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  1. Topic title: In the middle of lexapro taper - let’s discuss please Hi all - 6 years on lexapro 20 mg. Taper started December 13, 2018. Got down to 10 mg in April. Waited for a bit and recently got to 5 mg 3 weeks ago. Here Is my story and any help would be appreciated - thank you so much! about 6 years ago I was put on 20 mg lexapro. I do not have clinical depression or anxiety. I had been going through a situational hard time in college. Wish I came off sooner but I was too scared. Finally in December of this past year I was ready and so over being on it! . * note I was also a heavy Cannabis user and quit at the same time starting to come down from 20 mg. From Dec to April I went from 20-10 mg. It was very hard but in s different way in which I am struggling now. I was anxious and crying a lot during the first ten mg. Also I made a conscious decision to use benzos. During this entire process. And I would never be able to do it without it. I work a full time high powered job. So please respect the fact that I will be getting off benzos AFTER my taper is over. i was then prescribed the 10 mgs. I was very much stabilized at this point. As I waited to come down more. The pill was much smaller making it harder to make smaller cuts. To be honest I also am sick of being on this damn lexapro. So I went a bit too fast from 10 mg to 5 mg. All was okay and almost easier than the 20 to 10. Until I got to 5 mg. Two weeks after hitting 5 mg I am in full panic mode a lot of the last 10 days. So - if I have been on 5 mg for 3 weeks now - does anybody have any idea when the panics will go away and when I will likely stabilize? How long does it take on lower dosages to feel ok? I know everyone is different but if I can have some experiences on thr lower doses ? Thank you!! dana
  2. Hi everybody, My mom started taking lexapro 10 mg a month ago, after two week Dr increade to 20 which is now two week. When want to taper the pill because she is having terrible effects, Jelly leg, she cannot be in her feet, cannot walk, confusion,vivid dreams, and hallucinations. Why she starter Lexapro, because she was taking Diazepam for many years, and yes she was working her way out with few symptom here and there but never happened what is happening now, it seen that Lexapro is increasing everything. So I am looking for information to take the pill away since the Doctor is out of town and she is no taking the pill for so long .
  3. Moderator Note: link to Neroli's benzo thread: Neroli: Could this be withdrawal symptoms How I wish I’d known BEFORE all this happened what I know now, how I wish there’d been more informed consent, more information, more care and that somehow I’d have found my way to Surviving Antidepressants to understand and be forearmed. Thank you to SA for the information and support you give to so many. The “professionals” still seem to be ignoring any hint of these drugs causing damage (in my experience of them anyway). And I, naively, thought they were like taking an aspirin - more or less benign. Started Citalopram in 2006 (for depression) took it for a year, no noticeable side effects (but also a very subtle benefit, if there was one). 2007-2011 on and off Citalopram, some side effects when off it (first anxiety attack ever, hmmm, now I wonder if this was withdrawal). 2011 back on Citalopram because of anxious feelings,
2013 report to doctor that I'm very tired all the time and yawning inappropriately. Doctor suggests trying another a-d. 
 Late 2013-mid 2014, taken through a series of meds.
Sertraline (no improvement)
Effexor (felt like I'd got a heavy flu if I was even an hour late taking the med, gastric problems)
Fluoxetine (panic attack, tension, insomnia, headaches, exhausted), Mirtazapine. BANG - insomnia, anxiety, black circles under eyes, exhaustion, dizziness, severe panic attack, headaches, sore eyes, hot face. Taken to emergency doctor and given Lorazepam, which calmed me down. 
 July 2014 stopped Mirtazapine (cold turkey, didn't know about severe or long-term, withdrawal effects then, but couldn't continue to take them as the side-effects were so monumental.) Went through acute withdrawal, which felt like I was being fried inside. Then began the long-term stuff - dizziness, nausea, anxiety etc. 
 February 2016 - having anxiety attacks, caved in and went to doctor. By this time, I’d started to find out more about the potential effects of these drugs and the possibly futile attempt to stabilise on more drugs and was extremely reluctant to re-instate. But I was in such a state of anxiety I could only think to try it. Re-instate on Fluoxetine - dreadful - bad gastro effects, insomnia, anxiety etc. 
 July 2016 - fast-ish taper off, after trying half dose for some time and still feeling dreadful.
Med free July 2016 - January 2017. Symptoms that persisted throughout all the times I was off the drugs - dizziness, unsteady on feet, blood rush from the head on standing (near fainting), sore stomach, gripey wind, heart palpitations, tiredness/exhaustion, tension, on edge, gripping anxiety attacks (these are the ones that make me feel like I'm never going to feel well again and hopeless), sensitivity to noise, other people and stress, tinnitus, dry mouth, sore eyes. Over December 2016 and January 2017 I had two massive panic attacks, one was after a run; I’d never had panic attacks before. I saw it as part of the long-term effects of the poly-drugging, cold turkey and re-instatement that I’d gone through. Over this period, I’d taken Lorazepam very occasionally and only at half-dose (0.5mg). Then my body collapsed, panic attacks increased, dizziness made me unstable, weak legs meant I could hardly walk, I was unable to shower or shop for myself and had 24/7 suicidal anxiety/akithisia. February 2017 - referred to psychiatrist, who did a 20 minute consultation (including asking what my birth was like???), and who flatly dismissed my proposal that this was the result of adverse effects of the drugs, and said he thought it was because I missed my mum (who’d died in 2012). Mid-February prescribed Escitalopram - felt I had no choice but to see if the drugs would even me out, even though I’d read (through this site and other avenues) that re-instatement didn’t always work. Continued to have acute anxiety - use of Lorazepam increases, although I try to keep it as low as possible. Early March 2017 Nortriptyline added. Mid February - to April 2017 Zopiclone and Lorazepam PRN - pretty regular use. April - August 2017 Prescribed Lithium - dreadful - raging insomnia, completely dried out - stopped after a week. Increased Nortriptyline over a number of weeks to 90 mg a day - insomnia eased, started to get 7 hours’ sleep. Felt weak and exhausted most of the time. Had used up all my annual and sick leave at work. Crossed to diazepam over many weeks - to 25mg a day in order to start a taper off. I began to be able to work from home, thanks to my employers who accommodated this, and have since increased to three days in the office and two days at home. I’m more mobile, can shop for myself and take care of myself. Legs still feel like lead and I have to use walking sticks for balance and help me walk. Have had a CT scan of my head - showed normal brain profile. This is where I’m at as I write - incremental improvement, very, very slow. Reducing Diazepam at 0.5mg a week. Want to taper off Escitalopram as it had no beneficial effect - but now scared that my system is SO messed up, any reduction will send me into a tailspin. Also, I understand tapering two drugs messes things up if there are adverse effects because you don’t know which taper is causing the problem. My life has been turned upside down by medications that the Dr told me would improve my quality of life.
