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  1. Hello fellow travelers, I am a recovering user of many psychotropic prescriptions (which I at first thought were good for me). After finally being able to taper off and learning much more, I've revised my thinking a bit: about the drugs, about the doctors, about the medical profession in general and about what I can reasonably be certain is healthy. I've got pretty decent working knowledge of psychotropics now, but still have much to learn. I have read the Ashton Manual, a few scholarly articles by people like Guy Chouinard, and have some experience helping people with withdrawal and post-withdrawal. I also have a bit of an interest in general medicine. Drugs taken include: Remeron, Effexor, Clonazepam, Triazolam, Escitalopram, too much Olanzapine and a few other compounds with varying levels of harm. I am now around two years post-withdrawal of Clonazepam, having begun my odyssey taking amitryptaline for sleep, and am still recovering from extreme insomnia, gastro problems and general fatigue. I can't really say it was worth it, but you live and you learn.
  2. hello. i'm going to attempt an introduction. i reserve any possible ambition about a coherent, comprehensive history for a potential future recovery success story. i'll do what i can for now. first and foremost, THANK YOU to everyone here at SA. THANK YOU for starting this website, for contributing, for keeping it going, for sharing, for being here, for fighting the good fight. in regards to tapering safely i did not find you in time; but since i found you it has helped immeasurably. before i found SA i'd been suffering through PW and PAWS for well over 3 years with no clear understanding of what the F was happening to me. although i had a working strategy of how to approach the embodied experience i was living, it took up a lot of energy not having an official explanation. i had a kind of makeshift, workaround idea along the lines of "maybe this is latent C-PTSD that has surfaced in the wake of SSRI cessation" and "clearly my nervous system is hypersensitive and destabilized, and i am intolerant of stress, possibly also as a result of a lifetime of chronic stress and trauma", etc. somewhat luckily these working hypotheses led me to a variety of tools that were entirely applicable to dealing with withdrawal syndrome, and so, ultimately, i was practicing many of the same non-drug coping strategies that i have since seen recommended on this site. for years i was on my own and it was trial and error. the bottom line is, it has been so much better since finding SA and knowing that i'm not alone and finally figuring out, "oh, this is what's going on!" (not that one cannot have C-PTSD / chronic stress / or the like in addition to WS, but WS is certainly also its own thing in addition to whatever underlying vulnerabilities may present) anyway -- THANK YOU to everyone for everything. i am currently in my fifth year of protracted withdrawal and post-acute withdrawal syndrome following an incorrect, too-fast taper of lexapro/escitalopram that basically amounted to CT + decades' worth of going on and off dozens of different psych drugs/cocktails, incl. most recently vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine, etc. i don't have energy or access right now to write in more detail about the long and illustrious drug history and the numerous failed attempts to get out of psychiatry (it's clear to me now that i've been in protracted withdrawal with PAWS multiple times before, but at the time i didn't know what it was and when i sought help consistently received a new and more extreme diagnosis every time; it seemed, according to psychiatry, that i was getting sicker and sicker, and would get more heavily drugged each time around -- psychiatry suffers from munchhausen by proxy in its absurd closed-loop system) bottom line -- TODAY I AM DRUG-FREE. i was first committed to a psych ward as a minor (below the age of consent), that's where i was first drugged. i clearly remember being so overmedicated that my hands were shaking non-stop, i couldn't properly hold a fork to eat or a pencil/pen to write. i fainted in the shower. i knew it was the drugs, i knew they were giving me too much, i know i said as much. i have no recollection of being listened to. my first ever "psychotic episodes" also occurred during this first ever hospitalization, subsequent to which my diagnosis was augmented to include my being labeled as "psychotic". i am convinced the sensory hallucinations were caused by the drugs they were giving me. i have spent my entire adult life thus far (approx. 17 y.o. - 42 y.o.) under the influence of psychiatric drugs. WTF. although i am currently drug-free i don't consider myself out of the woods yet as i'm still very much in recovery and reeling from the extensive physiological and psychological/existential harm. i cannot even begin to really truly process that. i don't dwell on it, i try not to think about it, really, although of course the thoughts come occasionally, but for the most part i let them pass bc my thinking is currently rather unreliable and murky, colored as it is by WS (monkey mind chatter which does not allow for proper processing). maybe one day when my cognitive/emotional/spiritual/etc. capacities are healed, if it is still relevant and required, i will mourn any loss as necessary. for now i sometimes touch upon grief (primarily on behalf of our collective loss and the tragedy of psychiatric violence afflicting countless human beings and indeed our global ecosystem as a whole) but my mind is too feeble to truly grasp the staggering atrocity / swirling galaxy of bullsh*t. for the time being i'm mostly just sorta left stunned and reeling; and sometimes in a moment of clarity i feel a call to arms and long to spring into action and up onto the barricades (etc.), but i lack the abilities for any kind of follow-through, which can be distressing as i think, "i'm not doing my part to save my fellow suffererers out there!" in these moments i have to remind myself that first i have to get better, and for now i just gotta hang on to my own life raft, bc that's pretty much all i can do, and most of the time it's a tall order as is, at least for now. i have to tell myself that what i cannot currently comprehend, is not currently my job. i try to do the tasks i am able to do, that is what is for me to do here and now. for example: currently i am able to shower once a week, sometimes twice a week. i am able to do a gentle yoga session about once a week. leaving the house is very difficult, but i manage to get out about twice a week. i am able to do my own grocery shopping (usually once a week), which brings me a sense of satisfaction and purpose. i am able to cook for myself (i've been on a self-designed, tried-and-true nutritional regimen for a couple of years now, which works quite well for me); nourishing myself is a vital part of my day and one of the few ways i'm able to actively engage with life on a daily basis. there are many, many things i'm unable to do and many, many ways in which i'm functionally disabled. i don't feel like getting into that now. in this moment i'd like to focus on markers of progress. for example: here i am, writing an introduction post. i have not posted here before bc writing and verbal communication, esp. disembodied/virtual kind without being in the physical presence of the other person, is something that has been extremely difficult for me in withdrawal and continues to be very, very challenging. so this is really hard and scary right now; and at the same time it is a marker of progress that i am able to be here writing this at all, since for so long i have not been able to and now i'm giving it a try. we'll see how it goes. these days i feel like i'm in my little WS groove. doing my thing, doing the best i can. i tell myself that this too shall pass -- based on the accounts of people on this site and