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  1. I need some help.. I started taking SSRIs (lexapro,seronil,and last paxil, i had to switch every year because i developed tolerance)when i was 15-16. When I was almost 20, last April , i told the doctor (it was a student practicing) i wanted to switch meds, because i was suicidal.He ,based on my history of switching ssris, wanted to start me on high dose of antipsychotics (i already took ketipinor /seroquel 100 mg a low dose) i refused and wanted to quit paxil. He tapered me off very quickly, from 40 mg to 20 mg in one day, and from 20 mg to 10 mg to 0 in one month. Also ketipinor (seroquel) cold turkey... I developed withdrawal symptoms such as brain zaps, horrible anxiety and depression,nausea, muscle spasms, 10 kg weight loss,panic, insomnia,the list goes on forever. It was 2 weeks after quitting i first went to the doctor. They put me on a low dose Seronil / prozac but it just made me feel worse so i quit after a week. After that i had the zaps and all the other symptoms for 2,5 months before i gave up and they put me on Cipralex. I took it for 2 months but it didn't work, or minimally. Eventually most physical symptoms went away but my mental health was really bad.. They put me on Sertralin/zoloft, didnt work either. In October, 5 months after quitting, i started with Voxra/wellbutrin and finally started to feel better. I'm glad for being myself again but i live in fear of my voxra/wellbutrin stopping working.. Since its the only NDRI out there i'd have nothing to switch to. I also am TERRIFIED that the person i was those 5-6 months is the REAL ME ... The me without meds... I dont remember being that way at all before i started,sure i had anxiety but not even close to that level,and never had depression..I am TERRIFIED that it was a relapse and not withdrawals... I keep thinking,there is no way withdrawal would have lasted HALF A YEAR and surely would have continued..
  2. Hello everyone! First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Thomas. My native language is not english (I'm hungarian) so sorry if I misspell stuff....but I'll try my best. I decided to write here because it seems that this is the only place where I can get some good advice from experts. I really need it right now. I am quite new on this forum but I rad quite a lot of good info here (and other places too) in the past months. But I am tired and frustrated of just reading and researching and trying to figure out things by myself. It would be immensely helpful if you could hear my specific situation. So here is my story I hope I can remember the details as much as possible. My first treatment with these crazy meds started like 2.5 half years ago. Because I was quite depressed I've been prescribed a combination of an SSRI and benzo in relatively low dose for the sake of “prevention” (whatever that meant) First it was Sertaline (I think it was the standard 50 mg dose) with Lorazepam in low dose. I can still remember the first dose of the benzo (I almost passed out on the street). Anyway I took these two for a short time(two or three months) but the side effects were so bad (after my doc raised the Seltraline to 100mg I got the serotonin syndrome) that I got scared and just stopped taking them without asking my doc. It was a very quick taper and as I can remember I became relatively well quite soon. Of course back then I did not have any knowledge about these medications but know I think that that period was too short to really have a long term harm on me.... I think we can say that this period does not really “count” into my preset situation. Anyway time went on I was quite well for a good time. I mean of course I was still fighting depression to some degree, but now I know for sure that all this was because of problems I had in my life negative thinking, low self-esteem, etc....) and nothing that I had to take medications for. Anyway after like almost a year because I had a very bad period one of my best friends suggested me to contact that doctor again (huge mistake). He made another “cocktail” of meds for me. Now an SNRI, a benzo, and a sleeping pill. It was 75mg Effexor XR with 1mg of Rivotril (divided in two doses) and 10mg of Ambien for sleep. Of couse I had some relief...mainly that I could sleep again. So I took this crazy combo for around 6 months. Then another doc made an adjustment to this so the effexor was raised to 150mg, I had to stop the Ambien and take another 1mg of Rivotril instead of Ambien. So I took this combo for another 6 months. Things were not going well as you could imagine. Then I had to go to another doctor who finally said me that I was over-medicated and instructed me that we should change to less powerful meds, which seemed like a good idea but the way he told me to do it was so inappropriate and wrong that it is still making me more and more angry as a read more about tapering and prolonged withdrawal symptoms. First he basically said to stop cold turkey the benzo. This was hard but not that crazy. But then he told me to stop the effexor cold turkey (150mg). That was absolutely crazy as I'm sure you know. After two crazy days he told me to start taking 20mg of Lexapro. This turned to be a good move because my withdrawal symptoms eased very quickly. I took lexapro for like a good 1-1.5 moths. But during this time I was experiencing more and more the memory and cognitive problems that were not new but more severe. So really then I started researching on the internet and finding that the long time use of these meds cause this. I became very angry again and decided to stop as soon as possible, so I made a fast taper from Lexapro and I was done. It was very hard but what I did was that I started to use a little bit of Ambien during the day to combat the withdrawal symptoms. I did this for a week maybe. Now I know that this was quite risky but it surprisingly helped me. I am one of those people that when I take even