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  1. Seven/eight years ago, due to a peculiar set of circumstances, I ended up closing down the successful business I had founded. The loss of my business and financial resources lead to various problems in my life. About six years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on: Citalopram 10 mg/day. Axal (Alpralozam) 0.5 mg The immediate effect was that the anxiety disappeared. The depression got better (or at least the symptoms did), however I never returned to life of extreme activity like I had lead previously. About two years ago my medications were changed. Citalopram 10 mg twice a day i.e. 20 mg Effexor Xr 75 mg/day Axal 0.5 mg day. In these years I have tried quitting cold at least 4 times. Each time I had to go back on medications. The only success story is that I gave up Axal, a benzo, cold. I had no WD effects from giving up Axal. Today I only take Citalopram 20 mg and Effexor 75 mg. I must add that I also have Epilepsy since I was 13 years old. For the past 37 years I have been taking anti-epileptic drugs. My current drugs for Epilepsy are: Tegral 400 mg. Lumark 750 mg. These I cannot get rid off for obvious reasons. My only wish is to get off Citalopram and Effexor XR. I totally believe these do not help me. My anxiety has gone away, but I have this permanent listlessness. I was once an over-ambitious person and today I am totally flat. I don’t feel much emotions, and the desire to achieve success is gone. Failures and losses don't bother me either. This is not what and who I was. I’ve read many of the subjects here, including the wonderfully detailed Taper section. I do need your advice as to how I should approach my taper. Should I quit Effexor XR first or Citalopram? Any other advice on muti-drug taper would be welcome. PS: My daughter gets married in 3 months. I am planning to start a very low 5-10% taper immediately. Any advice? Thanks again.
  2. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  3. I recently discontinued Seroquel 150mg (prescribed for agitated anxiety and insomnia), and now on Trazodone 250mg and Mirtazapine 30mg. I had been on Seroquel since Sept. 2018 . I feel awful - sleeping less, agitated, angry, depressed, don’t want to get out of bed, lack focus and hard to think straight. I feel dumber and want to avoid. Any insights on how long it may last or how to make it easier? I’m concerned that none of the meds have really helped me with anxiety/depression beyond getting some sleep. I am doing therapy, EMDR, exercise and meditation. I feel like a weird version of myself and don’t want to be around people. I get feeling hopeless about feeling better or like myself again.
  4. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  5. I was put on 20mg of Seroxat in May 1996 (directly after two weeks of Valium). I was 19 years old. Prescription was for Panic Disorder, GAD and Mild Depression (although I had never felt depressed and explained that many times over the years to my doctor(s)). As were many, I was told I had a chemical balance which, just like a diabetic needs insulin, I needed seroxat. Since then, I have tried approximately 5 times to come off the medication (with taper of sorts - usually 10mg for a few weeks and then to zero). Each time, the anxiety came back, always with new symptoms (extreme nausea, vertigo, increased anxiety, obsessive dark thoughts). I also developed irrational fears (fear of driving on highways and over bridges, fear of ski lifts, fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of business meetings. In fact, pretty much fear of everything.). Each time I visited a doctor, I was told the same thing: you have a chemical imbalance and need to go back on Seroxat. Sure enough, a single tablet would have me feeling back to “normal” within a matter of hours. I used to joke about it with doctors “wow, what a placebo effect. This should take weeks to work?”. Now I realise I was (probably) in withdrawal. Two years ago, after being in a protracted depression for the best part of 10 years (something I hadn’t realised as it had become my baseline state), I had got myself down to approximately 7mg a day. The reason I was trying to come off was two fold: firstly, my wife and I wanted to start a family and I was concerned about both my fertility and damage to any baby I conceive. Secondly, I had made a huge effort to get fit, was running 40km a week and had dropped from 92kg to 78kg-I’m 178cm. This gave me the confidence that I was in the best physical place to achieve it. Soon after, I suffered what I considered to be a mental breakdown. I was ready to leave my loving wife and had developed a clinical apathy to everything. I became petrified I would commit suicide (I never felt this was realistic but the thought of it gave me panic attacks). Furthermore, I started wondering such thoughts as “will I jump off the balcony whilst sleep walking”. I had been seeing a psychologist for some time but talking about things seemed to make the situation worse. I also started seeing a CBT therapist. I would feel better during a session but on leaving, my mood would severely crash, like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. I knew I was in a bad place. The psychologist recommended me to a psychiatrist who was the most uncaring person I have ever met. How she medically practices, I have no idea. She wasn’t interested in my drug history, offered me barely five minutes of her time, and prescribed 50mg Trittico to be taken before bed. I took it for a few nights but decided that it was not right for me. She then offered me several other kinds of SSRIs. I declined them all and went back to 20mg of Seroxat. However, this time felt different. I was sure that seroxat was nothing more than the placebo (how could you explain the fact I got better after taking a single favor each time I had a “relapse”. As suspected, i had lost belief in the drug, and it did not bring the immediate relief like it had every time previously. I was petrified. To me, this confirmed my worse fears. It had been a placebo all this time, and now, because I was sure it wasn’t going to work, it didn’t. I was a lost case. This created severe anxiety and panic. All I could think was that I had been on a placebo for 20 + years and now I had uncovered this fact, ADs would never work for me again. I was destined to suffer dibilitating anxiety and depression for the rest of my life. Things improved slightly after being back on 20mg for a few weeks. But I was still anxious and depressed, and the mood swings were unbareable. During this time, i had had a medical for my work which showed I had very high cholesterol (7.99 in European measures) and the doctor put me on Crestor. At the time, the cardiologist told me “this is not the first time I have seen somebody at the surgery who has unusually high cholesterol following a long period of exposure to SSRIs”. This was the first time I considered what the meds had been doing to me over the years. My dark moods seemed to get worse during this period of being on Crestor. My cholesterol dropped by 50% in this time, but I could now barely function. I did some research into the link between statins and depression and decided to quit the Crestor cold turkey. My moods improved somewhat (at least I could hold a conversation now). I had also started to suffer from eczema on my arms, forehead and legs (first time in my life). Furthermore, I suffered from a bout of Diverticulitis (the doctor told me the main risk factor was constipaiton) and also blood in the urine (which after every test, scan, x-ray known to man, a cause could not be found). Further research made me realise that not only could all of these problems be linked to seroxat, so could my unexplained depression and mood swings. I made the decision to come off seroxat for good. That was in October of last year. I found a new psychiatrist who was supportive of my decision and recognized the importance of taper. However, he didn’t believe that my problems could be caused by seroxat, and thought taper over a month was perfectly acceptable. By this time, I had been on seroxat 22 years. I decided to taper for longer. I immediately dropped to 10mg per day as this is something that I had down many times throughout the years without too many problems. I would get the usual brain zaps but nothing I couldn’t handle. As I started to reduce mg by mg (1mg per week) using liquid, I could actually feel my constant depressive mood lifting somewhat (perhaps only by 10%, but there was something ). This encouraged me to go on. I sped up towards the end to 1mg per week as I just wanted to be off it. I took my last dose in the second week of January. Since then, I have been going through withdrawal. The first couple of weeks were ok (brain zaps I have suffered since 1996 so they don’t scare me). My general depressive level definitely improved. The hardest part for me was (and still is) the rapid onset of change in mood. One minute I am fine, the next my mood crashes. During every crash, I immediately think “the only reason I feel better is the placebo effect. The depression and anxiety is going to come back and get me”. CBT has helped with this catestrophic thinking and the moods seem to only last for a few hours (rather than days or weeks as previously). Every week, as a whole, I am seeing huge improvements. I have cried a lot (and it feels great). I am starting to look forward to things again. The apathy has lifted by 75%. I had a few days of panic and GAD earlier on that would seem to come out of nowhere. I would just wake up and feel down and have fear. I also started to wake during the night in a panic. But I stayed with it. A few weeks ago, I started waking more often during the night. 