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  1. Hi--I'm so glad this site exists. I took my last dose of Prozac on December 15, 2018. 3 days later, what I call the Horror, began. I had been on ssri's for over 20 years during which time I had become constantly sick. It never occurred to any doctor that my illnesses were medication related. Eventually I began to link studies of the ssri's to my problems. I tapered over a 6 month span, and now realize with the discovery of SA that it was probably too quick. I'm frightened because I still don't sleep well, suffer from akinesia, bone-crunching depression, suicidal ideation, especially in the night and mornings, tinnitus, extreme weight loss, blurred vision, and obsessive ruminations. This mental state is a million times worse than anything I experienced before starting on Zoloft. At that time, my husband had been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and during the first 2 years Zoloft did seem to help me cope. After that, it never worked the same, though the dose was consistently increased. Eventually my doctor had read that Zoloft was associated with an increased risk of stroke in those over 60, and he switched me to Prozac. Over these years I lost my hair, had an oophorectomy for cysts on my ovaries, had appendix removed, two heart attacks, and was put on Enalapril for HBP, Metformin for diabetes. I always had digestive problems during this time--including hiccups! And terrible sweating-- Three days after my last dose of Prozac, I was admitted to ER with BP of 250/150ish. Administered clonidine. Back to ER again about a week later with same high BP which had never gone down. My urine was pink. My body and mind could barely function. I was given a diagnosis of Serotonin Syndrome by the ER toxicologist. Since then I have tapered off the Ace inhibitor in 2019, and Metformin, the last dose being in March 2020. About 8 months in, it seemed I might be improving somewhat, but the final withdrawal from Metformin has set me back again. A couple of months ago, the mental nightmare had become so unrelenting I considered reinstating, but haven't. I still can't watch movies, read novels, or enjoy music the way I did. But the good news is that my blood pressure is now normal. This month I've slowly returned to my job part time after nearly a year away. Thank you for all that you all contribute here. I hope I can offer support as well. Your journeys mean a ton to me--life rafts, in fact. Zoloft: 1995 - 2015 Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from July to December) Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019 Enalapril: 2010 - 2019 Lipitor: 2017 -2017 Metformin: 2000 - 2020 Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019 Levothyroxine: 2000 - Happy to be here, Arbor
  2. Been on and off antidepressants for the last ten years. Prescribed amiltriptalian 2012 to relief arthritis pain. CT as requested by surgeon pre operation 2013.. PTSD diagnosed by dr after surgery prescribed Dosulapin 2013. Was swapped to another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was duloxetine. CT. Cant remember year swapped to gaberpectin to help with OA!!! CTed. Eventually another antidepressant after a couple of years think it was fluroxetine?? No taper. Tried to come of but didn't understand taper diagnosed paroxetine 2019 30mg also given amiltriptalian to help with sleep again but luckily didn't use it. Been reducing current meds since 2021. Now doing ten percent taper every 4 weeks. Ups and downs!!!! use breathing teckniques, mindfullness,graditude diary,crafting , nature, essential oils, baths, books,support services such as berevement phone line, samartians, therapy of NHS for free or cheep charity counsellors but essentially do it all alone, no support from family limited support from friends
  3. Hello everyone I apologize if I don’t write so good I hope I made sense in my writing , English is not my main language … I was at the emergency room last month i. The middle of May due to panic attacks and they refer me to a mental clinic and when I was there last month I had no choice that to take the meds that they were giving me first lexapro 10mg with klonopin I don’t know the mg that was on my first day. on my second day the give me lexapro 10mg and gabapentin 3 times a day I don’t know the mg but it was 1 big pill of gabapentin and the nurse keep giving me the same doses of lexapro and gabapentin for the following week then After that 1 week I got discharged and when I was at home I only took lexapro for 2 more days the I stop cold turkey because of the awful side effects like racing heart ,brain fog ,increased anxiety and insomnia I didn’t sleep at all those 2 days ,,and then like 5 days after I quit I started experiencing weird feelings in my throat(feels very very very dry all the way to my stomach) it’s really hard for me to sleep now I keep waking up with this weird sensation and I have it all day but is more uncomfortable at night also my nose feels kinda dry as well I been having weird stools very soft but the main issue is the feeling of dryness that I feel in the throat I feel like is hard for me to breathe even though I went to ER again recently to see what is going on and they told me my oxigen levels are perfect they check my lungs and they are fine idk what to do i don’t know if I will feel better I regret so much that I took those meds because I feel worse now after I took it than before … oh and also I have slightly head pressure specially in the nights … I had ringing in my right ear the very first days that I stopped taking those meds and it seems like the ringing of ear has been fading .. I forgot to mention that the 3 days after of me stopped the med I was waking up with chills and sweating but I was feeling a little bit cold …I been searching if someone have similar issue as me of this weird dry feeling in the digestive track and throat after stopping lexapro but I haven’t found anything and I’m scared because I only took those meds for just a short period of time I don’t know if a person can experience withdrawal when they only took a few doses it’s been 3 weeks now that I’m feeling this way I stopped taking lexapro on May 26 and this weird symptom started like 5 days after = ( I feel so hopeless
