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  1. I have been on meds since I was around 18, I am now 33, I have been tapering off all my meds for the last year now, I have managed to get off venlafaxine xr 75mg which I tapered off for around 4 - 6 months, and quetiapine 50mg over the last 12 months, I was on 200mg at one point and also tapered off diazapam 10mg, and also propranolol 10mg, I have been off all meds now for nearly 3 months and have been fine, I have been at the gym most days and eating healthy, I was starting to look good again and becoming myself again, I have not been human while on meds for the last lots of years, I was finally starting to enjoy life and then the last few weeks my sleep has been getting very fractured and I have been waking up very early with extreme brain fog, it feels like my head is going to explode sometimes, now the last 2 nights I have not slept at all and feel like death, I even took 2 melatonin tablets and they did nothing, what on earth is going on? I am worried I have done some serious damage to my brain, I am too worried to go and get checked at the doctors as I could not handle news that I have some brain disease, I have read that meds can cause effects many months after, can anyone give any advice/peace of mind?
  2. Hi, all. Thank you so much for providing this site. I’ve been inspired by the stories here, and look forward to my own recovery and hope to help others as I can along the way. It’s been a hellish year… I have a rather long story – 99% of which takes place within the last year – so please bear with me. I’ll write this out in a timeline for organization’s sake. In essence, I have a history of anxiety and depression, and have OCD. I have been suffering from severe postpartum anxiety (PPA) and depression (PPD) since delivering my son in May 2018 – exacerbated by a move out East so I could start my PhD, the decline and death of my dog, dealing with childhood trauma, etc. I was on Prozac and Xanax as needed before I was pregnant and went off without any problems while we were trying to conceive. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Here we go… 1999ish – 2005 (6th grade – high school) (Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin) I was diagnosed with severe academic perfectionism and OCD and put on (I think) Zoloft first (not sure of dosage). In the years that followed, I was on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, all in various combinations. I don’t remember timing or dosages. I don’t remember having a hard time coming on or off any of the meds. I was chronically ill in high school, though, with fatigue, mono, sinusitis, shingles (to be fair, I had immunological issues before going on meds, too, and a complicated family situation). I took the year after high school off to recover, went off all meds. All I remember is feeling tired and my sleep being on a weird schedule. 2005 – 2009 (no meds) I started taking some community college classes, started volunteering, and then working full-time. Started paying more attention to my diet (went off gluten and most dairy after I realized it made me feel better). Was doing very, very well. Summer 2009 – Summer 2017 (40 mg Prozac daily, ? Xanax PRN rarely taken; occasional supplements - multi vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics) Started on 40mg Prozac (slow taper to START it), as a ‘preventative’ measure against OCD and perfectionism (I know… probably wasn’t necessary, but I can’t prove a negative) as I was about to start at a university in the fall of 2009; I was pushed by family (also on psych meds) to start. I think it helped somewhat but it’s hard to know. Eventually, I had an Rx of Xanax, which I took maybe 5-10x/year as needed. I did well in college, though, started a great career, went to the UK on scholarship to do my Master’s and then decided to QUICKLY taper off the Prozac when my husband and I (we married in 2014) decided to conceive. I don’t remember having any issues coming off the Prozac. I was on it fairly consistently for 8 years. Summer 2017 – May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Pregnant, more depressed than usual, especially after moving back home from the UK and being unsure of what was next. Still, did the damn GRE, applied to PhD programs, got into a great program out East, started setting up our life out there. Obsessive compulsive symptoms were worse than usual but not unmanageable. Late May 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Delivered my son. Epidural, long labor. Started breastfeeding. Early June 2018 (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Had a week of awful insomnia and anxiety and intrusive thoughts, but it went away. Early June – Mid-July (no meds; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Doing okay, just exhausted and depressed (I was breastfeeding around the clock). One week in mid-July 2018 (? Xanax, one-time dosage ~6mg Zoloft, and one-time dosage 2mg Ativan, one-time dosage ? Klonopin in hospital; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) Then, at around 7 postpartum weeks - BAM - I was hit with a week of NO SLEEP. I just couldn't sleep and I lost my appetite. I had been given an Rx for Zoloft by my OBGyn and took a very small amount that Friday (I wanted to ease in). That night, all my symptoms were much worse – and I also felt this severe restlessness in my limbs. It was AWFUL. I even tried Xanax to calm me down (I gave to my son pumped breastmilk). My anxiety was so bad that I went to the ER