the many success stories, it's possible to recover and heal. i trust that this is true; which means that there's a finite number of WS days/hours/moments (that number is unknown and unknowable, i call it X). and so it follows that every single day/hour/moment of WS-related suffering is 1 down, X to go and brings me that much closer to the conclusion. this is my way of conceptualizing the unpleasantness and discomfort as healing-in-process. instead of thinking of it as "i'm still sick" (which connotates stuck-ness and static state), reminding myself "i'm continously healing" (which conveys movement and development and some notion of constructive progress). it's very, very hard. i do feel like things are getting better ... lately one of the odd things about feeling better is that the WS symptoms have decreased somewhat in intensity, and now that some of the WS symptoms are less extreme, it's as though it's less clear to me that they are indeed WS symptoms. i sometimes find myself thinking, "wait, what if this particular thing is no longer WS and now this is just 'me'?" overall i tell myself that this line of thinking is still WS, as these are "anxiety thoughts" and fear-based, and i pay them as little mind as possible. it's a strange sign of progress that as WS is gradually lessening in intensity the lines between "syndrome" and "self" seem to be blurring more and more. this is, of course, compounded by an underlying all-pervasive tension around the question, "who am i?" at this point i accept that i have no idea who i am. i don't know who i am now, i don't know who i was before, i don't know who i will be after. my sense of identity is flimsy at best, i have difficulty with any sense of continuity or understanding "me", "my life", or anything along those lines. it's okay. i'm not sure my sense of self has ever been that strong to begin with. i don't know where i'll be dumped at the end of this fun-house-mirror-lined chute of WS bizarro-world ... it's kinda funny sometimes, when i think about it. it's all so absurd. all these illusions and so many people out there running around all serious and self-important and convinced of what's "real". maybe i'll feel like that one day, who knows? ... (feel free to skip to the end of the book, eh?) anyway. i don't have much more to say for now. this is the most words i've used in any one sitting in any context possibly in years. i mostly don't like social contact due to conventions/exigencies of verbal communication (i don't mind context of shared social presence as long as there is no speaking/conversation involved) and so i spend most of my time alone. i'm actually surprised this many words have come out of me! and now i'm babbling, i've got the feeling this is all very messy. but the most important part is: ABSTRACT hello. thank you. i'm here. ain't that a trip with love, "me" 1996-2018: various polypharmacy combinations incl. SSRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzodiazepines, stimulants, etc. (approx. 30+ different drugs over the years) 2018 - inadvertently CTed lexapro/escitalopram from 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg (over the course of 6 months, and under the "supervision" of a psychiatrist whom i trusted at the time) July 2018 - 0mg lexapro/escitalopram 2017 - 2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 70mg 2020 - 2021 - tapered off of vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine from 70mg down to 0mg (gradually but unsystematically and probably too quickly) July 2021 - 0mg vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine February 2022 - 0mg - no psychopharmaceuticals - no drugs/medications of any kind supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 2mg melatonin at 9pm
  3. Hello, Wow where do I begin? I was polydrugged. I've been off and on ALL KINDS of psych meds the last 20 years, Paxil being the longest (about 10 years.) I tapered the Paxil back in late 2018. It was only a 6 week taper untill I was completely off (I know not good too quick!) I had 2 good months then stuff started to hit the fan in early 2019. Other stressful factors were happening in my life too along with getting diagnosed with a chronic physical illness which we actually thought was the sole cause of my pain and mental state...still very could be but no treatment is working after 2.5 years. I had a friend tell me this could very well be Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome. The symptoms only get worse, occasional flu like symptoms, body aches, headaches , debilitating chronic fatigue, chills, sweats, burning skin, fast heart rate (tachy). My mental symptoms are their own kind if hell...OCD, bouts of extreme worry and fear, anxiety, rage, feels bipolar-like at times. Is this PWS? My quality of life has diminished greatly in these 2.5 years. I see no hope for a cure or a happy content life. I am so frightened and angry. Covid hasn't helped either obviously. What gives? Who has been in this situation or knows someone similar? Thanks guys.
  4. Hi, I had a mild depression and mood swings in my teens. I have severe Endometriosis and PMS, so maybe that causes my depression. I started to take Zoloft in my early 30's. After being on the med for a couple years, I noticed my hands were getting stiff, so I reduced the dose in a short period of time. Then I started to experience severe anxiety, panic attack, depression and mood swings, and it put me into this strange state (depressed but had energy, agitated, and wasn't able to stay still - bipolar mix state) and had a strong suicidal ideation. I have also tried Depakene on top of Zoloft, but my hands got stiff and had to stop taking it. I'm currently taking Lithium, carbamazepine, and Lamotrigine in addition to Zoloft, but the symptoms are not getting better. I recently had to stop taking Lamotrigine after taking it for a month and a half, because I wasn’t able to sleep well even after taking melatonin. I’m in the worst state in my life. I have been in this state for about 13 years and have seen 6 psychiatrists to treat the symptom, but it hasn't improved. One thing I know is that Zoloft is making my condition worse, and I am super sensitive to psychiatric drugs. I had a very bad side effect from birth control pills to treat Endometriosis (in my early 20's). After half a year on the pill, my depression got worse. I became more sensitive to feelings. I started to hear sounds loudly, and experienced a couple of panic attacks. Even after I stopped taking it, my depression didn’t get better. Other symptoms that I was experiencing were sensitivity to sounds and noises, feeling heavy and tired, big mood swings, ear ringing and chest pain. One of my psychiatrists suggested that I take Trintellix/Vortioxetine and Lamotrigine to taper off Zoloft. Once I’m off Zoloft, I should taper off Trintellix/Vortioxetine as well. I didn't take Trintellix/Vortioxetine because I was scared of taking a new med, and also there is no guarantee that tapering off Zoloft and Trintellix/Vortioxetine would be successful. Adding another medication didn’t sound right to me at that time. Another provider suggested that I should take Olanzapine or try TMS. After getting such a bad experience with taking SSRI and mood stabilizer, I am extremely scared to take a new medication, or even adjust the dose of the medication that I’m currently taking. I also cannot trust doctors, because when I told my OBGYN about the side effects from taking the birth control pills, she told me that they are not common and it’s all in my head (this was back in 2000'). The psychiatrist who prescribed Zoloft didn’t warn me about the side effects at all. I am looking for a psychiatrist such as Dr. Jim Phelps who has treated many patients like me and also has a deep knowledge in psychiatric drugs. I am also hoping to find a provider who takes time to truly understand my condition and be able to talk about any concerns that I have about the treatments/medications.
