Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'remeron'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Support
    • Read This First
    • Introductions and updates
    • Success stories: Recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal
    • Tapering
    • Symptoms and self-care
    • Finding meaning
  • Members only
  • Current events
    • Events, actions, controversies
    • In the media
    • From journals and scientific sources

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

  1. Hi Everyone, I am just going to jump right into this. I developed anxiety 4 years ago after having several life crisis in a months time. My mom was diagnosed w Dementia. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.A childhood friend died in his sleep from heart failure. I tipped over from the stress. I went to my GP and she started throwing AD's at me to help silence the anxiety. The AD's only made me worse. I went to the ER one night after experiencing my first panic attack The ER Dr gave me a script for Ativan. I took it for four weeks and then stopped because I was feeling much better. A few days later my world turned on it's axis. I didn't know what was happening. My anxiety was worse, I was pacing, heart racing, Panic attacks daily.... I went to my GP and she said I needed to see a Psychiatrist. To get in to see anyone was 3 months. I started to spiral. I had no idea I was in withdrawal! I ended up in the hospital to get help for my anxiety. I was put on Effexor (75mg)and Klonopin (.25mg). I stabilized and was sent home. I did really well on Effexor. After 4 months on Klonopin I started to slowly taper off. I tapered over 3 months. The taper went pretty well. I was cutting and weighing my pills. 8 months after that I felt good and talked to my Psychiatrist about tapering off of the Effexor. She strongly recommended to go slow and we did. I tapered for almost 7 months. To be honest, the Klonopin was easier to come off of than the Effexor. She put me on Prozac before my last cut of Effexor. Tapered off of the Prozac over 3/ months. I still had some anxiety but it was tolerable. It felt AMAZING to be free of AD'S and the Benzo....then COVID hit and my mom passed away. Anxiety came back w a vengeance. I ended up back in the hospital after a very bad reaction to Zoloft. My new psychiatrist kept telling me to "push through," the first 3 months. I was back on Klonopin but now it was.50mg twice a day.The hospital took me cold turkey off of Zoloft and started me on Remeron and Trazadone. The next day they added clonidine. The klonodine didn't agree w my system at all and I was taken off of that in two days. They released me from the hospital 5 days later. I lasted two weeks on Remeron. I was so disoriented, confused, high anxiety and felt like I could become violent on them so they weaned me off of that over 4 days and put me back on Prozac. Prozac didn't help my anxiety, I had constant headaches for months! I did get an MRI and it was normal. I started to feel more and more depressed on it. I was on Prozac for maybe two months when my psychiatrist took me off of that (tapered over 6 weeks) and put me on Lexapro. I had to have back surgery during this. I did NOT take a single pain med out of fear of making my WD worse. At first I thought the Lexapro was helping? I was still having breakthrough anxiety so he bumped it up. My Psychiatrist retired and a new woman came in to take his place until they could find a new one. She bumped my Lexapro up to 25mg when I told her I was having major anxiety rushes, my face would get bright red, I wasn't sleeping very well. That increased dosage was the worst! I was like a zombie but w heightened anxiety. I couldn't work, I would sit at my desk and space off for hours! I felt awful. So, she told me to start tapering off of the Lexapro (4 weeks total! I knew better...) and she wanted to cross taper me onto Effexor. I started that and boy....the depression was BRUTAL! I was not sleeping well, could hardly focus, anxiety was high, my legs felt like jelly, my head would burn, I felt my brain tingle all the time... I was nearing the end of my rope. I was desperate for a Psychiatrist that CARED. The interim Psych left and a new one came in. She wanted me off of the Effexor because she felt it was too hard to come off of and if it didn't work for me, I would be in for hell. I told her I was scared to switch AGAIN and she assured me that switching to Duoloxetine was it's "sister drug," and I shouldn't have an issue. I trusted her. The last 3 months have been.... (How do describe this hell?!) a daily battle to push through hell on earth. I am still working, I can still function, I take care of myself, my home, my dog. I am a divorced woman with a 22 year old son. I live by myself with my Rottweiler. Life is so friggin' hard when you are trying to get thorough this mess. I now have a WONDERFUL and caring Psychiatric nurse practitioner who truly cares. She is holding me on the last 10mg of Lexapro until the Effexor/Lexapro WD calms down...IF it calms down. I should tell you that I can't believe I have pushed through the last year. My symptoms have been Burning in my head, headaches, tingling in my head, mood fluctuations, burning on my skin, bloodshot eyes, pressure on my chest, sensitivity to heat, depression, sweat easily, joint pain, ringing in my ears, no motivation, grinding my teeth, feeling mentally off at times, at the beginning I couldn't sit still, short tempered, at times in the beginning of the Lexapro taper, I didn't want to talk at times...like I almost couldn't, buzzing in my body, feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, anxiety rushes...etc I am interested in this group for support and the combined knowledge from it's members. I know that NO ONE can tell me when this is going to end. What I am hoping is that someone can tell me what I am going through is normal for all of the med changes? I am honestly concerned if I am still having problems because of the Duoloxetine? My anxiety IS better since I have been on it. I get 8 hours of sleep. I don't drink. I don't use illegal drugs, don't smoke. I eat pretty healthy. I don't exercise. It's tough to get out for walks when you feel like hell and I guess I save my mental energy to work. I know I have rambled on. My mind feels like it's in a vice and also these drugs affect how well I put my thoughts into words. For the most part I am a happy and well adjusted person. I feel like the last few years have been stolen from me because I faithfully followed Dr's instructions and thought they knew best...I was so wrong. Thank you for your time. Blessings to all of you.
  2. I have been taking Trazadone since January 2014. I started with .75 Traz and have been slowly tapering the past six months. I am now down to .38 Traz after making a cut 2 nights ago from .45 Traz.. I take it at night to sleep along with 7.5 Remeron. I have been doing well with sleeping on the .45 which I have been holding the past 2 months. Last night my sleep was very light and fitful after the cut. I doubt I got that much sleep. Also, this October I will be on year off Ambien 10 mg. I am looking for some encouragement from folks who have been down this road before with Trazadone. Any success stories out there? How did you feel along the way with tapering? How was your sleep? How did you feel one week off Traz, three weeks off, a month off?
