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  1. Hello- I am new here. I've been on psychiatric drugs for almost two decades now. I currently take Zoloft 300mg, Adderall 60mg, Abilify 15mg, Mirtazapine 45mg, Trazodone 100mg and Klonopin .5mg. I've only ever been diagnosed with depression which started in 2002. I don't have ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia or any other known disorder. After suffering for many years and wanting to get off these medications I am finally going to do it. I am wondering if anyone has used the tapering strips from Dr. Groot? I am highly sensitive to these medications and from the withdrawal effects I've had briefly in the past- they were excruciating. I currently reside in Arizona but will be moving home to Michigan to start the withdrawal process very soon. Thank you and God bless us all. If you'd like to learn more about my story and experience or if I can be of help to anyone please let me know.
  2. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  3. Hi. I'm new here. Here are the basics of my story. I had been on 150mg of Zoloft for 17 years for dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder. I decided to taper off, with the blessing of my pdoc. My depression and anxiety returned, and I had to not only increase the Zoloft to 200mg but add 1mg of Abilify (plus Konopin as needed). It's been a year and a half since the episode began and a year since starting Abilify. I'm feeling quite a bit better--I hardly ever take the Klonopin, and my pdoc said I can try doing without the Abilify. I just went 16 days at only 0.5mg of Abilify, but I'm feeling anxious and depressed again and bumped back up to 1mg. I'm so frustrated with the whole situation. I'm working hard to recover: I'm in weekly therapy, I run just about every day (3-6 miles), and I meditate almost daily. I don't want to come off the Zoloft, just the Abilify. Maybe I won't be able to, in which case I need to come to terms with that. Any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated.
  4. I was given 20 mg of Prozac back in 1997 for depression. I was still technically a minor back then. I had an initial "high" from the Prozac which was mistaken for me not being depressed anymore. A few months later, Prozac stopped working and I had completely lost my sexual functioning. I told my doctor about this, so I was switched to Effexor. I kept on being switched from medication to medication in an attempt to achieve the initial "high" of the Prozac and to reverse the sexual functioning but things just got worse. One day I was put on a medication called Wellbutrin and that caused a manic episode from the first dose which caused me to have to be put into an inpatient facility. I was now switched from just being depressed to having bipolar disorder. I was put on Depakote which stopped the manic episode. Depakote caused me a lot of suffering, so I decided to cold turkey the medication about 6 months later. This led to another inpatient hospitalization and now I was polydrugged with Depakote and Zyprexa. This was the first polydrug combination I was on. This combination of medications was even worse because I was sleeping at least 16 hours a day. After another 6 months or so, I cold turkeyed both of these medications and that led to another inpatient hospitalization. I was fortunate in some ways to have the Zyprexa removed and be able to function somewhat ok on just Depakote and now Klonopin. I stayed on Depakote for years but my sexual issues were never solved and I had a lot of other side effects from Depakote such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease like symptoms. In around 2005, I discovered the first person who had described the same sexual issues I experienced. It was called Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. I discovered forums similar to this one, and consumed books by people like Dr. Breggin. In 2007, I was able to successfully withdraw safely from all medications by switching over to lithium and valium and using a compound pharmacy to taper down. I felt a lot better and recovered from some of the damages caused by the medications. I began social drinking in 2008 because I felt like I missed out on such a big part of my life. About 6 months later, I completely lost my ability to sleep probably due to the alcohol damaging what the benzos had already damaged. I was forced into a state psych ward and given a diagnosis of bipolar NOS, psychosis, anxiety etc. After 3 or 4 months in the state psych ward, I left on a combination of Depakote ER and Ativan. I had to eventually updose the Depakote ER and switch to Klonopin again. So for the last 3 years or so, I've been on 1250 mg of Depakote ER and 3 mg of Klonopin. While I am not suffering nearly as much as I did when I was bombarded with antipsychotics like Haldol and Geodon, life isn't nearly as good as I know it could be. That's why I want to get help in coming off of the Depakote ER and Klonopin safely. My confidence level is a bit low because I feel like I may be damaged beyond repair due to being on dozens of psychiatric medications and due to the past experience with insomnia I freak out when I cannot sleep and that is what is happening now. I started to taper off of Depakote ER on 11/24/2014 and I'm on 750 mg Depakote ER now and 3 mg of Klonopin. That's my intro but I'm not sure what to do next...
