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  1. Hello all you lovely people, I'm a 29 year old, white, cis-woman from Canada. This is my first time posting on any site like this. And, this may be shocking, my psychiatrist is the one who suggested I do it. She is actually a wonderful woman who fully acknowledges the evils of psychiatry and how much damage pharmaceuticals have caused me and others. She acknowledges that she operates from a place of very limited information about the impacts of these drugs, and is very supportive of whatever direction I want to take my healthcare in. Anyway, here is a bit of my history ... - Difficult (yet privileged) childhood - Got into drugs during teen years - Went to residential substance use treatment at end of teens - Given Trazodone and Citalopram in 2011, stopped taking in 2012 with no issues - Abusive ex gets out of jail in 2014, I begin having debilitating panic attacks and agoraphobia. Go to hospital because I think I'm going crazy, they give me Seroquel and Ativan which calms me down but doesn't fix the situation, of course. This was my first experience with any kind of mental health issue, even through addiction I didn't experience anxiety or depression. - 2014 I go to short term, residential psychiatric facility because I couldn't function from anxiety attacks. Had to drop out of school and take time off work. Put on Citalopram, Ativan as needed, Trazodone for sleep, and Wellbutrin to counter side effects of Citalopram. Stabilized and resumed life. - 2017 attempted to taper off Wellbutrin through doctor's orders of "skip a day" tapering. Horrible experience, intense derealization, suicidality, mood swings, feeling like I would lose my mind. Again, time off school and work. Doctor reinstated the Wellbutrin. Derealization has come and gone since this attempt to get off Wellbutrin, even after reinstating. - 2018 panic attacks come back. Put on Clonazepam. Anxiety goes away. After a year on Clonazepam, I realize I'm on so many psych drugs when I don't want/need to be on any. Take a year to taper the Clonazepam in half. Another year to get off it completely. Coped with Neurofeedback, some supplements, exercise, talking. Did experience withdrawal (mostly nocturnal panic attacks) but nothing life-ruining. - 2021 begin tapering Citalopram from 20mg to nothing over the course of 18 months. Tapering Wellbutrin 5mg every 2 weeks at the same time through a compounding pharmacy. I began feeling better on lower doses of these drugs. - 2022, June: off Citalopram completely for three weeks. Feeling great. No anxiety, sleeping well, sex drive is back, feeling more and more present and less derealization. Feeling my emotions, good, bad and ugly, and happy to have them back. Compounding pharmacy couldn't fill my Wellbutrin before I left for a trip and I was already down to 40mg, so I figured I'd be fine to go off that too. Mistake. After being off everything for three weeks, psychiatrist diagnoses me with ADD and prescribes Ritalin. I take a minuscule dose, 5mg, and after it wears off begin feeling the worse derealization I've ever experienced, borderline psychosis. Extremely distressed. It lasts for three days before I caved and reinstated the Citalopram and Wellbutrin at low doses. - 2022, July: the entire month, I'm experiencing the side effects of going back on Citalopram and Wellbutrin. I regret going back on them. Nausea, headaches, issues sleeping, tremors, no sex drive, extreme brain fog... I've been on 5mg Citalopram and 40mg Wellbutrin for 6 weeks now. I feel better than I did in June when the derealization got bad, but still not feeling well at all. The plan is to taper off one at a time in a few months. Currently, I am experiencing these effects from the drugs: - excessive sweating - derealization/dissociation - confusion (I woke up one night and couldn't remember what I did for work for about five minutes) - no sex drive - passive suicidal ideation (I don't want to die at all, but these thoughts pop into my head) - nausea and low appetite - difficulty with self-care or even feeding myself - low motivation - headaches - memory loss - feeling like I'm on autopilot - feeling empty and purposeless despite having a loving family and network of friends and a successful career If you've read all this, thank-you, I appreciate you. Any feedback from any one, and specifically people with experience coming off Wellbutrin (I don't know why, but it's so hard for me) would be really appreciated. I get stuck in the mindset that I'll feel this messed up forever and that I'm doomed. I read the success/recovery/healing stories on here and it gives me a lot of hope.
  2. Original topic title: Olanzapine cold turkey (out of presumptuous stupidity, I destroyed myself, and now I am trying to save at least a part of my being) On October 20, 2021, I started olanzapine 2.5mg. per day (which I was advised to split into two doses, to take half in the morning and the other half in the evening), recommended to me by a psychiatrist as a remedy for chronic insomnia, and on November 11, 2021 I abruptly stopped using this medicine, as I read in internet about its extreme neurotoxicity. On the evening of November 14, 2021, something terrible happened to me: something seemed to be turned off in my psyche forever, I lost my whole self, i.e. my emotions, interests, hopes, dreams, hobbies, motivation, flexible intellect, and ultimately the will to live. I tried to restart olanzapine on November 15, 2021, but at that time I did not know anything about effective strategies for reinstatement of the drug, and therefore, already on November 16, 2021, I stopped olanzapine again, but, exhausted by insomnia, had to take 25 mg. quetiapine, which have been in my medicine cabinet for many years without use. On November 17, I impulsively returned to olanzapine, but after a couple of days I stopped drinking it again in order to resume taking it at the end of November, but this comeback was also extremely short-lived and did not exceed the duration of the same couple of days. On November 29, 2021, I took olanzapine for the last time, but the neurotransmitter chaos, provoked by my stupid thrashings, seems to have done me irreparable damage. Over the next three and a half months, I tried to pull myself out of this anhedonic pit with various supplements (I tried fish oil, 5-HTP, St. John's wort, green tea extract, tyrosine, biotin, citicoline, Alpha GPC) multivitamin complexes (I mean B vitamins), peptides (for two weeks I was regularly injected intramuscularly with cortexin) and even psychopharmacological drugs prescribed to me by other psychiatrists, but with drugs of this class I again behaved as haphazardly as possible (about 8-10 times during these months I took phenazepam at a dosage of 0.5 mg., it at least minimally relieved anxiety; 5-7 times I drank hydroxyzine at a dosage of 0.25 mg at night, but it did not help me sleep at all; for three or four days I took a combination of venlafaxine, lamotrigine and trazodone, and once I took two capsules sulpiride, the content of the active substance in which was 100 mg., and one tablet of phenibut at a dosage of 250 mg.). Now I realize that my behavior during these months was absolutely suicidal, and probably only the prompt reinstatement of olanzapine could have saved me, but now almost three and a half months have passed since the last dose of this medication, so my chances of self-preservation seem for me absolutely ghostly. I hope that something else can be done in this situation: I have already completely lost hope for rehabilitation, I have practically not slept all these months due to permanent panic and bouts of neurocognitive hypochondria, I don’t understand how I still haven’t made suicide, because it is unnatural to live in such a state.
