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  1. Hello to all. Please accept my most sincere greetings. I know that all of us here are after a better life and the fact that all of us have ended up here by each other's side under one single umbrella means we all have what it takes to build a better more robust life. We are a precious community giving each other hope, helping hands and the necessary incentive and energy to carry on and reach the finish line with flying colors. We will all make it sooner or later. I for one have come into grips with weaning off of Nortriptyline. After almost 2 years of being on the drug for what initially was diagnosed as depression and anxiety, I recently decided to come off it. From what I had gathered mainly through surfing different websites and reading stories of struggles with antidepressants, I was confident that I my tapering has to happen garadually and smoothly, so distressing i was never instructed by my psychiatrist nor my psychologist about the importance and necessity of slow tapering. My maintenance dose was 100 mg for a year and half, then I went on a withdrawing process. I followed the famous 10 perecnt reduction for every 2 weeks. After almost 3 months, I'm now on 25 mg. I exeperienced a wide ranges of symptoms most notably tingling, paresthasia, insomnia and blurry and at times colorless vision on my right eye. Symtoms have become tougher these last steps leaving me with 2 major problems: 1. Some of my symtoms are so persistent and won't just go away namely tingling and prickling on my body and my declining vision quality with colors looking so drab and lifeless. I'm seriously afraid of continuing my taper as i feel this may deteriorate my current condition eventually leaving me with unstoppable poor vision quality as well as persistent paresthasia. 2. I live in Iran and the lowest-dose pills are 10 mg which are extremly small, the best I could do was to cut them into halves using a pill cutter with extreme difficulty. Now that I'm down to 10 percent of 25 mg, I need 2.5 mg pieces which is almost impossible to get. I'm stuck at this phase and I need some real help and advice from my esteemed co-combatants. I thank each and every one of you up front for helping me out. Good luck on your evetually brilliant taper journey.
  2. Hello to all. I cannot write much or often due to tardive dyskinesia (or dystonia?) of my right eye, arm, neck, tongue and face. Reading, writing and using my phone, tablet and desktop exacerbate this condition. However, I would like to add my voice here and say two things that I feel are important: 1. You will in all likelihood get better - much better, and 2. If a moderator suggests that you reinstate, please read the horror stories of those of us who did not have that chance before you decide that you "do not want to go "backwards."" I believe I developed serious side effects in 2005 or 2006 including dyskinesia, but I did not know that the drugs could cause that. Before that, I developed anxiety in 2002 or earlier which I did not have to any appreciable degree before taking Celexa. I sit here now in disbelief that I suffered from increasing anxiety for 9 years on Celexa (and 5 years on Zoloft), and the doctors simply raised the dose, not by a little, but by 50 percent each time for Celexa. I also realize now that I developed dystonia in my feet and toes and my chest and neck, but I had no idea what it was, and doctors' appointments resulted in no doctor suggesting the medication could be the culprit. I didn't even know the terms dyskinesia or dystonia. No one mentioned them either. In 2011 I gave birth to a girl. That very night, the OB at the hospital switched me from Celexa 150 mg to Zoloft 10 mg with no cross taper, no advice and no warning of the Hell I was about to endure. After many nights with no sleep due to this switch I finally started to sleep again. Then, over the next 6 years the doctors kept raising the dose by large amounts despite increasing anxiety and what I now know to be akathesia, dyskinesia, and various other side effects including cognitive decline, increasing OCD, and inability to see reality. I threw more and more amazing parties, and I became a hoarder. Buying things on eBay became my job it seemed. I became obsessed with organizing my home, but it was impossible without a professional to help, and I could not see that. Until my child was about 4 I was functioning, but I thought I was a bad organizer, a bad mother, and a terrible wife. After having had horrendously stressful jobs that I managed pretty well, I could not understand why I was so bad at being a wife and mother with a much less stressful job. Eventually, I showed some signs of serotonin syndrome and mania, but I was probably spellbound by the medication (as Breggin suggests can occur.) I believed I was normal, right about everything, etc., and my husband could not convince me otherwise. I enjoyed all the energy I had and could not understand why almost everything I tried to do did not work. All my projects caused a lot of anxiety for me and my husband, it was nearly impossible to complete any of them, and I would often start a new one whilst struggling to complete a previous project. I could not believe what my husband was saying -- that a professional carpenter, bricklayer, party planner, etcetera would be needed. I began to cut corners or abandon plans in order to complete a project or be ready for a party. I had a great deal of trouble leaving the house by 2015. I could not be prepared for all of the possible disasters while I was out. I had to cancel or be late to many activities. I couldn't keep the house, cook or do laundry or organize clothing, toys, kitchen supplies, etc. I count NOT THINK straight at all. I became unable to socialize well by mid 2015. I stopped working in early 2016. I was not willing to cut corners for work so I stopped altogether intending to start again very soon. I could never do that. I continued to develop dystonia of my foot and toes and my neck and chest on my right side and slightly of my left toes, but, again, I didn't know these terms, I never connected this to Zoloft or Celexa, and I thought I was just not stretching or exercising enough. In late 2016 I decided to stop taking Zoloft. Using Xanax had worked for a few hours for anxiety, but I knew it was addictive. So, I used it only once every 3 days until I realized that after it wore off I became very angry. My child was 5, and I could not bear it if I yelled at her. I decided that discontinuing Zoloft was my only hope. If I micromanaged my child and taught her to feel anxiety over every mistake, I would not be able to live with that. I knew which behaviors were harmful to her even though my personality was utterly changed since I began medication. I could not, however, see how harmful my behavior was to my husband. He had begged me to stop with the projects and the hoarding, but I could not, and I could not see how it harmed him. I did recognize that I was not perceiving reality, and that I needed Xanax to get through all activities that were ordinary or not. I marveled at how other mothers with 2 or 3 children managed so much better than I did, and it worried me that I could not work. Something was very, very wrong and it was very likely to be the Zoloft. I looked up how to stop Zoloft on webmd or maybe a different site, and I checked many others to verify the information on other "reputable sites." All I found were instructions that parroted the quick taper that the pharm cies and doctors knew. I never saw anything about this site or Breggin or any other doctor who was aware of tardive withdrawal, PAWS, etc with regard to SSRIs. So, I made the worst mistake of my life - I "tapered" 150 mg in about 6-8 weeks. I found SA after it was too late to reinstate. I am a person who doesn't trust the pharm cies. I don't feel comfortable with the high number of vaccines for babies and young children. I'm suspicious of the flu vaccine, statins, and, of course, benzos. I try to eat organic food and even if I don't I make sure my child has organic eggs and milk. Despite that predisposed mistrust of pharmacology, I never thought to question a quick taper of Zoloft because I believed it was not "addictive!" I had a honeymoon period for about 5-6 months until August or Sept 2017. I am now medication free for 10 months. It has been HELL a hundred times over. I am still experiencing waves. It's been a few weeks, 2 or 3, since I wanted to die, and all my symptoms are less intense and less frequent except right side bruxism and dyskinesia/dystonia of my face, neck, jaw, chest and eye plus numbness on my right side in my arm, hand, face, nose, eye, jaw, hip, leg, foot and toes. I am no longer living in terror and fear and wishing an accident would take me from this world. I still have cortisol mornings in a wave, and I need to keep my mind occupied at all times, but I am not exhausted and weak all the time. The insomnia I had in Sept and October is gone seemingly for good. There are many other mental and physical symptoms that are gone or are less intense. Thank you for reading and I look forward to meeting each of you. I hope you all recover quickly and take some solace in seeing the progress I have made. Peace, Rosetta
  3. Hi! I just got off of Zoloft. I started in 2018 on 50mg, increased to 100mg, and then went onto 150mg where I have been since in 2020. I got off Zoloft over two weeks ago. I tapered for 1.5 months. My symptoms are dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, weakness, easily winded, mental fatigue. Walking even short distances is very hard so much so that I couldn’t commute to work and have had to work from home. I have been considering getting back on a small dose of Zoloft. What do you think?
  4. ok! so where do i start ive been reading on this website almost since the withdrawal started back in october and im just now starting an account! but anyway i recently tapered from 40mg of lexapro to 20 in one month and 10 the next month and the doctor said to stop after that which i did and boy do i feel bad some of the strangest symptoms ive ever felt in my life. I should mention the reason i got off was because for some reason i developed a horrible phobia of medication like im even scared to take a flinstone gummy its so bad which from everything ive read on here would make reinstatement very tough for me. i never had any issues at all with SSRIs other than drowsiness until around august my phobia got so bad i would panic every time i took my medicine even though i had no reason too! its been seven weeks now no medicine and sometimes i feel like its getting worse although i have no issues a couple hours before bed i feel normal? i could use some guidance please!