  3. 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
  4. Hi everybody I'm Soren from Denmark, 50 years old, and just started tapering 18 years of Mirtazapine-use. Earlier I have tried to withdraw from mirtazapine three times and every time by doctors instructions (50% two weeks, 50% of the remaining dose two weeks, then stop), and the last time I nearly hurt my beloved cat in rage. It was the most frightening out of control experience and periode in my life. I'm not long into my taper (down to 20 mg from 30 mg) and my taper it is going well at the moment (5% every three weeks). As almost universally experienced by other mirtazapine 'withdrawalees' I suffer day 4 or 5 after a reduction, but come day 8 and I am stabilized and on day 10 I feel a little better than before the reduction. I will write more about my experience with both citalopram, brintellix (trintellix), and mirtazapine later but for know I just want to say thank you. You see I have for over 6 months been browsing survivingantidepressants and even though I can feel the heartbroken, desperate loneliness in peoples struggles, I feel that you are a little more non-lonely when when you are visible for each other. More importantly I will no longer just be a browsing antidepressant surviver. If I (and everybody else who are anonymously browsing) continue to free ride on sites like surviving antidepressants the real magnitude of the antidepressant problem will never be known and the work you do never be recognized (enough). I have seen somewhere (maybe a YouTube video) that survivingantidepressants.org has over 14.000 members. My guess is for every site-member in the withdrawal community (on FB-groups, twitter, RxISK, innercompass etc) there are +1000 more browsing non members out there. So here you have one more grateful member so you hugely important work can become a little more visible. Soren from Denmark
  5. Hi all, I guess this is here for others to view and associate with in their own struggles and battles, and also for me to come back and check my progress as the months go by. I started sertraline 50mg in Oct 2020 after a bad mental break due to ongoing stress and I guess my already anxious personality really showed it’s face. Also added in mirtazapine 15mg in late November 2020 as my main problem was insomnia before starting either drug. You can see the rest of my drug history in my signature. Fast forward to December 2021 and I am seemingly now fighting the affects of said drugs rather than the reasons with which I originally started the medications. All the problems for which I actually started the medications are gone through my work on my mental health and a great journey of understanding. My nervous system now appears to be very unhappy from the catalogue of medication changes in the last 8 months approx. As of December 6th 2021 I am still very much struggling with the physical and mental problems caused by the drop from 75mg to 50mg on September 17 2021. This was originally done to try and aid my awful reflux and indigestion problems, but only appears to have made them worse, temporarily at least. In my bid to reach stabilisation on this dose I am reluctant to change the medication again as I know the ramifications this will have on me, but it is so incredibly hard to wear a brave face and keep going on many days at the moment due to the crippling GI issues. My goal is to reach 6 months on this dose and I am currently at 2.5. Prior to my mental breakdown I was already taking 20mg omeprazole for stomach troubles but had never experienced acid reflux until increasing sertraline from 50mg to 100mg in December of 2020 (last year). I am now on 40mg omeprazole but my GI issues are ongoing. I hope one day I will come back and read this in a different place completely. Currently it is hard to see the sun once again rising with each day that passes. I am doing at least 60 minutes of deep relaxation each day which helps force my body to relax. I have set myself a goal to do this on each day for the entirety of December. It is so demotivating when my nervous system flares up every week or 2 and my stomach and skin are upset with each time this happens. Hopefully if I remember to come back and update in a months time things have changed. For now, thanks to anyone who has read this and I wish you luck through this process. We are all so mentally strong. Erimus Symptom Tracker (Intensity /10): Indigestion/acid reflux (9/10) Anxiety waves (7/10) Shortness of breath (7/10) Tension headaches (5/10) Hot flushes/sweating (5/10) Constipation (5/10) Insomnia (3/10) Sweaty palms (4/10) Muscle tension in shoulders/neck (3/10) Inability to concentrate (5/10)
  6. Hi I am new to this forum and this is my first post . I am currently on 30mg mirtazapine and 200mg of pregablin , I have been on these mess for about 3 to 4 months . I have just cut my mirtazapine from 30mg to 15mg and in the space of 4 days I have have horrible side effects , anxiety through the roof , shaking , lack of appetite poor sleep crying spells and the general feeling of feeling crap . The reason I have started to withdraw from the mirtazapine is that after 3 months I feel no benefit only get awfull side effects . No help with my anxiety and depression if anything it's made me more depressed . I have gone through withdrawing from Effexor and that was really tough , however just the drop for a few days of the mirtazapine has left me crushed , my doctor told me that mirtazapine was a easy drug to withdraw from , but after 4 days it has left me house bound . Has anyone got any idea on how I get through this or any experience in mirtazapine withdrawals
  7. Hi, this site was recommended to me and I'm very grateful to have found a place where people might understand what I'm going through. My story with antidepressants starts 10 years ago, but I've only really had problems with them within the past year. In 2017, I was switched from fluoxetine to citalopram. The citalopram worked for me, and I was quickly upped to a dose of 30mg, which I happily stayed on for 4 years. This takes us to November(ish) 2021. In November I was really struggling with my anxiety, and physical symptoms which were new to me. I had lots of tests done to rule out any physical illness, and nothing abnormal came up so I was just really confused about what was happening. Everyone kept saying it was anxiety but I couldn't really believe it, because the symptoms were so strong and I'd been dealing with anxiety my whole life and it had never presented like this. My doctor suggested that I increase my citalopram to the maximum dose of 40mg. I'd never been on the maximum dose as I'd always been warned off it because I am underweight, but I did it anyway. I tapered up to 40 by January and stayed on it for about 6 weeks. It didn't help whatsoever - in fact I just felt worse, because I had some side effects from the increase that I'd never experienced previously. Skin crawling, tingling and numbness on my left side, etc. It was horrible so I decided to reduce back down to 30mg. I'd achieved this by late February. At this point, my mental and physical health has been feeling awful for about 4 months. I wasn't able to work, socialise, or do anything at all really. I'd developed extreme health anxiety from having all these new symptoms which I was convinced could be a serious medical condition, and I had now started to develop constant nausea (my worst symptom, as an emetophobe). At this point my doctor started to talk about me switching medications altogether. I was open to it, because in 2017 I'd made the switch from one SSRI to another and it went so smoothly that I just thought this would be the same. She suggested Sertraline, so I started to taper down the citalopram in preparation for that. I got down to 20mg by May and it was really difficult. The nausea, foggy headedness and tingling symptoms were constant. But, looking back, in mid May when I'd settled on 20mg I actually felt a bit better for the first time in a while. I was able to do slightly more and felt less sick every day. I think a wise decision at this point may have been to stay on 20mg and just allow my body to calm down and give myself the chance to have a life again. BUT back in April, I'd had my first appointment with a psychiatrist. After telling him everything, he suggested a medication I hadn't really thought about, Mirtazapine. He told me that when I came off citalopram completely, I should start 15mg of mirtazapine then work up to 30. I sort of took this as a better idea than sertraline, I'm not sure why really...I think because I knew that mirtazapine increased appetite, and I wanted desperately to gain weight because anxiety always takes my appetite away. So I ditched the idea of sertraline (which my doctor seemed fine with after hearing the psychiatrists new recommendation) and continued to taper down further. I got to 15mg by the start of June, and tried to drop again to 10mg. Things were just getting awful, I felt I was worse than I was in May, and I couldn't see myself being able to get all the way to 0 without just having no life anymore and becoming a shell of a person. At this point my doctor prescribes me 7.5mg of mirtazapine to take alongside 15mg citalopram, as a sort of crossover, so that I could continue to taper down citalopram but have the mirtazapine to make me feel a bit better. I took the mirtazapine for a total of 5 days - it made me very sleepy, very groggy in the mornings, and very emotional. I did in some ways feel mentally better - my overthinking definitely reduced and I was finally hungry again which was amazing. But when I told the doctor that I'd been very groggy and tired and had felt very off kilter, she told me to stop the mirtazapine immediately and just stick to 15mg citalopram for a while. This brings us to now. I'm at a loss - I stopped the mirtazpine last week (which has given me withdrawal symptoms too, even though I was only on it for 5 days - headaches, pulsatile tinnitus, worse brain zaps and tingling) and now I'm just sitting with being on 15mg of citalopram, half of what I've been on for 4 years and feeling pretty hopeless. The worst part of all this is the physical symptoms which just disrupt everything. After reading on here and on reddit, I think I'd describe them as brain zaps - a sort of constant tingling in my head which makes me nauseous and makes me feel like my head is fuzzy. I also feel sick at the thought of doing anything - its so hard to describe, but I literally cant picture myself doing anything without feeling spaced out and nauseous. I feel like I am just not on the same plane of existence as anybody else - my head is spaced out, I can't enjoy anything, I feel like crying, my thoughts are quite literally racing and my body is just messed up by all these medication changes. I feel such regret for ever trying to withdraw from citalopram in the first place, especially when I was in a bad place to begin with. I can't imagine how to get out of this hole that I've dug for myself. After reading about medication tapering online I realise I've done it at the wrong time, and far far too quickly, and I'm living with the consequences now. As for trying to settle the symptoms, I've of course tried lots of different supplements with limited success. In fact, since stopping mirtazapine, I'd say supplements make it worse. A few days ago I took a vitamin B supplement and the next day my head was pounding and I had pulsatile tinnitus, and last night I tried a magnesium supplement and today my head is pounding again. I'm very lucky that my family is able to look after me during all this, but they are constantly telling me to 'get out and do things', which I think is their reaction to the idea that all of this is just anxiety, and nothing actually physical. Its so hard to get people to understand that it feels like my body and brain are falling apart, and that withdrawing from my medication (something I chose to do which was meant to lead me on the road to recovery) has made things so so much worse, mentally and also physically. I hope that this will be the lowest point for me and that things will improve, but I have no idea. And I don't even know whether my next step will be more withdrawal, or reinstating the citalopram, or just staying at the dose I'm at. But I'm pretty scared for any of those directions because I've just bounced from one bad experience to another, and somehow I'm scared that it could get even worse.
