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  1. Hi everyone I'm Dane, Please scroll down to "Long story short" for antidepressant story or continue for the full picture. 43 year old gay male, from Sydney who has had a couple of years of unstable mental health after being successfully medicated on Zoloft 100mg for around 7-8 years. The dates are foggy. I notice people leave there hx (history) of medications and experiences at the bottom of the posts, if someone could advise me on how to do that, id be very appreciative. Id like to play by the rules. My main issue has always been anxiety. In 1995 I had my first horrific panic attack. And nothing has been the same. My life isn't awful or terrible. I have a lot to be grateful and thankful for, however as time goes on, I'm finding things more difficult. Ive seen this website many times, but felt it was best to join and contribute/learn. I generally have been anxious rather than depressed, however the anxiety and feeling out of control led to me feeling quite down and dark. In my 20's i climbed out of it but when any stress or changes were added like a relationship, a job, a responsibility - I would become overwhelmed with that was being asked of me and get easily stressed and feel like I couldn't cope with life's demands. This has been a common reason for my anxiety. When I hit 30 in 2008 I was really beginning to suffer. I felt very alone, I was job swapping a lot, starting jobs and quitting, very unstable and sexual experiences ramped up. Seeking out novelty and sex and also what's known as "cruising". I then started to feel difficulties just going outside. I was super anxious about even going to the local shops, it got worse and worse and had to be brought back home to live with family. I felt completely failed as a person. I felt i was a burden and couldn't understand why and what was leading me to not be able to cope with life. I developed agoraphobia. I went on Zoloft and that worked for many years. I got two degrees during that time, I graduated, i was working, had friends but never feeling 100 percent. The agoraphobia never really left me at all. Sometimes I could travel long distances and other times I couldn't leave my suburb. Its fluctuates a lot. However I learned to drive a car, and can drive locally and have a job. My issues are finding the right medication or therapist combo. Long story short: 2018 I noticed Zoloft not working as well, I had some challenges with resurfacing anxiety. Went to 200mg, no result. Went onto Lexapro (escitalopram) 20mg, no change really, some side effects. Maybe 20% better. Side note: Ive done pharmacogenomics testing for metabolism of meds (Lexapro a no go anyway). I checked into clinic to wean off it April 2019 and started Effexor at 75mg. Over the course of a year that was increased to 225mg. It would seemingly work for a time at each dose increase and then take a tumble. The other theory I have is that I'm not that depressed really. In April of this year (2020) I went back to switch to Pristiq 100 and Valdoxan was added at 25mg an evening. Pristiq was shown to perhaps work due to metabolism. At the 12 week mark id had mayve 4 or 5 days feeling great. The other times I felt speedy, emotional, numb, sedated, as if the norepinephrine side was working full force, but no the serotonin. I had the energy extreme without the mood. Not fun. I am now down to 50mg Pristiq for two weeks 4-18th of August. I have been given Seroquel 50mg XR to help with the DROP to 0 - in Australia you cannot get 25mg doses. Now Seroquel has worked as PRN but will it work coming off the Pristiq? I'm feeling very poly medicated. And feel I need a HUGE scale back. Medication Journey: 5 medications August 2020 Zoloft 100mg 2012 - 2018 (stopped working) Increased to 200mg (no effect) Escitalopram 20mg Dec 2018 - no noticeable effect except side effects Venlafaxine started April 2019: 75mg (6 weeks) 112mg (6 weeks) 150 (3 months) 187.5 (3 months) 225 (7 weeks.) Each dose increase it just kept failing after an initial boost/response Pristiq 100mg & Valdoxan 25mg (May 2020) Pristiq 50mg & Valdoxan 25mg (August 2020 - due to side effects)
  2. Hey all! This is my first post here and I'm so glad I found this forum. I've been feeling desperate for months. My question is about drug-induced derealization. I took the combo of Effexor + Valdoxan and only felt good for a month while being on them. In hindsight I almost seemed manic. Then, suddenly, I got very strong derealization that lasted for weeks. It lifted a bit for a few feeks and then came about again when I had a drink one night. I have now tapered off Effexor, I took my last pill about three weeks ago. Three days ago I also started tapering off Valdoxan. I take Oxazepam to cope with the symptoms. I feel like I broke my brain for good. The only other time I've felt derealization was when I ate a hash brownie and clearly it was too much for me. I used to be a caring and fun person before going on the antidepressants. Right now I feel like I'm just completely empty inside. I do and feel things because I know I have to, but I seriously don't care about anything at all. When I do feel emotion, it's mostly fear or worry. Has anyone else expierienced drug-induced DR? Did it go away when you started to withdraw from the drug? How do you cope with this?
