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  1. just signed up. information and advice is overwhelming!!!! I can only take in some information at t time. I can't believe this isn't more common knowledge. it is a horrible existence. but God is good and He heals. *1991-2003: 12 years on increasing amounts of Prozac, then *2003-2013: 10 years on increasing amounts of Effexor alchohol abuse issues throughout along with nicotine addiction *2013: pscychMD guided 5 month taper from 300MG to zero Effexor while quitting alcohol and nicotine at about the same time ( awful process , so painful and scary)Dr had me adding prozac to reduce the "discontinuation side effects" *then November 2013, not on anything... ------Bad bad bad ( probably and unknowingly, tapered way way way too fast and unknowingly into some Med PAWS and paws from alcohol ( 8 months without etoh at this time, 4 years now ) * Ran to psychMD and he put me on Latuda then Brintellix ( now called trintellix) *4 months later those about killed me and landed me 3 days in the hospital and then in intensive treatment for depression/anxiety for 5 months. During that time they tried different things too fast and furious with a lot of bad reactions to stuff. Chemical Assaults!!!! this included seroquel, Depakote Summer 2014 finishing up intensive treatment ("pills and skills" what a crock...): I ended up on a cocktail of xoloft, Wellbutrin and elavil. I didn't need more drugs. I was suffering from protracted w/d and chemical assault shock/ptsd. the medical community has no idea. they say "your mental illness is chronic and progressive so you have to manage it continually with drug additions/changes". you can't make this stuff up for a horror movie. *At this time (summer of 2014) I was diagnosed with MS (significant brain lesions and positive other tests for MS) and told I had to go off Humira. I had been on Humira or Enbrel for 13 years, as well as anti inflammatories for arthritis. I stopped these. One year later I started a 4 month taper of these psych drugs. This was way too fast and probably caused more damage/ptsd March 2017: Now I am 14 months total medicine free and dealing with recovery from the damage caused by the actions above. I don't know what is what in terms of cause and effect. I only know that it has been and continues to be awful. a hellish relentless anguish of a myriad of symptoms, an awful existence...after having lost my marriage, family, career possibilities, life...other than faith...I still have my faith in Jesus Christ and God's promises of who HE is, what He's like, and who I am. God Loves me and has taken and continues to take care of me in miraculous ways... He just hasn't healed me fully yet. Is it MS? Immune dysfunction? ANS dysfunction? Damage while taking medicines and self medicating with alcohol ? PAWS from alcohol? PAWS from psych drugs? Chicken, egg or road? It amazes me how after not being on meds for a while, we can suddenly get drastically worse with new or worsening symptoms. 25 years of pschych drug chemical assault and 2 way too abrupt tapers have left me in this state. not to mention MS. Such a mess. Hell on earth. Anguish. So many symptoms.
  2. 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
  3. Gilly

