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Robko posted a topic in Introductions and updatesI was put on 20mg of Seroxat in May 1996 (directly after two weeks of Valium). I was 19 years old. Prescription was for Panic Disorder, GAD and Mild Depression (although I had never felt depressed and explained that many times over the years to my doctor(s)). As were many, I was told I had a chemical balance which, just like a diabetic needs insulin, I needed seroxat. Since then, I have tried approximately 5 times to come off the medication (with taper of sorts - usually 10mg for a few weeks and then to zero). Each time, the anxiety came back, always with new symptoms (extreme nausea, vertigo, increased anxiety, obsessive dark thoughts). I also developed irrational fears (fear of driving on highways and over bridges, fear of ski lifts, fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of business meetings. In fact, pretty much fear of everything.). Each time I visited a doctor, I was told the same thing: you have a chemical imbalance and need to go back on Seroxat. Sure enough, a single tablet would have me feeling back to “normal” within a matter of hours. I used to joke about it with doctors “wow, what a placebo effect. This should take weeks to work?”. Now I realise I was (probably) in withdrawal. Two years ago, after being in a protracted depression for the best part of 10 years (something I hadn’t realised as it had become my baseline state), I had got myself down to approximately 7mg a day. The reason I was trying to come off was two fold: firstly, my wife and I wanted to start a family and I was concerned about both my fertility and damage to any baby I conceive. Secondly, I had made a huge effort to get fit, was running 40km a week and had dropped from 92kg to 78kg-I’m 178cm. This gave me the confidence that I was in the best physical place to achieve it. Soon after, I suffered what I considered to be a mental breakdown. I was ready to leave my loving wife and had developed a clinical apathy to everything. I became petrified I would commit suicide (I never felt this was realistic but the thought of it gave me panic attacks). Furthermore, I started wondering such thoughts as “will I jump off the balcony whilst sleep walking”. I had been seeing a psychologist for some time but talking about things seemed to make the situation worse. I also started seeing a CBT therapist. I would feel better during a session but on leaving, my mood would severely crash, like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. I knew I was in a bad place. The psychologist recommended me to a psychiatrist who was the most uncaring person I have ever met. How she medically practices, I have no idea. She wasn’t interested in my drug history, offered me barely five minutes of her time, and prescribed 50mg Trittico to be taken before bed. I took it for a few nights but decided that it was not right for me. She then offered me several other kinds of SSRIs. I declined them all and went back to 20mg of Seroxat. However, this time felt different. I was sure that seroxat was nothing more than the placebo (how could you explain the fact I got better after taking a single favor each time I had a “relapse”. As suspected, i had lost belief in the drug, and it did not bring the immediate relief like it had every time previously. I was petrified. To me, this confirmed my worse fears. It had been a placebo all this time, and now, because I was sure it wasn’t going to work, it didn’t. I was a lost case. This created severe anxiety and panic. All I could think was that I had been on a placebo for 20 + years and now I had uncovered this fact, ADs would never work for me again. I was destined to suffer dibilitating anxiety and depression for the rest of my life. Things improved slightly after being back on 20mg for a few weeks. But I was still anxious and depressed, and the mood swings were unbareable. During this time, i had had a medical for my work which showed I had very high cholesterol (7.99 in European measures) and the doctor put me on Crestor. At the time, the cardiologist told me “this is not the first time I have seen somebody at the surgery who has unusually high cholesterol following a long period of exposure to SSRIs”. This was the first time I considered what the meds had been doing to me over the years. My dark moods seemed to get worse during this period of being on Crestor. My cholesterol dropped by 50% in this time, but I could now barely function. I did some research into the link between statins and depression and decided to quit the Crestor cold turkey. My moods improved somewhat (at least I could hold a conversation now). I had also started to suffer from eczema on my arms, forehead and legs (first time in my life). Furthermore, I suffered from a bout of Diverticulitis (the doctor told me the main risk factor was constipaiton) and also blood in the urine (which after every test, scan, x-ray known to man, a cause could not be found). Further research made me realise that not only could all of these problems be linked to seroxat, so could my unexplained depression and mood swings. I made the decision to come off seroxat for good. That was in October of last year. I found a new psychiatrist who was supportive of my decision and recognized the importance of taper. However, he didn’t believe that my problems could be caused by seroxat, and thought taper over a month was perfectly acceptable. By this time, I had been on seroxat 22 years. I decided to taper for longer. I immediately dropped to 10mg per day as this is something that I had down many times throughout the years without too many problems. I would get the usual brain zaps but nothing I couldn’t handle. As I started to reduce mg by mg (1mg per week) using liquid, I could actually feel my constant depressive mood lifting somewhat (perhaps only by 10%, but there was something ). This encouraged me to go on. I sped up towards the end to 1mg per week as I just wanted to be off it. I took my last dose in the second week of January. Since then, I have been going through withdrawal. The first couple of weeks were