that Sunday. They drew blood and it turned out that my blood sodium was dangerously low (126) - possibly due to not eating enough and drinking too much water. They gave me Ativan (2 mg – which was A LOT for my system), some Klonopin, too, eventually, and fluids overnight and I felt MUCH better the next day. I was given Ativan and Remeron as needed but didn't need to take it for a few weeks. Mid-July to Late Aug 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily; supplements: prenatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil) I was fine for a few weeks, and then my family and I moved out East, where I was attending grad school (I’m now on medical leave). The anxiety and insomnia came back around the move in August. I took Ativan (0.5 – 1 mg) as needed each day and had some rebound anxiety but was able to get through until setting up care there. I was assigned an interim psychiatrist (before being placed with a regular one), who Rxed me 0.5 Ativan to take at night to sleep for 10 days. This worked for sleep, but not the overall anxiety and depression. Due to breastfeeding concerns, they switched me to Trazodone (25-50 mg), which worked ok for sleep. Eventually, I was able to fall asleep on my own for a couple/few nights. That would be the last time I could do that to-date. Late Aug to Late Sept 2018 (0.5 – 1mg Ativan daily, 1-5mg Prozac, 25-50 mg Trazodone; supplements: postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, probiotics?) I started seeing a regular psychiatrist in early September, and we agreed I should go back on the Prozac with 1 mg Ativan/day as needed. We started sloooow on the Prozac - 1mg, then 2, then 5. By week 3, I had lost my appetite completely, and my anxiety was through the roof - just on 5mg (I was on 40 before becoming pregnant, so I couldn’t understand why I was feeling so terribly). The Trazodone was no longer helping me sleep, and was giving me terrible dry mouth. My limbs felt like they were vibrating. My psydoc FINALLY directed me to go off the Prozac and Ativan, and Rxed me just Klonopin 0.75mg/day. In addition to the psychiatrist, I saw a primary care doc, who checked my thyroid, adrenal glands (several tests there), vitamin levels, and other things - all normal. My blood sodium has still been a little low, but they believe it's due to not eating enough. Oct 2018 (Klonopin 0.25 – 0.75mg/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) My appetite returned but it was never the same. I was sleeping better, but not well – maybe 6 hours at most, sometimes waking in a panic. I could only take one class. I was very depressed and frustrated, and deeply confused as to why I wasn’t responding to medications. But I felt BETTER than when I was on the Prozac, and was able to feel like I could sleep on my own again, and on just 0.25mg Klonopin/day – but the plan was to let me ‘settle’ and then try a new AD, sooo… Nov 2-4 2018 (25mg Anafranil at night, 0.25-0.5mg Klonopin/day; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) The psydoc suggested Anafranil, a TCA. The day I started it, we put my dog down and I stopped breastfeeding (I had been tapering on that for months). It wasn’t a great time to start something. But I did. I took it the night of the 2nd, fell asleep instantly, then woke up feeling SO GOD AWFUL about 3 hours later. I had a tremor, I vomited, I couldn’t eat. My husband had to hold me while I shook in bed. I called the psydoc and she told me to keep taking it, sounding annoyed with me. So I pushed through for three days – but that was all I could do. Until then, that was the worst I have ever felt. Nothing could calm me down. Things start heating up here, so I’ll spare some details and focus more on the med changes… Nov 5-8 2018 I barely remember these days. Sleep was poor, I felt awful. Then on a Thursday night, I was up all night with panic attacks. I called my therapist and made the decision to go into the psych hospital. Nov 9 – 15 2018 (In hospital, put on 0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day and worked up to 100 mg Seroquel at night) I didn’t start sleeping until I was put on a combination of Seroquel and Klonopin. BUT, I remember this creeping feeling of “buzziness” and restlessness when I woke up everyday. That feeling would continue to get worse over the coming weeks and stay with me to the present. Nov 15 – Early Dec 2018 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day → 0.25mg Klonopin 2x/day; 100mg Seroquel at night; some supplements – don’t remember) I left the hospital taking 100mg Seroquel at night and 0.5 mg klonopin 2x/day. I officially went on medical leave from grad school. I stuck with this doseage for 2ish weeks, was sleeping well but feeling horribly depressed and anxious, then started to quickly taper the Klonopin. I don’t remember how quickly – but I wasn’t taking anymore than 0.5mg/day by early December. I then tapered on the Seroquel after feeling SO much worse when an IOP psydoc tried bumping the dose to 125mg; I remember not being able to sit still – going outside to pace. No tremor – just pacing, fidgeting, and losing a lot of weight. Early December 2018 – Early Jan 2019 (1mg Ativan at night, 2.5mg Zyprexa at night, 25-100mg Lamictal; postnatal vitamin, 800 mg folic acid, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, started taking some B complex, I might have tried some hormone-balancing herbs – I don’t remember exactly, probiotics?) I made the decision to move back home to do a program specialized in PPD (we ended by moving back