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  1. Hi everyone! First of all, sorry about my English. I'm a Brazilian woman - 38 years old and here is my history.The first time I was taken to a psychiatrist I was 17 years old. At that time, because of a love disappointment, I ended up taking cocaine for a while to escape the sadness of a broken heart. I was really very depressed and the first doctor diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. He prescribed venlafaxine and lithium and said that because of family history, I might probably have to take this medication forever. I started with high doses of venlafaxine - 150mg, and after getting better the doctors started prescribing me "maintenance doses", from 50mg to 75mg. When I had relapses on depression, they increased the dose again.Here is a summary of my use of psychoactive drugs:1998-2001: venlafaxine and lithium2001-2008: venlafaxine only2008-2011: I stopped taking it on my own, gradually, and got very well without any medication.In 2011, I was married and started suffering domestic violence. So, I started having panic attacks for the first time in life. After much resistance, I returned to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Paroxetine 20mg and sublingual clonazepam (this one only if necessary).In 2014, I got pregnant. So I tried to stop the medications for the health of my baby. I went through a nightmare and my psychiatrist switched from paroxetine to sertraline. Then, taking psychotherapy sessions, I was finally able to get divorced from my violent husband and decided to try tappering off the medication once again and gradually. Always the same nightmare, and while psychiatrists claimed it was a relapse, and that I had to get back to higher doses, I was sure I was only having withdrawal symptoms. This year, 2019, I decided once again to try withdrawing the medication as I do not see any reason to keep taking it. I've been taken antidepressants since I'm 17. I do not want it anymore. Well, I went from 100mg (regular doses since 2014) to 75mg, and after 3 months I tried to reduce it to 50mg. Unfortunatelly I started having panic attacks immediately. I cannot have panic atacks alone with my kid. He is only 4 years old. What would I say to him? I do not want to cause him any trauma. What was I supposed to do? I went then back to my 75mg.I'm lost, hopeless, because I want to stop the medication but the withdrawal symptoms are too heavy for me to deal with. I get completely lost of myself, get confused, emotional trap. There are no doctors in Brazil who could help me in the process and also, could not find brazilian forums like this one. I started reading Dr. Joanna Moncrief e Peter Breggin and their theses make all sense to me.Please I need help! I appreciate any response!
  2. Aquarius

    Aquarius

    Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Aquarius: Diazepam Hi im new here , im not a long term user of these meds but when it comes it in withdrawal it doesnt matter its still hell . I started these Jan 2016 25mg cold turkeyed July 2016 didnt know any better was fine until Feb 2017 mum in hospital went to docs with crying and panic put me back on tablets didnt realise it was withdrawal doc said not after six months ...wanted me to go straight to 100mg i started at 50mg very quickly updosed to eventually 150mg went through hell to get there never really stabilised . Didnt like how i felt so now i know i did a very fast taper and came off by March 2018 again was doing well until just as before around 6 to 7 month mark i crashed felt extreme anxiety depression crying joint pain negative thoughts cant settle ..the physical pain has gone but emotionally im bad especially the mornings waking with fear panic and lots of crying thankfully i have been able to sleep and when im not stressed i do have good days . I hate feeling like this and seeing everyone else enjoying the build up to Christmas sometimes i feel like my life is over . Bad morning so trying to keep it together .have a question to ask but not sure if this is the place to do it .thank you
  3. Hello, I'm new to this site but have known about it for awhile. Two years ago I went through a detox to get off alprazolam (benzo) and alcohol. I was a mess for several years before that. I know now I was experiencing inter-dose withdrawal for years. Alcohol is cross-tolerant and I was using it increasingly over the years I was on alprazolam. I had been on sertraline for several years prior to starting the benzo and continued it through the detox. After that experience, I started reducing the sertraline and had horrific symptoms every time I would make a cut. Towards the end, I got back on a benzo (clonazepam) but managed to get off the sertraline. Shortly after, I tapered the second benzo and have been psych med free for about 10 months now. The entire experience was devastating. I lost all social connections, a relationship, a job, my mental and physical health, my privacy, my dignity, my spirituality, my possessions -- all of it. When I got off everything, I started exercising every day. I ate as healthy as I knew how (have learned much more since). I quit all psychoactive substances including coffee. I stopped seeing my psychiatrist and an unwise therapist I was seeing. My health has been improving and I stopped blood pressure and cholesterol medication. I've lost over 100 pounds so far and I'm just starting to rebuild my professional and social life. They are both non-existent at the moment but because of my progress, I am beginning to address them. My life was hell for close to a decade and questionable for almost another -- all because of psych meds. I'm here to connect with others who've been through or are going through a similar experience who may want to discuss what happened or is happening. I'm interested in making friends and I want to share my experience and learn from others. I think about what I've been through every day and right now, I don't want to forget. I use the pain I feel to help me move forward. I hope to leave it behind at some point. I know there are many who have been or are going through similar and may want to connect. Thank you for this space and the ability to share and connect.
