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  1. Hello, I have been reading this forum off and on for the past few years. I have been on antidepressants, specifically Celexa for about 10 years. It was started in college due to panic symptoms while giving presentations, and also general social anxiety. It did seem to help to tamper the anxiety, I was ultimately able to get through speeches, face more social situations and accomplish more in the college setting. I experienced minimal to no side effects initially. It was perhaps two years into taking the medication that I began to realize that my emotions seemed numb, I no longer cried or felt much in general. I discussed this with the prescriber who asked whether I would prefer this effect, vs the anxiety that had been somewhat crippling, and I decided it was better to remain on medication than not. I have also been offered/considered other medications such as wellbutrin to counteract the "side effects", and do not think I am interested in going down that road. About 8 years into taking the medication I became more concerned about the above side effects, noting I had not cried in about a decade, and not identifying with my own emotions, or empathizing with others as much either. Not feeling as much love for my partner or others, not responding as positively to things I enjoy, though probably not as negatively to stressors either. I had reached a max dose of 40 mg at one point, had slowly tapered to 10 mg without too much difficulty. Following grad school before starting my first job I decided to go off altogether. The withdrawal itself was not too bad, though there was a noticeable return of emotions. It was refreshing to "feel" again, yet I felt a growing anxiety as my first job approached, fearing my inability to perform without medication, and ultimately went back onto 10 mg of Celexa. I started my new job about 1 year ago, which actually was in the field of mental health, and did deal to an extent with the prescription of psychiatric medication. My concerns about my own medication remained, and I had a growing concern about the impact medications may be having on others as well, which contributed to my resignation, along with other factors, such as work stress impacting my life. I should add that I am not necessarily against all medication, though still in the process of understanding how I feel about this. Around that time a long-term relationship also ended. And despite these major life events, I felt unable to emotionally process anything. Therefore, I am again interested in attempting to get off of medication altogether, to experience emotion, try to feel like myself again. I have been off for about four days. I feel I have more resources this time around; therapy, meditation, exercise, etc. all our helpful. I am concerned that the taper is too fast (especially when comparing to the recommended tapers and others' experiences), but currently do not have health insurance to be prescribed a lower dosage...though may need to pursue this in the future if the current "experiment fails". My other concern is that this is not the "right time", given major life changes that have occurred recently (job and relationship loss), and currently needing to look for a new job. Concerns about whether I can remain in my current career while off medication, and/or how tapering would impact my emotional stability in my new position. I am interested in others input/experiences. Specifically, others experiences with lack of crying/emotion, and whether these emotions have returned during the tapering process, and whether they were manageable. I also am wondering whether it would be helpful to have one person who I communicate with directly, like a peer support to share experiences with and if anyone on the forum would be interested in this, or if there is a way of finding a peer/mentor/buddy to mutually share experiences with. Thank you for reading!
  2. Hello to all of you! I just discovered this forum and I think it's best for me to ask you for advice, since most doctors here in germany don't have a clue about ssri withdrawal.. So I'm trying to keep it short. I was prescribed 20mg of escitalopram (=40mg citalopram) in september 2017 after having severe depression, caused by withdrawal from benzos (lorazepam) which I'm off for 16 months now. The ssri helped me a lot and thankfully my depression went away and never came back. I tried to get off the ssri in april this year and tapered waaaay too fast. Took 10mg for a week, then 5 for a week and then zero. The withdrawal symptoms were severe but i could stand them. But after 3 months I got some heavy muscle pain and numbness in my forearms and felt so fatigue i couldn't get out of bed anymore. That led me to reinstating the drug at 6mg at first. I didn't feel much better, so i updosed to 10mg 10 days later. The first 5 days or so i felt pretty well, but after that I felt much worse and I'm feeling worse every day since then. I'm suffering severe anhedonia, brain fog, anxiety and a bit of fatigue. At least the muscle weakness is gone. Honestly I don't really know what to do next. Updosing to 10mg was about 12 days ago and i wonder if I should go back to a lower dose like 5mg or should just wait and hope to get better. Hope some of you can help me Much greetings, Gaebbi
  3. I was prescribed 15mg Mirtazapine in May 2019 for sleep and anxiety following a diagnosis of PVFS (now ME/CFS) in Jan 19. Developed tinnitus 4 weeks later and advised to come off by MD. Both the MD and pharmacist advised that what I now know as a FT would be ok as I was only taking the drug for almost 3 months. In fact, my MD said that Mirtazapine would be ok to just stop. Dropped from 15mg to 0 in about 4 weeks and unsurprisingly got the whole raft of symptoms. The worst was my inability to sleep and brain tremors that would come on as I was just falling asleep and if I did fall asleep would wake me at every sleep cycle. I went for some nights with no sleep and became suicidal. Reinstated after 16 days, under the advice of my MD at 3.75mg for 2 days, with little improvement, then up to 7.5mg, where I have been for two months. I have been a heavy meditator since the start of June as part of an ME/CFS recovery program, called ANS Rewire (highly recommended), which includes brain training. I am taking a supplement regime as part of this protocol, I also take melatonin (2mg). Two months on from reinstatement pretty much all withdrawal symptoms have disappeared apart from minor tingling and skin crawling sensations (this could be withdrawal, the drug side affects, or my illness) and the sleep disturbance, and I am seeking advice on whether to up the dose to 11.75mg as suggested by MD. It has improved a great deal and I am getting a number of hours a night. Initially the brain tremor would be very intense, making my whole body tingle/tremor and my tinnitus gets very loud, stopping me from falling asleep and waking me on each sleep cycle (perhaps on REM part as I can always remember dreams and never could prior). After a bit, it became much milder and less frequent, still stopping me falling asleep and waking me, but feeling more like an odd sensation. More recently it appears to have worsened and when I wake my heart is pounding. I think I wake on each sleep cycle and after about 4.30 am, its constant as a fall asleep and will happen multiple times until waking. Oddly, I have noticed that on days where my meditation feels particularly deep, the night is much worse and this worries me, because it makes me feel as though there is something wrong with my brain. I also wonder whether having ME/CFS (a dysfunction of the ANS), means that things are harder. Anyway, I am thinking of upping the dose to 11.75mg and am seeking advice. Also, I wondered if anyone else has experienced that meditation makes symptoms worse? I do go very deep and believe that I have high brain neuroplasticity.
