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  1. Hi everyone, I am hoping to help others and find support as I struggle through prolonged effexor withdrawal. Looking back, I can see so clearly how the nightmare roller coaster ride with medications happened to me. While living in the middle of it, however, it took me a long time to connect the dots and jump off that crazy ride!. And unfortunately, I am paying big time with my health. I am a 34 year old previously very healthy woman. It all started in 2006 with xanax and ambien. I was about 3 weeks away from finals week in professional school when my dad passed away. Dealing with the grief from that and the pressure to continue performing well and passing all my finals in professional school led to bad anxiety and insomnia. I saw a doctor at the health clinic on campus and was given xanax and ambien. At the time, I thought these medications were great! Finally I was sleeping and felt calm. I ended up using them off and on throughout the remainder of school until I graduated in 2007. A few months went by, and then I entered the work force in my new career. This, too, was a very stressful time and I developed insomnia again. I saw a doctor and mentioned the medications that had helped in the past, and with no hesitation was given a presciption for xanax and ambien. I continued to take these medications off and on, and over time needed to increase the doses. I started developing rebound anxiety and insomnia, which got really bad in 2011. At the time, I didn't realize what was happening- I thought I just wasn't coping with life well, and couldn't understand why. I went back to my general practitioner, and she said I had a severe anxiety problem and needed an SSRI. I was desperate to feel normal again and trusted my doctor completely, and readily accepted her prescription for Zoloft (after she assured me the medication was perfectly safe). I picked up the medication, and after reading the side effect list, became very concerned and called my doctor. She said "you shouldn't read that list, now you are sure to develop every side effect on it, because most of those are in peoples heads"). I felt reassured by this and started the medication. Well, I had pretty much every side effect on the list. I won't bother to describe them, we've all been there. I told my doctor what was happening, she said to stick it out. Well, after 2 weeks of pure hell, I stopped the medication. Believe it or not, I then went through withdrawal from that 2 weeks of Zoloft. I developed paresthesia, among many other things, and went to my doctor. She said paresthesia is caused by anxiety, and that this proves I need daily anxiety medication. Of course I believed her, I was so vulvernable and physically sick at the time. She proceeded to put me on and off lexapro, mirtazapine, clonazepam, lorazepam, among others. Every time I started a new med the paresthesia went away within a day or two, but the medication side effects would be unbearable. This is when it started to dawn on me that the paresthesia wasn't anxiety, but was drug withdrawal, as I was recognizing a pattern. My doctor said it wasn't possible, drug withdrawal from these types of meds doesn't exist. I argued that I knew in my heart the paresthesia wasn't caused by anxiety, and that if it's not drug related, it must be an illness of some time. She sent me off to a neurologist which led to about $8000 in tests (blood tests, MRI, ultrasound for the constant nausea, etc etc). All came back normal, at which point the neurologist stated, see- it's anxiety and has been the whole time. I felt very disheartened, accepted my diagnosis, and took her prescription for effexor. I told her that every single medication made me terribly sick, and that I believed the meds and withdrawal from them are what had given me so many problems, and that I was very concerned about taking effexor. She assured me the meds had caused no harm, and that effexor is a wonderful medication, and very safe. She said if I didn't like it, we would stop it, no problem. Silly me started swollowing the pills like a good little sheep. Well, within 2 days the paresthesia was gone. I took the medication for about 2 months and told the neurologist I wanted to discontinue it, as it was causing side effects, and my reason for taking it (paresthesia) had resolved. She told me to take one capsule every other day for a week then discontinue it. I followed her instructions and the withdrawal was out of this world. I had never been so sick in my entire life. After doing some research on line, I stumbled across a web site (probably this one) which explained how to taper effexor slowly. I quickly re-started the medication, and after a week or so, began to slowly wean myself off over 2 months. I had only ever been on the lowest dose of 37.5 mg and thought this would be sufficient. Well, I still experienced withdrawal- slightly more tolerable, but still hellish, and also developed paresthesia again. After about 2 months of dealing with this, I decided to re-instate and taper again over an even longer period. So, I started my third