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  1. i've been off 60mg 40mg (see Post #4) of prozac for 2 months after tapering very quickly over 2 months. i took prozac for 20 years. i have really bad headaches most days, something i never used to have before unless i was dehydrated. i have terrible mood swings - i shout at people in the street if they're badly parked, i get road rage when i'm driving, i scream at the kids and my husband. fatigue is a big problem - i can fall asleep at any point during the day and often do. i sleep all night but am still exhausted the next day. i have constant vivid dreams and nightmares. my ocd is creeping back (which is what i was prescribed the prozac for in the first place). i thought i had it under control until my kids told me i needed to stop posting on social media so much as it was dominating my life. i was also alienating people online. i have constant diarrhoea. i cannot stop eating -i'm constantly ravenous, especially for carbs - crisps and potatoes are my downfall and i've put on a stone in weight since stopping. i have lots of pains in my joints and limbs. i did have crawling under my skin, especially in my knees and feet but this seems to have subsided. i'm scared of seeing or talking to people. this has always been a problem for me but it is worse right now. thankyou for listening if you made it this far. today is a bad day and i keep asking myself why i gave up the pills in the first place? i hoped i would have more energy, feel more emotionally, lose weight etc. but it was only after i stopped that i started to read up on protracted withdrawals. i had no idea it could be so bad to stop the drugs.
  2. Hi Guys. I have been on every SSRI over the past 2 years, apart from Paroxetine. This all started from some situational anxiety at work. Each time i took a medication i was on them for about 3 month without any benefit at all. I would loose time at work, cold turkey and return back to work. Each time i did this i was getting worse and worse. I would then return back to the doctor and ve started on something else. This has basically gone on for 2 years. All this time i have got worse. I have now come to understand withdrawal and the fact i could have well been prescribed numerous medications due to an illness been mistaken for withdrawal. 8 weeks ago after stopping my second attempt of Escitalopram for 3 months i decided to stop for good with a fast taper. I feel anxious, dizzy, fatigued, poor cognition and inability to focus. I know if i take a dose of SSRI that this will improve however i will return to the Zombie state of meds. I am finished with medication!!! On reflection my problems i encountered prior to any medication was far easier than the problems i have had the past 2 years on medications. I think i have been a victim of Psychiatry! I dont think i ever needed medication! My chemical imbalance was created by meds! If i had no knowledge of this i would be stuck in Psychiatry! I just want to know ppls experiences and can i still be in withdrawal at 8 weeks after 2 years of messing about with meds. Thanks Lee
  3. Kristine

    Kristine: not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  4. Orangeblossom77

    Orangeblossom77

    What about the Tricyclic antidepressants? Brake or accelerator?
  5. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  6. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  7. Hi everyone. I was prescribed Prozac 20mg back in 2002, for what I think now was pretty mild depression when I was at University. I remember my flatmate going to the Dr's about her lethargy and getting prescribed Prozac - a couple of weeks later she was enthusing about her new-found energy and encouraged me to go and get it. "All you have to do is cry in front of the Dr and say you can't sleep or do anything" - god how I wish now I'd ignored her. Fast forward 13 years with severe depression and self-harming which started not long after going on Prozac, which just reinforced to me and my GP that I needed the drug, and many years later several failed attempts to get off it, I felt I was over the depression (if I'd ever had any to start with but what the Prozac had exaggerated), and hadn't self-harmed for many years. My last attempt to get off Prozac in 2013 had caused me severe anxiety, anger and paranoia, ultimately having to go back on the drug because my Dr said I'd relapsed. I hadn't heard of SSRI withdrawal back then. I tried again in July with a tapering plan of 6 weeks from my GP. I now know from reading forums like this that it was probably way too quick, but I've come so far I really don't want to go back on it. The anger and tantrums in the first few months was unbelievable, I was so irritable I don't know how I didn't lose my job. I had lots of rows with my mum (who I'm living with for financial reasons) and on one occasion hit her on the arm, I couldn't believe I'd sunk so low as to hit my 70 year old mum. We've discussed the withdrawal since and she's very supportive, I just feel such a burden and I'm terrified of doing something similar again. The anger has got a lot less recently, and sometimes I've had an hour or so when I've felt like 'me' again, almost happy and content. Christmas and the New Year has been hard, with flu symptoms, awful anxiety that wakes me up and hits me with a terrible feeling of dread and panic. I'm due to start a new job tomorrow and I can barely get out of bed, I feel so wiped out. I can't eat and every time I try and make myself eat I have to rush to the toilet straight after. One thing that has helped a bit has been the videos linked to on these forums - from Baylissa at recovery-road.org I practically have the 'affirmations for recovery' on repeat. This too, shall pass..
  8. Want2Want2

    Want2Want2: hello

    Hi yall, So much to say, but little time now. Will be back w/more info soon. Glad to be here. Currently struggling with ongoing apathy, indifference, just-not-caring, from initial (and fairly immediate) introduction of Zoloft in 2013. It has persisted since then whether on or off medication, although it IS dose dependent w/Prozac. Reading this forum has been instrumental in my previous tapering but only now have I created an account. So thanks to all, especially Altostrata. I know there are much more difficult symptoms, as I've had many of them in the past, but this indifference seems to have completely (permanently?) changed my personality. Preparing to discontinue current doses of 10mg Prozac and 150mg Wellbutrin, beginning in April.
