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  1. Hi Everyone, Well i am 36 years old and my journey with antidepressants started at the age of 16 (in 1999) when i started having panic attacks, i had always been a sensitive person and prone to bouts of anxiety as far back as i can remember. The list of medications went from Aropax, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Fluoxetine etc etc and i had tried numerous times basically since i first got put on them at 16 to stop them, i resented the fact that the doctor was telling me i would need them probably for the rest of my life and that i had a "chemical imbalance" which was determined through an extremely flimsy set of written questions, with no science at all backing it up! But unfortunately i was young and naive and this was back when you trusted what your doctor was telling you, so i reluctantly agreed. Every time i tried to come off this medication i would fail spectacularly and end up in severe distress at which point the doctor would use this as "proof i needed medication" when actually this was a withdrawal symptom all along which unfortunately took a lot of pain and anguish and time for me to come to understand, but i am where i am. I had been on the Fluoxetine for over a decade (can't remember exactly how long) and was tapering off in 2016 (before i knew anything about tapering), anyway i reached a point after a difficult breakup where i had a complete meltdown anxiety wise to the point where it was unbearable and the doctor put me on Mirtazapine where my weight ballooned to the biggest i'd ever been and i am only 155cm tall and since being put on antidepressants have put on close to 30kg! I used to be quite fit and active until this happened. Anyway at the end of 2017 after being on 15mg of Mirtazapine for a year as well as remaining on the reinstated 20mg of Fluoxetine i began tapering the Mirtazapine because the weight gain was making me even more miserable. The taper was going quite well and i had been tapering for 18months and was down to 0.5mg! and found out my mum needed to have some pretty serious surgery and lost my job which sent me into a spiral and unfortunately because i didn't know any better at the time i reinstated the full 15mg of mirtazapine again instead of just pushing it up 1mg or something and holding for 6 weeks (which seems to be the magic number for me). Anyway, after discussing with my doctor we decided to change the 20 mg of Fluoxetine over to 20mg of Vortioxetine after i had done a DNA test which supposedly tells you which medications may work better with your genetic makeup. So now i find myself on a new drug and also still taking the 15mg of Mirtazapine. The medication change was 10 weeks ago now and 5 days after the switch i did have some vomiting, diarrhea, headache and anxiety which passed but have had a steady stream of side effects including - intermittent Anxiety (sometimes panic), mild vertigo, some headaches, nausea, teariness and feelings of DEEP sorrow, irritability, ruminating thoughts the list goes on and on really but they all seem to pass quite quickly at this stage so i am hoping to power through and hoping that these side effects won't get any worse. Once i have had a solid period of time where there are no side effects and i feel physically and mentally ready then i will attempt at weaning from the mirtazapine (I wish i could do it immediately so i could finally fit into my old clothes again but alas the evil antidepressant side effects stop this from being a reality right now). I am being careful to keep a journal of my symptoms and become more aware of what my body is telling me, as well as learning from other people's stories from this website, which are immensely helpful as well as listening to James Moore's youtube channel called "Let's talk withdrawal" which i highly recommend to everyone who needs some encouragement. So glad to have found Surviving Antidepressants and reading all your experiences, it really helps to know I am not alone through this process
  2. "Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses" I'm wondering if I could include a couple of the non-psychiatric health problems I'm struggling with because the medications for those chronic issues interact with and complicate my AD withdrawal. Also the symptoms of those illnesses can be indistinguishable from the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of the psychiatric meds. I'm currently taking 11 different prescription medications. My history is so long, 25+ years, and complicated and my memory has been so disrupted that I really can't recall when or in what order the various drugs were added though I do know that it all started with the AD. Would it be okay if I begin by simply describing what I'm currently taking and the dosages?
