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  1. Pens

    Pens

    i’ve been on antidepressants for approximately 10 years doctor put me on different kinds. Just want to be off of them. Recently I was put on mirtazapine to help get off of Pristiq and now I am experiencing with drawl symptoms from tapering down on the mirtazapine. I am withdrawing from mirtazapine at present I would like to be part of a support group to help me get through And to learn if there’s anything I can change i.e. diet to help lessen the symptoms of withdrawal.
  2. 9 years ago, I was prescribed 10mg of generic Prozac after a traumatic incident in my life that left me nearly catatonic. I continued on that dose for 7 years. Approximately 2 years ago, after a stressful work situation, my primary care doctor suggested I switch my antidepressant as he thought it became ineffective after so many years. He switched me to a dosage equivalent of generic Lexapro for a short time. I complained about a spike in anxiety so he then switched me to 50 mg of generic Zoloft. Shortly thereafter, I experienced major depersonalization and brain fog. I eventually went down to 25 mg of Zoloft and, somewhere in the midst of this, I experienced some other obscure health symptoms (pressure in head, tinnitus, dizziness, fatigue, neck and head pain, etc). I saw many specialists who all said my health checked out. I ultimately decided I wanted off of my antidepressant and my doctor recommended halving my dose for a week, and another, then stopping. I experienced some peculiar insomnia/hypomania, agitation and flatness the first few weeks, but, overall, I faired well. It wasn’t until about 2-3 months later, I would know literal hell. I have been imploding with anxiety, trembling, not eating, experiencing an avalanche of panic attacks, and not sleeping for 24 hours at a time- during which time I have rapid, intrusive thoughts teetering on hallucinations. I can feel my nervous system destabilizing and have an overwhelming feeling of dread. It has felt as if I’m on the precipice of permanent insanity. Sunday, I went to urgent care where I was prescribed Hydroxyzine for sleep and I was told I could not experience withdrawals 2-3 months after discontinuation; I was told I was experiencing a relapse. I have never experienced this kind of insomnia and anxiety prior to antidepressants. Yesterday, I started back on 25 mg of Zoloft. Today, I was prescribed 7.5 of Mirtazapine for sleep until the Zoloft takes effect. I will eventually address tapering again, but it won’t be through the suggestions of healthcare providers. Hopefully, I can rely on another’s experience for a successful taper. For now, I feel highly skeptical and disappointed in modern practitioners. I am hoping to stabilize my nervous system soon.
  3. hi friends ! i realize I may have gone too quickly in taper from 12.5 to zero . I didn’t have any help from the pharmacist who didn’t have any options for me to taper down from 25mg . He said just stop ….. 🙄 I started opening my capsules and separating the little beads for a few weeks . And now I’m at zero . I was doing pretty good until week four . I woke up with the most debilitating vertigo that made me run to the bathroom to heave . It was awful. Having to call in sick to work as a freelancer was so upsetting to me . I felt defeated . I presume from reading on here that , this is what you folks call “a wave” I’ve started supplements , not sure I should add them yet to my signature but here goes 5htp 2x daily omega 3 1x daily active vitamin b complex 1 x daily im looking to find a buddy in the same situation at the moment . Someone for support . I’ve almost caved twice already to take a hit , and I know deep down that’s not what I want to do . Looking forward to hearing from you 🫶💕
  4. 2013 - 50mg Zoloft 2016 - increase to 150mg Zoloft 2016 - Lamictal in addition to Zoloft 2018 - Serequel in addition to Zoloft 2019 - 5mg Abilify in addition to Zoloft 2022 - tapered off Zoloft decrease of 25mg per week over 6 weeks and then tapered off Abilify 5mg over 2 weeks. It has been 4 weeks since my last dose of Zoloft and 2 weeks since last dose of Abilify. I had no withdrawal symptoms until 4 days ago. For the last 4 days, I have had severe anxiety that is constant and will not go away. The anxiety has contributed to difficulty sleeping as well. I tapered under the supervision and guidance of my doctor. Is this anxiety a withdrawal symptom? Is this a relapse? Should I reinstate? Reinstate at a low dose? 25mg or 50mg reinstate? Is there any hope for not reinstating? I don't know what to do...I'm so scared...I had no idea coming off the meds was going to be this hard. Please help!
  5. I dont have anything to say about myself because I have nothing to reflect on unfortunately. So I am sorry but this is a pretty heavy post. I have severely kindled myself beyond repair. Is this possible? I dont have anything left. I forgot to mention in my history that after going off my antidepressant rapidly a second time that I took benzos twice weekly along with other gaba supplements and took other supplements that raised serotonin and dopamine. Kindling everytime withdrawing from gaba meds/supplements .And not consistently taking them. I believe messing with my gaba system is what did me in. I also came off progesterone very quickly late February and that's what ended my life. After that I used benzo again once to sleep because I had complete insomnia for 4 days. I probably withdrew just from one dose. Was getting horrible sensations in my gut like terror/tickling/stabbing. Took more supplements to try to help...made it worse. The last supplement I knew it was the end. Took NAC which I have before in the past. For 5 days and I became so agitated I was beyond suicidal. The problem is I was already mildly anhedonic on meds then coming off I had more anhedonia and dp/dr. So it was hard to know what I was feeling when doing all this damage. The more changes I made the worse it got. Now I hit the end. I'm completely lobotomized but can feel this severest internal anxiety. Complete apathy.I feel Like in dying 24/7 but it's not a panic attack. Everything looks and feels exactly the same and I mean that at the severest level. And everything I do keeps making it worse. Everyday I eat, sleep, do anything...the internal Agitation and anxiety and anhedonia/brain dead feeling gets worse. I never feel comfort and dont feel anything except pain. I dont have normal anxiety anymore with physical symptoms. I do not connect at all to anything at any level. I dont know what it means to do anything. I think I've lost many connections in my brain. I have nothing to do. I look at the tv and see nothing and I mean with my mind. I cant talk about anything. I have no soul left. No recognition of who I was. I no longer get comfort out of anything at all. I don't know what i look like. I dont recognize myself..cannot see myself in the mirror like a person with dementia. I am so bored because there is nothing I can do. I cannot engage in anything. But the severe internal restlessness is the worst. If I never went off my med the second time last summer I would be so okay. Everything I do makes it worse. Even positive thoughts. Any stimulation. MRI made me 10x worse. I'm stuck in some void with severe panic and no person inside to help save me or reflect on past memories or emotions. Cant feel time at all, dont register days/nights/months. Brain doesn't register going from one place to another. It's all the same. I never relax ever. Extreme restlessness beyond anything. This last time I messed up my brain knew it was the end and i completely lost all connections. Cant use any higher thinking to help. I didnt want my life to end at 33 with a 2 year old daughter. I wish I was never put on meds in the first place. I was a highly emotional person who was sensitive. Musically inclined. I loved nature and connected to nature and animals. All that completely taken away since ive done all this. But even on antidepressants I still had me, although I was becoming less emotional over time. But emotions were still there. There is no feeling more dead than this. Theres nothing left for me to do and my brain has seen everything that has happened and cant unsee. At least in February before the coming off progesterone and then messing with those last few supplements I had something still. I could still eat with only minor problems and was working a couple days a week and slightly enjoyed going to friends house and I connected at some level with my daughter and could feel empathy. Is there anyone who can tell me what may be going on with my CNS?
