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  1. Medication HIstory: Prozac 1993 to 2016 for anxiety and depression (actually have Complex PTSD) Switched to Celexa in 2016 and took until Feb 2022 Switched to Lexapro in Feb 2022 then Zoloft in June. Switches were due to bad anxiety and now tapering off because SSRIs seem to be causing anxiety rather than reducing it. At 25 mg Zoloft presently for 3 weeks. Symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, stomach ache, anxiety. Also taking Lorazepam 1 mg and Zolpidem 10 mg. Just started Accel for nausea and it's helping.
  2. Hi, I am in crisis right now and desparate for help. I tapered off effexor 1 year ago and have had no psychiatric meds since. The past year has been rough with prolonged withdrawal and bouts of anxiety along with way, but for the past 3 months I have been doing very well (working a stressful job and handling it well, traveling, etc). For the past week, seemingly out of the blue, I am having severe, debilitating anxiety and insomnia. I also have odd physical senstations that I haven't experienced in quite this way before (odd nagging nausea-not the anxiety kind, but the flu kind; extreme muscle pain; periodic cramping of my hands and feet; a buzzing or tingling sensation in my arms and legs; weakness. I saw my doctor, who ran blood tests- everything is normal. I saw her before the anxiety started- at first, I just had the flu-like symptoms, then the anxiety hit. I don't know what to do....I am going to have to resign from my job (a well-established, successful career of 9 years). I aleady took a leave for 1 month 6 months ago when I was having a bout of bad withdrawal. I feel desperate for relief, and am so desperate that I would even go on meds again (although I swore they were the worst thing I ever did to myself and that I would never touch them again). Is there any chance this is still a delayed withdrawal? Please if anyone can offer me advice, I really need help right now. Thank-you.
  3. Gridley

    Gridley

    In 1986 I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant, 75 mg Imipramine PM, to slow bowel function and to relieve pain resulting from ulcerative colitis. I was also put on 1 mg Lorazepam. In 1991 I went CT off both the Imipramine and the Lorazepam, resulting in a terrible colitis flare-up. After a few months I reinstated with success. However, these medications, and everything else I did for the colitis ceased work about three years ago, and in January, 2015, I underwent surgery to remove my colon and replace with an internal J-pouch, which cured the colitis. But that left me with the 30-year-long Imipramine situation. In January, 2016, I began tapering the Imipramine 10% every three weeks, which went fine until I got down to 19 mg, then 12 mg, at which point I began experiencing severe anxiety as well as dizziness. Realizing I had tapered too quickly, I updosed to 25 mg a month ago but have not as yet stabilised at this dose, as I am still experiencing considerable anxiety as well as insomnia. Until September 23, my tapers were approximate percentages as I hadn't yet bought a scale. I use the supplements Theanine and Nature's Balance Happy Camper to help with the anxiety, along with magnesium glycinate. It's only been a month, but I'm a little worried that I am never going to stabilise at 25 mg. In 2004, due to depression, I was put on a succession of SSRIs, in addition to the Imipramine, including Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. Lexapro 20 mg seemed to finally work and I remain on it at this time. In 2011 I was prescribed 1 mg Lorazepam for insomnia, now 1.5 mg.
  4. Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25+ Years of Use One-year post taper “success story” – http://survivingantidepressants.org Elbee (male) - August 27, 2020 At the time of this success story post, I have passed the one-year mark (15+ months) living drug-free. I am speaking to you from “the other side” of hell to let you know I made it through the nightmare of psychiatric drug withdrawal -- and so can you. I want to start by saying that everyone’s withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is going to differ – no two paths are the same. While there will be commonalities in what we each experience, there will also be differences. I also believe that none of us are uniquely or irreparably “broken,” and that each of us can find a path to living much fuller, healthier lives in greater freedom. To be clear, I had doubts throughout this process . . . believing that somehow, I was MORE “broken,” and that I wouldn’t find my way out of the darkness. But the natural, innate healing power we each possess is profoundly AWESOME, and it quietly, patiently works in the background in each of our lives. . . even if we can’t see it, and even if we don’t trust it. For me, the psychiatric drug withdrawal / tapering process turned out to be an invitation to learn how to live my life differently. It became clear to me in this journey that I could never go back to some idealized place I vaguely imagined myself clinging to . . . I could only move forward to somewhere I had not yet been. I need to be honest: It is still hard to revisit and write about just how painful this drug withdrawal process was. Now that I’m feeling so much better, a part of me wants to forget the whole ordeal . . . as if looking in a rear-view mirror, driving ever-further away. And the reality is that this rear-view mirror perspective is very much real -- I’m SO grateful not to be suffocating in such intense pain anymore! But it is also true I will carry the scars of this experience with me for the rest of my life. It is clear to me now that some of me died through this drug withdrawal process. It is also true that the most precious parts of me came back to life. And I am still healing. I was very much disabled through the most intensive parts of the drug taper. I was on these psych drugs for panic attacks, anxiety, and depression my entire adult life, over 25 years. Additionally, I was drinking alcohol abusively, and relying on multiple pots of coffee and a pack of cigarettes to get me through each day. Even before I had decided to get off the meds, I was utterly exhausted most of the time, barely functional, and unconsciously stumbling through life like a zombie. I knew I had to fundamentally change how I was living. The first step in my detox efforts was to quit alcohol in April of 2014, 30 years after taking my first drink as a kid. Thankfully, I was able to release alcohol from my life relatively easily. Whatever boost alcohol had given me previously was gone, and it was clear to me as a 44 year old man that the devastating hangovers I experienced were getting more difficult. Then, over that following summer and under doctor supervision, I “tapered” entirely off both the Lorazepam and Zoloft that I had been taking for 24 years. I experienced tons of anxiety in the process, but I did it, and after the 4-month ordeal, I thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, about six weeks after taking my last dose of Zoloft, what I now know to be protracted withdrawal hit, and my life spun into a depth of hell that words cannot describe. Instead of re-instating the same drugs I had been taking, the doctors took me on an 8-month “trial-and-error” roller coaster ride of psychiatric drug experimentation. I finally ended up on higher doses of the drugs I had originally quit, plus Remeron added in for good measure. Through all of this, I landed in a very bad place – exhausted, functionally disabled, unable to work, and unsure what to do next. I had some savings in the bank I could live on for a few years, so I decided to “hole up” to do a new taper, following the much slower tapering protocol of the SurvivingAntidepressants.org website. But my savings were limited, so I used the 10% reduction protocol as a baseline, and pushed the taper as fast as I could without killing myself in the process. I’m not sure I would suggest this approach to anyone else, but in my situation, that’s what I did. Note: I’m going to refrain from listing out all the symptomatic horrors I experienced (there were many) as I write this success story. Here is the link, if you’re interested, to my introductory thread which details my four-year psychiatric drug withdrawal process: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/11862-%E2%98%BC-elbee-25-years-of-meds/ And I want to take a moment here to say how incredibly grateful I am to @Altostrata, @Shep @brassmonkey, @bubble, @apace41, @Gridley, @Rhiannon (her writings), @JanCarol, @KarenB, @ChessieCat, @Petunia, @scallywag and all the folks at SurvivingAntidepressants.org who helped save my life. I also came across Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic around the same time I found this site, and from these resources, I knew I had stumbled into truth. It became clear to me that so much of what the mainstream medical establishment had told me about these drugs, and about my so-called “chemical imbalance,” was false -- I had been lied to. SurvivingAntidepressants.org helped me anchor into this truth and set me on a new course. THANK YOU! With these new resources, I came to understand that getting off the drugs wasn’t just a simple matter of refraining from ingesting chemicals, or even about waiting for those chemicals to dissipate out of my body. I learned that my brain had restructured itself around the presence of the drugs all these years and that by removing the drugs, my brain would have to, very slowly, restructure itself again to a healthy state. The metaphor of a plant (my brain) growing on a trellis (the drugs) for support is so profound to me. How can I expect to abruptly rip out the trellis and think that it won’t damage the plant in devastating ways? This metaphor was such a clear illustration to me of how a neuroplastic human brain builds tolerance, and how we can so easily become entangled in the physiological mechanisms of addiction. And to be very clear, our brains develop tolerance to psychiatric drugs just like they do street drugs, and the mechanics of addiction and withdrawal in each are the same. Gaining this knowledge and allowing it to sink in was probably one of the most important early milestones in my healing process. In preparing for writing this success story, I re-read my entire introductory thread. Several pivotal posts stood out to me as other milestones in my healing process, and while this testimonial might go long, I think it could be useful to touch on some of them . . . In my very first post, I am already talking about the value of meditation. Sitting with myself quietly and focusing on my breath helped me slow down my mind and learn to relax. As I continued with the practice, though, I began experiencing periods of discomfort. I had initially taken the psychiatric drugs to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings, and as I practiced meditating space was again created for those feelings to arise. Learning to slowly sit with and tolerate whatever thoughts and feelings arose began to nullify my need to run away, and therefore, lesson my urge to drug the discomfort. Meditation became a cornerstone of my self-care practice, and self-care is what I ultimately found to replace the drugs. Next milestone -- about a year later, I wrote an entry about a decision I was struggling with on whether to consult with a renowned psychiatrist. A relative was able to get me an appointment for a psychiatric medication evaluation from a “leader in the field” (at the bargain price of $2,000). Looking back, it was then I decided I no longer believed in the efficacy of psychiatric drugs, nor the system that deals in them. I wrote: Next, in the summer of 2016, still early in my tapering and recovery process, I went on a 111-day, 9,000-mile solo road trip across the U.S. In retrospect, I was probably looking for something “out there” that was missing “in here.” I did a four-day vision fast in the wilderness, hiked a 14,000-foot mountain, roamed Death Valley, did a week-long silent meditation retreat, camped under redwoods, hiked numerous National Parks, etc. Was it really a good idea to take this pilgrimage