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  1. I have been trapped on Sertraline for 5 years (Citalopram for 5 years before that for treatment of severe anxiety ). In 2016, due to the numbing effects that Citalopram was having on my emotions, libido and the negative impact on my personal relationships, I tapered from 20mg to zero over the space of a week (GP said this was fine). Uncontrollable rage and despair led to a suicide attempt and I eagerly accepted the sertraline I was prescribed by a mental health nurse. I have attempted to taper off sertraline twice, first time by dropping dose of 150mg to 50mg every other day, under advice from GP. Second time by dropping dose of 150mg by a quarter every other day, using a pill cutter. Both times I experienced the horrendous, horrendous, uncontrollable rage (this is always the first and most devastating symptom to show and its just awful for my family) within three days. I have ADD and have messed up my prescriptions a handful of times forcing me to go cold turkey for a couple of days. By the end of the first day without sertraline I have extreme headaches and extreme rage. The GP's do not believe me. They tell me this is not possible. I have ended up shouting down the phone at the 'prescription receptionist' who told me its perfectly acceptable to go up to a week of NO sertraline after being on 150mg daily (in my case for years). She hung up on me. This time the cock up isn't all mine, the prescription delivery service I use just hasn't dispatched my tablets yet (4 days late) and my last tablet was yesterday, so I am facing another 2 days without sertraline. I am being treated (my mum paid for this with a private consultant in desperation) with HRT (estrogen gel) for Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder - diagnosed and started treatment 2020 - estrogel has helped so much with my horrible PMS symptoms but I still have to find a way of being treated with progesterone that I can tolerate, stop breastfeeding so I can also be treated with testosterone etc etc When my treatment for PMDD has been established I desperately want to come off sertraline. I have little libido or ability to orgasm, I feel numb, I can't shift the two stone I put on since being on antidepressants. I mentioned this to my GP last week and he dismissed the possibility that my withdrawal symptoms could be that bad, and said nevertheless we wont talk about it until your treatment for PMDD is stable and you are at the best that you can be - which I agree with. My questions are 1) is there any advice for coping with the weekend I am facing going cold turkey from Sertraline? 2) will I be ok to reinstate to 150mg when my Sertraline arrives next week? 3) how can I convince my stubborn GP to prescribe sertraline as a liquid so that i can do the 10% tapering advised on here? Many many thanks.
  2. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - StuckOnMeds: Reinstatement of Clonazapam Fair warning: my journey revolves around PMDD (my menstruation cycle). If this is not your cup of tea, turn back now. Hi! I'm so happy to be here! Here's the short version of my story... I was misdiagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when in fact I had PMDD. At first, the symptoms were bearable, but after my last child, everything changed. Suddenly, I was not able to make myself or my children food, not showering, not able to pick my kids up from school. Not only that but my self-esteem was shot and anxiety soaring, and I had about one week a month where I could gather myself back up and try to heal before everything started all over again. This went on for over three years. I was completely broken. During all of this, my Psych started throwing meds at me to see what would stick. Unfortunately, nothing would work, and I ended up on 6 meds for depression and anxiety. Finally, I had had enough and approached my Psych and my Gyn about a full hysterectomy and BSO (ovary removal) to stop the fluctuation in my hormones. By this time I had tried all methods of care ranging from DBT to exercise, birth control to relaxation techniques, and so much more. Anyway, I had the surgery, and I felt (and feel) amazing. Like I had been missing out on living. Unfortunately, I was still stuck on all six meds. And so began the titration. I began titrating risperidone at the beginning of 2015. It is important to me to get off this med because I believe it to be the most dangerous. I started at 1 mg, and currently, I am at 0.18 mg. I am taking a break on my titration but intend to jump after my summer vacation and be done with this demon of a drug once and for all. Here is a list of my other meds: Morning: Zoloft 200 mg Wellbutrin XL 300 mg Lorazepam 0.5 mg and 0.375 mg ( also take around 3 pm) Night: Clonazepam 1 mg Trazadone 50 mg Risperidone 0.18 mg (liquid) StuckOnMeds
  3. Hi everyone, After a week of lurking here, I was motivated to join to ask for some advice for my particular situation. Everyone here is so helpful and supportive, and I'm hoping that someone has some insight into what's been happening to me! I think most of the main information is in my signature, but in short, I've been taking 5mg escitalopram intermittently since 8/2017 for bad PMDD symptoms. I start taking it at D14 of my cycle, and continue until the next one begins. It has been helping me deal with depression and mood swings quite well until recently. The last cycle I thought it may not be working, and would that I had just stopped then!! This past cycle, I again stopped taking it at the usual time, and about a week later felt like I was hit by a truck - vertigo, balance issues, blurry/double vision, nausea. After a few days of suffering, I realized that maybe this was withdrawal, so I reinstated back at 5mg on 6/26, a few days earlier than I normally would have. The vertigo has been more tolerable, but the other symptoms remain in force and are dramatically interfering with living my life. I feel like I walk around drunk and half blind the majority of the time. I'm due to stop taking them again in another week, but I'm so lost on what to do next.. 1- should I take them continuously from here on out & begin to taper if/when everything stabilizes?? or.. 2- stop taking them in a week & just see what happens? or.. 3- modify the dose up/down? I have had multiple blood tests and nothing abnormal has been found, and am waiting on an appointment with a neuro-ophthalmologist referred to me by my PCP. The double/blurry vision is the scariest symptom for me - I have had glasses for years so I'm comfortable with my poor eyesight without them, but this is awful!! I'm worried that it won't get better, even though I know its only been a little over a week. Thank you for taking the time to read all this, and I would love some advice on the best path forward ☺️ -jbird
