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  1. 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.
  2. I started taking MMJ two years ago to help “manage” my anxiety so I could come off of 50 mg of Amitriptyline and .50 of Klonopin. My doctor was completely on board with this as he said it’s “natural” and really wanted me off Klonopin. This past February I ended up accidentally overdosing on MMJ and started to hallucinate. I was told my metabolism must have changed and that I would have to readjust the dose. Even in my state of mind I knew that was a horrible idea and CT’ed the MMJ. I had NO idea what I was doing or what was in store for me. I was put on 2 mg of Abilify and was told that it would help “speed the withdrawal process.” I never even decreased the Amitriptyline or Klonopin the entire time I took the MMJ. I was told after a month to just stop the Abilify. I can’t even attempt to describe the terror I felt the next two months. I had de realization, depersonalization, disordered thinking, panic attacks, it goes on and on. I didn’t sleep AT ALL the first month and then the second month I was getting 1-2 hours a night. I didn’t even know that it was physically possible to go that long without sleep. I developed paradoxical insomnia as well as a fear of insomnia. I stopped the Ability after one month. I decided by the third month I would taper the Amitriptyline since I initially took it for sleep and it wasn’t helping. Did I mention I had NO idea what I was doing? I went from 50mg to 6mg in two months. I honestly was about to throw in the towel at this point and go on an antidepressant but then found this site. I knew at this point I was in PAWS from MMJ but didn’t realize cutting the Amitriptyline this fast was a contributing factor. I thought that this was my “mental illness” coming back. I increased back to 10 mg in July and am holding steady. I am currently on 10 mg Amitriptyline and .50 mg Klonopin. Seven months later I still have a lot of issues. More importantly I have a lot of hope. I worked with a wonderful hypnotist and am at the point where I don’t worry about sleep. I eat well and exercise every day. I practice gratitude and am learning to live in the moment. I still wake up every 1-2 hours a night; most nights I fall back asleep and I am grateful for that. I’m learning to observe my thoughts and use my anxiety and fear as guides. I am already the strongest person I know. I’m only starting my journey but wanted to share early hope for those that may be struggling with acceptance. I also want to thank everyone on this site, you have been a part of my journey.
  3. Hi,everyone. My name is Manny.my psiquiatrist wants me to reduce the cymbalta from 60 to 30 mgs. I know it is a 50% reduction.i should decrease only 10%.how do i taper off 10%? And how long it takes? Should i open the capsules and count the number of beads and remove that 10%? How do i ingest the 90% remaining? With water? With juice? Can i do water tritation? I take cymbalta 60,abilify 25,ativan 2.5,risperdal 7.5 mg.
  4. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  5. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  6. Hello guys , please spare a few minutes to read it and help me with this. I am from India 25 male In April of 2019 ,during my 3rd semester break, I had a breathing issue (one side nose block )and a sleep (cycle )problem,so I went to ent doc- dx with right sinusitis (not severe ) . For the sleeping cycle issue ,he told to see psychiatry (his wife ) and she prescribed DEP®@n L combination of ( Le×@pro 5 mg + clo≠zepam 0.25 mg ) for 14 days and told to stop After stopping , I had symptoms like - heart pounding ,anxiety , concentration issues, irritability . So I expected it to go away, but it didn't .So I went to another psychiatrist after 6 month (oct 2019),and he prescribed p®@xil (p®@xidep cr 12.5 mg ) ( oct 2019 to Jan 2020) i took for 3 months. while taking this durg my irritability ,anger increased .After stopping the drug I had symptoms of acid reflux ,pounding heart , muscle twitching,anxiety ,anger issue , irritability , indigestion i couldn't eat like before my food consumption decreased,sweating at night , waking at midnight 2am ,mild erectile dysfunction , orgasm decreased slightly ,mild heat intolerance . These severe affects lasted 6 months (aug 2020) and gradually decreased ,but the following symptoms did not -anxiety ,acid reflux, sexual side affects Somehow, I graduated in 2020 Feb 2021 due to exam pressure my sleep cycle changed - anxiety increased so I decided to take it again p®@xil (p®@xidep cr 12.5 mg ) this was the biggest mistake that i have ever made. . While taking the drug I felt dizzy all the time . on 12 th day I got severe gi distress and complete sexual dysfunction that shocked me so I stopped (Feb 2021) that drug cold trukey after that I had total sexual dysfunction ,can't feel emotion,severe acid reflux, heat intolerance ,throat pain ,blurry vision ,fatigue ,muscle pain , shivering, frequent urination ,fear increased , social anxiety ,panic attack,bloating , inability to burp , indigestion,muscle twitching, heart palpitation , headache,bounding pluse , wake up at midnight , can't able to sleep at right time always varies , exercise ability decreased , anger to the peak , irritability, confusion,can't concentrate ,eyelids felt always tired ,anxiety increased . this lasted about 7 to 9 months severely (June 2021) and gradually decreased .now this is my 17 th month slightly improved i can exercise more than 20 mins but still have most of this symptoms especially total sexual dysfunction ,anxiety ,indigestion ,muscle pain , concentration problem . In my first 2 attempts I couldn't study properly and in my 3rd attempt I did some but not enough, so I failed in all my attempts. I am going to write another one this year .my problem is that i can't study for long (8hrs-10hrs) and have concentration problem .Almost wasted a year and a half of my life .i have read "withdrawal and tapering 101".i am planning to reinstate very low dose ssri ? Anyone here been through something similar and recovered ? What lab tests do I have to take ? Can anyone help me with this ? I am obsessed with my sexual dysfunction always thinking about it makes me sick . My friends passed the exam a year ago ,but I am still struggling . I shouldn't have taken antidepressants 😔 What should I do ? Plz give me some suggestions
  7. 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?
