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  1. i've been off 60mg 40mg (see Post #4) of prozac for 2 months after tapering very quickly over 2 months. i took prozac for 20 years. i have really bad headaches most days, something i never used to have before unless i was dehydrated. i have terrible mood swings - i shout at people in the street if they're badly parked, i get road rage when i'm driving, i scream at the kids and my husband. fatigue is a big problem - i can fall asleep at any point during the day and often do. i sleep all night but am still exhausted the next day. i have constant vivid dreams and nightmares. my ocd is creeping back (which is what i was prescribed the prozac for in the first place). i thought i had it under control until my kids told me i needed to stop posting on social media so much as it was dominating my life. i was also alienating people online. i have constant diarrhoea. i cannot stop eating -i'm constantly ravenous, especially for carbs - crisps and potatoes are my downfall and i've put on a stone in weight since stopping. i have lots of pains in my joints and limbs. i did have crawling under my skin, especially in my knees and feet but this seems to have subsided. i'm scared of seeing or talking to people. this has always been a problem for me but it is worse right now. thankyou for listening if you made it this far. today is a bad day and i keep asking myself why i gave up the pills in the first place? i hoped i would have more energy, feel more emotionally, lose weight etc. but it was only after i stopped that i started to read up on protracted withdrawals. i had no idea it could be so bad to stop the drugs.
  2. Hey, everyone. Here's my introduction (I hope it's not too long): In 1994, at 19, I suffered panic attacks from being bullied in school and having cognitive errors in my thinking (perfectionism, negative self talk, etc.) My parents took me to a psychiatrist who told me I had a "chemical imbalance in my brain," prescribed me 80 mg of Prozac a day, and kicked me out the door. I received no therapy and from that day forward saw myself as a mental health patient. This diagnosis changed the course of my entire life. My Prozac took six weeks to kick in, and it brought with it a slew of side effects: generalized anxiety, hypervigilance (constant surveying the world and my body for signs of panic), stomach cramps, and irritable bowel syndrome. Like the proverbial boiling frog who doesn't notice the raising temperature, the side effects eased in to my life so slowly I thought they were a part of me and my "chemical imbalance." In essence I had a paradoxical reaction to the drug: it amplified my existing struggles but I had no idea my medication was the source. I was never told this was possible, nor was I told about the danger of trying to come off. The side effects made work outside the home, socializing, and dating extremely difficult because I was always afraid of the next wave of anxiety that would send me racing to the washroom. I watched my friends grow up and have careers, partners, and families, while I tried to buoy what was left of my self-esteem with self-help books and different therapists, none of who ever questioned the drug or the dosage. After two years of cognitive behavioral therapy to untwist the errors in my thinking, I tried coming off the drug under the supervision of my doctor in 2006 but the initial reduction of 20 mg every two weeks proved to be far too steep. When I reached zero I had a few days of bliss, then an absolute mental collapse. I developed akathisia and was unable to sit still and paced relentlessly and lost control of my emotions. I felt completely hollow and cried for no reason, all the while suffering from unspeakable anxiety. My parents debated admitting me to a hospital but was told that the doctors would check my medication levels then ask me to leave as there would be nothing they could do. I went to my psychiatrist who misdiagnosed my condition not as withdrawal but as depression and anxiety that the Prozac had been treating. Desperate not to lose my mind, I restarted the drug and lost another ten years to side effects. Two years ago I lowered my dose from 40 mg to 30 mg. Three days later I was to meet friends for dinner for as long as my anxiety would allow. I braced myself during the meal for the inevitable tsunami of mental anguish but what I felt instead was a mere ripple. I was stunned, then perplexed. When I realized what was happening and that the drug had been the cause, I burst into tears. Instead of racing home after the meal as I so often had in the past, my friends and I went to a movie. Over the past few months I've been easing off Prozac at 5 mg every six weeks. My quality of life improves with each reduction. My hypervigilance and anxiety all but vanished at 20 mg. At 15 mg I have become more social than I have ever been, and at 10 mg I feel like myself again - sort of. I've been on 10 mg of Prozac since May 9th, and I'm also on 50 mg of Seroquel. I want to get off the Prozac completely but I'm going to stay at 10 mg for at least three months until I know I'm stable. Though most of my anxiety is gone, I had a panic attack last week. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday over how much I've missed out on from the medication and cried through the whole thing. Naturally she was concerned that this might be a relapse of depression/anxiety, but I honestly feel better now than I ever did on the higher dose. So...that's me!