  4. Hello SA, As you can see from my signature, I have a long history of starting, stopping, and switching numerous drugs. Largely due to SA, over the past month or so I have truly awoken to the dangers of these drugs, and I am devastated over what I now know they have done to my brain and body for the last nearly 18 years. However, I do have faith that I will heal. At age 17 I unwittingly walked right into Big Pharma’s lair and became ensnared when a psychiatrist prescribed me Effexor for OCD (which apparently should not even be a first-line treatment for OCD). When I tried to fill it at a new pharmacy in my new state as a college freshman about 1.5 years later, I was told that my insurance would not fill the prescription because the dosage was too high (I don’t remember what it was). Frustrated, I decided to just stop taking it since it wasn’t helping me. I didn’t know any better. When withdrawal hit me, I contributed my symptoms to the cold turkey but didn’t fully understand I was experiencing withdrawal. Over the next 15 years I went on and off multiple drugs to try to manage my OCD and accompanying depression, not fully realizing that my unsuccessful attempts to stop the drugs were due to tapering too quickly and subsequent withdrawal as opposed to relapse. In October of 2018 I was on 10 mg of Prozac and had been holding there for about a year while seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I was struggling at that dose, most likely due to delayed withdrawal from a too fast taper from 60 mg. Due to my struggles, I decided to attend an outpatient OCD program where I foolishly allowed the attending psychiatrists to take me off the Prozac and put me on a cocktail of Abilify, Anafranil, and Luvox. I did not notice any improvement with the cocktail over the 10mg of Prozac. Once I discharged from the program three months later, I returned to seeing the psychiatric nurse practitioner. He instructed me to cold turkey the Luvox (I had been taking 25 mg for 2.5 weeks). I hesitated at the cold turkey approach but thought, "I've only been taking it 2.5 weeks." He continued me at 5mg of Abilify and increased me from 75mg to 100mg of Anafranil. At my next visit one month later, I said I would like to discontinue the Abilify and Anafranil as they were not helpful. His instructions were to cut the 5mg Abilify pills in half for 6 days and stop. This seemed too fast to me, but he told me that anti-psychotics do not need to be tapered as slowly as anti-depressants. Regarding the Anafranil, I was to take 50 mg for one week, 25 mg for one week, then stop. This seemed too fast to me as well, but I told myself that it was still a taper and not a true cold turkey. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am here now because I have found myself in “one of the worst places to be during withdrawal”, according to @brassmonkey in his Reinstatement post. I am seriously considering reinstatement after 8 months off of all drugs because I am completely non-functional, and my symptoms have only gotten worse during this time period. What concerns me perhaps the most is that I have not experienced any windows since my last dose. I want to believe that I am healing, but it feels I've only deteriorated over the last 8 months. From what I’ve read here on SA, I understand that reinstatement may or may not work and may even cause an adverse reaction since I’ve been drug-free for so long. Even so, I would sincerely appreciate any advice on reinstatement (for or against) in regards to my particular situation. Also, if I were to reinstate, which drug should I reinstate? I was on Luvox for 2.5 weeks and both Abilify and Anafranil for approximately 4 months. Before that, I was on Prozac (on and off at various times) for 13+ years. So although Abilify and Anafranil were my most recent drugs, perhaps it is Prozac that my brain and body are most used to? I am grateful for any advice, suggestions, and encouragement. Peace, Love, and Faith, HopeforHealing
  5. Hi. Hoping for some advice. Unfortunately I didn't do my research properly before trying to taper off and discontinue citalopram. See signature. I managed to completely cut the citalopram out at the beginning of April this year and ploughed on through the horrible withdrawal, mostly emotional with mood swings. Mood gradually worsened and at the end of May had a massive crash - couldn't stop crying, the world seemed to be a different place, it looked different, and I could no longer function. Terrified the next morning I took a 10 mg pill of citalopram I had left over from last time. Saw the doctor the following Monday who encouraged me to continue with them. By Friday 7 June, my anxiety levels were that high with constant whooshes of panic that I went back to the doctor. He wanted to up the dose to 40mg but I said I was afraid this would lead to more anxiety. Agreed to up to 20 mg and he prescribed a weeks course of 2mg diazepam to help alleviate the panic. Diazepam helps but the underlying anxiety doesn't seem to be settling. Took the 20mg of citalopram this morning, have hardly been able to function all day. I'm at a loss at what to do. Should I stick at it and hope the citalopram will kick in again? Do I reduce right back down to say 5mg? Do I stop completely and ask for another medication to help stabilise me? I suspect nobody knows the answer. Feeling extremely restless when the diazepam wears off - I can't go on like this 😞
  6. so here i am building a public diary about my experience with sertraline. my intent is quite selfish i assure you - i seek catharsis - but with a little luck this introduction will evolve into a success story, and someone else who also struggles may be uplifted in the process. it helps to read about the experiences of others and I'm hoping it helps to talk about my own even more. i guess thats why we're all here, to talk. i just wish i could cuss here cuz its like half my vocabulary. anyway, after taking sertraline 50mg for seasonal affective disorder for three years with no adverse effects i figured i would quit. after a little research i did what amounted to a taper over the course of 6 weeks. i felt fine and had no side effects for two months after my last dose. i thought i had moved on, no biggie. about a week ago i had a panic attack seemingly out of nowhere. it basically didn't subside for three days and i was clueless as to what the problem was. i figured i had finally snapped. i was afraid to be home alone so most of the first 72 hrs were spent driving around aimlessly searching for meaningless tasks to keep me occupied and visiting friends on high alert at best, full blown panic at worst. i couldn't eat or sleep or think and my vision was screwy and my adrenaline pumped and my ears rang and my heart beat and my breathing was labored. confusion ruled and still i was determined to ride it out like a bad trip. through conversation with friends and internet research i realized i was experiencing withdrawal. it was something i hadn't considered and i was floored by the implications. after researching this site and the horrors contained within it i decided to reinstate sertraline at 25mg on 7-7-16, 3 days after withdrawal symptoms began in the hopes of stabilization and eventual slow taper. as of now it has been about 48 hrs since reinstatement of 25mg once daily in the morning. i realize it takes time for the drug to build and have an effect but i suspect there has already been some improvement. i haven't have a bad reaction and have had limited success with food and sleep so for now i hold and hope. ill hold forever if need be, i can be rather tenacious when properly motivated, even if this is the weakest i have ever felt. it has been and still is quite the roller coaster of fear but i am hopeful…ish. this forum has helped so much already and may prove to be my rock, my arm floaties in rough seas, and my fuzzie kitten for my nerves. thank you. stay tuned for the next freak out!
