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  1. Hey guys, My past medications: these were most recent, from the age of 15 onward: - Pristiq - 100 mg - Abilify - 15 mg - Fluoxetine - 20 mg - L-methyl folate (supplement) - Adderrall XR (in morning) - forget dosage - Adderrall , 2 throughout day - forget dosage When I was 10, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety due to an unstable home life at my Mom’s. I was diagnosed with anxiety and began taking Fluoxetine after an initial meeting with a psychologist followed by a psychiatrist. At age 15, I attempted suicide and was admitted to a teen unit at a local hospital. There, I was placed on many of the medications that would later be incredibly difficult to discontinue. By age 20, I had erectile dysfunction, weighed ≈285 pounds at 6’, couldn’t concentrate on anything, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, had severely limited vision in both eyes, slept 12 hours per night, had a constant feeling of emptiness, and had an overall feeling of not being present in my life (just kind of floating around). On March 12th, 2020 (yes, at the beginning of the pandemic), I stopped everything Cold Turkey. It probably wasn’t the smartest move, but I’m so glad I did it. I went through about 4 months of what I can only describe as hell. Vomiting, diarrhea, alternating between sleeping for 12 hours and 3 hours per night, and a rollercoaster of emotions I’d never felt before. I’m currently 185 pounds, diabetes free, updated my license yesterday to remove my vision restriction (my vision corrected), have a pretty good running/ weightlifting habit / Nutrition approach going, I just finished 2 years at a local Community College with a 3.2 overall GPA in a transfer program to a B.S. in Chemistry, and life is fantastic. Everything works well, I’m feeling real, genuine emotions for the first time in my life, and I’m thrilled to be alive. The only drawback from this whole discontinuation process is that I now can’t stay in bed for more than 6-7 hours. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, getting the vision restriction from my license removed yesterday prompted me to speak about my story (I guess you could call it a personal milestone). I’m still navigating the whole relationship, being human, and experiencing emotions part of everything but I can say that for once in my life, I’m very happy. Feel free to ask me anything. Thanks everyone, Connor
  2. Hi Everyone, I'm pleased to find this forum, but I am sorry that it is for the reason it is. It is amazing how many people are suffering from AD WD, and the symptoms and length of time it can take. I found this site from searching withdrawal symptoms, because today is my 10th day at my lower dose and I have been feeling worse today than at any time since I halved my dosage. Recently I became absolutely miserable about my aches and pains, which were stopping me from doing things around the house and causing sleep problems. I started wondering about them and then remembered that I had had to go off Prozac (about 20 years ago) when I got muscle weakness. St John's Wort also caused similar but not as bad muscle weakness so I stopped that too. I started researching AD symptoms and made (what seems to be) the connection that I have Serotonin Syndrome so I made the decision to reduce my Pristiq from 100 mg to 50 mg. The doctor suggested alternating between 100 & 50 for 2 months, but because the aches and pains are debilitating I decided to see how I went going straight to 50. After a couple of days I did get mild zapping / electric shock sensations, and also headaches for several days at the end of the 1st week. I slept a lot over the first 3 days (and was able to sleep at night). Then I had several nights where I had trouble sleeping. Last night I slept through for the first time. I had several days where I had an upset stomach which I had thought was a tummy bug but I now realise it is possibly from the withdrawal. At this time, I am feeling achy (a bit like the flu), different from being on the higher dose. This surpised me because I had been going well. Thinking back, the first few days I wasn't drinking coffee. Then I started having coffee in the morning again and yesterday I had one at breakfast and then another at lunchtime. What I have read on this site confirms my suspicion that it may be the cause of me not feeling as good as I had so no more coffee for me. Yesterday I decided that I need to started taking more care of my nutrition (I haven't had much of an appetite lately), and what I have read here confirms this. I am taking one day at a time, and I am not making any decision yet as to whether I will go off the Pristiq completely or stay on the 50 mg. At the end of last year I completed a free Government funded online workshop (I'm in Australia) which I found very helpful. Even though I had previously seen a psychologist, had done a lot of reading of books and internet articles and "knew" CBT (which I have nicknamed Change Bad Thinking) I found that doing the workshop (which was over 8 weeks) was very helpful because it was practising the CBT, instead of just knowing it. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone all the best as you deal with whatever you are going through. Unfortunately, that is the hard part. We have to go through it ourselves. Thankfully, though, others can support us. Take care everyone. ChessieCat
  3. Ashton1226

    Ashton1226: Symptoms

    Hey there, I’m 25 (F) been on antidepressants since 2016 and have been on Desvenlafaxine ER succinate 50mg for a few months then 25 mg for 2-3 years and stopped the first week of April after tapering for 2 weeks. I felt good and clear at first and now I have been anxious and feeling weird and am pretty sure I am having withdrawls or PAWS. Has anyone else experienced this from this medication?
  4. WARNING. This is very long and took me hours to write. I didnt know what to include. I figured more information was more information so.. Here it all is. If anyone has advice on what i should cut please do advise! TLDR is i accidentally went cold turkey off 2.5 1x week Escitalopram, have been treating it all wrong with propanolol, thc and cbd. Countless mood and physical symptoms. Believe I have kindled and made going back on impossible. Scared to wait this out incase of psychosis. Scared to reinstate. Terrified of everything and tired and unable to sleep. Okay, I dont know what to write here, so ill give a small summary background and history I took from my summary for applying for the board. My mental health and my lack of steady GP has made finding dates VERY hard and I went through a lot of patchy on off med periods so its a little unclear, sorry. I did my best to match referrals and old receipts for rough dating. History- Depression and suicidality 2003~2013. 2013, suddenly panic attacks and anxiety, went to psych, was prescribed Sertraline, unsure dose. 2013~ 2016 Sertraline - Felt no better & hated side effects so CT. Didn't notice WD. Tried Desvenfalaxine, then Fluoxetine. No improvement on depression within months like I wanted, side effects too horrible. CT off both. Tried Escitalopram, helped panic attacks. CT off all and no WD noticed. During these years I was bad, very depressed, barely left bed, would hold jobs for months and then drop. Mostly same since 2003. 2016~2019 Mental Health crisis around August 2016 led to being in and out of ER, decided reinstate medication. 40mg Escitalopram initially followed by addition of Wellbutrin, 75 up to 150mg. Escitalopram reduced to 20mg sometime btwn August 2016 and Feb 2017, then down to 10mg by July 2017. All unsupervised tapers, doctors saw my doses changing and were unphased. No WD experienced. Stabilized. Struggled with depression and anxiety, but no panic. No suicidality. 2019-2020 Started to be lax with occasionally not taking meds. Stopped Zyban cold turkey during 2020 or 2019 due to night sweats, feeling stable and feeling like it affected my memory. Ocasional forgetting to take escitalopram for a few days. Mostly stable Escitalopram at 10mg. 2020-2022 Minor depression but the best i had been, even before meds. Have not had suicidal feelings in 6 years, no panic attacks. I spent years slowly working up a reward system for myself to encourage myself to do things like shower daily, cook and eat real food. During this time none of that is an effort and I begin adding to things. I institute a cleaning schedule with WEEKLY house cleaning. I cook. I eat regularly. I exercise on and off. I feel stable and HAPPY for the first time ever. Even my hard days pale in comparison and instead of not leaving bed or eating for 30hrs my worst times are a week where my chores are a bit lax. I get a job by CHOICE. But I begin to notice through this two things - I went on Escitalopram to manage panic attacks and now im only having mild anxiety... But I have TERRIBLE emotional blunting. I can't laugh, I can‘t cry. Bad things will happen and I can feel it like a pressure under the surface. I even listen to sad things to TRY and cry and nothing. I begin to try and taper. To be honest I think I tried CT and the brainzaps put me off. Over 2020 maybe, but mostly 2021, I Taper unsupervised down to 5mg daily... then every other day I try and push it and only take meds when noticing brainzaps. I DO NOT KNOW that means withdrawal or that i am essentially entering withdrawal every few weeks. Noticing 5 is still producing annoying blunting I go down to taking 2.5 1-2x week by late 2021, only when I have brainzaps. I told doctors about this and nobody said anything, nobody said not to do this! During 2020~2021 I start to, in retrospect, have what was probably withdrawal symptoms. My Anxiety has waves and days or weeks of being moderately bad in a way I've never experienced. I latch on to certain almost intrusive worries and struggle with them a lot. I begin to obsess about finances, my weight, healthy food, calories etc. It only gets as bad as mild crying on some intermittent days tho. Its draining but liveable. This makes me more encouraged to try and not take Escitalopram as I have never found it helpful for my general anxiety and rumination and would like to find something not blunting. November through January I feel my best ever. I start a new job and have a week in January this year where I take 5mg because im struggling with anxiety, then went back down to 2.5 “as needed” Mild brain zaps in February, twice I have days where i feel derealized and dizzy, but hours later i have a migraine so unsure if withdrawal or symptons of migraine. Start to feel mildly depressed early March - My contract at my Job is up and its the first job I have managed 2 days a week at without burning out. The depression feels rational though, im worrying about ever having real money or holding down a full time job, since my “best” I still cant handle it. This still feels like my depression. I try and stick to the 2.5 because it wards off brainzaps, but i dont feel emotionally blunted. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WD AND CURRENT ISSUES START HERE. 17/03 2022 Sudden HARD crash. I feel.. weird.Dizzy, so dizzy i feel like im falling over. Spacey, nauseous. I take my 2.5 but it does not improve. First panic attack in 6 years on the 19th. On 20th Tried reinstate at 5mg, just in a prayer for stability, not knowing what is happening. Maybe mild help at most. I wake up having a panic attack at 4am the 21st and cant calm down. derealization, nausea.. I see the GP on the 21st, he says my dosage was so low as to be pretty much nonexistant and taking the meds again wont give relief. I feel like im going insane because I can feel calm mentally and start having panic attacks out of nowhere. I stil feel okay emotionally but this is eating at me. Put on propanolol every 4 hrs as needed, when i first take it and the physical symptoms calm down I feel INSTANT relief and cry. 21st-But, for the first time ever I have insomnia- Ive always fallen asleep at like 2-4am and awake at 10-12, but during depression usually I am a sleep for 16hrs straight type. Im having migraine headaches, i cant keep food down. Im mixing antiemetics and propnaolol. I feel SO DIZZY i lay in bed all night feeling like im falling. I take a maxalt and manage an hour and a half sleep for the first time in two days. 22ng I begin to suspect withdrawal now. Net says 3wks so I decide to try and hold. I distract myself by cleaning, I start having hot and cold flushes. Laying in bed gives me panic attacks. I get dizzy and scared of more panic attacks and not sleeping ever again, followed by heart pounding and shaking and hot and cold flushes back to back for hours. I take two temazepam i found that expired in 2019 and feel no better, sleep an hour or so. 23rd. Messaging my mum everyday, she wants me to try CBD and THC. I get an appointment. Im starting to feel less panicky per day, only random attacks rather than back to back all day, seemingly untriggered, sudden chills and heart pounding. Except if I lay down, then I always panic. I try the couch and the floor, i try breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation. I go buy Restavit. I emotionally collapse. I barely remember this so here is what I sent my mother> “ Last night was ***** at first. Hysterical crying on the floor, felt like I was dying, [partner] even went searching for valium bc i was so ***** but found none. Went to bed early and was exhausted but still could not pass out for an hour of panic(continous chills and feeling like i had been dunked in cold water and shaking and chest felt tight etc). Took the sedatives and still could not, got up and paced around for a bit which felt SO funny bc I was dizzy and struggling to walk but if I stopped I panicked so I was just stumbling back and forth around the kitchen. I went back to bed and eventually somewhere between 5am and 9am passed out and then slept until frickin 6pm. Beginning to suspect its some weird delayed onset ssri discontinuation syndrome. It kinda FEELS physically like getting brainzaps does. The fact its random out of nowhere, no trigger, cant calm myself mwntally, comes in waves, so much worse at night. I feel a lot better today. Not even taken a single beta blocker. Chest has been a bit tight all day and struggling a bit with feeling like nothing is real. Starting to have scalp crawling tingles now so hopefully not gonna be a repeat of last night.”. Prescribed THc and CBD oils. The next few days are a fog and I dont message my mum so Im unsure what happened. I know my panic attacks started to not happen I know they stopped around saturday the 26th so I stop taking propanolol. I know my insomnia sucked. I took restavit a few times during this, it helped twice and didnt twice. I started to feel okay and even good on sunday and monday. My anxiety was a 4~5 on this day from the 7~10 it had been. By 29th of March I begin my THC and CBD and am not feeling good. I take my CBD to no effect. The THC makes me feel GOOD. Not euphoric but the closest to how i felt emotionally and anxiety wise for the first time since this started. But dont even manage the 4hrs of sleep ive gotten the last few days. I think this is a BAD idea bc I start to feel BAD on the 30th and panicky again. I dont remember this week well. I have no messages during this time. I take CBD 0.125ml at 100mg per ml on 29, 30th, 31st and 0.25 on the first. Nothing, maybe minorly more anxiety. THC is a 10thc15cbd per ml mix. I take 0.25ml 29, 30th at 7:44pm AND 144 am And take a restavit and STILL can not fall asleep and feel nothing on the 30th. I try 0.5 on the first, I actually do sleep. I take 0.5 on the 02 and cant sleep at all again. I feel focused and calm and awake so I drop them both. I convince myself all the other websites are right and look to the 7th as a day all will resolve. On and off dizzyness and constant insomnia this week, falling asleep for barely 4 hrs most nights. Tummy and appetite issuesstill but no panic. My mood effects start coming in this week. I flip between total fog inability to engage with or enjoy anything zoned out on the couch for hours exhausted and existing, to crying spells of hours out of nowhere. But I can eat without nausea most days and I can do some cooking, i manage to cook two meals for mt partner. I start to notice fluey symptoms~ body aches and post nasal drip and cough. On the 6th I start thinking about giving up on holding. I cant stop sobbing hystericallt all day. take some thc at 0.25 ml and despite barely any effects on 0.5 I feel kinda high. My mood and appetite feel really good and I have mild warm and fuzzies. I crash though and cant sleep and after the come down im shaky "my nervous system is so fried. went to bed at 4, fell asleep at 1030am. slept from then till 11:40, then 12:25 to 1:30 then 1:40 to 4:30. maybe 4 and a half hours total. I feel wide awake but also tired the whole time and cant tell if im falling asleep. Im scared of benzos as a solution tho" Im beginning to be scared of how im effecting my partner and his mood and sleep as my only support. I had two good days again that week and went out one day. I am struggling emotionally more and more. I cant be alone or I spiral. I sit in my partners room on the floor while I scroll, being in a room with someone helps. I take restavit for the fifth time in two weeks on the 7th. Ive had mixed results and groggyness 12hrs later but im desperate so I take 50mg. I SLEEP. The next few days I take 25mg, I wake up every two to four hours but I manage 6 hours. Even if I take restavit at midnight I dont fall asleep till 8 am most days but SLEEP IS SWEET RELIEF. Still anhedonic and weepy. Dont manage chores this week. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Which brings us to the last few days. A fresh hell. Im struggling. Not distracting myself. Thoughts start to get worse. 10th i cry and obsess till bed time about how I will be stuck like this forever. I get stuck on the idea that even if I go back on my meds I can only work 2 days a week. I get stuck on obsessing about money. All the therapists in my area are 100~800$. How will I ever get therapy and get better. How will I ever get on disability with no proper history. 11th is my worst day yet. I cry about that some more. I cry about being stuck like this. About a two year possible taper. About why am i having WD symptoms. About fear of waiting this out and it not getting better. Fear of going back on and kindling happening bc I ***** myself up with the once a week bullsh*t. And then having to go through this anyway. About a two year taper of no emotions. About not having sleep at all without restavit no matter what I do. I take 0.25 mg of thc in the afternoon. I feel euphoric and quite high. Then I feel BAD about that. What if i have to get high every day to cope? My boyfriend has addiction history, this is wrong to do around him. Etc. I cry a LOT FOR HOURS. I finally calm down for a few hours. I have an existenstial crisis about turning 30 and only having worked part time jobs and my mental health and having not ever lived. About finally feeling like I was coping enough to keep my emotions and house i order and now this. Im inconsolable for hours and cry till mt partner falls asleep. I dont sleep. I have intrusive thoughts. I feel suicidal for the firsy time in years. I consider going to the ER, second time i consider that recently. I take THC at 1030, hoping for a nap or at least relief for a few hours. BAD BAD BAD. When it kicks in, despite being the same dose i couldnt feel two weeks ago or was happy on yesterday I start.. hallucinating, I guess? Its all the symptoms of tripping on LSD. Letters on my keyboard mildly glow, words wiggle, afterimagea when I blink. I PANIC. THC ISNT MEANT TO DO THIS. I start to shake, like intense shivering, can barely type to my partner. He comes home from work for lunch. I worry that ive induced psychosis. we talk about the hospital. Im having paranoia now, that i've induced psychosis, that if I go in theyll put me on benzos, that im never going to be okay again. I cant eat. I feel like throwing up. My stomach is bad. Hours later I calm down. I feel fragile as glass. I keep crying on and off. Im actually stable enough by 10pm to enjoy playing some games with mt partner for the first time ina week. But I cry a lot. I apply here. I read a lot. Food tastes bad still. No appetite. Feel exhausted but wired. I take half a restavit. I spend hours writing this. I argue with my mum about whether to reinstate or whether ive made things too bad for that. Ive been awake 30 hours now. Im going to take another half a restavit. I know I shouldnt. I know how much I have done wrong. I know Ill be groggy till 4pm tomorrow. I know Im in a very bad place. The panic attacks are gone, I still get mild dizzyness on and off. I still get chills. But mostly my emotions are now a mess. I have never cried this much in my life. I feel like i have no control over my thoughts and emotions. I spiral and ruminate and feel depressed the last few days. My mum wants me to go to an inpatient hospital, or talk to the ER. I am afraid of being put on benzos by someone who doesnt understand. My boyfriend wants me to hold for two more weeks, since its changing so rapidly and i have new symptoms every day and ive passed the headaches and panic attacks. I am very scared. I dont know what to do. Taking two years to taper down and having to suffer withdrawals anyway sounds like hell. The risk of kindling and the fact I didnt feel better with the 2.5 or 5 the first week scares me so much. I dont know if im more afraid of living like this for much longer in the hope it will resolve, or of trying to go on meds and that kindling and being even WORSE, or of years of suffering when i might resolve in a few more weeks when i have already made it through almost four weeks of hell. I am scared though. And this week I am suffering. And I need advice. I know I wrote a lot. Im sorry. Ive been so scared and nobody around me understands and all want me to find help from a doctor and i am so afraid the doctors will make it worse. The THC sure did and the advice to not reinstate might have.