  8. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  9. Hello, I really didn’t want to post a long intro because I’ve been battling either anxiety or med side effects or med w/d side effects for a long long time and I’m tired, sad, and angry and don’t have the energy, but I wanted to be able to reply to another member on here, so here goes. I’m not anti med and they did help for a very short period when I first took them but overall my life has been one of struggle even with them or partly because of them. Idk. I got OCD as a teen in the 80’s, so obviously DO have anxiety but muddled thru pretty well with little help for meds. I got on meds full time, in the 90’s, due to a horrendous breakup that put me in major depression/anxiety and after a couple years developed a mysterious symptom I call “boatiness” (non vertigo dizziness) which causes anxiety and was written off as anxiety but never remedied. I’ve struggled and suffered, missing out on lots of life’s joys…. yet I kept pushing thru and was “successful” in some ways, trying to do ‘normal’ life things, and keeping hope alive until the last few years. now I am tired and defeated. I tapered decades of Klonopin in 2019 thinking that would stop the boatiness. But it remains 2 years later. Now I’m tapering Luvox and I wouldn’t even bother tapering because it probably does help a tiny bit, who knows, but it makes me lethargic. It’s been a year of taper so far. I resigned myself to wasting another year and was suffering along but recently started getting an increase in debilitating symptoms. I really don’t even care if I’m off meds. I probably do need something at this point, because my thinking is so skewed to the negative after so much suffering and trauma, watching others live happily normal lives and yet they still complain about their brand of “anxiety.” I challenge them to try mine. I think I’m too damaged and disabled to do life without meds now at age 55. This coming from someone who was so hesitant and afraid to take them, I had to go to the hospital to get started on them. I’d like to switch to a different med or add it to the Luvox, but I’m told I can’t add anything or switch because “Luvox is special”. I have to taper completely off AND have a two week wash out of Luvox even though I’m only on a few grains of it, at this point. I can’t see how this is true because people are on multi meds all the time and I, personally, was on Luvox with Mirtazipine, but all the drs, ARNP s, and pharmacists are sticking to this “non-mixing Luvox” story, so I suffer another taper. Family and psych docs are useless… unless their is a pill or procedure, they don’t even want to know about it. I don’t know the doses, usually middle of the road because I was too scared to go to the high doses. 1980—OCD, kept secret, struggled thru school , age 14 1984—Told mom about OCD, first med anafranil for 6 months helped alot 1993-1994—Harsh breakup, major anxious depression, too scared to take meds, went to hospital to get help, klonopin/Zoloft 1996—Started having a symptom I call “boatiness”, never diagnosed, told it was anxiety to go back on meds, Klonopin/Zoloft 1997-2015—Family, college, work, struggled thru constant boaty dizzy symptom, Zoloft or Lexapro or Paxil or Prozac and Klonopin plus Xanax 2015-2018 Life becoming more and more limited, decided meds might be part of the problem and/or had barely helped for decades, started first tapers, repeatedly 2018—complete instability and disability, no work, no relationship, limited driving, tapered anti d too fast before klonopin, in maximum klonopin tolerance, landed in hospital from severe “boatiness” and unreality 2019—Mirtazipine, Luvox, Klonopin, complete instabiltiy but less than 2018 2019—Tapered Mirtazipine and Klonopin 2020—Luvox only, still disabled, now depressed 2021—Luvox taper from 100 mg, complete disability, hopeless, given up, angry, most of life behind me now
  10. I believe in the Love of God, which I intuit because of what is good in this world, and that Love will always conquer Evil, with faith and hope, but the greatest of these is Love to go through this infernal suffering of the decrease of these drugs!
  11. I am desperate for some help. My story is long, so if you read it entirely, I sincerely appreciate it. I was on SSRI's for about 18 years, since age 11. I added in wellbutrin for about the last 7 years to counteract the side effects of celexa and lexapro. Eventually I had to add in buspar because my anxiety was uncontrolled. I felt better for a while, but when it got worse, I decided to see a psychiatrist. My primary doctor had been prescribing my meds previously. The psychiatrist tried me on zoloft, lamictal, paxil, and abilify. At the end of it, I was on paxil, wellbutrin, and abilify. I had taken abilify for 10 days and had a night where I vomited 6 times; I had not vomited in about 10 years. My psychiatrist told me she felt I had serotonin syndrome and instructed me to discontinue all of my meds immediately. She gave me klonopin to get through withdrawal. I trusted her and did not know any better. I thought I would be okay. I had all of the typical withdrawal symptoms, but shortly after, started to experience new symptoms/injuries/illnesses. I started having panic attacks which I never had before. I started to have muted and painful orgasms, and then came pudendal nerve pain. I tried to reinstate antidepressants 4 months later, but they have only made me feel worse. I'm experiencing side effects I've never had before, even on AD's I've previously been on with no issues. I will attach a medication timeline and a symptom timeline. I have a new psychiatrist and he does not know how to help me except to keep trying me on medications. I'm terrified of them now, but all in the same, I know I can't stay this disabled for an indefinite amount of time. I lost my job due to dizziness/dysautonomia/swaying etc. If anyone has any advice for me, I would really appreciate it. I'm feeling very lost and alone and terrified. I saw numerous specialists who all told me I had anxiety and needed pills; not that my brain and body are injured and destabilized. As of today I am still on klonopin (0.25mg twice daily) and tapering off of lexapro 0.5mg every 4 weeks (currently at 1.5mg, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, set to decrease to 1mg on saturday 1/1/22). I cannot taper off klonopin until I'm done with the lexapro taper. April 29th- discontinued paxil (20mg) and Wellbutrin XL (150mg) May 2021- muted and painful orgasms May 2021- numbness/tingling in extremities May 2021- panic attacks started July 4, 2021- pudendal neuralgia/tailbone pain started July 2021- waves of depression started July 20, 2021- carvedilol increased from 1 q12h to 1 AM and 2 PM August 11, 2021- BPPV maneuver (half somersault)- PPPD started August 13, 2021- mouth twitching (due to Compazine) August 25, 2021- clonazepam prescribed by primary doctor August 31, 2021- jaw clenching (due to Trintellix prescribed by primary doctor) August 2021- hair falling out in clumps September 2021- dysautonomia/POTS started September 2021 (after reinstating Lexapro per psychiatrist)- RLS, migraines, tinnitus, ear ringing, constant music in my head again October 2021- rashes started October 2021- PPPD diagnosed after vestibular testing October 2021- left shoulder popping October 2021- brain fog, memory issues, trouble word recalling November 2021- muscle spasms (everywhere) November 7, 2021- left knee popping November 7, 2021- right shoulder pain November 11, 2021- right shoulder popping November 11, 2021- jaw popping November 12, 2021- cold sensation and nerve sensations coming from tailbone November 15, 2021- right shoulder pain and weakness November 16, 2021- decreased carvedilol back to 1 q12h December 9, 2021- blisters on top of hives December 10, 2021- cardiologist confirmed dysautonomia due to discontinuing antidepressants December 10, 2021- medial right knee pain December 24, 2021- pudendal neuralgia symptoms back to square one (pins and needles, burning, stabbing, hypersensitivity and severe pain) Celexa from 2003-2011 Cymbalta for 5 days in 2009- felt horrible like I was dying Celexa + Wellbutrin from 2011-2014 Lexapro + Wellbutrin from 2014- 03/2017 Lexapro + Wellbutrin + Buspar from 03/2017-2018 Lexapro + Wellbutrin + Buspar + Carvedilol (carvedilol introduced for physical forms of anxiety high BP high HR) from 2018-2020 Zoloft + Wellbutrin + Buspar + Carvedilol from Dec. 2020- Feb. 2021 Zoloft + Wellbutrin + Carvedilol + Lamotrigine (lamotrigine 2 weeks) Feb. 2021- lamotrigine caused stiff neck, increased anxiety, short term memory loss, overall floaty feeling in my head Zoloft + Wellbutrin + Carvedilol March 2021- zoloft helped with ocd and depression, but not anxiety Last dose of Zoloft April 1st Paxil + Wellbutrin + Carvedilol March 2021- April 2021- still had some anxiety with paxil April 15th, 2021- April 18th, 2021- trazodone 50mg April 19th-April 28th – Abilify added. On the 28th, up all night vomiting/diarrhea April 29th, 2021- discontinued meds cold turkey at Jaime Mendoza’s instruction (except carvedilol)- suspected serotonin syndrome 5/19/21-5/23/21 Seroquel (12.5mg)- made me very dizzy and I was already very dizzy from withdrawal (pre pppd) 6/22/21-6/30/21 Prozac (10mg)- heart was racing and pounding, chest hurt, increased blood pressure. Instructed to stop and see cardiologist: heart monitor and echocardiogram normal, cleared to take meds on 8/20 8/20/21- Pristiq er (50mg)- severe diarrhea, nausea, woke up at 1am having a panic attack, face green, eyes dilated, shaking, sweating and about to vomit 8/31/21-9/22/21 Trintellix (5mg)- jaw clenching, teeth clicking, brain zaps, increased dizziness, increased anxiety, nausea/vomiting, increased headaches, dry mouth, vivid and frightening dreams, increased panic attacks and pseudoseizures, itching, some blurry vision, gas, worsening depression, irritability 9/23/21-10/8/21 Lexapro (5mg)- Palpitations/pounding heart (mostly at night), Ear ringing, Tinnitus, Bad dizziness/off balance/increased 3pd, Nausea, Racing thoughts, Restlessness, restless leg syndrome 10/9/21-11/5/21 Lexapro (2.5mg) 11/6/21-12/3/21 Lexapro (2mg) 12/4/21-12/31/21 Lexapro (1.5mg) 1/1/21-1/28/22 Lexapro (1mg) 1/29/22-2/25/22 Lexapro (0.5mg)
  12. Hello all, My name is Alex and I was prescribed 1/2 x 10mg Escitalopram (Cipralex), 0.5 x Clonazepam (Rivotril aka Klonopin) for about 5 months now, for mostly anxiety. After already 2 months I hit tolerance / dependence with Clonazepam and from that point, for the little I knew, I should have give up on it, but my psychiatrist pushed it even more from 3/4 to 1 (0.5 Clonazepam). Clonazepam is the "horror" benzo of them all, but I did not knew back then and would have been fantastic if I removed it since month 2, instead of keep it in 3 more months. Escitalopram did not help me either, as if it had did, I would not been feeling worse after 5 months, than I was in the first place before taking the medicine. I really I very sad of my decision to actually go to the psychiatrist in the first place, but I did now knew much then. As I know now, the symptoms that I had then where really easy compared to the ones I have now (after 5 months of "treatment"). But that is what usually people do, driven by fear, instead of actually be a little realist and powerful and first, at least, document yourself of what you are doing in the first place. I have found At last a life book, by Paul David and I can say it's a life saver for the anxiety suffering people out there, but I just found it 3 weeks ago, after that I decided to start tapper the benzo. All this being said I am now on this schedule of benzo withdrawal attached in the picture. Unfortunately I got to 0.3 from 0.5 in 3 weeks instead of 8 and I feel quite a lot of withdrawal symptoms ( mild depression, mild / intermediate anxiety (but much longer than before), mild headaches, dizziness, mild blurred vision. I thought as I was just 5 months on these 2 drugs would make it to a fast withdrawal, now I know it is not the case and I need to listen to my body. Will hold benzo for now at 0.3 to stabilize. The big question is : Should I start the Escitalopram taper as well ? I read a lot already on the forum and I see usually people take it 1 by 1. Of course I asked a psychiatrist of tapering both at the same time and she said if I do it slow it's ok as I did not took them for long time and the doze is quite small. But I know you guys know better and would be much appreciated if you give me a hint here. So a small taper from the 1/2 x 10 mg Escitalopram , like 10-20% each month at the same time with the benzo taper would make sense ? Of course I will try to listen to my body / brain response, but I am unsure how much time will be needed to feel the withdrawal from Escitalopram, from Clonazepam is easy, in 2-3 days you feel the "response" of the cut, because of the 18-50 hours lifetime of it. Cheers !
  13. Hi Everyone, Sorry about any misspellings or rambling/fragmented sentences. I'm in the middle of a wave of high anxiety with severe insomnia. I figured it was time to give this a shot. I've been on and off Lexapro since 2014, mostly on. I had never taken a medication my whole life, barely took headache meds. Very active my whole life. I had flare ups of anxiety since I was a young child but I never knew what it was and just powered through. I'd always distract myself by working out, running, video games, etc. In 2012 my four year old son was having a lot of health issues and the doctors had him going through a lot of tests. This went on for over a year. My wife was scared, my son was scared, I was terrified. The cancer word was being thrown around. I was a ball of nerves, I couldn't outrun the anxiety this time. Our GP suggested I try an AD. I wasn't sure but my family really pushed me to try it as a crutch. I started taking Zoloft in March 2014 and I took it for 3 months. It made me insanely tired. I stopped working out and I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I wasn't anxious but I wasn't happy so I talked to my GP and he said I could just stop. I CT'd and got some minor brain zaps but nothing too bad. About a month later I had a full blown panic attack in Target, my first ever panic attack. It absolutely floored me. Then I had another panic attack a few weeks after that. I went to the hospital, got checked out and was told talk to my GP and see a psych. GP said you didn't like Zoloft, try Effexor. Also was told this was my mental illness progressing and now I would need this meds. I took Effexor that night and after about 3 hours I had worse anxiety I've ever had. Called GP practice, they said keep taking. I took it 3 more days and had to leave work and go to the hospital. I was in terrible shape with extremely high blood pressure and manic. I went inpatient where I saw a psych doc who put me on Lexapro 20mg and Klonopin 1 mg a day. I got out a week later and was allowed to work from home. I ended up back at work 2 months later after I started to feel better. I wasn't great but I could deal. You know the deal. Better more days than not. I started to gain weight, I stopped exercising, and I stopped socializing with family and friends. In July 2016 I started a taper. I went down 5mg a month and jumped in Oct 2016. I had a bad two weeks after every drop but got through. In January 2017, 3 months after I jumped off Lexapro, I started to get bad anxiety again. I was still on the Klonopin, now 1.5mg a day. It didn't help. My psych believed this was not withdrawal but my symptoms coming out again. She put me on Prozac and I had another bad reaction. Three days in I started having panic attacks and I ended up with insomnia for a month. I ended up back in the hospital where they put me back on Lexapro 20mg. I ended up getting more out of shape and lethargic. My BP, Cholesteral, and Sugar were up. I started CBT and pushed myself to exercise. I could not lose weight. I ended up finding a psych doc in my area that is great at tapering off benzos. So I joined a Benzo recovery discord and became active on Benzo Buddies. I tapered off 1.5 mg of Klonopin from December 2018 to December 2019. Actually took my last dose on Xmas eve. Coming of the benzo was terrible but I did it. It was a long terrible year. Next I turned my attention to the Lexapro and my psych doc got me liquid and I went down 1 mg every week from February 2020 to August 2020. When I jumped in August I had about 2 weeks of pretty bad symptoms but they resided over time. I was doing really well, very active and getting good rest. All of sudden I woke up insanely anxious last Thursday and it's been that way since. I'm having insomnia, insane anxiety, not hungry, face flushed, gastro issues and constant fight or flight. Just coming here for some type of support.