in such a compromised state? I can’t say for sure, but it’s what I did, and I think it cracked through defenses that needed to open. In the Hoh Forest of Olympic National Park in Washington state, I experienced a release of emotions like I had never felt before. It was in that moment I finally realized that releasing stored emotional blockages could ease my anxiety: Another milestone: Upon returning home to Florida later that fall, I dove more deeply into my involvement with the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) 12-Step program. In conjunction with doing EMDR with a skilled, compassionate trauma therapist, ACA helped me crack through layers of protective childhood denial that I had carried into adulthood. Some people advise NOT deliberately digging into the unconscious too much while going through psychiatric drug withdrawal, but my path has been that of heavy digging. I accepted living in a disabled state for a period of time and felt that if I was going to get off these drugs, I needed to address what drove me to take them in the first place. By early summer of 2017, my commitment to this recovery approach had strengthened. Along with addressing the trauma associated with childhood family dysfunction, I opened another door . . . into the shame and terror I experienced hiding as a closeted young gay boy and gay teen. I had initially come out 25 years earlier at age 20 (the same time I started taking the psych drugs), but that was only part of my truth I was hiding. The secrets of my sexual orientation were built upon the secrets of having grown up in family dysfunction: Homophobia turned out to be compounding trauma, and I had been living in a closet within a closet. I had more inner work to do. Perhaps one of my most significant milestones was realizing how important it was for me to take the lead in my healing, and how easily I had deferred to the “expertise of authorities” in my life. By June of 2017, I had navigated my way off the benzos completely, and I recognized the importance of building an internal sense of trust – connecting with my more authentic self to discover a new inner compass. Despite appearing outwardly confident most of my life, inner trust was something I lacked. By allowing myself to fully feel, I had opened to recognizing my own authentic needs, to directly and respectfully communicating my needs, and to setting healthy limits and boundaries. By learning these important skills that I had missed earlier in life, I discovered greater internal trust with myself, and greater discernment in trusting others. By January of 2018, I had another important insight: I more fully recognized I was going through an internal chemical withdrawal process in addition to detoxing from the drugs I was ingesting. Behavioral (or process) compulsions and addictions all have physiological and neurological correlates, and I had been heavily “dosing” throughout my life using my own “internal drug store.” This realization profoundly shifted my perspective on my psychiatric drug withdrawal process, seeing it in a more comprehensive context. A lot of my recovery has involved working with an “inner critic” that had been driving me most of my life, born and sustained from a lack of unconditional love. Ironically, this harshness was so pervasive that I had never consciously known it was there. My inner critic constantly pushed me into the extremes of all-nothing thinking. Again, meditative practices more than anything helped me identify this was going on, and ACA reparenting (inner child work) has allowed me to soften it. By the end of 2018, I started discovering something that had evaded me my whole life – moderation, and a general sense of “OK-ness.” By April 2019, I had found a new pace in life to accompany my new inner compass, and I was nearing the full completion of my psychiatric drug taper. I was one-year benzo-free at this point, and at times, I was overwhelmed with heights of new sensations and emotions. I was feeling things I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager because I had been drugged my entire adult life. It was overpowering in many ways, but I was so grateful to be “awakening” to a much more fully human life. On April 28, 2019, I was finally free from Zoloft, and my psychiatric drug taper was complete. I had found a way out of the darkness, and I had survived. I couldn’t remember having ever felt so alive. So, while this isn’t my entire recovery story, I’m fulfilling my promise to report back and share my continuing journey with others. Where do things stand today, 15 months after taking a psychiatric drug for the last time ever? No need to panic. I’m not experiencing depersonalization, derealization (DP/DR), or panic attacks in frightening ways. I do still feel what I might call different states of consciousness, but often there is a positive, expansive quality to these experiences. Perhaps some might call this bliss? I haven’t really found ways to talk about it yet clearly, but I don’t experience panic attacks in the ways I used to. I still have fears of them returning, but less so with time. I also get “eerie” feelings now and again, but I have found ways to work with that when it happens, and it doesn’t usually last long. Scariest weirdness has ceased. Most of the “unexplainable” adverse reactions I experienced don’t happen anymore. I would get terrible flu-like symptoms for days at a time . . . hot flashes and chills, body aches, cramps, twitches, headaches, fogginess and disorientation, exhaustion, etc. Sometimes my heart would start racing for no apparent reason, or I would have trouble breathing. I had chronic digestion issues. I had intense agoraphobia, even paranoia at times. I had problems making the simplest decisions. All of this, for the most part, has subsided. Consistent rest. My sleep has changed dramatically, and I’m so grateful. I have struggled with sleep my entire life . . . unable to fall asleep at night and feeling anxious and “hungover” with crippling anxiety each morning. For as long as I can remember, I wanted nothing more than to sleep “normally” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and wake-up feeling well-rested. Today, more times than not, my sleep resembles very much what I used to wish for. I wrote an entry summarizing what I’ve done to address my sleep issues here. Keep gently working with triggers. I still have intense anxiety at times and find myself in hypervigilant states. I’ve come to understand this as a trauma response, and I can usually identify what has triggered me and/or how my inner critic has become activated. I’ve developed self-care routines that help to reduce these reactions, and that help me come out of this state much more quickly and easily. Some old wounds have healed permanently – some things that used to trigger me no longer do. AND I want to emphasize there are days now, thankfully, I live virtually anxiety-free. Self-care (reparenting) is my new drug. I had SO much resistance to doing self-care my whole life (for many reasons I won’t get into here). And by self-care, I don’t mean treating myself to a spa day (though that probably doesn’t hurt). I mean the day-in and day-out routines of physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually tending to myself like I’m the most precious being in the world. Self-care is what got me to where I am today, and it will be the practice of my lifetime. Don’t overdo it. As my life continues to get fuller, I can easily start “checking-out” again. If I stay dissociated for too long, I will pay for it. If I overcommit while on autopilot, I will have adverse reactions when I reconnect with myself. If I try to shortcut too much on the self-care, I will most definitely feel it, and I will struggle. Moving forward, I have to be very careful not to take on too much too quickly, and simply take next best steps. The worst is over. I’ve come to accept that I will never know how much of the excruciating symptoms I experienced these past years were due directly to the psychiatric drug withdrawal, versus how much was due to all the “inner work” I was doing. What I can say is that the symptoms from folks going through psychiatric drug withdrawal and folks doing inner transformative (trauma) work tend to be very much the same. It’s uncanny really, and I can’t explain it. But these two processes seem to very much mirror each other. What I can say is that while there will still be “windows and waves” as my brain keeps healing, and while I still have more “inner work” to do, I’m confident the heaviest lifting for me is done now. Perhaps most indicative of the healing I’ve experienced, I’m feeling well enough now that I’m back in school earning a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) – I’m going to become a therapist. While I’m a bit uneasy stepping towards healthcare systems that betrayed me so deeply, I also feel this is how I can be of most benefit. I’ve come to fully believe that my wounds are intrinsically linked to my gifts, and as I continue to heal my wounds, my gifts will become increasingly available. I’ve been doing volunteer work for some time now, which has helped me to “move back out into the world,” and I hope to transition into paid work soon. I’ve been meeting with people in support capacities, and I envision “coaching” people at some point until I more formally earn my credentials. I plan to be very open about my history with psychiatric drugs, as well as my recovery process. I journaled extensively all throughout my recovery process, and perhaps I will share the “long version” of my story in the future (yes, this is the short version). For now, writing this success story is an important next step in my “coming out.” Thank you for witnessing my healing. Elbee-Success-Story_Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25 years on them.pdf
  5. Hi, I’m new and this is my first post. I have been tapering off 10 mgs liquid Prozac since September 28, 2021. As of February 9, 2022 I am down to 3.6 mgs. I am a slow metabolizer of Prozac so the half life makes adjustments easy but the side effects are painful. My psychologist, who retired December 2021, who I went to off and on for 13, told my new psychiatrist June 2021 his opinion that I no longer needed antidepressants and needed my Ativan only rarely, as they were, in his opinion, now creating the anxiety and depression. My psychiatrist, after speaking with my psychologist and with me has agreed, the medication, especially the antidepressant is not what I need this the reason for tapering off. Which was the reason I tapered off lexapro in 2018. After a two and a half year taper down from five to one, my then psych pa told me to stop. That didn’t go well. One month later I started on five mgs liquid Prozac and from July 2018 to October 2018 , after another doctor took over, and he slowly raised me to 20 mgs. Because my psychologist and I both were in agreement, with my doctor at that time, in 2020 I did a 4 month taper from 40 mgs (I was only on that dose a week because it really messed me up, the dose that worked best for me was ten, why I went to forty is long story)to nothing in five months. Doctor said it was okay to do it this way. That went well until withdrawal hit three months later. Back to February 2022. With my last dose changeover a week ago, I have gone the gambit of emotions. From here on out it’s smaller dose changes. But my issue now is, (Prozac has always had a stimulant (ramped up feeling) effect on me,) I feel so ramped up now physically I’m having to take more Ativan. I have texted my psychiatrist about this but still have yet to hear back from him. This ramped up feeling is physical and it hasn’t really effected me emotionally. Which is odd for me. A good thing, a great and wonderful blessing is, it hasn’t triggered the suicidal ideation that Prozac can cause and it hasn’t triggered anxiety, just makes me so nervous I feel like jumping out of my skin, in all the 17+ years I have been on and changed or tapered medicine, this is new to me. Does anyone have thought about this? I am a Christian and I have a strong and close relationship with Christ. Just wanted to add that important information.
