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  1. Original topic title before reducing the length: FosterTheCritters: after 19 years on antidepressants, I discontinued, reinstated, tapered up and down, and discontinued again, and I'm a mess. Looking for helpful advice. _______________________________ Hi. I'm so grateful to have found this amazing group; it has given me hope which I badly needed. I have a very complex situation and don't know, even after reading a lot on this site, what my next move should be to help myself. Here is my story. In fall 2004 I started on 20mg of citalopram for GAD and panic disorder. I had typical side effects for a week or so and charge through because the improvement of my symptoms was fast and drastic. I increased to 40mg after one or two weeks with no trouble and I felt amazing. My anxiety was so diminished and my life got some much easier. Fast-forward to 2015. I had many stressful years leading up to 2015 and 2015 was particularly bad. I thought maybe I could use something different to help with my increased anxiety and situational depression, so I switched to 60mg duloxetine. The psychiatrist had me switch with no taper at all and fortunately the switch went smoothly. I didn't notice any change on the duloxetine, but my husband was also on it, so it seemed convenient to stay on it. After a few years I started to feel apathetic and lost motivation for doing a lot of things I enjoyed. I wasn't really depressed and my anxiety was managed fine, so I hit the pause button on switching meds even though I figured the medication might be causing the apathy. In May 2021 my husband was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer (he's cured now via surgery). Even on meds, I'm terrible with uncertainty, and I had a really rough patch of anxiety as there was a lot of waiting involved in diagnosing and staging and my brain got away from me. Sometime in early June my duloxetine refills ran out; I needed to reach out to my doctor to submit a new prescription and I forgot. I take so many supplements and medications each day, and fill containers weekly; combine that with my worry about my husband and I didn't even notice that I wasn't putting duloxetine in the tubs. So, I stopped the duloxetine cold turkey and I don't really know when. I do know that at the end of June I recognized that I was having abnormally bad anxiety and panic along with some eye movement abnormalities and realized my mistake. I wish I could go back to just those withdrawal symptoms as that was easy mode compared to my life since then! I contacted my psychiatrist to correct the issue and he prescribed 30mg duloxetine, which I started on July 2nd, 2021. I used to take my duloxetine at night and did that again; I didn't sleep at all the first night and the very first day after restarting I had terrible eye pain, neck pain, stomach cramps, diarrhea, felt like I was on stimulants 24/7, and severe facial and neck flushing in addition to emotional fluctuation and intense anxiety. Since I had never tapered up on Cymbalta before, and didn't know my reaction to that process, I assumed all the symptoms I was having were that, and stuck with it a week. My symptoms did not improve at all throughout that week even as I switched to taking it in the morning instead of at night. My psychiatrist told me that I must be in withdrawal and prescribed going up to 60mg duloxetine after that first week at 30mg. I had the same symptoms but more intense even after some time at 60mg. I continued at 60mg at least a week, but things were so bad I asked my psychiatrist for a change. He prescribed 10mg citalopram. I stopped having the stimulated feeling I was having on the duloxetine, but all my other symptoms persisted. My psychiatrist was still convinced that a higher dose was going to ease what he was still sure were withdrawal symptoms so on August 27th, 2021 he had me to go to 20mg after two weeks on 10mg. Again my symptoms seemed to worsen, so I dropped back to 10mg after about 2 weeks on 20mg. I'm not sure if my symptoms were improved after dropping back to 10mg because they were still very bad. When I saw the psychiatrist again, he told me that the physical symptoms I was having were clearly not related to the medication both because they weren't improving on the meds, and he'd never heard of anyone having eye pain or flushing due to antidepressants. So, I decided not to see him again and went to get my eyes checked by an ophthalmologist. She couldn't find anything, so assumed eye inflammation and prescribed steroid drops that didn't help. I also asked my excellent primary care doctor to take over managing my antidepressant journey and he agreed. At this point I was taking so little medication in comparison to what I had been before June 2021, and my googling had me convinced that I was having some sort of serotonin toxicity with the flushing and diarrhea, so my irrational conclusion was that I must have a carcinoid tumor. That fear consumed me and I had my doctor run the urine test for carcinoid tumors which came back negative. At this