  3. Hello everyone, This is my ever first time writing in a forum , I decided to reach out because I am feeling a bit lost.... Excuse if my english is not at it's best as I'm not a native english speaker. I have tried to make my signature, which became far too long and I had to delete so many things that it felt to me that there were too many things missing, but as I am new to "this", I am hoping someone might help me. First things first I am going to write down all my history with anxiety and panic attacks, at least all I can remember, as I'm very forgetful lately. 2005- cypralex due to panic attacks and GAD (can’t remember dosage) gained 46 kgs 2006- August quit cypralex cold turkey no symptoms that I can remember 2007- January started exercising and diet to lose weight by December i had lost all 46 kgs 2011- Panic attacks and anxiety emerged after break up of a relationship that broke my heart. Psychiatrist put me on Paroxetine 40mg trazodone 50mg bromazepam 3mg x2 day hated trazodone and the way it gave me vivid nightmares so I’ve quit it after a while always with doctor supervision 2012- September quit my job, had gain almost 20 kgs, was super depressed still but no panic attacks nor anxiety. 2013- Moved back in with my ex , in march I started the tapering of paroxetine, extremely slowly, and by December 31 I was done. 2014- June massive relapse, anxiety, panic attacks, was living abroad and flew back home to see my psychiatrist, started Prozac 40mg because I had put on so much weight that was unable to lose, worse choice ever, prozac made me have even more panic attacks during my sleep..... Bromazepam 3mg and trazodone 50mg 2014 September 2nd - Another huge panic attack during my sleep, took me to the ER, where the psychiatrist there put me on xanax xr 0.5 3 times day October 28 2014 - Tried to reduce the xanax from 1,5 mg xr a day to 1 mg a day t but i got extremely sick nausea shaking and dizzy my doctor switched me to diazepam 20 mg a day, and also I gave up on Prozac and went back to paroxetine November 2014 - Had terrible shaking nausea headaches, I suspected it was from the xanax switching 2015 - Had 1 panic attack in June but was stable and still on paroxetine 2016 January - I decided that it was time for me to start reducing (tapering) the paroxetineI had moved to another country living happily but the weight that I had gained i could never get rid of, I went from 64kgs in 2011 to 100kgs. September 24 th - Found out I was pregnant and still tapering the paroxetine 2016 December - By the end of December I was done with the tapering and was done 1 year reducing. 2017 - Was totally fine 2018 - Totally fine 2019 June - Panic attack during my sleep, caught off guard, tought I was free from it... 2019 July - Anxiety rising so much I could not leave the house, could not enter any store, or supermarket I would start feeling like I was going to have a panic attack 2019 July 25th - Decided not to fly back to my homecountry to my psychiatrist and went to a psychiatrist here. Prescribed me amitriptyline 10 mgat night, plus gabapentin 100 mg 3 times day and xanax xr 0,5 2 times a day and xanax 0,25 IR in s.o.s 2019 August - I felt a bit less edgy, calmer but still couldn't leave the house alone nor enter supermarkets. I could walk outside IF I wasn't alone but I never felt safe alone and was always afraid of leaving the house. Gained weight 2019 October 2nd - Went to the doctor and the previous psychiatrist had been moved to another district. The new pychiatrist prescribed me Paroxetine 20mg, Lyrica 75 mg 2 times per day and diazepam 6 mg a day. Since end of July gained 6 kgs After my last appointment with the new psychiatrist , I start taking the meds on the 3rd of October, but I did nottake the 6 mg of valium he prescribed because I simply knew that it was too low of a dosage and I would have to keep on with the xanax at least a month til I feel that I was stable enough with the paroxetine to switch to a higher dose of diazepam. But when I mentioned to the doctor the 1mg of xanax xr i was taking a day switching me to 6mg of diazepam wasn't very smart not would it be helpful, he said replied to me saying that the lyrica would amplify the effect of diazepam... I was so upset.... truth is and on that very same day after taking Lyrica 75 mg, I start to feel itchy. I tought it was ok, and on the second day I was still itchy, so I decided to call the doctor to ask him and he told me that it couldn't be related nor an allergic reaction. I knew it wasn't the paroxetine because I had taken paxil before, and I knew it wasn't the xanax as well, so it could only be the lyrica. When I asked my doctor why was he putting me on lyrica his answer was that he could not just stop me the gabapentin, so he said he would switch me to a lower amount, and then reduce more and stop. The thing is, I am itchy every single day all the time, I have to use creams for eczema/atopic skin, and I am drinking 2 liters of water per day, no coffee, no alcohol, nothing with caffeine....... I feel like reducing the lyrica in half, from 150mg a day to 75mg, since I am taking it for not even 4 weeks, but I am afraid of how could it affect me. And about the Xanax, I am still taking the 0.5 xr twice a day but I want to switch to liquid diazepam which I have so I can reduce it and manage dosages better. I am taking the xanax since 25th of July, it's a good while, can any of you advise me? I have read the ashton manual, but I am still afraid. What about the lyrica making me itchy like a dog with fleas? Any help would be so appreciated.
