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  1. Hi all, I've just signed up, have been a member of benzo buddies for last few months as I thought my problems were from benzos, but as I'm improving I've realized it's more antidepressants. Long story short I've been on and off Citalopram for past 15 years, each time reached tolerance and came off, only to have what I now know to be withdrawal and reinstated. I can't believe nobody tells you this. Got diagnosed with fibromyalgia (withdrawal), tried Valium, Xanax, ativan, cymbalta, Prozac all stopped CT. Final wammy was stopping Valium for the 3rd time and trying to up my Citalopram which by this point was only 5mg. (I was on 40mg at 1 point a few years ago and couldn't work out why I couldn't take it anymore.) Had to go to the ER, now unable to tolerate any medication as kindled on both benzos and AD. I've found even eating ginger puts me into a wave as it affects serotonin. I've been in hell for 6 months and desperate for anything that may help. Have tried to reinstate twice, but even 0.5mg is too much and takes a month to return to baseline Anyone else as damaged as me, and found any relief?
  2. Moderator note: Link to Nikki74's benzo thread: lexapro kindling akasthesia Mirtazipine diazepam Help. i recently stopped lexapro after a short taper from ten to five mg over 9 days. i had been on 20mg since 2011 then tapered quickly in June and stopped. This was a few weeks after stopping pregabalin 150mg v abruptly. all this time I was also on 15mg Mirtazipine. my anxiety went crazy and gp told me to double Mirtazipine dose to 30. I lasted 3 weeks of hellish symptoms and was put on diazepam and Zopiclone. im now off Zopiclone which was tough. 6 weeks ago GP told me to go back to 15mg Mirtazipine and add in 10mg lexapro. This didn't help so now have stopped lexapro three days ago but took 2.5 mg last night as am feeling withdrawal. gp wants me to start tapering diazepam as I'm getting worse akasthesia when it wears off or even a paradoxical reaction to it. i have akasthesia. Insomnia. Severe anxiety. Shaking. Muscle weakness. Obsessive thoughts and suicidal ideation as cannot go on like this. The only brief ride break I get is the 15mg Mirtazipine which calms me for 2-3 hours. How can I go on? i am a single mum and have CFS already for many years. do I stay off the Lexapro now? How do I cope with withdrawals, akasthesia, and tapering diazepam?? I take 7mg a day been on it three months. i can't stop in one place and am smoking (just tobacco) every half hour. i got sober in 2013. this is hell.
  3. 2011: I was prescribed the following: Cymbalta 60 mg (arthritis). Zoloft 100 mg (anxiety). Buprenorphine 8 mg (off label for treatment resistant depression). Over a couple of years the doctor increased it to 24 mg. September 2018: Decided I wanted to try and reduce the meds. I began a rapid taper of the Bupe and was down to 12 mg by the end of November 2018. Mid December 2018: Started having severe panic attacks daily. Each morning they started at wake and lasted between 2-6 hrs. Assuming it was because of my recent Bupe reduction I increased my dose for a while. It didn’t help so I went back down again. October 2020: I've been suffering horrid, daily panic attacks for 22 months. They start each morning before I even open my eyes (severe nausea and strong sense of doom). They quickly worsen from there and last for hours before slowly lessening. Then I go through a 1-2 hour period extremely fatigued and lethargy. My doctors have been unable to diagnose me but they have treated my symptoms with various medications (listed below). They don't help much during an episode, however it does help with later anxiety and to sleep at night. There is little fight left in me I'm so tired and losing hope. I have fallen down from exhaustion and muscle deterioration many times (once I broke off two front teeth) and am too scared to leave the house (only go to the doctor each month). I stopped eating more than fruit due to severe nausea and have lost 60 lbs. In the last six months I've gotten worse with severe leg weakness and just lately started having pain up and down my left arm (spoke with doctor). Other than that I endure horrible racing thoughts, a racing heart, heart palpitations, headaches; severe nausea, a sense of doom/worry, and a numbness and tingling of extremities. I believe that I may have finally figured out what is wrong: Serotonin/Norepinephrine overload because of the Cymbalta and Zoloft mix (perhaps brought on by stress because of menopause or my quick Bupe reduction in late 2018....I recent read that opiates block re-uptake transport or something). My doctor eliminated the cause of my illness as anti-Depressant related since I had been on them for such a long time without incident. There were many other tests to no avail. So I've researched and am attempting to reduce the Cymbalta from 60 to 30 mg on my own. I started three days ago. As of now my withdrawal symptoms are tolerable (it's difficult to discern between panic and withdrawal, so I evaluate my symptoms after the daily attack). I have headaches, nausea, cognitive difficulty, muscle weakness, and depression. It is key for me that I have had some relief from my panic syndrome though. My racing heart and palpitations were practically non existent. Unfortunately yesterday I took additional Zoloft to take the edge off and it turned out to be a big mistake. Although I still didn't panic this morning, along with some other general symptoms I became extremely fatigued and lethargic (which normally doesn't happen until after the CNS attack). Side note: I am unsure where I am headed with this Cymbalta reduction. My first goal is to stop my panic attacks and stabilize myself. However if my episodes worsen or if withdrawal becomes intolerable I will reinstate the 60 mg. Something tells me that IF I am suffering panic attacks because of neurotransmitter overloads that my withdrawal symptoms might not be as serious. Is that possible? When do the symptoms of Cymbalta reduction generally peak and how long does it last? Reminder: the 11th, 12th, and 13th I took the reduced dose. Lastly, it may be that some of the recent differing symptoms are due to a recent reduction of my Estrogen patch (I have no choice. The doctor is cutting me off). I could probably go back up but could only do so for about two weeks before I'd have to start a reduction again. Any advice or encouragement will be graciously accepted. Current Prescriptions Cymbalta: 30 mg (on October 10, 2020 I reduced it from 60 mg) Zoloft: 100 mg Buprenorphine: 8 mg Atenolol 25 mg (2 times daily). Xanax: .25 mg (take half doses of .125 mg; regularly only take about two per day). Valium: 5 mg (occasional and rare; only in half doses). HRT (out of necessity I am reducing my Estrogen patch slowly). I also take have a combo patch. OTC Mag Glycinate Mag Citrate Vit D3 Chia Seed Oil