and final taper from effexor in October 2013, and finished in March 2014. Even after such a low dose, and a fairly lengthy taper, I suffered withdrawal. It lasted about 3 months, then I had a period of ~2 months where I was mostly normal, then I got slammed again with severe protracted withdrawal in August/September 2014. So, I have been taking it one day at a time (sometimes one hour at a time), and praying that this all eventually goes away. The most troublesome thing occurring for me right now, is that I feel as though I have fibromyalgia. I wake up each morning with pain at the base of my skull, and basically all over my body. My eyes are constantly burning and painful. My feet cramp up randomly. I also have severe digestive issues.These have been relentless for about 3 months now. These are things I had never experienced before my roller coaster med ride. I am very worried that these things are permanent. From what I have read, fibromyalgia never goes away. I just don't know if I have real fibromyalgia, or withdrawal-induced fibromyalgia. I am scared that I will have to live the rest of my life in pain and with bad tummy troubles. I am currently seeing a GI doctor and will have endoscopy soon (probably another big waste of money, will probably come back normal just like every other test). I just don't know what else to do. I take no meds, eat very healthy, and force myself to exercise almost daily. The weird thing is, when it comes to the pain- the more sleep I get, the worse I feel. Makes no sense to me! Anyhow, that is my story. I wish I had stopped after my first bad reaction to a drug, I would probably be recovered by now. If I had only known then what I know now! Sorry for the lengthy message. Any input or suggestions is much appreciated. Even if someone can just let me know the pain and stomach issues eventually went away for them, that would give me some hope. Thanks all, I appreciate you for taking the time to read this, more than you'll ever know!
  2. Original topic title: Olanzapine cold turkey (out of presumptuous stupidity, I destroyed myself, and now I am trying to save at least a part of my being) On October 20, 2021, I started olanzapine 2.5mg. per day (which I was advised to split into two doses, to take half in the morning and the other half in the evening), recommended to me by a psychiatrist as a remedy for chronic insomnia, and on November 11, 2021 I abruptly stopped using this medicine, as I read in internet about its extreme neurotoxicity. On the evening of November 14, 2021, something terrible happened to me: something seemed to be turned off in my psyche forever, I lost my whole self, i.e. my emotions, interests, hopes, dreams, hobbies, motivation, flexible intellect, and ultimately the will to live. I tried to restart olanzapine on November 15, 2021, but at that time I did not know anything about effective strategies for reinstatement of the drug, and therefore, already on November 16, 2021, I stopped olanzapine again, but, exhausted by insomnia, had to take 25 mg. quetiapine, which have been in my medicine cabinet for many years without use. On November 17, I impulsively returned to olanzapine, but after a couple of days I stopped drinking it again in order to resume taking it at the end of November, but this comeback was also extremely short-lived and did not exceed the duration of the same couple of days. On November 29, 2021, I took olanzapine for the last time, but the neurotransmitter chaos, provoked by my stupid thrashings, seems to have done me irreparable damage. Over the next three and a half months, I tried to pull myself out of this anhedonic pit with various supplements (I tried fish oil, 5-HTP, St. John's wort, green tea extract, tyrosine, biotin, citicoline, Alpha GPC) multivitamin complexes (I mean B vitamins), peptides (for two weeks I was regularly injected intramuscularly with cortexin) and even psychopharmacological drugs prescribed to me by other psychiatrists, but with drugs of this class I again behaved as haphazardly as possible (about 8-10 times during these months I took phenazepam at a dosage of 0.5 mg., it at least minimally relieved anxiety; 5-7 times I drank hydroxyzine at a dosage of 0.25 mg at night, but it did not help me sleep at all; for three or four days I took a combination of venlafaxine, lamotrigine and trazodone, and once I took two capsules sulpiride, the content of the active substance in which was 100 mg., and one tablet of phenibut at a dosage of 250 mg.). Now I realize that my behavior during these months was absolutely suicidal, and probably only the prompt reinstatement of olanzapine could have saved me, but now almost three and a half months have passed since the last dose of this medication, so my chances of self-preservation seem for me absolutely ghostly. I hope that something else can be done in this situation: I have already completely lost hope for rehabilitation, I have practically not slept all these months due to permanent panic and bouts of neurocognitive hypochondria, I don’t understand how I still haven’t made suicide, because it is unnatural to live in such a state.