  5. leoxx

    leoxx: Pristq

    I've been taking 50mg Pristiq for about 3 or so years I think. I've had acid reflux issues with SSRI use that seem to get worse over time. It got bad enough that I wanted to go off the Pristiq. I consulted my doctor about this, but she wanted me to get in with a primary care doctor first to have my acid reflux checked. I don't currently have a PCP and with covid, it's a lot of hassle, so after a couple of months of more acid reflux, I decided to "taper" of the Pristiq. It's worth mentioning that I also take generic wellbutrin and adderall to deal with autism. Pristiq was a medicine we had tacked on to the Wellbutrin to even me out. First starting at 25mg and then moving up to 50mg. I didn't think much of it since, at the time, it didn't seem like a high dose. I cut my 50mg pills roughly in half and took a half each day for 4 days. The first 4 days were pretty okay. After that I got dizzy spells (what people call the zaps). I expected this since I down dosed so quickly. I toughed it out for about a week and then dizziness went away. So at that point I thought I was done. I've been going through a lot of life stresses lately and my mood started to tank pretty bad. I thought it was all the stress, but I'm pretty sure now that it's withdrawal. I was pretty much crippled with sensory overload, anxiety, panic, and depression. My appetite was gone and I was force-feeding myself, but I couldn't eat much. I was in extremely rough shape and desperate for help. I live alone and dealing with that emotional distress was too hard to do alone. I spent significant amounts of time on the phone with my folks. They were packing to move to the neighboring state (Colorado), otherwise I would have gone to stay with them (I thought I was having Autistic Burnout). They eventually moved and I wasn't getting any better. With them gone, my local support network was basically 0. My therapist was working overtime with me (for free) because she was so concerned about me. It got to the point where I didn't want to be around my apartment (long story, but I felt it antagonized me from the neighbor noise), so I looked at checking my into a residential treatment facility. Long story short, my insurance wouldn't cover it because I wasn't actively suicidal (thoughts, but no intention, despite the hell I was going through). I broke down sobbing on the phone with my Dad. I was desperate and didn't know what to do. I asked him if I could stay with them at their new place. He talked it over with my Mom and said sure. It was very difficult for me, but I bought a next day flight to Denver. I had insane panic attacks that night about the flight (I've almost never flown). I called a crisis center just to have someone to talk to so I didn't feel so alone. I couldn't sleep at all. I'm a day sleeper generally, so flying at noon made me sleep deprived. I don't know how i got through the whole process and flew out here to Denver, but I did. I was actually doing pretty okay at first. I was overdid it though and towards the evening I just crawled up next to my mom on her bed and sobbed. My stomach started getting really achy that night, which was more intense than it has been before. I wasn't thinking clearly. I wanted to go into the doctor but insurance would only cover ER out of state. Anyway, eventually I talked things over with a nurse practitioner over the phone and she basically told me the ER was unnecessary unless I was in extreme pain and to try some pepto and check in with an in-network doc online. I went to bed. I slept for over 16 hours straight. I was exhausted. That evening I had more panic and crying. I realized then, now that virtually all my stressors from home were gone, that this whole ordeal was very similar to the Xanax withdrawal I was going through about 3.5 years ago. I did some googling and found this site. I read through the entire page on tapering off Pristiq and pretty much any other information I could find and realized how bad the Pristiq withdrawal really is. I explained this to my folks and it made a lot more sense to them. Despite all this, since it's been I think close to 3 weeks since I first tapered, I thought I'd try to see this through to the end. Well, in addition to some anxiety and crying tonight (it seems to be getting better), my stomach is hell right now. It's been cramping to the max. I was even dry heaving earlier. This is all new. I've also been unable to sleep more than about 6 broken hours in the last 24. The other motivation is that I didn't bring the Pristiq with me to Denver, only my other meds. If i were to taper now, I'd either have to find a pharmacy that would tide me over here and pay out of pocket or go home with a costly plane flight and go back in the 50mg until I can get hold of my doctor. That said, I was hoping to stay here through Thanksgiving and really don't want to go back to the noise, stress, and loneliness of that apartment. I know withdrawal times can vary and the best course is to generally taper down. But having been through so much and knowing that Pristiq is very hard to taper off of, I almost feel it might be more convenient and less painful in the long run to just stay the course. My question is, how much longer do you think it will take for my CNS to get back to some sense of homeostasis where I can function better? So far my mood has been much better, except for some hiccups during the night where I get dysphoric. The real bear right now is my stomach. Will I be out of the woods soon?