3 or 4 times. That developed into full blown insomnia for a few days. Last night, I slept without waking once for the first time in a month. The anxiety is now 75% better. Two days ago, I feel I had my best day for years and years. I am generally excited but scared. Since January, I have dropped from 86kg to 78kg. My skin condition has totally cleared up. What if me feeling better is a coincidence? Or the placebo effect? I have read that it can feel you are through the withdrawal, only for it to come back even harder in the future. How will I cope with that!? Now that I’ve felt well, I don’t want to go back where I was. I currently live in Zurich, Switzerland. I can find almost no support here. No doctor, psychologists, psychiatrist or therapist seems to have any idea about withdrawal. They are all desperate to tell me I have relapsed. I so truly want to believe they are wrong, that this whole thing is a drug induced nightmare, and that I will continue to get better. However, the devil on my shoulder is still there. During any period of weakness, he reminds me that the recovery is all in my head and it’s only a matter of time before I relapse. And so here I am. Hoping to be part of a support group that can help me with my withdrawal and keep me believeing. Even more importantly, I want to help others.
  6. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  7. Hi, I'm running out of what to read, who to ask and soon what to say. Ready for this? 1. I am consciously normal and functional 2. and only 2 I have a brain and body that is not cooperating. I feel guilty, or fake. When i'm at work and talking well - in my head I'm like "Who are you? You were never smart"... < probably my childhood echos > Once a major mistake occurred 6 years ago - I fell to the ground mentally - not able to let it go, no matter how many angles and closures I sought. 5 years this misery lasted to where I did get a human validation, but quickly was influenced into something else that made me question my "healing" - and now those 5 years of misery was much easier. To add to my pain - just months after ground 0, my Dad went to jail, my mom move in with me, my cat died weeks after that... Symptoms since: Head tension, Tinnitus, Neck tension, Dizziness, Anticipatory Anxiety, Feeling like I have a tumor in my head (pressure), Depersonalization moments / Derealization moments (Rare but terrible). Had a bout of agoraphobia. I think it's rooting in excessive guilt that I'm putting myself in mental prison. Now I lost my job in July and been on unemployment - and fearing getting a new one... not sure if I can mentally handle it. I feel total burnout. Medication History > After years of CBT - it was suggested I get on medication. Prozac - by day 22 I wanted to die (literally) but gladly i'm too afraid to and go off it when the Dr. kept pushing me to "Give it more time" Celexa & Paxil - gave me an intense panick attack. Paxil sent me to the hospital (One Pill did that) Zoloft & Lexapro - These numbed my brain, but I lost all emotions - that was my first de-realization and very scary Anafranil - this felt like someone poured mercury in my head - zips and zaps Buspar - These gave me brown outs of the brain Xanax - I put this last but I was on it for 6 years... it was great! BUT ... in time .25 didn't work, .5 gave me a hangover... 1mg wouldn't work if I was really scared - like going in an MRI Machine. When I tried to come off - my brain EXPLODED in Withdrawl. I tried many courses - as my DR just told me "stop it - it's ok"... That was when the Tinnitus and Pressure started (4/2016) along with the agoraphobia. I suffered through a water taper I came up with and it worked to a point and was too hard. My Dr. humored me giving me Valium to taper. It SORT of Worked but he gave me only 2 weeks and low dose. I pushed through and now I'm 9 weeks off (i did cheat on a 0.125 two weeks ago). Finally I'm trying St. John's Wort I followed an online suggestion ... but I did it wrong... by end of week 2 I got a massive Burnout feeling, brain buzzing and a STOP EVERYTHING cry in my sub-conscious mind... never had this happen. I dropped my cleaning tools and went to bed. I have not felt good since. I cut down to ONE 300 pill per day... but i'm all over the place. I now wonder if I even have a Serotonin issue? How do I know it's not an Acetylcholine issue? Or just a lack of GABA & Dopamine? (I took up a study of Neuro-Science among other medical classes... of course it's all theory) I'm just not happy, I can't play guitar or do anything I love... I don't care to eat. Thank you all for whatever input you have -Rob
  8. Hi All, I am new here, and I hope that the collective experience across the forum is helpful for my situation. I am currently 27 years old and have been on medication since I was 18 years old for depression, OCD, and IBS-Constipation (directly tied to when I feel more depressed). I have mostly been on SSRIs, which have been helpful with depression, OCD, and regulating my peristalsis.. Medication summary below: 2009-2012: Celexa (up to 40 mg) 2012-2013- Lexapro / Abilify 2014 - Clomipramine. Clomipramine + Abilify. Result: Realized higher doses of clomipramine caused too many side effects for me and could not tolerate it, even though it was helpful.Became tachycardic and other anticholinergic effects of combination led me and physician to revert back to SSRIs. 2015: Zoloft; Verdict: Made my IBS symptoms worse; depression and OCD better. However, due to increased diarrhea had to go off Zoloft. 2016: Due to gut that was made worse by Zoloft and doing very short-term trials of other SSRIs which also made my gut worse, I tried EMSAM (MAOI) for three months. Verdict: Did not help at all 2016 - 2017: Went back to Celexa (40 mg). Helped but felt it was not effective as back in 2009, even at maximal dosage. Eventually had relapse of depression in Summer 2017. Summer 2017: Tried course of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation after Celexa stopped working. Verdict: Did not help at all 2017-Present: 200 mg Luvox Verdict: In summer 2018, Luvox also stopped working and had relapse of depression. Summer 2018: I ended up going to homeopath in mid, which has been the most helpful thing to me so far. I have adopted the SCD diet, which has greatly helped my gut, and the remedies she has prescribed actually pulled me out of the depression I was in and made my OCD better, all while still on 200 mg The current situation is that I am still on 200 mg Luvox and with the homeopathy, my symptoms have greatly improved. Back in January 2019, I tried to go down on the Luvox, first to 175 mg (wait 2-3 weeks), then to 162.5 (wait 3 weeks), then to 150 mg (for about 5 weeks). It appears, that although I did not realize it at the time, my symptoms were getting worse, with more mood swings again, and my constipation was becoming more frequent. Most recently, I became completely non-functional and could barely get through one day. Just a few days ago I increased back up to 175 mg to see if I would feel better. So now I am in a predicament, as I really don't think the SSRIs are helping me much because 2 different ones have now pooped out on me in less than a year, but the homeopathy has allowed me to return to normalcy gradually. I am certainly still not far along in the homeopathy (only about a year), but I have definitely felt a difference. I thought I was ready to taper off the Luvox gradually, but clearly, given my relapse of depression and constipation, I maybe went too fast. I have read about the 10% rule, which I largely stuck to, but maybe I will have to go slower. Maybe I will use compounding next time around, maybe weighing out the pills. I do have some questions for the community. -Anybody have any thoughts on my experience or anything they experienced with Luvox? -Over the years of going up and down on SSRIs, I developed muscle twitching and a weird pain in the back left of my head, which I feel especially when my mood gets worse (as was the case recently when I lowered the dose of Luvox). Anyone experienced this / any tips on how to deal with these or what this could be? -I've only been on Luvox for about 16 months. However, I have been on SSRIs for a long time (about 10 years). Does that mean it can still take me forever to get off Luvox?
