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  1. ADMIN NOTE 17 March 2019 A scientific paper has been published based on the hypothesis put forward in this topic, see Horowitz, 2019 Tapering of SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms NY Times article about Lancet tapering study: How t Quit Antidepressants: Very Slowly, Doctors Say To search for whether there is a serotonin transporter occupancy study for your medication, google the generic name of the drug with this other search terms: 5HTT occupancy If you find a paper, please post the both the name of the medication and a link to the paper, such as 2016-July-01, Cymbalta (duloxetine) MMarie Found this paper on dose and 5HTT occupancy of duloxetine. Takano, 2005 A dose-finding study of duloxetine based on serotonin transporter occupancy The site, academia.edu, requires login: Link to screen shot of dose-occupancy and dose-plasma concentration curves 2016-November-12, Anafranil (clomipramine) and Luvox (fluvoxamine) Suhara, 2003 High levels of serotonin transporter occupancy with low-dose clomipramine in comparative occupancy study with fluvoxamine using positron emission tomography. Link to study on occupancy vs. dose Link to chart of occupancy-dose relationship Hi, I thought I'd share this as it's quite relevant, not 100% sure if this is the right subforum, will post in both this and research. PDF of American Journal of Psychiatry article or Summary and excerpts from study in the Journals forum of survivingantidepressants The pretty pictures are from page 4 onwards in the PDF. (Admin note: Pretty pictures here. See this post for graph of "perfect" 10% taper of previous dose with 4 week holds) What these fellows did here, was attempt to measure serotonin transporter occupancy at various doses for 5 different drugs. (Zoloft, celexa paxil, effxor and Prozac, not in that order). They fit curves for both the oral doses and blood concentrations. Long story short for anyone who doesn't know, SSRI’s ‘work’ by binding to the serotonin transporter protein (SERT) and stopping it doing it’s normal thing (reuptake of post-synaptic serotonin), resulting in serotonin hanging around for longer. Now a couple of interesting things: -at minimum therapeutic doses in every case, there was about 80% SERT occupancy. That shocked me personally. Even the minimum doses are locking down 80% of your brains reuptake ‘capacity’. Higher doses do more but it’s obviously not linear – they actually have plotted curves, and they’re quite a good fit statistically, particularly for the blood concentrations. Really good in fact. Point here though is that there’s a long way between 0% at no drug and 80% at the minimum dose. -the curves man, look at the curves. This gives a fairly good indication of why some people find tapering necessary. You NEED a percentage taper just to get a linear decrease in SERT occupancy. Linear decreases in dose will actually hit you with exponentially increasing drops in SERT occupancy, particularly drops between the minimum therapeutic dose and 0 Basically, this paper provides a real basis for percentage reductions in dose when discontinuing SSRI’s. I realize I'm kinda preaching to the converted and telling people what they already know, but it seems there may actually be a real reason why some people find it necessary to do these percentage tapers to get off SSRI's. Caveat: I have no idea what the relationship between SERT occupancy and post synaptic serotonin is, it’s probably not linear since if it was higher doses would have basically no effect, but this is nevertheless very interesting to look at. They were only looking at one part of the brain but pointed out it correlated strongly to elsewhere.
  2. Hello Everyone, Let me introduce myself. You can call me Sebas (38), i'm from Amsterdam. Hope my English is okay. I was diagnosed with anxiety issues around 2004 and then started using Seroxat, I believe it's called Paxil in the US. I'm aware by now of all the problems this medicine is causing. In other words, i've read a lot, and i mean A LOT about it. I can almost graduate about the subject After several attempts to stop, I found out in 2015 or 2016 about the 5-10% reduction rule. That helped me from 20 mg (10 ml) tot 12 mg (6 ml) in about 1,5 years (estimated). I'm using the fluid suspension and some squirts for accurate dosage. From 6 ml down to 5,8 took me 5 weeks to feel allright, then i stabilized for a week and went back down from 5,8 tot 5,6. All the usual withdrawal symptoms occur during tapering periods such as illness, nerve system problems, visual, fatigue, stomache cramps and also i'm countering eye circles. Since the last dosage (from 5,8 tot 5,6) i've been feeling bad for 9 weeks already. Especially my stomache and my energy. So i'm now wondering what to do, wait (and wait...), go back to 5,8, go back to 6,0 of try to switch to another AD. Cause this one is really @#$%&* mainly cause of the fast half-life period. I've read about a cross tapering method. I asked my doktor for a psychiatric consult about it. Or...could it be my body (and mind) is telling me this dose is beneath the minimum that i just need for my personal wellbeing. I'm familiair with magnesium, omega 3/fish oil and multi vitamin for support. I'm looking forward fto exchanging some knowledge. Bye Sebas
  3. Hello forum! Female, 33, Sweden. Have been on Paroxetine, 20mg, for more than 5 years. In April 2017 I had my first major panic attack and ended up in the ER. My life completely changed and I developed panic disorder along with some GAD. Though the GAD may have been the underlying cause of panic, I don't really know. Since September 2017 I have been reducing my dose of Paroxetine, and am now on 10mg. Somewhere in December I got down to 10mg and thought I'd wait until I'm stable at this dose before continuing my taper. I have been using the Claire Weekes-method of trying to completely relax in the face of panic, and I seem to only have smaller attacks now. Palpitations have lessened, and I am less startled by my nervous system signaling panic. I have lately been feeling very off-balance/dizzy and sometimes theres an intense feeling of anxiety and dread in my body. Feels like there are bugs crawling around inside. Weird buzzing nerves? Dizziness is so bad I have to lie down sometimes. Last night I was holding on to the walls when moving around in my house. Feels like I'm losing my balance all the time, even when sitting on the toilet, but I can stand on one leg and walk in a straight line. So it seems to be some sort of misinterpretation happening in my brain, rather than an actual problem with my balance. Now to my question: When I wake up in the morning I usually feel perfectly fine. It is after taking Paroxetine that all of the horrible sensations start, and they seem to calm down slightly in the evening. Is this normal during withdrawal? Or does it sound more like I'm having actual adverse reactions to Paroxetine? They sort of worked until I developed panic disorder. But I clearly remember growing increasingly fearful and illogical during several months before I had that massive panic attack. Thank you in advance.
  4. Hi everyone, I just joined this site. I am tapering from 200 mg of Zoloft. I've been taking Zoloft for about 20 years now, and a better amount of that time has been 200 mg. I started tapering by 25 mg every 2 weeks on February 7, 2019. I just started 100 mg today. I had a bit of a hiccup and had to take 125 mg for a bit longer than expected. The reason for my taper is that I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I was originally diagnosed with depression, and used alcohol as a crutch. I quit drinking early November of 2018 and am enrolled in DBT classes. My psychiatrist seems to think that my issues are mainly BPD and alcohol so I may be able to get off the Zoloft. I'm having a multitude of symptoms and I would love to be welcomed in your group so that I can share my experiences and learn from others.
