. i was still on 10 mg of lexapro at the time and felt mentally sound accept for a and clear increase in brain fog which i thought was related to whatever mysterious illness was brewing in me. still, i never thought to attribute it to the lexapro because in my mind, there was no way an antidepressant could manifest such physical symptoms but I weaned off the 10 down to 5 over a couple weeks to be sure. my time in SF only lasted 2 months as the symptoms progressed and I fell more ill. I began experiencing reccuring fevers of 104 and missed a lot of class. the health center doctors there swore is was just a bad virus. but i wasnt getting better and I began to notice twitches in my muscles at rest. I missed so much class, i had to come back home and get my health back in line. the possibilities were extremely distressing. i was reffered to an infectious disease specialist who believed i might have contracted HIV or Lyme disease. after some blood tests, he ruled out HIV but wanted to be absolutely sure it wasnt lyme or some other infection he might have missed. he decided a spinal tap would be the best way to confirm. it made complete sense that i would have lyme disease since my symptoms matched the criteria completely however the results were negative. the spinal tap procedure was pretty much painless, but the spinal headache and back pain drove me to pop Vicodin like dr. house. it would only subside when i was completely flat. this lasted a little over a week. the hole in my spine was leaking so much that i temporarily lost my hearing while visiting my brother in chico. i woke up and my right ear was not picking up anything and the headache had worsened. I informed my mother and we drove to the ER. after waiting 5 hours in the waiting room a nurse took us back to a hallway gurney. I'll never forget this nurses name because of what she put me through. my options were an emergency blood patch, or fluids and pain medication. I went with the latter because i was done with needles going into my back. the nurse hooked me up to an iv and told me the drug cocktail she was going to give me was a non narcotic combination of muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories, and antiemetics. after all the vicodin i was done with narcotics so I agreed to the cocktails administration. even now as i write this I get an overwhelming feeling of regret. the cocktail contained, benadryl, toradol, and compazine. little did i know that compazine was first generation antipsychotic. I immediately felt the effects. horrid akathisia radiating from my chest, agitation, terror, anxiety, increased twitching, and instantly put into a state of depersonalization where i became unable to think with any clarity. I felt as though i needed to run up and down the hospital hallways but i was too terrified to even speak to my mother and the benadryl was making my body weak and drowsy. the attending came back and asked how i was feeling, I wanted to get the hell out of there so i told them better. after i was discharged we drove back to my brother's place where i unsuccessfully tried to sleep off the meds. I woke the next day still feeling high as i called it at the time. after we came back home I had a panic attack over not being able to unwind to sleep. I just couldn't relax and sit still. so i took more benadryl which did nothing and i researched other people's experiences with compazine. this was both a mistake and a tool as i found out about my experiencing akathisia and depersonalization. i kept waiting for the drugs to wear off but weeks went by and there was not change. I went back to my psychiatrist and he said that the compazine would eventually work its way out of my system. its been 2 months since the IV compazine and 3 months since i weaned off the lexapro and things have only gotten worse. i still felt mentally sound after i came of the lexapro despite the physical symptoms everything changed when i was given the compazine. everyday now is a struggle. I cannot be a functioning member of society in this state, my sleep has now become affected, it feels like im in an initial state of sleep and staring at my eyelids. im constantly uncomfortable and few things are helping me cope. this experience has taught me about the true harm of psychotropics. I wouldve never thought the lexapro was actually causing my lyme disease symptoms. my question is, has anyone experienced a recovery from compazine and or lexapro or acute drug induced akathisia and depersonalization??? since drugs got me here in the first place i plan to ride things out as long as i can on my own, are there any supplements worth taking to help ease or heal me? this really is what hell on earth feels like. if you read all of my story, thanks for your interest.
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