ok (brain zaps I have suffered since 1996 so they don’t scare me). My general depressive level definitely improved. The hardest part for me was (and still is) the rapid onset of change in mood. One minute I am fine, the next my mood crashes. During every crash, I immediately think “the only reason I feel better is the placebo effect. The depression and anxiety is going to come back and get me”. CBT has helped with this catestrophic thinking and the moods seem to only last for a few hours (rather than days or weeks as previously). Every week, as a whole, I am seeing huge improvements. I have cried a lot (and it feels great). I am starting to look forward to things again. The apathy has lifted by 75%. I had a few days of panic and GAD earlier on that would seem to come out of nowhere. I would just wake up and feel down and have fear. I also started to wake during the night in a panic. But I stayed with it. A few weeks ago, I started waking more often during the night. 3 or 4 times. That developed into full blown insomnia for a few days. Last night, I slept without waking once for the first time in a month. The anxiety is now 75% better. Two days ago, I feel I had my best day for years and years. I am generally excited but scared. Since January, I have dropped from 86kg to 78kg. My skin condition has totally cleared up. What if me feeling better is a coincidence? Or the placebo effect? I have read that it can feel you are through the withdrawal, only for it to come back even harder in the future. How will I cope with that!? Now that I’ve felt well, I don’t want to go back where I was. I currently live in Zurich, Switzerland. I can find almost no support here. No doctor, psychologists, psychiatrist or therapist seems to have any idea about withdrawal. They are all desperate to tell me I have relapsed. I so truly want to believe they are wrong, that this whole thing is a drug induced nightmare, and that I will continue to get better. However, the devil on my shoulder is still there. During any period of weakness, he reminds me that the recovery is all in my head and it’s only a matter of time before I relapse. And so here I am. Hoping to be part of a support group that can help me with my withdrawal and keep me believeing. Even more importantly, I want to help others.
Hi to anyone reading this. I am starting this topic as Morgellons is the reason I was prescribed Risperidone which I now find to be more of a problem due to the taper ahead than the condition itself. I came across Morgellons by accident whilst trying to self diagnose a skin rash which looks like nettle rash on my torso. I had a skin biopsy by Dermatology which took 5 months to come back inconclusive. The whole 5 months worried me stupid. They then took approx 4 months retesting it with the exact same inconclusive results. I kept stumbling across Morgellons, where fibers, crystals, and spheres continuously come out of the skin. I found a website which encouraged people to buy a USB microscope to check their skin. Although I was adamant this was not my problem I thought a microscope might let me find out what was my problem. I ordered one, and was astounded to find the same fibers coming out of my skin! It was a huge shock. Furthermore I learnt that these fibers glow up fluorescently under UV light. I bought a cheap UV torch off eBay for £3. When KT arrived I took it upstairs, turned the lights off and shone it around. What I saw stunned me to the core. Everywhere, everything, carpets, clothing, shoes, literally everything was covered in fluorescing green fibers. Some were also orange, and pink but mostly green. Electrical equipment is saturated as well. It was like a tide of algae! I was able to photograph my findings off the screen. I took them to Dermatology. Again I was shocked when they acknowledged Morgellons, and told me this is both a national, and international problem at the minute, and that nobody knows the cause. They referred me 70 miles away to a Derm well in the know. She tricked me really as she said Risperidone would get it to go. I stupidly took the Risperidone, and kept checking my house, and body with my UV torch but they didn't dissipate. I rang the Deem and asked her if she had just meant the symptoms would go away. She said yes. So I consider myself duped. This stuff was not around in the 80s 90s as the UV lights in clubs/pubs, and even my UV tanning bed would have showed this up. The FBI could not match these fibers with anything on their huge database. I bought all the remedies mentioned on internet sites. I soaked every piece of fabric in the house in borax, salt, baking soda, kleen green. Nothing worked. I started rolling up carpets, bagging clothes, and most of my possessions and sent them to landfill. I was left with only 2 outfits, and a coat, and one pair of shoes to my name. If you do find this anyone please do not do this. I have had to replace many things regardless of the fibers, and most depressingly still haven't afforded new carpet for the stairs. The rest of the house I am keeping the floors as lino as I think its easier to clean but stairs I think need carpet. There are a few theories out there. One is that these fibers are being sprayed from aeroplanes in the sky. The vapour trails we now see in the sky behind planes do not evaporate but stay for hours literally Kriss krossing the skies. This theory sounds quite convincing to me, being s..t on from a great height sounds about right! Other Scientists are finding that it is connected to Lyme's disease. Again, the way Lyme's is spreading these days that wouldn't surprise me. Others say the fibers are self repairing, self replicating nano fibers. This means the fibers multiply! I am sick with this. Not in a describable way either. I am just generally I'll. I've spent my life doing lots of laundry, and I think shaking fabric around a lot has made me breath in a lot. If you fold washing with the sun shining on it you can see the fibers flying everywhere. The tumble dryer is full of them. Others say the cotton is contaminated. Its hard to find the truth. So I just cope with it everywhere there's nothing I can do.