  5. InChristAlone

    InChristAlone

    I was in Lexapro 10 and 20mg (mostly 10) for 15 years. I was put on it when I was 19 after going through a breakup with my high school girlfriend. Also , I have dealt with minor anxiety issues most of my life and have a family history of anxiety and depression. Everything was going ok until I herniated a disc in Jan 2018. What felt like a nervous breakdown ensued. My GP stopped Lexapro cold turkey and started me on Luvox and this made things worse. I cold turkey quit everything for a couple months and things continued to get worse. My GP then put me on Effexor 150mg and Klonopin 1mg twice daily. Things improved for a while. After 6 months, I decided to taper Klonopin because I had found this site and benzobuddies. I am down to 0.25 mg of Klonopin daily and still on Effexor. I am living a life of waves and windows now. I am a middle school teacher and coach. Thankfully, God has strengthened me enough to continue to work through this WD process.
  6. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  7. Hello, New member here. Had been on Klonopin for 15 months for insomnia caused by hypothyroidism. Been off K for 10 months now, with the help of 75 mg Trazodone for sleep. About 2 months ago, T was losing its effectiveness and I decided it's time for a drug-free me. I went from 75 mg to 50 with no problems; at 50, withdrawal hit hard. Insomnia (of course), shakiness, anxiety, you name it. I did a fast taper as I did not have it in me to go through another long taper after the K experience. In 2 months, I went from 75, down by 1mg every night to 50, to 25 for 2 weeks, 12.5 for another 2 and finally off. I have been off for only about 3 nights. Withdrawal after quitting seems manageable so far, although it is too early to tell if it will get worse. My main issue is with insomnia. I feel if I can manage this, I will be OK, especially after the horrific K withdrawal. My question for those who have used Trazodone: how long did it take for sleep to return after quitting trazodone? Please include how long you had been using T and the dosage. Thanks for your input and hope we all survive the trials of psychotropic drugs. Survivor1
  8. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  9. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  10. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Pattypan: Benzo Taper when it's only PRN Hello, I am new here. I have a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive DIsorder- I have had this for as long as I can remember. I was first medicated for it ( in my teens) 20+ years ago. I was on and off meds throughout my teens/20's. In 2015- I had an OCD "episode" that scared me to death and back on medications I went. After a few trial and errors I was stable on Lexapro for 4.5 years. I recently took myself down from 30mg to 20mg ( over the course of 1 week- yes- i had headaches, involuntary movements and brain zaps). As of yesterday I tapered to 15mg. I am feeling pretty bad today... and I understand I should be decreasing by 10% but for some reason that seems unreasonable to me.... ( in the past I have successfully tapered off of prozac, wellbutrin, celexa, zoloft and don't recall any of those being notable- I DO remember tapering off of Luvox was terrible) Any supplements or advice you may have to ease these taper symptoms? My goal is to be completely off of Lexapro in 1 month. Too soon? also- No i am not involving my doctors in this decision or this taper... I just don't trust that they know enough in regards to how to taper and they wont respect my decision to taper. Thanks in advance!
  11. Moderator note: link to Linus' benzo thread - Linus: Klonopin question Hi everyone, I like this forum, I think the moderators are sensible people who give good advice, compared to some other websites. I have already come a long way with regards to withdrawing from Escitalopram, from 30mg to 1.8 mg. It has been hell but hey here I am I know that by now even small cuts are problematic. My first question would be if anyone has a clue as to whether there comes a point in the withdrawal where things get easier (like at 1mg or 0.8 mg) or does it stay funky all the way down to zero?