  3. naturegirl

    naturegirl: please help

    Hi, I am in crisis right now and desparate for help. I tapered off effexor 1 year ago and have had no psychiatric meds since. The past year has been rough with prolonged withdrawal and bouts of anxiety along with way, but for the past 3 months I have been doing very well (working a stressful job and handling it well, traveling, etc). For the past week, seemingly out of the blue, I am having severe, debilitating anxiety and insomnia. I also have odd physical senstations that I haven't experienced in quite this way before (odd nagging nausea-not the anxiety kind, but the flu kind; extreme muscle pain; periodic cramping of my hands and feet; a buzzing or tingling sensation in my arms and legs; weakness. I saw my doctor, who ran blood tests- everything is normal. I saw her before the anxiety started- at first, I just had the flu-like symptoms, then the anxiety hit. I don't know what to do....I am going to have to resign from my job (a well-established, successful career of 9 years). I aleady took a leave for 1 month 6 months ago when I was having a bout of bad withdrawal. I feel desperate for relief, and am so desperate that I would even go on meds again (although I swore they were the worst thing I ever did to myself and that I would never touch them again). Is there any chance this is still a delayed withdrawal? Please if anyone can offer me advice, I really need help right now. Thank-you.
  4. 9 years ago, I was prescribed 10mg of generic Prozac after a traumatic incident in my life that left me nearly catatonic. I continued on that dose for 7 years. Approximately 2 years ago, after a stressful work situation, my primary care doctor suggested I switch my antidepressant as he thought it became ineffective after so many years. He switched me to a dosage equivalent of generic Lexapro for a short time. I complained about a spike in anxiety so he then switched me to 50 mg of generic Zoloft. Shortly thereafter, I experienced major depersonalization and brain fog. I eventually went down to 25 mg of Zoloft and, somewhere in the midst of this, I experienced some other obscure health symptoms (pressure in head, tinnitus, dizziness, fatigue, neck and head pain, etc). I saw many specialists who all said my health checked out. I ultimately decided I wanted off of my antidepressant and my doctor recommended halving my dose for a week, and another, then stopping. I experienced some peculiar insomnia/hypomania, agitation and flatness the first few weeks, but, overall, I faired well. It wasn’t until about 2-3 months later, I would know literal hell. I have been imploding with anxiety, trembling, not eating, experiencing an avalanche of panic attacks, and not sleeping for 24 hours at a time- during which time I have rapid, intrusive thoughts teetering on hallucinations. I can feel my nervous system destabilizing and have an overwhelming feeling of dread. It has felt as if I’m on the precipice of permanent insanity. Sunday, I went to urgent care where I was prescribed Hydroxyzine for sleep and I was told I could not experience withdrawals 2-3 months after discontinuation; I was told I was experiencing a relapse. I have never experienced this kind of insomnia and anxiety prior to antidepressants. Yesterday, I started back on 25 mg of Zoloft. Today, I was prescribed 7.5 of Mirtazapine for sleep until the Zoloft takes effect. I will eventually address tapering again, but it won’t be through the suggestions of healthcare providers. Hopefully, I can rely on another’s experience for a successful taper. For now, I feel highly skeptical and disappointed in modern practitioners. I am hoping to stabilize my nervous system soon.
  5. A little back story in 2019 I got into a car accident and it completely changed my life. I can't remember if I hit my head or something inside my brain triggered something. I had extreme anxiety and didnt leave my house for three months, that is when i first put on my first medication Prestiq and Busbar. They worked for about a year and then it stopped throughout the years I have been on so many different medications. I feel like this year was completely different. This was my last year of college and I couldn't get through the day without an anxiety attack or feeling like I was going to faint. my doctor decided to put me on Quetiapine, Gabapentin, Busbar, Zoloft, and then take Hydroxzyne as needed for the panic attacks. None of these really worked and I was suffering everyday pushing myself during student teaching. I made it through and graduated but feel like I lost myself a little bit. I feel like being on five medications at once damaged me or something but how am I supposed to know that? I am supposed to trust my doctor to help me. A couple of weeks after graduation I noticed my anxiety became full on even more than before and I started to feel disconnected or out of it all the time every single day. That is when I decided to switch doctors. I decided to go to a different doctor and I got off of four of the medications so now I am just on Zoloft. She decided to put me on Lamictal because she thought I needed a mood stabilizer. That lasted about three weeks and I said no it's not working I want to get off of all the medication. I am off of Lamictal and just on 50 mg of Zoloft. I have come off of Zoloft before switching to another medication but I haven't not been on any medications in four years. I am scared that I have done so much damage to myself already and that my body or mind won't heal. The only struggle that I am having is the disassociation. That is something that goes on all day every single day of my life for about a couple of months now. I can't even leave the house most days and now I am looking for an online job for now because it is becoming difficult. I am only 25 but I just feel like this is taking away parts of my life that I should be enjoying. I am trying to stay positive by eating healthy and clean, working out, doing yoga, pushing myself to go out every day ( even though most days I can't), taking vitamins, trying superfoods, and communicating with my family, friends and therapist. Some things that I have been experiencing are: -Feeling out of it -Lack of energy -Headaches/Dizziness -Sadness I feel that the only symptom that is holding me back is being out of it or disconnected. It is holding me back from doing a lot of the things that I want to be doing. If i wasn't feeling that all of the time I feel like I could "function" better and push myself more. Next week I go to 25 mg of Zoloft. Hopefully this is the start of my own success story!
