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  1. So let me get into this..always had anxiety and depression my whole life.. I spent year sick to my stomach then started to get though it.. the 2013 hit.. a dentist ruined my life.. I ended up with nerve damage in my face.. trigeminal neuropathy.. is was put on lexipro 10 mgs.. and trileptal and anticonvulsant.things started to settle down and I had a pretty happy 4 yrs.. i started smoking cannabis and the combo keep my pain down but at the time I didn’t know it.. i weaned off the trileptal cause it made me sick as hell and things were ok compared to the hell I went through for 2 yrs.. but I still suffered for anxiety but I just wasn’t in pain.. so.. fast forward 4 yrs.. I thought hey I just want to come off my antidepressant.. my dr at the time said.. your on a low dose.. just cut the pill in half for 3 days then stop.. I continued to smoke cannabis and got thru the brain zaps then started feeling good after about 2 months.. the I started getting pain on my left side and thought it was a tooth.. then the pain or maybe parasethsia exploded over the whole front on my face..had a root canal and that didn’t help. smoking pot started causing anxiety so my dr put me back on lexipro thinking that would help. And started gabapentine for nerve pain.. that helped for 7 months..then put me on Ativan because I wasn’t sleeping and I started smoking cannabis again.. so I thought the pain was caused by my root canals.. got those pulled.. slowly weaned off my lexipro but would be terrible parastesia across my face at night.. long story shorter . When I went off the cannabis and lexipro I would shake at night. I tapered myself to fast.. I have burning in my jaw and face and am having a hard time.. I’m on a low dose of trileptal 75 mg twice a day and it allows me to sleep a few hours.. I’m in a rough spot.. I have nerve damage in my face that is typically treated with antidepressant and anticonvulsants but I have done a great deal of investigation and these drugs are bad.. the research is there.. I think my brain has been harmed by them and by my poor decision making as well.. When I’m off the drugs I have my mind clear and I like that.. it hasn’t been clear for a long time.. I didn’t take my trileptal yesterday and I felt alive but had more pain.. could the emergence of my pain in my face be a result of the medication.. do I trust the people at Johns Hopkins.. I have much doubt and I fear for my life.. I have made too many mistakes on my own... insight would be very useful.. thank you.. in hindsight being as sensitive as I am I wish I had never touched a drug in my life and taken care of the mind god blessed me with.. I think I really screwed up.. I see a therapist mon..
  2. Hello Im new here. Thank you for taking time to read this if you are. :) I have been on Mirt for only 12 days at 15 mg. Im looking to come off due to side effects, its just not suited for me. I was going to do 11.25 for 4 days, 7.5 for 4 days, 3.75 for 4 days, then off. Is that too quickly? I thought not since I have only been on it for 12 days at 15 mg. I appreciate everyones input and advice! :)
  3. I would like to say hello and thank this website for giving me hope. I have spent the last few days reading a lot of the posts and have found them to be full of information and great advice. The success stories are wonderful to read. I have never been in a medical situation like this and I was feeling lost and alone until I found Surviving Antidepressants. I was put on Zoloft (50 mg then upped to 100mg) in February 2016 due to depression over a long-term illness that at that time was still un-diagnosed. I got a diagnosis for my illness in April of 2016. I was hospitalized for that illness both in April and March and it was eventually brought under control. Once I got home from the hospital (both times) I was very weak and I had very confused thinking. I had multiple at-home treatments and medications to keep track of. Somewhere in there I messed up my Zoloft and either went cold turkey or was only taking it intermittently, but did not realize it at the time. Starting in May and ramping up in June I had all sorts of symptoms, which nobody in the medical field could figure out, including me. I was put on Gabapentin (600mg then upped to 900mg) to help with the symptoms. My symptoms included headaches, nausea, feeling hot and sweating but having a low body temperature, as well as the feeling of internal tremors in arms and legs, and actual external tremors. I also had jerky arm movements. I had what I call “vertigo light”, the whole room didn’t spin, just the floor moved when I tried to walk; I felt like I was drunk. I had brain zaps, motion sickness, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and pressure in the ears like when flying on a plane. My memory was also bad. After endless nights of searching the Internet with my symptoms I realized I had withdrawal. Counting the actual amount of pills in the bottle and looking at the day it was prescribed confirmed that I had not been taking my medication. Once I realized what was going on I contacted my psychiatrist and I went back on at 50mg, which was twelve days ago. A dosage that high might be a mistake after reading about “reinstating” here on this sight, I don’t know yet. Since reinstating the brain zaps and vertigo have disappeared, and the other symptoms have gone down in