  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. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  5. Hi everyone. I was prescribed Prozac 20mg back in 2002, for what I think now was pretty mild depression when I was at University. I remember my flatmate going to the Dr's about her lethargy and getting prescribed Prozac - a couple of weeks later she was enthusing about her new-found energy and encouraged me to go and get it. "All you have to do is cry in front of the Dr and say you can't sleep or do anything" - god how I wish now I'd ignored her. Fast forward 13 years with severe depression and self-harming which started not long after going on Prozac, which just reinforced to me and my GP that I needed the drug, and many years later several failed attempts to get off it, I felt I was over the depression (if I'd ever had any to start with but what the Prozac had exaggerated), and hadn't self-harmed for many years. My last attempt to get off Prozac in 2013 had caused me severe anxiety, anger and paranoia, ultimately having to go back on the drug because my Dr said I'd relapsed. I hadn't heard of SSRI withdrawal back then. I tried again in July with a tapering plan of 6 weeks from my GP. I now know from reading forums like this that it was probably way too quick, but I've come so far I really don't want to go back on it. The anger and tantrums in the first few months was unbelievable, I was so irritable I don't know how I didn't lose my job. I had lots of rows with my mum (who I'm living with for financial reasons) and on one occasion hit her on the arm, I couldn't believe I'd sunk so low as to hit my 70 year old mum. We've discussed the withdrawal since and she's very supportive, I just feel such a burden and I'm terrified of doing something similar again. The anger has got a lot less recently, and sometimes I've had an hour or so when I've felt like 'me' again, almost happy and content. Christmas and the New Year has been hard, with flu symptoms, awful anxiety that wakes me up and hits me with a terrible feeling of dread and panic. I'm due to start a new job tomorrow and I can barely get out of bed, I feel so wiped out. I can't eat and every time I try and make myself eat I have to rush to the toilet straight after. One thing that has helped a bit has been the videos linked to on these forums - from Baylissa at recovery-road.org I practically have the 'affirmations for recovery' on repeat. This too, shall pass..
  6. Want2Want2

    Want2Want2: hello

    Hi yall, So much to say, but little time now. Will be back w/more info soon. Glad to be here. Currently struggling with ongoing apathy, indifference, just-not-caring, from initial (and fairly immediate) introduction of Zoloft in 2013. It has persisted since then whether on or off medication, although it IS dose dependent w/Prozac. Reading this forum has been instrumental in my previous tapering but only now have I created an account. So thanks to all, especially Altostrata. I know there are much more difficult symptoms, as I've had many of them in the past, but this indifference seems to have completely (permanently?) changed my personality. Preparing to discontinue current doses of 10mg Prozac and 150mg Wellbutrin, beginning in April.