  7. I was given amitriptyline for severe insomnia and fluoxetine for cognitive function 30 years ago, after 6 months bedridden with Epstein Barr/Chronic Fatigue. Both were very successful, and I was able to return to work and later retire. I stopped amitriptyline a few years ago, no longer needed. Kept taking fluoxetine, which may not have been needed anymore. Fluoxetine "pooped out" early this year and I became very apathetic and anhedonic. I was put on 75 mg Effexor mid-April, without any washout period for the fluoxetine - neither I nor, apparently, my doctor, knew any better. It was very good at mood and energy improvement, but I had fairly bad physical side effects, and asked for lower dose. 37.5 mg still caused bad side effects. Like a fool, I stopped cold turkey one month ago. I knew I should count beads and taper, but simply could not force myself to put one more mg of this stuff into my body. Now I am paying the piper, and paying a lot. I found this site a few weeks ago, and have been looking for others who have severe physical WD symptoms. I may be lucky in that I have no emotional or cognitive symptoms, or unlucky in that I seem to have all of the physical ones. First 3 days off, my feet and calves swelled up like water balloons, along with neck and shoulder pain 24/7, which is still ongoing, but better. Muscle spasms in thigh muscles that made me actually scream one night during first week off. Chest tightness (muscle spasm?) that almost sent me to the ER several times. Shortness of breath has not gotten better so far, and insomnia is very severe. I feel terrible in the morning and all day until around 5 PM, then I seem to have a surge of wakefulness that lasts until 1 or 2 AM. Fatigue will not let up. I can't reinstate Effexor, as the side effects while taking it were much the same as WD, only less severe.
  8. Hello there, I am new to this forum and am seeking any guidance you can give me as I am in despair and feel horrible. I had been on SSRI’s for over 25 years and have always wanted to get off them but never could. Always tapered too fast and ended up feeling horribly sick so I would start back up. It was just easier staying on them. Several years ago, I realized that my mood had become really flat and I had trouble getting excited about anything. I wasn’t necessarily sad or depressed about anything but I felt that there was more to life and believed it had to do with the Prozac. So, I made the decision to taper differently this time – very slowly over the course of a few years. Unfortunately, I tapered completely wrong. Just because I was going more slowly did not mean that I was doing it right. How I wish I had found this website sooner. I began skipping doses and taking 20mg every other day. Maintained that for about a year. Then began taking it only a few days per week and maintained that. Then dropped down to 2 days per week. Then instead of taking 20 mg, I began taking 10 mg 2 days per week. All this time, I was having intermittent withdrawals, but did not recognize the symptoms for what they were. I ended up in the ER twice with chest pressure that was diagnosed as acid reflux but it was withdrawals. I had bouts of severe muscle pain/burning in my shoulders and neck that would last for about a week and then go away and then resurface down the road. My doctor suggested I had Fibromyalgia and prescribed Cymbalta which I refused to take. I never believed that I had Fibro but I still hadn’t connected the dots that my symptoms were withdrawals from tapering so poorly. When I got down to 10mg twice a week, my doctor told me since I was on such a low dose, to just stop it. So, I stopped the Prozac in March 2019 and began taking amino acids – Tryptophan 1000 mg, DLPA 1000 mg and GABA 125 mg (upon the advice of a holistic doctor). Since then, I have ranged from feeling ok to pretty good. In fact the week before the horrendous withdrawals began on July 24th, I thought I was getting close to my “normal” self again. My husband and I were even planning on doing an embryo transfer later this year in the hopes of having our first child. The holistic doctor advised me that amino acids were safe to take while pregnant, however, I recently came across articles that say otherwise. Unfortunately, I played with fire and wanted to see what would happen if I stopped taking the DLPA. So, I stopped the DLPA, for 3 days. On the 3rd day, all heck broke loose and I became extremely dizzy and off balance for most of the day. The very next day, I resumed the DLPA hoping it would alleviate my symptoms but they continued and evolved into other ones as well. Initially, I thought that the symptoms were withdrawals from DLPA but now I believe they are protracted withdrawal from the Prozac. I think the aminos were keeping the lid on the Prozac withdrawals and then once I lifted that lid off, everything boiled over. After a week of terrible withdrawals and calling in sick for 2 days, I couldn't take it anymore and decided to reinstate the Prozac. I came across the SA website and the recommendation to reinstate a very small amount. I only had 10mg and 20 mg pills left so I made liquid Prozac out of the 10mg and reinstated at 1.25 mg. Although, I did not have any negative effects from 1.25 mg, the next day I was scared that I reinstated too high and only took .5 mg. That is where I have been at for 9 days now. I am pushing myself to work each day and it is so very difficult with my symptoms: feeling sick/hungover, chest pressure, difficulty breathing, fatigue, insomnia, neck/shoulder tension, sometimes a burning sensation in my neck/shoulders, too. Over the past 9 days, I would say that I am better than I was before the reinstatement but I am still miserable. There have been a couple of times when I have experienced a wired feeling, too. I did go and see my new PCP and it did not go well. Of course, she told me that there is no way I could be in withdrawals if I quit Prozac in March and that she believes I have underlying depression and anxiety in which she suggested I take Effexor. I told her I would never take that. I am looking for guidance as to whether it is time for me to increase or hold at .5 mg longer. I apologize in advance if this was too long winded and does not make much sense.
