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  1. Hello there, I had taken 60 mg Duloxetine since January 2018. I started tapering in Jan. 2021 down to 18.5 mg in summer and held that dose. It was a bit rough at times but I got through the year and more and more stable until December 11 2021 when I cut down to 4.7 mg for about two weeks and then down to 0 mg on December 27 2021. I also took 60 mg Methylphenidate since Sep. 2013 and tapered to zero from September to December 2021. I really don't want to be on stimulants anymore only to be functionaly and able to work (doing things I am not interested in). They also raise my blood pressure and have so many adverse effects. I had paid time off and much time with my family in December and actually felt pretty good. Had no duloxetine withdrawal symptoms at all except some dizziness when looking to the side (I guess like a pre-stage to brain zaps) that subsided both times after and tinnitus one night. Was only slightly sluggish on some days. (Since I also quit my ADHD med.) Had to work again in January this year and still did well emotionally/mentally at first. But I noticed that I really cannot (or want not?) focus on work and that it's definitely not the same without ADHD meds. I used to be that talented programmer but I wonder what is left without stimulants. After one week that turned into real frustration... On January 13 I was so stressed that I abused some 2C-B (short-acting psychedelic and aphrodisiac) nasally after work and found out that even then I have PSSD. The following day I tried a microdose of LSD to see if that could help with my focus as an alternative to conventional ADHD meds. It didn't really help. I have to say that I have a history of multiple substance abuse disorder but actually I am clean and in the direction of a much healthier life since 2020/2021. I really regret that accident that seemed to trigger the withdrawal/HPPD wave I am currently in... Symptoms I have/had: anxiety and agitation (no panic attacks so far but 'anxious breath' and constant worrying) thinking about and re-imagining negative experiences in the past from childhood until now occasional suicidal thoughts (never had that before in my life actually) body/muscle aches PSSD HPPD loss of all interests, indecisiveness unable to focus, can't think clearly, mind wandering procrastination earworm of the same tune since two weeks or so voices, words and sentences racing through my mind when going to bed (like the tetris effect) I also really regret that I CTed the duloxetine in December. Did all the hard work in 2021 and did the disciplined taper for the whole year despite what everyone else (not here) says regarding SSRI 'discontinuation'. I really wanted to use vacations as much as possible as a 'shortcut' and thought to give a complete withdrawal a try (and didn't notice any issues for a while). And I actually wanted what my psychiatrist and a friend says to be true even if I knew better and know SA since spring last year. And I neglected or didn't know of the possibility of delayed withdrawal syndrome. I think it could be much worse when I read some of the other posts in this forum. For example I can sleep without problems, although I get the intense cortisol wakeup and don't want to get out of bed when I wakeup because it is like I don't want or cannot tackle life at the moment. I really fear losing my job or crashing my career as a software developer. Can't really work right now (4 weeks in WD) because it's so mentally taxing (for me right now) and I cannot focus. So I procrastinate and fake all the time so far. Can't go well for too long. I am constantly worrying about my withdrawal situation and whether I should take Methylphenidate again. On the other side my current job gets worse and worse, many people are leaving the company and I would like to apply for something better, too. But then I need to be stable. My current job or situation prevents me to be stable and needs me to be stable at the same time. A vicous circle... I really need a solution and think that I cannot ride this out. Maybe I can and it's just willpower but I doubt it. On some days I feel better but it's not consistent. I used low doses of methylphenidate on some days last week and this week. They didn't really help. I cannot focus and procrastinate all the time. That also makes me more anxious. I run 10 - 12 km every other day since a few months, take some multivitamin, fish oil and magnesium. Bright light in the morning. No recreational drugs except said accident. Daily meditation since withdrawal/HPPD began. So I am thinking about reinstatement of duloxetine. What dose would you suggest? 1 mg? 5 mg? I tried 1 mg this monday and felt better after a few hours. The only really unacceptable drawback was insomnia: I could get to sleep fairly well but woke up after one hour of sleep and could not sleep again. Insomnia really destroys my work performance and makes everything worse. Sorry for that lengthy post. I really struggle to filter out what's important and what not and am so desperate now. TL;DR: CTed 18.5 mg duloxetine. (two-weeks taper) Quit methylphenidate. Delayed withdrawal syndrome. Need help