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. Hello everyone, I've been lurking for quite a while on this site, and now that my quest on being an healthy fully-functional humain being is getting serious, I thought it might be time for me to participate in this great subculture. I've found answers to question that psychiatry was only answering with more medication. My journey starts in 2016, when I was prescribed 20 mg Paroxetine after a mild anxiety attack. Looking back, I am now quite angry at the GP who put me in this nightmare, without explaining anything about the drug. Paroxetine was quite effective, and I don't have much to say about this first time I was on it. It was a good time in my life. The only thing worth mentioning was that the first few weeks starting the treatment was absolute hell : anxiety and depression like I have never seen. I thought it was part of the process, so I powered through it. I decided to quit AD in late 2018 or early 2019. I don't remember having much withdrawal symptom, except for some lingering blurry vision. I stopped absolutely CT, as I was never told anything about tapering by my GP. But after quitting, I began feeling a little off. Kind of anhedonic, bland, dull. I truly do not know if it has been the medication, some sort of bipolar disorder (I'll come to that in a minute), or the multiple trauma I have been through at that same period. Anyway, after struggling for a bit and having some SI, I started seeking the help of a psychiatrist in December of 2019. Since my first experience was quite good, and since I already knew the med (there's something about being comforted by the same things), I decided to give it another try to get me out of this slump. Once again, the first few weeks was absolute hell : tremor, crippling anxiety, absolute depression. I remember being miserable and helpless. But the drug kicked in, and it was a pleasant experience afterwards. This is were I started to think something was off with the med: I was far more euphoric and manic than the first try. I was talking very fast, my mind was very sharp, and I was sometimes quite agressive. I did not, however, prevent me from sporadic depressive, or rather anxio-depressive episodes. I decided to quit Paroxetine once again after 6 months of use, in the summer of 2020. And I stopped CT once again. I remember being a bit off for a few days, but nothing really serious. Yet, the anhedonia wasn't getting better, and after some time, I noticed I was even more off than I used to. I went to therapy, I tried working out, I tried everything, but I still was quite out my own life. I got quite desperate, not feeling like my former self anymore. Which is why, in an act of despair, I resumed Paroxetine in March of 2021. This is where hell broke loose. I deeply regret this. The first weeks were not as bad as the two other times, but I went full hypomanic. I was uncontrollable, very energetic, never tired, extremely productive. At the same time, I experienced tremor, vision problem with some sort of hallucinations (forms in my peripheral vision). My GP ruled this as a serotonin syndrome, and I think he wasn't wrong. He asked me to stop urgently the treatment, which I did : 3rd time CT. This time, it did NOT go well. I'm still to this day trying to get my head around the reasons why this time only, it became hellish. I had protracted withdrawal, with severe anxiety, full-blown depression (as in : cannot get out of my bed), and very annoyingly tinnitus and visual snow, which left me helpless and unable to function. I had some windows and some waves, and I was able to do a few things during this time, but the symptoms were too strong. Although, at this time, I did not know about this website, and I was really puzzled by what was happening : the connection with the antidepressant struck me, but, on the other hand, every psychiatrist I saw during this period assured me that it wasn't possible, that protracted withdrawal was not a thing. I did not know who to believe. It drove me absolutely crazy. After a massive crisis, I was admitted to the hospital on June 14th of this year. An awful experience, but I was able to find some calm after the storm. My case puzzled doctors. I was diagnosed with atypical depression. I was put on Olanzapine (15 mg, reduced to 5mg now), Sertraline (50mg, reduced to 25) and sent back home, still wondering whether I should trust my gut or the doctors. Thankfully, I was redirected to a psychiatrist who truly believed me and listened to me. It was such a relief. I still tried Lamictal (seems to help, although I am not at therapeutic dose yet), as I think a (real) bipolar disorder was under the anhedonia-hypomanic pattern, but she supported me in the decision of getting rid of everything else, which are toxic to me and my damaged CNS. Stupidly, I tried to CT the Olanzapine and quickly was faced with severe anxiety, insomnia, sense of impending doom. As of today, I suffer with : - deep depression/anhedonia, which I believe is made worse by the antipsychotic : I feel like a zombie with no emotion, no motivation and no prospect : there a sense of nothingness in my life. - sensorial issues : tinnitus, visual snow (really incapacitating) Finding this site gave me some peace about what I was experiencing. My priorities right now are to taper off the Olanzapine (which I absolutely hate) and the Sertraline. I have been able to taper rapidly down to 3,75mg olanzapine and 25mg sertraline without much trouble except some anxiety spike from the antipsychotic. I actually think my CNS is quite robust, considering what I've put it through. Then I will dress the bipolar or pseudo-bipolar aspect, which I believe is the real cause of my anhedonia. I'd like to start my journey here with two questions - Which one of the Olanzapine or the Sertraline should I taper off first ? It seems like the antipsychotic make the antidepressant withdrawal a bit more easy, as I did not really have any symptom tapering down from 50 to 25 mg ? - Is my case desperate ? I feel like I've done a lot of harm to my CNS, and I'm quite anxious that I'll never be able to go back to my real self. Is there any practice to help restore my CNS ? Thank you all a lot for everything this site has already accomplished
  9. 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
  10. Hello to you all, and thanks in advance for your reading. I am new tho this website and also to the withdrawal world. I am thinking to start the tapering of fluoxetine (I have been taking a doses of 60 mg daily for more than 15 years) although I am too scared to begin with it. My doctor has already diminished this doses to 40 mg, but unfortunately, does not know how to help me in the process. I am also taking mirtazapine and two type of benzos (alprazolam and clonazepam). I would like to join a support group that is dealing with the tapering of the fluoxetine mentioned above. Best wishes for all and thank you again!!!