  6. Posting this success story is long overdue. I am pleased to say that I am fully recovered. I was mostly recovered at around 18-24 months but still suffered the odd niggling wave. I have been entirely symptom free for over 2 years now. I have so much respect for the people on here, giving support to those who are suffering. Thank you. I don't come on here much but I do check in. I'm open to PMs, especially if I can help anyone suffering during and after a reaction.
  7. Hello and nice to meet everyone. I have been reading as much as I can the past two days and feel like it is time to introduce myself. THANK YOU for everything you all have contributed, this site is a game changer. So many questions answered and a new journey begins. You can see my drug history and four month taper in my signature over the spring/summer (my psychiatrist at the time recommended two weeks, go figure). I had planned on a few crappy months going into this. Oh if I had only found this site first... Withdrawal didn’t kick in for at least two weeks, and slowly at first. I spent all of September and October dodging and weaving through good days and bad days, which I observed simply as “anxiety” (my original diagnosis) but with unusual physical symptoms. I journaled and kept calendar entries, mostly to record when I had to resort to Ativan (usually 0.5mg, occasionally 1mg). Other than for flight anxiety (two trips), I can count 17 times I took it over those two months, and only as a last resort. I had two sudden midnight “surges” (after feeling great) with shivers, out of control heart rate, even some diarrhea, which would last hours. I was convinced it was Serotonin Syndrome. The second one took me to urgent care the next morning for a heart checkup. A few days later a new psychiatrist then put me on Propranolol (beta blocker) as my primary concern was my heart. Propranolol immediately helped me observe and evaluate the “anxiety” I was experiencing which helped a lot. The new psychiatrist also had me stop 5-HTP after only a few weeks which was probably smart. I speak to him again this Friday, not sure what to share/ask given what I am learning here. I am now clear on the fact that I am riding waves of withdrawal symptoms, anxiety responds to the unusual feelings and emotions created by the withdrawal and adds its own icing to the cake, but I am focused on observing and not reacting, and doing my best to “ride it out”. The most unusual part of this “pattern” has been the timing of it all - usually kicking into high gear in the evenings after dark (earlier and earlier in my part of the world). I am nervous about traveling this weekend (short flight) but also realize I need to try and have as “normal” a life as I can stand under these conditions. My wife is awesome, understanding and super supportive. At 12 weeks in, I am not sure reinstatement is an option for me, even though I still have 5mg Trintellix in my drawer, and could try taking microdoses. Leaning toward a no, but I realize I may have run out of time to make that decision? I have read almost all the “required reading” but would still appreciate an opinion on that one. Also considering stopping my multivitamin, turmeric and mulberry leaf extract and taking only my “Super Omega-3 Plus” (Fish Oil) and picking up magnesium pills. I just started the Probiotic so I could drop it too, but not feeling like it would impact all of this either way? I am intrigued by the Reishi 415 blend to get some non-psychedelic mushroom love. Lastly my wife and I are thinking about therapeutic float tanks (she would love to do it again) and I have begun using our hot tub as part of my daily routine, along with many failed attempts at meditating. Anxiety was never something I handled well to begin with, and I realize now I must absolutely be on my game to dance this intricate dance. I will post any new thoughts, findings and curiosities on this thread as appropriate. I appreciate everyone’s support! PS- I opted to not use the appropriate abbreviations as I wanted to easily share this summary with family
  8. Matt Samet's book about his ordeal, Death Grip, will be published in February by St. Martin's Press. At 7 years, he is fully recovered. See his article http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/12/the-other-side/
  9. I have depression and anxiety. My former prescribing ARNP started me on Latuda to augment sertraline (an off-label use) but I didn’t notice any effects. We then switched 150mg sertraline to 20mg trintillex from November-December and I felt good but I had eye twitching and found out it was expensive so I decided to try an ADHD medication as recommended by my prescribing ARNP. I lowered my trintillex (I think to 10mg) and started the ADHD med but I was anxious and nauseous on it so I stopped and went back up to 20mg trintillex. A few weeks after that, I started having severe symptoms (see below). I have a feeling that increasing the trintillex caused my current symptoms but Latuda is not covered by my insurance so I want to get off it as well. I know I need to titrate slowly but I don’t know which one to start with. I was working with an ARNP and we discussed starting sertraline and then decreasing trintillex but she dropped me after I asked started asking questions about and wanting to change the tapering schedule. She discouraged me from stopping the trintillex alone and said my depression would get worse. Since January 11th, I have been experiencing debilitating anxiety, crying uncontrollably (for the first two weeks), nausea, vomiting, racing heart, heat sensitivity, insomnia, stomach pain, suicidal ideation, obsessive thoughts, memory issues, cognitive issues, itching, agitation, feeling detached, irritability, waves of panic, self doubt, and constipation. My questions are as follows: Should I start decreasing the Latuda or the trintillex first? Do you think decreasing the Latuda could help my anxiety symptoms even though it didn’t seem to have a positive affect on me when I started taking it? Would it be unsafe for me to start decreasing trintillex without adding another SSRI? Would it be safe for me to start on sertraline before dropping the trintillex? To the best of my memory: 2006-2010: sertraline 2006-2007: risperidone 2010-2016: took fluoxetine and citalopram as mono therapy 2016: trial Effexor for a few months 2016-2020: escitalopram (polyrugged with Wellbutrin) 2016-2020: Wellbutrin, months on and months off May 21-Nov 21: tapered from escitalopram to sertraline 150mg August 21: trial of lamotragine (rash) August 21: started latuda (off label) at 20mg, then up to 40mg and 60mg but back down to 40mg November 21: two week taper from sertraline to trintillex 20mg, experienced eye twitching and itchiness (5mg trintillex for 5 days, day 6 decrease sertraline to 100mg, day 10 decrease sertraline to 50mg and increase trintillex to 10mg, day 14 stop sertraline, 10 days of 15mg trintillex and then up to 20mg trintillex) December 21: quick taper down on trintillex to I think 10mg and trialed dextro-amphetamine for a week, 10-40mg, anxious and nauseous (1/2 of 40mg pill in am, then 1/2 pill am and 1/2 pill pm, then 20mg am and no pm, then 20 mg am and 1/2 pm, then maybe 20 mg am and 20 mg pm) December 21: quick taper back up to 20mg trintillex, some lip and foot twitching January 22: lorazepam for a few days January 22: clonidine .1mg-.4mg per day, currently taking .1mg am and .1mg pm January 22-March 22: ashwagonda, L-theanine, and probiotics Current medications: Latuda 40mg Trintillex 20mg Clonidine .1mg am and .1mg pm Fish oil Vitamin D Levothyroxine .112mg
  10. Community of Healing, hello. In December of 2014, just a bit more than 6 years ago, I came to this site after already weathering two years of nearly life-terminating withdrawal. I'd been on psychotropic medications for most of my life and in my estimation, my nervous system had decided it'd had enough. From February 2012 to approximately March of 2014, I felt I was literally living in hell. I was hospitalized twice, lost long-running friendships and new career opportunities, tried a plethora of medications, supplements, and herbs in an attempt to "fix" withdrawal, and ultimately came to the realization that pharmaceutical medications would not be the answer to my suffering. Pharmaceutical medications had been the cause of my suffering. And what my brain and body needed was support, tenderness, forgiveness, care and time... TIME... to heal. Benzodiazepines had been the first drugs I withdrew from. That was a brutal, nightmarish withdrawal, but relatively short-lived (acute @ 8 months). Tapering from Mirtazapine proved a longer journey, a much longer journey that I shared here. So this is my success story, my chapter-turning post. This is my declaration that I have been successful in tapering from medications that had deranged my nervous system to such a degree that I was scarcely able to operate in the world anymore. I took much time to make this declaration of success as I am by nature skeptical, and wanted to be sure that healing had indeed come - and come to stay. I feel that it has. I discontinued Mirtazapine, my last psychotropic medication, on June 15, 2019. There are still some echos of it that I deal with in day to day life. My issues with histamine intolerance I believe are directly attributable to Mirtazapine's affinity for histamine receptor occupancy. I manage this issue with dietary and exercise modifications as well as use of select vitamins and herbs. It is not life-deterring. It can be inconvenient and sometimes unpleasant, but it is nowhere near as debilitating as withdrawal itself had been. Despite posting this success story, I'm not going anywhere really. I am always happy to answer questions about my journey. When I was in the worst of my own withdrawal, the feedback from moderators and members of this community and elsewhere were absolute lifelines. Not that anyone could necessarily fix my problems - but I could walk away with sound, compassionate advice and if nothing else, the knowledge that my suffering had been heard, and that someone ultimately cared about me. Your suffering is heard, and someone ultimately cares about you. I want to thank @Altostrata and every moderator past and present for their kind forbearance, compassion, and dedication. I want to thank every member for their strength, endurance, bravery, and perseverance towards a healthy life free of the chemicals that have caused them harm. You all have something, many things, to be proud of. I believe in every human's potential to heal. Take your time, taper well, make the most sound choices you can, and know that healing is absolutely within your power to achieve. Hang in there, Dave
