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  1. Hey, I want to intodruce myself on this site because I´m suffering a lot from the Paxil withdrawal even though I have not taken Paxil for a very long time. I was prescribed to Paxil in January 2016 because of a Burn Out / Depression. While Cipralex has not taken the huge panic from me when my Depression/Burn Out started my Doctor said we should try Paxil. My mood was very quickly a lot better with the help of Cipralex but the panic was huge. I´ve never experienced a depression in my life so it was very frigthening to feel such a huge impact in such a negative way. Anyways after about 1 Month on Cipralex my doctor decided to switch on Paxil because "he made good experiences" with this drug. I asked him on which dose I should take it whereon he answered that 40mg should be fine. At this time I had no experiences with Antidepressents so I completly trusted his words and I took my first pill. I remember the first day on Paxil I woke up in the middle of the night and my whole body was tingling and I´ve sweated a lot. There were a few more symptoms but I can´t really remember this time. So after 5 month on 40mg I decided to quit Paxil. (See from my signature) As the symptoms from my depression slowly dissapeared I felt more and more that new symptoms are getting stronger. At this time I thought that I still suffer from my depression and that it will never ever end although I was doing sports at least 3 times a week and going to the psychologist once a week to talk about my problems which really helped me in a way. It´s hard to put my thoughts and epxeriences since 2015 in proper english so I hope you guys can understand me. So in October 2016 I found a german forum for problems with antidepressent and they were very helpful with me and my symptoms. This was the first time someone told me how dangerous Paxil can be and how tremendous the effects to some people on paxil are. They also tried to convince me to taper the drug really slowly off but I thought the earlier my body is clear from this drug the earlier I get my old life back. The impact when I stopped taking Paxil 6 month ago were massive. While tapering it off it was really hard sometimes as well but the time I reached 0mg felt like the hell on earth. I wake up every morning with the feeling I just came out of a night club where I drank a bottle of vodka and snorted 1 g of cocaine. These are the symptoms I suffered the whole time on paxil. Some became stronger the lower I got, some started to fade away and some dissapeared. I copied some from a success story because it is exactly the same hope its okay: Dark depression, anxiety, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, panic attacks, intrusive/obsessive thoughts that tortured me, hopelessness, irrational thinking, suicidal thoughts, brain zaps, intense organic fear, severe inner-body tension that felt like my whole insides were clamped up, sexual dysfunction, severe tension, terrible shoulder and upper arm pain, mania, nausea, dizziness, vertigo, feeling like my brain was on fire, feeling like a part of my brain was missing, lots of preassure in my head, floating head feeling, body temperature regulation problems – being super-hot or cold, constipation, dehydration, lack of appetite, feeling dead, anhedonia, akathisia, mood swings, insomnia, terrible brain fog and inability to think clearly, sensitive vision and hearing, inching and burning skin, cold like symptoms, head congestion, phantom smells, constant tinnitus, severe fatigue and exhaustion, health anxiety, my brain was not able to give the "command" watch left before you cross the street even though I know how to do it ?!, derealization, feeling of never getting healthy again, feeling quite healthy for a few days and then feeling like dying again, intense nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night sweaty with delusions and disorientation, sometimes things seemed to moved very slowly or a street looked like it never ends or I was walking treadmill. As I said some dissapeared but some like the derealization or the dizziness, mood swings, ear buzzing, brain fog and so on are still there. But I´ve the windows and waves which is a good sign, right? I´m writing you because I can´t find something similar in the german forum. Next to the symptoms above I´m suffering a lot from Injuries. Almost every month I have a new injury and today I´m not able to do any sports because of the inflammation of my muscles and tendons. Sport was the only thing besides meditation which helped me to cope with the symptoms. A few days ago I was at my doctor again and we did a full blood analysis. He called me one day later and told me that my blood is totally fine but my CK-Level is very high (1200) normal is ca 200. I called a neurologist which checked me at the same day with a few standard tests. They were all good as well. Last year I checked my thyroid & my brain with MRT everything completely normal. Do you have experiences with injuries during wd? Is it normal to suffer a lot from Paxil even though I´ve taken it only for 1 year? I read that Paxil can cause damage on the immune system? Is this the reason for my injuries? If my immune system is damaged, is it for ever or can it heal like the brain? Best regards, Maggie
  2. I was on 40 mgs Lexapro. started on 20 mgs then increased over 5 years. Have been on various antidepressants for over 20 years. Seeing a Homeopath and trialing remedies. Told by Psychiatrist reduce 20 mgs a week. Frightened by all withdrawal horror stories. Have to work to pay mortgage. Suffering from discontinuation Syndrome. -suicidal thoughts - brain fog - anxiety - panic attacks -stomach upsets - debilitating lack of concentration - constant fear of living My family are supporting me Dont want to go back on meds but scared this may continue for years. Any advice welcome.
  3. Hello- I was prescribed 10mg of lexapro in May 2017 for anxiety due to my increasing concerns for my health. I'm a very petite woman, so even this dose was very activating for me. At that point, I had gone through a major health crisis due to severe stress and I was concerned about anything else that could go wrong. I intended to take the drug for a short time, however with a new job and a move back to San Francisco, a short time turned into 9 months before I could start to taper off. I started to taper off in April 2018 with a schedule another physician gave me for a 2 month taper. I tried to follow it, but ended up going cold turkey in May. In May, I started getting anxiety about everything, cold sweats, and bad digestion. That summer, the withdrawals went from bad to worse as I had increased anxiety, a panic attack, and horrible intrusive thoughts. I finally decided it was time to see a doctor about it, but she dismissed my withdrawals and assured me that I would return to normal in 1.5 months. By the end of July, I was back in her office, because instead of improving, things were getting worse. I started having suicidal thoughts, things I never had before. She assured me I would be fine, and told me to take Prozac. I was confused and so scared of the drugs at that point, that I didn't know what to do. I knew that the intrusive and suicidal thoughts were not me, and it scared me that the drugs impacted me this way. I tried to take the prescription, but was so frightened to what was happening to me that I couldn't take them. In the next few months, things got so bad that I'm not sure what got me through it besides telling myself that this wasn't me, but the drugs. By the fall time, I left San Francisco, and went to live with my parents. My job let me work remotely till Jan 2019, but I haven't worked since. Currently, most of the intrusive thoughts are gone, but I still get a lot of debilitating head pain- mostly at the top/back part of my head. It feels like someone hit it & it throbs from noon onward. My sleep is good- about 9 to 10 hours a night. I go running with my dog, but it makes my head feel weird. My digestion isn't great, but I'm eating super healthy: gulten free, eating fish, no caffeine, lots of veggies, and bone broth. I've tried to see what supplements have worked for me, and settled into 4 true hope pills & vitamin D-3, and gaba & magnesium at night. I tried the mind lab pro (ingredients https://www.mindlabpro.com/ingredients/) the past few days to help with the head pain and concentration, but they seem to make the intrusive thoughts more severe. I'm seeing a trauma therapist as the whole withdrawals gave me PTSD. I realize that I need to give my brain time to heal and return back to myself, but I feel afraid that they caused permanent damage. Looking back, I would have withdrawn slower, but I'm trying to forgive myself for this since I wasn't aware I needed to do this. I'm honestly at the end of my rope and it's so hard to see hope in this situation. I'm 28 and I feel like my whole life has been robbed from me. I don't see what else I could be doing to get better, and feel so frustrated that I can't go anywhere without head pain. I feel stuck at my house. I'm a strong believer in God, but my faith feels very small right now. Is there anything I could try? Anything that worked for others? Or any words of encouragement? Thank you. This forum makes me feel a little less alone in this dark time.