  3. Hi. After three years I want to come off Agomelatine (Valdoxan). I'm in the UK but my Psych is in Spain so can't ask him for info until I go back. My main concern is that (together with 10 mg diazepam for which there is lots of tapering info), I find it helps my insomnia tremendously but I wake up feeling like a zombie. Trying to get info on how to taper, I take 25mg. I read there are supposed to be no withdrawal effects but has anyone come off it and found they can't sleep? I need to come off it as NHS won't prescribe it and I can no longer afford it. Many thanks
  4. Please see this post for how to make a liquid: As I am taking a medication not many people have experience with, there is no topic about tapering it. I am not at a stage to start tapering Valdoxan, but I constantly worry, that once I wish to start, there is no information or support available for me to take guidance from. So I started this topic here and I am asking if anyone has any piece of information on how one would go about tapering Valdoxan, please be so kind and post here. Or if you know of anybody who has already done it or if you have stumbled upon any information anywhere else in the Web. Perhaps by the time I am ready to taper these pieces of information will have formed a good plan. Background: The Valdoxan pill has a coating so I am worried what will happen, if I break it. It has no line for breaking either. Also I have no idea if it would be ok to make it into a liquid. I would like to do a liquid taper, if possible, because I see no other way to do it accurately. It is said to have an effect on the melatonin system and the pharmaceutical company claims it has no WD. I know better not to believe that but could it still be a bit of a good sign that they have not had acute WD problems in their short term studies? Or am I too naive to hope that?
  5. Hello everyone, It is very good that I finally found a place to talk about my issues. Started sertraline in June, overdosed in August, now cold turkey with serotonin syndrome So, as stated above, I've been going through many things in a short frame of time. I've had anxiety problems as long as I could remember. As a kid, I was anxious. As a teen, I was anxious. My anxiety problem got out of control this year, as I started university and many things that I couldn't control happened simultaneously (mainly family stuff - mum's verbally abusive, my sibling has a cognitive disability, and my dad has health issues). I was getting constantly frustrated and depressed, and ultimately developed a suicidal ideation around June. That is when I first went to a GP to talk about my mental issue and the GP prescribed me with 50mg of sertraline. At first, it helped me a lot with my anxiety but when I think about it now, what sertraline did was numbing all my emotions; tranquilising my mind. As soon as I started taking the pills, I had several side-effects, including severe insomnia and lack of appetite which never really disappeared until I went cold turkey. I could barely sleep for 4-5 hours per day for several months. From the beginning, I had problems with my dosage. A few weeks after initially taking pills, I increased the dose by myself to 100mg because it was during the exam period, I was extremely anxious and wanted to die because of the stress and anxiety. I've told my GP later and she said it'd be ok to continue taking 100mg if I'm good with taking it. So from then on, I took 100mg per day. However, I was going nuts as I wasn't getting enough sleep and there were persisting side-effects that kept me from being functional. I could barely concentrate on anything. Although I believed I wasn't anxious anymore, I was seriously getting depressed due to the physical fatigue and other things that were going around me. I think I went through some personality changes as I started acting more impulsively without thinking about the consequences. Probably because nothing was rewarding as all my emotions were blunted due to the pills. I overdosed myself with sertraline during late August. It was during the exam period (again), I couldn't study properly because I couldn't concentrate, I was suffering from insomnia. I talked about the insomnia problem to my GP and she told me exposure to sunlight, drinking warm milk and exercising mindfulness activities would help... which didn't. I was also very depressed during that time. I took a blood test around that time due to irregular menstruation and the GP told me that there were two hormonal abnormalities and they could be either because I was too stressed/due to the antidepressant, or because I had PCOS and a tumour on my pineal gland. Everything accumulated and I was getting extremely anxious. So, without thinking much about the consequences, I started binge-eating my pills. I had no intention of committing suicide as I researched beforehand and the case study I read stated that overdosing a very high amount did not kill the person. Moreover, whenever I was getting anxious, I had cravings with my pills because I wanted to numb all my feelings (I still do sometimes, even after going through serotonin syndrome - so I started suspecting that the pill may be addictive despite what everyone's saying). Additionally, I had access to plenty of sertraline as I had 2 prescriptions - one for 50mg, and one for 100mg. Now when I think about it, one of the things that contributed me to overdosing was the generic pills; sometimes I went to other pharmacies and they only had the generic ones. Because I didn't know that the generic ones may have a different effect in terms of time, I just took generic ones and found them not as effective as the brand pills and took even more to gain the effect. I did know that sertraline did not have instant effects (well the side-effects were quite instant though). My highest overdose on 1 day was 450mg. I didn't take the pills at the same time; it was more like 100mg in the morning, 150 in the afternoon, and 200 at night. during that insane week, I