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  1. Hi everyone, I'm wanting advice on how to taper if my withdrawal symptoms are delayed - ie they occur several months after the taper is completely finished. If I have no symptoms during taper, should I proceed to the 'Fast Taper' guidelines (4 weeks x2, then 3weeks x2, then 2 weeks x2, then weekly until done)? In the past I have thought I was relapsing, and resumed the medication. Now I understand it was probably WD from too fast a taper (4 months). Any thoughts? Tikki Tikki
  2. Hi everyone Hope someone on here will be able give me some sound advice. I was on citalapram for a year and a half for anxiety and as a result of extreme anxiety depression. I was on 40mg. I felt alot better about 6 months in but decided not to rock the boat as had alot of changing life circumstances and moving around the country. I did a short course of CBT but it wasn't deep enough a the time really. When I felt ready to come off. I went from 40mg to 20mg, took me about 8 weeks to stabalise and then from 20mg to 10mg for 3 weeks. As I was then following the Advice of the Linden method I stopped after 3 weeks even though I hadn't stabilised. I had withdrawal for about a week and then had 4 weeks of feeling pretty good and like my old self( without major brain fog which was my main big bear). But then I had horrendous rebound anxiety starting about week 5 of the pills. I tried to stick it out for 2 months as thought it might be withdrawal and my body needing to readjust. But one day it was just so horrendous I ended up going to a n e to get some diazapam and they restarted me on citalapram. Only problem was that after about 2 months it was clear that citalapram for some reason was no longer working for me. My doctor therefore immediately switched me to paroxitine( paxil). And I have been on that for about 7 months. It took a while but it has made me feel normal again.. albeit with bloody brain fog which I think makes normal feelings feel ten times worse. Anyway I decide that I was ready to withdraw from paroxitine but slowly this time. My dose was 40mg. My doctor wanted me to go from 40mg to 30mg over 6 weeks but given my hellish experience coming off citalapram I wanted to do it even slower and so I cut my tablets to go down by 5mg. So in effect I reduced my dose to 35mg. I have now done this for 4 weeks and had definite anxious withdrawal symptoms early on for about the first two weeks. I then had two days of feeling really good and with a really clear head. Horray!! However at about week 4 I've begun to experience some extreme anxiety again and don't know a) whether this is withdrawal or relapse. ( I've had soon much CBT while I've been on paroxitine regarding changing core beliefs tho that I really feel I have a good handle on what my issues were) b) whether I should ride it out c) reinstate my 40mg dose. Also given how violently I came off citalapram 9 months ago I wonder whether even tho I was feeling stable again on paroxitine i should have waited alot longer before begining to reduce my dose even tho I felt better. My doctor doesn't really know what to say on these issues so any advice is greatly appreciated thankyou very much!
  3. Katch

    Katch

    Hello all, I am new here even though I have been peeking into the forum for a while. My brief meds history: Diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2012 (which overturned the previous diagnoses of chronic fatigue syndrome). Initially put on 10 mg Escitalopram (Lexapro), 10 mg olanzapine and 75 mg Venlafaxine. I was on this cocktail for about two years until I started to relapse regularly every Spring and Autumn. Since end of 2014 till March 2015 I pretty much lived in the psychiatric hospital and ended up with Lexapro 20mg, 200 mg of Lithium, 75 mg Setrline (?) However, Lithium made me feel so unwell I just could not live with it. I got so fed up and told myself enough is enough. Started to read everything there was on depression and one thing that always kept coming up was weak thyroid. I kept dismissing it as my test were fine but eventually I decided to ignore all medical tests, go by my symptoms and started to support my thyroid – mainly through iodine. High dose of B3 also did magic. So started to wean myself off of everything in May 2015. I don’t remember the schedule but by the beginning of August I took nothing. However, at the end of August I discovered I was pregnant only to miscarry few days later. Period of horrible anxiety followed. Not sure if it was the hormonal mess up or just delayed withdrawal but I re-instated full 20 mg of Lexapro. Stayed on it for about a month and then started to wean myself off. I don’t remember how I went from 20 to 10mg but it just shows it was pretty insignificant. End of December 2015 – from 10mg to 5mg Escitalopram – looking back now I was going through withdrawal after that but because I did not have much issues before, I just thought I was getting tired and stressed out with looking for a new job and then the new job itself. My symptoms were mainly physical. End of March 2016 – from 5mg to 0 mg Escitalopram – was ok for few days but then it hit me. Realised I was going through withdrawal – no sleep, tight chest, dizziness, weakness, painful joints and muscles, digestive issues. After 3-4weeks went up to 2.5mg (roughly as cutting the pill). I am on that dose still The thing is, even though I had some mild anxiety and some mild anger and irritability issues, my main symptoms were mainly physical. I had few windows. Actually majority of June was pretty good. However, starting week 16 (beginning of July) and I’m getting seriously anxious and also, had few days where I just had to cry too. So basically, I am freaking out that rather than going through withdrawal, I’m actually relapsing as the physical symptoms are very mild but the anxiety is hitting me biiiiiiiig time. Is this normal? I also realised last week I became gluten intolerant (probably allergic to more things but gluten is quite obvious now) so that probably messed me up quite a bit. So in addition to escitalopram withdrawal I’m probably going through gluten withdrawal too. Or simply relapsing? It’s this insecurity about what is actually happening that is definitely making things more difficult to handle and feeds all the catastrophic scenarios. Could I be relapsing? Really need some reassurance now.