  4. It started in December 2018. On 17th of December I took my first (and only pill) of lexapro 10 mg. I have never taken drugs (not even alcohol). I desperetely took an AD because I was depressed and suffered from extreme anxiety attacks, due to malnutrion, being out of work and the loss of what I felt was the love of my life. I wanted talk therapy but the waiting list was so long and I got desperate. 1 pill made me suffer terrible insomnia and crazy mania. I was so afraid because I couldn't feel any emotions and I started sweating like crazy. My doctor ignored my, and after a few days without sleep I ended up in the hospital where they drugged me with Olanzapine for my anxiety. I wook up feeling even more terrible. This time I had vision problems, metallic taste in my mouth, angry violent impulses rushing in combination with being like a zombie. I was numb in the left side of my body, had poor co-ordination and couldn't move the fingers in my left hand. I told doctors this, but they didn't listen. "You really need your meds" was the answer.After 4 days on olanzapine I quit CT. During this period my health anxiety and mania around it skyrocketed. I ordered a lot of supplements to heal my brain, went to the ER asking to get my brain was damaged from the stroke. The reason I believed it was a stroke was that when I googled my symptoms "intense headache like you never experienced before" , "numbness on one side of the body", so I thought my brain One of the supplements I ordered was Mucuna Pruriens, an indian medicine with L-dopa. And with the effects of the other drugs still in my system I reacted really badly. I got this extreme euphoria from nowhere and then I totally crashed. I ended up in hospital, after trying LLLT-therapy. No doctors believed my theory that the drugs had done this, and that I got an dopamine-overdose, and now a broken reward system. At first I at least had some energy in January. But after the hospital, where they gave me a cicordinol injection along with benzos, I completely disconnected from my self. There is no now anymore, and the damage/experience is so much worse than it was when it started with Lexapro (which was an enough traumatic experience). No one has listened and only now do my family believe me, when they got to witness live how i developed tardive dyskenisia from the injection at the hospital. My lean and healthy--looking face and body, is now pluffy/swollen. I have gained weight despite excellent dietary habits. I have never before been able to gain weight, no matter what I eat. My hospital stay was in February-April. The injection was against my will, my family and doctors aswell. The doctor said I'm not psychotic. The doctors on the otherhand gave me "delusional disorder" and other labels for simply criticizing modern medicine and how telling them how sick I became because of the drugs. One of the sleeping meds made me totally loose my vision and I got muscle spasm, but the nurse's didn't bother. After the injection my neck starting twitching and I couldn't hold it straight. I could not talk. I was drooling and couldn't open my jaw. I stood drooling in front of the whole medical staff team, and they ignored me and told me to go back to my room. The doctor didn't give me any meds after that, stating, "Well you are obviously sensitive to drugs". Well, that should have been plain, given the reason I was there in the first place. During this time I also suggested to be treated with Zoloft. I think it was for 2-3 weeks, can't really remember anything from this time really. Only didn't to escape more antipsychotic poisoning and because I felt my life was already over anyways. Been free of medicines since April. 1 pill Escitalopram (10mg) December. 4 pills olanzapine (10mg) December. Sleeping meds: imovane (december-march/april). Benzos: Mitrazepan 1-2 times. Theralen, 2 times. (Really damaged me) Cicodirnol injection (don't now the dose, but low dose). Reasoning for it was that I stopped showering at the hospital. Why? Well it was traumatic to see yourself naked and in front of a mirror, and not being able to feel the water on your body... I live at home. With wellfare (thanks Sweden, but your healthcare is like the medieval ages). Every day I'm slowly loosing touch with reality.I have friends and family. A yoga teacher supporting me to go to an Indian Ayruvedic hospital in June. But my health is detoriating. I can barely move my neck (that problem I didn't have before when the worst of the injection was behind me). I have no feelings whatsoever. Anhedonia. Nothing gives me pleasure. I am against porn, but tried it to see if I react, I did react at the hospital (not a normal reaction, but something happened), no nothing. Porn was an easy test due to dopamine and how powerful it is on our brains. But nothing happens. I have no higher concioussness. No feeling of the now or my-self. This was severely damaged by the drugs in the first place, but it is just getting worse. When it all started I had racing thoughts, flashbacks, anxiety etc. And even hope when I started to improve after quitting Olanzapine. But the Mucuna Pruriens sent me back to something that is not worthy a life at all. So body has shut down. Memory. IQ. Everything declining. I have a hard time writing and coordinating everything I do. I don't know if this post belongs here, but I most say it does. Everything started with Lexapro. Got worse with Olanzapine. And finally ended me with the dopamine overload and later on injection. My background: 26 year old from Sweden. Musician, graphic designer, have master's degree in Media Production, worked as a teacher, have been a top-performer but also really anxious and low sense of self, I have not valued my self at all despite everything external going great for me. Loving, caring and really emotional. Now I'm flat and liveless. My face has changed. Eyes are dead.No curiosity for life. Deaf in one ear after the meds. I can't read or listen to music, or watch films. That was possible in the beginning before my self medication. It feels lonely. Lonely to have had such a strong reaction, not being taken seriously which made the situation much worse than it should have been. I know some of you have been on theese drugs for years, I have not, but the damage has been imense. What has happened? Can this be turned around? I am lonely in this? I just want my life back. So I wanted to share this. I should have done that in December. Maybe then I could have been warned, tapering, avoiding interactions etc. Need your support. Hope everything makes sense. I can't remember what I have written and have no energy to proof-read. / Albin
  5. I went off of my Zoloft 50 mg of 4.5 years old turkey in Jan. Stupid stupid mistake. It ruined my cns. I had 10 days of extreme withdrawl in March which I’m still stuck in. It made my cns not fight any toxins off anymore. We lost our home and all processions bc I was dx with mold toxicity and there was mold in my home. My week of withdrawl started me waking up weak, then falling over, dizzy, then sweating hands and feet racing heart then a night of electric shocks all through my body up into my brain. During this time I quit sleeping all together. No feeling of sleep. Went to the er two times second time they said o maybe you’re panic is coming back take Ativan. Was on that for a month .5 mg and they took me off ct. didn’t sleep for the whole 2 months I was off of it. Now on 1 mg at night barely works for me to sleep 2 hours on off light sleep. I am so very weak it ruined my gut even more than it was before I cannot absorb and digest anything or even have a bm bc I have lost all nerve sensation in my stomach and most of my body. It’s made my blood pressure low, my temperature not regulate. I never feel relaxed at all, not in fight or flight just nothing at all. I don’t sweat, my mouth is so dry my teeth are deteoriating. And mold or toxins I come in contact with engulfs me. My hairs falling out. It’s absolutely hell. And knowing I did this to myself. I knew I needed to heal my gut and thought the Zoloft was only hurting me. Now idk if there’s any hope to repair my damaged cns at all. I have memory loss loss of function to do tasks. I don’t tolerate any foods but 5 things bc all of the infections in me took over and are eating me alive. I can’t take any supplements to get rid of parasites and candida. I hear honking horns esp when toxins are high around me. I see flashing lights. Can’t listen to music or watch tv. I wish I wouldn’t have ever stopped taking it at all. My life was so much better on it. I had no idea this could happen this severe. Someone told me to try a castor oil pack on my spine to try to rebuild something. Thanks for reading
  6. HopingForRelief


    Hi there, I am new to this site after trying to find an explanation for the symptoms I was/am experiencing after a CT from Paxil at 30mg. I want to thank all of the frequent posters in these forums as many of the success stories and positive encouragement have helped me through this horrific experience so far. My story (I apologize if it is long): I started taking Lexapro (10mg) in 2012 (when i was around 18 years old) for continuing panic attacks and debilitating anxiety/OCD. I needed the medication to function at that point and within a few months I was back to myself and living a happy life. Throughout my entire time on Lexapro, while still having some presence of anxiety, I was definitely "normal" and living a happy life that I currently wish I could go back to. Around Nov 2018 I was switched from Lexapro to Paxil at what I now know was a way too fast change and heavy dosage amount (I just stopped taking the lexapro one day and started on Paxil 30mg the next day). The Paxil worked for my anxiety, but it also caused these weird body jerks as I would attempt to go to sleep that scared the crap out of me. Also worth noting: I take my AD before bed, and I would experience a weird sort of brain zap and "cold brain" whenever I exercised the next day, but this would go away when I would take my next pill. Obviously these symptoms really scared me (mainly the body jerks at night), so I foolishly stopped the Paxil CT in May 2019 and said enough was enough. The next few weeks I experienced mainly brain zaps and flu-like symptoms, but nothing unbearable and I had an idea that was to be expected. These went away and for the next three months, aside from heavy dreaming at night, I was totally fine. Then, in September, I got hit like a truck with crazy unexplainable symptoms. These symptoms are: waves of panic that feel different from my original anxiety/panic, OCD about symptoms and