a little of Ambien it makes me super fearless, motivated, happy, agile, funny(even crazy). I think you heard about this. So this was in August. Since then I am recovering slowly. There were some better days, short periods but mostly I am suffering from most of the symptoms related to the prolonged withdrawal syndrome. I tried and still try some supplements out of desperation. Some of them seem to work. I tried to figure out what to fix and how to help fix (neurotransmitter levels, receptors, etc). Anyway as you can see in my case it is very hard because it seems to me that everything was affected directly (GABA even with two pills) Okay now about my experiment with supplements. I know the ones generally considered to help, I know how they work. I tried a lot of stuff in different combinations. My main problems of concern was the anxiety, numbness, apathy, low motivation, insomnia, and the cognitive and mental problems. I tried 5 htp, passionflower, GABA. These did not seem to have any effect. My thinking is that I maybe with these I can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters. What seems to help the most is L-tryptophan (I take it with 2mg of Melatonin) I take it before sleep and it seems to really help. It takes some time to fall asleep but I this way I can sleep a good 7-8-9 hours sometimes even with almost no wake ups. Another thing that I take is the “king” omega-3 Because of my extra low motivation I was thinking that maybe that has to do something with my dopamine. So after a research I ended up that I need to try Gingko Biloba, Rhodiola. They also rave about these restoring mental functions such as memory and concentration which I desperately want. I started Gingko a week ago it does not seem to help yet, hopefully will. Then I also took Rhodiola for two days but it was weird (some reports already warned me about this) A quite new discovery for me is the effectiveness of Valerian Root. It seems to help with the anxiety. I discovered it in an interesting way. The story is that when I was not taking the tryptophan some weeks ago I almost could not sleep at all, and my appetite almost gone entirely. Then out of frustration I started taking a little Ambien again(just 0.25mg) Of course all the amazing effects kicked in which I enjoyed(and did not want to sleep because I was feeling so good) but I knew I did not want to get it for long so after a week I stopped. But I was thinking: why is that ambien affects me so positively?? If only I could find a natural solution that does the same..... So after researching I came to the conclusion that I need to find something that has that effect on the GABA-A receptors as Zolpidem(Ambien) does. The only solution seemed to be benzos but in the gaba-a antagonist list I found two herbs too: kava and valerian. I also read a very good article with illustrations about how valerian binds almost the same way to the gaba-a receptor as benzos do(with only a little difference of which sub receptor they bind to) I was so thrilled!! I went to buy Valerian immediately and even taking 100mg seemed to help me very quickly. Now I take that three times a day. Yesterday I found some very helpful articles that Alto wrote. It seemed to explain a lot of things that I could not find answers for or I was confused about. But still I became puzzled about some things and even more confused..... so it would be helpful if you could explain some things also concerning my situation. It would be tremendously helpful for me.... The article called "Introduction to psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome" http://beyondmeds.com/2012/05/17/introwithdrawalsyndrome/ This was a very helpful summary for me about what does withdrawal mean and it gave me hope and I wish I have found this sooner.... but still I will post some questions from this one later... Another article is this http://beyondmeds.co.../gabaglutamate/ Most of the article seems clear and logical to me but there are some concerns and questions about how this applies to my situation I am thinking that first I need to know If I am doing something wrong in my recovery....so that way I can adjust things....stop doing things, taking things.....so please guys this is why I need your help now!! My first question is concerning this: (I would be very glad if Alto too could give some advice here “Noradrenergics — buproprion or Wellbutrin; mirtazapine or Remeron; SNRIs such as Cymbalta, Serzone, Effexor; and St. John’s Wort, rhodiola — and stimulate “fight or flight” activation, as will most SSRIs. Drugs and substances that are stimulating should be avoided.” Actually before I rad this article yesterday I had a St. John Worth tea twice and it seemed to help....a lot actually. But basically you say that I should avoid it along with Rhodiola? But even if it seems to help me positively? What about the other supplements? “My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea. The second phase is when the serotononergic receptors are repopulating, with waves of depression and anxiety. The third phase is when glutamatergic disinhibition and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes hypersensitivity to drugs and certain supplements. Out of control, the glutamatergic system sends signals to the adrenals, which produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.” I am trying to figure out what phase of withdrawal I am now. I cannot decide if it's the second or the third. It is not clear to me what the third is but maybe I am in that phase. I might not be hypersensitive to supplements but maybe the Ambien experiement shows that I am to psych drugs (when a small dose made me feel extra good maybe even paradoxical) This might be a sign that I am already in the third phase? Is that a good thing in my situation? So this is about it for now. I am immensely thankful for people like you... Thank You in advance for your help!! Thomas
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