  2. Hey everyone, I’m 27 years old and have had a really hard time since having an adverse reaction to several drugs last year. I started 300 mg Wellbutrin SR in October 2016 and stopped in December 2016 since I was going home for winter break for grad school. I had some chest pain for that month, but other than that, I was fine and I resumed in January 2017. Still finding it incredibly hard to concentrate, I went home to my primary care doc and he prescribed me Adderall (forgot the dosage, but was relatively low). I took Adderall for about 9 days in March 2017 until I found it wasn’t working so I stopped until I could see my primary care doctor again. I went home again in April 2017 to see my doctor again and he then gave me Ritalin. I took Ritalin for about a week until I started having serious sucidal thoughts, so my doctor advised me to stop it. I was then drug-free for about 6 weeks until I took Wellbutrin again in June, but this time it was a different formulation (2 150 mg pills instead of 1 300 mg pill, and I believe it changed from SR to XL). I became really nervous being outside, which wasn’t uncommon for me since I hate the summer heat and the bugs that come with it. But it gave me such intense anxiety that I couldn’t even walk outside for most of the week and was sent into a panic when I had to go outside. The following week is when disaster struck. Previously my doctor had suggested to take both Adderall/Ritalin and Wellbutrin at the same time, since he didn’t want to change more than one variable at the same time. But my provider at school said it would be fine to just take the stimulants prescribed so I went with the school provider since he had been overseeing my psych med care anyways. The morning before I took all 3 meds together, I had the worst back/neck pain I’d ever had and attributed it to falling off my pillow. I later took Wellbutrin, Adderall, and Hydrochlorothiazide (for high blood pressure) together and a few hours later, my hands and feet became numb. Just thinking it was a temporary side-effect, I took the same drugs the next day, where the numbness and tingling got worse and after speaking with a pharmacist, decided to go the ER. At the ER, they didn’t think it was really anything serious and told me to just stop taking the medications and that the effects would stop in a few days. Except that they didn’t. Over the next 6-7 weeks, from mid-June to early August 2017, I had numbness, tingling, internal shakes, tremors, eye problems like floaters, and was so uncoordinated that I continued bumping into and dropping things. I had to go to the ER 3 more times within that same period, and each time the doctors didn’t do anything. At about 6 weeks, I started to clear up and eventually all my symptoms disappeared in time for school to start. But that would also be short-lived. During the first week of September, I got sick again, thinking it was a cold and was put on allergy medication, which I took for two days and all the symptoms from the summer returned, and I eventually got so sick that I had diarrhea and felt like I was going to faint, so I was placed on propranolol until I stopped CT in January. From September to October 2017, I had all the symptoms from before, plus sleeping issues, rashes, and soreness. I was so sick that I left school for this period of time and went home to see countless doctors, none of whom believed it was medication-related. At home, I developed hypnic jerks that woke me from my sleep as well. In October 2017, right before I returned to school, I started getting muscle twitching and burning, which has honestly been the most concerning symptom in this whole thing. The twitching persisted for about a month, then stopped in November. But then it came back again in mid-December 2017 and got progressively worse until the end of March 2018. When it started again in December, an ER doctor put me on Ativan for a few days and then I was put on Zoloft which I took for about a month until the end of January 2018. The twitching reached its peak and then stopped completely by the end of March 2018. It then came back in May 2018 but instead of having its more predictable pattern, it has been more severe some days and much less severe on other days. I’ve also started to get some of the symptoms I thought I was over back again, like the numbness when I wake up or the eye problems like seeing sparkles of light, eye floaters, and eye twitching. I’m just so worried about this twitching thing because it makes it so hard to sit down, meaning I won’t be able to continue pursuing my dreams. I also thought it’d be gone by now since I’ve had periods where this has completely disappeared. What can I do to treat this?