  8. Hi all. I’m writing on behalf of my husband. Bit of background: 2003 was put on Prozac for 3 months- no adverse reaction and subsequently various doses of venlafaxine which he successfully came off of with no issues. 2013 was switched from Venlafaxine to sertraline. Had ‘activation syndrome’ (extreme anxiety) for 8 weeks (always thought it was him) but went away once body used to drug. August 2021 had been on 25mg for years and thought he would taper over 2 months, successfully came off no issues or problems. january 2022- I was having a C section and he was a bit worried, nothing extreme though, just normal worry and decided to reinstate the Sertraline. Within days, ‘activation syndrome’ was back. He stayed on for 5 weeks and then doctor said ‘come off as you weren’t anxious or depressed to start with’ symptoms of withdrawal started but manageable. He thought after 6 weeks that it wasn’t withdrawal as nhs website said it should have gone after 2 weeks! March 2022- started mirtazapine at 15mg going up to 30mg. Fine for 3 weeks, but then developed activation syndrome and quickly came off. GP advised to go back on to sertraline at a bigger dose- ended up in a and e, so agitated! 3 weeks later, he thought that the mirtazapine might be less activating at a smaller dose, so went back on at 15mg… alas, 3 weeks later, activation syndrome is back! june 5th came off and has been battling severe anxiety, but generally, every other day! I am aware of windows and waves but don’t understand this. One day he’s perfect and the next can’t leave the house! He also started propanalol in June which we feel makes it worse as apparently it blocks seritonin to a degree, but makes anxiety a lot worse if he reduces (or maybe he did too big a jump). NHS have left us to it, no help! Have a private appointment on Monday. Questions are: If he is getting windows this early on, is it a good sign?! The only symptom he has is extreme anxiety/agitation which seems more a reaction to lack of seritonin, thus firing out tons of cortisol? Could he go on a low dose of Prozac to see if that helps? Prozac is the only antidepressant he doesn’t think caused activation syndrome?! is there any experiences with propanalol making matters worse? I think there is a slight improvement in the anxiety but considering it’s only been out of his system for 6 weeks I expect takes a lot longer to build new pathways etc/level out. Thanks for reading. Just want my husband back, it’s destroying me and him!
  9. Hi all. I have been on a combo of Risperdal and Zoloft since 2012. I reached 3mg risperdal and 200mg zoloft in early 2016, tried to taper off both starting in June of that year, and had a bout of insomnia in November, at which time I reinstated along with an additional 15mg remeron. Adding the remeron, I've learned, was a huge mistake and most likely unnecessary. Since then I've slept at most 6 hours instead of my usual 8. For the first 2 months on remeron I avoided caffeine and tobacco. Then, after picking up both again, my sleep suffered, and I eventually had nights with 2-3 hours. I've since learned that caffeine and tobacco induce the enzyme CYP1A2, which metabolizes remeron, explaining this. By abstaining from both, my sleep has returned. I have also tried shaving a sliver off my 15mg pill with no luck...getting a full night without sleep. I would like to be able to drink coffee and smoke again. That leaves me with 2 options, get off the remeron (seemingly impossible) or tolerate the lack of sleep. If I do the latter, will my sleep eventually not recover even when abstinent due to repeated withdrawals? I had been planning to use coffee and cigs only sporadically, letting my sleep return before using them again, or using only on the weekends. If I that is not sustainable, then how do you recommend I get off the remeron, given my sensitivity to even a small dose decrease? My doc has suggested trazodone as a replacement, but that med interacts with my other meds and a post about it here scared me away. Thank you so much for your help.
  10. unblocktheplanet

    unblocktheplanet

    It is possible to taper & wean. What I'm not sure about is whether it's possible to actually feel normal! Mirtazapine worked for depression & sleep for 15 years & then it didn't. A compounding pharmacy made me 3mg Mirtazapine capsules & I dropped 10% a month for ten months. I'm now planning on the same tapering timetable for Trazodone, 10% a month. My sleeps are still awful. I'm 72. I doubt I'll ever be able to wean Alprazolam. 86% relapse. Perhaps cognitive decline or even dementia. I don't blame my docs. It might have been easier to taper & wean earlier on but, then again, it might not. Frankly, I blame it on pharma...& on capitalism. Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-2022 Trazodone 50mg 2003-present Alprazolam 1mg 2019-present
  11. Hi, I'm not quite sure how to go about this as I'm not super familiar with forums. But I've been on Mirtarzapine 45mg for a couple of years now, I started taking it 5 years ago as a result of a breakdown and have been slowly increasing it. Now I feel a bit more stable in my life and 1 week ago started doing 45mg x 2 nights and 41.25mg approx (I have to cut my tablet so it's never 100% accurate) for 1 night in an alternate fashion. I've noticed I've become more anxious and started experiencing panic feelings...I don't want to give up though. I'm determined to go down to 30mg and stay on it for a while till the next drop. I'm very very afraid though. I'm a single mum with a 5 year old child so I don't want this to affect my relationship with my daughter. Any words of wisdom or support, identification, etc, would be massively appreciated.
  12. Hello I have been on Anti Depressants since 2016. The only one that made any difference for a few months was Duloxetine 50mg. That stopped working for both depression and anxiety so I discontinued it back in 2019. I was ok for a couple of months but then started feeling anxious again, and the GP reintroduced it. Fast forward to 2021 and a bad dose of Long COVID, and I had to stop the Duloxetine as it was giving me heart disregulation. I then tried Escitalapram for a few weeks but was unable to tolerate it, so the GP prescribed me Mirtazapine. This was put up to 30mg in March 2022, then I developed severe anxiety and discontinued, having a cross taper to Duloxetine again. Whilst cross-tapering, I discovered that the combination of Duloxetine and Mirtazapine seemed to stop my anxiety and so the GP has prescribed this combo. I am only in week 1, but some days I feel fine, and then like today, all I want to do is crash out. I have no job at the moment and feel pretty hopeless. After reading the report in today's news regarding the lack of evidence for the Serotonin hypothesis, I feel like just binning the whole lot of antidepressants, and using diazepam to withdraw off the lot. However, every time I come off antidepressants, I feel like my symptoms rebound. I am starting to feel like a chemistry play set, and don't want to feel this way. I am 47, wife a family.
  13. I was originally prescribed Mirtazapine (30mg)for my intense anxiety and insomnia after have COVID in August of 2021. Have had little to no side effect (weight gain). Unfortunately when I started to feel better I was told by my Dr to cut my 30mg tablet in half for 3-5 days and then stop. Each time my anxiety and insomnia returned so severely my Dr told me to start taking it again. I have tried a 10% taper from 30mg for 11 days now. Two days ago the insomnia reappeared but not the anxiety. So my Dr now wants to switch me to Cymbalta. I don’t want to take any of these awful meds any longer. Should I go back up to 30mg? Or push through the insomnia at 22.5? Thank-you for this amazing resource!
  14. I am so glad that I came across this forum! I feel like crying when reading peoples stories and their struggle with coming off the antidepressants! I was prescribed Zoloft for anxiety and Depression which I have been suffering for years! Mainly anxiety and panic disorder! I am otherwise healthy. Zoloft caused PGAD that has caused me so much anguish, I feel like I am living in a nightmare! I only took Zoloft for 3 days 25mg and this happened to me! I wanted to and still have thoughts of suicide! I felt that I was some kind of a freak and pervert! It has been 4 weeks and things have improved but not completely gone! I constantly feel burning sensation, and tingles that drive me crazy! I can deal with the burning sensations but tingles I can not stand! I got better then I took a herbal supplement for anxiety and it has come back today! I am taking fish oil supplement and I wonder if I am now sensitive to fish oil too??? Should I stop or cut back on fish oil? I just don't know what to take anymore! I never could imagine that this could happen to me as I was not aware! The doctor did not mention anything so I had no idea! I am naturally a slim person and my only worry at the time was if I was going to gain weight while on antidepressants, and my doctor reassured me "Very Unlikely". I took her word for it and I took the medication. In did not want to deal with, anxiety, depression and plus weight issues as a result of antidepressants! I told my doctor what happened to me and like many others have reported "she has never heard of it". That made me feel so humiliated and embarrassed. The point is that the doctors are not educated in regards to this issue. I recently went back to her and told her that I am still experiencing issued down below, burning sensation ever since Zoloft and she said that it is a coincidence! I am sick of doctors, they are full of ****! You tell them one thing and they turn it around! I just prey this eventually goes away and settles down! If this does not settle down I would consider removing sensitive part of my anatomy! I hate it! I can't stand it! How is everyone else coping with this? What have you found that helps? I have not felt peaceful down below for the last 4 weeks! I have never heard of this condition prior to taking antidepressants. Please help, Thank you.