  6. 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)
  7. My original post: So, as of right now I am 17 months completely off all medication. I consider myself fully healed and am so happy to be able to write this because I want others to know that full healing IS possible, even in extreme cases. As I spoke about in my original thread, I was put on an SSRI at 5 years old for anxiety. While at first it seemed to 'help', as I got older my psychiatrist kept on raising the dose until I was essentially a zombie from about age 14-18. It caused many problems and I went from being a very social and happy kid to a sullen, antisocial, shell of what I was. I believe it also gave me bouts of depression, as I never had depression before I was on it and my most depressed periods always came after a dosage increase. It was very painful to me to think about how I had my adolescence and happiness taken from me by this drug and the people who kept me on it not seeing what it was doing to me, but I've reached a point in my life now where I can forgive and am too happy about life now and my future to dwell on that. I really want others to know, if you were put on these meds before you were even old enough to consent to being on them, I understand your pain, and assure you that even in a case like this, you CAN heal, and a life without depending on these drugs IS possible. I know there likely aren't many of us but I know others like me do exist and I hope somehow you find this post and my story can help you in some way. The medications I was on during this period were Zoloft and Celexa (I switched to the latter when I was 13), and I was on the highest doses of each (200mg and 40mg, respectively). When I was 18 years old, I had a stressful period and since it was my first time living away from home at college I started to come to some realizations about how crazy the whole thing was that I was taking these medications without even really understanding as to why I was on them still and not feeling like it was in any way my decision to take them. This was in 2014 and because I was young, and felt invincible and naive I essentially just stopped taking it (Celexa 40mg at this point). I'm not sure about how much detail is necessary here about what followed (although I'm more than happy to answer any questions anyone has and am an open book), but basically, I was ok for a couple of months, but then suffered for the next 4 years with intense, excruciating withdrawal symptoms that ranged from extremely painful physical and medical things to hellish mental symptoms. To this day it amazes me what this drug did to my system, as I never imagined that it could affect things that it affected (my blood tests from my first year of withdrawal confounded even the fancy, expensive doctors I went to). I suffered more than any teenager/young adult should ever have to suffer. I spent literally 3 years basically bedridden, in severe physical and mental pain, not knowing what was going on or if it was ever going to end. I felt like my soul was in crisis, and like I had no sense of self or purpose anymore. Growing up on these meds, I had to come to terms with the fact that I hadn't really been myself from age 5 to 18. But instead of starting over, and forming who I really was, I was unable to even do that because of the physical and mental pain I was in and inability to do anything with my life. I could go on and on with more specifics, but I feel it's more important now to explain what I believe really healed me (And I do consider myself healed now-- I went from being bedridden in pain, dysfunction, and chaos, barely even able to stand and walk sometimes, and completely hopeless about life and feeling out of control, to completely healthy, functional, happy, and living my best life). I think all of us who go through this suffer on a level that others can't really comprehend. But some of us may not realize that there is, in fact, an upside to this. When we're immobilized by pain, and crippled with mental symptoms like depression and anxiety, we have no choice but to just sit and be with ourselves. And this is where we find and understand who our true selves are. This might sound strange or "woo woo", but the major catalyst that really jumpstarted my healing was finding the calm within the storm. I highly recommend meditation for everyone going through this because for me it is what helped me access the part of me that was happy and calm independent of all external circumstances. The more I was able to quiet all my thoughts, the quicker I felt my healing process going. I really went through a spiritual journey, especially this past year when my healing really cemented, and I can honestly say that I've emerged not only healed, but a happier and wiser person than before this all started. I made the decision that I was going to heal, I made the decision that I was going to find happiness and joy and the life I wanted, whatever it took. I feel happier and more excited about life than I ever have (and my body and mind feel amazing). When you let go of stress, worrying, sadness, and negative thoughts, even when the situation outside you really is negative, you will be shocked at how things change. This whole journey is a spiritual journey for all of us. Yes, there are physical effects from this drug, but healing really takes place when we harness the light that exists in us even when things are at their worst. It's a highly personal path, but I really believe it is possible for everyone to overcome this. Supplements can help, but the power of the mind is limitless and infinitely more rewarding. Sparknotes version - meditate daily- quiet your mind. This is so beneficial for mental and physical health. - be aware of your thoughts, and as best you can, limit stressful and negative thoughts. For the first few years of withdrawal, my thinking was constantly "Life is so unfair", "I'm in so much pain", "What if this never ends?", "I am in hell", "Life sucks", etc. If this process has taught me anything, it's that your thoughts do matter, more than you know. Once I started changing my thoughts, my body and mind literally started to change. - journal. Writing down your thoughts can be very cathartic and can even help purge negativity that could be holding you back. Also, as counterintuitive as it may sound, you can even "fake" journal, i.e. write as if you have already healed, write as if you are happy and healthy. - Something I didn't mention in the full post, but VERY important-- when it comes to supplements, start one at a time, and start at a low dose. I know this is mentioned on this site many times, but I didn't take it seriously. I can't tell you how many months I literally lost because my SUPPLEMENTS were giving me symptoms that I thought were just part of the withdrawal, but were actually from the supplements I thought were supposed to help my withdrawal! As Altostrata is always saying, our bodies are very sensitized when in withdrawal and we can have seriously adverse reactions to things that seem super benign. Fish oil, for example, gave me heart palpitations. Ashwagandha, a 'gentle herb' that I had only read good things about, gave me major joint pain and digestive issues. PLEASE start supplements one at a time, at a low dose, wait a couple weeks and see how you're reacting to them. Everyone is different, and only you know what works and doesn't work for you. Keep track of what you're taking and don't fall into the trap of thinking "Oh, it's just a natural supplement, that can't be causing anything". That's how I used to think too and I went through even more pain because of it. There were times that I thought because my brain had developed on these drugs and I was on them so long, I'd never heal. But I did, and I'm in an even better place than I think I would have been if I hadn't gone through this. I am a genuinely happy person, I've formed deep connections with people, I have hope for my life and feel so happy and secure on my path, and I have really learned to appreciate the little things. Most importantly, I learned the importance of my thoughts and how they really affect all aspects of my life. I believe we are all meant to have a happy and healthy life, and it's possible to reclaim that right even when things seem utterly hopeless and bleak. Remember that you have more power than you know. We are a greater and more powerful force than these drugs are!