  11. Hello I always wanted to return to the site and thank all that helped me in the dark hours and also the forum owner and originator for the tireless work that has helped so many people Heres my thread when I first asked for help http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6865-andy-hello-tapering-from-zyprexa/ I wont go into how I finally quit the drug because it wasnt the normal 10% approach although I tried 5 times and failed miserably.I found a good understanding doctor who helped me reduce and more than anything listened to me without prejudice.This helped enormously,I finally jumped off at 1.25mg and to be honest it wasnt to bad,by far the worst reduction was going just under 2.5mg,I had severe migraines ,nausea,heart palpitations,sickness,depression,mania,mood swings and relentless insomnia.The insomnia was by far the worst symptom as it made me anxious and very irritable ,all this while trying to be a good father and holding down a very stressful and demanding job.Of all the drugs I was put on Zyprexa was the hardest to quit,it was hell and back but it can be done I have recently started my Taekwondo training again that I practiced for over 15 years but couldnt while I was on this terrible drug,I now feel calmer and sleep well.I put on over 3 stone while on zyprexa even though I ate a well balanced diet,I felt lethargic and had no interest in life,that has all changed and the weight is coming off steadily. Excercise has been the most helpful tonic for me and even when I had had zero sleep I went to my class and worked out.It slowly but steadily improved my sleep and made me feel confident again that I could get over all of this,when you start to see improvements you start to see light at the end of the tunnel Things are heading in the right direction and my outlook on life is positive once again.I feel good Once again thankyou for all your help and for people just starting the journey dont ever give in it can be done,god bless you all Andy
  12. I cold turkeyed off Lexapro 10mg in august of 2020. Big mistake. After a year of taking every supplement known to man I relapsed really bad. My relapse was triggered by chronic UTIs, numerous rounds of antibiotics, and hypothyroid. I relapsed into severe depression, anxiety and insomnia. It’s been six months now and docs have tried to reinstate me four times on the ADs including the one I cold turkeyed off of. I got really sick on all of them and quit within a week. Also on lorazepam daily for severe anxiety which I still take. Finally my psych put me on trintellix and was able to eat again and felt like maybe it could work. I did four weeks on five mg and started to sink again. Doc moved me up to 10 mg two days ago and I feel the worst anxiety Ive ever had. I’m losing hope. I think im permanently damaged from quitting cold turkey. I dont think I will ever be the same again and don’t want to live this way anymore. Im now on two drugs that are both very hard to quit and feel like Ive taken 10 steps backwards. I have no interest in anything. Im not myself and haven’t been since I quit the AD. My psych doc doesn’t call me back when im having a crisis. I’ve been to the ER for severe anxiety three times. I need help real bad.
  13. Hi friends. I have been getting information from this site for a while so it's about time I made an account. I have been handed a pretty crappy situation (like everyone else here) and trying to decide what to do. The beginning was very rough. The awakening of what happened and what was to come, then trying to cope after seeing it all. Thank God I found Benzo Buddies and SA or I probably would've been polydrugged even more....so for that, thank you to whoever started and helps keeps this site going. I would love some advice from you guys because right now, I feel stuck. And maybe that means holding? I'm not sure. Here's the low down: Zoloft 2008-2009? CT - No Issues - Underage! 14 years old. Had anxiety (looking back...gut issues/hormones/recurring UTI's caused it) Xanax - as needed VERY RARELY 2008-2018 - maybe 1-2 a year? for random bouts of anxiety Celexa 10mg - 2012-2014 - Started after a panic attack. Looking back, I didn't eat a good breakfast and had too much caffeine but here we go. Crossover to Paxil 20mg - 2014 - Celexa pooped out. Paxil "worked" Crossover from Paxil to Lexapro 20mg - 2016 - because I was told Lexapro is better when I'm ready to get pregnant 😐 Crossover from Lexapro to Celexa - May 2020 - gradually increased to 30mg. - because I had hormone issues/stomach issues that triggered anxiety (or Lexapro pooped, I don't know) Also prescribed Lorazepam for help with the anxiety. Took it randomly Once hit 30mg, adverse reaction. Akathisia/anxiety BAD - worst experience of my life. Was in this torture for 2 weeks - I was told it couldn't be my meds but that it may be so cold Turkey July 2020 Withdrawal hit hard 5 days later - hypersexual. Discovered PGAD through google - freaked out thinking the only "cure" was medicine because that's what PGAD facebook group said...bad idea - PGAD is a nightmare symptom. Was told to take Lorazepam for symptoms - around .25-.5mg/day Propranalol 5mg at night - current Tried Buspar 10mg 3 days (didn't help pgad), nortiptyline 1mg a week (helped pgad, heart symptoms) - STOPPED. Realized meds may be the problem. Stopped lorazepam for a day, AWFUL symptoms, realized I was dependent. Found Benzo Buddies Benzo Buddies and Google led me to SA.org - told doctor I wanted to reinstate Celexa at a low dose. Started 1mg Celexa liquid and held. PGAD calmed down A LOT (only random flares) so I knew reinstatement was working. Got on Lorazepam schedule of .125mg 3 times a day. Stabilized on 1mg Celexa and .375mg Lorazepam (rough - nowhere near 100% just a gradual state of feeling bad with waves that are worse) Started cutting lorazepam randomly with dry cuts. Got down to .20mg Lorazepam by January 2021. Tried to cut 15%, hit a wall. Realized with BB that it may be easier with liquid for cuts. Pill was tiny and I had a hard time weighing. I tried to make my own liquid, one dose and I was in bad shape so knew I needed a compound to help. Prescribed Lorazepam compound with almond oil, felt okay but almond oil caused worse PGAD (I have learned magnesium flares PGAD for me and almond oil, almonds, and almond milk contains magnesium - crazy I'm so sensitive) Switched back to pills, stabilized. Went back to try another liquid with olive oil. No pgad but they used a generic pill instead of the powder they used before, bad symptoms. Went back to pill, stabilized. Then switched to new compound with olive oil. Had to updose to .225mg to transition - stabilized for 3 days finally. Cut .001mg every week. Now down to .219mg and last few cuts have been really bad with insomnia/anxiety/feeling really bad. Insomnia only lasts for about 2 days each cut but the anxiety and feeling bad lasts for a while before I stabilize. I'm still not stable from my last .001mg cut on Sunday. ALSO - I found out last Monday I have a UTI. Initial test was negative, culture came in with E-Coli. Due to my severe sensitivies, I am treating with dmannose, cantharis and Uva Ursi tea I will start soon. The symptoms have calmed but still feel overall terrible. I'm hoping the last cut was bad because the UTI made it worse? Anyway - I have been through so much over the last year and I feel like I've hit a wall. I would really love some advice. Benzo Buddies has helped but they're not familiar with SSRI withdrawal. My initial thought at this point was to stabilize and lower SSRI using Brass Monkey Taper but the Celexa does keep the PGAD at bay most of the time. Since that is the case, my thought is to get off of the lorazepam first. I am definitely learning how to listen to my body/surrender to this all. With that said - my questions: 1. Should I have held longer with the switch to liquid? I'm starting to think I should have held longer to allow my nervous system to adjust but not sure. Is that why my teeny tiny cuts are bad right now? 2. Is it a good plan to drop lorazepam first? I am in a pickle because I started feeling worse (malaise) around the time I got on the Ativan schedule so I'm not sure if it's making everything worse, etc. I haven't felt good on it but I'm also in SSRI withdrawal so not sure what is what? 3. I know this is a really long time from now BUT after withdrawing from Lorazepam, how long should I wait to taper the Celexa OR do I just follow my gut/symptoms? I need to be as functional as possible, of course. Right now, I feel overall crappy when I'm stable but able to push through. Brain burning, anxiety, stomach issues, bladder issues, fatigue, malaise, body aches BUT sleeping okay and working and taking care of my family. Fighting! Each tiny cut I've made from Lorazepam since switching to liquid brings on insomnia for a couple of days and bad fear/anxiety/sensitive to noise/irritability/tinnitus/anger/laying on the couch a lot. I would love any advice. I will try to put this all in my signature! Thank you so so much for your help. I know one day healing will come but getting there is a struggle that you all know oh so well.
