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  1. i need some advice and/or help in navigating where i'm at with all of this. i have tapered with the help of, previously an inconsiderate doctor, and currently an excellent one. there were times where i was shifted about from tapering lexapro to various different antidepressants, i cannot remember all of them as there were many, but trintellix and was one of them. after a severe (and still recovering) bout of health anxiety, i stumbled upon the ashton manual (around november 2018) and folks talking about their experience with coming off of benzos. since i was taking ativan at the time, it was my scapegoat. i tried kicking it, lurked in various places online for other people's experiences, and started to shift my view to it being less about the benzos, and more about the psychiatric medication as a whole when it didn't quite work out. since february of 2019, i have tapered off of three medications in order: trileptal, geodon, and lexapro. the trileptal was easy enough, but the geodon was a world of hurt. in my signature i've listed that the lexapro and geodon were tapered at the same time- this is to the best of my memory, which is spotty due to the polypharmacy. i know the geodon was the priority, but i seem to recall going back and forth with lexapro's dose while dealing with the geodon withdrawal- which assuredly caused the only psychotic event of my life. i switched doctors after being told to simply 'take the geodon every other day for awhile,' which said doctor told me not to do with the lexapro, and i couldn't handle the fact that my appointments were less than five minutes long. i switched to a new professional, and they are great. i was introduced to the compounding pharmacy for the geodon since it did not go any lower than 20mg, and following the completion of that taper in sept 2019, i focused on the lexapro, which is now completed. i am no stranger to windows and waves, which are thankfully getting much better and easier to tolerate- though the waves are still intense. there are too many symptoms to list, but the FINISH acronym is very apt and applies to me, mostly the zaps, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia. my biggest concern at the moment is dealing with my sleep issues. previously it was a complete lack of being able to sleep, but now it is more of a reversal of my circadian rhythm. 12 hours on the dot to when i could be waking up otherwise, and i cannot simply 'fix' this as far as i have tried. i have a lot of frustration about having been medicated for entirely the wrong things as a result of being diagnosed with a mental health condition that i do not have by a 10 question piece of paper at a doctor's office, but it is well beyond in the past to change it now. i cannot beat myself up for this, as i was dealing with a gnarly living situation at the time and thought they could help. they could not. this frustration, coupled with having a frazzled nervous system and having a wholly messed up sleep schedule, is getting to me. i have to tell myself that it's okay to be healing right now, as there is not much that is expected of me, but i am having trouble essentially pep-talking myself into feeling better when i feel terrible from still withdrawing. while i am done with all of my medication, there is much healing to be done, and i am very tired of how long this has been going on. apologies for the long post- i felt it necessary to post a bit of history/context, and i have trouble being unprompted for these sorts of things. i have not used a forum in a long time!
  2. Cloudskishawna

    ☼ Cloudskishawna: 5 weeks on Remeron / mirtazapine

    Question guys do I have to taper off of hydroxyzine I've taken it off and on for 3 months now I'm just asking because I seen someone say that they were going through withdrawals from this Can I just stop taking it since it's just a antihistamine Now I'm worried
  3. Greetings all, Around July of last year i suffered a direct blow to the temple (by far the worst pain I've ever felt in my life) which lead to me having a concussion, shortly after that I smoked what I thought was weed with my roommates but it turned out to be a drug called Spice. These two events led to me having hallucinations one day and I checked myself into a hospital. Long story short they didnt diagnose me with anything they just doped me up with 8 different medications some of the ones i can remember are Abilify, Depakote, Risperdone, Zyprexa, Ativan, Vistril, and Lithium ( i can't recall the other drugs names). I was on so many meds I don't remember the first two days I was there. Long story short they held me against my will for three and a half weeks before I was able to get a different doctor and get released. Since my release I have felt emotionally numb i cant feel happiness or joy, sadness nor pleasure. I feel like I have lost some intelligence, as well as vocabulary and my creative ability. Prior to being given I was very creative all my life I enjoyed writing music and poetry, I also loved playing sports mainly football, Working out, Playing video games and watching movies. I no longer get any enjoyment what so ever from anything i once found interesting. I find it hard to carry on a conversation I feel socially unconfident due to the fact that I feel like i cant think like my brain is just an empty slate. I get major headaches that occur pretty much everyday, I have insomnia (I can fall asleep just fine but wake up at the same time every night which is 3 am). Also I have experienced a tremendous loss of libdo and interest in sex like i just dont desire it anymore, I really feel like I lost myself and I'm scared that I wont get my pre-med self back, I have been doing everything in my power to get my life and old self back I have been seeing a pdoc who prescribed me zoloft which I feel isnt working and also trazodone to help with sleep. I have also been going to counseling sessions weekly which has helped a little. I have done extensive research and have come across many people who are experiencing the same things that I am and we all have the same question can the brain recover from antipsychotics and if so how long does it take??