  4. naturegirl

    naturegirl: please help

    Hey everyone. Things are really brutal for me right now. I started having insomnia and anxiety around my cycle each month. It was quite bad. In retrospect, I think it was the 5mg melatonin I had been taking every night for over a year that messed up my hormones and triggered all this. I would also take an additional 5 or 10mg if not sleeping, which after doing a lot of research I now know was really dumb. Anyhow, I should have known better, because I have tried psych meds in the past with disastrous results, but I was feeling badly enough that I sought help. Long story short....After 2 weeks of trying gabapentin, trazodone, doxepin, hydroxyzine and ambien and getting sicker and more mentally destroyed with each new drug, I agreed to start Prozac 5mg. I took it for 5 weeks, and every day was hell but I was trying to hang in there and let it work. After 5 weeks, I cut to 2.5mg for a week, then discontinued. Felt pretty good for 3 weeks, then the gates of hell opened. I feel a horrible chemical anxiety and a crushing feeling in my chest constantly now. I don't sleep much or well. My GI tract is really messed up. I only eat to stay alive. I have a constant vibrating/shaking feeling in my entire body. From 5mg, how is this possible???? My husband is out of town and I am caring for our two small children by myself. I'm also working 3.5 days per week at a high stress job. Please help me, I know the only way through this is one day at a time and no more prescriptions, but this feels impossible right now. I won't even take supplements, I really feel like the melatonin had a part in the initial problem. I really need support...
  5. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  6. I’m at a total loss as to what to do. I’m in the worst wave of my life which was worse than acute for me after tapering from a benzo. I feel as though I am in severe withdrawal. I am kindled and it’s to the point I can’t eat anything without having a reaction and have been unable to shower. I was in the hospital back in December and am back here again and am only worse. In some ways when I take my Gabapentin dose, it helps some symptoms and in other ways, it makes me feel horrible. I cannot get stable to taper Gabapentin. I really am at a loss as to what to do. They don’t understand here and recommended a few options for me with them being ECT, TMS, IV Ketamine and the medication that was recommended was Ritalin and Vyvanse as my levels of dopamine are low along with serotonin and norepinephrine. I had gene testing done and that was determined along with the MTHFR gene mutation, so l-methylfolate was recommended. I can’t take anything without my system overreacting. I am kindled a few times now and my dosing schedule for Gabapentin has been all over the place because I feel I reached tolerance and some days I end up taking more than I normally do. I wish I could just be placed into a medically induced coma and taken off my meds because I don’t know how I’m going to get through this being in this condition. I want to get off of this med, but have no idea how to do so at this point anymore. I was titrating in water and reducing that way, but I am totally stalled out as I’m not functioning. Things are totally unbearable and beyond uncomfortable. I’m losing hope every passing day. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you! Ativan - two years consistently - February 2016 - Up to 10 mg/day - March 2016 - 1.5 mg/day - April 2016 - 0.75 mg/day - May 2016 - 3.0 mg/day - August 13, 2017 - 0.15 mg/day - September 4, 2017 - Switched to 1.5 mg of Diazepam - May 1, 2018 - JUMPED!! Zolpidem (Sublinox) - March 2016 - 15 mg/night - July 22, 2017 - JUMPED!! Trazodone - 87.5 mg Gabapentin - 542 mg Amitriptyline - 5 mg
  7. 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.
  8. Rhi's Introduction topic I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area. Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is. As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages. Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble. After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself. Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much. Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious. Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice. Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again! And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun! It's GREAT. So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses. The lower the doses go, the better I feel. There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening. For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs. I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it. I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health. And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!