  5. Hello everyone, I hope I am making this correctly. Im 30 years old, have been on Celexa since ~2007 for depression. Please bear with me as my memory is HORRIBLE and I don't know how accurate my information will be. Initial dose was 10mg(I believe), was told it would be for a short period of time and then I would go off them. Doctor increased in time to 20mg, this worked for many years. At some point I felt I was having issues and my doctor put me up to 40mg. Unsuccessfully tried to go off with doctors orders a few times. I have a new doctor & also a therapist(this is new to me). My new doctor wanted to put me on a different medication and prescribed me wellbutrin suggested tapering off 40mg to 20mg, 20mg for a week, 10mg for a week, then nothing for a week and start new meds. I had horrible symptoms after 2 days on 20mg. My therapist told me that was way too fast so went to 30mg, i did that until I stopped having brain zaps about 2 weeks, then the same for 20mg about 2 weeks, and then I think I did 3 weeks on 10mg. i felt okay on 10mg and wasnt sure if I needed to go on a different med (have heard wellbutrin is bad if you have anxiety already). My therapist suggested I go to 0mg for a while to get a "baseline" of how I feel if u need meds or not. Have had 0mg for 2 or 3 weeks and was fine until December 23 when I started to feel extremely sore, headache that wouldn't go away and dizzy. Dec 24th - 28th was even worse with dizziness that I couldn't barely do anything (pretty much missed Christmas) but also crazy sad and anxious for no reason. December 29th started with brain zaps on top of everything else. I made a post on reddit about it and was told by a fellow celexa user that this website really helped them and they had tapered too fast and had withdrawal issues for 8 months before going back on celexa and is half way through a 2 year taper down the right way. I am a bit stubborn and have fought not wanting to go back on celexa, but I'm starting to think I should and try tapering again much slower. Sorry my post was so long
  6. Hi everyone, Ok so I'm 1. Extremely grateful that this forum exists 2. Grateful I found it at this stage of my taper journey and not after I effed everything up. I am a 20 year old male. I was diagnosed at the age of 8 with GAD in response to non cooperation with parents / tantrums. (From what I remember.) Medicated at 12 with prozac 20 mg. Diagnoses and pills just piled on from there. ADHD and the merry go round of stimulants at 13 or 14. Many, many different antidepressants , way too many for me to remember. Gradually went from straight A student and avid reader to completely non functional midway through high school with sadness, hopelessness, inability to focus. Laid in bed all day, slept for days, could not get out of bed for school. (Worst of it was at the highest doses of lexapro.) Diagnoses at this point were GAD, ADHD, MDD, Panic disorder. was held back in school, put in partial hospitalization program (more drug experimentation), barely graduated. In 2019 before shipped off to community college my psychiatrist put me on Viibryd 20 or 30mg, Lamotrigine 100mg , Abilify 5mg. This was somewhat more tolerable, although I began compulsive and risk taking behaviors, and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder type 2. Lamotrigine doses were experimented with up to 200mg, Abilify up to 10mg, Viibryd up to 40mg. (40mg Viibryd sent me into quite the manic episode.) Failed out of 2 semesters of community college. Hospital trip panic attacks were had. prescribed clonazepam. By mid 2020 I was fairly stable at the original doses of these 3. White knuckled through crazy brain fog and memory lapses, (almost all of 2019-2020 I barely remember) , somehow transferred into university, failed out of another semester and quit my job after I hit another wall of not being able to do actual schoolwork or job work from focus breaking down. Another hospitalization after deep despair. Abilify kicked up to 10 mg, began sleeping nearly all day, Drs concerned, lowered to 7.5mg. It was late November 2021 I began to question the whole thing and began slowly tapering Abilify , without telling anyone, from 7.5 to 5 to 2.5 and then cold turkey on new years 2022, simultaneously Viibryd from 30 to 20mg (where I remain) and Lamotrigine 125 to 100mg (where I also remain). Brain fog dissipated, focus came back gradually, I was able to read consistently for the first time since early childhood. Compulsivity dissipated as well, can get off my phone, no urges for illegal drug/alcohol use, began exercising, losing weight, healthy eating. Mood feels... completely stable? Not "up" or "down" ... I am now finding my coursework easy and fun. Kinda bittersweet after years of difficulty as you can imagine. Then: Insomnia and nasty joint pain popped up 2 days ago (11 days after last dose of Abilify). Wtf?? It was going so well? I started googling and found this forum, realized I went way too fast, and am now probably in for a wild ride. Anyone have tips on what to expect from here? How effed am I with the abilify withdrawal? Now I'm scared to tackle the viibryd and lamotrigine , I should wait for a while before tapering those right? What can I expect from the taper experience of those 2? Thanks
  7. I quick-tapered fluvoxamine (Luvox) a couple of months ago. I started in 2017 with 50 mg and worked my way to 100mg. I stayed on 100mg until may 2020, but during the pandemic I got through a rough break-up and was put on 200 and 300mg after a couple of weeks. However, due to overbooking of psychiatrists and the end of my medical coverage I decided to (foolishly I know) quick taper (more of a CT now that I think about it) the med. I went back to 200mg (supervised at first) but then lowered to 150 (after 2 weeks) 100 (for a month) and 50 (for 2 weeks). I got the usual withdrawal symptoms (electric shock sensation, depersonalization, and light head are the main ones I remember) but continued with my life. Everything seemed normal but it has been two times (different ocassions) that I have woken up and I just can't speak, it feels like I want to say something but I can't find the appropriate words for it. A quick google search led me to link my overall symtoms to stopping Fluvoxamine. I will not lie, I have tought about suicide so much. My life was looking great once agian; I double majored (got two college degrees) and was about to start a masters in one of the most prestigious universities for an specific approach of psychotherapy. I feel weird and I just can't stop thinking that I ruined my life by not being a little more proactive and getting medical assessment for getting out of meds. By the way, I'm 25 years old, my whole life and personality goes around being a "gifted" stundent (just discipled though), so this idea of withdrawal-induced cognitive decline has me thinking about harming myself.
  8. Hi! this is my first time writing on here and thought it would be important to start. No idea if anyone still even looks at this website, a lot of the posts seem to be very old. I was prescribed sertraline (Zoloft) by a doctor in the UK following a difficult period and PTSD. I was swiftly put up to the legal limit (200mg) for no reason other than my doctor thought it wasn’t working for me. I took this for 18months and then under the guidance of the same doctor came off the prescription in 6 weeks. Now for those people who know what they are talking about when it comes to tapering, that will probably make their hair stand on end. The withdrawal symptoms were nothing short of psychotic and it will probably shock people to hear that I stuck them out, my doctor left me, a psychiatrist wouldn’t see me and I wanted to be done off prescription meds so much. I had Audio and visual hallucinations, obsessive compulsive thoughts, night terrors, panic attacks, anxiety, Deep depression, irritability the list goes on. I weathered them all. I have been off sertraline 18months and still have lots of down days, but nothing close to what they used to be. 18months in and I regularly exercise, I can have a beer with my friends (I couldn’t do this until recently) and I can have moments that I enjoy. I have regular windows and waves now that cycle around 7-8days each. This just shows that my brain is recovering from a dependency on such a high dose of anti-depressant. I still get very angry that I am in this position because of lack of guidance and management from a doctor but at the end of the day it’s in the past so I don’t let that thought manifest. if I had to put my finger on it I think I have maybe another year or so of recovery to go. The concept of that used to terrify me but what I want to get across to anyone who may be reading this is that it does get better, time does heal and you need to find out the day to day things that work for you. You will get there just hang on. Take everyday one at a time - I believe in you!
