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  1. Hi there, I have been reading quite a few topics on this website, and would like to see if anyone has suggestions for my situation. I was put on effexor and wellbutrin over 5 years ago. I am not exactly sure of the exact time length I have been on it, and what doses I have tried, but the past few years I have been on 150mg of effexor and 150 mg of wellbutrin. My dr and I decided I can come off the effexor on a tapered schedule. Basically I was tapered from 150 to 75 to 37.5 to nothing in just over a month or there abouts. I didnt keep a track of the dates, which I probably should have. The tapering was ok, I didnt really notice anything happening. Then when I went from 37.5 to nothing, it really hit me. I had all the discussed symptoms and was a mess. I think July 25 was my last day on effexor. In August I think I had two or three good days, and I use the term good loosely here. September I had about 10 good days, October, is only at 8 good days so far. These day are not all in a row, they are very sporadic. I recently started a new job, but it only goes for another month. That has me really stressed out, as I have no savings to fall back on and no job lined up yet. My job I am currently at is good though, it has me outside in the forest, getting lots of exercise and lots of fresh air. Since about October 11, I have been having these crazy crying fits. I just cry, and cry. When I am not crying, I feel ok, but then I start crying hours later. I did go to the walk in clinic, as I cannot get into see my fam dr with my work schedule, and the dr at the walk in suggested I try doubling my wellbutrin either every day, or I could double it up every second day. He said this will still take a month before I start feeling any better, if I do. This morning, out of desperation, I took a second pill and I will continue with this, unless someone has another suggestion... Does anyone have any experience with this? When I have a good day, I still have a tightness in my chest, and I know I am so close to tears, but I am able to ward them off. I find I have to keep myself super busy to not cry, or think, as htinking leads to tears. Today is another rough day, lots of crying already. I do not want to go back on effexor, as my mind has never felt so crisp and clear. I feel unfogged and alert, I do not remember ever feeling like this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Hello, I really appreciate seeing everyone's stories and strategies, and it helps to know that I'm not alone. I am in my late 20s and have been on and off many meds since a hospitalization for depression in 2005. By fall of 2016, when I started the “taper”, I was on 4 medications: Cipralex 20mg, Adderall 30-40 mg, Abilify 2mg and Wellbutrin SR 200 mg. The first 3, I think I was taking for around 2 years after numerous failed treatments including various meds and rTMS; however, I have been taking the Wellbutrin for 12 years. On that regimen of 4, from something like 2014-2016, my mood was generally in-check but my life was beginning to fall apart. I graduated and got a full time job in the summer of 2016, but I was having horrible energy crashes randomly during the day. Sometimes I couldn't keep my eyes open or stay seated. I struggled socially. My memory and attention were affected, and I would cry randomly. I had trouble believing it could be from the meds because they were supposed to do the opposite. In Sept 2016, I was off work and on disability. It was an incredibly confusing situation, and everyone, including myself, blamed my brain. Soon after that I began having a gradual and profound shift in perspective as I realised that meds may have been more of a problem for me than a solution. At some point in the fall of 2016, I started my withdrawal journey. First, I stopped the Cipralex over a few weeks, and became incredibly anxious. It was really horrible; I would get spells of pacing and yelling at myself. I couldn't meditate or do anything to calm down anymore. After a few months of that, I then tapered the adderall over around a month. At that point, I became really exhausted, was getting frequent (but not ER level) suicidal thoughts, and had trouble doing anything. I eventually got accepted for a volunteer job to which I had previously applied, and reinstated half of the adderall to function. However, I was scared that the tolerance crashes might come back, so my doc switched me to Vyvanse 20-30 mg. It was smoother but I was still concerned that it was not a long-term solution. I finished the volunteer job, then I read about things that other people had tried and decided to do some lifestyle changes. I stopped sugar and gluten and got outside a lot. Then I tapered both the vyvanse and the abilify at the same time over around 2 months. It was not as bad this time, and after a few more months off of them, I was mostly able to concentrate and wasn't getting very many dark thoughts. My emotional depth and variety, as well as cognition, were even beginning to improve. Once I could sort of focus again, I decided to try the paleo/keto diet and taper the wellbutrin. The problem with wellbutrin is that I have unsuccessfully tried to stop it numerous times over the past decade by following the traditional taper advice. Each time ended with me falling into an awful depression a few weeks later, and eventually back onto the med. I had been convinced that this was evidence of a chronic underlying depression, but now reading other people's stories, I'm going to be optimistic and assume that it was delayed withdrawal. So, I felt a little better on the paleo diet and dropped the WB dose from 200 mg to 100 mg on Oct 25, 2017 (right before I found this forum). I then became very sluggish with low motivation, but after a few weeks I was able to get out of bed in the morning again and do a few things. It's been 5 weeks now and no terrible-delayed-withdrawal-depression yet. I'm mostly just tired with trouble getting started on tasks. I asked for an extension on my leave from work to finish sorting this out. Surprisingly though, my difficulty connecting with people and obsessive thinking are improving in intermittently - I'm not sure yet if that's from going off the meds or from the changes in diet, but I greatly welcome it. By reading other people's success stories here, I learned that my best chance at becoming free from the Wellbutrin is to do the rest of my taper extremely slowly. I have an appointment with my doc next week to make a plan. This doc is good so it should go okay. I would be interested to hear anything from you!