  12. hey, my new heroes... I am feeling afraid and lost. This started for me in February 2018 when my retired psychiatrist's replacement said that I had to come off the klonopin or I would end up with dementia like my mom. (I will be 60 in August). With no suggestions as to how to taper, I found myself on Dr. Goggle and cut 1/4. Horrible withdrawals while maintaining a stressful position at work. Adding to my stress was a new partner who had moved from another state to move in with me. We never had time to stabilize our situation before my taper began and mom was diagnosed with advanced dementia. I had a maddening search for a doctor to help me through this process and found an internist who upped the cymbalta to 90 mg and then later to 120 mg late summer after I tapered the klonopin to .25 mg and back down to 90 mg in the fall. (I had been on cymbalta 60 mg and .5 klonopin since 2006. I started out with 75mg effexor and the .5 mg klonopin but I had withdrawals from the effoxor after missing 4 days of meds when out of town. Psychiatrist started me on the 60 mg Cymbalta. I remember the transition being a smooth one). In an attempt to continue with my Klonopin taper and to deal with the debilitating withdrawlas from what I now were Cymbalta-related, a different psychiatrist (still searching for competency at this point) was trying to cross me over back to the effexor and off of cymbalta. BIG issues with this process. In February she dropped me to 60 Cymbalta and added 37.5 Effoxor. I did this for 2 weeks then dropped the Cymbalta to 40 mg and continued with the 37.5 mg effexor. I did this for 2 weeks but ended up in the ER with what I think was akastaisis. Was discharged with both a script for a beta blocker and an antihistamine. I finally was able, in my fear-induced panic, to take the antihistimine and sleep in the ER. To date, I have used neither. I've white-knuckled and CBTed my way through the last couple of months. I saw the psychiatrist in a few days after my ER visit and she dropped the cymbalta to 20 mg and stopped the effexor. I opted at this point to take my Family Medical Leave option and entered a 2-month long out patient CBT program which started on March 18th. During this time I was working with a psychiatrist for meds. The psychiatrist affiliated with the outpatient program was a young man whose name I recognized and it turned out that he had developed a name for himself as a benzo withdrawal expert (Mad In America continues to ask him to blog). The entire two months in the program I did nothing but cry and I had my first full blown panic attack in 20 years. Meds at this point were 20 mg Cymbalta and .25 mg klonopin. I was being told that I needed to make another klonopin cut so I chose the date of April 19th, Good Friday, as I thought that fitting for my need for symbolism and to make a spiritual connection. I started by cutting that little pill into pieces but have ended up using a compounding pharmacy and have been taking 7.5 ml (.1875 mg) daily. He kept telling me that I was on such a low dose of the klonopin that I could jump if I wished. We never discussed the issues related to what I think are cymbalta withdrawal symptoms. I told me that I could be med free soon and regaining my new life. The program ended on May 18th and I left with no med changes. Life got worse. I've had some good days but mostly they have been filled with crying and dread; a lack of meaning and a huge sense of loss. (I was having to make decisions about the future of my professional career which ends on July 24th. I've had no income now for 2 months and became eligible to apply for our agency's Disability plan on June 19th. I have applied and am waiting, hopeful, but waiting. My new relationship is suffering and I feel very misunderstood.) Within the past 2 weeks I finally found doctors in town that have successfully tapered others off of benzos and Antidepressants. Three different opinions on med changes but they all share the thought that I need to stabilize before finishing the benzo WD. Yet, I question the plan. I need your wisdom. SOOOOOOO, they all wanted to try new meds while finishing the cymbalta taper which wasn't even registering in my mind as a cause perhaps for my current state of being. One wanted Lamictal, one suggested Lexapro and another zoloft because I have family members living mostly stable lives on this drug. (multiple SSRIs from 1986 - 1998 were tried, nothing worked for me until we found the cocktail with klonopin). Diagnosed as GAD. The plan that was written up is this: Start .25 zoloft on 6/24/19 and take this for a week with the 7.5 ml klonopin and 20 mg Cymbalta. So far, I have been less anxious but the foggy head and fear are still fairly high. I hate this spacey feeling. I've spent a lot of time alone in my room, afraid and tired but not able to sleep. My night time sleep has been affected a bit since starting the zoloft. I have trouble getting to sleep.) tomorrow she wants me to start 50 mg zoloft and drop the cymbalta while maintaining the klonopin. OR, take the cymbalta every other day. She wants me to stay at 50 mg to see how I am doing. We will up it if needed. (I felt an almost immediate shift in attitude the first two days on the .25 Zoloft but this has since gone downhill. I am triggered by the thought of putting new meds into my body.) How long will it take me to get off of the cymbalta and is switching over to zoloft a good idea? I AM SO FREAKING AFRAID!!!!!! Please share your support and wisdom. HOPE, is there hope for me. The compounding pharmacy will fill cymbalta capsales but I need a plan as I fear that dropping another 20 mg is too much, too soon. How long can I take the cymbalta and zoloft together without SS? Looking forward to hearing back soon. Trying to make today a good day but I am feeling victimized and adrift. With much appreciation. fearbegone
  13. i thought i was withdrawing successfully from gabapentin. i am apparently very bad off because i had to go very very slow. i thought i was doing ok and i upped very slowly the amount of dissolved liquid i was withdrawing from the beaker. i was stressed, but every night would go back down in dose to get a good sleep. i was unable to tolerate attempts to withdraw more so i went back to the dose that seemed comfortable. i was no longer comfortable. at all. then i upped the dose 30% i thought acc. to the rules here. i am radically uncomfortable now at any dose. i am desperate and there is no end. i am thinking of going to a doctor to see if i can get a lot of benzos to withdraw. i am afraid of compounding my problem. i was take 300 mg. gaba 6xs a day. i was getting breakthrough symptoms anyway but didn't realize it.
