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  1. Hi. Was taking 4 mg of risperidone for two months. Suddenly stopped taking it for a week (didn't notice any withdrawal). Then took 2 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Then took 1 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms. Asked psychiatrist if it was okay for me to suddenly go from 4 mg to 2 mg, and then 2 mg to 1 mg. She said it was okay since I hadn't been showing any symptoms. I have read that withdrawal symptoms can surface after months or even a year after you stop taking it. I am not sure what that person's credibility was. I have also read, from a .org website that the withdrawal symptoms are mild and rare. I have stopped taking the 1 mg for almost a week, and I am wondering if I will be alright. I have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms, and I feel like I will still be seeing my psychiatrist for a little while at least. I am also wondering if it is true that withdrawal symptoms can surface months or even a year after you stop taking the medication. That just seems far-fetched to me. Any help is appreciated!
  2. 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?
  3. Hello! Seeking advice and support having discovered how dependent I am after over 20 yrs of taking paroxetine. Withdrawal symptoms of extreme sustained insomnia, excessive sweating and intense anxiety are making life unbearable and I am horrified at how ignorant I have been about my meds. I now realise GP probably made things worse by suggesting a change to mirtazapine before returning to paroxetine. GP suggested back to 20mg but I couldn't bare the thought of possibly having to repeat the withdrawal so decided on ½ dose (10mg). Not sure if I've done the right thing as still have severe symptoms after 7 days. I now realise all these changes were far too fast but do I hang on to this dose to see if I stabilise and how long do I give it?? I'm just beginning to realise that this is likely to be life changing....not what I'd planned at 58....as may well loose my job and it's a huge strain on family and friends. It's confusing and frightening. See gp on Thurs and feel it would be good to have an idea of what I should be aiming for re medication. He gave me propranolol (a beta blocker) for the anxiety but I've since discovered it could be contributing to the insomnia. Has anyone got any experience of that? With thanks and hoping to be able to share experiences!
  4. Hey everyone! I really need some answers because I've looked everywhere to try and find one answer which can relate to my question but sadly to no avail. I was on 20mg Cipralex for 7 years due to general anxiety disorder. I was feeling better last year so decided this year in February I would start tapering and weaning off. It all went great until roughly 7 weeks ago when I went from 5mg to 2.5mg. Withdrawal has hit me hard and I have been off work since then. My question is basically, after now 7 weeks is it safe to go back up to 5mg from 2.5? I felt fine on 5mg hence me wanting to move back up to it. And how long will it take for the WD symptoms to go away or just for me to feel better cos currently I'm just having a hard time functioning. I'm afraid of everything basically. Thank you for any reply
  5. 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!
  6. DoctorMussyWasHere

    Tapering calculator at ReversePsychiatry.org

    Announcing.. Reverse Psychiatry - Taper a calculator
  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. Hi Everyone! Long time listener, first time caller etc. I found this site and the *amazingly* helpful advice here almost a year ago when I started making serious first steps into tapering off Effexor. Abridged personal history - Started Effexor for General Anxiety around 21 years ago after a short period of trying Zoloft, Remeron and Buspar. Tried to come off once around 10 years ago after tapering off over four months, but that didn't really work, and life circumstances were not ideal, so I've spent the last ten years working insanely hard to get to a place that I felt confident in along with my Psychologist and Psychiatrist where I could give it another go. So six months ago I found a great compounding pharmacy and started the taper, going down 10 percent each month, which has been going great! It's been going so great though, that I feel I've reached a plateau, and that at the current rate, it could take another three years using this method! So - I was just wondering if anyone here has any anecdotal or personal stories of what might work to potentially accelerate the process, so I can get it closer to a further 6-12 months. What would be a conservative figure to drop down by for this timeframe? Curious to hear how other people approach this Thanks in advance!
