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  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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??
  5. I am currently on 20 mg of Adderall XR and 10 mg of Trintellix. I have been on a steady dose of both for 4 months and think I am ready to try to go down in both. Does any have any suggestions? I have no idea which to taper first. I am so sick of the brain fog I want to taper the antidepressant first, but I am not sure what interactions may occur. Could I get serotonin syndrome with this? I see that both inhibit CYP2D6, which increases each others' side effects and increases risk of serotonin syndrome. I'd really appreciate some advice, because my psychiatrist doesn't know much about it, and is not much of a help at all. I am just ready to do this the right way and feel emotions/motivation again.
  6. 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?
  7. 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 . . .
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Hey everyone! Around a week ago I posted a topic about me having been on 2.5mg of Cipralex for 7 weeks after cutting down from 20mg slowly since the beginning of the year. Everything went well till I dropped to 2.5mg and felt absolutely horrible since then. Then around a week ago I decided to reinstate back up to 5mg because I think I still need to take it and use it in conjunction with therapy. Now it's been 8 days that I've been taking 5mg again and I feel horrible since yesterday. I feel like I'm going crazy. I also have other huge anxieties and headaches and stomach ache. How long is this gonna last till I stabilize again? I thought I would feel better going back up to 5mg but I feel absolutely horrible. I don't know what to do anymore I just want to feel better... any help would be appreciated...
  13. Hey everyone! I really need some answers because I've looked everywhere to try and find one answer which can relate to my question but sadly to no avail. I was on 20mg Cipralex for 7 years due to general anxiety disorder. I was feeling better last year so decided this year in February I would start tapering and weaning off. It all went great until roughly 7 weeks ago when I went from 5mg to 2.5mg. Withdrawal has hit me hard and I have been off work since then. My question is basically, after now 7 weeks is it safe to go back up to 5mg from 2.5? I felt fine on 5mg hence me wanting to move back up to it. And how long will it take for the WD symptoms to go away or just for me to feel better cos currently I'm just having a hard time functioning. I'm afraid of everything basically. Thank you for any reply
  14. My husband suffered a psychotic episode in his thirties with no previous history of anything like this. It was terrifying for me, seeing it happen, and watching him completely lose his mind entirely. Eventually, he was hospitalised because I just had no idea what else to do. I'd spent days arguing with him, trying to make him see sense. I didn't realise then that you can't just talk a delusional person into sanity. But what I didn't realise either was what would happen after he was put on drugs. He was made to take them in hospital and initially put on a 6mg dose of risperidone. I was supportive of that at first, not knowing what else to do and trusting the doctors. But since then he has seemed emotionless and empty. When he has felt emotion, it has been horrible things, like wishing he would die and awful dark feelings of sadness. He has no motivation or drive for anything anymore, and says he has lost all pleasure in everything in life. Eventually, five months later, after reading extensively online, we realised that it isn't just depression that is causing this - it's the risperidone. It causes brain damage. Permanent brain damage to the frontal lobe, which deals with feelings of pleasure, motivation and emotion. Neither of us knew this. None of this was explained to us. Since then, he has been tapering off the drug, but still feels 'empty'. I have read on here by other posters, who seem to post with authority, that this damage isn't permanent and that the central nervous system needs to be given time to recover. This, people have said, takes months or years. My question, however, is this: where are all the people who have recovered from risperidone? I can't find any success stories, especially not for people who were put on dosages as high as my husband was. Do people actually recover from this barbaric drug? If so, where are they? I can't find anybody, not even on here. I can't even find anybody posting on here who has been on the drug for years and hasn't recovered. What happens to all the people who have taken this drug once they come off it? Are there any patients out there who can tell me what it is like years after stopping the drug? Or any wives, husbands, fathers, mothers...anybody? I just can't believe that such a drug can not only be legal but be forced on people, if it permanently damages people in such a way.