  6. Hello Everyone I am a new member here and need some advice. I have been on hydroxyzine and lamictal for 10 years now. 100 mg of hydroxyzine pamomate capsules and 50 mg of lamictal. I would not take the hydroxyzine every night but would do 50 mg 2 nights in a row and then 100 mg on the third night and repeat it only because it would make me too tired if I took it nightly, the 100 mg. I have been wanting to taper off this for while but have not gotten the courage or time as I know I have been on it for a long time and it's bad to be on so long. Skipping forward to last month: Dr wrote me a prescription for the 25 mg hydroxyzine pamomate which was different than the 50 mg capsules I had been taking, but I figured it would be fine. Around middle of June I started taking four 25 mg capsules every night. I didn't just stick to the 50 mg every 2 nights and 100 mg on the third night because It was not making me as sleepy as the 50 mg capsules of my original prescription. Now looking back, how stupid was I. I realize these weren't that strong or maybe too strong? I was more moody, couldn't sleep as well as original prescription, so my Dr called me in my original prescription of the hydroxyzine pamomate 50 mg capsules. I started taking those again the 24th. All last week i was tired until this past Saturday I woke up with severe nausea, shaky hands and electricity running through my veins. That would of been exactly a week back on the drug. I had alot of anxiety as well and it was awful. Never have had nausea on hydroxyzine. Have remained on original prescription since last Saturday. There is def a rhythm to this. Once I take the dose, within a half hour I am more revved, shaky and naseous. Can't sleep. It lasts all the next day until about 8 at night I feel some relief but by that time it's time to take the dose again. It has been awful and so scary. I had withdrawal from lexapro before with a failed reinstatement afterwards that was unbelievablely long and cruel with the worst symptoms imaginable. To say I am terrified would be an understatement but I am trying to remain calm even though I am under so much stress and chemical anxiety, trying to figure out what to do next. Last night I took just 50 mg. I slept better the nausea hasn't been as extreme and the electricity has not been as extreme either, but still there. My question is: what would you recommend to do going forward? I'm not sure if the other prescription even though same med, was too strong, not strong enough, I reacted to the different additives and it riled up my cns? I am still incredibly sensitive from the lex withdrawal 10 years ago. Although the hudroxyzine has always helped calm my system down. I do think the 100 mg was too strong, but obviously I can't just stay at 50 because then I will be in withdrawal? I can't go through this again. Or maybe I should do the 2 nights of 50 and third night of 100 like I was before the last month. I definitely know my system is rattled. That dose is now too high and my system is turning against it. This is alot like my failed reinstatement with lexapro. I know how this goes if I stay on the full dose as that's what I did with the lexapro and got worse and worse by the minute. My stomach is in knots all day long, I'm a wreck with no resolution or not knowing what to do. I'm an anxious mess and while I can handle this for now, i am terrified to continue the 100 mg for terror of it to keep building and me getting worse and worse unless this is the worst it gets, and I can start a slow taper from the 100 and possibly start feeling better. Or maybe I should try 75 or 70 mg and see how I feel? I just hate to keep rattling my system. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you all
  7. Hello. I'm 21 y.o. male. My story with ADs. I was taking Cytalopram ~8 months in 2019, then I stopped it myself as I was not seeing any effect. 07.07.2022 I took first 30mg of prescribed duloxetine before sleep. (Also I was prescribed it with Lamotrigine, Atarax. I strated them a week or two before.) After 2.5h of sleep I woke up with strange feeling. It was difficult to focus, it was getting dark in my eyes. Seems like my pressure got low so I even called to ambulance, but they said ti is just adverse effect and it's ok. Then it got better, but it was a strange feeling in my head all next day. I drank a lot of water (~6 liters) to decrease this drug effect. I was trying to sleep, but wake up every 1-2 hous. I read about a possible PSSD, even after a few days of taking it. Fortunately, yesturday I tried and it seems like it was ok with orgasm. Also I slept today and seems I'm feeling better, but have slight kind of lightheadedness. Of course, I wouldn't take this drugs anymore. Maybe you can reassure me that nothing terrible will happen to my brain from one pill? I would like advice about some lifestyle changes/supplement/diet to minimize effects of this drugs and reduce anxiety. Btw last few months I used to go to the gym and eat healthy diet. When is the best time for me to exercise? Thank you in advance. I appreciate this community.