  9. Hi I’m new here! Lexapro’s side effects were not worth it for me so I added Wellbutrin and although the combination therapy felt kind of perfect, I never intended to be on two meds so I decided to taper off of Escitalopram. A week after last dose, I feel intense panic and fear, a bit out of body, not to mention all the physical symptoms. It is so scary that I’m reevaluating everything. Dr recommends starting Esc. 5mg and tapering more slowly. I don’t know if I should start withdrawal over because I don’t want to go through the hell of the last two days all over again. Any advice on your experience? Should I push through this difficult time? Does taking Wellbutrin have any effect on my withdrawal experience, good or bad? Thank you in advance! 6/2020 escitalopram 5mg 7/2020 escitalopram 10mg 12/3/2020 Wellbutrin XL 150 2/4/2021 escitalopram 5mg 2/18/2021 escitalopram 5mg every other day 3/14/2021 stopped escitalopram Continuing on Wellbutrin 150 XL
  10. Hello, I was on 15mg for 2 months, moved up to 30mg for 6 months, then down to 15mg for another month after which I tapered off by alternating between 15mg and none for 2 weeks before stopping as per advice of my GP. I completely stopped taking mirtazapine beginning of August. Now I realize I tapered off too fast and I have seen advice about reinstating meds on here, but if I can I would prefer not to go back on mirtazapine or any other antidepressant. I took it for depression and anxiety, and I've been off it for around 10 weeks now. I was never on any antidepressants before that, although when I went to my GP, they put me on sertraline first, but had a really bad reaction so only took that for 2 days. First wave of withdrawals hit me about 10ish days after I stopped taking them. Mainly nausea (vomited once or twice), muscle spasms/tremors, fatigue, lots of itching, and panic attacks/paranoia. I wasn't too bothered by them as I expected some symptoms to occur, and I don't remember how long they lasted, but maybe a week or a bit more? Anyway, 2 or 3 weeks after, the 2nd wave started. I cannot tell you if physical symptoms were worse or not this time round, but because it was unexpected, I definitely handled it worse. I think it lasted longer as well. At first I thought I had sinusitis because I started having headaches I normally have when my sinuses are all screwed up. I didn't have a fever, but my temp was elevated. Then my GI tract went to hell. Diarrhoea, and generally unhealthy looking poo for about a week (sorry for tmi), feeling sick, but no vomiting or fever. Zero appetite, food tasted like nothing and I couldn't stomach more than a bite. Finally a migraine hit me. Usually I recover after a day from these, but this time the next day was hell. Dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, tightness and pain in my chest/throat. It all got too much to handle and I went to the emergency GP thinking it was some weird infection (few lymph nodes in my neck were slightly swollen as well) or appendicitis. All tests came back clear and they sent me home with anti-nausea meds (stemetil), Omeprazole for heartburn (not sure if I even had heartburn, but still took them), and antibiotics just in case. Symptoms started easing up after that, except nausea although this could be due to antibiotics as I didn't tolerate them well. I'd say it all lasted for about 14 days, followed by a couple of days of intense feeling of dread and panic. And then I was perfectly fine for a week. Now I am in what I think is the 3rd wave. Symptoms started a few days before my period, same as with 2nd wave. Does anyone know if periods can make withdrawal symptoms worse? I'm currently on day 6 of having symptoms. It started with some morning/evening nausea but nothing I couldn't handle. I I took stemetil if i felt it getting worse. I experienced breathlessness for a few days (like i couldn't take a deep enough breath), but breathing exercises helped, although I still struggle a bit. That heavy feeling/discomfort in my chest and throat is back but it's manageable. It was all relatively fine until yesterday when my period actually started. Now I'm starting to feel more light-headed in the morning again, nausea seems to be getting worse, there's fatigue and my limbs feel heavy, and insomnia (although that seems to come and go, it's not a daily thing). I am also feeling more anxious and paranoid about everything, experiencing brain fog as well. Had some headaches, my head would just feel very tense and eyesight would get a bit strange (kind of like migraines I guess, but not as severe). I'm at least able to eat normally for now, and it actually seems to help my nausea short term. I also have a weird aftertaste in my mouth, not sure if that's due to omeprazole (today was my last pill). So I guess I decided to join this forum to seek some reassurance that what I am experiencing are actually withdrawal symptoms from mirtazapine and not serious health concerns, lol. I have developed quite a lovely case of health anxiety due to all this and not sure whether to soldier through or seek medical help due to recurring symptoms. I did mention to emergency doctors that I used to take mirt and had withdrawal symptoms when I stopped, but they didn't really seem to acknowledge that. My GP obviously knows about mirt as well, but she didn't mention it either when I called about nausea (although tbh that was when I was taking antibiotics and still didn't think it was due to mirt).
  11. Hi everyone. I just wanted to say firstly that I only discovered this site 2 days ago and you have all been an absolute god send! I was in the throes of horrific withdrawal and after seeing how screwed up my doctor's advice has been I have reinstated some of my dose today and I feel like a different person already.... A bit about my history with antidepressants: I'm 32 years old and was put on nortriptyline originally in March 2018 for migraines. The migraines weren't affected in any way by these drugs (different story but in the last 4 months I have found my trigger and have gone from daily to once monthly migraines so that's a win!) I had to switch through 3 different antidepressants (amitriptyline and mirtazapine included) before I could settle on Venlafaxine at 150mg. Nothing else would allow me to sleep through the night. That was around August of 2018. Everything was going OK, and it turned out I had both anxiety and depression which I didn't realise until these started to ease with the Venlafaxine. In May 2020 the first lockdown in England really got to me, I felt like nothing was helping so I requested to up my dose to 225mg of Venlafaxine. This went fine and I've been fine ever since, however during all of this time I've been working really hard on mindfullness and knowing how to combat my anxiety and depression head one and I truly felt like I was just taking this drug to stop any withdrawal symptoms instead of taking it because I needed it. Cue the absolute nightmarish hell of Jan 2021..... On the 4th I was instructed by my doctor that it would be fine and dandy to come off, and that I could reduce by 75mg a week, or 2 weeks if that felt too fast..... I wasn't warned of anything except I 'might get a bit dizzy and tired' .... Well week one passes dropping from 225mg to 150mg and I feel a bit off but OK. So week 2 I drop down to 75mg and yeah sure I'm a bit dizzy and I have a properly dodgy stomach but eveywhere seems to say that'll only last a week or 2 and then I'll be drug free so I can take it! ...... Week 3 I drop from 75mg to 0 and my god. I have never in my life, even in the worst throes of depression, had anxiety, panic, derealisation or depersonalisation like it. I was truly for the first time in my life terrified that I was going to either die, or accidently injure myself and die as I had no control. It was so horrific that 3 days in I couldn't get out of bed, and I gave in and started taking 75mg again. I felt better in the next 2 days but in that time I had a subsequent call with my doctor who said 'oh....well you can take a 37.5mg tablet instead. Do that for a week and then come off' ...... So before I even had chance to stabilise on 75 again I was back down to 37.5 for a week. Still dizzy, still panicking away but not as badly. 3 days ago I then thought I cannot drop right off this, I'll take out 1 little tablet inside the capsule and make the dose 25mg. 3 days later there I was having another horrific panic attack, convinced I was never going to be OK and would definitely die of something and so dizzy I couldn't see straight. That is how I ended up desperately looking around online for help (I had been anyway but looking in all the wrong places like....the NHS website....) and I found this site. I have never felt so relieved to see what now is obviously logic! I'm still in the process of reading through the site but I've already reinstated to 37.5mg and today I felt like a different person! A bit of panicking tonight but very manageable and hopefully it will pass over the week. I am also now committed to staying at this dose for at least a month (assuming it helps and I don't need to updose higher?) and then I will be tapering at 10%. I even bought a pill cutter today in preparation! I literally cannot thank you enough for this websites existence. I am so incredibly angry at my doctor for essentially throwing my brain off a cliff for the whole of January and I really hope that reinsating will even me out - it's already stopped every single symptom except the night time anxiety/jitters (which to be honest was so bad that I'm probably bringing it on more by worrying it will happen, than it actually being a symptom. It's also an echo of what it has been like since jumping from 75mg-0....) So that's me! Hello if you got this far, and I hope to join everyone on a successful and much slower journey to being antidepressant free! A quick edit just to say I was also advised to take that 37.5mg tablet one day on, one day off. Something I have told my friend off for doing with his antidepressant for literally years, something that has never made any sense to me, and something I was so vindicated to see is actively discouraged here!
  12. My withdrawal journey started this September. After a severe depressive episode, a psychiatrist proscribed me 300mg per day of Bupropion. After three days I had horrible tinnitus. She told me to stop. I did, but she just wanted to put me on another drug of the same class. We ended up parting ways because she wouldn’t work with someone hesitant to take drugs. The next psychiatrist surmised the tinnitus was due to the Bupropion I was given, and the 80mg of Fluoxetine I was already taking, having a bad reaction. He had me taper off the Fluoxetine in a week (80 on Monday, 40 Tuesday, 20 Wednesday, nothing Thursday and my last 20 on Friday). I was okay for a long time. Actually, I felt great, better than in years. Six weeks after that I began getting constant dizziness that continues to this day (five weeks later). My head has these “shivers” inside it when I lay down. I have horrible mood swings, irritability, anger (with no cause), I cry every night, I have suicidal ideation, I’m perpetually anxious and binge eating. And I also have no idea if this is withdrawal or not. My doctor says it isn’t. An ENT says it’s vestibular migraines. Has anyone experienced symptoms of withdrawal that started six weeks after stopping the medication? Can withdrawal cause unceasing dizziness that sometimes gets worse when I look left or right or move my head? I don’t know what’s a symptom of what anymore and I’m scared. No psych I’ve contacted seems to know anything about this and won’t help. I don’t know if I should go back on the Fluoxetine and taper more slowly? I’ve heard that can really spike tinnitus. Has anyone got experience with this? I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m miserable, with no end in sight.