  4. Hello. I've heard many good things about this site. I'm finding Remeron to be a tricky little devil. I tapered from 7.5 down to 5.0 mg too quick...like 3 weeks! I thought I could sail off it like I did Valium and Trazadone, but not so. I'm taking a break for a week or two so I can stabilize. I generally stabilize rather quickly, but this one took more time. I have friends who are suffering from protracted w/d after decent tapers from Remeron, so I'd like to avoid the same. Has anyone crossed from Remeron to Prozac since the latter has a longer half-life and might be easier to taper from?? I haven't found any equivalency tables, so I'm not sure how to exchange them properly. I'd like to know how to do that. If it's recommended that I taper the Remeron, is there a file where I can find helpful tips to do it safely? Thank you in advance!!!
  5. Hi! My story, feel free to skip it, it's long - as a child I had allergy problems, was a frequent user of various antihistamine drugs, as well as corticosteroids. At 12 I had a psychotic outbreak, coupled with severe depression, outbursts of crying, apathy, I was briefly hospitalised after a suicide attempt, diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on risperidone. During the next 3 years I was put on other antipsychotics, as the risperidone wasn't making any difference, at 14 years old I was put on olanzapine, also around that time the psychosis passed and things began looking up. I was home-schooled at that time. At 15 I tried quitting cold turkey, I was told by my doctor - and that is the only doctor out of the many I've dealt with that acknowledged such thing as withdrawal existed, that is if I understood her correctly - that I had to withdraw it during the course of several months or else I could seriously harm myself. She actually didn't necessarily have to mean that, since later on I was told by other doctors that the tapering is recommended only so that the doctor can observe the patient and prevent a potential relapse (they also recommended weeks, not months long taper). So at 15 all hell broke lose, sadly since I didn't have any information to act on then, despite the whole thing seeming slightly fishy, I assumed it was the illness returning. I experienced low body temperature, psychosis, anxiety, depression, tiredness and muscle weakness. At 17 I attempted the second cold turkey withdrawal, mostly because I'd switched to Abilify and it gave me an unmanageable stomachache. That withdrawal put me out of school for a year, also I experienced severe psychosis + the other symptoms, and sinusitis. After that withdrawal I was put on amisulpride and shortly afterwards zoloft, which was my mother's suggestion, to offset the depression she assumed was caused by the drug. Things stabilised after that, I moved to London from my native country, and managed to enroll on a course. And then I tried withdrawing again, because things seemed so good. Around that time also I stumbled on a Guardian article by Joanna Montcrieff about the possibility of drug withdrawal mimicking illness. But the thought of withdrawing a drug for a year or longer seemed really outlandish, I just took a month. The third withdrawal hit me real hard, this time it was amisulpride + zoloft, I was really half conscious at that time, an extremely lethal state, I had to go back home and quit my course, I also got in debt, because higher education isn't free in the UK. So, feeling a bit desperate I decided to give the year long withdrawal a go. Because amilsulpride throughout the time I took it, was causing massive akathisia (my doctor persuaded me to stay on it because it was in his opinion so motivating), I switched to olanzapine again. I actually initially tried taking amisulpride, but the leg restlessness made me unable to sleep or do anything else for that matter, it was even worse than before. I know people suggest tapering by 10% of the previous dose, but tapering for 7 years would have driven me insane, so I just did 10% of the original dose every 2 weeks. And it worked, after 10 months my motivation, intelligence, great deal of pleasure and consciousness returned, no psychosis, just lots of nausea and some anxiety when tapering, a bit of a psychotic state somewhere along the way, but it passed quickly. Also the gastrointestinal symptoms went away, they'd been bothering me ever since that hospitalisation, and the doctors kept telling me it was most likely the leaky gut syndrome. Looking back, it was also really funny when a renown psychiatrist in this country told me about there being two groups of people suffering from schizophrenia (or taking antipsychotics), one helplessly ill, whom drugs can only calm down and who need to be constantly hospitalised and locked away, and the other drug, who thrive on these medicines, but can't live without them. I'm also fairly sure that one of those anti-allergy drugs caused the first state to begin with, it was really too similar to the later