  4. Hi friends this is JB, I have a specific question for those of you out there in regards to heightened sensitivity to sound. Does anyone have any experience with antidepressant induced sensitivity to sound? I experienced a couple of years of severe reactivity to sound, inability to filter noise and converse, loud noises and certain music intrusive. Was getting a physical respnse to sound felt as real as being slapped in the face. Fast forward to now a year later slowly tapering off celexa my mind is clearer i am better able to think and cope with sound sensitivity. However, I still have this overreaction to sound where I perceive volume on just about anything to be intolerable and too loud. I often try to calm myself with my music. This works often except for the lower frequencies that “intrude” and can be heard and felt through headphones. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
  5. Okay, I am a newbie to posting online and have spent the last 2 months searching Google since this happened to me, so please bear with me if this seems a bit long. I just want to get my story out there so people can see what has happened to me and offer any possible advice. In October 2017, My GP put me on Lamictal for mood and 22.5mg Restoril for sleep. I have been on Restoril since 11/2016 roughly. At the time I had a diagnosis of BP2. My pdoc at the time 2 weeks later switched me from Lamictal to Lithium by tapering the Lamictal from 150 mg to 100mg then 50mg every three days, he felt it would be more effective. I went up to a dose of 1200mg of Lithium but it made me sick so we moved down to 900mg, which seemed to be effective. He added Latuda 40mg but it made me irritable, so he switched that to 5mg Abilify in 12/2017, no taper from the Latuda. That combo seemed to work for a while but then I felt emotionally blunted and numb, so my pdoc then lowered the dose to 2.5mg. I felt better so I then (stupidly) quit CT the Abilify in May of this year. At the same time he also tapered me off of Lithium which I was scheduled to stop taking on 6/27 due to constant diarrhea. He then prescribed me Klonopin for anxiety. I started feeling too high from it and was feeling depressed, so about a week and a half later was put on Lexapro. The Lexapro made me feel extremely sleepy and out of it, took from 6/18/28-6/21/18, stopped taking. Pdoc then switched me to Effexor XR 37.5mg on 6/22/18, felt extremely depressed and anxious, did not take Klonopin or Valium. I had little to not appetite and was not very talkative. 6/25-6/28/18 Felt much lest depressed, better than I had in the past month, taking Klonopin as needed for anxiety. Stopped the Effexor today and the Lithium. Started Paxil 10mg the same day. At this point still taking 22.5mg Restoril. I noticed since I started the Lexapro and stopped, I had been getting 3-4 hours sleep and started to feel thirsty. When I started Paxil on 6/29, it was at night and I woke up several times and had stomach cramps. Still had a stomach ache the next morning and felt depressed. Depression and brain fog got worse over next few days, the dose was increased to 20mg after 5 days. I would wake up with sweats in the middle of the night so on 7/4 at the advice of my pdoc covering on-call doc I stopped the Paxil because I became suicidal. At this point as of 7/8 all I was on was on Restoril for sleep. I noticed tinnitus and felt extremely anxious and regular stress almost gave me a panic attack. At this point I was having the following symptoms: Tinnitus, anxiety, depression, insomnia, feeling thirsty and dehydrated, heart palpitations, brain fog, stress intolerance. Restoril seemed to have no effect now. Pdoc prescribed me Ativan for anxiety and I told him I want to taper off of Restoril since not working any more. He advised me to taper by taking 22.5mg 3 days, then 15mg 4 days, 7.5mg 3 days, then stop. He also prescribed Mirtazapine 7.5mg for sleep. I noticed the Ativan raised my heart rate. On 7/16, as I started to doze off I got a brain zap. Ever since this day I never get sleepy and have TOTAL insomnia, can never fall asleep on my own without some kind of medication. Noticed increased palpitations and severe dehydration. Hands and feet sweating. On 7/18 I had a tingling sensation in my brain and then blurred vision in my right eye. I also noticed a weird smell of some kind of chemical or paint on 7/19. On 7/21 they advised me to switch from Trazodone to Mirtazapine 7.5mg for sleep again and also take Lunesta 3mg if needed (prescribed by a sleep specialist). Still not getting sleep. Now at this point I notice blurred vision and loss of appetite. On 7/24 my pdoc wanted to put me on Zyprexa for sleep but I refused. He prescribed Lorazepam to take as needed for anxiety. On 7/25 high blood pressure, then after then went back down to normal. At this point I feel like I am dying. My sleep specialist tells me to try cognitive behavioral therapy. (Yeah right, Been there, done that!) 7/27-7/30 I had been taking Lunesta for sleep and Ativan for anxiety (pdoc switched again because Lorazepam was not working), but sleep doc said long taper not needed to get off Ativan, withdrawals are psychological and not physical nothing will happen to me if I do not sleep and I don’t have to worry about withdrawals. 