  4. Hello everyone. I had been on this forum many times before reading all the posts, usually in the dead of night when feeling so desperate and alone with insomnia but did not sign up until now as hoping I would be feeling a bit better by now. I don't. I came off Duloxetine/Cymbalta, 60mg,in June 2016 cold turkey, probably a huge mistake to do it this way but I had been in touch with my doctor and he suggested to change antidepressant to Citalopram 20mg which I tried for a week and felt strange so ended up ditching both. I went through a terrible time of adjustment for the first 100 days but then seemed to manage slightly better, although it was tough I had hope for a while apart from the no sleep. After another few weeks all kinds of symptoms came at me like an express train and these now remain. I feel generally unwell all the time, depressed, no interest, no zest for life and just not functioning very well. I do have Citalopram tablets, 20mg, here in the house and feel tempted to take them but unsure of what to do. I also have Diazepam which I have taken on and off for 8/9 years 2mg. The Diazepam does not help me sleep at all but does calm me down a little but I feel it is not helpful to my withdrawal off the anti depressents and may be making symptoms worse. Would like to ask advice as to whether or not to reinstate antidepressents for a while as struggling so badly with suicidal thoughts and of little hope in recovering. 8 months of feeling so ill everyday is such hard work and is like living less than half a life. All hope I had in feeling better has gone, I cant believe I can feel this bad and still continue to try and get on with the days activities. I keep thinking that I should be in a hospital being looked after but of course any doctor would just dose me up, seems appealing today. Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.
  5. Hello. Getting started here with an intro as I prepare to start to taper from paroxetine after far too many years stuck on it. Grateful for this site / forum and write this in solidarity with everyone who's been on / going through this kind of journey. 1996/7 first tried fluoxetine and citalopram for depression/anxiety in my teens but stopped very quickly. I don't recall exactly why, though I know one of them gave me a skin rash and I don't think I stayed on either for long enough to notice any benefits. 1999 finally went on paroxetine, I think 20mg at first. Going on was awful (many physical effects such as upset stomach and pretty much everything listed on the leaflet at the time - which I had deliberately not read but ended up reading while bed-ridden) but felt I had no better options at the time, and there's no denying that it helped reduce my anxiety and allowed me to progress with my life. Having said that, I was never keen to stay on and the side effects sucked (skin itching, sexual dysfunction, crazy nightmares, chest pain) but my early withdrawal attempts all crashed and burned. Longest taper over 5 months back in 2005 was scariest experience of my life once I got really low and went from a tiny amount of powder to nothing for 3 days. I had intense crying spells, light/shade effects, dizziness, brain zaps, trouble even speaking, tiredness, stomach upsets, high anxiety and anhedonia. Reinstated after reading a Paxil Progress thread and realising I could end up with protracted withdrawal syndrome otherwise. Had to get on with my life and pretty much resigned to being stuck on it forever. As a 'compromise', have tried to keep the dose as low as possible. For about a year I got by on 5mg every other day, but this was not good: felt like I was barely saving off withdrawal syndrome and my old anxiety returned. Managed on 5mg daily for another few years till the same thing happened. Been on 10mg /day since 2013 but since 2018 I've been noticing numerous signs that I'm now becoming tolerant to this dose: experiencing diminished 'benefit', but more side effects (including new ones such as tinnitus and insane night sweats), plus WD effects starting if I'm ever more than about 8 hours late. Staying on 10mg doesn't seem like a sustainable solution as the tolerance will just get worse over time, so the options seem to be two extremes: stay on this treadmill of ever-increasing doses or try and taper off. Both are terrifying but I know it has to be the latter. If I don't try now while I'm still relatively young and healthy, I'll just be storing up problems for later in life when I'll be less able to cope: the idea of being old and frail, on a max dose that's worn off is just unthinkable. My GP is ok with me tapering now: has said to take as-needs valium (Diazepam) during slow taper but am scared of adding a benzodiazepine to the mix, especially after hearing some of the Mad in America podcasts from World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day. Also very scared that normal life will become impossible so stalling at this point and just reading as much as possible in the hope of preparing myself for success this time, even if it takes years.
  6. gardenlady

    gardenlady

    Moderator's note: Link to gardenlady's benzo thread I would like to taper off of 60 mg Cymbalta. However, I am in the middle of a taper off of Valium and am now at 11 mg/day. The horror stories I have heard about Cymbalta withdrawal terrify me. Should I cross over from Cymbalta to another AD and then taper off? And, should I wait until I finish my Valium taper? I cross tapered from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium and am now down to 11 mg. It's going to be a long time until I'm off of it. I am horribly depressed since switching to Valium, but the anxiety from interdose withdrawals on the Ativan were unbearable. I want off of ALL of these psychotropic drugs but realize I have to go slowly. I just want my life back. Any advice would be much appreciated.
