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  1. Hi guys, sorry this may be a long post, I think it is okay to share my story on this. I am 21 years old, a college student about to graduate, and I have been on an SSRI for about 5 years now. I was diagnosed with ADHD and GAD when I was about 12, I have always been somewhat anxious and had issues with regulating my emotions. In 2013 my girlfriend broke up with me and I was really sad and feeling hopeless. After a few months of being down and also anxious, my doctor (pediatrician) decided to put me on 5mg of Lexapro. The Lexapro seemed to help (I think?) and I recovered somewhat quickly. Over the next few years, however, my doctor fluctuated my dosage quite a bit. I would get anxious, he would up my dosage, and then I would become a zombie and he would lower it. It did seem to blunt my emotions on a high dose. Other than that it was fine. However, the summer after my freshman college, I became extremely anxious and had an existential crisis, prompting my doctor to change me over to Zoloft and Trazodone. When starting Zoloft, I took 50mg and worked up to 100mg. It possibly helped my anxiety but my emotions became blunted again (or maybe it was depression?). I did not feel hopeless or sad, but I kind of lost the ability to have pleasure over simple things. After going through a hard time on Zoloft and Trazodone feeling empty and dull, my doctor and I decided to taper off to see if that would help. Every time I tapered, we would allow three weeks to go by to see if it helped. I went from 100mg to 75mg to 50mg to 25mg and eventually to nothing. Every time I lowered, I felt a little more in touch with my emotions. With the Trazodone, I stopped cold turkey on a dose of 50mg. When I went completely off of the Zoloft and Trazodone, I started having crying episodes, brain zaps, insomnia, anxiety, occasional anhedonia/brain fog, and severe social anxiety. After a month or two, all of these symptoms went completely away (except sometimes the anhedonia/brain fog). I was doing good and feeling very in touch with my emotions. After a few months off of the Zoloft though, the school year was coming back around, and the girl I had been dating for 2 years broke up with me unexpectedly. It devastated me and left me feeling sad and hopeless. I was crying all of the time, I was thinking about her all of the time, losing the ability to feel pleasure, and had anxiety because I still saw her every day. This continued on through the semester and I went home for winter break feeling depressed and anxious. I was feeling brain fog/anhedonia, and lost overall enthusiasm for life. It got bad enough that I knew I needed help, so I started talking to a therapist (I had seen a few before this one) and it was helping. I still was depressed, but was slowly improving. I started taking Adderall again to study for a certification exam over the break and this helped boost my mood tremendously. It cleared my mind, helped with the brain fog/anhedonia, and made me feel a little more peaceful inside (less racing thoughts). My psychiatrist decided he wanted me to take Trintellix and put me on a 5mg dose. I went back to school feeling down and anhedonic again. All the progress I made during seemed to start disappearing. I stopped taking the Adderall, and once the Trintellix seemed to start working I started becoming extremely anxious. I felt extreme depersonalization, started having weird sensory problems (visual snow, eye floaters, tinnitus, and my body started fluctuating between feeling tingly and numb) and was scared. My doctor upped my dose of Trintellix to see if that would help. I ended up taking Ativan to help with the anxiety. I was feeling less anxious but still had the sensory/depersonalization problems. Not to mention, my emotions went away again. The Ativan lowered my anxiety but made me feel completely dull and emotionless. I ended up tapering off of it and feeling better after a few months, but having a lot more anxiety/sensory issues. Since this (which was earlier in the summer), I started taking Adderall because I read a lot and it seemed my problems were kind of related to Adult ADHD. I always feel internally restless and have a hard time focusing, and taking therapeutic doses (20 mg or lower) seem to calm me down and clear my mind. Not to mention, it helps with my emotional regulation problem. Overall my academics and state of mind are improving. I have lowered the Trintellix from 20mg to 10mg over two months. I have had more sensory problems and anxiety since lowering the medicine, but it seems my emotions are slowly coming back. Every now and then, I get a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of what life used to feel like. It gives me hope. But I have been so up and down for the past 5 years, I am sick of feeling so unstable. I want to have emotions again and not deal with brain fog/anhedonia and anxiety for the rest of my life. I didn't have the former problem until taking medicine. I want the sensory problems to be gone. They only started after I started taking Trintellix. I need help with tapering off I think. Does anyone have any advice for me? I want to learn to treat my depression and anxiety in natural ways, and learn to regulate my emotions better. I want to believe I can live without taking medicine for these issues, because they only seem to exacerbate them. Do I have any hope of being stable again? I always feel uneasy inside and am constantly trying to distract my mind from this. I am sick of being anxious about these weird symptoms, everyone thinks I am crazy and writes me off. Will slowly tapering help this? I long for a day that I am not constantly thinking about being better, and can handle life's ups and downs. I am not wanting to be perfect, just to be able to not always think and worry about my mental health. I am always worrying about exercising enough, meditating enough, sleeping enough, eating well enough, and lowering stress enough. I think my issues could be related to tons of different things, but it is so hard to tell when you are put on medicines that only seem to compound the issue. School has been a big source of stress/anxiety and I am almost done, so I really want to take the time to improve my physical/mental/emotional/spiritual state of mind so life is not always this rocky. Thanks for listening, sorry this was so long.
  2. 40 years old, was put on Paxil 40mg 7 years ago. 8 months ago one day I suddenly felt fatigued which didn’t go away after few days of rest, my heart rate dropped below 60 and cardiologist adviced to come off Paxil. A reduction to 30mg restored my heart rate and fatigue after a few days. However same symptoms reappeared 4 months after so my Doc reduced it further to 20mg, same thing happened after 2 months so we reduced again to 10mg and after another 2 months another reduction to 5mg and full stop after a week.(this was 2 months ago end of Sep-18). The psychiatrist put me on 2 times 5ml Diazepam per day. Since the first reduction I suffered insomnia, anxiety, depression which got a lot worse when I fully came of Paxil 2 months ago however 1 month ago things took an uglier turn and I was hit by extreme profound fatigue, jlly legs, muscle weakness and I was rushed to A&E and the blood tests showed hormonal imbalance such as low testosterone and cortisol. Doctors are confused and are coming with scary possible prognosis and want to test me for things like autoimmune diseases or dangerous neurological disorders. My life is falling apart and my psychiatrist is suggesting putting me on Pregabalin as other SSRI’s may induce low heart rate. Question 1- is this extreme fatigue cause of the WD? Question 2- has anyone else experienced hormonal imbalances due to withdrawal? If so will it be restored to normal at some point? Question 3- considering my situation is it wise to stay on Diazepam and allow doctors to start me off on a new antidepressant like Pregabalin or something? Im alone and desperate with no clue where to go next please share any knowledge you have that may help me. Thank you all, Bless you.
  3. rhino87

    rhino87: Taper Questions

    Hey everyone, I have a tooth infection that I'm pretty sure is spreading because I have flu-like symptoms and feel really sick. I'm about to schedule an appointment, but I'm really concerned that the antibiotic they prescribe will interact with my sertraline. I currently take 100mg daily and am very affected by interactions. Do any of you know what a safe antibiotic would be so that I can tell the dentist? Thank you in advance!
  4. Hi all, I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA. I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms. I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise. In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years. By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families). Here is a history: 2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017 Below is tapering instructed by doctor 6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms 12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is tapering by myself 7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms 8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. OTHER INFO: Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale Supplement: fish oil Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me. Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support. Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.
  5. This is my first time posting in a forum because my psychiatrist told me three months is generally the end of withdrawal symptoms, especially when you were on a low dose like I was. Yet I'm still having bad symptoms. I was on Lexapro for about 15 months at 5mg with one month trying 10mg only to drop back down because of bad side effects. Now after nearly four months off the main thing I have is severe anxiety around my period. Two-three days before and lasting through the week after. I get shaky, anxious, panicky, have pressure and pain in my head and face, sore throat. Is this a normal reaction? It seems extreme for four months off of only 5mg, but since I couldn't up to 10mg maybe I'm more sensitive to this type of med? I know this can't last forever but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm literally incapacitated for almost two weeks per month.