  14. Hi All, I've been reading this forum for a while and the topics here have been indispensable, especially regarding dealing with withdrawal symptoms as I prepare myself for a slow taper off of my remaining dose. Pre-backstory I’m in my early 20s and I just graduated college in late 2014 with a high GPA and a degree in Computer Science. I’ve got a strong resume with projects under my belt. I should be starting my career right now but can’t due to antidepressant withdrawal, but I keep telling myself that I will get better and it will happen, I just need some more time to heal mentally and spiritually. Backstory On January 1st of this year (2015) I suffered the first panic attack of my life. I’ve always had weird heart flutters and missed beats, so I thought I was having a heart attack and dying. The day that I had this awful panic attack, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t eat much that day (triggers, I know). I also smoked pot regularly (I am clean now) which in retrospect I figure could be messing with my seratonin. I had bad depersonalization that day, basically forgot who I was for a few hours, and over the next month or so I was bedridden feeling shaky every day, suffering a chain of panic attacks in bed. I was immediately prescribed ativan (lorazepam) to help dull the panic attacks, and shortly thereafter, desperate for something to stop the chain of panic attacks, I was prescribed Lexapro. I took the Lexapro 5mg for the first week and 10mg for the second week, and basically over the next few months my panic attacks got generally better but my mental health got generally worse. My doctor upped me to 20mg Lexapro and I got so disoriented and out-of-it that my mom had to start walking me up to the door of my therapy appointments, because I didn’t feel like I could do it alone. I decided to taper down off the Lexapro because my panic attacks had basically vanished, the Lexapro was causing some bad side effects (at higher doses making me confused and disoriented all the time, at the lower doses mostly just preventing me from getting decent sleep, so I was feeling tired all the time). I felt like the panic attacks would probably not come back, since I was on a good new pattern of diet, exercise, supplements (fish oil, magnesium, probiotic and multivitamin), and I also stopped smoking weed completely, which I think may have been a big contributor to the initial panic attack. Anyways, I had miraculous success taking the dosage down from 20mg to 10mg, from 10mg to 5mg, and from 5mg to 2.5mg, with almost no withdrawal effects. The side effects improved steadily with each dosage decrease, and I’m very grateful that I had so little trouble getting down this far. The big trouble started happening about a month ago. I had thought that I had tapered down successfully from 2.5mg because I felt pretty great for 3 weeks on 1.25mg (¼ of a 5mg pill) with no discernible withdrawal symptoms (Sept 9 2015 to Sept 29 2015). On my psychiatrist’s suggestion, I dropped the lexapro completely (0mg) on Sept 30 and I felt worse and worse for about 4 days. On the 4th day I almost had a panic attack, and I felt so depressed and shaky that I took a small fragment of my pill to try to stave off the symptoms. Literally 15 minutes after taking the pill fragment I went from feeling terrible to feeling great, browsing the internet on my phone. So I stabilized again on 1.25mg after about 5 days, or so I thought. 1.25mg (¼ of a tiny 5mg pill) is terribly difficult to measure - there was one time I wasn’t sure if I even took my pill fragment or if it fell on the floor, since it was so small I couldn’t feel it on my tongue. So I started pushing it against the roof of my mouth so I could be sure it was actually in my mouth. But that made it start to disintegrate before it hit my stomach, so… basically I think that my true dosage was getting really uneven. I felt really tired some days and needed naps, and other days I felt mostly fine. So I figured I could get a more consistent dose if I switched to the liquid, which my psychiatrist prescribed for me. Latest Chapter So on 10/28/2015 I switched to the liquid. I figured that the liquid form would be much more readily absorbed by my body than the pill fragments and I was right. I started out with 1.2mg of the liquid and it felt like way too much (cloudy head, sleepy all day), so over the course of 2 days I lowered it to 0.9mg, which felt pretty fine for 5 days. I felt like I was getting better and that I could even start driving and running errands around town with my mom again if I just waited a few more days. On 11/4 I made a really, really stupid headstrong decision. I felt like I could reduce my symptoms even more if I just reduced the dose by a tiny bit further. So that day I cut from 0.9mg to 0.8mg (which in hindsight was a HUGE cut especially considering how recently I had changed the dose before that). The depression came back in such full force that I immediately had to put the dose back up to 0.9mg 2 days later, but reupping the dose didn’t help at that point. I continued to get worse and worse (more depression/anxiety) until my mom pointed out that I was only eating like 800 calories every day - I knew that my appetite was shot, but I had no idea I was eating so little. On 11/11 I started counting calories and now I’m getting at least 2000 per day, with an ultimate goal of 2500. I upped the lexapro from 9mg to 9.5mg daily and the crippling depression is partway gone now. Anyways now it’s 11/14 and I think I’m seeing some progress, but I can never be sure, and these symptoms are very difficult to work through every day. Today Over the last few days, every morning I wake up nauseous and depressed, and every night I get anxious and need to take a 0.5mg lorazepam to calm down. Progress is slow for me and I’m impatient, but I keep trying to remind (convince?) myself that my body is working very hard to right itself chemically, and that if I just hold this dose and don’t do anything else stupid with it, I will feel a little better by next week, and yet a little better by the week after. I could really use some reassurance though :/ My First Question I’m taking 0.95mg in 2 doses daily (0.475mg at 11am and 0.475mg at 1:30pm). On 0.95mg I feel like my seratonin levels are very unbalanced (depressed/hopeless in the morning, decent around noon, anxious by afternoon/evening). When I accidentally took my second lexapro dose at about 4pm one day instead of 1:30pm, that night I went into a drug-trip kind of sleep (almost like an alternate reality) which was a little scary but most of all exhausting and made me feel disoriented and confused and anxious the next day. As of the last few days, I wake up after vivid dreams exhausted, not at all rested, depressed, and with a burst of adrenaline. Will my body actually be able to get used to such a low 0.95mg dose taken mostly towards the beginning of the day like this? If I just stick it out for another week or two, my mood will start to level out again so that I’m not getting these big daily mood swings, right? If not, where do I go from here? Thank you everyone for your support.