intensity, however I am getting them more frequently. I’m now getting them every day, for at least a few hours and sometimes all day. Before going back on Zoloft they were really brutal but only for a few hours at a time, none of this all day stuff. Klonopin seems to help however my psychiatrist has suggested that I use it sparingly, he said that the Gabapentin should be helping with the symptoms. By the way, I feel I have an excellent psychiatrist. He did warn me when he put me on Zoloft not to go off of it without talking to him first and that there was tapering involved. He also responds to my frequent and desperate e-mails on a timely basis. I do recognize though that I need to be proactive when it comes to my health. This is my first time with a drug in the SSRI class. At this moment my goal is to stabilize. Eventually I would like to get off, but right now I just want the physical symptoms to go away. By the way, the depression, which was acute in February, seems to have disappeared, both while on and off the Zoloft. I am open to opinions, questions, and suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  4. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  5. Alexi319

    Alexi319

    Hello! Glad this resource exists. I am a 29 y/o female. I have a stable job I’ve held for the last 7 years. Very health conscious. Work hard on self care, mindfulness, meditation, therapy, etc. I have complex trauma, as many people do, that I’m currently working through with my therapist. I was an anxious child. I had intense separation anxiety, panic attacks, stomach aches. I was in talk therapy from the age of 8 to about 13-14. I struggled with paranoia and the fear of people not liking me, talking about me when they really weren’t, etc. I wasn’t put on medication until my freshman year of college. I went to my GP complaining of issues concentrating, brain fog, problems with visually focusing and anxiety. Some depressive episodes as well of feeling very down. Started on Celexa for “imbalanced brain chemistry”. Lol. Stayed on that for about a year, didn’t feel a significant effect. More life events later, was put on lexapro. Had issues with substance abuse and went to treatment for a catatonic depressive episode with suicidal ideation. Was put on Zoloft in treatment. Terrible drug. Lost libido, felt like a zombie, gained weight. 300 mg/gabapentin 3 times per day was added to the mix after a couple of months. Stayed on gabapentin for about 6 months then tapered off - worst withdrawals ever. Then another GP put me on Prozac (10 mg) and Wellbutrin 150mg XR. I have been on that combo for about 1.5 years now. Currently I am experiencing high anxiety, paranoia, fear, irritability and rage in some instances. Surprisingly, no insomnia. I feel like I am constantly preoccupied. It won’t stop. When I asked my GP about getting off of the Prozac, he told me to stop taking it for a couple of days and see how I felt. I’m sorry, that sounds like a TERRIBLE IDEA. I am struggling. I can’t be present for life. I would like to eventually be off both of these drugs, but definitely Prozac first. Thanks for listening. 2011-2012 - 20 mg/Celexa. No tapering. 2013 - 2014 - 20 mg/Lexapro. No tapering. 2016 - 2017 - 20 mg/Zoloft - 2 months. Added 300mg/gabapentin 3x per day in addition to the Zoloft. 2018-tapered off of gabapentin. Then changed to 10 mg/Prozac and 150 mg/Wellbutrin XR. Tapered off of Zoloft. 2019 - still currently taking 10mg/Prozac and 150 mg/Wellbutrin XR.
  6. marsha-preparing-for-my-librium-taper Hi. I hope I'm in the right place because antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants and benzodiazepines have caused permanent brain damage and I have trouble navigating on this sight. Is it possible to taper off geodon before gabapentin? I have read in the Road Back Program that I must taper off gabapentin and clonazepam before I can finish tapering off geodon. I am terrified of antipsychotic drugs. I want to get off it after I finish tapering off clonazepam. I successfully completed tapering off trazodone and propranolol and have tapered the clonazepam to 1 mg and have tapered the geodon down to 80 mgs. I was misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia and now am working with a team of doctors to taper me slowly off the drugs that robbed me of my memory and pleasure and motivation. I am desperate to get off these terrible drugs. Especially the clonazepam and geodon. I'm tapering off slowly the clonazepam right now. I have read that if you taper off geodon before gabapentin and clonazepam it increases the clearance time of clonazepam and gabapentin by as much as 50% causing you to go into clonazepam and gabapentin withdrawal even without lowering the dosage of the clonazepam and gabapentin. However, I have also read in the book "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal" by Peter breggin md that you should make it a priority to get off the antipsychotic drug first especially if you are non psychotic. My doctor thinks I can just stop taking the geodon but I know that is wrong. I appreciate any help you can give me.
  7. ADMIN NOTE moved initial posts from Mission of Surviving Antidepressants Hello. What do you exactly mean "if the symptoms are from and adverse or paradoxical reaction to medication, the medication has to be gradually withdrawn for recovery."? Is three to four months of gradual withdrawel enough? Thats what I did.