7/31 had muscle jerks when going to bed. Lunesta stopped working so GP said try Hydroxyzine and then Trazadone again if Hydroxyzine doesn't work. Of course this did not work, so my pdoc put me on Ambien CR 6.25mg and 1500mg Depakote as a mood stabilizer. I tried this for a few days and still had trouble sleeping, getting 2-3 hours. GP Prescribed Seroquel for sleep. Took 8/16-8/17, 50mg and 25mg respectively, and did not sleep for more than 1-2 hours. Now I am seeing a NEW pdoc, she has me tapering off of the 50mg Seroquel, taking 10mg Doxepin at night, 5-15mg Melatonin as needed, I am still on the 1500mg Depakote. I have totally gotten off of then Ativan by tapering using diazepam. Each day I feel like I am worse than the day before. I am trying to figure out where I go from here.... stay on the current dose of Seroquel and try to reinstate the drug that may have caused the HORRIBLE withdrawals and total insomnia I am experiencing now (either Abilify or Paxil), or follow my new pdoc advice and taper the Seroquel and see how it goes (whilst adding the doxepin and Melatonin, breaking the keep it simple rule)? I am desperate and totally sleep deprived and getting worse by the day, which is why at this point I think she is just trying to get me to sleep. I even have an EEG next week to check for problems there. Thanks for reading. Kevie
  6. Hello, I was started on Effexor 75 mg a year ago for anxiety and OCD. I tried cutting my dose in half 2-3 months ago to 37.5 mg not realizing about withdrawal symptoms. I have never struggled with depression but since changing the dose have been really depressed. 3 weeks ago my doctor added Prozac saying it would help but it doesn’t seem to. I am so frustrated and feel like Effexor has caused me more problems than good. Since I tapered so quickly I don’t know if I should go back up to 75 on Effexor or increase my Prozac or what to do. I feel like my doctors aren’t sure what I should do either as he told me it’s up to me to decide my taper on my own thanks for your time and help in advance
  7. I'll introduce myself as Yabba, I'm a 22 year old male who has been diagnosed with many things over the past 10 years, but in the past 4 everyone has agreed It's BPD & Anxiety. I've been on various medications from prozac to olanzapine to alprazolam, It all started when I was 12, I was put on psychiatric drugs at this age, this is where it all started really - I'm feeling xyz so they prescribe what they think is right, The symptoms of one medication caused side-effects so they would prescribe another to counter. At one point I was on six medications at one time (16 y/o). So now for current day events: My psychiatrist has informed me that Zeldox causes side effects that are irreversible and I should consider moving to a newer anti-psychotic which he gave me a choice, Latuda & Saphris. I've had history with one but not the other. I was on 160 mg of Zeldox (Max daily dose) and I was informed by him I should come off slowly, since being on such a high dose for multiple years (3+) it may or may not be difficult. I've tapered down to 40 mg and wow, this is what emotions are like? My question is to others who have tapered off anti-psychotics: Is this like "wall" of emotions normal? I'm so happy throughout the day, I have lots of energy , but sometimes I'll see something on youtube that will just hit my heart some kind of way and I'll just start to cry, I'm not sad or depressed, I'm just in tears. My goal is to stop anti-psychotics all together, the past 2 months of being tapered off my life has only got better since being on a reduced dose, I'm enrolled back in school to get my diploma (3 credits) I've already made plans for collage, I went and got my licence back, applied and accepted for new bank account and credit card. For the first time in so long things feel good . I don't feel the same 2 emotions anymore & it gives me hope that I can finally do something with my life , that this illness beat me for a decade but In the end I won. Current Medications: Zeldox 40mg Adderall XR 10 mg Alprazolam 2 mg PRN Trazodone 300 mg PRN (for the rare night I can't sleep and I have an appointment the next day ect) p.s Too anyone else with BPD: This **** sucks, but you're a good person. We don't get told that enough but we are. Don't let the stigma get you down.
