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  1. My story appears to be similar to many folks here on this forum. Reading all of these accounts has helped me accept my symptoms as a result of Zoloft, which has at least given me some piece of mind. Before I explain my timeline and struggle with getting off Zoloft, I want to bring to the forum’s attention something my psychiatrist informed me of which I have found no evidence of elsewhere. Hopefully someone can verify this. My psychiatrist explained the following: The FDA allows for a 30% upward or downward margin of error on Zoloft pills. He explained that a 50mg Sertraline (Zoloft) may have up to 65mg or as low as 38.5mg. Another example, a 25mg Sertraline may have have as much as 32.5mg and as low as 17.5mg. Can anyone validate this? If this is true, it is unimaginable. My story: I started 50mg of Zoloft in 2012 for general anxiety, social stress and general dissatisfaction. My psychiatrist at the time said “It was about as harmful as taking an aspirin.” In 2013 we increased my dose to 75mg. My psychiatrist retired in 2015 and I continued at 75mg through my general doctor’s refills. In 2018, I felt I was in a good place and tried to go cold turkey. After a couple of weeks of torture, I returned to 75mg. After learning that I should taper, and also feeling I was in a good place, I decided to reduce my dose to 50mg in July of 2019. Two weeks of intense symptoms ensued but by the end of the second week things became more manageable. I wanted to reduce the symptoms and requested (it took some convincing of my new psychiatrist) a liquid form of Sertraline in August. I reduced to 45mg but felt like I was not getting a consistent dose (sticking to the glass) and it was difficult to swallow even when mixed with water. My psychiatrist recommended that I switch to a 25mg pill + a half and a quarter of another 25mg pill bringing me to 42.5mg in September. I stayed at 42.5mg for September and October and was distracted by a series of sinus infections (antibiotics and 2 rounds of prednisone). Thinking I was ill from the infections, I did not realize most of my symptoms were Zoloft related. All of my symptoms were rationalized but my general doctors. Dizziness, light headed, extreme head pressure, headaches, persistent neck pain, fogginess, loss of appetite, ear pops and pings, jittery, imbalance, loss of equilibrium, flu-like symptoms and tingles in hands...doctors all rationalized them as symptoms of sinus/ear infection and the steroids. This went on for almost 2 months, while somehow I was still functioning. Until I called my psychiatrist last week and he informed me that it might be because we switched to a smaller pill which may have 30% less than is listed on the bottle. He prescribed the 50mg for me and within 2 days I felt somewhat improved, but noticed some brain zaps and the continuation of symptoms. My psychiatrist said that 50mg may not be enough to counteract a withdrawal and that we may need to go up to 75mg to stabilize. This past Sunday (10/27) I upped my dosage to 75mg. I am feeling some improvement, but still not feeling right: light headed, light sensitivity, headaches, fogginess, inconsistent appetite, ear pops and pings, jittery, imbalance and tingles in hands... So I am back where I started, 75mg, and hopefully stabilizing soon. Lots of information here from fellow “survivors” but I am scared. Shouldn’t I feel totally better? Could a couple months of enduring withdrawal make stabilizing more difficult? And most importantly, is the 30% margin of error that my psychiatrist shared with me true?? If so, we need to change that! Thank you for your time.
  2. Hello everyone, I took my first anti-depressant at 21. I am now 43. In the years in between, I have had multiple psychiatric admissions, taken many many different medications, some at high doses, some inappropriate for my diagnosis, and for long periods of time, and had 8 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I am posting here now because I believe I may be experiencing a withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome. My life has been razed to the ground and I am reaching out, to foster hope, make connection, and see if I can educate and empower myself and find guidance and support to get into healing and recovery. My difficulties began 9 years ago. The only drug I was taking at the time was Citalopram, and I was reducing it. The first thing I noticed was increased sensitivity to sound (e.g. hearing the radiators throughout the house I was staying in). I was working as a counsellor at the time, and I began to have feelings of falling through my chair when working with clients, a sensation of falling downwards and backwards suddenly. I then started to feel strange in the car, as if something toxic was coming through the ventilation system, leading me to feel a bit like I wasn't fully there; slightly afraid I would pass out (I never have) or "disappear". I would pinch my cheeks to try and "come back". I couldn't understand it. For 18 months, I followed the initial thinking from my GP, that I had labyrinthitis, and had various auditory system tests. This revealed nothing. I then went to the London Balance and Hearing Centre and had a thorough check there. They found nothing wrong and said that 40 % of people presenting there they referred on to psychiatry. By this stage, I had stopped driving, stopped working, had considerable difficulties walking - I walked using 2 sticks, and continued to have extreme sensitivity to sound (found the sound of the dishwasher on the floor below almost unbearable). The psychiatrist diagnosed "total serotonin depletion of the vestibular nucleus" with utter conviction (no sample/scan of anything has ever been taken by a psychiatrist in 22 years of treatment), and admitted me urgently to hospital. I was not depressed at the time. I was bombarded with medications. 3 weeks later, I went into depression, but the somatic symptoms I had been admitted for continued. More and more medications were administered. Eventually, I discharged myself and went to another psychiatric hospital. They were shocked at the levels of medication I was on (this was 2013) and proceeded to reduce and change the drugs. I left this hospital in 2014 but my somatic symptoms persisted (difficulty walking, unable to tolerate the sound of the fridges in the supermarket, clinging on to the shelves, tremors in my legs, unable to stand in line....). By this time, I had a diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) - which I identify with to this day. This was September 2015. Because, despite high levels of medication, the symptoms were still present and limiting my functionality (e.g. unable to tolerate short attending a short evening course on social media at my gardening group: I couldn’t cope with looking at the screen, sitting on a chair without sides, or the sounds – and had to leave), I decided to change tack and try a different approach. That was when I sought out a trauma therapist and a more holistic path. At this time I was on Quetiapine (250mg at night, 50mg breakfast and 50mg lunchtime), 3g L-Tryptophan, 15mg Diazepam, 60mg Citalopram. Over the course of 3 years, I brought myself down off the meds in a very measured way, one at a time, titrating at what I thought was a slow pace. I managed to come off the Quetiapine, L-Tryptophan and Diazepam. I continued to experience severe somatic symptoms but could walk about a little, go into a bookshop briefly - not able to work or go out for a meal, or the cinema or anything like that. When I began reducing the Citalopram, my symptoms became seriously bad. They emerged approx. 