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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. Hello, I am new here and 3 months fully off of Paxil, tapered from 20mg over the last year. I am experiencing debilitating panic and anxiety with cortisol spikes from early morning to about noon, and in the 3-4 weeks I resorted to taking tiny doses (7 total, of 0.125mg to 0.25mg) of clonazepam which really help an *unbelievable* amount (even at tiny doses). I am overall doing better than I was from my 5th month into tapering to about a month ago I guess, the progress is slow and painful, but it is there. I feel I am stalled though, or exasperated with the extreme tension, which made me reach for the clonazepam. My history with clonazepam is that it was prescribed to me over many years along with paxil, 0.5mg to be taken once a day or as needed, for anxiety. I never took it daily, rather as needed on a particularly stressful day. Overall one 30 pill bottle always lasted me way longer than the month. I admit I monitored my use poorly though, so I have no real idea how addicted my system is to it. I had stopped it altogether on Jan 17, and was totally without for about a month. I am wondering whether it is ok to use these tiny doses once a week or so, to help me along while I recover - or if I am simply prolonging the process by staying hooked on something which may very well also be responsible for the withdrawal anxiety, depression, depersonalization (big time), etc? If anyone has a similar experience or advice I would greatly appreciate it. Reading the wealth of information on this site has been helping me immeasurably through this ... Thank you in advance! ps - I have tried non drug methods for the anxiety; mild exercise, asmr videos, soothing music and Bliss Johnson's clips, milk and triptophan foods, valerian root a few times, omega 3 fish oil supplements, magnesium ... it all helps a bit, but those morning insomnia/cortisol spikes have become unbearable again.
  5. 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.
  6. Greetings! I am very fortunate I found this site. I will not go into to much detail but here are some facts about my current situation. I have had anxiety/panic my entire life, from the earliest I can remember I used to have horrible separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and just plain being scared of silly things, like when I was younger I was terrified of thunderstorms and elevators I had to do exposure therapy while I was little and that was pretty difficult but it defiantly was not enough. My mother didn't put me on pharmaceuticals until I was 12 or so because the SSRIs were fairly new and she wanted to wait as long as she possibly could do try one of these medications. Flash forward to 2005, my father dies on the treadmill right in front of me, I am still in high school, and my anxiety up to that point was manageable, put when that happend my anxiety went through the roof. I couldn't finish high school in public but I was fortunate enough to have some retired teachers come to my house so I could graduate with my class. Of course during this time I was seeing a psychiatrist. Now he is an intelligent man and I have a number of medications to be thankful for, especially getting me out of that trauma. I was on a Tricyclic Anafranil 150 mg, from 2006 to 2013 for anxiety. During November 2013, I tried getting off the medication because it wasn't working and it was effecting my speech (probably from the anticholinergic effects). I tried to get off of it several times before but was given bad withdrawing advice (cut dose in half and 2 weeks you will be good), well that never happened of course. The old, see you need your medication, none of these brain zaps you speak of cannot occur with these drugs. So I followed the doctors advice and continued taking the Anafranil for a few more years. In November 2013 I tried to get off Anafranil for good. I wanted to do half the dose but just stay on that dose for like a month and then go down another quarter or something and try it that way. I had no idea how wrong both the doctor and I were. As soon as I lowered the dose I became a basket case. I started crying for no reason, I lost a bunch of weight (about 25 pounds in a month), vertigo, heart palpitations which scared the crap out of me because my father died from a birth defect we were not aware of at 49. I went back to the psychiatrist who I had seen for 6 years and was slapped with a bi-polar diagnosis. After doing a lot of research and looking into these drugs I didn't realize that the withdrawal could be so severe, or that most doctors had no idea that these drugs were capable of producing such a profound effect upon discontinuation. I reinstated the drug after 6 months of shear terror and my heart rate returned to normal, my crying stopped and it was like none of it ever happened. Now my main concern is with my heart because part of my anxiety would be dying in a similar fashion my father did. I have a great cardiologist who I have been seeing for years. He was fortunate enough to understand what was happening to me. I had every test imaginable and everything came back normal. Even when my heart was skipping a lot during the withdrawal, the holter monitor didn't pick up anything. He said its not so much your heart, its the receptors on your vagus nerve which is the main problem which makes since because they up regulate and down regulate depending if you are starting or stopping a drug. He said these drugs can effect the QT prolongation of the heart sometimes, but every EKG and Echo looked good so thank god for that. I stared back on the 150 in mid 2014 and currently I am on 60 mgs as of now. Now I think I misread because I tapered 10 mg every month instead of 10 percent of the dose, which is what a lot of people recommend. So what I am going to do as of now is try to stabilize on 50 mgs for a few months, since I am almost done with the 60 mg, and then taper down 5 mg every month which is roughly about 10 percent of the dose, I have calculated. I just hope this process goes a lot smoother than it did before because when I first tried my psychiatrists way it was absolutely horrible.