  3. 26/F. Depression/anxiety. History of being somewhat underweight. Family history of severe mood disorders. My brother killed himself about 6 months ago. 2007-2013: Lexapro 10-20 mg. Took this on and off, with 2 cold turkey "quits." I remember it took about 7-8 days of sleeping and withdrawal symptoms both times. Luckily this time around, my SSRI has a much longer half-life, and wellbutrin has been pretty tame so far in terms of withdrawl side effects. 2015: Moved out of state by myself. Lived alone. Started seeing psychiatrist regularly. After trying: citalopram, sertraline, and the SR version of bupropion, my stable prescription has been 150 mg bupropion XL (wellbutrin) and 30 mg fluoxetine (prozac) in the morning everyday. Wellbutrin was my "Godsend." I was crying for 12 hours a day for no reason. Wellbutrin made it possible to get out of bed. 2017: Moved back with family. They're feeding me and taking care of me. I'm trying a taper because of side effects. There are so many "mild" ones that it's difficult to even identify them anymore - I've accepted them as just "normal". The dizziness, the foggy brain, the random "blank" moments when I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence. GI symptoms... Etc. I stopped the wellbutrin earlier this week. According to this website: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/going-off-antidepressants it should be out my system 99% by now. Keeping the prozac consistent. I have a ~10 or so pills of .025 generic xanax that I'm keeping for panic attack emergencies or acute withdrawal symptoms. I'm taking 3 capsules of 10mg each. I might try dropping one whole capsule for a week and see how I do. I will be of work for a few weeks so it will be a good time to experiment. I'm trying to add lifestyles changes that will help me manage depression. Here is what I am trying right now, in approximate order of perceived efficacy: 1. exercise: 3-5 days a week, trying to get 150min of moderate cardio and 2 days of full body strength (per CDC recommendation). Has helped with mood, self-esteem, dramatically improved sleep quality and appetite. 2. meditation: using an app for this. started with 3 minutes, went up to 10. Haven't done it the last few days, will start again tonight. 3. sleeping hygiene - work in progress. 4. diet: avoiding processed foods and junk foods, eating 3 good meals a day, lots of water. I have been experiencing huge pangs of thirst since stopping wellbutrin. I'm taking a few supplements (curcumin, probiotics, among others) but I don't know if that's doing anything. I'm interested in "gut health" - apparently there's a huge connection between the gut and the brain, eh? Trying to take care of it. I'm also reading some books. Currently reading Upward Spiral. Has anyone read it? Here's the description: "Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life." Here's to managing symptoms... of the meds, withdrawal symptoms, and depression.
  4. Hi I have been on Wellbutrin 150 XL for 4 years. I tried to cold turkey 2 years ago, and spent 5 days unable to get out of bed. Due to loss of insurance, and really wanting to be off meds, I am tapering again. I received Wellbutrin 75mg IR (immediate release). I was going to start off with a slow taper, however the IR pills have been a roller coaster. When I first take the pill I am irritable and agitated for about 3 hours. And then I become lethargic and tired until my next dose. Due to these ups and downs I had to reduce the dosage pretty quickly. I take 3 doses a day. 3/8 in the morning, 3/8 at lunch, and 1/4 in the evening. For a total of 75 mg a day. I started tapering 2 weeks ago, and finally now feel pretty stable. Honestly, the best time for me is when i first wake up. After I take my first dose I get irritable and agitated. I am planning on doing another reduction tomorrow, and just cannot wait to get off this medicine. I am supplementing with lots of Omega 3s, multivitamin, magnesium and vitamin B. Hope to use this as a journal, documenting my taper. Thank you for reading.
  5. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  6. I'm a 27 year old female and I was prescribed to Wellbutrin a year and a half ago. I had never taken any type of psychiatric medication previous to this, and was prescribed to Wellbutrin by a physician that insisted it would help with the depressive symptoms that I was experiencing due to a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). My primary disorder at the time was GAD, and the only reason that I was experiencing depressive symptoms, is because of the change in my demeanor since becoming constantly worried about the possibility of having an anxiety attack in any social situation. The first time that I went to see a general practitioner about my general anxiety disorder, she immediately wrote me a prescription for Prozac, I took the medication a grand total of three days before having a pretty bad car accident while driving my brother to school. I went back to the doctor and she decided that it would be better if I tried going the antidepressant route. At the time I started Wellbutrin I was in my first semester of graduate school and the effects of Wellbutrin were welcome. I was able to concentrate better than ever before, and was getting all A's in school. It went this way for a little over a year, until 3 months ago when I started seeing a return of my panic attacks. I went back to the doctor and she told me that it sounded like I was building up a resistance to the dosage of medication that I was taking. I was taking a once daily immediate release dosage of 75 mg of Wellbutrin at the time and she decided it would be a good idea to up my dosage to 100 mg of sustained release in order to get me back to a base line. I went home with the medication and thought about what the up dosage meant. I had a lot to consider... I didn't want to be dependent on the medication for the rest of my life. Especially since I was taking an antidepressant medication when I didn't even actually have depression. That day I decided that I was going to quit the medication altogether.. without my doctor’s consent… I had NO IDEA how bad of an idea that would turn out to be. Fast forward to a week and a half after trying to quit wellbutrin cold turkey and I was a COMPLETE DISASTER. I was experiencing suicidal ideation (the first time I’d ever had ANY thoughts like this), MAJOR anhedonia, memory issues and extreme fatigue. I went back to my doctor to get help, because I was scared of what I was going to do. Long story short, she ended up putting me on the Wellbutrin SR 100 mg anyways so that I could level out before I started my taper process. I took the 100 mg SR every day for about 2 weeks and was having some really uncomfortable side effects. So I decided it was time for me to start weening myself off of it. I took the 100 mg SR every other day for two weeks and then every two days for another two weeks, so all in all I tapered off of the medication over a month. I know now that this was WAY too fast, but it’s too late for me to try to go back on it for a slower taper. I’m just wondering if anyone else has a similar story to mine, that can tell me what kind of recovery timeline I’m looking at. I’m experiencing some pretty sever anhedonia and memory/concentration issues that present themselves in waves.
