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  1. Is it possible that I have permanent brain damage from an anti-depressant. I came of Zispin 12 years ago cold turkey and am still suffering withdraw symptoms that come and go. The symptoms are so severe at this moment that I think I'm losing my mind. I am keeping two words in mind 'Courage & Dignity". I'm going through this so long now that I don't talk about it any more to the people in my life. However, its getting harder to deal with because I'm getting older (60) and my physical health is poor. Two years ago I was told I had terminal cancer I was scared but also relived to know I was getting free of this withdrawal problem. The doctor then decided to operate, she told me I had less than a twenty percent chance of surviving. Well, I got free of cancer, I had my lung removed (and my quality of life) and everybody said I was a miracle. I don't feel like a miracle, I feel like a pathetic mess. Can anyone give me a little hope please.
  2. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  3. Hi. I Hope someone can help. I have been on 15mg Mirtazapine for 8 months, I started it the end of of September 2017. Stupidly, I went cold turkey for 4 days, didnt like withdrawals (lack of sleep, aches and pains) etc, so I reinstated back to full-dose . After nine days back on 15mg I still had not stabilised. I was improving, but getting dizzy spells, some anger and anxiety. So I reduced my dose to 7.5mg and have been on this dosage for the passed 6 weeks and have been through hellish withdrawals. At present I sleep about 4 or 5 hours and wake with akathisia (anxiety) everyday. This lasts till about 12 midday and then turns to deep depression with some suicidal ideation and general low mood till about 7pm when I start to feel normal again. I did not have this morning anxiety, low mood previous to the drop-in dosage, indeed I have never suffered from anxiety. IS IT TO LATE TO REINSTATE BACK TO 15mg ? as I really can't handle this morning anxiety any more. In summery : 15mg Mirtazapine for 8 months cold turkey 4 days reinstatement 15 mg for 9 days reduced dosage 7.5mg for passed 6 weeks. I must also add that prior to being put on Mirtazapine I was on seroxat (Paxil) for 14 years. It pooped out. My gp cross tapered me from one to the other over 4 weeks. So virtually a cold turkey off the seroxat. After six weeks off the Seroxat I crashed so tried to reinstate that but only lasted 10 days my body just couldn't take it. Whilst the last eight months haven't been great on just 15mg of Mirtazapine due to sensitised CNS from seroxat withdrawal, they were a dam site better than the last 6 weeks. In retrospect I think I should have persevered with the original updosage back to 15mg of Mirt for longer than nine days but I panicked as I thought after only 4 days off I should have stabilised after 2 or 3 In short, after 6 weeks on 7.5mg is it to late to reinstate back to 15mg of Mirt and if I do, how long would it take to stabilise ?. Or should I not rock the boat any further and just stay on 7.5 and hope for things to improve, but symptoms are pretty much unbearable at the moment, I am a complete mess . Please help. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  4. Hi, I have been Remeron since April 2014 reaching a dosage between 37.50-41.25 I also have been on Lamictal since September 2014 reaching a dosage of 200mg. I began a taper of the Remeron with my psychiatrists knowlege, I think at the end of February/March? Hard to remember with my somewhat foggy brain. I am now down to 28.125-tapering at about 10% for each cut. My withdrawal has follwed a specific pattern. I make the cut, feel some nausea but okay, then after about 2-3 weeks have a crash, depression, crying, and anxiety. Then I pop through and move into a more stable period. I think I let myself stabilize for about 10 days and then make another drop. My question is about starting a slow Lamictal withdrawal at the same time. I may be overeacting but when I read about what Lamictal can do to the brain, along with other antidepressants, I want to start the taper now. I do have some professional obligations happening over the next few months but I don't want to stop my progress. I like many others I have read am very impatient about getting off these medictions. They served their purpose to help me after a long stressful period of caretaking-7 years-and then the death of my mom 2 1/2 years ago. Any thoughts or experience about taper from two drugs at the same time. Thanks. Hibari 28.125 Remeron 200mgs Lamictal
  5. I am so glad that I came across this forum! I feel like crying when reading peoples stories and their struggle with coming off the antidepressants! I was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety and Depression which I have been suffering for years! Mainly anxiety and panic disorder! I am otherwise healthy. Zoloft caused PGAD that has caused me so much anguish, I feel like I am living in a nightmare! I only took Zoloft for 3 days 25mg and this happened to me! I wanted to and still have thoughts of suicide! I felt that I was some kind of a freak and pervert! It has been 4 weeks and things have improved but not completely gone! I constantly feel burning sensation, and tingles that drive me crazy! I can deal with the burning sensations but tingles I can not stand! I got better then I took a herbal supplement for anxiety and it has come back today! I am taking fish oil supplement and I wonder if I am now sensitive to fish oil too??? Should I stop or cut back on fish oil? I just don't know what to take anymore! I never could imagine that this could happen to me as I was not aware! The doctor did not mention anything so I had no idea! I am naturally a slim person and my only worry at the time was if I was going to gain weight while on antidepressants, and my doctor reassured me "Very Unlikely". I took her word for it and I took the medication. In did not want to deal with, anxiety, depression and plus weight issues as a result of antidepressants! I told my doctor what happened to me and like many others have reported "she has never heard of it". That made me feel so humiliated and embarrassed. The point is that the doctors are not educated in regards to this issue. I recently went back to her and told her that I am still experiencing issued down below, burning sensation ever since Zoloft and she said that it is a coincidence! I am sick of doctors, they are full of ****! You tell them one thing and they turn it around! I just prey this eventually goes away and settles down! If this does not settle down I would consider removing sensitive part of my anatomy! I hate it! I can't stand it! How is everyone else coping with this? What have you found that helps? I have not felt peaceful down below for the last 4 weeks! I have never heard of this condition prior to taking antidepressants. Please help, Thank you.
