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  1. mod note: introductions merged: first introduction was titled how soon should I consider re-weaning off citalopram Hello there, Am really glad I found this site. I have been on Citalopram since 2008 for anxiety/depression. In the time between Jan 2008 and now, the highest dose I have taken is 20mg. I had one clear year of being off completely between April 2015 and April 2016, but then took MDMA recreationally in March 2016 and triggered a relapse. I ended up taking 10mg of citalopram again (doctor's advice.) You can see from my signature that in 2018, I was down to 2.5mg, I had actually held there for a whole year. My taper wasn't the advised 10 per cent reductions however, I had done 50 per cent at a time (ie 10mg to 5 mg to 2.5mg). I took a tiny amount of MDMA in May 2018, and two weeks later I was suffering with symptoms of anxiety and depression again. These continued, and I panicked a bit and over the next three months updosed to 10mg again in three stages (again at advice of my GP, from 2.5 to 5 to 10mg.) Even though I still wasn't really feeling much better after a few weeks at 10mg, I declined to increase any further. Instead, I tried acupuncture to help regulate my nervous system. This seems to have paid off. Apart from the fact that I have thoroughly learned that I can no longer tolerate an even miniscule amount of recreational drugs, I now realise that my reduction and increases in doses have all been too drastic. It has taken me since August 2018 to re stabilise on 10mg of Citalopram. I'm now beginning to understand why, and what I've put my CNS through. I'm generally feeling a lot better although I do still notice some antidepressant side effects such as fatigue, a bit of a 'racing head/racing thoughts' and some sleep disturbance, although gradually my sleep is improving.I also seem to keep catching colds/ having flu like symptoms, and I'm wondering if this is actually another side effect. I'd really like some advice on how soon I should consider beginning a taper, in the light of all that yo yoing around on dosage that happened between May and August last year. My guess is that I may need to hold and stabilise a while longer, I'd be interested to know your thoughts. With thanks
  2. Hiya I am brand new to the site and am struggling to stay focussed and positive as l taper off venlafaxine. I have been on various psych meds for over 10 years and realise they no longer work for me/make my life worse. I've recently had to quit my job of 10 years and find simply adulting, never mind parenting overwhelming. My 2 little boys suffer because of my mental health and mood swings from over anxiousness to apathy, punctuated with inappropriate crying and irritation. I have no joy in my life. I am terrified about the impact on my boys and husband. Please will someone point me in the direction of success stories or share yours with me. How do other families cope? I'm frightened and lonely. I've never spoken with anyone who understands what I'm going through. I'm on week 10 of 300mg taper 5-10% at 6-10 week intervals. Current dose 262.5mg. Namaste, MissyE
  3. So I was taking 75mg from Nov 2020, then suddenly stopped in March 11th. In those months I had some very odd, frightening situations which were around the time I missed a few days doses. Then after March 11, on March 13 it kicked in again. However, its not yet gone totally. Its quite frightening. My head is/was spinning, I felt very lightheaded and like im constantly half way to losing consciousness, cant keep a thought in my head before it vanishes to be replaced by another, memory problems, shaking/tremors, intense fear/panic that comes seemingly from nowhere, problems with disassociation, nasty intrusive thoughts. Basically it feels like my head is just 'off'. Something is not right! And I hate it. It feels like the control and thought center of the brain is just stumbling around drunk. Im trying to lay down and concentrate and it just cant be done reliably. My mind is running around all over the place. Its been 3 weeks now, and the bodily symptoms have almost entirely gone. I did have some very bad and consistent lightheaded feelings for about 19 days once the symptoms first started. That seems to be going now finally, but I want my mind to be clearer! I want to feel like myself again and not this confused, disorientated way cause its obv stopping me from being able to experience myself and actually get on with life.