2 – 3 months after reductions e.g. 60 > 50 > 40 beginning May 2017, resulted in severe, disabling symptoms by August: severe tremors, terrifying hyperarousal, unable to tolerate sounds at all, using alcohol when necessary literally to be able to tolerate them or walk when necessary. I made another reduction 40 > 35 > 30 > 25 > 20 from December to April 2018, at which point I became housebound and called the paramedics as I was experiencing states of terror, feeling as if I was about to die, unable to regulate my nervous system at all. I now know, how terribly and tragically misguided my reduction pacing was. I wish I could turn the clocks back. But I can't. Hence my presence here, and prayers that there is still hope that I might recover my health. The emergency services suggested I increase the Citalopram back up to 30mg, which I did - and then up to 35mg, 3 weeks later. By this stage, I was housebound, having violent seizure patterning (not seizures - I never lose consciousness), unable to tolerate the sound of using a telephone, unable to stand to wash up or make food. My therapist began visiting me in my home. At the time, she and I had been understanding what was happening as partly being a releasing of the trapped energy of the trauma of the ECT which I had when I was 29. Indeed, the seizure patterning/muscle spasms look very like this. And my therapist described what she believed was going on in Somatic Experiencing language of "overcoupling": effects of psychological trauma/stress from earlier life + ECT shock trauma + long term use of meds.....all contributing to a dysregulated nervous system. I still believe this to be the case. However, very sadly, my therapist reached the point where she felt unable to continue to support me and pointed me back towards psychiatry. This was utterly devastating to me. I had derived considerable strength and hope from believing I understood what was happening in my body, that I had agency over its process, and was resourced and motivated by this. Being advised that all that was left was to go back to psychiatry, felt like the final straw. I went into severe, suicidal depression. Since then, I have seen several more psychiatrists, 2 neurologists, one neuropsychiatrist. None of them acknowledge that there is any possibility that psychiatric medications are implicated in my somatic symptoms. They put them under "medically unexplained" or "functional neurological disorder". I had 5 weeks in another psychiatric hospital in December 2018 which was largely pointless as I could not bring myself to take further medications, except for the introduction of one, Pregabalin, but at a low dose (because I was looking ahead to having to withdraw off this too eventually, and cautious accordingly.) I am now staying with my parents, in Luxembourg because I am unable to manage on my own in my own home without carers. I am at the lowest point of my life. The depression is severe but largely "reactive", ie an understandable response to losing my world - my work, my community, my functionality and all that that now deprives me of. I am just surviving at the moment. I hope I can find a way ahead. I am new to this website. I wonder how I might best use it to seek support and guidance? I will list the medications I am currently taking: Citalopram 40mg Pregabalin 50mg @ 09.00, 25 mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 22.00 Diazepam 2mg @ 09.00, 25mg @ 13.00, 25mg @ 19.00, 25 mg @ 22.00 Zopiclone 3.75mg: began tapering under advice of GP 10 days ago, reducing by 1/4 = cutting the pill in half and half again and taking 3/4. He suggested I taper by 1/4 every 2-3 weeks. I feel trapped in a Catch22: I am unable to function in the world as I am. My symptoms are prohibitive of most activities and restrict where I can be, even within my parents' home, as my sensitivity to sound is so great and I am unable to be standing for very long due to the tremors. I am due to see the GP again tomorrow to ask his advice. I do not have a psychiatrist here. I am not keen to see yet another psychiatrist unless this person understands the fight/flight/freeze response, believes in withdrawal syndromes and tapering. My despair lies in the fact that I am sadly not in a position to be tapering really until I have adequate functionality restored. But I don't know how to restore that, how to address the tremoring and sensitivity to sound. The advice I have had from psychiatrists is to increase the dose of Pregabalin to quell the tremors. I am currently on a sub-therapeutic dose. I am reluctant to do this as this will be yet another drug to come off (which holds risks of seizures through withdrawal). Does anybody here have anything they could suggest to help? I am only just beginning to try to understand what the effects might be, on my nervous system, of extensive use of the drugs I have been on in the past, and am currently on. In particular, Quetiapine (I was on 800mg in 2005 and reduced over a couple of years - I never had any psychosis; and again 2013 - 2016 at 300mg), Diazepam (30mg in 2013, now 8mg) and Citalopram (60 for many years, now 40mg). I don't know if everything my body is manifesting is an expression of a depletion of receptors throughout my body? I am doing an online course on the nervous system and understand the intricacy of it, and how every cell in our bodies is affected by nervous system dysregulation. What is the next step? How do I address the somatic symptoms, in particular sensitivity to sound and to gravity: my sympathetic nervous system is "turned up way too high" in response to my standing up = tremors How/where can I find a clinician to guide me? I am due to see a Functional Medicine practitioner next Thursday with a view to try trying to do something myself to help heal my system. Any thoughts on this? I am also acutely aware that my life situation is such that I feel insecure and at sea. So, I need to find a way to create a secure base for myself, professionals I trust, decide which country to live in to do this (I will probably be unable to live alone until/unless I can heal this)..... I understand now that my nervous system is picking up cues about safety all the time. And if my life situation is unstable, it will keep going into fight/flight/freeze in reaction to that too. So, I need to also do some internal work on finding safety in the midst of uncertainty. This is so challenging. I feel very grateful to have this space in which to share and hopefully help each other. Thank you.