  4. Last summer, after I quit the last antidepressant (after 7 years of antidepressants and anxiolytics) under the guidance of my former psychiatrist, I started rapidly to develop old and new symptoms. I tried to resist but in two months time I fell into the abyss of withdrawal, without knowing what was happening to me. I went back to my psychiatrist who not only did not recognize or mention the withdrawal status, but prescribed new drugs that didn't help and made things worse, like paroxetine. I was lost and fearfully sick, I lost 3 kilos in one week, then I contacted another psychiatrist who still didn't say a word about withrdrawal but prescribed benzodiazepines that immediately reduced the symptoms. Then he added two antidepressants and diagnosed "major depression, relapse". I was in shock. I tried to explain that my initial and main problem were anxiety and panic but he said thet it was all part of the depressive state. As soon as we tried to reduce anxiolytics the symptoms burst out again. That's when something clicked in my head. I searched the Internet for weeks to find someone who could help me out of the maze, and fortunately I did. Now I'm following a program to eliminate antidepressants under strict medical a psychological control, and I feel confident. Psychiatrists in Italy never talk about the risk of withdrawal symptoms, turning people into lifetime patients. I was lucky enough, being a psychologist and speaking English to be able to find the help I needed, but most people go on taking more and more drugs that work less and less. The site people can refer to in Italy is: https://www.smettereglipsicofarmaci.unifi.it/index.php (University of Florence).
  5. Hi Everyone, I’m a male in early 40s from Europe (Sorry for my English - it is not my native language), father of two wonderful children and married with loving wife. On year 2012 I started with generic escitalopram 10mg due to depression (lack of energy, motivation and loss of interest into the things I used to enjoy). Felt better and stopped taking them after about 10 months (two-week tapper). Had some anxiety, but that was all. After a few months, I slowly relapsed back to initial down filling. Reinstated 10mg of escitalopram, felt better and stopped (two week tapper) again after 18 months. That time I experienced more severe symptoms like anxiety, panic, fear, severe depression so I freaked up and reinstated. Felt better again, but this time continued with treatment for two years. I again felt ok and had much more energy but I also noticed emotional numbness, and that was the main reason I stopped taking ADs again after two years. This time I tapered 25% every three weeks and took last quarter of a pill in the end of January 2017. After a few days, I started to experience strange insomnia (on average I only slept 2-3 hours per night) but I was still full of energy and happy. All this changed suddenly after one month when I was introduced to the withdrawal hell that was severe beyond something I could ever imagine. Severe depression attacks mixed with panic and fear, severe insomnia, blurred vision, eye floaters, muscle twitches, constant nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, depersonalization-derealization, concentration problems, brain fog… This mixed symptoms eased a little after 2 months and I felt a little better for 2-3 weeks. After that, symptoms gradually worsened again. This time the biggest issue was crippling depression and anhedonia, but it was still mixing with other symptoms, but other symptoms was not so extreme anymore and also now I manage to sleep 6 hours per night mostly. However, depression is really bad right now and I’m really scared that I’m relapsing again with stronger than pretreatment depression. The only positive thing is, that last two months I started to experience some short windows (a few minutes to max a few hours) long windows when I suddenly fill great, optimistic and when I am able to experience emotions in such intensity that it makes me cry. This happens every few days, but then I get hit again with severe depression and tension which I think it gets deeper and deeper. Right now, I have filling that this moments of joy are only some interferences between relapsing to depression. I’m really scared right now and so tired of constant struggle to stay alive and try to function as much as possible, to be a father, husband and to somehow function in my job. I’m so afraid of relapse and I want my emotions back so much!