  8. I want to know how to detox from all the psychiatric drugs that I took in order to make possible for my body not to need to take them anymore and to eliminate all the side effects that the psych drugs gave me. This is all the drugs that I took from psychiatrists: when I was 16 years old I took first paxil and rivotril (clonazepam) for a year and then only epival er (valproate semisodium) for a year and Then when I got 21 I took paxil and rivotril for 6 months. I changed to a 2nd psychiatrist he gave me symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) I was with him for 4 months, then I went with a 3rd shrink that gave me lamictal and abilify for 6 months so then I changed with a 4th doctor which was a "neurologist" who gave me strattera for ADD and told me to go with his partner who is another psychiatrist (5th doctor) who added me sertraline, topamax (topiramate), olanzapine, lamictal, and because of the tachycardia that were produce by this drugs he added inderalici for my tachycardia. So after 7 months with this doctor I went with a 6th doctor that gave me paxil, rivotril, lithium and for my ADD he gave me methylphenidate (commercial name is tradea LP which is similar to Concerta). After 6 months with this doctor I changed to a 7th doctor that gave me sertraline in a very high dose and with this I decided to stop taking that pill a was taking but in a one day span it caused me to have a psychosis that made my father send male nurses to kidnapped and locked into a clinic (like hospitalization), in which the skrink that trated me was the one that treated me when I was 16 and he injected me haldol and gave pills more haldol, biperiden, triazolam and risperdal. I LIVED HELL WITH THESE DRUGS. Then the shrink after he saw that I recover reality, I was super depressed so he gave me citalpram but it didn't work so he gave me paxil and lithium. Then I started coming off meds and now I just take one quarter of a lithium pill every day in the morning. My actual side effects that I want to eliminate are: anxiety, very strong heart palpitaions or beats/beating that cause bad breathing and chest pain, difficulty to take decisions, nausea, extreme itching in my face, head, chest and back, buzz in the ears, difficulty to focus or concentrate, bad short-term memory, and wanting to pee all the time. Thank you very much.
  9. Amanda167

    Amanda167

    Hi. I've been on Paxil for 22 years with a few unsuccessful WDs in the past. I finally learnt that I was going way to fast so began during the 10% method from 15mg, everything was going well until I got to 7mg. I noticed that my last few prescriptions, I was constantly given a different generic and im sure my severe reaction was not only WD, but from being given yet another generic that I'd never has in the past ( paroxetine made by Milamed) as it coincides with the start of my severe WDs that started at the beginning of Feb 2019, I tried desperately to ride the storm but it got so severe with an endless list of symptoms that left me bedridden and had to give up work. 3 months of insomnia, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, panic, severe chest discomfort, etc left me wanting to end my life and I was taken to ER 3 times, they wanted to admit me to the psyche ward and I refused so each time, I went back home. From the 14th of May, 3 new meds were added.... Zoplicone.. to which I was grateful because i hadnt slept in months so have been taking half 375mg since. Quietiapine 25mg... to which I took for 5 days, then got scared and started tapering down and now on 8mg. Valium... I've been taking anything from 0.50mg daily to 4mg daily to try and take off the edge but obviously hasn't done much as mainly only taken 1 to 2mg on average for the past 4 weeks and now trying to taper that as to scared to just stop. On 1.3mg and trying not to keep switching doses. The only reason I kept switching as I never intended them to be permanent so wasn't paying much attention. As you can probably guess, I'm extremely cautious and trying so desperately not to rely on other meds and have a strong hate to big pharma. To add more confusion to what was once only 10 to 15mg of Paxil daily, I now have 3 other meds in the mix. And now it gets complicated... After hitting severe WD on the generic paroxetine from the 8th of Feb 2019, I updosed as follows... 