  5. Hi, ive recently been taken off Effexor which I was on for 2 months, I was then on pristiq for 25 days. 3 months in total. I have had a really tough year trialling meds that didn’t help but made everything worse. My psyc told me to stop pristiq cold turkey due to my rapid decline in mental state. the first 6 days where hell with zaps and vertigo and migraines. I still feel dizzy at times and my cognitive function feels like it’s lagging. Now day 10 I have woken with what I thought was a UTI. I went to the doctor and I don’t have a UTI. Upon research based on symptoms I’m concerned it’s Cystitis as my bladder feels like it’s on fire and or possible PGAD. are there any success stories where this naturally corrects itself and this is another withdrawal symptom. Naturally the body and nerves will take time to heal? advise and help needed- I mentally feel so good putting all meds in the bin but feeling very overwhelmed physically thank you in advance x
  6. ADMIN NOTE 10 09 17 Lilu wants everyone to know: "Please disregard my initial posts, since my knowledge about the subject of withdrawal was very limited and often wrong. Please follow the administrators' knowledge and advice to properly taper your medication." I would like to know if anyone else has experienced while on Pristiq: I take 50 mg of Pristiq every morning at around 8 am. But despite sleeping for 8 or 9 hours a night, I wake up feeling tired and sleepy with a heavy brain fog that pretty much lasts all day. It does seem to lift at around 3 pm when I find myself suddenly feeling more clear and awake. Sometimes though the sleepiness (somnolence) last all day and I feel like I just can't think clearly. It's as if I'm always slightly buzzed or sedated. Recently I found out that Pristiq reaches it's peak concentration level after 7.5 hours. So I will try to take it at night, and see if I will feel more awake and fog-free in the morning. Also, I guess I should mention that when I forget to take a dose of Pristiq, I start to feel extremely drowsy, just as if I have taken a sedative.
  7. Iam on following meds for 10 years Lamotrigine 25 day 50 night Devenaflaxine 25 day 50 night Mirtazapine 15 mg How should i begin tapering Which drug first And can all three be reduced simultaneously
  8. Hey there! This is my first time posting on this platform, so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm in breach of any protocols or haven't used the space appropriately. I tried to read as much as I could before diving into this, but frankly, there's a lot of stuff to sift through, and it got overwhelming at points. So, if I've erred, please, don't hesitate to let me know so that I might make amends. Anyway! My signature pretty much says it all. I've used Venlafaxine (Effexor) to treat social anxiety disorder and chronic depression since I was about 21-years-old (I'm now 30), often bouncing between 150mg and 225mg to varying degrees of success, and with little issue save for some of the nastier side-effects. In my case, those side-effects were weight gain, loss of energy, libidinal ones, and if I miss my dose by even a few hours, the worst brain zaps imaginable. There's been very little interruption of this medication, save for one spell of going cold turkey for a few months, and a few quick run-ins with Fluoxetine (Prozac) and Escitalopram (Cipralex). Ultimately, I kept coming back to Venlafaxine because it worked better than any other medication I'd tried, and I could live with the side-effects even if I'd rather not. So from about 2017 onward until the spring of 2021, I kept on Venlafaxine at about 150mg without interruption. The side-effects really started to weight on me in the months leading up to that spring, particularly the weight gain. I figured that there had to be a better way, and I'd heard great things about Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), so I thought I'd give that a shot. I consulted with my doctor who said that we could do this without issue, but would rather I tried Vortioxetine (Trintellix) instead because of the prohibitive cost of Desvenlafaxine. His plan was to taper off of 150mg of Venlafaxine over a month, and then immediately switch to Vortioxetine. It seemed like a good enough plan to me because, well, I didn't know any better. This, of course, was when my life got ruined, it seems almost irreversibly at times. Simply put: I did not take well to the Vortioxetine. It was an awful, awful experience. I had more panic attacks in my first two weeks on that medication than the rest of my life combined. I'd lost the capacity to think or to speak or to remember anything. I was in constant discomfort. It was like my life had been turned completely upside down. Worse still, I started to develop pure obsessive compulsive disorder, something that hadn't really been a thing for me to this point in my life. I tried and I tried to stick it out, but I had to quit after a month. I couldn't bare to live like that. And my doctor threw in the towel and told me to talk to a psychiatrist. So I did precisely that. I had to wait a month, though, at which point I was without any medication and I suffered such debilitating withdrawals that I had to go to the hospital. I didn't really know what was going on at the time and I'd never felt worse in my life. But, eventually I got through that, and I spoke with a psychiatrist at the hospital. They told me that Vortioxetine was a terrible choice on my doctor's part, and my experience was pretty much par for the course. She said it's by far the worst medication for people with anxiety or social anxiety. She also wasn't particularly fond of me tapering off of Venlafaxine for a month when I'd been using it for the better part of a decade. I started taking Desvenlafaxine on June 1, 2021, with a dosage of 50mg for two weeks, and then up to 100mg. And it didn't really do much for me, which was devastating. I'd wake up having panic attacks. I'd have regular panic attacks throughout the day. On top of it all, I'd developed tinnitus. My social anxiety was in an awful place. I tried to stick out for as long as I could before I threw in the towel on that and switched back to Venlafaxine -- the devil you know, right? The switch back to Venlafaxine offered some relief, but I didn't feel anything like I used to before this whole ordeal. I was still an anxious mess. My pure OCD compulsions remained, another devastating blow. I felt spaced out constantly. It was a better experience than I'd had on Vortioxetine or Desvenlafaxine, but hardly a good one. This would still register as the worst I'd felt from a mental health perspective at any point in my life prior to last spring, when this medication SNAFU turned my life upside down. Worse still, I couldn't really get my dosage up to a helpful level. I seemed to feel worse when I moved up to 75mg. It was like my body and my mind couldn't handle this drug that at one point was a feature of my every day life for years at a time. So, I went back to 37.5mg, feeling awful constantly. Anxious, depressed, suffering pure OCD compulsions... it felt at times like I'd lost my mind. And as it became clear that this wasn't doing much for me, I started to slowly wean myself off of Venlafaxine, one half-bead at a time. I'm now down to one bead, which is about 12mg, if I'm not mistaken. I've felt better as I've weaned down, if only slightly, which is both good and bad. I still feel awful relative to where I was before this medication ordeal started last spring. And I really do need this medication to get through day-to-day life. My situation feels hopeless. I'm watching personal and professional relationships deteriorate because I can't handle even the most rote social engagements without freaking out completely. I've contemplated taking my life on a few occasions, and came very close to doing so last November. I've spoken to a psychiatrist who wants me to try starting Sertraline, but frankly, I'm kind of terrified given my experiences the last few months. I just don't have anymore room for my life to get worse before, well... I don't even know. Any advice on what to do? I'm totally at a loss here, feeling failed by my doctors, and in a hopeless loop that leaves me feeling awful on day-to-day basis, unable to live the life I did at this time a year ago.
  9. Posting this success story is long overdue. I am pleased to say that I am fully recovered. I was mostly recovered at around 18-24 months but still suffered the odd niggling wave. I have been entirely symptom free for over 2 years now. I have so much respect for the people on here, giving support to those who are suffering. Thank you. I don't come on here much but I do check in. I'm open to PMs, especially if I can help anyone suffering during and after a reaction.
  10. I've been taking Pristiq 100mg (plus 5mg Somit to sleep and 100mg Activigil to wake up) for the past 3 years more or less. I've been trying to quit Pristiq for many months due to HORRIBLE withdrawals whenever I forgot even one pill. I got to down the dose to Pristiq 50mg after enduring two weeks of those horrible withrawals and then they were gone, luckily. Now I'm trying to figure out my next step. There's no Pristiq 25mg where I am from. My psych told me to switch to venlafaxine 75mg three days ago, not the XR, the regular. It has such a short half life that I'm having horrible symptoms as well, even though I'm taking 37,5mg in the morning and 37,5mg in the afternoon. I'm trying to figure out if this is the best way to quit Pristiq. She says I should stay with venlafaxine and taper down from it. I'm worried about feeling awful. I can't function. Should I stay with the venlafaxine or switch back to Pristiq 50mg and figure out something else? Should I bridge with Prozac form Pristiq? Should I stay with venlafaxine and THEN bridge with Prozac? Should I just taper down from venlafaxine? By the way, thank you all for describing so accurately all the discontinuations sympotms of the Pristq- the brain zaps, the headaches, the dizziness, the confusion. What has this done to us? I want out.