  8. Hello, and many thanks to this website for being so informative! I only wish that I had known about this site a few years ago (or even a few months ago). Here is why - My 19 year old daughter is, I believe, now going through Bupropion withdrawal. It's hard to know for sure because a virus *could* be partly to blame. Either way, she is too out of it to be her own advocate right now so I am trying to learn as much s possible so that I can best help her. My daughter began taking Bupropion (150mg) in the summer of 2016 for pretty severe depression. In the winter of 2017, Fluvoxamine 100mg was added for OCD. Gabapentin (900mg per day) was added about 9 months ago for nervousness. During this time we moved and had to switch doctors. The new doctor changed her Bupropion to the 150mg XL (extended release) formula about 6 months ago. She was previously taking the 75mg SR version twice per day. It was soon after our move, which corresponded to the new doctor and new Bupropion formula, that my daughter's mental health seemed to take a downturn. In the past 4-5 months in particular she has stayed in bed most days with a low mood. She also started having a tremor in her hands and feelings of nausea off and on. I contacted her PCP in August this year to share my concern and was told it was probably a virus and that she would feel better soon...but she only got worse. A month later the nausea got so bad that she began vomiting all the time. After 5 days of this severe vomiting with no other viral symptoms, the doctors agreed to run tests. We found her ALT to be elevated, and this was concerning in regards to the Bupropion so it was agreed that she would stop taking the Bupropion. Her PCP recommended that she titer by half every 3 days. I thought that I was being cautious by making this a week instead of 3 days. Now, after a month, she is on 18.75mg every other day of the Bupropion SR. Her psychiatrist says she should be off it by now, but I have added this every other day titration at this point and I'm not sure where to go from here. The psychiatrist wants her off the Bupropion so that Lamictal can be started. I'm still not sure about starting another drug at this point! Anyway... To make things even more complicated, we tested her blood for the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) and her result was borderline (technically they call it "equivocal"). She had mono (which is caused by the EBV) two years ago and got very, very sick then. The fatigue she is experiencing could be related...or not. It's hard to tell. Her PCP feels her fatigue is depression related. The psychiatrist thinks it could have something to do with the EBV. She will be re-tested for EBV next week. And to make things even MORE complicated, her psychiatrist said we should take her off the Gabapentin by reducing one 300mg pill per week. I hired another psychiatrist to oversee psychiatrist number 1 and he said that we could reduce the Gabapentin every 2 weeks but that he did not want to wait longer than that because he wants her to start the Lamictal. We took away one pill almost two weeks ago. Right now my daughter's main symptom is fatigue. She is in bed 90% of the time. She had to drop out of college this semester. She is also super depressed. She was having intense nightmares and sleepless nights these past few months, waking up each morning screaming, but that seems to have gotten a bit better (no waking up screaming the past few weeks). The good news is that her tremor is gone! She does get a little more agitated than normal as well. My daughter is currently taking fish oil (900mg/per meal) and vitamin D3 (5000IU/day) as supplements, and last night she took her first dose of Melatonin 0.3mg. She also takes birth control pills for PCOS. I believe that these pills might be behind her depression but at this point I don't want to jar her system further by removing/changing them. As soon as we can we will address this. My quandaries now are: - How to proceed with Bupropion (currently on 18.75mg every other day - doctor does not want her to reduce more because he wants her to start on Lamictal). - How to proceed with the Gabapentin (doctor says 1 pill per 2 week titer and I worry about this) - Do we give Lamictal a chance? Once she is stabilized, she will begin tapering the Fluvoxamine. We don't think it's really helping her. I now know that this needs to be done at 10% increments each month for years. We will think more about this when the time comes. For now I want to make sure that she is able to get through this Bupropion and Gabapentin withdrawal. If anyone here has any insight or knowledge to share then I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Snek (I chose this name because my daughter loves snakes and this is a cute word she uses for them - she does still smile when I show her pictures of cute snakes so I now love snakes too)
  9. I've been on psych medications since I was 14, I'm almost 36. I've tried almost everything. I cant do it anymore. I hate the meds so much I don't want to be anywhere near them. I'm very tempted to cold turkey them. I hope that won't kill me, but I can't live this way.
  10. i thought i was withdrawing successfully from gabapentin. i am apparently very bad off because i had to go very very slow. i thought i was doing ok and i upped very slowly the amount of dissolved liquid i was withdrawing from the beaker. i was stressed, but every night would go back down in dose to get a good sleep. i was unable to tolerate attempts to withdraw more so i went back to the dose that seemed comfortable. i was no longer comfortable. at all. then i upped the dose 30% i thought acc. to the rules here. i am radically uncomfortable now at any dose. i am desperate and there is no end. i am thinking of going to a doctor to see if i can get a lot of benzos to withdraw. i am afraid of compounding my problem. i was take 300 mg. gaba 6xs a day. i was getting breakthrough symptoms anyway but didn't realize it.
  11. mngal-want-to-try-again-but-not-sure Hi. I heard this forum will help with other meds besides anti-depressants. I got off of those years ago but probably did myself some damage in the process. I put in a signature so you can see how I got here and where I am. I was so tired from lack of sleep that I was just taking whatever the nurse or doctor said without thinking it through. Now I'm sleeping 5-6 hours and can think well enough to know that I'm in a bad place from these drugs and need to get off. My biggest problem now is sedation/depression. I cannot drive most days. I've lost my job and most of my friends. I used to be much more active but now can't even walk around the block. I also have a lot of anxiety but not sure if it's life circumstances or meds or both. I can't figure out where to start. I'm losing hope that I will ever get better. I do think I got much worse when I started the gabapentin. Actually, I'd say the anxiety got better but the sedation and depression and feeling hopeless got worse. I don't know where to start but I figure I'm not going to ask my doctor for a plan given what happened with the anti-depressant taper he gave me. I wanted to rip my brain out of my head, it was that bad. Don't ever want to experience that again. But can't stay like I am, either.
  12. I have been on Prozac for about 25 years. I tried to taper few times in the past, but it didn't work. So what can be different this time? I am hoping this board will make the difference. I know I can't do it alone. I am now taking 10 mg Prozac daily. I was on 40 mg about 2 years ago, and took it down very slowly, cutting 5 mg every few months. One reason that it took so long was because I was also tapering clonazepam. Another reason was the failed attempts in the past. What I learned from tapering clonazepam I hope to put into use while tapering Prozac. One lesson that I learned is that you need to do it slow. There is just no other way. Another lesson is that you need support. I am looking for my next cut in a few months and my goal is to be completely drug free by the end of the year. I have been on disability during the last couple of years while recovering from clonazepam withdrawal. It's been hell and I'm still not completely recovered. I am looking to get back to work as soon as I can but I know it could still take more time. The biggest challenge will be to deal with withdrawal and setbacks without going back on Prozac. My hope is that I will be able to do that with the help of this board.