  3. Hello friends! My name is Mads, and I am currently on 225mg Effexor, 150mg Wellbutrin, and 20mg of Ritalin 3x/day. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. After a suicide attempt at 15 I was diagnosed and put on Prozac in the hospital. It was a few months before I got settled with a therapist and a psychiatric nurse practitioner (who will be referred to as Susan from now on). Over a year or so, my dose was increased. When I (at the pushing of my mother) expressed concern over the weight gain I was experiencing that we attributed to the medication, Susan put me on Effexor and took me off Prozac (I don't remember this process - it might have been stopping Prozac CT and immediately starting Effexor). Over a couple years, my dose was increased eventually to the max: 225mg. At one point, Susan diagnosed me with Inattentive ADHD (aka ADD) and put me on Ritalin. This dose over time was increased to the max: 20mg 3x/day. This April, I slipped into a depressive state due to Covid (losing my job, withdrawing from college classes, isolation from friends and partner, etc). My mom suggested I talk to Susan about adjusting my medication. At this point I had also started DBT therapy. Susan put me on 150mg of Wellbutrin. Since starting the Effexor, I have struggled with sexual dysfunction. Because I started ADs at such a young age and initially while I wasn't sexually active, it didn't occur to me to express my concern over the issues I was having. I was very aware that they were likely caused by my medication, which I felt and still feel is doing its job otherwise, so I didn't want to mess with what I felt was working for me. As of starting the Wellbutrin, the sexual dysfunction has increased in severity and has become unbearable. It has caused issues in my relationship that we can no longer ignore. I expressed my concerns to Susan last week. She said that the Wellbutrin was not likely to be the cause of the side effects. She suggested that I skip my Friday and Saturday doses since I see my partner on Saturdays usually, and that might help curb these symptoms. She said that I would likely experience brain zaps as a result of these drug holidays. Friday I forgot to skip my dose, so I skipped it Saturday morning. By the afternoon I had a splitting headache, and by the evening had chills and aches like I was coming down with something. All night long I had nightmares. I would wake up from one just to fall asleep and into another. I woke up with a headache and feeling like I hadn't slept at all. That morning I took my regular dose because I could not drive myself to work in the state I was in. Experiencing the effects of this drug holiday, and realizing how much my relationship is hurting because of these side effects, I am itching to get off of the Effexor but in a way that won't cause such debilitating WD symptoms. I have an appointment with Susan tomorrow to talk about tapering the Effexor and if needed increasing the Wellbutrin (if I find my depressive symptoms returning). I am not one to dismiss the advice of a professional, but it makes me nervous that Susan would advise me to stop cold turkey for a couple days a week when I am on the highest dose allowed to be prescribed... it also makes me nervous that I am on the highest dose of both Ritalin and Effexor at all. I can't help but imagine she would tell me to taper way too quickly or even advise me against stopping the Effexor at all. My medications have definitely done what they were prescribed to do, so I am reluctant to make changes, but I just can't keep going on they way I have been. I am hoping that by joining this group, I will find some support and guidance in adjusting my medications, navigating the psychiatric healthcare world, and dealing with the fallout of such. Thank you for reading my very personal and in depth intro post, I hope no one fell asleep out of boredom 😊
  4. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and after some advertise reactions to other options, I was prescribed Ritalin and Olanzapine. After three years, I was told by the treating psychiatrist to cease taking them. There was not a problem with Ritalin, but great difficulty with Olanzapine, which resulted in severe insomnia. My general practitioner prescribed Amyitriptaline to be taken in the evenings, which worked in respect to the sleep problems. Now concerned about what might happen when I stop taking this medication.
  5. Hello, my name is Mike. I am a 52 yo man who was first put on psych meds over 12 years ago. I'm sure my story is similar to many of yours: go to the family doc depressed, get a scrip for an antidepressant, get worse, get sent to a psychiatrist, get put on more meds, get worse, go inpatient.... It goes on and on. I have been hospitalized 5 times in the past 12 years and at my worst I was taking 6 meds daily (14 pills). I have been on 24 different meds and nothing has worked. For the past year my pdoc has been pushing ECT. I am diagnosed Bipolar II, GAD, and OCD. About a year ago I started reading on the internet about iatrogenisis on mental patients and decided with the help of my pdoc to start whittling down some of these meds. It has taken all that time but I am now down to two meds, both low dose (geodon and Luvox) and I am tapering both of those now. Geodon will be last to go because it has been the only one that has had a positive effect, it will be hard to quit I think. It has been tough but I am feeling better, more stable than in years and I've even lost a bunch of weight that the meds put on. I happily stumbled across this site today and hope to get and give help to others who are in a similar situation.