  7. Benzo topic: pinkfairy-in-ad-withdrawal-possibly-zopiclone-and-now-benzo Hi everybody am new around here....right here goes!i need some advice an help.am a single mum to a nine year old with no family or support.in janurary I was taken off Paxil which I was taking at 40mg...I had no clue about tapering,they took me off in 4 weeks I was on it for 3 an half years.they then gave me diazepam to stop the with drawals...so now am also in the process of weaning off this at 10% a month.have now educated myself on this one!!am in a right state an I feel like am in a deep dark hole!have got real bad depression but they can't get another AD into me,probably because my CNS is in a mess....am I too late to reinstate Paxil?or would you guys keep on going.any help would be amazing!!am really struggling xx
  8. I am 70 y.o. But have had severe Restless Legs Syndrome since I was in my 20’s. I’d been on dopamine agonists all my life and switched from one to the next as each seemed to fail. In 2011 my wife arranged for me to be seen at John’s Hopkins by the lead researcher and he found that I had augmentation with each of my old drugs, that is, I would get better initially and then the drug would actually make me worse until I was on huge doses and then I would switch to the next one. The alternative to this class of drugs are the long acting slow release opiates like methadone,suboxone, and fentanyl. I became depressed and then had my first panic attack on methadone ( after a few years) and on suboxone I vacillated between sleep apnea on higher doses and panic attacks on lower doses. I tried several other drugs such as Mg, gabapentin, talwin, morphine, etc before starting fentanyl at 12.5 mcg every 48 hours and eventually settling in at 50 mcg every 48 hours. My RLS is under good control and according to the research, RLS patients don’t ever become addicted and almost never require higher doses over time. But, I was started on Lyrica at the same time as the fentanyl patches because I worried that there were no more medicines to try and I thought I would have to commit suicide. When I am not on a drug or it isn’t working, I have to walk constantly until 4:30-5 a.m. and then I get maybe an hours sleep before it starts again. The Lyrica made me terrifically dizzy and nauseous and lethargic. I asked to stop after 3-4 months and because the common wisdom was a one to two week taper, I did that with disastrous results. Finally I tapered off at very low doses over months and have been off now for 10 months. At first it was day after week after month with perhaps 2-3 hours of normalcy in a week’s time. Now I have longer windows of a few hours to several days with waves that are similar...a few hours sometimes but I just finished yesterday a wave of 6 days. My waves begin with fear on awakening followed by excessive sneezing then loose stools and dry heaves. I feel “sick” and exhausted and sleep almost continuously until it passes. When it is over it occurs suddenly like someone flipped a light switch and I know for certain that it has gone. Still, even in my windows, I start each day with dread. If it is unremitting,I take either 2.5 mg or 5 mg of Valium, but I always try to avoid that. That is my story.
  9. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  10. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  11. During a disastrous attempted benzo taper, I developed severe depression and anhedonia, different and more intense than ever before in life. I have history of anxiety and depression, but nothing ever of this scale. I also developed severe insomnia during benzo taper, which persists even after I've paused benzo tapering (currently on 20mg Valium). I rely on Clonidine to get a few hours of sleep every night. My timeline: 2006 Effexor for anxiety and mild depression 2010 change to Lexapro 2012 change to Pristiq 100mg Multiple unsuccessful attempts to taper (psychological symptoms only). These were all quick tapers, as advised by doctors, which I only now in hindsight realise were too fast. Psychiatrist diagnosed ADD in November 2017 started Modafanil 400mg. Functioned well on Modafanil, was also still on Pristiq. Modafanil expensive and wanted a cheaper alternative. Feb 2018 Psychiatrist started me on Ritalin LA 40mg. I reacted badly with this stimulant, too agitated and couldn't function so Psychiatrist added Temazepam 10mg. March 2018 ceased Modafanil. March 2018 switched from Temazepam to 20mg Diazepam. Diazepam increased up to 90mg over next few months. June 2018 switched from Ritalin to 70mg Vyvance. August 2018 switch from Diazepam to Clonazepam, kept needing increased dose, progressively went to 6mg Clonazepam, and also prescribed short acting Dexampthetamine. My life was spiralling out of control and I realised I needed to get off all the meds and not see this Psychiatrist again. I naively asked the Psychiatrist for tapering advice. Was advised to taper Pristiq first, then Vyvance and Dexamphetamine, and lastly Clonazepam. All the suggested tapers were, ofcourse, extremely fast. Tapers: Sept - November 2018 tapered off 100mg Pristiq (compounding) while still on Vyvance, Dexamphetamine and 6mg(!!!) Clonazepam. I don't really remember this taper. My family tell me I was bed bound during last few weeks. All psychological symptoms. Jan 2019 fast taper Vyvance and Dexamphetamine. Got very agitated towards the end and cold turkeyed the last bit of the dose as couldn't handle it anymore and wanted it out my system. Feb to March 2019: fast taper 6mg clonazepam to 1 mg, ended up in Psych hospital due to acute anxiety and insomnia, and had developed severe intensity depression and anhedonia, different and more intense than ever before in life. March 2019 hospital admission: Stopped tapering benzo. Commenced Seroquel for sleep but didn't help . commenced Chlorpromazine, slept well. Commenced Mirtazapine. Self discharged. Found Ashton Manual and converted to 20mg Valium, and planned to hold benzo taper to try to stabilise. The 'holding' did not ease depression. April 2019 GP converted me from Mirtazapine to Effexor XR (took Mirtazapine for 9 days, wasn't helping depression and was causing increased appetite). Started Effexor XR at 37.5mg for one week, 75mg for 2 weeks, and then 150mg for 4 weeks (total 7 weeks). May 2019: ceased Chlorpromazine, even though it helped with sleep, as didn't want to be on it. Effexor had not eased depression at all after 7 weeks so started tapering. Again, a fast doctor-led taper: 6th June 2019 reduced Effexor from 150mg to 75mg, held for one week. 13th June reduced from 75mg to 37.5mg, still holding this dose. Have not had any noticeable withdrawal from these reductions. I reluctantly agreed to try antidepressants as the depression is unbearable and I have no quality of life. But it hasn't helped so I want to get off the Effexor before I get more dependent on it, but I'm scared as I've since realised that doctor-advised tapers are too fast, compounded by the problem of my nervous system being so vulnerable during a recent too fast benzo reduction from an extremely high dose. Reluctantly started Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy 27th June. I've had 7 treatments so far without adverse effect. I hope the depression eases, even if only a minor improvement, I would be grateful. My GP is advising to continue Effexor taper during TMS but I'm scared, so I'm holding 37.5 dose. I'm using generic Effexor (6 mini tablets inside each 75mg capsule). I want to taper Effexor more gradually, but don't know how. Generic don't have the small beads which I've read about on this site. Can I change to brand name Effexor? I know now that gradual slow taper is best, but I don't have this luxury as I need to get off Effexor before I can re-start my benzo taper (taking 20mg valium currently). I am desperate to be benzo free to reclaim my life. I haven't been able to work for nearly 1 year, feel like I have no future. 2006 Commenced Effexor 2010 Converted to Lexapro 2012 Converted to Pristiq 2017 Commenced Modafanil 2018 Commenced Ritalin and Vyvance, with benzos added due to reaction to Ritalin September-November 2018 taper off 100mg Pristiq January 2019 Dexamphetamine and Vyvance taper February-March 2019 tapered from 6mg to 1mg Clonazepam April 2019 Commenced Effexor XR 6th June 2019 started tapering Effexor, from 150mg to 37.5mg currently.