  5. Topic title: 20 to 18mg duloxetine is harder than 30 to 20mg Hi there I spent most of last year on 30mg of duloxetine (20 years of depression generally pretty well managed by medication - lots of different ones). Having started meditating regularly in the summer which I've kept up along with regular exercise - I was feeling pretty good so went down to 20mg around November. I had no problems at all. Even with christmas and an operation to deal with! 2 weeks ago, I started following the guidance on this site on tapering duloxetine and used ball counting and gelatine capsules to taper to 18mg. It's been very hard. Tears and irritability. I haven't been like this in a long time. Why would it be harder to go from 20mg to 18 that it was from 90 to 60 , 60 to 30 or 30 to 20?? It doesn't seem right. I've booked to the see the psychiatrist next week because my family are a bit alarmed and worried. But he is very pro medication. I don't think he'll be happy about my plans. But now I know duloxetine is so hard to come off, I want off it more than ever! I would not be completely against starting something else additionally to see me through but I know Prozac is often preferred and it has a bad effect on me s isn't an option. I so grateful if you've taken the time to read this!
  6. Hi everyone, I am taking Effexor for chronic pain not depression. On Effexor for 10 years, half of those years on 112.5mg the other half 150mg Started reducing a year ago February 2012 - 150mg March 2012 - 131mg April 2012 - 112.5mg July 2nd 2012 - 92mg July 23rd - chronic pain got worse October 21st - started 75mg (chronic pain flare up subsided and has been stable ever since) November 16th - 56mg December 11th - 37.5mg January 5th, 2013 - 19mg January 22nd, 2013 - 22.5mg January 23rd, 2013 - 37.5mg January 24th, 2013 - 30mg From November 16th when I dropped to 56mg up to January 22nd the withdrawal effects gradually got worse. Prior to this I experienced no withdrawal effects. On January 22nd when I increased the dosage to 22.5mg I was trying to decrease the withdrawal effects because they were getting too strong. The small increase had no effect. On the following day when I increased to 37.5mg after an hour and 45 minutes the withdrawal effects got significantly worse. I went to my family Doctor (who was much more knowlegeable than I thought) and he recommended taking 30mg. Today I feel slightly better than yesterday but still not as good as when I was on 19mg. I'm wondering if I should stay at 30mg or should I decrease to maybe 25mg since I felt better at 19mg and I was on 19mg for 2 and half weeks? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Best of health to everyone! Thank you!
  7. Hey everyone, so I decided I'm not going to take my monthly antipsychotic injections anymore. I had it with the side effects and my psychiatrist wasn't supportive to taper me off slowly (he thought I should be on them forever). I know it's not the best decision considering the risks, but I have faith in God and my capability to overcome any side effects. I'm thankful that I didn't face any major withdrawal effects so far (except for whole body soreness for a day or two which was acceptable) and I hope it continues that way. It's almost 2 months from my last injection and the half-life of Invega Sustenna is 25 - 49 days so I definitely crossed it. I don't know if it helped, but I am taking Ratfish liver oil 15 drops twice daily. Now, I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to start taking a natural dopamine/serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Catuaba) to down-regulate my already up-regulated dopamine/serotonin receptors. The reason I suspect they up-regulated is because the Invega I was taking acts as an antagonist at both dopamine and serotonin receptors. I would like to start healing my brain to return to my former intellectual/cognitive state before starting the medication (I suspect I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar to begin with). The extra dopamine could possibly help with the motivation/focus issues as well. Do you think I'd be overloading my brain at this stage? Would the Catuaba cause me to go manic? Any thoughts are welcome (including how to overcome/bounce back/heal after stopping antipsychotics)...
  8. Note from site administrator: Read this entire topic before attempting a switch to Prozac. Be sure to read details and cautions below . Consult a knowledgeable medical practitioner before changing medications. Also see Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine) Switching or bridging with another drug, usually of a longer half-life, is a recognized way to get off antidepressants, particularly those that people find difficult to taper. Many people with failed tapers from venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), paroxetine (Paxil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta) find they need to bridge in order to go off the drug. For many doctors, a switch to Prozac to go off a different antidepressant is routine. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has the longest half-life of any of the modern antidepressants. Because it takes about a week for a dose to be metabolized completely, if a switch to fluoxetine is successful -- that is, does not cause withdrawal symptoms from the original drug -- a careful taper off fluoxetine is easier for most people -- see information about Tapering off Prozac. And, at least fluoxetine comes in a liquid. (Citalopram or Celexa and its sibling escilatopram or Lexapro have half-lives of about 35 hours, a relatively long half-life among SSRIs, and are other candidates for a bridging strategy. They also come in a liquid form. The drawbacks and advantages of switching to another drug to get off the first drug, described below, apply to a switch to citalopram or escilatopram as well as fluoxetine.) While going off fluoxetine usually has less risk, one might still develop withdrawal symptoms going off fluoxetine. No bridging strategy is risk-free. You must find a knowledgeable doctor to help you to with a bridging strategy. You might wish to print this post out to discuss it with your doctor. When to switch or bridge A direct taper from the drug to which your nervous system is accustomed carries less risk than a switch to a new drug. You may have a bad reaction to a new drug, or the substitution may not work to forestall withdrawal symptoms. This is the "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know" rule. The risk of a switch is justified if you find a taper from the original drug is simply too difficult. Usually people will do a switch when they find reducing the original antidepressant by even a small amount -- 10% or even 5% -- causes intolerable withdrawal symptoms. (I have heard doctors say they don't