  14. Hi all, My name is Joel, and first of all I want to say I really appreciate the resource of this site. I never realized how insane things could get on starting or stopping antidepressants. I knew about withdrawal syndrome, but I didn't realize it could be 100 times worse than the worst of my anxiety. I'm currently seeking support for a tapering schedule I'm on. A bit of my history. After a whirlwind year in 2013 of getting married and losing a job, I had my first panic attack. At the end of the year, I started having more pronounced anxiety episodes – instead of 30 minute attacks, overwhelming anxiety that would come for hours at a time. My doctor at the time prescribed 50mg sertraline. After reading a bit about antidepressants, I decided to start with 25mg, and it worked for me. My life changed. I felt like myself again. Even on that low dose, my panic went away, I felt more confident, and I was able to not only survive but thrive through getting a new job, two babies, two dogs, and a house in a matter of 3 years. In mid-2016, I talked with my doctor again about going off the sertraline. My largest complaint was it made me sleepy at night and occasionally I'd feel mild brain zaps. I tapered over a week and had no issues. Fast forward to the end of 2017. On a business trip, I felt anxious one night, and I had brought my old Xanax/sertraline bottles as a safeguard, which I've always done when traveling. Knowing how addictive Xanax can be, and because sertraline helps me sleep, I took the sertraline. The next month, I felt anxious again while traveling, but didn't take anything. Then, in March 2018, I was traveling for work in Ethiopia and had a major anxiety episode. I had taken a sertraline the first night there, again ignorant that I probably shouldn't be popping them for the occasional time I want to fall asleep. About 6 days in, while traveling back from the south of the country, I felt a panic attack hit. It wasn't your typical panic attack: I had no overwhelming feeling of doom or fast heart rate, just an extreme urgency to urinate and a sick stomach. When I got back to my hotel, I took Xanax and started on the old script of sertraline. Within two days, I felt better, was able to travel home without incident, and was fine through April. The old prescription ran out after a few weeks, and I did a few-day taper, and wanted to see if I could survive without the drug, scheduling an appointment with a new doctor in July. I was feeling more anxious in July. Not every day, just occasional evenings. Mostly, my gut was sometimes a mess — I had a lot of IBS symptoms. When I saw my doctor, I asked to be put back on 25mg sertraline. It worked, and then it didn't. In late September, I began getting chronic, all-day headaches that lasted from early morning to the time I went to bed. I thought it was some kind of sinus infection, and to save money, did a teledoc appointment where a nurse practitioner wrote me a script for antibiotics. The antibiotics didn't work, and over the course of a month, I felt sicker. It was then I began to worry about some serious ailment, and after going to a walk-in clinic when I was feeling rather sick, I was sent to the ER with 160/100 blood pressure. They did a CT scan and tested my blood and everything was normal. The next day, my doctor's PA upped my sertraline to 50mg, convinced it was anxiety. Within 12 hours, I knew something was wrong. My whole body was shaking, I felt like my heart was beating through my chest, I had to urinate every 30 minutes. It was crazy. At first, I told myself it was just the anxiety, but it was always bad after taking the pill and got better in the evening. After 5 days of this hell, my doctor said to taper over a week. I didn't listen, but went cold turkey. At first, I was shaky but fine. Then I experienced a week of near-black depression. I've never struggled with that before, but they only way I can describe it is like staring at a black wall. You can't even see or think about anything. By Thanksgiving, I was stabilizing, and doing better and better. In early December, I then had an episode of anxiety that hit in the evening. My heart was pounding and I felt sick to my stomach. Angry, I decided to try taking 12.5mg of the sertraline again. Within an hour, it felt like my brain was on speed. My wife woke up and found me running around our basement because I felt I had to move. She suggested, actually demanded, going to see a psychiatrist. She works with moms who suffer from anxiety/PPD. I put it off, thinking I would stabilize, but I didn't. By the next week, I felt like all my nerves were on fire, I had no patience, noises were making me jump, and I began to have the complete inability to sleep. Every time I would drift to the edge of sleep, I'd wake up with a racing heart. My doctor saw me and prescribed buspirone and Ambien. I tried the Ambien twice — both days after were hellish and painful beyond belief. I