  12. mngal-want-to-try-again-but-not-sure Hi. I heard this forum will help with other meds besides anti-depressants. I got off of those years ago but probably did myself some damage in the process. I put in a signature so you can see how I got here and where I am. I was so tired from lack of sleep that I was just taking whatever the nurse or doctor said without thinking it through. Now I'm sleeping 5-6 hours and can think well enough to know that I'm in a bad place from these drugs and need to get off. My biggest problem now is sedation/depression. I cannot drive most days. I've lost my job and most of my friends. I used to be much more active but now can't even walk around the block. I also have a lot of anxiety but not sure if it's life circumstances or meds or both. I can't figure out where to start. I'm losing hope that I will ever get better. I do think I got much worse when I started the gabapentin. Actually, I'd say the anxiety got better but the sedation and depression and feeling hopeless got worse. I don't know where to start but I figure I'm not going to ask my doctor for a plan given what happened with the anti-depressant taper he gave me. I wanted to rip my brain out of my head, it was that bad. Don't ever want to experience that again. But can't stay like I am, either.
  13. Currently trying to withdraw from Valium and really struggling with anxiety. I'm down at 5.62mgs.I'm doing a daily micro taper which is getting ridiculously slow. Started taking 10 mgs of Citralopram about 4 months to pick me up and help me with anxiety. It's does nothing though when Valium withdrawal hits. Wondering should I quit it as I don't want to get hooked on another drug? Can I quit it now as I'm on Valium? If so how do I go about it? Is there anything else that helps with anxiety?
  14. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - xyz: valium questions Hi, i am new on here. (english is not my first language so pardon the gramma) i was on various benzo for 9 months and stopped taking them once i read about depency. 10 months later i had a health scare and went onto a panic attack and had severe insomnia (5 days of 0 sleep), and akathisia- i was put on remeron for 10 weeks but it gave me tinnitus so i went into a really bad panic attack and was suicidal. at the hospital, they reinstated me on a low dose of valium (4mg) and put me on lexapro 10mg. my panic attack was so bad and my insomnia so severe that i had to take xanax 0.25mg to calm down with lunesta at night for sleep for 3 months. over several months, i was able able to ditch the xanax and lunesta and reduce my valium down to 2mg and i am still on 10mg of lexapro. i still have severe anxiety and insomnia. i have been holding my dose for 3 months now. i was reading on benzobuddies a thread on long long and that gave me hope that if i hold i can give my CNS time to stabilize. i have good days now but on bad days, i wonder how i can even lower my meds and i keep thinking that i have paradoxical effect on them. a term i kept reading on benzobuddies. will it get better if i hold longer? i also have 2 kids (6 and 2 years old) and i am going through early perimenopause- my panic attack, and insomnia get worse around my periods.
  15. Hi all, It's been a crazy few months since August... and yet it feels like we barely started on this journey. Not really looking forward to next year based on what I've seen... Anyway, some background, my 62yr old mum has on and off over the years experienced stress related throat symptoms - difficulty swallowing, lump in throat etc. All her visits to throat specialists yielded nothing (except for a slight hernia hiatus w/ GERD, which she was put on a PPI long term for). Unable to find the source of her discomfort, she became more distressed by it, resulting in a vicious cycle of cause and effect. Eventually she got put on Fluvoxamine 150mg, Olanzapine 2.5mg and Nordiazepam 11.25mg back in 2018 Nov. Previously she has been rx fluvoxamine on and off since 2004, and seem to have always gone cold turkey off them whenever she felt better. Her pdoc never warned her not to do so, nor suspected that her repeated visits and complaints of symptoms may have been due to withdrawal. She was previously rx benzos PRN but never took them until the TID prescription in nov 18. Fast forward to 2019, she started exhibiting symptoms of what i now know was tolerance withdrawal from benzos, increasing anxiety and visibly fearful, things shes never had before. In Aug 19 she switched a pdoc believing that the previous pdoc's meds werent working anymore. The new pdoc cold turkeyed her off the antipsychotic as well as her benzo, but rx clonazepam to her to be taken PRN, but only if she really needs it coz it's 'addictive' and thus bad. She was also switched to mirtazapine 30mg. This switch resulted in a tsunami of acute withdrawal symptoms to appear. Within weeks of zero sleep and many many disturbing symptoms, she became suicidal. I got involved at this point, but was otherwise ignorant of the real danger she was in. I knew she was in withdrawal, I just didnt know withdrawals could be so dangerous or last that long. The pdoc reassured me that everything will be okay, and that she's already looking better than when she first came in! (Turns out, it was because she had a clonazepam just before the appointment. Duh!) When things didnt relent by the end of august, and she became actively suicidal, i grew concerned and admitted her to a psych ward. Bad mistake, because they misdiagnosed her as depression and did a major change to her cocktail of drugs again. They reinstated her on 10mg V, and switched her to 75mg Effexor XR, as well as loaded her on zdrugs for the duration if her stay(10+days). This mistake did help me figure out what went wrong though, as the switch to Valium helped me find benzobuddies and the ashton manual. Only then did the past month finally make sense. I was horrified at how arbitrary pdocs were making their adjustments to medications, and shocked that they would so blatantly tell me its her underlying illness that she has been masking symptoms of from me. Makes one wonder if she was so good at masking symptoms previously, why is she incapable of doing so now? 