  15. I am finding it more and more aggravating every time I read the words, "Depression is a highly treatable illness." It's simplistic and misleading. Professionals hardly spend time with the patients who supposedly have this so-called "highly treatable illness." Anyway, it's not just one illness; it's a lot more complicated than that. This comment convinces people that they are not entering very dangerous territory when they agree to the designation of "depressed patient." I guess I'm just looking back to when this all started for me and the fact that I wasn't presented with alternatives to mood and brain altering chemicals. I took the rose-covered path, and now I am paying a high price. I don't feel angry at the people who tried to help me and believed in what they were doing, but I do feel angry--just trying not to turn it inward and trying to look forward to a better future.
  16. Hello, I stumbled onto this forum because I wanted to do more research about the Road Back Program ... I am certainly glad that I did! Here's a little background about my history and my current state: I have had clinical depression since college. I struggled with taking anti-depressants and finally gave in around 2013 (and by "gave in" I mean taking my prescribed anti-depressant consistently). Needless to say, it's been about 5 years that I've been on Lexapro. I am currently unemployed at the moment. I do not believe that this is a trigger as I didn't really like my former place of employment anyway. My depression symptoms have started to manifest again; I suspect that these symptoms are due to a build-up of Lexapro within my system. The self-proclaimed morning person that I would normally claim to be has disappeared. My mornings are filled with anxiety, suicidal thoughts...and my afternoons are filled with minimal focus on getting basic tasks done. I'm fortunate that I am in a time and space where I can look at getting off Lexapro. I do think my body has built up a tolerance to it; however, I am terrified of going on another medication. I know that I have caught my depression symptoms early ... instead of ignoring them like I did the last time I had a serious depressive episode. For me, when I am depressed I experience the following symptoms: Excessive sleeping (15 hours or more) Little to no eating No libido Every day tasks seem like gargantuan hurdles Little to no motivation to do things I enjoy Isolate from friends and family I am about to lose my insurance coverage, so I will be going to a local mental health clinic in my area. My hope is that the psychiatrist understands that I want to get off of and stay off of an anti-depressant and make lifestyle changes. I have not had good experiences with psychiatrists in the past few years. I am looking for advice about vitamin supplements and withdrawal from Lexapro. I've already read some of the threads on that specific drug...I am looking forward to learning and sharing from this community.
  17. Hello, I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety and prescribed 200mg sertraline at age 15. I took it with few side-effects for 6 years until a psychiatrist advised me to try getting off of it, citing the poorly-understood long term effects of the drug, especially on those who begin taking it while young. I waited several months until I felt stable, then reduced from the 200mg to 0 in several weeks. I had no serious side effects at the time. Within several months, I felt more intense emotions again, including happiness, but also sadness at realizing how my numbed mind had allowed me to stay in unhealthy, unfulfilling relationships/jobs. I began to wake up with intense panic, and had chronic swelling and pain in my jaw. 8 months after going off sertraline, the chronic pain intensified and did not respond to painkillers. I began experiencing extreme fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and flashbacks to traumatic experiences. After many months of inconclusive doctors' appointments, a rheumatologist diagnosed me with Sjogren's Syndrome, although I have no dryness symptoms and am much younger than most people with the disease. I began to have daily panic attacks, increased fatigue, and disorientation. I went back on sertraline in 2017 and took about 4 weeks to get up to the 200mg dose. Since starting the sertraline again, I have remained fatigued, have occasional panic attacks, intense periods of depression/anxiety, and many difficult physical symptoms (body aches, nerve pain, tingling, rash, bowel issues). I decided last week to begin tapering, but to go slowly this time and learn more about the process. I joined this forum to share what I know in case it's helpful, and to add another voice to these shared experiences of living on and off of psychoactive drugs. Best wishes, Alice
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. Mea

    Mea

    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!