  6. Mine is a long story with Mental illness . I’m not sure if I had mental illness or not. To be short I was put on medications 16 yrs ago with some recovery but I accidentally quit medications after 4 yrs and illness returned in a worser way after exactly 3 months.After trying same combination and multiple trials of other meds some long enough and some not long enough and after suffering for 3 yrs like a totally disabled person one doctor prescribed Aderall and it worked in half hour and became the best I ever was. However it pooped out after 5 months and again my struggle continued for 1.5 yrs where accidentally I hit combination of Lexapro 10 mg, Mirtazapine 30 mg and Armodafinil 37.5 mg which made me a Super man. Becoming a Super human has its drawbacks like a bit of Hypomania and I consulted very experienced Psychiatrusts and they all said I am Bipolar and I refused to believe because I never had Hypomania or Mania ever in my life except this time and I believed it was because the combination of medication was a super charger and kind of upgraded California Rocket fuel. After 4 yrs Eventually I got in to troubles and I decided to wean off and I did successfully but after 5 months at which point I was reasonably normal , to deal a stressful situation I used the same combination and after few days I crashed into deep depression and I just couldn’t function at all and I was alone.After a month I thought it was restarting the meds and so I quit again but to no avail and I consulted doctor and each of them have their own diagnosis and prescribed medications which I couldn’t tolerate and even if I forced myself on them for 2 to 3 weeks I was getting worser and I felt meds are the problem. After more than 20 iterations of starting meds for few weeks and stopping for weeks nothing changed and I was at a point where I believed I cud be TRD or I was not using meds long enough or bipolar.But part of me always thought meds are the issue and so I quit them again but even though nothing resolved my condition was not getting worser and again couple of days ago I tried Ritalin and I became much much better in a an hour or so.while none of the other meds like SSRIs SNRIs TCAs Mirtazapihe,Trazadone, benzodiazepines and various doses and combinations of the above meds and many more didn’t give me any relief ,Ritalin gave me relief in an hour.I literally don’t know what’s going on and whats my diagnosis or if those meds are the issue.I can’t trust doctors.Pls advice.
  7. Hey everyone! Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's. There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense? I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. This time was different. VERY different. This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all. And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs. The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them. The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter. To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that: 2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted) 2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse.. ** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed 2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh) 2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch 2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again 2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time 2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable. The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian
  8. Hi, i'm new to this forum, so forgive me if i make mistakes, i'm still learning. I'm about two years out from withdrawing off of Paxil that i tapered down on, and about one year from one situational exposure to benzodiazepines, and two years from consistent benzodiazepine usage (the klonopin,) as i withdrew both the antidepressant and the benzodiazepine at the same time. I am drug free for an entire year. The drugs tagged in my post are also drugs i have been previously exposed to, or had other exposures in the same class of drugs, (E.g, i have also been exposed to zoloft, prozac, and pristiq in the "Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor" category over the course of 14 years, though paxil was my last exposure to an SSRI drugs.) For the sake of simplicity, i will spare the details. I am posting here today because i am struggling with a couple issues that the specialists i've seen cannot help me with, and i hope to find resources here. I have ruled out thyroid issues, cardiovascular issues, vitamin deficiency in standard ranges, and other infectious disease issues through doctors and testing. I am debating about seeing an endocrinologist, but have lost a lot of faith in medicine since my psychiatric outpatient stent and the answers for my health that continue to elude me. I have listed my main issues below: 1. Fatigue - From what i've read and am trying to understand, fatigue can be a huge factor in antidepressant and benzodiazipine post acute withdrawal because of potential effects on hormones and neurotransmitters. I've also read that amphetamine withdrawal, especially in the context of abuse can cause fatigue, but my exposure to amphetamines was a decade ago, so i don't know if that could still be a contributing factor or not? The fatigue seems to come on intermittently, i drink green tea to help with wakefulness as the fatigue can feel debilitating throughout the day, and i feel like my brain just doesn't want to function on all gears. I am also sensitive to caffeine - if i ingest more than normal it can send me into a panic attack. My intermittent benzodiazepine exposure last year was in part induced by too much coffee, but i used to drink a pot of coffee a day without too much anxiety on paxil. 2. Emotional Blunting - I know that emotional blunting is also a factor in both benzodiazepine and antidepressant use and withdrawal, but i am a little perplexed that i still feel difficulty with emotional attachment. I theorize that this may be due to the benzodiazepine withdrawal mostly, for the reason that benzodiazepines inhibit or prevent neurological recovery from trauma, from what i understand. Is it possible that my body and mind are still in a state of survival even two years out from antidepressant and benzos? I understand that the psychological trauma from years of being medicated may also play a key factor in trust and developing relationships, but that is a psychological piece that should resolve itself through counseling, CBT, once the body begins to function correctly again. My other theory is that all my exposure to drugs over the years, (especially in the context of intermittent antipsychotic and benzodiazipine exposure) has caused irreversible atrophy to the neurological circuitry that is responsible for those functions (pre-frontal cortex and frontal lobe?) I'm looking for any input, resources, or suggestions that might help with those pieces Thanks, - NR EDIT: I don't have any recreational drug exposure either, all my drug exposure has been exclusively psychiatric with the exception of alcohol on a few celebratory occasions. I have also had antibiotic exposures on three separate occasions in the past five years.