  9. Hi folks, Just looking for a bit of advice. I'd been on Prozac, 25mg a day, for 9 months, for depression and wanted to come off them. I was advised by my doctor to take a 25mg tablet on alternating days for 1 month and then stop completely. I did this and have now been off for 4 weeks. Asides from some rather severe depression symptoms my main withdrawal issue has been PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder), something which I suffered with 2 years ago. What I'm wondering is, does this mean I tapered off too quickly? I should also mention I have M.E. and tend to respond strongly to drugs. Is the best plan of action to just ride this out and hope the symptoms go or to go back on the Prozac and taper off again much slower? (my doctor did tell me if I go back on the Prozac I'd have to stay on for 2 years but I really don't want to do that.) Any advice appreciated, Thanks
  10. Ogres

    Ogres: Prozac

    Hello everyone! I first started Prozac in the beginning of 2009 to help with social anxiety and public speaking at work. I had to delivery training and couldn't simply face the situation where I'd be in the center of attention. I had had previous failings in this area and couldn't think of screwing up again. Especially, I could lose my job. So, after googling and researching I decided to give fluoxetine a try. As you can see, no doctors were involve and I could only blame myself . I even sourced the pills by ordering from the internet. I started with 20 mg and noticed effects after approx 2-3 weeks. The main thing that I remember was calmness and confidence. With the chemicals fully kicked in, I was so relaxed about the future ordeal that I thought that even if I failed, I’d not care too much. The training went fine though and I had a massive boost of confidence from this fact. The nature of my work, requires me to constantly communicate with people, which had always been hard for me. For this reason I stayed on AD. So that I could function normally and establish myself. I had recently moved to the UK from another country and had to survive. On the other hand I was very cautious, as I had had some past dependency on substances at a tender age, and never exceeded 20mg/day. Also, I never intended to use the pills forever. I just liked how they made me feel in social situations. I had always been a bit shy and fluoxetine helped me to be more relaxed. I continued to take Prozac, but with breaks where I'd be completely off for weeks and even months! I'd go off medication cold turkey (I didn't know about tapering at the time!). And to be honest, I didn't have any major symptoms during years 2010-2013 apart from anxiety (but I'd always been anxious), irritability, anger. No major physical symptoms as far as I could remember. I consider myself to be a person with some self control and I'd try to disregard what happens inside me and try to look normal. Maybe being young(ish) and the fact that I always did some sport help as well? With time as I was becoming more relaxed about my job security and with thoughts that I probably better off AD eventually, my breaks would become longer and longer. And in Jul 2015 I first decided to go off completely. As always, I just stopped cold turkey! Well, I tapered by taking 20 mg every other day for couple of weeks, but I don't think it can be considered tapering in pure sense. WD was probably a bit harder this time with anxiety, irritability, fatigue more pronounced. But I tolerated it fine. I thought maybe I was getting older? No other major physical symptoms. I went back on Prozac again in Feb 2016 because of a new project where I'd need to socialize and communicate. And when work situation calmed down, I went off again in Sep 2016. This time WD a bit harder still. Major symptoms: anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, stress intolerance, anger, insomnia. Surprisingly, insomnia only hit me first in month 7 (still suffering)! This is probably the worst symptom, a torture, when you can't sleep for several nights at a time and then had to function during the day... Thanks a lot for all your attention!
  11. Hi everyone, I'm new here. I've been searching the internet for days for some sort of support group and I've finally found you. Okay I'll give a brief history. I've been on antidepressants since I was 17, I'm 32 now. My first AD was prozac which didn't work at the time, so I was then put on Venelaxfine which worked but made me slightly manic. I was on Venelaxafine from 2002 until 2006 I think. I was then put on cipralex, then after a bad break up where I couldn't sleep or eat I was put on Mirtazapine which I wasn't on for long, then I was on citalopram and then we did a full circle back to prozac. I was on prozac for around 7 years, it was great stuff for me. I got over my break up, found a job, made friends and have been very happy. Over the last year I have been finding myself become more and more anxious, it felt like an internal anxious that I couldn't control at all. So after a bad anxiety attack over 3 weeks ago I went back to the doctors who prescribed me a double dose of prozac (so from 20mg to 40mg). I took this for a few days but my anxiety was 100 times worse so my mum suggested just coming off them for a few days to see how I felt. The strange thing was after coming off my anxiety went. I wasn't feeling that constant adrenaline feeling that I had been feeling for months or even a year. I went back to the Drs and they gave me sertraline as I was afraid of coming off everything all together. I was given a low dose of 25mg sertraline. I was on sertraline for 2 days and I noticed that my vision in one eye had gone and I couldn't see very well and the pupil in that eye had gone huge, compared to the other eye pupil which was a normal size. So I came off. As I came off on the weekend I couldn't see a doctor for a few days, when I did see a doctor and explained what had happened and that I was really worried because I'd come off cold turkey. He asked how I felt and I told him I felt fine. I had been dizzy, headachey and had odd dreams and the odd little bit of panic before sleeping, but nothing too bad. So I've been off prozac for 10days now and completely off sertraline for 4 days. I'm hoping to stay off the ADs completely now. I am nervous because I couldn't find online any people that had experienced coming off prozac. I'm taking B complex supplements, flaxseed oil, magnesium and l-lysine supplements to see if it will help. I'm so worried that when the prozac is out of my system completely and I level that I will be depressed again, but right now I feel good and positive, just really nervous.