  13. Summersun

    Summersun: Advice

    Hi, new to this forum. Clonazapam 27 yrs, Effexor 22 yrs..weaned off April 9, 2019 ..Seroquel 5yrs, Gabapentin 5 yrs. supplements: magnesium, D3!, B100, plus CBD oil. Over the past 3 yrs I've been tappering above meds on a rotation..Clonazapam 3 mg 2015 ,May 2019 .50 morning- .75 evening. Seroquel 300mg 2015 ,May 2019 25mg... Gabapentin 2015 900 mg 300 x3 times a day..May 2019-200mg 100mg x2 times a day.. I have tried to taper off 25mg going down to 12.5 of seroquel 3 times ,but had to reinstate..That was before going off Effexor a month and a half ago..I've recently 4 days ago tried to cut Seroquel in half but found the taper to be to difficult...I thought I would be okay because of been off Effexor but maybe I should of held longer after going off Effexor..It was rough. I'm not sure what my next taper should be..?..Is it better to taper Gabapentin till off completely before Clonazepam? I'm really feeling quite worn out any encouragement or advice would be much appreciated..I've been doing this on my own for so long ,except for the Ashton manual, so I much appreciate finding this group..🙎‍♀️
  14. I have been on Gabapentin at 600 mg (200 mg 3x a day) for over a year for General/Social anxiety. I tapered off over the course of 3 months by lowering 100 mg every 2 weeks. Ever since being off for the last few months, I have depression moments, higher anxiety than before I started Gabapentin, and lack of appetite and dizziness at times. Help!!!
  15. Moderator's note: Link to AwareButStruggling's benzo forum thread Hello, I have been going through a very symptomatic taper off of benzodiazepines, and my goal is to keep gradually tapering the Ativan-first, as it is a very potent, short-acting benzodiazepine. I am very familiar with Ashton manual and have found a lot of information on benzodiazepine tapering, but am finding it hard to communicate the bizarreness of symptoms to those who have not been afflicted. I am also wondering if my fairly abrupt discontinuation of Prozac after 16 years of use has worsened the benzodiazepine withdrawal. For roughly around 13 years, 20mg of Prozac was my one and only psychiatric drug. I had some side-effects on it, but my experience with it was not as bad. At times, I could go down to 10mg but could never quite go off of it. Still, I worked, functioned, and my emotions were very much there. I do speculate, that, after a while, Prozac wasn't really as effective. However, at the same time, I'm pretty sure it was masking the depressive effects of sporadic Ativan use. After a while, the ativan has really sensitized my CNS, all the while I thought it was Prozac doing that, so I tapered the Prozac off in a month, and also stopped taking ativan for a month minus a couple of doses. But looking back, I am not sure if that was the best decision, because I found myself really depressed and disoriented and kept myself on a maintenance dose of ativan just to keep functioning. However, I kept getting worse and worse, not realizing that the prolonged use of ativan along with high stress was worsening the anxiety I was feeling. I kept going to my doctor and he kept giving me Prozac again, which, once a gentle AD for me, turned into a harsh stimulant. I was also given lexapro, and I tried a few doses, and cut the 10mg tablet in half, but 5mg was too much. Then I tried Lexapro 2.5 (5mg tablet cut in two) and that was too much, as well. I didn't dare try Wellbutrin. I tried 5mg Prozac through this dismal period and even that was stimulating. So, I've arrived to the conclusion that antidepressants will never be an option for me again, and that a slow gradual taper off of ativan, and then valium and then Gabapentin may be the only way to go. I tried a full crossover to valium, but due to such differences in potency and all the crashes and burns due to to all medication starts and stops and changes, I am petrified of trying anything new and just want to reduce the chemical dependency on these psych meds as much as I can and in a safe manner. Currently tapering abut 0,02mg ativan per week or so. Planning a hold once I reach 0.5mg. I come from a background where anxiolytics and anti-depressants were considered to be very effective tools, and, needless to say, due to my experiences, my relationships to these medications have drastically changed.