had to take Xanax to get rid of the horrible fiery pain they caused me. As Christmas approached, I was desperate. I had been so normal just a few weeks prior. I had my girls and pregnant wife to think about. I couldn't fall apart, but I was. I ended up in a day program at a psychiatric hospital for 3 days where I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and given 100mg of trazodone. It helped me sleep, and boy was I happy for it! At a followup the next week, I was then prescribed 5mg escitalopram. I began to stabilize. I was sleeping, I wasn't jumping at sounds, my anxiety was slowly resolving, but I still felt off. My body still felt out of sync. I learned about autosomatic dysfunction. I also tried to taper the trazodone because it made me feel zonked all day every day, but within two days felt like someone had poured battery acid in my veins. I was fine again within 24 hours of taking the 100mg again. In early February, I began researching something I'd thought of way back in October — the effects of different generics. For years, I had been on the generic sertraline manufactured by Pfizer's subsidiary Greenstone. Last July, I was started on a brand from the Indian company Aurobindo. As I researched, I began finding testimonies of people saying the Aurobindo brand make them feel like they were on speed. I asked my psychiatrist about it and talked to my pharmacist who used to work for Pfizer and had heard of similar situations. My psychiatrist then had me stop the escitalopram and trazodone (he said cold turkey, but I tapered to 25mg of trazodone in a week) while restarting the sertraline at 25mg. Within a few days, most of my symptoms went away. I learned more about post acute withdrawal and generic switches. I was angry no one had thought of that except my pharmacist. Stopping the escitalopram had to effects, but the trazodone nearly killed me. I learned about trazodone's short half-life and was, again, angry no one had explained this to me. I came home from work one day in horrible, burning pain and felt panic setting in. I couldn't even play with my girls – I had lost the ability to sit still. I called my doctor who said to take .75mg of Xanax and that stopped the pain. He then met with me and prescribed .5mg Klonopin as needed and planned a 6 week taper of the trazodone. I am currently 3 weeks in and at 37.5mg. Every little step has come with pain and a few restless/sleepless nights, but I've been in a good mood and have been very productive the past few weeks. The most recent taper had me switch to 50mg pills that are made by Tiva, a different generic, so I am concerned that this might exacerbate withdrawal symptoms. Overall, I am very angry with the way these medications are offered without talking about the risks. I'd pay everything in my bank account to be able to deal with the occasional anxious nights I had last summer as opposed to the painful misery of today. I am grateful to now know, however, that it wasn't me going crazy and that I don't have major generalized anxiety disorder – that 90% of my symptoms have been medically induced. My questions in coming to the forums are as follows: 1) Has anyone ever experienced such pronounced withdrawal symptoms after less than 3 months on an antidepressant? 2) Has anyone had a similar experience tapering from trazodone? 3) One of the major symptoms I had on the Aurobindo brand of sertraline was chronic all-day headaches. I've been getting them again more again now that I'm back on the sertraline (but on the Greenstone brand). I have no idea if the headaches are simply being caused by the fluctuations in my serotogenic systems or by the drug itself. Has anyone else experienced dull, constant headaches that last all day? My research into it has turned up nothing. 4) Has anyone experienced changes switching from one generic to another? Thanks for being a resource! - Joel _____ Current medications: 37.5mg trazodone, 25mg sertraline, .5mg Klonopin as needed during taper (I should mention I also completed 3 months of CBT which was far more helpful than the meds)
  15. lalala

    lalala: Paxil to Prozac

    Dizziness, faint feeling, exhaustion, distorted vision So it's been almost 3 weeks on a vertigo, off balance, visual effects... Wave Feeling very weak today from other things and of course not sleeping enough do to emotional stress... This is my second wd, last year was with no tapering different ssri's and this year from klonopin... That i took from my doc and Celexa again feel worst as my CNS was already compromised I hardly have a life because I'm exhausted and feel ill so I cancel things.. and feel devastated... I took more drugs for depression and anxiety and I feel damaged... Despite not having severe severe sxs... It's affected my life that I can't go to far or do so many things... I feel like I killed myself for now it's very say and totally misunderstood.. Plus I have to deal ignorance and abuse...
