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  1. I just wanted to post my history and recent dosing changes so that people can perhaps get an idea of what is going on. I was polydrugged for several years and my GP took me on and off a couple of SSRI’s CT after being on them for a few of years. I was briefly given benzodiazepines but didn’t stay on them long and stopped them CT. I was taken on and off Mirt^azip^ne which I had some sort of adverse reaction too (CT again). This has all happened since about 2014. I can’t remember exact dates as I didn’t log any of this. So I was put on Se^tral^ne in 2016 ish my dose was quickly raised to 50mg. I had some adverse effects but I was still able to live a semi-functional life. I stayed on this drug the whole time whilst my GP took me on and off the above abruptly ^ So now for the sertra^^ne changes. I did all of these cuts and changes whilst still in adverse reaction and withdrawal from the other meds. I do actually have most of these logged on a note as I started to feel something wasn’t quite right. So here goes: August 2020 Cut and hold from 50mg to 45mg using cheap scale from Amazon. Only waited 3 weeks then did another large cut to 36mg. Waited a month or so this time and went down to 34mg. Waited a month and in November 2020 went down to 32mg. Got a very severe wave of akathisia shortly after this (within weeks). But didn’t listen to my body and continued cutting and on January 2021 I cut to 30mg. Within a month I could not cope it was like all the prior withdrawals from other drugs and these cuts caught up with me so I spoke to my GP who said to updose back to full dose. I was scared to do this so I went back up to 43mg which did help actually once I’d adjusted a little. I was slowly improving and I should have held for much longer there I feel. Then it gets even worse 😖 GP says as last taper failed, to try every other day tapering so I took my dose one day and not the next then I would not take it for 2 days then take it on the third day. As you can probably guess already, this did not work so back up to higher dose of 46mg this time and things felt even less stable at 46mg than they did at 43mg the time before, I guess because I made so many changes and my nervous system was screaming stop? So my GP this year (2022) decides to cut my dose by a tiny amount which sent my nervous system NUTS. I had never reacted that poorly to a decrease ever before! Especially not that small. Then my GP decides to make a further 23% decrease but scrap the every other day taper. I felt absolutely awful on this reduction so attempted to increase my dose but this seemed to not help this time and may have even made me feel worse however I didn’t give it long enough to kick in so it may have just been ongoing severe withdrawals that I attributed to the increase? Before an increase would resolve the severe stuff within days but this time it felt different. So now I’m holding at a reduced dose of 40mg but I am not stabilising in any way. My nervous system is screaming at me every day. What would the advice be here? To go back up and wait to level out? What if that doesn’t work? To hold here for many months until things calm some?
  2. Hello! A quick glance at my signature shows that I have been dancing a reluctant jig with SSRIs for over thirty years. I have continued to battle my low mood and and hopelessness during this time, but with little relief – and certainly not from the SSRIs! Now four months into a complete cessation from any SSRIs I am [of course] going through the mill of WD with my brain struggling to re-establish homeostasis. My personal list of 'goodies' include: Despair, anxiety, anhedonia, depersonalisation, derealisation, constant 'fight-or-flight' response, insomnia. In thirty years (apart from the odd few nights during starting/altering doses of SSRIs) I've never suffered from poor sleep like I am now! So I'm wondering should I re-instate my last drug, Escitalopram (Lexapro) in a small dose (?), and begin to taper the proper way this time – or should I just ride it out? Should I even expect that doing this will correct my sleep pattern? Many thanks for reading.