  8. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  9. Hi. So, I had been having some health anxiety over 2021. It resulted in me getting a colonoscopy in November 2021. Leading up to it I had intense anxiety, a few panic attacks and perhaps even a nervous breakdown. The night before I woke at 3 am and had a panic attack. I really thought I was dying this time, so we called 911, and I luckily, not dying. During the procedure they did take a biopsy, and while waiting for the results (2weeks) I had very intense anxiety. It was benign. I'd had intense panic and anxiety for almost a whole month at this point. Around Dec 17, 2021 I contracted covid. It was pretty uneventful, but near the end of it I was waking around 5 am with adrenaline and diarrhea and I couldn't go back to sleep, this was creating anxiety in me that was getting harder and harder to control. So I went to a Dr on December 30 2021 who prescribed me Zoloft 50mg and Xanax 0.25mg. They were filled pretty fast and I took one of each as soon as I got home (around 1-2pm) I felt ok at first, but a few hours later all the side effects started. Irritable/uncomfortable, anxiety, nauseous, no appetite, chills, diarrhea, invasive thoughts that started pretty quick and intensely, and soon to find out - insomnia. I'd lay there with invasive thoughts and if I happened to drift off I'd be jerked awake and there was no sleeping for at least a week. I lived in a panic for around 2 weeks. I never took another dose of Zoloft. But I did take around 9 doses (some halved) of Xanax over the next 2-3 months. Sometimes to help sleep, but it was never worth it as I'd only get a 2-3 hours and then have intense anxiety the next day. It worked ok for panic during the day, but then I feel it intensified my anxiety for the next few days. I found some old Valium 5mg from a dental procedure, there were only 2 doses. They helped sleep some, but they left me feeling so sluggish, it didn't feel good. And it wasn't helping me sleep enough to want to try to get more, I was prescribed Restoril 15mg in April by a sleep Dr. I only took half doses 3 times. Again, it didn't help my sleep enough to ever make it worth it and just gave me bad rebound anxiety. Then I was prescribed hydroxyzine May 2021 (forgot about that when I wrote my signature, will add later). I've taken it around 5 times. It helped me sleep the first night, then not so much the next. Waited a week and tried again, it helped a little for sleep and calming, but not that much. It was mostly disappointing. Luckily it didn't seem to cause any rebound anxiety. But it doesn't help with much so I really don't take it. So, I did take my last Xanax around 1 month ago for a bad panic attack. And that was last time I took a benzo. My last hydroxyzine was around 1 week ago. My current symptoms are anxiety, depression, anhedonia, depersonalization/derealization (I'm never sure on the terms, it's the one where I feel like I'm in a dream, I can react to everyone normally and everything seems normal, but I just feel ... off, like I'm not connected to it all). Agoraphobia, I can push past it but it's hard and only if it's close to home or my husband and children are with me. Which really sucks because I used to love going out by myself or with my children, go on vacations etc... now I feel like I can't leave the house without forcing myself. This fear feeling is so horrible and there really is no reason, I just feel it. And intense insomnia, I can't fall asleep, can't nap, I get adrenaline rushes continuously as I'm trying to fall asleep, or less common are the hypnic jerks, and I wake early around 3-6am and can't fall back to sleep even if I've only slept for 1-2 hours. I like to think my sleep is getting better, as there some rare nights when I will get 5-7 hours. But those are followed the next night by not being able to fall asleep because of adrenaline surges. So, I'm probably only getting those nights from severe sleep deprivation, not that I'm actually getting better =( At one point I thought it was just anxiety keeping awake, but there have been plenty of nights I go to sleep with NO worries at all. I'm not over thinking or thinking of anything provoking and I still get the adrenaline surges at the point of falling