  3. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  4. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  5. Hi everyone. I've been browsing this site for a couple of years and thought I'd finally join. I'd love to be able to talk with others about what I'm going through. I'm only 22 but I've pretty much been through every hell imaginable in terms of SSRI use (I started when I was 5--not by choice, obviously). It really frustrates me because I never even chose myself to go on these medications, I had very bad tantrums and anxiety as a small child and a psychiatrist put me on them. As I got older, instead of being told to get therapy and try getting off them, she just kept raising the dosage. By age 12 I was on the maximum dose even though my problems weren't that severe. I remember being in middle school gaining weight, feeling tired CONSTANTLY, just not feeling like a kid at a ll, and at the time no one thought that the medication could be the reason for it. It's so upsetting because I feel as though my entire life up until this point has been taken from me and Ill never experience what it's like to be young and happy. Like I said I never showed depressive symptoms before the medication but as the dose was raised I would occasionally get depression symptoms. When I was 15/16 I was switched to celexa which actually "worked" quite a bit better for me, I lost a lot of weight and felt energetic and motivated, but by the time I was 18 I really wanted off of these drugs that weren't even my choice to go on. However, as I learned the hard way psychiatrists don't have a good understanding of what's required for a successful taper. I was then on 40mg, and she lowered it all the way to 30, and then quickly after that to 20. This all happened right before I went away to university for the first time, so it was just horrible timing. My first month of college I noticed I began to feel severe chest pain. I didn't know what was happening and it was very scary. My entire freshman year I essneitllay spent in severe burning pain all across my chest and upper back. I would be doubled over crying for much of the day because of the pain. I went to see SO many doctors about it but they all said I was perfectly healthy and it must be from anxiety or just 'in my head'. I had to leave college after my first year because of the pain. By this point I was completely off of the celexa because I didn't know what was happening and I thought the pain was being caused solely by the drug itself. But the pain didn't get any better, it got worse. I basically spent the next 3 years (not an exaggeration) bedridden crying in pain. I cannot even describe in words how severe the pain was. And the problem was no one even considered that it was due to withdrawal because every doctor I went to said no, withdrawal wouldn't cause pain like that. So it was just a constant 'search' to figure out why I was having this mysterious pain. Even when I went back on the celexa to see if it would help, it wouldn't get rid of the pain, but I believe that's because (as I later found), the only way to get rid of it is by going on the HIGHEST possible dose because that's the highest dose my body was accustomed to. Finally last year I tried Zoloft out of desperation (I was missing my whole youth...I feel like my situation is a lot different because I spent 18-21 bedridden in pain. I know I could "wait it out" a few more years...but I'm missing my entire youth, a period fo my life I won't get back, and I don't know how much longer my college is going to let me take time off. I should have already graduated by now :(. It's so painful to be in so much pain while other people your age are having the time of your lives.) So even though I hate these medications, I tried Zoloft in a desperate attempt to just be out of pain and be able to move forward with my life. By the time I reached 150mg my pain went away completely (after 4 months on it), but of course I have other side effects on it I do not like like loss of creativity (I want to be a musician, and I love art), not feeling emotions as deeply, and almost feeling like your'e living life in a fog. To be blunt I don't feel "myself" on it. My individual spark is gone. But, I was just so desperate to get rid fo the physical pain. Anyway I made a freaking stupid decision in May to go off of it. At this point me and my doctors still didn't 100% make the connection between the pain and withdrawal, it was just a 'theory'. I thought my pain could have lessened because I had a boyfriend and friends now, was in school, feeling better, was out of pain to the point I was exercising consistently, etc. Well, nope lol. All of my pain returned this month. I'm back to being in bed with pain I'm in a huge dilemma because I know from past experience the pain DOES NOT go away. It's weird because I don't have any mental symptoms from going off the medication. I don't feel any more anxious/depressed/etc. The symptoms are all physical for me. It's just the most severe pain imaginable. I'm sure it's some type of nerve damage because it feels like burning knives stabbing into me..no words can describe the pain. I just want the pain gone as soon as possible, but I know if I go back on the medication I have to say goodbye to who I am as a person and my musical talent. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Like I said, I have already missed so much of my life. I don't want to be bedridden from pain anymore 😞 It just hurts so much. And it's not even my fault because I never chose to go on this medication!! I feel like I'm screwed for life, and will never have a full life devoid of both pain and of the medication. What if I just never adjust to being off of it because I started so young? I just hope some people here can offer me advice on how to eliminate it without having pain like this. I just cannot stand the pain... I'm sorry this is so long but like all of you, my story is long! To make it easier if someone is just skimming, withdrawal symptoms include - severe burning / stabbing pain in upper back, chest, shoulders - occasional hip pain and inability to walk because of it - digestive problems (extreme bloating, heartburn) - lightheadedness when standing up at times - basically feel like all my nerves are on fire - chest tightness 24/7
  6. Hi, So quick background.. i took LUVOX (fluvoxamine) a few years ago and was able to come off of it safely and with minimum withdrawal. (I reduced 50mg at a time over a few months) (I know this wasn’t the right way to taper but I didnt know at the time) I took Luvox again this year and as I been withdrwaling, I realize it is MUCH harder. I can BARELY withdrawal 10mg at a time and I strongly feel the withdrawal. I been withdrawing less than 5% to. It just does not make sense to me that I withdrew much faster and easier before and now it is so much harder the second time... I don’t think it has todo with my diet or stress. If you Any thoughts as to why this is, it would be great thanks...
  7. Hi everyone Hope someone on here will be able give me some sound advice. I was on citalapram for a year and a half for anxiety and as a result of extreme anxiety depression. I was on 40mg. I felt alot better about 6 months in but decided not to rock the boat as had alot of changing life circumstances and moving around the country. I did a short course of CBT but it wasn't deep enough a the time really. When I felt ready to come off. I went from 40mg to 20mg, took me about 8 weeks to stabalise and then from 20mg to 10mg for 3 weeks. As I was then following the Advice of the Linden method I stopped after 3 weeks even though I hadn't stabilised. I had withdrawal for about a week and then had 4 weeks of feeling pretty good and like my old self( without major brain fog which was my main big bear). But then I had horrendous rebound anxiety starting about week 5 of the pills. I tried to stick it out for 2 months as thought it might be withdrawal and my body needing to readjust. But one day it was just so horrendous I ended up going to a n e to get some diazapam and they restarted me on citalapram. Only problem was that after about 2 months it was clear that citalapram for some reason was no longer working for me. My doctor therefore immediately switched me to paroxitine( paxil). And I have been on that for about 7 months. It took a while but it has made me feel normal again.. albeit with bloody brain fog which I think makes normal feelings feel ten times worse. Anyway I decide that I was ready to withdraw from paroxitine but slowly this time. My dose was 40mg. My doctor wanted me to go from 40mg to 30mg over 6 weeks but given my hellish experience coming off citalapram I wanted to do it even slower and so I cut my tablets to go down by 5mg. So in effect I reduced my dose to 35mg. I have now done this for 4 weeks and had definite anxious withdrawal symptoms early on for about the first two weeks. I then had two days of feeling really good and with a really clear head. Horray!! However at about week 4 I've begun to experience some extreme anxiety again and don't know a) whether this is withdrawal or relapse. ( I've had soon much CBT while I've been on paroxitine regarding changing core beliefs tho that I really feel I have a good handle on what my issues were) b) whether I should ride it out c) reinstate my 40mg dose. Also given how violently I came off citalapram 9 months ago I wonder whether even tho I was feeling stable again on paroxitine i should have waited alot longer before begining to reduce my dose even tho I felt better. My doctor doesn't really know what to say on these issues so any advice is greatly appreciated thankyou very much!