  14. Hello everyone I apologize if I don’t write so good I hope I made sense in my writing , English is not my main language … I was at the emergency room last month i. The middle of May due to panic attacks and they refer me to a mental clinic and when I was there last month I had no choice that to take the meds that they were giving me first lexapro 10mg with klonopin I don’t know the mg that was on my first day. on my second day the give me lexapro 10mg and gabapentin 3 times a day I don’t know the mg but it was 1 big pill of gabapentin and the nurse keep giving me the same doses of lexapro and gabapentin for the following week then After that 1 week I got discharged and when I was at home I only took lexapro for 2 more days the I stop cold turkey because of the awful side effects like racing heart ,brain fog ,increased anxiety and insomnia I didn’t sleep at all those 2 days ,,and then like 5 days after I quit I started experiencing weird feelings in my throat(feels very very very dry all the way to my stomach) it’s really hard for me to sleep now I keep waking up with this weird sensation and I have it all day but is more uncomfortable at night also my nose feels kinda dry as well I been having weird stools very soft but the main issue is the feeling of dryness that I feel in the throat I feel like is hard for me to breathe even though I went to ER again recently to see what is going on and they told me my oxigen levels are perfect they check my lungs and they are fine idk what to do i don’t know if I will feel better I regret so much that I took those meds because I feel worse now after I took it than before … oh and also I have slightly head pressure specially in the nights … I had ringing in my right ear the very first days that I stopped taking those meds and it seems like the ringing of ear has been fading .. I forgot to mention that the 3 days after of me stopped the med I was waking up with chills and sweating but I was feeling a little bit cold …I been searching if someone have similar issue as me of this weird dry feeling in the digestive track and throat after stopping lexapro but I haven’t found anything and I’m scared because I only took those meds for just a short period of time I don’t know if a person can experience withdrawal when they only took a few doses it’s been 3 weeks now that I’m feeling this way I stopped taking lexapro on May 26 and this weird symptom started like 5 days after = ( I feel so hopeless
  15. In August of 2021 will be a four-year ordeal that began with a breaking through (tolerance) of the SSRI medication (Celexa) I was on for 20 years. During this four-year period, I experienced over 75 symptoms associated with psychotropic medication withdrawal and at two different times was at zero quality of life. Once for five months (within the first year) and the once for four months (in year two) three months after my last dose of medication. I have been treated by a Psychiatrist, several counselors, two functional medicine doctors, two nutritionist, two specialists with psychotropic medication withdrawal, a geneticist and spent over a year and a half treated by a Dr. who specializes with hard-to-treat depression and anxiety cases. I have been on several strict diets (anti-inflammatory, vegetarian) and taken countless supplements. I have been tested for many possible underlying conditions. Although my condition has improved slowly (many symptoms have abated) I am still impaired living with severe insomnia, depression and anxiety on a daily basis. Concentration, speech, motivation, fatigue are all residual issues that continue to come and go with no predictable pattern but as of late cognition, speech and energy level have all improved. Prior to taking psychotropic medications, I lived with dysthymia (PDD) with major depressive episodes until 34 years old. I was not aware of the condition until that time. Looking back it effected my motivation, outlook on life, self-confidence and career decisions. I took Celexa for 20 years and it worked well for about 12-15 years. A whole new world of consistent positive emotions opened up soon after starting the drug. The last five or so years I was emotionally numb with no real highs but depression, insomnia and anxiety were not factors. It should be noted that for about eight of those years the dosage was 80 mg. In the summer of 2017, I noticed increased anxiety levels and insomnia had returned similar to when I when on medication. I then realized I was breaking through the medication. Agitation and aggression also started increasing. My psychiatrist then prescribed multiple medications over a period of five months. I experienced intense acute withdrawal symptoms. These drugs included Lexapro, Cymbalta, and Prozac. I stopped all meds after five months in December of 2017 for a period of one and a half months (symptoms intensified). At the end of the month and a half, I tried Ketamine infusions and my quality of life was reduced to zero. This intense period lasted five months. During this five-month period, new and previously prescribed drugs were given including Prozac, Trintellex, Lexapro, Klonopin (5 mg.), and Trazodone. In May of 2018, I began a slow taper with an organization to come off all medications. The taper ended in August of 2019. The order of the taper was Trintellex, Trazadone, Klonopin, and Prozac. During the taper, a number of symptoms lessened but would return later with varying intensity and duration (e.g., visual distortions, brain zaps, dizziness, numerous cognitive issues). However, after the taper, several symptoms slowly increased in severity including insomnia (severe), depression (moderate to severe), concentration (moderate), anxiety moderate to severe), depersonalization/derealization (moderate). The symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression were the most constant. Immediately after my taper, quality of life was reduced significantly (close to zero). This in spite of working with a functional medical doctor and nutritionist for treatment. Three months later, I reached zero quality of life again and in the winter of 2019 I went to a clinic that specialized in hard to treat cases in hope they could help. My condition improved slowly but not much. I was put on supplements to address sleep and high free copper levels. The treatment for free copper lasted over a year with zinc supplements reaching 250 mg before it was determined my free copper levels were down. Sleep problems remained unchanged. After two years of being treating I was still severely symptomatic and was told I was one of only 10% of patients that they were not able to help. In desperation and on recommendation, I reached out to an organization the deals with genetic testing. They put me on more supplements in which I reacted negatively. Currently, insomnia remains bad. I wake every night after about three hours with an intense mixture of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression, guilt, shame) that have no basis in circumstances. My sleep is tumultuous at best, waking multiple times before experiencing electrical like sensations about 45 minutes prior to waking. Most mornings I cannot go back to sleep because of these sensations. My sleep hygiene is very good and has been for a while. Nothing seems to help in this area. I take magnesium and have taken a number of other supplements and natural sleep aids, but none have worked. However, I now go through withdrawal if I forget to take the magnesium. In summary, this August it will be four years. Two of which have been medication free. My symptoms have improved in number, intensity and duration. However, I still deal with insomnia, depression and anxiety in varying patterns. I do have some windows but never a full day and have not slept through the night except once in 4 years. Trying to discern withdrawal symptoms from underlying symptoms is challenging. Sleep was never a problem prior to taking medications and nothing close to what I live with now. I do not understand why is so bad when I have practiced excellent sleep hygiene for a while. The anxiety and depression have similarities to my pre-existing condition but also have major differences. For example, I can be dealing with a situation in the morning that seems to be causing depression or anxiety and in the evening I am thinking about the same situation and feel neither anxiety or depression and can view the situation in rational emotionally stable state. I am very strong in my belief about my identity but will sometimes experience strong emotions of insecurity that I know are absolutely baseless and absurd. The same goes for anxiety and depression. The emotions seem to have a mind of their own. There is a strong disconnect between what I know to be true and my emotions. Like fearing something that you know is rationally nothing to fear. I have many questions that I probably already know the answer, but I will throw them out for your feedback. 1. Did the poly drugging exacerbate the withdrawal/healing process. 2. What about the ketamine? That drug sent me off into the abyss of torturous emotions. It was like I was being brutally tortured non-stop for five months night and day. The emotions were beyond description. Zero peace and joy. 3. Are my current symptoms (they still can be very debilitating and intense) uncommon this far out from being off meds? 4. I did a slow taper and was told I would probably heal quickly only to go back to zero quality of life three months later. Any thoughts? 5. Although most of the people who have tried to help have been well-meaning, none have been able to significantly alter my condition. I have appreciated their encouragement and compassion, but their treatments have not been able to move the healing needle. Most supplements inflated my symptoms or did nothing at all. The free copper diagnosis and treatment did bring a little relief but only a little. 6. I have read that sleep is one of the last things to return to normal, but four years later it still is bad. Any thoughts? Feel free to ask questions or make comments. Thank you for taking the time to read.
  16. Hi. I've been on SSRI meds for a long time. I'm currently tapering from Zoloft. I'm at 26 mg. I'm reducing at 2.5% every 2-4 weeks. My CNS is a mess and I can feel every taper. I'm so tired all the time and have no energy. I'm taking cal-mag citrate, Barleans Omega fish oil, Vitamin D3/K2, and an iron supplement for anemia. Sometimes I take Coq10. I'd like to know what has helped others with the inability to focus and with fatigue.