thoughts, feeling disconnected from the world around me, phantom smells (it is always the same burning smell), insomnia, vivid and whacky dreams, horrible ringing in my ears and head (almost feels like an electric current), weird burning/shivering of my brain, and more. These were so debilitating to me I left my job and am currently unable to function. They have now relentlessly continued for over a month, and I am not experiencing any "windows" where I feel better. Maybe I will get relief for minutes/to hours of one day over the course of a week. I have tried reinstating (per my doc) a different AD, Luvox, at a low dosage of 25mg and have been taking this for 3 weeks, but I have not noticed a difference one way or the other in my symptoms. What can I do next to help me? I was not experiencing any terrible W/D symptoms for 3 months so by then it was apparently too late for reinstatement to work. Now I also feel like I am "stuck" on the Luvox that is not helping as I have taken it long enough for my body to get accustomed to it. I am not functioning and am taking a huge toll on my mother who is taking care of me currently. We cannot continue financially at this rate with me no longer taking in an income, but I literally cannot work in this capacity. She also believes that I need to take a higher dosage of AD to help myself, so she will not continue supporting me unless I do so. I understand her stance as she doesn't want to see me in this state and doctors tell her that is the "cure" to all of this. I am at a loss on what to do. Would there be any hope if I tried reinstating Paxil? Am I stuck like this forever? I cannot continue ruining my life and living in my house like this. Please, any help would be much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  7. Hi everyone. I've been browsing this site for a couple of years and thought I'd finally join. I'd love to be able to talk with others about what I'm going through. I'm only 22 but I've pretty much been through every hell imaginable in terms of SSRI use (I started when I was 5--not by choice, obviously). It really frustrates me because I never even chose myself to go on these medications, I had very bad tantrums and anxiety as a small child and a psychiatrist put me on them. As I got older, instead of being told to get therapy and try getting off them, she just kept raising the dosage. By age 12 I was on the maximum dose even though my problems weren't that severe. I remember being in middle school gaining weight, feeling tired CONSTANTLY, just not feeling like a kid at a ll, and at the time no one thought that the medication could be the reason for it. It's so upsetting because I feel as though my entire life up until this point has been taken from me and Ill never experience what it's like to be young and happy. Like I said I never showed depressive symptoms before the medication but as the dose was raised I would occasionally get depression symptoms. When I was 15/16 I was switched to celexa which actually "worked" quite a bit better for me, I lost a lot of weight and felt energetic and motivated, but by the time I was 18 I really wanted off of these drugs that weren't even my choice to go on. However, as I learned the hard way psychiatrists don't have a good understanding of what's required for a successful taper. I was then on 40mg, and she lowered it all the way to 30, and then quickly after that to 20. This all happened right before I went away to university for the first time, so it was just horrible timing. My first month of college I noticed I began to feel severe chest pain. I didn't know what was happening and it was very scary. My entire freshman year I essneitllay spent in severe burning pain all across my chest and upper back. I would be doubled over crying for much of the day because of the pain. I went to see SO many doctors about it but they all said I was perfectly healthy and it must be from anxiety or just 'in my head'. I had to leave college after my first year because of the pain. By this point I was completely off of the celexa because I didn't know what was happening and I thought the pain was being caused solely by the drug itself. But the pain didn't get any better, it got worse. I basically spent the next 3 years (not an exaggeration) bedridden crying in pain. I cannot even describe in words how severe the pain was. And the problem was no one even considered that it was due to withdrawal because every doctor I went to said no, withdrawal wouldn't cause pain like that. So it was just a constant 'search' to figure out why I was having this mysterious pain. Even when I went back on the celexa to see if it would help, it wouldn't get rid of the pain, but I believe that's because (as I later found), the only way to get rid of it is by going on the HIGHEST possible dose because that's the highest dose my body was accustomed to. Finally last year I tried Zoloft out of desperation (I was missing my whole youth...I feel like my situation is a lot different because I spent 18-21 bedridden in pain. I know I could "wait it out" a few more years...but I'm missing my entire youth, a period fo my life I won't get back, and I don't know how much longer my college is going to let me take time off. I should have already graduated by now :(. It's so painful to be in so much pain while other people your age are having the time of your lives.) So even though I hate these medications, I tried Zoloft in a desperate attempt to just be out of pain and be able to move forward with my life. By the time I reached 150mg my pain went away completely (after 4 months on it), but of course I have other side effects on it I do not like like loss of creativity (I want to be a musician, and I love art), not feeling emotions as deeply, and almost feeling like your'e living life in a fog. To be blunt I don't feel "myself" on it. My individual spark is gone. But, I was just so desperate to get rid fo the physical pain. Anyway I made a freaking stupid decision in May to go off of it. At this point me and my doctors still didn't 100% make the connection between the pain and withdrawal, it was just a 'theory'. I thought my pain could have lessened because I had a boyfriend and friends now, was in school, feeling better, was out of pain to the point I was exercising consistently, etc. Well, nope lol. All of my pain returned this month. I'm back to being in bed with pain I'm in a huge dilemma because I know from past experience the pain DOES NOT go away. It's weird because I don't have any mental symptoms from going off the medication. I don't feel any more anxious/depressed/etc. The symptoms are all physical for me. It's just the most severe pain imaginable. I'm sure it's some type of nerve damage because it feels like burning knives stabbing into me..no words can describe the pain. I just want the pain gone as soon as possible, but I know if I go back on the medication I have to say goodbye to who I am as a person and my musical talent. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Like I said, I have already missed so much of my life. I don't want to be bedridden from pain anymore 😞 It just hurts so much. And it's not even my fault because I never chose to go on this medication!! I feel like I'm screwed for life, and will never have a full life devoid of both pain and of the medication. What if I just never adjust to being off of it because I started so young? I just hope some people here can offer me advice on how to eliminate it without having pain like this. I just cannot stand the pain... I'm sorry this is so long but like all of you, my story is long! To make it easier if someone is just skimming, withdrawal symptoms include - severe burning / stabbing pain in upper back, chest, shoulders - occasional hip pain and inability to walk because of it - digestive problems (extreme bloating, heartburn) - lightheadedness when standing up at times - basically feel like all my nerves are on fire - chest tightness 24/7
  8. Hello to all. I cannot write much or often due to tardive dyskinesia (or dystonia?) of my right eye, arm, neck, tongue and face. Reading, writing and using my phone, tablet and desktop exacerbate this condition. However, I would like to add my voice here and say two things that I feel are important: 1. You will in all likelihood get better - much better, and 2. If a moderator suggests that you reinstate, please read the horror stories of those of us who did not have that chance before you decide that you "do not want to go "backwards."" I believe I developed serious side effects in 2005 or 2006 including dyskinesia, but I did not know that the drugs could cause that. Before that, I developed anxiety in 2002 or earlier which I did not have to any appreciable degree before taking Celexa. I sit here now in disbelief that I suffered from increasing anxiety for 9 years on Celexa (and 5 years on Zoloft), and the doctors simply raised the dose, not by a little, but by 50 percent each time for Celexa. I also realize now that I developed dystonia in my feet and toes and my chest and neck, but I had no idea what it was, and doctors' appointments resulted in no doctor suggesting the medication could be the culprit. I didn't even know the terms dyskinesia or dystonia. No one mentioned them either. In 2011 I gave birth to a girl. That very night, the OB at the hospital switched me from Celexa 150 mg to Zoloft 10 mg with no cross taper, no advice and no warning of the Hell I was about to endure. After many nights with no sleep due to this switch I finally started to sleep again. Then, over the next 6 years the doctors kept raising the dose by large amounts despite increasing anxiety and what I now know to be akathesia, dyskinesia, and various other side effects including cognitive decline, increasing OCD, and inability to see reality. I threw more and more amazing parties, and I became a hoarder. Buying things on eBay became my job it seemed. I became obsessed with organizing my home, but it was impossible without a professional to help, and I could not see that. Until my child was about 4 I was functioning, but I thought I was a bad organizer, a bad mother, and a terrible wife. After having had horrendously stressful jobs that I managed pretty well, I could not understand why I was so bad at being a wife and mother with a much less stressful job. Eventually, I showed some signs of serotonin syndrome and mania, but I was probably spellbound by the medication (as Breggin suggests can occur.) I believed I was normal, right about everything, etc., and my husband could not convince me otherwise. I enjoyed all the energy I had and could not understand why