point, my husband, who has been very supportive, started searching for other answers and found survivingantidepressants.org. He suggested I try doing a very slow taper and see if I could get off the medication and see if my body would reset. I talked to my primary care provider about this, and I got discouraged when my doctor found out the local compounding pharmacy would need at least two weeks before they could provide my first taper dose. I didn't want to continue with the current situation any longer, so I discontinued the citalopram at the end of September after being back at 10mg for about 3 weeks. My symptoms are still awful, but they have improved a bit after being off the medication a week and seem so be in a positive trend. I have slightly fewer crying bouts/meltdowns. My flushing is fainter and the facial telangiectasias that developed have faded considerably. My eye pain happens in shorter segments throughout the day. I still have stomach cramping at times of the day and night, but the diarrhea has become less frequent and less severe. My sleep is still terrible, and I forgot to mention that during this four month journey I've tried clonazepam, trazadone, Lunesta, Ambien, and Xanax for sleep, and I'm still on the Ambien and Xanax. Even with those drugs I struggle to fall asleep, wake up one or more times per night, and often feel pretty hung over in the morning. Thankfully, after spending time on this site, I have at least realized that whatever is going on is likely a nervous system reaction to the antidepressant changes that have occurred and it has given me hope that I will recover. My questions are these: 1. What does it sound like happened when I tried to go back on the meds and developed physiological and mental symptoms and couldn't tolerate the medication? Does that sound like a sensitized nervous system that didn't want to readjust? Does it sound like I was in withdrawal the whole time? Is this likely just because of the speed and flip-floppy nature of all the changes? 2. Has anyone out there had eye burning and pain and neck and facial flushing as side effects/symptoms going on or off antidepressants? 3. Now that I've been off the medications over a week and have had some improvement, does it make sense to try to go back on to something and slowly taper or just continue to try to heal from withdrawal? 4. I have no idea what to do about the sleep meds. This is the first time in my life I've had trouble sleeping aside from one week in 2004 when I was starting citalopram. This poor sleep has been going on for four months and I'm scared. Should I stay on them until I hopefully have some improvement in sleeping on my own or try to wean off now? 5. I've been taking LDN for autoimmune disease for a few years now and it has been amazing for me. However, in trying to rebalance my nervous system, it seems like anything that affects neurotransmitters might be a problem right now? Plus there is a little bit of evidence that suggests naltrexone might affect serotonin and norepinephrine, in addition to, dopamine. Should I discontinue it, reduce it, or leave it alone? Thank you so much for reading and for any advice/experience you can offer!
  2. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread: freespirit123: Lunesta So I've been on Seroqoil nightly for about 3-4 months. I started on 100mg and that only lasted one night. Went to 75mg and that lasted for a couple of weeks then 50mg. Last month I went down to 25mg. And about 4 wks ago I've been on 12-14mg (cutting the 50 in 1/2 then the half in 1/2.) I'm also taking Lunesta 3mg at no hr and about once a week ill need Klonopin.25 bc I have a hard time falling asleep. I've also started Celexa for anxiety during the day. So question and problem! How do I get off this Seroqoil?!? Like is aid I haven't even taking it long to begin with and I've taped to 12-14mg fine but it seems to mess with my sleep when I try and cut that in half. Don't believe I have the EXtended tablet. Help!!! If it messes with my sleep, is it only temp? I don't want to switch this to get hooked on Klonopin bc that's a nasty drug too!
  3. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Bandboy: Tapering benzos and latuda Hi all. Began taking antidepressants around 2000. Tried them all, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Prestiq, and more I can't remember. A few years ago I was put on Abilify, but it caused too much weight gain. I was then placed on Latuda, which was effective. I believe I have developed a tolerance to Latuda, and I suspect it has caused higher glucose levels and at rare times difficulty swallowing. I tried a fast taper, 50, 25, 0 percent and about 3 days later started withdrawals--sniffling, claminess, irritatabilty. Went back up to 50% and the symptoms quickly subsided. Have initiated the 10 percent tapering and while I feel uncomfortable with the first drop, I can tolerate it so far. When I feel comfortable or in 4 weeks, whichever is first, I'll try another 10%. I intend to treat the depression with ketamine, which I have found to be effective for me.