even try tapering off Effexor and Paxil, they do the Prozac switch from the beginning.) Sometimes when people go down to a low dose of an antidepressant (such as paroxetine), they find further reduction is very difficult. Substituting a longer-acting SSRI such as fluoxetine may be worth the risk. If you're thinking of switching simply as a matter of convenience, you need to weigh the risks against the amount of convenience you would gain. Generally, switching for convenience is a bad idea. Risks of bridging For most people the switch goes smoothly but for some it doesn't. A bridging strategy has the following drawbacks for a minority of those who try it: Adverse reaction to the bridge drug, such as Prozac. Dropping the first antidepressant in the switch causes withdrawal symptoms even though you're taking a bridge drug. If withdrawal symptoms are already underway, switching to a bridge drug doesn't help Difficulty tapering off the bridge drug. All of the bridge drugs can be difficult to taper themselves. So, like anything else, the Prozac switch is not guaranteed to work. But if you are having intolerable withdrawal from another antidepressant, it may be worth risking the worst case in the Prozac switch: It doesn't help and you have withdrawal syndrome anyway. CAUTION: A switch to a bridge drug is not guaranteed to work. It's safer to slow down a taper than count on a switch. A switch really should be used only when a taper becomes unbearable or there are other serious adverse effects from the medication. You must work with a doctor who is familiar with bridging, in case you develop severe symptoms. Below is information I've gathered from doctors about exactly how to do the Prozac switch. Healy 2009 method for the Prozac switch From Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines: Phelps-Kelly 2010 method for Prozac switch From Clinicians share information about slow tapering (2010) Jim Phelps, one of the authors of the above, posted in 2005 in some detail about the so-called "Prozac bridging" strategy. He said it is described in Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash, maybe in the chapter titled of "Held Hostage." The technique Dr. Phelps described in this post skips doses and finishes with alternating dosages, which we do not recommend for people who are sensitive to withdrawal symptoms. Given that Prozac liquid is available, this is completely unnecessary. Foster 2012 method for Prozac switch Dr. Mark Foster, a GP whose mission is to get people safely off psychiatric drugs includes this in a presentation he gives to doctors. http://www.gobhi.org/spring_conference_powerpoints/safewithdrawal_of_psychotropics%5Bautosaved%5D.ppt. His method involves overlapping Prozac with the other antidepressant. Note on above: If you have tapered to a lower dose of Seroxat/Paxil, Effexor, Cipramil/Celexa, Lustral/Zoloft, etc., an even lower dose of Prozac may be more tolerable. If you are about half-way down, you might want to try 10mg Prozac. If you have decreased further, you may wish to try 5mg Prozac. More is not better for nervous systems sensitized by withdrawal. Prey 2012 method for Prozac switch Another knowledgeable doctor (whom I trust) explained his technique to me (this is the technique I personally would prefer if I had to do it, it seems much gentler😞 For a "normal" dose of Effexor (150mg per day or more) or Paxil (20mg) or Cymbalta (20mg), he would switch to 10mg Prozac with a week of overlap. In other words, take both medications for a week and then drop the Effexor. Lower doses of Effexor or other antidepressant require lower doses of Prozac as a "bridge." The lower dose of Prozac reduces the risk of excessive serotonergic stimulation (serotonin toxicity) from the combination of the two antidepressants during the overlap period. Do not stay on the combination of the first antidepressant and Prozac for more than 2 weeks, or you run the risk of your nervous system accommodating to the combination and having difficulty tapering off both antidepressants. Later, taper off Prozac. He acknowledged Prozac can have its withdrawal problems, but given Prozac's long half-life, gradual tapering should be much easier than tapering off Effexor. WARNING Serotonergic effects of an SSRI such as Prozac, Celexa, or Lexapro are ADDED when you are taking an SNRI such as desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor), venlafaxine XR (Effexor XR), milnacipran (Savella), and levomilnacipran (Fetzima). You run the risk of serotonergic toxicity if you are taking an SNRI, particularly at a high dose, with an SSRI. This is why doctors familiar with the Prozac switch will add in a LOW DOSE of Prozac to an SNRI. In addition, escilatopram (Lexapro) is several times stronger, milligram for milligram, than the other SSRIs. If you add 10mg Lexapro to, for example, the high dose of 60mg Cymbalta, you will run the risk of serotonergic toxicity -- 10mg Lexapro is equal to approximately 30mg Prozac. What should the final prozac dose be? Please note that if you cross-taper, you will be taking 2 drugs at once for part of the time. Because of the potential of serotonin toxicity by overdosing SSRIs as well as SNRIs, it's probably safest to err on the lower side of a Prozac dose "equivalent" -- such as 5mg -- to your original drug. Given Prozac's long half-life, it may take up to a couple of weeks to reach full effect. The effect of the amount you add at each stage of the cross-taper will build throughout the process. For an idea of equivalent doses of your medication to fluoxetine (prozac) read this post (January 7, 2018) in this topic. It compares fluoxetine 40mg/day (a fairly high dose of Prozac) to other antidepressants. Source of that data: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25911132 Also see this discussion about cross-tapering with Prozac: Smoothing out the transition to Prozac Even with a cross-taper, your system might feel a jolt after you finally drop the initial antidepressant, particularly if it is an SNRI, such as Effexor, Pristiq, or Cymbalta, or other drug that is not an SSRI like Prozac. (Other SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro). If you go through a rough patch after the transition, patients find they can take a tiny chip of the original drug (or a bead or two, if it's a capsule containing beads) for a week or two to smooth out the transition. Eventually, you'd take a chip as needed only when you feel a wave of withdrawal from the original drug, and then finally leave the original drug entirely behind. (A gelatin capsule might make a tablet fragment easier to get down, but it is not necessary if you can wash it down with a good swallow of water. The gelatin capsule quickly dissolves in your stomach.) Here's an example. There is no shame in doing this. Whatever works, works.