almost everything I tried to do did not work. All my projects caused a lot of anxiety for me and my husband, it was nearly impossible to complete any of them, and I would often start a new one whilst struggling to complete a previous project. I could not believe what my husband was saying -- that a professional carpenter, bricklayer, party planner, etcetera would be needed. I began to cut corners or abandon plans in order to complete a project or be ready for a party. I had a great deal of trouble leaving the house by 2015. I could not be prepared for all of the possible disasters while I was out. I had to cancel or be late to many activities. I couldn't keep the house, cook or do laundry or organize clothing, toys, kitchen supplies, etc. I count NOT THINK straight at all. I became unable to socialize well by mid 2015. I stopped working in early 2016. I was not willing to cut corners for work so I stopped altogether intending to start again very soon. I could never do that. I continued to develop dystonia of my foot and toes and my neck and chest on my right side and slightly of my left toes, but, again, I didn't know these terms, I never connected this to Zoloft or Celexa, and I thought I was just not stretching or exercising enough. In late 2016 I decided to stop taking Zoloft. Using Xanax had worked for a few hours for anxiety, but I knew it was addictive. So, I used it only once every 3 days until I realized that after it wore off I became very angry. My child was 5, and I could not bear it if I yelled at her. I decided that discontinuing Zoloft was my only hope. If I micromanaged my child and taught her to feel anxiety over every mistake, I would not be able to live with that. I knew which behaviors were harmful to her even though my personality was utterly changed since I began medication. I could not, however, see how harmful my behavior was to my husband. He had begged me to stop with the projects and the hoarding, but I could not, and I could not see how it harmed him. I did recognize that I was not perceiving reality, and that I needed Xanax to get through all activities that were ordinary or not. I marveled at how other mothers with 2 or 3 children managed so much better than I did, and it worried me that I could not work. Something was very, very wrong and it was very likely to be the Zoloft. I looked up how to stop Zoloft on webmd or maybe a different site, and I checked many others to verify the information on other "reputable sites." All I found were instructions that parroted the quick taper that the pharm cies and doctors knew. I never saw anything about this site or Breggin or any other doctor who was aware of tardive withdrawal, PAWS, etc with regard to SSRIs. So, I made the worst mistake of my life - I "tapered" 150 mg in about 6-8 weeks. I found SA after it was too late to reinstate. I am a person who doesn't trust the pharm cies. I don't feel comfortable with the high number of vaccines for babies and young children. I'm suspicious of the flu vaccine, statins, and, of course, benzos. I try to eat organic food and even if I don't I make sure my child has organic eggs and milk. Despite that predisposed mistrust of pharmacology, I never thought to question a quick taper of Zoloft because I believed it was not "addictive!" I had a honeymoon period for about 5-6 months until August or Sept 2017. I am now medication free for 10 months. It has been HELL a hundred times over. I am still experiencing waves. It's been a few weeks, 2 or 3, since I wanted to die, and all my symptoms are less intense and less frequent except right side bruxism and dyskinesia/dystonia of my face, neck, jaw, chest and eye plus numbness on my right side in my arm, hand, face, nose, eye, jaw, hip, leg, foot and toes. I am no longer living in terror and fear and wishing an accident would take me from this world. I still have cortisol mornings in a wave, and I need to keep my mind occupied at all times, but I am not exhausted and weak all the time. The insomnia I had in Sept and October is gone seemingly for good. There are many other mental and physical symptoms that are gone or are less intense. Thank you for reading and I look forward to meeting each of you. I hope you all recover quickly and take some solace in seeing the progress I have made. Peace, Rosetta
  9. Hi all, I'm new to the forum and would like to provide you with a brief history of my antidepressant use and current situation. When I was in my teenage years (15) in 2003 I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having General Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder due to having panic attacks and intrusive thoughts. I was prescribed Citalopram 10mg and to be honest I do not remember much during this time, all I know is that the medication worked to a certain extent reducing both my OCD and anxiety. (but never completely "curing" the conditions, only making them manageable) The side effects were brutal (weight gain, lack of empathy - turning me into a zombie and sexual disfunction being the main ones) but I continued taking the medication because I was told there was a "chemical imbalance" in my brain and the medication is the only solution. From 2003 to 2018 my dose was gradually increased from 10mg to 60mg as I had periods of anxiety and panic attacks through the years even when medicated. I distinctly remember that the medication stopped working for me in 2016 when I suddenly started having anxiety 24/7 with the occasional panic attack. In late 2018 I decided to come off the medication for good as I believed it was not helping me anymore and the side effects were quite debilitating. I consulted my general practitioner about stopping the medication in 2018, he suggested I cut the dose in half every 3 days and then stop when I hit 5mg. I did not quite follow his instructions as during my taper I experienced some severe withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps and agitation) so I decided to reduce my dose by 5mg every 2 weeks. My last dose was taken in March 2019 and I took 2 weeks leave from work in anticipation of the withdrawal. At first there was only brain zaps and some agitation that in itself was manageable, then came the gastro intestinal issues about 1 month after stopping the meds, mostly heartburn and IBS type symptoms. I did not link these issues with withdrawal and went to a GI specialist that performed multiple tests (Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy, CT scan and blood tests) all tests came back reporting no issues. after about 2 months off the meds I started having severe panic attacks and anxiety as well as pressure in my head (behind my eyes), severe dizziness and a lot more symptoms that I cannot even recall as they disappeared and reappeared seemingly at random. Due to the anxiety and panic attacks I started to struggle at work and I reasoned that it must be due to me requiring the medication and I probably need to take it for the rest of my life (even though it does not seem to do anything for me anymore). So I went back to the general practitioner explaining to him my situation and symptoms, he reinstated the Citalopram at 20mg (this was at the end of August 2019). After taking my first dose I felt fine but taking my 2nd dose all hell broke loose - intense shaking, vomiting, insomnia, hallucinating and migraines. On the 4th day after reinstating I ended up in the ER unable to sit still and focus on anything I probably looked like I was on hard drugs or something, they gave me some Ativan and sent me on my way advising me to cease my current medication and go see a psychiatrist. Off the Citalopram I was still in hell - could not focus or sleep, randomly crying over nothing. Finally I went to my appointment with the psychiatrist 2 weeks later - he prescribed me Effexor XR 75mg which he said will fix all my problems. Again I managed to make it to day 4 before giving up on the medication, it made me 100x worse. Once again I landed in ER with hallucinating, migraines, muscle spasms all over my body and my face muscles “pulling” downward rendering me unable to speak. The ER sent me to a mental health clinic as they could not assist me with my condition. Booking myself into the clinic I waited to see my psychiatrist, he told me to stop taking the Effexor XR and put me on Zoloft (Can’t remember the dosage) but I refused to take the medication as I was MUCH better off before reinstating and I already knew what will happen to me if I have to take another SSRI. Having refused the Zoloft and sending my psychiatrist a lengthy timeline of my symptoms showing that I get VERY sick every time I try another SSRI - So he puts me on 25mg Valdoxan. It does absolutely nothing for me (stopped taking it 2 weeks in as my psychiatrist refused to send me for liver tests) and my symptoms get better as the Effexor leaves my system. This was approximately 6 weeks ago, currently it feels like I am in hell, I am able to work but I am struggling. I had blood work done today and will get the results back on Monday (just to make sure I don’t have some kind of infection/disease/vitamin deficiency - because it literally feels like I am dying). I am seeing a neurologist in late November so they can do some scans of my brain to further make sure nothing is physically wrong with me and when I get the all clear I feel I will be able to hang on for the duration of this terrible terrible experience. I only started to log my symptoms about 3 weeks ago but in those 3 weeks I have experienced: Abdominal Pain Joint Pan Migraines / Headaches Feeling of insects crawling under my skin throughout my entire body Severe fatigue Body trembling (muscle twitches in legs and arms) When holding arms/legs together can feel a quick repeating “pulse” of muscles Pain in hands/wrists muscles feeling “not connected” touching objects feels strange (numb). Nausea / Vomiting Visual problems feels like the brightness in my eyes was turned up to 11 this produces poor night vision Dizziness Pain in neck and head (right side) - behind ear to forehead Pain in thighs Super brain zaps? - lasts hours instead of seconds (worsens with eye movement / sound) - Pressure/Tingling in skull, sensitive to sound I do believe all the above mentioned symptoms seem to align with withdrawal perfectly, but I am still very scared. Not knowing when/if I will get better is true torture. My hope is to get support/advice/hope from this forum that I cannot receive from the medical professionals I have access to (they do not know or seem to care about this very real and very frightening condition) and to help others where I can to the best of my ability.