    Gilly

    Hi, I'm Gilly and I just wanted to say hello. My psychiatrist wants me to come down from 100mg Nortriptyline to zero in six weeks. That isn't going to happen! I am down to 75mg by removing one of my 25mg tablets but I am struggling. So I'm going to try and stabilize at 75mg and then take it much more slowly. The psychiatrist wanted me to swap over to Prozac. But if it's going to take 8 months then I probably won't replace it at all. Biggest problem Is suicidal thoughts. I see that's quite common! Thanks tor having me.
  4. Hello everyone this is my first post on SA, although I read here since 2015. I’m a 37 old male from Italy, so forgive me for my poor English. I wish to express my gratitude for Alto and for the entire staff of this community for their efforts to give support to all the members. Briefly my story. I think I have used AD (escitalopram 10mg) in the worst way that can be used, that is go on it on and off. That is, I usually took AD for, say 9 months and then, after feeling good, quit them cold turkey. After a period of 3-4 months without AD inevitably unpleasant symptoms follows. This pattern went on like this for many times, and I think I have used them for a cumulative time of 6-7 years in a total time of 15 hears. Finally, in November 2013 I learned the lesson and I began to suspect a withdraw problem. Last month I celebrated 4 years since my last pill. Here a list of some symptoms I have had in this years: Insomnia brain fog brain zaps (only for few days after quitting) muscle pains stuffy nose, specially upon awakening loss of interests frequent urination IBS like syndrome food sensitivity but the list can continue. The pattern of symptoms is very well know here: windows and waves and not all the symptoms in the same period. All I can say is that in this years my suffering has been deep and painful. I can say too, without exaggeration, that this was the most profound experience of my life. I even can say that I am grateful to this syndrome because I consider me now a better person. I think I’m 80% recovered and the worst symptoms like insomnia have gone away. But I think also that are necessary another couple of years to fully come back. But I know this will be a cake walk compared to what I left behind. It is very difficult for me to tell in English all the aspects of my story but I hope I have given a taste of it. After introducing myself I want to ask a question. I’m considering to take a supplement for hair loss (I think it’s not correlated to withdraw syndrome). It contains saw palmetto (serenoa repens) and nettle root. Now, I’m a little concerned about the first one because, reading various stories on the web, it seems to acts as finasteride on 5-AR receptors and, as you can imagine, I don’t want to mess my up again. Now I don’t now if there is a link between the receptors I have messed up with AD use and those implicated with 5-AR. So my question is: it can be safe to take a small amount of serenoa repens (320 mg)? Is there anyone who has tried it? I thanks everybody for reading my story and for all those can give me suggestion about saw palmetto. I whish healing for everyone. (for moderators: I don’t know if this is the right place to post)
  5. Hello all, I came across this site while in search of support groups for antidepressant withdrawal. It’s wonderful to find such a similar-minded and accepting community. Thank you for allowing me to join you. My memory re: antidepressants is a little hazy, primarily because I feel so “checked out” when it comes to my medical history (I hate everything to do with meds; it makes me feel like I’m at the mercy of my doctor and I’m not in control of my own body/mind) - but I'll try my best. I was first put on antidepressants (Lexapro) at the age of 16 for bulimia, depression and binge-eating. I did very well on it for about 1 year, maybe slightly longer, and then I moved away from home and started university. I quit the antidepressants on my own, only to suffer a rebound effect for the next 1.5 years. This was back in 2008. At some point during this time, I think I may have taken leftover antidepressants (the ones I didn’t use because I quit my meds cold-turkey). It was a very confusing, chaotic time. Most of the time I didn’t want to live. I self-harmed, binged, threw up, hid in my room, refused to meet people. I was put on antidepressants again (Fluoxetine) in 2012, when I saw my GP and a school counselor for bulimia. This time it went up to 60mg/day (instead of 20mg/day previously). I stayed at this dose for around 2 years, maybe more. I don’t remember much. **** hit the fan when I moved countries again, and this time I tried quitting my meds again. I think I tapered off, but there wasn’t any strategy to it. Sometimes I forgot to take my meds, sometimes I just didn’t care enough to take them. Fell into depression, bulimia, self-harm again, this time with the added side career of smoking cigarettes. I seriously considered suicide. I was put on antidepressants again (Fluoxetine, 60mg/day) in June 2016 (last year). Kept this up for a year, and began tapering off this May. I’ve been antidepressant-free since August 2017. I relate very much to the emotional spirals that have been mentioned in the thread here. I also struggle with obsessive thoughts. The worst part about this withdrawal phase is being afraid of my own mind. For all of September and October, I’ve done my best to deal with the feelings/thoughts that arise. In the last two weeks, however, part of me has just “checked out.” Since this withdrawal phase will likely continue for 6 months to a year, I reasoned that it's fine to drown my mind out with work and TV episodes online for now. At some deeper level, I’m aware that this isn’t the best way to go about it. At some point, I'd like to approach it in a healthier way. Thank you all for letting me be here. Reading all your stories help.
  6. I'm a middle aged male near Eugene Oregon. I'm also a military veteran; when I got out of the military I was having sleep issues (big surprise) and when I stepped into my first private industry job after the military (I've had a couple before), I was having a few other issues as well. Emotional issues mostly- and some sleep ones as well. In the military- I was shifting between the states and the middle east time zones, or the states and eastern asia time zone. Major jet lag. When you're younger you can deal with such better- but the older you got the less resilient. I was looking forward to more stability with my private sector job. Which I didn't get. I ended up in a well paying job that had be flying across country (west coast to east coast) once a month, with driving across same every three months. Which led to many problems with sleep. Coupled with that- I didn't have much in the way of stability when it came to a consistent exercise/diet routine. Many are the times I pulled into a flea bag hotel out in the middle of podunk nowhere and the only food available was Le Greazy Spoon. Result- weight gain. More sleep issues due to weight. Finally step into the job I'm currently at, plenty of stability. The doc I enroll with has just the ticket for me: A nice little pill that will help me sleep along with helping those depressive states I was in.(Zoloft). And so started my journey into this B.S. In retrospect- a CPAP then would've been a far cry better. Cue forward about 5 years- Zoloft stopped working? Oh we'll 'try' another- lucky break, Lexapro works 'just fine'- for about another 7 years. Then it stops. This is about the time that I started having real bad problems. The sexual problems, the allergic reaction problems, the mood swings...etc. The allergy problems to food resulted in a botched intubation that screwed up my larynx so that I ended up needing a cpap anyways. I was also put onto testosterone 'therapy' in an effort to deal with the 'depression' 8 years ago. More sexual problems resulting. The cpap did/does more good for the sleep than anything else. But I don't much care for it. But it's one of those things I need to have to avoid going postal. I'd been given a few pills for the occasional allergic reaction (esophageal spasmings). Pulmonary Saddle Embolism due to the Testo therapy, numerous and unnecessary tests for conditions my doc said I had but as it turned out I didn't. And then last year the steadily worsening gall bladder problems. End result- gall bladder removal, but it took pulling teeth to accomplish that. Irony- so many 'tests' to eliminate that which I didn't have, and the one time I was having a problem they just about stonewalled me from the 'cure' I needed. The gall bladder was I guess- the crowning achievement- getting woken up in the middle of the night because of mysterious pains in your abdomen that your regular doc and several ER docs- ignored or pooh-poohed as 'all in my head', and here's a scrip for some oxycontin now go away. I wonder why I got night terrors. Now couple that with the ongoing anti-depressant issues- result I'm anxious beyond belief and looky here! Another pill to save the day! Xanax. Between that and the paxil, wellbutrin, my heart was pounding against my sternum like a boxer's ball. Same time- Severe Depression with Suicidal Ideation. After Xanax- there came Ativan. Which actually seemed to help- for a while. Then I developed tolerance rather quickly. A doubling of the dose as per recommendation- bad idea- I ended up feeling like a mile wide brain fog. So- I drop back down to the original. Bad Idea. Anxiety up the gump stump. Researching heavily I stumble across Benzo Buddies- my story there: http://tinyurl.com/ljebp84 Longer story short- I'm (eventually) over the benzo problem. So after learning of the problems with psychotropic drugs like benzos- I've decided to rid myself of the other kind of psychotropics, my antidepressants. And I've been doing that for five months. (July/2015). Looking back- JUST five months? It seemed like forever now. I've still got no few issues. The biggest issue I've got right now? Sleep. Big surprise eh? Right now- a problem developed a couple weeks ago: I'd go to bed, fall asleep, dream pretty intensely, and then immediately wake up with my heart pounding against my rib cage. Stay awake an hour- and then repeat all night long until it's time to get up. Initially I thought it was Night Terrors, as the intense dreams were nightmarish in their scope. But now- it's just 'routine' dreams. They're more intense- more... I don't know what. Like they're 'catching up'. Weekends are indeed a blessed time now. I can 'catch up' on the weekend sleep wise. Whereas I couldn't do that before all of my problems and during the withdrawals. It's the closest I've come to a living hell. Addicted/tolerant of: Oxycodones (after gall bladder surgery) suicidally depressed getting off of those- dealing with the compassion fatigue of so many medicos, then benzo tolerance/withdrawal, then anti-d tolerance/withdrawal. I've lost a good portion of my life to this- all because of my misplaced trust in the medical profession. My experiences with military medical- not a fluke. I trusted them, they dropped the ball. And they continue to. As I've read online- time and again. So yeah- I'm angry. But the CBT did help me through the worst of the rough patches. I find that it's 'new agey' psych doc that I trust. Why? Because his **** worked. Unlike the pill pushers. He got me through the Suicidal Thoughts. The pills - forget it. So- I don't trust docs now. I'm quite wary of what they have to say- particularly when it comes to pills and their 'advice'. They're human. They make mistakes, and big surprise- we are the guinea pigs that pay the price, financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I'm lucky- I found out this crap relatively early on. I still have a job. I still have my wife. And yeah- I worked 40 hours a week going through all of my withdrawals- I used up just about ALL of my vacation and sick days doing so. I'm slowly building them up again now. Getting off of the anti-d's, I'm rediscovering how much I love my wife and family (such as it is). It's been a long uphill road, but in the end it's worth enjoying life as it comes. A couple of weeks ago- I actually felt things as I did when I was younger. Such comes and goes, but I want to feel such more often.
  7. Hello community! TL;DR I'm tapering off Risperdal, experienced improvements while tapering off, improvements faded away after a few weeks again, worried about permanent brain damage, wondering if I can ever recover from it. (Warning: This is quite a wall of text) After searching for information on Google a lot, I decided to create an account here. I had trouble finding an answer to my specific problem. The whole point of this post is to ask about permanent brain damage and if there is any hope of restoring from it, but I will explain everything I think it has ruined before asking, just so you can get a clear picture of what is going on. A doctor of whom I - and others - don't remember who he/she was, has put me on Risperdal in my childhood. If I am to believe my mother, it is 0.5mg since the day I was put on it. I think I'm lucky I've always been on a very low dose. The reason was PDD-NOS. Well, that's the diagnosis that they used to justify it. The real problem was aggression - I was having trouble controlling it. However, that's no longer a problem. Someone taught me techniques to control it that actually worked for me - while on the Risperdal. That happened around the age of 13 - I should've been taken off Risperdal right then, in my opinion. Fast forward about 12 years, and here I am, a 23-year-old girl. I wasn't aware of how heavy the effects of Risperdal were, until some people on the internet began waking me up to what Risperdal was, when I mentioned to them that I took it. I used to believe it was required to manage my PDD-NOS. However, based on information I've found on PDD-NOS, and information I've found on the effects of Risperdal, I have been able to conclude that that train of thought was very much false... Risperdal is WAAAAYYY too strong for what I _had_. What I should also add to this, is that I am a transgender girl. Meaning I started out born as the opposite gender, but used medical treatment to become a girl. (Don't worry, I have been very carefully psychologically analyzed by a hospital for about 2 years - even they were sure that I am truly transgender). This is relevant because that adds two more meds (hormones) to the mix: Estradiol, and Cyproterone Acetate. Those are Estrogen and Testosterone Blockers, respectively. These medications started about a year ago. I have noticed that the debilitating, lethargic effects have gotten worse ever since getting on those, but I refuse to get off those meds because I very much need them to have the body I desire. Also, before I got on the hormones, I was on Lexapro (Escilatopram), an anti-depressant, in addition to Risperdal. It was supposed to protect me from stress caused by the gender clinic - it was not at all depression. But what it actually did, was make the effects I am experiencing from Risperdal now, 10 times worse. Meaning, I was basically just in my bed the entire time, and everything around me hurted. Even the TV. Fortunately I am off that stuff now, after 6 months of being kept on it, unaware that it was making me sick. Also, I lost my job during the time I was on that stuff... I have also been on Melatolin for a very long time, 0.2mg of it. When I needed to knock myself out into sleep, I usually took 2 or 3mg. I recently heard Melatolin can cause side effects too, including some of the things I've been experiencing in the morning, so I decided to stop that one cold turkey. Melatolin can generally be stopped cold turkey according to many sources of information, so that's what I did. I had trouble going to bed on time at first without the help of melatolin, but at the time of writing this, I can go to bed about as easily as when I was on melatolin. So... The problems I've been experiencing... Around the age of 16 or 17, my memory suddenly experienced a sudden drop in effectiveness. Where I would be able to remember weeks at a time before, and clearly at that, I suddenly had trouble remembering past three days in the past. I don't think I've ever recovered from that. In addition, in the last few years, meaning, 20 to 23 years of age, I've experienced tiredness, lethargy, laziness, and morning grogginess (headache, dizziness) - that are so bad that I have trouble integrating into society. They are preventing me from getting a job or going to a school - and that is the point where I decided to try to taper off the medication - with the help of my GP. Specifically, the morning headaches, diziness, and slight nausea, are so debilitating that I can basically forget about doing anything in the morning. I end up sitting behind my laptop or computer and waiting for it to pass. Naturally, that prevents me from starting anything (a job, or school) that requires me to be available in the morning. Also, if I would do _anything_ in the outside world that required a, well, decently normal amount of energy (such as travelling through the country using public transit).. The next day, I would be unavailable for the entire day. I would be unable to do much of anything. It would all hurt too much. Of course, there's also the general daily tiredness/lethargy that never fully goes away. Of course, these are not acceptable effects, and I want to get rid of them so I can get on with my life! --- Now, a few weeks ago, I first started tapering off. I went from 0.5 mg to half of that, so 0.25mg. The effects astonished me - I felt alive! I was no longer lethargic, or even what I used to call "lazy" - and experiencing this energetic feeling made me realise that I wasn't actually lazy, I was sedated. About 4 days after I halved my dose is when I really noticed the effects. I travelled across the country using public transit, to go to an appointment that I was greatly stressed about. To my surprise, afterwards, I wasn't very exhausted, so I decided to go meet up with some people from the internet who I had wanted to meet up with. I did, and then in the evening, I went home.. ..Surprise! The next day, I wasn't exhausted at all! In fact, I had enough energy to tidy up my entire house! And I did. I made sure to make use of this newfound energy. It was absolutely wonderful! These effects lasted for a few weeks.. And I enjoyed every ounce of the newfound energy. ...But then they started to fall back to the same old lethargic state... ...Even though I was still on a lower dose, the same old effects were creeping back in. Gradually, every day, I felt more tired, more lethargic, more lazy...... ..And now we're almost back to where we started. Now, I have a theory.. And this is, of course, speculation.. But I think my body might have gotten used to the lower dose and adjusted to it accordingly. --- So now comes the question about permanent brain damage. As you will probably notice, my use of language seems intelligent. I like to think that I am - although, of course, it is relative to the intelligence of others. I am bad at mental math, but great at some other intellectual endeavours, such as music theory. However, the question of my damaged memory remains. As well as this lethargy that I so badly want to get rid of because it is basically preventing me from living a full life... Since I've been on Risperdal for around 12 years, will I recover from these effects? Will the lethargy ever go away? Will my memory ever return to normal? I have also heard a rumor that Risperdal can shorten your lifespan by about 20 years. Is that true? Will I die much earlier now? I am, of course, very unhappy towards the people that did this to me. Well, unhappy is an understatement. I'm pretty angry at them - the difference being, that I am capable to handle my aggression and do not resort to throwing things around or damaging property or beings. Instead, my words get more aggressive, and I get really passionate about solving whatever issue is at hand. More rebellious, basically. I don't think that's such a bad thing. Anyhow.. I hold the strong hope that I am able to recover from these debilitating effects. I'd like to add, that if any doctors are reading this.. PLEASE consider VERY CAREFULLY whether it is worth it to use Atypical Antipsychotics such as Risperdal on children with mild autistic disorders such as PDD-NOS. As you can read in my story, the long-term effects are not worth it, at all.
  8. i took celexa or citaophram or lexapro for over 20 yearson the advice of my dr i had cried in his office he thought i could feel better i stopped taking it 20mg cokd turkey about 5 days ago the only thing hsppening is a clumk sound in my head usually if i am walking it sounds like a car driving iver a manhole cover
  9. MySelfDevelpment