  4. Okay, I am a newbie to posting online and have spent the last 2 months searching Google since this happened to me, so please bear with me if this seems a bit long. I just want to get my story out there so people can see what has happened to me and offer any possible advice. In October 2017, My GP put me on Lamictal for mood and 22.5mg Restoril for sleep. I have been on Restoril since 11/2016 roughly. At the time I had a diagnosis of BP2. My pdoc at the time 2 weeks later switched me from Lamictal to Lithium by tapering the Lamictal from 150 mg to 100mg then 50mg every three days, he felt it would be more effective. I went up to a dose of 1200mg of Lithium but it made me sick so we moved down to 900mg, which seemed to be effective. He added Latuda 40mg but it made me irritable, so he switched that to 5mg Abilify in 12/2017, no taper from the Latuda. That combo seemed to work for a while but then I felt emotionally blunted and numb, so my pdoc then lowered the dose to 2.5mg. I felt better so I then (stupidly) quit CT the Abilify in May of this year. At the same time he also tapered me off of Lithium which I was scheduled to stop taking on 6/27 due to constant diarrhea. He then prescribed me Klonopin for anxiety. I started feeling too high from it and was feeling depressed, so about a week and a half later was put on Lexapro. The Lexapro made me feel extremely sleepy and out of it, took from 6/18/28-6/21/18, stopped taking. Pdoc then switched me to Effexor XR 37.5mg on 6/22/18, felt extremely depressed and anxious, did not take Klonopin or Valium. I had little to not appetite and was not very talkative. 6/25-6/28/18 Felt much lest depressed, better than I had in the past month, taking Klonopin as needed for anxiety. Stopped the Effexor today and the Lithium. Started Paxil 10mg the same day. At this point still taking 22.5mg Restoril. I noticed since I started the Lexapro and stopped, I had been getting 3-4 hours sleep and started to feel thirsty. When I started Paxil on 6/29, it was at night and I woke up several times and had stomach cramps. Still had a stomach ache the next morning and felt depressed. Depression and brain fog got worse over next few days, the dose was increased to 20mg after 5 days. I would wake up with sweats in the middle of the night so on 7/4 at the advice of my pdoc covering on-call doc I stopped the Paxil because I became suicidal. At this point as of 7/8 all I was on was on Restoril for sleep. I noticed tinnitus and felt extremely anxious and regular stress almost gave me a panic attack. At this point I was having the following symptoms: Tinnitus, anxiety, depression, insomnia, feeling thirsty and dehydrated, heart palpitations, brain fog, stress intolerance. Restoril seemed to have no effect now. Pdoc prescribed me Ativan for anxiety and I told him I want to taper off of Restoril since not working any more. He advised me to taper by taking 22.5mg 3 days, then 15mg 4 days, 7.5mg 3 days, then stop. He also prescribed Mirtazapine 7.5mg for sleep. I noticed the Ativan raised my heart rate. On 7/16, as I started to doze off I got a brain zap. Ever since this day I never get sleepy and have TOTAL insomnia, can never fall asleep on my own without some kind of medication. Noticed increased palpitations and severe dehydration. Hands and feet sweating. On 7/18 I had a tingling sensation in my brain and then blurred vision in my right eye. I also noticed a weird smell of some kind of chemical or paint on 7/19. On 7/21 they advised me to switch from Trazodone to Mirtazapine 7.5mg for sleep again and also take Lunesta 3mg if needed (prescribed by a sleep specialist). Still not getting sleep. Now at this point I notice blurred vision and loss of appetite. On 7/24 my pdoc wanted to put me on Zyprexa for sleep but I refused. He prescribed Lorazepam to take as needed for anxiety. On 7/25 high blood pressure, then after then went back down to normal. At this point I feel like I am dying. My sleep specialist tells me to try cognitive behavioral therapy. (Yeah right, Been there, done that!) 7/27-7/30 I had been taking Lunesta for sleep and Ativan for anxiety (pdoc switched again because Lorazepam was not working), but sleep doc said long taper not needed to get off Ativan, withdrawals are psychological and not physical nothing will happen to me if I do not sleep and I don’t have to worry about withdrawals. 7/31 had muscle jerks when going to bed. Lunesta stopped working so GP said try Hydroxyzine and then Trazadone again if Hydroxyzine doesn't work. Of course this did not work, so my pdoc put me on Ambien CR 6.25mg and 1500mg Depakote as a mood stabilizer. I tried this for a few days and still had trouble sleeping, getting 2-3 hours. GP Prescribed Seroquel for sleep. Took 8/16-8/17, 50mg and 25mg respectively, and did not sleep for more than 1-2 hours. Now I am seeing a NEW pdoc, she has me tapering off of the 50mg Seroquel, taking 10mg Doxepin at night, 5-15mg Melatonin as needed, I am still on the 1500mg Depakote. I have totally gotten off of then Ativan by tapering using diazepam. Each day I feel like I am worse than the day before. I am trying to figure out where I go from here.... stay on the current dose of Seroquel and try to reinstate the drug that may have caused the HORRIBLE withdrawals and total insomnia I am experiencing now (either Abilify or Paxil), or follow my new pdoc advice and taper the Seroquel and see how it goes (whilst adding the doxepin and Melatonin, breaking the keep it simple rule)? I am desperate and totally sleep deprived and getting worse by the day, which is why at this point I think she is just trying to get me to sleep. I even have an EEG next week to check for problems there. Thanks for reading. Kevie
  5. Hi everyone, I am new here, but have been reading many posts and would like to wish everybody well. I started to experience panic attacks in October 2017 following emigration to another country. We had been in this country a year and I had been finding it difficult with a very young child. At the time I started with panic attacks I had been having anxiety and acid reflux following two bouts of gastroenteritis earlier the previous year. My partner is a physician and by May 2017 was very worried about my state of mind and dwindling appetite. I therefore saw a colleague of his and agreed to start Mirtazapine. I titrated up very slowly over two months and found it helped with sleep. But on reaching 15mg severe akathisia set in. This was then augmented first by Abilify (which caused me skin burning) and then Seroquel, which coincided with the onset of SI. By August of 2017 I had deteriorated in my state of mind and was anorexic through severe anxiety and nausea. I had become non-functioning and agoraphobic. I was admitted to a psych unit and referred to a psychiatrist. This was truly frightening to me. I was then cross-tapered to 20mg of Lexapro (Escitalopram) and augmented with Ativan for start up. I avoided being tube fed by agreeing to protein shakes. We left this country in September 2017 as an emergency to be home with family. As many will know, the start up of Lexapro was terrible (even with benzo cover) and although the panic attacks stopped I felt very unwell throughout the course. I had lost over 28lbs in weight and this did not start to go back on until well into 2018. I managed to start tapering the Ativan and by February 2018 crossed over to Diazepam. From there, frightened by how long I had needed the benzo, I tapered fairly quickly down to 2mg by June. Each month I felt I crashed around the same time and was never sure if my hormones were involved in this as well. In hindsight I should have slowed down, I know. I then started to taper the Lexapro by approx 2mg a month. During both tapers (which I know now I should not have contemplated), I have frequently crashed, then picked up again and been somewhat functional, although not working, whilst my child started school. At at present I have stopped the Escitalopram, but have a micro amount of Diazepam, which I am holding. I had planned to jump off at the end of the month. I apologise sincerely for the rambling story. I do not want to go into too much detail concerning how I feel I have suffered, albeit in a relatively short space of time compared to others. Suffice to say, I feel that I was hit with a sledge hammer by the medication and am only alive because of my child. The medication (being on it and tapering off it) has left me with extremely strong and persistent SI through out the last two years, and this influenced my very stupid dual taper. At at this moment I have crashed badly, cannot eat, have lost significant weight, am very low functioning and have strong SI. Through my partner being a physician I should have used my knowledge better, and like others, I feel betrayed by an apparently well-meaning medical profession. In moments of clarity I see now the different course I could have taken, if, at the time, I had been a stronger advocate for myself. I have continued to feel vulnerable throughout the entire process. My partner has been through a vertical learning curve and now no longer prescribes in the same way as before. That is something at least. I guess i am I am looking for guidance as to whether I should wait out this crash. The symptoms mirror those on start up for severity. I am so frightened that I have done so wrong by dual tapering at the pace I did. I would have liked more input from my partner, but he was and is doing the best he can with work and our child. I have a widowed mother, who believes you should cope with anything and does not understand SI. My my plan is not to jump of the Diazepam, but I was not sure whether to reinstate the Escitalopram at a very low dose to try to stabilise the SI feelings and severe anxiety/loss of appetite. Thank you for any help at all. Best wishes to everyone.