  9. Hey everyone! My name is Cat and I've been taking antidepressants since I was 13. I'm now 19 and I've been on more medications than I can remember, as I say in my signature. I'm currently coming off of abilify , but taking viibryd and lamictal to keep my depression /anxiety combo at bay. I'm also taking ritalin for ADHD. I really hated the side effects of the abilify - at a higher dose (15 mg) it was making me extremely fatigued, and it's made me hungry all the time at pretty much all doses, leading to significant weight gain (Over the course of taking, if I'm remembering correctly, I've gone from 150ish to about 190). I kind of quit it cold turkey do to some pharamacy mix ups and for the first few days I didn't feel any adverse effects so I asked my psychiatrist how she'd feel about me coming off of it. Her response was that she agreed that I could continue off my dose of 7.5 mg and then we'd see how I felt when it was totally out of my system. Now, however, I'm feeling like my brain is fried and foggy. Concentrating and motivating myself are becoming hard, I'm worried that I came off the drug too quickly and, as I'm in college, I'm really worried about the effects this might have on my ability to learn, do homework, and get good grades. I don't really know how to approach this site, so I guess I'll just go exploring and see what I can find! On another note, I definitely want to look at my medication history now. It's probably huge and I think it'd be interesting to share it with you all.
  10. Hello everyone, thank you for creating and building such a fantastic resource. It’s so helpful to read about the journeys of others here. I was advised by my GP to speak with a psychiatrist in April 2016. The GP suspected I had depression & anxiety. I met with a psychiatrist for an assessment. I’d been through a lot of stressful experiences in life. Life had dealt me a tough hand, and I was already quite vulnerable when I arrived in his office. At the end of the assessment, the psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and anxiety and prescribed me Bupropion 300mg and clonazepam 2 mg+ per day. I was never keen on the idea of taking medication, but the Dr said I needed it as I had “disorders” caused by chemical imbalances, and that I was lucky to have made it this far without it. I don’t believe that for one moment and now feel I was misinformed. If I had been warned about the side effects, I would never have put them in my body. I’ve been through some hard times, but the medication has served me with the hardest and most agonising four months of my life. To make things worse, after a couple of months seeing him every few weeks the psychiatrist offered me a job. It was a slightly unusual series of events, but I felt lucky to have been given the opportunity. I worked hard, was often praised for it and I was given reassurance my role was pretty much permanent. I loved my job. It gave me purpose and a role in the world. My self-esteem rocketed as I felt I’d been specially selected for showing signs of promise, it changed everything. However, the different roles called for different protocols, and the roles of “therapist” and “boss” required disparate and often conflicting styles of relating. The Doctor providing me with a job and treating me outside of the clinic caused the boundaries between Psychiatrist and employer to become extremely blurred. Even though it was unorthodox, I pinned a lot of faith on the Psychiatrist, his advice and the job he gave me. He gave me hope and faith for the future. August 2016: Prescribed Sertraline 100mg due to depression remaining and increasing number of bad moods. October 2016: While at work the Psychiatrist commented he suspected I had ADHD. Despite not suffering from day to day symptoms I completed the DIVA ( ADHD assessment ) with him, He prescribed methylphenidate 10mg 2-3 times a day. Over time I didn’t feel any improvement in mood, so the dose was increased to 20mg x5 (up to 100mg+ per day). I asked the Psychiatrist about alternative ADHD treatments as I was apprehensive about taking more medication. The Psychiatrist informed me that there were no ADHD treatments in my area and even if there were he would not be prepared to enter into a shared care agreement. I believed treatment with him was my only option. I was told there were no services or specialists other than him and the only treatment available was medication. March 2017: The symptoms started with a lump sensation in my throat like there's some thing stuck, maybe it’s my thyroid. I went to the GP who said it was globus or anxiety and it was nothing to worry about, but I know it’s not anxiety as it’s there even when I’m not anxious. Next came tremors, dizziness and chronic fatigue. I was struggling to think, speak and walk. I felt as though a part of my brain had shut down. I had strong pains in my chest, dull aches that moved around my back and occasional shooting stabbing pains in my back and leg that stopped me in my tracks when I did walk. April 2017: The relationship seemed to work well initially but became very confusing until eventually I was dropped not only occupationally but therapeutically. My false sense of security was pulled from beneath my feet. I'm sorry to say last time the Psychiatrist, and I spoke he was abrupt, abrasive, insensitive and rude. I’ve been left in shock, fear, trepidation and with more health problems than before I met the Psychiatrist. At the time I thought the stress of losing my job