  15. Hi, I'm purplehummingbird, PHB for short My journey with psych drugs started 20 years ago when I was 17. I was experiencing emotional difficulties stemming from a traumatic childhood and subsequent recreational drug taking from the age of 15. My doc prescribed me fluoxetine. I took one that night, felt like a zombie the next day and so threw the rest away. I wish that had been my only brush with psych drugs, but 9 years later, still experiencing the emotional difficulties and still recreational drug taking, I went back to the doc who put me on 50mg Citalopram. I took it for four months, decided it wasn't helping and then tried to stop. Queue 11 years of unrecognised withdrawal, misdiagnoses, medical gaslighting, more drugging, repeated attempts to stop and finally poly drugging. Currently taking 7.5mg of Citalopram and 11.25mg of Mirtazapine. I quit recreational drugs in 2013 and last year I quit nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. I am so relieved to have found this incredible site and to finally realise what's been happening all along. That I was never 'mentally ill' (whatever that means), that I never 'needed' to take psychiatric medication and that it was the drugs themselves causing all the problems. I'm looking for (and hoping to give) support, guidance, connection, help and encouragement and to explore the deeper lessons in all of this as I finally taper off these drugs for good. I am intrigued by the non drug coping tools, as my toolbox is pretty bare, and I hope that I can use this opportunity to create healthy habits that can last me throughout my journey to freedom and beyond. PHB x
  16. Aka Remeron, Remeronsoltab, Avanza, Axit, Mirtabene, Mirtaz, Mirtazon, Norset, Promyrtil, Remergil, Remergon, Remeron SolTab As with other psychiatric drugs, we recommend trying a 10% taper of mirtazapine per month, based on the last dosage you took. If you get withdrawal symptoms from a 10% taper, go down by smaller amounts. See Important topics in the Tapering forum, particularly why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage A very common withdrawal problem with mirtazapine is rebound insomnia, which reinforces the need for very gradual tapering. From FDA information at http://www.drugs.com/pro/mirtazapine-tablets.html From Malhi, et al 2003 Dual-Action Antidepressants: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Use Per http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00370, Half-life is 20-40 hours. Mirtazapine tablet dosages are 7.5mg, 15mg, 30mg, and 45mg. The "orally disintegrating" version melts in the mouth and is widely available as a generic or brand-name Remeron SolTabs. Reduce by splitting tablets Request that your prescription be filled with the lowest dosage tablets or combination that includes the lowest dosage and split them into quarters for the smallest decrements. (A quarter of a 7.5mg tablet would be 1.875mg.) If you are very sensitive to dosage reductions, you may wish to weigh tablet fragments, see Using a digital scale to measure doses Reduce by titrating a liquid A liquid is easier to measure in order to taper by small amounts using an oral syringe. Unfortunately, mirtazapine liquid is not widely available. In the UK, mirtazapine liquid is available from Rosemont Pharmaceuticals in Leeds. Ingredients of the liquid are here: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/31587. Shelf-life after being opened is 6 weeks. Ordering information is here. Make your own liquid from a tablet To taper, many people make liquids from mirtazapine tablets themselves. While water solubility of mirtazapine is "slight" according to http://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00370 you can make a suspension of it yourself with a tablet and water or a pharmaceutical liquid such as Ora-Plus. See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules (to see the links to the documents mentioned, click on the gray arrow in the upper left of the quote.) Refrigerate the DIY suspension for up to 5 days, then discard. Have a compounding pharmacy make a liquid for tapering Compounding pharmacies can make a liquid from the tablets. You will need a prescription written for the customized drug preparation. The only drawback is this can be quite expensive. While your pharmacy may say the liquid is good for a month, people have noticed potency decreases over that time: Please note the do-it-yourself liquids are kept for less than a week. Reduce by making a liquid with the "orally disintegrating" tablets You may be able to dissolve the orally disintegrating tablets ("Soltabs") in water and use an oral syringe to take a measured dosage. I couldn't find any reports of doing this but, since the orally disintegrating tablet is designed to dissolve in saliva, it seems likely to work. After making the liquid, I would take the dose immediately and discard the rest -- do not count on it keeping for any length of time. For instructions on how to make a liquid, see how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules If you do this and it works, please let us know in this topic. Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in lower-dose tablets or capsules, gradually converting to all liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another. If your doctor prescribes liquid and tablets or capsules at the same time, most likely, he or she will have to indicate "divided doses" in the prescriptions to get the drugs covered by insurance. Cut up or crush tablets, weigh fragments or powder with a digital scale In principle, this would be a more precise way of tapering than cutting up tablets: Cut up or crush the tablet If crushed, make sure the shell fragments are evenly distributed in the powder Weigh the tablet fragments or powder for a dose with a digital scale If powder, put the powder into an empty gelatin capsule to make it easier to ingest Tapering mirtazapine and venlafaxine or "California rocket fuel" This is a combination of mirtazapine and venlafaxine (Effexor) that has some popularity among psychiatrists, but also can have dangerous side effects. If you are taking this combination, you probably will want to taper the Effexor first with the hope that the remaining mirtazapine will maintain sleep. See About going off mirtazapine plus venlafaxine (Effexor) aka "California rocket fuel"
  17. Dear forum members I write here for the first time and welcome you all warmly! I come from the land of chocolate, mountains and pharmaceutical giants...., Switzerland! The doctors are also here very happy, to prescribe psychotropic drugs for every little problem...! I took 7 years ago, in January - March 2014 for the first time in my life psychotropic drugs(Benzodiazepine / Temesta), receved from my doctor against a burnout and the associated insomnia. Already after three months my life was out of control. I experienced hell on earth with this drug and went through withdrawal in May / June 2014 in a clinic. During the withdrawal, I died in my mind about 1000 times. It was and still is the most horrible time of my life. Due to the extreme withdrawal symptoms, I was given an antidepressant (mirtazapine 30 mg) after completely stopping the benzodiazepine. Terrible symptoms showed up with this medication as well, so I very slowly reduced it again since 2014 and stopped it completely four months ago. With each smallest reduction of Mirtazapine, I experienced weeks and sometimes months of waves with the worst withdrawal symptoms, so that it took me a total of almost 7 years to finally get to 0 mg. I am very proud of this result and yet even today, 4 months and 10 days after 0 I still experience bad, recurring waves with the following symptoms: - Severe headaches and abdominal pain - Massive nausea - Strong abdominal and chest pressure with shortness of breath - Total inner tension and nervousness - Intermittent insomnia - Total hopelessness and fear of not being able to heal anymore I had a window of almost 10 days until 4 days ago and already thought I was cured. Unfortunately, after these beautiful days, I once again tried to do moderate sports (cycling / golf), which again triggered a surge of symptoms. Sport seems to trigger the symptoms again and again. The aftermath of this episode is horrible. I am once again caught in a wave that has triggered the previously mentioned symptoms. At the moment I again feel like I can't survive the whole thing. - Do any of you have any tips for me on how to better survive the particular waves of symptoms? - Can anyone explain to me why exercise / sport triggers the symptoms so strongly? - Can these symptoms ever go away? I am in desperate need of help and would greatly appreciate any answers from you guys!!! Thank you very much in advance for your kind words and I wish you all the strength, the hope, the courage and the perseverence to successfully get off the medication. Warm regards to all of you Goodluck PS: My english is not that good, so I used the help of a translator programm. Hope you can understand the sense / meaning.