  4. Dear all, This has been put off for all too long. I am a 40-year-old male living in Scandinavia. Over the last twenty years I have been prescribed various SRI’s mainly to counter anxiety that debuted as a major panic attack in my early twenties during a stressful time in my life. It is like this experience opened a door that I have never been able to shut again. The anxiety has been there in varying degrees since that day. I am sure some of it is fueled by the fear of anxiety, but it feels like something broke that day. The switching between different drugs over the first ten years was mainly done to counter side effects like fatigue and feeling like a zombie most of the time, not wanting to get out of bed in the mornings, not being able to keep up any good habits and failing to establish structure in daily life. This has put me out of the job I used to love so much, and I am now on social welfare. The fatigue, flattened/decoupled feelings and the sleep disturbances has been interpreted by the doctors as depression, dysthymia, bipolar depression and so on. I have been in treatment for this over the years, but nothing has been successful over time. I have suggested doing a tapered withdrawal over and over but have always been told to postpone. Well, now I cannot wait any longer. I feel like my life has been put on hold for way to long already. I have been on Venlafaxine since 2012. 75 mg in the beginning. The anxiety was somewhat held in check, but I felt like a zombie. The only thing that would momentarily burst me out of this bubble was drinking some beers on the weekend. (Dopamine?) The dosage was increased to 150 mg to activate the noradrenergic component of the SNRI. I ended up in the Emergency Room with an ECG due to the feeling of unregular hearth rhythm. A blood test revealed that I have a CYP mutation that makes my liver metabolize more of the active compound than the average, so 37.5 mg for me might be a normal maintenance dosage. Over the last eight years I have been varying the Venlafaxine dosage between 75, 50 (removing beads) and 37.5 mg. Sometimes up to counter increasing anxiety, then down again to try to counter the side effects. In 2017 I was determined to taper off and I asked for a switch to Citalopram that I weaned off two times before several years ago. The switch was done directly replacing 37.5 mg Venlafaxine with 10 mg Citalopram. It felt like a shadow had been lifted and my energy levels increased severely. After a few days, the anxiety really set in. After four weeks, the dosage was increased to 20 mg and the anxiety decreased but I mostly laid in bed. A week later the dosage was decreased again to 15 mg, but I felt even more depleted. The doctor concluded that I had to low levels of serotonin and recommended to switch and back track to Venlafaxine steady state. So, I did. Thinking there is never really the right time to go through a tough withdrawal, I started reading up on the subject now. My wife is very supporting, and we agree that the lingering questions we have had over the years, asking how much of my troubles are due to side effects of SRI’s needs to be answered. Googling a transition to Fluoxetine (Prozac) for the longer half-live and an easier(?) withdrawal led me to this forum. If I ever forget to take the Venlafaxine one night I get electric zap's and nervousness around noon the next day. I am a bit overwhelmed now by all the information, the stories of people still in recovery for several years after their last dosage and to be honest I am really scared.
  5. I’m new to the site and go by PDRE. I’m currently weaning off of Venlafaxine XR. I’m now to 37.5mg of regular I saw on another site to stay in the caps and count granules, but I shake, vision plays a part and I suffer numbness in my prominent hand, also anxiety ( Some symptoms due to other issues, although the drug prob makes it worse; as I’m finding out). My doctor did this so I can cut them. I just really need support and guidance. Ty I’m looking forward to meeting and learning. PDRE
  6. Hi. I used citalopram for 15 years and after that venlafaxin 300mg/day for three years. I tapered out Venlafaxin over 11 months last year. Now i have been without medication over six months. I have so much withdrawal-sympthom that im thinking of giving up and go back to medication. Im thinking of going back on a low dose of medication and try to tap it out again later using the 10% method. Do you have any recommendations about this? What dose will i goback to? Should i go back to a low dose or should i go up to the maximum dose i used before and start from there? Should i go back to venlafaxin again or should i use another AD-medication (maybe one ssri instead of ssni? )? I am very grateful for any recommendations or support I can get. /David
  7. Hi! This is my story: At the age of 23 I was taken with panic disorder. I had no previous experience with mental illness and went through hell experiencing this for the first time - saw myself locked up or not being able to take care of myself or live a "normal" live (whatever that is) ever again. This was during my last year at teacher training college. I was prescribed Anafranil (TCA) and also got Sobril (benzo) to cope with the anxiety during the first weeks of medication. After a couple of months with medication, therapy and breathing technique training I started feeling quite OK and somehow managed to complete my education. But this was only the beginning of many years of experience of mental disorders. Living with panic disorder was a struggle working as a middle school teacher, even though medication and calm breathing helped. Eventually I reduced and quit medicating - only to develop depressions. So I was prescribed some new medicine. And when I tried to quit that medication later, I went straight down into a depression again. During almost 30 years now I've been on antidepressants. I've struggled to cope with the ups and downs of life, along with my mental "illness". I married and got three