  6. In 2014, I was misdiagnosed as being Bipolar and Borderline, and was prescribed Seroquel. Slowly but surely, the dose was increased. In June of 2017, I was admitted to a psych ward, via my therapist. Because I refused any other medication, they chose to increase my Seroquel to 500mg. In August of that year, I met with a new psychiatrist and started to taper off of the medication. From August to December, I tapered down to 200mg. Unfortunately, I was not aware of how fast of a taper that was for my body, and I admitted myself to a psych ward for the fourth time in my life, for what I now know was withdrawal. I was prescribed Prozac and Gabapentin while in the hospital, and my anxiety has not been the same since. In 2016, I did a rapid taper from Diazepam and did not have any withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, along with having no idea how quickly Benzodiazepines could have a negative effect on my body, I chose to go back on the medication due the severity of my anxiety. It would take an incredibly long time to describe everything that I have experienced during my withdrawal and my experience with the system in general, but I can honestly say that it's been one of the hardest things that I have ever had to endure. In total, I have been on 17 different psychotropic medications. It's now April of 2019, and I am down to 50mg of Seroquel, while also trying to taper off of 10mg of Diazepam PRN. To say that it has been a nightmare would be an understatement, both physically and mentally. I can't remember the last time that I wasn't nauseous or filled with anxiety to the point that I can no longer drive. I was excelling in school, but am no longer able to attend due to being debilitated. Along with the nausea, I get brain zaps, my IBS caused from the Seroquel has gotten worse, my entire body is weak and sore, and I'm trying to manage all of the emotions that come with the withdrawal. Last year I was going to an acupuncturist on a weekly basis, but it became too expensive. I am slowly integrating organic and gluten free foods into my diet. I am also about to start taking Chelated Mangnese, Malungay, and Jia Wei Xiap Yao Wan on a daily basis. Does anyone have any prior experience or advice/support on tapering from Seroquel? To anyone that takes the time to read this, I greatly appreciate it. I have also been taking about 60mg of Buspar on daily basis for the past year for anxiety, and it also takes away my nausea to where I can eat again. Are there any supplements/natural remedies to help increase appetite besides exercise? It is incredibly hard for me to do so due to the chronic nausea, however, I would like to be off all psychotropic medications.
  7. Moderator's note: link to Musk's members-only benzo thread - Musk: how to taper 5 mg diazepam every two days Hello, this is my first post. So grateful to find this forum. I am in Spain, not able to comunicate properly in english, I use googletraslator. My history: since spring 2015, postnatal depression with anxiety and somatization due to extreme fear of diseases, especially autoimmune diseases. Sertraline 100 mg & diazepam 5 mg from June 2016 to August 2017. Right after appendicitis with surgery (28 august 2017) and chronic hip and lumbar pain since 4 months. In consultation of rheumatology I discover that I have a hlab27 gene related to ankylosing spondylitis, which conditions me mentally more and more. But pain has not an inflammatory pattern and there is no sign of inflammation in blood. Now progressively more and more depressed with new symptom really the most disabling: severe insomnia. Medical proposal: return to sertraline. Big temptation, but I refuse. I continue with diazepam 5 mg (ocasionaly). Is this a possible case of withdrawal sindrome? Opinions welcome. In psycotherapy, I had some little epyphany (childhood trauma, obsesive negative thoughts...) Many many thanks.
  8. My story.. I have had a year from hell and scared and traumatised. Typically a high functioning professional person working full time until May last year when psychiatrist changed my medication from citalopram 40mg to fluoxeteine. This was because of episodes I experienced following drinking alcohol usually when tired and run down, I may drink 3-4 glasses of wine wake up with a hangover and crash. A crash involved feelings of severe anxiety and I would take 1-2 mg Diazepam and hanker down in bed for one sometimes two weeks and would gradually come right and life would go on as normal for years. The occurrence of theses crashes were becoming more frequent potentially because of work and family stressors so the decision was made to switch from citalopram to fluoxteine. From here I had 3 major mental health crisis which involved outpatient treatment at local psych hospital my medication regime was changed (see signature)and I completed a 11 week programme at anxiety disorders clinic based on CBD ending in December last year. While useful I continued until now to have a couple of good weeks followed by weeks where I felt terrible mainly with with physical symptoms anxiety, bowel and bladder hypersensitivity, unable to wind down, fatigued, breathless, weight gain +++ very speedy and fast in processing then crashing when i stop. Since January 2019 I have been trying to cut back the diazepam unsuccessfully an have currently given up on this idea. Have just been back to my GP as am struggling big time with the current combinations of medications (in signature) and do not feel they are helping me. She wrote to the psychiatrist who a recommended Psychiatrist recommending not commenced as yet Continuing with diazepam 3 mg daily not reducing while making changes to medication Reduction of Mirtazapin at 15mg increments prior to this decreasing mirtazapine increasing fluoxteine to 60 mg In the mean time I have had another crash needing to take a week off work. I should mention I resigned from my initial job after taking 3 months sick leave and started a new Job in February this year which is only 4 days a week. One day I go to yoga and have a quite day. Would be grateful for any advice support, I feel like i have lost my life and wonder how much of this is related to medication or combination of .?