caused me to become unwell, but after discovering James Moores Mad in America podcast, listing to peoples stories and reading a little, I think I’d reached a tolerance point with the medication and started to have terrible side effects. By this point, I’d lost faith in the Doctor so felt I couldn’t ask him for help. I think part of me knew it was the medication as I went to my GP, firstly to find the Psychiatrist hadn’t been keeping my records up to date. I told the GP what I had been prescribed, and I was told it would be impossible to identify what was causing the problems. I naively agreed with my GP that the best option would be to stop taking all medication, however stopping without tapering has left me with a long list of withdrawal symptoms. I stopped taking sertraline, clonazepam & methylphenidate that day and cut my dose of bupropion in half for one week then stopped the following week completely. Every symptom I already had, got worse, tremors, dizziness, feeling unsteady, feeling like I might pass out, loss of coordination, back pain. The fatigue was so bad, I couldn’t walk for more than a minute or so which lead to me not being able to leave the house. My partner was having real trouble getting me out of bed in the morning, and after a few hours of being up, I’d need to go back to bed due to feeling exhausted. I think I was putting it down to severe depression, but I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt numb. After a couple of days of stopping I started to get really bad night sweats, I’d wake up stinky, drenched with my mouth tasting how I smelt, it was horrible. The chest & back pain continued to get worse and progressed to tingling and numbness in my arm. I’ve been to the hospital three times in the past four months in various states of feeling close to death but sent home every time. I’ve been to the GP many times as the side effects have left me with so many physical symptoms and feeling so ill. I had numerous blood tests and even though I felt like I’d been poisoned every test came back clear. August 2017: The fatigue has lifted slightly, the part of my brain that felt as though it had broken is slowly coming back, and I’m smelling much better :). I continue to have flu like symptoms and intense joint and muscle pain, mainly in my back, shoulder and arm and I’m not entirely sure if the pain will ever go away. I feel like a very rickety eighty-year-old. My GP finally acknowledged some of these side effects last week. They haven’t been able to give me much support due to stopping taking so many different medications at the same time and stopping cold turkey. The GP did frustratingly say some of what I’m going through maybe down to the return of depression and anxiety. I’m only depressed as I’m in so much pain and have anxiety as my nerves are messed up. I’m a little worried that the medication has caused permanent damage. I accept a return in my depression and anxiety, but I have so many physical difficulties that began following and since stopping taking the medication. I trusted the Psychiatrist and put my life in his hands. Looking back, I feel like I was led astray, betrayed and like I’ve been chemically assaulted. Before everything went wrong, I recommended the Psychiatrist to some friends who also became patients of his. They were given a similar diagnosis to the one I’d been given, told they also had chemical imbalances and they too prescribed a similar cocktail of medication including methylphenidate and told to contact him when they needed a repeat prescription. After a couple of months, they both began asking me why he wasn’t returning their calls or emails. When I spoke with him about this, he said they had contacted him last minute, and for that, he wasn’t going to reply right away as he didn’t do last minute. Eventually one of my friends requested to have her care transferred as she lost faith in him. The other works at one of his clinics, and is still having problems with him returning her emails and calls and providing her with prescriptions when needed. She has told me there'd been many occasions recently that other patients of his have called his clinic in tears as they are unable to get hold of him. I also know a woman who was under his care at the inpatient unit long before I met him. She said he had given her a combination of medications. She told me it made her feel like a zombie. For one reason or another, she was transferred to a different psychiatrist who questioned why she was on so much medication and immediately began to reduce her dose. No one was warned about side effects and withdrawals, supported, monitored or made aware they’d have to request prescriptions on the Psychiatrists personal terms. It was hugely irresponsible of him to tell people they need medication due to a medical condition and chemical imbalance and to encourage dependence on medication and not provide support, information, monitoring and often fail to provide the advised medication to patients dependant on it. I’m so happy to have found this incredible community and source of information, it's allowing me to start making sense of what I’ve been and am going through. It’s such a relief to learn I’m not the only one feeling this way. The support and compassion I’ve seen on this forum is incredible and a brilliant way of making good of what everyone here has been through. Trusting I’m going to get better and connecting with others isn’t easy at the moment, but I’m hoping it’s going to get easier. My heart goes out to everyone that has been through or who is going through withdrawal. x