  16. Hi all! I am a 22 year old female diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD. I was heavily drugged at around the age of 14, and I decided to come off of many of my meds in the past year. Unfortunately, I do not have the history of meds/dosages for the past two years but may be able to obtain info from my doctor... Drugs Withdrew from: 1. Trileptal 2. Gabapentin 3. Horizant (form of gabapentin) I was put on Trileptal (I believe 900mg) for Bipolar Disorder around the end of summer of 2017 I decided to come off the drug after about 5 months. I went off quickly, but did not stop cold turkey. Started experiencing tingling in my legs (against clothing or fabric) Started developing a noise sensitivity during this time. Went on Gabapentin (I believe 900mg) in November/December for one month and a half, and had side effects. Came off with my doctor Experienced side effects including insomnia, anxiety, tingling back, chills, temperature changes, heart palpitations, panic attacks, noise sensitivity Went on Horizant for 3 days had side effects, stopped for a day, took it again once, and stopped permanently after 4th day. Had brain zaps for a few weeks with tinnitus Since stopping ALL 3 meds, I now have chronic side effects Tingling (against clothes) Legs (***) front and back of thighs. Intermittent throughout day. Very unbearable.. In both arms (sometimes part of arm sometimes full arm) --less frequent but happens more than back/ribs Back (less frequent) Ribs (less frequent) Tingling happens for a few seconds with back arms and ribs. Noise sensitivity (hyperacusis) Touch sensitivity Head pressure (started after brain zaps from Horizant subsided.) Basically CONSTANT throughout the day. ***** I believe that all of my symptoms are from withdrawal from medications. The chronic pain/tingling against clothing or fabric is the most excruciating. I wonder if anyone knows if this will go away or if it is permanent damage?? Is anyone familiar with my situation? It has been about 2 months since I tried Horizant in February of 2018. It is April 2018 now I don't want to put any more drugs in my body, especially not knowing if it will go away on it's own. I am a college student who is now going to drop out, even though I was doing great in school. All advise/ info helps!! Thank you!!
  17. Hi all, This is my first post here and my first real attempt at tapering off of all psychiatric medications. A very brief background, I have been on 20+ medications since I was 12, ranging from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and sleep drugs. I am 22 now and finally, (sober this time) investigating some of the core issues that caused me to self medicate-via doctor and drug dealer-and I'm ready to really sit with my emotions and feel them fully. Currently I am on Lithium-1050mg, Gabapentin-600mg, Celexa-5mg I have been reading as much as I can on comingoff.org and SA and would like to prepare myself and set myself up for success. From what I understand 10% taper is ideal. I am not in any hurry, I just want this to be as positive experience as possible so this is fine. I met with my psychiatrist today and she had some smaller dosages prescribed for me and is on board and on my team for which I am thankful. I am wondering if there are other things I can do smartly prepare. I read briefly about remineralization but am not sure what that entails. Any foods, supplements, behaviors that would ease me into this journey? Ideas? Thoughts? I start this process April 1st and will post updates. Thank you!
  18. fully-functional-undiagnosed1 Hello all, New to the site. A little about my situation, After being prescribed 300mg gabapentin twice a day + 900mg before bed, 15mg remeron before bed, and 100mg trazodone before bed for what's said to be anxiety disorder that appeared out of no where. I visited a psychiatrist per the hospital. It took me two weeks to find one to see me, upon my visit she says that she wanted to get me off as much as possible as she thought the gabapentin should be all I needed. She stated that I should be able to stop the Trazodone and remeron right away with no issues. I questioned weather this was a good idea.... Anyways I decided that the trazodone had to go first because of the side effects I was having from it tapered from 100mg to 75 for two days then fifty for two days noticed a slight down feeling then 25 for 4 days "what a mistake" on the forth day I felt so bad racing thoughts of hurting myself, really bad depression "which I have never had" and more than an hour of servere anxiety if not for the gabapentin surely I would have been flailing around like a fish out of water. I found this site that night after everything seem to calm down and decided to updose. I owned a mg scale and went back up to 37.5mg. First day was great present day not so good, pretty ok morning around 12pm started having stomach issues and some feeling down laid on the couch for several hours started to feel better so I went to the gym and did my daily 8 mile bike ride. My problem is that I am supposed to return to work on the 30th or lose my job and insurance.I don't know if I updosed correctly or how to stabilize enough to return to work. I would appreciate any advice I can get at this point. So upset because this is the first time in my life I have had to take any meds daily, feeling so lost.
  19. How it all started. November 2017 I was prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin to be taken once daily I do not have any pre existing anxiety or health issues. The "medicine" was given to me to help with some stress induced insomnia. Since then the stress that caused the insomnia has long been resolved. I was told this medication was a low dose, and it was perfectly safe, and could be taken nightly for up to 3 months without having any problems with dependency or addiction. Even though i told the doctor 11 years prior i had a bad withdrawel from Ativan that was prescribed to me after my mothers death. He said klonopin is much safer and easier to come off of. Also i took increasing doses of Ativan for close to a year... so of course it was hard to withdraw from... I took the Klonopin .5mg exactly as prescribed for about 10 to 12 days, and then for a week after I took half the dose .25 mg. Then i quit... Apparently I'm very sensitive to these types of medications and not biochemically compatible with them, because what happened over the next 8 days, I describe as increasing anxiety, insomnia, and irrational fear, that got to the point (8 days out) of having absolutely zero sleep the night before and feeling completely detaches from reality. Now i wish i would have realized what was happening and stuck it out, because I'd probably be 100% recovered by now. However, I ( like so many of us ) went running back to the doctor for help. I made an emergency appointment with my doc. He prescribed me a very high dose of Gabapentin and told me that its a great new medication used for benzo and alchohol withdrawels. He promised me that this drug was completely safe and not addictive at all as he did with the Klonopin. but he convinced me of it by telling me it wasn't a controlled substance. It worked great for about