  11. 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/)
  12. I’m 58, a man, married, who survived a hellish cocktail of psych drugs for 17 years, stemming from a misdiagnosis of PTSD/trauma as bipolar disorder. The drugs took away who I was. I started taking antidepressants in 1998 after being wiretapped by my religious authorities (and my ex-wife siding with them against me) and when they did nothing, a doctor diagnosed me as bipolar. I was in a cult at the time, which I had joined in my early 20’s in a vain attempt to find the “perfect” family, one nothing like the abusive, alcoholic family in which I was raised. I took a variety of meds between 1998 and 2015, including Lithium at a level (2400 mg a day for 15 years) that should have killed me. Two hospitalizations for lithium toxicity and the doctors put me right back on. I took depakote, Seroquel, every SSRI under the sun, tricyclic anti-depressants, anti-convulsants - you name it. Nothing relieved the misery. in 2010 I began to develop tremors and by 2012 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I stopped working in 2013. I became suicidally depressed. My marriage had collapsed. My ex-wife hit me. I never hit back. But there’s a happy end. I divorced, moved, left the cult, and re-connected with and married my college sweetheart, who had been working in the medical field for over 20 years. She had access to top specialists. The neurologist told me the likely cause of the Parkinson’s was the lithium although I had a positive DaaT scan for Parkinson’s, which doesn’t show up when it’s drug-induced. He sent me to a psychiatrist who helped me stop all meds. The tremors of Parkinson’s went away over six months or so. I was able to start working in 2016 and, because I couldn’t get an job or even an interview (I was 53 with this horrible medical history) my wife started a company for me doing video production and editing, which I seemed to have a knack for. Since we started the company I’ve won two Emmys (2019 and 2020). I finally started dealing with early trauma with support groups and therapists. I survived. I thrive. Life isn’t a bowl of cherries, and of course there are struggles and tears at times, but compared to how awful it was before it’s wonderful.
  13. Gustavo

    Gustavo

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) Begin gradually in February 2021 to take drugs with a doctor's supervision or get an antipsychiatrist Male , 42 years old, various unfinished psycho-emotional situations in childhood I started smoking tobacco at 15 years old, in 2000 I was working in a mini factory, I got intoxicated with Tinner painting in a basement without any safety measures, I was welding, cutting wood and it was all very toxic, (iron filings, sawdust, argon welding, (TINNER). In that same year family problems, confused thoughts, paranoia, I left home, spent 3 days on the street, was found and admitted to a psychiatric hospital for 1 month, aggressive. I had 5 sessions of electroshock or they called it micro narcosis. Several pills, blurred vision. Medical opinion (brief psychotic state, possible Schizophrenia) I left the hospital I don't remember which pills I took. Year 2002 I moved to England, I remember taking quetiapine, (Seroquel) Feelings of loneliness, fear and anguish. In 2003 I moved to Spain with my father after he left us when I was 6 years old. I remember taking PROMISE 200mg. Year 2005 in Spain I had surgery for Thyroid Cancer. Year 2008 very difficult situation, I don't know why I stopped the medication, I was washing the dishes after playing a football game and I had convulsions and I cut my hand, (my father thought that I wanted to injure myself, I could explain him after 6 years that they were convulsions and in the emergency room there was a record of attempted suicide that because of bad communication remained like that. I was not admitted. In 2012 I will return to Uruguay, my home country. I remember continuing with Promise 200mg and clonazepam. Year 2017 difficult situation taking care of my 95 years old grandfather in his house, together with my mother, lack of work for not socializing well, confusion, anxiety, fast movements, occasional insomnia, confused thoughts, social isolation, ( quetiapine 100mg and clonazepam 2mg) , levothyroxine 200mg x day. My mother gets breast cancer, she has about 15 operations in her life, always with doctors, pills and negativism. I am admitted in psychiatric hospital, this time not aggressive, they were paranoia according to me, I was 1 month and I go out taking quetiapine 100mg 1 x day, Olanzapine 10mg 1 x day, clonazepam 2mg 1 x day if I am very anxious ½ sublingual, . January 2020 depression (lack of work, socialising, sport, isolation, negative thoughts about life in general) supply Sertraline 50mg. Current medication : quetiapine 100mg 1 x day, Olanzapine 10mg 1 x day, Clonazepam 2mg 1 x day, Sertraline 50mg 1 x day, levothyroxine 200mg 1 x day. I wrote a book in the middle of the pandemic that helped me a lot, working twice a week. Hyperactivity, anxiety, compulsive thoughts, negative thoughts from time to time. I never had thoughts of suicide or of hurting anyone. I want to stop taking the pills little by little, that's why I came to this