entirely later that winter). In the program, I was put on 0.5-1mg Ativan at night, 2.5 mg Zyprexa at night (for sleep – though it never helped), and titrated up to 100mg Lamictal (the psydoc suspected a bipolar spectrum diagnosis). I was still incredibly restless, unable to sit down and just enjoy a movie. And my sleep was growing worse and worse. It was awful – then my mood grew worse and worse as we went up on the Lamictal; I also had increasingly bad tinnitus and TMJ. I was hospitalized as my thinking became suicidal – just ideations, but I was ready to go back in… Early to Mid-Jan 2019 (0.5mg Klonopin 2x/day, 5mg Paxil/day, 50mg Benadryl at night; 0.25-1mg Risperidone 1-2x/day; some supplements?; THEN back to 150mg Seroquel) In the hospital, I was taken off the Lamictal and put on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep), and Risperidone 0.25mg once or twice a day (I don’t remember). I became increasingly orthostatic (low BP, high HR). I stabilized mood-wise – sorta – and left the hospital feeling off, but better… Within days, though, we tried increasing the Risperidone, and my HR went up to 140 (I think we tried 1 mg). I wasn’t sleeping AT ALL. I was taken off the Risperidone, stayed on 5mg Paxil once/day, 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, Benadryl 50mg at night (for sleep). Eventually, as my sleep diminished, the PPD IOP doc put me back on Seroquel (I has actually asked to go back on) – but suggested as much as 150mg. After that, my mood really shifted and became erratic; I was really upset and angry at my husband and suicidal ideation returned. So it was suggested I go back in the hospital... Late Jan to Mid-Feb 2019: 3-week hospital stay (see below for crazy med changes) All the docs agreed I didn’t need to be in there this long (everyone kept asking why I was still there), but there I was so they could keep throwing stuff at me to see if something stuck. I was holding out hope SOMETHING would work this time...: First week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 100 mg Seroquel at night, 300mg XR lithium 2x/day (HORRIBLE stomach reaction, especially when the doc abruptly pulled the Seroquel) Second week: 0.5 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, some amount of Depakote (I don’t remember – wasn’t improving, irritable), tried PRNs of 12.5mg Seroquel and became really depressed Third week: 1 mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 1200mg gabapentin (taken as 300mg twice during the day, and 600mg at night). That’s how I left the hospital. Mid-Feb to Early-March 2019: (0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day, 50mg Seroquel at night, 300mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 600mg at night, brief re-trial of lithium – 150mg; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics?) Instantly went down to 0.75mg Klonopin 2x/day (fear of dependence). New trauma-based IOP. Was very constipated. Tried low-dose lithium (150mg) as lithium seemed to be the only med to be helping to-date (along with benzos); was improving somewhat mood-wise, but the stomach issues were SO bad, so we went off. After going off lithium, my restlessness SKYROCKETED, and was particularly bad for 10 days. My stomach was AWFUL; I was taking antacids all the time; seemed to be worse after taking gabapentin, so the new IOP doc cut THAT dosage in half. Developed a tremor. The new IOP psydoc diagnosed me with akathisia – FINALLY. I had NEVER heard of that before (although, in retrospect, I think it has been mentioned to me in the hospital as a possible side-effect of the antipsychotics – but I remember them saying “you can get this, but I don’t see that in you, so…” and so I ignored it (dumb)). When I read about it, I felt so frustrated; this had, no doubt, been plaguing me since at least the one-time Zoloft attempt in July - and in particular since the first Seroquel doseage in November. Doc suggested I reduce my Seroquel from 50 to 25mg; I couldn’t do that for a couple of weeks. Early to Mid-March (→0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, brief re-trial of Depakote – don’t remember dosage; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Continue reducing my Klonopin down to 0.25mg during the day and 0.5mg at night. We tried XR Depakote as a Hail Mary in the med department. It seemed to help a bit, but also increased some of the restlessness. At this point – and this should have come sooner for me – I was done – just DONE– with med changes. My body needed a break. I haven’t added or taken away and particular meds since (with one exception - the propranolol, see below) – though I have reduced the dosages… Early April (0.25mg Klonopin during day and 0.5-0.75mg/night, 25mg Seroquel at night, 200mg Gabapentin 2x daytime and 300mg at night, up to 70mg propranolol throughout the day; multivitamin, 1,000-2,000 mg vitamin D, ? fish oil, 1200mg evening primrose oil, probiotics) Was diagnosed with thyroiditis (my thyroid had been normal as recently as January) – a relatively common thing postpartum, but it was ‘late’ to arrive to be postpartum thyroiditis, so doctors suspected the lithium. B/c I was hyperthyroid first (usually follows a pattern of a few months in 'hyper'/overactive mode, followed by anywhere from 3 to 18 (or more) months underactive. I was put on propranolol (taking as much as 70mg throughout the day). That seemed to help the tremor, heart palpitations, and restlessness maybe 50-75% of the time. But it crashed my BP. Early-April to Present (see below) We’ve