  7. Hi folks, Just looking for a bit of advice. I'd been on Prozac, 25mg a day, for 9 months, for depression and wanted to come off them. I was advised by my doctor to take a 25mg tablet on alternating days for 1 month and then stop completely. I did this and have now been off for 4 weeks. Asides from some rather severe depression symptoms my main withdrawal issue has been PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder), something which I suffered with 2 years ago. What I'm wondering is, does this mean I tapered off too quickly? I should also mention I have M.E. and tend to respond strongly to drugs. Is the best plan of action to just ride this out and hope the symptoms go or to go back on the Prozac and taper off again much slower? (my doctor did tell me if I go back on the Prozac I'd have to stay on for 2 years but I really don't want to do that.) Any advice appreciated, Thanks
  8. Ogres

    Ogres: Prozac

    Hello everyone! I first started Prozac in the beginning of 2009 to help with social anxiety and public speaking at work. I had to delivery training and couldn't simply face the situation where I'd be in the center of attention. I had had previous failings in this area and couldn't think of screwing up again. Especially, I could lose my job. So, after googling and researching I decided to give fluoxetine a try. As you can see, no doctors were involve and I could only blame myself . I even sourced the pills by ordering from the internet. I started with 20 mg and noticed effects after approx 2-3 weeks. The main thing that I remember was calmness and confidence. With the chemicals fully kicked in, I was so relaxed about the future ordeal that I thought that even if I failed, I’d not care too much. The training went fine though and I had a massive boost of confidence from this fact. The nature of my work, requires me to constantly communicate with people, which had always been hard for me. For this reason I stayed on AD. So that I could function normally and establish myself. I had recently moved to the UK from another country and had to survive. On the other hand I was very cautious, as I had had some past dependency on substances at a tender age, and never exceeded 20mg/day. Also, I never intended to use the pills forever. I just liked how they made me feel in social situations. I had always been a bit shy and fluoxetine helped me to be more relaxed. I continued to take Prozac, but with breaks where I'd be completely off for weeks and even months! I'd go off medication cold turkey (I didn't know about tapering at the time!). And to be honest, I didn't have any major symptoms during years 2010-2013 apart from anxiety (but I'd always been anxious), irritability, anger. No major physical symptoms as far as I could remember. I consider myself to be a person with some self control and I'd try to disregard what happens inside me and try to look normal. Maybe being young(ish) and the fact that I always did some sport help as well? With time as I was becoming more relaxed about my job security and with thoughts that I probably better off AD eventually, my breaks would become longer and longer. And in Jul 2015 I first decided to go off completely. As always, I just stopped cold turkey! Well, I tapered by taking 20 mg every other day for couple of weeks, but I don't think it can be considered tapering in pure sense. WD was probably a bit harder this time with anxiety, irritability, fatigue more pronounced. But I tolerated it fine. I thought maybe I was getting older? No other major physical symptoms. I went back on Prozac again in Feb 2016 because of a new project where I'd need to socialize and communicate. And when work situation calmed down, I went off again in Sep 2016. This time WD a bit harder still. Major symptoms: anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, stress intolerance, anger, insomnia. Surprisingly, insomnia only hit me first in month 7 (still suffering)! This is probably the worst symptom, a torture, when you can't sleep for several nights at a time and then had to function during the day... Thanks a lot for all your attention!
  9. Hello everyone! I’m on my last leg of tapering right now at 2.5 mg of Prozac and boy does that small dose of 2.5 mg make a difference! I’ll give you all some background information about me and my history with SSRI’s and just overall tell my story so to speak. I’m currently 19 years old attending university (I had to drop out last semester because of the withdrawal from tapering, but I’m back at it!). The first SSRI I ever took was sertraline (Zoloft) at 50 mg for social anxiety and subsequently depression. I think I was thirteen at the time. It pains me to think back to that little boy and how much pain he was in. The sertraline helped a bit. My mother noticed a change in me more than I did. After only a couple of months however, I started to experience some emotional blunting. I didn’t know what it was at the time, I just knew I felt flat. We told our family doctor and he agreed that I should stop taking it. I did not taper and I did not experience any withdrawal. The next couple of years I don’t think I took any SSRI’s. I was still depressed and socially anxious at times, but I made a promise to myself that I would make a serious effort to make friends. It was my first real effort at exposure therapy and I did it all by myself. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that my obsessive rumination eventually became too strong for me to handle. It was then that I began taking 20 mg of Prozac. I can’t remember when I started. Most likely between August 2015 to December 2015. I do remember however that I did not have any notable side effects. I still felt the full range of emotions and my sexuality functioned like clockwork. In May 2016, my obsessive thinking got worse due in part to a rejection from a girl I liked. I began to believe that the Prozac wasn’t doing anything, so I went to a doctor and he switched me onto 20 mg of Paxil. It would be later on in the summer of 2016 that I would see a psychiatrist. I complained of extreme lethargy and often times couldnt sleep until four in the morning so he prescribed Wellbutrin at 150 mg and some Trazodone that I would take as needed. The Trazodone effectively zombified me so I avoided it often. (Side note: eventually I mentioned the Trazodone to this druggy kid in my creative writing class. He was literally on acid at the time and he said, “You take Trazodone?! Dude I used to snort that stuff. Don’t **** with that ****.”😂) Over time I stopped believing the Paxil or Wellbutrin had any effect on me. I even started to believe they might be a placebo at the time. I did however notice that I was becoming extremely angry all the time, something completely unlike myself. It was as if the only thing the pills had done was replace my depression with anger. I could also cry at a moments notice. I remember my family and I visited the freedom tower memorial in NY and it took everything in me not to burst out into tears. Because of the anger and my belief the pills were placebos, I eventually decided to stop both the Paxil and Wellbutrin cold turkey. This was in December 2016. I didnt have any notable withdrawal symptoms. No brain zaps or physical problems. My sexuality functioned as it always had. My depression however began to amplify. Sometimes, knowing what I know now, I wonder if this extreme depression was induced partly from withdrawal. It was stronger than any I’d previously had. I was constantly ruminating. I couldn’t sit still for a second without being uncomfortable and anxious. My mind was constantly replaying loops of embarrassing things I had done. Often times I would wake up in the middle of the night with an embarrassing memory and then spend the rest of the night in terror as it played over and over in my head. When I went to school, I felt paranoid. I absolutely hated myself. It is important to note however that I was not suicidal. Eventually I gave up. It took two week of me not going to school or even leaving my room for that matter for my parents to decide what to do with me. Eventually my mom found a treatment center for OCD and anxiety. I was skeptical at first. I had seen therapists in the past. They were well meaning, but they had little impact on my depression. We made an appointment with the director of the clinic. When she first walked in I expected nothing. She was very direct and got right to the point telling me that she might be able to help me or she might not. Either way it would be up to me to put in the effort. I agreed to do their intensive outpatient program. For three hours every day I would be exposed to my deepest fears. Initially she suggested medication, however I refused because of my bad experience on Paxil and Wellbutrin. After a month of IOP however, I still wasn’t getting better. Eventually I caved in. I was desperate. I went to the doctor and he prescribed 40 mg of Prozac and 25 mg of lamictal. When I began taking the Prozac at 20 mg, my mood lifted immediately. For the first time in forever my onslaught of obsessive thought began to abate. Suddenly I was convinced these pills weren’t placebo. I worked up to 40 mg and quickly graduated from the IOP. There were no side effects. I still had a considerable range of emotion and my sexuality worked just fine. But then the Prozac pooped out on me in December of 2017. By then I was beginning to feel depressed again. This should have been a warning that this med wasn’t a long term solution, but I was oblivious to the side effects at the time. I made my way up to 60 mg for a month and then eventually 80 mg in February 2018, the maximum dose. This dose was effective. My depression ceased almost instantly. It wasn’t until around June 2018 on 80 mg that I began to notice some strange things happening. At first I didn’t realize they were due to the Prozac. I began to have these odd states where my thinking was clouded, almost like my brain was fried. It was difficult to form words, and I often felt no emotion whatsoever in these states, but it would go away after a good night sleep, so I didn’t think too much of it. Then I met a girl and began dating her. I quickly noticed that I simply couldn’t fall in love with her, despite the fact that we got along together great and she was beautiful. All my romantic feelings we’re muted compared to what I had felt before. And then my dog ran away. At the time I knew I should