  3. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  4. I’m at a total loss as to what to do. I’m in the worst wave of my life which was worse than acute for me after tapering from a benzo. I feel as though I am in severe withdrawal. I am kindled and it’s to the point I can’t eat anything without having a reaction and have been unable to shower. I was in the hospital back in December and am back here again and am only worse. In some ways when I take my Gabapentin dose, it helps some symptoms and in other ways, it makes me feel horrible. I cannot get stable to taper Gabapentin. I really am at a loss as to what to do. They don’t understand here and recommended a few options for me with them being ECT, TMS, IV Ketamine and the medication that was recommended was Ritalin and Vyvanse as my levels of dopamine are low along with serotonin and norepinephrine. I had gene testing done and that was determined along with the MTHFR gene mutation, so l-methylfolate was recommended. I can’t take anything without my system overreacting. I am kindled a few times now and my dosing schedule for Gabapentin has been all over the place because I feel I reached tolerance and some days I end up taking more than I normally do. I wish I could just be placed into a medically induced coma and taken off my meds because I don’t know how I’m going to get through this being in this condition. I want to get off of this med, but have no idea how to do so at this point anymore. I was titrating in water and reducing that way, but I am totally stalled out as I’m not functioning. Things are totally unbearable and beyond uncomfortable. I’m losing hope every passing day. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thank you! Ativan - two years consistently - February 2016 - Up to 10 mg/day - March 2016 - 1.5 mg/day - April 2016 - 0.75 mg/day - May 2016 - 3.0 mg/day - August 13, 2017 - 0.15 mg/day - September 4, 2017 - Switched to 1.5 mg of Diazepam - May 1, 2018 - JUMPED!! Zolpidem (Sublinox) - March 2016 - 15 mg/night - July 22, 2017 - JUMPED!! Trazodone - 87.5 mg Gabapentin - 542 mg Amitriptyline - 5 mg
  5. Seroquel Abillify Wellbutrin Prozac Lexapro Zoloft Paxil Buspar Hydroxyzine Trazedone Cymbalta Lamictal Propanolol Oxcarbazepine Prazosin Xanax Celexa Amitriptylin Ambien Mirtazapine Hi, 33/F Ive been on all of the above medicines at some point or another from 2002 to recently. I have stopped them all with no withdrawl issues..... except for something very strange has happened recently. Is this withdrawl? Current Meds: Prilosec (GERD), Lasix (IIH) , Lisinopril (BP) I was taking zoloft a couple months ago, and a bit after i started that, i started mirtazapine. I had Covid around this time too. It was very mild. Biggest symptoms were being a mucus fountain, sore throat, a little bit muscle weirdness, and weird headaches, including headaches WHILE sleeping. a couple weeks later my situation changed, im in a much better, happier place (unrelated to meds), so i stopped zoloft. (I have been on zoloft before and had no withdrawl symptoms). Not long after that, i had a weird depersonalization with my hands. Now, i am a very scientific person, i do not act based upon emotions as much as i can... I have no body dysphoria. I was riding in a car on a day i was kind of tired, didnt sleep much (hard night of minecraft), and all of a sudden my hands felt like they weren't my hands. If I'm on my phone texting, my brain just goes "HEY WHY ARE THOSE FINGERS MOVING? THOSE ARENT MINE. WOW!" and my brain is amazed that they are moving every 10 seconds. It's the most disturbing thing Ive ever felt. I don't feel it if I can't see my hands, so for example, if I'm texting In the dark or at my PC. This feeling primarily happens when texting on my phone. Wearing fingerless gloves dampens the effect slightly. I've been really upset over it, and I feel my back and arms be really tense and sore, which is normal for when I'm upset . The only Injuries to happen recently was I was cut by my washing machine, and my cat scratched me. No numbness or tingling at that time. I've been going to therapy since 2003, and have only ever been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I am not insane. I have not gone through anything traumatic recently. If anything, I've been having a really good time this month, for the first time in years. Fearing it could be the mertazpine, i stopped it. about a week later, i started sweating profusely at night. drenched. No nightmares. no anxiety. just DRENCHED. a few days after i started to get drenched every night, i woke up SOAKING wet one day, my spine started feeling cold and numb and i had a panic attack. My muscles didnt work, it was as if i were drunk. my head was fuzzy and confused, and i stumbled BARELY into the bathtub. I managed to get into the bathtub, still clothed, and into hot water. I felt a little better, still confused. arms and spine still feel a bit weird,. I went to the ER for the first time in my life. They found nothing wrong. EKG, Chest Xray, Blood work, pee test, and they gave me an IV for hydration. while im glad its nothing seriously wrong (i guess), i am still freaked out by waking up drenched. I still get really upset being cold by being drenched. My arms and hands feel very twitchy. sometimes my legs. I had some mild tingly-ness in my fingertips for a couple days, but thats gone now. It feels the more days go on, the more twitchy i get, and IDK if its med withdrawl from mertazepine, since i only took it for a month. I LOVED the med. i slept really good and had AWESOME dreams.... I have an appt with my general dr on the 30th, but im afraid theyre going to tell me more of "we dont know whats wrong" Feeling twitchy and cold and fuzzy and panicy all the time is absolutely ruining this change in my life that is the happiest ive been in a long time. I am just -so scared-. Also for the record, i keep my house around 70F, so i dont get hot or cold due to environmental factors. I do not get hot or sweat while i am awake. I do not feel hot at night. I seem to feel a bit better as time goes on throughout the day, and im scared to sleep because i know im going to be drenched and panicing. The only thing that has seemed to have improved, is i dont know if i just got used to it or what, but when texting, i dont get a lot of the "My hands arent mine" feeling anymore. but my arms and hands still FEEL physically weird being twitchy. Im holding myself tight and having soreness in my shoulders... I am well aware that i should not be stopping meds cold turkey, but i have never had a problem before this, so i am curious if it could be the issue? Medicine withdrawl? tetanus from my washing machine? Cat scratch fever? Am i finally going crazy? I am scared. what do you all think?>
  6. Matata44: I’m ready to go It’s already the 7th month since I stopped Lexapro. My anxiety is not as strong as it was at the beginning but it’s still really hard to handle. The worst thing is the muscle atrophy in my legs and really bad muscle pain and swelling in my calves, resulting in inability to walk. I also have shakiness in my feet, clonus (hyperreflexia) and fasciculations all over the body (specially on my right calf). Another symptom is numbness in my limbs and tingling feeling. I already thought that I have MS or ALS, or any other neurological disorder. I have done countless of medical tests and nothing shows up. The only explanation that I find is that all this symptoms are due to psychiatric medication. I want my life back. I can’t even go to the bathroom without pain. I’m slowly loosing all hope. I spend most of my day thinking about the best way to finish with my suffering. I don’t know how much more I can take. I know that it’s important to stay positive but everything seems to get worse each day. I just don’t want to hurt my family but I don’t think that it is fair to let someone suffer like this.
  7. HI, here santking, 34y "manic" diagnosed episode in 2004. treated w lithium, benzos and prozac. 1000 mg of depakote+benzos+prozac jun-ago 2004. ago-dec 750. + prozac Dec: just 500 depakote (treatment produced strong acne. treated with roaccutan between nov 2004 to oct 2006) 2005: depakote 500 (some months w 750) + prozac and benzos- (lorazepam) dec 2005 - aug 2007: depakote 500 mg aug 2007 - 2009 alternated depakote 500 mg to 250 mg jan 2010 i started with a new psychiatrist: depakote 500 mg until sep 2012 sep 2012 started depakote + antidepressants: depakote 500 + etifoxina / paroxetine and propanodol (?) (until jun 2013) jun 2013: depakote 500mg with paroxetine and propanodol. oct 2013: change paroxetine for trazadone. until Jan 2014. jan 2014: depakote 500mg and leave trazadone jan 2014-oct 2015: depakote 500 mg oct 2015: psychiatrist introduces sertraline. suicidal attempt with sertraline overdose in jan 2016. psychiatrists increases depakote to 750 mg and introduces wellburtin. jan 2016 - dec 2017: 750mg depakote + wellburtin dec 2017 consulting another psychiatrist changed wellburtin to seroquel 25 mg dec 2017 . until jun 2018: 750mg depakote and seroquel 25 mg in jul 2018 I meet the Peter BReggin's books and SA forum and start the withdrawal process. this included consuting with psycotherapist and intense researching meeting content like Icarus project, mad in america, Rachel Aviv articles and Laura Delano's Withdrawal Project (a daily reference) ago 2018: start tapering: depakote 500 mg and seroquel in 12mg dosages (cutting to half) until nov. in dec 2018 I felt the withdrawl synthoms of seroquel leaving (insomnia, vertigo, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, anxiety, fear) Jan 2019: changed depakote dosage -tablets o sprinkles- (125 mg) taking 4 pills daily. May 2019: tried tapering without scale (reducing "half" of sprinkle aprox 437 mg) causing a week of insomnia and panic. returned with 500 mg in June. Aug 2019: started tapering with scale. sep 2019: 450 mg Oct 400 mg. Nov: 375 mg (3 pills daily) DUring November I have been taking 375 mg I have been feeling intense laziness, lack of motivation and fatigue. I tried changing diet: avoiding caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and ultraprocessed foods. I had a week w insomnia and next week felt sleepness and lack of motivation (after Dec 1) RIght now I'm worried because I still feeling down and need increase energy due to personal compromises. I'm doubting if back to 400 mg or still reducing the dosage. THis based on how I'm feeling and listening the body sensations. I'm doing the tapering based on the 10% standard seeing in Breggin books, TWP and here. This is my history w psychiatry treatments and I would appreciate your help and recommendations for my case. If you need some explanations I will do it. Thank you.