😕 They tried to cold turkey / rapid taper her off V again, but i insisted they reinstate her back on her benzo and do a proper taper instead. They agreed but only reinstated and discharged her with 8mg V with the instruction to taper her benzo at 1mg/mth. My discovery and obsession of benzo withdrawal has blinded me to the other two real dangers that she was in, that she was cold turkeyed off an antipsychotic, and put on venlaflaxine, a super short halflife snri. By the time I realize it may not just be benzo withdrawal, it was too late, she was already off olanzapine for 3 mths, and on effexor xr for the same amount of time. I raised my concerns, but the pdoc brushed away my concern again. These ill advised tapering instructions resulted in my mum entering a state of catatonia stupor in mid nov, and had to be admitted to the hospital for a week, after she couldnt stabilize on her 1mg cut to 7mg V. As of now, shes having a myriad of symptoms, including but not limited to dp/dr, akathisia, broken sleep, major brain fog cognitive dysfunction/memory issues, paranoia, confusion, dysphagia, anxiety, fear, panic, agoraphobia, constipation and other gi issues, and something im growing more and more concerned for, tardive dyskinesia (rapid eye blinking, chewing, lips smacking) which Im wondering if it was from the olanzapine cold turkey or the clonazapem use for 3 weeks after her first cold turkey. Most days, shes hardly present and would take a long time to register things i say, or execute simple instructions. Her cognitive skills fluctuates, but only from really bad to somewhat bad, never good or normal. Her anxiety has somewhat weaned but is still fearful and obsessively worried and paranoid. She bounced back from her catatonic state rather quickly, but is experiencing severe dp/dr and brain fog that hasnt relented for the 2 weeks since she got discharged from the hospital. Waves and windows throughout the day... Anyway.. her tardive dyskinesia concerns me... and got me reading up on more than just benzo withdrawal. Effexor has always concerned me, so on and off i'd be on SA reading up about it, but Ashton said to taper ADs after benzos so i never really questioned it, until I read the thread about tapering stimulating drugs first which got me thinking if we should get her off effexor first and do a long hold on her benzo instead... of course, i'm assuming her pdoc will be supportive but who knows 😕 Anyway... I'm currently holding her on 7mg V intil the end of the year, which will make it about 2+mths shes on that dosage. Will do a micro taper eitherway, drycutting V or counting beads for effexor XR. As of now, i started tapering her PPI omeprazole coz shes been on it for almost 4 yrs and that concerns me... as well as the Valium Interaction with omeprazole. for all I know, her anxiety and throat symptoms over the yrs couldve been caused by the PPI, coupled with her cold turkeying off her ADs on her own over the years, it seemed like a perfect storm waiting to happen... I wish back then I had known the things i know now, perhaps then she wouldnt be on these drugs or been cold turkeyed off them. It's painful to watch her usually high functioning self be reduced to someone whom I have to bring to the washroom otherwise she doesnt remember she has to urinate. I really miss her. I wish I had read up more, because I had the exact same thing happen to me in my early 20s with ADs and antipsychotics (had a BS bipolar II diagnosis and even had 10 rounds of ECT done to me) but I was taught to embrace my mental illness and work towards recovery... but I always kind of knew it was BS because I knew I didnt become suicidal or had behavioral issues until i started on psych drugs, and that I didnt fully recover until i was off them for a couple of years (I learnt to act normal so my pdoc would take me off them). Anyhow... tons of regret not researching more when I was younger, coz I can see clearly now what happened to me back then, and what is happening to my mum now. Sorry for the long post. Been feeling very guilty and helpless lately over her current situation, and cant figure out what the next best step should be. Anyway, I hope everyones doing ok and making progress in their own journey to recovery.
  16. Amanda167

    Amanda167

    Hi. I've been on Paxil for 22 years with a few unsuccessful WDs in the past. I finally learnt that I was going way to fast so began during the 10% method from 15mg, everything was going well until I got to 7mg. I noticed that my last few prescriptions, I was constantly given a different generic and im sure my severe reaction was not only WD, but from being given yet another generic that I'd never has in the past ( paroxetine made by Milamed) as it coincides with the start of my severe WDs that started at the beginning of Feb 2019, I tried desperately to ride the storm but it got so severe with an endless list of symptoms that left me bedridden and had to give up work. 3 months of insomnia, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, panic, severe chest discomfort, etc left me wanting to end my life and I was taken to ER 3 times, they wanted to admit me to the psyche ward and I refused so each time, I went back home. From the 14th of May, 3 new meds were added.... Zoplicone.. to which I was grateful because i hadnt slept in months so have been taking half 375mg since. Quietiapine 25mg... to which I took for 5 days, then got scared and started tapering down and now on 8mg. Valium... I've been taking anything from 0.50mg daily to 4mg daily to try and take off the edge but obviously hasn't done much as mainly only taken 1 to 2mg on average for the past 4 weeks and now trying to taper that as to scared to just stop. On 1.3mg and trying not to keep switching doses. The only reason I kept switching as I never intended them to be permanent so wasn't paying much attention. As you can probably guess, I'm extremely cautious and trying so desperately not to rely on other meds and have a strong hate to big pharma. To add more confusion to what was once only 10 to 15mg of Paxil daily, I now have 3 other meds in the mix. And now it gets complicated... After hitting severe WD on the generic paroxetine from the 8th of Feb 2019, I updosed as follows... 