  7. 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.
  8. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Jill28: Klonopin adverse reaction Hi everyone- I’m desperate and was hoping for advice... I had been on Zoloft for 4 months and decided to taper off. Did way too quickly (1 week) and has serious anxiety and panic attacks from it. After about 6 weeks, my brain finally bounced back and I was almost back to normal. My psychiatrist convinced me to get back on my old trusty Prozac (10mg) justto keep my depression at bay. On the third day of taking Prozac, I had the most severe anxiety of my life... and I had never had anxiety other than when I came off the Zoloft. I’m at day 9 of being off and the anxiety hasn’t let up even a tad. I am miserable and can’t live this way. My face titles constantly and I can’t eat or think clearly. Any thoughts or advice is deeply welcomed.😢
  9. marsha-preparing-for-my-librium-taper Hi. I hope I'm in the right place because antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants and benzodiazepines have caused permanent brain damage and I have trouble navigating on this sight. Is it possible to taper off geodon before gabapentin? I have read in the Road Back Program that I must taper off gabapentin and clonazepam before I can finish tapering off geodon. I am terrified of antipsychotic drugs. I want to get off it after I finish tapering off clonazepam. I successfully completed tapering off trazodone and propranolol and have tapered the clonazepam to 1 mg and have tapered the geodon down to 80 mgs. I was misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia and now am working with a team of doctors to taper me slowly off the drugs that robbed me of my memory and pleasure and motivation. I am desperate to get off these terrible drugs. Especially the clonazepam and geodon. I'm tapering off slowly the clonazepam right now. I have read that if you taper off geodon before gabapentin and clonazepam it increases the clearance time of clonazepam and gabapentin by as much as 50% causing you to go into clonazepam and gabapentin withdrawal even without lowering the dosage of the clonazepam and gabapentin. However, I have also read in the book "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal" by Peter breggin md that you should make it a priority to get off the antipsychotic drug first especially if you are non psychotic. My doctor thinks I can just stop taking the geodon but I know that is wrong. I appreciate any help you can give me.
  10. 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?
  11. Hi, I have been taking Celexa for about 8 years now and am currently tapering at 10% every 3 - 4 weeks. I have usually slept well but recently found myself taking hours to fall asleep. I have always taken my dose before bed and have recently found out that Celexa can disrupt sleep, especially in those that are suffering from protractive benzo withdrawal (something I am also dealing with after a successful taper 10 months ago and has actually gotten a lot better). On the other hand, I am on my 3rd week of my first 10% reduction of Celexa. Could it be the reduction in Celexa that is impacting my sleep or could it be that I should start trying to take my dose in the morning? I don't know much about the implications of SSRIs so any help would be much appreciated. warm regards, James
  12. Mort81

    Mort81

    Hello everyone glad I found somewhere to find good information and support . I'll just give a little introduction. I've been off Ciprelex 30mg for 6 months now after being on the ssri for 7 years.The side effects were far out weighing the benefits. My doctors seemed clueless when it came to the tapering, from what I know now as well as the withdrawal I am currently feeling . I tapered fairly fast from what I read on this forum.My main symptom at first was abdominal pain,panic, discomfort and very poor digestion. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and I know for some people that's good but for my build, not so good. Most of my symptoms at first were digestive related and my doctors didn't suggest withdrawal. Has anyone in here experienced horrible digestive issues right away ? So I had a million tests run, which came with months of worrying about every disease in the book. My tests came back clean which was good. However I am still feeling alot of discomfort, sensitivity in the stomach(feels like I'm bruised) coupled with fatigue, vivid dreams and insomnia. I have been experiencing all this while working a Fulltime job, which I love. I have missed more days than I wanted to for the obvious reasons. However I've decided to ask for time off because my body hasn't recovered and I feel the only way for a better recovery is to get away from my schedule and take extra time for myself. I see two different doctors. The one I saw today wants me to start a pain med and believes my stomach pain is related to migraines I used to get, which at times still show up. I am so scared of all medication but want this stomach pain to go away. I have improved over the 6 months so I'm leaning towards staying the natural course. Does 5HTP help for withdrawal?? After all the suffering I have gone through in the last 6 months you would think my doctor would give a note to go on sick leave,but apparently that's like pulling teeth. They just see a healthy young man complaining . Either way I need time for myself and recovery and sorry if I'm ranting. I'm glad to be hear in this forum and look forward to have a place for support and information because I feel my doctors are out too lunch on this topic. Mort
  13. 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 . . .