  9. Hello everyone, I took my first anti-depressant at 21. I am now 43. In the years in between, I have had multiple psychiatric admissions, taken many many different medications, some at high doses, some inappropriate for my diagnosis, and for long periods of time, and had 8 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I am posting here now because I believe I may be experiencing a withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. My life has been razed to the ground and I am reaching out, to foster hope, make connection, and see if I can educate and empower myself and find guidance and support to get into healing and recovery. My difficulties began 9 years ago. The only drug I was taking at the time was Citalopram, and I was reducing it. The first thing I noticed was increased sensitivity to sound (e.g. hearing the radiators throughout the house I was staying in). I was working as a counsellor at the time, and I began to have feelings of falling through my chair when working with clients, a sensation of falling downwards and backwards suddenly. I then started to feel strange in the car, as if something toxic was coming through the ventilation system, leading me to feel a bit like I wasn't fully there; slightly afraid I would pass out (I never have) or "disappear". I would pinch my cheeks to try and "come back". I couldn't understand it. For 18 months, I followed the initial thinking from my GP, that I had labyrinthitis, and had various auditory system tests. This revealed nothing. I then went to the London Balance and Hearing Centre and had a thorough check there. They found nothing wrong and said that 40 % of people presenting there they referred on to psychiatry. By this stage, I had stopped driving, stopped working, had considerable difficulties walking - I walked using 2 sticks, and continued to have extreme sensitivity to sound (found the sound of the dishwasher on the floor below almost unbearable). The psychiatrist diagnosed "total serotonin depletion of the vestibular nucleus" with utter conviction (no sample/scan of anything has ever been taken by a psychiatrist in 22 years of treatment), and admitted me urgently to hospital. I was not depressed at the time. I was bombarded with medications. 3 weeks later, I went into depression, but the somatic symptoms I had been admitted for continued. More and more medications were administered. Eventually, I discharged myself and went to another psychiatric hospital. They were shocked at the levels of medication I was on (this was 2013) and proceeded to reduce and change the drugs. I left this hospital in 2014 but my somatic symptoms persisted (difficulty walking, unable to tolerate the sound of the fridges in the supermarket, clinging on to the shelves, tremors in my legs, unable to stand in line....). By this time, I had a diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) - which I identify with to this day. This was September 2015. Because, despite high levels of medication, the symptoms were still present and limiting my functionality (e.g. unable to tolerate short attending a short evening course on social media at my gardening group: I couldn’t cope with looking at the screen, sitting on a chair without sides, or the sounds – and had to leave), I decided to change tack and try a different approach. That was when I sought out a trauma therapist and a more holistic path. At this time I was on Quetiapine (250mg at night, 50mg breakfast and 50mg lunchtime), 3g L-Tryptophan, 15mg Diazepam, 60mg Citalopram. Over the course of 3 years, I brought myself down off the meds in a very measured way, one at a time, titrating at what I thought was a slow pace. I managed to come off the Quetiapine, L-Tryptophan and Diazepam. I continued to experience severe somatic symptoms but could walk about a little, go into a bookshop briefly - not able to work or go out for a meal, or the cinema or anything like that. When I began reducing the Citalopram, my symptoms became seriously bad. They emerged approx. 2 – 3 months after reductions e.g. 60 > 50 > 40 beginning May 2017, resulted in severe, disabling symptoms by August: severe tremors, terrifying hyperarousal, unable to tolerate sounds at all, using alcohol when necessary literally to be able to tolerate them or walk when necessary. I made another reduction 40 > 35 > 30 > 25 > 20 from December to April 2018, at which point I became housebound and called the paramedics as I was experiencing states of terror, feeling as if I was about to die, unable to regulate my nervous system at all. I now know, how terribly and tragically misguided my reduction pacing was. I wish I could turn the clocks back. But I can't. Hence my presence here, and prayers that there is still hope that I might recover my health. The emergency services suggested I increase the Citalopram back up to 30mg, which I did - and then up to 35mg, 3 weeks later. By this stage, I was housebound, having violent seizure patterning (not seizures - I never lose consciousness), unable to tolerate the sound of using a telephone, unable to stand to wash up or make food. My therapist began visiting me in my home. At the time, she and I had been understanding what was happening as partly being a releasing of the trapped energy of the trauma of the ECT which I had when I was 29. Indeed, the seizure patterning/muscle spasms look very like this. And my therapist described what she believed was going on in Somatic Experiencing language of "overcoupling": effects of psychological trauma/stress from earlier life + ECT shock trauma + long term use of meds.....all contributing to a dysregulated nervous system. I still believe this to be the case. However, very sadly, my therapist reached the point where she felt unable to continue to support me and pointed me back towards psychiatry. This was utterly devastating to me. I had derived considerable strength and hope from believing I understood what was happening in my body, that I had agency over its process, and was resourced and motivated by this. Being advised that all that was left was to go back to psychiatry, felt like the final straw. I went into severe, suicidal depression. Since then, I have seen several more psychiatrists, 2 neurologists, one neuropsychiatrist. None of them acknowledge that there is any possibility that psychiatric medications are implicated in my somatic symptoms. They put them under "medically unexplained" or "functional neurological disorder". I had 5 weeks in another psychiatric hospital in December 2018 which was largely pointless as I could not bring myself to take further medications, except for the introduction of one, Pregabalin, but at a low dose (because I was looking ahead to having to withdraw off this too eventually, and cautious accordingly.) I am now staying with my parents, in Luxembourg because I am unable to manage on my own in my own home without carers. I am at the lowest point of my life. The depression is severe but largely "reactive", ie an understandable response to losing my world - my work, my community, my functionality and all that that now deprives me of. I am just surviving at the moment. I hope I can find a way ahead. I am new to this website. I wonder how I might best use it to seek support and guidance? I will list the medications I am currently taking: Citalopram 40mg Pregabalin 50mg @ 09.00, 25 mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 22.00 Diazepam 2mg @ 09.00, 25mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 19.00, 25 mg @ 22.00 Zopiclone 3.75mg: began tapering under advice of GP 10 days ago, reducing by 1/4 = cutting the pill in half and half again and taking 3/4. He suggested I taper by 1/4 every 2-3 weeks. I feel trapped in a Catch22: I am unable to function in the world as I am. My symptoms are prohibitive of most activities and restrict where I can be, even within my parents' home, as my sensitivity to sound is so great and I am unable to be standing for very long due to the tremors. I am due to see the GP again tomorrow to ask his advice. I do not have a psychiatrist here. I am not keen to see yet another psychiatrist unless this person understands the fight/flight/freeze response, believes in withdrawal syndromes and tapering. My despair lies in the fact that I am sadly not in a position to be tapering really until I have adequate functionality restored. But I don't know how to restore that, how to address the tremoring and sensitivity to sound. The advice I have had from psychiatrists is to increase the dose of Pregabalin to quell the tremors. I am currently on a sub-therapeutic dose. I am reluctant to do this as this will be yet another drug to come off (which holds risks of seizures through withdrawal). Does anybody here have anything they could suggest to help? I am only just beginning to try to understand what the effects might be, on my nervous system, of extensive use of the drugs I have been on in the past, and am currently on. In particular, Quetiapine (I was on 800mg in 2005 and reduced over a couple of years - I never had any psychosis; and again 2013 - 2016 at 300mg), Diazepam (30mg in 2013, now 8mg) and Citalopram (60 for many years, now 40mg). I don't know if everything my body is manifesting is an expression of a depletion of receptors throughout my body? I am doing an online course on the nervous system and understand the intricacy of it, and how every cell in our bodies is affected by nervous system dysregulation. What is the next step? How do I address the somatic symptoms, in particular sensitivity to sound and to gravity: my sympathetic nervous system is "turned up way too high" in response to my standing up = tremors How/where can I find a clinician to guide me? I am due to see a Functional Medicine practitioner next Thursday with a view to try trying to do something myself to help heal my system. Any thoughts on this? I am also acutely aware that my life situation is such that I feel insecure and at sea. So, I need to find a way to create a secure base for myself, professionals I trust, decide which country to live in to do this (I will probably be unable to live alone until/unless I can heal this)..... I understand now that my nervous system is picking up cues about safety all the time. And if my life situation is unstable, it will keep going into fight/flight/freeze in reaction to that too. So, I need to also do some internal work on finding safety in the midst of uncertainty. This is so challenging. I feel very grateful to have this space in which to share and hopefully help each other. Thank you.