  8. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  9. Hello, I quit drinking alcohol 11 years ago and a doctor at that time thought the anti depressant Zoloft would be beneficial for my "anxiety" from quitting. This is how I started using these drugs. It has taken me forever to finally quit. I'm a 43 year old male. I've quit Lexapro 2.5 mg 24 days ago and have had the worst three day stretch to date. I feel extremely tired and fatigued. I feel symptoms of brain fog, memory failures, cognitive decline, crying spells, sadness, slight headache, head pressure, eyes tired, some body ache, and slight brain zaps. I'm trying to stay positive and day to day but this is brutal. I feel like a zombie and would just want to sleep. I also have mild sleep apnea in which I have started using a cpap machine a week ago but have found no relief. I think I'm going to stop using the Cpap machine for a month to rule out the machine being the cause for recent three day stretch. I want to believe that the withdrawal symptoms are what is causing me to feel this way but I'm unsure now. I have always had some of the described symptoms on a day to day basis before. These symptoms went as far back as the last two to three years. They weren't nearly as severe. I haven't heard of anyone having the described symptoms as a result of actively taking the antidepressant drug. If this is something that can be confirmed I would feel much more at ease as I would have to wait out the withdrawal process. I guess I am looking for words of encouragement and hopefully some validation that these symptoms are from the withdrawal and this is a normal process. Last night I started myofacial exercises as an alternative to the cpap. I know it will be sometime before I see any benefit from them. I also ran 2 miles yesterday. This morning I practiced some Pranayama and will continue this daily. I'd appreciate any feedback and thank you for reading my story. Matthew
  10. When i started using zoloft and how i became clean. i started using zoloft in 2017 at 16 years old. now since june the 6th i came clean. what i experiences was weight gain . brain fog, and zombie feeling. impossible to break certain patterns. Worsening depression. now spark in the eyes after year 2 hormone imbalance that caused breast growth it was slowly, first i barely noticed anything only after year 2 i started noticing bad things happening. The decrease and tappering of from zoloft was pure hell and nothing more, i experienced depersonalisation, mania, worsening depression, dizzeyness, alot of mental stress, racing toughts. from 25mg till 10 mg i barely noticed anything, only when passing 10 a slightly discomfort until 5. then every mg down was a 2 days of hell. Withdrawl symptoms i got. Heavy mindfog. Depersonalisation and dissacotiation POIS like symptoms after sexual intercourse(mild) no libido or extreme high libido, racing toughs(alot) Autopiloted/impulsive behaviour. now i finally came clean, i noticed slight improvements. Positive outlook on the future, less brainfog (only after dopamine detox) Spark in the eye returned. breast growth decreased alot. Depersonalization goes away sometimes. i started to recognize my toughts again. My libido came back. Extreme rise in testosteron But i'm now about 6 weeks clean but i still suffer sometimes alot of these symptoms mostly because of dopamine rushes or anxiety, and confrontations. Heavy brainfog Racing toughts depersonalization and dissacotiation Depression and negative tought patterns Very impulsive behaviour and emotional. Agression especially towards my doctor or zoloft manifactioner it feels almost as if i became dumber or something. atleast it feels like it. My question is how long until my brain is completly healed, and how long till i can have dopamine rushes again? it goes better but i get these waves/cycles sometimes, but after the waves i see this light path that i hold on to and i feel awesome for a few moments of the day or the whole day. Almost bipolar. This is my first post, and i'm also not from a english speaking country. but i truly want to have advise or tel people my story
  11. LostInMarshes

    LostInMarshes: in pain

    Hello. I need help! I've been taking Zoloft on and off for close to ten years. Went up to 150mg last month. Since I got back from the psych hospital last month, I've been having a sensation of being stabbed repeatedly in the brain, the whole day after taking Zoloft. This is why I had to start taking it during the day time. Otherwise I cannot sleep - keep jolting up awake, as if though electrical currents of stress run through my body. Today I got up, and was quite happy, energetic. An hour later I took Zoloft. What happened?: the feeling in my body and brain is that of continuous assault by toxins. I feel at the same time very agitated, very lightheaded and sleepy, nauseous, no longer happy, with diarrhea. Music, my true love and saving grace, is now an irritant. For a long time I've been considering tapering off for good (I'd follow the 10% rule). But now it's clear to me that this medication is no longer good for me. I had my psychiatrist (of a few months) call me and I suggested that we taper me down to 135mg. He said that it's not a "good idea", and that it won't help me. I don't think I can get another psychiatrist, because I'm applying for SSI disability (for PTSD), and people at the hospital told me that my case will be quite strong, if I show that I've had the same psychiatrist for a long time. If I go against his wishes, he would never write a good letter for my SSI case. Should I just do it behind his back? Greetings, by the way!
  12. Well, who knew you weren’t supposed to just stop taking this stuff when you felt like it? Back in January 2020, I had gone to the doctor 3 times over a one month period swearing I had kidney problems based on some symptoms I had. After the third appointment and all tests coming back normal, the doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and prescribed 25 mg Sertraline. I started taking it immediately and within a few days I had developed limb pain. I didn’t relate it to the medication and actually thought it was a symptom of anxiety. Another week or so went by and limb pain spread to joint paint and then to this feeling of being bruised or punched in my thighs, stomach, hips and chest, even though bruises never surfaced at that point. I also had an off and on lump in my throat and my voice would randomly go hoarse. By end of March, I had rigid muscles, had gained 30 lbs and clusters of red dots and small bruises were forming all over my body. I thought I was developing a serious blood disorder and since I had seen a hematologist in the past for iron deficiency anemia, I was able to get an appointment without going through my gp. A few weeks before the appointment, around mid-April (so 3 months on Sertraline), I read online that bruising was a rare but possible side effect of the medication. I quit immediately to see what would happen, and within about three weeks the bruises, red dots and some of the pain disappeared. Everything was normal at the hematologists. However, even though the bruises went away, I had started getting these other issues like “restless arm syndrome” (only way to describe it), dizziness, numbness in feet and hands, muscle twitching, panic attacks and other things I can’t remember. After my appointment, since my blood tests were fine, I reinstated the 25 mg Sertraline in early May. I had no clue these were withdrawal and assumed I had developed either a severe neurological disease or Somatic Symptom Disorder. I still can’t believe I went back on the meds, but as soon as I did all hell broke loose. The withdrawal symptoms went away but I developed horrible muscle cramping to the point I couldn’t hold a phone, pain in response to any kind of touch including my pants rubbing against my legs or someone touching my hand softly. I had pain in my ears, eyes and throat. The bruises and red dots came back immediately and with a vengeance. At this point I knew it was the Sertraline. And I was only on 25 mg!! I managed to stay on for around three more weeks then quit cold turkey again. Right away I got a plethora of symptoms: -restless feeling all over -Muscle twitching all over body -muscle weakness -this weird warm feeling that started in the back of my head and spread down my spine (I no longer have this) -loss of coordination -pulling in my thumb, forefinger and cheek on my left side like they were trying to move themselves (This doesn’t happen often anymore) -brain zaps - not really sure if that’s what it is since it feels less like a zap and more like someone holding an electric razor up to my head in different spots. -Numbness/tingling in feet, lower legs, hands (I no longer have this) -Nausea -panic attacks -short of breath -forgetfulness -dizziness -loose feeling in joints like they won’t hold my limbs together -joint pain -cracking joints -muscle pain -buzzing in legs and feet -palpitations -feeling like I would fall down (I no longer have this) -this feeling in my sinuses like they would tighten and then clear up (this is rare these days) -general soreness -lump in throat -insomnia - often only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep at night -acute fatigue (this feeling of intense fatigue that feels like I spent hours working out in the sun that will last maybe 20 minutes to an hour) -heartburn There were so many more I can’t think of. I’ve been off the medication around 4.5 months now, but not much of this has improved. A few of the scariest symptoms seem to have gone away, probably around the three month mark, and with the remaining symptoms, I have gotten a few windows recently. The body pains used to be constant, but now I get a few days off per month. This encourages me. At the same time, I’ve developed new symptoms recently like intense stomach discomfort, palpitations and the lump in my throat, although I had this when I first started the meds too. Many symptoms have gotten less severe/intense and that helps a lot. The craziest thing about all of this is that my highest dose was 25 mg! Not to mention I was only on it 4 months total. I’m really hoping I’ll be back soon to post a success story. I remember reading a post from a success story poster that basically said whenever a symptom would go away temporarily, even if it came back and hung around for a while, they knew it would be gone eventually because it had shown its weakness. I wish I could remember who it was because it’s completely true and that has really helped me get through the last few months. I'm not sure how to post my timeline in the signature, but it’s pretty short so I’ll leave it here. 25 mg Sertraline from January to mid April. Cold turkey mid April to early May. Re-instated 25 mg Sertraline from early May for next three weeks then cold turkey again. Have been off for 4.5 months and take no meds or supplements at this point.
  13. Hi everyone, so glad I found this website. Have been struggling with terrible side effects since starting SSRI medications in August 2020 due to health anxiety following a traumatic miscarriage in June 2020. Been utterly terrified by my symptoms and every time I approached my GP they denied it was side effects from the SSRIs. A brief history: Aug 2020 - started 15mg Mirtazapine, increased to 30mg 2 weeks later. Signed off work shortly after this. Restless Leg Syndrome became unbearable and had to abruptly stop taking it after 6 weeks. RLS eased almost immediately. September 2020- GP switched me to Paroxetine which I took for 3 weeks before RLS worsened again and muscle twitching started in left leg & foot. Told to stop abruptly. Tried 2 weeks of no medication but muscle twitching persisted which fuelled my anxiety more. October 2020- GP told me to start 50mg Sertraline. My muscle twitching became more intense and general feeling of fatigue in muscles, particularly left thigh/knee. Developed complete restlessness, couldn’t stop bouncing my legs and felt like my entire body was crawling. GP told me to continue with medication for another few weeks. After 7 weeks, anxiety higher than ever and twitching/restlessness worsening, GP told me to stop Sertraline - either cold turkey or to take it every other day for a week. I did the latter. Took my last Sertraline 50mg dose on 18th November. December 2020 - paid for a private neurological consultation as I was so worried about the muscle twitching. Examination was normal apart from twitching. Consultant said he thought I was suffering from RLS & PLMD exacerbated by SSRI use. January 2020 - side effects still going strong. Muscle twitching, restlessness, muscle/joint stiffness, tinnitus, tight sensation at sides of neck/throat which make speaking and swallowing harder than normal, panic attacks, insomnia. I have also started feeling what I am assuming is depression as a result of the side effects and constant anxiety. I am currently taking magnesium citrate at night to help with RLS. Neurologist prescribed cocodamol to take on nights my RLS is really bad, so taking these as and when required. Also taking iron and folic acid as recent blood results showed both of these were pretty low. After reading some of the threads on this forum, I started taking high strength fish oil tablets. I am so desperate to feel ‘normal’ again. I have a beautiful daughter who is 2.5 and the light of my life and I am finding it so incredibly hard to navigate my way through this every day without being overcome with fear and panic. Any advice would be greatly welcomed. Thank you.