a week, but then all of those strange withdrawal symptoms from the Klonopin started coming back, and I required more of the Gabapentin to control those symptoms... My doctor actually said I could pick up the 3600 mg of it a day if need it without any worry of withdrawal. I had a massive bottle of 300mg pills and another massive bottle of 100mg pills to "fill in" I got to the point where I was taking 300 mg in the morning, 300 mg in the afternoon, and 1200 mg at night. But something just didn't feel right, I wasn't myself, I felt like I had suddenly lost 10 or 15 IQ points, the world seemed dull and so did my emotions. So the doctor pulled me off the gabapentin and put me back on the klonopin and once stable I would do a very slow taper, i was desperate to feel normal again so i agreed... I was pulled from the gabapentin after being on it for only 9 days... but with no taper and put back on the klonopin. Only this time it was not really working... I am well aware of Heather Ashton, slow tappering, micro tappering, and the effects benzos have on our gaba receptors... i personaly think Ashton is to highly regarded... I think the cross over to valium is a bad idea and does not work out for a lot of people... i respect the work she did, and her research, but that information is out dated and had needed to be continued and expanded upon. I do not agree all benzos effect the brain the same way the only difference is half life... My doctor thought going on valium would be my best option because of the long half life.... but there was no transition, it was just simply stop the Klonopin 1 day and start on 8mg diazapam the next... valiums main chemical of action breaks down in just 4 hours, while the rest of it just builds up in our systems... so the relief factor is short, while the rest of the chemicals just build up. Where I am at now I am currently taking 3 mg of Valium in the morning and 3 mg of Valium at night as well as 300 mg of Gabapentin in the morning and 300 mg at night ( yes im back on the gaba... mainly because the lack of sleep that started after my 2nd valium cut was just killing me) . This process is drawn out for the better part of a year now, and I'm still not medication free, and I'm still suffering insomnia, anxiety, and a sense of detachment. What I'm really wondering is if anyone has been on this combination of medications, and how they approached the taper. It doesn't matter which one I cut, I feel the effects of both in very much the same way with the same type of symptoms. Should I be tapering say half a milligram of Valium every two weeks, and 100 mg of Gabapentin every 2 weeks? Or tackle one at a time??? I apologize as this intro has turn into a book, I'm just very desperate for answers from people who have been through this I'm not seeking medical advice just personal experiences. My doctor and my pharmacist both say that what I'm experiencing is impossible given my dosage. But i know better. Just last year I was a highly functioning, healthy , strong, muscular, independent hard-working man, that ate a very healthy diet. After taking the Klonopin for just 17 days, the aftermath has been the loss of my job, i've had to move in with my sister for the time being. And all any doctor wants to do is give me more drugs or up my doses. I know the reality is this is a side effect kind of withdrawal from the medication so I refuse to do that. I have had a ton of blood work, and other neurological tests that are all perfectly normal I currently take both ionic and threonate magnesium in the middle of the day. I dont know if it helps ot not... i still eat healthy and walk at least 3 miles a day. SYMPTOMS I have lost 10 pounds of muscle, i have diahrea everyday I have benign faciculation dissorter My hands are shakey I have a massive panic attack in the middle of the night that wakes me up After the panic attqck at night I spend the rest of my hours in stage 2 of sleep ( where i feel like im not sleeping but i actually am) during this time i have a constant stream of thoughts, songs stuck in my head, and thins that make literaly no sense at all... I sleep between 2 and 6 hours per night. I have daytime anxiety mainly in the afternoon. Thank you, and best wishes to all of you.
  20. I am a 55 year old woman that has taken Zoloft in the 90's for panic disorder and anxiety. I can't really remember when I stopped taking it, but it worked for a few years. In 2004, I had a fluttering heartbeat and high pulse so I went to the Dr. and he put me on Metoprolol ER 25 mg. to help my heart beat stronger and also help with anxiety. He also started me on Lexapro 10 mg. once a day. I absolutely found Lexapro to be so beneficial to me. It worked so well on my panic and depression. After about 7 or so years, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and became health phobic. Dr. increased the Lexapro to 20 mg. Helped some, but still had panic and anxiety at times so somewhere along the line we added .5 Ativan a day as needed. I rarely took it., but sometimes if I was having swirling thoughts at night I would take one and it helped me fall asleep. I started having more and more stress in my life as my alcoholic husband started binge drinking, we had a house fire, a beloved Aunt and Uncle passed away within four months of each other from cancer, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery and treatment, my husband lost two jobs. Very stressful times to say the least. I thought I would try a different SSRI or AD medication to see if my stress/panic/anxiety//agoraphobia would improve. My PCP had me taper over the course of four weeks, which I now realize is way too short of a taper after having been on Lexapro for 14 years! He wanted me to try Trintellix, but my insurance said no, so we tried Celexa after the taper. Yuck. I felt horrible. Now I don't know if it was the Celexa or withdrawal symptoms, but I felt like I had a cotton head with pressure and aching, general malaise, not wanting to do anything, sweaty all the time, exhausted, not sleeping that well. Stopped Celexa and tried Buspirone. Another no-go. Same feelings with it. Not sure again if it was the Buspirone or withdrawal from Lexapro still hanging with me. Finally my PCP said start Lexapro again at 10 mg. until you get in to see a Psychiatrist. So I did. I started 5 mg. on 6/29 and then 10 mg. on 7/6. Saw Psychiatrist on 7/10 and told him I didn't think Lexapro was that effective for me. He said he was okay with me staying on it. (What about me being okay with that?) and he added Gabapentin so I could stop taking Ativan. I am to take Gabapentin 100 mg one or two capsules 2-3 times daily. Kind of scared of it. Read side effects and had fear. I have only taken two doses and already I have a bit of a sore throat. Although I do have to say, 100 mg. last night made me relax and I got some much needed sleep. Ah! About 6 hours and only woke up twice briefly and went back to sleep. That part is great. Now I am contemplating....do I call the Psychiarist and ask for another AD medication or wait a few more weeks to see if I improve? Thanks for reading my story and any advice or help is most appreciated. Thanks for having me! Wishing good health to all.