  14. I have been on Zoloft and a few other meds in between, for about 25 years. I have also been on one milligram of Klonopin every night for 5 years. My last Klonopin was in June 2018. Luckily, there is a lot of material regarding Klonopin withdrawal and it is considered a “real thing” by doctors, counselors, etc. In September 2018, I started feeling like I was fairly recovered from Klonopin withdrawal and started the Zoloft taper. My last Zoloft was September 22nd. I have had extreme bloating, ringing in my ears, severe hot flashes, anxiety and depression (way worse than before antidepressants). After about 6 weeks, the bloating subsided and hot flashes were better. I am starting to have very small windows without extreme anxiety and depression, however, it is still very rough! The frustration is that doctors are so eager to put us on these meds but no one seems to get the withdrawal issues! I couldn’t have made it this far without information I have found online and a level of faith that has kept me hanging on! One of the drugs that I have been on was Cymbalta and it almost killed me....literally. A month after I started Cymbalta I ended up in the hospital due to severe abdominal pain and throwing up. A few months later I ended up in the hospital again with the same symptoms and bowel obstruction. This happened over Thanksgiving holidays 2017. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong so they took my gallbladder. The symptoms continued and I was misdiagnosed three times! Anyway, no one ever mentioned the Cymbalta connection. By some miracle, I realized that all of this started when I began taking the Cymbalta so I stopped and my doctor put me on Trintellix. As soon as I stopped the Cymbalta, the stomach issues subsided. Anyway, it helps to connect with others who have had similar experiences! I switched doctors and haven’t mentioned withdrawing from these drugs because I dont think any of these physicians understand! I hope we can help each other!!
  15. 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
  16. ADMIN NOTE DJones's benzo thread Hi, I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and ask for some advice I have been on various ssris for 11years and about 7 months ago I decided to wean myself off celexa which I had been on for the last 5 years at 40mg. I weaned of to fast over the course of about 3 months and was off for a total of 1 month when I crased hard with anxiety, fear and depression. I went back on 40mg of celexa after being off for a month but got panic attacks and weird sensations in head. After 2 weeks the doc than got me off that and put me on Paxil for 2 weeks which only made things worse with bad anxiety and feeling dissacated with everything and my cns was all messed up. They than put me on celexa at 20 mg and a low dose of remeron for 3 weeks but no relief and was getting electrical sensations and burning sensation in body. I than checked myself into the hospital where the cold turkeyed me off the celexa and put me on neurontin. I was off celexa again for a week but I gave up all other medications and put myself back on 5mg of celexa for the last 3 weeks and have also been on .05 a day of klonopin now for 2 months. My current symptoms are. Severe anxiety Inability to concentrate Muscle tension Akathesia Tremor Burning sensation in chest and pain from time to time Vision problems Brain fog Some anadonia Some nausea And sensitive to sounds and some foods and vitimins My questions is what do I do from here? Man this is no fun just looking for some words of encougement if nothing else.
  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. 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
  19. Hi, I have been going througha really tough time the past little while and am hoping to find some people who can relate. I went to see my family Dr. around 8 weeks ago because my life had gotten very stressful and I was having some uncomfortable physical symptoms (itchy skin, tingling hands, rining in ears chest pain etc.) I have always been on the anxious/woryer side of things and have always noted that it got worse when I am stressed (work, life, etc) and generally got better when the stress lessened. A number of factors over the past year compounded together made my anxiety worse than it ever was before and I felt I was having a hard time coping. Some of the stresses were difficult to remove (work, worries about family members etc) so I decided to go and seek help from my family Dr. who diagnosed me as having generalized anxiety disorder and recommended that I try Zoloft. I was on Zoloft was Zoloft for approximately 6-7 weeks and was tapered on to the medication at 25mg/week (started at 25mg) to a maximum of 100mg/day. Almost immediately I started to feel "unwell". It's difficult to describe but something just didn't feel right inside my head. My feeling of anxiety got much worse and were consistent (where they were only sporadic before starting the drug. My brain felt "foggy", I had a hard time concentrating and I developed a headache "pressure on both sides of my head" that was almost consistent throughout the day. Most days I felt tired and needed to rest in the afternoon but when I closed my eyes to try to have a nap I would wake up within. 