  12. Hello everyone. I'm very, very grateful to have found this site before I found my way back to a secluded ledge at the Grand Canyon I found four years ago with my now ex-wife. The ledge had no appeal then, but has come up repeatedly during rough periods. I just found this site and I just came to understand just how extensive and pervasive my WD symptoms have become. They did not really start to become that active until 5 months ago. Now they rage. I have to laugh and cry at the same time because currently I am living in a travel trailer and I have no idea where my next stop or step is going to be. 5 months ago I sold my condo, closed my art business, ended an engagement, bought a travel trailer, and have been staying with a friend in rural VA. Now I'm in Phoenix, AZ. Several times in the last 3 months I have tried to start over by making decisions and implementing a plan of action for work and living arrangements and have been unable to follow through with even the beginnings of restabalizing my life situation. Once I start to initiate changes to my situation, violently intense emotions begin to arise and my ability to think clearly falls away. I abandon the plan and fall back. Strangely, in the midst of this pattern, I have been in some intense therapy sessions, uncovered and addressed some deep wounded issues from my past that I'm sure were being masked by the meds. I had a 7 week period recently during the therapy where every day was filled with almost nonstop continuous waves of shame, sadness, and some rage (all I believe being old repressed and masked emotions but probably way more intense from WD or is it the sum total of repressed emotions finally getting out). It's like I'm split at times with two completely different personalities with two completely different agendas. I just read the posts about neuro emotions and realized I have been experiencing them intensely. They have been running my life since I become abstinent. There is a lot of intense healing going on inside me physically and emotionally, and I didn't realize just how deep it goes. I am not the same person anymore and it frightens and excites me at the same time. It's like a spiritual journey through hell. I feel at times very peaceful and supported by the universe and at times like a want to die. I will stop there and ask for the wisdom of the forum for what I have posted. I am a sponge for your help now. Thank you!! Mark
  13. I was on prozac for ten years. gained weight and felt very sleepy, tired and slow on it (didn't realize it could have been prozac - dr says people lose weight on it) (had panic attacks once and a while in stressful situations) - was told I need to be on it long term. However, tired of weight issues and GP suggested if I want to go off them. 2 month taper (only side effect was few weeks of itchy feeling and spots on stomach. started to exercise, diet, lose weight. I realize now that wasn't long enough but felt ok for about another 5 months. ...Was ok for 5 months and then HUGE panic and anxiety now. Had some life triggers - felt emotional about the past, graving etc. low mood. insomnia (gradually built up - anxiety in morning first, now all the time - have some windows of normal towards the evening). Deep depression (which I didn't have before) but since reinstated Prozac it is a bit better. The constant adrenaline is the thing messing me up the most right now. I started taking 20mg again, (wasn't allowd 10mg) - dr said no point, no benefit. After emergency a and e, Psychiatrist rally want me on Venlafaxine (Effexor). I hear so many horror stories of this drug I am scared to take it. took one yesterday and vision was blurry so stopped. back on Prozac week 2. Dr don't believe withdrawals etc. (websites like this) tell me to stop looking online. shut up and take the effexor. they say it is my mental disorder relapse. In a dilemma as to what to do, listen to docs, or try and ride it out with Prozac? I don't want to take effexor and have even more withdraws etc. (never experience brain zaps, vision problems, weird dreams etc.) but need to be stable, can't sleep or function properly because of constant severe anxiety. Scared and not sure what to do. If I could just get rid of the anxiety and sleep problem. I'd have a chance. I probably have pssd too, but that is another problem for later. At the moment can't function, just want to stabilize. This is hell. If I can survive this point would want to try the slow tapper later too. but getting rid of this constant panic and insomnia is my first priority. Any ideas welcome.
  14. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  15. Hello. As in my signature (which I see may need to be edited for specifics): I went on Prozac in 1994, off two or three years later, but then seemed to need it again and was told I had the profile of someone who should be on it indefinitely. I was on from 1997 or 1998 until in 2014 I tapered off over several months. After a few months off, I developed constant fear with ruminations about death and the end of the universe. Went on Effexor in January 2015, switched to Cymbalta later to attempt to reduce tinnitus, switched back to Effexor again (no longer sure when, probably summer 2017). Then, I tapered off from November 2017 to mid-March 2018, then had a few weeks of dizziness and thumps in the head, then was fine. In mid-May 2018, the constant fear and ruminations returned. I immediately started on about 7.5 mg of Cymbalta (a quarter of the beads in a capsule), since it was what I had left from my US doctor (I'm in the UK for some months at least), then saw a doctor. I was concerned about future discontinuation syndrome with the SNRIs, so in discussion with the doctor I started on 20 mg Prozac on May 23. I wanted to overlap with the Cymbalta because I'd read Prozac is used for transitions, but the doctor said to stop the Cymbalta in case of overdose, so I stopped after a few days. After eight days on Prozac, I told her I remember that it takes a few weeks to build up but that I was struggling, so on June 1 she switched me to 30 mg of Cymbalta in hopes of faster relief. I'm afraid that because Cymbalta was what I still had left from my US doctor and I wasn't in the best mental state, I mistakenly told her that's what I'd last been on, but it had really been Effexor - unless I'm now permanently confused. Now, six days later, I'm feeling slight relief but still free-floating fear. I'm having some dry mouth, occasional heat at the back of my head, and fidgeting with my legs, all of which are manageable - but after some reading here, I'm wondering if I should lower the Cymbalta dose anyway. On the other hand, I'm desperate for it to take effect as soon as possible. I've been reading some of the other introductions that mention Effexor/venlafaxine and Prozac/fluoxetine and am wondering if I should immediately ask my doctor for a new prescription of Effexor to reinstate instead of proceeding any further with Cymbalta/duloxetene. I'm also wondering if I should try the Prozac again instead, though it had seemed to stop working and I've been off it since about May 2014 - but it seems safer than the SNRIs. By the way, I am American but currently in the UK, and in this system one has to start with a GP before a psychiatrist will accept a referral. My GP seems to know a bit (she was aware of possible cardiovascular effects and has ordered an EKG for me), but I doubt she knows enough (if anyone does). I'll have to find out if I can proceed to a psychiatrist more quickly if I use my US insurance (which will start in July) to pay privately. Thanks for any thoughts.
  16. Hi. I was taking prozac 10 mgs for 5 months. Then I cold turkeyed it (didnt know I had to taper it). I have since been in protracted withdrawal for almost 6 months. I have been getting better. But, as I heal, I have other health issues that come up, and I am afraid to take medicine for those issues because I do not want to have any crazy reactions to the medicine. For instance, I used to have a birth control device called ESSURE. I had a hysterectomy to remove it almost 2 years ago. But, I think that the inflammation from the device messed with my hormones causing me to develop acne, dry skin, and excessive facial hair on my face. This was all prior to me using Prozac. Now, that I am in withdrawal I have been told that I may need to take hormone pills to help the issues I am having with my face. So far, I have been doing well avoiding all supplements and medications, alcohol, etc. while I am in protracted withdrawal to allow my nervous system to heal. The question is, is it safe for me to take the hormone pills to correct any imbalances I may have? What about taking antibiotics for skin infections (if I need it)? Or if I need any further surgeries (that require pain/numbing meds) for my ongoing pelvic pain after my hysterectomy? How should I proceed? I do not want to face any set backs in my healing, so any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
  17. Prince1924

    Prince1924: Prozac

    I have just read this advice about keeping a withdrawal programme Simple ie 3KIS. Not sure but there doesn't seem to be a support network like this in the UK? Only one I've come across is the Royal College of psychiatrists which is a in the form of a video). I've taken great comfort from all this advice as I makes me feel I can try and come off Prozac one more time.