  14. Hi all. Thank you in advance for any help, advice or support. I am 22(f). I was stable on sertraline 50mg for a couple of years, and then successfully reduced to 25mg in March 2021. This september I thought 25mg was a low enough dose to be able to CT off sertraline. What a disaster. I haven't felt normal since September, panicking that I will never get back to myself... I tried to reinstate sertraline after a couple of months off it, thinking it would fix the withdrawals instantly. Instead it has gotten so much worse. I can't eat, struggle sleeping, functioning... Anxiety through the roof about losing my job, my friends, my life, everything. Now I've found this site I am hoping I can get help to stabilise and that it's not too late for me. I think I reinstated at too high a dose too quickly, so as of today I have dropped back down to 12.5mg sertraline. My main question is whether I should do as my doctor is suggesting and switch to citalopram, because i think my body is just completely rejecting sertraline now. But I've never taken citalopram. I've been prescribed it at 20mg but i think this is too high. I'm just looking to stabilise side effects and withdrawal symptoms not wanting a therapeutic dose. Should I cut the pills into quarters and take 5mg? Or 10mg? Or should I try a lower dose of sertraline for a week? CC added the following (posted in another member's Intro) which provides some more information:
  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. Day 600 (March 11th 2017) 4 months shy of my two year mark. My Introduction: - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10847-%E2%98%BC-rockingchaircat-recovery-from-psychotropic-drugs-that-were-prescribed-willy-nilly/page-1 I’m a male in my early 50’s, and I’ve been on several antidepressants: Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, and Paxil, and other psychotropics (as prescribed by the pill pushing Docs): Benzos- Xanax and Ativan, and other crap. These pills do not ‘balance your neurotransmitters”, that is a lie- for there is no balance. Instead it’s more akin to a Symphony: Every neurotransmitter has its own part to play at it’s own time and place. My taper strategy was something I came up with in desperation after trying out some boneheaded strategies involving either: A) going cold turkey and then following the advice of a medical doctor. The Route: Cold Turkey- Freak Out. Go on Benzos. Reinstate Antidepressants. Taper off Benzos. Taper off Antidepressants. Lose what’s left of my mind. Try to regain it in recovery. The Cold Turkey route resulted in my freaking out, which segued me into trying out the Benzos on the advice of a medical doctor- which worked GREAT, but only for a short time. Then they stopped working completely. After a while with more of the same useless advice of “give it a few weeks” Or “increase the dose”- I got fed up with the docs and found the website: Benzo Buddies. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=122050.0 There- I learned of the Pharmaceutical Blasphemy- of the necessity of not taking pills. Then I got better advice about how to go about weaning myself off of Benzodiazepines properly. It took a few months but I managed to wean myself off of the Benzos that I was on. Then after a couple of stable months- I decided to taper off of my antidepressant ‘slowly’, as recommended by a different doctor. But, even that was faster than I should’ve tapered-. I thought at the time that my antidepressant withdrawal would take about the same time as it took me to wean myself off of the Benzos. Boy was I wrong. It took me much longer. Which doesn’t come as a surprise now- after all I’d been on more of them for longer than I was on the Benzos. My Coping mechanisms/Strategies during my withdrawal- included the following: 1) Amino acids, 2) Beans, 3) Exercise, 4) A Full Spectrum Light, 5) Hobbies, 6) The Internet, 7) Meditation, 8) Motivation 9) Music, 10) Nature, 11) (Orgasms), 12) & Sunlight. I also found it helpful to cut out chocolate, coffee, and eventually dairy products. Chocolate left me with a severe heartburn. Coffee left me an increased level of anxiousness- cutting it out decreased my anxiety by a measurable amount. And dairy foods made me sleepy- to the point that it was a miniature nasty fatigue day. My Withdrawal Problems: 1) Anxiety 2) Depression 3) Nasty Fatigue Days 4) General Fatigue 5) Cortisol Spikes 6) Mood Swings So- what was it like for me? Hell. I cannot put it any other way- It was Hell- it was the absolute WORST thing I’ve ever had to endure. Anxiety- A general fear that dogged me constantly- from the numerous times I woke up in the middle of the night, dealing with it’s intensity during the day- and then trying to cope with my existence after work and not being too terrible an Ogre to my wife, daughter, friends, and house cats. The fear had grown, to where everything wasn’t worth it. I couldn’t even read a novel- because of fear that the fictional characters were going to encounter hardship. And the boredom, despite the almost constant anxiety waves, I was bored out of my mind. Every hour felt like a day. Every night when I couldn’t fall asleep long enough to catch rest- I stared at the ceiling and tried to get my racing heart to calm down- for hours. Ironically enough- the first few hours of most nights I could sleep- until I started to dream. And when I started to dream- the Cortisol Spikes started up. But dreams are the time when you need the rest the most. Depression- will come back with a vengeance since you don’t have a pill to push it away anymore. So you must fight it. Depression is the Enemy. Depression- Lies. It will do its utmost to deny you reality. It will tell you that it’s not worth trying. But it’s all lies. Because it IS worth it, life is worth it. It’s all worth the trouble. During the early withdrawal phase- I often thought of steering my car into a tree, but I had to fight those thoughts, what I came up with: That driving into a tree was no guarantee of the release I sought. That in fact (knowing my luck) I’d be horribly injured, out of a truck, left with a massive amount of bills to pay with no way of paying for them- and lose my house, my job, and most importantly- the medical insurance my daughter needs to survive on. I refused to let myself end that way – that would’ve been a coward’s way out. In fact- just about anything and everything depression tells you isn’t ‘worth it’: IS. Try to remember this: If depression tells you it ain’t worth it- then you know it is. Nasty Fatigue- That was something I used to get on a regular basis- every two weeks or so during my early days. A depression so extreme that it was torture to get out of bed, and all I could manage was to lie around utterly depressed with existence and stare at the wall in complete and utter despair- for hours, often days. It was an effort to get up and go to the bathroom. I would eat- but only at the behest of my wife, and even then I could only manage a half sandwich- a day. Like so many other symptoms- it’s gone, but it took a while for it to go away. It didn’t so much stop as it melted away. In the depths of it- I would sleep. But it wasn’t in the least restful sleep. And the only way out of it that I could find- was to fight it. I forced myself to get up and stay awake. Words fail me- I simply do not have the words necessary to convey how difficult it was. It was stubborn- I had to out stubborn it. General Fatigue- everything was hard. I had no energy. I went so far as to have my Thyroid hormones checked. ALL of them, not just the usual ones the docs usually pawn off onto you as being ‘comprehensive’ when it’s not. But even that checked out fine. So in the end- no matter how awful I felt about it- I just forced myself to do things. Eventually, my body stopped fighting me so vigorously – and gave in. It was an uphill battle. Cortisol Spikes- During my Benzo withdrawal- I got to enjoy waking up in the middle of the night at FULL ALERT! Often- many times a night. Every time I dreamed- I woke up in a panic. Naturally- this ended up with me not having a decent night’s sleep- so I tried to compensate by increasing my napping. That didn’t work- because invariably I’d wake