  9. I’ve been on Wellbutrin for 20 years. Since November 2018, I've started tapering from my initial dosage (300-mg per day). I'm down to 200-mg per day. If I could sum up what Wellbutrin has done for me, I would say this. The monsters that Wellbutrin imprisoned for 20-years are slowly escaping now that the prison itself is slowly breaking down. And I’m once again left with dealing with issues, old relics which caused my depression in the first place. I suffered much abuse as a child and as a result, I had a lot of anger. As a teen, my controlling parents abandoned me and then in my twenties, when I was too lost, angry and hopeless, and I didn't have life skills developed enough to function in this world, they threw me to the wolves because I wouldn't cooperate with them because I was tired of their s**t. After a shrink experimented on me, I was finally placed on a benzodiazepine. After suffering from weird side effects, fearing permanent damage to my body, without my doctor’s knowledge, I slowly tapered off the stuff. My doctor was useless and had the deer in the headlights look when I showed him the damning research I did on benzodiazepines. After months of perpetual fatigue, I finally went back to my witch doctor and I allowed him to place me on Wellbutrin. I was that desperate. Along with curing the chronic fatigue, Wellbutrin took away all my anger and anxiety, so I could function and work at getting myself out of the terrible situation I found myself in. Fast forward twenty years. My current situation, suffering from withdrawal, has caused me to experience flashbacks in the form of vivid dreams. I believe these flashbacks and the extreme anger I feel are symptoms telling me that I need to work on myself. I married in my 50’s to a man who had two daughters ages 11 and 14. His ex-wife, if I had to guess, suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and is a Narcissistic Queen Mother. My husband’s ex is intrusive, loud, inpatient, and flamboyant. She is easily frustrated, often bursting into rages than can terrify her children. She can be disingenuous and lies in order to get what she wants. The Queen relates to others with superficiality and an air of detachment. My husband’s ex perceived others, including her girls, as a threat to her own survival unless we all relinquish their needs for hers. Queen mothers compete with their children for a time, attention, love, and money. Superficial interest and a lack of attunement to the child's emotional needs are typical of Queen mothers. I don’t think I need to continue with the description because I think you get the point. Her daughters - I get along very well with the youngest girl. However, the older one is going to be just like or worse than her mother when she matures. If I had to guess, the oldest child is an introverted covert narcissist and she is a very cold-hearted individual who gives me the creeps. I have known the girls for two years. From day one, the oldest girl has been distant, secretive and entitled. Being the people pleaser that I am, I tried to bend over backward to please someone who can never be pleased. Here's the situation that triggered my flashbacks. Case in point, two nights ago, the temperature fell below freezing. The oldest girl was going to a party and had nothing on but a slip dress and stiletto heels. Her father and I attempted to force her to wear a coat or jacket, but she outright refused. If I had to guess, she did not want anything covering up her beautiful body – or so she thought . I finally gave her my fancy sweater to wear. After coming home, the next day, she proceeds to prance around the house with not much on and obsessively complained that she is cold and demands that the house be warmer, and she wants a heater for her bedroom. Me, like the people pleaser that I am, I gave her my heater. That night both I and my husband were very cold. He didn’t appreciate me giving up our heater and he pointed out the fact that she was willing to go almost butt naked to a party on an extremely cold night but then she came home and b*tch** about the house being cold and she wanted it warmer. That’s the reason he didn’t cater to her demands to increase the temperature. At the dinner table the next day. I joked with the girls that I would clean their rooms for $20 per week. These two girls are so entitled and lazy that their grandmother tries to bribe them to motivate the girls to ‘consider’ keeping their rooms clean and organized. They both said no. I then jokingly told them that they should ask their grandmother for $30 a week. They could keep $10 and I’ll clean their rooms for $20. After long silent consideration, the youngest daughter said she would split the money 50/50 with me. However, the oldest said that she would have me clean her room in addition to me washing her bed sheets and making up her bed. She said I should be thankful if she gives me $5 out of the $30 for my efforts. This is a fine example showing the characters of the two girls. The youngest one endears me to her – the oldest repels me. That night, after getting to sleep, I had a series of dreams. The theme running through the dreams was – my inability to take care of myself. Here’s the dream series: I’m at my childhood home. Its morning, I went into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast. I wanted to change my habit of not taking care of myself. My mother, in lightning speed, like a wolf spider exiting its den, opened her bedroom door and rushed into the kitchen to attack me for making noise. I had to abandon making breakfast and go to school. During elementary, junior high and high school, I suffered long periods of time starving. My mother was a hateful woman who used every opportunity she could to destroy me. The dream changed and there was another scene. I was a twenty-something woman. After spending a few hours with a man, my intuition told me this man was a heartless uncaring person. I told my father my thoughts in hopes of figuring out everything I had experienced while on the date. My conclusion was I wanted nothing to do with him. But my father talked me out of trusting my intuition and told me to give him a chance. As a result, I spent years being abused by this man because I tried to make it work with him. He turned out to be a psychopath and hurt me so bad, in one regard, I will never recover from. The dream changed again, and I was a teenager. My self-absorbed, sister and hateful mother were very controlling. I had little money, working as a part-time nanny. I decided I wanted to learn to cook. I always wanted to learn how to make cheesecake, so I purchase the ingredients. No sooner than I had placed them on the kitchen table then my mother and sister came running, like two hyenas into the kitchen to see what they could rip off me. They proceeded to chase me away from my ingredients and push me out of the house. They made the cheesecake and ate it themselves. I didn’t even get a crumb. I woke up angry. I told my husband about the dream and then related it to his oldest daughter. Now, I believe he thinks I have mental issues. No…not his daughter, the one who has somatic narcissist traits and treats everyone, including him very, very poorly. I wasn’t going to wait a week or so to get my sweater or my heater back. The oldest girl never gives anything back unless I beg and beg and beg her. Cold as ice, acting put out, she grudgingly gave me my heater and sweater back. I believe my current situation reminds me of my past. I believe my anger is telling me I’m dealing with the oldest girl incorrectly. I believe I need to stop people pleasing and have nothing to do with the oldest girl. I’m in a difficult situation because the father already told me he loves his children more than me. I believe that an informal given that a parent loves their children the most in this world. But he didn’t have to say it. So, I have not interfered with how the girls treat their father. I didn’t remind them to call him nor did I suggest they get him a gift. Case in point, they did not remember to call him for his birthday, nor did they get him a birthday or Christmas present. The oldest and to a certain extent the youngest treat their father like their mother does – he’s just an ATM money machine. God help him. I believe I need a support group while I’m healing so that I don’t talk to my husband about my recovery and to get some support so I don’t fall into any trap his oldest child might set for me. Does anyone have any suggestions? Has anyone gone through what I have gone through or are going through now? Thanks!
  10. Does anyone have ideas on a tapering schedule for those that have been using Phenergan more than 6 months. It comes in 10 and 25 mg oral tablets. It has moderate anticholinegic effects and is a mild dopamine antagonist alongside strong H1 histamine action. Given that I assume tapering is important.
  11. Hi all. I've been tapering off escitalopram/lexapro for the last six weeks, gradually reducing the dose every two weeks. I'm down from 20mg to 12.5mg and not going any further for now. the last two weeks I've been feeling a few old symptoms creeping back - vivid dreams, reduced concentration, low energy and unhelpful thought patterns. My doctor's great and has advised me to slow down, which I'm doing. Anyone else been in a similar place? Pep talks and cheer leading is all very welcome!
  12. Hi, Currently taking 150mg of sertraline a day and looking to ween myself off it. How would i go about doing this? I did some digging and it seems to go by 10% a month of lower dosage. Is this correct? Also, could someone explain why liquidising the dosage is better? Is there no other method of safely tapering? I was going to reduce it by 25mg a week consecutively. Would this be non advisable? Thanks.
  13. 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.