asleep. It's seriously so maddening. It's going into 6 months since that day and my sleep is still not good. I thought it would last a few days, then weeks, then got my hopes for a few months. Now it's going into half a year. It started with panic and anxiety, but now depression is setting in and I just don't know what to do. I try to keep my hopes up, but it's so hard. I also have anhedonia and agoraphobia although I can push past it as long as it's close to home, but it takes a lot of effort. I do get some windows I stay home with my 3 small children and am not able to be the mother I want to be for them by feeling this way. Which again adds to the depression. So that's where I am. I hate that I took that zoloft and xanax. And for a long time now i was just blaming the zoloft. And now I've been wondering if the benzos have been negatively affecting me as well? I know I can't beat myself up over it. I try and accept my situation and believe that I will heal. But it's so hard and it all feels so dark sometimes.
  10. I had Bilateral Carotid Body Tumors (benign) removed in 2005. I developed numerous symptoms of Autonomic Dysfunction due to vagus nerve damage. Feeling down in 2016-17 and decided to try Escitalopram. Wasn’t really depressed or anxious, and should never have started. Went into a gradual mental decline. Developed a lot of negativity, cynicism, anger, fear, paranoia. Decided to come off Lexapro in late summer. Went from 10mg to 5mg to nothing over the course of 6weeks. Once off developed severe withdrawal symptoms. Current symptoms are mostly heavy anxiety. Went to ER once about 3 weeks ago. They prescribed me some Hydroxyzine to alleviate anxiety. Have been using them sparingly (maybe one every other day). Been using some CBD oil, Athletic Greens, Omega 3/6/9 over the last two weeks to reduce anxiety. It comes in waves for me. I don’t want to reinstate if possible. Are there other things I should consider to reduce anxiety levels? My timeline is currently at about 4-5 months since cessation. Thanks so much.
  11. Hi friends! Thankful to discover this forum. I’ve had a heck of a year and been through many SSRIs, SNRIs, benzos and betas. I had been on lexapro for about 7 months until recently when I just felt like I was laying in bed a lot and not motivated to do much. It had either stopped working or never really was. I was also on propanolol for a few mos with the lex and that helped a lot with extreme panic moments. When I talked to a psychiatrist last week she said I could stop taking lex and prop and switch to buspirone to try. I told her I wanted to at least taper the lex while trying buspirone. So I did that and was on it for a week at same dose and then she said do one week every other day. The first day I skipped my lex was a nightmare. Went to urgent care and they did negative flu and COVID tests because symptoms were so bad. They said they don’t know what to recommend for the meds but it’s likely withdrawal. Called my psychiatrist and she had me stop the lexapro and buspirone and start effexor and hydroxyzine. So I started effexor at 37.5 7 days ago with hydroxyzine 3x daily. It was fine until this week (1 week later) when she recommended Increasing to 75mg effexor. It was Awful and I suffered all day. Tried to get a hold of psych and she didn’t call back didn’t call back and then this morning I just took 37.5 mg because that was the lower dose and i wasn’t about to double it again. Her staff finally called back and said I could just stop effexor. When I asked what I should do next or if I should just lower back down to the dose I started with they had to ask and call back. So then they called back and said I could go back to the lower dose. So today I’ve heard two different things. I can stop taking it or I can go back to lower dose. I just want to be off. It’s only been a week but I’m over it. I’ve tried too much and my body just isn’t handling it. Do I need to taper having only been on the lowest dose for a week? I have a video call with her on Monday but I don’t want to just “stick it out” on the low dose til then if I’m planning on getting off of it Monday anyways. I’m going to suggest starting propanolol again by itself. I just don’t know what to do at this point with the effexor.