  10. Hello all I’ve been searching on this site for a while I’ve seen a lot of posts can anyone shed shed some light. There is a lot more to my story but tying to keep it short as possible So here goes I started my very first prescription drug flupentixol around 19 years old I am now 28 I can’t even really remember much about that time I had really bad anxiety/panic attacks distorted mood. So dr prescribed and I took it. Through out them years had many ups and downs. I used to drink a lot so most of my younger years I can’t remember much I think I just blocked a lot of it out and put a lot of my issues aside. In this time though I wasn’t depressed I just didn’t really have a purpose in life. Most of the time on this drug it was great. 2017 I started getting a lot more issues had a lot of stressors going on in my life I took a turn experienced what I would call sort of a psychotic episode couldn’t think clearly was so confused thought I was going insane, in desperation not knowing anything about ADs I upped my dose for a few days and nothing still felt insane with thoughts It carried on with intense crying spells and hopelessness. I went back to GP and they prescribed me citalopram had a really bad reaction but still managed 17 days of torture. Was told to immediately come of the medication and side effects reduced soon after. (Still on flupentixol) Although I still wasn’t back to myself I was prescribed Mirtazapine 15mg and felt better after one week. The only side effects I had were RLS and weight gain. I decided to come off as I thought I was feeling better but also was putting on weight. I tapered as per GP’s advice alternate days with in four weeks I was completely off. (Still on flupentixol) Roughly 2 months later I had a small trigger I immediately spiralled back into a depressed state. I wanted to try with out any medication (self-help books, exercise) I wasn’t getting any better after 5-6 months later. I then took another major turn. I decided that the only thing that would help was another AD. Came off flupentixol within few months Gp said to come straight off as wouldn’t get withdrawal from that type of drug. I visited my GP who referred me to the mental health team who prescribed me duloxetine as they thought would help with my spinal pain (scheuermann's disease) I lasted 5 days roughly and came off as the anxiety was so intense. So I went back to Mirtazapine yes In the beginning I got the usual sedation like effects. The longer I was on it though the more I started to lose myself. I had paranoia. Extreme dread (especially upon waking) suicidal, anxiety as time went on, GI issues/trouble breathing, visual disturbances (blurred vision, floaters) Dilated pupils,Teeth clenching worsened Depression/hopelessness,Constant rumbling in belly, Heavy pulse in stomach Anxiousness/irritability, Extreme health anxiety Constant state of fear, Restlessness, Palpitations,Abnormal thinking/distorted mood Sadness,Tinnitus/full ears,Hungover feeling in the morning, Headache/neck ache Mouth sores/funny taste in mouth, Random body pain, Cold feet,Hot flushes,Itching, Lower back pain, Abnormal dreams,Voice changes Body jerks/spasms, Chest pain/rib pain Lumpy painful groin,Sensitive to pain Painful hands and feet, Nausea,Anger/overwhelmed,Early satiety,No appetite,Flu like symptoms/malaise,Tingling sensations Sharp/stabbing head pains,Depersonalisation Pulsating In ear I never had most of these side effects before Mirtazapine i went on for mainly depression and few other issues (possibly wd from last year?) I’ve been off them completely for 8 weeks now. A lot of symptoms have dropped off but a lot of them are still ongoing. I don’t get why I’ve had such adverse side effects this time around on and now off the drug? 1st week of coming off, extreme nausea and flu like symptoms, sweating/clammy. Anxiousness. Diarrhoea Current ongoing issues intermittently Pain in ribs, chest, also lower back aching pain which didn’t have with my spinal condition before. (Seemed to have eased for now) Hands and feet painful Hips, bum. Excruciating head pains but also over sensitised to pain, front of neck, jaw, groin, allergies- catarrh, itchy roof of mouth nose, lost sense of taste. Ongoing GI issues(never had issues with this before Mirtazapine) currently being investigated for celiac and other diseases. Awaiting results from endoscopy biopsy. Intense emotional lows Intense anger occasional paranoia Blurry vision/floaters sensitivity to light Sensitivity to sound, tinnitus Poor cognitive function - Confusion, brain fog, memory issues. Extreme Depression,Extreme fatigue, Nausea,Poor body temperature regulation,Extreme Health anxiety/fear I’m convinced I have cancer or some serious disease. Painful teeth and gums. (Could be due To the teeth clenching) There is prob a few more I haven’t listed I’m constantly looking up my symptoms. The ones I’m worried about most is my weight loss (underweight) I can’t seem to put on any weight which scares me, and I’m full quickly after eating, although I have lost appetite a bit I do eat often! All my symptoms point to cancer. Also the intense emotions that come across feel so overwhelming it’s scary it’s like my cortisol is so so high! Anything little my stress response can’t handle it. This has been a real struggle writing this and it’s taken me weeks. My Taper would be considered CT. My GP’s great advice alternate days for 2 weeks then come off. Although I took it slower and came off Mirtazapine with 2 months. I couldn’t handle the adverse effects anymore they were making me sicker. Although I’ve had some better hours what I’ve seen people call windows. This last week I’m going through a wave I can’t get off. I’m so confused by all of this and disheartened is it the drugs that have done this to me or is it a serious illness. I have never felt so unwell in my life physically and mentally. Part of me thinks it’s wd related and the other part is saying it’s not. I’ve not had many days without pain. Another thing to mention I did a genetic test and have many mutations Including MTHFR, COMT. My report flags up red for AD response. Also have a variant gene for celiac disease. I’m possibly deficient in a lot of things maybe hence the weight loss etc. Malabsorption issues which is being looked into Also early hours this morning my Fitbit says I was awake for 15 min and I’ve noticed I’ve taken random pics on my phone of the floor etc which I can’t remember doing! I don’t know if reinstatement would be a good idea I wasn’t Even stable on the drug it’s changed my life I’m scared Please someone with a similar story or advice help me out. I just feel like giving up
  11. Light

    ☼ Light

    Hello, SA members- My intro--After 9 years of antidepressant use Zoloft pooped out on me in a big way and so began the reckless polypharmacy that lead me to where I am today... At its worst I was on 5-6 psychotropic drugs including multiple serotonergic drugs that left me emotionless, anhedonic, overweight, asexual, and moody. I also experienced several frightening and dangerous episodes of serotonin syndrome that led to a hellish 4.5 year taper off of all medication. During this time I experienced severe depersonalization/derealization, serious cognitive issues, mood swings, blinding fatigue, sleep disturbance, OCD, severe anxiety, a cartoonish inability to tolerate stress, muscle twitches/tremors/jerks, headaches/head pressure, hypersexuality, visual disturbances, etc. This whole period felt quite literally felt like a nightmare and to a lesser extent continues to today. I am currently nearly 6 years clean and although there has been significant improvement in many areas I continue to experience cognitive issues, episodes of confusion, intense muscle irritation, and agitation, as well as migraines. My functioning has improved but I am still a long way from living a full life. The last 6 months have been particularly difficult, as some of my worst episodic symptoms have returned. Although I believe that I will continue to heal this recent setback has made it difficult for me to believe in a full recovery. Thanks "Sur" and it's great to see some "long timers" here! Wishing you all continued improvement in this very difficult journey... -Light
  12. Hello. This is my intro. The last 8 months have been hell as my insomnia got worse with each drug given to “help”. Things fell apart after taking a month of medical marajuana in May 2018. I then was then put on ambien seroquel and lexepro July 2018. Nothing helped. I was cycling badly ( every other day was good/bad) my shrink ink took me off lexepro (5mg). In sept 2018 and onto lithium. I could take the lithium due to terrible headaches. The insomnia worsened and I could no longer live at home as i was a danger to myself. I went to an inpatient clinic/ rehab. And was tapered off seroquel (25mg). And ambuen(2.5 mg). I also went back on the lexepro (10mg). For 6 weeks and then was tapered off it for another 6 weeks. At the end of the lexepro taper things went to hell again. I am again cycling pretty badly. I sleep a few hours every other night. I’ve been off the lex. Almost 1 month. Still on 25 mg hydroxizine and 4 mg melatonin. Would like to get off these meds but am so unstable I am afraid to start tapering. I am calm at night but just don’t sleep. Sometimes I start to dream but I am still awake. I do do all the sleep stuff people recommend. Dark room, epson baths, mediation etc. desperate for relief. Goosie
  13. Hello SA, As you can see from my signature, I have a long history of starting, stopping, and switching numerous drugs. Largely due to SA, over the past month or so I have truly awoken to the dangers of these drugs, and I am devastated over what I now know they have done to my brain and body for the last nearly 18 years. However, I do have faith that I will heal. At age 17 I unwittingly walked right into Big Pharma’s lair and became ensnared when a psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor for OCD (which apparently should not even be a first-line treatment for OCD). When I tried to fill it at a new pharmacy in my new state as a college freshman about 1.5 years later, I was told that my insurance would not fill the prescription because the dosage was too high (I don’t remember what it was). Frustrated, I decided to just stop taking it since it wasn’t helping me. I didn’t know any better. When withdrawal hit me, I contributed my symptoms to the cold turkey but didn’t fully understand I was experiencing withdrawal. Over the next 15 years I went on and off multiple drugs to try to manage my OCD and accompanying depression, not fully realizing that my unsuccessful attempts to stop the drugs were due to tapering too quickly and subsequent withdrawal as opposed to relapse. In October of 2018 I was on 10 mg of Prozac and had been holding there for about a year while seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I was struggling at that dose, most likely due to delayed withdrawal from a too fast taper from 60 mg. Due to my struggles, I decided to attend an outpatient OCD program where I foolishly allowed the attending psychiatrists to take me off the Prozac and put me on a cocktail of Abilify, Anafranil, and Luvox. I did not notice any improvement with the cocktail over the 10mg of Prozac. Once I discharged from the program three months later, I returned to seeing the psychiatric nurse practitioner. He instructed me to cold turkey the Luvox (I had been taking 25 mg for 2.5 weeks). I hesitated at the cold turkey approach but thought, "I've only been taking it 2.5 weeks." He continued me at 5mg of Abilify and increased me from 75mg to 100mg of Anafranil. At my next visit one month later, I said I would like to discontinue the Abilify and Anafranil as they were not helpful. His instructions were to cut the 5mg Abilify pills in half for 6 days and stop. This seemed too fast to me, but he told me that anti-psychotics do not need to be tapered as slowly as anti-depressants. Regarding the Anafranil, I was to take 50 mg for one week, 25 mg for one week, then stop. This seemed too fast to me as well, but I told myself that it was still a taper and not a true cold turkey. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am here now because I have found myself in “one of the worst places to be during withdrawal”, according to @brassmonkey in his Reinstatement post. I am seriously considering reinstatement after 8 months off of all drugs because I am completely non-functional, and my symptoms have only gotten worse during this time period. What concerns me perhaps the most is that I have not experienced any windows since my last dose. I want to believe that I am healing, but it feels I've only deteriorated over the last 8 months. From what I’ve read here on SA, I understand that reinstatement may or may not work and may even cause an adverse reaction since I’ve been drug-free for so long. Even so, I would sincerely appreciate any advice on reinstatement (for or against) in regards to my particular situation. Also, if I were to reinstate, which drug should I reinstate? I was on Luvox for 2.5 weeks and both Abilify and Anafranil for approximately 4 months. Before that, I was on Prozac (on and off at various times) for 13+ years. So although Abilify and Anafranil were my most recent drugs, perhaps it is Prozac that my brain and body are most used to? I am grateful for any advice, suggestions, and encouragement. Peace, Love, and Faith, HopeforHealing
  14. My brain going into dream condition but not into sleep condition every night or day when ever I attempt to sleep I have believed the information about remote neural monitoring in all over internet and browsed internet 2 years heavily which resulted heavy thought process ,doubts and suspicion over near and dear. So I went to a psychiatrist and requested to bring me out of heavy thoughts.He made me use lorazepam for 10 days ,risperidone and trihexyphenidyl combination drug for 30 days.After 30 days my thoughts reduced so I did not go to doctor again.What a mistake ,I was ignorant of how psychiatry medicines work and slow tapering nor my doctor warned me while prescribing an anti psychotic.It is happened in july 2016. From then my brain going into dreams when ever I attempt to sleep.In october 2016 again I went to the same doctor and reported about the condition I am in.He prescribed olanzapine silently.I started using olanzapine ignorantly and innocently.When i was experiencing stomach upset that is when I researched in the internet about risperidone and olanzapine. Now this is june 2017 I have tapered risperidone and olanzapine safely and became drug free safely.But the thing is my brain still into dream condition and not allowing me to sleep when ever i attempt.My querry is what risperidone and trihexyphenidyl and lorazapam [10 days]did to my brain?what chemicals they blocked.Now stopping them cold turkey did what on my brain?what chemical i should take to get my sleep pattern back.?If I wait patiently with time will the brain correct its condition naturally?Any brain researcher please help.