  14. When I was on 300mg Wellbutrin SR (daily), after seven years, during a period in my life where I was under tremendous stress, didn't eat properly and was dehydrated most of the time, I developed tremors and restless leg syndrome and leg cramps. I was so dehydrated at times that when I had to go to the ER for a diverticulitis attack, it took the ER nurse two hours to get an IV into my veins. Since December 2018, I have been tapering my medication. As of today, I'm on 113mg Wellbutrin (Immediate Release) taken in the morning and evening, which is 226mg. During this time, I have added the following in my dietary routine: I drink 16 oz of water before eating. I try to drink a total of 70 oz of water per day, not including any other drinks I may consume. I am 140 lbs. I drink 0.5 oz for each pound I weigh. Dehydration is only one potential cause of muscle cramps, but it’s one worth considering if you are experiencing cramps. Changes in the electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, can lead to muscle cramping as well. An hour after drinking my water, I take my medication with my breakfast. For breakfast, I have usually had a large bowl of fruit. And take my supplements: my probiotics (high dosage), Salmon oil, Fish Oil ( a combo of several types of fish oils), flax seed oil - all in pill form. And, I take a multi-purpose digestive aid tablet. 30-minutes afterward, I heat up a cup of almond milk (unsweetened) and place a peppermint tea bag in it. After the tea bag has seeped, I flavor the tea with maple syrup, add acacia powder (pre-biotics), cocoa powder, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. Actually, It tastes pretty good. I notice that with this amount of oil in my diet, I don't need a stool softener. I also notice that my leg cramps, restless leg jumping, and tremors have disappeared and I don't have bad mood swings as I did before. Before bedtime, I drink another cup of this cocktail but I omit the cocoa powder. Lunch and Dinner I take a multivitamin, multi-mineral, Vitamin C, extra Potassium and Vitamin D. I am on an Auto Immune Diet. One hour after I take my evening medication, I take a BCAA, with l carnitine, l asparagine, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and turmeric. I notice I get a restful sleep with this combination. I believe the magnesium works better with protein. I don't know why, but, for me it does. These also might be helpful to others - these steps help me: Yoga and meditation have helped me overcome the feeling of "being lost" and unsure about myself. I read the scriptures daily and try to have a 'relationship' with God. When I follow this routine, in addition to the above benefits, I stop craving sweets and chocolate, I don't get hungry much and I feel calm and have a sense of well being. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance Spotlight on Asparagine and Its Benefits Branched-Chain Amino Acids as New Biomarkers of Major Depression - A Novel Neurobiology of Mood Disorder Probiotics and the Vagus Nerve – a New Frontier for Psychiatric Conditions The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression The Underlying Factor Behind Your Anxiety And Depression
  15. Wellbutrin – Bupropion Tapering Journey – My Goal and Future Plans A few days ago, I signed up. I want to introduce myself to everyone and say, I'm thankful for the existence of this site, its creators and my fellow subscribers. I want to encourage and help others dealing with antidepressants. Consider me a friend! If there's anything I could do for anyone, please let me know! I want to add the following information to my history but, I’m not familiar with this site and do not know how to change my initial profile history so I thought I would enter my history as a topic. April 1990 Started Xanax after complaining to the doctor about insomnia. Dr., at the time, justified his treatment plan by stating that transient situational stress caused my anxiety. The initial dose was 3 mg/day given two times a day. The results were, it took the edge off my anxiety, my feelings numbed, it suppressed my appetite and desire for water, the sleep I got was not restful and, I lost my libido. I developed GERD and constipation so severe I became impacted, Prevacid and mineral oil were prescribed to alleviate these ailments. 1995 Started noticing that I could not remember or recall music in my head. Dr. said the symptom was psychosomatic and advised me to continue taking my meds. Did research on benzodiazepines and discovered they were for short term use only and very, very dangerous. I started tapering off Xanax secretly because I did not trust Dr.’s judgment. 1998 Notified my Dr that I was entirely off of Xanax and wanted to stay off it or any other benzodiazepine. I showed him my research which he dismissed. At no time, did said Dr. attempt to educate me or at the least suggest a treatment plan nor did he urge me to go into therapy for the prolonged withdrawal symptoms I was suffering: I could not focus and had to work extremely hard to concentrate. My emotions were mostly flat except for the underlining anger always smoldering under the surface, I couldn’t find pleasure in anything, and I felt unmotivated most, if not all the time. Out of my ignorance, confusion, and frustration, the only thing fueling my drive to continue was the self-loathing I felt because I thought I was just ‘lazy.’ 1999 Finally stopped completely taking the Xanax. My insomnia came back, I could not focus or concentrate, and debilitating fatigue that would not go away plagued me almost all the time. I felt I had no choice but to go back to the same Doctor and he prescribed Wellbutrin 75 mg IR (immediate release) mg/day given two times a day and justified himself by saying, ‘the drug acts like Speed, it will make your tiredness go away.’ The drug did INDEED stop my fatigue, and it felt like Wellbutrin “placed glasses on my myopic brain because I could once again focus’. As a result, I had more energy to function and get on with my life, but I always had that underlining anger, along with now craving sweets. I stopped taking any stool softeners or laxatives because I felt I didn’t need them anymore. 2002 Dr. increased the drug from 75 mg to 100 mg (sustained release) SR because most of my old symptoms were back including the fatigue. 2005 Dr. increased Wellbutrin from 100 mg to 150 mg SR mg/day given two times a day because most of my old symptoms were back again including the fatigue. Because my thyroid function was borderline low, I showed signs of hypothyroidism, and I was placed on 12 mcg Levothyroxine once a day for good measures. My fatigue finally went away for good. 2012 Severe diverticulitis attack and put on potent antibiotics. 2013 Another severe diverticulitis attack and again placed on potent antibiotics. Now diagnosed with IBS in addition to diverticulosis. 2013 to 2017 Took a course of high-powered antibiotics every three months for diverticulitis and IBS attacks. Started to experience unexplained hand tremors. I could no longer handle any form of stress. Started researching holistic approaches to treating my health issues. Discovered the existence of the (brain-to-gut axis) and I began to believe the medications were causing my digestive problems. Did research and used the Parkinson Disease model to explain my tremors and other symptoms I was experiencing caused by the Wellbutrin altering my dopamine levels and function. Dec 2018 My goal was to taper entirely off of the Wellbutrin and Levothyroxine, starting first with the Wellbutrin. I was on 300 mg SR Wellbutrin once per day. Started tapering process by replacing the 300 mg SR dosage with 150 mg SR, taken twice a day, having a 12-hour window between dosages. Initial holding period was 30 days. Initially, I had a period of sadness and crying spells which diminished. I started a regiment of supplements to prepare my body for the withdrawal process. Jan 2019 The next step in my tapering process was to replace the sustain release form of Wellbutrin with immediate release. To accomplish this, I took 1 and ½ IR Wellbutrin twice a day with a 12-hour window between dosages. Holding period was ten days. Next, from the evening dose, I started cutting pills, removing 1/8 from a whole 100 mg (IR) tablet which is removing around 13 mg. Initial daily drug intake amount became 150 mg SR in the morning and 138 mg, at night, keeping a 12-hour window between the dosages, as best as I can. Again, the holding window. My next tapering decrease will occur in a few days and will be 138 mg in the morning and 125 mg at night for ten days.