15mins with a sense of panic. I also experienced worse insomnia (that was one of the reasons I had gone to the Dr. in the first place) I returned to my Dr. and asked to be taken off of Zoloft and he sad that these were normal side effects which should stop at around week 4 of taking the drug. He pointed out that it would be shame to stop taking the Zoloft before seeing the positive effects and so he prescribed me .5mg of Clonazepam (taken twice daily) to help with the side effects and to help me sleep. I have a history of drug addiction and alcoholism (sober now for 11 years) and was was afraid of taking the Clonazepam, so i decided to only take .5mg in the evening to help with the insomnia I was experiencing. The Clonazepam helped me sleep better but the combination of the drugs left me feeling groggy the next day. Overall my sense of anxiety got worse than before I initially asked for help so I returned to my Dr and asked to be tapered off the Meds. He agreed that what I was experiencing was not the "normal"/desired effects of the drug and told me to begin tapering off. Per the Dr's instructions I tapered off of the Zoloft by 25mg every 5 days and stopped taking both the Zoloft and Clonazepam (no tapering of Clonazepam) 5 days ago and have felt terrible since then. Below are the symptoms I have had since then: -My head started to hurt immediately - I have been unable to fall asleep and have experienced the worst insomnia I have ever had. I feel as if I am in between sleep and awake for most of the night. - During the day I am dizzy and have a headache. -If I turn my head I feel as if I am going to fall over/dizzy -Almost constant headache/pressure on my temples -I have tinnitus in my ears and my left ear feels fully plugged. -I have an electric feeling that radiates from my head (worse when I turn my head or stand up) which I have read online is called a "brain zap". -When I stand up too suddenly I feel like I'm going to pass out -I am feeling (slightly) paranoid and on the verge of crying (sporadically) throughout the day (particularly when trying to explain to people how I feel) -I feel generally unwell and anxious when I have to go out in public I went back to my Dr. yesterday and he said that he thinks I'm experiencing withdrawal from the Zoloft and that it is normal. He also said that I am not experiencing any withdrawal from the Clonazepam because it was such a low dose for such a short time. He prescribed me Torazadone to help me sleep, which I took last night in a desperate attempt to get some rest and feel "normal" again but I am now very afraid of becoming dependent on that and then needing to go through all this withdrawal again...I'm wondering if I should just "tough it out" and not take anything but the lack of sleep make me feel almost like I'm losing my mind. Part of me feels as if I haven't been taking these drugs long enough to feel this bad and that maybe I am losing my mind or that I should just "suck it up", but the truth is I feel truly awful and am pretty damn scared at the moment. I have come off of street drugs in the past, and do not remember feeling this bad, but maybe that is just because so much time has passed since then. I am hoping I can look back and laugh at tis experience one day. My wife/family are being as supportive as they can but it's hard to verbalize what I am feeling so I came here hoping to gain some support/advice from people who can empathize. I apologize in advance for to those who just had to read through my whole novel..lol
  20. 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...
  21. I hope somebody can help me. I was on Zoloft for eight months at a low-dose of 25 mg during my pregnancy. After the pregnancy, it was not working. I had a lot of anxiety. I tried to go up on the dosage and it did not work, so my doctor prescribed Lexapro. She told me just to cut the 25 mg in half for two weeks and introduce Lexapro. Once I introduced Lexapro I had a bad reaction. Now it's been four months later and Im still withdrawing from Zoloft. I'm having terrible dizziness and feeling off balance still. My anxiety has been through the roof. I've been to the ER multiple times for panic attacks. Not my depression is back with a vengeance. However I'm not tolerating meds very well They tried to start me back on a low-dose of Lexapro at 2.5 but it caused a lot of major major anxiety. I'm also having terrible brains zaps that run from really inside my brain to my neck. When I turn my head I had them when I talk I have them when I walk I have them. I think my nervous system has been shot. I should also mention my feelings are everywhere from confusion to worry and fear. I feel like I'm losing my mind. Do you eventually recover from this? Was their permanent damage to my nervous system when I stop Zoloft so quickly. No other medication is working and I'm trying to work with a psychiatrist on this. Do you think my brain will eventually adjust on Lexapro? It's been now three weeks with Lexapro almost 4.Any help would be appreciated I need some reassurance.