  7. Hi. I have been reading different posts on here for about a month. I want to taper off Lexapro, but I've been on it for over 10 years. In 2005, I was put on a very short, and ended up with brains apps and went back on it because I was super agitated. When I told my doctor I wanted to Lexapro, her idea was to switch me to Prozac. Initially, she was going to help me switch to 20 mg, but I knew that the equivalent was 40 mg, so I asked if we can do that and she said yes. I am on day two of switching from 20 mg of Lexapro to 40 mg of Prozac. I feel dizzy and have a UTI. I don't know if that can be caused by this medication switch. It kind of creeps me out. The test only showed barely any evidence of the UTI, but the doctor said I was experiencing symptoms so gave me an antibiotic. I am thinking about a post I read on here that suggested people try wean off their current drug rather than bridging to Prozac. So now I am kind of freaking out thinking that I should just go back on Lexapro and when I see my doctor in a week and a half ask if she will prescribe the liquid. I think I asked that in A message, but she suggested Prozac. I have wanted to wean off the drugs for a long time, but actually had resigned myself to staying on it for life. I felt like I was stuck. But then it was getting migraines, and my family doctor wanted to add another antidepressant Pamelor, for the migraines. At that point, I did not want to add any more, and so now I decided it was time to try to taper down. I have seen that on some sites it says Lexapro can cause migraines.
  8. Hey everyone, I’m 27 years old and have had a really hard time since having an adverse reaction to several drugs last year. I started 300 mg Wellbutrin SR in October 2016 and stopped in December 2016 since I was going home for winter break for grad school. I had some chest pain for that month, but other than that, I was fine and I resumed in January 2017. Still finding it incredibly hard to concentrate, I went home to my primary care doc and he prescribed me Adderall (forgot the dosage, but was relatively low). I took Adderall for about 9 days in March 2017 until I found it wasn’t working so I stopped until I could see my primary care doctor again. I went home again in April 2017 to see my doctor again and he then gave me Ritalin. I took Ritalin for about a week until I started having serious sucidal thoughts, so my doctor advised me to stop it. I was then drug-free for about 6 weeks until I took Wellbutrin again in June, but this time it was a different formulation (2 150 mg pills instead of 1 300 mg pill, and I believe it changed from SR to XL). I became really nervous being outside, which wasn’t uncommon for me since I hate the summer heat and the bugs that come with it. But it gave me such intense anxiety that I couldn’t even walk outside for most of the week and was sent into a panic when I had to go outside. The following week is when disaster struck. Previously my doctor had suggested to take both Adderall/Ritalin and Wellbutrin at the same time, since he didn’t want to change more than one variable at the same time. But my provider at school said it would be fine to just take the stimulants prescribed so I went with the school provider since he had been overseeing my psych med care anyways. The morning before I took all 3 meds together, I had the worst back/neck pain I’d ever had and attributed it to falling off my pillow. I later took Wellbutrin, Adderall, and Hydrochlorothiazide (for high blood pressure) together and a few hours later, my hands and feet became numb. Just thinking it was a temporary side-effect, I took the same drugs the next day, where the numbness and tingling got worse and after speaking with a pharmacist, decided to go the ER. At the ER, they didn’t think it was really anything serious and told me to just stop taking the medications and that the effects would stop in a few days. Except that they didn’t. Over the next 6-7 weeks, from mid-June to early August 2017, I had numbness, tingling, internal shakes, tremors, eye problems like floaters, and was so uncoordinated that I continued bumping into and dropping things. I had to go to the ER 3 more times within that same period, and each time the doctors didn’t do anything. At about 6 weeks, I started to clear up and eventually all my symptoms disappeared in time for school to start. But that would also be short-lived. During the first week of September, I got sick again, thinking it was a cold and was put on allergy medication, which I took for two days and all the symptoms from the summer returned, and I eventually got so sick that I had diarrhea and felt like I was going to faint, so I was placed on propranolol until I stopped CT in January. From September to October 2017, I had all the symptoms from before, plus sleeping issues, rashes, and soreness. I was so sick that I left school for this period of time and went home to see countless doctors, none of whom believed it was medication-related. At home, I developed hypnic jerks that woke me from my sleep as well. In October 2017, right before I returned to school, I started getting muscle twitching and burning, which has honestly been the most concerning symptom in this whole thing. The twitching persisted for about a month, then stopped in November. But then it came back again in mid-December 2017 and got progressively worse until the end of March 2018. When it started again in December, an ER doctor put me on Ativan for a few days and then I was put on Zoloft which I took for about a month until the end of January 2018. The twitching reached its peak and then stopped completely by the end of March 2018. It then came back in May 2018 but instead of having its more predictable pattern, it has been more severe some days and much less severe on other days. I’ve also started to get some of the symptoms I thought I was over back again, like the numbness when I wake up or the eye problems like seeing sparkles of light, eye floaters, and eye twitching. I’m just so worried about this twitching thing because it makes it so hard to sit down, meaning I won’t be able to continue pursuing my dreams. I also thought it’d be gone by now since I’ve had periods where this has completely disappeared. What can I do to treat this?
  9. I joined this site a couple of weeks ago. After finding that paxilprogress was no more. I was devastated. That site may have truly saved my life in some of my darkest moments. What is one to do? When essentially you've self-destructed in front of everyone you love; because of a nasty little "non-habit-forming" pill that's been shoved down your throat for decades. So here I am. Time (weeks really) has eluded me. I meant to reach out sooner. I'm just hoping I'm not reaching out too late. I feel like such a horrible failure. I know better than that at some level, know that maybe I failed but that I just have to pick up the broken pieces and keep moving forward. But I'm so I'll. I'm so weak. I'm so alone. And I feel so helpless. My life may not have been a picnic before the introduction of SSRIs. But this is one situation in which the grass was truly greener on the side of which I was already standing. Before popping that first "innocent" little pink pill, prescribed by a doctor who had seen me only once and only spent 10 minutes "getting to know me". I couldn't tell you who that doctor was, I never saw him again. Nevertheless he was the first in probably nearly a hundred who have insisted upon continuing the saga. And what better did I know? I was unhappy before the meds. I was often unstable on them. And I was clueless as to why I was saying and doing psychotic things (that I often didn't remember, or just have "snippets" of memory after the fact) and so violently ill when I decided I simply no longer wanted to take the pills. Or was even 12 hours late on a dose. (More about that and my travels down genetic testing road and CYP450 mutations later.) All that being said; Hello to all in these forums. I'm the antisocial one. The antisocial one that sometimes doesn't know when it's appropriate to shut up. Or how to appropriately ask for help. But if you've been through it (psych med-wise), I probably have too. And vice versa.
  10. Hello, I am a 50 year old woman with a history of depression. Here is my story and it is a long one, be warned - if you aren't in the mood for a long history, skip this now LOL! I'm one of those people whose family relations have also had histories of depression, and depression became an issue for me from maybe 10 years old and up, though no one really recognized it. I became bulimic at 16 and remained so for much of my adult life until about eight years ago. My adult-hood has been one of perfectionism, low self-esteem and under-performing, with all the self-hatred that that generates. My first experience with medication came after a rough relationship where I ended up feeling suicidal. I was put on Prozac. I think back to that being the beginning of the rest of my adulthood with virtually no libido. A major move after marriage led me to more depression, and at that time Wellbutrin was being marketed heavily, so I asked my GP to put me on it. No tapering of the Prozac, if I recall. Wellbutrin didn't work, but now I realize it was probably in part because I was having withdrawal from the Prozac - not sure and I don't have a lot of memories about that period one way or another. I forget if I continued the Wellbutrin up to the next change, but I had gotten the flu which turned into pneumonia for a month, and when I went to the doctor after that long of not getting better, he said "you are depressed." Well, yes, I said, I am depressed because of being sick this long! And he said, No, you are clearly a generally depressed person and you should see a p-doc. So, I did, and that doc put me on Effexor. This was somewhere back around 11 years ago. I upped the dose as they directed. I never felt like my depression was well-controlled because none of the therapy I had over the years was CBT - talk therapy would make me feel better for the moment but no change took place, so the low self-esteem and negative thinking remained. I guess the Effexor somehow made my life more tolerable, but I never felt happy or satisfied with myself. Somewhere along the line I began to taper down on the Effexor, and I have very few memories of when, how or why, other than that I hated needing ADs, and my libido sucked. A move and the loss of an old dog sent me into another bad depression, but this well could have coincided with stepping down the Effexor. Three years ago, I lost my job, and then my husband lost his, but then he got a new one which required relocating to a very hot climate where we were able to afford a home with acreage, the first time we were ever able to own, but it was very rural and the isolation quickly got to me, with anxiety increasing for various reasons. Again, I don't remember the stepping down process, but two years ago a new GP refilled my Effexor but prescribed the non-extended release version. Since these tablets were able to be broken, I began taking just half (37.5 mg). Last summer I had a bought of shingles and became very depressed and stressed again from the pain. I also was clearly in menopause and having severe hot flashes. My whole adult life had been marred by low libido since going on Prozac way back when, and the shingles were actually on my private parts (tested positive for zoster, not herpes) and I became very concerned that I didn't want the rest of my life to be joyless where sex was concerned, so I decided to go off BCPs and Effexor. In hind sight, that was madness! I stepped down the Effexor, going to every other day with the 37.5 mg. I wasn't aware of any severe symptoms, and this was last summer. Well, meanwhile, I was going through some stresses regarding a health crisis with one of my dogs. I found myself totally scatter-brained, forgetful, unable to concentrate, and also I had trouble articulating myself, unable to complete thoughts when talking with people, words hard to reach. A friend told me he always thought I was ADD, and indeed at this time I was losing things, forgetting what I was doing halfway through doing it, easily distracted, etc. I'm also a total clutter-bug who can't face doing the dishes or cleaning the house, though I've been that way for years. I had started taking Sam-e and tryptophan as a way to up serotonin. I was having a terrible time with insomnia. So, I went to get tested for ADD. I tested negative, but the psychologist doing the testing said I didn't have ADD, but that I did have OCD, depression, and GAD. He said, the good news is that there are medications that can make you "normal!" I bit, and went to a p-doc on a list he gave me. She put me on Viibryd. I stopped the serotonergic supplements. The first week at 10 mg was ok, but when I went up to 20 mg as instructed, all hell broke loose! My insomnia worsened, with the most severe anxiety I think I had ever experienced! All night I was thrashing around with racing, troubling thoughts. During the day, I would have squirts of adrenalin for no reason. I had days where I was so distressed and troubled, I couldn't stand to exist. I had global anxiety about climate change, getting old, my parents getting old losing them some day, the drought and how horrible life was! I have never experienced anxiety like that in my life! I stepped the Viibryd back down to 10 mg for about a week and then stopped it, and went back on the supplements. This time I was trying to follow the supplement plan laid out in the Mood Cure, adding GABA and some other stuff. I'd do ok for awhile, but the insomnia was still bad, and the general feeling of being ill-at-ease was so disturbing, I just couldn't stand it. So, I stopped the supplements and started taking 37.5 mg of Effexor again. After three days, I was in serotonin syndrome almost to the point of having to go to the ER! I stopped the Effexor and got an appointment with another p-doc who is a DO and actually not into psych meds. He said I'd been through about 3 years' worth of med changes in a very short period of time and that my nerves were very sensitive and that I needed consistency. He went through the meds and supplements I had a history with, and told me which supplements were safe to take (non-serotonergic). Since I had not been able to eat and lost weight, and the insomnia was so bad, he put me on Remeron, saying it was a very gentle med that worked on a different part of the serotonin pathway, and that it would help with sleep and appetite. He started me on 7.5 mg and said I could step it up as needed, that it was safe up to 60 mg. Well, I felt much better and it was nice to sleep all through the night without anxiety again. Yeah! But after a week, I was feeling down again so started upping the dose. Two weeks later I was at 37.5 mg, feeling totally apathetic and on the couch, unable to do anything I had previously enjoyed in life. I couldn't understand why the med wasn't working anymore! I was in a desperate way and called this p-doc's assistant, the fastest way to get to him, he said. I left four messages and never heard back! I suffered