  3. Hi everyone, I am glad I found this web-site. I did read some of the topics similar to mine, still it seems each case is unique. Thank you for reading my post. I was on 10 mg of Lexapro from July 2017-July 2018 for anxiety and mild depression. Felt good right from the start, no side effects from taking it. From July 2018- June 2020 I was on 5 mg of Lexapro. Felt good too. I started tappering in June 2020 with very little knowledge as I can see now. I was impulsive and wanted to get it over with. So, over the course of the next 3 months ( or little less since I can’t say for sure) I would take 5 mg every second day for a couple of weeks, then 5 mg twice a week for a couple of weeks, and lastly once a week until I stopped August 1st 2020. First 2 weeks after I stopped were emotionally hard since all the fears that I haven’t had before, like losing people I love, to getting dying old in matter of seconds, to just being scared for no reason. Next 2 weeks were physically horrible, from the constant trips to the restroom, nausea, my whole body tingling, chills and just wanting to reap my skin off. I survived it. I must mention that during this time I visited homeopath and was given some kind of remedy that possibly made it worse for me as remedies of this type tend to do. Next 5 weeks has been just mix of everything, with physical sympthoms lessening but also changing. Like my body doesn’t tingle anymore ( hands from time to time) but back of my head feel tight and I feel chill there too. Emotionally, it just seems that I can’t shake off some of the fears I mentioned at the begining of my post and sometimes I think they make my body feel worse. It feels like I am getting better but it feels like micro mini steps. I need to be patient I realise. I am still wondering, do I just continue like this with no drugs OR should I try to go back on a smaller dose then tapper much more slowly??? 10 mg Lexapro from July 2017–July 2018 5 mg Lexapro from July 2018– June 2020 Tappering from June—August with 5 mg August 1st 2020– drug free
  4. Original full topic title before condensing: coming off low-dose Amitriptyline after 8 years, the under-informed way - deeply awful.... not sure what to do now... Hello, I came across this forum thankfully, after looking for info and advice/support for withdrawal from Ami. The rough timeline and history etc are in the signature. It is 4 weeks since my last dose of Ami. I was under-informed by the GP when I first went on it 8 tears ago. He told me something like "it's no big deal, you're on such a low dose (10mg or on occasion 20mg per night for anxiety induced insomnia after a triggered latent trauma episode), you can take it as needed - no worries"...... NO mention of having to stick to a regular every day dose, or the horrific withdrawal effects, or tapering, or long term effects etc... nothing. So, to try to cut a long story as short as I can, without compromising context, here goes: Please use the signature timeline to get the picture of how things have passed. I came off Ami "unconsciously" and only really clocked it when I suddenly had a **** yourself horrendous headache, and a "wave of despair" and "rotten-ness" experience one day, and because I kind of recognised the headache, in particular, as feeling somewhat "chemical" in nature, I thought about it, and then realised that I had not had any Ami in about a week. I had been cutting back on the Ami since end of Dec 2021 into Jan and Feb 2022, as I was concerned about a few "low blood pressure/hypo" type experiences I had been having, and wondered if they may be caused by the Ami. I still don;t know whether this was the case or not, but regardless, I started to cut back on Ami, and miss doses here and there, sometimes taking herbal sleep aids to help with sleep.... I was not paying too much attention to what I was doing with the Ami, as I had the story that it was "no big deal" as mentioned above, from the GP. Of course, I realise now, after having done some research after the event, that this was a disaster waiting to happen. I had "accidentally" gone cold turkey, and also spent 2 months on some kind of hap-hazard detox/retox behaviour. I had been suffering from constant diarrhoea for most of Jan Feb 2022, but put this down to a prolonged bout of IBS, which is something I have had, on and off over the years anyway. Notably though, previously I had always had IBS on the constipation side, rather than the other side. Once I realised that it was likely the Ami, I reinstated at half doses (5mg) straight away, and sure enough the "chemical" savage headache reduced in intensity the next day, by about 60%. I continued like this for about a week. The following week, I reduced the dose to about 2.5mg every other night for about a week. Then I took my last dose on March 5th. Obviously I know now that this was way too quick a taper. I am having a deeply awful experience with severe symptoms. The headaches have been getting a little better over