  9. David182

    David182: hello all

    Hello everyone, I’d like to start off by saying thank you. The people of this forum have inspired much hope and understanding in the ways of antidepressant medication. I am grateful. I’ve been on Zoloft since the spring of 2015. Things had been going wonderfully well. I felt like myself but disconnected/ unplugged just enough to cope far better. Better mood, alertness and mental focus were a nice change of pace. Around the end of May 2017 I’d been taking BCAAs for working out for around 2 months. One Sunday, after lifting weights and mowing the yard I took a nap and woke up feeling off. I had low blood sugar issues for about a day, I couldn’t handle warm temperatures, couldn’t sleep well, and suffered hot flashes for the next few days. For a while I though I was sick. I took an lorazepam one evening (3 days later) and an extra zoloft because of horrible anxiety. I countinued to take my now double dose with my doctor’s permission. The next 6 weeks were h*ll. I had no idea Zoloft could do such things since I had no negative effects when I started. I could write a novel (as I’m sure we all could) but I’ll try and hit the main points. About week 6 I stabilized. I hadn’t found this site yet so many mistakes were made. i only stayed at 100mg for a week or so before I jumped to 75mg (I felt too apathetic about things, needed to lower). By this point I realized it was the Zoloft causing my problems. The next few weeks were quite uncomfortable but things went really bad when working out on the 3rd week caused me to crash...hard!! I switched doctors as I couldn’t seem to get anywhere with my other one. My new P.A diagnosed me with serotonin syndrome (a short 3 day stint of trazadone while doubling my dose no doubt contributed, different doctor) she dropped me from 75mg to 25mg of Zoloft. I felt so much better and for the next two weeks got to the point of feeling amazing. Then week three came and some light cardio pushed me over the edge and I crashed again. I also noticed I would have horrible low blood sugar issues for a day or two after crashing. after a week of misery. I bumped my dose to 50mg (I found this site by then). I felt immediate improvement. I began to heal but also began feeing strong sensations of numbness/ pins and needles in my hands and feet, weakness also. I am currently 7 weeks at 50mg. I’ve been struggling with tight & weak calves / ankles since, sporadic internal tremors and fatigue. Had back spasms for a bit about a week ago but not since. I’ve begun to sleep better in the past few weeks (7 hours on a good night but not consistently). I typically wake up around 5-6 hours after falling asleep but I don’t NEED medicine to help me fall asleep anymore (a few months of needing it). I would rather keep this short but I want you all to know my history. I saw a psychiatrist tonight at the recommendation of my PA (she was surprised when my reinstatement actually helped, she was convinced I hadn’t dropped too low too fast. She is a wonderful PA and God worked through her, saved my life when I had serotonin syndrome.) The psychiatrist on the other hand... I have mixed feelings. I flat out refused any other medication. She believes my first incident was serotonin syndrome. Maybe so? BCCA actually inhibit triptophan uptake but then again my workout protein powder did have triptophan in it (I have quit taking all workout supplements months ago). The psychiatrist also thinks I’m suffering from serotonin syndrome now. (Currently weakness in legs, pins and needles in hands and feet, stiff feeling calves and maybe hands, hands and feet more susceptible to being cold) what do do you all think? Do I continue to continue to tough it out at 50mg? Is this a sign my body is too sensitized for this dose? (I was at 25mg for one month before reinstating to 50mg) I will work on my signature as soon as I figure out how to do it. Thank you for your time. I trust you all more than the medical “professionals”
  10. hi,all been on &off antidepressants for 20 yrs but never felt this crummy.since stopping Paroxetine have had flu-like symptoms ,then fatigue loss of appetite,taste changes,eye problems(excessive blinking actually started while on it,that's why I quit).depression,anxiety,just miserable,wondering if I should reinstate or just try & hang in there.I was on it about 6 mos.stopped May 4 after about 7 wk taper.thanks for any suggestions
  11. Hello everyone first of all excuse my broken english its my second language but i’ll try to write it the best i can. i am a 40 year old male suffering from depression and anxiety for about 8 years now, the first time i went to see a doctor he prescribed me Celexa i was on it for a while then he switched me to escitalopram he said it was a better antidepressant, that didn’t really help either but i stayed on it anyways, at some point I was drinking and taking the escitalopram,i did that for about two years, i would drink regularly and i knew i didn’t supposed to but anyways i learned my lesson later. So after being on antidepressants on and off for about eight years i quit the drug by myself, i weaned it off but i dont think i did it right, i feel sick and very anxious, my way of tapering off was to cut the pill in halve and i just took the halve(5mg) so i did this for about a mont and then stop the drug completely. Its been a mont since i stopped and iam very anxious, i dont wanna leave my house iam scared, i been doing a lot of research on line thas how i found this site wich im hoping to get good advice here, so my fist question is: is there something i can take to take the edge off the withdrawal or iam just going to have to tough it out?? Please i need some advice and some hope
  12. I’ve been anxious since I can remember. I think it’s in my DNA. I went on lexapro the first time in 2013 after some bad experiences that left me feeling depersonalized any time I was in social situations. Super weird considering I’ve never had social anxiety before in my life. Fast forward to 2016 and I finally feel ready to come off lexapro. I had barely any withdrawal symptoms, aside from brain zaps, and I came off pretty easily in about 3 weeks. I was successfully off lexapro for two years with minimal anxiety, until last summer hit out of nowhere. The anxiety came back full force summer ‘18, and by December it was either go back on lexapro or quit my job. With the latter not being an option, I went back on lexapro. The second time around, the lexapro didn’t work as well, and I felt like it almost made me have some depression, which is something I’ve never dealt with. At that time I had worked my way up to 10 mg and stayed there for about 2 months before starting to lower again. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant soon, so I decided to try to wean off lexapro the beginning of June. I finally stopped completely last Monday and seemed to be ok for about a week, until yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks. My head feels like there’s tons of pressure built up, my eyes are having a hard time focusing and are extremely sensitive to light, I feel dizzy and light headed, I’m disoriented and can’t focus when people are talking to me and it honestly feels like I’m losing my mind. I had to leave work early because I kept feeling like I was going to black out. Is this normal? I had none of this the last time I weened off lexapro. It’s honestly to the point where I want to get an mri to make sure there’s nothing seriously wrong with me. After reading around a bit on this site, it looks like I may have tapered too quickly. I feel so stuck and don’t know where to go from here. Do I just try endure these horrific side effects until eventually they may subside, or do I reinstate a low dose and try to taper again? I actually took about 2.5mg this afternoon but immediately after I started to question why I did that. (Edit: I’ve been crying and have felt sick all afternoon. I don’t know if taking the 2.5 mg had anything to do with it, or if I would still be in this state anyways had I not taken it?) Someone help!