    MySelfDevelopment

    Hello all! I guess I am here for the same reason everyone else is, for help, advice and support in my tapering journey. I have many, many questions and experiences to share but rather than typing it all here, I will just do my intro here and continue the rest of my posts in other categories. I'll start from the beginning. Facts about me I am almost 21 I have a psychiatric service dog I love all things art I used to be a lyrical, ballet, and hip-hop dancer I love animals I am biracial (half African American and half Caucasian) I have curly hair I believe I genetically already had anxiety issues, but I do think something ignited them. I was a normal child, but when I was 12 years old, I got a vaccination called Gardisil. I can not know for sure if this vaccination is what sparked my anxiety, but due to the circumstances, I think it is very likely that it did. A: this vaccination was not fully researched at the time I received it and if you do research on it, it has had terrible effects on many, many people. B: My anxiety issues started immediately after I received it. The anxiety I experienced was EXTREME. I found random things to be anxious about and got 'stuck' on them. It was all I would think about. This obsession lead to OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Which despite what you have seen on TV is a serious disorder that does NOT always half to do with cleaning, neatness or tightness. It can come in many forms. Anyway, by the time I was 14, I was full blown OCD, with everything down to my breathing. Fast forward to when I was 18 and I finally got on medication for my anxiety disorder. I had hit rock bottom, I was in the darkest place I had ever seen and my mom noticed and made me an appointment. Initially, the medication helps SO much. I was like a normal person. After a while, the pills seemed to wear off so my doc upped the dosage. But I didn't seem to work. Soon after, I had an accident. I wont say what happened because I don't know what the rule are and it is probably very triggering. But lets just say I fell down (figuratively) really hard and I was admitted to a mental health hospital. Oh man was that an experience (but I will talk about that in a different post). While I was in the hospital, they put me on Prozac (because they LOVE to medicate in mental hospitals) which I cannot say had much of an effect on me. Maybe it made me depressed or maybe I was depressed because of what I was going through at the time. But I did something that you are never supposed to do and stopped my meds cold turkey. I then went through horrible withdraw and relapses and almost admitted myself again. My doctors were on Christmas vacation so I had to wait to get back on meds. Finally I saw my psych and was put on Lexapro. The Lexapro completely killed my anxiety, the problem is, it has killed all of my other emotions as well. I am currently tapering off of my Lexapro. I am a robot, a shell of myself and that is not okay with me so thats why i'm here. I hope to be apart of a great group here and look forward to meeting some people going through the same thing
  10. 2 AM here and for me to risk losing another sleeping night, it says of how much dire my life has become. My real name is Vitor, 23 Y/O, Male and middle-class Brazilian. Ever since the age of 17 I've been suffering from undying stress due to a troublesome relationship, ever since I've contemplated the voyage of the magical healing that psychiatric meds would proportionate, people say with age comes regret for what should have been, mine has arrived with no preemptive sign. Since 2013 I've started my first psychiatric treatment, 10mg of Escitalopram (Exodus, a medication that - so far - is only available national-wide), my mood went from downhill to upwards jolly, my med also diagnosed what could have been ADHD and suggested me to start a parallel treatment with Ritalin LA 20mg (which later was increased to 30mg and much later reduced to 10mg). Past almost a year into the beginning of the treatment, and my doctor saw no use for me to carry on with SSRIs, instructing then to stop aburptly, so far I've exited the road symptomless, or with ones that I couldn't notice at such time, since my troublesome affective relationship went from bad to worst every single day. 2014's dawn and i've lost touch with my girlfriend, the shock basically made me rush into my old med once again, had a terrible reaction that - if not by my current state - would have been the worst time of my life. The experience already made me wary of the dangers underlying such meds. Worst would come when my Health Insurance retracted my membership, on the basis that my monthly automatic payments were not being made due to an error, with no prior warning from any part. Universal Healthcare here is a mess, and when trying to make an appointment, on 2014, I'm still yet to hear any previews from any part. I was basically lost at that point. Forced into Cold Turkey from both meds, which would have been bad, have I not associated with the recent loss of my girlfriend. I can't remember that much about the symptoms. 2015 I've found another psychiatrist who basically reinstated me into both meds, but things started to spiral down from here, on July I've lost my job and had to head out to my parents, with the second "withdrawal" I started to be wary of the first underlying condition: Brain Fogs. I've basically grown and lived in my own imagination, for the first time in my life, trying to visualize thoughts was an out of reach task, something I did naturally taken away from me. I basically gave up on writing and drawing for some time. And after it, symptom after symptom came after me, the bad sinus, the erratic emotional swings, hyperarousal, hyperthermia, akethesia. All except for the Brain Zaps. The constance of intake and withdrawals basically spinned my head, and I can't say whether or not I'm into a dead end. I tried reintroducing Escitalopram probably 2 more times (both 7,5 mg), but the sleepiness was so crippling that I've basically gave up trying. 2016 and here I am, symptoms I've never had any notice until now, my mind totally blank, impossible to sleep with the burning skin and lightheadedness. I don't feel fatigue that much, but I'm panicking almost all of the time. Coming here was a struggle, admiting that I'm sick was a blow to my morale and self-steem, and trying to tell yourself you're fine is the worst. My ability to feel joy have been dulled, but I think I'm slowly turning back to enjoy games, the hardest blow is the brain fog and cognitive impairment, not being able to contextualize and love being imaginative. I've read so many terrifying stories, but at the same time, I think embracing the first community that would accept my phase is absolutely necessary. My family is clueless of my symptoms, so were and are most of my friends, which I've lost so many. I'll definitely miss my 20's, if I ever remember them. Sorry for such sloppy and grieving carthasis, and thank you to anyone who took your time reading.
  11. Hello all, I suppose I am writing to see if I am crazy or not, if others have had the same problems, or if it is like the psychiatric community says and I just need to be on an SSRI. Is this really me? Or is this still the Zoloft? I was put on Zoloft when I was 18 for anxiety relating to going to college. I had always been an anxious child, and suffered from some depressive episodes in highschool. I wasn't awesome, but it wasn't until I went on zoloft that I feel I really got out of control. For the most part, it did a pretty good job of numbing me out, but when I blew, I BLEW. I was on it for 12 years. Tried to wean off at least five times as I did not feel it was doing much, maybe even making me slightly more unstable, and of course the sexual dysfunction and weight gain weren't fabulous either, but I could never get through the initial withdrawal. Finally I gathered all my courage and took the plunge last year and was completely weaned by October. I made it through the weaning months of physical hell and some emotional roller-coastering and thought I had it nailed, once I was completely off things seemed to be getting better. Then since the beginning of this year things have been a complete mess. I have lost my job, lost my friends, my romantic relationship is hanging by a thread. I also suffer from Lyme, so I am constantly unsure what physical symptoms are due to that or the zoloft. But the emotions are another thing entirely. I can barely function, my anxiety keeps me in the house most days. I have regular panic attacks over the silliest things and I cry ALL THE TIME. I couldn't make it through San Andreas the other day without bawling. I had my ups and downs before, but the downs, though more severe since taking the Zoloft, also revereted themselves within a few weeks and didnt happen except maybe once or twice a year. Now, my nerves are shot, I am exhausted all the time, I have horrible acne, I feel week, nauseous, headaches. I've developed obsessive disorders and worst of all, because of all this, I have become severely depressed and suicidal at times(not sure if I am allowed to say that on here, but it is the truth). I can't describe the total sense of loss of control. The loss of myself. Some days I have it a little together, but most days I dont. The littlest stressor will send me completely over the edge. I am seeing a nutritionalist and holistic medicine doctor to try to rebalance my completely depleted adrenals, I go to meditation class, I see a therapist, I exercise three plus days a week, I eat all organic all homemade meals, I even started acupuncture, I basically do everything by the book but am still about as messed up as you can be. My therapist believes I need to go back on medication, that I am wired this way and my only hope is drugs. My mom (who is also a shrink and who I currently live with) believes drugs as the reason I am like this now in the first place and feels hesitant about me throwing my system back into another chemical upheaval. I agree with each of them depending on the day and time. Everything I have read online says you are supposed to be back to normal after three months, maybe four. I am going in month six and things seem to be getting worse. Is this common, is this still withdrawal? Is the withdrawal worth it? It wasnt great on Zoloft but I DEFINITELY, DID NOT, SHAKE AND CRY while watching a movie like San Andreas. I've cried more and been more upset these past few months than I did while watching my dad slowly being eating away by cancer and dying a terribly painful death. To be honest, it is ridiculous and it is incredibly hard to think how I can possibly get through it. Thank you.
  12. Suziestarshine