29th April 19.... updosed to 8.5mg 07th May 19.... updosed to 9.5mg 14th May 19.... updosed to 10.4mg 29th May 19.... switched from generic brand to GSK Seroxat Paxil and stayed at 10.4mg and holding. The reason for my switch was because I had to decide on one brand and stick to it after finding out that generics can vary and I was so mad that my pharmacist kept giving me different generics. I strongly believe that the last one was bad and aided massively to my severe WD. Well, since switching to the GSK Seroxat Paxil, a new kind of hell broke lose, it felt so much stronger my head felt it was going to explode. It has been absolutely horrendous and I'm struggling to hold on and to make things more complicated, I don't know if the added meds are making things even worse. I'm so desperate to reach some stability and now know that messing with the other doses have probably not helped at all but was so desperate not to rely on other poisons. I don't know what to do to make things better, it's been a month since updosing but only 2 weeks on the GSK paxil and it's not working. Please can someone advise me??? Help me??? I feel like I've had an adverse reaction and being given more meds on a sensitized nervous system only complicated matters further... so desperate to know a way out. I would of given up if I didn't have an amazing 14 year old Son. I'm so sorry for the complication of my story and would truly appreciate if someone can offer some advise. I so wish I'd just held but I was so so desperate. Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate that others are going through hell too and it's such a lonely frustrating painful journey x
  10. Hi, I'm trying to get off psych meds because they've been making my short term memory really bad. An example of this could be putting a water bottle somewhere and within 10 to 15 seconds forgetting where I put it. I also other have problems with sleep and want to get off psych meds. I've been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Thanks.
  11. Summersun

    Summersun: Advice

    Hi, new to this forum. Clonazapam 27 yrs, Effexor 22 yrs..weaned off April 9, 2019 ..Seroquel 5yrs, Gabapentin 5 yrs. supplements: magnesium, D3!, B100, plus CBD oil. Over the past 3 yrs I've been tappering above meds on a rotation..Clonazapam 3 mg 2015 ,May 2019 .50 morning- .75 evening. Seroquel 300mg 2015 ,May 2019 25mg... Gabapentin 2015 900 mg 300 x3 times a day..May 2019-200mg 100mg x2 times a day.. I have tried to taper off 25mg going down to 12.5 of seroquel 3 times ,but had to reinstate..That was before going off Effexor a month and a half ago..I've recently 4 days ago tried to cut Seroquel in half but found the taper to be to difficult...I thought I would be okay because of been off Effexor but maybe I should of held longer after going off Effexor..It was rough. I'm not sure what my next taper should be..?..Is it better to taper Gabapentin till off completely before Clonazepam? I'm really feeling quite worn out any encouragement or advice would be much appreciated..I've been doing this on my own for so long ,except for the Ashton manual, so I much appreciate finding this group..🙎‍♀️
  12. Aria's recovery from poly drugs. I had no idea when I walked into a psychiatrist's office 25 yrs ago the horrible labyrinth I'd entered. Slam dunked at a point in my life when I was feeling low and the loss of future possibilities taken away. Being told I was mentally ill, would never function again, needed to be on disability and poly drugged for the rest of my life repeatedly took it's toll. All this impacted my relationships with family, friends and enjoying life. The pdoc constantly added new psych drugs, changed doses and took me off the old drugs at an alarming rate. I became a morbidly obese woman who mumbled or talked rapidly and it was obvious to everyone but the pdoc I was totally messed up on something. I had Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis that landed me in the hospital for quite awhile and my pdoc put in my open med chart I was crazy. I didn't know this till later but ill as I was I did notice some of my physicians were treating me oddly. One good thing about being so ill was I referred to a neurologist for chronic pain and found out my problem was profound drug induced Akathsia. This neurologist actually screamed at me, these psych drugs are killing you, they're killing you. I knew I had to get off these drugs not matter what it took and reclaim my life. At my next appointment I asked my psychiatrist why he was drugging me like this and he looked directly at me (probably for the first time in years he saw "me"). He started sobbing, loudly sobbing, "Oh God what have I done to you", over and over. I'm sitting there thinking oh crap, I don't need this. Our 15 minute med check was up and this guy calmly goes to the front desk to get the next patient and proceeds without any other fanfare. He's robot. A robot. All this in itself was mind boggling. Hell, closure?? No way. I found out I had Tardive Dyskinesia and a few other psych drug induced issues. My face was a road map with twitches and jerking that yelled hey, I'm on massive psychiatric drugs. Will my face be like this forever?? The TD has mostly gone away and I'm so grateful (the pdoc adamantly said I did not have Tardive Dyskinesia from psych drugs). Well, guess what?? The psychiatrist was wrong...horribly wrong. Other doctors, psychiatrist, therapists said you're not mentally ill and never had been. The sad but very scarey part is I'm labeled as profoundly mentally ill and that info is in my medical charts. One pdoc did this...one. I've