  18. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  19. Help777

    Help777: journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  20. Link to father's topic: paranoidandroid Hello everyone, Iv'e actually been looking at this site for quite a while now to get me through and decided to make an account now I feel in a slightly better place to do so. Currently I'd just like peoples opinions on my situation.. do you think I'll ever fully recover? My history in the signature sums it up quite concisely so if you want to ask any questions please do. I believe I will but I just want to hear it from other people, as you may know this can be a lonely place to be. I wasn't aware for all this time how damaging these drugs are and assumed my visual snow and DP was just related to anxiety. But now I have no doubt in my mind they caused these symptoms. I may not go back to exactly how I was 6 years ago, which is upsetting, but as long as going forward I'll be able to make a better reality for myself, then I think I'll be okay. I'd also be very interested in what people think of my diet and if you think I should refine it in any way.
  21. Hello, warriors! Thanks for having me. I've been perusing this site for years, and the HOPE it offers is priceless. I have a few questions. 1. It's over now, but I'm curious: I tapered 10 mg from March 2015-Nov. 2015, at 1 MG a month. Was that too fast? 2. I've tested for high cortisol at noon, evening (6 PM), and bedtime, making it nearly impossible to get normal sleep. How long did your raised cortisol last after you withdrew from your SSRI? I have read that this issue resolves itself eventually; I'm just wondering how long it took for you. I appreciate any insight you have.
  22. Note from site administrator: Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac. Be sure to read details and cautions below . Consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner before changing medications. Also see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine) Switching or bridging with another drug, usually of a longer half-life, is a recognized way to get off antidepressants, particularly those that people find difficult to taper. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug. For many doctors, a switch to Prozac to go off a different antidepressant is routine. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has the longest half-life of any of the modern antidepressants. Because it takes about a week for a dose to be metabolized completely, if a switch to fluoxetine is successful -- that is, does not cause withdrawal symptoms from the original drug -- a careful taper off fluoxetine is easier for most people -- see information about Tapering off Prozac. And, at least fluoxetine comes in a liquid. (Citalopram or Celexa and its sibling escilatopram or Lexapro have half-lives of about 35 hours, a relatively long half-life among SSRIs, and are other candidates for a bridging strategy. They also come in a liquid form. The drawbacks and advantages of switching to another drug to get off the first drug, described below, apply to a switch to citalopram or escilatopram as well as fluoxetine.) While going off fluoxetine usually has less risk, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. No bridging strategy is risk-free. You must find a knowledgeable doctor to help you to with a bridging strategy. You might wish to print this post out to discuss it with your doctor. When to switch or bridge A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to a new drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. This is the "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know" rule. The risk of a switch is justified if you find a taper from the original drug is simply too difficult. Usually people will do a switch when they find reducing the original antidepressant by even a small amount -- 10% or even 5% -- causes intolerable withdrawal symptoms. (I have heard doctors say they don't even try tapering off Effexor and Paxil, they do the Prozac switch from the beginning.) Sometimes when people go down to a low dose of an antidepressant (such as paroxetine), they find further reduction is very difficult. Substituting a longer-acting SSRI such as fluoxetine may be worth the risk. If you're thinking of switching simply as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risks against the amount of convenience you would gain. Generally, switching for convenience is a bad idea. Risks of bridging For most people the switch goes smoothly but for some it doesn't. A bridging strategy has the following drawbacks for a minority of those who try it: Adverse reaction to the bridge drug, such as Prozac. Dropping the first antidepressant in the switch causes withdrawal symptoms even though you're taking a bridge drug. If withdrawal symptoms are already underway, switching to a bridge drug doesn't help Difficulty tapering off the bridge drug. All of the bridge drugs can be difficult to taper themselves. So, like anything else, the Prozac switch is not guaranteed to work. But if you are having intolerable withdrawal from another antidepressant, it may be worth risking the worst case in the Prozac switch: It doesn't help and you have withdrawal syndrome anyway. CAUTION: A switch to a bridge drug is not guaranteed to work. It's safer to slow down a taper than count on a switch. A switch really should be used only when a taper becomes unbearable or there are other serious adverse effects from the medication. You must work with a doctor who is familiar with bridging, in case you develop severe symptoms. Below is information I've gathered from doctors about exactly how to do the Prozac switch. Healy 2009 method for the Prozac switch From Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines: Phelps-Kelly 2010 method for Prozac switch From Clinicians share information about slow tapering (2010) Jim Phelps, one of the authors of the above, posted in 2005 in some detail about the so-called "Prozac bridging" strategy. He said it is described in Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash, maybe in the chapter titled of "Held Hostage." The technique Dr. Phelps described in this post skips doses and finishes with alternating dosages, which we do not recommend for people who are sensitive to withdrawal symptoms. Given that Prozac liquid is available, this is completely unnecessary. Foster 2012 method for Prozac switch Dr. Mark Foster, a GP whose mission is to get people safely off psychiatric drugs includes this in a presentation he gives to doctors. http://www.gobhi.org/spring_conference_powerpoints/safewithdrawal_of_psychotropics%5Bautosaved%5D.ppt. His method involves overlapping Prozac with the other antidepressant. Note on above: If you have tapered to a lower dose of Seroxat/Paxil, Effexor, Cipramil/Celexa, Lustral/Zoloft, etc., an even lower dose of Prozac may be more tolerable. If you are about half-way down, you might want to try 10mg Prozac. If you have decreased further, you may wish to try 5mg Prozac. More is not better for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler😞 For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil (20mg) or Cymbalta (20mg), he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge." The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excessive serotonergic stimulation (serotonin toxicity) from the combination of the two antidepressants during the overlap period. Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be much easier than tapering off Effexor. WARNING Serotonergic effects of an SSRI such as Prozac, Celexa, or Lexapro are ADDED when you are taking an SNRI such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima). You run the risk of serotonergic toxicity if you are taking an SNRI, particularly at a high dose, with an SSRI. This is why doctors familiar with the Prozac switch will add in a LOW DOSE of Prozac to an SNRI. In addition, escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs. If you add 10mg Lexapro to, for example, the high dose of 60mg Cymbalta, you will run the risk of serotonergic toxicity -- 10mg Lexapro is equal to approximately 30mg Prozac. What should the final prozac dose be? Please note that if you cross-taper, you will be taking 2 drugs at once for part of the time. Because of the potential of serotonin toxicity by overdosing SSRIs as well as SNRIs, it's probably safest to err on the lower side of a Prozac dose "equivalent" -- such as 5mg -- to your original drug. Given Prozac's long half-life, it may take up to a couple of weeks to reach full effect. The effect of the amount you add at each stage of the cross-taper will build throughout the process. For an idea of equivalent doses of your medication to fluoxetine (prozac) read this post (January 7, 2018) in this topic. It compares fluoxetine 40mg/day (a fairly high dose of Prozac) to other antidepressants. Source of that data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911132 Also see this discussion about cross-tapering with Prozac: Smoothing out the transition to Prozac Even with a cross-taper, your system might feel a jolt after you finally drop the initial antidepressant, particularly if it is an SNRI, such as Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta, or other drug that is not an SSRI like Prozac. (Other SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro). If you go through a rough patch after the transition, patients find they can take a tiny chip of the original drug (or a bead or two, if it's a capsule containing beads) for a week or two to smooth out the transition. Eventually, you'd take a chip as needed only when you feel a wave of withdrawal from the original drug, and then finally leave the original drug entirely behind. (A gelatin capsule might make a tablet fragment easier to get down, but it is not necessary if you can wash it down with a good swallow of water. The gelatin capsule quickly dissolves in your stomach.) Here's an example. There is no shame in doing this. Whatever works, works.
  23. Hello, Part 1, Intro. I would like to start by sincerly thanking websites such as Survivingantidepressants for essentially helping me to understand my plight more accurately. I have found the success story sections to be particularly helpful, and have turned to these wonderful stories to help raise my spirits in times of utter hopelesssness. After lurking around on these websites, often too incapacitated to do much in the way of meaninful writing, I decided that it might be helpful to someone out there if I shared a little bit about myself. This is going to be a long post, and I understand that some folks going through the ringer will not be able to read this post in its entirety due to eye issues, or just information processing issues. I've been there, I couldn't read for probably a year in total. Nevertheless, I hope that you can eventually read this and garner some useful information, or at least some knowledge that you are not alone out there going through this unjust, cruel, and totally unecessary hell that we've been subjected and in my opinion, decived into undertaking. 2 Background. To give a brief background, in January of 2013 I was prescribed 50mg of pristiq, had a bad reaction to it, then switched to effexor 75mg for ~2 months, and then after requesting a medication that doesn't give me sexual dysfunction, prescribed 30mg of cymbalta. All said, I spent about 6 months on medication and I must say that it definitely relieved my moderate depression and my above average anxiety. Simultaneously, I was taking ~10-15 mg of adderall nearly daily for over 7 years to relieve "ADHD". Unfortunately, after going on cymbalta, I had a severe manic and borderline psycotic reaction to all of this stimulating medication, and proceeded to spend a tremendous amount of money over a short period of time because I became convinced that the economy was going to crash and that I needed to prepare NOW. At the time, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong, but I always trusted my brain's intuition, and my ideas just seemed "right". So I basically bought 400 pounds of non-perishable food, and nearly 4 grand worth of prep supplies and equipment. Seeing that I was employed as a graduate student, earning my PhD, my funding was very small, so this basically bankrupted me and I had to borrow money from my family just to stay out of debt. I also opted for a very invasive, and not entirely necessary shoulder survery to correct a torn labrum that had been annoying me for years. I went ahead and had the proceedur finished, and was excited at the prospect of having a fully functional shoulder again. As it turns out, my intentions were pure, but life had other plans for me (if you'll read on and bear with me). At the end of my 6 month stint on this medication, I started to have severe memory issues. I would be trying to explain something to someone, and all of a sudden I would hit a "road block" and couldn't figure out the correct word to say. Obviously, as a PhD student, this would not do, so I told my doctor I wanted off of this stuff and I wanted my old brain back. Well, I tapered from 30mg to 10mg somewhat quickly (as I have now learned), over about 1 month and from there, based on my doctors advice, I "bit the bullet" as he said, and went from 10mg to 0mg. What proceeded to happen was that I went through very similar symptoms over a 1 week period as people often describe for benzodiazapine withdrawal. Indeed, I had been prescribed clonopin for 5 years, and withdrew from thsi medication back in 2012, and for 3 whole months I was basically bedridden and completely incapactated before being able to function in the world again. At that time, I swore I would NEVER EVER take a benzo again for the rest of my life. Unfortuantely, I was unaware of the fact that SSRI/SNRI's could produce similar symptoms. I was even moreso unaware of the fact that SSRI's could produce symtpoms that were even worse and even more debilitating. To make a long and disappointing story short, I went on an epic vacation just 30 days after I quit taking the medication. I had planned this trip very meticulously during my medication induced mania, and spent a tremendous amount of money on this trip - it was essentially meant to be the trip of a lifetime. Instead, it became one of the more awful experiences of my life. Try navigating 5 countries and managing an expliciting budget just 30 days after coming off SNRIs and having awful symptoms. It was just really hellish, but by the halway point I was hoping that my symptoms would abate within 60 days and I would be able to resume normal functioning at the unviersity. I was hoping to put all of this behind me. Upon returning, I discovered to my horror that I was not much improved after 2 months. My symptoms included, but are not limited to: severe memory loss, burning sensations, problems with my eyes (blurry vision, floaters, etc), difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking, hot flashes, vertigo, and depersonalization/derealization, fatigue, etc. You guys and gals know the deal, it was GRIM, GRIM, GRIM. Looking back however, I actually had it pretty good. 3. From bad to worse This is where the story goes from bad to worse. As a PhD student, I had worked exremely hard to make a good career for myself once I graduated. One way of doing this way to teach a college level class. So upon returning from my trip, I was meant to teach a laboratory class in an advanced course in Biological Sciences in the summer for 1 month. I was so severely depersonalized/derealized, and with