through to my next scheduled appointment with him two weeks later, and suffering it was! My family members were greatly concerned. The only thing that kept me going through this spell was the fact that a therapist I had recently seen told me about Emotional Brain Training, which I joined. It was developed by Laurel Mellin at UCSF and is based on neuroplasticity and rewiring the brain. It was perfect for me because I lived in the country, was isolated, and the city is 40 minutes away, so I was able to get support from home with weekly phone-in meetings with a coach and group members, daily work online, and daily phone-connections with group members. I am not hawking this, but if you want to learn more about it, go to www.ebt.org. Anyway, EBT kept me from going down the tubes through all of this. When I saw my p-doc, he said "let's add Effexor back to the remeron since you tolerated it well in the past." I started on 37.5 mg. The day I took it, I was having a non-functional couch day, and I would say within an hour of taking it, my mood lifted, like a light switch had been flipped! It was miraculous! Now, everyone knows that ADs are supposed to take weeks to start working. I now realize that the reason it worked so fast was because I was in withdrawal and it was like a junkie getting a hit of the drug they are withdrawing from - instant fix! Ok, I know my story is long but the final chapter is here: I added the Effexor back about 12 days ago. I actually had one day, about a week into it, where I was on the couch again. The next day, I saw a third p-doc my therapist said I should see since I had such a bad experience with the last guy's non-responsiveness when I left those messages. So, I saw this new guy on Wednesday. I didn't yet realize that all of the craziness I had endured since last fall was because of the withdrawal. I was convinced that genetically, I just had to be on ADs, that I had relapsed in a big way. I did think that the Viibryd had damaged me, since I had never experienced anxiety to that degree before, nor had I had depression this debilitating. This new guy said, "let's stick with this for now, since you haven't been on the Effexor long enough to see how it will work for you, but I want to up it to 75 mg (thanks to that couch day). We may end up changing you to other meds, but let's see how this goes for now." So, I began taking 75 mg Effexor ER on Thursday. It just so happens that one of my EBT connection buddies is going through withdrawal from ADs that she was put on for post-partum depression 8 years ago. She told me about this, and referred me to a neat video about neuroplasticity on beyondmeds.com. Her point in doing so was to point out about how EBT is so dead-on about retraining the brain, but in fact I had locked on to concept of withdrawal, and I began to realize that this was so much of what I had and am still going through, and this is why the Effexor worked immediately! So, I am faced with the fact that I am now back on the drug that I was hooked on. For now, I need to be consistent and not change anything, though I am going back to 37.5 mg Effexor since I'd only been on the higher dose for a couple of days. I will ride this out until my next appointment with the p-doc in five weeks. I am worried that he will be one to poo-poo withdrawal. I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am getting the cognitive help I need to eliminate the poor self-esteem and my negative black and white thinking that has ruined my life and got me started on ADs to begin with. I feel this will be critical to getting off these drugs some day. I feel so grateful to the universe for bringing me together with my connection buddy who brought this all to light for me. And beyondmeds.com brought me here.
  11. I need help, i have been taking wellbutrin xl 300mg for years and decided to stop cold turkey. It wasnt until after 3 weeks that i started feeling major w/d symptoms. I started taking them again and after 3 days still feeling w/d is this normal?
  12. Greetings fellow warriors of the "Free Brain" resistance army, A great battle is underway as we take on the oppressive Evil Empire: Big Pharma and the Pdoc minions who carry out their orders. These last 3 years I have been fighting alone, David vs Goliath style, and have proved no match for the powerful chemical Agent Neuron Walkers. I personally have been battling the front in the northern frontier of the CNS (Central Nervous System) facing the Triple Threat, a legion of 3 pharmaceutical terrorists, who are trying to set up a Caliphate in my brain: Zyprexa, Lamictal, Wellbutrin. The battle must go on…but new strategies are needed. I'm grateful to have found all of you, the coalition of the willing, at this critical moment. We Shall Overcome! Ok, so time to get serious (well, relatively serious). Short version: Hi, I’m the Opal Owl, I fly by night. Starting in Dec.2012 I was put on 20mg of Zyprexa for a few weeks after a drug induced psychosis and 10 day stay in the crazy house. This was later reduced to 10mg—no side effects. About 6 months later I was put on 300mg of Wellbutrin. I had 3 withdrawal attempts from Zyprexa and Wellbutrin. All of them failed due to going cold turkey or too rapid of withdrawal—and it was horrendous. However, I was able to get down to 5mg of Zyprexa with no withdrawal effects and 150mg Wellbutrin (with some negative effects). In mid-2014 I was put on Lamictal (200mg) with the goal of discontinuing Zyprexa. Over the past 1.5 years I have reduced the Zyprexa to 1.25mg—I did 50% reductions: 5 to 2.5, 2.5 to 1.25. I have been on 1.25mg for about 2 months—no noticeable withdrawal effects (in my experience, I can get down to the tiniest of doses with no withdrawal effects. It’s only when I go off completely that all hell breaks loose). 3 weeks ago I did a 50% reduction of Lamictal to 100mg. I started feeling the withdrawal effects intensely this past week—nausea, headaches, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite. All my old friends. Last night I saw my Pdoc and he said “Big mistake!”. He said he would support me going off of Zyprexa and Wellbutrin, but not Lamictal (which he seems convinced I will have to be on for life). So, I agreed to reinstate the Lamictal. 150mg this week and then 200mg next week. Once I stable out, I will decide to take on either the Zyprexa or Wellbutrin. Zyprexa is the most evil and I’m not sure I’m ready for that battle. The Pdoc said he would put me on Seroquel 100mg (1/4 or ½ tab) to help with the, as we all know, insufferable insomnia (don’t have any experience with Seroquel—and am not aware of its soporific effects--any thoughts on this plan?). Perhaps it would be better to start with the Wellbutrin. Thoughts/suggestions/advice would be appreciated. I’m learning from this forum that I will need to settle in for a war of attrition (something my “I want it now!” personality has a very difficult time with). I gratefully await your thoughts and suggestions. Long version: December 2012, Chicago. A drug/alcohol induced manic episode (preceding the end of the Mayan calendar, and perhaps the end of the world) leading to psychosis and an eventual 10 day stay in the psych-ward (one of the most fascinating, and scary experiences of my life. I really do think most of those nurses and doctors were highly advanced AI. Has the singularity already happened? Are we indeed living in a simulation?). After a stay in solitary confinement they decided I had suffered enough (or they were done testing my psychosis-induced special powers and probing the outer limits of human sanity). I was given 20mg of Zyprexa and was almost instantly zombified. I was then bestowed with a diagnosis of Bi-Polar 1 and chemical dependency (bada bing bada bang, that diagnosis took all of 5 minutes. Though to be fair, it wasn’t the first time I received this diagnosis). A few days later I was given the boot along with my prescription for Zyprexa (signed by the Devil). Fast-forward 6 months and I’m taking 10mg of Zyprexa and 300mg of Wellbutrin. I decide, “Well, I’m glad that is all over. How about I kick these meds?” Little did I know I was already deeply entrenched in the briar patch, covered in pharmaceutical tar. So, I go cold turkey and get my first ass-kicking from the man with horns that carries the bag of unfortunate souls trapped in the vile throngs of Zyprexa (on their way to the 7th ring of hell where Mother Zyprexa sits on her throne of Lilly pills). I learn my lesson and decide that a new strategy is in order: Tapered, but rapid, withdrawal. Second ass kicking—“You think it’s going to be that easy?” chuckles the horned one. A few months later another meek attempt. This time with my secret weapon of lorazepam to fight the insomnia. Well, that worked for about a month and then another knock at my door, “Yep, good try. I’ll be taking that soul back now. Thank you very much.” So, I surrender and make a compromise: Here’s my soul back, but let me stay on the lowest possible dose. The agreement is Zyprexa 5mg and Wellbutrin 150mg. This was the second time I had made a deal with the Devil. The first was during my 2012 psychosis when I pleaded to leave the country and was granted permission, but...BUT…I had to pick up every single cigarette butt I came across. Needless to say, I have failed to live up to this promise and fear whether I will ever be able to leave my current entrapment (though I do give credit for the environmentally friendly agreement—who knew the devil could wear green?) I maintain this contract until 2014. At this point life has become painfully monotonous (Insanely, I long to return to the psychosis-induced alternative reality of the psych ward—where in addition to my secret powers, the food was great, the people were interesting, and I could make collages all day). Instead, I’m tired all the time, I’m working less than part-time, and I’m living with my grandparents at age 30. The magic and enchantment of life are gone. I’m about ready to choose “Not to be”, but I can’t quite get over the “what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?” Then a ray of light, a chance for escape. Yes, an extreme plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m offered a teaching job in Saudi Arabia. It pays bank. I can get out of debt, I can gain back my independence. And, with the money I earn, I can put into action my secret plan to get off all of the meds FOREVER (we’ll get to that later). Well, Saudi turns out to be a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire”. Not surprisingly, I’m miserable. I want to jump out of my 9th story apt. window into the desolate desert below, be trampled by a camel, and disappear forever beneath a giant sand dune. By the grace of the universe I’m put in contact with a Western-trained psychiatrist (mental illness is hardly acknowledged in Saudi. Therapy and psychiatry are done rather clandestinely. However, they have every modern pharmaceutical medicine, and it can all be easily acquired without a prescription). We come up with a plan: I will start taking Lamictal, wean off the Zyprexa and continue the Wellbutrin. 1.5 years later and I’m taking 200mg Lamictal, 150mg Wellbutrin and 1.25mg Zyprexa. Note: I did not do the recommended 10% tapering (wasn't aware of it). I jumped from 5mg to 2.5mg, and then 1.25mg (The smallest dose here in Saudi is 5mg, so I just cut the pill into 4 pieces). So far, I have not had any major withdrawal effects (maybe this is tempered by the Lamictal? This is what the Pdoc thought). However, I should mention that in all of my previous attempts of Zyprexa withdrawal I could get down to a very tiny dose and not feel any withdrawal effects. It was only when I quit the drug completely that hell was unleashed. I have now been on 1.25mg for about 2 months. Satisfied with my current situation, I thought I would attempt a reduction of the Lamictal. So, 3 weeks ago I once again took the 50% route and reduced my dosage from 200mg to 100mg. Things were ok until last week when I started to feel nausea, anxiety, depression, and severe headaches. Yep, my old friends were back. Just this evening I met with the psychiatrist (who I had not been in touch with for about 6 months). As mentioned above, his response was “Big Mistake!”. He said he would support me going off of Zyprexa and Wellbutrin, but not Lamictal. So, I agreed to reinstate the Lamictal up to 200mg. If I go off the Zyprexa completely, he wants to put me on Seroquel to help with the insomnia, though I'm not too keen on this proposal). I also told him about my Secret Plan, which I will now unveil to all of you. The Secret Plan: Wean myself of all my current meds in a 4 month period (goal is by April 10). Travel to the Peruvian Amazon. Participate in a 3 week Ayahuasca retreat (which requires me to be off all the meds), including a diet with medicinal plants to help with withdrawal symptoms. Face my demons and childhood traumas (that may be at the root of my mental illness and substance abuse) and see what else the Mother plant spirit has to show/teach me. Use my savings to stay in South America for 6 months in a safe place to recover and suffer through whatever withdrawal symptoms come my way, continuing to rely on plant medicine and a strict diet. A battle between Indigenous medicine and Western medicine, with hopefully the former being the victor. Return to the US free from all psych meds FOREVER. Begin life anew. He didn’t outright reject my plan, but he also didn’t see it as being an effective long term solution. And he may be right. Is this plan foolhardy? Am I setting myself up for failure again by trying to take a short cut? Is the horned man waiting for me in the jungle? Will I ever drain my soul of these demonic chemicals!? I’m slowly accepting, after reading many posts on this forum, that I may have to bunker down for a War of Attrition, rather than a war of Shock and Awe. So be it. As a lover of the Sufi poets, I’ll close with this: “You carry All the ingredients To turn your life into a nightmare (i.e. every pharmaceutical drug)- Don’t mix them! You carry all the ingredients To turn your existence into joy, Mix them, mix Them!” ~Hafiz So, that’s what I’m hoping to do—mix the right ingredients. I await your suggestions and insights; as well as strength, experience, and hope. Dream Slow, The Opal Owl