gone through the gambit of emotions dealing with this. I will probably always be mad at this jerk for what he did to me and for what he still does to others. It affected years of my life and he was wrong. I'm a Success Story because I'm psych drug free and have been for several years. My journey was extremely difficult and I did it on my own hit or miss tapering off numerous psychiatric drugs. I endured drug withdrawals that paralyzed me month after month. Was it worth the hell of tapering? Yes, very much yes. My reward was my clarity of mind, my passions for life returned and I have hopes for my future. I mended fences with family and have made new friends. I strive everyday to be productive. I'm me but a different me because no one could go through all this and not be changed by it. (for more in-depth conversations about my struggles, coping and self awareness with surviving psychiatry please visit my ongoing thread Aria's Psych Journey http://survivinganti...psych-journey/)
  13. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
  14. I am writing this as an addendum to My Story which details what ADs did to my life and discusses to a degree how I got my life back. However, I am writing this to elaborate on what certain problems where posed both physically and logistically after I stopped taking medications. Please keep in mind that I went COLD TURKEY and did not taper, which differentiates me from many people on here; also my story took place over 10 years ago, so my memory is not is 100% clear which means it is hard for me to apply a quantitative number to aspects of my physical recovery. In 2002 I quit cold turkey from a drug cocktail that included an Antidepressant (Celexa), an Antipsychotic (Zyprexa), an Anticonvulsant (Depakote), a Benzo (Ativan), a Z-Drug (Ambien) and a prescription diet pill (Phenteramine – given to me by my pdoc to lose the 60 pounds of weight I gained from the other weight gaining medications). The physical ramifications of quitting cold turkey where hard core, and lasted to the best of my recollection in hard core form for six months. These were: insomnia, exhaustion, akathesia, flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea and vomiting, total loss of appetite and over-sensitivity to certain substances. There were also mental symptoms: overwhelming memories, mania, depression, over-emotional reactions to certain situations (e.g. crying or extreme anger) and PTSD from the whole ordeal. It is important to note that many of these symptoms continued to linger in a much lesser form for several years. I know that many of you would like a firm number of how long I suffered, but I cannot put a number on it because I started my recovery in 2002 – 10 years ago. This is further complicated by the fact that to get through the exhaustion from WD, I smoked cigarettes anywhere from one to one and a half packs for many years after. Since smoking can mimic some of the symptoms of WD (loss of appetite, headaches, mania, anger) it is hard to delineate what was what. However, I do believe that smoking provided mental focus that I would not have had otherwise. I finally quit smoking in 2007, five years after stopping meds. It was an odd thing, I just stopped one day and no longer wanted to smoke anymore. Maybe this was a sign of my recovery, but it may also have been a reaction to the fact that because of NY laws and my husband, if I needed to smoke I had to go outside. Smoking outside in the rain or cold was getting stupid. I do believe that part of this was a sign of final recovery – I didn’t need to mask symptoms anymore. So if this is true, and I had to put a number on it – I would say I battled with minor symptoms and PTSD for five years So what problems was I left with after drugs had stolen my life? And how did I regain control? Here is a list: Weight Gain A ruined job history A ruined credit history from filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Over $20K in debt to the IRS plus two tax liens PTSD Estrangement from my family I was fully aware of the PTSD, and would think on occasion of reaching out to a therapist. However, because the whole ordeal left me extremely suspicious of the whole field of mental health, I declined to reach out to anyone. So based on this list, I will try to tackle how I recovered in each area: 1) Weight Gain: I lost my appetite during WD and I also became a huge walker. In one year I lost sixty pounds with little effort. I did eat, but I ate very small meals, 200 kcal 3-5 times a day, mostly high protein and I ate an apple a day and I drank a TON of herbal tea. 2) A ruined job history: I had been fired from three high paying jobs, all in IT. I had no references, a job gap of four years, but I had good computer and office skills so I reached out to temporary agencies. I worked as a temp for many years, in the NY/NJ area only taking jobs at Fortune 500 companies. I built up my resume this way. Today, I list those jobs as “contract” and I