  18. Link to Hibari's Introduction topic: hibari-tapering-remeron-and-want-to-start-tapering-lamictal I first want to say that we do heal and life does get better. I am someone who was poly-drugged, on benzos twice, and now am 15 months off all medications. I made mistake like forgetting doses, getting misdiagnosed with Lyme, taking supplements for my adrenals and being treated badly by both doctors and holistic practitioners. I still made it off the medications. I feel well most of the time and optimistic about life. I couldn't feel that at all when I was on medication, (benzos in particular) and while I tapered, so I now know it was the medication. Thank you @Altostrata for starting this site and collecting all the information needed planning and tapering. Med History: Put on and off a variety of medications for short periods of time after having a nervous system breakdown from excessive caregiving and overworking. (You can see my signature). What helped me: One thing that helped me during benzo withdrawal was to look up the side effects, not withdrawal symptoms, of Clonzapam. I saw that depression was one of the main side effects of the medication and even though I felt deep despair at the higher doses, I keep reminding myself that the medication itself was causing my crushing depression. Support In addition to the support I received on this site and benzo buddies, the first two things on this list I wish I had known about earlier. 1. I worked with a Psych-K practitioner (psychological kinesiology). This practitioner had gotten off of a cocktail of medications using the Psych-K technique. I met her by chance, heard about the work and decided to try it. This method helps to balance the brain and body. With this support I was able to continue tapering my benzo 20% a month till the end. We worked remotely even pre-pandemic and I found it incredibly helpful. I continue with her to this day. If anyone wants more information on this, please PM me. 2. The second thing was that I worked with a benzo coach from Lucid Lane, a fee for service support site for any medication dependence. I spoke or should say, cried to my coach on a regular basis. I found it really helpful to talk with someone who understood my pain. Here is their website. https://lucidlane.com/ 3. I connected to some wonderful people on this site @freespirit @Shep @Santino @leahy @brassmonkey and others who I’m sure I’m forgetting. I found the people who I resonated with the most and they were a lifeline to me. Not everyone here will be the right fit for you nor have the right guidance for you and that’s okay. 4. Advice: Take what you like and leave the rest. This site has wonderful resources and offers very solid advice on tapering. And you also have to trust yourself. That might mean sometimes going against what works for others and that’s okay. For example, I couldn’t handle fish oil during my tapers, it had the opposite effect. I didn’t try and push it once I discovered that. Some supplements like L-Theanine worked during my Remeron/Mirtazapine taper but not during my benzo taper. Your body has a lot of wisdom and if it’s saying no, it’s no. 5. Mental: Two shifts occurred during this process. The first occurred when I finally realized that being stable enough to taper did not mean, feeling great. For me it meant, being functional enough to make the bed, wash the dishes and stare at the TV. Later it meant, I could go for a walk, meet a friend and then start working a bit. I got confused for a while thinking that if I were stable, I would feel more upbeat but that was not what stable was for me. It was all about being functional enough to keep going in my taper. I used a scale from 1-10. If I was in the 5, 6, 7 range, which was uncomfortable but tolerable, I kept going. If I went to an 8 or 9, I held till I was back to a 6 or 7. Tracking this way helped me move forward and also allowed me to see if there were any patterns of when my cuts hit. The second occurred, during my final taper. I realized that I whenever I wanted to change something in my taper-the method, the rate, the brand-that it was me trying desperately to have some control over the process. This hurt me especially at the end of my Lamictal taper. I am very compassionate about it now and saw it was my attempt to feel more in charge of something I felt helpless about. I had to really fight that urge during my final year of tapering and it worked to my benefit. 6. Belief: You don’t have to believe you will heal to heal. I had a lot of despair and fear during my tapers and especially during my final benzo taper. I thought I was actually a depressed person and was unable to meditate, exercise or do anything that seemed to work for others (until the Psych-K work) and I still kept healing. I know now that it was hard for me to believe that I would feel good again because of the temporary brain injury and withdrawal. Now I know for sure I am not a depressed person and look forward to life. 7. Food: I lost my appetite at times and could not eat much for different periods. For the most part I ate cleanly, no sugar, alcohol, or caffeine during a majority of my taper. I was not perfect and did eat candy at times when that was what was going to get me through the next hour. I now drink a cup of coffee a day and am fine. I do eat healthy now about 95% of the time. I did put on 30lbs during the time I was taking Remeron/Mirtazapine and when I went off, I lost 25lbs in about 2 months without dieting. It was all medication weight. Choose what works for you, whether it’s plant based or keto-you get to decide. 8. Supplements: The only supplements I really take are Magnesium Glycinate, which I took on and off during my tapers. I take between 50-150 mgs at night to help me relax into sleep. I do drink an Adrenal Cocktail, 1/2 cup natural OJ, 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt and 1/4 tsp of creme of tartar to support my adrenals. I drink it now as needed but when I was in withdrawal and too revved up to relax at night, I drank it 2x a day at 10AM and 2PM. In about 10 days the hyper feeling subsided and I started to sleep better, which at that time was about 3 hours a night with many nights of little sleep. There are versions of this cocktail that use other liquids if you can't handle OJ. You can Google those recipes. 9. Exercise. I walked my dog during withdrawal but during the last part of my Lamictal/benzo withdrawal I did not exercise much due to the agoraphobia and weakness. I also tried exercising more vigorously after I stepped off the benzo, but it would cause mini waves. I went back to exercising at about 13 months off and can now handle dance classes and fitness classes. I’m out of share but optimistic I will get physically fit again. 10. Spirituality/Faith: I do believe I was transformed for the better by going through this. I felt pretty spiritually abandoned especially during benzo withdrawal but my spiritual beliefs were not so solid to begin with. That has changed over the past year. I also had to learn a hard lesson about how I was living my life pre-medication. My habit of giving too much and doing too much wore me down. Now after meds, I have to continue to keep an eye on that tendency though it is so much better. 11. COVID: I think I may have gotten Covid early on but was never tested. I had a very bad sore throat in the fall of 2020. It was so bad I took an antibiotic (which I could handle) and it cleared it up. I have been vaccinated 3 times and the first time I was vaccinated I was off benzos for 3 months. Aside from the usual reaction to a vaccine, aches, chills, etc, I was fine. I am someone who never got flu shots and don’t plan on getting them in the future but I knew a handful of people who got very sick with COVID including two who now have long COVID so I was willing to take the vaccine. What Remains: My sleep has gotten better though it is not where it was at pre-medication. However, I have gone from very light sleep, waking every hour or so to sleeping 6-7 hours a night and waking up between 2 or 3 times. Dropping off is still not as easy but I’m not wired or hyper. I just think I’m still low on something the brain and body produces to ease me into sleep. I also occasionally get some temperature fluctuations/hot flashes but am okay with them. When I first stepped off of Remeron/Mirtazapine, the sweat poured off of me at night and I was so drenched I had to get up and change. I was post-menopausal so I knew it was the medication. That’s it for now. As with anything I've mentioned above, please do your research and learn to trust your body's responses. The capacity for our brains and bodies to heal is real. I'm wishing everyone on this journey continued strength to keep going. Remember how courageous you are to take on this challenge. You will heal and have the life you want for yourself again. Hibari
  19. kate1385

    kate1385

    Hi, Not sure now is the right time to post as I am still navigating the forum and reading lots of hopeful (and scary) stories, trying to process it all. I have had a rocky relationship with citalopram. Started in 2013 when I was prescribed it for depression. Was quickly bumped up to 50mg. Started having muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders as well as fits of shaky eyeballs. Decided to come off and followed GP's taper advice (obvs far too quick). Suffered severe dizziness which I instinctively knew was due to the ADs. GP said, no it was not the drugs, it was anxiety. I had never been dizzy with anxiety before so I knew he was wrong. I then had a delayed withdrawal reaction (which I didn't know at the time - thought my 'depression and anxiety' had returned) and became very unbalanced, distressed, suicidal ideation etc and had to temporarily move back home with my parents for a few weeks before seeing the CMHT and being put BACK on citalopram 30mg by a mental health nurse. He told me I just had a chemical imbalance in my brain (ha! I wonder why..) Stayed on that from Sep 2014 - Nov 2017 when I tried a slower taper (a few months rather than a few weeks as before) and again noticed the dizziness but it wasn't as bad so thought I could push through. I also was smoking cannabis everyday in an attempt to self medicate. By March 2017 I had diarrhea, nausea, racing intrusive thoughts, waking early with panic, crying, hopelessness, agitation etc and was near to being hospitalised on a couple of occasions. I could not work for 5 months and again had to move home with my parents to look after me because I was unable to look after myself. I had thoughts of self harm and every day was torment. I soon realised that smoking cannabis could be making things worse so I stopped that after a couple of months. However, I still was completely unaware that I was going through withdrawal and so in desperation was put BACK on citalopram in March 2017 on which I stayed until July 2021. I was also given 15mg mirtazapine to help with sleep and appetite since I had lost so much weight from the diarrhea and nausea of the citalopram withdrawal. Fast forward to today - I tapered down the citalopram over 6 months starting from Jan 2021 and finishing in July 2021, after reading Joseph Glenmullen's 'Coming Off Antidepressants'. It was only after reading this book that I connected the dots and realised my episodes in 2014 and 2017 were AD withdrawal and not a relapse of depression or anxiety. As soon as I finished tapering citalopram to 0 I waited two weeks and then began tapering mirtazapine, getting to 0 by end of Nov 2021. However, by day 5, after recognising I was experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms again (diarrhea, nausea, sleep problems, crying, panicky, racing intrusive thoughts etc) I reinstated it first to 3.5mg for two weeks, and then after a scary day where I thought I needed hospitalisation, panicked and reinstated to 15mg. Knowing what I know now, I wish I had stayed at 3.5mg. I have also realised that I should have waited a while longer to stabilise after coming off of the citalopram before starting to taper mirtazapine, I had been ignoring the warnings my body had been sending me since the summer. After coming across this site, I realise that both attempts at tapering were far too fast and too steep. I am probably still in citalopram withdrawal having only tapered for 6 months and stopping in July 2021. Since reinstating mirtazapine my symptoms have eased but I am still experiencing daily crying, sadness, regret, grief, negative thoughts and waking with morning dread. I want to be off these drugs but I want to do it safely and slowly. I think I will review how I am at the end of March 2022 and then if I'm feeling much better, start a very slow, perhaps 5% taper of mirtazapine. I was using a pill cutter before but that's no good for tiny reductions necessary so will look into some digital scales or learn how to create a liquid. Thank you for this site, you are all incredible and inspiring. I got scared at first realising how long and painful this journey could still be but the success stories and supportive conversations are keeping me going. I hope I have not come off and on ADs too many times already or messed with the mirtazapine dose too much to cause kindling or extra sensitivities...