  9. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  10. Hi everyone. first off all i want to say how strong and brave all of you are to be dealing with these nightmare drugs... i have been on and off of these psychiatric drugs,for 5 years. specifically srris (prozac + zoloft) wellbutrin + gabapentin, abilify, and now currently taking lamictal (150 mg.) i am 36 weeks pregnant and terrified of the near future and as i haven't really been able to fully enjoy my pregnancy. or most of my youth... i don't even know what i am thinking or doing. i feel really alone. the reason of going on these meds was from dealing with depression + anxiety most of my life, and bpd + ptsd from abusive narcissistic parents. i attempted suicide right before. took about 50 pills. i had a very dysfunctional family. i am 22 now. i feel lost, most days i feel empty ,hopeless. i don't go out of my house, besides grocery shopping. i have no friends. maybe 1 but i barely ever see her , i have a social phobia ever since starting and withdrawing from these drugs. i developed major anhedonia from stopping the prozac + zoloft. even though i took one of the lowest doses possible. i had only been on these for 9 months or less. i remember stopping, as i was sick of depending on these. they told me they werent addicting and i could stop anytime,they told me nobody has ever had these symptoms, they lookde at me like i was crazy. made me feel isolated. i regret going cold turkey.. i remember being manic on them. severe anxiety, hallucinations insomnia, crawling sensations brain zaps major anhedonia, memory loss, etc. i hadn't been myself since. i was grieving my old self, it is one of the worst things you could ever experience. i didnt even know was possible. but here we are... anyways, i have been off the prozac + zoloft for almost 6 years now and wouldnt ever touch those things again. i took abilify for only a few weeks. amitryptiline once or twice. ambien, once. ativan only for a week. ive been off the gabapentin for almsot 3 years now. i tapered that one. after going off cold turkey off the srris, i went on wellbutrin and took that for 3 years, and gabapentin for 2 years. i went off the wellbutrin for a year, then went back on, which i regret once again. i took the wellbutrin for 9 months then stopped, again,to get pregnant at 150 mg. then went back on... at 8 weeks pregnant for about a month. then stopped. then started a drug called lamictal , i am now at 150 mg. i am just over all of this and wish to be drug free, but it seems impossible at this point and afraid ill never recover completely. i am afraid of experiencing anhedonia memory loss as i did before with the srris + wellbutrin. i have sever memroy loss. i feel like i cant even keep up with a conversation because my mind goes blank.. i have depersonalization now. i just dont want to accept this is the end, this is it,,. it can't be. but how is this any way to live? how am i supposed to raise a child into this world.. it all seems unfair and i feel like an absolute idiot for getting pregnant, i thought it was meant to be at the time, but im second guessing it all now. im very afraid. do you think i could stop the lamictal and get back to my old self one day? ive thought about natural holistic alternatives such as turmeric + lions mane, ginger + l theanine, magnesium, ashwaghanda rhodiola + brahmi + holy basil + cacao coffee, etc. and some work but i dont know if i should continue taking after the pregnancy and just rely on these. i dont want to exist if this is truly how life is.. i wish i never took these awful drugs. i feel its the worst thing that i could have ever done, i want my old life back even if it was so painful. atleast then i still felt alive in a sense. thank you all, i wish you all the best in your recorvery + healing journeys.