  13. Hi, I'm new to this website. I have been trying to withdraw from antidepressants for about 18 months. When I started by withdrawal, I was taking 20 mg of Prozac, 300 mg of Wellbutrin (to treat side effects of prozac), and 100 mg of Trazadone. A year ago, I told my doctor I wanted to get off my medications because they were not helping and I was feeling increasingly fatigued. She gave me a taper scheduled that had me off the drugs within 2 months. I suffered terribly with anxiety, insomnia, and the worst depression I ever experienced. After trying to persevere, I eventually went back on 10 mg of Prozac and 50 mg of Trazadone to relieve the anxiety and allow me to sleep. Having reduced my dosages and completely eliminated Wellbutrin, I felt better and had more energy than when I was taking the higher doses. Lab tests ordered by a functional medicine doctor revealed that I many nutritional deficiencies despite my healthy diet. She prescribed supplements, including magnesium, fish oil (DHA and EPA), B vitamins, glutathione, and vitamin C. My energy and strength increased and I was able to begin an exercise program. Long story short, because I was feeling better, I began to taper the remainder of my drugs. I am now down to 25 mg of Trazadone and 8 mg of liquid Prozac. I have been taking 25 mg of Trazadone for over 6 months and only just started weaning off the Prozac. Since I reduced Prozac from 10 mg to 8 mg, I have felt fine except for insomnia. I joined this forum because I want to succeed with stopping the drugs for good this time. Thank you so much for this forum and the information you have provided. Past Medications: Paxil 25 mg 2010-June 2012 Prozac 20 mg January 2013 Wellbutrin 300 mg January 2013 Trazadone 100 mg January 2013 Current Medications: Prozac 8 mg Trazadone 25 mg
  14. Hello Everyone, Has anyone had a successful taper from wellbutrin 300XL? I would appreciate any feedback. The doctor wants me to drop to 250 mg, but I'm kind of scared because that's more than a 10% drop. He says that wellbutrin is easy to withdraw from. (?????) Thanks so much!
  15. I'm new here. I have been on various SSRIs for 22 years and depressed since I was at least age 12. I went off the latest SSRI, generic Lexapro, because I have gained 30+ pounds over the last few years, needed at least 12 hours per day of sleep and still wasn't happy. I am on the max of Bruproprion. It doesn't seem to have any unwanted side effects. It is supposed to be at least weight neutral when taken without other drugs. The physical withdrawal effects are brain zaps, ringing in the ears, dizziness and nausea. These aren't 24/7 and they may be subsiding. Hard to say. I tapered from 10mg of Lex to 5mg to 5 every other day. I did this starting beginning mid-June. My struggle is that I fear my depression is returning. I feel like I will never be OK. I also don't want to become anti-psych med or anti doctor but I wonder if I wasted years of my life on meds that never worked or if this is the way it will always be.
  16. This sounds a little ridiculous. But it's almost like my depth perception is so messed up that I can't see the wall out of my peripheral vision so I'm constantly running the side of my body into walls.
  17. Started with postpartum depression 34 years ago - treated with imipramine. Went off it in a couple months.. Repeated four years later with next pregnancy. Again - off in a couple months. With third pregnancy 27 years ago I went on paxil and never went off. 10mg for 20 years and added welbutrin about five years ago. I would like to go off of the Paxil.
  18. I've been taking these meds for years. I've been on them mostly for extreme anxiety and depression. What do I need to help with anxiety and depression as I try to get off of them so I can stay off of them. Also, how bad is getting off of fluoxetine, trazodone, wellbutrin compared to getting off of Effexor? Getting off of Effexor was pretty hellish.
  19. I recently got pregnant and went from 10mg paxil to 5mg in one week and then completely stopped. I then had a miscarriage (about 2 months ago) and am having severe withdrawal symptoms. Would it be safe to go back on a low dose of paxil and try to taper off properly, or is it too late? I am miserable! Thanks in advance. Update as of March 29, 2017: Link to post below
  20. ADMIN NOTE I stumbled upon this and found it sensible. ("other addictions part" http://protractedbenzodiazepinewithdrawal.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/27-months/ It basically assess the agony of paws may lead to addictive behaviours (like computer, music, to name mine) which stimulate dopamine so as to make it through, and that in the long run it would possibly downregulate dopamine receptors and trigger/worsen/prolong anhedonia. What do you think about it? Is there any other people who are bound to some alienating addictive behaviours so as to ease the making through the day?
  21. I have been on Wellbutrin for the last 10 years. I am currently on 300 mg of bupropion extended release. This will be my third attempt to taper off successfully. This time I have prepped my body and created a conducive environment to successfully taper off. I've followed the pre-taper protocol of a few holistic psychiatrists, mainly Dr. Kelly Brogan. Can anyone who has successfully tapered off Wellbutrin recommend a tapering schedule? Also, did you have the drug compounded into a liquid to taper or just taper down using the tablets? The compounding pharmacy said that they couldn't create a compounded version of the extended release of the Wellbutrin; it would just be immediate release. Is this true?
  22. ADMIN NOTE To answer the questions in the topic title, see the Success Stories in this forum. Also see reports of progress in the Introductions forum. Use search there if you're looking for a particular drug. Related topics in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization "Is it always going to be like this?" The importance of feeling good Creating a new self after withdrawal Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like? Withdrawal dialogues & encouragement Neuro-emotions Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms Deep emotional pain and crying spells, spontaneous weeping Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms  Dealing With Emotional Spirals For those who are feeling desperate or suicidal Why this topic has been closed to comments. The rate the success stories are cranking out just goes to show how long it takes to heal . I hope it's due to people healing and never looking back.