  13. Cherry47

    Cherry47

    I have had CFS for 32 years. Put on Zoloft 100 mg 14 years ago because 'it seems to help but nobody really knows why'. Certainly some help for the first ten years then seemed to have trouble tolerating other meds eg cholesterol meds, supplements, magnesium, sleeping pills albeit at low doses. Through process of elimination got down to the Zoloft, so stopped over a year although the last 50 to zero too quick I now realise. My introduction to hell! After 15 weeks, seemed to get a bit better but then relapsed. Around the 15 week mark out of sheer desperation I took half a sleeping pill (temazapan), great the next day, then slowly slid back. I have also taken some Q10 for four weeks for energy. Is that building up? Was it the temazapan? Is there any rhyme or reason to this? So hard to work out. Only medical advice different drugs and more of them! Has anyone with CFS been on this same roller coaster?
  14. I am french. My english is not fluent. 9 months ago, i quit ad and bzd In 1 monte and a half. I was having those médecine since 20 years because of panic attac. I felt very good. So i quited.Big mistake. I took it all again: ecsitalopram 10mg+ tranxene 10mg. Then, started maniac crises. So my psychiatre told me to stop ecsitalopram. What i did in 1 month. 5 months later i am still suffering ouf brain zap, panics attacs etc... i went to see a new doctor Who wants to give me another ad to stop my suffering. To stand my state, since 2 week, I murs take 30mg tranxene by day ! But, I am anxious about having maniac attac again if a take an ad again ! I am not maniac, juste suffering of panic Attac, do you have any advice that could help me ? Thanks so much
  15. 2-17-16 I was taking Effexor for 13 years (since I was 19y/o) up until a year ago then was weaned off with Prozac till September 2015. I experienced everything that everyone has talked about. October and November seemed to be going well and then December developed SEVERE stomach pain and burning with GERD/GI issues. I went to the doctor and have since been on Prilosec 2x a day which isn't doing sh*t for me. I am completely terrified. They ran the basic tests of ultrasounds and blood work and came back normal. I am terrified of having the scope although that is what's next when I go for a follow up in a few weeks. I know that's what's needed to get a better look but I've never been put under and it sounds terrifying. Not sure if these are delayed withdrawals??? I was tapered with Prozac till 5 months ago and now this horrible stomach pain and acid. Has anyone experienced this? Is it permanent? I lost 20lbs from being scared to eat normally and only drinking water. I just want to know I'm not alone in these symptoms. December to now can't be normal to have pain this long, right?
  16. frederike01

    frederike01

    Hello everyone! Ok it's a long story but i'll give it a shot! my name is Frederike. Oh and my english might be not THAT good, but...i'll try my best! =) . When i was very jong (about 12 years old) i started to develop anxiety combined with OCD. At that age it wasnt very harmfull yet but it got worse when i got older. I went to a psychologist at 13/14 but that didnt really help. so i stopped going. But my anxiety didnt left me so i went. The psychiatrist prescribed me fluvoxamine when i was 15 years old. I also started to experience 24/7 derealisation. The meds. didnt really work i think but i thought maybe it would be worse without them and i dindt know how hard it was to get off back then so i kept taking them. my anxiety OCD en derealisation didnt disapeare or get any better. i try'd to stop several times but the next day after lowering my dose my derealisation would become so bad i couldnt stop if i wanted to continue to function. and the docters told me: well, then keep taking them. So i took the pills for many years and after taking them for about 8 years my anxiety and derealisation slowely worsened.3 years ago all of a sudden i felt really bad and anxious i had to stop working. I went to my dokter and firt we desided to higher my dose. i was on 125 mg fluoxetine. But that dindnt work at all. It made me feel even worse. so i decided to lower my medication (with my dokter)and maybe switch to some other meds. i was on 175 mg. fluoxetine at that moment.I decided i didnt want to switch but i wanted to stop taking the meds. because they never really worked and i wanted to solve my problems for real.i wanted to know wich part of my problem was really mine and witch part maybe the meds. i knew i would never get better if i would start trying some other meds. i was afraid i would even get sicker. So i went from 175 to 0 in about 5 weeks. Even though i felt so so bad i kept on lowering because my docter told me : after quitting the withdrawal will last for only 3 weeks.Then they will disapear.Wel that was the breaking point. i went totally insane,experienced continue panic and anxiety OCD and derealisation at the worsed levvel.my symtomes had NEVER been this severe.So i went into a mental hospital. They gave me paroxetine. i was ok with it bacause i wanted to "ficks" this way to fast lowering of my medication, and dicided to take it and then slowely taper off when i was back home. In the end I was on 50 mg. paroxetine and 1,5 mg lorazepam. but it never really covered up the mess quitting fluoxetine made.Only a little.At that time i didnt know paroxetine is the worst drugg (SSRI) to get of but I found out soon enough. I found a good therapist (not a psichiatrist) and dicided to slowely taper off meanwhile fixing myself with therapy. All this time i could not work or function. every single step i took on lowering was a hell. I am on 0,5 mg lorazepam now and 3,5 mg. fluoxetine. When i was on 14 mg paroxetine i couldnt get any lower. even lowering 0,2 made me feel to terrible. so i siwtched to fluoxetine because it would be easyer to get off. the switching was hell. then i started lowering from 14. every week i took off 2 mg. until i was on 4. ( i did this again in a clinic).i thought it would be way to quick for me but i felt no extra withdrawal symptomes. wich i almost couldnt believe. Then after going home ( at 4 mg.) i broke down again. obviously the withdrawal started wayyy later.So here i am, feeling worsed then ever. Not knowing when this hell will stop and whether i will still be alive by then. Starting new medication is no option at all because whatever psychiatric drug i put into my body, my body just cant take it.So this my story in short thermes. right now i'm on 0,5 mg lorazepam and 3,5 mg fluoxetine. Hope to speak to you soon!
  17. Ugh5000 Hello Everyone, I am very happy to have found this site. Any help that could be offered would be greatly appreciated. I hope today is a better day for all of you. I have been taking SSRIs for about 18 years for OCD. The main drugs I have taken in order are Celexa, Lexapro, and Prozac. I recently came off of Prozac under a Psychiatrist's guidance. I have been off of Prozac for 5 weeks and 2 days. The withdrawal has been absolutely miserable. I have experienced extreme rage, irritability, brain fog, dizziness, crawling skin, violent thoughts and insomnia. The worst side effects being anger and insomnia. The anger leads to me lashing out and often breaking things or punching myself in the face repeatedly. The insomnia has made coping with all of this even more challenging as I can only seem to sleep about 3 or 4 hrs in the morning before my son and wife wake up. This is the taper I did with my doctor (he assured me this was appropriate and that Prozac was the easiest SSRI to quit): 60mg daily was my prescription for the past year. For the first month I was advised to take 40mg. The second month 20mg... And then done. Drug free. Yea! This obviously is not the case. So, after now being off for 5 weeks and two days. Should I continue to tough it out. Or should I take a few steps back and start a lower dosage with a slower taper? I'm not sure what to do. I'm barely functioning now. If I knew I only had another week or so I would tough it out...but I'm afraid this could go on for a long time. Which would make me a pretty horrible husband, father, human being. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you.
  18. Hi all, I hope everyone is feeling well and "managing" as well as they can. My current status = I have previously tapered venlafaxine too quick (without realising) from 150mg, and am now somewhat stable on 12.5mg. Ive just got a script for a higher dose (75mg) so that I can taper with the microbeads super slowly from now on. Im curious about something and would like some other peoples opinions (if allowed). Ive looked into opioid addiction and withdrawal methods online and have come across the ancient herbal remedy called iboga/ibogaine therapy - and Im really interested in what Im reading about it..... to the point where I am actually considering going to a Holland to a treatment centre for ibogaine and ayahuasca therapy. Ive also learned a lot from Ben Greenfield about healing your brain from depression and trauma using psychedelic plants in a controlled clinical setting to re-set any negative blocks. What does anybody else think about this and I would love to know if anyone has tried this for both opioid withdrawal and as a cure for depression/stress/anxiety/PTSD. I hope its allowed but I have pasted the link to the podcast. Its so fascinating!!! https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/apollo-neuroscience/
  19. Hello, (future) friends. I was hoping you might help me develop some insight into some issues in my life that may or may not be related to antidepressant withdrawal. I have become progressively more and more anxious this fall after discontinuing Zoloft last spring in a taper that I now realize was too fast and recently have been pretty much non-functional. I was on Zoloft for 3 years for OCD at a dose of 100 mg/day. In the middle of this interval, I had moved for grad school and was away from the therapist who had recommended it and the GP who prescribed it. I was getting scripts written by an NP. I was not seeing a therapist, because I was asymptomatic by this point. (This is something I regret.) By March 2018, I had not experienced OCD symptoms for a while, but I had gained a lot of weight and suspected that the Zoloft was blunting my emotions. I consulted the NP about weaning myself off the Zoloft. I left with a plan to decrement the dose and meet her later for a physical. She canceled the physical because she was sick, and I did not reschedule because I was ashamed of my weight gain. Meanwhile, I decremented my doses as originally planned without checking in: from 100 mg/day to 75/day, to 50/day to 25/day to 25 every other day, taking the last dose midway through June. Thus, my taper was over approx. 3 months. I realize in retrospect that this was way too fast, but, unfortunately, I was eager to be off the meds and I was doing fine while I was in the process of reducing the dose. I had not properly educated myself of the dangers of too fast a taper, even though I knew from my medication guide that quitting CT was a bad idea. I apologize for the lack of detailed information. I did not keep a symptom journal while reducing the dose. I do not think I experienced any physical symptoms while reducing the dose or in the aftermath. The one exception is that I may have attributed some digestive issues to keto flu when they were actually due to withdrawal (or due to a combination of the two). (I was toying with the keto diet in the later half of June, got out of ketosis when working for a camp that provided a lot of free food, then went back on keto in earnest on July 1. I stayed on keto until November. I still eat a fairly low carb diet.) So far as I recall, I had a happy summer but became extremely anxious in the fall and eventually also became depressed and developed sleep problems. Specifically, I have a proclivity to wake up in the middle of the night and have extreme difficulty getting back to sleep. Often, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I feel terrified. Thankfully, the OCD still seems to be at bay, but the combination of the anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness has made it extremely difficult for me to get any work done or even to make simple decisions. I am considering the possibility that the anxiety and depression symptoms are due to Zoloft w/d. It is also possible that I am experiencing my current symptoms primarily because of situational stressors (most of which manifested after completing the taper) and/or a hormonal imbalance (I have not menstruated since the end of September). Nevertheless, I deeply regret having been on an antidepressant in the first place. I hit a very low place a couple of weeks ago when I realized I wish I could rewind the past 3.5 years of my life. My mood got even lower, and my sleep got even worse. I had one night in which I doubt I slept at all. By morning I was delirious. After that night, I switched my plane tickets to go home early before my semester ended, which I was able to do thanks to having no teaching obligation this semester and having an understanding advisor. While I am at home I am trying my best to figure out what is happening to me. Tomorrow I am going to start an hourly journal to keep track of my symptoms, physical activity and supplement use. In the interest of comparing my experiences with those of others: (1) Did anyone on this forum experience emotional issues due to antidepressant withdrawal without experiencing any physical symptoms? (2) Did anyone experience such a long delay (a matter of months) between a (fast) taper and experiencing withdrawal symptoms? (3) For those who tapered too quickly off Zoloft, how long did it take to become mentally stable again? (4) Is there anyone who had protracted withdrawal and experienced relief from reinstating after 6 months without their SSRI? (5) I know that the timing since my fast taper and my lack of records make things difficult to deduce, but does my case sound like antidepressant withdrawal? I’m not gonna check back in until tomorrow morning - internet use at night harms my sleep - but thanks in advance to anyone who replies. Really, thanks so much.
  20. Hi all, This is my first time ever on a forum so please be patient with me. 13 years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD and OCD and put on Luvox, which I took for 6 years until it started to not work. Docs then switched me to Lexapro when I became severely depressed, and then when that started losing efficiency at the end of last year they added Valdoxan. I have also been through inpatient treatments, CBT,ACT,DBT and have also tried TMS (didn't work). I finally decided in May this year that I wanted to be AD free so started to taper the Lexapro, went from 20mgs to 10(got a slew of side effects) and then after 6 weeks went from 10 to 5 (no side effects) and then 5mg every other day and then finally at the end of August came off the Lexapro (still taking Valdoxan but it's not an SSRI). The first two weeks were fine, no physical side effects just feeling a bit anxious, however the last two weeks and in particular the last 5 days have easily been the worst in my life. extreme anixety, ocd rituals, crying non stop, no appetite, insomnia, agoraphobia, anhedonia. just no will to do anything. also very snappy at everyone, no patience, very irritable and short tempered. prior to coming off the meds I was calm, peaceful, always the nicest person in the room, non confrontational, positive and happy. even though the meds made me numb I was able to live somewhat a normal life. do you think this is a relapse of whatever I had 13 years ago? or is it just a normal adjustment for my brain going from high doses of SSRIs to nothing at all in a (relatively) short amount of time? help please!! I don't know whether to go back on the drugs or what to do. I am at my wits end. Thank you so much, Rosemary
  21. It's been 3 1/2 years off of my 10 mg dose of Prozac. I wish I'd found this site before I fast tapered and I'd still be on a very low dose... It seems my WD symptoms from the fast taper have been much easier than some peoples'... although I did have a nervous breakdown and end up in an acute psychiatric facility for 5 days... So there's that! My self care is phenomenally good. I eat a really clean diet, I exercise (as much as I can but sometimes this can exacerbate symptoms), and I meditate a LOT. There has been slow improvement in my level of depression and anxiety. My cortisol levels have certainly dropped some because I can actually sleep now. Now I'll have a day or 3 of crying followed by a week or so of less emoting. I do have some symptoms though that seem not to vary much: shakiness (full body but most easily seen in hands) and this feeling that I have a hard time explaining (even to my therapist) that "all is not well" and it's not attached to an event. Is this dysphoria? Does anyone know how long these symptoms might last? I figure from my original dose of 10mg that a 4 1/2 year slow taper would've had me off... does the FT lengthen the period of time, or just make the WD worse? Or both?
  22. Am frightened Weened MYSELF off zyprexa and buproprion SIX WEEKS ago and am very sick. 24 7 headache for SIX weeks and NO SLEEP. Anxiety and manía off the charts. I keep thinking with each day i will get better. Will I? Dont want to go back on. Feel like getting worse. No money. No Insurance. Not working. Huge medical debt. Can not go back to Dr who did this to me. Will this get better? On both 4 months. On MANY MORE through the years. In January stopped 15yr opiods and 10yr benzos use. Is this zyprexa? 5.5 months off benzos and opiods is it that? Taking 10mg zolpidem to try and escape hell on earth and this headache NOT WORKING. Afraid to stop that too. Frightened to be in hospital or back on meds trying to get off of. SIX WEEKS! Can anyone tell me this will get better? Please? Living a nightmare.
  23. Hello Everyone, I was on 50mg of setraline from beginning of August 2016 till mid May of 2018. My psychiatrist told me to cut the pills in half for two weeks and then stop. I was feeling ok for about 3 weeks and then hell came about the end of July. I had suicidal thoughts, was contemplating to act on it. I was on the floor crying, incapable of doing anything, wanting to die. I took 1 setraline pill that day, and all my symptoms disappeared within about 2 hours. I figured, I was experiencing withdrawals. Then the end of August came, and since I re-introduced the meds into my system, hell came back with even worse emotional anguish. I had two friends on call, in case I had to go to the emergency room because I was close to ending my life. I have prevailed, but now it is December and I am struggling. I cry every day, I have severe anxiety. Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe and I will die, which does not scare me, it is actually welcomed, because I want to be dead. It's awful, I have a 10 year old son, I am all he has. Two nights ago, I was online looking at patient testimonials which scared me seeing withdrawals can last years. While doing my research, I found this website. Many people stated how helpful the advice here was to them. I am asking for help please. I lost my drive to live, every day is hell, I am in so much emotional pain. I am waiting for this emotional anguish to end, but it's not going away, it seems to be getting worse. I have read some of the articles. I so badly want to stay away from the drug, I do not want to reinstate it, but I cannot live like this. I cannot believe my psychiatrist would tell me to stop so abruptly. I nearly died. I am so upset. My friends are starting to think that I am crazy, because to them, withdrawals should not last so long. I have no family around for support, they are thousands of miles away. I appreciate any help. Thank you in advance.