  8. Hello everyone, I am a first time poster, long time Paxil user. I have been on Paxil for about 12 years or so, prescribed by my doctor to combat anxiety. My anxiety was never severe, I just fell down the slippery slope of Paxil use after what should have just been a bump in the emotional road for me. Long story short, I've decided to taper off of the Paxil 20mg (down from 40mg a couple years prior). This year my doc advised me to cut from 20mg to 10mg. (I know now, way too much and too fast). I had brain zaps, irritablilty, and vivid dreams (which I actually don't mind since they are usually pleasant) and some dizziness. After a few weeks I was feeling OK enough to go from 10mg to 5mg. I was good for about 3 weeks. But the next two weeks I suffered from severe anxiety - unlike any kind of despairing feeling I've ever had in my life! I suddenly became an emotional wreck and was just at wits end. So I went from 5mg Paxil back up to 10mg. A week or so later - hives. Hives, - small ones, on my neck or forearms. They'd go away after a couple hours so I didn't put too much worry into it. Then a week after these small hive appearances, I had a really bad outbreak of hives on my legs, which I thought was just a heat rash. I didn't take an anti-histamine, I hate the way they make me feel. Big mistake. I ended up waking up at 4 in the morning, itching terribly all over my body. I was searching for Benadryl downstairs when my wife found me - at which point I was getting dizzy and nauseous. I was going into anaphylactic shock. My wife and I both thought I was dying, my children sobbing as they waited by the front door for the ambulance to arrive. I've never had allergies really. I am allergic to cats, it turns out, but I've had my cat for 3 years (a Persian which I found to not feel allergic reactions to in the past- and who has since been living with my brother till this all gets ironed out). So this anaphylaxis was not something I was prepared for. An amulance ride later, they told me I had some kind of allergic reaction. A few weeks later, after seeing an allergist, he suspected my bizarre reaction to be caused by a medicine (not a food or other allergen). I only take Paxil, and Propecia. (which I've stopped last week to try to rule that out as a cause of the hives). I still get small areas of redness on my skin, primarily when I wake up in the AM. And for now I'm on antihistimines, which I dislike greatly. I am wondering if the traumatic, despair-like anxiety feelings I suffered, and then yo-yo-ing back to a higher dosage of Paxil did a number on my body and made me overly sensitive to histamines, or my cat. Since my allergist suspected Paxil as a possible cause of the hives/anaphylaxis, I have since tapered back down to 5mg, and three days ago down to 2.5mg. I suspect its not the actual Paxil causing the hives, but the withdrawal itself, the toll it takes on my body and mind. Just hoping putting my story out there, if anyone can relate to such a physical reaction like what I experienced, and if they too, think it is related to the Paxil withdrawl. Thanks for reading. Cheers
  9. (mod note)link to teePeer1's benzo forum thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/19092-how-to-taper-the-used-as-needed-benzo-or-sparing-benzo-use/ Dear all, I gradually tapered to 10 mg of paxil from 40 and also tapered off benzo (3mg to 0) both slowly over a period of months. Long story short, I thought I was near the fonish line. However, when I taperedd to 10 mg from 15 mg paxil and stopped a doze of less than .25 benzos things got rough after two weeks. My issues are mostly related to night:severe anxiety, hyper alertness, pounding heart. It was so bad a couple of nights that I resorted to taking a small dose of lexatonil. Now I am afraid of what strategy to follow next. My experience with psychiatrists have been pretty bad during my taper and I am afraid if I go back they will put me on more meds. Should I go back to 15 mg paxil from 10 and is it safe to use half a tablet of benzo at night to brave through the night? (Though i am afraid of benzo withdrawals too) I would appreciate any suggestions on how to stabilize my situation at this stage and dosage?