moved into a new, stable house (both good and really stressful). As of early June, I am off the Seroquel. I tapered from 25 to 0mg by reducing by about 6.25mg every two weeks or so. I tried re-starting it to do an every-other-day ending taper, and felt instantly WORSE, so I am done. But it was probably too quick a taper. I NEVER want to take another antipsychotic again, though; I can point to the beginning of the worst parts of this whole cluster to starting Seroquel, and the akathisia that ensues and continues. I reduced the daytime Klonopin to 0 (though I’ve had to take a 0.0625mg to 0.125mg PRN three times in June as things have grown worse). I still take 0.5mg Klonopin at night. In June, I also went off the propranolol – too quickly – and have been having heart palpitations, and have been orthostatic. My BP was just getting to be so, so low. Now, taking any amount of it seems to make me more agitated/restless or, at best, woozy. In June, I also got ambitious and reduced the gabapentin from taking 400 mg during the day (200mg 2x/day) to 0 at the end of June, mostly b/c I thought it was making me feel worse; I’m not sure on this STILL (or if it ever did much of anything). I still take 300mg at night with 0.5 mg Klonopin. May was my best month - not great (I was still constantly restless, struggled with my appetite, and was really disoriented and depressed), but it felt more manageable. I should have done a slower taper on all things when I felt more stable, then – but here I am. June started out okay but, after going off the Seroquel and trying a glass of wine again (out with a friend), it’s been awful; the akathisia is back in full swing. NOW I seem to have reached this point where my body won’t tolerate much of anything again – as if it’s saying “if you’re done with one, then you’re going to be done with them ALL.” I’ve also noticed that the first half of my menstrual cycle is FAR AND AWAY WORSE than the latter half – and am trying to explore ways to (as naturally as possible) balance my hormones. I tried bioidentical progesterone cream that an integrative MD Rxed and it helped somewhat, but caused cramping and spotting and an upset stomach – no go. Currently Taking 0 – 200mg gabapentin during the day; 300mg gabapentin at night 0.5mg Klonopin at night 5mg melatonin (+10mg B6 – combo pill) at night Fish oil (1400mg EPA + 480 DHA) in morning and afternoon 1500mg primrose oil morning and afternoon 200-400mg magnesium glycinate at night, and magnesium oxide throughout day 2000mg vitamin D afternoon Cal+Mag+Potassium supplement afternoon 2 kinds of probiotics morning Multivitamin morning What Makes Things Worse Alcohol; I haven’t been able to tolerate this since sometime early spring – makes me SUPER anxious. Any antihistamine; it used to help me sleep but something in the last 2-4 months has changed my brain so I now feel WORSE the next morning. Some vitamins (I say that b/c I sometimes feel more buzzy after taking a multivitamin; on the other hand, sometimes I feel better) Caffeine (not that I’ve tested this too much; the most I ever drink is a cup of green tea, and I haven’t been able to do that in weeks) Antacids (found that out the hard way) What Helps Epsom salt baths Sweating Crying (when I am able to) Walking (especially in sunshine) Melatonin (at night – for sleep) Klonopin (but I am trying not to go over 0.5mg/day – mostly at night; and want to taper off) Massage Stretching Kombucha (not too much, though b/c caffeine) Apple cider vinegar + lemon water (ahead of meals and when I have an upset stomach – at east once/day) Eating enough (really tough to do right now) Not Sure if it Helps (tried/trying it) Acupuncture (doing this for a few months now) Therapy – CBT, talk Gabapentin (want to taper off anyway) Primrose oil Multivitamin Fish oil Magnesium Calcium CBD oil What I Need Help With I’m here b/c I need to feel like I’m not crazy when the psydoc says this isn’t still akathisia. I KNOW it is – I KNOW it’s protracted withdrawal and the effect of such a brain-altering year. I know this b/c, even in my most anxious moments pre-postpartum medications, I never felt this protracted insatiable restlessness and dread. I was a champ at sleeping (though a night owl). And my appetite was always solid (too much so, at times). This is DIFFERENT. I also want to get off the gabapentin and the Klonopin – but do so in a smart way. I’m not sure the gabapentin is a net evil right now and shouldn’t be taken off altogether? And is the gabapentin the best thing to drop first? And I need help managing the akathisia. I've read some tips here, and will explore those. Any help on the hormone piece would be invaluable. There is something there. I feel the effects of akathisia/withdrawal/autonomic disregulation far more at the start of my cycle. And this whole postpartum period has been inherently hormonally disregulating (compounded by meds like Depakote, which altered my cycle). Anyone else? Anything help? I plan to keep a more focused journal as this site recommends and track my symptoms alongside food, supplement, and med changes. Of course, what sucks THE MOST is the lost time and what's been taken - from the joy of being a new mother, to what was supposed to be a fulfilling career move in pursuing my PhD (I might have to give up my place now b/c I'm so disabled), to feeling defective for not responding to the 'right treatments.' The worst year of your life should not also be the first year of motherhood. To those of you that read this monster of a post – or event 10% - THANK YOU.