  22. How it all started. November 2017 I was prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin to be taken once daily I do not have any pre existing anxiety or health issues. The "medicine" was given to me to help with some stress induced insomnia. Since then the stress that caused the insomnia has long been resolved. I was told this medication was a low dose, and it was perfectly safe, and could be taken nightly for up to 3 months without having any problems with dependency or addiction. Even though i told the doctor 11 years prior i had a bad withdrawel from Ativan that was prescribed to me after my mothers death. He said klonopin is much safer and easier to come off of. Also i took increasing doses of Ativan for close to a year... so of course it was hard to withdraw from... I took the Klonopin .5mg exactly as prescribed for about 10 to 12 days, and then for a week after I took half the dose .25 mg. Then i quit... Apparently I'm very sensitive to these types of medications and not biochemically compatible with them, because what happened over the next 8 days, I describe as increasing anxiety, insomnia, and irrational fear, that got to the point (8 days out) of having absolutely zero sleep the night before and feeling completely detaches from reality. Now i wish i would have realized what was happening and stuck it out, because I'd probably be 100% recovered by now. However, I ( like so many of us ) went running back to the doctor for help. I made an emergency appointment with my doc. He prescribed me a very high dose of Gabapentin and told me that its a great new medication used for benzo and alchohol withdrawels. He promised me that this drug was completely safe and not addictive at all as he did with the Klonopin. but he convinced me of it by telling me it wasn't a controlled substance. It worked great for about a week, but then all of those strange withdrawal symptoms from the Klonopin started coming back, and I required more of the Gabapentin to control those symptoms... My doctor actually said I could pick up the 3600 mg of it a day if need it without any worry of withdrawal. I had a massive bottle of 300mg pills and another massive bottle of 100mg pills to "fill in" I got to the point where I was taking 300 mg in the morning, 300 mg in the afternoon, and 1200 mg at night. But something just didn't feel right, I wasn't myself, I felt like I had suddenly lost 10 or 15 IQ points, the world seemed dull and so did my emotions. So the doctor pulled me off the gabapentin and put me back on the klonopin and once stable I would do a very slow taper, i was desperate to feel normal again so i agreed... I was pulled from the gabapentin after being on it for only 9 days... but with no taper and put back on the klonopin. Only this time it was not really working... I am well aware of Heather Ashton, slow tappering, micro tappering, and the effects benzos have on our gaba receptors... i personaly think Ashton is to highly regarded... I think the cross over to valium is a bad idea and does not work out for a lot of people... i respect the work she did, and her research, but that information is out dated and had needed to be continued and expanded upon. I do not agree all benzos effect the brain the same way the only difference is half life... My doctor thought going on valium would be my best option because of the long half life.... but there was no transition, it was just simply stop the Klonopin 1 day and start on 8mg diazapam the next... valiums main chemical of action breaks down in just 4 hours, while the rest of it just builds up in our systems... so the relief factor is short, while the rest of the chemicals just build up. Where I am at now I am currently taking 3 mg of Valium in the morning and 3 mg of Valium at night as well as 300 mg of Gabapentin in the morning and 300 mg at night ( yes im back on the gaba... mainly because the lack of sleep that started after my 2nd valium cut was just killing me) . This process is drawn out for the better part of a year now, and I'm still not medication free, and I'm still suffering insomnia, anxiety, and a sense of detachment. What I'm really wondering is if anyone has been on this combination of medications, and how they approached the taper. It doesn't matter which one I cut, I feel the effects of both in very much the same way with the same type of symptoms. Should I be tapering say half a milligram of Valium every two weeks, and 100 mg of Gabapentin every 2 weeks? Or tackle one at a time??? I apologize as this intro has turn into a book, I'm just very desperate for answers from people who have been through this I'm not seeking medical advice just personal experiences. My doctor and my pharmacist both say that what I'm experiencing is impossible given my dosage. But i know better. Just last year I was a highly functioning, healthy , strong, muscular, independent hard-working man, that ate a very healthy diet. After taking the Klonopin for just 17 days, the aftermath has been the loss of my job, i've had to move in with my sister for the time being. And all any doctor wants to do is give me more drugs or up my doses. I know the reality is this is a side effect kind of withdrawal from the medication so I refuse to do that. I have had a ton of blood work, and other neurological tests that are all perfectly normal I currently take both ionic and threonate magnesium in the middle of the day. I dont know if it helps ot not... i still eat healthy and walk at least 3 miles a day. SYMPTOMS I have lost 10 pounds of muscle, i have diahrea everyday I have benign faciculation dissorter My hands are shakey I have a massive panic attack in the middle of the night that wakes me up After the panic attqck at night I spend the rest of my hours in stage 2 of sleep ( where i feel like im not sleeping but i actually am) during this time i have a constant stream of thoughts, songs stuck in my head, and thins that make literaly no sense at all... I sleep between 2 and 6 hours per night. I have daytime anxiety mainly in the afternoon. Thank you, and best wishes to all of you.
  23. 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
  24. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
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