  17. Long story short, I have anxiety and panic disorder. My doctor stopped my Prozac CT in April 2022 after 14 years stable on antidepressants. Said would be no issue due to the long half-life. Started getting physical symptoms and severe depression 6 weeks later, so he started Effexor 75mg cause it worked in the past. Since the have had days I feel okayish but the past week has been hospital visits due to SI and severe panic. They just keep giving me benzos but it’s making me worse. I had clonaz once and fainted and still don’t feel right. They want me to wean my Effexor onto Zoloft. What do I do? I can’t go on much longer like this…
  18. 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.
  19. Hey everyone, I said that once I was healed and felt back to normal again I would write a success story and I do believe that today is finally the day for it! It was a very long journey for me personally, but I know that others have been going through it for even longer. So for those of you that are still in the thick of it, I will tell you this! Keep on going and going and going!! Never ever give up! I truly do believe that everyone heals no matter how long it takes!! For some it is shorter than others, but it's coming for all of us! You can read my intro topic and see that I really didn't find this site until I was almost 8 months in deep. I was one of those who CT quit everything because nothing was working for me and I got tired of trying different things to feel better. I was extremely fortunate to meet a wonderful lady who had survived the process and she reached out to me. She was able to encourage me daily to keep going and helped me to get through the very worst of days! I was so lucky because most people do not have that support system, but it was a life saver. Some things that I learned while going through this process: 1. Stay as positive as you possibly can! I know it's hard, believe me. There were so many days I just wanted to get in a funk and stay there, but I knew how dangerous that was. If you let yourself always see the bad in things, then eventually that is all you will see! Take what is happening to you and turn it around. Find something positive in your day. When I was having the worst of symptoms, instead of feeling bad about it and moping about it, I would turn it around and tell myself that I was having a good strong day of healing! The harder the symptoms, the more healing that was taking place. I made it a positive thing!! 2. Acceptance!!! I know this one is hard!! It was for me and took me a very very long time to learn it, but once I did it made a world of difference for me. The symptoms no longer had the power over me that they once had. Yeah they were still there, but I would just acknowledge them and then move on. There was nothing I could do about them, so I just let them happen. Besides it just meant that I was doing some more healing. The sooner you can learn how to accept the process the easier the process becomes. 3. Time!!! Unfortunately in my experience I found that there are no shortcuts in this process. There is no magic pill or drug that I could take that was gonna heal me any faster. I had to be patient and wait for my brain and CNS to heal! There was no way to speed up the process or make it any easier. I just had to get through it! That was it. Time time and more time!! Each day you go through is one day closer to your ultimate healing so don't give up!! 4. Distract!!! Find something anything that you can use to distract yourself and make the time go by. For me it was long walks, paint by numbers, etchings, diamond dots, models, board games with my children!! Just anything to pass the time! The more I was able to distract myself, the more healing that was taking place without me worrying about it! When you sit around all day and don't engage your mind, it has nothing to do but ruminate on what you are thinking or experiencing. Distract!! 5. Keep track of the good days! I experienced the normal waves and windows pattern that is normal for a lot of people. I would keep a journal daily where I would write down what I was thinking, how things were going. And for me most importantly, when I was feeling good in a window, I would write about it in the journal. I would write notes to myself reminding myself that I could feel good again and that I would feel good again. That way on the hard days I could go back and see what I had written to myself to know that I was gonna be ok. And that's honestly about it! That's what worked for me! Just remember that what you are going through is temporary!! This is not the rest of your life. One day you will be healed and able to move forward with life and enjoy the days. This whole process has made me such a strong and more resilient person. Little things in life no longer really bother me and I have found I have so much more patience and understanding than I ever did before. As much as this whole thing sucked, it has made me a better person!! Just remember to keep going and going for as long as this takes!! You've got this and you know it! I will be sticking around the forums to help others. I always told myself once I made it through this I was gonna pay it forward and help others as well. Don't hesitate to reach out if needed! Ken
  20. KittenLePurr, here. Thank you so much for maintaining this site and for welcoming me here❤️ I was put on psych meds as a child, at age 12. I'm still working through a lot of anger around that. My parents did the best they could but, you know, they were traumatized by their parents, who were traumatized by their parents, etc., and they were all taught to blindly trust doctors and to essentially live in fear of their bodies. Thanks, Western medicine. Anyway, so, as a highly sensitive child who felt deeply depressed and uncomfortable in the world, I presented quite a set of challenges to my parents. I had a month-and-a-half-long period at age 11, so my mom took me to an OBGYN who did no tests or anything to see what was up with my hormones; she just wrote me a prescription for birth control. 🙄 My mom was concerned about that but gave it to me. I became even more depressed after that and, when I was 12, told my mom I thought I needed help. She took me to a counselor who suggested I see a psychiatrist, who wrote me a prescription for Zoloft. Oh, and talk therapy. The gold standard of care. Zoloft and therapy didn't seem to help, so I was then put on Prozac...and then, on a whole host of other meds. I took a jumbled handful of different cocktails I can’t even remember, including Effexor, Wellbutrin, Trazadone, Remeron, and a number of mood stabilizers. It was a rollercoaster on top of the hormonal rollercoaster I was already on, being a preteen on birth control. At age 13, things felt increasingly bleak, as I was having issues with my friends at school and felt unloved and completely hopeless, and I decided it was time to end it. I took as many pills from the medicine cabinet as I could without throwing up and lay down in my bed, waiting to die. But it took too long; I got impatient and decided maybe I didn’t really want to die...not if it meant lying there, excruciatingly nauseated. So when my dad got home, I told him I needed to go to the hospital and they pumped my stomach. The pills I'd taken the most of were Effexor leftover from my brief stint on it months prior. I thought I was going to throw up the charcoal until a social worker put a cool washcloth on my forehead, and the nausea passed and I felt this giant wave of relief and joy from still being alive. I told my psychiatrist about that, and she took that to mean Effexor was a good med for me. So I went back on it and stabilized on Remeron, and over the next few years, things did get a little better. Meaning we were sort of managing my depression. But I was still deeply, deeply troubled. I was attracted to drugs and alcohol because I was so depressed and uncomfortable in my own skin and altered states felt better to me. I was on a constant quest to find the best and most complete escape from the pain of normal, everyday life and started partying and skipping school to smoke pot and take drugs. I was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Adderall, which gave me horrible side effects but also appeased my longing to escape sobriety, so I took more and more of it. Up to 120mg a day. I flunked out of public school and my parents sent me to private school, at which point I finally chilled out on the partying and graduated. I was managing my symptoms a little better. In college, I had a serious boyfriend who pointed out it was not normal for a girl like me to have such severe sexual dysfunction. I’d never been told anything about that by my doctor or even realized it was abnormal, and when I found it was a common side effect of antidepressants, I was outraged and decided to stop taking my