this last month, but are still there daily. I have high anixiety and my guts are absolutely trashed. I have had random weird bruising on my arms, not caused by impacts. These have been fading in the last 2 weeks though. Chronic dry skin and rash on the tops of the shoulders and upper back, maddening itching all over. Chronic fatigue, chest tightness, dry mouth, muscle aches and pains, tingling sensations, restless legs at night sometimes, insomnia, early morning wakefulness, nausea, feeling faint, coughing in the morning, runny nose all day. I'm listing these for completeness, not for a sympathy vote! Just so we have the details and scope. I am trying a few supplements: Zinc NAC and Milk Thistle Activated charcoal Digestive enzymes at mealtimes, plus peppermint oil capsules And a few days ago, I started L-tryptophan 500-750mg with valerian root, at night - don't know whether this is making things worse on the physical side, and the anxiety.... So, I have, at least, a couple of questions please? The pharma companies state "up to 3 weeks" for the withdrawal process to be over? (not that I trust big pharma one bit of course), but it appears lots of us are experiencing effects way beyond 3 weeks? What is the explanation for this discrepancy, and what is a more realistic timeframe for my case? I read about reinstatement, but have not done this, as I was already at 4 weeks with no Ami, once I began educating myself about it. I am reticent to go back on the drugs at this stage, but at the same time, I can;t see myself being able to cope with this level of ill health for weeks more on end..... Should I be considering re-instatement, given what is said about it being "too late" to try this, in that it may not work or even make things worse? I would say the most distressing and intolerable symptoms I am dealing with right now are the body pains/tension/anxiety, and the totally screwed digestion - I have a lot of intense pain in my guts, and this affects sleep also. i dread mealtimes, as I just don;t know whether, in an hour's time I'm going to be totally screwed and in pain. Any advice or comments would be truly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening, Kev
  5. Hi all., I am from South Africa, new to this site and hopeful that I will get advice on continuing my extended Lexapro taper. I have been on an extended Lexapro-taper since Nov 2016. I also have tapered off successfully from multiple other psychiatric medications (including Olanzapine, Clobazam) and I am now on 1.55mg Escitalopram per day (20mg of 10mg tablet weight). I taper using a small digital scale. I am ready to start another taper (10% of previous dose) but I need advice. At some point during my taper process, (Jan 2020) I thought it was a good idea (I know better now) to take my medication for 6 days and skip the 7th day in an effort to taper this way. I was at that time not yet aware of the 10%-guideline of tapering or the effect that skipping a dosage day will have. I have since just kept going with this, meaning, I take my daily dose of Lexapro for 6 days per week, and then I skip the Sunday-dose. I didn't want to change this later since I thought it would result in too much of a change in dosage over time, so I have kept at it since 2020 throughout my tapers. To be clear, I take 1.55mg Escitalopram for Monday until Saturday and then skip the Sunday dose, continuing again on Monday. I am now wondering if I should rather take my dosage for 7 days a week in stead of 6, but then adjusting for the amount that is not taken on the 7th day. Meaning, mathematically, that I would go from 1.55 mg Escitalopram for 6 days, to 1.33mg Escitalopram for 7 days a week, if staying at the same dosage. I hope that I am making sense. If my calculations are correct, then the dosage per week will be the same however I know that a change will bring side-effects, especially since I will be adding a dosage either at the end or the beginning of the week, so I add the adjusted smaller dosage on Sunday and then keep going with that dosage for the rest of the week and eventually everything will stabilise, or I start taking the lowered daily dosage on a Monday, continue with this lowered dosage until Sat and then add the Sunday dosage). I would appreciate any sort of insight in helping me determine how to continue from here. I was planning to start another taper this week, but I am now unsure of whether I should continue with the 6-days a week-dosing or change it to 7 days a week dosing? In making this change I will first stay at my current dosage and wait to stabilise before I undertake another taper. I am very weary of the resultant side-effects that an alteration of my meds will bring but at the same time I am wondering if this will help with future tapers in that it will ease future dosage changes (make them smoother) since I am not skipping a dosage every week. I would appreciate any insight or advice on how I should continue. I am a bit at a loss. Thank you.