  16. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  17. Most, if not all, of us on here keep notes or track symptoms, progress and tapering schedules. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could combine them all in one big AI database and have it spew out the statistically significant data? Until that comes to fruition, I wanted to share some patterns that I have tracked with my daughter’s anti-psychotic tapering progress over the last two years. Maybe others have seen similar patterns? Or can share their noticeable patterns on the specific days or weeks when they occur from a drop in dose/ taper time frame. So often in the throes of withdrawal agony we look for a way to ‘fix’ our current situation. We ruminate whether we should up dose, taper down, throw a supplement at it, add a different med …. In the hopes of making the current “pain”, better. Pretty much I have thought of all those things except throwing in the kitchen sink in an attempt to ‘make it stop’ for her. As it is often cited and discussed here on Survivingantidepressants.com, learning how to cope using non-drug techniques during these times is the best strategy. Can knowing when you are in the middle of something awful, that what you are experiencing is actually a typical pattern others have gone through and will eventually subside…be of benefit to help ‘ride the wave?' I vote, "yes it can." The pattern that I have noticed for my daughter, Glo, is what I call the “Week Three Phenomenon.” This phenomenon became more apparent as her dose became lower. Probably because she was pretty much ‘zombified’ on the higher doses and it was only when her level of alertness improved and just overall feeling better occurred that the ‘down patterns’ emerged more clearly. Week Three Phenomenon occurs between day 15 and 22 after a taper. It shows up as Emotional Spirals, (typically Anger Spirals), Crying Spells, Agitation and increased Insomnia. Week one and Week two have their share of symptoms but typically not these. Actually those weeks have more physical symptoms and less emotional symptoms. Additionally there is more “calm” in week 2. So one might think, “Ahh I made it through the rough parts of that taper” and then boom….not so much. But then by week 4…pretty much on cue for day 22 or 23…the calm returns. Maybe this is Windows and Waves but maybe it is actually repair work going on from the drop in dose. Maybe there is really a methodical way the brain heals and it impacts certain areas of the brain in succession (the amygdala, hippocampus, frontal lobe perhaps)? Similar to the old fashioned arcade Pinball Game only the “ball” pings the same areas of the brain in a repeatable fashion after a taper? I am certainly only a mother observing my daughters behaviors and actions through this process so, no expert am I. Nor do I really know what she is feeling as she does not talk much any more. However, I can count on these emotional spirals showing up on week 3 like clockwork. The other pattern I see relates to Menstruating Females. This pattern is most discernible when one is having regular periods. Glo went from amenorrhea in the beginning to irregular periods then to regular but shortened periods. But every month when she is regular her symptoms go ‘off the charts’ during ovulation. They last about 24 to 36 hours and occur mostly 14 days before the start of her next period. She has ramped up pacing (I am assuming akathisia), chewing/jaw tension, agitation, insomnia and decreased level of alertness/communication. This same pattern emerges 24 to 48 hours before she starts her period. So what happens if my sweet beautiful daughter is in Week Three of a taper and ovulation or her menstrual cycle arrives? Well, if the general public, doctors or psychiatrists were around they would lock her up in a psych ward and “med her up” (to refer to words by @puthappinessfirst) Fortunately, I will not let that happen. It is comforting to me to know these are patterns and that there is always calm after these storms; usually in the form of increased healing. She is better now than she has been at any time on this medication. She still has much healing to do. I still have patience to learn. But we are getting through to the other side of being on this poison. Peace to all who taper, Glosmom
  18. Hi all, This is my first post here and my first real attempt at tapering off of all psychiatric medications. A very brief background, I have been on 20+ medications since I was 12, ranging from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and sleep drugs. I am 22 now and finally, (sober this time) investigating some of the core issues that caused me to self medicate-via doctor and drug dealer-and I'm ready to really sit with my emotions and feel them fully. Currently I am on Lithium-1050mg, Gabapentin-600mg, Celexa-5mg I have been reading as much as I can on comingoff.org and SA and would like to prepare myself and set myself up for success. From what I understand 10% taper is ideal. I am not in any hurry, I just want this to be as positive experience as possible so this is fine. I met with my psychiatrist today and she had some smaller dosages prescribed for me and is on board and on my team for which I am thankful. I am wondering if there are other things I can do smartly prepare. I read briefly about remineralization but am not sure what that entails. Any foods, supplements, behaviors that would ease me into this journey? Ideas? Thoughts? I start this process April 1st and will post updates. Thank you!
  19. Hey guys, I wanted to come back here and just pass on a few things that may help someone. My full story is in the introductions section, but I weaned off Prozac over last year (did the last bit a little too quickly) and due to a variety of factors had a few episodes of intense withdrawal symptoms over Christmas and the start of January. I reinstated at 2mg recently and am glad to report I'm doing absolutely fantastic. However, I noticed a few patterns which caused me to go into symptom mode. Number 1 was reading too many posts on the forum - I used to be a moderator on an OCD support forum and am aware of the dangers of excessive forum use! In fact it was one of the first things we'd advise newbies to the site. In the week before I reinstated, I went into a mode that I hadn't done for a long time. I was checking for success stories, reading other people's symptoms, and was preoccupied with my health for most of the day. I developed new symptoms and old patterns began to emerge. I've been practicing meditation for 2 years now. I stopped temporarily (funnily enough, just before withdrawal symptoms emerged) for a number of reasons. I forgot how wild an unobserved mind can get, and how we continually create our reality moment by moment. Thankfully I was seeing an amazing Reiki therapist once a week over the past month. He pretty much helped me drag myself out of a potentially long term situation, and helped me take responsibility for the symptoms in order to diffuse them incredibly quickly. I also became disheartened by the horror stories and the lack of success stories, but I knew on some level there was more to it. I've seen incredible recoveries over recent years from a variety of illnesses including severe mental illness, chronic pain, cancer. But as soon as I began getting too involved in the world of 'withdrawal', all of that was thrown into doubt. So I did a test. I know intellectually that my mind is a constant flux of thoughts created from my own awareness, nothing is really external or separate from us, it's all the creation and response of mind. When we know that on an experiential level, there is no reason to suffer, because you are aware that you are creating everything that appears to your consciousness. You can create anything. I mentally put out a request for real life success stories. Within about 6 hours an old friend got in touch. I havent seen her in years since we were in a psychiatric hospital, she was a bit older than me and was like a mother figure. She had been one a severe case of clinical depression, in hospital many times. Her doctors told her she was a lost cause and would be dead within the next few years. Turns out she stopped her meds three years ago, refused any medical help, found a great therapist who understood her desire not to be medicated, and she is happier than she's ever been. She is in a new relationship, has gone back to college, and has absolutely no symptoms in regards to withdrawal (she said there was at first but they didn't last intensely after she started therapy). The following day I bumped into a lady who owns a shop near me who I haven't spoke to in months. She confided that she is also medication free since last summer, after years of being on antidepressants. While things have been up and down, she was still positive, running her business, and very positive. From that day I stopped researching anything to do with illness or withdrawal, I got strict with myself in terms of observing thoughts, and detaching from as many as possible throughout the day. Letting them be there without making a 'story' out of them. Of course, the 2mg reinstatement took the edge off almost immediately, but the transformation between now and the horror I experienced a few weeks ago is unimaginable. In the midst of a crisis the smallest of things can mean the difference between a temporary episode and a wave of days or weeks of awfulness. My main withdrawal episodes lasted no more than a day or two at a time, whereas years ago they would have knocked me for six for weeks. I credit that in part to an ongoing understanding of the how the mind works and not exposing myself to negativity as much as possible, especially in such vulnerable states. Forums and the internet are a great resource, but that's just it, they are a tool and as much as it feels like it's the last thing we want to do, it's essential to spend the majority of our time in 'the world' so we get a fuller picture of it. So I guess what I mean is, don't spend time exposing your mind to anything that reaffirms sickness. People, media, tv, situations. In the psychiatric hospitals I was in in the past they had a term for it (I forget what it was), where patients who were around other patients for too long would develop similar symptoms. They would try and get people out quickly and not encourage them to become too close because the statistics for them later being diagnosed with further disorders was much higher the longer you were in there. I guess it's the same in life, we become what we fill our consciousness with. I was very aware that I was spending most of my time reading about withdrawal and thinking about what my symptoms were like day to day, rather than actually healing. Suffering is inevitable, for everyone, that is the nature of being human. But we have so, so much more power to react to it differently, and even be comfortable with it, than we ever imagine. Glimpses of this astonishing power have saved me many times, although we do need to be still enough for it to be revealed. This may or may not be of use to anyone, but I wanted to share it anyway in the hope that it may help. Love and courage to all of you who are struggling.