  3. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  4. Hello, I'm new to the forum. I've been having a lot of trouble with sleep. This started 2 years ago (Nov. 2011) after my father passed away. I started waking up panicking every time I would start to fall asleep. I was put on 20 mg of Lexapro and 5 mg of Zyprexa. Everything stabilized and was good for 2 months until I developed a rash on my legs. I was told to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I stayed of of it for 1 1/2 months and wasn't taking any medications. Then I started having fever like symptoms, extreme anxiety and just felt horrible. A psychiatrist introduced Zoloft to me at 50 mg. It drove me out of my mind with anxiety. At this point I was put back on 20 mg of Lexapro and my sleeping problems began again. I was given Xanex to take as needed. Every time I would start to relax and fall asleep I would become shaky, panicky and my heart would race. For the next 3 months I had no natural sleep. I was put on Seraquil, Lithium, Elaville and Trazadone. I had the startling, shaky, panicky heart racing feeling anywhere I tried to sleep except for the spare room. I stayed on 20 mg of Lexapro for quite a while, it was put up to 30 mg but it didn't help so after a few weeks I came back down to 20 mg. Then wellbutrin was introduced, that also made the anxiety terrible so that was discontinued. At this point I decided to wean myself off of the Lexapro dropping 2 1/2 mg every 2 weeks. I got down to 2 1/2 mg in March of 2013 and my anxiety became unbearable. I went back up to 5 mg of Lexapro. I was put on Prozac, stayed on it only a few weeks because of increased anxiety yet again. I remained on the 5 mg of Lexapro until October 2, 2013. At that point I hadn't taken any sleep medication in about a year. I still could only sleep in the spare room without the panicky feeling when I started to fall asleep. 10 mg of Propranolol was added 3 times a day and I dropped from the 5 mg of Lexapro to 2 1/2 mg. The panicky feeling went away when I was relaxing to fall asleep. I decided to drop down to 1 1/8 mg around Nov. 2. Things were getting better, I was able to sleep in my bedroom with my wife again without the panicky feeling when going to sleep. I was feeling great! 6 weeks into that last drop all that changed. My anxiety is horrible, I can't sleep at night without medication leaving me feeling drugged the next day. I'm back to sleeping in the spare room but I even get that startling, panicky, shaky feeling in there now. My heart pounds so hard it makes my hand go numb. Last night was horrible, I had to take 50 mg of Elaville and 50 mg of Trazadone. This is left over from the 3 months of sleeping without natural sleep when they tried so many medications to try to put me to sleep. I'm extremely upset about the progress I feel I've lost with my sleep because now I feel like I'm right back to where I've started. I just don't know what to do about my central nervous system that is triggering the fight or flight response every time I try to sleep. The only thing that works to take away that panicky feeling is xanex but I don't take it that often because I don't want an addiction problem. Thank you in advance for your ideas to help.
  5. i thought i was withdrawing successfully from gabapentin. i am apparently very bad off because i had to go very very slow. i thought i was doing ok and i upped very slowly the amount of dissolved liquid i was withdrawing from the beaker. i was stressed, but every night would go back down in dose to get a good sleep. i was unable to tolerate attempts to withdraw more so i went back to the dose that seemed comfortable. i was no longer comfortable. at all. then i upped the dose 30% i thought acc. to the rules here. i am radically uncomfortable now at any dose. i am desperate and there is no end. i am thinking of going to a doctor to see if i can get a lot of benzos to withdraw. i am afraid of compounding my problem. i was take 300 mg. gaba 6xs a day. i was getting breakthrough symptoms anyway but didn't realize it.