  8. I was prescribed 25mg of Zoloft and 50mg of Trazodone in August for anxiety and sleep. I stopped the Zoloft after a week because I was having severe side effects(chest pain and tightness, panic attacks, extreme anxiety, racing thoughts). After stopping the Zoloft, the side effects were still there, but not as severe as when I was taking it. I continued to take the Trazodone, but felt it never really helped me that much with sleep, so I quit taking it after 8 weeks of use. I was fine for 2 days, slept like a baby and had very little anxiety. On day 3, the insomnia came back and the racing thoughts were more intense. After a week, I still couldn't sleep more than an 1-2 hours a night, so I started taking Magnesium, which has helped tremendously. However the OCD-like symptoms are still there and they are very intense. I'm having racing thoughts, I have to have things done a certain way or I freak out, I can't focus on anything, and I've developed a fear of touching certain things. I'm also having trouble throwing anything a way and for some odd reason I get really anxious doing every day tasks like cooking and doing the laundry. Prior to taking this medication, I've never been on antidepressants or have ever experienced these symptoms. It's been 3 weeks and nothing has changed. Last night, my son came in and took a soda from the fridge and I just flipped out, because the number of bottles that were left were odd and they have to be even. I mean, it's crazy and makes no sense to me. I know what I'm doing is ridiculous, but I can't stop myself. I'm just not sure what to do and I'm starting to feel like I'm going crazy. Are these normal withdrawal symptoms or am I experiencing something completely different?
  9. Hello, I just go straight to my story and maybe you will able to understand it and even help me. I have always been a bit anxious because something is wrong with my mother's side of the family (my 2 cousins, aunts are all on antidepressants because of anxiety and depression, my mother, on the other hand, is not and doing quite fine). My father has led me to be fit and to exercise a lot and it has given me great strength to battle this. But it wasn't something overwhelming and nothing too serious I guess. Some days were harder and somedays I was completely fine enjoying my life to the fullest. Overall I am a positive person, ambitious and a bit crazy and I like fun. During 2016 I really felt great and I wanted to do a photoshoot of me being ripped. So I prepared for it for 6 months where I cut to 6% of body fat. The journey was perfect and I felt like a god. After the photoshoot, I felt really intense restlessness it was horrible and I had a panic attack after I've passed one exam so I went to the hospital and they gave me Trittico. After I think 3 months I was a total zombie and emotionless so I tapered it down in 1 month (really quick taper). I had 75mg before bedtime. But after the taper, I became horribly anxious and I was at unease all the time. These 2 years were horrible, and I tried a million supplements but nothing worked. During that time I met my girlfriend and it was becoming less and less unbearable. During these years I was visiting CBT and my therapist thought me to trust only reason and get to the problem right on solve it. It has helped me tremendously. During 2019 I felt great with some windows of anxiousness and maybe depression, especially in winter. But there were bigger amounts of days when I was good than bad. I started prepping for my first (and probably the last) bodybuilding competition. I went from 93 kg to 69kg ripped to the bone and again during that journey, I felt on the top of the world all the time. I was anxious and depression free. But after the competition, it has started again but it was much worse (intrusive thoughts, restlessness, depression) and I again went to a psychiatrist and he gave me 75mg of Trittico first and also Elicea (citalopram) and I had a horrible reaction to it. I thought that I was going to die. She switched it after a week on 5 mg of it and gave me CIPRALEX (10mg in the morning) and MIRTAZAPIN (15mg) before bedtime. After three months of horrible symptoms and me thinking that I won't recover it got slightly better (I am a teacher in an elementary school. I had these pills for six months and then I tapered them because I was calm but no sex drive, no will, and I was like a high person (but it was really quick taper according to this site). I took it from the end of August till the last day of January (6 months). After 4 months I began to taper, but I just forgot by how much. The first month was horrible, I was totally restless, but my concentration was fortunately good, so I can go to work. Next 2 months I just felt good, strong, going to the gym, only occasional restlessness and I didn't have any symptoms but I remember one night when my brain kind has like a zap and I went to the anxious and depressed state and it stayed that way up till now. My concentration is far from good and it's like akathisia inner restlessness and strong back and chest pain leading from the temple. My girlfriend is still with me despite this all. I have started Wim hof methods: Every day I start with a cold shower 5-10 minutes and before sleep his breathing method. I have been doing it for 2 weeks and I have improved stamina and I am not so fatigued all the time. My sex drive comes and goes. I go regularly to the gym 4 times a week. I don't take any supplement and only protein. I have a healthy diet with lots of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates. I can go to work and do a lot of work on my side job (English Project). But I have this horrible back, neck and chest pain and inner restlessness. I don't want to complain about anything having read all those horrible stories on these forums. I am relatively good despite my condition. I have a girlfriend who has been there in horrible times, loving parents and friends and good work and also I can go to the gym. Sometimes it's really hard and I need to really push myself to do anything. Summary: Current symptoms: chest and back pain a bit of depression, inner restlessness (horrible), speeded up, fatique, I can't really calm down and therefore it is difficult to concentrate- these symptoms are there all the time. 2016 Trittico 75mg ( 3-4 months can't really remember the length) 2019 Cipralex (10mg -6 months -tapering in the last month - big mistake) Mirtazapine (15mg -6 months - tapering in the last month - big mistake) Drug-free: Almost 10 months Unfortunately, my biggest dream of competing and be a natural bodybuilder is lost because it was the biggest trigger for me. I will lift weights only as a hobby. But I don't want to end up on these drugs again. I have accepted these symptoms and maybe I will live rest of my life with the m it if is meant to be. But I would really like to get better because I am like 50% of a person that used to be. What do you think? Do you think time will heal it? Thank you in advance for reading my post and chime in with your opinion. And remember to accept this and do whatever it takes to get better and to heal. Jan