  9. Hey all, Looking for some advice and encouragement :(. Just to give you some dates and background. October-November 2016 - suffered sudden hearing loss that was treated with high doses of prednisone. Caused me to have severe anxiety and panic attacks, which I'd never had before. November 2016 - Went to a psychiatrist on encouragement of my doctor since I was having so many side effects from the treatment from my hearing loss. Psych told me to take 50mg Zoloft for 3-6 months. Upon starting Zoloft, I started feeling really depressed, jittery, anxious, fatigued, etc. Felt really terrible. January 2017 - Evened out on Zoloft and started feeling pretty good again. June 2017 - Was told my treatment was over and was told to just stop taking Zoloft. I was told just to quit cold turkey. June-August 2017 - Became very depressed (but was still functional), sensitive, crying spells, obsessive thinking etc. Things I never had before. Didn't know that I was possibly experiencing withdrawal and that I hadn't tapered. September 2017 - Doctor recommended I take 10mg Lexapro. On day 1 of 5mg, all my depressive symptoms went away, but the drug made me feel very anxious. Never went up to 10mg. Stayed on 5 mg for 2 months and then took 2.5 mg for 3 weeks and then got off. November 2017 - Stopped taking Lexapro entirely. Since then it's been a rough journey. Sometimes feel very depressed, sometimes very anxious, and sometimes fine. It makes me very angry because I didn't experience depression at all before I started taking the first anti-depressant. I'm doing what I think I should be doing to manage and let things take their course. I exercise, see friends, am working, etc. But there are some days it's just really tough. I don't want to go back on another drug because I'm 100% convinced that these drugs are the cause of these issues to begin with and I don't want to be on this crazy train for years and years. I know I took substantially lower doses of these drugs than other folks, but I'm generally extremely sensitive to all forms of medication. Is there anything anyone can recommend to help me get through this, so that I can help with my recovery? Is there anything else to do besides "just dealing with it?" Any supplements, herbal remedies, exercises, relaxation techniques anyone can recommend? I'm currently taking vitamin d, magnesium, and tumeric. Doing running, yoga, weighlifting, swimming. And trying to take it easy. Any love, support, and advice would be very much appreciated. All the best, Michael Try
  10. In my humble opinion this topic resides at the root of the tree which branches into other fields. I feel that knowledge of this topic - depending on who reads it - can have personal benefits for those with symptoms that might be described as depression, anxiety, and in fact most of the disorders described by the DSM. I've run it by several people with various forms of depression and their feedback - at least insofar as they agree with the concept that it may help - confirms this. (I was initially going to post this as a comment here, but I didn’t feel that atheism - while related - was specifically relevant, and it needn’t influence the benefits of this way of looking at the world. As an atheist - technically-speaking - with reservations about its current application, I think evolutionary study can benefit studies of sociology, anthropology, psychology etc. whatever the belief system of the person reading it). I acknowledge that - as with all tools - I suppose it could work the other way too, perhaps eliciting unforeseen negative emotions and responses, for example a view that "this is the way we are programmed, so there's no hope". In that specific case I would argue that there are plenty of things we are "programmed" for that we actively defy to our benefit. Lastly it could be the case that this is not useful information, and it will have no bearing on a depressed state. But given the effect the "mental illness" labels do have I doubt this. The main possible problem I foresee here is that evolutionary concepts - while not difficult to communicate - can seem a little cold and mundane. Perhaps it just needs rewording or dressing up. A potentially rose-tinted Summary of Potential Benefits When compared with our current model of psychopathology (the one that labels us as disordered), the more impartial overhead view known as evolutionary psychology more accurately - and ultimately more compassionately - explains why distressed states produce certain emotions and behaviour in individuals. But it goes both deeper and further, and covers the causal bases and triggers of these states, including their purpose in a wider social context, and it also explains the corresponding emotions and behaviour in groups (which could be extended to include groups of practitioners who pathologize and over-medicate). This, as opposed to the downright false concepts of “mental illness”, namely locating the entire problem in the individual’s brain regardless of context. Painful as it may seem to the sufferer at the time, the part that exists in a person’s brain is not an individual malfunction, but rather it is a social function (as echoed in the article shared by Clearday in the post I referred to). The backbone of the theory can be summarised in one line taken from this book: “Subordination and Defeat - An Evolutionary Approach To Mood Disorders and Their Therapy” - edited by Leon Sloman and Paul Gilbert (a longer extract is pasted at the end) “The homeostasis of the group is achieved at the expense of mood change in the individual.” Underlying that is the fact that the reasons for most of our underlying drives - both in the individual and the group - are (more often than not) invisible to both parties. Having this knowledge and thereby bringing the dynamic into view is potentially empowering to the individual in distress. With this knowledge on board, questions regarding our responses to our social context can be answered, or at the very least weighed up against our experiences. There can be less self-criticism, which is vital to the process of attaining wellness. This even and especially where it is the case that past trauma is playing a part. According to the book's blurb, another application might be “to distinguish depressions that may have adaptive functions from those that are the result of maladaptive feedback systems”, which is to say in both cases the social context is accounted for. I think that knowing what drives us and others may even allow individuals to achieve a more negotiated agreement with the group, and thereby sidestep some of the anguish that is applied externally by others when we venture too close to edges of acceptability. That said, I would also imagine that the other side of the equation - friends, family, society-at-large, and especially those with vested interests - may potentially resist such notions, which is to say that caution in sharing this knowledge may perhaps be advisable, especially in times of personal distress. There is no conspiracy implied here. As distressing as the experiences are, these are mundane processes in the wider scheme of things. But it’s also worth noting that as mundane as these processes are, with this knowledge on board we remain free to think and feel, and arguably we are now better-equipped to do so. Here is The Basis of the Theory ..bearing in mind it could be any of revelatory, inflammatory, slightly interesting, yesterday's news or downright wrong, I'm open to hearing viewpoints. Also, their reference framework of "rank" needn't be taken to mean actual rank such as lieutenant vs private, or boss vs employee. It could be any hierarchy, such as those that exist in families or even unseen ones between supposed equal friends. Extract from: Subordination and Defeat An Evolutionary Approach To Mood Disorders and Their Therapy Edited by Leon Sloman , Paul Gilbert Self-Esteem and Depression There is a two-way recursive interaction between self- esteem and depression. Part of the depressive response consists of a lowering of self-esteem. Yet lowering of self- esteem can trigger an episode of depression. Moreover, people with low (and labile) self-esteem are more vulnerable to depression (Brown, Andrews, Harris, Adler, & Bridge, 1986). Mood change can be seen as a self-esteem management mechanism, moderating self-esteem to fit with current social circumstances. If times are adverse, depression lowers self-esteem, and the individual takes a less prominent role in social interaction; but if things are going well, elation helps the individual to cope with the increased social demands of high rank. In fact mood change is the only rapid method of changing self- esteem after adolescence is completed. Self-esteem can be changed by prolonged intensive therapy or by life experience, but often one sees patients who lead very successful lives but are still encumbered with low self- esteem consolidated in childhood and adolescence. Change by life experience is like going up the stairs of a skyscraper, whereas mood change is like using the elevator. Self-Esteem and Subordination In egalitarian societies like that of the Kalahari Bushmen, the value of global self-esteem and wide variation in self- esteem is less than in hierarchical societies. As James pointed out, self-esteem depends on successes, but this only applies in societies in which success is admired. When conspicuous success is treated with disapprobation, as with the Bushmen, there are likely to be less people who think themselves better than everyone else. A culture of counterdominance prevails, and anyone who rises too high is brought down a peg by group response (Boehm, 1993). The atmosphere of counterdominance is vividly portrayed in the first act of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It is in hierarchical societies that low self-esteem and depression come into their own. Some people are doomed to eternal subordination, and they can adapt to this at more than one level of the triune mind and brain (MacLean, 1990). They can become humble, and have genuine admiration for those fortunate enough to be at the top of the pecking order, or they can become depressed, dysthymic personalities, whose depression takes away their power to alter their situation. In dysthymic personality it is assertive (competitive) and sexual initiative that is inhibited, whereas the ability to carry out instructions is relatively unimpaired (Akiskal, 1990). Regardless of the lifelong strategy of high or low self- esteem, social circumstances may change, and there may be a need for a formerly high-ranking individual to adapt to low rank. This is where an episode of major depression is adaptive. Depression lowers self-esteem so that the individual falling in rank is accommodated to his or her reduced circumstances. Depression also lowers resource value or the importance one attaches to things, so that the loss of the trappings of former high rank will give less incentive to regain them. Depression lowers the sense of ownership, so that the loss of resources and territory will not arouse indignation. In particular, severe depression alters thinking about former status in such a way that high former wealth or position is denied, even to a delusional degree, so that the motivation to regain former rank is reduced. All these changes help to alter and readjust the individual who is accustomed to command, and to accommodate him or her to a subordinate role in which he or she has to obey orders (Gardner & Price, 1999). Thus, the individual avoids group ostracism and helps to ensure group cohesion (Leary & Downs, 1995). The homeostasis of the group is achieved at the expense of mood change in the individual. In the case of the individual who rises in rank, these changes occur in the reverse direction. If his or her rise in rank is not sanctioned by the social group, he or she is likely to be regarded as suffering from hypomania (Gardner & Price, 1999). Non affiliated link to the entry on Amazon.com Further Reading There seems to have been some fairly thorough work done in this, and related areas, which I’m sure is underfunded. At the heart of the matter, this paper covers the evolutionary theory (ie. not just in humans) as is applies to rank, and hence depression. Territory, Rank and Mental Health: The History of an Idea Most interestingly they point out that the +600 studies of depression done on rodents which heavily influence psychiatric thinking may be flawed. This is because rodents hibernate which affects the escalation/de-escalation in mania and depression. Apparently us primates are closer to reptiles when it comes to these primal responses, and they propose studying depression in reptiles instead. If this sound far-fetched or off the mark - and I agree it does on the surface - then check out the paper and see if it convinces you. (Clue: it has nothing to do with David Icke).
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    Hi guys, Just wanted to introduce myself. After 21 years of being on several types of anti-depressant medications I am determined to completely stop (see history in signature). I am taking 150mg of Effexor at the moment and managed to stop taking it for 8 months last year but the experience was extremely traumatic. I spent about 4-5 months tapering off and then was completely off Effexor for 8 months. Unfortunately I went back on Effexor after the 8 month mark as I was worried about suicide and could literally not function or work or get out of bed. I have never experienced any type of severe depression until this point in my life (2015 when I attempted to go off medication). I didn’t understand what was happening until I found this - https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mad-in-america/201106/now-antidepressant-induced-chronic-depression-has-name-tardive-dysphoria I would be super interested to know of any individuals or moderators on here who have some knowledge or experience in tardive dysphoria/oppositional tolerance. I am hoping there may be someone out there with theories/solutions on how to go off an anti-depressant like Effexor with some sort of support instead of just going off and suffering for years and years until one day you hopefully might start to feel better? I would like to believe that that the neuroplasticity of my brain will definitely get me there eventually but I am really scared after my last experience and not sure how long I could tough it out. At the moment I am looking into st johns wart, saffron, lamictal and transcranial magnetic stimulation. I find Dr Kelly Brogan's work quite fascinating as well although I have already done everything I can nutritionally. She did her fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience and has some pretty fascinating things to say about antidepressants worsening the long-term course of depression, anti-depressants actually working via being an anti-inflammatory as well as the treatment of depression through nutrition. She has recently released a book but main stream media outlets have basically blacklisted her, likely because of their primary sponsorship by pharmaceutical companies. My aim is to try and go off of Effexor again but I want to have a better strategy in place this time and some sort of back-up plan so I don't panic and go back to Effexor. Last time was pretty traumatizing. Any suggestions, ideas etc are very very welcome!