  10. Redrag

    Redrag

    I've been on the max dose of 200mg per day of Sertraline, an SSRI, since 1990. To begin with it was great. I was working faster, and for longer hours, than was really good for me, physically; but the Dopamine "highs" were so rewarding. Sertraline enabled me to cope - and work even harder. I was getting high on the success I was getting from work and get driving harder and harder. In 1996 I had a stroke, but returned to work after one year and resumed my "workaholicism". I never equated the SSRI as a possible contributing factor to my stroke, but that possibility has dawned on me recently. I had been diagnosed with "depression" but, in fact, my doctor should have diagnosed me with "workaholism". I'm not looking to apportion blame for my stroke - I take full responsibility for it - but in the lack of any physiological signs at the time my theory that Sertraline may have supported my "crash" is one that I hang out there. I retired in 2008, but remained on 200mg per day of the SSRI, simply because I had always considered the drug to be a "mood improver", rather than a "work enabler". My theory may be wrong, but I soon came to realise that, without the "high" that hard work was giving me, supported by the SSRI, I didn't like the person I had become during retirement. I assumed it was due to the change in lifestyle and I would soon relax and be more positive. After much reflection, I realised that the SSRI was, in fact, numbing my emotions; I was only ever pretending to enjoy myself and didn't get excited about anything. At first, I was in denial over this and kept organising grand projects and long holidays for myself. I realise that I was simply trying to escape who I'd become. A grandson came on the scene but I was doing all I could to avoid seeing him, my daughter, my friends - everybody. I was/ am like a zombie and I felt I could act as a normal person should anymore. It was as if I had had a chemical frontal lobotomy, the symptoms of which only became apparent when work ceased to be my "raison d'ertre". in 2019 I decided to come off Sertraline and try to recover my personality. I applied to be on a University Trial for psilocybin as a substitute for SSRI but was rejected due to my medical history. I decided to mirror the trial anyway and started tapering at a rate of 10% of the drug per week, commencing in April, 2019. After that, the plan was to wait a further 6 weeks to completely flush-out my system and then to experiment with 25mg of psilocybin. Psilocybin is, of course, an illegal substance in the UK, so I have to guess what weight of magic mushrooms represents 25mg of psilocybin. But, having got to that point, I have become troubled by some side-effects that I had not anticipated. I anticipated mood changes and emotional difficulties but, since mid-way through the tapering process, I have had severe pain in my right hand (the "weak" side following the stroke) and also a developing problem with my right hip. I have also lost all enjoyment of food and drink and have a constant "shooshing" in my head. The list goes on, but these are three most prominent symptoms. I had deliberately not acquainted myself with the possible withdrawal symptoms before I embarked on this because I did not want my subconscious to use them as a "shopping list" for my body! However, I am now preoccupied with a number of questions and feel "paralised" at this point until I can find answers: Is the pain, and the other physical symptoms I am experiencing, genuine symptoms of withdrawal, or are they something that the SSRI drug was masking (in the same way that it masked certain emotions)? (There is no physiological damage to any joints). If these are symptoms of withdrawal then: Will they ease naturally, and over how long? Will taking the planned alternative medicines help, or hinder recovery from these? If these symptoms were, in fact, entirely separate from the SSRI, but were being "masked" by it, then: Are these symptoms of chronic conditions that will only be eased by returning to the SSRI? Or can they be cured by traditional methods? Unless I am prepared to pay mega-bucks, the answers to these questions will only come very slowly. My hand has been examined at the local hospital who gave me a clean bill of health ("perhaps a little arthritis"). Given the severe pain I am experiencing, and have been unable to ease through painkillers, that diagnosis did not provide much reassurance! Anyway, moving on... Although the medical profession is set up very well to put one on to antidepressants, I have found that there is no support for someone coming off them. To be fair, I was offered CBT, but it soon became apparent that this approach was not appropriate. So I feel very alone, frighteningly so. I went back to the University who was conducting the trials into psilocybin and they referred to me cepuk.org; I followed links from their website and this forum is one of those links. In a search for answers I have followed other links from Cepuk and read papers by highly qualified individuals whose opinions vary from: Doctor Stuart Shipko, a Californian psychiatrist who has published on SSRI withdrawal, no longer advises patients who have been on SSRIs for more than ten years to try to stop unless they are willing to risk disabling symptoms, including a state of agitation and inner restlessness which he calls ‘tardive akathisia’. He states that his ‘clinical observation is that long lasting symptoms occur even in patients who taper very slowly, not just those who stop quickly, and that there is no guarantee that these symptoms will go away no matter how long the patient waits’. Medicalnewstoday.com, (a site referred to me by my CBT counsellor), which indicates that "Discontinuation symptoms tends to last for 1 to 2 weeks, but can last longer in some cases" So I'm no further forward; that's where I am at present (4 August, 2019). No answers, just more questions; I can only follow my instincts and take all that I read/ hear with a good degree of scepticism. The story continues.......
  11. Hello, first off I want to show tremendous appreciation for the advice given on this board. It’s so needed and so helpful. I’m 52 years old and female. I used Paxil for about one year at 29 years of age 20 mg for postpartum depression. In my early thirties I also used Zoloft for about a year, the dose would only be the starting dose. Any psychiatric medication I’ve taken has only been at the lowest starting dose. In the fall of 2011, I started 20 mg of Paxil for anxiety. I tried discontinuing in the fall of 2017 into 2018 following the recommendations The Antidepressant Solution by Joseph Glenmullen. I watched for any withdrawal symptoms and held the doses if needed any only reduced every 4 weeks. My taper was (cut tablets as tapered, used 10 mg tablets to cut when I reached 10 mg) 17.5 mg, 15 mg, 12 mg, 10 mg, 7.5 mg, 5 mg, 2.5. mg. 7 month taper. At 2.5 mg I started to have withdrawal issues, mostly early morning anxiety. I panicked and upped my Paxil to 10 mg and went to a walk in clinic to try lexapro, cross taper with lexapro 5 mg and Paxil, I tried that for about a week, stopped, horrible reactions, burning skin , anxiety. So went back to family doctor and slowly over the next few weeks increased back up to 20mg. During this process I also acquired tinnitus which I still have presently. Never a good idea to try another medication or add one in this state! I learned my lesson. Fast forward to December 2018, I wanted to finally get off Paxil. Again I used a similar taper according to Dr Glenmullen, I also made a l make a 1:1 solution diluting a 20 mg tablet in 20 ml of water to use, use 10 ml syringe. I guess this is considered a fast taper, since I didn’t use 10% reduced dosages because I never had more than minor withdrawal issues . My problem is this taper when July 10, 2019 I reached 2 mg I felt just minor withdrawals until the past few days when I started having insomnia and night anxiety, night urinating a few times. The insomnia makes me feel worse and just not sleeping makes me more anxious, A vicious cycle. I’m not sure what to do. I was considering stopping the 2mg in another two weeks, but since I’ve been reading this site I’m not sure what to do? Do I reinstate another mg of Paxil to 3 mg and see how I do, or do I try and stabilize at this dose for however long until I feel stable before reducing again. Thank you and I hope this makes sense, lack of sleep doesn’t feel so good! Also very low withdrawal issues throughout the taper, mild irritability, moodiness that went away as I adjusted to the new dose. Until now. Below attached is my most recent taper. I was almost 50 years old when I tried my first taper and almost 52 wi5h this taper, pretty much two years apart. Thank you!
  12. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  13. clarknova

    Clarknova: Hello, SA!