  11. Hey all! My name is Cat (she/he pronouns) and I'm 20 years old. I've been on medication for depression and anxiety since I was 13 (7 years, what the heck). I've tried a wide range of medications since then, but I only put about the last year in my signature, There's been a lot less switching around in those years, which I'm grateful for! Recently, my psychiatrist was going to switch me to latuda from abilify. He told me to quit taking my 5 mg dose for a week, then start the new drug. That week (last week) was absolutely hellish. I had tried to come off of abilify before due to the large amount of weight gain it's caused me, but with bad results. I didn't ask my doctor about tapering this time, though - I figured he knew what he was doing and didn't really self-advocate. Horrible depressive symptoms, brain fry, fatigue, and confusion followed me stopping abilify, and they persisted even after my psychiatrist told me to go back on 2.5 mg. Yesterday he told me to start taking 5 again, and I've been feeling a little better (less like I want to die). This entire process has solidified some doubts about medication I'd been having. I'm a psychology undergraduate student in college and the more I learn about medication, the more I realize how guess-and-check the process is and how the studies don't tend to measure real-world results. I'm thinking about trying to come off some of my medications because even though they are "working" in the sense that I'm not suicidal, having panic attacks daily, and I can function fairly well, it's been so long since I haven't been a cocktail that I'm not even sure how my mood would be like not on 4 different drugs... I don't like taking and depending on this many pills. So yeah, I'm going to look around the forums and see what I can do to learn and help myself make an informed decision
  12. Hello, I came across this forum a few times while searching for information about my situation. After going through some posts I thought it might be a good idea to tell my story and see if anybody has any direction I might try. I apologize for the long post, but honestly even after writing all this down there's even more I didn't write about... The past 4 years of my life have been quite a turmoil. Lost my mother to cancer, failed startup in which I lost quite a sum of money going into, got my own share of cancer and surgery, lost my cat to skin cancer and was forced to put her down. Add to that a life-long difficult management of untreated OCD, ADHD and treated thyroid issues in which all eventually brought me to a psychologist who recommended trying SSRI (Citaploram). Boy was that a mistake. At first the SSRI... was pretty incredible. The first couple of weeks were maniac in the sense that I would sing and dance to myself and the general feeling of "there is no tomorrow to think about" was releasing to my normally overly active brain. I thought it was good, I thought I finally found a tool I can use to make my life better... But it came at a cost... One which was too big for me to spend on that "feel good" mental state. It took me a while to realize that my ability to experience life was slowly diminishing. Slowly turning into this odd, grey, lifeless, tasteless, emotionless state of mind. I was never a super happy kind of person, but before I took SSRI I definitely had a much more vivid experience of all my senses and life was much much different. I realized that I was feeling "better" because there was much less noise to disturb me in my every day activities. It wasn't a good feeling at all, it was simply the lack of a bad one. It even screwed up my internal temperature regulation, I used to be able to go outside in the middle of winter in underpants and feel great while in summertime feel way too hot. Now It's been reversed completely. I can't stand cold anymore and warm weather feels great. I could live with this but this drug had obviously done changes to my body. These symptoms persist to this day and these are only the ones I am aware of... So after about a year on it I tapered off Citaploram for about 2 months, it was horrible, I had a lot of brain zaps and an overall feeling that my life is slipping away, almost killed myself at one point but lucky for me I didn't. But that was nothing compared to what I'm experiencing now. I am "better" now than when I was on SSRI, but nowhere near what I was before it. My baseline of cognitive experience of life had decreased to about half or so of what it was. For example my eye sight IS 20/20, but everything seems like it's blurry and disturbed. I can read letter from far away but at the same time they seem blurred. My sense of smell is great, but I get no emotional response from smelling something I like. My sense of touch (especially during sex) had become dull and almost as if I'm not feeling, yet at the same time I don't have any issues with doing every day stuff (I don't tend to drop things). Reaching an orgasm with a partner is difficult. I was depressed for a long time until I realized that I'm basically depressed over absolutely nothing. I'm financially stable, work-out, got a great job that I was dreaming of my whole childhood and it pays well, bought an apartment, etc. Life is supposed to be great but it isn't. It's like I'm a bystander of this theatrical thing that's called life and nobody's inviting me to join in for the fun. If I could compare it to anything, it's like the body is fine on its own but the internal sensor that's supposed to experience it has been blocked. Another thing I recently came to realize is that the way my memory works had changed drastically. It's more difficult for me to remember old things and I don't remember much at all from anything over a few months ago (I often think that something happened just a year ago when it actually happened 5 or more ago). I used to have an almost photographic long term memory, I could remember smells, sounds, visuals. For example finding where I parked my car was never an issue, I would remember the exact path I took and everything. It took me a while to realize this was a thing now. I still have memories, but they're much less clear and vivid now. Now I would probably not be very much aware of this if it weren't for the occasional "blips" I get. I call them blips because they're sudden, unwarranted and pass after a couple of seconds. While on these blips I am suddenly normal, I get this rush of emotional feeling and for a few seconds life turns HD again. Honestly speaking often the frame rate of my eye sight becomes HD as well. It's due to these blips that I know what my brain is capable of experiencing and in those moments I remember exactly how I used to feel. When they're gone I forget, but the memory of the experience remains. ------ After discovering my own cancer (now "cured" through surgery) and basically feeling like I'm about to lose my mind I went to a psychologist for 24 sessions which was basically pointless. He couldn't understand what I was going through and the solutions he offered (breathing exercises) proved pointless too. Talking about it just made it worse. He thought I was depressed from the cancer which I wasn't (it was just what broke me). So I went to a psychiatrist and told him my story. He would constantly claim that SSRIs have no long term effects (which is obviously bullsh*t when looking at other cases on scientific literature like post SSRI sexual dysfunction). He first recommended trying a different kind of SSRI (and I told him there's no way I'm putting that poison in me again). I eventually realized I should just treat him as a rubber stamp because he doesn't really know anything about my issue and I should try to carefully treat myself, so I asked to try Ritalin thinking there's a chance the SSRI screwed up my dopamin system. He was reluctant to give me the prescription because he thought I was bi-polar or borderline-personality which was also bullsh*t (never had any of the symptoms except anger when the kinda of people who screwed me up know nothing about how to fix me). Good for me the Ritalin definitely helps with my lack of motivation caused by the bluntness of emotions (why would I want to do anything if I get no emotional feedback from my actions?). It makes it easier for me to be externally happy, though internally I feel very little at all. It also makes my ADHD more manageable which is something I need in this very confusing period of my life. At least I'm not depressed anymore. Actually the lack of any depression right now has been a great perspective to how the depression was never the cause for the lack of emotions but actually the symptom. Overall the Ritalin is a good thing for now but it didn't do nothing about my overall lack of life experience. So I still need a solution for that. I don't want to live the rest of my life being a robot... and that's how I feel. ----- I don't have a biological background but I do have an engineering one. After (carefully) reading material online for the past few months I have a few theories of what may have happened. 1. I now have less serotonin receptors in my body which is why everything feels like it's low-definition. There's basically a lower resolution of experience. I came up with this theory after reading that SSRI decreases the density of serotonin receptors. When I brought this up against my psychiatrist he said that it's true but it's supposed to come back to baseline after discontinuation. Considering the lack of understanding about SSRIs these people have I have a feeling this information is based on pseudoscience, or simply bad research ethics. 2. My body produces less serotonin. I came up with this theory after reading how SSRIs work. I won't go deep into that, but basically the blocking of reuptake could cause the body to produce less (which is why a dosage increase after a while of usage is required). Same thing as before it's supposed to return to baseline, but it's possible it never did. 3. The receptors are less sensitive. This is also something that could happen since when the receptor is flooded with serotonin it starts to shut itself down. It's possible they never came to baseline. 4. There's permanent brain damage (scarring) in the receptors from the flood of serotonin (similar to MDMA usage). I certainly hope this isn't the case. ----- Now what to do with all this information and theories... I've had a few ideas... I want to try things like 5htp and Inositol since they're relatively mild substances which couldn't hurt much. A pharmacological path is something I am willing to consider, but reluctantly at best. But honestly what I've been trying so far were shots in the dark. Professionals seem to know nothing about what I'm experiencing which I find very disturbing. I find it hard to trust these people with the most precious thing in my life: my cognition. So... Any ideas?
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