explain that I liked the flexibility of “contract work” and that I was in the process of getting married and building a home with my husband, no one questions it. 3) A ruined credit history: I got a copy of all three of my credit reports and joined a credit law forum. I found that there were many examples where creditors where breaking either or both the FCRA or FDCPA laws on my credit report. I also hired an attorney. The attorney got 50% of it cleared up, I got the other 50% cleared up myself by tenacious letter writing and disputing with the Credit Bureaus. The forum I used had a great database of creditors who gave people with Bankruptcy on their reports a card with a small credit line; I applied to all of these and rebuilt my credit this way. When I married my husband in 2005, he added me as an authorized user to his accounts, giving me a longer and stronger credit history. 4) Tax Debt and Liens: After hiding from the IRS for several years, I contacted them and got on an installment plan. Because I was not working at the time I called them, my payment amount was on $185 for $20K+ in debt. I paid it faithfully for years; in October 2011 I was paid in full. Because the IRS has a law that you cannot pay more than 25% in interest and penalties of the actual tax debt, a good $10K got knocked off the total bill. But I still had two tax liens on my credit report. I did some research and found out about a service called the Tax Advocate service which is run through the IRS. I contacted my local Tax Advocate. For the sake of brevity, I will not go into the details of how I argued my case to get two tax liens released, but I did and in 2005 poof they were gone from my life and my credit report. If anyone needs more info, I would be happy to answer questions later in this post. 5) PSTD: I just endured this, but chose to embrace anger over victimhood. I was one extremely angry person for many years and I ruminated and had nightmares for years. I often thought about writing the SHRINK who did this to me, but refrained. One thing that I learned from this whole ordeal was to trust in my instincts which was empowering and allowed me to pick and chose my relationships with people and situations that were good for me. I let go of many friends who were not healthy for me. 6) Estrangement from my family: In 2003 I was estranged from my entire family (father, mother and brother). Today I am by choice still estranged from by father and brother. This is because I realize it is futile to ever expect them to change and to stay in relationship with them will only hurt me. I have however, repaired my relationship with my mother. I am extremely happy to share that six months ago I convinced her to move from Illinois to New York and reclaim her life. She tapered off multiple pmeds herself around 2007 and was left with two medical conditions diabetes and downbeat nystagmus from taking lithium and depakote for many years. She lived alone, my brother who lived close by was not helping her, and she was not getting the proper medical attention so she agreed with me. Today she lives 2 miles away from me, we are extremely close and I have helped her get her life back. My husband and she adore each other. So that is how I put the pieces of my life back after being devastated by polypharmacy. And I joined this forum because I think it is important that people know that taking these medications can be extremely harmful on so many levels. I hope this information helps someone out there. Please feel free to post any questions you may have. I wish all of you the best and trust that if I could restore my life which was utterly devastated by psychiatry, you can too.
  15. Hi all: I've been viewing the forum for awhile and finally decided to tell my story. I was diagnosed as bipolar in 2012 following a manic-psychotic episode and promptly medicated. I relapsed in 2015 despite being on the medication and again in 2017. This past time around they put me on Zyprexa and a fairly high dose of 20mg. The effect (along with the elevated blood sugars and cholesterol) has been terrible anhedonia. I can't feel passion, humor or even sadness--just numb. I told my doctor I wanted to get off and he had me cut down from 20 to 15 to 12.5--fast cuts which I now know from the site are not advisable, fortunately I had no w/d symptoms. I want to slow my taper now and have been met with resistance by my pdoc who thinks I should be able to go off it in a manner of weeks as he 'had never heard of zyprexa withdrawal syndrome' I am thinking I need to find a new psychiatrist who will at least be open to the idea of a conservative 10% taper. I am also concerned that I will be anhedonic for years to come and I desperately don't want to miss out on life. I am wondering if anyone here with experience with this drug can tell me whether or not this fog lifts as you taper down? I look forward to any responses. Thank you for this site. -Doc G
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