took a total of 1500mg, which was more than double my supposed weekly dose (700mg). The effects of sertraline syndrome were instant. I've acquired high blood pressure (around 150) and fast heart rate, to the extent that I woke up in the middle of the night because my heart was beating so quickly and my blood vessels were constricting. My hands started to tremble constantly. I went to my GP on that following Monday. And... the interesting thing was that the GP advised me to keep taking my usual dose (100mg) because she was worried about the withdrawal syndrome. She told me that the symptoms should cease several weeks later. Well, I should've realised that GPs don't have much knowledge regarding the psychiatric drugs because I saw her searching up about sertraline on her computer. Anyways, I kept taking the usual dose, thinking that I would get better within a few weeks. Then like a week later I self-decreased my dose to 50mg because the symptoms were getting severe. The trembling spread through my entire upper limb. I've developed bilateral upper limb clonus, spasticity, and hypertonia - I was jerking my upper limb violently all the time except when I was asleep. All my upper limb muscles (including the rotator cuff muscles) were contracting involuntarily. I was suffering from constant muscle ache, tendon ache as well as severe insomnia. So, in mid-September, around 3 weeks after the overdose, I finally decided to go to the hospital emergency department although I initially planned to wait until I see the psychiatrist in mid-October. Serotonin finally screwed up my autonomic nervous system as well - I developed problems breathing and regulating my body temperature. I was in constant agony as I had neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, ANS problems as well as insomnia and other antidepressant side effects. Muscle spasticity finally started to spread to my lower limbs as well. Because of those problems I was very depressed at that time. I finally went to the emergency department and the doctors and people from the toxicology department assessed me. I was given a pill of valium and IV fluids. The doctor there advised me to stop taking the pills and told me that my problems are probably a combination of serotonin syndrome and withdrawal syndrome (from overdosing then quickly decreasing my dose). From then on, I was cold turkey with sertraline. The week after the trip to the emergency department, my dad took me to his GP. I told him (the GP) that I went to the hospital, and had serotonin syndrome. I also told him that I had insomnia. My dad's GP gave me a weeks supply of valdoxan (aglomelatine - melatonin based antidepressant) and told me that I could start taking it from that day (although I raised concerns about taking new antidepressant while having serotonin syndrome) because it won't interact with serotonin and it doesn't have many side-effects. But the funny thing about valdoxan is that you need to get blood test done every month to check your liver enzyme level. It can potentially damage and fail your liver but isn't it ironic how the doctors say it doesn't have many side-effects?!? I started taking valdoxan but had to quit it after 4 days because the side-effects were immense. It could've been serotonin syndrome but as soon as I started valdoxan, I had constant dizziness, nausea, headaches (brain zaps?) and severe fatigue for several weeks even after I quit it. The only good thing about valdoxan was that it instantly fixed my insomnia; I no longer have sleeping problems which I had for several months. So, around late September to mid-October, I had serotonin syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, and the side-effect from the new antidepressant at the same time - which was excruciatingly painful. Then around mid-late October, I finally met the psychiatrist. I booked the appointment like 3 months before... then finally saw him. He asked me about my family issues, where my depression and anxiety stemmed from, but he didn't really discuss with me about all the pill-related issues. Whilst he agreed with me in not prescribing any psychiatric pills, when I told him about my upper limb trembling due to the serotonin syndrome, he told me that I can't have serotonin syndrome because it's been a while since I stopped taking it and the trembling must be because of my anxiety issue. The thing I don't get is that I still do have trembling, as well as bilateral clonus, spasticity, and muscle hypertonia right now as I write this down. I can't fully stretch some of my fingers because they are curled up!!!! IT'S A NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEM, NOT SIMPLY ANXIETY STUFF. I didn't tremble all day because of anxiety before I started taking pills, even though I was struggling with anxiety! Now, I'm currently having CBT with a clinical psychologist which is also my university lecturer of the psychology course. It's going well, but I'm still suffering a lot from the pill side-effects. I still have neuromuscular issues and other issues I've acquired since starting sertraline - hypersensitivity with food, fatigue, and many other things. Before taking pills, I at least knew why I was depressed. Nowadays I get depressed out of blue. I think taking sertraline made my mood-swings and depression worse. I'm not anxious anymore, but I don't know if it's because my anxiety has been cured by the pills or it's just that I don't care anymore about my original problems which made me depressed because the pills made me really sick. I think the whole experience with antidepressants really lowered my pain tolerance threshold and now I'm in constant, chronic pain. My muscles still contract involuntarily all day, my hands and arms still tremble, and there's nothing I can do about the pain right now except taking painkillers which are effective for a few hours. I don't think the GPs and the psychiatrist can do much about it either. Any recommendations? Anyways, thanks for reading my long post.