  6. Anyone here who got with Mast cell activation disorder after SSRI use ? (Allergies? Gastro intestinal issues ? Respiratory issues? Pain in joints etc?) Anyone here who has EDS ( Ehlers-Danlos syndrom ) ? Grateful to all replies! /Trying to survive
  7. Interesting article written by Deborah Orr on her first introduction to Citalopram. She appears to have a possible adverse reaction to her initial dose of Citalopram. Refuted by many in the comments box who have had positive experiences with ssri's and who have really bought into the pervasive pharma position . Of interest, is the ensuing dialogue it prompts, in a discussion in the comments, by a poster claiming to be a doctor, calling himself "scubadoc'. Scubadoc is interesting, he seems to oscillate his position. I got as far as his comments in relation to 'SubjectiveSubject's experience of withdrawal, in which he appears discounts and questions the validity of the poster's experience based on his mental health. This appears at the end of some of the comments I've cut and pasted. These are edited from the comment boards, so reading them gives you more context. Still, I find it fascinating to observe the way it plays out as a sort of mirroring of what many experience playing out in their own visits to GPs and psychiatrists. ARTICLE https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/08/antidepressant-effects-psychotherapy-mental-health-crisis-nhs COMMENTS FROM THE ARTICLE scubadoc BraceYourself 8 Jul 2017 10:28 8081 It's all a bit strange: I, for instance, prescribe some antidepressants as pain-killers and actually talk to my patients about them. We have written a leaflet that adds to the package insert. We see quote a lot of PTSD, and anxiety is a common feature. Dissociation is a feature of the illness, rather than of the medication, but one well-known feature of treatment is a temporary increase in some features of the illness. There is the risk of suicide, particularly in young people, for instance. It's important and it's brave to discuss mental health, but it's also important to get the medicine right, or it risks degenerating into simple scare-mongering... streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 9:28 89 Listen to this Deborah Orr : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrMPr78UpQI Then study prolonged QT interval re Citalopram, you will notice it's dose dependent, well there is no such thing as dose dependent in the context that we all have different Cytochrome P450 liver enzyme systems. You will only ascertain what the phenotype of your liver enzyme system is if you have a pharmacogenetics tes,t good luck with finding one in the UK. Also if you happen to consume one of the common food stuffs/herbs/spices that block/inhibit CYP450, you can expect to go into Akathisia, trust me, you WILL know the meaning of hell if that happens to you. Share Facebook Twitter Report PolleeD streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 9:46 1213 I had a cardiac reaction (short pauses, bradycardia) when I stopped taking Escitalopram (same drug essentially). I was withdrawn far too quickly (over 2 weeks after 4 yrs use). The withdrawal upset my autonomic nervous system which controls heartbeat. I ended up with a pacemaker as my ANS/ pulse would not settle back into a normal rhythm. Since then it's been determined that my sinus node doesn't work properly any more. Was this long term use of the drug at a dose of 10mg or a withdrawal reaction which was treated with a pacemaker and misunderstood? More research is needed into the cardiac effects of these drugs. Share Facebook Twitter Report streetphotobeing PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 10:24 01 Did you make a serious compliant or sue ? Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 11:08 1819 Listen to this, streetphotobeing: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, particularly if you don't understand it. Yes, cytochrome expression is polymorphic. Yes, drug metabolism is affected by the cytochromes that you happen to have. Yes, a small number of people are more sensitive to adverse effects. The answer? Stop the pill that's the problem! Simples... ... yes, I do warn my patients about problems and, yes, I do start medicines at low doses. doses. Share Facebook Twitter Report Loading… scubadoc PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 11:10 78 The drug triggered the problem, but the problem was your heart: otherwise, the abnormal rhythm would not have persisted. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 11:14 67 I'd ask an expert, streetphotobeing, before engaging in litigation. Yes, we recommend reducing the dose of SSRIs over two months after long-term use, but the likelihood of a pre-existing heart problem would be like catnip to a lawyer... Share Facebook Twitter Report streetphotobeing scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 12:20 45 ah yes, I remember you, the doctor who didn't know that akathisia is not just a movement disorder. vivify 8 Jul 2017 9:29 3536 I think there will be many many comments here with similar poor experiences. I am British but live in Austria. The reality is that most countries' mental health systems are in the same poor shape. After suffering from a few years of crippling depression that had become dangerously total I just walked in, totally broken, to the first point of help, a GP. Five minutes later I had walked out with a prescription. The sertraline gave me panic attacks and mania, feelings I had never experienced. The trazadone gave me crippling anxiety and left me with permanent cognitive loss that I'm still dealing with two years later. These drugs are so hit and miss, so random, yet are handed out without any thoughts, warnings, considerations. For some they may save lives, for for others they wreck them, or finish off an already destroyed one. That the first line of defence is not psychotherapy but medication speaks volumes of a part of the health service that needs massive funding increases to move forwards, to re-assess completely how things are done and abandon this insane model we have, and that no politician or the electorate has really cared about mental health provision, ever. Although, maybe, slowly that is changing now. Too slowly. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc vivify 8 Jul 2017 11:18 3839 If you have severe depression, biological treatment works faster than talking therapies. A proper health service would offer both... ... but we don't treat mental health like a "real" illness antineoliberal 8 Jul 2017 9:34 45 Awful drugs till your system accepts them , get off them isn't pleasant either . And as for Tramodol , that drug is highly addictive and prescribed like they are handing out sweets . Lot more could be done with some of these prescribed drugs , awful side affects . Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc antineoliberal 8 Jul 2017 11:22 1617 Tramadol is moderately addictive, often unpleasant, and over-prescribed. It is also, sometimes, the difference between despairing disability and a normal life. Medicine is like that: tricky... mediaboy Pandamonium1 8 Jul 2017 9:48 3536 Another misinformed post. Leave it out if you know bugger all. You may as well be saying peanuts are harmless. I'm not saying people are allergic to SSRIs but messing with Serotonin has profound effects on some people or we wouldn't be reading this article. Have some common sense. If you take a pill that alters your SSRI balance, it begins straight away however small. If someone is at a tipping point it doesn't take much to have a dramatic effect on your state of mind. I know from experience, so don't spread false information. I know from experience, so don't spread false information. Share Facebook Twitter Report Pandamonium1 mediaboy 8 Jul 2017 9:54 1920 I also know from experience of being on it for 2 years so don't spout rubbish. Share Facebook Twitter Report mediaboy Pandamonium1 8 Jul 2017 10:02 3233 Ok. But that doesn't mean everyone reacts the same. You find it works and I'm glad. Don't say it can't do things in this article. You may well not have the effects described by the author, or by other posters, but everyone is different. Don't discount other peoples' experiences just because they don't reflect your own. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc mediaboy 8 Jul 2017 11:23 1011 Another misinformed post... ... ad nauseam. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc ID0570124 8 Jul 2017 11:25 1112 mediaboy implies the drugs are bad. It's not true: the drugs are bad for some people. That's a very different thing... ... as reflected in the comments. PlanetGeli 8 Jul 2017 9:40 12 One mistake you're making is assuming a GP will even know, in any useful way, about the effects a drug will have (have they taken it themselves? of course not, so how could they really know). Another mistake is thinking the GP thinks you are worth consulting about any of this. They often simply play God with our lives. (disclaimer; some GPs are obviously brilliant yada yada, still doesn't mean they aren't affected by the zeitgeist, or even the latest salesman, when prescribing). Different drugs do different things to different people but I've heard many a nightmare from Citalopram. And if you think that's bad wait until your GP decides they'll try you on Mirtazapine. And by the time you're some way down the line you'll think that popping pills is a hell of a lot of it, as opposed to there being "very, very much more to it" as your addiction replaces your mental health as your major nightmare. SSRIs? Just say no. Or even just say know. Don't get me started on Seroxat. Don't get yourself started on any of them. Share Facebook Twitter Report floripakid1 PlanetGeli 8 Jul 2017 10:03 1314 nnn Silly, ignorant comment on many levels. 1. So, don't take any medication that your GP hasn't tried first? 2. GPs often spend as much time as they can on a consultation, but they are limited by the NHS appointment system, plus they are general practioners, not specialists. 3. Many GPS resist the "incentives" to prescribe certain meds (many do not) and genuinely try to give the patient what they think will actually help the patient. 4. "Just say no". Who tf are you to assume you know about others' mental issues and whether mediction would be of benefit? One thing you are obviously not is a doctor! Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc PlanetGeli 8 Jul 2017 11:50 1213 Doctors are especially trained never to read anything, never to think and never to talk to patients about their experiences. We don't study pharmacology and physiology and we have never, ever discovered that drugs have side effects. We do not understand, and this we appear to have in common with our patients, that all treatment is a balance between good and bad... ... I never, ever warn my patients. I never, ever start at a low dose. I never, ever, give advice about when to give up on a drug, and how to stop it. Perhaps it is because I'm not a GP? Or I'm a sarcastic SOB? Share Facebook Twitter Report OutOfOptions scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 12:27 1011 I'm feeling excruciatingly irritated by some of the comments here and I'm just a person on SSRIs. I can't imagine how much worse it must be for you!!!!! Share Facebook Twitter Report Show 2 more replies PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 9:40 56 This drug produces feelings of intensified worry/anxiety when it is first taken. I found that on a 10mg dose - the starting dose - I felt much worse initially. Those feelings of numbness and being unable to access your feelings will eventually return because that is what the drug does - it numbs you. It won't help you heal, and all of those feelings you couldn't access in therapy will likely come back when you eventually come off it. Problem is, unless you receive helpful tapering advice - which isn't currently available via the NHS - you will struggle with even stronger emotions when you come off which mimic your original symptoms but which are actually your mind reacting to the withdrawal of the drug. For many people this looks like their original symptoms have worsened and they get put back on the drug again. It is this cycle of what is essentially chemical dependency which keeps people in services and which persuades them that they are either more "mentally ill" than before or destined to suffer long term. The issue of chemical dependency and repeat prescribing needs to be addressed ! Share Facebook Twitter Report FleurBaladine PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 10:11 12 Check the half-life of the drug. Some you can come off quite quickly. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 11:53 56 I suggest looking at SSRIs on "NHS Choices" before saying what the NHS doesn't offer... KEY COMMENTS: ID2411130 amymcm 8 Jul 2017 10:14 45 I have to disagree strongly with this and other statements that one or two tablets of an SSRI can't have that effect. My life was almost completely destroyed by two doses of citalopram 9 years ago. The first dose left me, within hours with intense akasthesia that didn't go away for about two years. The GP said 'side effects were normal' in the early weeks and urged me to continue, so I took another. I then spent the entire night awake in hell begging my husband to never let me take another no matter what. I never took another one, but it took me years to recover. I couldn't sit down to eat or watch TV for a very long time as I was so agitated. It was like prolonged torture and the worst years of my life. It sparked off years of severe anxiety and agoraphobia. The irony was that I wasn't even depressed. I felt really ill with some minor psychiatric manifestations alongside many physical symptoms. Rather than investigate what was actually wrong with me the GP saw late 30,s housewife and thought I needed antidepressants, despite me saying I was not the least bit depressed. The years after the citalopram where the darkest of my life, and o am still now only getting to the bottom of my health issues and understanding what went wrong. It turns out I had Lyme disease with co infections, and we now know I also have a rare disorder- mast cell activation disease- which may have caused the severe reaction. The internet is full of support groups for people who had severe adverse life changing events from this and other antidepressants. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc ID2411130 8 Jul 2017 12:05 78 The internet is also full of people who think that Donald Trump is the Hand of God... ... it doesn't make it true. Antidepressants are both life-saving and horrible. Depression comes in many shapes and sizes: there is evidently a fear of admitting to depression. There is also a real confusion, related to the way in which some symptoms of depression are initially exaggerated by treatment with antidepressants, between the illness and the medication No-one should be afraid of reporting depression; no-one should be afraid if it's diagnosed. Drugs should be respected, but not feared: other treatments should be much more widely a available. Depression without drugs is the horror of Bedlam that we do not want back... may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. DAW188 8 Jul 2017 9:54 1112 I too have been diagnosed with PTSD which in the past has led to periods of prolonged anxiety symptoms (to the point I couldn't even open the curtains in my home for fear of something intangible awful thing befalling me) which in turn caused severe depression. Twice I have been give SSRI's to 'help' by my doctor. Citalopram the first time, Sertaline the second time. All I would say to anyone who is taking these drugs is to be very very careful! I have never normally been suicidal, even at my most ill (just doesn't seem to be in my nature) but two of my paternal uncles and my Father all killed themselves before the age of 40. I was asked about this by both the GP's who prescribed me drugs and they still went ahead with the prescription. By the end of a four week course on Citalopram, I couldn't even get out of bed, which frankly even when I was at my most ill was not like me. So I stopped and recovered and was fine for around 7 years. Then I had a severe relapse and got to the doctor (new GP as old one had left the surgery) again and explained the problems I had had with Citalopram and so was given Sertaline instead. Well by the end of a four week course of that I was suicidal, for the first time in my life. In the end the police turned up as I had been reported as a missing person by my employer and I was very close to being carted off and sectioned. So again I stopped taking the medication. Within days I was no longer wanting to die and had begun to recover just the tiniest part of myself. When I finally got dragged to my GP (by my boss no less as she was so concerned about the state of me) I explained what had happened and also what happened previously with Citalopram and got the response "It can't of been the medication, it must have been a decline in your mental health that would have happened anyway, the SSRI probably stopped it from being worse" which is exactly what every mental health paitent wants to hear 'it's all in your head'. Hasten to say I swapped GP's at the same surgery, when I explained my family history to the new GP she recoiled in horror at what the previous GP's had put me on. She explained that for anywhere between 1-10 and 1-100 patients (apparently research is still undecided as to exactly what the number is) SSRI have almost a polar opposite effect to the one they are designed to have, leading to increased symptoms of anxiousness, depression and suicidal thought. One of the warning signs is a strong family history of suicide. I've learnt over the years how to manage my condition. Talking therapy, a good well rounded diet and exercise, meditation and being as open and honest with the people I trust about what is really going on inside my head. They've learnt the warning signs and so have I and it means now if I start to fall off a cliff, I or someone else can grab my hand and intervene to save me. I'm not saying medication doesn't work, it does, some people find it helps them in no end of ways to get that boost to overcome the obstacles that mental illness lay in their path. But I would recommend have a proper in-depth discussion with your GP before taking them (some GP's seem very quick to go 'let me write you a prescription' the moment you explain your symptoms). Also make sure someone you trust and who knows you well is aware of what you are taking and checks on you regularly (daily at least I would say) to make sure they don't see you declining. Often a friend, family member or colleague can pick up something isn't working before you can. Share Facebook Twitter Report BraceYourself DAW188 8 Jul 2017 10:05 78 I'm sorry but it can't have been the medication. Citalopram is not known anywhere to create issues like you had. I suggest other things were at play Thanks - take good care of old sport - a fellow traveller!!? Share Facebook Twitter Report DAW188 BraceYourself 8 Jul 2017 10:26 56 Citalopram actually now carries warning labels about its possible risk of increasing suicide rates (as do other SSRI's) and having now volunteered for several mental health charities over the years I have found my experience is far from a one off. As I said it does help plenty of others though. However I notice you seem very defensive about SSRI use (particularly citalopram) not a drugs rep by any chance? Share Facebook Twitter Report Loading… BraceYourself DAW188 8 Jul 2017 10:33 23 Paracetamol carries a label now. No not a drugs rep and hate the stronger anti depressants, they are soul sucking. There are many people who are a bit more up and down than others, more and more as the years go on. There is a valid place for this mild mood stabiliser. I'm defensive on something I've taken for 20 years and the over reaction and exaggeration contained within Share Facebook Twitter Report AonOlc DAW188 8 Jul 2017 10:37 12 Very sensible advice. Share Facebook Twitter Report mediaboy BraceYourself 8 Jul 2017 10:53 45 Thanks doctor, for your utter cluelessness. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc mediaboy 8 Jul 2017 12:28 23 We are trained in cluelessness... ... although if Brace is a doctor, I'm Charley's Aunt... Report SubjectiveSubject 8 Jul 2017 10:01 12 After Grenfell, I had the symptoms of PTSD. The correct treatment for this is psychology and drug-free cognitive behavioral therapy but, psychiatrists will deceive people and give them addictive and dangerous drugs. Never trust a psychiatrist, unless they tell the truth about medications. scubadoc Wiltsbloke 8 Jul 2017 12:35 56 OK: but it is likely true that PTSD can be triggered by a perceived threat as well as by a real one, so objectively minor trauma can actually generate the syndrome. placebo effect. Share Facebook Twitter Report cassandrasshrink 8 Jul 2017 10:06 23 Dear lovely Deborah. If you're not already working with a sensorimotor therapist and doing some EMDR work it really really helps. Not a quick fix but the safest thing you'll find. Take care, be well. Share scubadoc cassandrasshrink 8 Jul 2017 12:39 45 Good grief! That took a long time to appear, despite being one of the major therapies: there seems to have been little mention of the importance of combining drugs with other treatments. My practice includes a lot of reactive depression and we rarely use antidepressants for it: GPs seem to use them a lot. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. SubjectiveSubject 8 Jul 2017 10:11 12 Akathisia from poisoning and/or withdrawal is horrible and dangerous and often causes suicidal ideation and high risk of suicide. The fact is many people do not have the chemistry to handle these toxic drugs and here in the UK, they bypass the testing to see whether it is safe to give patients medications. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc SubjectiveSubject 8 Jul 2017 12:53 45 I don"t mean to be nasty, but I'm worried about you: you seem agitated and unwell. I know that you are worried about medication, but could you contact local help, like Healthy Minds or the equivalent, of you can"t face your GP? If you were involved in Grenfell, then there has been more than enough stress to go around. You can refuse drugs, it's your body and your mind, but things sound very difficult for you. A discussion about the comtroversial subject of drugs in mental health isn"t a good place to get advice, as you are getting extremes of opinion and garbled evidence, even "fake news". Share Facebook Twitter Report SubjectiveSubject scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 12:57 12 My experience of Grenfell is being treated by professional therapy that has worked. My experience of medication goes back years when I was coerced and poisoned, suffering near-fatal side-effects. This is how I know the industry is a scam. Please don't patronise. Share Facebook Twitter Report SubjectiveSubject scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 13:01 This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Facebook Twitter Rep
  8. Hello Everyone, I always intended to return when I felt that my recovery was at such a stage as to be no longer the main focus of my existence. For me that was a sign of 'success'. I probably reached that point over a year ago. This was my original thread in 'Intro's and Updates'. Like others my withdrawal developed in clear stages:- Months 0-3: Nausea, sweating, increased energy etc Months 4 - 12: everything listed in my topic. Hell on earth. My topic doesn't do it justice. Months 12 onwards: The major symptoms (acute anxiety, suicidal ideation, chronic fatigue, intense rage, an inability to function at any level as a human being) are gone. Residual issues: my sleep is lighter and more broken than it was whilst on the AD's and pre AD's. Memory problems relating to name recall. Neither issue impacts my quality of life to any great degree. Today? I feel well, my pre-drug personality has been fully restored (for better and worse) and I deal with the emotional problems that first led me to the drugs with exercise and a well-practised shrug of the shoulders. If that fails the odd hour of stewing in a pot of my own self-pity never did me any harm! Those days are thankfully rare and are alleviated by a swift kick to my own ample arse😃 I always thought I'd write more in my 'success story' but my ordeal feels very much a part of my past now. Things have returned to normal... 'normal' in this case meaning being free from the maelstrom of chemically-induced madness that is acute withdrawal from an SSRI. Looking back that is the only way to accurately describe it. My only advice (if I may be so bold) is to never ever think what you are going through will stay the same. There will be deep despair and flickers of hope. There will be false dawns and genuine improvements. REGARDLESS, YOU WILL GET BETTER. It just takes time. As a wise-owl once wrote on here 'it takes at least a year' if you cold-turkey from these drugs after prolonged use. That's pretty much what it took for me to return to a sense of normality. The improvements in the 2nd year off the drugs were immeasurable. As Claire Weekes once wrote about recovery from nervous breakdown (and which equally applies to withdrawal-induced breakdown IMHO): "Once you are on the right road to recovery, recovery is inevitable, however protracted your illness may have been" If anyone has any questions I'm more than happy to answer them. I know how much I needed some perspective and reassurance when I was in the pit of despair. For those who supported me in my thread you will never know how much I needed and appreciated it. A huge heartfelt thanks. A huge thanks also to the owners and the mods who do such a selfless and brilliant job. . To everyone else. Keep going. It will come right. xxx
  9. https://www.facebook.com/innercompassinitiative/?hc_ref=ARRdIIjHYzgACJg-XE4ALjq7mDuGx2nKOqs1uEG3SG5KNfs-cTophiNVJCkdIAwSLro
  10. ______________________________________________ MOD NOTE: Please see this post by Altostrata ______________________________________________ This initiative (described below) is similar to this site, but focusing on helping people find each other in person, where they live. Additional great info on tapering and withdrawal. ****Announcing the Launch of Inner Compass Initiative and ICI’s The Withdrawal Project!**** Inner Compass Initiative (ICI) is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides information and resources to help people make more informed choices regarding all things “mental health” and to support people who wish to leave, bypass, or build community beyond the mental health system. Its first major effort, The Withdrawal Project (TWP), is a comprehensive online hub for safer psychiatric drug withdrawal. The resources on the ICI and TWP websites include a detailed layperson’s “Companion Guide” to safer tapering from psychiatric medications; mini-booklets that provide detailed, critical information about psychiatric drugs, psychiatric diagnoses, and the mental health industry; and two networking platforms to help people who are thinking critically about the mental health system or seeking support for psychiatric drug withdrawal to find each other in their local communities. Visit ICI at www.theinnercompass.org Visit TWP at withdrawal.theinnercompass.org
  11. mariposa84

    Severe fatigue / tiredness

    I have recently started to taper this week. I have been on Lexapro for about 4 years at 20 mg. Currently tapering at 18 mg. I've noticed a few things within this early phase of the taper and I would like to know if anyone can relate. What I have noticed so far: 1. Extreme tiredness 2. Difficulty focusing 3. Brain issues - not quite zaps...but I feel like my brain is "on fire" in the morning when I awake. It usually subsides after an hour or so. Are these things normal for Lexapro/SSRI?
  12. Hi guys, I'm a 24 year old french guy suffering from what I believe to be PSSD. Here's my story: Late 2012 - I was diagnosed with depression and went on citalopram for 1 month, followed by Cymbalta for 1 month. The meds slightly numbed my penis, even after discontinuation. 2013 - I went on different meds that made no impact on my depression nor sex drive, as they don't target serotonin (Abilify, Valdoxan, Solian, Wellbutrin, Lamictal). Only spent a handful of weeks on any given one of these. My penis was still slightly numbed by mid-2013, from the initial S(N)RIs. I then took an old MAOI antidepressant called Marsilid(Iproniazid) for around 4 months. The numbness in my penis got noticeably worse. I still had a libido but orgasms were very weak, it was harder to maintain an erection. I decided to quit psychiatric meds in december 2013. April 2014 - the penile numbness was still there and orgasms were still weak, no sign of improvement. ENTER THE THYROID MEDS. I took some thyroid meds (Armour thyroid) without a doctor's consent to see if it would help with my depression, although I had no thyroid problem. Looking back it was stupid, but I was depressed and desperate, plus I had read somewhere that T3 hormones were sometimes given as treatment for depression.That's when my libido took a massive dive, along with my ability to achieve erections, feel pleasure in life, and focus on mental tasks. I only stayed 6 weeks on the thyroid pills. Since discontinuation of everything around 18 months ago, the PSSD hasn't gotten better. I had to drop out of a prestigious university program because of my lack of an ability to focus on mentally-demanding tasks 9 months ago. I used to be an intelligent student with a great memory, but now I feel dumbed down. Paying attention to what people say during a conversation has become a little challenge in itself. Dropping out was devastating for my self-esteem. Concerning the sexual SEs, I am unable to be turned on by naked women like I used to be. I require heavy physical stimulation to even start feeling a little tingle of pleasure. Orgasms are pleasureless, and I've lost all ejaculatory strength. The semen just seems to slowly come out and dribble nowadays, whereas it used to to be propelled with great strength before. The numbness is crazy - I have a harder time even just feeling my own urine flowing inside my penis when I take a leak. Concerning erections, I am unable to keep them up during sex. As for pleasure in life in general, it's like it has been turned down. Watching movies used to make me thrilled, but now I no longer feel any sense of amazement during cool action sequences. Music doesn't move me like it used to. The touch of a woman no longer excites me, as if my skin had become less sensitive. I saw some PSSD posters on some website mentioning their skin felt like "rubber" and I think I get the feeling. I did some blood tests to see if my hormones (thyroid, testosterone, DHEA, and other stuff) were out of balance, but the results came back just fine. My theory is that the serotonergic side of the thyroid meds, on top of the previous SSRIs and MAOI screwed something in my brain, and I will need time to recover. I've seen a couple hormone specialists that have told me that thyroid meds don't bring these nasty effects on their own, and whatever effect they bring should disappear upon treatment discontinuation. I saw the Admin Altostrata mentioning time and time again that experimenting with meds to cure PSSD was dangerous and could potentially make matters worse, so I'll stick to taking nothing. Plus, the fact that thyroid meds made me a lot worse can serve as an example to illustrate the argument. Anyways, the past is the past. I hope I will get better, and will post every once in a while to update my progress (or lack thereof).