forum that little by little I'm going to discuss, I'm looking for help to stop taking the drugs, and I'm a compulsive smoker. Thank you very much if someone can help me. Cordial greetings and how good it is that there is this space to be able to express oneself. Original post: Empezar poco a poco en Febrero del 2021 de tomar fármacos con supervisión de un médico o conseguir un antipsiquiatra Masculino , 42 años, situaciones varias psicoemocionales inacabadas en la infancia empecé a fumar tabaco a los 15 años, en el año 2000 trabajaba en una mini fábrica, me intoxiqué con Tinner pintando en un sótano sin medidas ninguna de seguridad, soldaba, cortaba la madera y era todo muy tóxico, (limaduras de hierro, aserrín, soldadura de argón, (TINNER). En ese mismo año problemas familiares, pensamientos confusos, paranoia, me fui de casa estuve 3 días en la calle, me encontraron y me internaron en hospital psiquiátrico por 1 mes, agresivo. Me hicieron 5 sesiones de electroshock o le llamaban micro narcosis. Pastillas varias, visión borrosa. Dictamen médico (Estado psicótico breve, posible Esquizofrenia) Salí del hospital no recuerdo que pastillas tomaba. Año 2002 me traslado a Inglaterra, recuerdo tomar quetiapina, (Seroquel) Sentimientos de soledad, miedo y angustia. Año 2003 me traslado a España junto con mi padre luego de que nos abandonase cuando tenía 6 años, decido perdonar. Recuerdo tomar PROMETAR 200mg. Año 2005 en España me operan de Cáncer de Tiroides. Año 2008 situación muy difícil, no sé por qué deje la medicación, estaba lavando los platos después de jugar un partido de fútbol y me vinieron convulsiones y me corté la mano, (mi padre pensaba que me quise auto lesionar, pude explicarle luego de 6 años que fueron convulsiones y en emergencias quedó el antecedente de intento de suicidio que por mala comunicación quedo así. No me internaron. Año 2012 vuelvo a Uruguay mi país Natal. Recuerdo seguir con Prometar 200mg y clonazepam. Año 2017 situación difícil cuidando a mi abuelo de 95 años en la casa de él, junto con mi madre, falta de trabajo por no sociabilizar bien, confusión, ansiedad, movimientos rápidos, insomnio ocasional, pensamientos confusos, aislamiento social, ( quetiapina de 100mg y clonazepam de 2mg) , levotiroxina 200mg x día. A mi madre le viene cáncer de mama, ella sin mentir tiene como 15 operaciones en su vida, siempre con médicos, pastillas y negativismo. Me internan en hospital psiquiátrico, esta vez no agresivo, fueron paranoias según yo, estuve 1 mes y salgo tomando quetiapina de 100mg 1 x día, Olanzapina de 10mg 1 x día, clonazepam 2mg 1 x día si estoy muy ansioso ½ sublingual, . Enero del 2020 depresión (falta de trabajo, sociabilizar, deporte, aislamiento, pensamientos negativos sobre la vida en general) suministran Sertralina de 50 mg. Medicación actual : quetiapina de 100mg 1 x día, Olanzapina de 10mg 1 x día, Clonazepam 2mg 1 x día, Sertralina de 50mg 1 x día, levotiroxina 200mg 1 x día. Escribí un libro en plena pandemia que me ayudó mucho, trabajando 2 veces por semana. Hiperactividad, ansiedad, pensamientos compulsivos, pensamientos negativos de a ratos. No tuve nunca pensamientos de suicidio ni de lastimar a nadie. Quiero ir dejando las pastillas muy poco a poco, por eso acudí a este foro que poco a poco voy a ir debatiendo, busco ayuda para poder dejar los fármacos, y soy fumador compulsivo. Muchas gracias si alguien me puede ayudar. Saludos cordiales y que bien que haya este espacio para poder expresarse.
  14. Brinhellix

    Brinhellix

    Hi, sorry for my english. I need some help n suggestion.. 5 sept 2020 feel having psychosomatic symptomp, a psychiatric suggest brintellix (vortioxetine) 10 mg 12 sept 2020, go to another psychiatric, suggest psychotheraphy, stop brintellix after 8 day (cold turkey), several week later develop unknown depression, suicidal, brain fog, etc. That psychiatric say that its not withdrawal. 13 sept-10 nov 2020, no medication 11 nov 2020, go to another psychiatric, give coctail 2x1 for 5 day: morning (fluoxetine 5mg, antacid, chlrordiazepoxid clinidium a.k.a librax, alprazolam 0.125mg, propanolol, trifluoperazine 1.25mg, trihexyphenidyl 1mg, citicholin 125mg), evening (sertraline 25mg, propanolol, alprazolam 0.25mg, chlorpomazine, trihexyphenidyl 1mg, dipenhydramine 6.25mg, diazepam 1.25mg, haloperidol 1.25mg, citicholin 125mg) 15 nov 2020 change cocktail 2x1: morning (buspirone 2.5mg, vortioxetine 5mg, citicholine 125mg), evening (librax, antacid, alprazolam 0.125mg, sertraline 12.5mg, citicholine 250mg) 21 nov 20 change cocktail 2x1: morning (vortioxetine 10mg, alprazolam 0.125mg, citicholin 125mg), evening (librax, antacid, alprazolam 0.125mg, sertraline 25mg, citicholin 125mg) 26 nov 2020 regret alternative therapy (bilateral carotid compression that induce faint n jerk several second), insomnia, frequent urination & foamy, stare blankly, more cognitive decline. Switch to vortioxetine 5mg 12 des 2020 stop all psyc medication, feel slight improvement What should i do? Reinstate something then slow tapper or just wait to healing? I feel very difficult in here to do tapper until under 1mg. Thaks
  15. 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
  16. 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?
