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  1. Needing Encouragement just hit another wave 5 years out I am a mother of two and have been on this journey to find healing both from the trauma from being in mental health system and a very long withdrawal. I have been in withdrawal from a too fast taper and have now been off for 51/2 years. This CT withdrawal was recommended by a doctor as I was pregnant. In some ways I don’t know if i would do it differently, as I had an unmedicated pregnancy. Much improvements since the. and probably back to 65%-75% of my normal self. My sleep returned at year four. I now sleep through the night on a regular basis. I also have days where I feel absolutely wonderful, as if it’s all over. I think I attribute my long withdrawal from too short of taper and having had given birth and cared for two small children during my withdrawal, with the hormones being very hard to deal with and exasperated all of my symptoms to the nth degree. I was diagnosed with PTSD from all of this, ironically enough. There was specifically a very terrifying time after I gave birth to my first daughter after having CT during her pregnancy. I am mostly healed from that, but a big part of that has required me to identify, name and grieve the ways the mental health system took my power, created fear in me, contributed to a lot of shame, made the first few years of my daughters lives very dark by virtue of an unwell mom and damaged my nervous system. This has been one of my biggest losses, the loss of how a mother daughter relationship should have went. I still wonder about the ways they have been affected, it just devastates me. I have been thinking about composing a letter to the Canadian psychiatrist association to close that chapter soon. I still have waves, where my sympathetic nervous system gets very heightened and it mentally feels awful, especially sensitive to sound. I still get muscle spasms, tinnitus, palpitations, brain zaps and very tight muscles. The muscle pain is the worst. I still have random bouts of terror and anhedonia. Also blood sugar issues, no diagnoses just a reaction to changes in blood sugar and very bad PMS. I have still been drinking coffee and alcohol not in huge amounts, but may try to come off to hopefully heal the rest of the wAy. This ones a hard one for me as it’s a way I bond with my friends and find a bit of joy in this long process, with a nice glass of wine or late. Hopefully now that my ptsd is slightly better this may help too. I sometimes don’t know what symptoms are from which, PTSD or withdrawal. I do know that through it all, a greater healing and restoration is taking place. Four years into withdrawal, I deeply felt in my heart God making a promise of restoration to me. So I keep going. I have had to learn to deal with my anxiety in ways I never thought I could as withdrawal forced me, since the anxiety and dread is like no other. if you have any encouragement for people this far out still healing, I would appreciate it. Thank you alto strata, I am so glad I found your site. Thank you for your advocacy for all of our devastating losses we have had in this journey. My heart is forever grateful to you. 2013 CT from 20mg celexa after 4 years being on it. Was pregnant at the time 2014 baby born crashed HARD went back on celexa at 15mg thinking I had ppd, now see was also withdrawal. 2015 started to stabilize but had ptsd from crashing so hard, wasn’t diagnosed until five years later 2015 started to taper over 8 months coming off entirely by July 2016, been in withdrAwal ever since December 2018, gave birth to second daughter December 2021- 65-75% healed Take magnesium, Mag07, Vit d (although recently had a bad reaction when I tried to increase it), vitamin c, Ashwaghanda helped me in my postpartum with my second child but took only as needed Bad reaction to fish oil, 5htp, same
  2. Hi! I've been reading posts and discussions for a couple of weeks now, but I wasn't sure I really wanted to try again to get off my meds. I have always thought I am 'broken' and that these drugs are the only things that are keeping me together, but I am not so sure anymore. Here is my story and below I posted some questions about how to go on from here. Any suggestion and / or personal experience is welcomed! I have always been quite a sad child. In my teens and up to my early twenties I went through many typical distress-related problems (lack of selfworth and self confidence, eating disorders, drugs, staying in emotionally abusive relationships...) After a bad break-up with my then fiancee, I experienced a paralyzing and exhausting anxiety, preventing me to move, talk, breath. My GP prescribed my benzos to keep it under control and referred me to a Psychiatrist. After some weeks I received my first diagnosis from this psychiatrist: major depressive syndrome (based on a few question about my childhood/teens) and generalized anxiety disorder (based on the