  11. Community of Healing, hello. In December of 2014, just a bit more than 6 years ago, I came to this site after already weathering two years of nearly life-terminating withdrawal. I'd been on psychotropic medications for most of my life and in my estimation, my nervous system had decided it'd had enough. From February 2012 to approximately March of 2014, I felt I was literally living in hell. I was hospitalized twice, lost long-running friendships and new career opportunities, tried a plethora of medications, supplements, and herbs in an attempt to "fix" withdrawal, and ultimately came to the realization that pharmaceutical medications would not be the answer to my suffering. Pharmaceutical medications had been the cause of my suffering. And what my brain and body needed was support, tenderness, forgiveness, care and time... TIME... to heal. Benzodiazepines had been the first drugs I withdrew from. That was a brutal, nightmarish withdrawal, but relatively short-lived (acute @ 8 months). Tapering from Mirtazapine proved a longer journey, a much longer journey that I shared here. So this is my success story, my chapter-turning post. This is my declaration that I have been successful in tapering from medications that had deranged my nervous system to such a degree that I was scarcely able to operate in the world anymore. I took much time to make this declaration of success as I am by nature skeptical, and wanted to be sure that healing had indeed come - and come to stay. I feel that it has. I discontinued Mirtazapine, my last psychotropic medication, on June 15, 2019. There are still some echos of it that I deal with in day to day life. My issues with histamine intolerance I believe are directly attributable to Mirtazapine's affinity for histamine receptor occupancy. I manage this issue with dietary and exercise modifications as well as use of select vitamins and herbs. It is not life-deterring. It can be inconvenient and sometimes unpleasant, but it is nowhere near as debilitating as withdrawal itself had been. Despite posting this success story, I'm not going anywhere really. I am always happy to answer questions about my journey. When I was in the worst of my own withdrawal, the feedback from moderators and members of this community and elsewhere were absolute lifelines. Not that anyone could necessarily fix my problems - but I could walk away with sound, compassionate advice and if nothing else, the knowledge that my suffering had been heard, and that someone ultimately cared about me. Your suffering is heard, and someone ultimately cares about you. I want to thank @Altostrata and every moderator past and present for their kind forbearance, compassion, and dedication. I want to thank every member for their strength, endurance, bravery, and perseverance towards a healthy life free of the chemicals that have caused them harm. You all have something, many things, to be proud of. I believe in every human's potential to heal. Take your time, taper well, make the most sound choices you can, and know that healing is absolutely within your power to achieve. Hang in there, Dave
  12. 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.
  13. Quilter1011

    Quilter1011

    Hello all! I'm popping over from the Lyrica Survivors group on FB, that's taking a bit of a pause. I am happy to report that I'm almost finished getting off 4 meds over the course of about 4 yrs! Lyrica is my last one and I should be done next week after a 14 mth long taper. Before that, it took me about 18 mths to taper off a benzo. And before that, I came off Gabapentin and Flexeril. It's been such a long road with all the ups and downs of withdrawal symptoms. It's been a very emotional journey. I will work on my signature but need to figure out all the dates. Thanks for the inclusion.
  14. 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.
  15. 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! :)
  16. 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.
  17. 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..
  18. First off, my story/background: I was started on 20mg Paxil in 2001 at 16 years old for IBS by GP. Attempted to taper off in ~2010 over many months due to my personal concerns on SSRI use long-term but failed due to terrible withdrawal (no sleep at all, brain zaps, crying fits, etc.) when reaching a low dose and was put back on Paxil at 30mg by GP which I stayed on until January 2021. Around mid 2019 and through 2020 I started having some depression type feelings and maybe very minor anxiety, but it was fairly benign and not particularly often so I blew it off. I had an Ischemic Colitis attack in December 2020 and was hospitalized for ~1 week. At this point Anxiety and significant depression started to occur, and in January 2021 Paxil was cross-tapered to Effexor by GP, reaching a final dose of 150mg Effexor/0mg Paxil after 3 weeks. Effexor did not seem to help me, anxiety actually seemed worsened and I had bad nausea among other side effects so on March 27th, 2021 was direct switched (no taper) to Lexapro 10mg by GP. Lexapro dosage was then upped to 20mg by GP on April 24th 2021 as 10mg didn't seem to be helping much either (some improvement maybe, but barely noticeable if so). On April 27th 2021 I started seeing a Mental Health NP, who added 150mg Wellbutrin XL daily, as well as Gabapentin 200mg at night. After a week or two I started feeling improved, not myself for sure, but at least noticeably better. My Mental Health NP now has me weaning off the Lexapro 5mg down every 5 days starting on May 18th (15mg for 5days, 10mg for 5days, 5mg for 5days, then 0mg) I am currently down to 10mg Lexapro, so my current medications are as follows: 10mg Lexapro, 150mg Wellbutrin XL, 200mg Gabapentin (at night). I'm super concerned about the fast taper of the Lexapro, even though I wasn't on it for very long I have been on some form of SSRI (obviously the Paxil predominantly) for 20+ years now nonstop. I've brought this up to my mental health specialist multiple times, and he swears/assures me that Lexapro has a long enough half-life that no taper is necessarily needed, and the 5mg drops every 5 days is conservative and will be fine. I've been hesitantly following through on his plan, but I already feel like my anxiety is worsening. The hardest part is the anxiety doesn't seem to be about anything in particular, just random feelings that I can't pinpoint any cause on. On top of all this, I was started on a CPAP machine about 1 week ago after being diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea. At the time I thought great, maybe this is contributing to my depression/anxiety symptoms but so far my sleep has been just as lousy (multiple awakenings overnight, difficulty getting to sleep) as it was before. I was also found through blood testing this month to have quite low testosterone for my age, but my GP is hesitant to treat it due to concerns over causing cardiac issues or worsening the sleep apnea. Aside from the mental health (which is obviously terrible at this point) I'm for the most part in good physical health. The colitis is mostly resolved, I'm a healthy weight and in generally good shape (5ft 7.5in, ~165lbs). I'm not sure what I'm looking for out of all this, I guess mostly advice and reassurance - I'm concerned that being on the Paxil so long and from a young age has done serious damage that maybe I'll never recover from. I'm scared I'll never feel like myself again, that I won't be there for my wife and kids. I'm scared I'll be medicated for the rest of my life, my mental health specialist doesn't seem concerned when I bring these things up, he thinks everything will be fine. Anything anyone can offer is greatly appreciated, and I'll happily answer any questions and offer more information. Thank you all.