all the other symptoms I listed above, that I could barely remember any of my students names, and I certainly couldn't remember any of the subject matter that I was supposed to be an expert in and deticated the last 6 years of my life to memorizing. Ouch. Nevertheless, I pressed on because the course had to be taught. So I did, and the student's didn't seem to mind, although I was acutely aware of the fact that I had lost a tremendous amount of intelectual ability and could no longer "speak off the cuff" and go on intelectual tangents. I recall one student asking me about a relatively simple mathematical formula, and my inability to easily answer this question that drove me to the point of calling my ex-psyciatrist back and demanding a meeting. In this meeting, he indicated that a quick fix for my problems would be a prescription of prozac which has a long half-life, and reinstating this medciation for about a month or two, and then going off of it again. I thought "well, this better work" and went ahead and tried. As I had mentioned earlier, I had shoulder surgery, and as a consequence I needed to take some pain meds to help me through the immensly painful physical therapy sessions. So I was prescribed tramadol, which is an SNRI (UH OH!). One day I will never forget, I took this tramadol, about 1 week after being on prozac, and I had an adverse reaction to this combination that has haunted me for about 1.5 years now. My entire body went numb, particularly my sensory neurons, and I felt like an strange tickling and itching sensation over all of my skin. I never took tramadol again, but as I continued to take prozac over the next couple of weeks, I began to have an odd sensation over all of my skin: it felt as if I had wet paper bags over my entire body, and my face was becoming anesthetized. I returned to the doctor, and told him about this a couple of times and he basically told me "how could that possibly happen, you're probably just anxious". At the 1 month mark, things were not improving, and all of the original cymbalta withdrawal symptoms were still there. Instead of taking me off the medication, like any reasonable human being would have done, this doctor UPPED my dose to 20mg (from 10mg) after I told him about these adverse effects. After just 2-3 days of this, I started having insomia, and I said "**** it" and tapered off quickly in a 4 day period. It was around September 1st, 2013 when I had my last SSRI/SNRI. I should note here that I was miraculously able to finish teaching the course in anatomy and physiology with decent reviews - the prozac did help in the sense that it produced a mild mania again, which allowed me to sort of interact with the students better. What also helped me was the fact that it was around this time that I got together with my then girlfriend who saw me through the worst of the issues, so I was not completely alone thorugh this hell. It was really this wonderfully patient and kind woman who, amongst others, I attribute to saving my degree and possibly my life. 4. Recovery begins Afer coming to the realization that reinstatement was not an option for my body, I had to deal with the fact that my reinstatment attempt was not only a failure, but it made my symptoms like 40% worse. Now I also had tingling and numbness in all of my limbs, profound sinous headaches, and trigeminal nerve problems, and more serious eye problems than before. I was seeing a psyciatrist through all of this, because I was still taking adderall and had developed quite a habit for this pill (later on, I did successfully quit), which was the only way I was going to write my dissertation and complete my degree. This doctor told me that many of these symptoms may disappear after 3 months, so I waited patiently and tried my best to be physcially active and write my dissertation. Unfortunatley, releif came VERY slowly, and it wasn't until the 6 month point that I began to feel substantially better (Feburary-March 2014). At this point, with the help of my wonderful girlfriend, and a moderate dose of adderall, I began to be able to write my dissertation, and in the next ~2 months I wrote a massive chunk of this work. The symptoms sort of started to melt away, and I began to be able to read and function again - although I was still severely damaged and had not recovered. In anticipation of the fact that this might take a very long time, I scheduled my PhD defense for Summer of 2014, so that I could be at my very best. I also began applying for jobs, and succeeded in securing an interview. One unfortunate event that I should mention is that I reinjured my shoulder, so that now it was worse than it was before I got surgery in the first place. I attribute my reinjury of the shoulder to the SSRI withdrawals, and the adderall - the level of fatigue and the lack of awareness of my body due to sensory nerve damage (or what ever the heck it is - I'm still not entirely sure I understand what precise physiological mechanism is responsible for all of the symptoms I experienced) caused me to just not work on my shoulder exercises like I should have, and to play with it the wrong ways while in bed one morning. 5. Hypersensitivity This is a very important part of my story because it explains my great downfall and what happened next most precisely. Basically, as I've read on this website, and others (particularly paxilprogress.com, which was my very favorite and brings me great disappointment to see it taken offline), many people experience an inexplicable hypersensitivity to various substances when going through an adverse reaction or an ssri withdrawal. I too had this experience, most profoundly after my issues with prozac and tramadol. For example, I would drink 1 beer and be totally incapacitated and brain dead for 3 days, and if I got drunk, I would be seriously messed up for no less than 14 days. This was also true for niccotine, or any central nervous sytem agent - and it severely limited what I could do and how I could enjoy my life. Thankfully, I was still able to escape my horrible existance by watching movies and playing videogames. Indeed, videogames very effectively passed time for me in the early stages of withdrawal. Anyways, I also noticed this in regards to other medication - I took one, ONE .5 mg clonopin pill to help releive the "rebound anxiety", if you can really call it that, during my recovery process in the spring of 2014, and it completely incapacitated me for like 2 weeks. I then took a valarin root to try to see if that might help calm my nerves, and another 2 weeks of my life were gone. It's very scary to realize that small doses of commonly taken medication can completely incapacitate oneself, and I seriously had no answer for any of this other than to very cautiously avoid any and all substances if it could be helped. I should have taken this as a warning for things to come, but unfortunately I did not. One night, with my girlfirend, I had ingested a marijuana brownie in an attempt to have a good time and to escape from my unimaginable horror of losing my intellectual ability, my career, and everythign that was important to me (especially losing my emotions, the anhedonia was SEVERE and pathlogoically bad - instead of feeling emotions, I would just feel a vague burning sensation in the frontal part of my brain). This pot brownie was suprisingly effective and I had a good night with her and her friends. The only reason I mention this is because that pot browning made me believe that I could handle a small dose of marijuana without any ill effect - maybe I could find a way to medicinally deal with the agony of my condition. 