withdrawals (also scientists openly admit now to the possibility of corticosteroids causing psychosis). So now, about a year later, I'm through withdrawing the zoloft, but it has been way more painful than withdrawing olanzapine, extremely painful. No psychosis during that withdrawal, but massive allergy attacks, muscle pain, low body temperature, weakness, nausea, one anxiety attack. And towards the very end I had horrible insomnia, very little sleep for a few consecutive days, and I just had to do the silliest thing, that is, still thinking about drugs the way I'd thought before, I took 80 milligrams of hydroxyzine without checking what receptors it affected (just thought about it as a sleeping pill). It did help the insomnia, also relieved a lot of the pain, but here I am, a week after stopping the drug, and I'm getting a really bad case of deregulated histamine system. So, my questions is, has anyone here experienced a rather brutal SSRI withdrawal like this one, possibly also taking such a large dose of hydrox (which affects two of the same receptors SRRIs affect), and if and when did the post-withdrawal symptoms pass. I'm getting really bad low body temperature, fluctuating between 36.0 and 36.4, bouts of sleepiness and really unpleasant joint/muscle pain. I know histamine controls body temperature, sleep, cognition and pain sensitivity and so I've just been worried the one, but large dose of hydroxyzine has messed this up. It's been almost a week and it is probably too early to tell whether this will pass, but I can't help but worry about it. The withdrawal is still definitely better than the last time, in a month, and much worse than withdrawing the AP (when I got some intense anxiety states towards the end, but neither anything this intense during most of the time spent withdrawing or afterwards). It could be either caused by the shorter half-life of Zoloft, or the fact that it is the second and last drug and their functioning overlaps (they affect some of the same receptors, for instance they are both histamine and adrenaline agonists). Thanks in advance.
  6. MilaB

    MilaB

    Thanks for adding me. I need encouragement. I have been on ADs for 15 years - Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor and now Cymbalta. Also Trazadone when I couldn’t sleep. I missed a dose of Cymbalta in 2016 and was shocked by how bad I felt and decided to get off the med. I was told the wrong way and ended up using advice from FB site. I was only able to taper about 3% every 2 weeks and I got down to 86 beads that way in a year. But I felt stuck, drops were getting harder. Then I met someone who suggested amino acids. I started using aminos in Oct 16 at 86 beads. I was very eager to get off the med (big mistake). I didn’t know how bad it could get or what I was in for. I got to zero beads by the end of Feb and all withdrawal hell broke loose. Started with physical - hands and feet sweating, anxiety running brought me constantly, no appetite and extreme insomnia. It then became akithisia - restless pacing and severe anxiety. I went on Ativan that calmed the akithisia and I am now sleeping after 2 months of very little to no sleep. I’m taking 1mg Ativan during the day (2 half doses) and 1.5 at night along with some hydroxyzine. The biggest challenge now is my emotional state. I feel like I have to die to escape this pain. I have a constant feeling of doom and anxiety - even with the Ativan - that is so overwhelming and uncomfortable. I have no good feelings at all. I have a family and I can’t die. I have to be here for them. It’s been since March 1 with all of this. It’s all my fault for trying to speed things up. I thought I’d be healthier off the Cymbalta - I hated the side effects. This all seems impossible. I still have 10 beads left and now I’m sure I’m addicted to Ativan and will have to taper that. I don’t want to die, but I am so miserable I can’t see this ever getting better. I have had only a few windows. And even the windows are just a slight improvement over this constant suffering. I never know what to do; I can’t read, can’t work, shop, do art. Nothing feels good. I tried adding in 10 beads of Cymbalta a couple of weeks ago at the advice of Dr Shipko and the anxiety got worse. I also tried a small dose of Prozac for just one day and that made my anxiety awful too. Am I just left to tough this out forever? Please help
  7. Hello, I'm 45 years old and I have been taking psych meds since I was 21. I have noticed a downward spiral in my life since this time. My life has now become unmanageable, including facing homelessness and a recent suicide attempt. The doctor has told me I will never be able to stop my meds. I want off. They aren't helping anymore, and the Doctor just wants to give me more pills. How do I start? In the past tapering has caused me to have severe suicidal thoughts, depression and anger issues, along with the physical withdrawal symptoms. The sooner I can get off, the better.