    Suziestarshine hello there

    Hello there everyone, recently took the plunge into tapering off of sertraline after our 2 year love affair began to sour. I'm no newbie to anti depressants and have been battling depression for most of my life. I had my first episode when I was 15 which escalated to a suicide attempt at 16. Since then I have had 3 major episodes the last of which began early 2012 but I let it run and then New Year's Day 2013 I experienced the biggest meltdown of my life so far. My GP began my treatment with citalopran but my body was not comfortable with its side effects so this was replaced with sertraline. Dosaged started at 50mg and climbed to 200mg by October 2015. For the most part I have enjoyed my time on sertraline but I now feel more and more side effects manifesting such as rapid weight gain, insomnia and general feeling of weirdness. I really want to kick this drug and began to stop taking them. I had no idea how bad it would be and have had to return to my normal dose. I was experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea and irratability. I began researching and came across this site and was comforted by the knowledge that I was not the only one. I am now planning to taper myself off sertraline so wish me luck guys.
  13. Hello everyone, I'm LemonBerry and I'll tell my story here and will also try to help others hopefully. Also I'm from The Netherlands so sorry if I make mistakes in the sentences or that some medicine has a different name here. It all started when I was 16 and got sick, my heart was beating 180 and I was diagnosed with 'supraventricular tachycardia'. Though this was quickly fixed by a surgery except I kept thinking after the surgery I was going to die of heartattacks and what not. So for over 4 months I struggled with anxiety and atleast one day a week I was at the emergency department because I really thought I was having a heartattack. After a while the docter decided to prescribe me Venlafaxine.I don't remember the dose anymore, it's too long ago. This didn't work out quite well, I woke up in the middle of the night from nightmares with a tingling tongue and ******. Also I was extremely angry sometimes. The docter decided this wasn't the right medicine for me. So they put me on Sertraline, 50MG. In 2014 I ended in the hospital twice. First time was when they increased the dose of Sertraline to 100mg (which they did because they thought I was depressed). I was having my school final (loads of stress probably) I was twitching on one side of my body. The hospital said they couldnt find anything wrong with my body but it could be a side effect of the Sertraline. In the end atleast I still got my diploma when I re-did my final. A few months later I was a weekend alone and also ended in the hospital because I couldn't stop thinking I was having a heart attack. In the end it was also because I had alot of stress about deciding wether I want to continue studying or find job. After this was figured out and everything was taking the right turn I decided to quit Sertraline. Everything was going well the only withdrawal symptom I had was the 'electric shocks' (not sure how to describe it). At the start of 2015 things were quite alright except the fact I was quite down being not able to find a job and broke up with my boyfriend. I went to a person to talk to every week but this didn't really have much effect. Things were clearing up though because I found a really nice job so I decided to stop going to the psychologist since I didn't have much time as I'd be working fulltime from now on. Things were going great till people got fired left and right, my manager was leaving and everything got really busy. This was were the anxiety started comming back. First all I thought about was work 24/7 after that when I felt something like a little bit of a sore throat I thought I had the worst things. I started going to the docter almost every week. They said it was stress (which it was) and I should try to relax a bit more. But having problems with anxiety you don't even believe the docter anymore. Then my legs started to cramp up and I started googling my symptoms. NEVER google your symptoms, this only makes things worse. I started to think I actually had the worst things like MS or ALS. This was when the docter decided to rpescribe me antidepressants again, This time Escitalopram, 10MG. I did not react well to this. I was feeling super happy and super horny right after the first day I took it. After I took it my whole skin was turning red and I had difficulty breathing. Yet the docters at the emergency place told me to keep taking it since you can't just quit antidepressants. Plus people find it harder to believe you since you have anxiety problem. After 2 days I couldnt take it anymore, this was also in the weekend so I couldnt contact my own docter but the emergency docter agreed I took half of it. So I took 5MG and called my own docter right away monday. She didn't really know what to do since on one side Escitalopram is known for bad side effects in the beginning but on the other side these were quite severe. So she called a psychiatrist, which I could see and talk to the next day. The next day he told me to quit the Escitalopram as it seemed to make manic. Also being super horny doesn't really fir the image of anti depressants as it seems most do the opposit. Also since I was dealing with great anxiety still he advised me to take sertraline as I took it before and take some more intensive therapy for my anxiety. I thought this was a good idea since I don't remember having very bad side effects from Setraline. Even on 12,5MG the 3 days were horrible. I couldnt eat a thing and I barely slept. Also I was having a weird feeling in my ****** again. So I quit this aswell perhaps without the approval of my docter but I was done with all the medication. and my therapy starts the 8th of september. This is where the whole meberassing thing starts. After a few days of quitting Sertraline, I didn't sleep anymore and so I was having extreme anxiety of never being able to sleep again and dieing of lack of sleep. So I took 5mg of Oxazepam in the morning to calm down but I collapsed/fainted an hour later. Perhaps because of lack of sleep or worrying so much or the combination of it. So we (me and my mother) went to the emergency room again, the docter told me to take the other half of the Oxazepam and a Temazepam to sleep. I slept like a rose that night atleast so the worry of never being able to sleep again was gone. The day after I went to the docter and she advised me to take the Temazepam for a week so I could get a nice sleep rythm. When I got home I realized my ****** was feeling weird so I started googling thinks about anti depressants and the ******. This was also not a good idea. Like I said before googling things makes things worse and I get to the point I believe I have it. So I found an article about the relation between PGAD and SSRI's AKA the medicine I took the past 2 weeks. So I completely broke down. Atleast I took the courage to go to my mom and talk about it and asked her if she'd never stop believing me. Which she atleast agreed to do. When I got home I decided to take a look at my ****** and noticed it was white. So my rationality pulled me back to the earth and I realized I might just have an infection from all the stress. So I called the docter and she prescribed me some kind of cream. I have been using the cream for a week now but don't really notice an improvement. My lower abdomen and back also hurt like hell. They also tested if I had Cystitits, which I did not. So Now I'm scared I have PGAD which is an insult to people that do have it if I don't and if I just have a stupid infection. Yesterday I felt a weird feeling in my ear and got super dizzy. I nearly fainted and got super workedup. I started googling (again, why do I even do that) about extreme low blood pressure and found things about Septic Shock and was convinved I was going to die from that. But here I am, still alive the next day. Worrying about PGAD again instead since the cream doesn't have much effect and the stupid cramps in my abdomen are unbearable. So this is my story thus far. If anyone has any questions I'd be happy to answer them if I can. Any advice is also very welcome. I really really really do hope it gets better with this stupid anxiety. Atleast I have a supporting mom and a loving boyfriend (we got back together again). But wanting the anxiety to go away and being done with everythign is appereantly not enough to solve it. I also have NO intention to suicide or whatsoever. It's more the opposit, that I'm paranoid of death. Also sorry about the censoring and everything and I don't know if I put it in the right forum but it's certainly not meant sexual in any way.
  14. homeandaway

    Homeandaway: Hi there!