be sad, but I couldn’t muster up the emotion. It was like I had to sneeze but the sneeze wouldn’t come. The sadness was almost there, I just couldn’t experience it fully. It was around this same time that I realized that my interest in sex was beginning to dwindle. Because of these things I realized I need to make a change. I began taking two 40 mg pills every other day and then two pills on the rest of the days. This was in the beginning of August 2018. My goal was to get to 40 mg. I did not have any significant withdrawal issues. In fact, initially, my sex drive increased. What did happen is that my depression returned. Because of this my doctor prescribed Wellbutrin at 150 mg. I had to stop taking it because I became extremely suicidal. Every waking thought revolved around me killing myself. I was anxious and irritable and definitely had the energy to do carry out my plans. Thankfully, I stopped taking the Wellbutrin after a week and these thoughts went away. It was this experience that convinced me how harmful these meds can be. Unfortunately I did not know how to taper properly and went way too fast with decreases of 20 mg every 2 weeks. Eventually I got to zero for a couple days but my therapist convinced me to stay on them. Stupidly I jumped all the way back up to 40 mg. But then after two weeks I decided once again that I needed to get off them. I did not know I was playing with fire. Once again I went super fast. When I made it to zero this time however, new symptoms began to hit. I got what I realize now is akathisia. If I tried to read my brain couldn’t form the words into sentences. I began sleeping very little. Most disconcerting, my penis had shriveled up and gotten freezing cold and I stopped getting nocturnal erections(morning wood). It was this that caused me to reinstate my taper after only four days at 0 mg. I went back up to 40 mg over two weeks and my sexual functioning more or less returned. My sex drive however did not. By then I knew what I was really in for. After that I began to taper much slower. This was probably stupid, but I would cut the pills in half and estimate the amount of powder I would take. I did this until December 2018 and made it to 10 mg. Then I got pills that I could cut into smaller pieces and bought a scale and I have been using this method ever since. Throughout the taper, emotional anesthesia arose as a prominent symptom. My sexuality is no longer similar to pre drug levels or even similar to what it was while I was on the drug. It has definitely gotten worse as I’ve decreased the drug. However, so far it seems that after each time I have decreased my dose, my ability to maintain an erection would vanish and then more or less reappear after a couple weeks. Currently I am at 2.5mg! 🎉The akathisia has mostly abated (although I’m sure it’ll come back once I’m fully off the drug) I feel emotionally numb all the time. I feel like I have lost my identity and have no access to my memories. I remember them but I feel nothing when I do. Listening to music is pointless. I no longer play my guitar. My erections are fickle, and I have no sex drive at all. I do still have feeling in my penis, so I am not dealing with genital anesthesia. The closer I get to zero however, the less my penis functions. I even went down to about 0.5 mg and my penis went cold like the time I went to 0 mg a couple months ago. It seems the blood flow returned when I went back to 2.5 yesterday; however, my penis head has these odd striations on it. I am afraid of developing genital anathesis post taper. For those who had genital anesthesia, when did this symptom appear for you? My fear is that the lack of blood supply and lack of erections will lead to nerve atrophy in my penis. For this reason I am taking the rest of my taper even slower than initially planned. As long as my penis doesn’t get cold, I will continue to taper. I have also turned my diet around and cut out sugar and gluten. I want to exercise but this seems to trigger the akathisia so I’ve put it on hold. Im against all supplements as I’ve had bad experienced with them. One thing this site taught me is how cautious I have to be so that my nervous system can heal. Does anyone have any advice for me? Do you think because I haven’t experienced physical symptoms (yet at least) like nausea or muscle pain or even brain zaps that I’ll be able to heal fairly quickly? Or will these effects most likely simply appear once I’m finally off the drug. Prozac does have a long half life after all. What do you guys think? Im also wondering when (or if) my emotions will return post taper. For those who have regained the full range of emotions, were you able to look back at emotional memories and feel what you felt in that moment? Does music sound good again? Lastly, when can I expect symptoms of nueroemotions? I’m actually looking forward to this symptoms as it will mean my emotions are returning and that I don’t have permanent damage. Thank you if you took the time to read this, and sorry if it’s a little long. (p.s. Altostrata if you read this thank you for everything you have done. I’ve spent the past month browsing this site on and off and the level of charity you display is phenomenal. Thank you!)