  9. Hello everyone! I am a new user here. I've lurked around this site before but have yet to introduce myself. I was a Prozac user for a year from August 2015 - September 2016. I had taken it for social and general anxiety. I was on 20mg/day. Initially, I was actually doing fine and great emotionally but had side effects like massive fatigue everyday (not even 3 cups of coffee could wake me up!) and constipation every time I went to poop (sorry for TMI). I also felt like a zombie for a brief period in which I was neither happy nor sad. In May 2016, I decided to abruptly stop taking the Prozac by choice without consulting my doctor (bad move!) and had brain zaps and mood swings which I assumed as worsening depression. I then just asked my doctor to simply increase my dose because I thought I was getting worse (bad move again!). I was put on 40mg/day from June - August 2016 in which I was ok at first but then I was hit with a panic attack so severe I had to rush to the ER. For that week, I was having very severe symptoms. So I was instructed to go back down to 20mg/day. From then on, I decided to stop taking it a few months ago in September because I felt better and didn't want to rely on medication anymore to make me happy. I consulted with my psychiatrist who said for me to just take 10mg for one month and then I can stop. I did just that. Over the month of October I was fine and felt completely normal. However, I realized symptoms would come later once the month of November started. I have since felt every type of symptom under the sun including brain zaps, hot flushes, insomnia, irritability, tingling sensation of the skin, anxiety, shortness of breath, sweating, tremors, and slight vertigo. I have never felt these symptoms in my life til now! I've talked to my doctor and he doesn't believe in withdrawals. At this point I feel helpless. I am experiencing waves and windows in which I have waves of really bad flare ups and then windows of good normal days where I feel fine. But they keep cycling back and forth. I now have questions to ask: 1. Do windows of no symptoms mean that my body is getting better? 2. Should I reinstate the Prozac and taper off more gradually? Someone suggested I shouldn't because I've already been clean for 3 months now. But what do you guys think? 3. Will symptoms go away if I keep pushing cold turkey? 4. Should I try medical weed to help ease tthe symptoms? I want to try natural ways of healing
  10. Hi Y'all, I have been taking an SSRI since 1993 ????. I was prescribed Prozac for Panic D/O. I am now committed to ending my addiction to this poison. Knowing there are many others that are going through the same process is very comforting. I am grateful for this forum and everyone's contributions. With trepidation and hope.
  11. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ADMIN NOTE Also see What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms? _________________________________________________________________________________________ You can mention to your doctor about the following DSM-5 diagnosis code. See this link for further information: Useful Excerpts from the thread Alto When speaking to a doctor, do not yell, scream, beg, cry, whimper, or weep. It confuses them and they start thinking of psychiatric drugs to give you. Speak clearly, firmly, and insistently -- but politely. Make a specific "request" that is actually a direction. Rhi There are a few tricks that I've found that sometimes help when dealing with doctors. One is, instead of saying "I want off my meds" say "I want to see how I do at a lower dose." Because all doctors know that the lowest effective dose is what you want to shoot for. So "let's find out my lowest effective dose" doesn't set off their alarms as much as "I want to stop taking the drug." Also, they believe these drugs actually are beneficial, and you can use that. Maybe your doc will continue to give you prescriptions and not rush you so much if you say, “Hm, I want to see how I do staying on this dose for a while. I sure don't want that doggone depression to come back, so I want to just hold here for a while and make sure it doesn't come back because golly gee willikers, maybe this drug is good for me.” (At the lowest possible effective dose.) You know, basically, just kind of speak their language so you can get them to give you what you need to do the taper at a speed that works for you. Having that pressure of "I have to get off before I run out" usually leads to trouble, and/or disaster, for people. Much better to have the freedom to taper at the pace your body is telling you is right for you. InvisibleUnless Compile detailed information in a package to show doctors. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4463-how-do-you-talk-to-a-doctor-about-tapering-and-withdrawal/&do=findComment&comment=161628 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4463-how-do-you-talk-to-a-doctor-about-tapering-and-withdrawal/&do=findComment&comment=163728 JanCarol A concise information page which can be shown to doctors. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4463-how-do-you-talk-to-a-doctor-about-tapering-and-withdrawal/&do=findComment&comment=267642 Alto Take the official instructions from the drug package insert to your doctor. This site is so full of information and clinical studies. I read quite a few in the journals section, but none really acknowledge withdrawal syndrome and the fact that it can last past the 2 weeks commonly believed by most psychiatrists. Including mine, who recently told me that withdrawal lasts 7-16 days and after that it's considered a recurrence. How do I educate my psychiatrist without her being offended or dismissing this information. What would be the most helpful studies, write ups from this site or elsewhere to print out and give to her? I'm overwhelmed by all this information and all this reading. It would be helpful if there was a topic that compiled the most recent studies or links that would be the most effective in getting her over to my side? It's hard enough to deal with reality while going through withdrawal and/or severe depression, than to also have to fight your own doctor and their pharmaceutical brainwashed beliefs. I just don't have the energy to keep searching and reading over and over, wondering if an article is credible enough for my psych to consider it. Is there proof of withdrawal syndrome? And what is the best literature on that? The same with taperin. Psychiatrists idea of tapering is pretty ridiculous. Out of all the topics an studies on this site, what would be the most helpful one to give to my doc? Thanks!
  12. Hi! My name is Erik, i live in Norway and i have been using Escitalopram Activis since December, 19. 2017. I was at 20mgs when i started tapering. I started tapering off the drug a few weeks ago, i went 5 mgs down each time, using about 3-4 days per taper. 2 days ago i quit the medicine alltogether. (Stupid i know). My doctor told me i should use 4-5 weeks per 5 mgs. Today i felt jittery, had some minor brain zaps? (I think, i never understood what the zaps were). Reading online i had found people saying they had quit cold turkey no problem, no stress so i thought it would be ok. Then today i read that you might die from quitting the medicine and that it might induce braindamage. Panicing i found this site and read about reinstating (https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/) I decided to start at 5 mgs again and i took a 5 mg pill. I hope i did not make a mistake. I am abit nervous now and feel pretty stupid. I hope i haven't ruined myself. -Erik
  13. My third and hopefully final attempt to get off Paxil is here I start March 1st of this year, which is just around the corner. I have a lot of hope It will be over 3 years, but I feel good about my taper plan. Thankful for this site of encouragement and testimonies - I will be praying for freedom for you all! I've included a photo of my handwritten taper plan. The length of time is in months. Will keep this updated for whoever cares to read. Let's do this.
  14. I am brand new to this website. Here is my history and what I am looking for...sorry for the run on sentences - trying to get it all out! Let me know if you have any questions. I have been taking bupropion HCL XL 300 MG tablets for about 4 years. I was prescribed Wellbutrin 150 xl about 12 years ago. I had tried Zoloft and Lexapro but both left me feeling emotionally numb, then my doctor tried wellbutrin . Wellbutrin seemed to help with my "sad" feelings but the low sex drive was still a factor so my doctor increased my dosage to 300 mg. At one time, she introduced Cymbalta to be taken with Wellbutrin but I have since stopped taking this medication over 2 years ago due to the sexual side effects. In my past, like between 6 and 8 years ago, I tried to stop taking the Wellbutrin completely, thinking I was feeling fine and didn't need it... but after 1 - 2 weeks I would experience high anxiety and decide I needed to make some kind of life changing event like leave my husband...this happened a few times. As it turns out, I did need to leave that husband and I did. I have been happily married for over 3 years and have been taking my buPROPrion HCL XL 300 MG without fail since early 2014. Around that same time (2014) I was also taking clonazePAM 0.5 mg tablets for anxiety (as needed, not daily) but gradually tapered off on those and haven't taken any since JAN of 2018 . I think it is a good time to reduce my Wellbutrin to 150 mg but want to do it in a healthy way. I do not have insurance so can't go in to the doctor but think she would be okay with reducing my dosage if I show I have a plan of how to progressively get there...suggestions? Also, regarding withdrawal history - I don't know if this info helps but I used to take oxycodone 15mg twice a day back in 2015 / 2016 but started to taper off of that in AUG 2016 to 1 - 15 mg per day then 15 - 15 mg per month and stopped taking them all together as of January 2017. I do not take any pain medication at all. I am prescribed GABAPENTIN 300 MG CAPSULES 3 times per day but only take 1 - 2 a day and I also am prescribed ibuprofen 800 mg but rarely take them. There was a withdrawal period end of 2016 beginning of 2017 but it was brief and was controlled with short term use of clonidine.