  15. I don't know......I am practice posting. At present I am about 5 days off Adderal, 2.5 mg. It feels alot like when I finally came off Lexapro......I was down to 3 mg. and they took me off of it completely in October while I was in the hospital........meanwhile started up on the Adderal and still am on Trileptal 150mg. x2/day. Anyway mostly upper back achiness now.......total demotivation as anything is stressful and am just working for staying calm, fluids, eating, sleep. A conversation by phone once in awhile. Pay the bills. Accept help when I can. So maybe I am somewhat on topic. Not sure I could list all the meds. that I have withdrawn from yet........someday soon. I just wanted to be around people that get it..........and find the hope and strength again. You know.......I believe in God(although a God that accepts my anger sometimes), but even more so in a universal strength to be found in others. Anyway.......thankful for my journey in a way.......especially in those windows I get of clarity and calm.
  16. Hi, I have struggled with anxiety for a long time and Zoloft saved me and I was on it for 11 years and tapered off slowly over a year as I felt stronger and did not want to take it for life. My last dose was December 2018 and I was fine. But these last couple of months, I am struggling with anxiety and my moods. Having emotional blunting and worsening derealisation, my derealisation I feel came on in 2016 for no reason and has not gone away. I really feel dead inside. When playing video games I feel in auto pilot and have no enjoyment attached to it. I can have a laugh at work with my friends but I feel dead and detached/ I even had a massive anxiety attack in June, that made my heart rate so high I had to go to emergency department, since then I have had mini ones that I have managed to control. I have tried everything, bike riding/exercise, Apple cider vinegar, multivitamins, magnesium, fish oil, vitamin d, probiotics, change of diet, positive thinking etc.. I recently had a full blood test done and vitamin D levels are good and bloods are normal. My Bilirubin was high but doctor said there was no clinical significance. But the anxiety is catching me out of nowhere and I am getting anxious over small situations and things, even stuff like the weather is affecting my moods, when it is overcast and dull, I feel really down. I am on a constant state of alert and it is affecting my hearing/tinnitus. I really thought I could do it but it seems that I need help. What medication is there that I can take that has the least side effects and will help me feel emotions more again and less blunted and more attached to my body? I have a doctors appointment in a week and I know he is going to say to me go back on meds. I really don't want to go back on Zoloft as I think that caused some of my emotional blunting towards the end and derealisation. I have put below in quotes my derealisation symptoms below if it is of any interest. I assume it is derealisation? This came on in 2016 and coming off Zoloft in 2018 has made no difference to it, if anything has made it worse.. Something changed in me 2016 and I know I do not feel right, it was like I switched into a different state of perception and feeling. Still to this day, I remember how I used to feel and I know that what I am going through is not right. Nothing happened in 2016 apart from going on holiday in July. All this started around October 2016. Mental State: Constant brain fog, heavy headed and feel tired/fatigued. I am detached from myself and do not feel connected with my body, like looking at my arms, feels like they are not a part of me, I feel like I am in a dream and in a haze. Emotionally numb but can feel anxiety and panic with no issues at times. I can carryout daily tasks and work perfect, my mental capacity or memory is not affected and I feel sharp as I have always been and fully aware of what I am doing or what is going on in front of me. Just feel like I am in auto pilot and different from how I normally would feel. I feel like I am in a 24/7 hangover or high, not one day I have had a break from this. Eyes: Constant light sensitivity (Everything is bright to my eyes and it has changed the way I view things especially in dark environments, seems that my eyes are blurry from being light sensitive) Visual snow. My eyes feel heavy and tired and bloodshot at times. Fuzzy vision. Sleeping: I sleep around 10:30pm to 6am but wake up like I have only had 3 hours sleep and really heavy headed and groggy with dry mouth. I never wake up feeling refreshed, it is like I wake up with a hangover, This head space feeling doesn’t go away, it is connected to the above symptoms. I am tired all day. On some days during the month: I feel really ill, and I mean really ill, On these really ill days, I wake up really fatigued, more so than other days and feel like I am about to come down with something but never do, I feel so ill and really really dead inside, no emotions and feel sick and I feel so tired and weak. It is like I have been hit with a virus out of nowhere overnight. I feel better the next day after sleep, but all the other symptoms like the detachment, feeling spaced out, fatigued, light sensitivity etc.. remain. I have good and bad days. But the really ill days can happen a few times a month. It is like on these really ill days, my current symptoms, are amplified to the extreme. Body: My neck, upper back and jaw feel stiff and tense all the time, especially near the base of the skull and neck and the upper back, It is really noticeable around the back of my neck. Sometimes there is a shooting nerve sensation near my lower neck/upper back. It is like a nerve spasm. My neck and back are giving me real issues when I work and sleep and general resting. There is a cracking/popping sound between the shoulder blades and spine and neck when I move that area. I get a random dull ache that lasts days on my lower right side back. My neck and back issues are at their worst when I have one of the hearing/tinnitus episodes, I assume they are related? My head at times feels like there is pressure in it and I get more frequent headaches and pains inside my head than I used to. I get headaches when waking up in the morning a few days a week. These headaches can vary on different sides of my brain. I am constantly getting mouth ulcers all the time, so it is a sign that I am run down from something. Hearing: My tinnitus is so loud now and my hearing is becoming different. Every day when I get home from work, I am exhausted. Thank you
  17. Hi everyone! I'm new here, I'm an 18 year old girl, will be 19 soon, and I took Zoloft from when I was about 16 and a half to when I was just about 17, so a year and 4 months. I've been clean of the poison since August 28th, 2016, so ten and a half months now. Since I don't think the drugs were good for me to be on to begin with because they caused a whole host of strange behaviors and feelings, like sedation and mania at times, as well as periods of complete apathy and feeling sick, not to mention the sexual problems, I decided to get off of them. Here's how things went: Felt better when initially coming off Zoloft. Much better. Perhaps more negative, but more energy, felt more normal, looked better, etc. Less headaches and other side effects. Happier...almost manic sorta. Sex drive increase and no problems with prolactin overloads. Continued like this (with adaptogenic herb, B6, inositol, and other supplementation) until December 2016. Sometimes wanted to "crawl out of my skin" also and getting more frustrated when my best friend wouldn't call me, less worried about what he thought. December 2016, my life crashed. My best friend and I had a falling out and he was distant for a while. Worst depression I have EVER felt for 2 weeks straight. I was stuck in my body, it was the worst feeling I have ever EVER had, profound depression, profound pain, I could not deal with it..so incredibly horrible. Definitely would not have been nearly as bad if I weren't only 4 months off Zoloft. Probably wouldn't have been bad at all if I were still on Zoloft..scary. Extreme disconnection from the body. This scared me because the issue was generally pretty mild--a friend being distant. The fact that it caused such a terrible horrible depression made me realize how hard this journey was going to be for me...my ability to handle stress and emotions have been greatly diminished. January--February were blahhh. He texted me again, didn't switch schools, we were friends. I also started taking tryptophan for serotonin deficiencies and the pain went away but the horror of what had happened still lingered and left me exhausted and terrified of another episode. I felt extremely out of control of myself and my life. Never would have felt this way on zoloft. March was terrible. He ignored me again, again intense anxiety, worse than I could possibly describe. Literally horror. Started taking ashwaghanda which, along with him reconnecting with me, made April and May more bearable. Sometimes felt GOOD in those two months..other times not, but it was really not horrible. A couple periods of intense pain, usually from relationship stress, but I recovered when things went back to normal. June..was fine. I'm living. In college now. Was pretty intent on committing suicide a couple of days ago..thoroughly convinced myself that I would do it and that I need to do it. Didn't do it. Probably won't this week. Can't take the unbearable social pain any longer though..it's putting a hole in my heart. I refuse to go back on those meds. Ever. They're awful and they still are affecting my sex drive..PSSD is there. Realizing that I'm at the end of adolescence and never had a true, hormonal, exciting sexual experience and the ability to experience that kind of thing will go away when teenage hormones go away. I may never be normal again. I'm incredibly upset and worried and cursing myself for taking those pills. Also feel really alone because nobody understands and I can't talk to anyone about it. If I weren't in a fine mood, I'd be ready to pull the friggin plug. All of my sexual experiences are awkward and bad, make guys feel like rapists, never result in orgasm, always lose excitement once any touching of the genitals is involved, and end up very VERY bad. Masturbation is 100X better but it still takes longer and isn't as easy to cum.. I feel hopeless and screwed, scared and worried. The same mechanism affects your ability to fall in love..I need hope. When will these things get better? Note: One thing I can say is the intense feeling of being disconnected from my body or wanting to crawl out of my skin has gotten better, which makes me realize that my brain is normalizing itself. I'm just worried that things will never be the same again, because of receptor problems or permanent brain damage, especially in the sexual department... Help?