  6. Moderator note - link to benzo forum thread - Freedom1975: Zopiclone and clonazepam So i have been reading advice on how to get off these drugs and following the protocol of the 10% taper. It is mentioned to only come off 1 drug at a time. Its a littlle scary thinking that this could take years just to get off one drug and then attempt the next drug after. I am not sure what i am looking for here. Just a friendly voice of encouragement and maybe some more guidance of how to navigate through this hell of withdrawal
  7. Hello, For the past 3-4 weeks I've been taking 160mg of propranolol for agitation/restlessness/akathisia (whatever it is) - 80mg slow release every morning and night. It's really just a short-term means of managing some (mainly physical) symptoms while I stabilise. I'm tolerating it well so far, though I don't particularly want to take it long-term. My question therefore is - how should one taper off beta blockers? I know that they should be tapered because of the risk of rebound palpitations, hypertension or tremor, but as far as I'm aware nobody has ever experienced long-term/protracted withdrawals from beta blockers, unlike benzos, antidepressants or antipsychotics. What is a good tapering schedule?
  8. Hello! Seeking advice and support having discovered how dependent I am after over 20 yrs of taking paroxetine. Withdrawal symptoms of extreme sustained insomnia, excessive sweating and intense anxiety are making life unbearable and I am horrified at how ignorant I have been about my meds. I now realise GP probably made things worse by suggesting a change to mirtazapine before returning to paroxetine. GP suggested back to 20mg but I couldn't bare the thought of possibly having to repeat the withdrawal so decided on ½ dose (10mg). Not sure if I've done the right thing as still have severe symptoms after 7 days. I now realise all these changes were far too fast but do I hang on to this dose to see if I stabilise and how long do I give it?? I'm just beginning to realise that this is likely to be life changing....not what I'd planned at 58....as may well loose my job and it's a huge strain on family and friends. It's confusing and frightening. See gp on Thurs and feel it would be good to have an idea of what I should be aiming for re medication. He gave me propranolol (a beta blocker) for the anxiety but I've since discovered it could be contributing to the insomnia. Has anyone got any experience of that? With thanks and hoping to be able to share experiences!
  9. Hi everyone. Quick intro: Due to a long term dependency on alcohol to self medicate my panic disorder I decided enough was enough had sought detox which in turn led me to my doctor approx 2+ years ago. Since then I (had) been sober until 7 weeks ago where went on an awful bender before ending up in hospital and going into detox again. I have been diagnosed as depressed for over 15 years but I have always been very weary of AD's ... my panic disorder was finally diagnosed around 18 months ago and since then I have had citropram thrown at me briefly before being switch to escitropram which seemed to work wonders I was back working and was busy and happy and less anxious and had the bright idea to taper of because "I" thought I did not need them"... bad idea two weeks after my last dose I started to crash emotionally and physically sometimes ...until I ended up drinking again (briefly) After detox my doctor spoke to me about my experience on escitropram and I told her it gave me bad stomach ache after taking but worked... so she decided to try me of Venzir/Effexor XL 75mg 1 day and I have quit... my nerves lit up like a Christmas tree and the nausea was unbearable and add to that here in the UK we are in the middle of a savage, clammy, humid heatwave... I took it yesterday morning and today I am still suffering extreme nausea and tingling all over still ... ONE pill may have messed me up for a few days ? Does anyone have any experience like this ? It should be well out of my system by now ... it's been 26 hours and its half life is only 16
  10. Hello, all! I've been reading the website for the better part of an hour, now, and it seems to be an invaluable resource, a scientifically-sound one, for this complicated and severely-unstudied process of stopping medication. I've been diagnosed bipolar type 2 some 8 years ago, having been under some type of treatment every day since. My diagnosis came after visiting 4 different psychiatrists (as I would not accept the diagnosis, every time a doctor would say it to me). What I am currently prescribed: - morning - 15mg Aripiprazole - morning & evening - 2.5mg Oxybutynin - morning & evening - 40mg Propranolol - evening - 400mg Quetiapine - evening - 1000mg Sodium Valproate I also have access to Clonazepam, 2mg pills, for an as-needed dosing, but I haven't taken that in a very long time, now. Since this Monday, after an absolutely horrific psychiatrist visit, I've halved all my medication... Each dose, I take at the same time, but would break up the pill in half. I've been feeling great (to be honest, I've actually been feeling, which is an accomplishment), but I want to continue this down to 0mg of each substance. I've read the topics on polysubstance stopping, but it is not clear to me what best course I should follow, given the above cocktail. Can I cold-turkey the Oxybutynin and Propranolol, and after focus on tapering off the mood stabiliser, with an end goal of doing the same with the antipsychotics? My initial train of thought was to halve each week, and I was prepared in a few weeks' time to take a vacation from work, just so I could lay in bed with withdrawal symptoms. This is based on me stopping the Quetiapine in the past (OK, some 4-5 years ago), under doctor supervision, because I had been selected for a medical trial... That process took around 2 weeks, and even if I was prescribed Ambien to sleep, it would only "knock me out" for 2-3hr, after which I'd play video games, as I couldn't sleep at all. It was a painful process, during which I spent about a week in bed, but if the process can be the same this time, I'm ready to withstand all that pain, just so I could be myself, again. Thank you all for any contributions, in advance!