    Hey! I am a Kiwi, I don't have any real life support I want to draw on, have been isolating I guess, due to fatigue. An online forum was incredible for helping me get sober, I would really appreciate connecting with other people on here. I am going to start taper tomorrow, as I have ten days leave off work still. Nice to meet you all Oh, and it was doing my head in trying to add a photo as I am orientating myself to a mac system and don't know how to find my photos and make them small for upload :/ I will get to it! Thanks
  15. ThisTooShallPass

    ThisTooShallPass Introduction

    Hello All! I am glad to have found this website, it has helped me to know that I am not alone in all this craziness and has helped me though some difficult withdrawal symptoms. I finally decided to become a member as I want to talk with others going through similar things. It is important to have support. So here is a bit about my story. When I was in high school, I started having these horrible, disgusting, debilitating violent intrusive thoughts. They mainly seemed to focus on the people I love most, which was so incredibly distressing to the point where I would feel phsyically sick to my stomach. I was so freaked out about what was going on that I barely talked to anyone about it, my doctor included. The most I would say is that I had "bad" thoughts. I eventually told my parents they were violent thoughts. I wanted medication because I thought that was the answer. I didn't consider therapy because I didn't want to talk to anyone, I feared I would be put in a mental institution. The doctor diagnosed me with GAD as I of course had high anxiety due to the OCD thoughts, and put me on Lexapro. I was on this for 7 years, gradually tapering by 5 mg increments this whole time, purely because I knew I didn't want to be dependent on medication for my entire life. The Lexapro did take my thoughts away, although I have a suspision that they were still there in the back of my mind and the medication just made me not notice them? Sounds weird but idk. After being completely off Lexapro for a month or two (after tappering in a sporadic, almost cold turkey method from 5 mg), I had a severe panic attack. Before the attack being off the Lexapro, I actually felt better in ways. I felt i could feel real emotions such as being truely in love with my boyfriend. I had libido for what felt like the first time ever, it was intense. And this made me happy because i felt like I was feeling real human emotions! But after the panic attack, I was in a constant severe state of panic, anxiety, and psychosis. I honestly have no idea how I didn't miss a day of work due to all this. Finally after a couple of weeks I put myself back on low doses of the Lexapro until I could get into my doctor. She recomended going to 10 mg so that is what i have been on for about a week and a half, started on May 27th, 2015. I've had times of starting to feel better but have still been struggling. Feeling doom and darkness often, some derealization/depersonalization, and return of the awful intrusive thoughts, they are constant and debilitating. They make me so sad and I feel like a horrible person for having them. And I've been dealing with the fear of acting out on them, even though I know I never will it is a debilitating fear. I read the book "The Imp of the Mind" by Lee Baer, and that helped me to know I am not alone in my fears, I would definitely recommend it to anyone going though this sort of thing. My boyfriend said that for a very short time after coming off of the Lexapro completely that it was like he could "see" me. Like he could see the real me for the very first time. I realized then that the meds seemed to make me a complete zombie. I also have been realizing multiple negative thought patterns that I have been practicing that I didn't even realize on the medication. No wonder I have become such a miserable person! It was as if the medication made me unable to think for myself, have opinions or make decsisions. Has anyone else felt this way on an antidepressant? I want to taper off for good once I stablize on 10mg, but the hellish withdrawal symptoms are the worst thing I think I may ever experience in life. Also, does anyone else struggle with violent intrusive thoughts? I want to connect with others going through the same thing and also to let you know that you are not alone!! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this! Hope, peace, and love to you <3
  16. Hi everybody this is my 2 year story. I'll try and keep it short and detailed. I suffered from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and had panic attacks since the age of 5. My anxiety was triggered by my parent's divorce but i was able to overcome it twice in my life. When i was 14 i was diagnosed with IBS. I had it pretty bad so i got really down about it and probably had mild situation depression. I (unfortunately) saw this article in class one day about anxiety, depression etc and they pretty much advertised anti depressants. I always knew there must of been meds for anxiety/depression but i figured i was just too young for them. Being a typical 14 year old I thought i was a hot shot and should be old enough for anything. That night i pretty much convinced myself i was depressed and told my mum to take me to the hospital so i could try some medication (so stupid i know - they really made it sound like anti-depressants could really really help - even for IBS (LOL)) I was given 10mg of celexa (citalopram). That's right. You can just walk right into the hospital, say your depressed and you want medication and they'll give it to you. After a while i went up to 20 mg which is where i stayed for a while. This is also where i first noticed the anhedonia - which got better but not 100%. I also noticed that i couldn't "visualize" anything in my mind anymore like the tv in my mind was more vague or something. After a while though some of the numbing effects of the celexa wore off. I actually liked the numbing though because it really eased my anxiety - although i didn't know i wouldn't be able to feel pleasure to its fullest extant again. So around the end of my use i went up to 30mg for a while and slowly i went up to 40mg. Yes, a 15 year old was advised by a psychiatrist to go that high. But it was only for no more than a month or two. I surely felt a little drugged and I believe it was mostly then that i started to notice mild sexual symptoms (premature ejaculation). Once i tapered off for about a month from 20-40mgs, and all the normal withdrawal symptoms went away, i noticed PSSD 2 weeks after the last celexa. It was pretty mild, i only had premature ejaculation and minor other problems. I also had anhedonia and the TV in my mind thing too but other than that i felt pretty much normal. So Celexa for 8-9 months. At this point i was already on a low dose Elavil (10mgs). It gave me bad bloating and heart palps especially when i tried to go to 20mg but i could tolerate 10mg but it wasn't really doing any good. My psychiatrist insisted that i stayed on it though so I did for less than a year. I eventually went on clonazepam for 4 weeks and tapered for 3. I just took it when i needed it which was like once per 1-2 weeks on average. So after lets say 6 months after celexa I went off elavil and got on zoloft (sertraline). I still had the mild/moderate anhedonia, premature ejaculation, minor erection problems and the visualization thing. I continued to have heart palps, bloating from time to time (still get it now lol) and i found that my cognitive and energy was lagging too. I went on 25mg of sertraline to start with, and found that my PSSD pretty much went away. My anhedonia was better too which i think i noted but i still found music to not be quite as enjoyable than before and that it didn't automatically fill my mind with images like it used too before meds. However my sexual confidence sky rocketed even at almost 16 lol. To be honest i didn't think the meds caused my PE, i knew anxiety could do it so i thought it was just that. My first sexual encounter was not long before the meds and i realize now that i lasted MUCH longer than after. The PSSD only went away for about 2-3 weeks as to be expected until the delayed ejaculation side effect began to fade. In an attempt to regain that side effect i went on 50mg of sertraline but the PSSD didn't get any better despite my "depression" seeming to have improved. I didn't feel many side effects on this drug except that i would start to cry over happy things and laugh at sad things, almost like weird trigger response to stimuli. All these symptoms i still have by the way. That summer, being on zoloft i began smoking cannabis. I only smoked moderately to regularly for about 2 and a half months. It really helped with my anhedonia, boosted my libido and made my orgasms amazing. I dont feel like it would have the same effect now for some reason though. I also went on a low dose of buspar for a couple of months on top of all of this. So that summer i was on zoloft 50mg, smoking cannabis, and taking buspar. PSSD same as always. ultimately, i only took zoloft(sertraline) for 6 months. I tapered zoloft really badly. It was like a 3 week taper from 50mg, to 25mg to nothing. I didn't take the dosages consistently, it was just horrible. I had a bad acute withdrawal, with a lot of muscle tenseness, stress, bloating, brain zaps, etc. Most of these went away except i still have the floating stress/tenseness feeling even now. During my initial W/D i went through a lot of stress as well which didn't help of course. however, as the months went past and i started smoking less and less, i noticed more and more symptoms. fatigue, dizziness, visual symptoms, dp/dr, cognitive problems, head pressure, hyper sensitive to stress, sleep problems, light headedness, tinnitus, etc.... over time the PSSD began getting worse, so did the anhedonia, depression started kicking in, i had sinus problems, headaches, muscle weakness, insomnia, cold feet, hair loss, etc the list goes on. Whats funny is my IBS is quite a lot better than it ever was, i barely ever think about it. However despite the initial symptoms going away, most have not. My pssd continues to worsen (possibly due to another cause - still ruling things out) and my my depression/anhedonia, memory, cognitive function, depersonalization/derealization, severe visual distortions etc continues to decline. I dont have the dizziness or head pressure as much but it comes and goes. So there you have it. All of this happened within about 2 years. I know its not much compared to a lot of people here but the effect that these pills have had on me is more than anything i could ever have imagined. I've gone from mild/moderate pssd to moderate to severe sexual dysfunction, my vision has gone from just being short sighted to being completely distorted, a lost my empathy and passion and many other things. everything today is a chore and an effort, i have very little energy, etc etc and i'm 17 months off of zoloft, and the last substance i've ever taken was cannabis so i'm technically 14 months off if you count that and the few benzos i took. I know its early but any reassurance that i will recover really helps. I've had a few good days with my energy, relaxation, cognitive function and possibly even the anhedonia (not by much though). however, the general trend has been an overall decline in function which is very scary. Could it be that this decline suggests that my body is recovering and that i will feel better somewhere down the line? I hope so. So to recap : 20mg Celexa, to 40mg 1 month tapper Elavil - 10 mg. No more Celexa. PSSD symptoms Clonazepam for 1 month. 1 month tapper. took when needed for over a year. Off Elavil Zoloft 25mg to 50mg about 6 months + Buspar Smoking MJ Tapered inconsistently for 2 weeks REALLY bad stress (situational) - Last Sertraline Oct 2012 - Last clonazepam Nov 2012. - Last cannabis Jan 2013 Thanks for reading guys. I'm 17 years old, turning 18 next month and i'm 17 months out.
  17. NotGettingBy