  13. Hi, I’m 28 years old. I’ve updated my signature so hopefully it’s clear. In 2016 after a year of increasing anxiety I went to try SSRIs on my doctors advice. numbed me out a bit but didn’t help much so 6 months later switched to . Went from 50mg-100mg-150mg over a few months. never felt fully settled on that. Lots of derealisation and apathy. Was travelling and working abroad during all this time. finally moved to Australia and decided to slowly wean as described in my signature. overall was quite rough but didn’t have any major setbacks and slowly started to feel a bit more like myself. went to the doctor in June 2019 to speak about final 25mg taper and me being frustrated with how long it was taking to taper followed her advice to drop straight to zero. The first few weeks consisted of insomnia and brain zaps which stopped around week 3-4. I am currently 2 months and 23 days at zero and about 10 days ago I started getting lots of panic which I hadn’t experienced in over a year. This stopped after a day but then came back with a bang 4 days ago and had been pretty consistent ever since. feeling very on edge, crying a lot and feeling like I may need to go back on the SSRI or reinstate. just wondering if people think this could still be due to dropping too quickly on my last couple of drops with sertraline or if it may be just a resurfacing if emotions and something I need to get through and process? also would reinstatement be an option that might be too late for me at nearly 3 months? thank you in advance
  14. I'm new here. I began a (too fast) taper of 40 mg Prozac at the end of January 2018. Had been on for many years (at least 10+). As a sidenote, I also have Lyme disease which muddies the waters of symptoms and will explain why I didn't catch that I was declining once I started tapering. In looking back at texts I was writing to friends at the time, it is (now) clear to me that I was declining mentally very soon after I reduced the dose of Prozac, but I was attributing it to Lyme disease (not discontinuation of the drug), so I never connected the dots. I started reducing Prozac end of January 2018, and took my last dose end of April 2018 because "it's easy to come off of." During that time, my mental health declined rapidly and my sleep became awful. Again, I attributed these symptoms to Lyme and not discontinuation of the Prozac--it didn't even cross my mind. I finally connected the dots in December 2018, but had stopped the Prozac way back in April 2018. I still sleep only about 2 hours per night for the last 6 months and it's horrible. I used to sleep 7-8 easily before all of this. I've tried everything for sleep and nothing works, both Rx and natural. It scares me.My personality has changed, and I feel on the verge of cracking very soon. In August 2018 my doc put me on Lexapro, but after 3 weeks on it I felt like it made me more anxious, so I tapered over a couple weeks and went off it. I also tried Ambien several times (maybe 8 tablets total) from maybe Sept to November to sleep and it gives me suicidal thoughts upon waking, and never gave me much help--maybe 3 hours tops, but often just one hour of sleep. Tried the Ambien CR, and that gave me suicidal thoughts as well and never many hours of sleep. Mid-Novemember a doc put me on Ativan for sleep, but I hate benzos, so I took only a total of 7 .5mg tablets over a 12 day period and stopped. It always gave me at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but I was not willing to stay on it (addictive), and it exacerbates my depression as well. Also in November I tried (for 6 days) Remeron for sleep, (7.5 mg), but it didn't help and I didn't want to stay on it, so I tapered over a couple weeks and stopped. Tapering instructions of all these drugs was given by my medical providers, so none of the tapers were probably anywhere close to what I should have done. When I was done with this conglomeration of short-use drugs from August- November 2018, I felt like my brain was fried. I used to be a funny, silly, hilarious, fun loving person. I've become horribly depressed, anxious, and withdrawn....and often have thoughts of suicide that I cannot get out of my mind. I also am pretty convinced that my brain cannot handle psych drugs at all anymore. It's too sensitive and does not seem to rebound. I seem to be especially sensitive to benzos and the sleep meds. I am terrified to ever use another psych drug. I'll add: in 2014 (while on Prozac) I went through heavy anxiety, so was referred to a psychiatrist who (from July through December 2014) put me on a slew of different antidepressants and antipsychotics-(-introducing one, while withdrawing another), none of which worked, but it ended with clonazepam. I was on a small dose of .25-.50 mg intermittently over a few (maybe 3) months, put on too fast a taper, and went through HELL withdrawal. I was bedridden for at least 6 months, and still had symptoms up until I started coming off of Prozac last January 2018. What a mess. So this is my second time in 4 years of going through withdrawals from psych drugs, and I was never completely through with my first withdrawal episode (but was improving very very slowly). I am not taking any drugs right now, BUT I am a horrid mess. Not sleeping AT ALL (unless 2 hours per night counts as sleep); severe severe severe depression, depersonalization, feeling like I need to jump off a bridge all the time; I've become very angry and combative; I have hardly left the house in 6 months. I have tingling and numbness all over my body and face, panic attacks often, heavy heart palpitations, my brain often feels damaged, and suicidal thoughts are ever present in my mind. I also have difficulty breathing often--like labored breathing. My anxiety is off the charts constantly. My symptoms do not wax and wane--they are always there 24/7 and never subside. And obviously I cry a lot. I grieve the full life I used to have. I have a hard time taking care of myself: showering, eating, etc, but I manage to make it thru. I am 5 feet 1, and down to about 89 lbs (from probably 112). It's rough!! Any advice for me? I feel hopeless and un-fixable. I can't imagine that re-instating Prozac would help at all at this point, since it's been so long. What do you think? Feeling very very discouraged.