antidepressants, cold turkey, between doctor’s visits. I’d never heard of withdrawal symptoms. But I didn’t experience any! Different biology?? I don’t know. When I told my doc I’d stopped taking the meds, she was pretty surprised that I seemed okay. This was the most stable period of my life. I wasn’t “happy” or even well-adjusted but I was managing, even after I got off the meds. I wonder why my more recent experiences have been so different. I’d developed TMJ my senior year and in college, guzzling Adderall and stressing out, my anxiety and jaw pain got much, much worse. I would have flare-ups where it felt like my jaw muscles were being stabbed with an ice pick. I went to the emergency for a particularly bad episode and asked my psychiatrist if there was anything she recommended. She prescribed lorazepam. I started off only taking that here and there for my jaw but eventually, it became a daily habit for anxiety. Life was just better when I took it. It’s what I’d always been searching for: peace. I vowed never to take antidepressants again but benzos were okay in my book because I had no idea they also came with a slew of negative side effects, and they made a much bigger difference in how I felt. For a while, anyway. Eventually I graduated to Klonipin and was taking 1-2 mg a day, every day, sometimes more. I dropped out of college to pursue a music career and my love of getting inebriated spiraled out of control. During a particularly low point in my life, I started taking pain pills to get through work and got addicted to them. I spent the next few years battling opioid addiction which progressed to heroin addiction. I checked myself into rehab in 2012 and during that month, I was put on Lexapro for depression and Seroquil for sleep. Seroquil made me feel frightened, so I talked to the doctor and he put me on Remeron again. I was like a zombie. And I couldn’t stop eating the junk food they had there. I felt AWFUL. So, as soon as I got out, I stopped taking all the meds. Not sure whether I had withdrawals because, unfortunately, I also relapsed. I battled my addiction a while longer until my beloved boyfriend at the time OD’d and died in front of me. I was obviously crushed and blamed myself. I was more depressed than ever but didn’t want to die, so I entered a methadone maintenance program and stopped doing street drugs. I’m so grateful for that methadone clinic...it saved my life. But the doctor there kept urging me to get back on an antidepressant and I didn’t want to. Because I knew it would only be harder this time. But I still had no other coping skills and had these health professionals telling me I had a chemical imbalance and the only way to fix it was with medication, so I relented. I was on 75mg Effexor and 1.5mg Klonipin. My doc lowered my dose of Klonipin a few times over the next few years; he wanted me to get off of it now that the FDA released a black box warning about cognitive effects. In 2017, I switched from Effexor to 20mg Citalopram, which he thought would help with my anxiety. It didn’t. And she tapered me off the Effexor over the span of about a week and a half...it was brutal! I knew better by that point, too, but I chose to just trust her anyway. I barely slept and the anxiety was incapacitating. It took me a couple of years to connect the dots but Citalopram gave me horrendous brain fog. I’m a writer and musician, and I had a health and wellness blog I really took pride in. Once I was stable on the Citalopram, I stopped feeling able to write or make music entirely. I could barely think straight. For 3 YEARS. And for the first year and a half of that, I thought I was just tired and lazy because my doctor said it wasn’t related. But in 2017, I discovered holistic psychiatrist Kelly Brogan on a podcast and learned the truth about antidepressants and learned I was not the only person whose creativity was stunted by them. I learned game-changing lifestyle practices that actually DID help with depression and anxiety--unlike the meds--and I underwent a huge health transformation and had an awakening around the medical system and society at large. And I got to a place where I felt more centered, joyful, and more MYSELF than I’d ever thought possible. I vowed to get off meds for good--this time, not to just “manage my mental illness” without meds, but to live a full, vibrant, healthy life. I was most eager to get off the things that stifle my creativity, so I microtapered off my remaining 0.35mg Klonipin in Spring of 2020. I got through it using my lifestyle practices--clean eating, meditation, intentional movement, grounding, EFT/tapping and emotional regulating practices/shadow work--and had only a few severe panic attacks. The brain fog was INTENSE and I’m so grateful to have been laid off from the lockdown because I could not have worked. I basically lay around all day for months, aside from doing my self-care practices. I tried to move right into tapering Celexa because I want OUT but my body said NOPE just about immediately with severe insomnia, crippling anxiety and even worse brain fog. I’ve been balancing out over the past year and am feeling 9,000,000,000 times better than I was right off of Klonipin. I’m ready to get off of Celexa. I’ve lowered my dose of methadone over the past several years, too, and I’m at half my original dose. I know this isn’t a forum for that but it’s part of my journey...and getting off an opioid is no walk in the park but I’m honestly concerned that this Celexa taper is going to be even harder. That’s why I signed up here. I’m currently at 14.35 mg; my original dose was 20mg. I don’t really know what to expect (aside from anxiety and sleep disturbances) but I know I’m going to need support. Figuring out the math to do each cut feels really difficult. My brain fog is still really thick. I’m honestly disappointed it hasn’t improved more by now, having been off Klonipin for almost a year. I’m taking lion’s mane mushrooms, which definitely help but it’s still a challenge. I’m still unemployed and have been hesitant to cut my dose because I keep expecting to lose my unemployment and have to be able to perform, create, be productive, etc. I don’t feel comfortable going to a workplace with what’s going on out there now, so I started learning copywriting last year during lockdown and was planning to start a freelancing business but kept going back and forth between prioritizing that and my healing. I couldn’t write during Klonipin withdrawal; I don’t know if I’ll be able to during this taper. I have so much fear around this. I’m doing a lot of inner work, a course called Core Wound Healing and lots of shadow work, which I know will help me through this. Still, it’s difficult. So much fear! But since I only have 1 ongoing freelance client and it’s really easy work, I’m back to prioritizing my healing, and I cut my dose by 10% this morning. I’m just telling myself “I got this” over and over. Going to see how I feel in a few days, a week, 2 weeks. And I’ll go from there. Thank you so much if you made it to this point!! I know this was a novel!! (I'm a writer...I edited this about 10 times but brevity isn't one of my strong suits😬)
  21. Just thought I’d share my story and see what your opinions are. (Sorry a bit long) I was diagnosed with panic disorder and GAD back in February, After going to the ER thinking I was dying or was having a nervous break down. I then took some clonazepam .25 mg 1x for two days which really seemed to help me For a couple weeks, then again i experienced the same bad panic attack in March where i took the clonazepam again this time for 4 days 0.25 mg 1x per day. I then felt better for a couple of days. After that i started reading on benzos and decided i should stop taking it and that no matter what panic attack arrised i couldn’t take it again to not become dependent. Well around day 7 of not taking it anymore my body went into full panic mode, i was experiencing light sensitivity , depersonalization, constant nervous and screaming crying worrying i wasn’t going to get any better not knowing what was happening to me. I then said okay it’s time to get on something else that will help me with anxiety. Immediately my doctor prescribed me zoloft. Which i was freaking out about starting it and obsessively reading things online abt peoples experience with it. starting zoloft was hell in itself . I felt all symptoms you name it. It started with feeling of worried for a couple of days aand then feelings of being okay normal self for the next days and it would just be up and down up and down. I did start to notice that around my menstrual cycle the first month i would get deep feelings of sadness. Like a sadness i had not felt before. That would last until my period went away. the second month again, around my menstrual cycle is when i finally decided to cold turkey as per my doctor . I told her i had