    NotGettingBy- Intro

    Hey Everyone, First time on the site. Was looking around on the internet about what I'm going through because I'm lost as can be. And I feel so damn alone going through it. So I created an account. My abridged story is as follows: You can see the drug history in my signature I believe. I went cold turkey off of Cymbalta on July 1, 2015. So a little over three months ago now. I am positive the last three months have been the worst of my life. Every day has been a battle and nothing seems to have gotten better. I read somewhere about the waves and windows concept and so far it has been one gigantic wave. The symptoms started with vertigo, intestinal problems, lack of hunger for anything but sweets, constant panic level anxiety. My memory feels as though it has been wiped clean. I can hardly remember any details from the significant events of my past. I cannot remember names, locations, or even full events that I experienced. I am constantly scared. I never want to leave my room. I fear going to work and interacting with anyone. My sex life flatlined about a week after coming off the drugs and has been nonexistent ever since. I have gained about fifteen pounds of fat although I rarely eat real food. It's all junk. I started out very vigilant about my diet, supplements and exercise but it all tapered off because nothing seemed to put a dent in the way I feel. None of my friends know what is going on. My parents know but are across the country and just don't really understand. Right now I'm desperate. I have involuntary thoughts of death all the time. Images of me dying are just forced into my brain like its looking for some sort of alleviation for the pain. At this point it is only involuntary. I do not wish to hurt myself nor to die. It just sounds relieving is all. I really do not wish to go back on the drugs. I believe three months means I should be over the initial physical withdrawal and I do not want to go through that aspect again. And I doubt going on anything would really help me in the long run. I guess I just don't know what to do from here. Sometimes I want to quit my job, leave my life here and move in back with my parents. But that sounds like it comes with a different set of trials and tribulations. I just want to get better. The complacency caused by crippling anxiety is astounding, however. Apologies if this intro is a bit disjointed. My brain is a little out of commission. I probably left a few important things out but I'll add them if they come to mind. Thank you for any help in advance.
  18. Hi everyone, thank you so much for this group it is so supportive when I feel I am grasping at straws! My story: I began becoming depressed around 13. (Of course I would be with the kind of childhood I had, without explaining a lot there was physical, emotional and sexual abuse). I would cut and start to try to commit suicide (like almost jumping off a bridge etc). I was also anorexic and exercise bulimic. When my parents finally figured this out after a few years the family doc put me on antidepressants asap and no therapy. My mother, father, grandmother and aunt have a history of depression so I would have a predisposition for it. Once that antidepressant “stopped working” the switched me to another, I have been bounced through so many I don’t even remember which ones I had. Finally later in high school I went to a therapist, but we really didn’t click and there was no one else for me to see so I went. The year after highschool I had surgery for a foot injury and basically healed for 6 months than worked a little. I went to college the next year and commuted from home still living with my abusive parents. I had a concussion when I was in my junior year of college which I feel may add to this narrative. Finally when I was 22 I moved out to a college apartment and started seeing a therapist that I really liked and clicked with. At this point I started noticing brain fogs. After college I ended up working at a Wendy’s for almost 2 years (with two college degrees), struggling with finances, relationships etc and got suicidal near the end of that 2 years, still on antidepressants that were steadily increased by my doctor. At that point I got myself out of my uncomfortable housing situation and found a job kind of in my field, that at least pays more than minimum wage. I have had a few rough years again dealing with housing etc but I decided to find a therapist and started seeing her in October. At this point I was having brain fog and cognitive issues which is not good when you are working in science. Also I started having some minor mood swings. Finally I decided this spring to go to a Physiatrist. He told me that long term ssri usage can cause cognitive issues and we should try a go without it. I was all for this plan as I have wanted off them a long time but doctors would keep prescribing them without really assessing the situation. I was up to the largest dose of Sertraline 200mg and we took me down to 150 mg. After a few weeks I started getting the symptoms I was complaining about before and then more, like dizziness, fatigue more pronounced mood swings, achy feeling. He decided to keep me at 150 mg another month. I just visited with him last week and now he wants me to do 200mg one day and 150mg the next, which I think seems like a bad idea. My mood swings are more pronounced and on the 150mg days the physical symptoms return. What should I do?
  19. PanickedPathfinder