  16. lalala

    lalala: Paxil to Prozac

    Dizziness, faint feeling, exhaustion, distorted vision So it's been almost 3 weeks on a vertigo, off balance, visual effects... Wave Feeling very weak today from other things and of course not sleeping enough do to emotional stress... This is my second wd, last year was with no tapering different ssri's and this year from klonopin... That i took from my doc and Celexa again feel worst as my CNS was already compromised I hardly have a life because I'm exhausted and feel ill so I cancel things.. and feel devastated... I took more drugs for depression and anxiety and I feel damaged... Despite not having severe severe sxs... It's affected my life that I can't go to far or do so many things... I feel like I killed myself for now it's very say and totally misunderstood.. Plus I have to deal ignorance and abuse...
  17. Moderator's note: link to benzo forum thread - EmmiseA: Can I taper an antidepressant and benzo at same time? Hello, I came on here for some much needed advice/ reassurance. Back in March 2018 I had a horrific reaction to being put on Sertraline 25mg for postnatal anxiety/depression. After 2 weeks, the insomnia was dreadful, anxiety and depression was through the roof. I switched onto citalopram 10mg and after no change in symptoms after a few days apart from developing horrible Hypnic jerks, I was told to come off it by my psychiatrist. The brain zaps, skin crawling, heart palpitations and other side effects lessened over a few weeks but I couldn’t sleep due to these awful jerks and my anxiety and depression were through the roof. I went back to my psychiatrist who put me on quitiepine and pregabalin and 1mg clonazepam. I slept on the clonazepam no problem, but still noticed a few jerks on sleep onset. I successfully tapered off the pregabalin, quitiepine and clonazepam with no new effects but the doctors decided I needed an antidepressant and put me on 30mg of Mirtazapine. I am now on Mirtazipine and down to 0.375mg clonazepam, this being given to me again to help the jerks. 5 months later I still have the Hypnic jerks and muscle fasciculations. They haven’t got any worse on the Mirtazapine - if anything they have got somewhat better - but I still have a few nights a month even when I’m this low dose of clonazepam where they don’t allow me any sleep at all, the twitching is so bad. I really really need to hear some success stories of the jerks going away, please!! I’m afraid to touch anything at the moment in terms of the antidepressant, but am still tapering clonazepam with the aim of being off it soon. My aim is to try and get stable with these jerks and my sleep patterns and then very slowly taper off mirtazipine. Please no horror stories, my nerves just can’t take it!! I need to hear success stories. Many thanks xxx
  18. I'm 45 years old. I have been on psychiatric drugs since I was 25. For years, 17, I was on Paxil 20mg and tegretol 200mg. I believed I tripped off my first depression after using ecstasy, which I think altered my brain's serotonin functioning. Four years ago I went to my gynecologist seeking help for worsening pms, as I believed perimenopause was coming into play. I failed to consult with my psychiatrist and trusted her. After a too-quick taper off of Paxil and onto Lexapro things just completely deteriorated. After 6 months I was a wreck, did another, even shorter, taper off of Lexapro back onto Paxil. But I was sunk...I think my central nervous system was wrecked. The ensuing year of onto and off of a variety of drugs was nothing short of a nightmare. Sparing all the details, I landed on the following drugs: Remeron 15mg Paxil 20mg Lamictal 125mg Pristiq 100mg Lithium 600mg Klonopin .5mg Trazodone 50mg It's criminal. A John's Hopkins psychiatrist specializing in women's hormone related mood issues said my gynecologist's cavalier actions verged on malpractice. A recent, and current, rash believe to be pityriasis rosea prompted my current psychiatrist to insist I stop Lamictal cold turkey. The dermatologist diagnosed it. He, without seeing the rash himself, is insistent. In light of what I feel is a damaged central nervous system I have decided to trust my dermatologist. That said, this situation has prompted me to consider the idea of eliminating the Lamictal. It's a start. I also believe Lamictal in some way tinkers with estrogen, something I'd like to avoid. It has been a hellish journey. I do not trust the psychiatric industry. I believe that how my case has been handled, so carelessly and without regard to actual true health, is shameful. I never, ever thought I'd be on