  20. I'm 30 years old, and only now coming to understand my mental health and some of the bad habits I've had in the past. For me, I've had really only two periods of mental health challenge. I think it’s worth saying, that my life is average in a good way, no trauma from childhood or family issues. The first mental health challenge when I was around 21. I had to work away, after a few weeks I started struggling. My symptoms were physical more than mental. I would constantly feel nauseous, and had trouble eating and sleeping. At this time I didn't have the tools / knowledge to recognise that I was undergoing something more than simply dealing with stress. I would vomit most days, losing around 2 stone. Sleep became very troublesome and I would try to manage with coffee which only made things worse. This period lasted around 6 months, and only eased off when the I stopped working away from home. Throughout this time I didn’t engage in any therapy, self help or medication. I didn’t recognise it at the time, but I believe talking to a GP (doctor) would have helped immensely. Since then, life continued to be average in a good way for 9 years. I got married to the the girl I've been with since I was 18, we moved into our family home, and travelled some of the world. I regained the weight I lost, and eating and sleeping habits were normal. Then, last year, our first child was born. In the lead up to her arriving, I didn’t experience any level of stress that I felt in the first period of challenge. However, 2 weeks after she arrived, I began to feel those same physical symptoms. This time I spoke with a GP and began down a route of Self guided CBT, some talk therapy and eventually some private therapy. During this time, the lowest point was going around 4 days without any proper sleep, and we called an emergency mental health NHS helpline to come out and assess me, as I was having intrusive thoughts, which is not something I’m used to! Again, I was feeling physically sick, this is my main debilitating symptom. This is the one symptom that I have real trouble with. Speaking with the GP, we first tried Sertraline. I really hated the side effects, brain zaps, intrusive thoughts. I still now can’t decide if this was my own rejection of starting an anti-depressant or the actual side effect, but I could not continue. However, I eventually came to the decision I needed to try the medical intervention. This is when the GP suggested I try mirtazapine. I started on 15mg, and within 10 days, my body was calm for the first time in 6 months. My appetite slowly came back, and I began to put on the weight that I’d lost. In the first days, I had some of the side effects listed; a slight twitch in one eye that lasted for a day or two, and drowsiness on a morning. I’ve now been taking 30mg of Mirt for around 6 months. Other than some morning drowsiness, I didn't experience any other symptoms, so I came to decision to reduce my dose with the aim of stopping. I moved down from 30mg to 15mg on Saturday 28th May 2022. On Sunday evening, I began feeling nauseous. We have some big life events (first family holiday) in the next two weeks. I took the decision after 2 days of feeling sick that maybe I had tapered too fast? I spoke with the GP who said the symptoms appearing so quickly after the change mean they are linked with the drop. I've now re-instated at 30mg, but still feeling nauseous. This symptom continues to be the most overwhelming issue. I have to work really hard on breathing, and focusing on eating. I've joined this forum for some support, I'm very new to medical intervention and I haven't really got anyone around me who understands the challenges it presents. I think my aim is to stablise on 30mg. Engage in a slower taper in the future, maybe with the support of therapist or similar? Hope this hasn't been too much information!
  21. Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25+ Years of Use One-year post taper “success story” – http://survivingantidepressants.org Elbee (male) - August 27, 2020 At the time of this success story post, I have passed the one-year mark (15+ months) living drug-free. I am speaking to you from “the other side” of hell to let you know I made it through the nightmare of psychiatric drug withdrawal -- and so can you. I want to start by saying that everyone’s withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is going to differ – no two paths are the same. While there will be commonalities in what we each experience, there will also be differences. I also believe that none of us are uniquely or irreparably “broken,” and that each of us can find a path to living much fuller, healthier lives in greater freedom. To be clear, I had doubts throughout this process . . . believing that somehow, I was MORE “broken,” and that I wouldn’t find my way out of the darkness. But the natural, innate healing power we each possess is profoundly AWESOME, and it quietly, patiently works in the background in each of our lives. . . even if we can’t see it, and even if we don’t trust it. For me, the psychiatric drug withdrawal / tapering process turned out to be an invitation to learn how to live my life differently. It became clear to me in this journey that I could never go back to some idealized place I vaguely imagined myself clinging to . . . I could only move forward to somewhere I had not yet been. I need to be honest: It is still hard to revisit and write about just how painful this drug withdrawal process was. Now that I’m feeling so much better, a part of me wants to forget the whole ordeal . . . as if looking in a rear-view mirror, driving ever-further away. And the reality is that this rear-view mirror perspective is very much real -- I’m SO grateful not to be suffocating in such intense pain anymore! But it is also true I will carry the scars of this experience with me for the rest of my life. It is clear to me now that some of me died through this drug withdrawal process. It is also true that the most precious parts of me came back to life. And I am still healing. I was very much disabled through the most intensive parts of the drug taper. I was on these psych drugs for panic attacks, anxiety, and depression my entire adult life, over 25 years. Additionally, I was drinking alcohol abusively, and relying on multiple pots of coffee and a pack of cigarettes to get me through each day. Even before I had decided to get off the meds, I was utterly exhausted most of the time, barely functional, and unconsciously stumbling through life like a zombie. I knew I had to fundamentally change how I was living. The first step in my detox efforts was to quit alcohol in April of 2014, 30 years after taking my first drink as a kid. Thankfully, I was able to release alcohol from my life relatively easily. Whatever boost alcohol had given me previously was gone, and it was clear to me as a 44 year old man that the devastating hangovers I experienced were getting more difficult. Then, over that following summer and under doctor supervision, I “tapered” entirely off both the Lorazepam and Zoloft that I had been taking for 24 years. I experienced tons of anxiety in the process, but I did it, and after the 4-month ordeal, I thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, about six weeks after taking my last dose of Zoloft, what I now know to be protracted withdrawal hit, and my life spun into a depth of hell that words cannot describe. Instead of re-instating the same drugs I had been taking, the doctors took me on an 8-month “trial-and-error” roller coaster ride of psychiatric drug experimentation. I finally ended up on higher doses of the drugs I had originally quit, plus Remeron added in for good measure. Through all of this, I landed in a very bad place – exhausted, functionally disabled, unable to work, and unsure what to do next. I had some savings in the bank I could live on for a few years, so I decided to “hole up” to do a new taper, following the much slower tapering protocol of the SurvivingAntidepressants.org website. But my savings were limited, so I used the 10% reduction protocol as a baseline, and pushed the taper as fast as I could without killing myself in the process. I’m not sure I would suggest this approach to anyone else, but in my situation, that’s what I did. Note: I’m going to refrain from listing out all the symptomatic horrors I experienced (there were many) as I write this success story. Here is the link, if you’re interested, to my introductory thread which details my four-year psychiatric drug withdrawal process: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/11862-%E2%98%BC-elbee-25-years-of-meds/ And I want to take a moment here to say how incredibly grateful I am to @Altostrata, @Shep @brassmonkey, @bubble, @apace41, @Gridley, @Rhiannon (her writings), @JanCarol, @KarenB, @ChessieCat, @Petunia, @scallywag and all the folks at SurvivingAntidepressants.org who helped save my life. I also came across Robert Whitaker’s book, Anatomy of an Epidemic around the same time I found this site, and from these resources, I knew I had stumbled into truth. It became clear to me that so much of what the mainstream medical establishment had told me about these drugs, and about my so-called “chemical imbalance,” was false -- I had been lied to. SurvivingAntidepressants.org helped me anchor into this truth and set me on a new course. THANK YOU! With these new resources, I came to understand that getting off the drugs wasn’t just a simple matter of refraining from ingesting chemicals, or even about waiting for those chemicals to dissipate out of my body. I learned that my brain had restructured itself around the presence of the drugs all these years and that by removing the drugs, my brain would have to, very slowly, restructure itself again to a healthy state. The metaphor of a plant (my brain) growing on a trellis (the drugs) for support is so profound to me. How can I expect to abruptly rip out the trellis and think