  24. Hi all, Recently stumbled upon your site while trying to manage withdrawal symptoms. I was put on Lexapro in 2015 after discussing some extreme emotional fluctuations and bouts of anger. Depression runs in my family, so I took the advice of my Dr. and trusted it was in my best interest. While the medication helped stabilize my mood, it also made me feel like I was on the outside looking in. I don't feel like I am fully living my life, and I definitely don't feel like myself. In addition, I have gained about 60 lbs. The medication, in addition to the weight gain, has made me lethargic and made it far more difficult to be involved in my favorite pastimes, playing basketball, football and other sports. I decided about 3 months ago to stop taking my medication (knowing nothing about the withdrawal). I stopped cold turkey for about a week, before the brain zaps, dizziness, photo sensitivity and nausea got the best of me. Those side effects, however, made me even more determined to clear the drug out of my system. I set up a tapering schedule with my doctor, and finished my final dose about 2 weeks ago. I am still having side effects, but they are nowhere near as bad as what they were when I stopped cold turkey. I can go several hours with nothing, but then I will have a headache and nausea that will hit me and last several hours. I have been taking multivitamin supplements, along with fish oil, but I don't think either are doing much to help. I did read online about someone saying that Benadryl helped with their symptoms, so I took that as a last resort, and strangely, it did help temper the symptoms and make them more tolerable. Now, if I am feeling super sick, that is the only thing that helps and makes it so I can finish out a work day. I don't want to have to rely on benadryl forever though (fighting through the groggies is not as bad as the headache and brain zaps, but still). I have read information about 5-HTP and some other amino acids helping to ease the severity of the symptoms until they clear up, but I don't really know what to believe! Anyone have any luck with anything? Also, anyone know how the Benadryl works to lessen the symptoms? I haven't been able to find much info on it. I just figured with it being an allergy med, it was relatively safe to get me through the first couple weeks. Thanks!
  25. I'm going to copy and paste seperate documents that I've written over the last few months below, so it may not be totally coherent. This first document was written in early June 2016, just after I'd crashed into a severe depression. After being put on Paroxetine when 17 for, at the very most, mild depression, with no offer of talking therapies and the "this medicine isn't addictive" line, I'd finally had enough by last autumn, as once again after having forgotten to take my liquid Paroxetine by six hours from the usual time, I was crazy for the next two days. So after 17 years on 40mg, I decided to come off. Initially I felt so good as I reduced by 10mg/5ml increments every two weeks reaching zero six weeks after I'd started, which was far better than the previous times when I'd tried to reduce or even just switch from the liquid onto the tablets at the same dosage. I was NEVER stable on the medicine for all the years that I took it, by which I mean I was either depressed and flat or agitated/irritated/argumentative and feeling more, and the doctors weren't interested. After the initial mild depression completely passed in the spring of 1999, my doctor immediately began to taper the medicine down from 40-30-20mg over two 2 week periods. That was a turbulent and argumentative month!!! However, after levelling at 20 mg for that summer, I was then told to try to taper below 20mg at 10mg increments again. This quickly induced too much instability, and so a 1ml/2mg per week regimen was suggested. I managed to get down to 7ml/14mg before going to University that Autumn, but reduced no further while at Uni due to the instability while reducing, even though I remember an instability all that Autumn anyway. I suspected that this inherent instability might have contributed to me being thrown into a severe depression after an external trigger event that Autumn, leading me to withdraw from University, and from which I've been gradually recovering from ever since at my parent's home. Through the years I would constantly cycle through (at various rates and frequencies, both of which increased the better I got) a pattern whereby if I was feeling a bit better/more, I could get more sensitive, which could make it more likely that I could depress again. I noticed quite by accident once, after mistakenly taking two doses within a few hours of one another and whence temporarily overdosing, that I could amplify/accelerate this process to speed up getting better after depressing, by deliberately alternating the medicine e.g. taking my next dose 12 hours after the previous dose, instead of the usual 24 hour interval. However doing this the other way round, leaving an interval of 36 hours before returning to the usual dosing interval produced the opposite affect, e.g. it tended to lead to me feeling more depressed/bad rather than less, and whence was never intentionally practiced. After having improved over the years, this improvement felt like it plateaued from 2008-2012. I felt the most sensitive yet, but I could still depress, sometimes for up to months at a time. Then in the Autumn of 2012, after the GP's never showed an interest in my depression (having "reviewed" my medicine a handful of times over the years with a simple, "you want to keep taking it, alright then" and there always being another excuse for not referring me onto any other help), they now suddenly wanted to switch me from the liquid to the tablets, something which I knew from the past would not go well. This is because on at least two previous occasions this had been tried, both of which increased the instability, for exactly the same dosage. In preparation for trying to swap over again, I started to reduce my dose to exactly 20ml/40mg, as inaccurate/lazy dosing measurement in the cup had led me to taking more, perhaps as much as 50mg, for some time. I soon reversed this reduction on the liquid, as it was making me feel different and we were going on holiday so I thought I'd wait until after we came back. It was when increasing again (not when decreasing) that I felt bad, surprisingly so, like I had done on a handful of previous occasions in the past. This was after having been established on this medicine for a long time, not when first going onto it for the first time as is warned of in the patient information leaflet. After I finally switched to the tablets sometime later in that Autumn of 2012, I was surprised at just how good I felt at first, as this was a reduction in dose, as I never did subsequently reduce the liquid again, just as was the case when I started reducing in the autumn of 2015, in other words the opposite of what happened when I increased. However as I "stabilised", or not as was in fact the case, at the lower 40mg, the instability notably increased. Here I was taking the tablets, and yet I was never as "stable" as I was on the liquid. There was no longer a +/-3 hour window within which to take the medicine without a notable increase in instability as there was with the liquid. Now it had to be taken at EXACTLY the same time every 24 hours, even with EXACTLY the same food to try to reduce the instability to a minimum. I couldn't understand how this could be until I discovered something called bioavailability. A liquid is apparently more consistently bioavailable than a tablet. This suggested potentially significant sensitivity to this medicine! Soon after this happened, and this time with no trigger, I had the greatest increase in depression since the Autumn of 1999. I'm not sure that when I started to come off the Paroxetine in the Autumn of 2015 that I had yet returned to how I felt in the summer of 2012. This had seemingly happened because of the ANTI-depressant, and if it had happened now, could it have happened before, in fact how much of all of this could be down to the medicine?! After stratospheric instability in December of 2015 after finally reaching zero dosage (after initially always feeling better on dropping each dosage level), things have only slowly got worse. Initially my appetite collapsed, which with accompanying Gastrointestinal issues that I'd had for a number of years after I'd started to take the Paroxetine (Gastritis since early 2003, recently diagnosed Visceral Hypersensitivity since May 2013) led me to become malnourished, loosing a fifth of my body weight in three months, and dumping a lifetime's worth of accumulated fat, that had built up as I'd always had such a strong appetite on the medicine. Then the dizziness/vertigo and intolerance to movement began; I could turn my head and it would feel like my head was lagging behind. I had a rash for the first time in my life on my upper chest, where I also had a strange pain just below the surface of the chest, as well as a rash on the sides of my neck and on my upper groin. After never having felt the cold, having sweated a lot of the time I took the Paroxetine, I was now ice cold to the touch in a house heated to 21C, (although recently as I've felt at my worst, I've started sweating profusely again/feeling really hot). I started to get numbness in my peripherals and then internally, including in my gums. After never having more than the occasional light tension head ache all my life, now my head felt so thick that I needed to hold it just to release the pressure, and I developed occasional brain fog along with cold/hot patches inside my head. I also developed lower back pain and pain just to either side of the spine. This all along with an on/off racing heart, shimmering vision, particularly noticeable against a brighter background (along with a change to a warmer tint of colours at times) and uncontrollable shivering in the chest when I wasn't cold, often most pronounced after eating. Oh, and a sickness and at times uncontrollable thirst that led me to drink up to 8 litres of water in my waking hours. A head MRI and abdominal CT scan, as well as a Full Blood Count and liver and kidney tests as well as a blood sugar and Insulin test showed nothing, and I was put on a special medical diet to bring me out of malnourishment, as well as a transfusion of Vitamin B Complex. Little did I know that this was the easy stuff, as just when I was transitioning out of malnourishment and regaining my physical energy, the constant "lower" level of instability now went to levels never before experienced in my life! A non trigger led to simply unbelievable swings of mood from an inner rage to an anxiety unlike any other. I've never been a particularly anxious person all my life. I also felt SO BAD, a bit like I had very occasionally and briefly on the medicine, usually when increasing it, except now it wasn't abating, except briefly after crying/releasing. This all happened EXACTLY as I regained my energy and also became hypersensitive, with the opposite of brain fog, my head now feeling remarkably clear/pin sharp. So now I felt the opposite of numb; I physically felt/smelt/heard too much! When taking the medicine, I'd always know when I was feeling better/more as I could smell more, hear more, touch more, as opposed to having a somewhat dulled sense of touch, heavy limbs and the like. Now I was feeling an extreme version of this, and not feeling better but