  12. HI, I found this site while searching around on Google in an attempt to figure out what could be going on with my brain right now. Quick summary: Most of last year, I'd been experiencing some fairly annoying anxiety - mainly situational type anxiety, like having to sit for prolonged periods of time on an airplane, or the dentist's chair. Long car rides were pretty awful. I finally decided to do something about it, met with a therapist, who pretty quickly recommended medication. So I met with a nurse practitioner, who initially prescribed Hydroxyzine. I did notice some reduction in anxiety, but it was extremely short-lived, and then the 'rebound' anxiety was nuts! Took it off & on for 1-2 weeks, but was not impressed. So next I was prescribed Zoloft. I was told it would take weeks to notice anything, but I felt the drug almost immediately, like the 2nd day. At first, it wasn't bad - my thoughts calmed significantly, and I remember thinking 'ahhh, this is what it feels like to have a quiet mind'. But by day 5, I was having nightly panic attacks, which I had never had before in my life. It scared the crap out of me, and I was told to stop taking them. So then I was prescribed Ativan. I took it fairly regularly (4-5 times/week), for about 3-4 weeks. I don't know what's up with my wiring, but I did not feel much relief from it. I always hear stories about how great benzos are for lowering panic/anxiety, but I just felt weird (and not in a good way). The odd thing though, is that even though I did not feel much relief after taking a dose, the rebound anxiety was insane. It's like I could physically feel the stuff leaving my body, and this indescribable terror/dread would creep in. So I was told to stop taking that as well. A few days after stopping the Ativan, everything went really bad. It felt like floodgates were released in my brain, and those gates had been holding back every horrible feeling imaginable, but couldn't hold on any more. It really was like a gushing of complete terror. I'm kind of freaking myself out just typing about it. Since then, it's been pretty much like that constantly, with not much let up (about 3 month). I will occasionally get a day that gives me hope, but it is quickly replaced with another dark run of days. It's getting to be unbearable, so I guess that leads to my questions: 1. Is it really the meds that caused all this? I only took them for a short amount of time - it doesn't seem possible that they could have done so much damage in such a short amount of time. 2. What should I do now? Should I attempt some other medication, but at a much lower dose? I don't really want to, but this feeling is unbearable. My dr. has mentioned gabapentin, and Trintellix. But I'm hesitant. 3. What about other non-medication options, like TMS? Anyone had success with that? Anyway, this is getting long and rambling. Thank you in advance for any advice. I look forward to reading other's suggestions.
  13. 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!!!
  14. Hi, my name is Brianna. I’m 24 years old and a mom of 3. I have always suffered with anxiety. For many years I treated my anxiety with marijuana and that seemed to work although I would still have anxiety in certain situations. Mid/late last year I got fed up with the outside judgment of being a mother that smokes & being told I should be on medication so that’s what I did. A “holistic doctor” prescribed me Effexor 37.5 for a week then up to 75 and I think I got to 100 and something mg. Then I started to feel terrible! So I decided to stop taking them, (big mistake, I know but I was new & naive) I went 3 days without anything and then reinstated at 37.5 after having unbearable withdrawals. It took me over 2 months to become stable on 37.5. During those 2 months i was put on hydroxyzine at night to help me sleep & I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and put on Methimozole as well as propranolol (beta blocker) to help with the hyperthyroid symptoms. Eventually I stabled out and joined the Effexor support group on facebook. That’s when I realized I needed to get off Effexor safely and slowly. I then did my first 10% taper. It messed me up for 2 weeks. Symptoms included- constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, racing heart, muscle tremors, anxiety, etc.. It was awful and I was advised by the support group to try to taper less next time after I stable out since 10% may be too much for me. But here I am about 4/5 months later and having those same withdrawal symptoms again and I have NOT done another taper. Some people have called it tolerance withdrawal, others have said it could be from my other medications I’m taking. 4 days ago I started magnesium glycinate supplements, & last night I added a omega 3 to that before bed. I’m not sure if the supplements are helping at all yet but I’m just looking for some kind of relief. That’s when I was advised to come here and for advice. I don’t know what to do and I’m extremely overwhelmed by all this. I’m praying somebody here can help me pin point the cause of my issues.
  15. 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!
  16. 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??
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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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