  6. My first post here... I have been taking Remeron (Mirtazapine) for 16 years. I tried to come off of it in October, but I weaned too fast and have had problems ever since. I tried to taper off of 15 mg. I ignored my doctor's fast tapering plan and tapered from 15 mg. to 10 mg. The first part of the month was fine, but then a delayed withdrawal hit with horrible symptoms including insomnia. At that point I was only sleeping about 4 hours a night. I reinstated so that I could continue to work... back to 15 mg. In hindsight I realized now I shouldn't have been changing doses so fast. After having reinstated now for about a month, I am still waking up every night in the middle of the night wired! Why??? Could I still be having withdrawal symptoms even after I've been back to my original dose that I was sleeping well on? I want to try to withdraw again, even slower but I don't know how I'll do this if my sleep is already so poor! Thank you!!!
  7. I have been on citalopram since 2009 then it stopped working. The Dr put me on citalopram and mirtazapine combination which worked for a while then that stopped working. The Dr then put me on mirtazapine and Venlafaxine 150mg XL combination which workes for a while again ans then stopped working. The Dr put me on amitriptyline 50mg saying thay would be the best drug for me while i took 8 months to slowly remove each bead from Venlafaxine capsule to come off it. As soon as I took my last beed i went into crazy angry depression. The dr increased my dosage of amitriptyline from 50mg to 150mg but the side effects were horrible and at this point i got sick of these meds and decided to quit CT. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms and i started acting like a child and not being able to walk, had balance problems. I reinstated back to 50mg amitriptyline since april 2018 and i have been getting worse. I cannot sleep. My vision is so badly affected that i have grainy vision and floaters have increased dramatically . I see after images and it's as if the lights have been turned off. When i begin to fall asleep, i start to have dreams before i actually fall asleep and my brain keep. Waking up just before i am about to sleep. I cannot follow conversations, I mishear things all the time. I am totally dependant on others and i feel people think i have gone crazy. I don't know what to do i am getting worse and worse. I often trip, lose my balance. I hardly have any short term memory and cannot do simplest of things. I cannot even watch anything on TV as i cannot follow.it I'm having major concentration problems. I don't know how. I'm writing this. I cannot work or drive. Please you have no idea how i am putting these sentences together. I need urgent help. Please advice. I have no energy, no appetite. If I'm posting this in the wrong place, please accept my appology as I can hardly read and understand things. P
  8. I am 65 and was prescribed Mirtazipine 2.5 years ago for severe stress/anxiety as a result of continued work and business pressures. 7.5mg for 9 months although was prescribed 15mg at first but couldn’t stand the feeling it generated. Stopped taking cold turkey after life crisis over - sold business. Intolerable anxiety and insomnia for about a month after stopping. Reinstated to 3.5mg after that month. Remained on 3.5 mg for 6 months. Stopped taking cold turkey. Intolerable symptoms as before - tolerated for about 3 weeks. Reinstated at 1.85mg approx ie 1/8 tablet - symptoms just tolerable. About 4 weeks to 1/16 tablet then after another 4 weeks 1/32 tablet then as it impossible to get a consistent dose stopped taking altogether. Now 4 months clear but still suffering terrible sleep problems with nervous/anxiety attacks every time I drop off to sleep - about every 2 hours. Currently getting about 4 hours disrupted sleep a night. Usually up between 3am to 4am and meditate - has taught me how to let the symptoms wash over me. Daytime now not too bad provide I keep occupied and have plenty of fresh air and exercise - but so tired. Still have bouts of severe anxiety although there is no obvious cause. Booze is a no no - even one beer seems to exaggerate the symptoms to intolerable levels and further disrupts sleep. I have lost my trust in GPs and do wonder whether they really know what they are talking about regards these sorts of issue and the drugs they prescribe. I prefer to go it alone. Really now just wonder how long I can expect these sleep and anxiety issues to resolve themselves. Resources I have used: Claire Weekes: self help for your nerves Anxiety Coaches Podcast by Gina Ryan Headspace app Rewire your Anxious Brain
  9. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  10. Hi all, in a bit of a dilema here. I was prescribed Mirtazapine in October 2017 for a severe bout of anxiety and depression. Within about 1 month I saw great progress. After 4 months i decided to taper. Im 28 and dont want to be on ADs longterm. My taper: 15mg for 4 months 7.5mg for 40 days 3.7mg for 10 days 2mg for 7 days (Smaller doses were innacurate) Initially upon stopping i had bad stomach pains, this went after 4 days and I spent the next 3 weeks feeling great. Then boom! Something triggered me and I was sent straight back to feeling super anxious. Since then ive been having 2/3 week waves of sevre anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite. Ill slowly recover, feel good for a few weeks then relapse again. Now its been 3 months off mirtazapine and im worried that I have caused permanent damage from the drug for tapering too fast. Would I benefit from reinstating this late on? I dont know how many more of these waves I can handle. Each time they rock me to the core and I consider hospitilisation. Im not suicidal like I was when I had my first anxiety episode but need some answers. Im back doing CBT again with my therapist and starting exposure therapy to my triggers. Any advice welcome!
  11. I've been reading on here for awhile, but hadn't felt able to post. I've appreciated what I've read and found it helpful for the WD process. I took about a year and a half to come off mirt...which was probably too fast, as I can see in hindsight. I'd been on it almost 10 years by the time I finally stopped taking it. The most helpful things have been: daily qi gong practice (moving and some sitting meditation practice), exercise, eating a healthy diet, being in nature, listening to music, playing Wii, guided imagery, hypnosis, and precious few supplements. I started the process of reducing just a year and a half after my wife died. Some people would think this an insane time to do this, but I literally felt the AD was killing me. But it has made things confusing, where I'm often unable to tell if the emotions I'm experiencing are grief or AD withdrawal. After 10 years of being on this drug, I literally felt it was killing me. I'd gained 70 pounds and developed diabetes, asthma, acid reflux, sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia. Since coming off Remeron, I've also been able to stop taking meds for pain, reflux, asthma, diabetes. I went from 7 meds down to 1 (low thyroid med). After stopping mirt, I developed histamine intolerance. Since then, I've radically changed my diet and have had to stop a number of the supplements I was taking. I can no longer tolerate krill oil or magnesium...and have had to turn more attention towards managing the HI. I now tell friends that no amount of money in the world would ever make me go back on AD again. I can see now how clouded my mind was by taking them, and how much they increased suicidal thoughts..as well as making me numb to so much of life. While withdrawal has been horrible, at least I feel that I'm moving towards being alive again. At the moment, I seem to be in another wave..although it coincided with the anniversary of my wife's death and birthday...but stress and strong emotions do seem to influence and increase WD symptoms. I'd like to say I'm getting better at riding the waves..but the truth is, I'm getting damn sick of them!