  21. I am a little over a month into this part of my tapering story, (Celexa-free now) and last week I had a lot of anxiety, which did not come as a surprise to me. I had somatic obsessions, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and sometimes I wince from the intrusive thoughts or images that come up. My partner has been witnessing moments of this struggle which sparked a discussion. She says it hurts her to see me in pain and she urged me to think more critically about why I am doing what I am doing. When I tried to explain that sometimes withdrawal is just hard and requires patience, she said that I was rationalizing everything and didn't have any plan in place for when I should stop what I was doing or increase dosages again. She feels as if I don't leave enough room for her feelings or take into account how my actions in this process affect our relationship. She does not have personal experience with mental illness or medication which for some reason makes hearing that from her feel even harder. I feel judged in moments, though I really do think this is my own projection, and as a result I am not able to comfortably voice how I feel. I responded to all of this rather defensively. It felt like she wasn't trusting me to know what I need and it also seemed like this process, (which is hard for me already) was burdensome to her somehow. I felt like this is incredibly challenging for me and I need her amazing strength, love, and support right now, more than ever. I care so much about how she feels and this relationship but I want to be in control of this very personal process. She also thinks I am undergoing this journey in hopes of an idealized vision of reality without medication. While I do have hope for what life might be like drug-free, I try really hard to stay grounded and not have too many expectations. Maybe she's right in that regard. I don't know how to create more space for her to have feelings about how I'm feeling. It feels messy. I start dissociating during our conversations and losing time, losing information. She is very sharp and has an amazing memory so I simply cannot compete. We have barely talked in the past two days, we both feel really frustrated. We have both explicitly stated our needs and yet this still does not feel resolved. Neither of us can seem to relax into a willing state of mind until the other does. I feel so angry and I can't tell where it is coming from. Does anyone relate to this? I'm not sure how to move forward? Otto
  22. Hi everyone. I just started a gabapentin taper yesterday and am starting to feel the effects. Have been on the medication for 5 years and previously was on antidepressants for 15 years prior. Went off antidepressants cold turkey almost 4 years ago. Decided I wanted to get off gabapentin a few years ago and started a taper but haven’t been able to get lower than 600mg without going into wirndrawal and having it effect my level Of functioning. Lately I have been getting really uncomfortable feet and hand vibrations that I think may be a paradoxical side effect of taking the medication. My dr. wants to try tapering off to see if the feeling goes away (this telling us if this is a medication reaction). Today is my first full day reducing by 200mg and I’m experiencing serve anxiety. Also thoughts of self harm which I haven’t had in a long time (so I’m assuming it’s med detox related). I’ve thought about increasing the dose tomorrow but when I think about doing that I feel so defeated and dependent. I want to get through this- or at least give it a real chance. Any advice on getting through this period? Also- has anyone else felt this way... and how long does it last? Thanks for your support. cali
  23. Hi, Rhiannon! My name is Lora. I have read a few of your posts and had a few questions for you. You write well and come off as very intelligent. Back in October 2015 at the age of 21 - I was cut CT off of 2 mg Klonopin. (4 months daily use) It was making me really physically ill. I was given Xanax and 1 week to get completely off. That was life altering and something I never want to experience again. I was admitted to the hospital three weeks later and was stabilized on 30 mg of Librium. 900 mg of Gabapentin. 15 mg Remeron. Well, four days later I left the hospital and my doctor cut me by 10 mg of Librium (horrible idea) It was awful. I tried to CT Gaba and that did not work so I reinstated and cut 300 mg with no problems. Moving on, by January 2016 I was down to "12.5" and it got very dangerous. I reinstated and went back up to 25. Got a compound pharmacist and held. (Still ill) We moved my doses around a lot (that hurt) April and May 2016 got nasty. I was tremoring. The pain was awful. The brain pressure pain was BAD. The symptoms got scary. Gabapentin out of nowhere starting giving me manic reactions on top of being so scary ill. I was forced to break the 300 up in the evening to 100s taken all an hour apart and the same for the morning. Still getting psychotic reactions I had no choice but to cut 100 mg off of my morning dose. Two days later I got SLAMMED. Scary. It was its own hell. It felt like a massive benzo cut. My pain and w/d did not start getting better until early-mid 2017. I still have waves but am almost living a normal life again and am down to 12.30 mg of Librium. 500 mg of Gaba (that's next) 15 mg Remeron I will step off of benzos next year and am so proud of my progress but the Gabapentin micro taper that is to come is haunting me. I am 23 and desperately want a life. I have so much to live for. 1. Do you think my nightmare in 2016 was me still coming off CT of Klonopin? (and being rapidly tapered and updosed) Do you think that made the Gabapentin cut worse? 2. Can I come off of Gabapentin (very slowly) and still live a normal life? Lora