    Hello, SA Hello, everyone. Long time lurker, but this is my first post. First of all I want to thank everyone on this site for educating me and giving me comfort through rough times. I’ve read and re-read posts and found tremendous solace in your stories. At the same time, I’m truly sorry for all your struggles. My story: I’m male, 42 years of age, I work as a TV-editor and I live in Oslo, Norway. In 2004, after touring with a band for a year and a half, I had severe panic attacks, 2-3 times a day for about 6 months. I finally saw my doctor and he put me on 10 mg of cipralex and referred me to a support group which I participated in for 2.5 years. It helped me tremendously, so I told the doctor in 2007 I was feeling better and he said I could taper down over a few weeks. This went fine and for a few years I was okay. No withdrawal that I can remember. Then, in 2010, following a break-up, I didn’t want to feel heart-broken and so I asked my doctor if I could go back on cipralex. I don’t think I was depressed, I just didn’t want to feel sad (How I wish I could go back, I'd take the natural sadness instead). I went back on 10 mg cipralex and this was fine, no severe side-effects (On the contrary, I actually enjoyed having delayed orgasms as I was often more premature when not on meds). But after a while I noticed subtle changes to my personality. I’m a musician and have made music since the age of 14, but suddenly I wasn’t interested anymore. I stopped writing songs. I also stopped crying completely, even the good cries, like when I saw Good Will Hunting or Finding Neverland. I didn’t feel very much of anything and starting thinking that this was not the way to go through life. So I told the doctor I wanted to get off the meds, and he basically said I knew how it worked now and could regulate my medication use on my own. So I did. In 2015 I tapered pretty quickly, probably over a month, and was fine for a while. A few heavy crying-spells, but nothing major. I started making music again, and sold an apartment so I had enough money to not work since I was sick of my job as a TV-editor anyway. Then, at the end of 2015, a toxic friend I was trying to avoid suddenly had a major life-crisis and was asking a lot from me in terms of help and support. I tried my best, but at the same time; this was a person I didn’t want in my life. I became very upset, not knowing what to do. I had overwhelming anxiety and ended up in the emergency room begging for valium. Having a somewhat avoidant personality, I decided the only thing I could do was to skip town. I went to my mothers and after a few days crashed completely. I felt I was a horrible person for skipping out on someone who needed me even though I wanted to distance myself from this person. I felt I had become like my late father, avoiding responsibility. I became extremely depressed. The massive anxiety made self-harm feel like a dangerous possibility and so I was brought to the emergency room and was told by the psychiatrist there that I should go back on the cipralex since that had worked for me before. I reluctantly did what she said and was back on the meds. Looking back, I realise now that this episode with the toxic friend happened while I had been off meds for about 6 months and my reaction to it could very well have been massive because of a overly sensitive CNS. Anyway, I had never been this sick. I was hanging on for dear life. Awful depression and intense anxiety. I walked and walked, and swam and swam (at the local pool) just to keep everything at bay. Mornings and evenings were worst. I saw Douglas Bloch-videos on youtube over and over again for comfort. I got some follow-up from the local psychiatric hospital and after four months, now 2016, I realised that living with my mother wasn’t doing my self-esteem much good so I moved back to my apartment in Oslo and explained to my old boss that I had had a nervous break-down and asked if I could come back to work - not do anything, not get paid, just come to the office every day. I couldn't manage even the smallest responsibilities. He was very understanding and said of course. Just being around people helped me a lot, and after a while I started helping out with scripts and some minor editing work. After a few months I was given a 50% position working from 9 to 13 every day. Slowly I got better and started working full time through 2016, 2017 and 2018. I was still on meds, but again feeling like I was too much of a Zombie I wanted to be free of them. So in early 2018 I decided to taper. I went down to 5mg for a month, then 2.5 for a month and then quit in april. May and June were just horrible with depression and anxiety so I got back on them again, but then regretted it, so tapered again, same protocol - 5 mg for a month, then 2.5 for a month and then quit in september, deciding to make it stick this time. And I have. It’s been just over a year. I found this site, and of course realised that I had tapered too quickly. But thinking come what may, I trudged on. In March and April of this year I got the weirdest muscle aches. It had all the hallmarks of fibromyalgia and so I was convinced I had that, but then realising it was probably withdrawal. It suddenly went away, and May, June and July were really good, I was thinking “Yeah, I beat it!”. Then, as I started work after the summer, I had 5 weeks on a very stressful project. It must have triggered something, because after it was finished I started crashing. The muscle pain came back, especially in the chest and neck, muscles hard and tight as a rock. Also my health-anxiety has slowly increased since I came off the meds, so now I’ll have weeks were I’m convinced I have a heart conditon or some form of cancer or infection. I go to the doctor a lot and he tells me I’m fine (I don’t even discuss SSRI’s with him anymore, because everytime I’ve tried he has brushed it off like so many of you are probably familiar with). And then, about a week and a half ago suddenly the muscle pain went away, but I became extremely depressed. And really suddenly too, like from one minute to the next. And it’s been fluxuating wildly ever since. Just this god awful suicidal depression. It’ll be horrible for a few hours or half a day, and then I will get a little relief. Like a nightmareish rollercoaster ride. The massive break-down of 2015 fresh in my memory like a trauma, I spiral into terrible anxiety about going back there, having to quit my job, moving back with my mother, going back to hospital, going back on cipralex just because I’ve lost all will to put up a fight against the doctors. But the little man in my head, behind the gruesome thoughts and feelings, is trying to flow with it, and I try to remember what’s really going on here - I’m in protracted withdrawal, I tapered too fast, my CNS is scrambling, I’m healing in waves and windows. As I am writing this tonight, I feel alright, but it’s sure to fluxuate again soon. I wanted to post this to tell my story, as I have found relief in all your stories. I’d like to bring updates when I can, and I’ll try to contribute to others if I feel I can add some value. In short, I hope to be a part of this community. You have all convinced me that this is indeed happening, and occasionally I have hate for my doctor for dealing me these drugs, but at the same time I know he doesn’t know any better. Everyone’s stumbling around in the dark, it seems. In 2004 there was a case for me needing medication, but in 2010 it was all my doing, not wanting to feel the effects of a break-up I took the easy route. I have to take some of the responsibility for that. I just didn’t know how powerful these drugs actually were. I know now. All the best.