  15. Does anybody have experience with tapering off 5 mg of Lexapro? I have been on for 8 weeks and wish to come off.
  16. I am diagnosed with Bi-Polar II. In January 2017 I was prescribed 50 mg/day of QUEtiapine. May dosage was increased to 100mg/day; and September increased to 200 mg/day. I’ve been suffering severe side effects to include skin rashes, chronic fatigue, insomnia, shin splints, significant weight gain, and change in food tastes and smells. I told my Physiatrist I wanted to change my medication so he prescribed me Aripiprazole 5mg/day. After researching this drug, I quickly realized its in the same family of anti-psychotic drugs with the same if not worse side effects. I took it at bed the first night I purchased the prescription and experienced a frenzy night of insomnia; tossing and turning all night in a bed of soggy sweat. I’ve decided to not take the Ariprazole and instead, taper myself off the QUEtiapine and off anti-psychotic drugs in their entirety. I’m going to attempt to taper in a shorter period of time than what is recommend on this site. I will start with 175 mg/day for 5 days and if all goes well will continue tapering down every 5 days.
  17. 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!
  18. 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!!!
  19. Hi everyone. I am hoping to get some much needed (and very much appreciated) advice on my situation. As you see, I had been on Sertraline for almost 2 years, or around the two year mark, before I began a too fast taper in 2016 which lead to my withdrawal syndrome in September 2016. My doctor had me taper in 6 weeks completely off Sertraline, jumping off at 25mg and not even tapering the 25mg, just cold turkeying the 25 per his instruction. Well, I was feeling some withdrawal symptoms, I just didn't realize what they truly meant, and my doctor had told me not to worry 'they will clear up in a few weeks" well they didn't really clear up, but actually got worse two-three months later. I want to make this as short as possible so it is easy to read, but long story short, I ended up reinstating Sertraline at 12.5mg first week, at the same time tapering the 30mg of buspirone my doctor had tried to test out on me for almost two weeks. Each week, he upped my dose of Sertraline during my reinstatement, until I reached 57mg and my body rejected anything above the 57mg. However, I did not know anything about withdrawal or tapering back then, and realize that I was put on way too high of a dose for reinstatement. This has me very scared and very anxious, I try hard not to be, and most of it is likely neuro related, but I wonder what I can do if I feel it's too high? I've got the anhedonia, but I've had this since December, and it actually was brought on more or less by my doctor trying to put me back up to 75mg, maybe that was just a coincidence, but I am not so sure. Each adjustment of the sertraline left me with worsened insomnia, worsened panic, trembling and what I can only describe as body jolts every morning for four months straight. And trying to sleep at night I felt like I was having seizures almost, where my body would jolt me awake just as I was drifting off to sleep, heart would be racing, fear and panic would run rampant and worsen in the morning. I still have mild teeth chattering every morning and especially when the anxiety or stress comes on. I reinstated pretty quick, where I reinstated as soon as my withdrawal symptoms started getting worse, I didn't wait it out even though I really wanted to. I didn't want to go back on the medication after what it had done to me, but didn't know what else to do. Then, everyone I trusted, my doctor especially, had me convinced I had developed several new mental disorders in a matter of three days. I was so so scared, and my anxiety was through the roof. I really stressed myself out a lot trying to figure out "what was wrong with me" because I did not know at the time. On top of that I had the professionals I trusted assuring me it was my "symptoms coming back" (they actually said that right after I already told them I never ever had these symptoms before in my life, not even one of them.) Then I happened to find SA, during my research into my symptoms and the ssri I was taking. I learned a lot in one night, and my jaw dropped. My gut had been telling me all this time it was the drug, it was withdrawal. But I ignored it and listened to the "experts" instead. HUGE MISTAKE!! Now