  12. Hi all , I am 8 months off reinstated sertraline for a month ( by doc) and Aripropazole. History Its around 4 years back when i passed out my college and not get placed even after making to finals in many interviews .. that i decided to write competitive exam for PG. I had taken coaching but just before exam I came back and found myself unable to recall things. My brain is just like nothing in it. I found myself in despair and stopped studying. This fog is happening all the time since my engineering but I managed to get average marks sometimes and sometimes very good . There is more in back history but I ll get to it later. So, my parents took me to a psychiatrist ( family known) and he put me to Olanzapine and one more thing. He diganosed me bipolar2. I got about 10 pounds on it but its not help . Meanwhile after 4 months, with the help of a relative , I got intern in a company and I moved out with fog to a distant city. TThere in a hospital, they put me on floxetine and Amisulpride for 3 months . Then i moved to a private psychiatrist ... where it starts getting haywire . He stopped fluoxetine and Amisulpride . And put me on Venlafaxine and Seroquel... As i was interning, i get usual heat racing in between job times but my doctor convinced me to stay with it . 4 months and I just started feeling agitated due to stress. It happened that I slapped a senior on abusing me and there I left a job I never happened to get physical in my school or college .. but it happened. Doctor told me to scrap the prescription he wrote of raising Venlafaxine. And he put me paroxetine + Oxcarbazepine. In his words , it is best tolerable and has lesser side effects. I managed to get a job by my own and cracking first time. But this time there is lot of work and culture pressure. Its a startup with full of politics . Boss and his boss .. all keep on putting things. Let office aside, I started feeling some well .. overly casual ... excited .. raged .. Iits about 25 mg Paroxetine and 300/600 mg Oxcarbazepine. I had unusual violent acts .. had hit a school friend .. insomnia.. I decided to leave the paxil by asking the doctor . He said half in a week and then other half a week to off. Thats when it all started , i cannot sleep whole night and with day light i start getting a nap. I left going office with fear of state i was in . I cannot wake and even if I .. i was too tired and angry . Doctor then gave me Mirtazapine which didn't help . I resigned job telling muly boss about all and came back home. It was Nov,2015. I start getting yhese uncontrollable rage that I locked myself in a room. Parents took to a local shrink who put me on Venlafaxine+ Mirtazapine(CRF), lamotrigine, resperidal, Seroquel. The NEXT Day I woke up so fresh .. all calm like 12 yrs back .. i was smiling happy.. but it lasted only 4 hrs .. and i am doomed again . I took those meds 10 days and i decided to go off. Physical Damage. I got brain zaps as sounds with eye movement .. While on Paxil I got severe neck stiffness and movement pains - which came out as Osteophytes. Anger , heart race , memory, fog , chest pains , fatigue ... All I beared for 4 months. Reinstatement after 4 months. Father took me to another psych who put me on Sertraline+ Aripropazole+ Seroquel. I started having increases restless legs than before and the doctor asked me not to go over net. After 2 visits and when he said it wslas Aripropazole for restlessness all time.. and he is cutting it . I stopped all meds . Withdrawals in 8 months. All first symptoms with some new like utter sensitivity in teeth. It is while breathe in most of the teeth . Muscles gone from forearms .. My left hands gone ulnar neuropathy and i got surgery done when no hope lived. Right hand has stiffness too . MAnger I am living with .. I have stopped talking .. I have decided to go sit on my Shop but I was unable to understand the talk . In spite anger biuts and memory makes it difficult to adjust. I keep forgetting people faces .. important talks . So i stopped . Now I am muted all the time with burst inside . Read success stories and play CoC. This is the most I can write now.
  13. Hi, I am currently on 15 mg of remeron. I tried to stop when tapered sucessfully down to 3.75. I had withdrawals with anxiety that made me sucidal and I had to go to the hospital. I have come off all other drugs sucessfully in the past. I am scared to death about ever coming off and wondering if I ever should come off. I keep wondering what happens in the future if some reason I can't get the drug. I constantantly obsess now about getting off the drug to the point I've had to go back on tranxene to keep the anxiety down from worring about coming of this drug some day. Should I just stay on it. If it permantly damages the receptors and they don't repair in your brain would it be best to just stay on it. I have GAD so I may need to stay on a drug for life. I got off prozac some years ago and lived symptom free for 4 years until a bad life trauma caused me to have debilitating anxiety for months. I could not work and could not eat. I dropped down to 100 lbs and had to be hospitalized. I have been stabilized on remeron now for over 2 years. Should I try to stop or would it be best for me just to stay on? If I stay on I'm just going to worry about it until I crack up. Right now I found a doctor in Ashville NC, Dr. Daniel Johnson who specializes in helping people safely withdraw from these meds. He has not returned my calls at all. Maybe he is on vacation or something. I even tried contacting Dr. Peter Breggin.. I'm so scared that if I try to come off my brain will be damaged permantely and will not recover. I know I should think like this but even the slightest anixiety can make me suicidal. I don't know if I can ever risk a withdrawal. I had to go to the hospital for my first attempt at this withdrawal. Some of it could have been extra anxiety by worring about the withdrawal rather than the withdrawel itself, but I don't know. Help, I'm scared to even try. Cheryl
  14. Hi, I just came across this peer support group and am delighted as I am really nervous about how I will cope with the withdrawal symptoms. Not looking forward to getting more depressive feelings, suicidal thoughts, crying jags, mood swings, energy slumps. At least with support I can hopefully surf the waves. I still get PMS (32 years and counting!) every 3 weeks and feel like the world is too horrible a place to keep going on - and then my period arrives and I go "Aha! So THAT's what it was!"