  12. Hi everybody! I’m a 33 year old girl from Canada Looking for some guidance on how to go about coming off this poison. I guess I’ll start with telling you guys my history: 2009- cipralex 20mg + seroquel 50mg + clonazepam 0.5mg (stopped seroquel after a month with no wd- never took it again) took clonazepam here and there as needed 2010-2014 zoplicone on and off for sleep - stopped in 2014 with no wd noted 2009-2015 clonazepam as needed (once or 2x a week - no dependency and no wd when stopping. Haven’t touched one since then.) Cipralex CT in 2013 because I couldn’t take anymore weight gain. Started Wellbutrin for a few weeks after a month of CT and then moved to Prozac. 2013 - 2015 Prozac 20mg - still having panic attacks so rapid taper over a month and started 25mg Zoloft then bumped up after 3 weeks to 50mg. 2015 - present - Zoloft 50mg I was originally put on these meds for OCD (which I definitely had, hardly see any sign of it now adays) and anxiety. In total since starting meds I’ve put on 50 lbs of weight and have terrible short term memory, concentration, and motivation. I’ve done a ton of self work over the years and am a counsellor so I definitely have some good coping skills and am ready to tackle this beast. However, after reading around this site both my doctor and the compounding pharmacy said they’ve never heard of liquid sertraline, so not sure how to proceed. Thanks for reading!
  13. I’ve been on Wellbutrin for 20 years. Since November 2018, I've started tapering from my initial dosage (300-mg per day). I'm down to 200-mg per day. If I could sum up what Wellbutrin has done for me, I would say this. The monsters that Wellbutrin imprisoned for 20-years are slowly escaping now that the prison itself is slowly breaking down. And I’m once again left with dealing with issues, old relics which caused my depression in the first place. I suffered much abuse as a child and as a result, I had a lot of anger. As a teen, my controlling parents abandoned me and then in my twenties, when I was too lost, angry and hopeless, and I didn't have life skills developed enough to function in this world, they threw me to the wolves because I wouldn't cooperate with them because I was tired of their s**t. After a shrink experimented on me, I was finally placed on a benzodiazepine. After suffering from weird side effects, fearing permanent damage to my body, without my doctor’s knowledge, I slowly tapered off the stuff. My doctor was useless and had the deer in the headlights look when I showed him the damning research I did on benzodiazepines. After months of perpetual fatigue, I finally went back to my witch doctor and I allowed him to place me on Wellbutrin. I was that desperate. Along with curing the chronic fatigue, Wellbutrin took away all my anger and anxiety, so I could function and work at getting myself out of the terrible situation I found myself in. Fast forward twenty years. My current situation, suffering from withdrawal, has caused me to experience flashbacks in the form of vivid dreams. I believe these flashbacks and the extreme anger I feel are symptoms telling me that I need to work on myself. I married in my 50’s to a man who had two daughters ages 11 and 14. His ex-wife, if I had to guess, suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and is a Narcissistic Queen Mother. My husband’s ex is intrusive, loud, inpatient, and flamboyant. She is easily frustrated, often bursting into rages than can terrify her children. She can be disingenuous and lies in order to get what she wants. The Queen relates to others with superficiality and an air of detachment. My husband’s ex perceived others, including her girls, as a threat to her own survival unless we all relinquish their needs for hers. Queen mothers compete with their children for a time, attention, love, and money. Superficial interest and a lack of attunement to the child's emotional needs are typical of Queen mothers. I don’t think I need to continue with the description because I think you get the point. Her daughters - I get along very well with the youngest girl. However, the older one is going to be just like or worse than her mother when she matures. If I had to guess, the oldest child is an introverted covert narcissist and she is a very cold-hearted individual who gives me the creeps. I have known the girls for two years. From day one, the oldest girl has been distant, secretive and entitled. Being the people pleaser that I am, I tried to bend over backward to please someone who can never be pleased. Here's the situation that triggered my flashbacks. Case in point, two nights ago, the temperature fell below freezing. The oldest girl was going to a party and had nothing on but a slip dress and stiletto heels. Her father and I attempted to force her to wear a coat or jacket, but she outright refused. If I had to guess, she did not want anything covering up her beautiful body – or so she thought . I finally gave her my fancy sweater to wear. After coming home, the next day, she proceeds to prance around the house with not much on and obsessively complained that she is cold and demands that the house be warmer, and she wants a heater for her bedroom. Me, like the people pleaser that I am, I gave her my heater. That night both I and my husband were very cold. He didn’t appreciate me giving up our heater and he pointed out the fact that she was willing to go almost butt naked to a party on an extremely cold night but then she came home and b*tch** about the house being cold and she wanted it warmer. That’s the reason he didn’t cater to her demands to increase the temperature. At the dinner table the next day. I joked with the girls that I would clean their rooms for $20 per week. These two girls are so entitled and lazy that their grandmother tries to bribe them to motivate the girls to ‘consider’ keeping their rooms clean and organized. They both said no. I then jokingly told them that they should ask their grandmother for $30 a week. They could keep $10 and I’ll clean their rooms for $20. After long silent consideration, the youngest daughter said she would split the money 50/50 with me. However, the oldest said that she would have me clean her room in addition to me washing her bed sheets and making up her bed. She said I should be thankful if she gives me $5 out of the $30 for my efforts. This is a fine example showing the characters of the two girls. The youngest one endears me to her – the oldest repels me. That night, after getting to sleep, I had a series of dreams. The theme running through the dreams was – my inability to take care of myself. Here’s the dream series: I’m at my childhood home. Its morning, I went into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast. I wanted to change my habit of not taking care of myself. My mother, in lightning speed, like a wolf spider exiting its den, opened her bedroom door and rushed into the kitchen to attack me for making noise. I had to abandon making breakfast and go to school. During elementary, junior high and high school, I suffered long periods of time starving. My mother was a hateful woman who used every opportunity she could to destroy me. The dream changed and there was another scene. I was a twenty-something woman. After spending a few hours with a man, my intuition told me this man was a heartless uncaring person. I told my father my thoughts in hopes of figuring out everything I had experienced while on the date. My conclusion was I wanted nothing to do with him. But my father talked me out of trusting my intuition and told me to give him a chance. As a result, I spent years being abused by this man because I tried to make it work with him. He turned out to be a psychopath and hurt me so bad, in one regard, I will never recover from. The dream changed again, and I was a teenager. My self-absorbed, sister and hateful mother were very controlling. I had little money, working as a part-time nanny. I decided I wanted to learn to cook. I always wanted to learn how to make cheesecake, so I purchase the ingredients. No sooner than I had placed them on the kitchen table then my mother and sister came running, like two hyenas into the kitchen to see what they could rip off me. They proceeded to chase me away from my ingredients and push me out of the house. They made the cheesecake and ate it themselves. I didn’t even get a crumb. I woke up angry. I told my husband about the dream and then related it to his oldest daughter. Now, I believe he thinks I have mental issues. No…not his daughter, the one who has somatic narcissist traits and treats everyone, including him very, very poorly. I wasn’t going to wait a week or so to get my sweater or my heater back. The oldest girl never gives anything back unless I beg and beg and beg her. Cold as ice, acting put out, she grudgingly gave me my heater and sweater back. I believe my current situation reminds me of my past. I believe my anger is telling me I’m dealing with the oldest girl incorrectly. I believe I need to stop people pleasing and have nothing to do with the oldest girl. I’m in a difficult situation because the father already told me he loves his children more than me. I believe that an informal given that a parent loves their children the most in this world. But he didn’t have to say it. So, I have not interfered with how the girls treat their father. I didn’t remind them to call him nor did I suggest they get him a gift. Case in point, they did not remember to call him for his birthday, nor did they get him a birthday or Christmas present. The oldest and to a certain extent the youngest treat their father like their mother does – he’s just an ATM money machine. God help him. I believe I need a support group while I’m healing so that I don’t talk to my husband about my recovery and to get some support so I don’t fall into any trap his oldest child might set for me. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone gone through what I have gone through or are going through now? Thanks!
  14. In Feb of this year I decided that the cons of Adderall were no longer to my benefit and decided to quit cold turkey. I spent a month weak, tired, irritable and unable to cope with all the "noise" of everything that was happening around me. Driving, shopping, even conversations felt like too much to handle. They say that Adderall is not addicting but it is, maybe not in the physical sense for some but in the emotional sense I became heavily reliant on the pills just to be around people, to get out of bed; basically just to do the simple things that "regular" people get up and do day after day. When I was first prescribed Adderall about 7 years ago, every few months I'd purposely stop taking them for an entire wknd just to reassure myself that I could stop. To be continued.
  15. Hi folks, Just looking for a bit of advice. I'd been on Prozac, 25mg a day, for 9 months, for depression and wanted to come off them. I was advised by my doctor to take a 25mg tablet on alternating days for 1 month and then stop completely. I did this and have now been off for 4 weeks. Asides from some rather severe depression symptoms my main withdrawal issue has been PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder), something which I suffered with 2 years ago. What I'm wondering is, does this mean I tapered off too quickly? I should also mention I have M.E. and tend to respond strongly to drugs. Is the best plan of action to just ride this out and hope the symptoms go or to go back on the Prozac and taper off again much slower? (my doctor did tell me if I go back on the Prozac I'd have to stay on for 2 years but I really don't want to do that.) Any advice appreciated, Thanks
  16. Hi all, I'm a 24-year-old female who has been on some kind of antidepressant since I was 17. 1. Zoloft, 1 year (2011) 2. Wellbutrin, 2-3 months (end of 2011 in conjunction with Zoloft) 3. Viibryd, 6 months (2012) 4. Buspar, 2-3 months (2012) 5. Lexapro, 1 year (late 2012 to late 2013) 5. Prozac, 3ish years (late 2013 to mid 2017) I started tapering off of Prozac this April, going down by 10mg a month for 7 months. I was on an 80mg per day dose for at least 2.5 years. I finished tapering at the end of October 2017. I didn't have any particularly bothersome symptoms until the last 10mg and these have persisted or gotten worse in the last two months. My biggest issue right now seems to be irritability. I feel like I go through multiple mood swings per day and sometimes I can't even describe how I'm feeling. My anxiety has also increased - fears about my loved ones dying or that I'm going to get into a car accident on the highway, that kind of thing. I know it's still soon, being only 2 months since I completely stopped taking Prozac, but are these all withdrawal symptoms and if so, how long can I expect them to last? Sometimes I wonder if I even remember was normal feels like anymore, since I've been on antidepressants since before I was even an adult. I felt pretty good on Prozac moodwise, but disliked the weight gain that resulted (65 pounds!) and I worried about the long term effects on being on it.
  17. Greetings! I am very fortunate I found this site. I will not go into to much detail but here are some facts about my current situation. I have had anxiety/panic my entire life, from the earliest I can remember I used to have horrible separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and just plain being scared of silly things, like when I was younger I was terrified of thunderstorms and elevators I had to do exposure therapy while I was little and that was pretty difficult but it defiantly was not enough. My mother didn't put me on pharmaceuticals until I was 12 or so because the SSRIs were fairly new and she wanted to wait as long as she possibly could do try one of these medications. Flash forward to 2005, my father dies on the treadmill right in front of me, I am still in high school, and my anxiety up to that point was manageable, put when that happend my anxiety went through the roof. I couldn't finish high school in public but I was fortunate enough to have some retired teachers come to my house so I could graduate with my class. Of course during this time I was seeing a psychiatrist. Now he is an intelligent man and I have a number of medications to be thankful for, especially getting me out of that trauma. I was on a Tricyclic Anafranil 150 mg, from 2006 to 2013 for anxiety. During November 2013, I tried getting off the medication because it wasn't working and it was effecting my speech (probably from the anticholinergic effects). I tried to get off of it several times before but was given bad withdrawing advice (cut dose in half and 2 weeks you will be good), well that never happened of course. The old, see you need your medication, none of these brain zaps you speak of cannot occur with these drugs. So I followed the doctors advice and continued taking the Anafranil for a few more years. In November 2013 I tried to get off Anafranil for good. I wanted to do half the dose but just stay on that dose for like a month and then go down another quarter or something and try it that way. I had no idea how wrong both the doctor and I were. As soon as I lowered the dose I became a basket case. I started crying for no reason, I lost a bunch of weight (about 25 pounds in a month), vertigo, heart palpitations which scared the crap out of me because my father died from a birth defect we were not aware of at 49. I went back to the psychiatrist who I had seen for 6 years and was slapped with a bi-polar diagnosis. After doing a lot of research and looking into these drugs I didn't realize that the withdrawal could be so severe, or that most doctors had no idea that these drugs were capable of producing such a profound effect upon discontinuation. I reinstated the drug after 6 months of shear terror and my heart rate returned to normal, my crying stopped and it was like none of it ever happened. Now my main concern is with my heart because part of my anxiety would be dying in a similar fashion my father did. I have a great cardiologist who I have been seeing for years. He was fortunate enough to understand what was happening to me. I had every test imaginable and everything came back normal. Even when my heart was skipping a lot during the withdrawal, the holter monitor didn't pick up anything. He said its not so much your heart, its the receptors on your vagus nerve which is the main problem which makes since because they up regulate and down regulate depending if you are starting or stopping a drug. He said these drugs can effect the QT prolongation of the heart sometimes, but every EKG and Echo looked good so thank god for that. I stared back on the 150 in mid 2014 and currently I am on 60 mgs as of now. Now I think I misread because I tapered 10 mg every month instead of 10 percent of the dose, which is what a lot of people recommend. So what I am going to do as of now is try to stabilize on 50 mgs for a few months, since I am almost done with the 60 mg, and then taper down 5 mg every month which is roughly about 10 percent of the dose, I have calculated. I just hope this process goes a lot smoother than it did before because when I first tried my psychiatrists way it was absolutely horrible.