  11. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE TOPIC BEFORE GOING OFF PRISTIQ. Pristiq comes in insufficient dosages to taper. Do not alternate doses of Pristiq to taper -- this will cause the levels of this medication in your brain to go up and down and is second only to cold-turkey in causing withdrawal symptoms. AND DON'T COLD-TURKEY EITHER!!!!!!!!! To reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and post-discontinuation prolonged withdrawal syndrome, as with other psychiatric drugs we recommend reducing Pristiq by 10% per month, calculated on the last dosage. (The amount of the reduction gets progressively smaller.) See Why taper by 10% of my dosage? The official prescribing information from the FDA contains this: However, Pristiq is difficult to taper "at a more gradual rate" as it comes in only 3 dosages: low, average and excessive -- and officially, the tablets cannot be split. PROTEST THIS DANGEROUS DRUG Phone Pfizer, Pristiq's manufacturer, to make a complaint: (800) 438-1985 in the US Pfizer has not provided any specific information on how to taper from a dosage of 25mg Pristiq, the lowest available dosage. They may suggest alternating dosages to taper Pristiq. Don't do this -- it's like playing ping-pong with your brain. File a complaint about the difficulty of tapering off Pristiq -- the range of dosages is inadequate. Also complain to the FDA 1-800-FDA-1088 Mon–Fri between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. Pristiq is Effexor's fancier sibling Pristiq is a drug made of Effexor's (venlafaxine) active metabolite, O-desvenlafaxine. Pristiq is to Effexor as Lexapro is to Celexa -- a tweaked and more powerful isomer molecule. In effect, Pristiq is concentrated Effexor. See http://www.primarypsychiatry.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=2464 According to Pfizer http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=497, Pristiq is available in extended-release tablets of 25mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg; the most common dosage is 50mg. Unlike Effexor, which is metabolized primarily by liver enzyme P450 CYP2D6, Pristiq is metabolized via conjugation and liver enzyme P450 CYP3A4. It attains peak plasma concentrations in about 7.5 hours. As a chemical, before it's put into an extended-release tablet, desvenlafaxine has a half-life of around 11 hours. Pristiq's extended-release formulation According to this paper, the extended-release formulation releases desvenlafaxine over 24 hours. The mean half-life of desvenlafaxine, without the extended-release formulation, is around 11 hours. The extended-release formulation is a monolithic matrix -- it's in the glue that holds the tablet together, not in the coating. I confirmed this in a phone conversation with Pfizer medical information (1-800-438-1985). (Thank you, oaklily, for this information about the matrix formulation.) Rather than a timed-release coating, the coating on the Pristiq tablet is only protective. The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. This is called a monolithic matrix tablet. If the tablet is split, the matrix is damaged and may not reliably be extended-release, depending on the size of the fragments. Larger fragments are more likely to retain some extended-release capability. When the tablet is CRUSHED, the matrix is completely destroyed. The particles should be assumed to have NO extended-release capability. A Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. (Here is a description of the similar matrix formulation for quetiapine XR (Seroquel XR) .) OPTIONS FOR TAPERING PRISTIQ Since medicine knows nothing about tapering Pristiq, the following are all informal suggestions. Try any of them at your own risk. Please let us know how you do by posting in this topic. Cut up Pristiq tablets Despite the warnings not to cut it up, from reports on the Web, cutting up Pristiq tablets does seem to work for some but it makes others ill, possibly because of "dose dumping." According to Pubmed on Desvenlafaxine: "....The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medicine as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in the stool...." The extended-release mechanism is part of the tablet matrix, or the glue that holds the tablet together. If the matrix is destroyed, the entire dose is released at once or "dumped," instead of being gradually released through the matrix formulation. Without the extended-release matrix, a Pristiq fragment becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. To avoid "dose dumping" of the entire dose, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. Cut-up Pristiq seems to sometimes cause stomach upset, which may be reduced by taking it with food. Now that the 25mg tablet is available, cutting it into quarters gives you the option to taper by 6.25mg per step. If you are taking 100mg Pristiq or 50mg Pristiq, you may wish to request part of your prescription be written for 25mg tablets. (For insurance coverage of multiple dosages, your doctor most likely will have to specify taking Pristiq in "divided doses.") You may find you need a precise way to measure your tablet fragments. See Using a digital scale to measure doses As you get down to a low dose, you may wish to switch to Effexor to more precisely control dosage decreases, see below. Reducing from 100mg Pristiq to 50mg Pristiq Drug switches incur additional risk. Before trying a switch to Effexor or Prozac (fluoxetine) from 100mg Pristiq, it's probably wise to go down to 50mg Pristiq first, or 25mg if possible. Combining whole tablets, with their extended-release qualities, with tablet fragments probably makes "dose dumping" less likely or noticeable. You might use a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to make the first reduction to 93.75mg 2nd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 87.5mg 3rd reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 81.25mg 4th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus a 25mg tablet to go to 75mg 5th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 3/4 of a 25mg tablet (18.75mg) to go to 68.75mg 6th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 2/4 of a 25mg tablet (12.5mg) to go to 62.5mg 7th reduction: a 50mg tablet plus 1/4 of a 25mg tablet (6.25mg) to go to 56.25mg 8th reduction: a 50mg tablet If withdrawal symptoms occur, some people have found taking an additional fragment of a tablet can smooth the transition from one dosage to another. Another way to get from 100mg to 50mg or 25mg is to combine Pristiq tablets with a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor (see below). Once at 50mg or 25mg, stabilize for a month at least and consider your plan for the next stage of tapering. Have Pristiq made into smaller dosage capsules or a liquid by a compounding pharmacy Compounding pharmacies can crush the tablets and put the powder into smaller capsules by weight. Like cutting up tablets or crushing, this destroys the time-release quality, but the compounded method is much more exact. In your body, crushed Pristiq is similar to regular immediate-release Effexor, with an 11-hour half-life. You may wish to have your dose compounded to take twice a day. If you are taking 50mg Pristiq, for example, you would have 60 capsules compounded per month. Each capsule would be 1/2 of 45mg (a 10% reduction of 50mg) or 22.5mg. You would take two capsules per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening. The next month, you would have 60 capsules compounded, each capsule being 1/2 of 40.5mg (a 10% reduction of 45mg) or 20.25mg. And so forth, for each reduction. (According to my compounding pharmacy, they can put in a slow-release additive distributing absorption over 8-10 hours. This is not as long as the Pristiq time-release coating, but at least it's something. Check with your compounding pharmacy about this. See getting-custom-dosages-at-compounding-pharmacies-us-uk-and-elsewhere ) If this does not work, you may wish to switch to Effexor XR and use the bead-counting method. Regular Effexor probably wouldn't be an advantage over Pristiq compounded to custom dosages. One of our members had a desvenlafaxine liquid made by a compounding pharmacy. Most likely, this compounder used pure desvenlafaxine succinate powder to make this liquid, as desvenlafaxine tablets contain a glue that might resist being made into a liquid. But he may have a way to grind tablets up to make a suspension. A liquid would have to be immediate-release, with a half-life of around 11 hours. Generally, you'd take a drug with that short a half-life twice a day. Crush Pristiq tablets, weigh powder with a digital scale This is similar to cutting up tablets -- Pristiq is a "do not crush" medication, as it is a time-release drug. The Pristiq powder becomes desvenlafaxine, with an 11-hour half life. If you pulverize the tablet, you might take smaller divided doses of Pristiq, more than once a day, like immediate-release Effexor, to mimic an extended-release dose. In principle, this would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets: Crush the tablet Make sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder Weigh the powder for a dose with a digital scale Put the powder into an empty gelatin capsule to make it easier to ingest Peer discussion of this method starts here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__27417 Switch to Effexor or Effexor XR Note: If you've had an adverse reaction to Effexor before, do NOT switch from Pristiq to Effexor. "Desvenlafaxine (O-desmethylvenlafaxine) is the major active metabolite of venlafaxine." Since the relationship is so close, switching to regular immediate-release Effexor tablets, which you can cut up or make into a liquid, this may be the best way to taper off Pristiq. Because it has a mean half-life of 5 hours, you'd have to take regular Effexor twice a day. Alternatively, you might substitute Effexor XR, which is released gradually like Pristiq and needs to be taken only once a day. You'd have the difficulty of tapering off Effexor or Effexor XR -- themselves notorious for withdrawal difficulties -- but at least you can do that gradually. See Tips for tapering off Effexor and Effexor XR (venlafaxine). According to FDA Prescribing Information for venlafaxine (Effexor), the usual dose of Effexor is 150mg per day. Since 150mg Effexor and 50mg Pristiq are both "normal" dosages of their respective drugs, they may be roughly equivalent. (If you've just quit Pristiq and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you may wish to reinstate a LOWER dose of Effexor XR, such as 37.5mg, to start. This may be enough to stop withdrawal symptoms and avoid a kindling reaction.) The psychiatrist who writes the 1boringoldman.com blog reports success in switching one patient from Pristiq to Effexor, then tapering Effexor, here (see comments) Another psychiatrist said when he tried this, the switch from Pristiq to Effexor was "seamless." Dr. Stuart Shipko posts here: Advice from a psychiatric pharmacist I have been corresponding with a professor at a prominent US university pharmacy department. Here is his best guess at how to taper Pristiq (he does not want his name published): Then taper off fluoxetine (Prozac). See Tips for Tapering Prozac Advice from Dr. Stephen Stahl, author of the manual Essential Psychopharmacology In his widely read psychopharmacology manual, eminent psychopharmacologist Stephen Stahl advises titration by crushing the tablets and mixing in fruit juice, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__14799 According to our member oaklily, Stahl is wrong. Making a liquid from Pristiq does not work, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/page__view__findpost__p__24822 Dr. Stahl intends to correct his book, according to this correspondence 09/15-9/16/13 with him: Use a combination of Pristiq tablets and Effexor liquid Pristiq cannot be made into a liquid, but its close relative immediate-release Effexor (not Effexor XR) can. You may be able to go off Pristiq by taking part of your dose in lower-dose tablets and part in liquid Effexor, gradually converting to all-liquid Effexor as you get to lower dosages. This may offer a convenient and gradual path off Pristiq. Only regular immediate-release Effexor can be made into a liquid (see Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine) ). As immediate-release Effexor has a short half-life and is usually dosed twice a day, you may wish to take the liquid portion of your dosage later in the day. For example, if you are taking 100mg Pristiq, you may wish to take your daily dose as one 50mg tablet and the rest later in the evening as a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. You can titrate the liquid by 10% of your daily dosage to taper until you get to 50mg. Then you can take a 25mg Pristiq tablet with the rest in a liquid made from immediate-release Effexor. When you get to 25mg Pristiq, you might switch to splitting the tablet and taking the rest in Effexor liquid and so on until you are taking only liquid Effexor. To do this, you will have to request a prescription for Effexor tablets as well as Pristiq from your doctor. "Bridging" with Prozac or another antidepressant Any drug change incurs additional risk. A switch to Prozac from Pristiq may not work -- they are very different drugs -- or you might have adverse reactions to Prozac. Prozac is regularly used to "bridge" off Effexor. Given that Pristiq is a sibling of Effexor and Effexor XR, it is possible that one can, similarly, use Prozac to withdraw from Pristiq. Attributed to Joseph Glenmullen, the "bridging" technique is described by a doctor here http://www.bipolarworld.net/Phelps/ph_2005/ph1354.htm Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac: The Prozac switch or "bridging" with Prozac Later, taper off Prozac. At least Prozac comes in a liquid. To do this, consult a doctor knowledgeable about this technique.