    PanickedPathfinder: My Introduction

    Hello everyone! I'm PanickedPathfinder (PanickedPat). I came across this wonderful website after discovering Paxil Progress had been foreclosed, but from what I've read and seen thus far, this community is a strong and supportive one, too. I'm excited to share my story and journey away from antidepressant use with other likeminded members! I'll attempt to be brief about why I'm here, just to give fellow members the highlights of my experiences with antidepressants. If you have any other questions for/about me, please feel free to message From the top: About a year and a half ago (summer 2013), I experienced a severe panic attack. I didn't know what it was at the time. I believed I had pushed myself too far physically (I was unloading a bus at work at the time) and proceeded to solidify that false connection in my mind. For the next month, I tried to "take it easy," which of course meant performing hyper-vigilant body/pulse/fever checks in an effort to stave off whatever "it" was from happening again. This backfired. I had more and more attacks at work, still unknowing what my condition was. I was beginning my senior year at college that fall, and decided, after experiencing upwards of 2 or 3 attacks a day a times, to seek out my campus's mental health clinic. With my therapist, I learned (as well as on my own research) that I was definitely a candidate for panic disorder. School pressures mounted (I know now my real "trigger" wasn't exercise or work, but the prospect of ending/transitioning from school) and, after debating for a month, I decided (no lightly) to begin taking an antidepressant. I saw a new doctor, who, during our first 15-minute consultation, prescribed me 25mg of Prozac and tablets of clonazopan. Needless to say, I was immediately red-flagging. I had hoped to talk about the options and risks, but he jumped straight to the medication. After simmering down from his offhand prescription, I owned up to the fact that I wanted something after all. I took Prozac--and had a terrible reaction. My heart rate soared. I made it to his office, where he immediately took me off of it and brought up Zoloft (sertraline) as a "gentler" antidepressant. I started taking it. 25mg became 50mg pretty quickly. Each new dosage brought about 3-4 days of a unmitigated joy--an emotion I have honestly rarely experienced in life (depression and such throughout most of it). The effects always leveled out. I'd continued working through some minor CBT work with my therapist, but these quickly fell to the wayside with my school work. I continued having panic attacks at work and while playing music. There were stretched of time where so many thing triggered my panic (taking a shower, brushing my teeth) that I was genuinely terrified to leave my little apartment complex. All during this time I was researching on my own, and discovering the world of antidepressant side-effects and discontinuation syndromes that likely awaited me once I finished school. (My goal was to finish school and get off the stuff. Hasn't happened yet :/ ). During this time (and still to this day) I kept equating physical exercise with my panic. Although I'd experienced the physical sensations of rapid heartbeat and hyperventaliation earlier (my earlier years of school I was nearly agoraphobic, and sweat buckets doing everyday social things) I found/find it extremely difficult to detach the sensations of exercise with the sensations of panic (higher heart rate, breathing irregularity, etc.). I am currently making this a top priority, and will keep updating on this front. Anyway, my attacks kept coming, school kept coming, I eventually faded from my therapist/group therapy to finally finish school (it's been a 7-year endeavor). I kept the same doctor (something I still regret, as he is still my GP) and was brought up to 75mg. This was when my anhedhonia started. I felt like I was living behind Saran wrap. I saw the world, I knew I was supposed to feel things--but I couldn't. I was a living ghost behind my own eyes. That voided feeling was worse than any panic I had experienced, and I was brave enough, after nearly a month of this, to come down to 50mg, and later 37.5mg. I stayed at 37.5mg upon graduation, and have only recently (last month or two) been at 25mg. I made this 12.5mg drop without any major reactions, but have learned since that weaning lower and lower requires considerable more conscientiousness. I am endeavoring to integrate my music playing/exercise into my recovery and break those false trigger connections I made when I didn't know what was fully happening to me. I also aim to rekindle the secular mindfulness practices I've let slip away again, as they were really very beneficial. Ideally, I want to be off sertraline before my 2-year anniversary of first taking it (October 2015). I was always meant to be a short-term use--to get through school--but I have become steadily more apprehensive about coming off completely (withdrawal stories, etc.). So--where am I at right this second? I'm at 25mg. I'm graduated. I'm willing to work with a community of other people I can relate to for an extended period of time. I'm more knowledgeable about the options and risks I've engaged with during my sertraline experience. I'm still panicky, but less so. Most importantly, I'm ready to be off sertraline and find, in big part through a community like this one, the kindred support, advice, and stories I'll need to find my way off these drugs and reclaim my life without it. Thanks very much for reading my story. I hope to get to know many of you in the coming months, and to share our recovery stories together. My best to one and all PanickedPat
  20. Hi everyone! Well, here is my story ... I am a 21 year old female, and I have been on Paxil since I was 6 years old, and have maintained on about 40-60mg ever since. I was put on Paxil due to my anxiety disorder and OCD, as I refused to eat in a school cafeteria and would be in a sheer panic everyday about going to school. Apparently they tried to put me on Zoloft at some point early on, but it gave me headaches and nausea, so that is why Paxil was chosen. The Paxil worked wonders for me, and I was able to go to school and live a very normal and happy childhood. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease that was making me feel pretty ill. I saw a Lyme specialist in 2011, and he suggested that I stop taking Paxil. It was attempted to switch my medication to another SSRI (I do not remember what it was), and I ended up with Serotonin Syndrome and had to go to the hospital. While following one Lyme doctor's protocol, I was taking over 25 pills and supplements a day, and I accidentally forgot to take my Paxil for a few days in a row. As you all probably know, I began experiencing severe withdrawl from stopping my medication cold-turkey. I could barely stand up unsupported, I had severe dizziness and nausea, I was light-headed and weepy, and I didn't eat for about three days, I just layed in my bed in the dark and slept and cried. My mom thought that I may have been experiencing what is called a "Herxheimer Reaction," which is a periodic exacerbation of symptoms in response to treatment. We later realized that I had been off of my medication for about 3-5 days, and I immediately started taking my Paxil again and was feeling back to my old self within a day. I experienced some depression and anxiety when my Lyme was diagnosed, and my Paxil dosage was raised to about 80mg for a time. I also experienced some patterns of disordered eating while on some strict diets to help my Lyme's, but for the past 3 or 4 years, I have basically been anxiety and depression free. Anyways! I was talking to my Psychiatrist this week, and I mentioned how I have been trying to lose some weight, as I have become quite unhappy with my body. She mentioned that Paxil may very well be causing my metabolism to be slow, and suggested I switch to Lexapro. Thinking ahead about 6-8 years, I asked her if Lexapro would be something I would be able to take during pregnancy one day, as I already knew Paxil would not be safe for having children one day. She said that when I want to have children, I would probably be switched to Zoloft, so I suggested that we just start there, instead of making me change medication again, to which she agreed. I am a bit scared of switching from Paxil to Zoloft, due to the bad experience I had when forgetting to take my medication before, as well as the experience with Serotonin Syndrome. I am afraid of experiencing withdrawl, and all of the horror stories I have heard about. I am also scared that if the Zoloft doesn't work from me or I am having a hard time, that I will try to go back on Paxil and it will not work anymore. So I joined this site to hopfully learn about anyone else's experience with changing from Paxil to another medication, specifically Zoloft. So far, here is the plan.... Week 1: Drop 10mg of Paxil (watch for withdrawl) 30mg Paxil morning, 10mg Paxil night Week 2: Add Zoloft (watch for reaction to Zoloft) 30mg Paxil morning, 10mg Paxil and 25mg Zoloft night Week 3: 20mg Paxil morning, 10mg Paxil and 50mg Zoloft night Week 4: 20mg Paxil morning, 75mg Paxil night Week 5: 10mg Paxil and 50mg Zoloft morning, 50mg Zoloft night
  21. Hi, I'm new to the site. You can see my withdrawal history below. This time I've managed to successfully taper from 10mg to 1mg escitalopram with only a few nasty hiccups along the way but am concerned at managing the last 1mg, particularly as I've become progressively less motivated over the month - not sure if this is a withdrawal effect or not. I think I need to keep much better records of how I'm feeling. I have downloaded some info from another part of the site for this. Also about to start seeing a psychologist for some help dealing with the fallout of a period of bullying in a social group which led to me leaving the group about 12 months ago and consequently losing a large part of the social support network which I'd painstakingly built up after the breakdown of my marriage (which was contributed to both by depression and the sexual side effects of SSRI's). I am aware that this could stir up a lot of trouble emotionally, but this is something I will discuss early on with the psych and prepare for. You may wonder why on earth I am trying to go off antidepressants at the same time as dealing with other issues. It's complicated, but basically there is no 'right' time to go off antidepressants - there is always going to be something to deal with - and the side effects are causing problems. So I thought this site might be helpful, and more constructive than pouring my heart out on social media sites at 2am to friends who really don't understand the problems of depression, let alone withdrawal.
  22. I was put on Prozac in 1992 for PMT. After years of being on this & doing ok I thought it was time to move on & being naive stopped cold in 1997. After a few weeks I felt awful, had crying fits, depersonalisation, anxiety. Visited the Doctor & she told me it was depression & would need to be on them forever, put back on 20mg. In 2002 my mum was diagnosed with lung cancer & I quit my counselling practice to nurse her. She sadly died in 2003. I was the strong one in the family & supported everyone, however I wanted to be clean of drugs & decided to taper slowly - 5mg every few months. Not knowing what was grief & what was withdrawal I had insomnia for months, literally could not drop off to sleep, averaging 3 hours from 3am -6am. Anxiety, fear, loose bowels/upset stomach (became afraid of food) started to restrict diet. Lost weight. Doctor thought I had colon problem (I didn't mention being off Prozac as I didn't consider it the issue, plus after certain things I witnessed with my mum had a huge mistrust of the Doctors) and wanted to run tests but I couldn't handle the stress of it. Cannot remember this period too well as I contracted a viral infection in 2005 & didn't recover from it properly. Couldn't drive, ride a bike, swim. Had physical pains. Anxiety, insomnia, no memory or concentration (couldn't read a book or watch TV) all consuming exhaustion. Whirring noise in head, woozy & waterlogged/ foggy sensation. After paying a lot of money received diagnosis from Psychiatrist of M.E/ CFS / Fibromyalgia & Clinical Depression. Put on 80mg Fluoxetine in 2006 (an SNRI was suggested but I refused) My husband had a breakdown at this point was put on Cipralex & I had to move out so he could recover. No one in my immediate family could cope with me, so eventually I was taken in by my (not very well known to me at the time Uncle 300 miles away, I lived outside in a caravan for 3 months through the winter). During that time I tapered down to 50mg as being on such a high dose scared me more than tapering. Came home in 2007 began tapering again slowly, eventually got to 30mg in 2011. 25mg throughout 2012, 20mg throughout 2013 & 15mg during 2014 - all through these years I put up with all previous withdrawal symptoms but used mindfulness techniques to help, along with paced out exercise & suppliments. I also had physiotherapy. Became ill Feb 2015 with chest infection. Then popped a rib coughing, lost where I was via dosage. Then got another infection 2 weeks ago. Panic set in & on Apr 9th went back to 20mg. Waiting to feel stabilised. ​I have a question - I have been reading about Histamine playing a role in withdrawal from certain meds - has anyone any experience with this in any way, I would be most grateful to hear. Thank you for your time & trouble in reading my introduction.
  23. Ok so I am making another attempt to introduce myself here. I have been trying, but whenever I start to write about my story I end up getting confused and angry, and I also have difficulty concentrating well enough to write coherently. To sum it up, it has been 16 years since I was first put on an SSRI when I was 19. Soon after I developed a host a strange and severe physical symptoms, along with deteriorating mental health. So, over the last 16 years,physically, I ended up with a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lhermittes sign, "idiopathic" narcolepsy, central sleep apnea, Prolactinemia and other disorders, all of them of an unknown cause. Mentally (after an initial diagnosis of depression) I have experienced just about every illness under the sun: mania, extremely disordered thinking, PTSD, odd changes in behavior and personality, depersonalization, severe anxiety with unwanted thoughts and urges, SEVERE self-injury, repeated bouts of suicidality, self-destructive behavior, inability to connect to others, eating disorders, OCD, hallucinations, amnesia,nervous ticks, split personality...it goes on. In summary, over the course of the last decade and a half I have increasing felt like I am dying physically, and going crazy mentally. I was a bright and engaged student, writer, singer, runner, sister, daughter, and lover of life who was able to do almost anything she put her mind to and was full of hope for the future, and full of love for the people around her. I am now disabled, withdrawn into the black hole of my mind and have lost everyone and everything...down to losing the very inner core of myself. There is a part of me that remembers what I was like and can look at what and am now and see the complete and utter devastation of a soul. I spend my days like an old woman: completely alone, afraid to go to sleep at night and afraid to wake up in the morning, paralyzed during the day either too sick physically to do more than lay on the couch or too frantic mentally to do more than distract myself with TV. I am trapped inside of a body that is riddled with scars, losing it's hair and aging way too rapidly, I look out from eyes that don't work well any more, try to hear over the loud ringing in my ears and the constant chatter in my mind: I look in the mirror and I do not recognize myself anymore. For years I believed that I was just unlucky enough to have contracted a bunch of strange medical problems with no known cause. Now I am faced with the realization that I was actually a guinea pig. That each time I popped another pill that I had been told would cure my illnesses, I was actually causing them. I feel that I could not have caused more damage if I had been doing hard street drugs for the past 16 years. So I am angry. I AM ANGRY. And I am constantly frustrated and hopeless. There is no justice, no hope for a better day. Only the knowledge that I have been robbed of something very precious. The chance to have a life. I am stuck here. I am Iatrogenic Illness at it's worst. And I digress. I apologize for any unnecessary ranting or divulging of overly personal emotions. I have no one to talk to about this. I know that the name of this forum is Surviving Antidepressants and the point of the introduction is to talk about my the drugs I have taken and my withdrawing. Besides the first med I was given up until the last few years, I generally do not remember the dates at which I started/stopped medications or the dosages, so I will just list what I do remember to the best of my ability. First it was Zoloft in 1998, then 4 or five other SSRIs on and off until 2007. In 2007 I finally got health care and received the many diagnoses I mentioned above (Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are the main ones). Then the prescriptions came so fast and steady, doctors trying one after another on me. This is what I remember: Neurontin, Lyrica, Amytriptaline, Cymbalta, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Cyclobenzaprine, Skelaxin, Tramadol, Adderal, Ritalin, Hydrocodone, Buspar, Doxepin, Lamotragine, Lunesta, Ambien, Rozerem, Trazodone, Lexapro, and Klonopin. I'm sure there are others I am not recalling right now. I have had so many adverse reactions to these drugs and combinations...but I was led to believe that it was all Fibromyalgia and CFS (as pretty much any weird physical or mental reaction you may have can be attributed to these conditions) By 2013, I was taking Lamotragine (off-label for anxiety and PTSD), Lexapro (off label for "nervous system disregulation and abnormal pain signal processing"), Hydrocodone, Adderall, Klonopin and Trazodone (for insomnia). In the previous year (since I had been started on Doxepin and Lamotragine) I had experience extreme cognitive decline, personality changes, inability to experience emotions and several bouts of amnesia along with long periods of being bed-bound. While I did find plenty of information that said all of these things could be attributed to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I also ran across information that stated these symptoms as side effects of anti-seizure medications. So in march of 2013 I began withdrawing from the Lamotragine and was off by May, and experienced a big improvement in my energy levels and ability to do things. This sparked an idea that the other medications may have been causing some of my symptoms. I started withdrawing from the Lexapro and was off by October, the worst of the withdrawal being brain zaps in the A.M. About that time I read an expose article online by a psychiatrist who had taken SSRIs and experienced disease caused by them. He mentioned the book Anatomy of An Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. I got the book from the library and read it. I read a few blogs of people's experiences of disease caused by psychogenic drugs. It all clicked for me. Wisdom comes suddenly. The "autonomic disregulation" and "nervous system hypersensitivity" that my doctors had been telling me were causing my illnesses were real...and it was no mystery as to the source...these problems had been caused by drugs whose known effect is to disrupt neuron signaling in the brain. I began withdrawing from the adderall and came off of that in about a month (I was only taking 2.5 mgs for fatigue in the A.M.). I am currently also withdrawing from the Klonopin, down to .75 mgs from 2 mgs. The Trazodone will be last, I take it and my Klonopin every night with the full knowledge that I am taking something that will cause me to feel horrible the next day, something that has ruined my life...poison. My experience withdrawing from these drugs has been different from what I have read so far here. I am going through most of the common horrors of it and a host of my own personal ones. But, I actually do not feel any worse than I have already at many, many times during the last decade. I attribute this to having been taken off many medications cold turkey and not realizing the impact of this and the effects of daily withdrawals as blood levels of these drugs drop when you are taking them regularly. I also think that for me, the effects of withdrawal have not been worse than the actual effects of just taking the drugs regularly. It all looks the same to me... taking the drugs, not taking the drugs: the damage has already been done. The only thing that makes this worse is the knowledge that I did this to myself, with the help of the medical system, and it's all going to be a footnote in the pages of medical history some day. Like lobotomy and a whole host of quack medical treatments that have been perpetrated on human guinea pigs over the centuries. I wish I had a time machine. I saw a good joke in one of the threads here: "What do you call 1000 big pharma execs at the bottom of the Ocean? A good start."
  24. Barelygettingby