  8. Hello all, I had a very traumatic childhood in which I was abused physically, verbally, and emotionally by my father. After graduating high school, I moved out of state in an attempt to save myself from being a victim any longer. About 6 months after I had moved out, I was at my breaking point. I had been going to my college's counseling center for 4 months, but only found myself feeling worse and worse. Here I am, 2.5 years later, and am on prozac, vyvanse, seroquel, and hydroxine. I want to begin tapering off of these meds, as I already know that my body has been damaged by them. In fact, the prozac has caused me to have scary thoughts, and in response today my doctor wanted to increase the prozac from 40 to 60 mg, reduce the seroquel, and start me on trazodone. I hate the way I feel on these medications and want to get of them, as they have made me into someone I am not. I feel very absent minded, now struggle immensely with schoolwork where I used to be in all advanced classes with a 4.0, and am unable to work as I have previously reached my breaking point when trying to work and go to school full time. I am engaged to a wonderful man who supports me in every way possible, and is ready to take on this journey with me to get off of these horrible medications so that we can live out our lives together. I am concerned about what may happen when I taper off, such as becoming unable to do my schoolwork at all (which has happened before and I had to take a year off of school), but do not want these medications to do more harm to my body than they already have.
  9. I had been on cymbalta 60mg for a few months. My doctor took me down to 30mg for two weeks and stopped me. I have been in and out of the hospitals for 4 weeks now. I can not function . Am I past the point of reinstating
  10. Hello everybody, I have been reading this forum for a while now and it has given me comfort in a very hard period of my life. Sorry for my bad English, but English isnt my first language and I´m feeling a bit groggy in the head right now I started taking Sertraline (Zoloft) last spring due to burnout at work which started a nasty rollercoaster of anxiety and phobia. Over a couple of weeks (maybe a month) I got up to 150 mgs (which in hindsight was a mistake by my doctor. I got the jitters from the Sertraline and my doctor said that it meant that it didnt work as it should). After about 4 months I decides to start tapering since I had realized a lot of things about myself and why I reacted the way I did to the stress at work. I felt that I could handle my "real" feeling and didnt think that I needed the medication anymore. So I started tapering 12.5 mgs every 14 days. The whole process took about 5 months and by the 10th of February I was completely off the medication. Up until this point I only had minor symptoms: The occasional brain zap, the occasional brain fog and a little bit of irritability (there probably was more stuff, but nothing serious). After about 15 days completely off the medication I started to get this weird feeling in my body and a bit of anxiety in the mornings which subsided during the day. After 30 days I got depressed for a short period of time and got some nausea and then they passed. The anxiety stayed. After 40 days I started to get crying spells and headaches. Then these went away, got a little nausea combined with shivers and obsessive thoughts (I REALLY hate those). The thoughts and anxiety stayed. After 50 days I started to get confused, my memory got worse and I got small muscle spasms in my body. The anxiety stayed, but the thoughts were gone... for now. After 60 days the anxiety is gone, but it got replaced by me feeling like a zombie in the head. And im tired all the time. And I want to cry. And I got the shivers. So thats my story so far. Im on day 63 which has consisted of muscle aches, shivers, feeling like crying, nausea and zombie feelings in the brain. I actually cant believe I´m having serious trouble with my English So.... thats my story so far. I dont know why I decided to write. Maybe its because I wanted to feel like I wasnt alone in this. My gf and mother are a great support for me, but they cant possibly fully know how I´m feeling during this horrible ordeal. But you guys know. Or, if you are someone who feels alone in battling SSRI wd, now you know that you are not alone either. Hugs to you all
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