a real gritted teeth psychological pain/distress/anxiety. Then exactly at the same time as I developed a hyper vigilance; jumping at the slightest noise, my heart racing at the slightest thought; my sleep, for the first time in my life, collapsed. After having slept so much while on the Paroxetine, easily 12+ hours a night and a lot more if feeling worse which then returned to the normal 8 hours a night on coming off the medicine, now I couldn't fall asleep or stay asleep, for anything more than a few short hours a night at most, waking every 30 minutes or less, sometimes in a panic with my heart racing. I just feel so awake/so alert, and so can never relax. I have spent since the start of May in my bedroom, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep, with the swings in mood steadily slowing to a depression, after having felt at times so much after I came off the medicine, more than I ever did when on it. When the swings were at their most extreme, I could depress and then come out of it again completely in as little as two hours, with my head often spinning/a wave like sensation passing through the head as it did, something which could take months in the past, although I would never say that I came out of it completely in the past. Every time I depress, it's as if the hypersensitivity is trying to push back, and it's when I'm emerging from a depression that I feel at my worst. When going into a depression, I can get (at least a temporary) relief from the pain/distress/anxiety that I can especially feel when coming out of a depression. It's for this reason that I'm terrified to go back onto an anti-depressant (the doctors want me to go onto Fluoxetine 20mg) as when taking the Paroxetine I would always feel at my worst when increasing the dosage, even when already established on it for years, a bit like the opposite of how I felt every time I reduced it. I've bizarrely noticed that even an anti-histamine (Cyclizine) that I'd been taking for Gastrointestinal nausea has appeared to make me feel more/make me more irritable. How I would feel transitioning onto an anti-depressant, I have no idea!!! Some of these symptoms I recognise from the constant instability while on the Paroxetine, just massively exaggerated, but others I have simply never experienced before in my life! I genuinely don't know if I'm going to make it! The kinds of thoughts that I have everyday are frightening. I've imagined so many ways in which I could end it all, as it's simply unbearable at times! None of the doctors seem to appreciate the seriousness of it! They all dismiss this as having nothing to do with the Paroxetine, "It's been too long since you came off it, it must be some underlying issue", even though I've never felt anything like this before in my life, and certainly never did before I was ever on the Paroxetine!!! I'm scared!!! This second document was written to my sister at the end of July 2016. I'm so scared! I don't know what's going to happen to me. Ever since I fell into a deep depression at the end of May, things have been so different to how they were up until that point. After that week in April, which was a warning of things to come, this all started in earnest at the start of May, when I had the greatest swings in mood ever. I then frequently felt really bad in short sharp bursts, which I was crucially able to release through crying, as I critically still had my feelings. However, as the swings abated, I was aware that I was starting to repeatedly depress, perhaps in response to the magnitude of the swings. However, even when I did depress, I always then came out of it again and was feeling so much! Then unfortunately at the end of the month, mum and I had a tiff when I was feeling at my most vulnerable, after which everything changed. Ever since I came off the Paroxetine, I'd always held onto my feelings, often feeling more than I'd ever done while on it. Now I was the most depressed that I'd been in I don't know how long. The loss of this critical release valve, the ability to cry, was devastating. Instead of the constant variety that I'd had before then, now there was just a singular flat empty muffled sensation, interspersed with periods of drawn out anxiety that I couldn't really express. When I developed chronic insomnia in the second half of May for the first time ever, I could wake from my highly broken sleep in a panic with a surge of anxiety and a racing heartbeat, and then it would all pass, as I'd expressed it. Now when waking with anxiety, it can be very drawn out, and because I can't feel, I can't really express it like I could before. I just don't know what's been happening since the the end of May. After about a week and a half, it started to feel like I was no longer depressing but perhaps trying to sensitise, and this process may have been continuing ever since, I don't know. This doesn't however mean that I've ever started to feel more than I have since it all changed at the end of May, it's more like a background effect. In other words the world didn't feel as alien/unreal after a while, there started to be a slightly warmer, or perhaps more accurately less cold, sensation at base level. I still frequently felt a 'bit' bad, as the depression was now burying the more intense bad sensation that I'd felt in May, but it was more constant, in other words I wasn't getting a break from it, as I constantly did in May. What had been a minority had become a majority. The 5HTP supplement unquestionably significantly accelerated this process. It provided a notable boost/lift. Suddenly things seemed warmer/less harsh. Sounds didn't sound as loud or brash. I was able to start to imagine opening the curtains on occasion. I still spent almost my entire life in my bedroom, which had not been the case prior to the end of May. However, now I was able to try looking at Facebook, however briefly, for the first time in over a month, and eventually even venturing downstairs in the middle of the night to try and watch a few minutes of TV. All this horrific time, I unfortunately continued to look on the Internet for any info about what I was going through, and sure enough, there's no shortage of testimony. Some of the info has been useful, but unfortunately I so wish I had never come across some of it! This Welsh Psychiatrist who has spent his life researching this (and who is widely dismissed by the wider Psychiatric community), and some of the people on these websites have written simply unimaginable things! They talk of this protracted SSRI withdrawal syndrome lasting months, and in some cases years!!! There are even some who claim that they've never got over it all, although the vast, vast, vast majority do. Reading this when I've already felt as bad/anxious/health anxious as I have has been simply nothing short of devastating at times. I know that I simply couldn't survive some of the timescales that some of these people talk of. I'm a perfectionist with OCD tendencies. I have a low tolerance threshold for health issues as it is. Last year's worsening of my eyesight after the eclipse caused me no end of distress at the time. The other thing that I've discovered was that I made the biggest mistake of my life last autumn, when I came off the Paroxetine at the rate that I did. All these websites, every single one of them, all say that the slower you reduce or taper your dose, the less likely you will have any/these problems. They all say that you should never reduce/come off your medicine without consulting a doctor first. The problem for me however was that I'd lost all confidence in the doctors. I should never have been put on the medicine in the first place, and every time I'd tried to talk to them about it, I'd just been brushed aside. So, while I knew that you couldn't just go cold turkey, I could have still looked at what the current recommended advice is for the rate of reduction, especially as it would have taken so little time! Why I didn't, especially given how naturally cautious I am, is inexplicable. Although in reality I know why I didn't, I didn't want to find something that might upset me/scare me off coming off, as I'd wanted to do so for so long, but it had simply never gone well in the past. I knew that if the withdrawal symptoms became intolerable I would slow down my rate of reduction, but they didn't, and so I continued at a rate that I now know was 4 times faster than recommended by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and up to 6-8 times faster than recommended on some of these websites. Even Dr Clements (my GP) has now stated that he would have advised at least a 6 month taper, not an 6 week one. When reducing I knew that I might have to slow it to a 10 month taper, but because it went so much better than I'd hoped, I just kept going, thinking that I could get it over with sooner rather than later. What would one year of tapering have been in the larger scale of things! What have I done?! I hope that this mistake hasn't cost me my life!!! Since coming off the 5HTP almost two weeks ago, everything has started to sound louder again, smell more, even some brighter colours seem brighter than I remember them to be. This of course distresses me again. I also when trying a one off 5HTP dose about 5 days after I came off was surprised by how much more of an effect it had than when I first went onto it. I've continued to forever brighten/energise since I've come off (although with absolutely no feeling) and am now wondering if I'm more sensitive than ever, whether this 5HTP was in fact a good idea after all. Whether my brain started to get used to the higher levels of serotonin, which when removed again has led to even more of this effect. I just don't know. I do know that the low level of tinnitus that I started to get when I started taking it didn't stop when I stopped it, it just got louder. Other physical hypersensitivity symptoms seem to be returning as well, with me now starting to feel some pain for the first time at night, some itchiness, more anxiety, sleeping even worse. The involuntary muscle twitches/spasms have also returned/increased. My head is also now spinning just from having some anxious thoughts which never happened before. I can physically feel some things so much! I've noticed a slight tremor in my hands. My vision seems to be shimmering more than ever at times, and my heart has started to palpitate and race more again. This delightful Welsh doctor/some of these websites have also suggested that going onto another antidepressant doesn't necessarily help. That because your nervous system can be thrown into effectively a shocked state by this SSRI withdrawal syndrome, that adding some other medicine won't necessarily help. That all your neurotransmitter levels need to be able to get back to their normal levels themselves, and that introducing another medicine might interfere with this process. This truly horrified me when I first came across it, as I need to know that at least something can help me, especially if the doctors (including the Psychiatrists) are in denial about this. I feel so abandoned by the medical profession that did this to me, and so alone, not knowing what's going to happen, as I can't go on like this for any length of time! I've never been in a position like this in my life, and simply don't know what is to come! I'm so scared! This last document was written after I unfortunately, in desperation, tried the Paroxetine again for just 4 days at 1mg, the second biggest mistake since last autumn's life threatening fast taper. At