  14. Hello fellow withdrawers (if that's a word), I'm Bokart and I'm here on a journey to quit my medication of Olanzapine. Down to 7,5 mg at the moment (see my signature). My story short: back in February 2015 I got admitted in psych ward due to psychosis (due to my destroyed sleep because of my night-shift work). There began my involuntary medication of Olanzapine, which pulled me out of a psychosis, so at least it did some good. I was released from the hospital after two weeks of being there. Now, after jojoing with my olanzapine dose (see signature), I'm finally set to quit it for good. I found this community after searching for succesfull withdrawal stories on the internet and found this community to be great, people being helpful and supportive and giving good advice... I know it can get rough when I approach smaller doses so I do know I will need support. And hopefully I can give support too and offer people hope after and during my taper. I know lots of people are in the same boat as me. Why I want to quit? I got no sexuality anymore, my motivation lacks big time, even personal hygiene is suffering because of that. I can't memorize things like before - learning is difficult. I have very little emotions left in me, basically I'm a dumbed down version of myself nowadays with this drug. I have little social skills - which I would badly need because I plan on working with children in school so some situational awareness is needed (I might have to quit my studies due to me making no progress in my studies... due to this drug). No happines, no enjoying things, lethargy and demotivation... About my psychosis, after it was gone I haven't had any symptoms of it returning (like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations), even after trying to quit my drug cold turkey once, which I see as a good sign. Now I don't want to slip into psychosis again so I need to be extra careful with my taper. After I hit 5,625 mg I will go on tapering by feeling, so no reductions until I feel stable enough. My main concern is sleep. I have a prescribed medication of temazepam (a benzodiazepine), which I can use when my insomnia has hit a threshold of needing immediate attention. I'm trying to limit my use of it to every three days to prevent tolerance and dependence (I know benzodiazepine withdrawals can be bad). But the thing is, lack of sleep led me to psychosis once, so it is a big deal to me. I need at least one night on a while to hit at least 4 hours of uniterrupted sleep, which 40 mg of temazepam does. I've tried many other sleep aids such as low to medium dose of quietiapine (no effect), low to medium dose of levomepromazine (didn't help), low dose of doxepine (no effect), even melatonine and l-tryptophan and 5-htp and none of those helped. One thing that helped me though was phenibut combined with temazepam - I slept 13 hours with that combination! So I know I have an emergency brakes on my train now (assuming that combination works again, haven't taken phenibut in 2 months to avoid tolerance and dependency), but I'm planning on limiting the use of this combination to once a month. On this dose of 7,5mg I'm currently having 2-3 hours of good uninterrupted sleep plus 3-4 hours of bad, constantly waking up kind of sleep So, thank you all for being here! And I wish a speedy recovery to those who are withdrawing from their drugs, we are all here together.
  15. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/spent-last-nine-years-trying-come-prescription-drugs/amp/ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/i-stopped-taking-antidepressants-after-18-years-it-didnt-go-as-planned-cc73m6gf3 https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/news.sky.com/story/amp/i-was-in-absolute-hell-the-effect-of-coming-off-antidepressants-11688078 https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7084027/amp/SARAH-VINE-Royal-College-Psychiatry-decision-severe-effects-antidepressants.html *There was also another article by a UK male tv personality that described antidepressant withdrawal as “really dark” but I cant find it anywhere. I recall he was interviewed on UK tv “This Morning”. Sarah Vine, wife of UK politician is also vocal about her struggles to come off: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7084027/amp/SARAH-VINE-Royal-College-Psychiatry-decision-severe-effects-antidepressants.html Australia: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/nausea-panic-tears-why-wasn-t-i-warned-about-antidepressant-comedown-20190207-p50w97.html Does anyone have knowledge of Professor Derelie Mangin’s study? I spoke to Professor Derelie Mangin from McMaster University in Canada, who has led the first rigorous, long-term trial of withdrawal, as to why this may be. “Drug companies really only have a mandate to their shareholders to do the trials that will bring the drugs onto the market,” she explained. “The system is not structured for anyone to have responsibility. Given the lengths of time that these drugs have been on the market, it’s extraordinary that we still don’t have the kind of evidence that we need.”
  16. Ok so 10 weeks ago i halved my dose of citalopram from 20mg (which i was taking for 1 year) to 10mg after a fast taper for about 4 weeks alternating doses each day from 20mg to 10mg. Which after reading the info on here i now know was a bad idea. At first i felt a bit off but nothing too serious for about 6 weeks. Since then I've gradually felt worse. Syptoms are headache, fatigue, tired, anxiety, irritable, depressed and feeling a bit better for say an hour then feeling like crap again! I have been through a stressful time in my personal life lately and wondoring if it could be that. Im wondering if i should reinstate to my previous dose or hold on 10mg. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  17. ________________________________________________ See this post regarding mouthguard issues ________________________________________________ Hi there, all through my withdrawal my right ear has felt blocked,although is actually isnt so my doc says, but since last October i feel like my ears have both become a lot worse, constant pressure/pain in both. Today it is driving me insane as the pain is in my ears, head,jaw and gums. Ok so iv had allergies all my life ie hay fever and cat allergies but can never remember it affecting my ears like this so im not sure if seasonal allergies are to blame, but then again it was snowing this winter and they were bad then too. This comes and goes but seems to be pretty persistent for the last 9 months now and it isn't shifting. Does anyone else suffer badly with their ears? i know the blocked feeling is common in withdrawal but not sure if many have the pressure?
  18. Hi All , I need your help ! I was on low dose of Amitriptyline ( 10 mg ) from Sept 29 th to Nov 9th , approx for 1 month. Was given this for low grade vascular headache Now I am 2 months off the drug , but still have issues. Approx 2 weeks post stopping the drug i started having severe tinnitus in both ears and still have it now , light sensitivity , brain fog , difficulty in concentration I had anxiety which I feel has been reduced since beginning of January. I got my tests done for MRI and all health tests everything came out clean , visual tests and macula degeneration tests also done Opthamologist message : Amitriptyline is neuro and ototoxic : your body will wean it eventually , he said it will take a month and I was actually getting better but BAM ! Jan 3rd week I was down in dumps again November Post stopping the drug : No Changes , just little bit of fogginess , headache Dec 1st week to 2nd Week : Muscle pain /drowsiness dec 3rd week to Dec 4 th week ( worst ) : i had grainy vision ( visual snow ) only on walls may be and then night vision was pathetic , brain zaps I was miserable was in dumps . Jan 1st week to 2nd week : On Jan 2nd when I work up my anxiety was gone ( its been better ) and getting better and my grainy vision I felt had subsided , I continued to move on ahead with the tinnitus and less snow Jan 3rd week to now : Suddenly I felt my vision dimness has got better ( I could feel this ) , the places i thought was previously dim was bright , and along with this the snow also became more , for example I an see sparse dots in day light and also when I look at my computer screen , and the walls have gone bad, not sure why this happened, shoulder pain , eye fatigue , dizziness , like when I close my eyes I see patterns and circle , when I m in REM braiz zaps after images ( both negative and positive)[ the symptoms I faced in Jan was not faced before in my life ] All the above symptoms Never had them in months of Oct, Nov Tinnitus : More Muscle Pain More Due to which : I'm nervous and anxious Issues I have now : Tinnitus more on left now , previously more on right , afterimages , vision snow ( bothers me the most ) and I know its not more than many of ul here , lil bit anxiety due to all this issues Disclaimer : I didn't know amitriptyline was an antidepressants until the 7th day of me taking it , I forgot to check it up online . Never done drugs in past , not smoked , no alcohol , I was a independent girl doing things on my own but now I'm so dependant on my family for everything I hope I get over this , I'm only 29 never had issues like this .