  15. Hello all, I`m new here. I`m also a member of benzobuddies.org forum. English is not my first language so I appologize for possible grammar mistakes in advance. The reason I joined your forum is that I`d like to come off Mirtazapine and Buspirone asap. I`ve been suffering from anxiety disorders since I was a teenager (I`m 37). I was diagnosed with GAD and SF. In the course of time a depression developed too, but nothing serious. In June 2013 I started to attend a psychotherapy due to social phobia which helped me much. My issues with psych drugs started after a renal colic followed by a surgery in April 2015. In May 2015 I first saw a psychiatrist in my life. I was looking for some relief. A huge mistake! She prescribed me Zoloft 50mg. At the very first night I got a horrible panic attack which I`d never had before. This repeated next night. I went to ER next morning and got prescribed Rivotril 0.5 mg twice a day. I had to stop taking Zoloft two weeks afterwards and got another antidepressant called Trittico (trazodone) which had no positive effect. I tried to come off Rivotril after two months, tapering 1/4 of the pill every week. I had terrible withrawal symptoms. I only survived a few weeks without Rivotril and then started to get panic attacks at night. So I began to take Rivotril again, this time only 0.5 mg divided into two daily doses which was sufficient for me. It was last September. I also went to another psychiatrist`s. We`ve tried severeal meds like escitalopram, moclobemidum, venlafaxinum, olanzapin, lamotriginum, mianserin so far to help me get rid of Rivotril. Only venlafaxinum (Olwexya) helped me with my depression, but it had side effects like restless legs and bad sleep with severe sweating so I had to stop taking it after six months (at the begining of April). I made three unsuccessful attempts to come off Rivotril while I was taking Olwexya. My depression returned, I started to feel drowsy and tired all day. I started my next taper attempt at the end of June. I took one 1/4 of the pill in the morning and 1/2 of the pill in the evening. One week later I took 1/4 of the pill both in the morning and evening. At night I had a nightmare, slept very bad. My withdrawal symptoms were: sleep disturbances, increased anxiety, social phobia, perceptual distortions, depression, poor memory and concentration, intrusive memories, weakness, fatigue, influenza-like symptoms, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, metallic taste, sweating, halucinations. My doctor said I couldn`t be phyzically addicted only on 0.5 mg. Very funny. At the end of July when I was on dose 0.2mg, I was hospitalized because I couldn`t go to work. They stopped giving me Rivotril almost immediatelly. I didn`t want to take any new pills. I just wanted some help to survive the withdrawal. I agreed with Buspirone because I considered it the least harmful. But later they tried to give me something to beat my insomnia - Atarax, Quetiapine, Valdoxan. Mitrazapine was the first one which alowed me to sleep. I didn`t feel any side efects besides horrible dizziness when I went to the toilet at night. Two weeks later they added Venlafaxine (California rocket fuel). I had many side effects including terrible panic attacks which I complained about. After all the meds my dizziness got worse. On September 9th I was released from the hospital. I agreed with my doctor to stop Venlafaxine 75mg within 10 days (I took it only for three weeks). Last Wednesday when I was still on 25mg withdrawal hit me. I had vivid dreams, influenza-like symptoms, mood swings and cry spells and terrible dizziness. It`s much better now except the dizziness. The dizziness is literaly ruining my life. I feel like I was constantly drunk. I can`t drive and I even refrain from walking. I suspect both Buspirone and Mirtazapine are the cause. I definetely can`t live with Mirtazapine because I sleep 12 hours day and still feell drowsy and tired all the time. I have no energy. They say my dizziness is somatized anxiety but I don`t believe it. Anyways, current medication has done nothing with it. I`d like to ask for your opinion which one I should start to taper first or whether I can taper them both at the same time? I`ve been taking them only for about two months. 10% taper a month seems very slow to me. I`ve never had big issues when coming of antidepressants. What do you think? Thank you.