  4. Hi all, I joined this site several weeks back, tried to create a forum but my internet went out while I was doing so, I don't think it went through, so if this is a repost or posted in the wrong area, I'm sorry. Anyway, long story short, I'm female and close to turning twenty two, I originally started sertraline around 15-16 years old for anxiety, (generalized, panic attacks, and social) and depression. I started at a lower dose but after several years made my way up to 200mg, stayed on it for another several years, and at the age of 21 finally managed to come off them completely after many attempts that failed due to withdrawal. Fast forward to the end/beginning of this year after being off them for around eight months, my suicidal ideation got severe again, and fearing the worst, I jump shipped and started sertraline again because I was afraid of what I may do. After about 2 months on them again at 50mg, I tapered off over about a week and a half because they were giving me brain zaps, reduced sexual function, brain fog, etc, and I realized why I quit in the first place. Now I'm here two months later wondering if I've ruined myself for doing so. I've had a lot of emotional blunting and anhedonia, but the thing that I do not understand is that I am quick to irritability and anger, but nothing else. I can get sad at times, I have cried a few times which I couldn't manage on the short time I went back on the pills, but I used to have full on meltdowns, which I know isn't ideal, but at least it was something. I am an emotional person, and living in this fog and anhedonia is very concerning to me. I had issues with it before on the pills and even the short time off, but not to this extent. I've been trying to be positive, but I'm about two months in and I'm just tired of living through this window, if that makes sense. It's frustrating because sometimes I can feel this literal switch in my body, that is so close to clicking everything back together, but it doesn't. Other times I don't feel a switch at all. I've had more depersonalization episodes which I haven't had before. I always had a bit of dissociation, but the episodes have definitely been worse. I guess I just don't understand why after years of high dosages, constantly going on and off, I could quit fine and return to normal functioning within two months, where as now after a smaller dosage and shorter period, I'm doing way worse two months in now. Sorry if this is too detailed, but I want to be as clear as possible for any other women going through the same thing and to document my personal experience. I also am able to orgasm, but not the way I used to be able to. The short time on the pills I had near 0 interest and orgasm was hard, so while it is good I can do this again, it isn't the same rush as before, and it isn't nearly as pleasurable due to genital numbness. That has gotten better somewhat, I am able to tell if I am touching myself down there and feel the temperature of things, but the pleasure that was there before and the warm feeling is still not back. A little over a month off, I had a couple random times I became wet down there, and would feel more of a throbbing feeling I had before the pills, to elaborate on that I guess aside from the obvious sensation, it was a desire of, holy ****, I need it now! I don't have that anymore, yet again. With enough concentration and thinking about sex enough, I can get somewhat of a desire, but not much. I thought I was getting better a month ago due to the random lubrication and able to feel temperatures again, along with maybe 10-15% of original feeling coming back, but the past month nothing else has changed, and I haven't randomly gotten wet down there or had much of a throbbing sensation since two or three episodes. I guess my question is, what is your experience with withdrawals from anti-depressants? For those of you who have recovered, did it come back at once, or was it a more gradual thing? From my brief time on this site it seems most swing back and forth like a pendulum, getting better than not, then eventually after weeks or months of going back and forth one stone is then officially planted, only to have to fight the next ten ahead, whether it be the fight with emotions or sexual dysfunction. While I certainly would love to hear from everyone, as I have scrolled through many forums on this site, if there are any females my age, I would love to hear your responses in particular just to know there are others like me going through the same thing, and it would help me understand maybe more of what to look for in terms of recovery, though I acknowledge everyone isn't the same. It's just very disheartening being this young and having to worry about this. It sucks, but I have read many success stories and I am trying to stay positive, especially since I have had some recovery, even if it is marginal.