that it won’t damage the plant in devastating ways? This metaphor was such a clear illustration to me of how a neuroplastic human brain builds tolerance, and how we can so easily become entangled in the physiological mechanisms of addiction. And to be very clear, our brains develop tolerance to psychiatric drugs just like they do street drugs, and the mechanics of addiction and withdrawal in each are the same. Gaining this knowledge and allowing it to sink in was probably one of the most important early milestones in my healing process. In preparing for writing this success story, I re-read my entire introductory thread. Several pivotal posts stood out to me as other milestones in my healing process, and while this testimonial might go long, I think it could be useful to touch on some of them . . . In my very first post, I am already talking about the value of meditation. Sitting with myself quietly and focusing on my breath helped me slow down my mind and learn to relax. As I continued with the practice, though, I began experiencing periods of discomfort. I had initially taken the psychiatric drugs to avoid feeling uncomfortable feelings, and as I practiced meditating space was again created for those feelings to arise. Learning to slowly sit with and tolerate whatever thoughts and feelings arose began to nullify my need to run away, and therefore, lesson my urge to drug the discomfort. Meditation became a cornerstone of my self-care practice, and self-care is what I ultimately found to replace the drugs. Next milestone -- about a year later, I wrote an entry about a decision I was struggling with on whether to consult with a renowned psychiatrist. A relative was able to get me an appointment for a psychiatric medication evaluation from a “leader in the field” (at the bargain price of $2,000). Looking back, it was then I decided I no longer believed in the efficacy of psychiatric drugs, nor the system that deals in them. I wrote: Next, in the summer of 2016, still early in my tapering and recovery process, I went on a 111-day, 9,000-mile solo road trip across the U.S. In retrospect, I was probably looking for something “out there” that was missing “in here.” I did a four-day vision fast in the wilderness, hiked a 14,000-foot mountain, roamed Death Valley, did a week-long silent meditation retreat, camped under redwoods, hiked numerous National Parks, etc. Was it really a good idea to take this pilgrimage in such a compromised state? I can’t say for sure, but it’s what I did, and I think it cracked through defenses that needed to open. In the Hoh Forest of Olympic National Park in Washington state, I experienced a release of emotions like I had never felt before. It was in that moment I finally realized that releasing stored emotional blockages could ease my anxiety: Another milestone: Upon returning home to Florida later that fall, I dove more deeply into my involvement with the Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA) 12-Step program. In conjunction with doing EMDR with a skilled, compassionate trauma therapist, ACA helped me crack through layers of protective childhood denial that I had carried into adulthood. Some people advise NOT deliberately digging into the unconscious too much while going through psychiatric drug withdrawal, but my path has been that of heavy digging. I accepted living in a disabled state for a period of time and felt that if I was going to get off these drugs, I needed to address what drove me to take them in the first place. By early summer of 2017, my commitment to this recovery approach had strengthened. Along with addressing the trauma associated with childhood family dysfunction, I opened another door . . . into the shame and terror I experienced hiding as a closeted young gay boy and gay teen. I had initially come out 25 years earlier at age 20 (the same time I started taking the psych drugs), but that was only part of my truth I was hiding. The secrets of my sexual orientation were built upon the secrets of having grown up in family dysfunction: Homophobia turned out to be compounding trauma, and I had been living in a closet within a closet. I had more inner work to do. Perhaps one of my most significant milestones was realizing how important it was for me to take the lead in my healing, and how easily I had deferred to the “expertise of authorities” in my life. By June of 2017, I had navigated my way off the benzos completely, and I recognized the importance of building an internal sense of trust – connecting with my more authentic self to discover a new inner compass. Despite appearing outwardly confident most of my life, inner trust was something I lacked. By allowing myself to fully feel, I had opened to recognizing my own authentic needs, to directly and respectfully communicating my needs, and to setting healthy limits and boundaries. By learning these important skills that I had missed earlier in life, I discovered greater internal trust with myself, and greater discernment in trusting others. By January of 2018, I had another important insight: I more fully recognized I was going through an internal chemical withdrawal process in addition to detoxing from the drugs I was ingesting. Behavioral (or process) compulsions and addictions all have physiological and neurological correlates, and I had been heavily “dosing” throughout my life using my own “internal drug store.” This realization profoundly shifted my perspective on my psychiatric drug withdrawal process, seeing it in a more comprehensive context. A lot of my recovery has involved working with an “inner critic” that had been driving me most of my life, born and sustained from a lack of unconditional love. Ironically, this harshness was so pervasive that I had never consciously known it was there. My inner critic constantly pushed me into the extremes of all-nothing thinking. Again, meditative practices more than anything helped me identify this was going on, and ACA reparenting (inner child work) has allowed me to soften it. By the end of 2018, I started discovering something that had evaded me my whole life – moderation, and a general sense of “OK-ness.” By April 2019, I had found a new pace in life to accompany my new inner compass, and I was nearing the full completion of my psychiatric drug taper. I was one-year benzo-free at this point, and at times, I was overwhelmed with heights of new sensations and emotions. I was feeling things I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager because I had been drugged my entire adult life. It was overpowering in many ways, but I was so grateful to be “awakening” to a much more fully human life. On April 28, 2019, I was finally free from Zoloft, and my psychiatric drug taper was complete. I had found a way out of the darkness, and I had survived. I couldn’t remember having ever felt so alive. So, while this isn’t my entire recovery story, I’m fulfilling my promise to report back and share my continuing journey with others. Where do things stand today, 15 months after taking a psychiatric drug for the last time ever? No need to panic. I’m not experiencing depersonalization, derealization (DP/DR), or panic attacks in frightening ways. I do still feel what I might call different states of consciousness, but often there is a positive, expansive quality to these experiences. Perhaps some might call this bliss? I haven’t really found ways to talk about it yet clearly, but I don’t experience panic attacks in the ways I used to. I still have fears of them returning, but less so with time. I also get “eerie” feelings now and again, but I have found ways to work with that when it happens, and it doesn’t usually last long. Scariest weirdness has ceased. Most of the “unexplainable” adverse reactions I experienced don’t happen anymore. I would get terrible flu-like symptoms for days at a time . . . hot flashes and chills, body aches, cramps, twitches, headaches, fogginess and disorientation, exhaustion, etc. Sometimes my heart would start racing for no apparent reason, or I would have trouble breathing. I had chronic digestion issues. I had intense agoraphobia, even paranoia at times. I had problems making the simplest decisions. All of this, for the most part, has subsided. Consistent rest. My sleep has changed dramatically, and I’m so grateful. I have struggled with sleep my entire life . . . unable to fall asleep at night and feeling anxious and “hungover” with crippling anxiety each morning. For as long as I can remember, I wanted nothing more than to sleep “normally” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and wake-up feeling well-rested. Today, more times than not, my sleep resembles very much what I used to wish for. I wrote an entry summarizing what I’ve done to address my sleep issues here. Keep gently working with triggers. I still have intense anxiety at times and find myself in hypervigilant states. I’ve come to understand this as a trauma response, and I can usually identify what has triggered me and/or how my inner critic has become activated. I’ve developed self-care routines that help to reduce these reactions, and that help me come out of this state much more quickly and easily. Some old wounds have healed permanently – some things that used to trigger me no longer do. AND I want to emphasize there are days now, thankfully, I live virtually anxiety-free. Self-care (reparenting) is my new drug. I had SO much resistance to doing self-care my whole life (for many reasons I won’t get into here). And by self-care, I don’t mean treating myself to a spa day (though that probably doesn’t hurt). I mean the day-in and day-out routines of physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually tending to myself like I’m the most precious being in the world. Self-care is what got me to where I am today, and it will be the practice of my lifetime. Don’t overdo it. As my life continues to get fuller, I can easily start “checking-out” again. If I stay dissociated for