  16. I’m new to this website/forum, but I’ve been researching and finding great information about people getting off their psychiatric medication. I’m 46, and I was 20 years old in college when I experienced my first full blown panic attack (official diagnosis, panic disorder without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, depression). Looking back (after lots of therapy), I can now understand the stress I was under at that time. But the main point is that I was put on zoloft and lorazepam which, combined with lots of “social drinking” seemed to put a lockdown on the panic attacks (though I would still wake up with some varying degrees of anxiety most mornings). I put my head down and just sort of pushed my way through life, graduating from college with honors, holding a job doing community education / organizing / speaking, shifting gears and going back to school, and then starting my own successful business. Jump to about 4 years ago, 2012 and things just seemed to begin falling apart. The successful company I had created was now failing, a relationship I actually felt invested in was failing, and the hangovers from drinking had become really intense. In short, I ran out of steam. I gave up drinking in the spring of 2014, and that summer decided I was going to get off the damn meds. I did it the “right way,” tapering off the benzos first, and then the SSRI. And though the anxiety would increase while tapering and it was tough, by the end of the summer (early September) I was actually med free! Unfortunately, mid-October the panic attacks returned full force. Again, I can see now that this was a particularly stressful period of my life, but of course I was really disappointed when I decided I just had to get back on the meds (the panic attacks were relentless and excruciating). The problem was that the meds no longer seemed to work like they did before. And now I’m on MORE meds (add in remeron and extra 50 mg of zoloft). I have made some changes, doing lots of therapy, ACA support groups (and looking at childhood issues generally), exercising again regularly, EMDR, meditation, etc. And I want OFF the meds! I know I need to do this slowly, and at this point, I cut the remeron from 15 mg to 7.5 (about 1.5 months ago) and I’ve cut the benzo (now clonazepam) from 2 mg to 1.5 per day (just started that 3 days ago). My thought is to cut the benzos first, then the last of the remeron. I know with the relatively long half-life of the clonazepam, I need to take it slowly. I’m thinking .5 mg every 2 weeks. From the information I've come across, it seems like some taper off even more slowly than that? I'm looking for others to share their experiences with their own clonazepam withdrawal schedules (for panic disorder, preferably). I just don’t know what to do about the SSRI (zoloft). I realize this website is about benzo withdrawal, but I’m hoping to find others with experience on panic disorder and SSRI withdrawal too (as well as benzo withdrawal support). I hope this is OK on this forum? I’ve been “working with the anxiety” (trying to “make friends” with it as they say in the meditation circles). I know I’m less scared of it now, but I'm also not experiencing the full blown panic attacks. My concern is that I would get off everything (including the SSRI/zoloft) and then the panic attacks return, and it takes SO LONG for the SSRI to build up in one’s system. Do I just prepare myself to weather that storm? Will that storm really pass eventually without the meds? After years of trying to make my physiology match the lifestyle I felt I should lead, I’m now accepting the idea that I need to make my lifestyle match my physiology. The panic attacks are just so damn awful when they hit relentlessly all day long, day after day. I’m scared. Is there anyone out there that has had any experience with the meds and panic attacks along the lines that I have had? Are there other resources out there I should know about? Is it really possible that I can live a purposeful (and perhaps at least semi-peaceful) life without meds after 25 years of being on them? Much gratitude . . .
  17. Hello everyone, At age 4 I developed PANDAS (unknown at the time). It was characterised by extreme OCD and comorbid Tourette Syndrome and ADHD. In my teens I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. At age 7 I recieved my diagnoses. At age 8 I was medicated with Paxil. My OCD improved dramatically. I was switched to Zoloft because of anti-cholinergic side-effects experienced with Paxil. I was maintained at 150 mg of Zoloft for several years. I developed worsening akathisia and emotional numbing. At age 15 I developed severe apathy in the absensce of depression. With the help of my mother over the next 3 years I titrated to 2/3 of a 25 mg pill. I could feel the difference between 12.5 and roughly 16 mg of sertraline, and I could not go lower than 16 mg without side-effects. Due to my lower dosage, some emotional range was restored and I fell in love and started what would become a 3-year long-term relationship. At some point I figured I could do without sertraline. I stopped it and did not notice much. Eventually a creeping relapse overtook me with intense obsessive thinking. I started back up on fluoxetine. It caused bruxism and akathisia. I switched to sertraline after realizing this. It caused me to become hugely dysphoric (with superimposed hypomanic features). I got into a fight and broke several bones in my face. I was sent to a psychiatric ward. I found a study that found that fluoxetine caused an increase in diazepam concentrations by as much as 50%. I decided that I was probably undergoing acute benzodiazepine withdrawal, so I requested to be switched to Luvox, which also vastly increases diazepam concentrations. I have a long history with benzodiazepines which I will not expand upon here, except to say that my GP, who is handling my medication, is always pushing me to go faster on my taper. I got him to approve an Ashton schedule, although I think I would do better if he gave some leeway to hold at a dosage for a while so I can adjust. I stabilized within a few days of the change, and my akathisia was relieved (or masked by diazepam?). I left the ward at 100 mg of Luvox. To achieve further reduction in my OCD, Luvox was titrated up to 300 mg by my GP. This again caused emotional numbing and akathisia. I reduced my dose to 200 mg. I sat at this dose for a while, but by accident, or fate, I started missing a few doses here and there. This triggered intense emotion reactions. Life had me hooked. I had an emotional reaction to a song, and I have told myself that I am never going back into no-where land. I am going to decrease my Luvox to 100 mg, as 200 mg leaves me wishy-washy about wanting to taper. I will request my diazepam be increased to 25 mg and hold for 1 month, and then recommence taper. I have taken an SSRI for the vast majority of my life, and I have a question: Here is what I believe to be one of the enigma's of SSRIs. I know that it is true for myself. I hope to see if it is true of others. At the dose of an SSRI required to stave off withdrawal, the desire to get off of the SSRI diminishes. This can shave years of "living" off of your life. On the other hand, if you CT or cut too low too fast, the withdrawal will force you to reinstate. I have also struggled with intense DP/DR at times. It was at its height when it was 24/7 and I felt like "I", (insert my real name, let's pretend Jay) had died. That was the most excruciating time of my entire life, save brief periods of bash-your-head-in-the-wall akathisia after being given an antipsychotic at a psychiatric ward. Thank you so much to anyone who made it to the end of this post, it means a lot, Peace. EDIT: Also, sometimes when experiencing distress I wonder if it is the SSRI or the benzo, withdrawal from either of these, or just normal.