wonderful children that I love more than life. Then my husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Our first born son started showing signs of not feeling good when he started school. He didn't like school, had a feeling of not belonging and struggled to fit in. We reached out for help from everywhere, but noone seemed to be able to help. In his teens he couldn't cope anymore and got depressed. He couldn't finish high school and we've been trying to get him help ever since. He is now 23... A young man with very little hope and sense of meaning. And still living with his mom and dag. He was just diagnosed with ADHD, but he himself (and we) is pretty sure that's not the whole story. People living with relatives with autism/asperger tend to take for granted that he has that kind of diagnosis - including himself. But not the psychiatrists. Whatever. (Help him with his PROBLEMS maybe? "No - because our tests show that he doesn't have that diagnosis - so he doesn't have those problems!" Hmm...) Our two years younger son was happy, bright and full of joy during his childhood. Growing up, he and his big brother were the best of friends. But they started drifting apart as the older son got increasingly more depressed. And then suddenly, just a couple of months before his fifteenth birthday, he started to feel sad. When we understood that he needed professional help we took him to a psychiatrist specialized in children and teens. Me and my husband both accompanied him. He was very quiet and had a hard time speaking and interacting with other people. And as the psychiatrist struggled to make him talk she suddenly asks him "Do you really think you are so pitiable? I've worked with children who have cancer. THEY are pitiable!" We were shocked by her words and immidiately took our son out of there and explained to him that he should not care about what she said. That is was unprofessional, evil and not fair to say such things! But the damage was already made. The next day we all - family and best friends - got a personal sms from him, telling us how much he loved us... It was the day before his 15:th birthday. We got there in time to save him. And the psychiatrist were denounced - from that one clinic... After this, our youngest son suffered from a bad depression for a long time. And wasn't able to complete high school properly. It took some years. He is now 21 and have just recently been able to take up his studies again. He is a gifted musician and actor and is determined to follow his dreams. Our daughter is the twin-sister of our youngest son. She used to be the happiest little girl in the world. And then she grew up. She started feeling anxious. About everything. To the point that she couldn't eat because of nausea and lack of apetite. So - eventually, when she was 12, we took her to the psychiatrist. To get help with her anxiety. They took a look at her and then immidiately tried to make her "amit" that she was starving herself on purpose...and gave her some more anxiety! (Thanks!) It didn't matter that we assured them that that was not the case. I myself have been "accused" of being anorexic for the first 25 years of my life - which hurt a great deal, since I had a huge complex for being so thin. And so does my daughter. Since then her anxiety has slowly increased. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with GAD - General Anxiety Disorder - and was prescribed Sertraline. About a year ago we started to suspect that she had developed bipolar disorder. She seemed to be slightly hypomanic to us. My husband followed her to her psychiatrist and told him about these thoughts. But he dismissed it and sait it was only "mood swings". In the beginning of last summer she started to seem slightly euphoric. One day she called me and cried and laughed and spoke jibberish. She posted live videos on facebook where she acted strange, talking about some kind of mission. And here was her first (and hopefully last) psychosis. With help from a doctor, some paramedics and a couple of police officers we managed to make her open the door to her apartment. At the psychiatric hospital they found out that she tested positive for cannabis, that she hadn't been sleeping for 4 days and that she was severly manic and suffered from delusions. She was taken to a psychiatric inpatient care facility, taken off Sertralin (since we told them about her predisposition for bipolar disorder - and Sertralin might cause mania and psychosis to bipolar people..) and put on Olanzapine to deal with the psychosis. This was 3 months ago. She is no longer psycotic, but suffers from a depression. And here we are now. Worrying about and trying to help my children has made it difficult for me to work for the last couple of years. This last summer with my daughters psychosis pushed me further down. I now try to manage to work 25% (10 hours a week), digitalising teaching books. This summer I suddenly got sick of taking antidepressants and started to slowly decrease my dosis of Venlafaxin. But last friday my doctor wanted me to try another medicine, since I have such difficulties coping with even 25% of work. He wanted me to try out Voxra and told me to simply switch from one day of 175 mg Venlafaxin to 150 mg of Voxra the day after. I asked if I really should switch straight off like that, without slowly decreasing the amount of Venlafaxin - and he said yes. I wish I didn't listen... Two days after quitting with Venlafaxin and starting with Voxra I got all the withdrawal symptoms in the book - and I really didn't need this right now. Huge dizziness, nausea, panic anxiety, sleeplessness, night mares, electrical shock feelings in my brain, fast heartbeats. After 3 days of this hell I added Venlafaxin to my Voxra dosis. But - I actually want to get rid of the medicines. Examine who I really am - because I forgot. Sorry about the long story. But this is my life. And I shed some tears writing it all down. Thanks for reading.
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