  11. Hello folks and sorry for my silly english! My antidepressants history starts at my teenage years (depression, social anxiety disorder) and after trying escitalopram and fuoxetine, I got prescribed venlafaxine ("the one that helps when others have failed", the gp said). It did help, and now that I have built the life I'm comfortable with and no major stress triggers on sight, I decided to go off venlafaxine. Reasons are that my emotional life had gone unnaturally smooth, like being "just ok" all the time. Also, my sexuality was non-existent. I tapered off waaay too quickly, I know it now. I took only 31 days to taper off completely. But I had no bad withdrawal symptoms, just the brain zaps and nausea, but I found cyclizine very helpful with that. Of course I started to get emotional symptoms too, I was very short tempered and had massive anger bursts. Some days I was feeling little low, but nothing massive. I couldn't dring any coffee for about three months, got so sick from it. After 4 months of being completely off venlafaxine, I got my first big bad wave. It lasted a week, when I was unable to go to work and just suffer in my bed. Symptoms were palpations and racing heart, nausea, anxiety, crying spells, insomnia, need to pee every 15 minutes, diarrhea, brethless feeling... Was that all? Anyhoo, I went to see physician and thankfully he somehow understood my condition and gave me one week off so I could rest at home. He also prescribed propranolol for my heart problems (which have helped alot) and said that if this episode of mine won't go away, I need to start taking venla's again with small doze. I refused, not going to give up yet! After that wave, I had almost two months of feeling completely normal. Like my own self! But then, the second bad wave hit. This time it was different. More difficult and scary. I had the same symptoms I had in the previous wave, but also these frightening episodes of de-personalization,feeling of losing my sanity and night terrors. In those episodes I have been very close to call an ambulance. Thank god my partner is a huge support for me and with his help I have been able to get through these attacks, that lasted sometimes few hours and sometimes about twenty minutes. Now I'm once again feeling normal, thank goodness. I wanted to share my progress here, because I felt I owe this to you, since I have got massive help from this forum. So thank you guys! I'll report if something comes up. This is a long journey.
  12. Some history. I've been on and off Fluoxetine and Citalopram all my adult life. They helped me, side effects were few apart from a few weeks of akathisia 10 years ago that passed during fluoxetine initiation. One side effect coming off fluoxetine that same time was a minor version of what I'm now going through. 10 weeks ago I started getting woken up by very rapid heart rate, an adrenaline burst, at the very moment of falling asleep. Like a hypnic jerk, but not my muscles twitching, instead my heart racing. I also got the same racing while waking up. So a wake-sleep transition thing. I managed to get to sleep eventually and usually got a good night's sleep. 5 weeks ago it got worse, so I went to my doctor and he's arranging a cardiologist to look at me (long waiting times in UK). Two weeks of sleep deprivation later I'm an anxious depressed mess. Dr puts me on Fluoxetine suggests anxiety may be the cause. I get akathisia bad, come off it, the doctor replaces it with low dose citalopram, which I'm tolerating. As well as low dose diazepam and zopiclone. Nothing is helping with the sleep disorder, which I believe is a parasomnia, possibly caused by stress/anxiety, but now the cause of suicidal thoughts due to extreme sleep deprivation. There's anecdote around that AD use or discontinuation cause such parasomnias. Any advice? Thank you, and good luck.