  10. MOD NOTE: contains content which may be triggering for some members Hi, I have been "stalking" this website for a while now, I saw a couple stories that were a lot like mine. I never knew how much harm these darn medications could do, moreover, I was so glad I found that I was not alone in this. I felt like crying tears of relief when I found this community. Im not sure where to start so I will just give a basic "run-down" of my history; I came from an abusive background. My father abused me when I was younger, and my neighbor "took advantage" of me when I was 8, repeatedly. Im thankful I am not in that situation anymore, but those experiences did leave me with some "battle scars." I was diagnosed in early 2014 as having OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and ADD. I knew I had some things from childhood, like the OCD, Depression, Anxiety and of course the ADD (That one is a bit hard to miss) But I was so shocked to find what had happened to me did give me PTSD. It was such a shock. I was hospitalized in late 2014 for a suicide attempt and that was my first introduction into the Antidepressants. To be honest they never really helped me. I was put on Prozac, not sure the dose, but I quit cold turkey after 3 maybe 4 weeks on it now that I think back to it. No side effects. No nothing. Then I was prescribed with several things back to back, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, I would only take 1 or 2 pills before not taking them anymore as I just felt the medication just masked the problem without actually fixing it. The only one that really did help a bit was Effexor but I got so jittery it was ridiculous I stopped after 2 days of use. again, no side effects, I was blessed. I was given Xanax for my panic attacks, i took it sparingly. Then I was given medication for my ADD, I thought "why not" and gave it a try since I was having trouble focusing especially in the workplace. I was given focalin. It completely destroyed me. I had a OCD flare up like no other. I ended up hospitalized from early May to late July/ Early August. It was a nightmare even though it did make me perform better, it was OCD hell. I recovered in a few days and was put on Paxil. 40 mg. and Trazadone for sleep which was switched with another type of sleep medication. I would take a combination of Trazadone and a cocktail of other sleep medications on and off. The doctor never warned me of the side effects of these stupid medications. I started having Nervous sweats, shaking which I believe to be called "akathesia", hypersensitivity, more panic attacks, PTSD episodes, OCD episodes. and weird sensations in my private parts that from what I have been reading, is called "PGAD" , horrible insomnia, sensations that are not there, so severe somatization, tinnitus that comes and goes, depersonalization, less able to focus, and an increase in paranoia. I ended up worse than when I started with this mess.. I have been though enough. Since I have been stalking this website I have been following a few stories that were a lot like mine and trying to mimic them in their withdrawal. I went from 40mg of Paxil to 21 mg. Probably too fast. I have been following Hopefull, ASkyFullOfHappy, MamaP, Gentle Steps, Petunia, MollyN especially since some of their stories really mirror mine in one way or another. Im sorry for stalking ya'll, I am actually very embarrassed, but I was recently given the courage to make my own account since I feel like I still don't know what I am doing sometimes, and honestly my symptoms, although they have improved a slight bit, they are not where I need them to be. I hope with some guidance I can get on the right track here, and maybe help a couple people out as well.
  11. Hello, Recent online articles have brought me to this site, and after reading several topics I now realize that I experienced Withdrawal Syndrome when I tried to quit Fluoxetine a couple of years ago. My doctor and I had accepted at the time that I needed to go back on Fluox for the rest of my life, but now I see that it's possible to slow taper and eventually my body will heal. In a way, it's a relief to know the truth and if I had known then, it may have helped greatly with my anxiety. Here's a short summary of my AD history: Prescribed 20 mg Fluoxetine in 2011 (age 35) for symptoms of insomnia, depression and anxiety (I always considered insomnia to be the worst symptom, causing the others to rear up) Quickly tapered off Fluoxetine in spring 0f 2016 at the suggestion of my primary doctor (who was not the original prescribing doctor). Felt great over the summer, started to feel uneasy in the fall. Reinstated 20mg of Fluoxetine. Crashed in December, upped Fluoxetine to 40 mg and started 100mg of Trazadone for severe insomnia Withdrawal continued to be severe in early 2017, but I started seeing a therapist, going to a support group, MIND diet, light exercise, positive cognitive behaviors, etc. I also accepted the condition I was in and that it would be hard, long work to get better. Spring of 2017 I started to feel stabilized. A consistent, day-to-day "blah" feeling since then. This year I decreased the Trazadone to 20 mg with no detriment to my sleep so far. I informed my doctor, and she accepted that but cautioned me not to decrease anything further. I would like to slow taper the Fluoxetine. My to-do list: inform my husband, my doctor (possibly find a specialist), gather supplies for tapering if I have to make my own doses.
  12. Have been off venlafaxine since November 2017 ( after 16 years) ; went on trazodone and Reboxetine until Nov 2018 and have been drug free since. However really struggling recently despite taking omega 3 / CBD / exercises etc. Problems include fatigue, very low mood, anxiety, no interest in what’s happening around me, can be upset by the most minor event etc. Tempted to try some other drug that may help as I am finding it really hard. How long do the withdrawal effects last and is there hope in persevering?
  13. I tried to titrate of the first pill twice over 2 weeks in a row (ended up taking the second one in desperation). I had been getting 3-4 hours sleep, but after slow (1 week, as I had only taken one pill at the time), I got no sleep. I seem to need more to sleep now, at first could on 25 or less. Now even 3/4 of a pill doesn't work well. Very frightened. I will take twice as long I guess, but I don't know if my sleep will come back, and it has been bad for months. My doctor is trying to get me to take seroquel again, but I have EPS. I hate these drugs, but am afraid I might break down and take it.
  14. I was on paxil for 18 years, my stupid doctor switched me to lexapro without weening the paxil (this happened more than a yer ago) My brain went into total dysfunction. I haven't been close to the same since. Since this time Ive went through a brutal ativan withdrawal and been on 10 different medications. I recently tried to get off paxil 10 mg and made it to 2 1/2 mg and then went into withdraw. I also was weening off abiIify during this time as well. I know now to soon and too fast. I am experiencing extreme fatigue, flu like symptoms, suicidal ideation constantly and some insomnia. Its horrific. I have since bumped my paxil back up to ten mg's about two and a half weeks ago but there is no improvement. As of right now I am also taking 300 mgs of wellbutrin which I've been taken for 6 months. I also take trazadone for sleep. Can someone give me some advice as to what the best path would be from here? I am pretty desperate.
  15. 2010- Two years of severe headaches. Bad vision in one eye. Muscle pains. The doctors did not say anything. 2012- anxiety appeared. the first drug sertaline - a paradoxical reaction. I got depression, ss thoughts and other bad symptoms. 2012- 2016 paroxetine - - I tappered slowly, but I did not know yet that it should be stopped more slowly. 3 months without paroxetine and withdrawal syndrome appeared. Return to the drug worsened the matter. I crashed. Bridge with fluoxetine. A year passed. at the end of September 2016 I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I did test in two different laboratories. 08/08/2016-now fluoxetin 20 mg 01/05/2016- now- triticco / trazadone 75 mg clonozepam - 04.03.2017. from 20.11.2017 I started tapper from 0.5 to 0.125 mg- when I got some relief from Lyme treatment. Now I am treated with ILADS ( Lyme and bartonella) and also tapper psycho drags. I want to not rule out the syndrome and stop the drugs safely. I am asking for support and exchange of experience, especially people who suffer from Lyme disease. I need to make plan. How to discontinue: clonazepam 0,125 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg and trazadon 75 mg How I feel now: Antibiotics have sustained discomfort from the urinary tract and improved the results of cytology. I have more windows, but I still experience strong hits of depression and pain in small joints, a specially neck. Through complicated diagnostics of Lyme disease and the syndrome, I do not know which symptoms are from what. Thank you for your attention, sorry for mistakes.