  15. I tapered from effexor 150 mg over 12 days, 11 weeks ago. I experienced nearly every acute side effect eg. derealisation/depersonalisation, euphoria, vertigo, tremor, intrusive suicidal thoughts, akathisia, blurred vision, crushing pressure in head, pins and needles in forehead etc. 2 weeks ago I started to feel increasing numbness in my forehead and cognitive problems with working memory etc. consistent with chemical lobotomisation. As of 10 days or so ago I am experiencing nausea, extreme intermittent confusion, memory loss, sweating, restless legs, heart arrythmias and tachycardia. I'm very frightened and don't know whether reinstating at a low dose could make things worse although its difficult to see how things could get much worse at this point. I feel as though I'm in late stage dementia and I'm 35. I have no appetite and have lost 10% of my body weight over the last week, from 54 kg to 49 kg at 167 cm. Has anyone reinstated this late from a rapid taper and found it beneficial or did it make things worse? Please help me I'm absolutely desperate.
  16. Hi there, I was on Paxil for less than two years this time around. I started taking antidepressants again when I became paralyzed from falling down the stairs. I suffered with serotonin syndrome symptoms for over a year. I was also taking another medication that is known to interact with Paxil. The doctor did not help me in this matter. He did not know what was wrong with me. I finally found another doctor and began tapering off the paxil slowly like I had done in the past . I was on Paxil two other times in my life and had been on it longer than this time around. I never had any issues tapering, but I also never had serotonin syndrome symptoms before either. The first week of tapering I started having withdrawal symptoms and they never went away. My whole life has been put on hold. I can't function. I can't understand what people are saying because I can't focus. My head and vision are distorted. I am very tired all the time. Can't get myself to do anything or go anywhere. I also have headaches, night terrors, and GI symptoms. My food just sits in my stomach after I eat now and nothing moves. The only symptoms that did go away were these quick wooshes in my brain and sometimes my brain felt like it was short circuiting. 3 doctors i spoke to all said the same thing that I need to go back on antidepressants to get rid of these symptoms. My doctor gave me an order for Wellbutrin. I didn't know if Wellbutrin would work since it doesn't work on the same receptors so I did some more digging online. I read that you have to go back on the same/similiar antidepressant for reinstatement to work. Then I read on here, that reinstatement doesn't always work and you have to do it immediatley for your chances of effectiveness to be good. I immediately panicked and took a low dose of my Paxil. I have been on Paxil 10mg for 4 days now and I can't tell if it is helping at all. (I used to be on Paxil 20mg) I still feel out of it. I notice when I eat my symptoms get way worse. Especially when I eat carbs. Maybe because it releases serotonin? So, I try to avoid foods that trigger like carbs and triptophan releasing foods. I can't stop taking another medication that also secretes serotonin. It isn't an anitidepressant, but I have to take it throughout the day. Could this be making my withdrawals symptoms worse? I think so. I know it was interacting with my Paxil making my serotonin syndrome symptoms worse. This drug ,alone, is known to cause serotonin syndrome in some people so it just makes sense to me that this would make my withdrawal symptoms worse and I don't think there is anything I can do about it because I can't stop taking it. Or is there? Pain I read here that I need to be patient for reinstatement to work and it could vary in the length it takes to work. Thank you for those answers. How long have withdrawals been known to last without reinstatement? This is so scary. It has been nearly impossible to live like this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Hopefulpatti
  17. Lollypops

    Lollypops

    Hi, I was on cymbalta for 7 years and previous to that I was taking Effexor for 3 years. It was very hard to withdrawal from Effexor (at 21 years old), it 6 took months of rest and klonipin to stop panic attack, brain zaps, irritability, anxiety, agoraphobia, anger, abnormal sensation in my body, dizziness, nausea.. the list goes on. I don’t remember the exact dose I was on because it was so long ago but my new psychiatrist at the time mentioned it was too high for someone with my body weight and severity of depression. The doctor said I needed to establish my routine and force myself to follow through with getting through work each day while I withdrew. Needless to say, I got passed the withdrawal but by far that was the worst I ever felt in my life. I was 29 when I came off of cymbalta( 90mg), it only took 2 months to withdrawal. I had severe mood swings and excessive hunger... I did not have any sensation issues or brain zaps. I was taking a prenatal vitamin because my husband and I were planning to have another baby (one baby came out being twins btw) I think that what made it easier to withdrawal from cymbalta was the vitamins I was on. I still remember 2 days after being off cymbalta, I was having really bad temper problems! I also suffered from memory issues and slight paranoia but it was fairly quick to get rid of those symptoms. I don’t think I mentioned this already but I suffer from major depressive disorder, fibromyalgia, and really terrible panic and anxiety disorder. I was able to successfully withdrawal from the cymbalta and Effexor with routine, vitamins, plenty of rest, and a lot of encouragement from family. I am now 35 and have been on Prozac for about 5 years. About 3 weeks ago, my psychiatrist took me off of the Prozac (60mg) cold turkey and put me on Wellbutrin. I have to say, I was feeling really good until about a week ago when I started experiencing the brain zaps, dizziness, sleepiness, frequent body pain, headaches, and vertigo. Today I started having irritability issues and feel like I am going to snap at anyone who talks to me in any sort of way that I feel is aggressive, almost like someone else is taking over!! I really hope that I am successful getting off of prozac because I almost feel like I could go off the deep end when I start to feel the irritability coming on. Personally, I think cold turkey is the wrong move for me coming off Prozac.