  5. Dear all, I took Sertraline 50 (French name for Zoloft). for only a month and I have developped PGAD (Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder) following a too fast withdrawal. I read the story of some of your members who had PGAD when they withdrew from an antidepressant and their stories looked like mine and gave me hope and I hope they can confort me and assist me because I am in a very dark place. I read the stories of Hopefull anf Broken. Are they still on the forum ? How are they doing ? Until December 2016, I had never taken any antidepressant or a benzo in my entire life. I was leading an happy life with my husband and son in the West of France. We had a chemical accident in december. I mixed 2 products while cleaning my house, bleach and a cleaning product with acid and stupidly burnt my lungs and got a toxic choc on the 27th of december. My doctor thought I was anxious afer the accident and put me on Xanax 0.25, half a pill at night. I took it for a month in January 2017 and was sent to a psychiatrist who put me on Lisanxia 10, a pill a day. I felt suicidal because i didnt understand I was suffering from the Xanax withdrawal the doctors kept changing the pill without any tappering, I stayed on Lysanxia 10, a pill a day the whole February , then another psychiatrist decided to put me on Bromazepan 6 (4 quarter a day). I stayed on Bromazepan the entire March and he put me back on Xanax, all of that cold turkey. And that how I met my worse nightmare, the Sertraline AD: I was feeling very agitated on benzos, my lungs and entire skin were burning and everybody told me it was in my head. I didn't agree so I was hospitalised againt my wish in a psychiatrist hospital. There, they made me stop my Xanax 0.25 cold turkey and put me on Sertraline 50. This happened on Easter monday 2017 (April 17 th). After 2 weeks, I was sent home and started feeling very ill, I had tremors, agitation, fatigue, shakes, flu like symptoms and suicidal thoughts. I went to see a GP who told me I could drop the Sertraline to 25 because I had only been on it for 2 weeks and I could slowly stop it. I went on the 25 pill and then I started having violent withdrawal side effects (I don't know which ones came from Xanax or from Sertraline) : My symptoms : Sensitivity to light and smells, burning skin, hyperacusis, agitation, akathisia, tinnitus and when I thought it couldn't get worse, I started peeing every 10 minutes, got a hyperactive bladder, terrible pains in my genitalias, bladder and pelvic area and the worse of it permanent arousal. Since I have kept the tinnitus in my left ear, the akatisia and PGAD. I was sent to another mental hospital at the beginning of June because I thought they could help me with PGAD. They put me on Risperidone for a week while they made me stop the Sertraline very fast (they made me take it every 2 days for a week then they replaced it with Anafranil 25 that I kept for a week. My tinnitus got worse and my PGAD stayed the same. I was getting sicker and sicker so the psychiatrist stopped the Anafranil and the Risperidone and I was put back on Xanax. I am now back at home, my PGAD symptoms are terrible and I am considered manic and hypocondriac. My doctor wants to put me back in a mental hospital. I can't look after my family and Iam in a very dark place with suicidal thoughts My 3 main withdrawal symptoms : high pitched tinnitus, agitation and PGAD. Pins and needles in my lower back, legs and arms when the PGAD crisis start. . MY PGAD symptoms : Overactive bladder, ongoing arousal sensations in and around the genitals, having to go to the toilets every 10 minutes, pelvic pains, Pins and needle, shaking. It is atrocious and it makes me suicidal. I take 3 Xanax 0.25 a day and a Zopiclone 7 to sleep. I cannot sit because the symptoms get worse and I can barely walk because my bladder hurts. I spend my days crying on my bed with an ice pack on my lower parts. At night I cannot sleep well because of the tinnitus. I went to see an urologist, I had a cystoscopy done and they told me it is not an interstitial cysticis and gave me Lyrica (I am scared of taking it because I fear it will make my tinnitus worse). Nobody knows this symptom in France and people think i am crazy. Thank you for reading my story. Please can you reassure me ? I am terrified and I am suffering greatly. Would it go away ? Is it a withdrawal symptom ? Thank you so much for having this site on the internet. It gave me a lot of confort. Cathyfrench (I am french so I hope my English is not too bad, my apologies for my grammatical errors)
  6. Anyone else going through sertraline withdrawal after a low dose? I was on 25 mg i tapered for a month and have now been off it for 9 days. Just about coping. It's horrendous. I've had excruciating headaches, nausea, elevated anxiety, jaw ache, chest pains and fatigue. Seen several doctors, had blood tests and all kinds of checks to be told there's nothing wrong with me. It must be the withdrawal! Any advice most welcome xx
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