  10. See journal articles about PSSD in Papers about Post-SSRI Sexual Disorder (PSSD) Please note that SurvivingAntidepressants is a site for tapering and recovery from withdrawal syndrome. While we see PSSD sometimes as an aspect of withdrawal syndrome (and we see gradual recovery from it as well as withdrawal syndrome), this site is not specifically for discussion of treatment of PSSD or its neurological origins (which at this time are highly speculative). If you wish to discuss symptoms, theories, and treatment of PSSD, please go to these sites: PSSDforum http://www.pssdforum.com/ Yahoo group SSRIsex (log in to http://Yahoo.com to join) Facebook group (log into Facebook.com to join) Various pages on Rxisk.org
  11. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  12. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  13. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - gretta: Tapering off klonopin while on prozac problems
  14. Hi everyone, I'm new here. I've been searching the internet for days for some sort of support group and I've finally found you. Okay I'll give a brief history. I've been on antidepressants since I was 17, I'm 32 now. My first AD was prozac which didn't work at the time, so I was then put on Venelaxfine which worked but made me slightly manic. I was on Venelaxafine from 2002 until 2006 I think. I was then put on cipralex, then after a bad break up where I couldn't sleep or eat I was put on Mirtazapine which I wasn't on for long, then I was on citalopram and then we did a full circle back to prozac. I was on prozac for around 7 years, it was great stuff for me. I got over my break up, found a job, made friends and have been very happy. Over the last year I have been finding myself become more and more anxious, it felt like an internal anxious that I couldn't control at all. So after a bad anxiety attack over 3 weeks ago I went back to the doctors who prescribed me a double dose of prozac (so from 20mg to 40mg). I took this for a few days but my anxiety was 100 times worse so my mum suggested just coming off them for a few days to see how I felt. The strange thing was after coming off my anxiety went. I wasn't feeling that constant adrenaline feeling that I had been feeling for months or even a year. I went back to the Drs and they gave me sertraline as I was afraid of coming off everything all together. I was given a low dose of 25mg sertraline. I was on sertraline for 2 days and I noticed that my vision in one eye had gone and I couldn't see very well and the pupil in that eye had gone huge, compared to the other eye pupil which was a normal size. So I came off. As I came off on the weekend I couldn't see a doctor for a few days, when I did see a doctor and explained what had happened and that I was really worried because I'd come off cold turkey. He asked how I felt and I told him I felt fine. I had been dizzy, headachey and had odd dreams and the odd little bit of panic before sleeping, but nothing too bad. So I've been off prozac for 10days now and completely off sertraline for 4 days. I'm hoping to stay off the ADs completely now. I am nervous because I couldn't find online any people that had experienced coming off prozac. I'm taking B complex supplements, flaxseed oil, magnesium and l-lysine supplements to see if it will help. I'm so worried that when the prozac is out of my system completely and I level that I will be depressed again, but right now I feel good and positive, just really nervous.
  15. Hello everyone. I'm very, very grateful to have found this site before I found my way back to a secluded ledge at the Grand Canyon I found four years ago with my now ex-wife. The ledge had no appeal then, but has come up repeatedly during rough periods. I just found this site and I just came to understand just how extensive and pervasive my WD symptoms have become. They did not really start to become that active until 5 months ago. Now they rage. I have to laugh and cry at the same time because currently I am living in a travel trailer and I have no idea where my next stop or step is going to be. 5 months ago I sold my condo, closed my art business, ended an engagement, bought a travel trailer, and have been staying with a friend in rural VA. Now I'm in Phoenix, AZ. Several times in the last 3 months I have tried to start over by making decisions and implementing a plan of action for work and living arrangements and have been unable to follow through with even the beginnings of restabalizing my life situation. Once I start to initiate changes to my situation, violently intense emotions begin to arise and my ability to think clearly falls away. I abandon the plan and fall back. Strangely, in the midst of this pattern, I have been in some intense therapy sessions, uncovered and addressed some deep wounded issues from my past that I'm sure were being masked by the meds. I had a 7 week period recently during the therapy where every day was filled with almost nonstop continuous waves of shame, sadness, and some rage (all I believe being old repressed and masked emotions but probably way more intense from WD or is it the sum total of