  24. Hi. I'm very tired today so this is a hard push to make myself say hello and try to condense decades of hell into a few sentences that resemble a post not too long too read. Most of it will be voice texting. At first I thought this was about getting off benzos. That was 3 years ago. I had a psychotic event in public because I forgot to put my Ativan in my pill box for half the week. 4 cop cars handcuffs and a taser were involved... as I was on my way to the psychiatrist office bc I didn't know what the hell was wrong with me.. leaving another place totally unrelated to anything which was the place I went psycho in and actually they put themselves on lockdown because of me:-( So I go nuts when I figure out Wth has been happening to me for so many years. I chose to taper off my Remeron in 2 months and I switch from Ativan to too low Valium overnight (1.5 mg Ativan to 10 mg valium) a little less than halfway through and because I held for so long I started trying to see why I wasn't stabilizing and Google some of the symptoms I was having. This brought Lamictal to the Forefront. I was on 400 mg and went down to 300 via a 6 month taper. I'm so tired today...ok so then I've been holding and trying to decide if I should finally restart my taper on the 6 mg of valium first or lower the Lamictal some more. A week ago I accidentally doubled only my Gabapentin. By accident. I was insanely graphically suicidal all day and borderline psychotic. Plenty of physical problems too. There was no disputing the kind of effect it had on me and since I have a lot of suicidal ideation especially since I was first put on Lamictal to begin with and that's why they smothered it with ativan...so when I felt a little bit better than next day I swallowed my sense of dread and Googled Gabapentin. I have been on this s*** for 15 years and I have had suicidal ideation...Ahem...a lot of that time and then they added Lamictal and then Ativan. Although it was terrible day and a terrible experience and a short trip to Dante's seventh circle of hell the Silver Lining is I learned something, once again, that's going to be pivotal in my recovery I just don't know how to apply it yet. That's where you guys come in Okay my brain just fried out it's nap time. Honestly I was a nurse and I'm just like some of the brain injured people I took care of and I'm really sorry for this s*** introduction. I'm on valium 3 mg 2x daily, Lamictal 150 mg 2x daily, Gabapentin 600 milligrams 3xa day (I just changed my twice a day gaba dosing to 3 times to split it up since it I learned it had a short half-life) Prilosec 10 mg ( just so there's that at least... The meds I take right now. I tend to make my Med mistakes in clusters and I made one yesterday that's affecting me today and making my brain worse than usual. I have an excellent ptsd therapist, and a nurse practitioner who is "humoring" I'm very grateful for that but she's also been pretty negligent and I could have died twice because of her missing pancreatitis and other things like enough attention at all especially when I lost a hundred pounds and could barely walk anymore because I was wasting away on couch oblivious to anything besides Not killing myself. (I digress that was during the beginning of the benzo taper. 2014_2015) I also have seen a neurologist because of these types of bi symptoms I was having and just so I could say I'm seeing a neurologist in case some nasty psychiatrist tries to get their hooks into me. It makes me sound more credible if I say I'm seeing a neurologist. I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate that but he did agree my Lamictal dose was too high and he told my GP to taper me with 25 mg pills which he felt was ridiculous but thank God he did that much. I mentioned those healthcare providers so that if I come on here crazy y'all don't have to worry I've got professionals on my side lol the therapist is really the only one that's worth a dang. I will attend to things like a decent signature on another day and any replies I might get today I may not be able to respond to but rest assured...I am desperate for educated community outside of Facebook!!! Your words will not be wasted... I treasure all responses as long as they aren't mean and uncivilized and aren't pushing God down my throat or trying to sell me a supplement. I know how hard it is to give well-thought-out replies to people and you put your heart and soul into it when you're not at your best many times so I value your responses and I'm always going to come back and look at them and reply. The sensory flooding I get and how easily triggered I am into sensory overload and my inability to give a short edited concise answer is extremely difficult embarrassing and stressful to me. I have to be All or Nothing lately. And media blackouts seem to have been the best reduction in stress but that could because I'm trying to do everything on Facebook. And I can be a valuable asset and wealth of information. I'm very insightful and although I do freak out a lot I always learn something pivotal for every experience and I will come back and share it. I'm also quick to apologize I'm not one of those people who can't admit when they're wrong I'm always open to new information and I've been at this long enough but I've learned what's okay and what's not okay for the most part unless I'm absolutely out of my mind because of some stupid mistake I made with my meds. If you made it this far thank you so much and keep on keeping on, my mantra for today is I am stronger than my past. And it's ok to do nothing. I'm 300lb mud-suit tired.
  25. I apologize if its hard to follow, but about a month ago, I took Gabapentin for about a week, the first 3 days I took about 2 or 3 a day. They were 800 mg. As each day passed I took 1 more. So the last day I took 6. I am not prescribed these I took them from my mother. Im about to be 19. From everything I've read about the subject on here, in going through withdrawal of the Gabapentin. I'm currently trying to find a new primary care doctor so I can't contact one immediately. So I'm pretty sure tapering is not an option but I'm not sure. I'm having all the symptoms. And they are getting very bad at this point. Its so hard to think straight so I apologize if its hard to read. Just please help. Or refer me to someone that can please
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