  16. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - StuckOnMeds: Reinstatement of Clonazapam Fair warning: my journey revolves around PMDD (my menstruation cycle). If this is not your cup of tea, turn back now. Hi! I'm so happy to be here! Here's the short version of my story... I was misdiagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when in fact I had PMDD. At first, the symptoms were bearable, but after my last child, everything changed. Suddenly, I was not able to make myself or my children food, not showering, not able to pick my kids up from school. Not only that but my self-esteem was shot and anxiety soaring, and I had about one week a month where I could gather myself back up and try to heal before everything started all over again. This went on for over three years. I was completely broken. During all of this, my Psych started throwing meds at me to see what would stick. Unfortunately, nothing would work, and I ended up on 6 meds for depression and anxiety. Finally, I had had enough and approached my Psych and my Gyn about a full hysterectomy and BSO (ovary removal) to stop the fluctuation in my hormones. By this time I had tried all methods of care ranging from DBT to exercise, birth control to relaxation techniques, and so much more. Anyway, I had the surgery, and I felt (and feel) amazing. Like I had been missing out on living. Unfortunately, I was still stuck on all six meds. And so began the titration. I began titrating risperidone at the beginning of 2015. It is important to me to get off this med because I believe it to be the most dangerous. I started at 1 mg, and currently, I am at 0.18 mg. I am taking a break on my titration but intend to jump after my summer vacation and be done with this demon of a drug once and for all. Here is a list of my other meds: Morning: Zoloft 200 mg Wellbutrin XL 300 mg Lorazepam 0.5 mg and 0.375 mg ( also take around 3 pm) Night: Clonazepam 1 mg Trazadone 50 mg Risperidone 0.18 mg (liquid) StuckOnMeds
  17. I was 22 when I went to the doctor because of a broken heart. He put me on effexor. I had faith in our medical system then, I don't these days. He did not even think the birth control I was on was causing a problem nor did he test for any nutrient insufficiency. It was a brief few minutes. I was crying over a break up and that was all he needed to see and hear to pack me up with several trial boxes full of effexor XR. It seemed like the end of the world and I wanted the pain to stop so I put my trust in my doctor and took the pill everyday until I got pregnant a year later. It was a difficult pregnancy. I was not aware I had a genetic mutation in my MTHFR pathway. I don't even know if that pathway was studied much back then...I am 38 now. Just so you have a time line. I don't know if they were aware that antidepressants made the lack of folate worse. No wonder I had preeclampsia and was on bed rest for the entire 3rd trimester. I felt like crap and was at risk for heart attack and stroke. They had to induce 2 weeks early. She was definitely worth it. Her father, however was not. I needed to go back on effexor after the pregnancy to deal with his abuse. In the end, I wound up with PTSD and he sat 6 years in prison. I had developed a drinking problem at this time. I was out of control. The second pregnancy helped me reel it back in. I went off the meds and did not go back on them until I was unable to handle the stress anymore which was about 2 years post partum. I had 2 daughters, I was working as much as possible and in school full time. My significant other was trying to "hook up" with other girls and my second attempt at a family was failing. They added trazadone this time so I could sleep. Instead of dealing with the problem, I numbed it. My behavior changed a lot. I lost interest in the things I was working so hard for, I became compulsive even more than usual, the alcohol abuse returned. The failing of the family sealed everything. I lost it completely, cut myself so badly and tried to commit suicide. I ended up spending a week in the psych ward where they changed up my meds and added abilify and buspar to the cocktail. Apparently I had gone from just depressed to bipolar. I got off the medication after I found myself pregnant for the 3rd time. I married this one. Love him to death too. After I had my 3rd daughter and even during the pregnancy I was having what I thought were a return of my old bipolar symptoms. I went back on all the meds believing they would help me. They actually made me lose control a bit more and eventually I felt so lost and sick that I knew it was time to get off the meds and actually work towards a happy, healthy life. I was weaned off everything except trazadone. I requested to stay on it for insomnia. I had not been able to sleep for years without a sleep aid and it worked for me. The initial withdrawl was bad. I was on the couch for atleast a month after taking my last dose. I made it through. Shortly after I began developing gastrointestinal issues. I was always nauseated and would have stomach aches. No one thought it was from withdrawl or from the trazadone I continued to take. I carried on in my health quest. I began running and cleaned up my diet. I fell in love with Crossfit and added that to the mix. My gastrointestinal problems continued and got worse. I started eliminating gluten and dairy from my diet. It helped a little. Then I woke up one morning with distorted vision, extreme fatigue, and a general feeling like I had the flu...but it wouldn't go away. I worked with a gastro thinking that something horrible was going on in my intestinal track. Blood work, a colonoscopy, ct scans, numerous emergency visits could not pin point anything wrong. It was a mystery. I thought I was dying at one point. Until I decided it was time to go off of trazadone...and miraculously after I was weaned off all the brain fog, headaches, fatigue went away. My gut did not improve much. But I then had an idea what was causing my issues. I was diagnosed with IBS and it was driving me nuts. I was not aware I was still going through withdrawls nor did I associate the deterioration in my mental state with those withdrawls. I thought, my gut was great when I was on effexor. Lets try it. My body rejected it twice. My gastro tried a low dose of elivil which my body also rejected. I worked out that weekend and woke up on Monday and all the symptoms I had before had returned times 10. I felt like I had fried my brain. I have been trying to recover for the past 6 months. I did see a lot of improvement after working with an integrative doctor. We are trying to increase my serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. My adrenals are shot. My cortisol curve is really messed up. The ability for my body to regulate blood sugar levels was horrible for a long time. But is better now. I can have coffee again in the morning when I need it most. I sleep more than I don't these days. Sleep hypnosis works like a charm to help with the racing thoughts at night. My gut has improved, but my diet is super clean and I try and exercise when I am feeling well enough to. I take methylfolate for my mutation and we are working on getting my body to synthesize B6 better with a ful spectrum of aminos I take as a bone broth protein supplement. I still have waves. They were manageable up until this week. I am having a really bad wave. Migraine, my thermostat is not working right (either freezing or sweating), muscle aches, horrible vertigo, vision problems, balance is off, muscle weakness, fatigue yet cannot sleep well. And the emotional roller coaster has not been fun. I can't wait to get off that ride. Horrible panic, paranoia, fear, anxiety, akathisia, and obsessive behavior, cannot handle any type of stress at all. My poor 13 year old got the brunt of it yesterday. I yelled at her because she needed me to pick her up from school because she was not feeling well. I could not handle the change in my morning plans. I apologized later that night, though. I do try and explain what is happening. This is what it is like, though. I know this is a lengthy post, but I feel it is important to tell my story and I am not going to sugar coat things at all. This whole process has been horrible. It is a nightmare for me and for my family. I just have faith and hope that one day I will wake up and I will be healed...atleast I hear that is how things are suppose to happen.