  19. Hi Everyone. I'm wondering how long it should take to stabilize after a cut from Gabapentin. I've been on only 100 mg for about 6 months, maybe more. I decided to get off of it and start tapering on April 10th. I went way too fast (25% every 5 days). When I began having severe withdrawal symptoms, I bumped my dose from 50 mg to 75 mg in hopes of stabilizing. That was 10 days ago. Do you know how long it takes to stabilize after something like this? I should mention, I'm obviously very sensitive to meds and was tapering off Valium last year but had to stop at 8 mg because my doctor was asking me to cut too much, too fast. I've decided I would rather get off the Gabapentin first and then go back to tapering Valium. Thanks so much
  20. Hi, I Was on 40 mg of Zoloft Prozac (changed by moderator) for 3 months then went down to 30 mg, 20 mg and 10 mg monthly. My last month I tapered down weekly til I got to 3 mg and stopped it at that dose. Anyways I started feeling the withdrawals around 2 weeks after stopping. Which is now. My depression and anxiety gotten so much worse. I feel easily irritable and agitated and isolated. Should I go back on it to a lower dose like 5 mg for example since it’s the lowest effective dose and taper down from there? The reason I stopped Prozac was because I couldn’t take the side effects especially the sexual ones. And it just didn’t work for me. I’ve been on every antidepressant on and off but for the last year I’ve switch to Prozac hoping the withdrawals would be easy. The withdrawals aren’t as Intense as for example Effexor but they exist and it just take longer to feel it. Anyone with knowledge and experience with this help will be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what to do?
  21. Hello, new family. I’m a 39 year old man, 14 months off benzos. I am not doing well; withdrawal continues. But I want to start coming off of this other crap that I’m sure is worsening my situation too. I trust what I’ve been told about you much more than I trust my psych alone about how to do this. BENZO/WITHDRAWAL HISTORY: I was on Klonopin about four years. In an voluntary inpatient setting I was taken from 3mg to .5mg in one week. This gave me a manic episode that I was then blamed for. (“You must not have been taking your bipolar meds.”) I was reinstated on equivalent Ativan and then tapered more reasonably although still too fast; ultimately found the Ashton Manual and tapered according to that for my final 1mg. 14 months out I’m still in hell; in fact, while I could work even in my first month, I haven’t been able to since Thanksgiving. I had a gravely serious setback last summer when I moved and overexerted myself physically and I think my system is still recovering. I had another bad setback in January when I was put on an antibiotic (for nothing.) Current physical symptoms include involuntary jaw movement / facial contortions that are incredibly distressing. Tinnitus. Tremor. GI distress. Involuntary eye movement. Bizarre hard to describe sensations in head and body. Heart palpitations. Hives. I’ve been sick with multiple bugs basically the entire fall and winter. This is the short list. Psych symptoms: intense depersonalization. Strange vision issue; I don’t think it’s quite derealization but a hyper-awareness of depth perception. It feels like I’m inside a Facebook 3D Photo, or that things are HD instead of SD. Racist thoughts. Frequent suicidal ideation. The worst anxiety of my life, far worse than anything the Klonopin was meant to medicate. CURRENT GOALS / REQUEST FOR HELP: I want off of everything now. I no longer believe in any of these drugs and believe psychiatry has done far more harm to me than help. I need to be careful as my system is so messed up. But I have come to suspect some significant part of what I’ve been calling benzo withdrawal 14 months after jumping must be due to gabapentin and lithium. Lithium - I had a manic episode in 2015; no history of mania or bipolar prior. I was told I was bipolar and had to take lithium the rest of my life. (I was also on Seroquel for a while but have been off for a couple of years.) This diagnosis is in question, given that bipolar emerges in the teens, I don’t have alternating periods of mania and extreme depression, etc. Whatever the case, my psych has given me clearance to taper down and I’m just trying to come up with the best plan of attack. He had said we could go down by 150 monthly and see. Gabapentin - I had been on 1200mg/daily since fall 2018 to help while I was tapering the benzo. I tapered very successfully (100mg/week) down to 900 in January but then held when things got bad with my antibiotic setback. My psych also said I should stay on the gabapentin, actually, as it could help with the lithium taper (is that true?) I dream of being off all psych meds by my 40th birthday in six months, but I of course don’t want to rush. Those are what I’m most concerned about, but I’m also on primidone 50mg for tremor that I’d like to drop (not sure if that drug comes up here or if it even needs to be tapered.) I do take 150-200mg trazodone for sleep which seems pretty non-negotiable right now though I also want to drop that eventually. (I also take allopurinol but that’s another story.) I’d appreciate any thoughts as to the wisest plan of action for ridding myself of gabapentin and lithium against a backdrop of ongoing benzo withdrawal. Thank you so, so much.