up after a second or two with still MORE anxiety from another Cortisol Spike. It took me over a year before I could nap again. Alas, I still have a bit of a phobia against naps now. Eventually the Cortisol Spikes increased to the point that I simply wasn’t getting sufficient rest. And in fact I broke down several times at work in hysterics- from sleep deprivation. Most, yet not all, were when no one else was around. Mood Swings- Self Pity- was the biggest one. Which often segued into Furious Rage at the seemingly endless hours of unending mental and physical torture. So how did I endure all of this withdrawal crap? By getting my Neurotransmitter Symphony working again; and how did I do that? Read on. Windows/Waves. I too got the Waves and Windows that just about everyone gets. But along the way I learned of ways to extend the Windows, and shorten the Waves. Full Spectrum Light/Sunlight- I got a window or two even during the beginning. But they didn’t occur often enough- or for that matter long enough- I’d get a few hours once a month- maybe. But there was one thing that initiated my first several day long window: A Verilux Full Spectrum light. It helped pull me out of the winter blahs and the crippling depression that came from decreased sunlight. Now though I never had another several day window start up because of it-even so it has helped in the subsequent recovery process. I’d recommend one for your own use- but I’d also recommend following the instructions- no more than a few minutes a day at first. Why? Because we’re all photo-phobic during our early withdrawal, and you might end up with a sunburn if you’re not careful. Because you need sunlight to help you get better. Our bodies- crave it. Sunlight sets our Circadian Rhythm- that same rhythm that was thrown out of whack by the pills. It helps us release Serotonin (to wake up) and Melatonin (to fall asleep), both neurotransmitters that help us. And I use mine every day. I’ve got the tan to match. Exercise- During all of my withdrawal- I exercised. For me, in earlier days (prior to my withdrawal) I had obtained and used a small work out gym set that I placed in my garage for weight training. I’m hardly buff, let alone ripped, but it has helped keep me fairly strong. And it made for a nice routine 3x a week. Additionally I had a bicycle I used for aerobic activity 3x a week. 1x a week I just didn’t do either- but even then I did something. Usually I did yard work or went for a walk. The point is- do something, anything. Even if all you can manage is one set of pushups- DO IT! Even that little bit will do you good. Walking- Walking is Good. I preferred to do that every day (weather permitting). Walking in a natural setting- it helps. I’m lucky in that I have a pine forest in which I can skirt. And the body needs that. You NEED to get out of the house. You MUST get out and get some fresh air. You’ll hate it at first, I guarantee it. But nonetheless You NEED to do that, Every-Single-Day. (And exercise is excellent dealing with the excess energy that comes with constant anxiety attacks.) Exercise comes with it’s own built in Happy Ending: The Endorphin rush. You’ll eventually get it, and crave it enough to keep going at it. Why? Because the Endorphins are another form of Neurotransmitters that you need. Amino Acids- Along about the time I started getting hysterical due to lack of sleep I was getting desperate. I was grasping at straws- and that’s when I discovered Taurine. It, along with some magnesium- was as close to a god send for my sleep as the Happy Light was for my depression and fatigue. The first couple of weeks taking Taurine/Magnesium- I was able to turn a corner and started getting something akin to a decent night’s sleep. Not much, but even that little was better than none. Nowadays- I still get the occasional middle of the night wakefulness from a Cortisol Spike- but it’s usually after a long stretch of dreaming. And with that success- I started researching into other aminos and eventually settled upon: Tyrosine, Taurine, and Theonine. They all had one thing in common. They were/are Neurotransmitter Pre-cursors. And what is a Neurotransmitter Precursor? It’s something the body can take and create a Neurotransmitter with. Now backing up a bit- what I learned at Benzobuddies- was that our brains and bodies- are inherently Lazy. Our bodies produce a Neurotransmitter called GABA. It’s used by the brain to calm things down. When we use a Benzo- the body adapts to it and stops producing GABA. That would be one thing. But our bodies are fiendish in that after we’ve gotten used to the pill- we develop ‘tolerance’- which is to say- that the pills stop working. The tolerance is when our bodies chose to stop producing the neurotransmitter we were augmenting/replacing with by using a pill. Thus if we stop using the benzo - what little defense we have against overstimulation- isn’t there in the quantities that it was prior to the pill use. This end result creates the waves and windows we all get to ‘enjoy’ during withdrawal. Our bodies still produce the needed neurotransmitters- just not often enough or in large enough quantities. And every now and again- for I’ve no idea reasons why- for a few hours or days our bodies produce just what level of them we need to feel OK. Those are the windows. But they don’t last- and the Waves of symptoms start up again. It’s the same thing with anti-depressants. The pills cause us to stop producing enough Serotonin or Dopamine (depending on what you’ve been prescribed). So what the hell are we supposed to do when we go off the pills? We need those neurotransmitters- yet we don’t produce enough of them anymore. Taking straight neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, or GABA, is counter-productive, when what we need is to get our bodies to produce them again. So after a suitable amount of self-research- I settled on the Amino Acids that are neurotransmitter precursors. Tyrosine is used by the body to create: Dopamine. Theanine is used by the body to create: Serotonin. And Taurine is used by the body to create GABA. And the nice thing is that you won’t overdose on them. Your body will use them to make ‘just enough’. The aminos helped me immensely. They didn’t cure the problem, but they took a LOT off of the rough edges and made my recovery- tolerable. It’s gotten to the point that my body does produce the necessary neurotransmitters on it’s own- that I’ve started tapering off of the aminos I’ve been taking. And on a couple of days- I’ve forgotten to take them without noticing that I hadn’t. Meditation- During all of this- I meditated when I could. Invariably during such meditations- I fell asleep. But even that helped in its own way. It helped me learn how to suppress in a small way the anxiety that did occur- a bit of biofeedback that helped me learn to calm down and distract myself. The suppression techniques still come in handy even now on day 600, and I imagine that they’ll still be doing me good for years to come. Though in the early days I often just wrapped myself in a heavy comforter, turned on the room fan, and stared off into space for hours while sitting on the bed in the middle of the night, and I’d do the same on the weekends both during the day and night. Hobbies- Do something you enjoy- or did. Go back to it. Even if it’s a mighty burden, sit yourself down and work on your hobby. Even if it takes you an hour- to do something that you have done in seconds before- do it. Eventually- you’ll remember the fun that you had with it before. You’ll notice that by immersing yourself into it- you can ignore the pain for a bit. Naturally you’ll look forward to doing it again. Me? I work on spaceship models. And from what I’ve learned- by taking the time to do even 5 minutes a day, and doing it slow- I do a much better job on them now. See- I learned something. Internet- I spent many an hour researching these conditions that fell into my lap. Such research led me to Benzo Buddies and Surviving Antidepressants. But it also made me appreciate how wonderful that the internet can be when it comes to distracting myself from my pain. I read somewhere that we all get a dose of Dopamine when we open another