  18. Hi, I'm new to this website. I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months. When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone. A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued. She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months. I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced. After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep. Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses. Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet. She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C. My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program. Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs. I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia. I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time. Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided. Past Medications: Paxil 25 mg 2010-June 2012 Prozac 20 mg January 2013 Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013 Trazadone 100 mg January 2013 Current Medications: Prozac 8 mg Trazadone 25 mg
  19. I have been trying to get off of paroxetine since spring of 1998. Started paroxetine when I was 32, 10 mg, dropped back to 7.5 mg within that first month. Paroxetine made me very sleepy, at first, so I had to take it at night, otherwise, I couldn't drive safely. A brief nap usually fixed it. Paroxetine really helped with depression. Number of depressive episodes since 1995: just 5 in 24 years. Three when trying to taper. Age 35, tried tapering too fast to 5 mg (33% decrease), got irritable, partner said I should go back up to regular dose, so I did. Age 36, breakup with partner. Sad and grieving, but not depressed. Age 37, work stress led to severe insomnia. Tried Ambien, made me hallucinate. Tried valerian, got severely depressed. Had bad CBT (Cog Behav Therapy), got more depressed: "Even therapy won't fix me!" Felt hopeless, but not suicidal. Depression lasted about 2 months. Insomnia continued, so psychiatrist (who saw me for 15 minutes in a group med check appointment - ridiculous!) prescribed trazodone 50 mg. Instantly fixed insomnia problem. Age 41, moved to a new city where I didn't know anyone, got depressed again. No chg to meds. Saw a good therapist, depression resolved in 4 months - not as severe a depression. New relationship. Age 42, saw a new psychiatrist. Switched me from trazodone to mirtazapine. Still sleeping well, but mirtazapine gave me the most bizarre relationship to food. I constantly wanted to be chewing something, munching on something, shot up 15 pounds (I'm short, so this was a significant percentage of my body weight). I tried chewing gum to deal with this weird behavioral urge. The psychiatrist, who would see me for 20 minutes (individually at least!) for med checks every 3-4 weeks, would try to do psychoanalysis on me in the 10 minutes we had left after discussing meds. NOT helpful. Broke up with partner. Age 42, tried tapering off of paroxetine, back to 5mg (33% decrease), got depressed. After a month, went back up to 7.5 mg. Age 43, went back on trazodone, 62.5 mg. I don't remember a taper with switching between trazodone and mirtazapine, since they were chemically similar. Still sleeping well. New relationship, sill in that one. Ages 46-52, had good CBT, and learned how to manage thoughts and behaviors to prevent depression from getting severe or lasting too long. Ages 52-53, very slow gradual taper over 9 months from 7.5 mg to 2.5 mg paroxetine, kept trazodone at 62.5 mg. No depression! Brain shivers every time I dropped dose slightly, but those lasted only about a week. Age 53, OB-GYN put me on progesterone for perimenopausal symptoms. I was fetal-position, immobile depressed within a month. Stopped progesterone and went back up to 5 mg paroxetine. (Why, oh why, didn't I just wait and see if taking the progesterone away would have fixed things?) Still on 62.5 mg trazodone. Age 53 going on 54, moved back to MN, to where I knew lots of people, but also where winters are cold and dark and long. Got a severe infection, took Cipro, which cleared infection but destroyed gut microbiome. Just as the days were getting shorter and darker, and I was commuting to and from work in darkness. 2016 election happened, work supervisors were harsh and critical, had a cancer scare. Too much bad stuff at once, got the most depressed I'd been since my early 30's. I did not feel like myself. Unable to use CBT skills. Over one week, increased paroxetine to 7.5 mg, next week 10 mg. Within 3 days of taking the 10 mg dose, the black, horrible depression lifted. Still on 62.5 mg trazodone. But, this was also after winter solstice, do days were getting longer, and I also increased Vit D and got a sun lamp close to the same time. So was it the drugs or the season? Had 6 weeks of CBT for insomnia, realized I don't need trazodone to sleep. Why didn't anyone offer me this instead of drugs?! Realized true gender identity - maybe that's why progesterone made me depressed, I'm not female or male, even though my body was annoying me with menopause. Still on 62.5 mg trazodone - why mess with meds while sorting out gender? Age 54. Mild winter depression. Thought to myself, 10 mg of paroxetine and 62.5 mg trazodone isn't doing anything! Age 55. Moved back to the sunny state of CO. From Jan - July of this year (2019), slowly, slowly tapered from 10 mg to 7.5 mg paroxetine. No depression. Brain shivers every time I dropped a level, but those lasted only about a week. Spent 4-6 weeks at each level of dosage as I tapered. Still on 62.5 mg trazodone. Plan: Hold stable at current doses of paroxetine and trazodone through early Feb, when days start getting longer. Eat a non-inflammatory diet, start exercising more. Maybe try very slow taper back to 50 mg trazodone over winter, since I know how to sleep well without it. Then taper paroxetine. Then complete taper off trazodone. Be drug-free!
  20. I recently discontinued Seroquel 150mg (prescribed for agitated anxiety and insomnia), and now on Trazodone 250mg and Mirtazapine 30mg. I had been on Seroquel since Sept. 2018 . I feel awful - sleeping less, agitated, angry, depressed, don’t want to get out of bed, lack focus and hard to think straight. I feel dumber and want to avoid. Any insights on how long it may last or how to make it easier? I’m concerned that none of the meds have really helped me with anxiety/depression beyond getting some sleep. I am doing therapy, EMDR, exercise and meditation. I feel like a weird version of myself and don’t want to be around people. I get feeling hopeless about feeling better or like myself again.
  21. Hi all. For me the trouble started in 2009 when i was in my last semester of college. For 3 years i lived at a student home where i had the best time of my life. Partying, smoking weed, going out, hanging out, cooking the food i want, making new friends, girlfriends etc. The tought of going home again after 3 years was making me feel a little depressed during the last semester. When I eventualy was home again and started my first job it hit hard. After a week of working there i was severly depressed and couldnt sleep anymore, was anxious about a lot of things. I went to my doctor and explained my situation. He put me on mirtazipine, that worked for the insomnia but that’s it. I had side effects like beeing nauseous all the time and sometimes loosing my balance. I had a job as a technical engineer who was working on heavy and dangerous machines, so I was anxious for doing wrong things that could kill me. After a few months I went back to the doctor and told him it wasn’t working, so he put me on another AD Cymbalta. During these first months of working I also quited smoking weed, After starting the cymbalta I also started smoking again, together with that and changing jobs I got back into positive spiral, quited the cymbalta with tapering down on my doctors advice(had brainzaps for a few weeks but nothing more). That lasted till my boss changed my function in the company due to the financial crisis. After a few months in my new job I was getting depressed again and I chose to change jobs again, that was at the end of 2010. From january 2011 till september-october it went well but then I got back into the negative spiral. I went back on the cymbalta and that was the beginning of HELL. On newyears eve I went to my first goa-party and did LSD for the first time, Awsome experience! I also played poker a lot that period and occasionally then I did cocaine. At the end of february when coming back from a trip to Portugal I felt a lot of energy, no depression, feeling like the king of the world… Didn’t know this was (hypo)mania. I quited my job, I just walked out one day without saying anything never to return. From february until may I partied, went to bars, the casino, spending money, doing a lot goa-parties. Sleeping less and less because I didn’t feel tired at all, LSD,coke,weed, etc. Eventually I got into a severe manic-psychose. I was forced into a psych ward (for 30 days at first)were I was tied down in the isolation unit for a couple of weeks until I got less manic-psychotic. They gave me Zyprexa & Etumine. When I stabilized after a month and or so I heard that I was forced for another 3 months because my psychose was so severe. I tought ok, I can live with that. I changed from the crisis department in the psych ward to the addicts department. There I was left to rot ,I developed severe depression & anhedonia in a few weeks. I told to the psydoc that I was depressed and wanted Cymbalta, didn’t get it but he upped my Zyprexa, without result. A month later I said to him that it’s getting worse so he added Abilfy. That didn do anything but side effects like I couldn’t keep my legs still, my walking style changed, I stiffened in walking, my eyesight was weird I kept involuntary staring at things. During that time at the addicts department the only therapy I got was 2 times a week one hour of fitnesstherapy and the rest of time was ergotherapy, were nothing interested me. Soon I quited the ergotherapy and stayed in bed all day watching TV. After the 3 months were gone I tought it was over. Wrong, my psydoc said you are not stable! I was forced another 3 months. At the addicts department most people were talkative and I was silent. At the beginning they said to me that it will get better and understood me, but after a while no one talked to me… After some time I asked to be moved to the psychose-departement for the time I was left there. I got there and it was quiter and the nurses were friendlier and took care of the patients. But the psydoc there (a new one) forced me another 3 months there, I was in no state to leave the hospital she said. But I got my Cymbalta back, hoped it will work, but it didn. After those 3 months I wasnt forced to be there anymore but they advised that I would. I got the hell out of the psych ward! I quited the AP’s (zyprexa, Abilify) CT. At first when I was back home I stayed most of the time in my bed, I don’t think I realy had WD symptoms. Time went by and I started to do things again and had interest in wat was going on in the world. It went wrong again at some point because I was using weed and coke again. Had another manic-psychose and was forced to the psychward again. Was forced Zyphadera(liquid Zyprexa) injections, seroquel XR, depakote and diazepam. After 4-6 months I was allowed to go home and live with my parents, again I was a zombie. For months I dindn do much. I did keep taking my meds until the point I went out to go fishing a lot (mostly at night) I forgot to take my meds on regularly base, slept not enough and got manic again. I checked in to the psychward voluntarily because my parents said it was getting out of control again. After 2 hours there they told me that I was again forced to stay there… same story: stabilized after a few weeks then going down into a downwards spiral again. That was around may 2016 when I got out I was taking: zyprexa(10mg), seroquel (200mg), depakote(1000mg), trazodone(100mg) That was currently my last vacation @ the psych ward. Now I go to my usual doctor to get my Rx’s. He also given me effexor (150mg) and citalopram (10mg) for depression but I don’t think it’s working… I keep taking my meds as I should but i’m anhedonic, no interest in anything, no energy, fat because of the AP’s etc. At my last visit with my doc I asked to maybe change something to my meds because i’m tired all day and he changed my seroquel from 200 to 100mg. At that point I started to do research about withdrawal symptoms and general info about AP’s and AD’s when I got to this forum. Currently after 3 weeks of my taper from 200 to 100mg seroquel i’m feeling no WD symptoms. I’m now taking: 10mg zyprexa, 100mg seroquel, 150mg effexor, 10mg citalopram, 100mg trazodone I want to get off of as much of these drugs as possible as I fear i’m going to be a zombie for life. I don’t do weed, lsd, or coke only sometimes a lite stimulant to get something done... Any of you guys know what to taper first?