  21. just signed up. information and advice is overwhelming!!!! I can only take in some information at t time. I can't believe this isn't more common knowledge. it is a horrible existence. but God is good and He heals. *1991-2003: 12 years on increasing amounts of Prozac, then *2003-2013: 10 years on increasing amounts of Effexor alchohol abuse issues throughout along with nicotine addiction *2013: pscychMD guided 5 month taper from 300MG to zero Effexor while quitting alcohol and nicotine at about the same time ( awful process , so painful and scary)Dr had me adding prozac to reduce the "discontinuation side effects" *then November 2013, not on anything... ------Bad bad bad ( probably and unknowingly, tapered way way way too fast and unknowingly into some Med PAWS and paws from alcohol ( 8 months without etoh at this time, 4 years now ) * Ran to psychMD and he put me on Latuda then Brintellix ( now called trintellix) *4 months later those about killed me and landed me 3 days in the hospital and then in intensive treatment for depression/anxiety for 5 months. During that time they tried different things too fast and furious with a lot of bad reactions to stuff. Chemical Assaults!!!! this included seroquel, Depakote Summer 2014 finishing up intensive treatment ("pills and skills" what a crock...): I ended up on a cocktail of xoloft, Wellbutrin and elavil. I didn't need more drugs. I was suffering from protracted w/d and chemical assault shock/ptsd. the medical community has no idea. they say "your mental illness is chronic and progressive so you have to manage it continually with drug additions/changes". you can't make this stuff up for a horror movie. *At this time (summer of 2014) I was diagnosed with MS (significant brain lesions and positive other tests for MS) and told I had to go off Humira. I had been on Humira or Enbrel for 13 years, as well as anti inflammatories for arthritis. I stopped these. One year later I started a 4 month taper of these psych drugs. This was way too fast and probably caused more damage/ptsd March 2017: Now I am 14 months total medicine free and dealing with recovery from the damage caused by the actions above. I don't know what is what in terms of cause and effect. I only know that it has been and continues to be awful. a hellish relentless anguish of a myriad of symptoms, an awful existence...after having lost my marriage, family, career possibilities, life...other than faith...I still have my faith in Jesus Christ and God's promises of who HE is, what He's like, and who I am. God Loves me and has taken and continues to take care of me in miraculous ways... He just hasn't healed me fully yet. Is it MS? Immune dysfunction? ANS dysfunction? Damage while taking medicines and self medicating with alcohol ? PAWS from alcohol? PAWS from psych drugs? Chicken, egg or road? It amazes me how after not being on meds for a while, we can suddenly get drastically worse with new or worsening symptoms. 25 years of pschych drug chemical assault and 2 way too abrupt tapers have left me in this state. not to mention MS. Such a mess. Hell on earth. Anguish. So many symptoms.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!!!
  24. Hi. I feel very weak emotionally. Slightest things get to my heart. I dream ( nightmares) about my childhood and some times wakeup in tears. Smallest of argruements with my partner causes me extreme anxiety. A feeling of worthlessness n so much tears. Doc told me to take zaptra 12.5 been almost a year now. But still i have horrible mood swings. Sweats in sleep. Fear.. i tried aura cleansing meditation. Joined art of living, yoga. But yet, smallest of things trigger extreme emotions.
  25. I am 54 years old, and experienced my first manic episode, starting 1st November of last year, requiring a month of involuntary hospitalisation starting 14th November brought on by numerous stressors. I was on Lithium and Haloperidol, from the 15th Nov, then ±900mg Lithium and 0.5mg Risperidone from the 15th Jan . I started tapering the Risperidone from the Feb 16th. My last dose was 0.125mg on 15 March. How long will the withdrawal symptoms last? The reason why I'm asking is I'd also like to know if I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms or bipolar depression? The intense depressive feelings arrive and leave suddenly and unexpectedly, sometimes lasting a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, after which I feel mildly depressed again, which is a general state. I am able to be lifted, for example by gardening, good cooking, humour etc, during this general milder state. I have general anxiety about several factors which triggered the original mania, namely money (increased now, due to difficulty working), accommodation for my and my spouse's ageing parents who are both difficult to work with, those being by far the most major among other stressors. I have found that very carefully-considered and rare - perhaps twice a week - use of Diazepam can also return me to this state from the more intense state. I intended to start tapering the Lithium once I feel more stable and know myself better after this current tapering. I apologise if this has been covered before, but I find reading and writing about my condition extremely stress inducing, which is to say getting to this point has not been easy. I am eternally grateful in advance for the help.
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