  6. Hi everyone, Thank you so much for this forum existing. I’m in a bad way, and hope for connection and advice. Starting out here, all I have to contribute is my own story. Please bear with bad grammar and wording as I’m not a native speaker of English: I’ve taken paroxetine since 2008, 40 mg, then 50 mg since 2017. Few problems until recently. But then many doses missed during 2020, in many instances followed by a night’s vivid dreaming. Decided in Spring 2021 to try and go off, then observed a strict 40 mg a day, with no misses, for many weeks prior to lowering the dose more. Noticed the vivid dreams being around during all that time, but not too disturbing. Then during summer 2021, lowering to 30 mg, then 20, then 10 mg, with perhaps four weeks between each lowering, observing a tapering plan devised by my doctor. Vivid dreaming perhaps increased a bit, generally woke up once nightly. Then in early Sept 2021, doctor put me up on 20 mg again, impressed by my vivid dreaming, also prescribing melatonine. This didn’t change things much. But since I accidentally missed a dose on Oct 1, and then one again on Oct 11, vivid dreaming has increased, making me wake up two or three times a night, causing considerable emotional distress, even keeping me away from work some days. I may have also taken a double dose on Sept 23, accidentally. Have a hard time figuring out what might be going on in my nervous system and what might consequently be the best course of action going from here. I suspect melatonine, now discontinued, might have interacted badly with the paroxetine. But above all, I fear my vivid dreaming has more to do with dose missing (which can’t be undone) than with changing dose size. Going back to 20 mg from 10 didn’t improve things, and now, following October’s melatonine and two missed doses, it’s worse. As it happens, recent months have been stressful to me on the job and elsewhere, and anxiety level is high. But I’m not sure that explains my more frequent awakenings, with rapid heartbeat, at night as well as when I try to take a nap during the day. Maybe they’re due to the anxiety I feel generally over the scarily vivid dreaming that menaces me — if not due to the dreaming itself, which is my spontaneous experience. Tiredness, headache and emotional hangover during the daytime now. I’d be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience with vivid dreaming related to paroxetine dose missing and tapering, who has an idea of what is going on, or might have advice on what to do in this difficult situation.
  7. I am taking sertraline and was told by my doctor to taper off by taking dosage every other day but I am having horrible symptoms.
  8. Hello everyone, I have a long history of antidepressant usage, and with recent events, I figured it was finally time to reach out and get some support. I was diagnosed with OCD and depression when I was 14 years old, and I was prescribed Anafranil by my psychiatrist. I'm now 30, so I've been on the drug for more than half of my life. Throughout those 16 years, my dosage has alternated between 25mg/day and 100mg/day. Over the years I have changed my dosage on numerous occasions to try to find the sweet spot between maximum effectiveness of the drug with as few side effects as possible. Whenever I would switch dosages, I would go through a couple months of feeling relatively normal, and then get hit with some very strange side effects (heart palpitations and muscle spasms). The side effects were very manageable, so I didn't worry too much about switching dosages over the years when I felt that I needed to make a change. Eventually, these strange withdrawal symptoms would fade and go away entirely. The benefits of the drug have been substantial, and after years of adjustments and changes, I finally leveled out at a modest 25mg/day. I never felt quite right on the drug, with constant feelings of fatigue, anhedonia, and general disconnection with the world, but it was much better than the unbearable feelings I had pre-medication, so at the time I was choosing the lesser of two evils. If nothing had changed, there's a good chance I just would have stayed the course for the rest of my life. Fast forward to the summer of 2016. I was having a period of extreme insomnia and stress due to outside factors, and my doctor prescribed Clonazepam. I took this benzo every night for about 3 months. I slept like a baby and felt generally good. In September, I decided that enough was enough, so foolishly I stopped the Clonazepam cold turkey. What followed was a year of absolutely indescribable agony, and months and months of slow recovery, windows/waves, ups and downs, and the biggest struggle of my life. Throughout this time period, I continued taking the same stable dosage of Anafranil (25mg). Healing from the Clonazepam was painfully slow, but I was getting better. Around summer 2018, I was significantly better, but still not healed. In my head, I thought that a 2-year healing period after less than 3 months of use was absolutely crazy, and something else must be wrong. Foolishly, instead of just staying the course and allowing my brain to heal further, I did some research on drug interactions. I found out that withdrawal from psychiatric drugs could be much worse when multiple medications are involved. Reading this, I realized that the