  17. I've spent the last 13 years on various ant-depressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, and benzodiazapines. I was most recently on 80mg of Latuda and 900mg of Trileptal when the doctor who diagnosed me when i was 14 called to tell me she was wrong. She told me that I didn't need the drugs, and never had. My mom died from side effects of psychotropics and I had already pretty much figured out that the drugs weren't the answer for me. From February to June of this year I titrated myself off of them. I didn't trust psychiatrists to help me and I couldn't find one when I looked who would help. During this time, I finished graduate school taking a double load, started a new job as a consultant for the government where I protect children from bad medical advice, applied for a very high position and interviewed, moved in with my boyfriend full time, and he switched jobs, too. I let go of almost all of my friends during this process. When I came to, I realized that they were all really fake or bad people or just plain weirdos. I have three friends in town that I don't get to see very often, one very good long distance friend, and then my best friend/partner. A few of my family members have been really supportive and that has been really great. I take fish oil and that seems to make a big difference with the withdrawal symptoms. I was doing really great and felt like I was becoming normal again after these 13 years, but then I started having my period again. I stopped having my period on the drugs about 10 years ago. It has been so hard. I feel so weak like I am going to pass out. On top of that, I ended up not getting the big job I applied for. In addition to that, I am a social worker in the mental health/medical field and the secret motivations of others that I'm finally aware enough to pick up on feel so frighteningly devious. The most recent developments with "coming to" as I call it has been finding out that my sister was on and off verbally and emotionally abusive to me when I was on the drugs. I was easily manipulated on them because I couldn't remember things very well or keep my mind coherent. I think she would yell at me, but to be honest I can't really remember what the fights were like. I just remember afterwards feeling a rush when we would make up. She doesn't like me very much anymore the way I am now. She says we fight a lot now. The only difference is that I can remember when we fight and I don't instantly forgive her or give in to her adult tantrums. We grew up basically without parents, so she parented me. She always seemed like a wonderful mother/protector that was my best friend. It has been such a shock to realize who she really is. She was a huge support for me, but now that I understand how she treats me, i can't reach out to her anymore. There was a period of almost two years when I got into an abusive relationship. This was three years ago. I look back on that time and I can't really believe it was real. I know that I tolerated the way he treated me (the yelling, the not working, the financial abuse, the breaking objects) because I was on the drugs. My mind was so hazy I couldn't think straight. I also know that it was because of the way my sister treated me and her relationship with her boyfriend. Their unhealthy model made me think that what he was doing was acceptable. I somehow was able to get myself together and kick him out after he almost punched me. Shortly after that I started working out. Over a period of two years i lost 80 pounds working out and being able to eat health again when I had a med change in early 2016. The med change in early 2016 came when I gained insomnia for the first time in my life. I was in a relationship with a dangerous liar who was using me for sex. My hazy drugged brain couldn't figure it out, but I would become anxious and alert because deep inside of me, I knew what was happening. This turned out to be a great thing for me. We broke up when he was done with me and I got on new drugs. These had a much looser hold on me. I was studying behaviorism in graduate school and the way my "illness" had been defined,diagnosed,and treated did not make sense to me. I started dating a friend and he is really good to me. Somehow he tapped into the part of me that was most me. I got off of "sleeping pills" first, last year. These turned out to have been making me very high and "go go go". I calmed down a lot after that and started sleeping better. I was also able to identify that I was over medicated by talking to him and realized that I couldn't feel my emotions properly. That is when I saw that my psychiatrist would never help me get off of the drugs. She yelled at me when I said I was over medicated and barely agreed to lower me from the max dose (which had been placed by an entirely different doctor). I've been been hospitalized a number of times because of the drugs-three times in a mental hospital and twice in a medical hospital. The top most upsetting thing to find out has been that I never had any illness...at all. Now that I am off the drugs I don't have anxiety, depression, psychosis, or any of the weird ways these would manifest I noticed these symptoms fade away as the drugs left my system. I was and am so proud that I was able to get off of them, especially while doing so much else with my life. I've been through some awful physical side effects, but mentally I have been so clear and myself. I'm not always happy, because along with my lack of mental illness symptoms has come a level of consciousness I have never experienced as an adult. Not only do I suddenly remember all of the traumatic things I went through with my mom and her drugs, my own drugs, and my own life, I'm also painfully aware of other people's emotions, motivations, and actions. Everything came back into focus sharper than it does for most people, I think. I'm having to cope with the realities of materialism and our society-suddenly all at once. I think I get exposed to the evils of the world much more than the average person, too, in my job doing social work. My eyes are open to a lot now that I just couldn't see before. My withdrawal symptoms included getting hot every time I was hungry, food intake fluctuations, heat sensitivity, sudden sleepiness, insomnia, food sensitivity, weakness, tingling in my foot, sensory sensitivity, and general disorientation due to how aware of people's tones and body language I am now. When I came to, though, I realized I had done really good for myself despite the drugs. I have a very high powered career and am the youngest person of my type of position in our agency, but have the highest level of education. I graduated with my masters with a 3.9 gpa and got through my undergrad with a medication induced learning disability and my mother's death with a 3.2 gpa at a top university. I escaped two abusive relationships and am now going to marry a very trust worthy, kind, hardworking man who also happens to be the most handsome man I have ever seen. Somehow we were able to take care of our relationship with everything I was going through and his 70% traveling job for a whole year. We just moved to a huge two bedroom apartment in the nicest part of town and I am completely able to pay my half of the bills and all of my own bills. His trauma from being abused has been healing and we have been living together post-his traveling job for three months and it has been the most amazing life. While I have a much smaller number of friends than I once had, I have four friends I can really trust and rely on. Some are available more often than others, but four seems like a huge blessing to me. I sleep full nights most nights after 13 years of drug induced sleep. This started on day two of no drugs. i didn't get the big job I interviewed for, but my supervisor thinks it was due to administrative errors and my application being allowed to be sent through to too high a position. I was sent through to an above entry level position because of how good I look on paper. She is getting me ready for the entry level position interview in two months. Despite that, I am being recognized as a talented writer and assessor at work. The most anyone ever noticed about my withdrawal symptoms was that I talked fast sometimes and that is over. New withdrawal symptoms have been happening these two weeks I've had my period and that has been a set back in my recovery. Writing all of this down makes me feel proud of myself and know that I can get through this.
  18. "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?