I am stuck in a situation that makes me fear for the future, and not sure what I can do now that I am back on a higher dose. If I would've known better, I would not have allowed my doctor to titrate me up so high. I would've sat at the lowest possible dose, even the 12.5mg. My withdrawal symptoms had really settled down a lot for the last two or three months now though. My appetite came back, libido came back, depression lifted almost instantly upon reinstatement, the anxiety and panic took a while to lift but that has really settled down a ton and only sporadically (maybe lasting a second or two) I'll feel a blip of panic and anxiety (typically when under a lot of built up stress), and my biggest gripe for withdrawal symptoms as of now is the anhedonia, but even that was beginning to lift where I'd get moments of joy or contentment or my interests peaking through the veil of anhedonia. My sleep actually went back to normal in the last week or two, and I haven't been waking with the dread or anxiety for the past three months now, and I have been feeling pretty good except now I got back into this wave and I think it's because I'm stressing over tapering and my dosage after what I read last night. I read on SA someone said that being on too high a reinstatement dose can permanently damage your brain, where you will never heal from it. So I am really scared... I really need advice or wisdom on where to go from here. At this point, I worry I'll always feel this way and I'll never recover any further than where I currently am. I'd be fine if I felt somewhat normal, where I could handle the withdrawal symptoms temporarily until they pass, and I do admit that on my better days I certainly can handle them. But I feel like reinstatement was pointless or worse for me than just muscling through the withdrawals after what I read about high dose reinstatement. I feel like A) it's going to take forever just to stabilise on this dose and B it's going to be painful trying to taper when the time comes, due to that I may have permanently damaged my brain with my reinstatement. I guess what I am wondering now is, do I stay on this dose and wait for the anhedonia to completely go away, or how do I know when I am ready to begin tapering? At this point I am just feeling very confused and afraid about my dose and tapering in the future. I feel lost. I'd really appreciate any help! Thank you!
  20. 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.
  21. You could call me a psychotropic veteran. I hope soon to become a recovering, zero-tolerance advocate against most things psychotropic. My family history of depression is that it was really tough; heartbreaking in fact; so much so that I was wary of my own mental health and open to the use of SSRIs when they appeared in the early 1990s. I started with Prozac and ran through the gamut of similar meds - so much so that I can't bring myself to bore you with a detailed description. Suffice it to saw that no matter what the SSRI or SNRI or whatever (even some Klonopin, Buspar, etc.), they would work great for a little while, then not so much at all. Psychiatrists, being how they were trained, upon my complaints would immediately throw higher doses at me or switch to a new miracle med. Every dose increase was followed by even more anxiety, bruxism, hyperactivity, GI problems, etc. New drugs soon became not so new and I floundered on. After decades of this, last fall I was diagnosed not with depression or anxiety but with what has apparently become the latest buzz illness: bipolar. Ah, Bipolar II even! Eureka! Still being somewhat naive, gullible, and insecure, I started a new class of drugs: Lamotrigine, Gabapentin accompanied by a longtime standard, Buspar. The last six months have brought no more relief then what I got from SSRIs. It has brought weight gain, such swelling of my legs that I couldn't sleep, and four unexplained and ridiculously painful urinary tract infections - abacterial infections that mimicked bacterial ones but that couldn't be relieved with antibiotics. Finally, I put my scientific, medical and research hats on and figured out that Gapapentin was causing the leg edema and weight gain. Slowly I tapered that off. Next, I learned that Lamotrigine can cause the abacterial UTIs/bladder spasms in women my age. My GP didn't catch it; neither did the prescriber. Of course, the prescriber doesn't even want to consider the possibility of such a side effect. UGH! I am