reason it was probably taking me so long to heal from the Clonazepam withdrawal was the fact that I was still taking Anafranil. I decided to "slowly" reduce my Anafranil dosage (slowly relative to my previous cuts, not what I should be doing) and I started taking my medication 3 nights out of four (effectively a 25% reduction. Now I realize that this alternating nights method is stupid, and that a 25% cut is huge, but it has worked for me in the past before with minimal side effects, so I didn't think twice). For the first couple months I felt quite good, but then I was hit like a wave with many of my previous clonazepam withdrawal symptoms in late November. (Awful brain fog, delayed mental processing, head pressure, general malaise, huge inexplicable struggle to communicate and socialize naturally). They were nowhere near as bad as when I first stopped the Clonazepam years ago, but it was still emotionally devastating for me to have come so far in my healing and then see such a serious wave after playing with my Anafranil dose. After reading through this sub, I've realized how reckless the alternating nights method is, so I went to a compounding pharmacy and got my medication compounded into 18mg capsules (effectively matching the cumulative dosage of taking 3 25mg pills every 4 days). Right now, my symptoms are still present, although I'm still functional and able to live a relatively normal life. I just find it so strange that for years I was able to alternate my Anafranil dosage with minimal side effects, and doing it this past September has caused such major setbacks. My plan from here on out is to (1) stay away from all benzos at all costs (2) continue taking 18mg of Anafranil every night and wait to stabilize and heal further (3) cut my dosage by 10% once I feel like I've stabilized (4) continue this process until I'm off all medication altogether. I'm not really sure what I'm expecting to get by relaying this story, as at this point I've been through the wringer and realize that the only solution is staying the course, living a healthy lifestyle, and waiting it out. Any Comments, suggestions, or similar stories would be very helpful. I've read stories from people who've struggled with AD withdrawal and Benzo withdrawl separately, but hopefully I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience with both...is it normal for the effects and symptoms of multiple psych drugs to compound like this? How do I determine whether what I'm going through now is a prolonged effect of the benzo cold turkey or the Anafranil reduction? Thanks for your time. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  9. I was prescribed citolopram 23 years ago after the death of my husband. I found they helped greatly with pre-menstrual syndrome so I remained on them for many, many years. Now as I am nearing 60, I thought I and not depressed so why do I need these pills any more? My GP give me the following tapering schedule: 2 weeks alternate 40mg and 30mg per day 2 weeks 30mg every day 2 weeks alternate 30mg and 20mg per day 2 weeks 20 mg per day 2 weeks alternate 20mg and 10mg per day 2 weeks 10mg per day 2 weeks alternate 10mg and 0mg per day Then stop The side effects during this time were mostly lightedness and fatigue. Then after stopping completely I started to feel alot worse and have had the following side effects: disrupted sleep, weird dreams extreme hot flushes headaches anxiety extreme irratibility fatigue flu like symtoms, body aches It has now been 2 weeks since I have stopped, so I hope I will start to feel better from now on.
  10. I am at the point right now that I can’t handle the severe withdrawal symptoms anymore. I have been trying to get off Effexor XR since October of 2019. I was at 225 mg. I have been on it since around 2004. I slowly weaned down and was at 37. 5 mg at Christmas. I got bad withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, exhaustion, headaches, flu symptoms, brain zaps etc. ) each time I reduced the dose but they subsided after a week or two. However, weaning off 37.5 mg has been extremely bad. I slowly extended the time between doses, at my psychiatrist’s advice. I first did this by hours and maintained it for a week or 2 and then began skipping days. By day 4 the withdrawal was so terrible. Almost falling over with dizziness, extreme exhaustion, nausea, flu symptoms, severe muscle aches and muscle heaviness, headaches, brain fog, body prickles, brain zaps, severe chills, extreme irritability and anxiety and more). I pushed myself to 11 days without. I saw my psychiatrist and he said just push through it and wouldn’t suggest anything else. He doesn’t want to prescribe another medication. It didn’t seem like he took my symptoms seriously. I have made it for 15 days but am at the absolute end of my rope. I had to take days off work and the days I have worked have been so hard and literally I am not able to function after work. My anxiety is worsening and I am getting paranoid and negative thoughts that are hard to stop. My chest is in pain due to anxiety. I ink straight. This website came up in my search. Please help. I briefly read that I could break open my capsule and reduce that way. I don’t know if I should just endure or take a capsule and reduce from there by counting beads.
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