  22. I started my tapering off yesterday. I've done tapering before but only to prepare for a newer prescription. This time I have decided to taper off of everything. I am feeling the withdrawal symptoms but am determined to muddle through them. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow and will tell him what I am doing. It's very scary to me because I don't know what to expect because I've been on something or another for the past 27 years.
  23. I took Effexor for a total of six months and got to 300 mg. Wanted to discontinue due to mania, insomnia, stomach issues. Had not heard about discontinuation syndrome. The Dr took me from 300 mg to 150 mg for a month. Added Straterra. Then 75 mg for 10 days. Severely ill so increased back to 150 mg. Went to new Dr for second opinion. Added Cymbalta took Effexor up to 187 mg. Ended up hospital 2 months after started taper. Now on 50 mg of Pristiq instead of those 3 antidepressants. Depressed, frustrated, severe cognitive and memory issues, scared, confused, anxious, sick,angry. New doctor tomorrow. Wishing I hadn't gone in hospital and had started a slower taper on my own. The Dr yanking me off 3 meds sounds like it will be difficult to get through on my own.
  24. thesureshot

    thesureshot's journey

    Moderator's note: link to benzo thread - Thesureshot - The Benzo Thread Hi everyone! First and foremost, I'm so grateful to have found this website and thank you for sharing all of your stories - they've really helped me realize that I'm not alone. A little on my background -- had a major life event (move abroad) in 2016 that eventually lead to a nervous breakdown in early 2017. Severe depression, anxiety, several panic attacks a day -- all that kind of fun stuff. I was referred to a psychiatrist in the UK who put me on Effexor and Xanax almost immediately. In desperate need of relief, I acquiesced. After 2 months, the drugs weren't helping and my company decided to move me back to my home in the US -- a major disappointment. There I was referred to another "highly regarded" psychiatrist who CT'd me from Effexor and immediately put me on Cymbalta. I suffered severe withdrawal -- nausea, sweating, zaps for a month. After "overcoming" the Effexor withdrawal, I CT'd Xanax because I thought it was making me lethargic. I experienced no withdrawal symptoms, thankfully. Cymbalta was proving to be ineffective, so Abilify was added at 2mg to help "boost" it. This is where things started going off the rails. My spending became out of control for the first time in my life (normally very frugal), and I started exhibiting classic hypomanic behavior. I couldn't sleep, so I was put on Trazadone 50 mg to help with that issue. I missed more work than I ever have in my life. This eventually led to a BP2 diagnosis, which in turn led to a Latuda 20 mg prescription. I was also switched to Lexapro 10 mg, then eventually to 20, and CT'd off Cymbalta upon starting the Lexapro. I stayed on Abilify. This is where the anhedonia set in. I used to be a big music lover, an avid nature enthusiast, a gym rat, a writer -- and all of these things stopped giving me any pleasure at all. Apathy set in. I quit my job. My psychiatrist started reducing the Latuda rapidly, dropping me from 40 to 10 mg within a span of three weeks. Shortly thereafter, she recommended stopping the Latuda and put me on Trileptal and reduced my Lexapro to 10mg. At this point, I developed excruciating headaches and SEVERE anxiety that led to a one-week hospitalization. This was in early June of this year. In the hospital, I refused Lithium and started Lamictal as well as Wellbutrin 150mg to "help with the side effects of the Lexapro." I was taken off the Abilify and Trileptal. After my first dose increase of Lamictal, I developed the rash so had to CT after two weeks. I was feeling uncomfortably jumpy on the Wellbutrin so I CT'd that after 10 days. Oddly enough, I finally "stabilized" from the bipolar-like symptoms on just the 10 mg Lexapro, 50 mg Trazadone, and .5 mg Klonapin. That's when I started to realize that maybe the pharmaceuticals were the problem. I found a new psychiatrist who supported me going off meds and recommended I try to cut the Trazadone and Klonopin in half in early July. I did so with little issues. That brings me to today. My poor nervous system and brain! I've been yanked on and off so many drugs that I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I'm currently on 10 mg Lexapro in the morning, and 25 mg Trazadone & .25 mg Klonopin nightly. My current symptoms are: - Brutal anhedonia - Apathy/lack of motivation - Hair loss - Morning anxiety - RLS/(possibly akathisia? More like uncontrollable leg and foot twitching) especially in the morning (this is new and started after discontinuing Wellbutrin) - Agitation - Sexual Dysfunction - Night sweats - Reduced Cognition/Concentration - Memory Issues - Inability to lose weight/gain muscle mass despite strict diet and exercise I do think that most of these are simply side effects of the SSRI/SARI and not necessarily withdrawal. After reducing from 20 mg of Lexapro to 10, I experienced much more severe anxiety and headaches/head pressure that have subsided significantly over the past 6 weeks or so. Regardless, I think it's too late to reinstate the 20mg dosage. I also believe that my morning anxiety/rls/akathisia could be rebound anxiety from the klonopin I'm taking at night, despite the long half-life. My new psychiatrist recommended eliminating the Trazadone first, then doing 25% cuts of the Lexapro for a month at a time, but from the research I've done here that seems far too quick with far too drastic reductions, so I plan to do a 10% taper schedule on the Lexapro every 3-4 weeks, possibly alternating dose reductions of the Trazadone, and to leave the Klonopin for last. Any suggestions are welcome. My goals are simple: to live a psychotropic-free life and reclaim my passion for living. I want my love for music back. I want my sexuality back. I want the driven, goal-oriented, outgoing individual that my friends know back. I'm fortunate to have a supportive wife, a great therapist, and at least the next two months off work to start this process. Even though I've lost my motivation, I'm determined to repair myself. I just hope and pray that the damage isn't permanent. I wish all of you all the best things in this world, and hope that healing comes to all of us. Thanks for reading!