29th April 19.... updosed to 8.5mg 07th May 19.... updosed to 9.5mg 14th May 19.... updosed to 10.4mg 29th May 19.... switched from generic brand to GSK Seroxat Paxil and stayed at 10.4mg and holding. The reason for my switch was because I had to decide on one brand and stick to it after finding out that generics can vary and I was so mad that my pharmacist kept giving me different generics. I strongly believe that the last one was bad and aided massively to my severe WD. Well, since switching to the GSK Seroxat Paxil, a new kind of hell broke lose, it felt so much stronger my head felt it was going to explode. It has been absolutely horrendous and I'm struggling to hold on and to make things more complicated, I don't know if the added meds are making things even worse. I'm so desperate to reach some stability and now know that messing with the other doses have probably not helped at all but was so desperate not to rely on other poisons. I don't know what to do to make things better, it's been a month since updosing but only 2 weeks on the GSK paxil and it's not working. Please can someone advise me??? Help me??? I feel like I've had an adverse reaction and being given more meds on a sensitized nervous system only complicated matters further... so desperate to know a way out. I would of given up if I didn't have an amazing 14 year old Son. I'm so sorry for the complication of my story and would truly appreciate if someone can offer some advise. I so wish I'd just held but I was so so desperate. Thank you so much for reading, I appreciate that others are going through hell too and it's such a lonely frustrating painful journey x
  17. Hello everyone, This is my ever first time writing in a forum , I decided to reach out because I am feeling a bit lost.... Excuse if my english is not at it's best as I'm not a native english speaker. I have tried to make my signature, which became far too long and I had to delete so many things that it felt to me that there were too many things missing, but as I am new to "this", I am hoping someone might help me. First things first I am going to write down all my history with anxiety and panic attacks, at least all I can remember, as I'm very forgetful lately. 2005- cypralex due to panic attacks and GAD (can’t remember dosage) gained 46 kgs 2006- August quit cypralex cold turkey no symptoms that I can remember 2007- January started exercising and diet to lose weight by December i had lost all 46 kgs 2011- Panic attacks and anxiety emerged after break up of a relationship that broke my heart. Psychiatrist put me on Paroxetine 40mg trazodone 50mg bromazepam 3mg x2 day hated trazodone and the way it gave me vivid nightmares so I’ve quit it after a while always with doctor supervision 2012- September quit my job, had gain almost 20 kgs, was super depressed still but no panic attacks nor anxiety. 2013- Moved back in with my ex , in march I started the tapering of paroxetine, extremely slowly, and by December 31 I was done. 2014- June massive relapse, anxiety, panic attacks, was living abroad and flew back home to see my psychiatrist, started Prozac 40mg because I had put on so much weight that was unable to lose, worse choice ever, prozac made me have even more panic attacks during my sleep..... Bromazepam 3mg and trazodone 50mg 2014 September 2nd - Another huge panic attack during my sleep, took me to the ER, where the psychiatrist there put me on xanax xr 0.5 3 times day October 28 2014 - Tried to reduce the xanax from 1,5 mg xr a day to 1 mg a day t but i got extremely sick nausea shaking and dizzy my doctor switched me to diazepam 20 mg a day, and also I gave up on Prozac and went back to paroxetine November 2014 - Had terrible shaking nausea headaches, I suspected it was from the xanax switching 2015 - Had 1 panic attack in June but was stable and still on paroxetine 2016 January - I decided that it was time for me to start reducing (tapering) the paroxetineI had moved to another country living happily but the weight that I had gained i could never get rid of, I went from 64kgs in 2011 to 100kgs. September 24 th - Found out I was pregnant and still tapering the paroxetine 2016 December - By the end of December I was done with the tapering and was done 1 year reducing. 2017 - Was totally fine 2018 - Totally fine 2019 June - Panic attack during my sleep, caught off guard, tought I was free from it... 2019 July - Anxiety rising so much I could not leave the house, could not enter any store, or supermarket I would start feeling like I was going to have a panic attack 2019 July 25th - Decided not to fly back to my homecountry to my psychiatrist and went to a psychiatrist here. Prescribed me amitriptyline 10 mgat night, plus gabapentin 100 mg 3 times day and xanax xr 0,5 2 times a day and xanax 0,25 IR in s.o.s 2019 August - I felt a bit less edgy, calmer but still couldn't leave the house alone nor enter supermarkets. I could walk outside IF I wasn't alone but I never felt safe alone and was always afraid of leaving the house. Gained weight 2019 October 2nd - Went to the doctor and the previous psychiatrist had been moved to another district. The new pychiatrist prescribed me Paroxetine 20mg, Lyrica 75 mg 2 times per day and diazepam 6 mg a day. Since end of July gained 6 kgs After my last appointment with the new psychiatrist , I start taking the meds on the 3rd of October, but I did nottake the 6 mg of valium he prescribed because I simply knew that it was too low of a dosage and I would have to keep on with the xanax at least a month til I feel that I was stable enough with the paroxetine to switch to a higher dose of diazepam. But when I mentioned to the doctor the 1mg of xanax xr i was taking a day switching me to 6mg of diazepam wasn't very smart not would it be helpful, he said replied to me saying that the lyrica would amplify the effect of diazepam... I was so upset.... truth is and on that very same day after taking Lyrica 75 mg, I start to feel itchy. I tought it was ok, and on the second day I was still itchy, so I decided to call the doctor to ask him and he told me that it couldn't be related nor an allergic reaction. I knew it wasn't the paroxetine because I had taken paxil before, and I knew it wasn't the xanax as well, so it could only be the lyrica. When I asked my doctor why was he putting me on lyrica his answer was that he could not just stop me the gabapentin, so he said he would switch me to a lower amount, and then reduce more and stop. The thing is, I am itchy every single day all the time, I have to use creams for eczema/atopic skin, and I am drinking 2 liters of water per day, no coffee, no alcohol, nothing with caffeine....... I feel like reducing the lyrica in half, from 150mg a day to 75mg, since I am taking it for not even 4 weeks, but I am afraid of how could it affect me. And about the Xanax, I am still taking the 0.5 xr twice a day but I want to switch to liquid diazepam which I have so I can reduce it and manage dosages better. I am taking the xanax since 25th of July, it's a good while, can any of you advise me? I have read the ashton manual, but I am still afraid. What about the lyrica making me itchy like a dog with fleas? Any help would be so appreciated.