  13. Hi, I'm running out of what to read, who to ask and soon what to say. Ready for this? 1. I am consciously normal and functional 2. and only 2 I have a brain and body that is not cooperating. I feel guilty, or fake. When i'm at work and talking well - in my head I'm like "Who are you? You were never smart"... < probably my childhood echos > Once a major mistake occurred 6 years ago - I fell to the ground mentally - not able to let it go, no matter how many angles and closures I sought. 5 years this misery lasted to where I did get a human validation, but quickly was influenced into something else that made me question my "healing" - and now those 5 years of misery was much easier. To add to my pain - just months after ground 0, my Dad went to jail, my mom move in with me, my cat died weeks after that... Symptoms since: Head tension, Tinnitus, Neck tension, Dizziness, Anticipatory Anxiety, Feeling like I have a tumor in my head (pressure), Depersonalization moments / Derealization moments (Rare but terrible). Had a bout of agoraphobia. I think it's rooting in excessive guilt that I'm putting myself in mental prison. Now I lost my job in July and been on unemployment - and fearing getting a new one... not sure if I can mentally handle it. I feel total burnout. Medication History > After years of CBT - it was suggested I get on medication. Prozac - by day 22 I wanted to die (literally) but gladly i'm too afraid to and go off it when the Dr. kept pushing me to "Give it more time" Celexa & Paxil - gave me an intense panick attack. Paxil sent me to the hospital (One Pill did that) Zoloft & Lexapro - These numbed my brain, but I lost all emotions - that was my first de-realization and very scary Anafranil - this felt like someone poured mercury in my head - zips and zaps Buspar - These gave me brown outs of the brain Xanax - I put this last but I was on it for 6 years... it was great! BUT ... in time .25 didn't work, .5 gave me a hangover... 1mg wouldn't work if I was really scared - like going in an MRI Machine. When I tried to come off - my brain EXPLODED in Withdrawl. I tried many courses - as my DR just told me "stop it - it's ok"... That was when the Tinnitus and Pressure started (4/2016) along with the agoraphobia. I suffered through a water taper I came up with and it worked to a point and was too hard. My Dr. humored me giving me Valium to taper. It SORT of Worked but he gave me only 2 weeks and low dose. I pushed through and now I'm 9 weeks off (i did cheat on a 0.125 two weeks ago). Finally I'm trying St. John's Wort I followed an online suggestion ... but I did it wrong... by end of week 2 I got a massive Burnout feeling, brain buzzing and a STOP EVERYTHING cry in my sub-conscious mind... never had this happen. I dropped my cleaning tools and went to bed. I have not felt good since. I cut down to ONE 300 pill per day... but i'm all over the place. I now wonder if I even have a Serotonin issue? How do I know it's not an Acetylcholine issue? Or just a lack of GABA & Dopamine? (I took up a study of Neuro-Science among other medical classes... of course it's all theory) I'm just not happy, I can't play guitar or do anything I love... I don't care to eat. Thank you all for whatever input you have -Rob
  14. Hi there, all through my withdrawal my right ear has felt blocked,although is actually isnt so my doc says, but since last October i feel like my ears have both become a lot worse, constant pressure/pain in both. Today it is driving me insane as the pain is in my ears, head,jaw and gums. Ok so iv had allergies all my life ie hay fever and cat allergies but can never remember it affecting my ears like this so im not sure if seasonal allergies are to blame, but then again it was snowing this winter and they were bad then too. This comes and goes but seems to be pretty persistent for the last 9 months now and it isn't shifting. Does anyone else suffer badly with their ears? i know the blocked feeling is common in withdrawal but not sure if many have the pressure?
  15. Hi all, I'm a 24-year-old female who has been on some kind of antidepressant since I was 17. 1. Zoloft, 1 year (2011) 2. Wellbutrin, 2-3 months (end of 2011 in conjunction with Zoloft) 3. Viibryd, 6 months (2012) 4. Buspar, 2-3 months (2012) 5. Lexapro, 1 year (late 2012 to late 2013) 5. Prozac, 3ish years (late 2013 to mid 2017) I started tapering off of Prozac this April, going down by 10mg a month for 7 months. I was on an 80mg per day dose for at least 2.5 years. I finished tapering at the end of October 2017. I didn't have any particularly bothersome symptoms until the last 10mg and these have persisted or gotten worse in the last two months. My biggest issue right now seems to be irritability. I feel like I go through multiple mood swings per day and sometimes I can't even describe how I'm feeling. My anxiety has also increased - fears about my loved ones dying or that I'm going to get into a car accident on the highway, that kind of thing. I know it's still soon, being only 2 months since I completely stopped taking Prozac, but are these all withdrawal symptoms and if so, how long can I expect them to last? Sometimes I wonder if I even remember was normal feels like anymore, since I've been on antidepressants since before I was even an adult. I felt pretty good on Prozac moodwise, but disliked the weight gain that resulted (65 pounds!) and I worried about the long term effects on being on it.