  12. Hi all, I am currently 4 months removed from any pharmaceuticals after a lengthy 6-7 month withdrawal from Pristiq, then a relatively quick taper of Buspar/Buspirone (1 month). I spent half of my life (starting at age 22) on anti-depressants such as Lexapro, Zoloft, and most recently (the last 12 years) Pristiq. I was on 100 mg of Pristiq for most of that stretch. Around the end of 2020, my psychiatrist added Buspirone to help with anxiety...which did help. I later discovered that an SNRI, according to my psychiatrist, can cause anxiety in some people. If true, I was certainly one of those people. During this entire 22 year ordeal, my depression and anxiety was fairly under control, but I was absolutely crippled with daily insomnia and unending sexual side-effects. Starting around February of 2021, I started taking a new approach to self-care, my health, and I finally enrolled in proper counseling first time in my life to address to root cause of my depression and anxiety. In addition, the book Breaking the Patterns of Depress by Dr. Michael Yapko was a huge help. I worked with both my psychiatrist and my primary care physician to slowly taper down Pristiq (which wasn't too bad until I hit the lowest possible dose of 25mg). I started the the final taper of Pristiq in October 2021...and it was brutal. What actually carried me through, personally, was a temporary increase in Buspirone (recommended by my primary care doc), which seemed to ease my anxiety and help with some of the discontinuation symptoms of dizziness and brain-zaps. Finally, in November of 2021, I completed my taper of Buspirone. Although I've had peaks and valley's during this recovery, I feel the best mentally...in the history of me! I was never a heavy drinker, but I have completely stopped drinking alcohol to give myself the best chance at this recovery...and I also exercise daily for the first time in my life. Although the sexual side effects are around 50% better (praying this continues to improve) my insomnia continues to be absolutely debilitating. My main question: Even though it's been 4 months since my last dose, could my brain/system still be recovering from the 2 decades of SNRI/SSRI use? I can't seem to find a consistent answer online, nor through my doctors. Thank you!
  13. Hello all, just found this site and was looking for some advice on tapering off antipsychotic's. It all started about 11 months ago when I was prescribed saphris for depression by my pdoc to augment pristiq, (I know I should have known better). All was fine until about three months in when I started slowly developing anhedonia, just a complete lack of interest in life, it messed up my endocrine system, and destroyed my short term memory. Having successfully quit seroquel cold turkey in the past I thought saphris would be a breeze.... Boy was I wrong, only managed to make it there days in before the overwhelming anxiety (which I've never had before)and insomnia drove me back onto it. After three failed attempts to taper off(lowest dose is 5mg and couldn't cut sublingual wafers any lower), my pdoc suggested switching to 10mg zyprexa for two weeks then stopping that cold turkey, well that was a mess again, had anxiety from hell and insomnia. Again we tried switching over to seroquel which failed.So now I'm back on zyprexa (with a whole new set of side effects)with the plan of tapering off at a rate of -1.25mg every two weeks, currently I'm down to 7.5mg with moderate anxiety, intermittent insomnia and an insatiable appetite. Just wondering if this is too aggressive a taper, I only have tablets available so I'm just relying on cutting them into quarters. Just want off this pharmaceutical merry go round, feel as though I've been lobotomized.
  14. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and began taking antidepressants. A year later I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and a year after that ADHD. In 10 years I have taken almost 50 different medications, the only ones that ever helped were a stimulant for ADHD and benzos for insomnia. Working with a new psychiatrist and discussing DSM 5 criteria for Bipolar we concluded it was a misdiagnosis and that ADHD symptoms and issues were actually the source of my problems, including the depression and anxiety because there is not enough for a separate diagnosis but rather triggered by ADHD issues, particularly rejection sensitivity, and childhood traumas. So after a decade of unnecessary psychotropic drugs I stopped suddenly in May of 2021 after insurance issues made getting my meds impossible. The two that were stopped abruptly were Abilify (Aririprazole) and Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine). I have always been very sensitive to withdrawal and experienced some level of symptoms with every discontinuation over the years. Beginning in May I went through withdrawal, including early wake insomnia (waking at 3am no matter what time I went to sleep, something never before experienced in my life), constant dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, constant watery running nose, eyes itchy and either dry or watering constantly, concentration issues, working memory problems, unable to focus (stimulant medication went from very effective to intermittently helpful depending on the day), and severe fatigue that has continued to worsen. As of now, almost a year later, my biggest struggles are with the fatigue that continues to worsen, making an ice coffee at home is too much work and the energy required too much as an example, trouble concentrating, unable to focus and get engaged, working memory problems, cognitive impairment, irritability, and impulsive decisions. A lack of worsening depression or anxiety along with these symptoms I believe confirms that they were related to ADHD and trauma (I was treated for the trauma with EMDR, which was incredibly effective and ever since have not had the relationship (or lack thereof) issues that I had previously experienced). I work in the mental health field, would rather not say specifics, so I am well versed in doing appropriate research and using scholarly peer reviewed articles and looking directly at clinical studies and I am usually able to find information that is helpful. But PAWS has me completely stumped. I brought it up to my new psychiatrist and he seemed dismissive of my suggestion that PAWS is causing my issues, even though all other variables have been evaluated and discounted and the Sleep Specialist I saw for adjusting my sleep schedule with the early wake insomnia agreed that withdrawal from those medications was the only possible cause of the new insomnia, went over every other variable and almost all had been static or actually improving. While he seemed dismissive, he did firmly state that there is not enough literature or studies to show any efficacy of any treatment method for PAWS, regardless of if he agreed with me or not. I could not disagree with him because I have looked exhaustively and only been able to find vague references to possible treatments, such as an anti-convulsant like Lamotrigine. The only journal articles I can find that could possibly shed any light on this are on sites that only academic researchers can access so I cannot read them. Currently what I am going through is making me so miserable that I can't put it into words and it is ruining my life. It takes every bit of physical and mental energy I have just to function in my job, other than that I can't do much of anything other than sit on my couch and watch TV. I can't do my hobbies that I am super passionate about, something as simple as playing in a game of Dungeons & Dragons, because I don't have the energy to even talk on discord for 3 hours while sitting on my couch. I am constantly miserable, if its a day where my stimulants work somewhat then I am still miserable, just slightly less so. The fatigue and cognitive issues have ups and downs but the average continues to go down and if this pattern continues I will be unable to think well enough to do my job, which ethically I am then required to not do my job, and I'd rather not think about what will happen after that. I am extremely frustrated, mainly because this has been a known issues for decades, yet the only real research conducted seems to be related to substance abuse with alcohol, benzos, and opioids, even though a clinically significant percentage of people experience PAWS from antidepressants and/or antipsychotics, but also because this could potentially go on for years or forever, no way to know, or I could miraculously feel better one day. Thanks for reading this far if you have haha, I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and vent a little to people who could understand what I am going through finally, but also would love to know if anyone can share any scholarly, peer reviewed research on any possible treatments or any other information that could be helpful. Its been impossible to find much of anything, and what I do find is not only not very helpful but paints a potentially dark future as well. Thanks for your time and any help that can be offered. Alton
  15. ADMIN NOTE moved initial posts from Mission of Surviving Antidepressants Hello. What do you exactly mean "if the symptoms are from and adverse or paradoxical reaction to medication, the medication has to be gradually withdrawn for recovery."? Is three to four months of gradual withdrawel enough? Thats what I did.
  16. I took Pristiq 50mg for about 4 weeks. And I stopped cold turkey because I couldn’t sleep and I got tinnitus from taking the SNRI. I have never liked taking antidepressants but I was desperate and now after 6 weeks cold turkey off pristiq I still have a high pitch buzzing sound in my head constantly. I’m very worried that the tinnitus is a permanent result of taking pristiq, and although I only took it for 4 weeks I’m very sensitive and knew i should have not even tried such a strong drug. Because now I have extremely bad anxiety and depression along with tinnitus and can hardly handle it.
  17. Hello. I am looking for hopeful stories from others who have survived polydrugging from psychiatric drugs for more then 25 years. I have been pollydrugged for more then 25 years on various psychiatric meds. I survived a micro benzo taper and have been off for 32 months. I am still on Pristiq 80 mg now but all hell broke loose about 6 months ago for me. I am 24/7 suffering. Mainly deal with inner/outer and mental aka. I started a taper from Pristiq due to thinking that the med was causing my issues. I was on the highest dose of Paxil before the Pristiq. I would love to hear some healing stories from those who were on meds for a long time and went on to heal or get better. Thank you in advance.