episode). He prescribed me antidepressants, told me to keep taking benzos before going to bed and that in a couple of years we would have started to withdraw. It was 2008 and since then I have been on various antidepressants and benzos, without ever being able to withdraw. My first (and quite naive) attempt at withdrawing was in 2009. A year after recovering from that anxiety episode, I felt very well. I graduated, landed my dream job, moved to an other city and made some new friends. I thought I didn't need my meds anymore and I started reducing them. In 4 weeks I got off paroxetine and alprazolam and not more than 8 weeks later I was devoured by anxiety about my work, could barely move, talk or eat. Sure it was a relapse of my mental illness, I resumed taking benzos and antidepressants and went back to the doctor, who told me that not everyone can get off, some people need them for the rest of their lives, like cardiopathics need cardioaspirin or diabetics insuline. After that I changed many antidepressants (paroxetine didn't seem to work anymore on me) and many psychiatrists, and tried to make peace with the fact that I may have needed my meds forever. I didn't want to risk an other break down, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my nice job this time. In the meantime, I had an other toxic relationship and I started to work for a new company, where I felt useless and unappreciated by my bosses. I had a nervous break down (paralyzing anxiety, desire to die...) and I was hospitalized as a precaution. Weird thing: they didn't need to rise my meds, since as soon as I was hospitalized I felt so better. My psychotherapist says I just needed to give my worries and pain to someone else to handle. In a few weeks I was back to work and managed not to lose my job (even if it was definitely not fulfilling or good and was causing more harm than good). The second attempt at withdrawing was in 2019, under constant psychiatric control & advise, because my partner and I wanted to have a baby. But again, it was too fast: in less than two months I was at the minimum dose of venlafaxine and she advised me to get rid of alprazolam in one week. Also this attempt failed miserably, with me having three consecutive anxiety related break downs in the next 6 months. After the first I was back on antidepressants, sertraline this time, after the second I was prescribed also olanzapine and after the third also lithium. The psychiatrist told me they were supposed to work as 'enhancers' of the antidepressants (it looks like it is quite common here in Italy). I finally stabilized, gained 8 kg, lost any sexual desire, abandoned any idea of having children in the near future, lost my job. When I felt better, I asked for an other psychiatrist opinion and the new one told me that if I wanted children I had to either accept the risk that this meds have or try to suspend them for the first trimester. I decided for something in between: I wanted to get rid of what I perceived as the most 'toxic'ones, olanzapine and lithium. During the Italian lockdown (March) I stopped olanzapine (2.5 mq), while increasing sertraline (from 100 to 125 mg), as suggested by the doctor. I had withdrawal symptoms for two months (depersonalization, tinnitus, irritability) but I made it. I didn't worry too much because I was somehow sure that I was still overmedicated and nothing of those weird things could be a relapse. After some months of stability, 6 weeks ago I started reducing lithium (resilient 83, from one and a half tablet to one. Now I know it is too much but thais is what the psychiatrist told me to do). Not more than 3 days later I started experiencing withdrawal symptoms and I am still experiencing them. Mild anxiety, difficulty to breath, restlessness, early wake up, irritability, mild mood swings, headaches. So... how to go on from here? Since I have already reduced lithium too quickly, do you think I should wait for my withdrawal symptoms to vanish? Or I can resume tapering? I am now at 83 mg of Resilient (slow release lithium) An then there is sertraline. I am now at 125mg. What would be a reasonable time to get rid of both of them? Do you think that I should wait before having a baby? I am close to forty and I would like to be a mother, but now I am so afraid that my baby may become dependant from these drugs even before being born... If anyone has any experience about this... please share.
  3. Hi I am new to the forum. I currently take 100mg a day of Clomipramine. I have been on it for 18 months. I want to start trying for my first baby so want to come off the medication completely over next few months. Are there any other women who have been in the same situation? Very scared to come off it as it has changed my life for the better and I don’t want to relapse. Any advise regarding tapering off and how to do it with capsules, or words of encouragement very welcome.
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