  18. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  19. Hi everyone, Very happy to have found this forum, as I feel my doctor has been a bit too aggressive with medication changes recently and I am not sure what to do. As history, I was put on 10 mg of Zyprexa when hospitalized for a psychotic episode Spring 2017. That was followed by 10 mg of Lexapro for depression and anxiety. When I later had insomnia the Lexapro was increased to 20 mg. I gradually reduced the Zyprexa to 2.5 mg with the support of my doctor. I recently moved across the country and began seeing a new psychiatrist for general support but also due to continued depression, anxiety and a new bout of insomnia. She had me stop the Zyprexa 2.5 mg and replaced it with Seroquel (same class, more sedating), but I had a paradoxical reaction to the Seroquel (has also happened to me with every sleep med), so we discontinued it and never resumed the Zyprexa, so I am withdrawing. She also had me change from Lexapro to Zoloft to try to assist with sleep about 2.5 weeks ago--stopped Lexapro and started Zoloft at 25 mg with intent to quickly increase to 100 (equivalent to Lexapro 20). I immediately started having palpitations which only increased as I increased the dosage to 100, insomnia worsened, so we reduced it back to 25. The palpitations continued (though not as badly) and I developed allergy type symptoms (sneezing, cough, runny nose) and increased anxiety. I felt I was reacting to the Zoloft, so we decided after less than 2 weeks to switch me back to the Lexapro--a known entity. We did a quick taper of the Zoloft (12.5 mg one day, nothing the next) then resumed Lexapro at 10 mg for 2 days five days ago. My doctor advised me to decide whether to increase it more thereafter depending on how I felt. I was still having palpitations at 2 days on 10 mg Lexapro and thought perhaps I was having Lexapro withdrawal from the change attempt and low dose of Zoloft so increased to 15 mg, have been there for 3 days. Palpitations and anxiety are worse (I have had them medically checked and my heart is ok) and then I found this site and realized I have probably been withdrawing from Lexapro over the last 3 weeks and reinstating at a high-ish dose might not be the best idea. I have also taken 1 mg of Ativan a few times in desperation to relieve anxiety and insomnia, but do not want to become dependent on it. I am lost here! Not sure whether to go up or down on the Lexapro (intuitively down feels best, with the possibility of increasing later). I would be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks so much for reading!
  20. I started citalopram about 10 years ago at 40 mg. I have spent the last four years tapering off. I was at 10 mg. for about 2 months, and then at 5 mg for about two weeks. I felt ok, so then I stopped completely. I was ok for about a week after my last dose, but then started having really, really bad irritability. I have no patience and have a lot of trouble sleeping. At night, when I'm trying to sleep, I feel very jittery. I'm assuming it took a week to get it all out of my body. So I've just read about reinstating it. I just made up the liquid solution. I thought maybe I'd start taking 3 mg each night. Wondering what everyone else thinks. Should I start back lower? If I knew this irritability would be short tem, I might try to wait it out, but it's been five days and I'm having a lot of difficulty. If I start back on 3 mg, what should my taper schedule be? How long should it take. I'm also taking 600 mg. gabpentin and low dose naltrexone. Not sure if that makes a difference.
  21. Hi, I've been on Lexapro for a year. My highest dose was 5 mgs. Since Aug. 4th I tapered to 1,25 mg daily. I am feeling terrible. A complete lack of motivation. Unable to get out of bed, wash myself. Stopped working a year and a half ago, am on disability benefit. Lots of anxiety, compulsions and obsessions (hand-washing), terrible insomnia. The additional problem is I'm taking Valium and Ambien. For sleep also Seroquel, a tiny amount (a quarter of 25 mg). Also anti-acne (BC) medication Diane-35. Used to be on Lexapro 10-15 mg in years 2007-2011, switched to Effexor for two years 2012-2013. This caused me terrible acne and post-acne scarring, then to Wellbutrin for 1 month (hot flashes, gaining weight). Then to Prozac for a year. Could normally function, work, but developped severe anxiety, which finally led me to benzos. Zoloft acts on me similarly to Prozac. Severe anxiety. Overall, I've been taking antidepressants for 15 years. What should I do about Lexapro? Reinstate? Quit completely? Feel like killing myself. Hugs, Melanie
  22. Hello, I have a 20 year history of antidepressant use following a breakdown. I have been on and off Citalopram and Sertraline which are the GP's 'go to' meds for most of their patients. However, about 5 years ago my anxiety and depression seemed to get worse, maybe it was something to do with the Menopause? - I spent a small fortune on private counselling, which by the way didn't seem to clear up any problems psychologically. So, on her recommendation I went to see a private psych doc (£300 per hour!) - He prescribed my Venlafaxine which I stayed on for about 2 years. The dose was increased incrementally from 150mg until I was on 375mg daily (quite a big dose for a 4'11" petite lady!) I found Venlafaxine a weird drug which gave me horrendous nightmares every night, stomach problems and while it did work for a few weeks, didn't provide a stable plateau in my general mental health. I decided to taper from Venlafaxine last September (2016) and reduced fairly quickly dropping by 37.5mg every 4 weeks ish. When I was down to 112.5mg Ven, my GP decided to introduce Sertraline 50mg (as I was very tearful) - I continued taking both and stopped the Ven all together in March 2017. My GP increased the Sertraline to 100mg which gave me awful anxiety for 7 weeks, so I reduced back down to 50mg. I have now stopped ALL ANTIDEPRESSANT drugs completely !!!! I have been drug free for 3 weeks now - what a roller-coaster it has been.These are my current symptoms: I cry daily, I feel woozy and dizzy and very tired at times, I have suicidal thoughts occasionally and yet, there are moments of total normality and general happiness! My depression has never been the 'stay in bed' type, I am very active - I love gardening, cycling, painting, sewing and being a Granny! and I continue to do things even when I feel like crap. My dilemma is, do I stick with this emotional hell that I feel I am going through at the moment? will it get better? will I ever be 'normal' again without antidepressants? Am I strong enough to keep going? Please, please give me some advice. I would love to hear some success stories, I really need some support and idea how long these horrible discontinuation symptoms will last Thanks, Thepaintinglady (currently painting the kitchen ceiling and not a work of art!)