the start of August, I unfortunately made the biggest mistake since last autumn when I came off from the Paroxetine far too quickly. Out of desperation from another horrible night with truly horrific nightmares of doom and no way out, I tried the Paroxetine again. Just four days earlier, after coming off the Cyclizine, as it was now bizarrely waking me up as opposed to slightly sedating me, and consequently sleeping slightly less horrifically that night, I tried some Chlorphenamine, at between 4-8mg per day. This did soften things just a little bit, made things seem a little warmer. I was also able to cry a bit after taking it, just like with the 5HTP, even though this felt much gentler than the 5HTP. Why I didn't trial the Chlorphenamine longer I'll never know. I knew it was a risk to reinstitute the Paroxetine, but I thought that at worst it would make me feel worse, whereby I could then stop and it would be out of my system quickly. How wrong I was! I had suspected that I was becoming potentially ultra sensitive, and so I took an ultra cautious 1mg of Paroxetine each day for four days. The effects were immediate. Within minutes of taking the first 1mg, the world changed, it looked less cold, more like it used to, a bit like it did with the 5HTP, but more and quicker. I also became immediately more cautious, less willing to do things, just as in the past. No longer did I want to go for a walk. It also immediately quietened my incessant obsessively racing thoughts, which is why I unfortunately continued with the trial beyond the originally planned single day. The original intention being to try this SSRI with the shorter half life in preparation for a potential trial of the longer half life Fluoxetine. Because it appeared to work better than I'd feared, I unfortunately continued for four days. For the first three days and nights, I was as strikingly awake/alert as I had become after coming off the 5HTP. I was dipping into the lightest shortest sleeps imaginable, with frequent unimaginably horrific nightmares, like never before experienced in my life. I continued to never yawn. Then on the fourth morning, I yawned for the first time, started to feel a bit tired for the first time in weeks. I also felt better to the extent that I felt able to venture further from the house than I had for months. I even allowed myself to dare to believe that maybe this could provide some relief from this unending numbed hell. That evening, I discovered otherwise. I had just started to burn an incense candle in my room to try to aide with relaxation. Now I strangely couldn't smell it, unless I literally put the burning candle to my nose, while previously the smell had filled the room. Then I had a bath and noticed that for the first time in my life I could get in without adding any cold water. I'd always had a low heat and pain threshold all my life. I also realised that my pain threshold also appeared to have risen. No longer would it hurt to pinch my arms like it always had done. The ankle that I'd sprained earlier in the day seemed to hurt surprisingly little. This SHOCKED ME! I immediately stopped the Paroxetine. That night, I slept a little less horrifically than I had for a while, since the 5HTP. Also, the anxiety had significantly reduced. The nightmares seemed to stop. Two days after my smell had significantly reduced, I noticed my taste also reducing. The foods that I'd just started to eat again, as the one recent positive had been the return of the appetite, no longer tasted as full bodied as they had. This unsurprisingly shocked me further! Now I had four major changes in the physical senses, never before experienced in my life, from just the smallest shortest trial of the Paroxetine. Yes the senses had been too high, but now they were too low, like never before in my life! It appeared that the Paroxetine was dampening things across the board. As if the previous direction of travel, which for months had always been to sensitise, was now shockingly thrown into reverse to a place that it had never been before. When I had been most depressed in the past on the Paroxetine, my physical senses had been somewhat subdued. I always knew when I was feeling better/more in the past because I tended to smell more, feel the heat of the bath more for example. But NEVER was it anywhere close to this extent!!! I certainly never smelt/tasted less like this for example, and the heat/pain thresholds we're also never affected like this! I now realised that I felt the swings in heat/cold that I'd been experiencing for months much less, so much so that I wouldn't always even realise that I was overheating until I physically touched my chest wet with sweat. When curled up in a ball in bed in the morning, often unable to get up, I would get just the faintest hint that I might be feeling cold like I often would in the past. These four major new symptoms however were not to be the last, worse was to come! The one side effect that almost stopped me ever taking this vile stuff when I was 17, when I never needed to in the first place and which unfortunately changed the course of my life, was the sexual one. All the time that I was on it, I was aware of it's dulling effect on the libido/sexual pleasure, and so was so pleased that when I came off it last autumn, that effect lifted. In fact the libido went through the roof. Now, for the first time in my life, I'm impotent. I can't state enough how much this horrifies me!!! The quietened thoughts also evolved into a cognitive impairment. All these years, the one way that I coped was through keeping myself entertained. My whole life I've had a sharp mind/excellent memory. I've always played mental games with myself, never been bored, EVER. Now I started to notice that I couldn't remember people's names that I've watched for years on the TV, that I wouldn't remember what I'd just done/was about to do. I would keep coming up against one mental block after another. Initially this was only intermittent, but it's now becoming more permanent. Then I realised that I wasn't observing as much as I normally would. I've always been a very observant person. If I thought of something else, then all my concentration would go to that, and I would miss all kinds of things that I would normally have picked up at the same time. Then I noticed that my mind was becoming 'softer', like it's never been before in my life, the opposite of the razor/pin sharp state that it's been in for a few months now in this constant fight or flight response. However the fight of flight doesn't feel like it's gone away, it just feels like all these new symptoms have been grafted on top of it, just as the 5HTP grafted a degree of calm/warmth onto the agitation/upset which still seemed to continue underneath in a muffled state. So the thoughts can still be faster at times for example, but when they are I then just hit more mental blocks more quickly. I can not stress enough just how distressing this new symptom is!!! We all live our lives through our intellect, our cognitive capacity, our mind, and I've always been intelligent. It's always been a defining feature of who I am. This cognitive impairment may not come across in this document, but I can forever correct this document/go back over it. It certainly takes longer to write these than it did. Also, if you've always had a good mind in the first place, losing some of it will still leave you with comparatively a lot, but I notice the difference!!! I also wonder if I might loose more if and when the faster mind of the fight or flight response slows down underneath. For me to be affected like this for the first time in my life is almost impossible for me to deal with, and causes me no end of additional stress!!! After all the emotion disappeared as I crashed at the end of May into a severe depression, I still, unlike the past, not only had all my physical senses to the full, but to too higher a level. This allowed me, when I was finally able to leave the house about 8 weeks later, to still have the associative memories from the smells that I could really smell for example, if nothing else. Now I've significantly lost these physical senses for now as well, and have so turned something from which I only got very rare breaks before into a CONSTANT hell, with NO breaks. I can't stop thinking for example, as when I try to distract myself as I'm meant to try and do, I start hitting numerous mental blocks like I never would have done before, and so it upsets me even more again. I simply do not know how to deal with this never ending crisis, from which I do not know whether I'll survive. To top it all off, my sleep is deteriorating back to how it was prior to taking this vile stuff again, but with all these other symptoms remaining/worsening. I've also noticed a reduction in my appetite again, an increase in gastrointestinal inflammation, I've started yawning uncontrollably on doing deep breath exercises, and I've started clenching my jaw for the first time in my life. All from just four days of a so called medicine that I never wanted to touch again, and should certainly never have been prescribed in the first place all those years ago for nothing more than lower bowel problems!!! Finally after noticing that I couldn't even understand words spoken on the TV unless they were enunciated well, I then tried one of the previous pharmaceuticals that I hadn't dared take after the reinstitution. I took just half a propranolol 10mg tablet. I had been taking these on and off until the reinstitution. Now it was different. That night I slept even worse than normal. Then 2 nights later I noticed that I was loosing some more taste again, and now apparently some more of the little smell that I had left. If this is because of the propranolol, which never happened before, then what if anything can I take?!? I've also noticed that the warmth that I felt on numerous occasions after the reinstitution of the Paroxetine has reduced and my cognition/memory have improved, and my libido improved a bit. My heart is also racing slightly less than it did. In other words, it feels a bit like it did after coming off the Paroxetine again, when things temporarily improved as always, but still worse. While my mind is clearer, it's still not in the ultra sharp overdrive that it was in before the Paroxetine reinstitution. My mood has also felt a bit better at times, just as it always did when coming off in the past, except that all I've come off is the Propranolol! If I'm now this ultra sensitive, then how I can cope when things get worse again with not being able to take ANYTHING, as they surely will, I have no idea!!! Looking back, I find it so hard to accept that I made things considerably worse when I tried reinstituting! While it was hard to see at the time, I had made some progress. I'd started to leave the house, eat more than in years, and the Chlorphenamine had taken just enough of the edge off to make things manageable. Yes I was emotionally number, so I felt like screaming with nothing behind it for example, but at least I felt like screaming. Now I'm 'feeling' much more like I used to when I felt worse on the Paroxetine, but worse; apathetic, flat, empty, except that I've been off it for over a month. I don't know if I'll ever get these things back, and can't see how I can go on like this for much longer, as things just seem to get worse and worse. I've read what other people have said on this website, and simply can't understand how they cope!!!
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