  6. I have had a pretty breezy life. No real financial problems. Meet my wonderful hubby when I was 19. Owned horses that I loved. All that fell in a big heap when with no warning my hubby of 44 years died. I became suicidally depressed and was put on Valdoxan. I have found it very helpful but don't want to be on it for ever. So how do you know when to even think about coming for an AD? I know the answer is talk to your doctor but how do they know when you should think about coming off your AD? How do you learn to live without and AD?
  7. Hello guys, I have Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia for 5 years and have been taking antidepressants since that. Lexapro > Pristiq > Valdoxan > Remeron (current). I met with my doctor today and she decided to change Valdoxan 50 mg into Remeron (Mirtazapine) 15 mg because there wasnt any change in term of my panic when i took V.I took Valdoxan for 2 months and I wanna ask if any of you ever experience any withdrawal if stop cold turkey (because the doctor said it's fine and no w/d or whatsoever if we stop it abruptly) since it's a mild drug.I also wanna ask your experiences when taking Remeron (Mirtazapine) like is it helping with anxiety? And does it have bad withdrawal symptoms like klonopin? I started taking 15 mg Remeron last night and today i feel so drowsy and had been sleeping nom stop. I also feel slight confused and headache for sleeping too much. Is this only the beginning? Please help me, i really need your advice and read your experiences. Thank you.
  8. RipVanWinkle

    RipVanWinkle

    Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am to have found this forum and to get a feel for the way it is moderated. Calm, practical and sensible advice from and to those who need it. My 14-year marriage broke down five years ago. I walked straight into a new relationship and the love hormones stopped me from feeling too bad. But when they wore off about 3 years ago (I'm still in love with her without the wash of hormones), I realised that I had become a profoundly sad person with little capacity for joy or pleasure. There were many things but perhaps the clearest example is that I stopped listening to music, once one of my deepest pleasures; there was simply nothing in it for me. Music that once moved me to tears of joy just buzzed in my ears annoyingly. So 25 months ago I started taking Cymbalta. One day, about 2 weeks after starting medication, I caught myself cheerfully humming a tune walking down the street. It actually worked... Wonder Drug!! But life moved on, some of the circumstances that had pushed me into depression softened, and I decided I should be okay without drugs. I was never really depressed before my marriage breakdown so I should be able to stop taking Cymbalta right? Within a couple of days of stopping, (without medical advice), I was swamped with an indescribable sense of impending doom. It was as if everything I trusted was going to fail me and everyone I loved would be lost to me. Describing it now does not capture how utterly hopeless, empty and scared I felt without the drug. I went straight back on Cymbalta and spoke to my psychiatrist who scolded me and said, "This is a long term thing. Don't expect to come off Cymbalta for a long time." That was about 9 months ago and I have decided that I disagree with her. I want to come off it now. I now associate Cymbalta with a bland kind of nothingness. I don't "feel" like I once was able to "feel". It has taken away something real. Hard to define, but I want it back. Three weeks ago I started taking my capsule on alternate days. I noticed the difference in my awareness and general mood, but that has stabilised and I seem to be coping with one dose every second day. I know that this approach is discouraged on this site so I have some reading to do, but it does seem to be working for me so far. For now I will stick to this dose and see how I go. I do not expect to reduce again for some weeks or longer. And, yes, I will tell my psychiatrist before I reduce again. My name is Rip Van Winkle. Sometimes feel as if I have suddenly woken up, at the age of 48, and have a lot of catching up to do.
  9. How are you doing, RipVanWinkle? I am currently having hard time with valdoxan withdrawal after being on it about 1 year, and stopped cold turkey. Previously I have stopped it without any withdrawal, so it was/is weird for me that it's there. So far the worst symptom I'm experiencing is blurred, hypersensitive vision, and it hasn't improved in a month.
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