interesting page on the net. Hey- whatever works. Online games- such as Lumosity- give me something to gauge my progress in such things as fine motor skills, memory skills, and Hand/Eye coordination- all of which has suffered during the worst of my withdrawal. Of late- I’ve been trying the stuff I had to cut out: Chocolate, Coffee, Dairy foods. I’m back to eating those things again, and in fact it does make feel better to be able to do so. Chocolate makes me feel good after eating a bit. Coffee makes me feel good after drinking it. I had my first slice of pizza just the other day- it felt good after eating it. (I imagine that if I eat too much of the above I won’t be feeling quite so good- after seeing what my bathroom scale has to say!) Motivation- It’s what kept me going. What kept me going? My Wife, My Daughter- they are what kept me going. (And my Mom- she made me promise to keep going too). (No Dad though- that’s another story) I was needed - my family needed me. It wasn’t much. But sometimes that was the only thing that kept me going- was the thought that they needed me. I cannot remember how many times I woke up just as it was time to get up- and simply didn’t want to keep going anymore. I didn’t want to face yet another day of constant anxiety or fear. But I got up and did it anyways. Snuggles with the wife- helped me, the physical touch was something I needed. And Snuggles releases a neurotransmitter- Oxytocin. And there were some phrases that helped motivate me through many a hard day- and they’re still something I occasionally have to fall back on when things get tough mentally: 1) Be Here Now 2) Accept 3) Pain is Mandatory- Suffering is Optional These three phrases tie in with each other. #1 Be Here Now; is the motivation that you are only in the now- and for you to not fixate upon the timeline of your withdrawal. The past is done, the future will come, but it’s best to focus on the immediate now and what you can do with it. #2 is about the immediate now- refusing to accept what’s going on in withdrawal will just make it worse. By Accepting that this is the way things are- you actually gain a sort of control over it all # 3- There is the Pain of Withdrawal- you can find ways to cope with the pain. Suffering is what comes about when you refuse to accept what is. You can choose to not be the person subjected to an endless misery of withdrawal. Yes I was in Withdrawal- but I choose to be more than a person in withdrawal- I chose instead to try and enjoy life as much as I could in between the wave crests. In both my benzo and antidepressant withdrawal blogs- I griped something fierce about it all. For that I make no apology. For I also chose to try and grab onto whatever little pleasures and triumphs I could garner when I was able to. Nature- There’s something about the forest, or even alone time next to a lake that helped me to calm down after a particularly grueling week or day. I got a few spiritual moments from the interplay of light in the clouds along with the wind in the leaves. Those few moments came at a time that I needed them. Music- I remember reading in a Science Magazine- that Music gets just about every area in the brain running. And that’s something that you need. The pills make our brains ‘soft’, music helps reboot it, it’ll evoke memories both good and bad. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh. And that’s what you need to do to get your neurotransmitters kicking in again. Beans- So what’s the big to do about beans? Gastrointestinal Health is paramount. Even though all of the other stuff I’ve listed above helped- I’ve also still had a number of problems involving Cortisol Spikes, the one thing that helped me well with that (after the Taurine) were Beans. I’ve found that the addition of a couple of tablespoons worth of Black Beans with dinner- seemed to lessen the number and frequency of Cortisol Spikes. I’m not exactly sure why this happens- though I have my suspicions. From what I understand- they’re a good source of something called Oligosaccharides. I learned about them after watching a documentary about Human Breast Milk. Apparently- Human Breast Milks’ primary ingredients include: 1) Water, 2) Fats, 3) Proteins, and 4) Oligosaccharides. So what are they? They’re a form of sugar that humans cannot digest. Now why on earth would humans produce something that babies cannot digest? Apparently the oligosaccharides are digested by a form of bacteria in the human gut- Beneficial Bacteria. The kind of bacteria that not only promotes our health in our guts but also helps us from - amongst other things- getting depressed. Long story short- Beans help you calm down and helps to prevent you from getting depression. Weird huh? Orgasms- Orgasms make you feel better. Orgasms release several feel good neurotransmitters. If you can- go for it. Hitachi wands are helpful in that regard for some folks. What’s it like for me now? I still get depressive. I still have bad days. But I’m also having good days. I’m enjoying life again. My hobbies are fun again. I’m spending time with my wife enjoying the amenities that my house and internet has to offer. (Netflix!) I’m honestly laughing again. For the longest time I forced myself to. After a while- I was able to give an honest laugh. That was a relief. Laughing- makes me feel better. Now- I can laugh spontaneously. Laughter releases Neurotransmitters. Crying- that too was near impossible for me. Now- I cry every few days. Crying- makes me feel better. I’m not up to crying spontaneously- but I’m working on it. I appreciate the time I have with my wife. I appreciate the time I have with my daughter. These times are so precious to me now. Weight loss- I still get hungry and I’m inclined to overeat if I’m not careful. Somehow I’ve still managed to lose about three pants sizes. I’ve still a ways to go, but such is a nice feeling. On the antidepressants- even mild hunger felt like I starving to death. In fact, there were times that I kept shoving food down my throat despite being so full that I was vomiting out food- but I was still famished- I couldn't achieve satiation. Now- it’s not. It’s bearable. I feel hunger, and it’s easily satisfied. I’ve lost a lot of my health due to trusting the medical doctors. I now am short one gall bladder- due to the gastrointestinal upsets my body underwent from the initial cold turkey. It was a journey of discovery for me when I found out that so many medical doctors- just don’t give a damn about folks’ suffering. Compassion Fatigue it’s called. My antidepressants- also caused me to react to allergens even more violently- I now need a CPAP to breathe at night- due to an Emergency Room visit in which some idiot botched my intubation during a visit due to a food impaction in my esophagus caused by a food allergy. During that little escapade they also managed to pierce my esophagus and I came close to needing a transfusion. And it managed to screw up my trachea too, Joy. For some reason- I find I cannot trust the Medicos as much as I did before. Why should I? They give us pills when they know they shouldn’t. During my withdrawal- I ended up going to the ER at least 6 or 7 times for things. On 5 of those visits- they gave me a scrip for Oxycodone tablets. Only two of which I put in for at the time. The other 3 I just tore up and threw away. And of those I kept- I used maybe a half dozen tablets- the rest of the contents of the bottles- I threw away. Day 600. March 11, 2017. 4 months shy of my two year mark. That’s the two year mark after tapering off of my antidepressant. That’s not including the time I spent from going cold turkey to now. Let’s see, including that turns out to be: 1048 days. Nasty. I’ve lost nearly 2 decades of my life to this crap. Thanks for nothing there Mr. Hippocratic Oath. And I’ve found that I’ve been having an issue with a short temper quite often of late. It could be a form of PTSD, it could be part of my personality that I’ve always had but never learned to control or channel. If so- then it’s past time for me to learn some anger/frustration management techniques. Which I'm doing now. Now, I'm having to relearn how to be a mature and responsible adult. It's an interesting time.