been experiencing weird thoughts on it, and that i would get moments of like racing thoughts where my mind wouldn’t shut up and I’d wake up with so much anxiety in the morning like in was going to go into another attack. So she suggested it might be some hormonal issues interfering with the med and told me to just stop taking it. I asked her if i could taper since i didn’t want to just stop. She said i wasn’t on it long enough to get any withdrawal .I went down to 25 mg two days and then just stopped. When i stoped i felt instantly better back to my normal self For about 2 days and then around 5th day of stopping is when i started having crying spells, , brain zaps, body shocks ,more wnxiety, feeling like i was losing my mind again very worried about my self and getting better. It was just hell. Fast forward to a month from withdrawal of zoloft , im still having the really bad down depression 10 days before my period started. Idk what to do at this point. I just feel really angry because i shouldn’t have been put in Ssri if i had no symptoms of depression prior to the zoloft. my doctor told me to go on a mood stabilizer which i thought was for bi polar but I’ve never been diagnosed bi polar or had any episodes of mania/ hypomania. I don’t want to go back to the same doctor that prescribed me the zoloft because. I know they will want to prescribe me something else. It’s getting really hard , i just keep trying to find a solution. Seeing that my vitamin d levels are low trying to bring that up. Just looking to see if there’s something else going on. But i cannot think about going another menstrual cycle feeling like this, it’s unbearable i cannot function it makes me feel like a bad wife and mother.once my period stop i noticed my mood starts to slowly lift back to being my normal self. Can someone share their story or a similar experience to an Ssri
  22. Link to Benzo Forum Thread - Shep's Journey Link to French translation (courtesy of Erell): Se libérer de la psychiatrie - Shep : « Quitter la caverne de Platon » Leaving Plato’s Cave In Plato’s famous “Allegory of the Cave,” a group of human beings are chained since birth in a dark cave where a fire casts shadows of the world upon the walls. The shadows are all the prisoners know to be true. But one day, a prisoner breaks free and wanders out into the world. Her eyes are blinded by the sudden blast of sunlight and she is unsure of her reality and at times, longs to be back inside the familiar darkness. But as her eyes adjust, she is in awe of this new reality — people, nature, her own reflection! When she returns to the cave, the other prisoners laugh at her story in disbelief. . . . And so I left psychiatry — a dark cave of drug dependency, incarceration, deception, violence, mystification, and social control. The empty shadows on the walls that message this non-reality based belief system of mythical “mind diseases” fade out and a beautiful new reality unfolds before me. After 30 years, success from such an experience is a process, not a singular event. There may still be some unexpected waves, but that will allow the experience of re-emerging from periods of darkness with even more skill and resilience. For me, this part of the journey is very similar to the final phase of the grieving process. As Francis Weller reminds us in the book The Wild Edge of Sorrow, grief is sacred work. It’s an important teacher and should be honored, not feared. When symptoms are viewed as teachers and guides and you walk with them with curiosity and not fear, leaving Plato’s Cave turns into a journey of adventure and skill building. My signature symptom was - and is - DP/DR (depersonalization / derealization) and the lessons taught are in mindfulness and becoming The Observer. (I wrote about The Observer in several places in my benzo thread). I still have some lingering DP/DR, but this is a symptom I carry out of the cave with me, as I'm still learning from it and no longer view it as a problem but as a valued guide. Never give up — your new world awaits you. For many of us, it’s a brutal trip. So travel lightly and listen carefully to what your teachers and guides are telling you. As painful and confusing as it is, these symptoms are here for a reason. At five years off all drugs (from 30 years use), I can now: Run 30 - 60 minutes, four days a week, along with doing yoga and strength training. Runner’s high is beautiful! Bike 30 miles a week - urban cycling is now my main transportation to and from work because of subway and bus delays due to COVID-19 Work 40 - 45 hours a week (was unemployed for around 9 months due to severe akathisia and DP/DR) See the world with 20/20 vision (with glasses) - since last August (before that, my focus was in and out and I wasn’t able to get an accurate eyeglass prescription) Read books with a high level of concentration during windows. I get lost in activities now and experience a sense of “flow” when reading, working, exercising, and playing music for hours at a time Feel music deeply to the point of being moved to tears at times Experience powerful levels of spirituality and connection with the universe Sleep a restful 6 - 7.5 hours a night most nights (Netflix is a treat when insomnia hits now because I know the insomnia wave will pass and I like the excuse to watch movies in my favorites list) About me: 52-year-old female, currently working full time, no family, studio apartment, still navigating my way back into more social situations, complicated by the city’s partial shut-down due to COVID-19. Entry into psychiatric drugs: forced “treatment” in private and state psychiatric prisons off and on from the age of 17 until 21 for so-called “psychosis.” Gaslighted into long-term drug compliance with the lie that neuroleptics are a neuro-protective agent against brain damage caused by so-called “psychosis.” Never told about dopamine supersensitivity or tardive dysphoria. Drug and label history: 30 years of neuroleptics, benzodiazepines, z-drugs, so-called “anti”-depressants, and amphetamines. Labeled with “manic depression” and “PTSD” from years of physical and sexual abuse as a child. The “chemical imbalance” myth dominated the narrative because psychiatry replicates the patriarchal and paternalistic abuses of the nuclear family (and the larger political structure) within a medicalized context. This is not an accident. This is how the system is designed. Date of last drug taken: May 22, 2015 Reason for exiting the cave: After having spent more than 25 years working low-level jobs and bouncing from here to there, I descended into cognitive decline with voices and visuals, disassociation, akathisia, and suicidal thoughts. A psychiatrist suggested another change in drugs but — too fast, too soon, leading to a nervous system crash. After being threatened with forced “treatment” in the state psychiatric prison again in early 2014, I found Robert Whitaker’s book Anatomy of an Epidemic in a random Google search on my phone. The realization I had been poisoned was enough for me to control my behavior and save myself from further “treatment.” The psychiatric system disables and kills people. That’s not an abstract concept when you’re at the receiving end of forced “treatment.” Method of coming off psychiatric drugs: cold turkey and rapid taper off a cocktail of Seroquel, Viibryd, Klonopin, Sonata, Dexedrine, and Halcion (NOTE: I do NOT recommend this method of withdrawal - I didn’t find the withdrawal forums until I was almost completely off all drugs. Stay safe and taper if at all possible). Favorite non-drug coping skills: Shep’s Toolkit. For me, the non-drug coping skills were not optional. I still refer to this list and have tons more bookmarked in folders on my laptop. Mooji and Alan Watts are still my go-to sources for calming. The un-patienting process: During recovery, I began reading a lot of anti-psychiatry literature. Dr. Phil Hickey’s article sums it up well - In Defense of Anti-Psychiatry. Anti-psychiatry gave me the language to understand and name the world around me. Dr. Thomas Szasz is a major influence in my understanding of this world. He understood the power structure of psychiatry better than anyone I've read so far. Dr. Bruce Cohen's Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness helped me understand psychiatry's political structure. Psychiatry is about power and politics, not medicine. Psychiatry is not broken. The system was designed this way. Psychiatry is not a legitimate field of medicine and cannot be reformed. It needs to be abolished. To not message this would be to condone a form of structural violence that not only has disabled and killed millions of people, it also maintains and even furthers the systemic social and economic injustices these individuals represent. I hope one day, those still trapped in Plato’s Cave will be released and the cave will be sealed shut.