  18. Hi there, I am glad that I found this forum and as I am at a very desperate state in my life right now - I am glad that I can find some people relating to my topic. I have first been prescribed Cipralex 5 mg about 10 years ago, when I was 20. I changed from high school to university and started having panic attacks from time to time and a very weird way of feeling myself (like being in a vacuum). Looking back, it was not THAT horrific but a general practitioner prescribed it to me after having a 10 minute-chat with me. I didn´t have any idea what antidepressants were back then - also he did not tell me anything about it. So I took it. I must say that - whether it was placebo or not - it helped. So I got off them (5mg, very small dose). 2 years later I had a similar phase, already working at an agency where I experienced panic attacks and felt very anxious in general. So I thought to myself: Hey that stuff worked the first time - I´ll take that again. I don´t really know if it did anything for me this time because I also quit my job and took a long vacation - I guess that would have done it as well. After maybe a little less than a year I quit again - this time it seemed harder. I always tapered - even with this little dosage. When I quit- the first time in my life ever, I had sort of depressive phases. But it went away. Then again some years later I had a very stressfull time in my life and a trigger-event that got me really freaked out and depression kicked in ...this time I did not want to start medication again but I could not see another way. thankfully shortly after I found my coaching technique that reeeallyyy helped a lot, did some family constellations and really started to understand the whole reason WHY I was dealing with all those problems. I understand now and I don´t feel crazy anymore for having experienced what I have experienced. But okay. So at the maximum I took 10 mg of Cipralex ( i always refused the neurologists wish of taking more and more) because I did not feel that the antidepressants helped. While taking 10 mg I still had very depressive phases, so I thought: Okay, if I take more, will it get better or will I just be damaging my body more and more? I continued working with my coach, working on myself, getting to know myseld and really digging into the hurtful past and reasons. This helped A LOT and was the only reason I felt better. So soon I reduced again to 5mg ( in steps) Eeeevery time I reduced my dose I got a depressive phase following, about 3 weeks later that would last around a month. Including sweating a lot, feeling like having a feaver, being depressed,feeling anxious, feeling like I can´t go to training, feeling weak, etc. but I always got better again. So I did this really slowly..always allowing my body to adjust to the next step. In late August (2015) i took my last „powder 0,000xx mg“ and boom...after 3 weeks I started feeling HORRIBLE. ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE! I had troubles I never had before (or still have) lik e being totally paranoid, feeling completely deprersonalzed, having terrible brainfog, headaches, ...all that in addition to having all the old **** I am used to when having a down. So for 2 months I felt horrible, then it got a lot better for month, now it is completely terrible again since mid-december. I AM GOING CRAZY! I am very well informed and very convinced that all that is due to withdrawl and that my brain needs time to adjust but OH MY GOD how can one stand this horrible times?I feel so terribly weak! All the time I have to push myself really hard: To get out of bed, to talk to friends, to go outside, to go to work, ...everything is a huge struggle...it is sooooo exhausting. Luckily I do have all the support I could wish for from friends and family and boyfriend! I am very thankful for that! But still I feel alone with all this war inside of me because I feel like they don´t know what I am going through. If I feel really bad for two weeks and then have a window – okay, at least you get a break. But feeling that awful for over a month is draining all my energy. How do you cope? How do you get through this? What do you do when you sit alone at home, feel to weak and terrible to call someone..how do you drag yourself out of this? Ps.: Sorry if my English is not that good:)
  19. LINK to scottly9999's Success Story Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  20. I am an almost 30 year old wife and mom of 2 beautiful kiddos. I stumbled across this website while trying to figure out if the current issues I have been having were from tapering off of Zoloft in November 2017. I started SSRI's (Paxil) at 11 years when diagnosed with OCD tendencies. (recurring thoughts, perfection/control issues). Switched to Celexa after weight gain issues after starting Paxil. Had issues with body image and eating (over eating and restriction). I started restricting heavily and binging and purging at 20 years old and was switched to Prozac. I also was on adderall for ADHD in my early 20's for a brief period. (I was mostly concerned about not being able to concentrate, brain fog, and irritability). I was diagnosed as anorexic with bulimic tendencies at inpatient care for eating disorder at 24 (2012). Had a couple of relapses after inpatient, but then became pregnant in 2013 and haven't relapsed since. I switched to Zoloft (100 mg) during early pregnancy (2013). In Summer of 2017 I realized that my medication didn't seem to be helping me at all anymore. I suffered from insomnia, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog. I decided to taper from the 100mg of Zoloft I was on. I dropped to 75 mg for a month, then 50 mg for a month, 25 mg for a month, and have been medication free as of November 2017!!! I had no withdrawal symptoms, but still had irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and brain fog. In February 2018 I started getting super itchy at night. I would get hives and I couldn't fall asleep. It was maddening!!! I switched laundry detergents, made sure I used fragrance free soap. I took all the normal precautions for skin issues and nothing helped. I tried relaxing through the issues and it has helped the itching, but I have developed Dermatographia (skin writing). I will get hive like marks where clothes rubs or any extra stimulation has occured on my skin (for example: if I carry a bag, I get tons of hive like marks where the bag was resting in the exact shape of the bag handles) Skin issues seem to occur more in the evening hours, but still can happen during the day, usually more mild. I do sometimes get a burning/tingly sensation in areas (usually hands or feet), but that goes away rather quickly. In April 2018, I started a new job and have had less issues with insomnia. Just a random night here and there where it is difficult to sleep, but I work a 12 hour rotation on first shift and have 2 young children, so that could very well play into that 😉 I also started having recurring stomach issues. Lots of gas/bloating. Sometimes it is super painful. I get so bloated at times I look like I'm in early pregnancy! It is usually more painful during the evening hours. I have diarrhea/loose stools every day. I do follow a balanced Vegan diet (dairy and egg introlerances) and I am very active, but it has never seemed to be an issue before. The fatigue just has me constantly feeling like I want to take a nap and thinking of picking up my 30 pound toddler or walking up a flight of stairs just exhausts me. It's hard to even push my kids on the swings. My last period was March 5th and I have never been this late (NOT pregnant.... husband has a vasectomy and I took 5 tests 😆) I am unsure of whether this is a result of being off of SSRI's or if it is a different health issue. It is driving me crazy trying to figure it out!!! I just want to enjoy my time with my family and function properly. I have a doctor appointment in June for a pap and to talk about my symptoms, but wanted to see if anyone else has went through something similar (and I honestly think the doctor may tell me I'm crazy-- lol). 💜a7xbabydoll 2000 - Paxil A few months later - Celexa 2010 - Prozac 2012 - Brief period of Adderall 2013 - Zoloft (100 mg) 8/2017 - 75 mg, 9/2017 - 50 mg, 10/2017 - 25 mg November 2017 - MED FREE!!!