multiple drugs like this. I am a high functioning, intelligent woman with a constitution sensitive to endocrine changes. I have been terrified of even considering touching any of this. While in the back of my mind wondering....what will happen to me after years of being on so many drugs? For the record, I have never been manic, ever. Lithium does function for me as an antidepressant. I understand that I'm somewhere on the spectrum, and because of long periods of happiness and wellbeing interrupted by 3 episodes of major depression, each with clear origins, I have been labeled bipolar2. I don't care much for labels. All I know is I'm on a serious amount of drugs. And I'm finally willing to find the courage to wrap up this bizarre ride. Lamictal first. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement or feedback gladly welcomed. Hope
  19. juelli

    juelli: intro

    Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Juelli: klonopin tapering Hi, I was prescribed antidepressants and klonopin in the 90’s during some stressful life situations. In 2005 I did an uninformed, unsuccessful taper of my AD and klonopin, then was reinstated on Klonopin & Effexor. In 2011, I started another taper, still uninformed, but slower. I toughed out increasing symptoms, eventually stopping Effexor at just under 10 mgs November 2017. During Nov-Dec 2017, except for brain zaps, dizziness, I felt really good, better than before I jumped. I was taking K, but infrequently. However, in January 2018 my symptoms began to slowly increase and intensify: SI, depression, anxiety, insomnia, anhedonia, social anxiety, weight-loss, anger, cog fog, etc. I was working a very physically demanding winter job, which distracted me for several hours a day so I managed the season. I still was taking K infrequently...like a rescue dose every 4-5 days, usually .5 mg or less. By mid-April 2018, I crashed and convinced I was losing my mind, I started searching for suicide support groups on-line. I found Benzobuddies and the Ashton Manual. However, at the time I never considered that my AD discontinuation was a factor because I'd felt so good when I discontinued. I thought I was only dealing with Benzo withdrawal and focused on that. With support from BBs, I stabilized on a daily dose of Klonopin (1.5mg) and on June 1, 2018 using a homemade liquid Klonopin solution, I began a symptoms based, daily liquid micro-taper. I am currently at just under .6 mg K and figure I have 1-2 years left to taper. At first had more waves than windows but I worked hard learning coping strategies. I was able to work my winter job. About 6 weeks ago I suddenly began to have less intense waves and have slowly been able to increase the taper rate. Even though the waves are less intense I must work extremely hard at distracting myself from the symptoms but anhedonia, SI, depression, feelings of doom and being overwhelmed are always lurking. It is exhausting and life is not enjoyable. I have a healthy lifestyle and a supportive therapist who is anti-psych meds. I should mention that my husband, while supportive, has significant health issues adding to my stress. So, this brings me to my questions… Is stopping the Effexor at just under 10 mg considered a CT? Are my sxs due to the Effexor jump or the Benzo taper or both...and does it even matter? If it is from the discontinuance of the Effexor what is the healing timeline? (I'm guessing every one is different but perhaps there is a general pattern?) Could it be that the less intense waves are due to healing from the Effexor discontinuation after 18 months? Is there anything I should be doing differently to help me heal from the AD discontinuation? As I said, I am more familiar with Benzo tapering/discontinuation than ADs. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this introduction. Composing is very difficult for me, so please let me know if I need to clarify something. I look forward to your insight. J
  20. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  21. , dying to stay alive from poisoning of klonopin and mirtazapine
  22. I have successfully stopped using SSRI's (Celexa 40mg daily) and Benzo's (Xanax/Klonopin 3-4mg daily) for three years now after using them for 16 years. I tapered down from the Benzo’s first over a period of four months and then tapered down from the SSRI’s over the next four months. Of the nine subsequent withdrawal symptoms, I experienced since stopping both medications, three years later I am down to three symptoms that are lingering. Specifically: Sleep problems (waking up every 1-2 hours – inconsistent patterns) Elevated blood pressure (high-norm 140’s over 80’s) Ringing in the ears My PCP recommended I see a neurologist and he advised that the lingering symptoms are a result of the damage caused by the SSRI's and in time they will go away. Does anyone know when these lingering symptoms will leave and is there any recommended treatment I can utilize until they are gone? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  23. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