  22. Kia ora, hello - glad to find this site with the science and experience. Am on the decades long process of getting my brain and body back! A backdrop of CPTSD, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, TBI brain injuries, epilepsy (resolved after menopause) and non-epileptic seizures, treated by sooo many drugs. Have reduced in intermittent jolts with the predictable awful withdrawal impacts. Wish to do it as sensibly as possible from now on.
  23. Wolverine

    Wolverine

    I have been on AD's for about 20 years. Don't know why, but about 4 years ago I started having some side effects (face and lips tingling, mouth watering and or weird taste) from what we thought was from AD's. During these past 4 years, my psyc. has prescribed about every AD out there I think with same results...very frustrating process to the point I've had suicidal ideations numerous times. Really been a struggle! About 2 months ago I reached a point where I felt nothing was going to work and decided I wanted to be "med free"...purge my body of these meds and start fresh. I didn't quit cold turkey, but it was a half ass tapering to say the least...about 2 weeks. The last 2 months have been hell and I don't know how long I can take it. Symptoms include: continued face and lips tingling, mouth watering or dry, achy, hand tremors/numb feeling, very very irritable/angry, stomach issues, headaches, anxiety, fatigue. I don't know what to do...I can't continue to be on AD's because the side effects from them. And so far, being off them the withdrawal symptoms are unbearable. HELP! Med History (best of my knowledge, especially the last 4 years) 2001-2013: celexa, xanax 2013-2017: lexapro, klonopin 2017-present: effexor, wellbutrin, trintellix, rexulti, buspar, prozac, lithium, paxil, celexa(again), lexapro(again), gabapentin. I know I'm forgetting some but that's all I can remember right now. I do continue to consult with PCP, Psychiatrist, Therapist but yet to find comfort or answers. I learned of this site today while googling "withdrawal symptoms" and hope to find light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks Sincerely, Wolverine
  24. Hi, I've been on 24 different antidepressants (TCAs, MAOIs, SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs), benzos, anti-psycotic (Seroquel) over the past 30 years for Major Depression, OCD, General and Social Anxiety. Effexor, Zoloft, and clonazepam have given me the worst withdrawals in the past. I have a public sector psychiatrist who I see 20 minutes every 6 weeks, she and the system are really overworked here in NZ. I'm concerned because I still get suicidal ideation, libido disappeared 18 years ago, vertigo, headaches, extreme tinnitus, and now Ive been unemployed 8 months. Does this seem a lot for a 50kg female? I take daily: Zoloft 200 mg (max) Wellbutrin 300 mg (max) Gabapentin 900 mg Cymbalta 60 mg Clonazepam ~ 1.5 mg Maybe I'm going through one of those phases of wanting to detox and to just see what I'm like without all these meds. But I've just gone from 60 down to 40 of Cymbalta (psych knows and she seemed OK with it) and the withdrawal is tough, not as bad as Effexor, but 5 days in and its a struggle. Thanks for listening, just interested in hearing opinions on long term AD use, and using multiple ADs at once. I definitely feel like a guinea pig and hate the lack of objective tests in the psych field. Best, Hillary
  25. 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!!
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