  19. Thankful to have come upon this forum and I’m thankful for all those contributing their time, experience, help, and care to so many. I just wish I would have found this a very long time ago. I consider myself an educated, intelligent woman. That I have been duped for so long could easily lead me to take it out on myself. I imagine it’s something I’ve known for a long time, but the “professionals” kept telling me that the recurrence of severe depression/anxiety after stopping the meds was just proof that I needed them, forever, and after so many failures, I believed them. I am about to turn 59 and have been on antidepressants for over 30 years. I will add a timeline to my signature very soon. My most-immediate issue involves the past 9 months and I was needing your help to try and decide what to do next. My next appointment with my psychiatrist is in mid-February. I’ve only seen him once before, but it was obvious he didn’t believe in slow tapers, although he did acknowledge withdrawals. In April, 2019, after being on Effexor for about 20 years, my then psychiatric nurse practitioner decided that I must be bipolar 2 since the medication was no longer working. She tried to convince me, even though I had never experienced hypomania. What transpired after that was a nightmare. I made a big mistake trusting her. Here’s the timeline of these past 9 or 10 months in a nutshell: April, 2019: Effexor 37.5 (had been on that dose for 2 years, but on Effexor for about 20) April 11, 2019 Latuda 20mg added to Effexor. April 22, 2019 Latuda increased to 40mg. Terrible panic (hadn’t had a panic attack in 20 years), terrible nausea, doom and gloom, facial ticks, etc. May 14, 2019: Latuda reduced back to 20mg. Still on Effexor 37.5. Panic and doom and gloom continue. May 27, 2019: Latuda reduced to 10 mg for 3 days then ct (per dr’s orders). Continue on Effexor 37.5. June 10, 2019: Rexulti added. Started w .5 mg a few days then increased to 1mg. June 5, 2019: Rexulti reduced to .5mg. July 1-24, 2019. Rexulti reduced to .25mg over couple of weeks then off. July 24, 2019: New psych had me CT off Effexor. When I brought up the idea of tapering it slower, she laughed, saying I was on almost 0 already. I should have trusted my gut, but didn’t. Within two weeks, I was in a crippling depression with lots of anxiety/panic and suicidal to an extreme. I can’t recall ever being this depressed, or that it was even possible to feel this bad. September 9, 2019, began Viibryd (low dose, not sure mg) via original psych NP. CT per dr’s orders on September 19 due to side effects. September 23, 2019, began Trintellix. Terrible nausea, pain. CT per dr’s orders on September 27. September 28, 2019, began 10mg Prozac. Helped calm the depression, but made me very anxious. Legs shaking up and down, inner agitation (not anger) October 24, 2019: Saw a new NP at the clinic of a new-to-me psychiatrist since I couldn’t get in with him until the end of December. She had me do a rapid taper of Prozac while starting on Pristiq 25mg for 10 days, then 50mg after that. Began having tinnitus, muscle pains, headache, neck pains, but depression and anxiety much better. December 26, 2019: Saw new psychiatrist. He wanted me to stop Pristiq (because of the side effects) by skipping it every other day for a week then switch to Cymbalta. I declined, knowing that my cns was already in an uproar. He then lowered my Pristiq down to 25mg. Without him knowing, I thought maybe cutting my pills to gradually lower to 25mg would be better. I took 25mg + 1/8th of a 50 (6.25) in the morning then another 6.25 12 hours later. I did this for 3 or 4 days but couldn’t take the side effects (stomach pain, tremors, flu, headache, etc). Decided cutting the tabs wasn’t going to work. Began just taking the 25mg tablet after those 3 or 4 days. Symptoms improved immediately. Have been on this dose since. So, here I am now. The Pristiq 25mg is feeling like it’s too much, but, then again, I don’t know if it’s the Pristiq or withdrawals from all the other junk my body has been fed the past 8-9 months. It’s really not too bad, though. I have tinnitus, muscle pains in my upper body and arms, some mild restlessness, itchy eyelids, and I feel kind of drugged. I really expected to feel worse. I’m a poor metabolizer of serotonin (SLC6A4), poor metabolizer at CYP2D6, plus I have slow motility of my intestines due to surgery for a small bowel obstruction 7 years ago (caused by adhesions). Small dosages go a long way in my body. The other huge factor is this medicine is causing high blood pressure (162+/82+) and I just had open-heart surgery 1.5 years ago to repair a rare congenital birth defect. I cannot afford to have anything messing with my heart. I’ve been off all heart medications since 3 months after surgery. The psych and NP new all of this information. I had even checked with my cardiologist to make sure Pristiq was ok (before taking the first dose). He said it should be, stating that only a small % had issues with it. I need to get off of Pristiq and AD’s in general. I just don’t know what to do. I want to have a plan thought out before my next appointment mid-February (or sooner, if you think it’s needed). After spending a lot of time reading this forum, I believe my three best options are: Stay on Pristiq and taper down using compounded dosages. The problem is that I live in the middle of nowhere, rural community, and have tried to find a compounding pharmacy in my state who will compound Pristiq. So far, I haven’t found one who would agree to do it. I’ve used the compounding pharmacy finder link here in SA. I have not heard back from everyone, though. My body does not tolerate the cut pills. The main drawback to this option is my blood pressure. I think the reason Effexor didn’t affect my BP much was because at the low dose, the norepinephrine didn’t kick in. But, with the Pristiq, it must kick in at the lower dosage. This is my theory, anyway. Switch to Effexor. I like this option solely because it would be easier to taper, in my opinion. It would also be better for my heart, unless I had a bad reaction switching back. That’s the main disadvantage of this option...not knowing if I’ll have a bad reaction getting back on the Effexor after being off 5+ months. My hope would be that the Pristiq is close enough to Effexor and my CNS wouldn’t be too angry. Do nothing and stay on the Pristiq 25mg for a few months, waiting for things to calm down. Again, the main disadvantage is the unknown. I’m not sure I can stand this dose for too much longer. It just feels like too much. My fear is that if I stay on this dose it will wreak more havoc on my system. Then again, maybe what I’m feeling is withdrawals. Also, if I stay at this dose, chances are that my BP will remain high. I can go on BP medicine, but that’s another can of worms. What would you recommend? I’ll admit that I’m very scared. I know that, all-in-all, I’ve been pretty lucky these past few months. I also know it could go south at any moment. Thank you for taking the time to read this and sharing your expertise. Note: I also take Ambien 10mg nightly, clonazepam .125mg nightly, omeprazol 20mg daily (but in process of reducing to Pepcid otc), Synthroid 125 mcg and Premarin .625 daily (long story). Also 1000 vitamin D3. After reading this forum, I know I need to address the ambien, clonazepam, and acid reducers, at some point. Was taking B complex, a multi-vitamin, and fish oil for years before these past 9 months. Can no longer take them due to side effects. Tried taking a very small amount of b12 and a very small amount of magnesium glycinate. Both gave me a bit of anxiety so stopped taking them.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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..🙎‍♀️
  25. 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!
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