  24. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  25. So I figured its time i start a thread on what I'm dealing with. I was on PP for a cpl years but was tapering and keeping in touch with people while doing it. I tapered slowly for a yrs and a half until i got to ten beads and that was my last does at about months worth. Well, now im 6-7 weeks off effexor(paxil before that) after a long taper. The first two weeks seemed very smooth. I was in jamaica for week three and that was tough at points but i was still sleepin ok and feelin good when i woke up. How ever, i was getting strong anxiety late at night partly due to travellers anxiety and just general anxiety. Id say the next week, seemingly over night, i started getting insanely strong symptoms. Also, ive been using klonopin as well for 6-7 months at 1 mg a day and lately started using them every day or two days and noticed the symptoms worsened 5x times over. So i made sure i would use them every day and deal with one war at a time. They seem to help maybe 10 percent with what i think is a delayed effexor withdrawal. My symptoms are pretty much unbearable. Although i dont have the zaps the nausea, the wooshing or ringing in my ears like some people but ive been getting other almost indescribable symptoms like overwhelming guilt, extreme short fuse and temper, crazy mood swings, trouble focusing, sick feelings, extreme panic attacks that go from 1 to 10 in a heart beat. Ive dealt with anxiety and panic attacks all my life but this is on another level. Oh, and really messed up sleep problems. I mean I sleep fine when im asleep but cant sleep passed a certain time and im awaken by horrible dread, depression, earworms (songs repeating over and over like crazy) massive anxiety, mind racing, no energy, almost no libido and the worst are the intrusive and suicidal thoughts like harming myself or others, that give me even more insane anxiety cuz i have the thoughts. I would never act on em but they still really scare me. all of these symptoms come on strong and let off through out the whole day. I've been feeling this way now for 4-5 weeks my mind feels weak and im feeling hopeless. Im starting to have all these "what if" scenarios like "what of i act on these thoughts one day if i just can't take it anymore"(worried ill be like this forever) or will i end up like one of those people who cant deal with life anymore and i do something bad to myself. Like i said theyre thoughts and ive never harmed myself and am terrified by the thoughts. It just seems like normal things(worries or anxieties)are exasperated 100%. And its worse cuz i cant get my mind off of them becuz theyre so overwhelming . Im a very fit and active person. I have a personal trainer 3 days a week and a martial arts trainer 2-3 other days a week along with being in bands who have toured and made albums and played shows for 15 yrs. Now i dread just facing each day. I dread the nights( thats when my anxiety seems overpowering),going to bed and waking up. Ive lost interest in everything i loved literally weeks ago and it seemed to have happened over night....out of nowhere. Even my feelings seemed to have changed in a day for the girl im in a relationship with. The girl is my best friend along with being my gf. She is the best thing thats ever happened to me which makes me feel guilty of even thinkin like that, which in turn causes extreme anxiety. And i have doubts if i should be in a relationship at all but i know id feel like i couldnt live without her and she loves me and helps me so much with what im going through. Shes so supportive even tho she doesnt suffer anything. Im sorry for the rant but i wanted to get everything i could out. Can anyone relate or tell me if they think this is due to withdrawal? Im just lookin for some hope cuz lately i have none. Will i make it through and be normal again? Im living hell every day. Also the last thing is when i force myself to go to the gym, exercise seems to make all of these feelings even worse. The higher i get my heart up the worse i feel. Im so lost i dont know what to do. Im paralyzed.
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