  25. Hi Friends, I went off of trazadone 5.5 months ago after 15 years of use for insomnia, and have been suffering from protracted withdrawal ever since. The most debilitating symptom is severe depression that often manifests physically as pain in my heart, and a myriad of new drug sensitivities. I have a few questions about other's experience's and/or recommendations. · Has anyone had success with st. john's wort, 5 htp, homeopathy, or other approaches? · Will attempting to treat the symptoms with herbs, or ssris prolong the period of withdrawal? · Does anyone understand the mechanism behind the symptoms of protracted withdrawal coming in waves? My preference would of course be to get through this without having to medicate the symptoms, but there are times when the depression feels so intolerable, I need to have another option for my own safety (I've been very proactive of finding alternative methods to deal with the depression, ie, meditation, exercise, support, etc. but they have a limited effect). I have read that in rare cases, protracted withdrawal can last years or be indefinite. Given that I was on trazadone for 15 years, and I tapered much too quickly, I imagine mine may be a slow process. I have included a detailed history of my experience to give context for anyone who is interested. Thank you. HISTORY: 15 years ago, at the age of 23, I went through a healing crisis of sorts, dealing with issues of childhood trauma. I went to a treatment center for depression, where I was put on a number of different drugs (as best I can remember: celexa, risperdal, trazadone, vistaril, and one or two others). The treatment center was beneficial for me - I did intensive therapy, and worked very hard on my own healing. Within a year or two of returning, I tapered off all of the mediations I'd been put on, with the exception of trazadone. I had had insomnia for most of my life and was under the impression that its only purpose was to treat sleeplessness. I was unaware it was an antidepressant for the next 15 years, until after I began the tapering process. Even my naturopath continued to prescribe it without question. Over the last 15 years, I healed myself through intensive therapy, even becoming a therapist myself. I build a successful business in a field I felt passionate about, combining therapy with an artistic discipline. For years I contemplated getting off the trazadone but didn't feel like I could risk not sleeping with my demanding career. A year ago, I decided to take sabbatical and travel the world, starting with an ayurvedic cleanse program in India. A couple years prior, I started to have the creeping suspicion that my medications (benadryl, alegra-D, singular, trazadone) were creating more symptoms than they were treating, and so began the withdrawal process before leaving for India. At first I cut my trazadone from 150mg to 75mg and cut out the Benadryl completely. I struggled with sleep, but more significantly, horrible nausea for about 6 months. I attributed the sleep to the trazadone, but the nausea to the Benadryl (now I'm not so sure that was accurate - it may have been the large reduction of trazadone). Luckily, I was able to treat the nausea with small doses of medical marijuana. I went off my other allergy mediations much more easily - with a week to two of acute symptoms that afterwards subsided completely. When I began my cleanse in India, I tapered the trazadone from 75mg to 0 in a matter of 5 weeks. Way to fast given what I now know, but again, at the time, I had no idea what I was dealing with. Each time I would decrease, I would have acute withdrawal symptoms for about a week which would then subside; mainly night terrors, sleeplessness, and irritability. For the next three months I only managed between 3-5 hrs of sleep a night, but although it was frustrating, it was manageable, given that I was spending hours each day mediating. My nausea went away after I tapered from 75mg to 50mg but for the first two weeks, I suffered from persistent sexual arousal disorder (pgad, the female version of priapism) - a nightmare which caused incredible discomfort as I was barely able to pee for two weeks. Luckily, I figured out it was due to the trazadone withdrawal after some research. That experience only made me more determined to get it out of my system, and quickly. The PGAD disappeared when I tapered from 50 to 25mg. After my final dosage (I had basically just been taking a crumb for a week), I began experiencing the most horrific emotional pain I have ever experienced. I often find myself at a loss for how to describe it as it's never felt like typical depression. It was something like a combination of an ongoing panic attack with a grief stricken/shock-like feeling - like when you learn that your beloved has died and it knocks the wind out of you. I felt a palpable heart pain -though it was clearly emotional in nature. It is not the first time I've felt that heart pain, and may just be how my body metabolizes severe depression - but it was the most extreme experience I've had, and totally devoid of content. At the time, I had never heard of protracted withdrawal and so assumed I was having some kind of spiritual crisis. I was staying at an ashram, and so spent many hours in meditation. The symptoms gradually got a bit better over the first month, but then came back with a vengeance, though usually with some breaks of relief during each day when the heart pain would subside briefly and I'd get a bit of perspective. The odd thing was that this 'depression' came seemingly out of the blue at a period in my life where I felt stronger and happier than I'd ever been before. After some research, and consulting with a colleague who specializes in psychiatric drug withdrawal, I realized I could be experiencing protracted withdrawal. I tried to stay in India as long as possible to heal myself there, hoping it would pass quickly and I could continue my travels, but at some point the pain became too intolerable and I decided to come back to the States where I would have more resources to treat the symptoms (or so I thought). I decided to stay with my family in the midwest while I figure this out, and enlisted the help of a wonderful holistic psychiatrist, who luckily recognized the symptoms (at that time - depression, arthritis, and gum pain) as protracted withdrawal. I first tried supplements, homeopathy, and st. john's wort, in an attempt to stay off SSRIs. The St. John's Wort did provide some relief after week 5, but I was experiencing extreme fatigue and rapid hair loss. My psychiatrist suggested I try a small dose of prosaic after weaning off the SJW in order to get through the protracted withdrawal. Over the next month I tried 4 different SSRIs in miniscule doses (Prozac, lexapro, celexa, wellbutrin) and had horrible adverse reactions to all - sleeplessness, panic, wired/restless leg syndrome, loss of appetite, migraines, nausea, diarrhea. I had to take Clonazepam (luckily only one dose for each attempt at a new SSRI) to counter the reactions. Next we tried SAM-E at 50mg/day. I had some mild reactions, but after 6 days, felt wonderful - depression had subsided though I was a bit wired, but on day 7, I ended up with the same reactions as the other SSRIs and had to discontinue. Interestingly, I've taken almost all of these medications in the past without issue. I was given zoloft twice during my life (once for chronic mononucleosis when I was a teenager and for two years for 12 days out of every month for endometriosis). I had no problem on the drugs, but did experience acute withdrawal symptoms when I was going on and off the zoloft each month. I had horrible dizziness, and only after thousands of dollars of mris and other tests did I realize from my own research that it was caused by my body going into withdrawal for two weeks of each month. A few weeks after my final dose however, I was fine. I swore never to touch another antidepressant - totally unaware that trazadone was one! I also tried SAM-E at one point when I was experiencing depression after a total hysterectomy (for the endometriosis). It didn't help but it also didn't have any adverse effects at the time. The depression subsided when we were able to get my estrogen levels back on track. My psychiatrist works in cooperative clinic, so together we saw the nutritionist there, who tested me for deficiencies and then started me on a regiment of supplements. As far as I can tell, I have not had any adverse reactions to the supplements, but have not felt improvement from them either. For the past three months I have been on a very strict diet: no grains, no dairy, no sugars, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no meat (my choice). I basically just eat vegetables, lentils, lots of fish, and a few nuts. I've also been adamant about making sure I get 1-3 hours of mild to moderate exercise/day. This seems to be the one thing that routinely brings me a bit of relief, though only while I'm walking, moving, etc. I am lucky to have a wonderful support system and minimal external stressors in my life at the moment. I have tried my best to keep a positive attitude and am often successful, though I continue to get knocked out by the intensity of the heart pain when it arises, even with my myriad of coping strategies. Having tried so many ssris, and then the SAM-E (last dose was 12 days ago), it's hard to know what my norm off of meds will be - if there is one.
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