  18. Hi, I'm new here I'm a 32-year-old woman from Denmark. I found you because I want to safely taper off of my low-dose Amitriptyline 10 mg. But as I read about withdrawal, I came across "post-acute withdrawal syndrome" or "protracted withdrawal" and I got chills because suddenly what has been happening since 2017 made sense! Long story short(er), I was on Venlafaxine/Effexor for 8 years because of generalized anxiety and body pains. In 2017 I tapered off from 2 capsules/150 mg, reducing with 1/4 pill every 2 weeks, so I was off them after a little under 4 months. (I didn't know about safely tapering off, only now have I come across your guide :)). By going off so "slowly" - well, compared to my doctor who told me I could do it cold turkey(!) - I didn't get the extreme side effects i would normally get when I would go up or down in dose. I felt the same when I stopped my dose and for the next 2 months, I was completely fine. But 2 months after I had taken my last dose, I started getting pain in my body, and after 2 more months, at the end of January 2018, from one day to the next I started having an extreme inner shaking/hightened fight-flight-response. It was like I had gotten a shock and I just stayed in that state every second of every day. Never being able to rest was so bad that I wanted to kill myself. It's so difficult to explain the sensation to anyone, so I usually use sleep deprivation as a related example: Sleep deprivation should be the worst form of torture and I get it now - stressing your body every second of every day is completely unbearable and you just want to die. I did sleep, though, but only 4-5 hours every night and I was never tired. My cortisol levels were high so I was checked for Cushing's (cortisol producing tumor) which meant I couldn't take any medicine to help me for 7 months because I needed accurate cortisol results (I didn't have any tumor, though). And also, nothing helped me, not benzodiazepines, sleeping pills, CBD oil or high doses of beta-blockers. After 7 months, my friend who had experienced the same "shaking" after a whiplash and after only a week had wanted to jump out the window from her apartment on the 3rd floor, recommended a low dose of Amitriptyline and that reduced the shaking by 30 % and after a month by 50 % (I only took 5 mg to begin with, though, and it worked after just a few hours, very weird). My symptoms then started to become predominantly psychological instead, like I would cry all the time. It opened up a deep developmental trauma wound that I started therapy for in December 2018. After that and body therapy like The Rosen Method, my symptoms are gradually decreasing. (I also have like 20 other symptoms, like body pain, fatigue etc.). Now, almost 2 years after I came off venlafaxin, I'm 50 % better than I was in December 2018, but my sympathetic nervous system is still firing too much. I thought that being on antidepressants for so many years, from I was 22 until I was 30 had made me so numb that I couldn't process all the stuff I had been through earlier in my life - and I still think that's partly the case - but now I see that there's an entire half of the picture I didn't know about!! That this must have been post-acute withdrawal syndrome!! So not only did I have all the past trauma that came up now that I didn't have something to artificially shut it down, at the same time my brain was also struggling with getting chemically back in balance! Woooow... #MindBlown! I don't even know what I feel... I feel so angry and want to sue someone, but that's not really possible I guess. I have missed work for almost 2 years, I'm only now starting a 10-hour internship. I can't believe you can go from feeling fine to 4 months AFTER you stopped the medicine get these extreme reactions. Has anyone else experienced something like that? And I still want to come off of the Amitriptyline, but slowly. It's only 10 mg, and this week I'm taking 9 mg. After I've done this for 2 days, I do feel some side effects like a bit of insomnia and hightened fight-flight, but it's minor. And might be because I made an oral solution from my tablets and now I read you should try to stay on your dose for 4 days before you reduce it. I did calculations based on the advice of the 10 % reductions of the new dose every month, and if I jump off at 0,1 mg, it will take me 43 months. It seems like a long time, but I would rather do this safely this time! Wow, I'm still in shock that it was protracted withdrawal symptoms that almost had me commit suicide, because no doctor could tell me what I was experiencing. I'm so glad I found you! And I also want to ask you if anyone has ever gotten completely over this syndrome, can your brain adjust completely? TIA
  19. Hi friends! I am a 24 year old male. I had been using Venlafaxine XR 225mg capsules for around a year and a half ( July 2017- April 2019). I'd started Venlafaxine for my chronic fatigue which was thought to be depression (it most probably was). Other drugs I used: -Pre Workouts(PW): Mix of Caffeine, PEAs, and a variety of nootropics. I used these almost daily to try to stay awake. They helped me enormously with school and social life; to the point that I got psychologically addicted. -Modafinil(rarely): Best antidepressant I've ever felt in my life when it was combined with the Venlafaxine. Not stimulating like the PWs, just made me feel completely normal. - 4 LSD trips over 1 year In March of this year I had decided that the Venlafaxine had not been having any major positive effects and that I was better off stopping it. Together with my psychiatrist we decided to taper off of it. At the time I didn't know about the importance of proper tapering and neither does my psyhiatrist. Her plan consisted of reducing to 150mg for 2 weeks and then 75mg for another two, after which I went down to 0. I had the classical 1-2 weeks of acute withdrawal with the brain zaps, nausea, depersonalisation, derealisation, extreme depression and anxiety etc. Followed by this I went through about 2 weeks of what I would consider complete normality and I thought I was out of the woods. Following those 2 weeks it got really bad. I got severe parestethias, numbness, extreme fatigue, anxiety, lack of concentration. Over a period of 1 month I failed 3 exams in med school. I was trying to keep myself focused and alert with the PWs and Modafinil but I seemed to be hyper-reactive to them. Sometimes they worked really well but sometimes they gave me this intense head pressure where I could theoretically see but it was more like a brain and "eye" fog. Before the withdrawal, and before every taking Venlafaxine, my tiredness, or low mood, or anxiety could be temporarily fixed by taking PW. I was not getting any of the functional use anymore. Since then, I've been getting waves of this sort of state, with waves of feeling "better", but I haven't felt close to how I used to feel on Venlafaxine since, or even before starting Venlafaxine. In other words I'm doing worse now than before starting the VF. In the worst parts of the wave I can't even take caffeine anymore without getting head pressure and a sense of overstimulation. Before all this it was like I didn't even have a threshold for how high I could go with stimulants without adverse effects, but now I take 1/4-1/8 of what I used to, and even that's risky. I'm not looking for the "rush" again, I'm just trying to be as transparent as possible with how my body reacts. For my last exam in July, I had a 3 week period where I took Wellbutrin IR 150mg so I wouldn't fail again. It seemed to help bring me a bit closer to stability, but again nothing like before. On Jul 5th I quit Wellbutrin cold turkey. As far as I can tell I've had no withdrawal symptoms at all. Nowadays I try maintaining stability by Meditating, taking Mg Glycinate( 400 - 800 mg ) and Fish Oil. I've also had another 2 LSD trips and one Mushroom trip. All of these have helped me with accepting my symptoms and powering through the day. I'm still taking low doses of PW to get any sort of semblance of energy and focus through the day. However, I'd ideally like to reinstate VF so I can taper properly and be stable. These symptoms are very disruptive and I'd love to go back to any semblance of my old stable self. Would it still make sense for me to try reinstating something like 37.5mg or 75mg Venlafaxine now and starting tapering? Is my only other option waiting it out? Sorry for the long block of text. Any advice is appreciated.