  21. After close to 18 months on Citalopram, I decided to wean off the medication in August as I ascribed a feeling of mental numbness to the drug. The first week off I felt fine. Weeks 2-4 were hellish as I experienced strange tingling sensations, insomnia, depersonalisation and extreme periods of agitation. However, after close to six weeks off the drug, I still don’t feel like myself. I’m apathetic. My concentration is non-existent despite taking medication for ADHD. My brain is extremely foggy, and I don’t feel connnected to myself or those around me. Whilst I didn’t quite adhere to my discontinuation plan and admittedly weaned off Citalopram far too quickly, I didn’t expect to feel so utterly lost in myself after almost six weeks off the med. My doctor is in the process of conferring with a psychologist with regards to taking a different medication for anxiety but I’m reluctant to go back on an SSRI. Unfortunately I don’t know if I’m still struggling with SSRI withdrawal syndrome or if it’s a resurfacing of depression and/or a high level of anxiety. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has experienced similar difficulties after discontinuing an anti-depressant and what helped you in your respective recoveries. Thanks.
  22. One of the tools I have found that really help me when I am feeling anxiety is binaural beat sound waves that I found on-line and then downloaded onto an MP3 player. You do need headphones to get the full effect. I was pleasantly surprised how much this helps! Here is just one of thousands of links I found on youtube. You can found the countless others listed on the right side of the page where I found this one video: I am grateful to those who allow us to download for free and then donate to their work in this area. I have downloaded several types for different brain waves. The theory is different sound waves like the theta wave, for example, can persuade our brains to either relax or they can help the brain/mind move through and clear our chakras. There is a plethora of information on this theory on-line for you to read. Look at the links below the videos for more information. It is a great way to meditate when our brains are just all over the place and our regular meditation session is just not happening. This method helps my brain to follow the waves and calm down and then I am either ready to meditate or, it has helped me to fall asleep at times. There are binaural beats for sleep too. Happy hunting on this subject. It is amazing how I have found such wonderful help in using different modalities for anxiety and sadness here on-line. It is valerian root through my headphones!
  23. Hello everyone, It feels good to discover this site - thank you all for being here. Right now I've run out of everything, my depression has swamped me, I'm exhausted. Doc queried increasing meds, I said no. I realise this would be a silly time to start coming off them, and I'm not thinking of doing that, but the need to stop meds is always in my head. I want to know everything I can about it, especially how to know when to start decreasing. My husband, who is beautifully supportive of me in every other way, is sure that the possible upheaval would be too much for our family. I worry about that too.
  24. So I have been taken 2 drugs... That a Dr. Prescribed ,, I was withdrawing from an ssri and they made things worst then came to SA, I stabilized for a while, had to move homes and the stress has made me depressed and anxious... The loneliness of it all... I live alone and feel exhausted most days and scared... I haven't tapered anything... I don't have a support system so it's hard on top of the wd's. I don't know how to handle family because I have a sister which has been helpful in the practical side but she stresses me as she can be harsh and has no idea how to be compassionate my brother is nice but wants positive attitude and events which I don't have at the moment to share so he doesn't want to hear it... So he doesn't call. So I feel devastating but that's how they function.
  25. Hi, guys. My depression started over 15 years ago and I came to the point when I wanted to end up my life, but I've failed. So my journey from one shrink to another began. I've found a good one when my depression was at my worse. I wasn't happy about taking any medications, because the lack of knowledge in psychiatry field (I'm a nurse with some practice in mental facilities as well and I'm not happy about the things I've seen there nor the general thinking from many doctors and other medical stuff. I was also amazed about the lack of knowledge and common sense in them as well). My depression was so bad that I gave up and started using paroxetine. I had some side effects, but withdrawal after few months was much worse. The vertigo and headaches were horrible. And depression was still there in it's best. I was then on few other SSRI and SNRI, none of them worked (fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, escitalopram, tianeptine, venlafaxine, duloxetine), but all of them gave me their own special withdrawal symptoms. At least I knew I wasn't getting sugar pills. In the meantime I also developed panic attacks and severe anxiety. After few years I suggested switcing to bupropion and I was getting better for the first time. I was also taking clonazepam the whole time. I'm feeling fine for over 4 years now but I had to wait with taper due to some other pain related medical condition. I was adviced to start taper clonazepam first (I started taper 4 months ago). What a mistake! I was on 2mg daily and managed to taper to 1mg. Than I suggested my GP and shrink to taper bupropion as well, because it was making taper heavier and none of them were happy with my suggestion. I have my GP on my side now after seeing me in really bad condition a couple of times. Right now I'm taking 0,875mg of clonazepam and 300mg of gabapentin (started a week ago and I'm not on final dose which will be around 600-900mg) because of my pain related condition. It also helps with the withdrawal. I'm well aware that it has a WD of it's own, it's a risk I'm willing to pay considering the current options. I took my last dose of bupropion today and I will give myself a little brake until the end of this month. In january I'll continue to taper clonazepam. I'm not a native english speaker and I appologize for potential weird (ab)use of grammar. I'm sure you've seen worse due to my current taper I'm also not very good with words.
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