  18. It’s time for me to write this. I’ve wanted to write it for a while and have often come close in the last few months, only to be hit with another short 1-2 day long wave. It’s been 2.5 years since I took my last dose of Sertraline and I am happy to say that after 2 years of horrible insomnia and the plethora of other physical and emotional WD symptoms we have to endure, I’ve slept well for 3 months straight and aside from minor tremors, tingling hands and what I can only describe as moderate nerve pain in my head 1 hour before bed and 1 hour after waking I feel pretty normal. I smile, I laugh, I cry. I enjoy the moment instead of living in an anxious world wondering if I will ever feel normal again. My story starts in early 2016. After a normal and happy life, I had a number of significant life challenges thrown at me in a very short period. I became anxious about my health and issues in work and sleep started to elude me. Eventually I became anxious about my sleep and we all know that makes sleep worse. Somehow I managed to keep going for 6 months on virtually no sleep before I blew a fuse and ended up off work, in bed with a prescription for Zoloft/Sertraline. I still remember my first dose. It made me feel much worse and made me not sleep at all. I was back at the doctor 2 or 3 times saying that this couldn’t be right and wondering if I’d ever sleep again. After about a month, the side effects subsided and sleep resumed, though I still felt very tired all the time and would often need a time out during the day and in the evening I would just curl up in a chair as talking to people, even my family, was too much for me. This went on for 2 years with some, but limited improvement. I was really questioning why I still felt so tired? Was it the Sertraline, was it that I was still in the job which had been part of the cause of my condition or had not sleeping for so long damaged my brain permanently? I had to do something and the smartest place to start seemed to be to stop the Sertraline. I didn’t like feeling reliant on a drug anyway and 2 years had passed and my sleep was good. At the time I was on 25mg and had been for several months. My GP said at that small of a dose it probably wasn’t doing anything anyway and was just a placebo and that I could just stop taking it. I ended up splitting tablets with my nails ‘roughly’ into quarters and had a couple of weeks at 12.5mg, then went to zero on November 1st 2018, so that I would be over the alleged 2 weeks ‘self limiting’ withdrawal effects well before Christmas. I remember immediately feeling sharper. The emotional numbing effect of the drug had gone and I felt great for a week. Perhaps this was my new beginning. Then about 1 week after stopping I had my first brain zap. I remember it well. I was driving and I felt something building in my head, right in the middle of my brain. The jolt was so strong I remember it to this day. It scared me. I didn’t know at the time but I was to have brain zaps, ripples & electric waves in my head for almost 2 years. My WD symptoms got worse over the first year. First was the insomnia. I hated that that had returned and considered going back on the Sertraline, but I chose to persevere. Then the nausea and fatigue got worse. I was excusing myself from social events and having tactical timeouts in advance of important events. My work suffered and I started being managed out of my job. What was going on? It was about this time that my wife discovered this website and I started reading stories and realised what was happening. I searched the recovery stories to figure out if I would recover and how long it would take. I’m sure we all have done that. My initial hope was 12-18 months. At 9 months post zero I left my job. For a month I felt reasonably OK but at 10 months I started feeling worse and worse. By month 12 I was bedridden, sweating, nauseous and emotionally very low. I’d get 1-5 day windows but waves lasted weeks. The worst one was around 10 weeks long at around 15 months post zero. I’d say my symptoms changed over time. Initially they were fatigue and nausea, this moved to sweating and tingling, then emotional with many flashbacks and much self-criticism and finally more nervous with tremors, shakes and voice loss. Tinnitus and Insomnia were present throughout, especially waking in the middle of the night for 2-3 hours. At 18 months things started to improve. My wife saw me laugh for the first time in ages, my kids said I was better company, I remember being able to cry again, I stopped being so self-absorbed and started being interested in others and the surroundings. At 2 years I started working again. That was tough, but over 3 months I got back to being able to work a full week. At 27 months I stopped taking Sleep aids and I’ve now gone over 100 days with good sleep. It’s now 30 months and the only thing I get is the odd tremor and head pain an hour before bed and an hour after waking. I can manage that and know it goes in an hour or so, though I suspect it may be a while. My tips are the same as everyone else’s: Be kind to yourself Accept your situation, stop looking for answers There’s no magic cure with diet, supplements or re-instatement Walk a lot Appreciate those who support you Finally a big thank you to all those who have provided help to me through chats on this forum or privately, to the administrators and to Alto for creating this forum back in the day. I wish you all patience and success in your WD journeys. ADMIN NOTE DaBro's Introductions topic is here: ?>
  19. JJCC

    JJCC

    hi i really want to type a good intro except tbh i've reached my lifetime limit of psychiatric and therapy intake sessions and i'm struggling to see this intro post as something different... communication in general is extremely exhausting for me and i really just want to ask a question about electrolyte balance... so i'll just vomit a list of random stuff into this text box: i am in my 40s, male, diagnosed conditions are tourette's (vocal mild, motor severe), add-i (extremely severe), chronic major depression, kinesthetic synesthesia -- all conditions have been present since early childhood and have remained mostly unchanged. i am also prone to migraines and seasonal vertigo (the latter gets milder with age), and debilitatingly ticklish (which might be relevant because i think it's linked to why i experience certain drug side effects). i'm in relatively good physical health otherwise. i take 30mg adderall xr daily + 5mg adderal ir 7 hours later (50mg mydayis is ideal but insurance does not cover) and am satisfied with that as it greatly improves my quality of life. the 30+5 schedule was the result of a lot of careful tuning. i am stopping 225 mg effexor xr. i have poor cyp2d6 function but did not receive that test until well after starting effexor. the only other medication i take is pepcid for reflux. i smoke approx. 2 packs every 3 days. i do not do any other drugs. i do not smoke marijuana, i have never used cocaine, and i rarely drink these days. the only other drugs i have ever done were psychedelics, and it has been a few decades. i do not like antidepressants but every few years i'll go on a run for a few years, always as a last resort. i used to prefer zoloft but about 4 years ago i tried effexor instead because zoloft caused too much general apathy. i chose effexor because my mother takes it and i figured if it works for her (although now i'm not sure if it does) then might as well. i have tried other antidepressants; but side effects were always unmanageable: i tend to get hit with all of the rare sexual side effects for any given drug, and every single motor control side effect imaginable, for some reason, and they never go away until stopping the drug. for effexor, though, the only real physical side-effect that never went away was excessive sweating. generally speaking it takes me about 72 hours to stabilize after an effexor dose increase. also, on missed dose, i will start to feel it within about 12 hours (just a feeling of strangeness + vivid dreams), and after almost precisely 36 hours i'll suddenly get hit hard with balance issues, slurred speech, brain zaps, and become prone to cataplexy attacks (the cataplexy triggers are repeatable, consistent, and hilariously specific - let's just say that if you tell me a good joke or give me great news then touch my feet i'll just completely deactivate like a scruffed cat, haha - very weird experience). incidentally, depakote virtually eliminates a lot of the motor control withdrawal side effects (quickly, too, within an hour or two). however i do not take this and will not start. i discovered this after i experienced my first missed dose cataplexy attack but we didn't know what it was at the time and my psychiatrist, fearing a TIA, put me on depakote as anti-seizure protection for a few days until i could get to a neurologist to identify what happened. i won't get into why i want to stop effexor except to say that i think it's causing more problems than it's solving, my career in particular is at high risk right now, and also this 4-5 year run is my longest on antidepressants and i'm not comfortable with that. also i'm starting to realize that it seems to be doing something weird to my emotions (hard to explain so i wont unless asked)... and i've noticed a huge increase in my tendency to dissociatively respond to stress. because of enzyme function test results, a few months ago i considered getting desvenlafaxine level lab tests then switching to a roughly equivalent dose of pristiq. but i just decided to stop entirely instead. i stopped kind of cold turkey about 2 weeks ago. the timing was because my psychiatrist is on maternity leave, i was running low on effexor (150 + 75 = 225), and tbh i just didn't really feel like calling the substitute psychiatrist. so i dropped the 75's and took 150mg for a few days until i ran out of those two, then i just stopped. that was about... a week-ish ago. it's been hell since, but... i seem to be slowly but surely crawling back into reality. my gut feeling is that i'll get through the withdrawal ok eventually, but my fingers are solidly crossed. i'm not concerned about long term withdrawal syndrome at this time but get back to me in a couple weeks on that. i've been emotionally and physically all over the place since stopping but i just assume it's par for the course. but i'm also experiencing a lot of overwhelming anxiety that i think might be 4 years of effexor-suppressed stress all coming out at once, if that makes sense (like, real life things that i should've been concerned with but wasn't, and now suddenly they're all hitting me). i seem to at least have gotten through the suicidal depression part of the withdrawal. there were about 3 mercilessly bleak days that basically consisted of me determining that the only logical solutions to the remaining mysteries of quantum mechanics were solidly in the realm of profound nihilism and that i was an illusion. the only thing that got me through it was the fact that my cat loves the absolute crap out of me; so making her purr was my sole reason for existing last week, haha (which really, isn't much of a change from normal now that i think about it). sooo... that's my intro but like i said i really just want to ask about maintaining electrolyte balance because effexor withdrawal, dehydration, and *over*-hydration all have exactly the same set of symptoms and since stopping every single fluid in my body is taking every opportunity to come out of every possible hole it has access to, plus some. also i have questions about venlafaxine vs desvenlafaxine pharmacokinetics, mostly out of curiosity. i've had no luck with my own research because "venlafaxine" and "desvenlafaxine" are used interchangeably in a lot of lower quality information sources but there is enough of those that it just completely pollutes search results. i'm not actually sure how to ask a question cause all the "new post" buttons are disabled except for in this forum. so i'm just assuming i have to type this intro to get that privilege. in any case thanks for making this site and i really do hope that everybody here is able to get through whatever they're going through right now because this stuff sucks no matter how mild or severe it is. j ps generally poor sense of time + overall lack of structured life + confusion of the last few days + logistically complicated real life events = don't trust the precision of "2 or 3 days" above, i'm actually not entirely sure when my last dose of effexor was i'd have to work backwards to figure it out. but i'm pretty sure this has all happened in the last 2 weeks. overall though my state has been best described as "utter confusion".