  10. savinggrace

    savinggrace

    Moderator note: link to members-only benzo thread - Savinggrace: missed dose Hello, I have been following Surviving Antidepressants, off and on, for a few years but feel I must join now, as I could use some feedback. I have been poly-drugged for 15 years and on anti-depressants for 35 years. I am not sure how much I should write about how/why all this happened, but surely in the first decades, I just let it happen because I trusted my doctors and had no idea what I was setting myself up for. Since the internet made information so much easier to get, I have spent a lot of time learning about what these drugs have done to my brain, my body and and my life. I am joining this forum for two reasons...I am a person who has to taper extremely slowly. In fact, I just read a post of a man (2012) who planned to take 12 years to taper 25 mg. valium and I thought, "well, that sounds about right for me." On other forums, I have been almost laughed at when I admit how slow I have been, and must continue to taper. The other reason I like this forum is that it addresses the poly-drugging situation that so many of us have gotten ourselves into. This poly-drugging, in my opinion, has made everything so much more difficult. I guess there is a third reason, and that is that I have followed Rhiannon on BenzoBuddies and before that on a Yahoo group for years. She seems so rational, calm, and non-judgmental about all this. I have read many posts about not tapering from a place of feeling w/d symptoms. What if I said I have been in tolerance w/d (if that term is used here) for at least 14 years? I have not felt well, and in fact, have been quite sick all that time. About 6-7 years ago I got the courage, after tons of reading to start tapering. After making a 1 mg. cut (less than 10%) of valium, and suffering a near-seizure on the 5th day (that's what my doctor told me was happening and I believe him because 1 mg. valium relieved everything), I started tapering .5 mg/ month. (my signature will explain what happened before that) I did that for a few a year or so, but "hit the wall" so to speak, and tried .25 cuts (cut and suffer method). Very long story as short as possible, I only went from 17mg. down to 13 mg. before I was not able to cut any more and remain even remotely functional. A year or so ago, I decided if I couldn't cut valium, I would try another of my drugs. I have managed to taper 25% with small cuts and holds over a year, but again feel totally dysfunctional and unable to proceed. I think, at this point, up-dosing any of my drugs would require too big of an up-dose, and likely an unsuccessful one at that. I am holding now, but the reality is, I have many co-exisitng medical conditions, some caused by these drugs I suspect, and some not, that I really can't treat w/ meds as they interact with my psych meds and de-stabilize me immediately. I suffer a lot. I have no quality of life. I am 61. I can't go back; only forward. I am currently holding my trileptal cut to give my brain a rest. There is a lot more to share about myself but this was way too long already. How long should I hold? I feel like it will take quite some time before I feel like my brain has adjusted to this 25% cut. (done in 5-10 mg. increments, holding about a month w/ each cut) Here is my signature because I am not sure where to post it: Amitriptyline for 20 years and then remeron, 4 mg currently , ambien 10-15 mg. for 5 years and then updosed klonopin to get off ambien in 2011; klonopin 2 mg. for 10 years and then crossed over to valium 17.5 mg in 2010. 300 mg. trileptal for 13 years; tapered down to 225 in the last year. Holding on everything right now.
  11. Hello everyone. I had been on this forum many times before reading all the posts, usually in the dead of night when feeling so desperate and alone with insomnia but did not sign up until now as hoping I would be feeling a bit better by now. I don't. I came off Duloxetine/Cymbalta, 60mg,in June 2016 cold turkey, probably a huge mistake to do it this way but I had been in touch with my doctor and he suggested to change antidepressant to Citalopram 20mg which I tried for a week and felt strange so ended up ditching both. I went through a terrible time of adjustment for the first 100 days but then seemed to manage slightly better, although it was tough I had hope for a while apart from the no sleep. After another few weeks all kinds of symptoms came at me like an express train and these now remain. I feel generally unwell all the time, depressed, no interest, no zest for life and just not functioning very well. I do have Citalopram tablets, 20mg, here in the house and feel tempted to take them but unsure of what to do. I also have Diazepam which I have taken on and off for 8/9 years 2mg. The Diazepam does not help me sleep at all but does calm me down a little but I feel it is not helpful to my withdrawal off the anti depressents and may be making symptoms worse. Would like to ask advice as to whether or not to reinstate antidepressents for a while as struggling so badly with suicidal thoughts and of little hope in recovering. 8 months of feeling so ill everyday is such hard work and is like living less than half a life. All hope I had in feeling better has gone, I cant believe I can feel this bad and still continue to try and get on with the days activities. I keep thinking that I should be in a hospital being looked after but of course any doctor would just dose me up, seems appealing today. Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.
  12. Hi everyone. This is my first post. I have gotten so much help from this website over the years. I have had several successful tapers over the last 6-7 years and am currently tapering Zeldox 40mg, down to 2.25 currently. I think I have become dependent on Diazepam over the last 18 years. I have used it only occasionally, 5mg, a few times a week. Sometimes I increased my dose to twice (10mg) a day for about 3 weeks at a time and never had a problem immediately dropping back to 5mg a few times a week. I thought I wasn't dependent on it since it was mostly only occasional use so I tried stopping cold turkey on 20 Feb 19. It's been 9 days and I am currently experiencing terrible debilitating fatigue, dizziness and gut issues. I have occasional debilitating brain fog and my TMJ has gotten much worse too. I tried eliminating foods I think I'm sensitive to and I'm kinda in two minds about if this is gut related (I have IBS and probably leaky bowel syndrome) or if it's Diazepam withdrawal. I'm tending toward the latter currently. However, my nausea insomnia and anxiety are a bit better since stopping diazepam, which is strange for diazepam WD. I was thinking about starting up diazepam nightly, maybe .75 mg to see if I could get any withdrawals under control and then eventually tapering once I'm off zeldox. Any comments about if that's a good dose to stabilise any WD issues? It's so hard to figure out what dose to go on cause I've used it so randomly in the past. And I'd like to go on as small of a dose as possible obviously. Any help would be much appreciated.