  20. I was on Cymbalta 60mg for 7 years and decided to taper off in April of 2016. I tapered for 5 months and dealt with horrible WD symptoms that whole time and for about 3 months after completely stopping. I felt alright for about a year, basically symptom free and then I got hit with a wave that lasted roughly 3 weeks of debilitating symptoms in November of 2017 (nausea, extreme fatigue, Muscle aches, anxiety, depression, vision problems, dizziness, headaches, disassociation/depersonalization). After that I was back to normal for about ten months (September/October 2018) and then it happened again, same symptoms roughly same length in time. 8 months later (May/June 2019) it happened again, same symptoms but this time it lasted almost two months. After that, I was fine for about two months until it resurfaced again. I am currently in the midst of a hellish wave. Is it common for waves to hit this long after WD? Also, is it common they have become more frequent?
  21. I was put on 2.5mg of Olanzapine for racing thoughts/anxiety and as a sleep-aid. I was mostly taking 1.25mg though. I wish I had done the research before taking it!! I would have never taken it if I had known it would be like this, and cause such changes to the brain. So, I've decided to just stop taking it cold turkey, as I figure that having only been on 1.25mg - 2.5mg for most of the 3 weeks, and... (5.0 for 2 days near the end) it for 3 weeks total, it's best to just stop without adding length to the drug being in my system. The dose I've been taking is small also, however, I am very medicine sensitive. I'm so worried about side-effects from withdrawing... I was using the phone and laptop last night until 3am to distract me until I felt relaxed enough to try and get some sleep, which I eventually did at about 3.30am. I was researching all about Olanzapine withdrawals and looking at many videos people posted on YouTube regarding this. It was slightly comforting. I had very vivid dreams, as I have been having on the Olanzapine, only they somehow felt even MORE vivid. I can still remember the dreams easily enough if I try and this makes me feel anxious as I experience derealization/depersonalization every day I feel. I woke up a few times this morning. First at about 6am. Felt like absolute crap. Depression, comparable to the “come down” after a high from ecstasy etc. Managed to sleep again, even with an anxiety-induced racing heart, falling into that vivid dream-filled, seemingly shallow sleep. Woke again before my wife got up at 8am, but once again, managed to fall asleep before she left the house. It’s 12.15pm now, and I feel very depressed. I feel no joy and I have anxiety that is bubbling behind this cloud of depression. Obsessive, intrusive thoughts are frequent, and I don’t want to do anything at all today. I feel so very low. I find it extremely difficult to even write this, but I’m trying as I know it is something positive, to be keeping track of my progress. I really hope I feel better soon. I’m very nervous about what to expect. I feel like it can’t get worse than this, as I feel absolutely hopeless, with no happy feelings…I’m just so depressed. I’ve been thinking about trying Effexor XR, as I’m experiencing this crippling feeling of depression, and I’ve been feeling about the same way for the past 3 days, give or take. I actually started feeling this low after I re-commenced on Olanzapine 2.5mg after a 2 day trial of withdrawing from it after I took one 5mg tablet. I started feeling this low after taking that last 2.5mg tablet. Well, that’s all I have to write for now. I feel so low… (My question to people who have successfully stopped Olanzapine) - Will I ever feel ok again? Will I find the old me..? Is 3 weeks and the dose I've been on not small..? I was taking it for 3 weeks, and mostly (for about 75% of those 3 weeks) 1.25mg (splitting 2.5mg in half) along with taking 0.625mg (splitting the 2.5mg in half) as I’m very med sensitive and nervous in general about medication. UPDATE on DAY 2 of Olanzapine WIthdrawal It is now 5.10pm in the afternoon. I am still feeling depressed and have racing thoughts which are causing me anxiety on a high level. I feel like I have lost myself, and I'm afraid that I won't be happy again. This depression is so bad that I managed to talk to a psychiatrist in the day hospital and she prescribed Mirtazapine 7.5mg (taking half of 15mg). I really hope this will help me through this, as I am feeling rather hopeless and lost... Has anyone used antidepressants to ease coming off of Olanzapine? Thanks. UPDATE on DAY 3 I slept from some time after 1.30am while listening to a YouTube video. My sleep felt very shallow with vivid dreams, which I can't recall clearly now, but I don't think they were particularly good dreams. Woke up at 6am. Immediate panic. Still empty, no, worse... no feelings at all, just fear/panic. Perhaps this is due to my receptors being messed around with from the 3 weeks on Olanzapine? Is 3 weeks enough time to do irreversible, permanent damage to the brain? I wish I had some answer... I used my phone to watch videos of people's journey of withdrawing. I couldn't seem to find enough. I continued to watch videos until about 9.30am when I got out of bed with my wife. It is 10.20am now. I'm trying to remain active, even though doing things is just so difficult! I washed the dishes. I managed to eat a banana. My wife made me a cup of hot milk. Thinking about eating food makes me feel quite nauseated. I have zero appetite. My thoughts don't seem to stop. I wonder about the point of existence. Humans as creatures - what, really, is the point? I have depersonalization and derealization for at least 4 months now, and I think about every little thing I do or see... I'm just so tired and stressed! I'll continue to update. Thank you everyone, and I hope to hear some friendly people! Shane.
  22. has anyone experienced protracted for more then 5 years? I'm on my 7th, has anyone gotten severe acne from this? im afraid it will never end, but I've heard a few stories like mine, and also have seen even 10 years....please if anyone can respond just let me know if this will end
  23. Hey guys, my name is Charlie and I've been on sertraline for five years, I tried to come off it about two years back but it took an abnormally long period of time. Anyways, hi.
  24. I took cipralex first for two months in 2015. Stopped after tapering for 2 weeks according to doctor recommondation. I felt good for about five months, then withdrawal started in October 2015. From October till February I did not take any medication. In March 2016 I went to the psychiatrist again and he recommended taking cipralex for six months. So I took it for six months and tapered for about a month. I felt good for five weeks and then withdrawal started. These are the symptoms I had at the start of withdrawal. One fourth head feeling. I felt like major part of my brain is missing. Heart palpitations, fatigue, dry mouth. Frequent urination, anxiety, anhedonia, depression, muscle pain, insomnia. In the beginning I slept only 3-4 hours and other symptoms as well. Now, after 18 months of medication free I feel much better but still not 100% though. My question is, does it take that long for some who took ssri for short time like a total of 8 months to heal?
  25. 9 months ago today I took my last Prozac and I am still dealing with withdrawal. I took 15 mg of Fluoxetine for 12 years from PAR pharmaceuticals. In July 2015 the fluoxetine I received from the pharmacy was from TEVA pharmaceuticals, apparently PAR pharmaceuticals discontinued the tablets I was taking. Well, my body did not react well to the TEVA brand. I started having nausea and tremors. After a couple of days on the TEVA brand I switched to the MYLAN brand but nothing changed. Realizing my body was not going to handle the change I decided to taper but it seemed pointless because my body was in withdrawal from the PAR pharmaceutical fluoxetine my body was use to taking. On August 27th 2015 I took my last pill. From July to November I dealt with nausea and tremors and then all hell broke loose. On top of the nausea and tremors I developed a bad smell in my nose that only I can smell, internal shaking that is constant, the nausea got much worse, I started having hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and chills. I also have cried almost every day since November. In December I had a gastric emptying study done due to the nausea and lack of appetite. I discovered I now have delayed gastric emptying. To date I have lost 44 pounds from the nausea and not being able to eat. I have also had a CT scan and an MRI for the tremors and internal shaking. Those results were normal. I have seen an ENT for the bad smell in my nose, but they can find nothing wrong. I have noticed that I am feeling a tiny and I stress tiny bit better but I still have the internal shaking, nausea, bad smell in my nose and crying. I have read about internal shaking in withdrawal but how long does it go on. I was put on Prozac for panic attacks and the constant internal shaking is making me feel panicky and anxious. Does anything help with it? Has anyone else experienced a bad smell in their nose or heard of anyone having a bad smell in their nose during withdrawal? Thank you for any advice or help anyone can offer me.
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