6. True hell: Boy was I wrong. One night I shall never forget, my friend and college invited me to a party where people were smoking some pot in a casual way. I was just coming down from a daily dose of adderall, so I was a bit anxious and thought I would now have an opportunity to relax and enjoy myself with these folks and have a nice weekend. I smoked the pot, and what happened next was that I went from euphoria stright to utter terror. It's still very difficult for me to write this, and I'm having some emotional issues with articulating what happened, but I basically had a terror (panic) attack for like 12 straight hours, and proceeded not to sleep for the next 2 months. Yes, you read that correctly, I did not sleep for 2 months. The hell of SNRI withdrawals and an adverse reaction PALED in comparison to what I experienced when I smoked pot. ALL of the original symtpoms came back in full force, simultaneously. I went from being partially recovered to fully incapacitated again, and this time I had the awful experience of constant panic attacks that could be set off from any little thing, and PROFOUND bodily anesthesia, in addition to profound derealization and depersonalization. I had esentially lost all progress I had made over the previous 10 months, and became WORSE than I was before any of this started. As I am still recovering from this experience, I can say with some confidence that what happened was that I overdosed on marijuana. The weed in California is NOT the weed I remember back in NY - it's VERY strong and one can overdose on just a couple of hits. I personally took 4 hits I think. I know this is not a forum for drugs, but I must be explicit in my story and explian this because I do not EVER want ANYONE to go through what I went through. Please, if you're on the fence about doing drugs to help edicinally allieviate your SSRI withdrawal symptoms, do not do it. Please, I beg of you, with all of my heart, please do not risk it. 7. Partial Recovery I'm not going to go into all the fallout from my terrible mistake of overdosing on that pot, perhaps I will once it's all over. I should just say that I just BARELY clung onto reality well enough to finish. I thank God every day that I lived alone, and that I was in contact with a very understanding Aunt who had gone through similarly difficult situations. She basically saved both my career and probably my life in the 6 months or so that I endured absolutel hell as a result of smoking that stuff. At this time, I also started attending 12 step meetings of AA, and these kind and amazing people helped me out so very much. I will forever be grateful to these wondeful people for their kindness during this time - these meetings esentially kept me out of the psych ward and off of medication. I want to point out and focus on the positive: I successfully completed my Phd in Biological sciences from a prestigous institution, and defended my PhD in front of the entire department and no one suspected a thing. I also stayed with some friends after I lost the lease in my appartment due to graduation, and then found an appartment in the state of California nearby my old university that I was able to hang out in until I was well enough to make the drive across the country back to my father's house in Pensilvania. I survived, barely. Just barely. *In the very unlikely, by theoretically possible chance that someone else in this wide world is experiencing something similar to that which I have just described, I would like to describe my timeline of recovery. First 3 months, absolute hell - but by the end of the 3rd month, I was able to be somewhat peaceful and calm from time to time. At the end of 6 months I was still having panic attacks from time to time, but I was getting pretty good sleep 75% of the time time and I was able to enjoy myself sometimes. At the end of 9 months is when the panic attacks stopped, and I just had bad migranes most of the time. This is when I began to be able to read and write fairly well, and enjoy life even more from time to time. I'm currently at 11 months, and still feeling pretty bad, but I'm much much better and get good sleep nearly every single night. *If someone else is also trying to quit a stimulant while going through SSRI withdrawal hell like I did, I can outline my timeline for recovery if it might help you. By the 3 month mark, I had all of my phiscal stamia back, and just lacked motivation. By the 6-7 month mark, I have begun to recover intellectual motivation, but I'm still beset by migraine headaches most of the time. I tapered from 10mg to 2.5mg and then off completely over a 6-7 week period. 8. Closing statements Now, I'm currently on the mend. I quit taking adderall immediately after completing my degree, and have been off that toxic and dangerous drug for about 7 months to date. I am also 20 months free from SSRIS, and certainly will never go back that route again for the rest of my life. I'm not employed, and really am not employable at all. I will probably have to find a job at some point, but I'll most likely not be able to go back into academia until my brain fully recovers. I don't know when that will be. For now, I'm grateful to A) be alive, and be able to enjoy some things again. I'm grateful for the fact that I have my health coming back, that I'm able to write somewhat articulately again, and that most of my symptoms are slowly improving. I apologize for this massive essay - I know first hand how difficult it is to focus on things like this when you're going through withdrawal, but I just felt inspired this evening enough to write this post. I hope that this helped someone in some way, and please let me know if you have any questions. There is A LOT that I've left out from my story, especially in regards to the hell I experienced after smoking the marijuana. I learned a tremendous amount about life that I really never wanted to learn, and I've learned a great deal about recovering from ssris, what works, and what doesn't. there's a lot that I don't really know yet, and I could use some advice from the community on a few things. 1) how the heck does one make money and support themselves through this? I'm not entirely sure how to proceed from here. I've attempted to figure out if there's another medical condition that I'm experiencing that is unrelated to ssri withdrawals - got an MRI (totally normal, from what the doctors at the ER said). One doctor said it's possibly a neuropathy, or a metabolic disorder - but nothing concrete. I'm scheduled to go see another doctor in an attempt to get an actual diagnosis so that I could possibly apply for disability, but I'm not too sure what to do. I'm not so sure if going back to western medicine is a great idea, but I did get a lot of releif from knowing that there's nothing highly abnormal with my MRI, so I figure it might be good to rule out common disorders that can cause the symtpoms I'm still experiencing. If there's one thing I've learned from all of this it's that the worst thing I can do to help myself is to introduce new chemicals in my body in order to fix the problem. I've read countless recovery stories on this website and on paxilprogress, and I've been able to determine that if what I'm going through is SSRI withdrawal/adverse reaction, the only real cure for all of this is: time. From what I've read, it takes between 6 months and 5 years for people to recover completely. That's a long time, and I'm not sure how to survive for that long. I've just barely made it through 2 years. Just BARELY. I've thought about taking my life so many countless numbers of times over the past 2 years, but never did it - I don't think I will either. I just think about it, because the pain is so severe and unending. Although things have improved a LOT, and I mean A LOT from last may when I smoked that pot, I'm still far from recovered. I have hope that I'll recover in the future, but I think this process will take a long time. Thank you for reading.