  13. Ok My name's Adam. I'm 48. I suffer with A&D. I was on 40mg Citalopram for about 8 years. My psychiatrist moved me on to Effexor about 10 weeks ago. The drug hasn't agreed with me, and I'm n the process of tapering off. I was initially on 75mg immediate release (sold tablet), and was taking one a day (people have said this should have been a split dose. Anyway, that's in the past. My tapering history is that I've been taking 3/4 of a tablet - about 58 mg for the last 4 weeks. I think my depression has worsened over last 2 weeks, BUT that may be attributable to life's circumstances.(divorce). My questions are: 1. Am I withdrawing from Effexor, or perhaps SSRI's in general? i.e. Is this really a Citalopram withdrawal considering I've only been on Effexor for a very short time. 2. How slowly should I taper off Effexor, and in what increments? 3. Do I need to split my dose and take twice a day? At present I'm taking the 58mg in one dose Answers to the above and any other advice appreciated. Thanks Adam
  14. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  15. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  16. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  17. Female. Anxious disposition even as child. Did well making friends and enjoying life as a child. Struggled with getting to sleep though, due to worries. Displayed some ocd behaviour in teens ( maybe even before). Took and E aged 16 - big mistake. This exacerbated my anxiety and induced subsequent panic attacks. Age 19 ish ( 2001) was put on seroxat (not sure on dosage -it a strange time; experienced a lot of weird goings on with feeling weird, insomnia, - cant remember if this was before or on starting seroxat). started to feel better while on Seroxat. After a year or two, ( age 21) the doc, due to reports of suicidal behaviour on seroxat, decided to swap me to Citalopram ( 20mg i think). On starting Citalopram, I became very suicidal! Not sure why I wasn't swapped back but I perservered and must have evened out. Took Citalopram for 2 years and I felt good. Met my, now, husbandat 23 and thought life was brill and I did not need Citalopram anymore. Didn't follow any kind of tapering ( didnt know I needed to) and must have stopped cold turkey. Felt very suicidal so went back on Citalopram and evened out again. Must have cut fown to 10 mg and stayed on this for 4 years, functioning well. I did my degree. Am a bit of a perfectionist so worked very hard ( too hard), as well as working 16 hours. End of 4th year at Uni, I was burnt out. Overloaded, overwhelmed, run diwn physically and mentally. A 'nervous breakdown' ensued. I tried to go back to uni to finish the last couple of months but couldn't. I finished my dissertation abd transferred my degree so I still gained a 1st class degree but was very ill. I, nearly straight after became pregnant. I, however, suffered a horrid missed miscarriage at 13 weeks. I had told the docs that I thought something was wrong, 5 weeks earlier, but was dismissed. I took 2 months off work and was a mess. The doctor gave me diazepam and zopiclone which helped me ride the worst. Somehow I survived and became pregnant again not long after. Pregnancy was hard ( pains and bleeding) but I lasted. When my baby was born, it was tricky ( so much new to learn; I developed some ocd habits to help me feel in control but it was ok. Things leveled out. I was still on 10 mg Citalopram ( docs aware of this). I was doing well. I had snother baby a couple of years later, aged 29. Pregnancy was s bit better than the previous one but I still had bleeding, so was nervous but it was ok. I continued on 10 mg of Citalopram and was doing ok. When my son was 1 though, I took on too much. ( Lots of voluntary work with high expectations and serious responsibilities. I juggled trying to be a good mum, with several voluntary roles, housekeeping, got a small part time job too. over this time, for some reason i was slowly tapering Citalopram down ( no guidance really other than from the doc that you can take them every other day (? Is this where things started to go wrong?). I thought I was doing ok, although on reflection I was burning the candle at both ends. At the age of 32 I began to experience sciatica and fatigue. Doc suggested I try coming off the pill. This didn't help. This got worse until I developed severe abdominal pain/ heavy periods/ Nausea/ severe IBS - doc queried cfs but i was not yet referred. I was probably taking 5 mg of citalopram a couple of times a week ( not great I now realise as not steady) but as much as I was feeling physically crap, I was still functioning I stopped the Citalopram and took nothing for 10 months. The voluntary work took on another level; I imploded and had a 'nervous breakdown' ( I had a ridiculous amount of stress which was causing me to struggle with sleep and I was beginning to get suicidal ideation and brain fog before this, on top of the other physical issues, then a stressful voluntary work event sent me into a breakdown ( crying/ anxious/ ocd/ sleeplessness/ some kind of sleep apnea where id wake up gasping for breath.. I was put back onto Citalopram. I quit all voluntary work. I requested to start what i thought was low - 5mg. They pushed me to go to 10, saying 5 was ridiculous. At the same time, it was thought I may have endometriosis, so in 2017, aged 35 I had a laparoscopy operation to check; it was not. I think the operation and anaesthetic helped finish me off. The Citalopram made me increading suicidal to the point where I had suicidal ideation 24/7. i was somehow still getting sleep at this point but obe day was so suidsl, I went to A&E. Saw a psychiatrist for the first time in my life ( aged 35). Was tild to stip Citalopram strainght away. Discussed alternatives ( antipsychotics/ Mirtazipine, other ssris etc). I took nothing fir a week then another team of psychiatrists advised on possible meds. It was decided I would try Sertraline ( another Ssri??? why did i do that) I started it on 12.5 mg ( much to dismay of psychiatrists) but I was not given time to level out; They kept bumping up dose so i would get to the 'theraputic' dose of 50mg. Another level of Hell ensured which I hadn't yet visited. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, jitters, suicidsl ideation in the extreme, depression, muscle twitching, increased brain fog, intrusive thoughts, rapid weight loss, hellish insomnia. This on top of the fatigue and pain and ibs i was already experiencing. Despite my reaction, I was told to persist; I think they thought it wss my normal behaviour ( never felt this bad even when I wss 18 before starting Seroxat). Things levelled a bit after about 3 1/2 months. I was able to function a bit and go to my part time work and look after the home but it was tough. I developped tinnitus on Sertraline and had increasing brain fog. I also now suffered from depersonalisation and still had IBS and fatigue and body pain. In November last yesr, Another doc suggested i try the fodmap diet. i tried this and after 2 months it was very apparent that I had a gluten intolerance. Stopping gluten cleared up my IBS and most of the body pain. I still however battled with increasing brain fog and fatigue and severe depersonalisation to the point i couldnt go out at times and battled with it on the way to/ at work. Sertraline was not for me. I decided to cut down. the only advice id had about tapering was every other day from my doc but I thought Id do it slower. i cut miniscule amounts off from April 17, no real structure. I did this slowly but without checking i was stabilising, from April to August when i got to about 25mg. July and August, my brain fog became unbearable; unable to do shopping, unable to have a proper conversation, overwhelmed by simple questions, I became hypersensitive to light and sound. I often wore shades even on cloudy days ( looking back, noide and light sensitivity started with sertraline). I wore earplugs to limit noise at home with loud children. I became snappy due to loud noises. July August this got worse and worse but I was still functioning. I began doing sertraline every other day at 25 mg in August I think, maybe before then BAM one night in early September I had severe anxiety and total insomnia. This was relentless. I was desperate. I needed advice. Do i go back? Stop? go down? even dose to take each day. I was severely suicidal and devepped what seemed to be fit type episodes where i would be breathless, painful stomach, weird tingly head, palpitations, neck pain and lower back pain, loss of appetite, feeling flu like, becoming extremely dehydrated to the point i would guzzle water down cup after cup, My body contorted in painand tension, I eould then becime cold snd shiver. these episodes could last a couple of minutes but up to 16 hours at times. i was desperate for advise. over September/ early october, I visited A&E 4 times, desperately suicidal; I spoke to my doctor, I spoke to the nhs 111 line, I paid to dpeak to a psychiatrist but NO ONE would advise me, passing me round like a hot potato, telling me to do CBT and wait fir an appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist in december! I wouldn't live until then! I stayed with my mum as I felt so out of control with these fit type things ( including one where paramedics came and I was growling/ disorientated/ confused/ dehydrated so my eyeballs snd skin were dry- I was agressive ( never been like this in my life). I didnt want to be near my family due to my behaviour so I stayed with my mum for a few days. she lives in another county. I went to A&E there and they listened to me and made me feel worthwhile. they referred me to their home treatment team, who visited me but once again were unwilling to discuss specifics of medication. i was given zopiclone and diazepam. my husband and i didnt know what to do. we saw this website but I was still confused. I 'evened' out the 25 mg every other day dose to 12.5 in September. This may have made things worse, not sure which is why i wanted advice. The home treatment team managed to get my appointment with a prescribing psychiatrist movef to early october. I saw her and she laughed at my idea that it was withdrawal. she suggested I try an snri or mirtazapine. After reading this site, I wad reluctant. I am still referred with that team of psychiatrists but another appointment is in 2 months and they just want to throw more meds at me without showing any understanding of withdrawal. 5 weeks ago at an extreme point, before seeing the psychiatrist, I stopped Sertraline. I have been off it for 5 weeks. The fits seem to have all but stopped. but my anxiety is through the roof. I have severe stomach pain, reactions to shsmpoo, brain buzzy feeling whch zaps at times, particularly with high pitched loud noises. my sensitivity to sound is horrendous, as are my emotions and sensitivity to stress. I am overwhelmed by anxiety and ocd type ruminating thoughts about the situation and about my children's health. I am in sick leave from work since 2 months ago, as is my husband ( to look after me and the children). I have managed to taper off zopiclone and my sleep varies depending on my anxiety at night ( minutes up to 6 hours, broken sleep). I took dome diazepam but the ladt dose in September affected my breathing and I became severely breathless for 4 hours andmy gums bled so i haven't taken it since. I have applied for pip disability living allowance. we are shortly going to have no miney coming in and do t know if and my husband will be able to go back to work or if he will be fired ( I assume i will). I read this site but felt I couldnt reinstate as I never felt good on Sertraline. what now? do I try to ride it out? So suicidal and hopeless at times. Do I reinstate to citalopram instead? Do i try something else? Low dose mood stabiliser/ antipsychotic? Ps, I was referred a month ago to the ME/ Cfs people for diagnosis. Still waiting to hear.