  18. Hello fellow SA members! I am curious to know if anyone has come off antipsychotics and gone onto antidepressants and recovered from antipsychotics? My pdoc says that she's had ppl recover in this situation, but I'm in disbelief. Any comments and info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Xo
  19. Starboy17

    Starboy17

    took 1mg finasteride for near 8years albeit, I did take breaks, additionally I lowered the dose and only took it couple times a week, this is known as a maintenance dose. However just over a year ago I decided to take a generic versions of propecia and like a shot of lightening I then noticed mood swings, moments of crying spells, it took a couple months to realise that it wasn't university studies and a personal fallout with a friend (although I bet it contributed) however it wasn't until I completely stopped taking finasteride that I experienced insomnia for the first time in my life! I kept having panic attacks after being asleep for two hours I would wake up gasping for air, I also had close to 15 panic attacks during the day, followed by general anxiety disorder, and a feeling of dread that was unlike anything I've ever experienced, that seemed unbaiting I would have to say hands down it was the worst mental breakdown of my life this lasted for at minimum of three months and progressively got worse. To complicate matters I quit dexamphetamine 30mg a year earlier as I had been naughty on it as I only took it whenever I felt like it for over 3.5 -4yrs unfortunately I have ADHD and still do as an adult, yay lucky me! I also loved alcohol, was often considered the life of the party,(not my own assessment) however I have since decided that I self medicated with it and it only compounded my already fragile mental health, so I'm no longer drinking at all. I discussed the mood swings etc with my GP in Sydney Australia and was given Lexapro tablet (can't recall the dosage) the morning I felt great, by afternoon a sense of dread crept up on me followed by suicide ideation, whilst driving with my partner down the motorway I had intrusive thoughts about crashing my car, anyone who knows me, would agree that is the polar opposite of my personality, in the end I had no choice but to go to emergency the next day after I couldn't sleep and explain my symptoms, I was given 10mg Valium which did nothing except have a paradoxical effect, I felt more lively instead of relaxed I was later discharged and given 30mg of mirtazapine, I'm a small bloke 65kg but Wow that knocked right out of the water. Since April 2016 I've been stuck on mirtazapine. Through the haze that is my mirtazapine experience I knew that the dosage was far too high for me and regularly checked in with my GP and advised him, I've never been on an antidepressant before, only dexamphetime, I told the Dr there's no way i'm taking 30mg of mirtazpine!, he agreed to and I lowered the dose to 15mg although this was still sedating throughout the day along with memory issues, which I never had experienced in my whole life, I've always been a remarkable person for memory so that was really scary for me, eventually I started my own research, why not I'm a tertiary student, thank God I found this site and Dr Joseph Glenmullens book! I even had to take a semester off study and reduced to part time. Guess that law degree can wait. I'm currently on 2.8mg of mirtazapine and can't wait to be off this, however through painful experience the withdrawals are debilitating and that's putting it kindly, I saw a Psychiatrist last month and he mentioned that I must be ultra sensitive, I'm reminding myself regularly that I'm strong and that every day i'm healing and everyday I'm getting stronger. I'm not one for mantra's but this does actually help Sorry Alto if I raved on or if I didn't put this post in the right place, I've been reading and following your advice for months, quite studiously I will add and been wanting to post my experience so badly but have been so incapacitated by all that I've experienced over the last year. So days I feel I'm holding for dear life, the tapering can be so demoralizing at times and then out of nowhere I get tiny glimpses of gaining my old sense of self again, there's so much more I want to say but for now, i'm amazed I've been able to type what I have. Peace
  20. Hello. I've heard many good things about this site. I'm finding Remeron to be a tricky little devil. I tapered from 7.5 down to 5.0 mg too quick...like 3 weeks! I thought I could sail off it like I did Valium and Trazadone, but not so. I'm taking a break for a week or two so I can stabilize. I generally stabilize rather quickly, but this one took more time. I have friends who are suffering from protracted w/d after decent tapers from Remeron, so I'd like to avoid the same. Has anyone crossed from Remeron to Prozac since the latter has a longer half-life and might be easier to taper from?? I haven't found any equivalency tables, so I'm not sure how to exchange them properly. I'd like to know how to do that. If it's recommended that I taper the Remeron, is there a file where I can find helpful tips to do it safely? Thank you in advance!!!