  23. Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some much needed (and very much appreciated) advice on my situation. As you see, I had been on Sertraline for almost 2 years, or around the two year mark, before I began a too fast taper in 2016 which lead to my withdrawal syndrome in September 2016. My doctor had me taper in 6 weeks completely off Sertraline, jumping off at 25mg and not even tapering the 25mg, just cold turkeying the 25 per his instruction. Well, I was feeling some withdrawal symptoms, I just didn't realize what they truly meant, and my doctor had told me not to worry 'they will clear up in a few weeks" well they didn't really clear up, but actually got worse two-three months later. I want to make this as short as possible so it is easy to read, but long story short, I ended up reinstating Sertraline at 12.5mg first week, at the same time tapering the 30mg of buspirone my doctor had tried to test out on me for almost two weeks. Each week, he upped my dose of Sertraline during my reinstatement, until I reached 57mg and my body rejected anything above the 57mg. However, I did not know anything about withdrawal or tapering back then, and realize that I was put on way too high of a dose for reinstatement. This has me very scared and very anxious, I try hard not to be, and most of it is likely neuro related, but I wonder what I can do if I feel it's too high? I've got the anhedonia, but I've had this since December, and it actually was brought on more or less by my doctor trying to put me back up to 75mg, maybe that was just a coincidence, but I am not so sure. Each adjustment of the sertraline left me with worsened insomnia, worsened panic, trembling and what I can only describe as body jolts every morning for four months straight. And trying to sleep at night I felt like I was having seizures almost, where my body would jolt me awake just as I was drifting off to sleep, heart would be racing, fear and panic would run rampant and worsen in the morning. I still have mild teeth chattering every morning and especially when the anxiety or stress comes on. I reinstated pretty quick, where I reinstated as soon as my withdrawal symptoms started getting worse, I didn't wait it out even though I really wanted to. I didn't want to go back on the medication after what it had done to me, but didn't know what else to do. Then, everyone I trusted, my doctor especially, had me convinced I had developed several new mental disorders in a matter of three days. I was so so scared, and my anxiety was through the roof. I really stressed myself out a lot trying to figure out "what was wrong with me" because I did not know at the time. On top of that I had the professionals I trusted assuring me it was my "symptoms coming back" (they actually said that right after I already told them I never ever had these symptoms before in my life, not even one of them.) Then I happened to find SA, during my research into my symptoms and the ssri I was taking. I learned a lot in one night, and my jaw dropped. My gut had been telling me all this time it was the drug, it was withdrawal. But I ignored it and listened to the "experts" instead. HUGE MISTAKE!! Now I am stuck in a situation that makes me fear for the future, and not sure what I can do now that I am back on a higher dose. If I would've known better, I would not have allowed my doctor to titrate me up so high. I would've sat at the lowest possible dose, even the 12.5mg. My withdrawal symptoms had really settled down a lot for the last two or three months now though. My appetite came back, libido came back, depression lifted almost instantly upon reinstatement, the anxiety and panic took a while to lift but that has really settled down a ton and only sporadically (maybe lasting a second or two) I'll feel a blip of panic and anxiety (typically when under a lot of built up stress), and my biggest gripe for withdrawal symptoms as of now is the anhedonia, but even that was beginning to lift where I'd get moments of joy or contentment or my interests peaking through the veil of anhedonia. My sleep actually went back to normal in the last week or two, and I haven't been waking with the dread or anxiety for the past three months now, and I have been feeling pretty good except now I got back into this wave and I think it's because I'm stressing over tapering and my dosage after what I read last night. I read on SA someone said that being on too high a reinstatement dose can permanently damage your brain, where you will never heal from it. So I am really scared... I really need advice or wisdom on where to go from here. At this point, I worry I'll always feel this way and I'll never recover any further than where I currently am. I'd be fine if I felt somewhat normal, where I could handle the withdrawal symptoms temporarily until they pass, and I do admit that on my better days I certainly can handle them. But I feel like reinstatement was pointless or worse for me than just muscling through the withdrawals after what I read about high dose reinstatement. I feel like A) it's going to take forever just to stabilise on this dose and B it's going to be painful trying to taper when the time comes, due to that I may have permanently damaged my brain with my reinstatement. I guess what I am wondering now is, do I stay on this dose and wait for the anhedonia to completely go away, or how do I know when I am ready to begin tapering? At this point I am just feeling very confused and afraid about my dose and tapering in the future. I feel lost. I'd really appreciate any help! Thank you!
  24. Thank you so much for being here. My life is now a nightmare. People around me think I'm doing fine but living in my head and heart since I went off Effexor XR has been increasingly a complete nightmare for me. I was on 225 mg Effexor XR for 11 years. I'm 65 and creative and decided I wanted to be free of this drug so I could be fully myself and not feel that revved-up feeling I always had from the drug. I felt like the drug was a cage that protected me but it also felt like a prison and I wanted to give myself freedom as a gift for the rest of my life. I now know that the 'gradual' withdrawal I did was not gradual at all. I weaned off 37.5 every week or two until about 6 weeks later I was down to 37.5 for a week or 10 days then went to 0. I have Celiac and I had an accidental gluten attack at the same time the horrors of going from 37.5 to 0 kicked in. For a few weeks I thought I was just having a prolonged reaction to the gluten. It feels like my hopelessness and depression and wild fear of life is getting worse and worse instead of better and better with the passing of time. I'm now 3 months at 0 Effexor XR and desperately need guidance to reinstate however many beads you all think would be helpful. A kind person on the Effexor Withdrawal group on Facebook posted her success with feeling amazingly better by reinstating 5 beads a day. I started reinstating 5 beads a day 7 days ago. I feel worse but I'm sure it's not the beads that's making me feel worse, I'm sure it's just the hell I've brought on myself by going from 225 mg for 11 years to a fast and (now I realize) reckless wean. The last worst being the 37.5 to 0. Should I do more than 5 beads since I was on such a high dose for so long. Thank you thank you thank you for *any*help you can give me.
  25. I came off Paxil over the last 3 months and was doing well. I started Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) rTMS is a safe, alternative and effective, non-invasive neurostimulation treatment for patients suffering with depression who do not respond to antidepressant medications OR who cannot tolerate medication side effects. i change my diet completely. I exercised every day , but I think like many I was over confident and went too fast. I reluctanly decided to reintroduce ri and small dose of 2.5 mg of the 50 I was originally taking. I hope to see some success as my symptoms are nailing me like a truck hitting a stop sign. I will post my results positive or negative going forward. Eugene
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