  18. G'day SA community My name is Anthony and I have been lurking on this site for a few weeks and thought it time that I start my contribution. And hopefully get some well needed support without being too selfish. I would firstly like to preface my intro by thanking all the members, staff, moderators and founders of this site. It is helping me get through a dark time in my life that I have never ever experienced before. And it has been and still is scary. My story is long (as is most sufferers) so I will do my utmost to be as concise yet brief as possible without losing the important information. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Aeroman in particular as His success story is what I have needed and his time and investment in answering all the questions from the members relating to his journey has been inspiring to say the least. I won't go into the usual diatribe about how I suffered as a child in a dysfunctional home from physical, emotional and mental abuse of which was the case but my story is more about the incompetent people in white coats we see as all knowing, professional, caring and are in their chosen field because they like helping people and not the money! It all started when I was 21 years old. I had recently finished my apprenticeship with a National Manufacturer as a HVAC & R Technician (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and was around two years into starting my own business. Things were going very well when all of a sudden and out of nowhere my heart started racing and I was feeling faint. It was fortunate and by coincidence that I was working next door to a Medical Centre. I literally crawled into the Medical Centre and was dragged by a lovely receptionist wo a consultation room. She got me glass of water and informed a doctor. Unfortunately by the time the doctor arrived my heart had suddenly reverted back to normal and I was feeling fine. Tired but, well. He did all the usual work up of tests, including a 24hr Holter monitor to check my heart but basically put it down to either dehydration (as it was the middle of summer here in Australia) or anxiety/stress. Anyway, I was given the all clear. A couple of years later, with out any warning, the same thing happened again. And then again. and then again and again and again. There would be sporadic episodes of this that would last from anywhere from 3 minutes to as long as three hours. It would also involve many Emergency Department visits, ambulance call outs, blood tests, tests for this or that, tests for something else more visits with a GP and yet nothing could be found other than that old chestnut. ANXIETY......STRESS......DEPRESSION. Duh...of course I'm stressed out, I am as anxious as all get up because I feel like my heart is either about to stop or beat so fast its going flop out of my chest.......and nobody can find what the...is wrong with me. So fast forward a couple more years and with still no answers I decided to start seeing psychologists, Chinese medicine Practioners, hypnotists, more GP's, more Psychologists, even a Psychiatrist who suggested the bad word.....Anti Depressants.........of which I have never been one to even take a paracetamol for a headache let alone nasty stuff like that. Well, they all promised they could resolve my anxiety and stress related heart problems but none of them ever did. I was eventually convinced by a psychologist (and my wife) to try Zoloft because I was one of those people that was either born with a chemical imbalance or I acquired one due to my childhood traumas. Well lets just say that those three days were what I thought at that time to be pure hell on earth. Stopped CT and straight in the bin with the free sample. With all the money I spent over the years I could have bought my own little Island retreat somewhere in the Pacific Islands. Fast Forward a few more years and continually dealing with my heart palpitations I got married, had two daughters, multiple businesses and generally a reasonably good time even though that this heart issue was hanging over my head constantly my Quality of Life was very restricted. Fast forward a few more years and Feeling pretty bad about this and being at that age where I wanted more out of life I hunted down a new GP who was the mother of my daughters best friend at school, I had known her a few years personally and my wife thought she would be able to help with this trouble that I was enduring. Well now is where trouble really starts but I did know that till recently. Into the first consultation and boom, out comes the Mental assessment questionnaire and what do you know, I have anxiety and stress bordering on depression. WTF? Being tired of all this I caved in, desperate for my heart to be normal I took the free sample of Lexapro with my tail between my legs, went home and told my wife who was ecstatic (in her defence she only wanted the best for me and a happy life with her husband and the big house and cars and white picket fence and she believed all the doctors saying I was mental blah blah blah). Sucked back my first tablet and went back to my life. Yeah, I thought my life was coming back and that these medicines really do work, why didn't I persist last time because I don't even think about my heart anymore.......A year down the track I went back to my doctor and told her that it feels like it wasn't working like it was 6 months ago, boom, up my dosed from 10mg to 20mg. Well well well, wouldn't you know it. 11pm on a Tuesday night I woke up, my heart was going crazy, I was ill, vomiting, fainting and feeling like I was going to die. Told myself to suck it up, it was all mental, I was mental, I have something seriously mentally wrong with me, the doctors and everyone said so.........three hours later I called for an ambulance, woke up my wife and kids and told them what was happening, my kids were freaking out......The ambulance arrived and as the paramedics came into my bedroom a thud and my heart slowed down to normal, I felt okay, all the stress and anxiety and ill feeling gone just like that. A two day stay in hospital with all the usual tests again and the doctor comes to see me, "Yep, unable to find anything, must be stress or anxiety". Great I thought. So much for Lexapro, time to get off this rubbish because I don't feel anything anymore, no fun, no anger, no happiness, nada......Two weeks later I tapered as per doctors advice and against her wishes I was off the AD's for good. Three months later I was back in her office begging for some relief, I was in bad shape, out of work and my wife again seriously wanted to go back on the meds or there would be repercussions maritally speaking. This time the Doctor said I now had Major Depression Disorder, those words alone stressed me out. Anyway, time to start the heavy hitting SNRI now, I was in bad shape she said..........Well two days later I ended up having another heart episode that was the worst I had ever had, I really thought that I was going to die, I screamed at my wife to call the ambulance, my kids started crying immediately, the Ambulance sent an Urgent care Hi-Priority paramedic who was in my bedroom hooking my with ECG leads all over my body, cannulas in both arms and then said quite casually..."It okay mate, no worries, your not dying....you got SVT. Just relax and Ill fix it for you in a minute I just have to get this ECG trace to show the docs and will get it done" What? SVT? Did I eat something bad, what is SVT. Isn't it anxiety? I asked the Paramedic. 'Nah" he says. Got nothing to do with anxiety. you may have anxiety from having this but having this is definitely not from anxiety" Anyway, a few valslva manoeuvres and a couple of jokes when the transport ambo turns up later I'm feeling quite calm. Off to the hospital for further tests and the Paramedics hang around for a while and with the Doctor explain to me what SVT is. Also known as PSVT (Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). 24 years of my life chasing this, never not once did any medical or other professional suggest I go see a cardiologist but they were all too willing to take my money...............For those of you who don't know what PSVT is or don't want to use google, I had AVNRT (Atrio ventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia) type of heart arrhythmia, there are several, of which I had an additional pathway next to my AV node causing my heart electrical conduction system to short circuit causing my heart to beat at extremely high rates which was captured on the ECG at 230bpm. Diagnosis meant that it was not life threatening, just very unpredictable and uncomfortable...No Joke! After my hospital stay I was referred to a cardiologist for follow but decided I should see my GP so I can stop the Prisitq because I have found out, after 24 years, that I am not mental, or at least the reason why I am a bit skiddish is because the actual heart problem. Again, my wife and GP convince me to stay on the Pristiq to just help get over the next couple of months until I sort out this heart arrhythmia and me, after all these years being brainwashed what did I do....I agreed, good idea, just to get me over the next hurdle because now I have to go and have a heart operation I need to be in the right mindset..............how stoopid am I? I am now back at home waiting to see the specialist cardiologist and everyday my mood is getting worse and worse. I am constantly crying, panicking, thinking I am going to die and I haven't even seen the cardiologist yet. This snowballs to the point that during my Consultation with the Cardio I was in a very bad emotional state my wife had to talk for me. When the Cardiologist found out I was on Prisitq he asked me why I was on this junk, I should get off it as quickly as possible, and medications like these are only for people who are in dire need of help and in Hospital. The Heart operation, Electrophysiology Study and Cather Abalation will resolve the heart issues and I won't have to worry about heart arrhythmias ever again. I informed him that my GP told me I needed to stay on them, well after that there was some correspondence back and forth from my Cardioligist and GP about this and finally my Cardiologist gave up. Operation day arrives and I go to the hospital, supposed to be a day procedure, should be home that night.......Two procedures and two weeks later I am sent home with some complications that the Electrophysiologist had some trouble sorting out. I wouldn't want to go into detail but I was an emotional wreck, my kids were destroyed emotionally as well I am happy to delve further into the complications during and after the procedure if anyone wants to know but, .Lets just say that I had almost, almost was going to have a pacemaker installed but thankfully it was found out that I had some complications from some "Medications" Namely a SNRI Pristiq. Basically I am still not right after three months and I am diagnosed with a condition called Inappropriate sinus tachycardia that needs to be controlled with some heart medications. Hopefully this will resolve with time. Nonetheless, I was totally traumatised by that event and I am struggling with it mentally still. So out of hospital I meet with my GP as I had lots of Chest pain, and irregular heartbeats etc etc and to finally get off the Prisitq. But no. now that I am in pretty much an uncontrollable state she suggests and refers me to a Psychiatrist to re-evaluate and possibly change medications and wants me to look at going to a Mental Hospital and to help get through the next few days while I am waiting for the Psych Doc appointment that I should start on Valium and Sleeping tabs to get me through. Wait, what. Now I'm treating this med with another med. Anyway, I'm so desperate ill do whatever......... Finally see the Psych doctor and she DSM's me as Panic Disorder only, stops the Pristiq immediately, but after three days break I need to start Lexapro again at 10mgs and then three days after that start 20mgs. Oh by the way, its because you have a chemical imbalance disease in your brain, you will need these the rest of your life, its like insulin for diabetics, most people are on these now, its what you need to live and get by........................................These nasty people play on your vulnerability!. Well I stopped the pristiq on a Wednesday. Thursday morning I woke up like a new person. No Crying, energy back, no dizziness, my heart was beating regularly and slowly and I felt brilliant. I told my wife that I didn't want to go on the Lexapro again but after some heated discussion, what she and the kids had been through recently and the potential issues going forward I handed my genitals back to her to put in her purse for safe keeping..........Start sucking those poison pills down again as directed by all those who had never been on this rubbish, two more weeks in bed feeling like death warmed up, headache, nausea, sore mouth, teeth sore everything, could not talk could not eat, that's when I woke up one morning and trashed the lot of pills in the bin. That was the day I Cold Turkey again Wrong move I know but boy, was I sick. The suicide ideation, the gory vivid dreams, the grim reaper and death is all thought about for those two weeks mixed in with insomnia. Well, I haven't recovered from these two weeks of Lexapro, they have changed something in me and I didn't get the relief I got from when I stopped Pristiq. This time Lexapro, only for two weeks has done something to me and I feel these withdrawal symptoms are going to take something special from me to get through...................These drug pushers need punishment for their actions. All these years of feeling intimidated by these charlatans and all along I had an issue that should have been resolved with a day procedure. Yes it was heart surgery nonetheless but still, my family and I are in a world of hurt now that was unnecessary. Thank You for letting me to get this out, I needed it. I am struggling with the WD side effects and I am concerned for the future and pain that is coming from this but I will no longer be controlled by these poison pills..........................