  20. Hello everyone, I've been lurking on this site for a while now, gathering knowledge on how to come off psychotropics. I'm 37 year old female with a long history of depressive episodes and have been taking SSRI's of some sort (must have gone through most of them by now!) since 1998, when I was 17. Around 4 years ago (it's hard to tell, as my memory is utterly atrocious) I had a bad time again with depression and had psychotic symptoms. I was put under a psychiatrist who prescribed me 75mg quetiapine, and upped my sertraline from 100mg to 150mg. I've been on sertraline around 12 years and I haven't had much of an issue with it. The quetiapine, on the other hand, I am not prepared to live on indefinitely. I have put weight on (although not a huge amount), my blood sugar levels are causing concern (I exercise regularly, eat sensibly, have no diabetes in my family), I am like a zombie until lunchtime and I don't think there's been a night in 4 years where I haven't woken stuck to the sheets from profuse sweating. At night, especially if I've exercised in the day, my body is like a furnace. Makes not much difference if the room I'm in is cool; my body's thermostat is on the blink. If I miss a dose, I just don't sleep. The next day I'm a wreck. The last time I saw the psychiatrist (about 2 years ago) I asked him about coming off quetiapine - I've been on the lowest dose of 25mg since then. He was really cavalier in his attitude and said "it's fine - just come off it when you want to". So around a year ago, after I'd been stable for a good while, I did. And I didn't sleep for a week. So I caved in and started taking the 25mg again. 6 months later, I wanted to try again, so I went to my GP and asked for a short course of zopiclone so I could sleep whilst coming off the smallest dose. She would only give me 5 day's worth of Zopiclone (UK guidelines) - and even then, I still couldn't sleep without Quetiapine. In addition, I developed INTENSE itching all over my body, in really localised areas. I know now this is a histamine reaction and a common withdrawal symptom for quetiapine. At the time I thought I had some sort of weird invisible skin infestation! So I went back on the Q again after a week. THIS TIME, I'm even better armed. Despite being told that stopping 25mg quetiapine would not cause any problems, as it's such a low dose, I know better. The tablets are tiny, but I'm cutting them in half and then half again. My plan is to reduce in stages, taking once month for each stage. 25mg - > 18.75mg - > 12.5mg -> 6.25mg -> 0mg. If I manage this, I could be off it in three months. I'm currently 2 weeks into stage one (reduced by 25%). The first few days I had a little trouble getting to sleep, but that soon rectified itself. My mood over the last week has been steadily getting lower and I've been feeling more "mental" and unable to cope with stuff. I know the Q can augment the Sertraline. I haven't told my GP yet that I'm doing this, because every time I've brought it up there has been resistance and he tries to persuade me to stay on it. Probably because another hospital admission is far more costly than continuing the drug! (cynical..? Moi..?!) I'm being the most sensible I've ever been as regards self-care. No alcohol, eating well, exercising regularly, good sleep habits, etc etc. Anyways. Here I am. Hope my mood improves over the next two weeks in time for stage 2, though I am prepared to stick longer between reductions if needs be. Lunar
  21. Hi everyone I have stopped my AD without taping, from one day to another. I felt this whole AD-thing took over my live and I was also afraid that the drug would not work anymore and I can't new ones because I am not in treatment. So I stopped. I had of course no clue what the symptoms would be, how long it takes to get to a normal state again. The first two months were ok, I felt fine but since a month I am really struggling, heavy anxiety, depression attacks, spiralling (which I also learned on this forum). I am basically clueless, so I apologize for my questions. How long will it take till I am completely off the ADs? When do the symptoms stop? What brings ease? Should I go back on meds for a while and then start going off again but then by tampering? Thank you all for your advice and help.
  22. Hi, After reading many many posts, I'm more confused than ever ... I just obtained a prescription to have Pristiq compounded and reduced by 10% of current dose each month in hopes of getting off this beast. After reading some of the posts, it appears that it may not be a good idea to compound this drug because of the extended release properties of the 50mg pill. Is there anyone on this site that has had success tapering off of this drug using a compound pharmacy to do a 10% taper per month? I"m now nervous to get the prescription filled after reading some of the posts. I contacted the compound pharmacy (Guardian Drugs in Toronto, Canada) and they have the same reservations about crushing the extended release tablets as they tell me, that while they can do it, they don't know exactly how the compounded drug with react in my system. In compounding it, the drug will most likely be weaker (by exactly how much they can't say with any accuracy) and therefore she cannot say with any certainty whether or not it will cause withdrawal symptoms which I am desperate to avoid. Tried to taper off about five years ago (second or third try) by cutting the pill and reducing it gradually and had such bad withdrawal symptoms, I thought I was going to go mad so back on the stupid drug I went. The compounding pharmacy offered to call my family doctor and suggest to her that I switch to Effexor (75mg) which she said is equivalent to 50mg of Pristiq. She said that Effexor is much easier to come off of and much easier to compound. She said it didn't sound like my family doctor has much experience with coming off antidepressants (don't think my doctor is alone on this point). She also suggested reducing the Effexor by 5% each month rather than 10% to help avoid withdrawal altogether. She said it is better to taper very gradually and to take as long as possible to get off these drugs. Even a year or more sounded reasonable to her. So I guess my questions are (1) is it feasible/best approach to switch to Effexor to taper or am I just switching to a different beast even more difficult to get off of? (2) should I just get the Pristiq compounded and hope for the best ... ? (3) better suggestions/experience than the above two points? I would really like to get off of Pristiq, have been on anti-depressants far too long and never able to get off of them properly because of the horrific withdrawal symptoms so basically I've been held hostage by a little pill and would like my life back. Tired of feeling flat and not having any real emotions and don't want to Stepford Wife/Walking Dead it anymore. I've been taking 50mg of Pristiq for about 7 years and prior to that was on Effexor extended release 37.5 x 2 for about the same amount of time. Any suggestions from people with experience getting off these drugs would be most welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for reading.