  16. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  17. Hi All I'm relieved to find a forum out there that fits my situation. The doctors say withdrawal symptoms should stop a month or two after stopping ssri's but I think they are wrong and I'm sure many of you agree. Thanks for listening to my story, I'll try to keep it brief. 13 years ago at age 25 my anxiety got the better of me I developed social phobia in the form of constant blushing and shaking when interacting with people. It psychologically crippled me. I lost my job and could barely leave my house. I left it a year before I went to a doctor by which time I was a complete mess. The doc prescribed me 20mg citalopram and that drug worked wonders! It stopped me blushing 95% of the time and meant I could lead a normal life again plus it made me cheerful and carefree. Amazing! But, every time I tried to come off it my blushing would return so I ended up staying on it for 11 years. I didn't really have any side effects until after 8 years when I started getting tinnitus and night sweats. These got worse and worse, I would lay in bed with my ears ringing so loud it was like I'd been to a nightclub! And the night sweats became unbearable, I would wake up 4 times a night soaked to the skin, freezing cold, need to change my clothes, bedding, take a shower I got so tired from bad sleep. So I went to doc and she put me on beta blockers which are working great and I don't need to take them that often as my blushing is nowhere near as bad now I'm 38. Great news BUT the side effects/withdrawal of coming off citalopram has been sooooo tough. Ive been off 8 months now. For the first 3 months I was so depressed, I wanted to cry all day and even felt suicidal at times. For the second 3 months I had terrible anxiety and would get to almost having panic attacks. For the last 2 months I feel a little better but have little interest in people, people just get on my nerves and I feel distant from everyone, I have a 'don't care' attitude and my marriage is suffering because of it as I'm moody and quick to anger Plus throughout the 8 months I still have those damn night sweats combined with bad insomnia! It's been 8 months but I still wake up soaked to the skin and even when I'm not sweating I just can't sleep! I don't know how I'm functioning normally as I slept better when my kids were newborns!! Some nights I just lay in bed with my eyes shut but awake for hours and hours looking at the clock every so often and thinking 'I can't believe it's 4:30am, I havent slept yet and I need to get up for work at 7am!' Has anyone else been in this situation? How long do the sweats last? My doc says they should have gone after a month or so and has booked me blood tests to check for early menopause, but I know it's due to citalopram use. How about the insomnia? Have I somehow damaged my nervous system and it's going to take years to repair itself, if ever?? I'd never have stayed on citalopram that long if I'd known it's legacy would be so long lasting. Thank you for reading my history. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling like I am 'surviving' antidepressants. I have no one to talk to as I'm a private person and none of my friends know about my history and my husband lost interest a long time ago. Any advice is welcome xxx
  18. Hey there. This is my first post, but I have a success story that I’d like to share. I’d like to preface by saying I had been on 75mg of sertraline (Zoloft) for approximately 7 months. I quit last year and have successfully made it through the withdrawals! I see more horror stories than success stories on SSRI discontinuation. My hypothesis for this discrepancy is that people who successfully quit the drug don’t really have that much of an incentive to post their stories, while people dealing with the terrible side effects are more likely to seek out information. I knew there were millions of people on SSRIs, and I refused to believe that my discontinuation symptoms would be permanent. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I found out quickly how unhealthy it was to hold this mentality of permanence. I tapered off a too quickly (~2 weeks). I believed that since I had only been on the medication for a few months, I could get away with tapering off at that rate. Consequently, I ended up having over 6 weeks of hellish withdrawals. The first 2 weeks had the most powerful physical symptoms: brain zaps, fatigue, nausea, etc. These symptoms seemed to go away around week 3, but then came another wave of symptoms: anxiety, paranoia, depression, and a lot of overthinking. I didn’t realize it till week 5, but these feelings were more powerful than when I had them before starting sertraline. Week 5 was the worst; all these terrible feelings went into overdrive. I remember a few specific days of this week were particularly dreadful. I had been reading up on SSRI discontinuation online and freaking myself out reading people’s horror stories. I was afraid that I permanently removed what it was to be human. I was terrified I’d never feel joy, sexual desire, or ambition in my life ever again. I was angry at myself that my choice to try anti-depressants fucked up the rest of my life. I was broken, and I just wanted to be normal again. These are unhealthy thoughts, and I was wrong. My life did start coming back. I slowly felt what it was like to be “me” again. Small steps every day reminded me. One day something would make me laugh. Another day I’d notice a cute girl. I appreciated and cherished every step throughout the way. And slowly but surely, old joys started coming back to me: I started feeling ambition, I was looking forward to future plans, I was dreaming again (I could sleep well again!), and I was feeling love again, both for myself and others. I believe there is a strong psychosomatic component during these withdrawals. It’s difficult because your brain doesn’t allow you get past these negative thoughts while its readjusting, but you have to keep moving. There isn’t a quick solution, but your brain is powerful and adjusts to your current circumstances. That’s why exercise, a healthy diet, a support network, and a positive outlook are so important; you want your brain to re-adjust in an ideal setting. So, don’t blame yourself or hold a grudge for trying SSRIs; you actively did something to confront your inner demons. From one stranger to another, you will survive this. Good luck.
  19. Hello friends, its nice to find a safe place where we can talk about our problems with antidepressants. I'm 25 years old, male, live in Brazil, my story is long and painful, but to make things short, I was diagnosed with IBS in 2016 and I have to use SSRI'S or else I suffer super strong chronic abdominal pain and all kinds of weird symptoms that would make a grown ass man cry. I tried most SSRI'S and "all" of then make me feel "stupid" I can't focus properly, They have different side effects but the lack of focus is common place for me. Anyone tried using another drug (maybe adhd drugs) to cope with the side effect ? My brain just doesn't work "right" if you know what I mean. I just can't make quick "connections" my thought is slow and dragged, my focus is blurred. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm desperate, thank you. I can make normal activities like working, typing, reading "bad". I don't have depression, never had. I am a bit anxious, been all my life but never used medication. I always use the lower dosage, because if the doctor increases I start to feel "numb" and weird, I am super sensitive to side effects. Currently I am using 20 mg "half" Pristiq the best so far. If I stop using ssris, my brain returns to normal and I can focus, work, and study properly again but then the pain symptoms in my gut and discomfort starts all over again after a month or two. I tried: Amitriptyline/Nortriptiline (don't work) Sertraline - Zoloft (makes me feel great but can't study) Fluoxetine - Prozac (don't work make me dumb) Citalopran (don't work make me dumb) Escitalopran - Lexapro (don't work make me dumb) Desvenlafaxine - Pristiq (make me feel great but can't study)
  20. Hi all, I want to share my experience with SSRI's and hope that anyone can relate to my story and can give me some advice. Back in 2015 I started having panic attacks after a few stressfull months. As they did not stop naturally, the doctor perscribed Cipralexa (Escitalopram). However, a few days after taking 10 mg/day of them, my panic attacks got worse and ultimately lasted 24/7. I got depersonalisation, heat upwellings, red rashes and was hyperventilating chronically. Deep inside I knew this was not normal, but the doctor told me that the first weeks on a new SSRI can be tough, but that it all will settle down eventually. Only, it didn't. After 2 weeks on the drug, it was so bad I had to be taken into a psychiatric department of the hospital. There they decided to stop Cipralexa and try Zoloft. However, my reactions to that were even worse, with insomnia, constant stressed feeling, diziness, brain zaps and some kind of uncontrollable muscle spasms. Sometimes it even felt like I was having some kind of seizure. When I showed the rash, which had shown up again with Zoloft, to the doctor and explained my symptoms, they took me off all SSRI's, and in a rage, I quit the hospital myself. Ever since I feel like I'm recovering. There hasn't been a day since 2015 that I felt healthy. I have depression, anxiety, hyperventilation episodes, chronic headaches, ticks of the muscles of the neck/head, and rapid heart beat. Now, I'm on 100 mg/day Amitryptiline (Elavil) and 5mg/day Bisoprolol. Luckily, I do not have the adverse reaction to Elavil and it helps me somewhat to cope and get through the day. Now I am wondering: what has happened? Did I have an allergic reaction? Is this even possible for SSRI's and what test can I order to proof this? Was the doctor wrong to not stop the medication immediately? Did anyone else have these kind of reactions and did they ever recover? What is different between modern SSRI and tricyclic ones for which I do not have these reactions? I hope someone can clarify these issues. Thanks in advance for answering!
  21. Hi, I'm recently divorced. My ex wife used to be a very solid, hones, intelligent and honorable woman who paid attention to detail and had high levels of empathy. She has been taking Zoloft and Ambien and I think before Zoloft she took Prozac. This has been going on for 3 or 4 years. At 48 years old when menopause began, she suddenly started dating another man. She began lying and deceiving me about their meeting. 3 months after meeting him, she filed for divorce and moved out and committed adultery with this other man. I'm sure all this sounds normal for a bad person but here comes the part that makes no sense. In the 4 months it took the divorce to run through the court system, about every other week, she proactively talked to me about ending the adulterous affair and coming back to me. About 5 weeks AFTER she filed for divorce, she offered to be intimate with me, which I accepted. 2 days after being intimate with me, she was intimate with the other man. She took this man out into public as an adulterous partner with our common friends and showed no shame. She had no shame for constantly lying to me and deceiving me about things. She had no shame about being introduced to this man's sons as a girlfriend even though she was still married. NONE of this is the woman I married. 4 days before the divorce finalized she told me she was strongly thinking about getting saved (with Jesus), cutting off the affair, stopping the divorce and coming back to her family (we have a 5 year old daughter). However, she let the divorce finalize and she cried for 20 minutes in the courtroom. The day after the divorce finalized, she came to my house and started talking about us getting back together. (YES THE DAY AFTER). A couple weeks later, she said she would start "tapering things off" with her boyfriend and come back home to work on our marriage (I told her I would forgive adultery and everything). She said it would take 3 weeks to taper it off. At the end of 3 weeks, she had penned an "it's over" letter to the boyfriend but never sent it to him. All through this process, I noticed she was much less attentive to our daughter and very unempathetic toward the pain I was going through and the negative effects of the separation on our daughter and all the financial damage that was caused, even to herself. She ended up MUCH poorer after the property settlement than she was when we were married. But, she didn't seem to care. After the divorce finalized, her health insurance expired and she just left it that way (Definitely not her), she kept her apartment a mess, she didn't work, she would dump our daughter off with me so that she could go off for a weekend with her boyfriend and not even call to see how our daughter was doing. Again, not her. I think the Zoloft is the root cause of her reduction in empathy, and increase in apathy and confusion about life in general. But, I'm having a hard time google searching for current information, 2015 and later, on how Zoloft and other SSRI's can cause divorce and families to break up. Can someone please point me to some medical studies on this topic? I would like to fix her and try to put our family back together if I can just find some information to show her to get her into a medical professional that specializes in SSRI's and antidepressants. Thanks!