now down from 200mgs of Lamotrigine to 25mg, with the vaginitis/bladder pain diminishing along with the med. I'm seeing a urologist on Monday and hope to confirm my own diagnosis: Lamotrigine (and possibly Gabapentin as well) were what caused a miserable last six months of vaginitis, mimicked UTIs, etc. By chance, I moved to a new city recently and found a new psychologist who turned out to be as skeptical and disgusted by the pharmaceutical industry as I am. She actually laughed at the bipolar diagnosis ("You're NOT bipolar!!!"); then I did too. Without her encouragement and support I wouldn't have found the internal strength to defy my prescriber's advice and slowly get off this stuff. I might have been worried that my new psychologist was an anomaly, but apparently not. There are many psychologists and psychiatrists out there, with small voices in the wind, beating drums about the dangers of meds that have undetermined etiologies; chronic side effects and no definitive studies of their long-term effects. I see a light on the horizon for the first time. So far, I'm doing pretty well. I have to stay vigilant about self-care, which is against my nature. Daily, I must meditate to increase the Alpha waves destroyed by such longterm use of antidepressants. I have to eat healthily, exercise A LOT and not drink alcohol. I have a lot of anger at what the pharmaceutical industry has done and continues to do in a country that used to hold companies accountable, but I'm planning on channeling that anger to where it will do some good. It took me a long time, but I'm finally accepting and acknowledging that when the FDA-listed possible side effects of a medication FOR depression or FOR anxiety IS depression and/or anxiety; SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG! Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years, and having seen and learned things I can't unsee, I carry some guilt; but that, too, is motivating. I am very happy to have found these forums and this site. I would appreciate any encouragement and really hope I can keep this drive off these ridiculous medications strong and get through these last bits of tapering. Thank you for "listening."
  22. I have a mg. scale, and know how much one 10 mg. Paxil tablet weighs. I can easily figure how to cut it by 10%, then 10% of that dose, and so forth. But the site asks that we report our tapering progress in mg.s. How do I covert pill weight back to mg.s? I’m bad at math. Can anyone help me with this? Thank you!
  23. 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.
  24. Aargh! My head feels like when you go down an elevator too fast, pressure. Only opening your mouth and yawning do no good. I can't focus, think, sleep...My Dr. is attempting to remove Cymbalta from my regimen. He is suspecting that it may be causing or contributing to an ongoing bout of diarrhea that fails to respond to traditional or prescribed medications. I have to reduce it to zero and stay off for at least a week before I can begin a new medication. Surprisingly, not as much pain as I expected, but not quite off of it either. I drove to see my daughter yesterday and almost didn't make it home on my own. Crying jags and confusion. No driving for awhile. Struggling at this dose to cope with daily activities.
  25. My introductory post. I have a sleep disorder associated with Fibromyalgia. Fibro also is associated with anxiety and depression and inability to relax the muscles. So, Venlafaxine has been a real help for me to live a normal life for 20 years. But I'm 68 and want to get off. Today is the 6th day following a failed tapering, my second. My first tapering was a year ago. I have a terrible sleep disturbance: I have a panic attack while falling asleep. My husband is helping me find a better psychiatrist, one who is experienced with both a sleep disorder and tapering. But this time around as I tried to fall asleep a loud buzzing sound and vibrating sensation occurred inside my right nasal passage. As I type this I am aware it sounds unbelievable. It's so embarrassing. "Doctor, I have a bee in my nose." Well, I googled "my own snoring wakes me up" and found Sleep-Doctor http://sleep-doctor.com/blog/does-your-own-snoring-wake-you-up-from-sleep/ . Anyone have a similar weird sleep disorder? I bet it was due to tapering - some kind of neurological trauma. I'm exhausted. Last night I finally slept through the night.
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