  24. 9 months ago today I took my last Prozac and I am still dealing with withdrawal. I took 15 mg of Fluoxetine for 12 years from PAR pharmaceuticals. In July 2015 the fluoxetine I received from the pharmacy was from TEVA pharmaceuticals, apparently PAR pharmaceuticals discontinued the tablets I was taking. Well, my body did not react well to the TEVA brand. I started having nausea and tremors. After a couple of days on the TEVA brand I switched to the MYLAN brand but nothing changed. Realizing my body was not going to handle the change I decided to taper but it seemed pointless because my body was in withdrawal from the PAR pharmaceutical fluoxetine my body was use to taking. On August 27th 2015 I took my last pill. From July to November I dealt with nausea and tremors and then all hell broke loose. On top of the nausea and tremors I developed a bad smell in my nose that only I can smell, internal shaking that is constant, the nausea got much worse, I started having hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and chills. I also have cried almost every day since November. In December I had a gastric emptying study done due to the nausea and lack of appetite. I discovered I now have delayed gastric emptying. To date I have lost 44 pounds from the nausea and not being able to eat. I have also had a CT scan and an MRI for the tremors and internal shaking. Those results were normal. I have seen an ENT for the bad smell in my nose, but they can find nothing wrong. I have noticed that I am feeling a tiny and I stress tiny bit better but I still have the internal shaking, nausea, bad smell in my nose and crying. I have read about internal shaking in withdrawal but how long does it go on. I was put on Prozac for panic attacks and the constant internal shaking is making me feel panicky and anxious. Does anything help with it? Has anyone else experienced a bad smell in their nose or heard of anyone having a bad smell in their nose during withdrawal? Thank you for any advice or help anyone can offer me.
  25. Hi Alto & fellow Survivors, Thought I would update you on my progress. So in July of 2011 I had reduced my Pristiq down to the minimum (50mg). Pristiq, just like it's predecessor Effexor has a very short half life and therefore more intense withdrawal symptoms than the old fashioned Prozac. So I switched to Prozac - the first day I think it was 80mg, then 60mg for a day or so, then 40mg for a few weeks, then down to 20mg. It was at this point I wrote my original post and took Alto's advice to let myself stabilise on the 20mg. This was a very difficult time but I just persisted with it. I was able to get the Prozac in a tablet form under the brand name Lovan which allowed me to slowly reduce down to 5mg over the next 5 months or so. During this time I experienced many days where I was nauseated, would sometimes vomit or feel as if I was about to at any moment, had brain fog, felt anxious, felt depressed, but these symptoms fluctuated and sometimes were way better than others. I began to feel my emotions coming back slowly, which I had not felt in a long time. When I was on Pristiq I was just numb, no good emotions, no extreme emotions, just nothing. I also became a little more outgoing and made friends at school more easily. I was able to keep all my appointments & turn up to class everyday and get assignments done (sometimes i needed extra time and this was granted) despite feeling crappy. However, when I went down to the last 5 mg, my anxiety took a turn for the worse. I started to have increasing intrusive thoughts that were extremely distressing and this made me feel suicidal. I began to exhibit symptoms of OCD, developing obsessions and compulsions (both mental & physical). My therapist did not diagnose me with OCD but she TREATED me for OCD for the next 12 months to help me learn how to manage the distress and anxiety and that is something that has really helped me get by. At one point in around November/December 2011 my Doctor commnced me on Abilify 10mg as he thought was concerned about these thoughts in the contxt of his bipolar diagnosis. He chnaged my diagnosis to Bipolar 1 and interpreted these symptoms as 'verging on psychosis'. My therpaist and myself both disagreed with this as at no point did I ever lose touvh with reality, have thought insertion, broadcasting, thought disorder, ideas of reference, halucinations etc. However the Abilify did lift my mood, decrease my anxiety (not initially but within a few weeks)and help me feel less suicidal, and i was able to finish the schhol semester. But of course I then had to taper off the Abilify (I stopped the Prozac 5 mg as soon as I started the Abilify). I tapered off the Abilify 1/4 of a tablet every week until I was off it by the end of January this year. I was on break from school at the time, and put a lot of effort into looking after myself physically from that point on, more vegetables, more good fats, more fruit, more meat, more exercise, more social contact, and more SLEEP! Since then I have continued to focus on physical health to relieve mood & anxiety symptoms. The big thing that helps me is a walk every day. If I don't do that, I start to get flat. I also put into use every day the skills I learned in therapy to deal with anxiety. I was able to finish my degree in July and have since started working full time in my new profession, so i am off disability, I'm contributing in my own way and feel the rewards of that, and I've been slowly integrating healthy lifestyle choices and making a routine around work. I have to be very careful to stay in a routine as best I can, fit a walk into my day on MOST days, eat fruit and vegies and see my friends every second week or so and get enough sleep. My life to others probably appears very boring at the moment, but I am quite content. I keep up with my chores, am organised, and I have less episodes of feeling depressed, & my anxiety is more managable. I haven't felt those old suicidal feelings for several months now although i still have periods of feeling down, but these are less intense and go away quicker. And I haven't had any symptoms of mania whatsoever. Eventually I hope to be able to start some hobbies (or at least one)and start doing a few extra outings like the movies and theatre etc, but now I feel I just need to focus on the basics of staying well. My friends are amazed that I am my old self again if not better! So that is a success story of sorts. So if you are struggling - persevere. Get the support you need from friends, family, therapists etc to see you through this difficult time. part of coming off meds is learning adaptive techniques of coping with symptoms other than taking medicatiosn, and this isn't easy to do on your own. Take care of your physical health, and be compassionate with yourself. Your brain is amazing and is not doomed to always feeling these effects of psychotropics, It will heal and adpat in time. Mine is still adapting, but I'm a lot better than where I was.
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