repressed emotions finally getting out). It's like I'm split at times with two completely different personalities with two completely different agendas. I just read the posts about neuro emotions and realized I have been experiencing them intensely. They have been running my life since I become abstinent. There is a lot of intense healing going on inside me physically and emotionally, and I didn't realize just how deep it goes. I am not the same person anymore and it frightens and excites me at the same time. It's like a spiritual journey through hell. I feel at times very peaceful and supported by the universe and at times like a want to die. I will stop there and ask for the wisdom of the forum for what I have posted. I am a sponge for your help now. Thank you!! Mark
  16. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  17. Hi, I thought I would introduce myself. Have joined this forum after experiencing horrendous withdrawals from anti-depressants. I am 34, female. Currently 3 months completely off of Prozac which I took for 6 years at the highest dose I understand is allowed to be prescribed in the UK (60mg daily). I weaned down from 60mg to 0mg over 5 months. Have had 3 months of pure hell since stopping taking Prozac completely - symptoms ranging from suicidal depression, nausea, migraines, loss of appetite, the most debilitating anxiety and panic. Weakness, crying spells, the most excruciating emotional and psychic pain that I have ever had to endure. All the symptoms I have read others have experienced except I haven't had brain zaps - not sure why. Am determined to stay off of Prozac and just go through what I need to. Very grateful to have come across this forum and hopefully to be able to share how I am getting through and to hear how others have managed and hopefully to offer support too. I am aware that there seems to be no other way that through this - keen to connect with others who are finding a way through. Very keen to connect and speak further to anyone else having to go through this. Very determined to get through although very aware it feels like you just don't know what each day will bring or when you really are finally on solid ground. Very keen to hear others experiences. I am using the idea of windows and waves to navigate through currently. Very keen to connect with others. Natalie
  18. Hi. I was taking prozac 10 mgs for 5 months. Then I cold turkeyed it (didnt know I had to taper it). I have since been in protracted withdrawal for almost 6 months. I have been getting better. But, as I heal, I have other health issues that come up, and I am afraid to take medicine for those issues because I do not want to have any crazy reactions to the medicine. For instance, I used to have a birth control device called ESSURE. I had a hysterectomy to remove it almost 2 years ago. But, I think that the inflammation from the device messed with my hormones causing me to develop acne, dry skin, and excessive facial hair on my face. This was all prior to me using Prozac. Now, that I am in withdrawal I have been told that I may need to take hormone pills to help the issues I am having with my face. So far, I have been doing well avoiding all supplements and medications, alcohol, etc. while I am in protracted withdrawal to allow my nervous system to heal. The question is, is it safe for me to take the hormone pills to correct any imbalances I may have? What about taking antibiotics for skin infections (if I need it)? Or if I need any further surgeries (that require pain/numbing meds) for my ongoing pelvic pain after my hysterectomy? How should I proceed? I do not want to face any set backs in my healing, so any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
  19. Hi all, I'm a 24-year-old female who has been on some kind of antidepressant since I was 17. 1. Zoloft, 1 year (2011) 2. Wellbutrin, 2-3 months (end of 2011 in conjunction with Zoloft) 3. Viibryd, 6 months (2012) 4. Buspar, 2-3 months (2012) 5. Lexapro, 1 year (late 2012 to late 2013) 5. Prozac, 3ish years (late 2013 to mid 2017) I started tapering off of Prozac this April, going down by 10mg a month for 7 months. I was on an 80mg per day dose for at least 2.5 years. I finished tapering at the end of October 2017. I didn't have any particularly bothersome symptoms until the last 10mg and these have persisted or gotten worse in the last two months. My biggest issue right now seems to be irritability. I feel like I go through multiple mood swings per day and sometimes I can't even describe how I'm feeling. My anxiety has also increased - fears about my loved ones dying or that I'm going to get into a car accident on the highway, that kind of thing. I know it's still soon, being only 2 months since I completely stopped taking Prozac, but are these all withdrawal symptoms and if so, how long can I expect them to last? Sometimes I wonder if I even remember was normal feels like anymore, since I've been on antidepressants since before I was even an adult. I felt pretty good on Prozac moodwise, but disliked the weight gain that resulted (65 pounds!) and I worried about the long term effects on being on it.