  19. Hi Guys, I came off antidepressants (Pristiq) 100 mgs - in January this year. I had been on them for 20 years. I am going okay. I had withdrawal symptoms for months. I used CBD oil and spent time in the sun. Diet and exercise. Avoided alcohol. I am still struggling with residual depression and fatigue and stomach upsets. Both otherwise going okay.
  20. First of all, Thank God for this forum. Thank everyone, the admins especially, for doing such a great job helping people out. About me - On ADs since 2003 for mild anxiety. I went with the hope of getting some oral counseling but ended up being prescribed medicines. Never knew the seriousness of what I was getting into, but before I knew, months turned into years and now its 13 years. Medicines changed, doctors changed but my overall health and wellbeing is severely compromised in the deal. Main complaints – tinnitus since 2008 when doctor weaned me too abruptly, vertigo, light headedness, drowsiness, fatigue, low energy. Medicine history Paroxetene 25mg 2003-2007 Escitalopram 10mg 2007-2008 Mid 2008, wanted to get away from medicines. Doc did a quick taper from 10mg to 5mg and stopped in a short time. Within 2 weeks from stopping I had severe tinnitus, forcing me to get back to meds. But tinnitus persists to this day. Doctor shied away saying this had nothing to do with meds. 2009-2011 Combination of Escitalopram 10mg + Clonazepam 0.5 mg 2011-2015 Paroxetene 25mg + Clonazepam 0.25mg Feb 2015 Desvenlafaxine 50mg, reduced Paroxetene to 12.5mg, Clonazepam 0.25mg Apr 2015 Desvenlafaxine 50mg, twice daily, stopped Paroxetene, continued Clonazepam 0.25mg Sep 2015 Desvenlafaxine 50mg, twice daily, started very slow tapering of Clonazepam .25mg on my own. Currently (Feb 2016) in the 6th month of tapering and on 1/16th of 0.25. (Went against doctor's suggestion to take Clonazepam on alternate days for 10 days and stop) Clonazepam taper schedule followed: 0.25 mg on alternate days for 6 weeks 1/2 of 0.25 (=0.125mg) on alternate days for 6 weeks 1/4th of 0.25 (=0.0625mg) on alternate days for 6 weeks 1/8th of 0.25 (=0.03125mg) on alternate days for 6 weeks 1/16th of 0.25mg (=0.015625mg) on alternate days since past 2 weeks, still continuing. Plan to drop further and stop in a few weeks. During the course of tapering, my tinnitus has absolutely worsened, feeling more imbalanced and dizzy. I have also developed mild pain in the neck and shoulders since a month. I googled and found that this is also related to the tapering. After stopping Clonazepam I plan to start tapering Desvenlafaxine 50mg (twice). I saw this wonderful post from MogFish which talks about dry cutting the pill despite warnings (She was on 50mg) and tapering over a period of 14 months. I am planning to do the same. Before starting the whole process I am planning to take Ayurveda medicines. I have consulted a doctor and he has given me a prescription which looks quite promising. I am hoping Ayurveda will support me through the withdrawal of Desvenlafaxine. I found Desvenlafaxine 25mg is available and that is going to be of great help in the taper I hope.
  21. Hi, this is my first post here, (your case is similar to mine - mod note: moved from Shaesurf's topic), my doctor recommended to me to stop cold turkey after six months and a half using Pristiq (before that I used Sertraline and I had a unbearable delayed withdrawal three months after I stop it cold turkey by medical recommendation, and the doctor didn't saw it as withdrawaw symptoms), and I on my own decided to cut the pills and I tapered for 8 weeks (54 days), that way: first week 3/4, second and third weeks 1/2, fourth week 3/8, fifth and sixth weeks 1/4, seventh week 1/8 and the eighth and last week 1/16. And then I started meditating (I went to a 10 day vipassana meditation retreat the day I stopped), and I had just a little bit of anxiety after the retreat and a hang-out like discomfort sometimes when I wake up but that's it. Tomorrow it will be one month since I stopped it and I'm doing fine so far. I take magnesium supplement, Lugol's iodine solution at 5%, and eat only raw vegan food.
  22. Hi, I have been a long time lurker and didn't think I'd need to post but I am hoping for a bit of reassurance and support. I have so far not involved myself, because I am one of those who didn't take ADs for long and had a reaction. I am generally a happy, healthy and pretty confident, level person. My young son got ill in 2013 and had to have a couple of operations. He’s absolutely fine now but, having held it together all the while I think I started to process it once it was all over and I noticed that I was worrying excessively about him. By February 2014 I was getting concerned that, if left unchecked, my issues could smother his adventures and exclude my daughter so, when it spiked around the time he started school I decided to see someone about it. At this point I had never had a panic attack or anything even close to it, a few intrusive thoughts about my son’s health that I felt were gaining a bit too much traction for a couple of weeks but was generally still enjoying life and getting on with my days. The day before I saw the psych I went to the movies with my girlfriends and had a lovely time. The week before we had friends over and I remember feeling happy, almost to the point smug, thinking 'I love my life. I'm so lucky'. I went, just expecting to talk it through but instead spent 15 minutes with a psychologist who diagnosed me with GAD and did a real number on me about how sick I was and how I would never get better without medication, which I was reluctant to take. She phoned the female GP at my practice (my normal doctor was away) and told her that I needed meds but would resist. The GP scared the crap out of me, telling me the next stage is psychosis and I would be hospitalised if I left it untreated, did I want to be away from my children for a month if that happened, etc, etc. None of it stacked up against my own experience of myself and my husband didn’t get it either but these people were the experts, they should know, right? Anyway, I took pristiq and ativan for three days and everything just fell apart. Within hours of taking it I was being hit by wave after wave of panic attack, then came the hallucinations, suicidal and violent thoughts, agoraphobia, it just kept on giving. I was convinced I couldn’t be trusted around people, let alone my children. It was a living nightmare so I stopped taking them. The withdrawals were terrible; more obsessive suicidal and violent thoughts, vomiting, watery diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and pain behind my left eye, adrenal jolts and just fear like I’d never known. I was determined not to go back on them and in hindsight should have just continued through it. Instead I went to see a naturopath who gave me a fairly hefty dose of St Johns Wort. I was worried about taking it so soon after discontinuing the pristiq but he assured me I would be fine. I wasn’t. It was awful but I stuck with it for several weeks. Worried about another set of withdrawals, my psych dismissing all symptoms as not possibly related to the meds or herbs (which she laughed at) and mistrusting doctors I had totally lost sight of who I normally was. I tapered off it as fast as I could – all the usual, though less pronounced physical withdrawals, increased anxiety, more suicidal thoughts and a very strange dysphoria – like someone else jumped into my mind, thought a load of random, truly awful negative stuff that I would never normal think and then hopped back out again leaving me muddled and anxious. Eventually I went to see my own doctor, who has been treating me and my family for the past ten years. I told him what was going on and he said that he had seen similar in people who are really sensitive to psychotropic drugs and that I had probably suffered serotonin syndrome and to ride it out. He pointed out that worrying about your kids, particularly after times of stress, isn’t a mental illness and that the hand pain I was experiencing (the psych told me these were a symptom of my anxiety, as my heart was pumping blood faster and I didn’t even realise it was happening) was more likely referred pain from a whiplash injury the month before. So fast forward to now, a little over a year later and I have been doing well. I have been having waves but they are manageable and I am back to my normal self during windows, which are lengthy (the last being four months). Until now. I am presently in a wave that has lasted for nearly a month (with the odd window within that time) and as about as bad as during the earlier phases of withdrawal. I am having some serious obsessive and scary thoughts and a whole barrage of physical symptoms; nausea, bloating and a butterflies feeling) headaches, a cold, trickily feeling down my spine, some brain zaps, pain behind my eye and, when there is a reprieve from those, an almost depressive state where the negative self talk takes over - like I am incapable and not good enough to do the job I have been doing perfectly well for years. If it wasn't for the emotional/psychological symptoms, I would think I was really sick (the anxious withdrawal-hypochondriac is chanting that I probably am. Very). Does anyone know of people getting such a pronounced wave after such a long time? I know it can't be a relapse, because I was never even remotely like this before, but it is scary. The further out from taking the pills, the less assured I feel that it is still withdrawal, which I guess is the catch 22. My normal doctor is away again and whilst he is sympathetic, I am frightened he will become sceptical as time draws on. I would appreciate any insights people can offer. Thanks
  23. Yogendra from India -- 24 years on various meds. Now on Desvenflaxine 50 mg Exteded Release I am from Delhi, India and was put on such drugs around 24 years back. Now I am 38 years. I have gone through worst experiences in my life. I had a brain stroke around 25 years ago that left my left half of body weakened and paralyzed. I some how recovered mostly from it later on. But have been on psych. drugs for last 24 years ON and OFF. Years back I was on around 10 tabs per day. And many times I stopped medicines cold turkey too but had to come back again when symptoms striked again with full force. I wish to come off from the meds. Currently for the last 6 months I have been on 50 mg desvenlaflaxine EXTENDED RELEASE tablet daily. I heard that extended release tablet should not be cut into pieces. I am in dire need of an advice how to wean off from medicines and live freely and calmly.