  23. I was prescribed Citalopram (Celexa) by my doctor in London UK, when I was depressed during a period of unemployment. I took it for 3 years, taking 20mg once a day. I never felt like it did much good helping me, and it made me feel a bit spaced out, not all there. After 2 years on Citalopram I started to have some suicidal thoughts, but far more homicidal thoughts. I wanted to kill people. I had thoughts of driving head on into traffic, pushing people under trains, killing my partner, my dogs and burning the house down. I had never had these kinds of thoughts or ideas before, and was convinced they were a side-effect of the anti-depressant Citalopram which i was taking. I told my doctor about my suicidal/ homicidal thoughts and he was told me to double my dose of citalopram! I told him that the drugs were the problem, not me! I then slowly reduced my dose once each week for 10 weeks, taking the drug on alternate days, and then cutting the pill in half and only taking it on alternate days. Every time I reduced the dose I woke up the next day with cramps in my intercostal muscles? (muscles between my ribs), feeling very sore and stiff, like I'd been kicked in the ribs. I also felt quite sharp electric shock; in my neck and shoulders, and had some jerky twitches of my neck and shoulders from time to time. The symptoms went away after day or two, until the next time I reduced my dose. After 10 weeks I was off of Citalopram completely, and have been off them for 5 years now. It took about 3- 6 months for me to feel normal again after coming off of Citalopram, My life is much better without Citalopram, and I have had NO suicidal or homicidal urges or thoughts since I gave up the SSRI drug. I do not think doctors are not helping their patients by drugging them with SSRI's.
  24. I am an almost 30 year old wife and mom of 2 beautiful kiddos. I stumbled across this website while trying to figure out if the current issues I have been having were from tapering off of Zoloft in November 2017. I started SSRI's (Paxil) at 11 years when diagnosed with OCD tendencies. (recurring thoughts, perfection/control issues). Switched to Celexa after weight gain issues after starting Paxil. Had issues with body image and eating (over eating and restriction). I started restricting heavily and binging and purging at 20 years old and was switched to Prozac. I also was on adderall for ADHD in my early 20's for a brief period. (I was mostly concerned about not being able to concentrate, brain fog, and irritability). I was diagnosed as anorexic with bulimic tendencies at inpatient care for eating disorder at 24 (2012). Had a couple of relapses after inpatient, but then became pregnant in 2013 and haven't relapsed since. I switched to Zoloft (100 mg) during early pregnancy (2013). In Summer of 2017 I realized that my medication didn't seem to be helping me at all anymore. I suffered from insomnia, irritability, fatigue, and brain fog. I decided to taper from the 100mg of Zoloft I was on. I dropped to 75 mg for a month, then 50 mg for a month, 25 mg for a month, and have been medication free as of November 2017!!! I had no withdrawal symptoms, but still had irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and brain fog. In February 2018 I started getting super itchy at night. I would get hives and I couldn't fall asleep. It was maddening!!! I switched laundry detergents, made sure I used fragrance free soap. I took all the normal precautions for skin issues and nothing helped. I tried relaxing through the issues and it has helped the itching, but I have developed Dermatographia (skin writing). I will get hive like marks where clothes rubs or any extra stimulation has occured on my skin (for example: if I carry a bag, I get tons of hive like marks where the bag was resting in the exact shape of the bag handles) Skin issues seem to occur more in the evening hours, but still can happen during the day, usually more mild. I do sometimes get a burning/tingly sensation in areas (usually hands or feet), but that goes away rather quickly. In April 2018, I started a new job and have had less issues with insomnia. Just a random night here and there where it is difficult to sleep, but I work a 12 hour rotation on first shift and have 2 young children, so that could very well play into that 😉 I also started having recurring stomach issues. Lots of gas/bloating. Sometimes it is super painful. I get so bloated at times I look like I'm in early pregnancy! It is usually more painful during the evening hours. I have diarrhea/loose stools every day. I do follow a balanced Vegan diet (dairy and egg introlerances) and I am very active, but it has never seemed to be an issue before. The fatigue just has me constantly feeling like I want to take a nap and thinking of picking up my 30 pound toddler or walking up a flight of stairs just exhausts me. It's hard to even push my kids on the swings. My last period was March 5th and I have never been this late (NOT pregnant.... husband has a vasectomy and I took 5 tests 😆) I am unsure of whether this is a result of being off of SSRI's or if it is a different health issue. It is driving me crazy trying to figure it out!!! I just want to enjoy my time with my family and function properly. I have a doctor appointment in June for a pap and to talk about my symptoms, but wanted to see if anyone else has went through something similar (and I honestly think the doctor may tell me I'm crazy-- lol). 💜a7xbabydoll 2000 - Paxil A few months later - Celexa 2010 - Prozac 2012 - Brief period of Adderall 2013 - Zoloft (100 mg) 8/2017 - 75 mg, 9/2017 - 50 mg, 10/2017 - 25 mg November 2017 - MED FREE!!!
  25. After having a stress induced psychotic break for the first time in my life, I was in the hospital for 13 days. The put me on the highest dose of Zoloft 200 mg and 20 mg for Abilify. The thing is, I don’t understand why they didn’t just try the Abilify at a lose dose as it seemed to help well at the 5mg level. As for Zoloft, it takes 2-4 weeks to kick in so why the 200 mg? Why not see if I responded to say, 25 mg? Because the hospital wants you too much of a zombie to consider having any fight left for or against your life and to get you out their doors. Anyhow. I have been on these 2 weeks and the side effects are worse then the issues I was dealing with in my life. I would like to taper slowly but not too slowly because I haven’t been on them that long and don’t want my body to depend too much. I of course want to avoid bad withdrawals. I honestly don’t think I need the meds for long term.. what I had needed was my insomnia cured. Once I got sleep in the hospital I calmed down. I hate these drugs, please help.
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