  4. 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.😢
  5. Littlegrandma

    Littlegrandma

    Moderator note - link to Littlegrandma's benzo thread Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce myself and give you my history june 2015 lunesta 2 mg for insomnia. . July 2015 started celexa for GAD and insomnia. S/A headache, nausea, stomach pain, increased anxiety, blurry vision. Sept 2015 celexa switched to lexapro due to extreme eye pressure I never felt right on the lexapro. My fog never cleared and I still needed lunesta every night to sleep. But it helped slightly with anxiety and I was able to go about life but never really enjoying it. I felt I was always trying to distract myself with menial activity. Very apathetic. June 2, 2017 tapered lex from 20 mg to 7.5. Migraine, nausea, fatigue, loss of balance, ringing in ears, depersonalization, anxiety, sweats, depression. June 25 physical symptoms subsided, so I went to 7 mg making my own liquid. I don't think I did it right. July 6th -7mg with compounded pill. july 11 dry heaves, migraine, increased anxiety, july 15 trembling, panic, racing heart july 20 went to ER for BP 210/207 was put on 25 mg metoprolol and .5 Ativan as needed. ( I was already taking .25 xanax occasionally). Aug 1 upped lex dose to 8 mg Aug 3 suicidal thoughts, panic, trembling Aug 5 upped lex dose to 10 mg at the suggestion of a new therapist. I have not been able to stabilize. I am taking more and more xanax but trying to not exceed total .75 mg day i am left incapacitated, unable to take care of my house or my grandchildren. The tremors and panic remain as well as constant nausea and headache. Aug 7 I had a 3 hour consultation to get into detox for benzo w/d. I was told I was not in w/d and they scoffed at the idea that lexapro could cause w/d issues either. They said it sounds neurological and wouldn't even be admitted for IOP until I was medically cleared by a doctor. I am in despair and have nowhere to turn. Most of my family doesn't believe this is real as they've never had a problem starting , stopping, or switching a/d meds. I'm hoping I can get some good advice from you. Sorry this is so long. I hope it makes sense. I spent a long time writing earlier and lost message when I tried to post. That took about all the energy I had, so this may seem garbled. Thank you for listening and for any advice you may be able to give me
  6. Hi Everyone! I just wanted to take the time to introduce myself and share my story.... I was on Lexapro for 12 years. I actually think I have been on something else when I was pregnant but I honestly can not remember due to the short term memory loss these drugs have given me. Anyhow, the lexapro gave me insomnia so the doctor also put me on a sleeping pill called Lunesta...when I switched over health insurances to Kaiser, the doctor told me they don't cover Lunesta and told me to try this other "sleeping pill" called Klonopin. Little did I know, Klonopin is worse than Xanax. I was taking the Klonopin for over 2 years. I also started gaining weight so the doctor also put me on another pill called phentermine for 6 years to help curve my appetite. When I found out all these drugs were addicting I got nervous so I starting lowering my dose of all the pills over an 10 week period (which now I know was way too fast). By June 1st, 2016 I was off all the drugs. My initial withdraws were not so bad then bam come the 3rd month...ALL hell broke lose. I literally had almost every withdrawal possible and they only got worse as the days went on. I was like a vegetable...couldn’t see well, hear well, confused, hard time comprehending simple things, felt out of my body, depersonalized, dizzy, disoriented, diarrhea everyday, no appetite, sensitive to light, losing my hair and the list goes on and on. I literally felt like I was living in hell. As the days turned into weeks then months things only got worse. I ended up with so much anxiety and depression like I have never experienced before. Then the insomnia kicked in so bad I ended up not sleeping for 3 straight weeks which made me manic. I was pacing around the house like a crazy woman. Then I became extremely, extremely suicidal.... Meanwhile, during all this, I kept walking in the evening for exercise, working, journaling and begging God to help me but NOTHING was working. I finally googled what I was going through and it was ALL right there.... withdrawals from the meds!! I ended up in a mental ward for 10 days. It was literally the worst experience of my life. In the hospital they tried to drug me up again. I ended up getting back on something just so my brain would go back to normal. Right now, I am only on 10mg of Prozac and thankfully I'm off the Klonopin and Phentermine! I’ve been off the Lexapro and Phentermine for 18 months and the Klonopin for 7 months. I am still feeling weird. It’s been a little bit over a year since I was hospitalized. I’m not sure if I’m still going through withdrawals from all the previous meds I got off of or if it’s side affects from the Prozac. As if today, I am still losing my hair and have to wear a wig full time because of all the hair loss. My memory and vision are horrible but getting a little better. I still have racing thoughts everyday but that’s getting better as well. I have 2 young children and dont really look forward to anything. It’s almost like I can’t wait to die but I’m not suicidal. I feel flat with no happiness or joy. I never want to do things and nothing really bothers me now. My initial plan was to start a very slow taper of the Prozac this May as that will put me a year off the Klonopin but I am now having 2nd thoughts. I feel like maybe I should stay on the Prozac a couple years till my children get a little older and start a really slow 3 - 4 year micro taper. I am just so scared of going mentally ill again. I would love to hear positive stories of people who have been on antidepressants for years and have safely tapered and are doing well! Thank you for listening to my story! God Bless!!
  7. I am very sensitive to SSRIs post pregnancy but was put on one for anxiety. Prior to,I was taking 20mg Lexapro with no side effects. Now, I am on 5 mg (took me two weeks at 2.5 mg to get up to this). I have been on for about 2 months. I haven't even been on a high enough dose long enough to feel full benefits...some glimmers of hope now and then but I have experienced some very dark clouds and worsening anxiety since starting and I have lost so much weight. My head feels like it is going to explode and I just want out. I have never felt this way on it before. However, every time I try to stop, my body aches and I start panicking. I tried stopping before after just a month and crashed big time so I started the low dose again. Will I be worse off if I try to stop now since I haven't even stabilized or reached a therapeutic level? Any tips are GREATLY appreciated! Stephygrrl Lexapro-5mg, Klonopin .5, Lunesta 300
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