    Barelygettingby

    I have been on antidepressants for 23 years and Klonopin for the last 7 years for sleep issues. I tapered off of klonopin 9 months ago. After 3 months I thought I was doing great so I tapered off of citalipram. Been off citalipram for 6 months today. I struggle with insomnia, memory issues and mostly anxiety that seems at times out of control. I am taking fish oil, vitamin c, magnesium, vitamin b, vitamin e, and calcium I have some disk issues in my back that requires me to get a steroid shot in my back about once a year. The shot is coming up and idk whether I should get the shot or not since I am Going thru withdrawal. The shot requires a local before the actual shot. Any advice would be appreciated. I am new to this site and have never posted before
  25. Hello everyone, I've been reading for the last few days, and I thought I should introduce myself, and maybe get some help on a few issues I'm having. I started Cirpalex 20mgs 14, months ago after my 5th miscarriage. I was diagnosed with PPD, Anxiety and OCD. It was truly hell.. I wont go into details as Im sure you can imagine what it would be like to loose 5babies. After the miscarriage, my B12 was depleted and I wanted a shot of B12. My Dr told me it was better to do the cirpalex.. He said no research shows that B12 shots would help with my issues.. Anyways- regretting that choice now, but I needed help at the time- I felt desperate. I feel like he put a big bandaid on my issues. Im now correcting my B12, and other vitamin issues. I was horribly sick on 20mgs, so I went down to 10mgs. Stayed on 10mgs for about 8months. The last 4-5months I have weaned off slowly, but not the way this site recommends- I had no idea. My Dr actually told I could quit cold turkey cause 10mgs was such a low dose, but I knew in my heart to take it it slow. I decreased by 25% per month. I got a kidney infection, when I was on a dose of 2.5mgs every other day of Cirpalex and the ER Dr asked me to stop it as the antibiotic she put me had adverse side effects (cardio) with the Cirpalex. I weaned off the 2.5mgs, and have been off all meds for the last 2weeks. Over the last year on Cirpalex I felt like a zombie. I had no feelings, no reactions and no sex drive and never slept well. Im slowly getting my emotions back, and sleep is improving. Libido is still slow. The one main concern I have is I have a hard time waking up in the morning. I feel like Im stuck in a dream, and usually not a nice dream. Does that make sense. This is giving me anxiety, as I dont like the feeling at all. Hoping someone else can share some insight on the sleep issue. I know I didnt tapper off what is recommended on this site, but I had NO clue. If Iwould have listened to my Dr, I would have stopped cold turkey Thank you all for being so brave and open to sharing your stories. Its very encouraging. Blessings- Jess
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