  18. Hi all, I recently completed a taper of Valium over the Feb - Sept 2019 time period via a daily liquid microtaper (sooo glad to be done with this!), but from my siggy, you can see I am also currently on Lexapro and Mirtazapine (both of which I have been on now for around a year). I would like to taper off of both of these (not the same time, but lexapro first, mirtazapine second) over the coming months and am just looking for more information from those who have successfully walked this path before me. If anyone is tapering a benzo, I am an open book regarding my experience and what has helped me (fish oil and kefir are the two supplements that helped me the most, by a mile). I am wondering if there is a way I can taper my antidepressants in a similar manner - very very slowly, gradually, and consistently, but also a pace that is based on symptoms / experience as opposed to a pre-set path. Thankfully, none of these are controlled substances, and I have a doctor that is very supportive of working with me, so I am all ears to this community and look forward to joining and learning in advance of my remaining tapers. Thanks, Jim
  19. Topic title: In the middle of lexapro taper - let’s discuss please Hi all - 6 years on lexapro 20 mg. Taper started December 13, 2018. Got down to 10 mg in April. Waited for a bit and recently got to 5 mg 3 weeks ago. Here Is my story and any help would be appreciated - thank you so much! about 6 years ago I was put on 20 mg lexapro. I do not have clinical depression or anxiety. I had been going through a situational hard time in college. Wish I came off sooner but I was too scared. Finally in December of this past year I was ready and so over being on it! . * note I was also a heavy Cannabis user and quit at the same time starting to come down from 20 mg. From Dec to April I went from 20-10 mg. It was very hard but in s different way in which I am struggling now. I was anxious and crying a lot during the first ten mg. Also I made a conscious decision to use benzos. During this entire process. And I would never be able to do it without it. I work a full time high powered job. So please respect the fact that I will be getting off benzos AFTER my taper is over. i was then prescribed the 10 mgs. I was very much stabilized at this point. As I waited to come down more. The pill was much smaller making it harder to make smaller cuts. To be honest I also am sick of being on this damn lexapro. So I went a bit too fast from 10 mg to 5 mg. All was okay and almost easier than the 20 to 10. Until I got to 5 mg. Two weeks after hitting 5 mg I am in full panic mode a lot of the last 10 days. So - if I have been on 5 mg for 3 weeks now - does anybody have any idea when the panics will go away and when I will likely stabilize? How long does it take on lower dosages to feel ok? I know everyone is different but if I can have some experiences on thr lower doses ? Thank you!! dana
  20. Hi everybody, My mom started taking lexapro 10 mg a month ago, after two week Dr increade to 20 which is now two week. When want to taper the pill because she is having terrible effects, Jelly leg, she cannot be in her feet, cannot walk, confusion,vivid dreams, and hallucinations. Why she starter Lexapro, because she was taking Diazepam for many years, and yes she was working her way out with few symptom here and there but never happened what is happening now, it seen that Lexapro is increasing everything. So I am looking for information to take the pill away since the Doctor is out of town and she is no taking the pill for so long .
  21. Hi all. Long time lurker, thought I’d finally join in. Age =30, Male. Straight to business: Had what you might call a nervous breakdown after quitting my job and also dropping out of University mid 2016. I was having suicidal thoughts, disordered thinking and I stopped sleeping. - Started on a low dose of Valium for 2 weeks to help sleep. This unfortunately exacerbated my depression, anxiety, insomnia, agitation. - started on Lexapro. Again, made my symptoms worse. Didn’t sleep for a week straight. Yikes. - finally prescribed seroquel 25mg. Took it before bed for 1 week. Had 1 week break. Took it again for 1 week. Calmed me down, gave me decent sleep. Didn’t touch it again. - Finished up the 6 months course of lexapro (can’t remember the dose but it was the lowest you can be clinically prescribed). - Afterwards, suffered withdrawal insomnia and anxiety/agitation, doc prescribed 7.5mg mirtazapine nightly. - finished up the mirtazapine after 9 months. Went through 3 months of hell to finally get to 0mg. Drug free for roughly 1.5years so far. I had a LOT of withdrawal symptoms getting to where I’m at now. I’m happy to discuss these so do hit me up. Mirtazapine withdrawal was incredibly difficult. Current state: - Poor short term memory recall (this is slowly getting better) - Chronic tension headache. This is my number 1 gripe. Sometimes better sometimes worse, always low level. Mostly pressure/ache forehead along hat-line but can be top of head. Started 1-2 days into mirtazapine and hasn’t gone away since. - General anxiety (worse in morning, better in evening). - Low stress tolerance - Difficulty with speech, wrong order or words, stumbling over words. If my headache is bad my speech is usually bad as well. - Brain fog - Sleeping pretty well surprisingly. Usually get my 8 hours. - starting to notice photosensitivity. Bright lights in shopping malls in particular cause me to squint a lot. what I’ve tried: Getting a dog - highly recommend. My dog is my best friend. Jaw/Head/Neck/Shoulder dry needling - this works to relieve my tension headache but only temporarily. I carry a lot of tension in my jaw. Breathe right Nasal strips - really helped my sleep and reducing severity of my headache. Thyroid testing - all results within normal range. Chiro - helped loosen up my neck and back but no discernible difference in my tension headaches. Both eyes checked by optometrist - excellent vision Running 3-4 times per week Jiu Jitzu 2 times per week Hot yoga 1 times per week Future: - have just completed a sleep study, based on the improvement I had with headache with the nasal strips. Possibly have sleep apnoea & bruxism. - acupuncture - thinking about having a weekly acupuncture session to relieve muscle tension for my headaches instead of weekly Acupressure massages. - work hard on improving personal relationships. A final note. The fact that I was on Seroquel really bums me out and I attribute most of my current symptoms to it. Despite it effectively saving my life at that time I really really regret taking it Reading about the effects of it in various websites/research papers upsets me a lot still to this day. Anyway, big ups to this website. I couldn’t have tapered and ultimately came off mirtazapine without it. Just reading everyone’s stories gave me the determination to get drug free. If anyone has any thoughts on tension headaches in particular would love to hear from you.