  15. Hi there :-) I've been reading through many posts during the last few month and finally want to introduce myself :-) I am a member of www.adfd.org, a german speaking community for tapering psychiatric medication and it really keeps me up to be able to share with others this difficult time and to contribute to the healing process and the awareness of side-effects and withdrawal. Your site is a great source and inspiration for me - not only for tapering. I found many wise thoughts and great advice in other topics related with mental health and health in general during withdrawal. My story: I've been always sceptic about taking psychiatric medication, although I was struggeling with anxiety from my childhood on. So I learned how to cope with my inner stress without taking anything, and was quite stable and confident during the last years. But after some years with a lot of travelling, changing relationships, moving and finishing my studies, I was quite stressed and exhausted - I realized I needed to rest and take more care about my health. Just in the middle of this sensible moment, I heard about my sister's death - she commited suizide after a long story of mental problems and medication. I guess this moment, 2.5 years ago, was the beginning of my journey through what I now call the most difficult and challenging time of my life. First, I was able to deal with my grief and all the follow-up bad situation with my difficult family, taking good care of myself and planning my future. However, later, in summer 2014, after some months of sudden heavy pain in my hips and my legs and an adverse reaction to pain relievers and an antibiotic, I started suffering seizures and heavy shivering attacks which did not disappear but were getting worse. I went to the ER several times, but nobody seemed to care nor have the slightest idea what was wrong with me, as all tests came back normal. I just knew, I had this seizures and cramping where I sometimes lost conciousness every 4-6 hours and was not able to walk anymore. Mentally, I was in a very good mood, not depressed, anxious or panicking. doctors wanted to send me to psychiatric treatment, but I didn't follow their advice - for me it was clearly some body reaction and I was very afraid to be filled up with drugs. Finally I started taking Lorazepam to be able to get through this time and to stop the seizures. It worked, but I still had unbearable pain and could hardly walk, and taking a benzodiazepine was the only way I could go on searching for a reason and a treatment. Unfortunately, I got dependent within a few weeks, and was not able to stop it without unbearable symptoms. So I continued to take 1.5 mg every day. 2 month later, a psychiatrist introduced mirtazapine, to "ease the posttraumatic stress symptoms and to be able to go through the benzo-withdrawal". By this time, I was in such a bad shape, I guess I would have taken almost anything that could possibly ease my pain and stress. In fact, it didn't help much with the withdrawal, but it almost immediately made me sleep - which was absolutely necessary for me. I didn't want to updose the lorazepam as I thought I was already in tolerance and was very scared about being dependent. In autumn/winter 2014/15 I tapered 1.5 mg Lorazepam within 4 month on my own, just the information I read about withdrawal in the web kept me going. It was very difficult and I suffered strong symptoms, but I was so eager to be free of this stuff. I am now benzo-free since Feb. 2015, and felt much better as soon as 2 weeks after the final dose (0.125 mg) Mirtazapine helped me sleeping initially, but after the benzo-withdrawal I realized I suffered strong side effects like lethargy, dizzyness, agitation, emotional numbness and weight gain and I didn't want to be put on psychiatric drugs any longer, so short after I started my taper of mirtazapine. I think I must have thought something like "this must be much easer than benzo-withdrawal, don't believe the crazy stories about AD-w/d" Well - this turned out to be an even more difficult and longer process. My dose was 30 mg, and I went reduced about 10-12% per month. At the moment I am taking 5.9 mg mirtazapine and I will continue the tapering in small steps. Every small cut is followed by racing heart, anxiety, noise sensitivity, muscle cramps, pain, exhaustion, sleeping probs and more symptoms, and so I still have a way to go. Most days I am housebound, feeling sick and in pain, just being able for a short walk - I was already in this condition before starting the tapering, but now I am much more positive and not doing worse than before on a higher dose. My mind is clearing up and I got part of my feelings back. Being in withdrawal since 1.5 years now feels difficult, but I think I learned something very important from this process: How a stressed autonomous system can produce very bad symptoms, without any "underlying depression/psychiatric illness" (as I was told by many doctors - they seem to know nothing about it). Fortunately, I have a very helpful therapist who always assures me that what I am going through is not depression, but was a strong body reaction to challenging life events, adverse drug reactions and now withdrawal. I have realized that I have a weak point in my upper back bone and I tend to have very tight muscles, which was the initial reason for my pain, and I need to do very careful exercise and relaxation to improve it. Finally, I think I understand what happened to me and my body, why I got sick and, even more important, I know the things I need - and the things I need to avoid. Withdrawal seems to delay and sometimes set back my recovery, but that's something I can accept most of the time. Lina
  16. Hi, I'm Sandy. I've been on Luvox for about 3 plus years. I was put on it by my family doctor to help decrease cortisol that I produced in abundance when I was stressed. Cortisol makes my muscles very tight, and in turn causes me to suffer from arrhythmias. I was on 200 mg of Luvox divided into three doses per day, 50 mg at 5 am, 50 mg at 1 pm and 100 mg at 9 pm. My circumstances changed, and I felt that I didn't need the Luvox to help with cortisol control. I started reducing my dosage each week by 25 mg. My last dose was 3 1/2 days ago. I've ordered an Apollo Neuro to reduce the cortisol without medication. I was expecting withdrawal symptoms, but am looking for help in dealing with them. I am feeling dizzy and nauseous. Any tips or suggestions are very welcome. I do have a script for Lorazepam, which I take if my heart starts to act up. Lorazepam is a great muscle relaxer :), but I only take it on as "as needed" basis, which is very infrequently. Thanks, Sandy
  17. First of all, sorry for my bad English but I am from Spain. I am a man of 22 years old and 55.9 kg who was prescribed with Clomipramine 75mg and 1mg of Lorazepam every day to calm obsessions that don’t permit me to sleep for days. In this case, I was obsessed with the idea that I was schizophrenic, this is something common in the Pure OCD, which i was diagnosed later with a psychologist. These pills calmed me and permit me to sleep, but when months passed, December aprox., I was developing the WORST PURE OCD of my life which made me sick, things like homicidal ideation and aberrant stuff like that. Things that I wasn’t experiencing before accompanied with suicidal ideas that I hadn’t had in my life. This situation was accompanied with total anhedonia, and a feeling of careless with everything. I felt like a psychopath, I cared about nobody and nothing, I was experiencing ideas that I wasn’t related to until that day. Before, I was a person very humanistic and interested in cinema and art, now I care about nothing and everything stays indifferent to me. Now, in that situation of deep depression which I NEVER experienced BEFORE, I decided to taper off that poison which made me a person that I couldn’t recognize. After this, I decided to quit 1|4 of lorazepam on December for 2 weeks and then reduced to half of the pill for other 2 weeks, but I couldn’t lower the dosis to stay on 1|4 because of severe withdrawal symptoms, given that, I decided to increase the dose to half of the pill and stay on that dosis. Then, I rapidly reduced Anafranil to 37.5 mg on 26 January of 2020 to 17 of February of 2020. Then on 17 February of 2021, I rapidly reduced again on 18.75, taking it every other day, with severe abstinence syndrome before that. Finally, i stabilize in 18.75 without alternating, recommendation of my father who is doctor. I have stabilized in that dosis until now, that I found this page thank God, on 20 march, I hope you can help me. The first days when I tapered off were AWFUL with nausea, and vomiting, and sometimes I felt HORRIBLE without sense, but in alternate days without it was like hell, thinking of suicide constantly, brain zaps etc. The major symptoms now are severe anxiety sometimes, like waves, difficult sleep, emotional lability, dizziness, incapacity to connect with others, concentrate or study, horror mood swings which lead me sometimes to mania, crying for little things, irritability, aggressiveness, sweaty dreams, anhedonia, Pure OCD worse than ever and worse than with the Anafranil, constantly negative thoughts about my past and the fails that I committed, thoughts about the meaningless of life and feeling hopeless every time with me and the human species. Sometimes I experience tinnitus and I think about suicide too but I’m staying here trying to survive and trying to rescue the person that I was before. Now I’m taking 1 pill of omega 3 in the morning, that’s the only supplement that I’m taking, and I’m going to gym 2 days a week. Also, I would like to note that we cut the pills with a knife, in not a precise way, so the dosis I took each time was not exactly the same as the one we intended to. In addition, I was not taking the pills at the same time all the days, these two factors combined may have also interfered in my situation. Thanks for your attention and God bless you
  18. Hi, I am a 44 yo guy. I'll keep this very short for now as I need to a ask a single urgent question. I was struggling with (moderate?) depression and anxiety for a couple of mounth. Taking 0.5 mg Lorazepam for sleep during this period. Decided to go the meds route and took 1 pill 75mg Venlafaxine XR 22 hours ago. First 3 hours had increased anxiety, nausea, constant burping. Afterwards felt much better, but a new symptom - dysphagia appeared. I have real difficulty swallowing food now. Water is fine. I would like to stop Venlafaxine after taking just one pill of it. Should I just stop ? I got the necessary tools to taper (purchased for the benzo I'm taking), but I only took 1 pill. I am supposed to take the next dose in 2 hours. Thanks, nismesec