  13. Hi there! i just joined after going down the google rabbit hole of searching Gabapentin withdrawal. I’m currently trying to come off the Gabapentin and propranolol as I am wanting to become pregnant. I’ve been able to get my dosage down to half for both but am now feeling it’s effects. I’m crying and lethargic and my legs ache when I’m in bed. I also feel like I have a cold or brain fog. I meet with my doctor Friday and hoping he will prescribe me 100mg Gabapentin so I can taper even slower now. But a huge part of me just wants to stop to get it out of my system! When do I start magnesium by the way? Thanks for listening 🙂
  14. I'm 20 y/o, male, here's my story. Throughout my high school, i took sertraline, alprazolam, propranolol and others, never with any side effects, tho not on a regular use, only the sertraline was for 2 months and i didn't feel like it did any ****. Alprazolam was taken when needed, so was propranolol. I never stayed on a drug for years. My mom bought phenobarbital for herself, so she could deal with stressful events in our life. She was taking it when needed to sleep better. I asked her to give me too, she then game me drops of phenobarbital with water that equate to roughly 15 mg of phenobarbital. This was around September 6 to 8, don't remember the actual day. She didn't give me anymore, till September 14, when she offered to give me again. I took this along a valerian herb. The same 15 mg of phenobarbital. The next day, September 15, i noticed minor visual difficulty focusing on text and on September 16 i acknowledged that i see an increased visual snow in my vision, palinopsia, trails, more static. Just for you to understand, i took phenobarbital 2 times in total across a week and a half with the minimal dosage. I've had visual snow before, but after that night on September 14, i was perceiving way more static and visual disturbances that i never had before, and this is still here, October 2. Now, i'm asking, is this withdrawal and i should take it again on that small dose of 15 mg, or just leave it and hope it will go back to the state it was before? I know phenobarbital has a long half life, but it should've been gone from my system now. Please help.
  15. I began tapering risperdol Feb 2017. It's been about 6 weeks now. I taper 5% every week. My original dose was 1mg each night. I am now at .70mg. I have no physical symptoms but the mental symptoms are the same as the side effects only much worse. The side effects are derealization, severe brain fog, severe depression, emotional flatness and what feels like lowered I.Q. I am sleeping fine and my appetite is good. I didn't gain any weight while on this poison and instead lost quite a bit. I have been taking risperdol for 3 years. I started at 2mg and lowered the dose to 1mg about one year ago. I was told by my pdoc that I could go off of it and I jumped at the chance. He tapered me way too fast and I think I experienced a psychosis or extremely high anxiety. I reinstated at that time. (I hope this post makes sense. I'm not thinking too clearly.) My question is, will these side effects start to diminish while I'm tapering? Will this start to go away as I am ingesting less and less drug? I've read many horror stories online and I'm really reaching for some success stories. I'm very afraid that these side effects will last long after the taper is complete. I am so depressed and do very little but sit on the sofa. I have to force myself to do anything and I have no interest in anything at all. Nothing brings me joy and I cannot feel love anymore. I don't laugh and I don't cry. I am zombie like. It is completely miserable. I've lost everything since I started this med. I've made very bad choices and lost my relationship, my job and my home. I am now living with my grown daughter and her husband. Without them I'd be homeless. Any advice would be very much welcome and appreciated. Thank you.
  16. Quazzi

    Quazzi Intro

    Hello, It's very difficult to concentrate right now, but I thought I would try to post an intro anyway. I'm not a man of many words, so this is going to be somewhat brief. I really don't have great memory capacity at this time, and can't tell you a detailed history of myself, but I was on Effexor XR from some time in 1993 when it first came to market, until 2013, when I switched to Prozac to try to get off of it completely. A few times over the years I had tried to wean off of Effexor, but after a few months of not getting any better I always ended up going back on it. I actually never felt as bad off of the Effexor as I do now after switching to Prozac and tapering to zero. I only recently (in February) went completely off of Prozac with a very slow taper down to as little as 1mg per day. That was a few months ago, and now I completely regret that I went off. I tried to reinstate Prozac a month or so later with 10mg, which felt good the day that I took it, but then I had a bad reaction in the middle of the night and have been worse since. I tried to take a little bit less (5mg) for two days, but I couldn’t stand it and stopped. I had noticed that my sleep was getting worse even while I was still on the low dose of Prozac, but now my sleep is so bad that I can hardly function, and I have constant impaired concentration and memory issues. I also now have a type of akathisia every day and night that makes me not able to stay laying in my bed and makes it difficult to sit at work or in social situations. I am in constant agony and feel like I’m 100 years old. My nervous system is so dysfunctional and hyper-sensitized that I can hardly take any supplement or drug without having some kind of paradoxical effect. I can’t believe that I did this to myself when I was doing well just a few months back. I had all my energy then and was still sleeping well. I had the energy to pack a moving truck mostly by myself and move 2000 miles. I can hardly imagine doing that now. I recently gave in to friends telling me to go to a psychiatrist, who I tried to explain everything to. He did the usual mis-diagnosis of telling me that withdrawal doesn’t last that long, etc. and that there’s a possibility that I am bi-polar. I cringed at the drugs he suggested to me, so he finally ended up just giving me a prescription for Propranolol to supposedly help with the akathisia so I could sleep. I have not taken any of it yet and really don’t want to, although I am considering trying it. I can’t believe that’s the best he could do is give me a prescription for a drug that messes with my heart! Like messing my brain up isn’t enough, now we’re going to screw around with my heart. I am afraid that it is going to probably mess me up even more than I already am.
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