  24. Hello good people of SA, Thanks for sharing your experience here, it's been a lifesaver to know I'm not alone, and what I'm feeling is real. To get straight to the point, I need your help in finding psychiatrists that are sympathetic to real withdrawal in France. I understand that the UK and Netherlands might have updated their official guidelines regarding tapering, but I've had no luck searching in France, besides trying out doctors one at a time. Even one willing to write a prescription so that I can get myself tapering strips from https://www.cinderella-tx.org/en/ would be great. Some background to how this all started: in 2016, due to personal and work related issues, my anxiety and depression seemed like it couldn't be fixed with talk therapy alone. I was desperate, and after struggling with these issues since I was 20, I finally visited a psy at the age of 28. My drug history is below, along with the effect on me when I was taking it normally, and during tapering periods. Vilazodone (Viibryd) - 1 month (Dec 2016) - PSY #01 (home country) I was told that this was a mild drug, but since it made no difference at all to my symptoms, this was discontinued, and I was put on the next one... Escitalopram 20mg - Jan 2017 - Aug 2017: PSY #01 (home country) along with Clonazepam 0.25mg as SOS only (usage is 1-2 times a year when in severe anxiety/almost panicking) @20mg: persistent drowsiness for 6+ months, sexual dysfunction, marked increased appetite, weight increase of about 8kg (16lbs) in a year, no more than 20% improvement in depressive and anxious symptoms, inability to fully feel pleasure or strong emotions, even though my depressive/anxious cycles came and went in the same frequency as before getting on the drug Stopped cold turkey end-Aug 2017 because I was too depressed to make an appointment and renew my prescription - brain zaps and headaches for about a week, persistent low-moderate baseline anxiety that persists to this day Escitalopram 20mg - Oct 2017 - Aug 2018 : PSY #02 (home country) reinstated original 20mg dose @20mg: withdrawal symptoms mostly disappeared IIRC, all other effects same as previous phase. In May 2018, my psy decides that I've been on SSRIs long enough, and that I'm too young and healthy to be depressed. I don't protest, because I don't see the drugs working either. Tapering: 3 month taper to stop (only because I convinced my psy that I may be very sensitive to withdrawal, else it would have been a month), no brain zaps this time, but constant higher baseline anxiety that persists to this day, leading to more frequent crippling anxiety spirals to this day, something which I've never had prior to taking this drug) All of the weight I gained on this drug I lost over 6 months, partly due to a stressful work situation in Jan-Feb 2019, which made my already higher baseline anxiety go into overdrive, which leads me to the next drug... Desvenlafaxine 50mg - Mar 2019 - present: PSY #03 (home country) originally prescribed for a max of one year, along with Clonazepam 0.25mg for the first two weeks to deal with potential higher anxiety due to the SNRI impact on norepinephrine, I took just ~0.125mg because 0.25mg seemed too much and was making me too relaxed. @50mg: less sleepiness/fatigue, weight gain 7kg (14lbs) in about a year, higher resting heart rate (65bpm vs 55bpm drug free), but no improvement in ability to concentrate or motivate myself - even though I wanted to stop the drug after 3-4 months (I had moved to France by then), it took me about a year to finally make a psy appointment, and that too because lockdowns made it easy to do a teleconsult (making and attending a physical appointment was impossible) Tapering: Psychiatrist (PSY #04 , France) prescribed going from the initial 50mg Desvenlafaxine to 37.5 Venlafaxine to 25mg Desvenlafaxine to zero, stepping down every two weeks. This has been a nightmare, rivalled only by the psychological issues that led me to drugs in the first place: brain zaps for 3-4 days after the reduction, especially while falling asleep or standing calmly for a long while, moderate to high anxiety throughout the day, F&F response/pit in my stomach/sinking feeling easily triggered with mundane events 10-20 times per day, and also constant chest pain, palpitations, dry mouth, sleep deprivation, very high irritability directed towards nearly everything, and mild vertigo. None of these are part of my physical or psychological profile, even to a mild degree, so I'd strongly suspect withdrawal because they go away the moment I decide to step back up on the drug. With these difficulties, I had to instead stretch each step to 3 weeks, and do a 50 - 37.5 - 25 -12.5 - 6.25 - zero to make it "tolerable". Only the 37.5mg step was done with Venlafaxine (capsule with tiny beads), the rest were done with somewhat badly cut up Desvenlafaxine 50mg tablets. Even then, two weeks after going to zero, almost our of the blue, I suddenly had some of the worst anxiety I've had in my life (mental+physical, as above), and had to go back to ~6.25mg and stay at this level from mid-August to mid-October 2020, with higher than usual withdrawal effects in August. Finally, I gathered the motivation to have a session with my psychiatrist at the beginning of September, where he said I should stop the 6.25mg immediately, and "tolerate the effects for a week" because "withdrawal doesn't last so long". He also said that any issues is itself caused by taking the drug in small quantities, any issues after one week should be addressed by another doctor and not a psychiatrist (as if). I tried to bring up the fact that I have 2 other friends with similar stories, and that I struggled with escitalopram withdrawal, but he simply said that venlafaxine shouldn't have as bad an effect as my former drug, that the information on the internet is useless, and that he has 10 years of psychiatry experience. The session lasted 25mins and I was asked to leave to make time for other patients. Needless to say I wasn't going to make much progress barking up that tree. After being on ~6.25mg in August and Sept, I've reduced my dosage by about 10% since beginning October by counting beads. I still have withdrawal symptoms that range from 30-50% of the worst levels, so perhaps I should jump back up a few steps and taper back down from there. The problem is, at my current dose, I will have run out of my capsules with beads in about two weeks, and might have to jump back up to ~6.25mg, from a tiny 50mg pill cut up into 8-ish parts, with no way to taper back down any more. I have an appointment with a new psy by the end of the month, where I'll try to make my case to either extend my prescription, or switch me to a less hellish drug. But if it doesn't work out, I'm very afraid that I simply won't be functional in case I run into a moderately-sized life problem. Sorry for rambling on during that last bit -- I'd be happy to clarify anything at all, please let me know. Again, thank you. Cheers, SalamiBrood
  25. I was suffering from dysthemia due to my lowering grades and addiction to porn and stuff. I don't even remember what came first. Anyway I had a breakup and that affected my studies, social life and everything for about a year. I went for therapy to my university counselling team and that helped for some time. But soon I had to go back to my addictions to cope up with life. Then came quarantine. I took a long break from studies just like everyone else probably did. And sank deep into my addictions. I stayed up all night watching movies, tv series, talking to people who didn't even matter and slept all day. I would occasionally cook for my parents and that was all. I was happy. And then I adopted a cat. But after a month my online classes started. And my mom could never accept me having a cat. So eventually I had to send the cat back to its owner. And when I realised I wanted to stop my bad habits once and for all. It was too late perhaps. I was feeling all sorts of guilt and ruminating over the past made me feel suicidal at one point in quarantine. Online classes started and I found it difficult to focus on my studies. I couldn't remember a thing I was studying. I thought I needed help with my depression and my mom suggested that I should talk to my university's counsellor. But I made a stupid mistake. This is probably the mistake that I'm going to regret for a long long time. Four years ago I was diagnosed with moderate depression and I was taken to a psychiatrist for that. I underwent treatment and therapy and I got somewhat better and stopped taking the meds without informing the doctor. Back to the present, I looked up that doctor online and consulted him and started taking meds without even meeting him in person. I wish I had not done that. 15 days later my mom took me to his chamber as I was getting way worse and the initial problems that I had were worsening. He only kept adding more and more antidepressants to my prescription after every 15 days. Now its been 2 months of feeling nauseated, zombie like feelings. I haven't felt like myself in all this time. I feel like these medicines have done more damage to my brain and nervous system than anything else ever did. I so regret going to that psychiatrist. His true intention wasn't to help me but only to push more and more drugs towards my way. He started me on 50 gm desvelanfaxine and 7.5 mg mirtazapine. 15 days after that I was feeling way more suicidal and irritable than before. So he amped up my dosage to 100 mg desvelanfaxine. And now I'm on 150 mg desvelanfaxine with 10.5 mg mirtazapine. I want to get off of these meds. I don't know what to do or how to get off. I feel like they've made me lose my brain's natural capacity to remember things and focus on tasks. I've also been given 100 mg modafinil for concentration and focus which are issues created by the antidepressants I wanna get off of these and any suggestions would be appreciated My psychiatrist isn't helping me neither are my parents. So I'm literally on my own now. My parents won't take me to any other doctor.
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