too long, I will pay for it. If I overcommit while on autopilot, I will have adverse reactions when I reconnect with myself. If I try to shortcut too much on the self-care, I will most definitely feel it, and I will struggle. Moving forward, I have to be very careful not to take on too much too quickly, and simply take next best steps. The worst is over. I’ve come to accept that I will never know how much of the excruciating symptoms I experienced these past years were due directly to the psychiatric drug withdrawal, versus how much was due to all the “inner work” I was doing. What I can say is that the symptoms from folks going through psychiatric drug withdrawal and folks doing inner transformative (trauma) work tend to be very much the same. It’s uncanny really, and I can’t explain it. But these two processes seem to very much mirror each other. What I can say is that while there will still be “windows and waves” as my brain keeps healing, and while I still have more “inner work” to do, I’m confident the heaviest lifting for me is done now. Perhaps most indicative of the healing I’ve experienced, I’m feeling well enough now that I’m back in school earning a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) – I’m going to become a therapist. While I’m a bit uneasy stepping towards healthcare systems that betrayed me so deeply, I also feel this is how I can be of most benefit. I’ve come to fully believe that my wounds are intrinsically linked to my gifts, and as I continue to heal my wounds, my gifts will become increasingly available. I’ve been doing volunteer work for some time now, which has helped me to “move back out into the world,” and I hope to transition into paid work soon. I’ve been meeting with people in support capacities, and I envision “coaching” people at some point until I more formally earn my credentials. I plan to be very open about my history with psychiatric drugs, as well as my recovery process. I journaled extensively all throughout my recovery process, and perhaps I will share the “long version” of my story in the future (yes, this is the short version). For now, writing this success story is an important next step in my “coming out.” Thank you for witnessing my healing. Elbee-Success-Story_Free from Zoloft and Benzos After 25 years on them.pdf
  22. Link to Hibari's Success Story: hibari-polydrugged-benzos-twice-and-now-im-well Link to benzo forum thread - Hibari: Swtich from Ativan to Clonazapam Hi, I have been Remeron since April 2014 reaching a dosage between 37.50-41.25 I also have been on Lamictal since September 2014 reaching a dosage of 200mg. I began a taper of the Remeron with my psychiatrists knowlege, I think at the end of February/March? Hard to remember with my somewhat foggy brain. I am now down to 28.125-tapering at about 10% for each cut. My withdrawal has follwed a specific pattern. I make the cut, feel some nausea but okay, then after about 2-3 weeks have a crash, depression, crying, and anxiety. Then I pop through and move into a more stable period. I think I let myself stabilize for about 10 days and then make another drop. My question is about starting a slow Lamictal withdrawal at the same time. I may be overeacting but when I read about what Lamictal can do to the brain, along with other antidepressants, I want to start the taper now. I do have some professional obligations happening over the next few months but I don't want to stop my progress. I like many others I have read am very impatient about getting off these medictions. They served their purpose to help me after a long stressful period of caretaking-7 years-and then the death of my mom 2 1/2 years ago. Any thoughts or experience about taper from two drugs at the same time. Thanks. Hibari 28.125 Remeron 200mgs Lamictal
  23. Hi, I've been on Amitriptyline for sleep issues for almost 11 years. Started low dose 10mg and worked up to 75mg over the years. Last four years I have been very sick with muscle tentions/pain and chest tightness, making it almost impossible to breath. I was told that my stress/anxitety was the cause, and belived the gp about that. After a bloodtest came back with the result of me having hyperkalemia, I found out that amitriptyline could be the cause of this. I then startet a too fast taper in december. It went okay down to 50mg. But as I got lower, I was having more and more diffeculties with sleep. Last week I have only slept for 2-3 hours most nights. I have tried to reinstate twice, from 36mg-37mg-now40mg. Should I try to reinstate more at this point? Or hold for a while? Not sleeping being the worst symtom, but also high heartrate and my ears are like I'm in an areoplane. My heart is starting to beat really fast every night around 5-6 hours after taking Amitriptyline. And after that I have heart/chestpain. By the way I discovered that most og my musclepain and chest tightness got a lot better as I was decreasing the Ami. My muscles makes twiching noises all the time both in my chest and back, and I can breath normally again.
  24. Greetings. I have been taking Brintellix ( 10 Mg ) and Mirtazapeine ( 15Mg ) for about a year. After a slow start they started ( seeming ) to work well about 3-4 months in and the result ( after a serious episode of clinical depression / anxiety with frequent, planned suicidal ideation) was that I've been feeling clear headed, calm and able to focus on work and live a full life as a family man with a demanding career. During the depression I'd seriously considered that my career would not be possible and made plans ( when I wasn't thinking about ending my life ) to work in a less demanding occupation. So once bedded in, the medication, or possibly other factors like good diet, yoga and excercise, seems to have really helped. Overall I'd say I've been feeling less anxious than at any point in my adult life ( I'm now 50 ) and not experiencing any adverse side effects from the drugs, bar a slight reduction in my sex drive- but only slight. I sometimes also find that afetr I've taken the Mirtazapeine in the evening I can't stay up for long, for example if I've watching a movie. I have 2 concerns A ) I don't really like allopathic medications and was very resistant to taking anything. I have treated myself and my family successfully with natural medicines for my whole life, not even taking headache pills or antibiotics. This seemed like an emergency and my family were very keen for me to try prescribed medications. My feelings at the time were, well even if I live a few years less, that's probably better than suicide and the pain that would cause my family + friends. So I got on board with the 2 medications. B ) I'm concerned that at some point one or both of the drugs will " Crap Out " anyway and I'll hit a wall. I've had a lot of therapy since starting the medication and deepened my spiritual practice and feel that I've much better equipped to handle depression if it hits me again. I'm wondering if I can get some advice on which order to start tapering / withdrawing, and what I might expect from the process? I'm not taking any other medications, and I don't drink alcohol or take any recreational drugs. I'm sleeping well right now. I'm a naturally anxious / neurotic person and have lived with this all my life, so I have strategies for coping with those feelings / sensations if they creep back. After starting to experimentally taper - I tried dropping the mirtazapiene by 25% and then 50%- the anxiety has definitely ramped up in quite sudden waves and I'm sure I'm not approaching things in a sensible way- so am considering taking the dose back up to 75% of prescribed 15Mg ( so 3/4 of a 15 Mg pill ) and taking a more steady approach from advice on this website. I'm seeing that 10% taper in a month is more normal- but had tried 25% and 50% purely because I have a demanding life and making liquids etc seemed like another thing too many- but I'm seeing that it may be the only sensible way forward. Thanks in advance.
  25. Hiya everyone i was diagnosed with emotional unstable personality disorder back in 2011 and was put on quietipine and venlafaxine and they were slowly increased over the years. These medications completely changed who i was as a person i found i lost myself and they simply shut off all my emotions and feelings and i lived like a zombie who did nothing buy sleep for hours of a day and then sleep all night so i decided to come off them, i wanted to live again to feel again and to find who i am againd and now im currently 6 months into stopping all my meds. I was on 225 mg of venlafaxine and 200mg of quietipine . I have a feeling i have tampered too quickly but the thing is i really dont want to go back onto the medication. I started to tamper in july 2021 from both medications. i reduced by a bead on the venlafaxine every time i felt stable after a reduction. with the quietipine i used a pill cutter and reduced that way making a reduction everytime i felt stable. I did suffer withdrawal symptoms such as brain zaps, nausea, shakes, headaches, feeling anxious and hot and cold sweats. Fast forward to now and all them symptoms have gone away all except one the anxiety. Im frightened of everything even things i cant control I wake up every morning with tightness in my chest, im getting palpitations in my heart daily, i have this knot in my stomach that flips and does summer saults over the smallest things. I have ordered herbal tablets from holland and barrets such as ashwagandha and rhodiola as research shows that these seem to help. I really dont want to have to go back on the medication and reinstate as it makes me really angry, depressed, shuts off all my emotions and makes me like a zombie I feel like im scrambling for help as i dont like feeling scared, i feel like ive gone back to being a child in an unsafe situation and i can't take back the control Is there anything else i can do/take to get this under control .
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy