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  1. On Effexor for two years. Cold turkeyed once, had terrible withdrawals so reinstated. Once I reinstated, I had even worse withdrawls but eventually stabilized. I switched to extended release effexor and tapered with beads. Got to 75% and felt worse. Reinstated before starting my second taper. Got to 50% but was tired all of the time. Switched back to the instant release since that’s what always worked for me. Finally quit cold turkey two months ago and am dealing with terrible withdrawls. Lack of pleasure, constipation and terrible anxiety. Not sure what to do. Since I’ve quit I’m not nearly as tired but I think me quitting so early brought on this constipation and inability to release my bladder. Debating on reinstating back to the 50% dosage I was on or maybe less to see if that helps. Or maybe trying it’s cousin drug?
  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. Hello, I have been on paroxetine for 7 years,have tried many times to go off but unsuccessfully. Finally on 7 th year i lowered my dose from 20 mg to 10 mg. After panic attacked and insomnia appeared on my trip few months later I took 20 mg while I was on a trip and lowered it again on 10 mg.Due to some medical conditions that I suspected that are cause of paroxetine,I lowered the dose to 0 in maybe two months,way too fast. I was okeish for about two months ( I had all of the symptoms of wd but I fought with it ) and I compelety crushed this February . Tinitus and never ending insomnia are the worse. I started to Google and found all the posts about some neurological damage From this drug which made my anxiety worse. Doctor gave me lorazepam to sleep. My question is ,should I go back to 10 mg and taper more slowly? Am I in a risk of neurological damage From tapering too fast ? Is this tinitus permanent? How long wd simptoms approximately last ? I see I am in risk of developing tolerance to lorazepam since I have been using it two weeks for sleep. My doctor's don't know anything since one wants to put me on mirtazapine and other on Prozac. I am so worried and feeling alone in all this.
  4. Hello guys! ive been on celexa for a year or 2, 20mg, for general anxiety, nothing crazy, mainly some little phobia that i could get under control. never had any side effects on it. i was always taking it on and off a 30 days tube could last me 2 months sometime and i felt fine,. ive recently moved country, and decided to drop my celexa cold turkey. i dont know why , i didnt know it was bad tbh i was just a stupid clueless dude i just had completely forgotten this was a bad thing that no one should do, im learning from my biggest mistake.. Fast forward to 3 months now, 2 first months were totally fine no worry didnt even think about it. 3 months everything went downhill, became cripple with anxiety. i went on a anxiety week with 3 days of no sleep (so this all started when i was med free) talked to my gp to go back on the meds.i started celexa again 10mg 2 weeks then 20mg for 3 weeks. i had some good days on week 3. like feeling totally normal and barely anxious now on week 5 but then the last 2 weeks have been bad, constant anxiety 24/7, like im in a stress of panic stomach knot mostly all the time from stress, also insomnia , like sometime go 2-3 days without sleep at all till my body get too tired, abandon the stress and let me somewhat sleep. im now mainly scare and anxious of sleep, nightime because of all of those. think about it back in my mind all the time, and i have thoughts about never healing etc all the time. ive been doing my best and excercices even when sleepless, doing stuff i like, i have an amazing partner, but it is very hard to focus on the present moment. now it has put my life on hold for now as this is too much to deal with, im a freelance tattoo artist so i can just take a break anyway. anyway, i know this is all my fault but my biggest wonder is; am i going through withdrawals effects or celexa side effects hitting me hard this time? or both at the same time? like i said, i had some good days, early 3 weeks with no worry and good sleep. bright note; im seeing a psychotherapist now and that feel good. NOW do i stay on celexa? or do i taper down to nothing again. i dont know what my brain is trying to tell me.
  5. 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”
  6. My story begins in 2006. I was having migraines & nerve pain. I went to a headache clinic & was given Effexor. I was desperate for relief and so started a prescription of 225 mg/ day. I continued to take it for several years as I didn’t want the pain to return. One day, I came across an article that told of the writers difficult experience coming off Effexor. I researched online & found out how hard this med was to stop & of course, was very upset by this info. Several times I asked my dr if I could stop, but the taper protocol was always a three week stop and based on what I read, I was afraid to attempt it. I stopped going to the clinic but continued to get refills from my pcp. I decided I needed to reduce and end my use of this med, and so in September 2015 I successfully tapered to 75 mg without any problems. Jan 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I stayed on 75 mg until treatment finished. In September 2017 I reduced to 37.5 with no trouble. In September 2018, I opened the pills and further reduced to 18.75 for one year. This past September I dropped to 9.375. In January of this year , I thought, I’ve done it. I’m off this drug & stopped it. Two weeks ago I began having terrible anxiety & obsessive thoughts, feelings that I haven’t had for years. After researching I realized I came off too quickly. All that work & I screwed up. The anxiety became too much & from the info on this site I decided to reinstate this weekend. I even screwed that dosage up initially, but fixed it. I’m hoping this will help. I just want to say I’m terrified. I’m 62 years old. Is this my next few years? My daughter is getting married in October & I want to be there for her. What bad timing! I keep beating myself up for being so close & then just doing it wrong. I feel so defeated & frightened. I don’t even know why I took this drug for 14 years. Maybe I should have just kept taking it to avoid withdrawal. Maybe I should stay off the internet.
  7. I discovered about Cardiac Coherence one week ago and I thought it could be helpful. I started to reinstate Amitriptyline 25mg (30yrs use) 3 weeks ago after stopping cold turkey last October. My protocole now is 10mg am and 15mg night with some progress: 1st week-no sleep, 2nd week-slept 5 nights, 3rd week-slept 5 nights,4th week-slept Jan 11 only. No sleep since. So it could be Cardiac Coherence breathing which has excited my nervous system, yes? I’m 72 yrs old. Since last August, I lost all my bad eating habits, and lost weight, no more high blood pressure. So I thought I could stop Amitriptyline 25mg prescribed to me for insomnia in early 90’s. Few years ago, I took only 2/3 to sleep. I thought I could stop. I failed. Very bad side effects. Finally, I saw the light, and Amitriptyline reinstatement. And tonight, I stopped cardiac coherence breathing 3xday. I’ll update my progress. I've read some topics and will read more. I discover very needed new info every day. Thank you to all for contributing to this peer support forum.
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. Hi! I have been going through withdrawal for 14 months now, after my doctor told me to simply stop taking Effexor after being at 37.5mg for 3 months. All hell broke loose and that was when I found out there is a thing called Withdrawal from anti-depressants. Through the painful weeks that followed I ended up on Prozac, as apparently it's easier to withdraw from than Effexor. After 5 months I stabilised on 20mg Prozac. I am now on 10mg. It has been an extremely bumpy ride as till now I haven't had anyone to guide me through the process. It's been really enlightening reading some of the posts in this forum, and I know I need to be more prepared for the journey that lies ahead. I'm particularly concerned about getting my doctor on board with such a slow taper! I saw a document referred to as "Bliss Johns paper" mentioned in a couple of posts. Where do I get such a resource?
  11. Hi I feel I am writing this too late as I have made many errors in my withdrawal from Mirtazapine and subsequent reinstatement but I only found this website and information recently. Perhaps you can still help me. In October, I tapered off from just under 1.5mg Mirt where i had been for several months following a slow taper from 7.5mg (18 months total time). The doctor told me this dose was too low to have therapeutic value but if I wanted to taper i should miss alternate nights, then 2 nights etc...and I should be off in a month. I did this but had insomnia on the missed nights but it seemed to settle. My sleep deteriorated though. In early December and exhausted, I was hosting a party and needed to sleep so I took a 1.5mg dose of Mirt for 2 nights only and slept. 6 days later, I had shocking vertigo and sickness and could barely move. Luckily, this passed in a few hours but it alarmed me and I vowed to stay away from Mirt. My sleep was deteriorating again and exactly 2 weeks later it went completely. Christmas was awful. I didn't really know what the problem was tbh but I didn't want to take any Mirt so I used Phenergan to sleep. After about a week, the Phenergan stopped working and without it I could not sleep at all so I reinstated Mirtazapine. The low dose worked and then didn't work so a week later I increased it to 7.5mg. I know now this was too large an increase but I was desperate. I saw a big improvement but it was still erratic so a week later I tried 10.5mg for 2 nights. This didn't make much difference so I went back to 7.5mg. By now, I had found this website and learned about waves and windows etc.. That next week, things improved but I had a couple of bad nights around day 4, which I thought was the dose change causing problems. Then the next few nights improved again, but last night and the night before I had about an hour and am feeling dreadful. I suppose my questions now would be: does this seem like windows/waves? Or could I have 'kindled'? I dont know much about this or when it would happen but what would I do if it is? I presume I stay at 7.5mg now? I presume it's too late and unwise to reduce this dose? This is a truly awful experience and I'm hoping to stabilise and taper slowly again. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. I know I have probably done everything I'm not meant to do and I'm really paying for it. I wish I had never taken this drug and don't think I should have been prescribed it in the first place but that's another story.
  12. Hi all, I'm glad to have finally found a place that provides an explanation for everything I have been going through. Anway, let's get to it I guess. I first started taking antidepressants when I was 17 years old (2010) due to a development of Panic Disorder which I now know was caused by trauma as a child from various things, my mother dying being the main reason I suspect, she was also a drug addict so I grew up around a lot things a child shouldn't, I also had no father present. As long as I can remember I have also suffered from OCD, I obviously wasn't aware what it was as a child but the characteristics were there. I originally was started of on Zoloft for a couple of months but it had no effect, moved onto Citalopram, again didn't work. Finally I found my golden ticket, Lexapro. It provided me with the much needed relief I was seeking from my panic and compulsions/rumination. It worked great. At the beginning I don't really remember suffering many side effects except for dampened emotions and a slightly decreased libido. Since beginning on Lexapro I was on and off it a lot to be honest and from memory never experienced much difficulty withdrawing, nothing acute anyway although I did always get some brain zaps, thinking back now I always welcomed the return of a natural emotional range, It was like I could breathe again. I have not been on it full time since I started and the longest I spent off it was 2.5 - 3 years and was seemingly doing okay. I went back on medication when I went overseas at the beginning of 2018 as travelling seemed to heighten my pre-existing mental health issues, again, it worked a treat. OCD and rumination out the window! I had a bit of dramatic year in 2018 and was out partying a lot to ease the pain and by the end of the year I decided I wanted to make real change, tackle my demons head on, come off meds, get super healthy and focus hard on my acting. This is when my hell started. The first two months of 2019 were great, I was running every second day, I had started a course at uni and I was sober and enjoying it! By May my rumination and OCD skyrocketed, existential dread, a loss of purpose and hope, you name it. I was plagued by what I can only describe as feelings of tension all throughout my guts and inner body. My torso just became ( and still is ) so tight and stiff, lots of pain in my back, neck and shoulders, restricted movement, it's by far my most uncomfortable symptom, especially my diaphragm. I now know this is due to my nervous system taking such a hit by being exposed to such change so quickly but Its left me confused as I have always fast tapered and never experienced anything like this. I went back to my doctor assuming that I needed to go back on medication, my theory was the combination of quitting substance abuse and medication had opened the floodgates to a lot of pent up unresolved trauma and overloaded my system ( I will also add from 17-21 I pretty much did 0 drugs and 21 onwards dabbled very rarely) truth is, I had every intention of feeling my emotions properly and still do but something was different this time round. I have been in physical hell for over a year now, stiff, sore, restless, you name it. I started back on Lexapro around June - July last year but I found it didn't do too much. My new psych had me try Fluoxetine for a bit but it didnt do anything at all. By the end of the year I started to come off it again and truth be told, the lower I got in dosage, the better I was feeling. I might also mention that for the majority of 2018 I was at a dose of 10mg, nothing too high. In the past when I was younger I had gone up to 20-25 but haven't been on that high of a dose consistently for a long time. I did go back up to 20 briefly last year after reinstating as I was desperate and thought the more the better but it didnt change anything. I have now been off Lexapro again for around 6 weeks, I have definitely experienced what I now know as waves and windows, I'm a pretty intuitive person and I can tell you that my mind and body scream at the idea of ingesting that drug again. I only found this website last week so I have only just found out about reinstatement and all of the things that are discussed here. Reinstatement at a low dose has crossed my mind as an option so I can begin a slower taper down the track and stabilize my symptoms however based on the fact that I stopped and started again last year without too much alleviation from the negative symptoms I feel as though I should just keep going, as tough as it is. My psychological symptoms have largely improved, I have had a slight decrease in the general tension I have talked about which is good. I also have moments where I feel real emotion which I actually like, sure it feels like I may cry sometimes (although I never really truely do) but thats all i have ever wanted for a long time, to let go off all this weight I have carried from my trauma. Anyway I thought I would get some opinions from you guys as to whether I should try reinstating or just keep fighting the good fight. I don't know if I am extremely resilient or if my symptoms are bad but not AS bad as other peoples but I have somehow managed to hold down a job, try my best at exercise, stay sober for 90 percent of the last year and work hard towards my goals. Its been so so uncomfortable, but I'm a battler and i fear if I stop I won't start again. I wonder if the worst is over? I mean I reinstated for 5 months and have honestly noticed more positive changes since stopping the medication all together once more. I am thankful for my positive mindset, at the moment I am not feeling suicidal which I was for a time, I want to be alive, I meditate a lot, write a gratitude list every day and do what I can to keep moving forward. I really really don't want to take meds again but I understand it may help... I will mention again that I have ALWAYS fast tapered under the advice of my old Psych and never had this happen before, why now? Anway, some direction may help, I'm thinking about sticking it out, im certainly not feeling comfortable but currently doing all I can besides actually taking the tablets themselves. At this point the physical is more unbearable than the mental but im pushing forward, any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
  13. Ive been following and reading on this site for 2 months now , i FT in a month from 10 to 5 and from 5 to 0 as my WD hit me very hard after 5 months i was thinking to resume my 10mg lexapro so i can 10% taper after im stabilized again. I wanted the opinions of u guys ! Any ideo or help is welcome !!