  18. rhanch

    finding my way

    I've been taking antidepressants, nearly as long as they've been around. Following a psychotic break - clinical depression, which might have been predicted, given the circumstances and looking back at it. I was first prescribed Sinequan by my family GP - a tricyclic drug considered at the time the latest medical miracle. It seemed to work and brought me back to earth, though it may have been just as much a result of a change in circumstances. The thing is, the fact that it seemed to work against the closest thing to absolute hell I could have possibly imagined created the fear that going off it would return me to the same state. So I continued taking it, in larger or much lesser amounts but continuously, through the coming decades. The ssri's came on the market and books were written declaring the latest and most important, culturally transforming chemotherapeutic drugs. I threw my hat in the ring and decided to try Prozac. Was quickly thrown into some sort of dissociative/ serotonin syndrome state and quickly retrieved the hat. My GP eventually retired and had to shift to a psychiatrist to ensure my supply of antidepressants. He more or less turned me into his psychiatric guinea pig. "I believe it may be prudent to throw Abilify into the mix at this point." "Well, you're the expert." Or so he figured. The upshot: I'm currently taking 150 mg Buproprion,150 mg Venlafaxine 50 mg Trazadone & 5-10 mg of Diazepam. Though I haven't taken any Venlafaxine for a few days because I believe it has left me with ED. I have a lot of opinions and insights into what led me to where I am today, but leave that for later. Thank-you for your attention and/or feedback.
  19. Hello everyone, I first got started on Celexa in May 09 after my mind slipped into an inescapable panic state induced by an accidental overdose of the anti-histamine diphenhydramine. I should of know way back then, after a few weeks, then I should of stayed away from all drugs and given my brain a chance to calm down and repair itself on it’s own, but I was truly, truely frightened that I had down some serious damage or I was on my way to the depths of psychosis. So I went to my GP got diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I switched to Cymabalta in November 09 after a personal event triggered an intensification of agitated depression which had never really left despite treatment with Celexa. Sticking with Cymbalta was, again, an irrevocably stupid decision - but I had faith in the psychiatrist who was prescribing me these things. Suicidal ideation was commonplace both in an experiential context and in circumstantial context – my anxiety was so severe I just wanted out and I was astounded to what life had been reduced to. On cymbalta I felt tired but wired with a generalised irritability and massive cravings for sugar, which when I gave in and ate only triggered an intensification of irritability. I look back during this period and I’m struck with just how bizarre and Kafkaesque the whole experience was. Why the hell didn’t I get of the ******* thing earlier? I weaned off Cymbalta in in June 2010. However, the suicidal panic now morphed into a suicidal malaise and all-consumng tiredness, severe anhedonia, and an inability to concentrate - which has stuck with me since. I got put on Zoloft in Oct’10, 4 months after my last drug, and after a visit to a GP where I told me him I was suicidal and planning to go through with it. He sort of shrugged and just told me to go back on a med. The Zoloft induced both akathisa and a “despair beyond despair” at my situation. I flew out to Thailand with the intention of having a last hurrah and then taking myself down to one of the gun ranges and putting a .357 round into my frontal lobe. (Guns aren't readily available in the UK) I flew home when my parents found out where I was, despite my (I thought) well-constructed plan to deceive and explained to them the extent of which I was struggling. We sought the services of a psychiatrist whom I thought was progressive and looking at the bigger picture. By now, I was mostly concerned with the brain fog and chronic fatigue - which prevented me from most activities which might have led to an improvement with my lot in life - which led me to conclude my problem was neuro-endocrine based. I agreed to a low-dose of Lexapro, some compounded thyroid hormone and about 20 different supplements to treat any bodily pathologies. Despite this ambitious protocol, there was very little change in mood. I tried to stay working but got overwhelmed again and my suicidal ideation reached a zenith. I flew back out to Asia with my father, this time to Cambodia but to join a volunteer project building houses. I figured a dose of 3rd poverty might take my mind….off my mind. This time I also agreed to start lithium. It was a humbling experience for sure but I was still weak, foggy, anxious and depressed. I also felt intensely guilty at being in my depressed state amongst so much poverty and in a country with the worst auto-genocide in history. I also picked up a stomach infection which led to post-infectious gastroparesis which I have been struggling with since. Early in 2011 I discontinued the lithium, at the time we hadn’t worked out the stomach problem and where concerned the lithium could be causing the GI stuff. I continued with Lexapro in the AM and 25mg amitrypltine to get me off to sleep in the PM. Life was just a haze punctuated by bouts of panic and despair. My ability to work and socialise properly had all but disappeared by now, so I got used to life being what it was. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to take a break from AD’s, they didn’t seem to have improved my lot in life much, maybe coming off them would do some good. This was when my concern, finally, about TD started - I continued to feel like absolute ****. What if the drugs were the problem all along?. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the epiphany really took hold and I realised the full horror of what I subjected myself to. I realised the whole thing was being exacerbated by the very treatment that authority deemed to be of help. Back when I came off Cymbalta in 2010 I just assumed this was my depression anxiety ramping up and the exhaustion was a natural extension, but now I was still horrendously depressed and the other **** kicked in. I curse myself that I didn’t see the connection the first time round and have spent another 2.5 years on psych drugs….. Note, I tried a few drugs of now more than about two weeks duration in 2012. Again this was before the idea of drug-induced harm became cemented in my mind. My last drug ingestion was Tianeptine in November. My question to anyone who has any suggestions and or experiences is in my title – what the hell do I do now? I’m a complete invalid. Living at home with a parent at 25, unable to enjoy much of anything at all, I can’t lose myself in a movie like I did years ago, my mind is just inexplicably turned inward and focused on it’s own arid desolation and fogginess. Reading is a significantly challenging endeavour and writing is difficult (it’s taken me about a week to knock this up into something coherent and semi-legible). I’m just having such trouble formulating a strategy which might give me a chance of getting well again. Just reading this site has given me a bit of hope in that people can get their lives back on track. There’s people here that appear to have got off far harsher drugs and had been on them for longer periods, so I need to keep a perspective of sorts, I’m just terrified at this stage that I’m past the point of no return and that putting what was a fragile brain/mind to begin with in drugs might just have been…… Any help or words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Jack
  20. Benzo topic: pinkfairy-in-ad-withdrawal-possibly-zopiclone-and-now-benzo Hi everybody am new around here....right here goes!i need some advice an help.am a single mum to a nine year old with no family or support.in janurary I was taken off Paxil which I was taking at 40mg...I had no clue about tapering,they took me off in 4 weeks I was on it for 3 an half years.they then gave me diazepam to stop the with drawals...so now am also in the process of weaning off this at 10% a month.have now educated myself on this one!!am in a right state an I feel like am in a deep dark hole!have got real bad depression but they can't get another AD into me,probably because my CNS is in a mess....am I too late to reinstate Paxil?or would you guys keep on going.any help would be amazing!!am really struggling xx