  4. Hi everybody, Some background on myself. I'm 22 years old, female, and live in Chicago currently, but I'm from New Orleans. When I was seventeen years old and a junior in high school, I was struggling with severe social anxiety (the can't-look-people-in-the-eye kind), disordered eating, and violent attacks of depression coinciding with the beginning of my period every month. My mother had just lost her mother, and was going through her own period of struggle, and we fought constantly about my burgeoning abuse of alcohol and drugs, and my increasingly obvious eating issues. My mother has always struggled with her hormones and periods as well, so she brought me to an OBGYN to talk about options for dealing with these difficult monthly episodes. I think I must've described my issue to this doctor for 30 seconds, a minute tops, and I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg. That easily. My mom was so happy that I was getting some form of help that she cried, but this wasn't exactly the end of it all, as I'm more than sure y'all know. My last year of high school saw a huge improvement in my baseline mood and social life, but my friend circle got further entangled with drug problems, and I lost a friend right before I graduated. I went to a high-pressure, high-anxiety liberal arts college in the Fall. My anxiety "returned," and my dosage of Lexapro was bumped up to 20mg by January. Long story short, it didn't go well and I was hospitalized before finishing out my freshman year. My hospitalization and decision to take time off was about 2 and a half years ago. I've since returned to and "dropped out" of college 2 more times and added Bupropion to my regimen for so-called ADHD. Currently, I live in Chicago and am trying to finish out school here, at a different university than the one I started at. In general, I'm doing a lot better—in all honesty, I think getting some distance between myself and my hard years in high school and growing up a bit (along with getting the hell out of that miserable college) have helped as much as anything. I'm visiting my parents in New Orleans in about a week and a half, and I really want to take advantage of my down time to start tapering Lexapro. I really have no idea how getting off Lexapro will go for me because I've been on it for so long. I've gotten extremely sick from just forgetting to take it for a couple days, so I know I need to do things methodically, and I've been going through this forum and reading up about the safest approaches. My mom and my current psychiatrist are both extremely supportive of my hoping to get off of Lexapro. Hopefully when I get home in August I'll be able to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist and discuss tapering, but I can tell that this forum will be really helpful in the meantime.
  5. I'm a 32 year old bipolar female. Ive been on medication since I was 15 years old. I've been on Lexapro the longest. I've been on far more medication than I can remember and I was a vegetable for about 5 years as a teenager due to being put on way too many heavy meds before my family caught on to it and we switched to a new psychiatrist. I lost my charts from age 15 to the age of about 25 when I moved about 6 years ago so I don't have information of a very good memory of my past medications. I know Topamax was very bad for me as well as Wellbutrin, which gave me very bad sleep paralysis and nightmares. I wanted to go off Abilify due to foreseen expenses at changing insurance so I brought this to the attention of my doctor. He didn't lower my Abilify but proceeded to up my dose of Lamictal quickly while halving my Lexapro and then I was pulled off after a week. He also slightly increased my Abilify from 5 to 7.5 to 10 mg. All this happening at once seemed strange and I thought i trusted someone finally with my medications management. I have an IUD as well that was recently put in after my old one was taken out after 5 years. It doesn't help that I am now getting 2 periods a month while I already have severe depression related to my cycle. I am suicidal right now, so I called my psychiatrist to get an appointment or up my Lexapro and try again but he was unreachable. The first two days of going off the lexapro I felt really good. Then I got manic and couldn't sleep for about a month. Cycling between severe anger/anxiety and the worst depression. I told my doctor in my last appointment i thought it was because I got my period during the withdrawal and I needed it fixed before my next one. He upped my Lamictal again by 50mg. He says he wants me on 200mg of Lamictal by the end of the changes. Then have my period again after one week off. I don't know what to do. I can't sleep at night and I wake up worrying immediately. Panic attacks every night. The only thing that helps me relax at night is repeating "I'll be dead soon" in my head because thoughts about the future are tearing me apart. I'm taking Buspar every night and morning and then I need sometimes two more in the day to cover up panic attacks. I have a supportive environment. I know it cannot be easy for them. I was googling information to figure out what could be going on with me. I'm extremely fatigued the last two days. I thought I might have autism my memory and attention span has decreased but it was bad before, too. It's not that I am not trying to listen but I pretty much have always only heard half of what people say. My mind wanders really badly. So I work around it with patterns and filling in between the lines so I can meet day to day functioning. But since that's something unrelated, it seems, to the Lexapro withdrawal, it's not needed. It's just something I am just realizing, so I mentioned it. I have no job right now. I really would like to work and need the money but I'm not able to "human" right now. One thing that does help, is I like to write and paint and it is not effected by the depression/mood swings/cycling/whatever and my husband and friends are being super supportive. I found a local therapist today and have set up an appointment so hopefully that will help. I am considered disabled as I was put on SSI for bipolar and I have a piddling work history. Im still trying to fix that. I am also diagnosed recently with Borderline Personality Disorder, but my therapist said, before she left the group I go to, she doesn't think I have it. I wasn't even told. I just looked at my check out sheet one day and it was added at the top as a new diagnosis in the header. I found this site and I realized that it must be the withdrawal from Lexapro causing this problem. It gives me some hope that maybe it will get better. Thank you for making this site. It must take a lot of work.
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