  22. Moderator's note: link to Musk's members-only benzo thread - Musk: how to taper 5 mg diazepam every two days Hello, this is my first post. So grateful to find this forum. I am in Spain, not able to comunicate properly in english, I use googletraslator. My history: since spring 2015, postnatal depression with anxiety and somatization due to extreme fear of diseases, especially autoimmune diseases. Sertraline 100 mg & diazepam 5 mg from June 2016 to August 2017. Right after appendicitis with surgery (28 august 2017) and chronic hip and lumbar pain since 4 months. In consultation of rheumatology I discover that I have a hlab27 gene related to ankylosing spondylitis, which conditions me mentally more and more. But pain has not an inflammatory pattern and there is no sign of inflammation in blood. Now progressively more and more depressed with new symptom really the most disabling: severe insomnia. Medical proposal: return to sertraline. Big temptation, but I refuse. I continue with diazepam 5 mg (ocasionaly). Is this a possible case of withdrawal sindrome? Opinions welcome. In psycotherapy, I had some little epyphany (childhood trauma, obsesive negative thoughts...) Many many thanks.
  23. Ok My name's Adam. I'm 48. I suffer with A&D. I was on 40mg Citalopram for about 8 years. My psychiatrist moved me on to Effexor about 10 weeks ago. The drug hasn't agreed with me, and I'm n the process of tapering off. I was initially on 75mg immediate release (sold tablet), and was taking one a day (people have said this should have been a split dose. Anyway, that's in the past. My tapering history is that I've been taking 3/4 of a tablet - about 58 mg for the last 4 weeks. I think my depression has worsened over last 2 weeks, BUT that may be attributable to life's circumstances.(divorce). My questions are: 1. Am I withdrawing from Effexor, or perhaps SSRI's in general? i.e. Is this really a Citalopram withdrawal considering I've only been on Effexor for a very short time. 2. How slowly should I taper off Effexor, and in what increments? 3. Do I need to split my dose and take twice a day? At present I'm taking the 58mg in one dose Answers to the above and any other advice appreciated. Thanks Adam
  24. Hi, Is it possible to get natural sleep after heavy use of valium for about 40 years? I'm off from valium for last 3 years and tapering etizolam*. Took valium from 1970 to 2014. * Link to wiki information about this drug. Etizolam (marketed under the brand name Etilaam, Etizola, Sedekopan, Etizest, Pasaden or Depas) is a benzodiazepine analog.
  25. Hi everybody! I am Julz, a 33 year-old female - polydrugged to my eye-balls Ten years ago, I fell into anorexia and depression, soon unveiling terrible anxiety. I was referred to a psychiatrist (in France) who prescribed me medication and also gave me psychotherapy. Regarding the medication, different combinations and doses where tried and I eventually found myself on a prescription which seemed to suit my troubled mind (Escitalopram, venlafaxine, clonazepam and diazepam) - did it ever do anything? I still haven't got a clue. I trusted this doctor. This is my initial prescription: Escitalopram: 20mg 20mg 20mg - (yes, that is 60mg...!!!) Venlafaxine(MR): - - 75mg - Clonazepam: - 2mg - 2mg Diazepam: - - - 10mg Time passed and psychologically, a lot changed. I moved away from where I used to live, totally changed my environment, and went for a fresh start. But I was still taking my medication as prescribed. My General Practitioner (in charge of my prescription in my new environment) convinced me to lower the Escitalopram (on the grounds that it was "bad for my heart") and I managed, between 2011 and 2013, to come from 60mg/day to 15mg. How? By jumping 5mg at a time every now and again. I had no idea... again, I more or less trusted this doctor who was willing to prescribe me the drugs I was clearly physically dependent on. The withdrawals I experienced were uneventful. I did feel something was happening but within a few days, I always felt the same as before the drop. Between 2010 and 2014, a LOT had changed as I finally got an MSc BUT I had fallen into terrible exhaustion and had no life. How did I get my degree? A struggle every day. I then began to question this cocktail of drugs, I'd been on them for 10 years and was still taking them as prescribed because I was physically dependent. That was clear enough! It then hit me: my meds were probably incapacitating me rather than providing any help! The realisation came as in January 2013, after I managed to lower my Escitalopram intake from 20 to 15mg/day in a single 5mg step (...), I began to feel even more tired during the day, exhausted - I simply had to nap every single day. After some personal research, I went to my GP and told him I didn't believe in keeping our focus on the Escitalopram because it seemed that the more I decreased it, the more sleepy I'd get during the day, considering my benzo intake (at that point, I was taking 3 hours' naps), and I could not live like that! Fortunately, before I was able to drop a pill here and there as instructed by my GP, I found the BenzoBuddy website and managed to find a taper method to gradually come off clonazepam. From December 2014 to July 2015, I came from 4mg to 2mg and am now below 1.9mg and still tapering off successfully. I decided to join Surviving Antidepressants as I want off ALL any medication which alters who I am. I believe in other ways to manage my weaknesses - I am not ill, I have a tendency to be anxious and this is not new, I was an anxious child but I had emotions too. I'd like my emotions and my whole life back... I realise I know NOTHING about anti-depressants, I surely did not know about Escitalopram's potency and am still in shock from the news. My initial plans (supported by a psychiatrist I saw in February 2015) were to come off clonazepam (bz), then diazepam (bz), then Escitalopram, then Venlafaxine. In the light of what I read on this wonderful site, I wonder whether I should stay of Valium (diazepam) while at least tapering off Escitalopram, when I am done with clonazepam... I realise I need knowledge myself because sadly, doctors haven't been helpful at all... so far... Thanks for welcoming me on your wonderful Forum! Julz xxx
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