  21. Bigmant64

    Bigmant64

    Hi there nead help, I'm male 54years old was on vensir (venlafaxine) 150mg until the end of December 2017,total of 10years ,Dr told me come off over 2 weeks but I did it over 2 months November -December which now I know was way too fast. January 2018was a toughish month, February March April were good felt like my old self, then come May started have windows and waves more so waves nearer end of month. June came so did the anxiety and depression worse than ever so I ended up being admitted into hospital on the 11th June . They started me back on vensir 37.5mg and after 5 hours of taking it I started burn up and lots panick attacks, they told me stick at it would pass things be OK, now adding in 5mg diazepam 3 times a day.After 4 days on 37.5mg vensir I refuse to take it so then I'm put on 15 mg of mirtazipine then after 1 week up to 30mg,the whole time I'm still having symptoms but they keep telling me to take it, takes 4_6 weeks to work omg. After 3 weeks I'm released home under care of psychiatrist taking 30mg of mirtazipine at night and 4mg of diazepamx2 day , zolpidem 10mg.After 2 weeks I had to arrange an appointment see the psychiatrist I'm feeling worse he then decided to add in brintillex with mirtazipine and 3 days later I'm feeling really ill, suicidal thoughts everything, I went to Dr was admitted again into Hospital.This time the mirtazipine is upped to 45mg and brintillex is discontinued ,stayed on 45 mg of mirtazipine until the 9th of Aug, no good days on this so psychiatrist decided to drop to 30mg and add 50 mg of zoloft,stuck this for 3 days felt really sick lots bad thoughts panic attacks, I refused to take the zoloft,next thing psychiatrist sent for me and decided to add 25mg quitiapine,I took this for a week and refused no more, so was left on 30 mg of mirtazipine 4mg diazepamx 2 a day and zolpidem for sleep. Released home on 3Rd of September under care of community mental health home team. Now on 15 mg of mirtazipine, near end of September was put on 25mg amitriptyline and mirtazipine was just dropped.After 4 weeks on amitriptyline couldn't take it any more just feeling unwell all time,amitryptiline dropped .Next thing psychiatrist gives 70 mg lofepramine (brand names: Gamanil, Lomont, and Tymelyt), I took it until 12th November another 4weeks , feeling really ill no sleep,go back see psychiatrist he wants me to change again to Reboxetine or lyrica,I refused told him I want no more. That's my medical history to date, cut a long story short I've been off antidepressants now 23days and do I feel really unwell, yes,sickness nausea is unreal can't eat much, I have 43 of withdrawal symptoms on Dr Glenmullans list,the body sensations I'm experiencing are unreal,hot cold,akathesia,ibs and my diverticulitis off the scale, anxiety and depression,it's all too much,ive been taking 6 mg diazepam every evening at 7pm,sometimes it help but last week I've been taking5mg after I take it I feel more unwell, at bedtime still taking zolpidem,sleep 3_4 hours Every day now I'm getting worse my energy levels are nearly zero can't walk very far, love the outdoors I'm feeling soon i won't be able leave the house.Every morning now I don't want get out of bed but start feel sick can't ly in bed, im very much fatigue very hard to relax just don't know what to do,I feel like I'm poisoned last 6months. Any help greatly appreciated I'm in a very dark place right now. Wish I had found this site few months ago, the medical profession havnt a clue what they're doing.
  22. Celen

    Celen

    Hi I am 43 and have been on numerous psychiatric drugs for over 20 years. I’ve been diagnosed with so many different mental health labels and have been on psych drugs for all. Over the last 8 years I have been basically bedridden. During the past two years I’ve had to fend for myself when I decided I wanted off all these pills. They have only made me worse. 2 yrs ago I came off cold turkey Abilify, Latuda and 20 mg of fluoxetine. I felt great until 3 weeks in the withdrawals set in. I haven’t felt well since but have managed to wean off 70 mg of vyvanse, 1 mg of clonazepam, 15 mg diazepam and 10 mg of fluoxetine. I am now working on the last 10 mg of fluoxetine. After that I’ll start tapering my trazadone or more of the benzos. All-of this has been a nightmare, nausea,vomiting, headaches etc. I can not leave my house most of the time because of debilitating anxiety. I guess what Im looking for here is information, support, and ideas on diet ( no gallbladder and severe GERD) and tips on helping withdrawal symptoms. I feel like I can’t think properly,my memory is shot and right now I really need some hope. Also I’ve gained 70 lbs.
  23. Hi everyone, I've been on and off a slew of drugs since having depression starting in March 2016. I'm in the U.K. so was treated by our NHS who initially put me on mirtazapine then when that didn't work they introduced me to prozac at 25mg and my anxiety went sky high. I'd been on and off prozac several times in the last 20 years but the reaction was horrific. To calm me down they put me on Diazepam at 15mg until I became so ill I was hospitalised for 2 weeks in May 2016. Prozac was withdrawn and replaced by Escitalopram which gave me the same severe reaction. To counter this I was put on Lyrica at 300mg and within 10 weeks became suicidal so I've just finished a taper from lyrica and am still suffering withdrawals after 8 weeks off the med. To try and counter my increasing depression lofepramine was prescribed along with Quetiapine at 150mg. The lofepramine did nothing so I tapered off of that but the quetiapine was kept in place by my shrink. My Lyrrica withdrawal was painful and my shrink added Dosulepin as an A/D. All this time I was kept on diazepam. I'm now trying to untangle this mess and am suffering badly with depression and anxiety and none of my medication appears to be helping. I've made the decision to get off of as many meds as I can and am unsure of the order in which to reduce them. I feel I've been the victim of psychiatry and any advice would be appreciated.
  24. Some history. I've been on and off Fluoxetine and Citalopram all my adult life. They helped me, side effects were few apart from a few weeks of akathisia 10 years ago that passed during fluoxetine initiation. One side effect coming off fluoxetine that same time was a minor version of what I'm now going through. 10 weeks ago I started getting woken up by very rapid heart rate, an adrenaline burst, at the very moment of falling asleep. Like a hypnic jerk, but not my muscles twitching, instead my heart racing. I also got the same racing while waking up. So a wake-sleep transition thing. I managed to get to sleep eventually and usually got a good night's sleep. 5 weeks ago it got worse, so I went to my doctor and he's arranging a cardiologist to look at me (long waiting times in UK). Two weeks of sleep deprivation later I'm an anxious depressed mess. Dr puts me on Fluoxetine suggests anxiety may be the cause. I get akathisia bad, come off it, the doctor replaces it with low dose citalopram, which I'm tolerating. As well as low dose diazepam and zopiclone. Nothing is helping with the sleep disorder, which I believe is a parasomnia, possibly caused by stress/anxiety, but now the cause of suicidal thoughts due to extreme sleep deprivation. There's anecdote around that AD use or discontinuation cause such parasomnias. Any advice? Thank you, and good luck.
  25. I am new to this site. I was put on paroxetine six weeks ago in the UK but felt strange and discovered this is the strongest SSRI. I stopped cold turkey a week ago and feel awful mostly when I wake up. Can I start Fluoxetine yet or should I wait longer? ( I am abroad so can't get to my gp). Thanks
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