  21. Hi there, I was started on Remeron in July 2015 for sleeping difficulties due to worsening depression due to an abusive relationship. I attempted to cold turkey the Remeron in Nov 2015 and was up for 7 days. I was also experienced flu-like symptoms, severe anxiety and intense fear. I had to restart the Remeron per my MD suggestion. I was doing ok for a couple months but still battling with depression. By Feb 2016 I had sought out an intensive outpatient program for treatment. I was told it was ok to tape my Remeron AND Lexapro (I have been on an SSRI for 20 yrs, Prozac first, then Lexapro). I was tapered off Lexapro in 3 weeks and the hell began shortly there after. I began to experience the worst nausea of my life, insomnia, balance and co-ordination changes, visual distortion and blurriness, weakness in my arms and legs, burning in my arms and legs, headaches, persistent tinnitus. I was told to restart the Lexapro and to resume Remeron at 15 mg (I was down to 3.75 mg, too). I ended up in the ER 5 times with mild serotonin syndrome. Once discontinuation started my body was unable to tolerate the original doses of medication. After 3 months of literal torture, the inability to drive or work, testing by neurology, emergent ophthalmology, rheumatology, endocrinology and I am still suffering. My testing has come back normal. I had 2 brain MRI's, EEG, visual testing which most recently included a VEP for which I will see a neuropthalmologist at the end of the month. I am devastated. I was NEVER informed about Discontinuation Syndrome. The first time I presented to the ER they thought I was having a stoke. I would have never done such a rapid taper had I known that I could hurt myself in the process. I went from being a high functioning professional who worked out 5x/week to nearly bed-ridden. This has been the most devastating thing that could have ever happened. I was healthy before this. I had NEVER been in an ER. Has anyone else suffered this type of scenario? I feel so alone and broken by this entire process. The visual issues are the most upsetting to me. My vision is blurred and just not quite right I never had any issues with my vision until I attempted to wean off medication. Does anyone else have a similar story? Could you offer some hope. My eyes and vision are very important to me as I am sure they are important to everyone. I have this terrible feeling when I go out to a store or drive due to my vision. It's as if my perception of visual input is "delayed" by my brain. As if I it's not processing the information as quickly as it did before discontinuation set in. Anyone's story would be helpful. Thank you for listening. Peace and love.
  22. GirlfromD

    GirlfromD: Insomnia

    Hi im new, I will update my storie when I am feeling better than now. At the moment i can't sleep, i fall a sleep in the morning at 7 or 8. the other day i tried to change it by staying awake for 25 hours straight. And i got a little bit of sleep last night. But today im feeling odd, like i haven't slept for 3 days or something, could the insomania return, in that case me staying awake for so long is a total waste of time!? Should i just go with the insomania and sleep when I can not try to force myself into a better sleeping pattern. Please help! And sorry for my English.
  23. Mialiliana1

    Mialiliana: Remeron

    Hi I'm new here currently tapering kolonopin and was wondering if anyone her has ever came off remeron doing a micro taper? Thank you
  24. Hi. I've had problems with drugs most of my life and withdrawn from things like heroin and methadone as well as finding out that benzodiazepine withdrawal beats opiate withdrawal anytime. I"m also taking 50 mg of trazodone, 3mg of clonazepam, and 0.4mg of clonidine daily, as well as this 15 mg mirtazapine. Now that I've conquered the opiates (more like learned to live without them), I want to be totally drug free. I'm going to mention that I'm also struggling with a sleep disorder that the DSM categorizes as Circadian rhythm disorders: Delayed sleep phase type, which basically means that my night owl tendencies have gotten out of control and I'm sort of stuck sleeping from 10am to 6pm. This isn't something I want, but it's something that I"m trying to cope with and explore treatments for. So, I won't write a novella here. Suffice it to say that I'm looking for advice about and shared experiences of withdrawing from mirtazapine. I also have a degree in clinical psychology and have also had a great deal of experience with drugs and drug withdrawal, so I hope that maybe I can help someone else here.
  25. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
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