  14. SufferingCelexa

    Intro for Suffering Celexa

    I am 20 years old and just tapered off Celexa 4 weeks ago. I can't remember exactly but I think I started it my sophomore year of high school. I've always been healthy and active in sports but that year were some major life changes and I was suffering depression. I asked my mom to see a doctor. I really wanted medication because I thought it would help. On my first visit to the psychiatrist he said I had major depressive disorder and prescribed my first antidepressant. I don't remember what I started with but I was taking 40 mgs of Celexa when I quit. I thought it helped the first year but I struggled through my freshman year of college. Then my sophomore year everything went downhill. I just couldn't do it anymore. I quit my job and dropped out of school. I was having suicidal thoughts and feeling destructive. I smoked marijuana all the time and didn't want to do anything else. I didn't drink alcohol because I'm under 21 but also afraid it would cause a bad reaction with the medicine. When I'm alone I have no motivation to eat or feed myself. I didn't socialize much at all in college not even with my roommates. My mom insisted that the antidepressant wasn't helping me and was making everything worse. I finally agreed to come home and taper off last Christmas. The psychiatrist said I should reduce 1/4 each week so 30 mg to 20 mg to 10 mg the last week. The doctor at Kaiser said the withdrawals should only last 2 weeks. It's 4 weeks now and I feel terrible. When I talked to the doctor he said I am relapsing into depression and that I should try to find a medication that works for me. He gave me a prescription for Wellbutrin but now I'm terrified to take it. I don't want to go through this again. I know now from this site that I should have done a slower taper. I am thinking about reinstating but that scares me too but I think I could do it if that's the only choice to get out of this anxiety. I don't have the suicidal thoughts as much anymore. I just want to get better. I am taking CBD gummies to help with the withdrawals. I feel so weak, hopeless and worry I won't be able to have a normal life again and consistent mentally. I get triggered all the time and embarrass myself in public so I just don't like to be around other people. It's hard being out and seeing all the happy normal people. I just want to sleep all day. I've been pushing myself to go out for a walk or go to the gym because it's close by but only for 20 minutes.
  15. Hi all, I had been taking 20mg Lexapro for about 8 years. About 3 months ago I was having a very bad bout of depression, anxiety etc. and was suggested by my doctor to change to 100mg Sertraline. In early November 2019 I CT'd the Lexapro, waited 24 hours and started taking the Sertraline (doctor's recommendation). I immediately suffered from extreme brain fog. Over the next 5 weeks the brain fog didn't ease up. I thought the brain fog was due to the Sertraline, so I stopped taking the Sertraline (fast taper over 3 weeks). I wanted to see how my mind and body would function without any medication so I did not reinstate the Lexapro (psychologist's recommendation). It has been about 4 weeks since I have stopped taking the Sertraline, and almost 3 months since I stopped taking the Lexapro. My anxiety and depression is ok (I am attending regular therapy to cope here, and have made positive life changes which has helped a lot). However, my heavy brain fog is still present, and my general concentration is far lower then what I am accustomed to. I have now come to realise that the brain fog was not caused by starting the Sertraline, but was due to withdrawal from the Lexapro. After doing some research over the past couple of weeks, and in particular reading stories about very slow tapering, it would seem going Lexapro CT was definitely the wrong choice! I am approaching 3 months out from stopping the Lexapro. I am thinking of possibly reinstating as I work as an engineer, and brain fog and lack of concentration is a major issue for me (as it would be for any job really). However, as I am almost 3 months out from taking my last dose of Lexapro, and my anxiety and depression is under control, and it is only the brain fog/concentration that is the issue, I am thinking it would probably be best if I don't reinstate, and hope that in the coming months (or even years as I have read) my brain slowly starts firing again. I guess I am looking for any form of advice about the possibility of reinstating, stabilising, and then slow tapering over a year or more (will this even cure my brain fog in the short term??), or am I best just to live with the brain fog and hope that it will fade in due time. What are some people's time frame for brain fog to disappear? Thanks everyone Dean
  16. 8/28/2019 I was put on 1.25mg Zyprexa for mild insomnia. I should’ve done my research!!!! 4 months later I start wondering about this drug and stop cold turkey for 14 days of pure hell. Day 14 I take a small amount of Zyprexa, it helps alleviate some of the god awful withdrawals, now almost 2 weeks after my reinstatement of the 1.25 mg I’m having moments of feeling better then moments of feeling awful again. Sleeping again, didn’t sleep for most of the 14 days I quit. I just don’t know what to do now. Do I stay on this amount and hope I return to my baseline prior to stopping CT? How long do I stay at this dose ? I WANT OFF THIS CRAP BAD! Each day I’m on it is another day I’m not tapering. I’m so lost and confused and this drug is making it worse. I can’t believe my GP put me on this! I had asked her for a healthier option to benedryl!!! And this is what she puts me on. Am I doomed forever ? I hear nothing good about coming off Zyprexa. I need help!
  17. Hi I withdraw Lexapro for 1 year completely facing unbearable withdrawals and again started for 6 months slowly tapered to 5 and was on 2.5 for 1 year and again quit for 5 months .. crashed very badly again and now reinstated 5 mg for 1 month .. when will my symptoms improve .. and is there anyone who really quit this hell and leading their life again .. PKEASE PKEASE OKEASE HELP ME
  18. I have been taking 20 mg of Lexapro for nearly 4 years now after having multiple pregnancy losses/stillborn. I began working out late last year and felt great and thought it was time to wean off this medication. I had finally accepted I'll never have another child. My family Dr gave me a timeline to wean which I thought seemed pretty quick, but did it. I was off within 2 months. Since then I've felt worse than I did when I first started taking the meds. I've had thoughts of harming myself, extreme depression, anxiety, insomnia and just feel like I have the flu all the time. I think I need to start back on meds but don't know how much to take. I just want to feel normal again. Problem is my Dr is on paternity leave until end of February. If anyone could please give me some direction I would be so grateful!
  19. Hello all, Fairly new to the site, but I figured I’d start a post in the hopes that my journey might be useful to someone in similar circumstances. I’ve been on Paxil 20 mg for 19 years or so until about a year ago, when I dropped to 12.5 CR. The drop didn’t cause many problems - a few brain zaps, but nothing I couldn’t manage. After reading some of the horror stories, I may be a little different than many people on the site in that I felt more or less ok at 12.5 mg. I’m in really good shape, my diet is very good, I get enough rest... all things considered, my quality of life should really be pretty good. Problem was, it wasn’t. I didn’t enjoy much of anything, and for the most part I felt numb and sedated, along with a few other mild side effects. So, about a month ago I decided it was time to get off the meds. Like a dummy I started to take my doctor’s advice to “take half a pill for 2 weeks then stop”. That worked great for about 10 days. I had a ton of energy, my head felt clearer than it had in years, I had these periods of deeper calm than I could ever remember, hey, this is great! I decided at that point, I feel so good at 6.25 CR that I may as well get the 10 mg (non extended release) pills and take half, since my insurance covers those. So, to sum up, I took 6.25 CR for 10 days, then 5 mg for 17 days. It was around 2 weeks after my initial drop that I knew this wasn’t going to go how I had hoped it would. That’s what ultimately landed me on this site, which has been a fantastic source of information. Vets of the site would identify my honeymoon period and that my body is way too dependent on the med to cut 50%+ in one go. I understand everyone responds differently both to the med and withdrawing from the med, and for me it’s the dizziness/vertigo. It started out pretty moderate and I figured I would just tough it out for a few days, maybe a week or two, and things would level out. Yeah, not so much. It got worse, to the point that it was constant and I went through my day a little concerned that I was going to pass out. There are a few other WD effects, like brain fog, but the dizziness was so pervasive, it got to the point of disrupting my life. So, this morning I decided being a tough guy wasn’t doing anyone any good and I need to be a little kinder to my body, so I decided to updose to 10 mg/day. I understand it will take several days for that to fully manifest, but for what it’s worth I felt some relief within a few hours. How much of that is placebo is anyone’s guess, but when you need relief like I did, I didn’t really care whether it was placebo or not... Is 10mg the right #? Who knows. It’s a shot in the dark, like much of this process seems to be. Seemed like a reasonable place to sort of hit the reset button, since I was stable at 12.5 and 10 doesn’t require any cutting/grinding (and is covered by insurance). We’ll see how this goes, but I guess my plan for now is to stabilize at 10 (and hopefully have some semblance of a life again), then start a slow taper - I’m liking the idea of brassmonkey’s slide method. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading my novel 😀. The next entries will be much shorter I’m sure.
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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!
  25. 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 😞
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