  20. Prince1924

    Prince1924: Prozac

    I have just read this advice about keeping a withdrawal programme Simple ie 3KIS. Not sure but there doesn't seem to be a support network like this in the UK? Only one I've come across is the Royal College of psychiatrists which is a in the form of a video). I've taken great comfort from all this advice as I makes me feel I can try and come off Prozac one more time.
  21. Hi, I was on .5 Mg 1x day of Klonopin for 28 years, my GP updoses it to 3 x day....terrible pyridoxal reaction, Dr. added 10 Mg Prozac which helped the terrible reaction. Did a 2 year taper off Klonopin. 6 Months after being off I started a 5 - 6 month taper off the Prozac. Been off Klonopin 15 months; Off Prozac little over 4 months. Having terrible monophobia (which I kinda had over these last 28 years), huge terror, obsessive thoughts, ruminating thoughts, extreme anger / rage, insomnia. I called both my dr. and therapist crying today. Dr. wants me to re-instate the Prozac. Is this still benzo withdrawal or Prozac wd ??? I am SO scared of meds.....I wonder if this is me or meds ???
  22. Edie

    Edie: my story

    Hello, I'm Edie from Estonia and I struggeled with antidepressants for years now. I have also been addicted to Klonopin, but fortunately I'm free from it now. My worst enemy was venlafaxine. At first it really helped with my anxiety problems, but then one day it completely stopped working and soon I fell into a really dark depression, which I had not felt before psychiatric meds. I was sleeping all the time, had no feelings at all, no motivation- just tired and zombie-like. And ofcourse.. if I wanted to stop the medication I just couldn't. Every time the horrible venlafaxine withdrawal kicked in. I somehow managed to switch from venlafaxine to prozac and now I feel a little bit better. I have been on 10 mg of prozac for almost two months now and I think that soon I should make my first taper, but I am a little bit afraid of that, because of the big changes my brain has gone through the past months. 75mg venlafaxine to 10mg prozac was a really difficult thing to do - during the switch I had severe panick attacks, suicide thoughts, extreme pressure in head ect. The thing is that I'm not sure when I should start tapering. Should I do it now or wait a little bit longer? I also take inositol powder and 500 mg niacin in the evenings and I think that these supplements are helping a little bit with the anxiety.
  23. Help777

    Help777: journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  24. Hi, I am female, 48 years old, and have been on Prozac or Zoloft for 26 years for panic attacks. There is a lot more to share but, I have an initial question that is time-sensitive... I went off of 20 mg per day of Prozac 2.5 weeks ago without tapering. I have been reading that this was not a good idea! Please let me know what to do now that I have already done it. Do I start up again with a lower dose? Do I go back to my regular 20 mg and start to taper off the way you have described? My WD symptoms are numerous and ridiculously bad most of the time but, I have been surviving. I want to stay off the medication but am now worried that my worst symptoms may be in my future. I would love to know what your thoughts are. Thank you! 4peace
  25. Link to father's topic: paranoidandroid Hello everyone, Iv'e actually been looking at this site for quite a while now to get me through and decided to make an account now I feel in a slightly better place to do so. Currently I'd just like peoples opinions on my situation.. do you think I'll ever fully recover? My history in the signature sums it up quite concisely so if you want to ask any questions please do. I believe I will but I just want to hear it from other people, as you may know this can be a lonely place to be. I wasn't aware for all this time how damaging these drugs are and assumed my visual snow and DP was just related to anxiety. But now I have no doubt in my mind they caused these symptoms. I may not go back to exactly how I was 6 years ago, which is upsetting, but as long as going forward I'll be able to make a better reality for myself, then I think I'll be okay. I'd also be very interested in what people think of my diet and if you think I should refine it in any way.
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