  23. Hi everyone, I am new and super happy to be here. I have been on Prozac 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 300 for twenty five years. I have tried to get off a few times but was not successful. I started to taper in Jan and was down to half doses on May first. The withdraw, specifically anger and self hate became too intense and I went back to old doses two weeks ago. Now I feel like crap. Side effects are harsh and benefit little. I feel like I have let an angry tiger out of the cage and can't get it back in. I am thinking of going back to the half doses and just dealing with the emotional stuff by working out. I started yoga in Jan but maybe harder cardio is the way to get the anger out. Problem is that I am also very tired. I work and come home and go to bed. I journal, go to AA meetings been sober over 15 years. I feel like I am a mess. I am wondering about some of the natural antidepressants like SamE or 5HTP? I just feel like my brain is raw and hurts. Any ideas on how to supplement and sooth my brain? thanks, and I also will stop the taper and work with my doctor but can't see him for another month so that is why I am thinking of going back to the Prozac 10 and Wellbutrin 150 that I have been taking for the past couple of months.
  24. Hi to everyone and thank you for accepting me into this group. I was planning on tapering from my Wellbutrin after I had been stable on it for a couple of months. I have only been taking it since January but had been experiencing what I thought were just increased anxiety and agitation from it. I was inpatient at the time and the doctors told me that those weren't side effects and it was just my own anxiety. I have a long history of panic disorder which was under control until my husband and I decided to move to another city due to a job change. After I left the hospital it took a month to be able to get in to see a psychiatrist. Unfortunately she had a very strong accent and though I think accents are neat I have had trouble understanding people with accents since I had surgery to correct a badly deviated septum. So I had to wait another month to see a different psychiatrist. I was having a horrible time on the Bupropione the whole time but I was able to get some help from a mental health urgent care clinic.They increased my Buspirone from 30 mg to 50 mg which really helped with the anxiety I was experiencing from the Buproprion, I finally got in to see a new psychiatrist and the first thing she wanted to do was take me off the clonazepam. She wanted to cut my dose in half but I only cut it by a quarter. About five days later I was in full blown withdrawal and she wouldn't believe me. She said if I was in withdrawal I would be in the hospital. I have been going to a group and one of the facilitators told me I should go back to the mental health urgent care which I did the next day and they referred me to an addictionologist. He has been wonderful. He confirmed that I was indeed in withdrawal. I was pretty much through it by that time but at least he understood. It had been about three weeks since I had tapered down on the clonazepam and he recognized that the bupropirone was causing me problems so he told me to drop it to half. After my recent experience I chose to drop it by .25 again. I went straight into severe withdrawal and he reinstated the medication after only two days of a reduction. At this point I would wake up every morning with severe trembling and anxiety so I switched my night time clonazepam to the morning and that caused those symptoms to remit. I was feeling really good and enjoying my days. Getting out into the sunlight, walking my dog, mowing the lawn. It was great. Anyway I learned about a device called Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) that is supposed to help you with anxiety and depression and since I want to get off my medications I discussed it with my psychiatrist. He thought it would work so he gave me a prescription for it. I started using it 15 days ago. The first two days were great. I woke up with no anxiety and I felt even better than ever. Then I started having increased anxiety on the third day. One of the things that the CES device can do is increase the effectivness of your medications, and their side effects. About a week into my use of the device the side effects from the Buproprion became intolerable. It turned out that the clonazepam had been disguising akathisia and the CES brought it out. Of course this happened over Memorial Day Weekend so I was left to my own devices and the wonderful counsel of my concerned husband. We decided to drop my Buproprian to 75 mg IR to see if that would help. Unfortunately it did not. I didn't seem to have any withdrawal symptoms either though. On Tuesday we went in to see my Dr and he recommended a beta blocker for the side effect. It worked wonderfully. Unfortunately it also caused me to become depressed. The Dr recommended that I go off the medication completely at this point. So starting the next day on June 1 I went cold turkey. The withdrawal symptoms started immediately. I have had crying spells and unending anxiety. I have continued to use the CES as it is reputed to help with withdrawal symptoms and to help prevent relapsing into depression. It seems to help but not as much as I would like it too. I know that my brain has to remodel itself and it will take time even with the help of the CES device. I have also been using L-theanine which helps a little. I am really trying to find some way to reduce the anxiety as it has turned me into a severe agoraphobic. I hide in my basement so I don't even have to look outside because that is anxiety producing in itself. The only way I have been keeping sane is to keep my brain occupied by surfing the net. I have also been reading The Mood Cure trying to find something that will help with the anxiety. I do have extra clonazepam that the Dr gave me and I have Baclofen but I don't want to have any more addictions than I already do. Once I get off the Buproprion I am planning a liquid taper of the clonazepam. I really feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place because if I reinstate the Buproprion at all then I have the akathisia to deal with and the medication for it makes me depressed. I would really love any input that anyone has for me. I have been thiking of trying some of the following for the anxiety. Lemon Balm Valerian Root Inositol Niacinamide (the Niacin makes me itchy from the histamine release) L-glycine Taurine Ashwaghanda I even read that someone coming off of Buprorpion had some success with L-phenalalanine but I have anxiety issues so I don't know if that would be counter productive or helpful becasue going off of the Buproprion is what is causing this. I'm also afraid of long term consequences to the cold turkey but I don't know what else I could have done. I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank you, and thank you for this wonderful group.
  25. I was just feeling a little disheartened by the disparity between how many people post on this site and how many write success stories. I know that this could mean that people just don't want to return to the site because the memory of withdrawal is so painful for them once they've recovered. But it's also scary knowing that another reason for the lack of success reports could be that people have a really difficult time healing and more often times than not it takes YEARS to heal. I've been off for 6 and a half months and I'm still dealing with brutal mental symptoms, and it's discouraging that when I REALLY need to read reports from people that have recovered, and I end up reading the same 5 stories that I've already read hundreds of times. Is it possible that some people just DON'T heal from this and we need to learn to live with the new circumstances that we've been dealt? I know this post is a little depressing, but I could really use some encouragement. Thanks to any of you that can provide feedback and/or reassurance.
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