  20. Hello all, I am currently undergoing Escitalopram withdrawal. My journey with ADs began in my 20’s. Even though I was a moody teenager that experienced depression, I was able to manage my symptoms until I reached my college years. Because of experimenting with MDMA (terrible mistake), I landed in a deep depression and was put on Zoloft in late 2018. I didn’t like how it made me feel and discontinued it for a few months. I was put on Escitalopram 10mg in April 2019 and I took it fully until January 2022 (~2 years 8 months). I began tapering in January 2022 and ended by February 2022. I felt fine (or so I thought!) until May when I began birth control that brought on depression and anxiety. I think the hormones triggered my sensitive CNS. I stopped the birth control in late June as soon as I realized it was big source the feelings and began feeling better - I felt a window of hope for two weeks in early July 2022. However, I later made the mistake of thinking I was recovered and drank wine two days in a row. This caused a crazy spike in anxiety the following morning. (Through this wonderful site, I now realize that is mistake and will now stay away from alcohol). That same July morning I had a tough conversation with my partner where he expressed his sadness at seeing me so emotionally distraught for months on end. For his sake and mine, I wanted to be better so badly — I spoke to a telehealth nurse practitioner and got a prescription for 5mg lexapro. Despite being AD free for 5 months, I took it in desperation. I quickly realized I made a mistake and I didn’t want to reinstate antidepressants. I only took that one dose of 5mg. When I took it I felt my anxiety lift slightly and was ok, but the following day I felt extreme morning fatigue, some nausea and anxiety again. It’s now been a week since the 5mg dose: my head hurts, I’m tired, and I feel anxious/sad. I’m catastrophizing everything. I’m worried I undid all the progress I made because of that one 5mg pill. Do you think I am kindled due to the brief reinstatement or is this a continuation of the withdrawal? I am concerned that my recovery may be prolonged due to the reinstatement mistake but I’m hopeful. All I can do is hope to heal by continuing exercise, going to therapy, and abstaining from alcohol. Thank you all for the work you do here. You’re amazing people.
  21. Hello, I am posting for my husband and I am new to the site and I am not too god at figuring out websites. If I am posting this wrong or in the wrong spot please let me know. My husband has dealt with depression for many years and went on antidepressants about 17 years ago. He started tapering off of Sertraline 100 mg 2 years ago he did it slowly we thought but just found out not slowly enough. It took him over a year to get off of it and he was off for 6 months completely when he couldn’t take the anxiety symptoms anymore. He can barely eat, sleep, or work. He’s lost 30 pounds and he is thin to begin with. This June he started taking Xanax 0.5 mg 3 times a day and Hydroxine 50 mg at night for sleep. This did not help much. As of July he has started ketamine treatments (3 so far but 2 of them seemed to intensify the anxiety) and he just returned to the Sertraline at 50 mg about a week ago. He’s never been very anxious before only depressed. We couldn’t understand why he was having these new symptoms. I just learned from a worker at a local natural health store when I was shopping for cbd oil that these symptoms are likely from being on the antidepressants for so many years and coming off too quickly. He told me the ketamine and going back on the medicine won’t work. I literally left the store in tears. At this point I just want him to find relief. My husband is suffering so much and has been for two years since he started tapering. It’s only gotten worse over time and I don’t know how to help him. It is so difficult to watch someone you love suffer. I am grateful for this site and would appreciate any advice on how to proceed. I honestly don’t know what we should do next. Do we keep going with the Ketamine? What does should he be on for the Sertraline? I don’t know where to begin to get him back to a normal life. Thank you in advance.
  22. The signature shows how short of a time I was on Sertraline. I only went to the doctor because I was feeling a bit fatigued from life and within 5 minutes I was leaving with a prescription for Sertraline (Zoloft). From the very first pill I took, I could tell that it was doing nothing but damaging my brain and body. The sad part is that everyone, including doctors and the internet, tell you that it gets so much better with time and to just ride it out. I felt spacy and anxious, like I couldn't breath the entire time I was on the "medicine." It got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore and I just tapered off quick. The doctor I went to said that I wasn't on the drug for very long so I could just half the pills for a few days and stop taking it. Its been about 7 weeks off of the drug and I can say the only thing that brings me here is the depersonalization/ derealization that is not going away. I can't even tell if it is getting any better in the slightest. I wouldn't have any anxiety or depression if the dpdr wasn't so debilitating. I haven't been able to work since the day I took my first dose of the poison and am afraid I will never be able to find myself again. Honestly the suicidal thoughts and depression brought about by the thought of having to live like this forever are overwhelming. From what I've read you all are going to try to tell me to reinstate the drug but to be honest, I'd rather eat glass than ever take another ssri or other psych med again. I've talked to a psychiatrist and she prescribed me olanzapine ( I never took it) and then she prescribed me abilify (never took it either). I decided to start talking to a therapist and doing emdr therapy to try to lessen the stress of the whole situation and so far have only done one session. All in all, I'm just trying to get some input from the community about how this might get a little better. From what I've seen very little people on here have stories about recovering from sertraline.... It's almost like it should never be given to anyone. I haven't been able to find anything about how long the dpdr will last or if it will ever get better. I feel like I have lost who I am. My eyes feel like they are permanently damaged from the drug. I have a very hard time focusing on anything and when I do I still feel like what I am seeing isn't real. Do your eyes ever recover from sertraline?
  23. 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.
  24. Healingcontinues

    Healingcontinues

    Drug history: zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper) lexapro 5mg September 2021-October 2021 (adverse reaction) I was originally put on medication by a psychiatrist for chronic fatigue, however, over the years I developed anxiety and panic attacks which I had never experienced before and I thought the medication could be to blame. I followed poor tapering advice from a doctor. After several months of horrible symptoms I was told I was ‘relapsing’ for a mental health condition I never had but reacted badly before luckily discovering SA. Current symptoms: anxiety, test tightness, insomnia/sleep problems, fatigue, brain for, visual snow, gut issues Symptoms that have improved: panic attacks, akathisia, tachycardia, tremors, fainting, weight loss, muscle twitches, SI, pain over entire body, terribly itchy rashes Supplements: Magnesium Glycinate, melatonin 0.3mg
  25. Dear SA I took my last dose of Sertraline/Zoloft on the 23rd of May 2022 having started taking it approximately the same month in 2019. Having only just recently joined SA I now know that going from 50mg a day to 0mg a day in 24 hours was a bad idea! The WD symptoms have been severe. I wont list them all here as I'm sure most of you will be familiar with them. However as of the beginning of July while the other WD symptoms have subsided I'm still having paresthesia (all over body hot and cold pins and needles), muscle pain, joint pain and a burning sensations in my arms, in particular my hands. I had a blood test from my GP which came back looking fine (GP said that some of my measures were 'excellent'). But I live in a constant state of fear that these are not WD but something more serious and terminal (anxious much?) I quite like myself not on AD's, I feel like my old self before all my problems started years ago but I have been making active plans to start taking an AD called Duloxetine (SSNI) only in very small 5mg doses (daily minimum is 30mg). I'm considering going back onto anti-depressants just to find some relief from the WD. The GP gave me a prescription for Duloxetine at my last appointment but I have yet to take it. I feel like what I need is a point in time in the future to aim at that I can say 'okay, I need to try a new approach to defeat WD because the others have plateaued' Questions: Will going back on AD at a very small dose of 5mg be enough to remove my current WD symptoms? As in somehow it will 'trick' my nervous system into thinking it has the drug back without becoming an addict again. Does that make sense? Does anyone else have the same experience of having lingering paresthesia long after other symptoms have subsided? Has the amount of time I have been WD even that long by comparison. Thank you in advance for any and all commentary
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