  19. Brief history: Prior to 2018 I was a healthy, happy, highly productive professional (31 then, 34 now). In March of that year, had a medical procedure that went wrong and got anxiety and panic attacks. Given ativan which proved impossible to get off of quickly only two weeks later. Hospitalized and put on remeron 22.5mg. Tapered slowly off Ativan over 2 years, ending in June 2020. Decided to start tapering mirt in August of 2020 using a liquid microtaper as I did for ativan. Dropped fairly quickly from 22.5->7.5 mg over 5 months. Then started final descent from 7.5mg on January 25 and hit somewhat disabling withdrawal symptoms on April 18th. My withdrawal symptoms through the taper generally are malaise, head pressure, brain fog, fatigue, allergy symptoms, etc. that wax and wane in intensity with some good days scattered among mostly crappy days (for three years... feels the same as ativan withdrawal). Despite the speed, I actually started to feel better the lower that I got up until recently. My mind has been somewhat clearer, personality coming back, memory improving. Part of the reason I have been going so quickly is that I was eager to be off by July when I will be starting a new intense job and also I have had pretty bad dry eyes and dry mouth on this drug as a side effect even before tapering. Even during the taper from 7.5 I felt pretty okay until April 18 when I think I was exposed to a lot of pollen and other allergens. That is when things started to unravel. Intensification of all my withdrawal symptoms plus congestion, dizziness, etc. So I held my dose hoping it would resolve. Then on March 30, I started to have pretty bad insomnia which has been up and down since then. Often not falling asleep until 5 am with some nights where I sleep generally okay. With the insomnia has also come bad physical anxiety and now somewhat depressed and despairing. I updosed to 2mg on maybe 5/10, but didn't write it down so I don't remember the exact date. At this point I am really struggling and considering a further updose and would like some advice about how much to updose if I do so, and at what pace. Should I titrate up or just reinstate a dose? Seems like titrating up would be safer, but I don't see that talked about much here so unsure of the experience. Any advice from those experienced with this would be helpful. I am nearing my wits end and feel like I have no hope for recovery. Thank you, Steve
  20. I'm new around here, kind of. I've dropped in over the years and made a couple GP assisted withdrawal attempts. Back story: During a marital separation in 2000 I had a deep depressive episode, I'm fortunate to be here. I sought counseling which led to psychiatry and being started on Paxil and Ativan. Paxil worked very well, however when my wife and I got back together Paxil's sexual debilitations became apparent prompting a switch to Wellbutrin. I spent a few years on Wellbutrin as the marriage continued to devolve, but had terrible sweating episodes; which led to a switch to Effexor and minor sexual issues. Fast forward I am 14 years into a second marriage, doing well and my trusted General Practitioner is handling my Effexor in a maintenance manner. With his help (but limited experience) I have tried backing off using starter packs a couple times but quickly found coming off from 150mg in 37.5mg increments a week at a time was not going to work. Brain zaps, irritability, anxiety, returning depressive state. As I've aged, 55, ED has become an issue that the usual treatments don't adequately treat. So I taken renewed interest in tapering off and maybe getting off Effexor. I purchased gelatin caps, a pill stomper and tiny funnels from Amazon. I already had a beam scale as I am a shooter/reloader. Inexpensive digital scales are notoriously unreliable from a repeatability standpoint especially at the lower end. I've read of folks using a folded sheet of paper with a ruler printed on it to measure the length of the beads lined end to end and gradually tapering, but I already had scales. The contents of a generic 150mg Effexor is @ 470mg of beads, my scale measures in grains, 7.3gr to be exact. A 10% reduction equals 6.6gr. I started at 6.6gr for a week then eased to 6.3gr, 13% taper. At about a week minor brain zaps occurred and some mild irritability, I pushed through and after 3 weeks at 6.3gr these have subsided. BUT I find I have more expressive feelings. Not that I was ever uncaring, it was just muted/subdued in there, and Cialis has a more pronounced effectiveness for me. I was hoping to go in 10% steps of a month each; maybe I need to reevaluate and go in 5% steps of a month to 6 weeks. I'll probably try 6.1gr for a few weeks before attempting 5.8gr or 20% reduction.
  21. Hello community, So glad to have found this site!! I've been reading, reading, reading for almost two months. Unfortunately I did not find y'all and Dr. Glenmullen's book until after eight months of thinking I was doing a gradual taper per my GP's advice. Without proper information I tapered too fast, alternated doses, and failed to recognize that the difficult symptoms I was having could be coming from antidepressant withdrawal. I'm currently trying to stabilize before embarking on the 10% taper, starting with sertraline. The symptoms I currently have are: rapid heartbeat and resulting fatigue, anxiety and agitation, including:dizziness and fainting upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension) inability to alter heart rate with exercise (exercise intolerance) ears ringing morning depression heat intolerance (like hot flashes only longer) intense dreams and nightmares head tremor Once I realized I was tapering too fast, I stabilized/increased to 25 mg sertraline and 0.75 mg lorazepam. In the two months since then, some other symptoms I had went away and the above symptoms have seemed to improve, except for heartbeat and head tremor. I had a normal EKG. All blood tests normal except cholesterol (and I consider high cholesterol a good thing for me as a post-menopausal woman). Starting in 2013 or 2014, my antidepressant was increased and I started regularly taking lorazepam due to several years of extreme emotional stress (caring for my physically and mentally declining spouse). I also experienced severe disrupton of my sleep cycle and used alcohol at night. During and before this time, I had many years of blood sugar fluctuations. So I imagine my HPA axis was already severely out of whack even before my mis-guided fast taper. I stopped alcohol 15 months ago, after my husband died. (My symptoms are complicated by the effects of my grief process.) I've been gradually removing stressors from my life. I have recently addressed my blood sugar via a low-carb unprocessed way-of-eating. Am also phasing out caffeine. I am addressing my sleep cycle by using amber glasses to counter the effects of evening screen time. (Hope to reduce the screen time too). Anyway, I am frustrated that my heart palpitations make me unable to exercise, but I understand that all the nervous system problems can be slow to resolve. Trying to be super patient. Appreciate hearing everyone else's stories, questions, and answers. This site is a wonderful resource.
  22. Hi there I’m new to the group was kept on benzos for over a year been off them 11 months (temazepam, diazepam snd lorazepam) horrific horrific withdrawals was on clomipramine for over a year been off it a few weeks when I came from 20mg to zero over 4 days (on advice of pscy) my brain went totally weird two sets of hideous withdrawals severe anhedonia loss of sense of self, personality, consciousness takeover, severe disconnect from self and past memories DR/DP no feelings of love or joy or hope or happiness was so suicidal they put me on duluxotene was on it 9 days made me feel worse came off it- my brain is absolutelu fried have also tried over the last months for sleeping melatonin, night nurse, herbal Nitol, ashwaganda, I feel so weird and disconnected ever single second it freaks me out will I ever return to normal ? Please send hope thanks
  23. i'd forgotten i'd joined this site over a year ago!? really not sure this is where i should be doing introduction? anyways ... i'm a young 69 year old female. about 16 years ago i found out through mutual work friends that my partner was seeing someone. i had been working at same company as my partner but took early retirement to stay home with our son. he worked downtown and i was in the suburbs. i wasn't heartbroken just angry and was determined to find out if he was still seeing her (same friends had seen them together) even tho he told me he'd stopped things the year before. he wouldn't talk to me about any of it when i asked questions ... he just got angry or left the room or house. so i was left with my imagination and turned into a super--sleuth with ocd. worked myself into a real tizzy over a few month and at doctor's appointment told him about all this and he prescribed citalopram which calmed me down really quickly. i was in no position to leave him and liked my life (part-time job working at local elementary school with kids with learning disabilities, art classes so started painting again) so stayed in the relationship. he seemed very sorry and wanted to work things out even tho he still wouldn't talk about it and lasted only one session with marriage therapist because he was embarrassed. oh yes, he was also emotionally abusive... bad temper, mean streak but had lovely qualities as well. i insisted he see someone about his anger. things improved a bit so i hung in. about 7 years ago he started with the horrible moods/blowups again and a couple of times directed his anger at our son (maybe 16/17 yrs.?) and that really got me upset. he blew up at me a couple more times and during one blowout said he/we might as well split up, move, sell everything, throw the towel and i told him i thought that as a good idea which shocked him. took me a few more years to come to a financial agreement with him (he didn't want to break up and every time i brought stuff up he made it very difficult ... during this time we were very civil with each other) and to find a suitable place for myself and our son. i was having anxiety here and there but was under a lot of stress and he really frightened me. i'd never had an anxious or depressed day in my life other tan just normal stuff. i started drinking vodka in the evenings (not drunk!) and took up smoking a bit of weed here and there after stopping it years before. 3 years ago my son and i moved into a lovely townhouse and the day i moved my anxiety got really bad. started drinking and smoking a bit more and started doing some research on antidepressants. i began thinking they weren't doing any good so tried to get off but did it too quickly and ended up a basketcase and on them again. felt better for a while but the anxiety was bad. lost interest in painting, socializing, reading, gardening, cleaning ... hated everything. for me it was all in my gut ... despair, fear, confusion, guilt, sadness all roiling around ... no bad thoughts except my brain never slowed down with stupid stuff over and over. a few months ago i got myself down to one beer a night and hardly smoke dope at all and mid-may started weaning myself off citalopram ... stopped about a month ago. oh yes about 3 years i started taking lorazepam every now and then as needed and it works quite well. (was only on 20mg. citalopram and 1 mg. lorazepam). i really started feeling better a couple of months ago to the point i had she days where i almost felt like my old self but that didn't last. i'm now back with anxiety and covid hasn't helped of course. i know there are things i could force myself to do to feel better but i just freeze! will i ever get back to my happy peaceful self ???