  23. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  24. TLDR - Dr badly advised Zyprexa CT at 2.5 - Tried to reinstate Zyprexa after 1.5 months off. -Started to see improvement at .25 reinstatement dose -After 4 days, accidently up-dosed to 2.5 and had bad reaction -Tried to lower back to .25 but was still to activating from up-dose -Lowered dose to 1/8, no reaction but started to get sick with new withdrawal symptoms -Back up to .25 at dr order, but had a reaction (not as bad as the 2.5 dose), will things get better over time? -Don't know what to do now -Life feels ruined Hi everyone. As many of these stories go, I feel like my life has been crumbling, and it happened in such a short amount of time, and I possibly ruined any chance I had to salvage it forever. Back in 2020 I started a prescription of 10mg Dexedrine for ADHD. In January of 2021 I had a very stressful and traumatic life event happen that sent me into psychosis. I ended up coming out of it on my own, but continued to take the Dexedrine not knowing it could have been a contributing factor. December of 2021, continued stress from that same traumatic life even remerged and I entered back into psychosis but was this time hospitalized. I was given 10mg Zyprexa in hospital. Upon exiting the hospital my Dr quickly started to reduce the 10mg Zyprexa (I don't think we even went to 7.5 but can't remember) and by February I was on 5mg, March I was on 2.5 and by the last week of April I stopped CT, although I didn't realize it was a CT at the time being told it was the lowest dose and fine to stop . The obvious happened and I entered extreme withdrawals. I called Dr about a week later and told her about the extreme anxiety I was having and was prescribed Buspar. The very day I took it, the insomnia started. Called Dr again, she prescribed hydroxyzine as needed for insomnia and anxiety. Anxiety still increased to a 3 day panic attack from not sleeping. Went to urgent care and was prescribed klonopin to stop panic attack and helped some with sleep. I kept pushing through thinking things had to get better, but was extremely scared about becoming addicted to klonopin so took sparingly only after several days of hardly sleeping. The insomnia was brutal and destroyed me. Some night out the blue I would get 8 hours, and then days with very little. I do not do well mentally/physically with low sleep, I have always need TONS of sleep including naps to function so this was almost giving a new form trauma. After several weeks of suffering I found a FB group and this website about going back on and tapering off more slowly. I asked my dr to help reinstate and taper off, but she would not saying she did not have the capacity to do that, plus she said I was not diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar and so was not a medicine I needed to be prescribed. I literally begged to go back on thinking it was the only way to get my sleep back. I told her I would die if I did not go back on and get sleep, she said go to the hospital and hung up on me. Could not go to hospital as I have a daughter to take care of, so found a new Dr. She unfortunately also said I should of been fine to come off at 2.5. I told her about going back on an tapering off more slowly but was told "you can't do that, 2.5 is the lowest dose they make!" She gave me Mirtazapine instead. Took 3 doses for 3 different nights 3.75, 7.5, 15. None of which helped more than a few hours of sleep. At this point after reading this website about withdraws only improving by reinstating the original medicine I was scared to start a new medicine that might not even help, and seemed just as difficult to stop as the zyprexa. Dr then thought maybe the insomnia was caused by an adverse reaction to buspar after it started the first day I took it. Told me to stop CT and wait a few days to see if it helped. I did sleep for 8 hours one night a day after stopping but then could not sleep for 3 days. Called dr again and begged to go back on zyprexa. She finally agreed after we waited a few more days for buspar to get out of system. When I asked what dose to start the zyprexa with she was confused as she said 2.5 was the lowest dose. Decided to follow advise and wait a couple more days to see if it really was the buspar but ended up getting a horrific cold and reinstated zyprexa (after 1.5 months off) on my own without dr help (since she most likely would of had me just go back to 2.5) Started with .25 and actually started sleeping again for 4 days! But at this point my husband was over my struggles as it's now been over a month of hell and was pressuring me to get better by the end of the week (even though I had a legit cold, and know it takes time to stabilize). I got nervous about losing my family and thought I could try to increase a little from .25 to .5mg. Since I was sick my husband cut my pill, BUT not paying attention cut an old 5mg pill I still had in closet instead of the 2.5 giving me a full 2.5 dose. Ended up having an extreme bad reaction. Instead of calming me it made me crazy/manic/a touch akathia/ extreme stomach pains like and animal was trying to gnaw through it . Could not fall sleep but did eventually for 2 hours. Next night tried to go back down to .25 dose but same thing happened, just not AS bad, did not sleep and so after not sleeping the night before took a klonopin, and did sleep. Didn't take any medicine the next night since I was scared of the reactions (no sleep). Was considering stopping all together after reaction but tried 1/8 of dose the next night in the middle of the night when I could not sleep and did not have a reaction and even slept some. Tried 1/8 dose next night but did not sleep, no bad reaction to it but EXTREME anxiety over what this all means and what to do about dosing now. Had doctor appoint and this time brought my husband and mother along for support and explained everything that was going on. She seemed more on board this time with letting me reinstate at a small dose and was able to get a prescription for a liquid I got filled at a compounding pharmacy for .25 dose since I did sleep on that when I originally reinstated it. I was such a wreck from all the stress of trying to figure out right dose and feeling like my life was over (also I believe I started to experience new withdrawals from switching doses around and was starting to get very sick quickly) so at 6:30pm took .5 klonopin and then took the .25 dose. Ended up again having a small reaction after taking pill of slight panic/anxiety/akathia. Took an epson salt bath for 2 hours with some chamomile tea and actually calmed down to the point that I was actually sleepy and was able sleep all night long. Unsure how much of a role klonopin played in all that, but I imagine it must have helped. Where I find myself today. Dr said to give it time to work and see her next week. I am very concerned that our mistaken large up-dose made me hypersensitive to the medicine and will continue to have these reactions after taking it. My family of course does not understand any of this and thinks you can just take a pill and start to feel better, so that is adding to the stress. Once you become sensitive to a medicine like that, is it at all possible for your system to calm down and become stable again on it, or did we ruin that chance?? I feel like I finally figured it all all out, only it might be too little too late... my Dr finally on board agreeing to a small reinstatement at the lower dose, finding a compound pharmacy to do a liquid prescription, the plan to slowly taper off now, but worried I have ruined my chances. I feel now like I could not even stop taking the medicine without some sort of taper if I continue to have these type of reactions as I was already having new withdraw symptoms from just the week I played around with the doses. I wish I could back in time, and never took that accidental up-dose! I really felt at .25 since I was sleeping I could have stabilized and possibly salvaged my life. If I keep having these reactions I don't know what I will do. On the positive side, since the CT my stomach had been getting progressively worse, could not eat and suffering low bloodsugar drops, and since starting again is completely back to normal, so I am seeing some improvements to reinstating. I don't know if this is accurate but it feels like my body is in a battle. My CNS is clearly not happy what I have put it through and spazing out, but at the same time my brain is now already dependent on me being back the on medicine. Can my CNS eventually calm down and accept the .25 dose or did I loose my chance at a successful reinstatement for good?? Will giving it more time work like my dr said? Should I try to lower it some? I think the 1/8 dose was too low as I got withdraw going back down that low, even from such a short amount of time at the .25 and the accidental updose. Am I stuck on this medicine now not able to stop immediately and suffering ever time I take my dose needing a klonopin to counteract the medicine reaction for the rest of my taper? It's hard to think sometimes your life might be over from such a small mistake, so mentally this is destroying me.
  25. Hi I’m new here. I was put on antidepressants for panic & anxiety. I was on lexapro for a year then stopped working then went to Prozac and it helped great with panic & anxiety. I was on 30mg for over a year. It gave me horrible restless legs and Insomia so my dr added amitriptyline to help with sleep & pain. I came off Prozac last summer by tapering down to 10mg then off (per drs instructions) I was totally fine. Then I came off 5mg amitriptyline in November and I got horrific severe deep dark depression that I never had in my entire life.. so so severe so I went back on Prozac… Prozac seemed to worsen the depression with each increase so I stayed at 5mg for like a month then 2mg for a month and then came off. It did help stabilize me a little and then 4 weeks off Prozac and I have this debilitating deep dark depression. I feel like I won’t make it. I don’t think I can ride this out. It’s soooo severe. My brain feels permanently damaged. What do I do? I was thinking of trying Wellbutrin to stabilize or maybe reinstating a different med and doing a super slow taper. I need help. Is there anything natural that could get rid of this ?? Tried 5htp and it helped some depression but gave me more anxiety.
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