  6. Hello, I came across this forum after searching for information on relapses of depression/anxiety after coming off antidepressants. It was this article about Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms published in Psychology Today that lead me here, and I'm really glad to see that there is support around this much-shrouded topic. I'm experiencing the worst and most prolonged episode of depression and anxiety that I ever have before, and believe much of it has to do with stopping antidepressants earlier this year (150mg Effexor + 50mg Quetiapine/Seroquel for just over 3 years). I thought that tapering off over 4 months would mean that my life could return to 'normal' but discovered that only a few months after taking the last pill, anxiety and insomnia started to develop and worsen (which I hadn't felt prior to medication), and eventually led to full-blown depression. I tried 100mg Wellbutrin for a little over a month but found that it made me more anxious, so I've stopped and am now considering going back on Effexor, despite some really awful side effects like constant sweating and overheating around the head/neck area. The worst part is the constant negative, pessimistic thoughts that are so debilitating that I can't function like I used to, which has made the journey to recovery much harder. It seems that my only choice now is to go back on the Effexor to ease these symptoms in the short-term, so that I can once again taper off in the longer term. Does anyone have experience with dealing with the relapses or prolonged withdrawal symptoms of depression/anxiety after stopping medication, and does it subside when you restart / reinstate antidepressants? If you experience worse symptoms after stopping, how do you ever come off these drugs for good?
  7. Call me Kylo. I've been know to tear computer consoles to shreds with my unstable lightsaber when I get bad news. I was first diagnosed with anxiety, maybe GAD, in about June of 2010. My son was born in February of that year and I made the decision to quit my job and play stay-at-home dad for a while. My anxiety, which I'd dealt with in the past, dating back to at least high school, but never really identified it, went from dormant to bad to worse in a matter of days. I finally consulted my GP and I was placed on a low dose of Celexa and given Clonazapam for the bad moments. I stayed on this for about a year before decided I was better. I tapered off the Celexa and all was good for a couple of months. Then my anxiety and ruminations put me back into the depths of mental health hell. Were these withdrawal symptoms or an actual relapse? I now wonder. GP thought relapse, and decided after hearing me complain about excessive sweating that we would try Fluoxetine this time. Maybe there would be less side effects. The onboarding for that dug was probably the worst 8 months of my life. Depression took the reigns and left me exhausted. Anxiety kept me from sleeping. I was on a 20mg dose for probably four years before upping it to 40mg around summer of last year. This period was a rough one in my life. The sudden death of my 28-year-old brother-in-law put my wife of 13 years (diagnosed with OCD right before it happened) in a fragile state to say the least. In October 2015, she decided she needed to move out and get her head right. Side note: she also felt she didn't love me any more. At the same time she had returned to a drinking problem we'd experienced before. We reunited in November and are still together, so there's a happy ending there so far. Especially for my darling 6-year-old boy who is my everything. December came, and after experiencing my separation and hearing things from my wife about my confidence leve, I decided I was tired of being on my antidepressant. Maybe it was weighing me down and hiding my old self. Sweating still gave me rashes, and many times when I'd take the pill I'd get the worst case of heartburn unless I took it at the precise right moment in the middle of dinner. I did not consult my doctor at this time. I went cold turkey. I don't feel so bad about the former - I never got the impression he knew what he was doing prescribing those drugs. The latter, cold turkey, was likely less than intelligent. It's been about two months since my last dose and I feel the other shoe starting to drop. Am I relapsing or withdrawing? I honestly don't know. Today I find myself wondering, should I get back on the AD, or power through to the other side. Did the AD actually help anything? Am I doing more harm than good by cleansing myself of it? Is it a cleanse at all? If ADs don't work, then what pulled me out of that first anxiety event? These questions led me to Google, which led me here. Withdrawal/Relapse symptoms: wanting to cry, anxiety, depression, despair, moments of acute anger (where I'd normally be angry, just more pronounced)
  8. Is it generally correct that a slow or very slow taper will reduce the chances of permanent or lingering withdrawal or iatrogenic effects? Or might a person who's done a long, slow taper still experience a depressive "relapse" or drug/withdrawal-induced downward mood change even weeks or months after the taper ends? If taper slow enough to make withdrawal tolerable, is this pretty good sign that such a relapse won't happen?
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