  24. Aria's recovery from poly drugs. I had no idea when I walked into a psychiatrist's office 25 yrs ago the horrible labyrinth I'd entered. Slam dunked at a point in my life when I was feeling low and the loss of future possibilities taken away. Being told I was mentally ill, would never function again, needed to be on disability and poly drugged for the rest of my life repeatedly took it's toll. All this impacted my relationships with family, friends and enjoying life. The pdoc constantly added new psych drugs, changed doses and took me off the old drugs at an alarming rate. I became a morbidly obese woman who mumbled or talked rapidly and it was obvious to everyone but the pdoc I was totally messed up on something. I had Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis that landed me in the hospital for quite awhile and my pdoc put in my open med chart I was crazy. I didn't know this till later but ill as I was I did notice some of my physicians were treating me oddly. One good thing about being so ill was I referred to a neurologist for chronic pain and found out my problem was profound drug induced Akathsia. This neurologist actually screamed at me, these psych drugs are killing you, they're killing you. I knew I had to get off these drugs not matter what it took and reclaim my life. At my next appointment I asked my psychiatrist why he was drugging me like this and he looked directly at me (probably for the first time in years he saw "me"). He started sobbing, loudly sobbing, "Oh God what have I done to you", over and over. I'm sitting there thinking oh crap, I don't need this. Our 15 minute med check was up and this guy calmly goes to the front desk to get the next patient and proceeds without any other fanfare. He's robot. A robot. All this in itself was mind boggling. Hell, closure?? No way. I found out I had Tardive Dyskinesia and a few other psych drug induced issues. My face was a road map with twitches and jerking that yelled hey, I'm on massive psychiatric drugs. Will my face be like this forever?? The TD has mostly gone away and I'm so grateful (the pdoc adamantly said I did not have Tardive Dyskinesia from psych drugs). Well, guess what?? The psychiatrist was wrong...horribly wrong. Other doctors, psychiatrist, therapists said you're not mentally ill and never had been. The sad but very scarey part is I'm labeled as profoundly mentally ill and that info is in my medical charts. One pdoc did this...one. I've gone through the gambit of emotions dealing with this. I will probably always be mad at this jerk for what he did to me and for what he still does to others. It affected years of my life and he was wrong. I'm a Success Story because I'm psych drug free and have been for several years. My journey was extremely difficult and I did it on my own hit or miss tapering off numerous psychiatric drugs. I endured drug withdrawals that paralyzed me month after month. Was it worth the hell of tapering? Yes, very much yes. My reward was my clarity of mind, my passions for life returned and I have hopes for my future. I mended fences with family and have made new friends. I strive everyday to be productive. I'm me but a different me because no one could go through all this and not be changed by it. (for more in-depth conversations about my struggles, coping and self awareness with surviving psychiatry please visit my ongoing thread Aria's Psych Journey http://survivinganti...psych-journey/)
  25. Hi, I have been a long time lurker and didn't think I'd need to post but I am hoping for a bit of reassurance and support. I have so far not involved myself, because I am one of those who didn't take ADs for long and had a reaction. I am generally a happy, healthy and pretty confident, level person. My young son got ill in 2013 and had to have a couple of operations. He’s absolutely fine now but, having held it together all the while I think I started to process it once it was all over and I noticed that I was worrying excessively about him. By February 2014 I was getting concerned that, if left unchecked, my issues could smother his adventures and exclude my daughter so, when it spiked around the time he started school I decided to see someone about it. At this point I had never had a panic attack or anything even close to it, a few intrusive thoughts about my son’s health that I felt were gaining a bit too much traction for a couple of weeks but was generally still enjoying life and getting on with my days. The day before I saw the psych I went to the movies with my girlfriends and had a lovely time. The week before we had friends over and I remember feeling happy, almost to the point smug, thinking 'I love my life. I'm so lucky'. I went, just expecting to talk it through but instead spent 15 minutes with a psychologist who diagnosed me with GAD and did a real number on me about how sick I was and how I would never get better without medication, which I was reluctant to take. She phoned the female GP at my practice (my normal doctor was away) and told her that I needed meds but would resist. The GP scared the crap out of me, telling me the next stage is psychosis and I would be hospitalised if I left it untreated, did I want to be away from my children for a month if that happened, etc, etc. None of it stacked up against my own experience of myself and my husband didn’t get it either but these people were the experts, they should know, right? Anyway, I took pristiq and ativan for three days and everything just fell apart. Within hours of taking it I was being hit by wave after wave of panic attack, then came the hallucinations, suicidal and violent thoughts, agoraphobia, it just kept on giving. I was convinced I couldn’t be trusted around people, let alone my children. It was a living nightmare so I stopped taking them. The withdrawals were terrible; more obsessive suicidal and violent thoughts, vomiting, watery diarrhoea, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and pain behind my left eye, adrenal jolts and just fear like I’d never known. I was determined not to go back on them and in hindsight should have just continued through it. Instead I went to see a naturopath who gave me a fairly hefty dose of St Johns Wort. I was worried about taking it so soon after discontinuing the pristiq but he assured me I would be fine. I wasn’t. It was awful but I stuck with it for several weeks. Worried about another set of withdrawals, my psych dismissing all symptoms as not possibly related to the meds or herbs (which she laughed at) and mistrusting doctors I had totally lost sight of who I normally was. I tapered off it as fast as I could – all the usual, though less pronounced physical withdrawals, increased anxiety, more suicidal thoughts and a very strange dysphoria – like someone else jumped into my mind, thought a load of random, truly awful negative stuff that I would never normal think and then hopped back out again leaving me muddled and anxious. Eventually I went to see my own doctor, who has been treating me and my family for the past ten years. I told him what was going on and he said that he had seen similar in people who are really sensitive to psychotropic drugs and that I had probably suffered serotonin syndrome and to ride it out. He pointed out that worrying about your kids, particularly after times of stress, isn’t a mental illness and that the hand pain I was experiencing (the psych told me these were a symptom of my anxiety, as my heart was pumping blood faster and I didn’t even realise it was happening) was more likely referred pain from a whiplash injury the month before. So fast forward to now, a little over a year later and I have been doing well. I have been having waves but they are manageable and I am back to my normal self during windows, which are lengthy (the last being four months). Until now. I am presently in a wave that has lasted for nearly a month (with the odd window within that time) and as about as bad as during the earlier phases of withdrawal. I am having some serious obsessive and scary thoughts and a whole barrage of physical symptoms; nausea, bloating and a butterflies feeling) headaches, a cold, trickily feeling down my spine, some brain zaps, pain behind my eye and, when there is a reprieve from those, an almost depressive state where the negative self talk takes over - like I am incapable and not good enough to do the job I have been doing perfectly well for years. If it wasn't for the emotional/psychological symptoms, I would think I was really sick (the anxious withdrawal-hypochondriac is chanting that I probably am. Very). Does anyone know of people getting such a pronounced wave after such a long time? I know it can't be a relapse, because I was never even remotely like this before, but it is scary. The further out from taking the pills, the less assured I feel that it is still withdrawal, which I guess is the catch 22. My normal doctor is away again and whilst he is sympathetic, I am frightened he will become sceptical as time draws on. I would appreciate any insights people can offer. Thanks
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