  22. Last summer, after I quit the last antidepressant (after 7 years of antidepressants and anxiolytics) under the guidance of my former psychiatrist, I started rapidly to develop old and new symptoms. I tried to resist but in two months time I fell into the abyss of withdrawal, without knowing what was happening to me. I went back to my psychiatrist who not only did not recognize or mention the withdrawal status, but prescribed new drugs that didn't help and made things worse, like paroxetine. I was lost and fearfully sick, I lost 3 kilos in one week, then I contacted another psychiatrist who still didn't say a word about withrdrawal but prescribed benzodiazepines that immediately reduced the symptoms. Then he added two antidepressants and diagnosed "major depression, relapse". I was in shock. I tried to explain that my initial and main problem were anxiety and panic but he said thet it was all part of the depressive state. As soon as we tried to reduce anxiolytics the symptoms burst out again. That's when something clicked in my head. I searched the Internet for weeks to find someone who could help me out of the maze, and fortunately I did. Now I'm following a program to eliminate antidepressants under strict medical a psychological control, and I feel confident. Psychiatrists in Italy never talk about the risk of withdrawal symptoms, turning people into lifetime patients. I was lucky enough, being a psychologist and speaking English to be able to find the help I needed, but most people go on taking more and more drugs that work less and less. The site people can refer to in Italy is: https://www.smettereglipsicofarmaci.unifi.it/index.php (University of Florence).
  23. Hi all. Don't normally do this sort of thing but I've been helped a fair bit by reading through this site, so I thought maybe my input could help others. I've always had a bit of anxiety and neurotic behaviour, but I was originally placed on 10mg Lexapro at ~25 years old due to a cancer scare that knocked my anxiety up a notch. Stayed on it for a few years with pretty good success. No negative symptoms - no ED, no sexual dysfunction, I needed LESS sleep, ended up putting on no weight at all. Pretty perfect. In my stupidity, I decided I didn't need it anymore after a year or two (and my mum was pretty against me using them). Came off them by snapping the 10mg in half to 5mg for a couple of months, and then just cold turkeyed the rest of the way. No real withdrawal besides those horrible brain zaps. A few years later during my masters, I was having a bit of trouble so doctor suggested I went back on them. Fine. 10mg again, exact same situation - no negative affects (after the first couple of weeks while it built up in my system). Still felt a bit average a few months later, so I took my doctor's advice and went up to 20mg and everything was fine. I really did feel pretty good and normal on it, it never stopped working and nothing bad happened. Fast forward to this year. I turned 30 and decided that I would try to come off the ol' Lexapro. Split my 20mg to half doses of 10mg in about June, then by ~21st of July just ditched them entirely. Cue the standard brain zaps and a horrendous bout of flu-like symptoms (that I perhaps wrongfully attributed to the flu travelling through my office). They both disappeared by mid September and silly me thought 'right, I'm all good'. Randomly, on the 4th of November, I had a horrendous panic attack thinking about death, just from reading the news. Now I've had panic attacks before, but that was during the cancer scare and I was reading about my chances (what a dumb idea). Anyway, that went away and I went out on a night of heavy drinking after work. Saturday, I experienced the general malaise following heavy drinking, but Sunday I began to suffer inordinate anxiety, the likes of which I've never really experienced. It wasn't until then that I started reading about SSRI withdrawal symptoms appearing sometimes months afterwards. Looking back I can see that my symptoms started about 3.5 months after I abruptly stopped from 10mg doses. In addition to that, my GP had always told me that 10mg was a pretty small dose, so I never considered the possibly of needing to taper any further. 6/11 I started experiencing massive DP/DR, and gave myself panic attacks reading about the damn Fermi paradox at night (girlfriend: why do you care what an old Italian mathematician says?). Decided the smart move was to keep a journal so I could see any progression. 7-11/11 Was terrible. Felt like dying, and was so close to going back on the lexapro but, somehow, I restrained myself. I can barely remember any of these days, as the brain fog was compounded by intense existential anxiety. At some point I started taking St. John's Wort every night. 12/11 suffered a complete breakdown, sobbing and crying in my girlfriend's arms for no real reason. Needed a break so I (perhaps stupidly) took 1/2 a 5mg valium. I know this is advised against but I don't regret it, I really needed it. Calmed me down a lot. Still no appetite and sleep wouldn't come. 13/11 Dead and apathetic all day. Forced myself to exercise, which definitely improved my mood from 2/10 to 3 or 4/10. Still not appetite, even after pretty intense exercise. Felt pretty good after the exercise, but had another minor breakdown at night, but not anxious related, just down. Have a holiday planned for next year that I was previously SO EXCITED for, but now...just don't really care? Horrible feeling. At about 8pm I took 3x fish oil pills (1000mg) and one B2 vitamin and BLAM, a massive improvement all of a sudden to 6/10. I was actually happy. Still not excited for the future, but happy in a way? Continued all night. Took the St John's Wort and a Valerian tablet at night and slept really well. 14/11 woke up exhausted, but mood was ok. I have avoided caffeine since Sunday, mood was sitting at about 5/10. Apathy and brain fog still readily apparent.Mid morning, my irritability exploded, apathy also became so much worse. Here my diary gets a bit dark so I won't include any of it. Come 4pm, I decided to have a plain black tea and a window of good opened until 6.30pm, at which point it dropped to about 4 or 5/10. Went home and just planted myself in front of the tv. At some point, I noticed that I didn't feel so crap anything at about 7.30pm. I actually went and cooked dinner. This continued until 10.30, when I realised that I might have over-pronounced how I felt - still improved but not as pronounced. Definite general apathy and lack of excitement for the future, but no horrific anxiety/dread like I've had before. Baselined at 5/10 before bed, took 1xfish oil, 1xSJW and 1xValerian before bed. 15/11 Good sleep but truly exhausted. 1xfish oil and 1xB2 before work. Anxiety seems lower, brain fog and depression at the forefront. Have noticed that despite all these withdrawal effects, I still have entire sexual function and only slightly lower desire (that I would attribute to the depression and anxious feelings). Mid morning I had a minor sobbing breakdown in the toilet, but went back to neutral after that. Around midday I felt an ever-so-slightly-there tinge of excitement about the holiday next year...maybe? I'm not sure yet, possibly wishful thinking but that's what I need. Forced myself to exercise at lunch time, not as much of an endorphin rush as Monday, but better. Still mostly apathetic though. Pretty hard to care. And that brings me to right now, as I write this. Happy to accept any insight on offer, or answer any questions anyone has, or even continue updating the thread if it helps anyone. Just want to add that, whilst I might be imagining it (and it seems likely given the short time period), I THINK I am feeling better than I did when I first cracked on the 4/11. In summary, symptoms experienced so far: anxiety/dread, depression, brain fog, apathy, no physical symptoms besides sleeping a lot, no appetite, no sexual dysfunction. Thanks everyone for being so open and honest on this site. I'm sure there are a ton of people who don't end up posting on here that have been helped by it.
  24. I started taking Paroxetine 20mg in 2012. Prescribed by my GP for what was then mild anxiety and low mood. I decided to come off of the paroxetine in Januay 2016. Had enough of being an asexual zombie. The drugs did little for me anyways. Started a slow taper and got down to 10mg once weekly by September 2017. If I didn't dose for longer than a week I would get agitated and angry. 10mg was enough to make me calm for a week or so.... On 24th September 2017 I decided complete withdrawal would be impossible and that maybe I would be better off going back on the paroxetine full-time. I started taking 10mg daily without a doctor's supervision. Five days later I became suicidal for the first time in my life...bearing in mind before this I had always been pretty much emotionally stable. I went to A & E suffering severe agitation/depersonalisation and several other worrying symptoms such as intrusive thoughts about attacking loved ones (something which I would never do or ever think about before). I was given diazepam to get me through the next few days. I vowed never to touch SSRIs again. I have not taken any paroxetine since the crisis on 29th September. The last 2 weeks have been the worst 2 weeks of my life. I went to see a psychiatrist privately - he diagnosed me with bi-polar and prescribed me Seroquel (quetiapine). I am NOT bi-polar, my brain has been destroyed by paroxetine. My daily symptoms are: psychomotor agitation, intrusive thoughts about violence, feeling empty, no emotion at all, electric shock sensations all through my body, panic, crying etc I know the sensible thing would probably be to go on prozac for a while, but after almost throwing myself in front of a bus after just a few days on paroxetine, to me, it's not worth the risk. I just want to ride this out and hopefully get better. I want to be in control of my thoughts and emotions again. At the moment my thoughts and emotions are controlling me. This is not a problem I had before paroxetine. I'm just worried that I'll remain this nervous wreck forever. Can anyone relate to this? Especially the intrusive thoughts, which is what worries me most. Does it get better? Regards, Clearmind
  25. When I was 15, 2005, I started to have some insomnia and mild depression, it was winter time in Montana so not too much sun, I was diagnosed with SAD. I was started on Lexapro 10 mg and I remember it helped. When summer came around, I think I remember trying to taper off slowly but then having some bad depression. Doctor said I likely had a chemical imbalance and that I would need to stay on the medication for the rest of my life. I was told there weren't long term effects from taking the medication. At some point a few years later, I must have struggled because I was switched to Citalopram 5 mg and after 6 months, went to 10 mg of Citalopram. I don't really remember this point all that well. In 2008 I went on to college and had a successful couple years, grades were good and I had a girlfriend. During the summer I started to experience some major depression and anxiety, I didn't want to get out of bed, I felt scared. After a few days, we decided to go to the doctor and I was switched to Sertraline 50 mg and then a few months later increased to 100 mg. I remained on this dose for almost 7 years. I had graduated college and landed a great job in 2013. I moved away from family for work and when my fiancé finished college in 2014, I moved her down with me, unfortunately, she ended up leaving me suddenly with no warning shortly after and moved away. I was devastated. I remember being hysterical and then very suddenly, felt no emotion at all. At first I was glad that I didn't have to feel the pain, but I didn't feel any joy either. I took two weeks off of work and mainly stayed home alone. The emotions eventually came back and I got better. Since then I have dated a little but nothing serious. I currently live alone In 2017, I started to have some pretty severe depressive episodes, I decided to find a therapist and a psychiatrist and deal with my mental health the 'intelligent' way. Therapy was not too bad, but I really felt like the medication was not working anymore. The psychiatrist decided to start me on bupropion xl 150 mg. I transitioned from Sertraline 100 mg to bupropion xl 300 mg over the course of 2 months. I remember feeling OK, but looking back, I started to feel more and more trapped, afraid of making mistakes, thinking that if I did anything wrong, I was worthless etc. I got my prescription refilled right around Christmas time. I noticed the pills looked different but I wasn't worried about it, I saw it was still the same medication, just a different generic supplier. I started taking that pill Christmas day, within a few days, I started to get very depressed, even though I was working out, eating well and socializing. On that Friday, 5 days later, in the middle of a sprint on my treadmill, I broke down in tears. I was really depressed. I wrote in my journal that night, I was thinking it was all in my head. The next day, I got up early and worked out first thing, I made a list of things to go shopping for and went to the store. I remember taking a long time in the store and feeling very anxious about making the 'wrong' choice on everything. After an hour and a half, I bought what I had and went home. I broke down in tears again. I asked myself what the heck I was thinking about that was making me feel this way. I had been dabbling with journaling and mindfulness. I wrote down a lot of things like "I think I am completely worthless", "I don't know anything", "I'm no good" etc. I wrote down evidence for and against for each item and was able to prove all those negative thoughts false and I felt better. I thought I had found negative core beliefs I held about myself and that challenging them would make me feel better. Unfortunately it didn't turn out that way. The rest of that weekend I was mainly confined to my bed and chair, feeling very anxious and depressed to the extreme. I was talking on the phone with family and my Mom thought the medication wasn't working right. I was thinking it would be weird for the medication to work for months and then suddenly start going haywire. I thought my mood was due to questioning core beliefs I had about myself and my life. After suffering through the New Years weekend and a night of very little sleep, I forced myself to go to work. The morning was awful but as the day went on, I felt better and better. I was able to go and see my psychiatrist that day and explained about the issues and my "mental breakthrough". He was very concerned about my symptoms and prescribed me venlafaxine xr 150 mg and told to switch. As the day went on, I almost felt euphoric. I decided to not switch and just continue the bupropion xl 300 mg. Over the next two weeks, I had some very depressed mornings that lifted to nice afternoons and better evenings. The second weekend, I woke up at 6 am, very anxious and realized something was wrong. I remembered my pills had changed, I researched if people had struggled with supplier changes and found quite a few in fact did. I also found that several years ago, the FDA actually pulled a generic supplier of bupropion off the market due to not being bioequivalent. I was furious. I found a way to report what happened to me to the FDA. I did not take that pill again and switched to the venlafaxine. I took it Sunday, and then Monday but then I thought to myself that I potentially had just gone through cold turkey withdrawal from bupropion and that maybe the worst of it was over. I was thinking maybe I had an opportunity to stay off of antidepressants, so I did not take anymore pills after Monday, January 8th 2018. At some point I found this site, and although it was helpful to find I was not alone, I was also terrified of potentially struggling for multiple years! I started taking fish oil, magnesium, turmeric, COQ10, D3, a multivitamin and eventually added a probiotic. I have had very little physical symptoms, its been mainly mental and emotional. I have experienced windows and waves daily, with a progression to having a couple good days in a row. During the waves, I am depressed, anxious, and cognitive abilities are reduced, my memory is not great, I can't seem to make decisions as quickly or as easily as I used to and I can't seem to be an active participant in most conversations. During the windows, I feel very good. My brain is firing on all cylinders. I am positive and optimistic about the future, I have confidence and good self esteem. I feel like "I can do this". Recently though, this past week, I have had more lows and deeper lows (not as low as the first two weeks). I am terrified. I know others have had it worse but I don't know what to do. I exercise almost every day. I have been journaling, praying, meditating, seeing a psychologist weekly, I eat well and I sleep well most of the time. I occasionally wake up around 5 am with some anxiety. I have so far been able to keep working full time. Its been 7 weeks since I stopped medications cold turkey, 9 weeks since my last effective pill, and 6 months since my SSRI. I believe I am definitely low on serotonin from the many years of being on SSRI's. I am struggling pretty bad lately with the depression. I am not getting any joy out of anything. I struggle to get out of bed. I am starting to lose hope that it will get better. The thought has crossed my mind to reinstate a low dose of sertraline, but its been out of my system for 6 months and from reading the forums it seems like it may not work or make things worse. The other thing I think I want to try, even though some have recommended not to, is l-tryptophan. If my thinking is correct, it could really help me. At least provide my body the materials it needs to be able to make serotonin on its own. I wish I would have never taken an antidepressant but I just didn't know and I trusted my doctors. I don't want to make my situation worse, but I don't know If I can keep going the way it is. Please, has anyone had success with l-tryptophan. Has anyone had success re-instating an SSRI after 6 months?
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