  19. Grayskies

    Feels like waking up

    I have just read almost all of “Prozac backlash” and It kind of blew my mind. I am sure this is old news for most of you on this site, I just had no idea. I also had tried to go off Effexor pretty much cold turkey and basically was a ball of nerves, sobbing uncontrollably the whole time. I thought at the time, “my anxiety must really be this bad, i guess i really cannot function without my AD.” OMG. I had no idea this was such a universal experience for people to go through such difficulty when trying to get off them. And to try to do this without any coping skills too? That was entering a losing battle. I am now seeing a therapist and I feel empowered to do this for the first time in my life. Having this community is really great too, to know it’s hard to do for all of us. For the first time in my life I suddenly see that this has been a lie I have told myself for years, that I need these to function. I always assumed “some people need meds for mental health and some don’t.” Reading this book demonstrating the actual figures for people who manage their depression/anxiety without meds is truly uplifting for me. I have had a rough month trying to start the taper. Someone tried to attack me at my job (this has never happpened to me before) and I was quite affected by it, starting to feel my anxiety sky rocket even on my full dose. This event set off some really tough emotions for me as I already have a stressful job and have been working on ways to move to something less stressful for me. For financial reasons, I need to stick with it for another 1.5 years. I feel pretty angry and anxious the first few days after a taper, I have noticed and the lightening strike emotions are there. I think mindfulness and encouraging self-talk in preparation for this possibility is key for me. Like positive visulations, even practice (role play) like what will i say if XYZ happens. I am on 121.5 mg of my effexor right now which is the second taper I have done. Much of my focus has been on the bad sides of my withdrawal. I go to Zumba pretty religiously and yesterday in my class I felt something I haven’t felt for a very long time—- it was joy. I felt joyful as I moved, and used my body, and felt alive. I felt free. I realized that this feeling has been covered up for some time in addition to my demons I am now facing. I was sitting in the sunshine with my dog and drinking coffee, listening to the birds sing, and I thought.. this is truly a perfect moment. It has been so difficult for me to feel moved in any way for the last 7 years. And in the back of my head I can feel my anxiety telling me “this won’t last, you could still be in trouble, you could still be unsafe...” And I am letting myself just for now to feel alive, like I am waking up.
  20. Blondiee1915

    Dating in WD

    Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone had any experience dating while being in WD? I am still not feeling great and have long way to go but I am better than where I was a year ago and was thinking about trying to go on a date and meeting someone special. It gets lonely and I am in my early 30s and get worried that the clock is ticking and I will end up as a lonely woman with 30 cats and dogs. I struggle with fatigue, anxiety, dizziness and some dp/dr. I got an advice that I should try to live as of a normal life as I can and get myself out there. Of course easier said than done. Maybe it can help to take my mind off things, but then I worry about how do I explain to that person that I cannot hang out bc I am not feeling well and going through WD or that I cannot drink? Maybe it is better to wait until I am much better, but at the same time I do not know when this will be. Any experience and advice will be greatly appreciated. B.
  21. Nevertoolate

    Nevertoolate: Lexapro

    I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  22. I work around a lot of physically vulnerable people, and don't want to expose them to the flu. So, in most years, I get a flu shot. But I'm nervous about getting the shot while I'm doing my AD taper. Has anyone else gotten a flu shot while tapering? Did you react differently compared with when you'd previously had the shot? Did it aggravate your WD symptoms? Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. -Mtnbkr
  23. Hey all, Looking for some advice and encouragement :(. Just to give you some dates and background. October-November 2016 - suffered sudden hearing loss that was treated with high doses of prednisone. Caused me to have severe anxiety and panic attacks, which I'd never had before. November 2016 - Went to a psychiatrist on encouragement of my doctor since I was having so many side effects from the treatment from my hearing loss. Psych told me to take 50mg Zoloft for 3-6 months. Upon starting Zoloft, I started feeling really depressed, jittery, anxious, fatigued, etc. Felt really terrible. January 2017 - Evened out on Zoloft and started feeling pretty good again. June 2017 - Was told my treatment was over and was told to just stop taking Zoloft. I was told just to quit cold turkey. June-August 2017 - Became very depressed (but was still functional), sensitive, crying spells, obsessive thinking etc. Things I never had before. Didn't know that I was possibly experiencing withdrawal and that I hadn't tapered. September 2017 - Doctor recommended I take 10mg Lexapro. On day 1 of 5mg, all my depressive symptoms went away, but the drug made me feel very anxious. Never went up to 10mg. Stayed on 5 mg for 2 months and then took 2.5 mg for 3 weeks and then got off. November 2017 - Stopped taking Lexapro entirely. Since then it's been a rough journey. Sometimes feel very depressed, sometimes very anxious, and sometimes fine. It makes me very angry because I didn't experience depression at all before I started taking the first anti-depressant. I'm doing what I think I should be doing to manage and let things take their course. I exercise, see friends, am working, etc. But there are some days it's just really tough. I don't want to go back on another drug because I'm 100% convinced that these drugs are the cause of these issues to begin with and I don't want to be on this crazy train for years and years. I know I took substantially lower doses of these drugs than other folks, but I'm generally extremely sensitive to all forms of medication. Is there anything anyone can recommend to help me get through this, so that I can help with my recovery? Is there anything else to do besides "just dealing with it?" Any supplements, herbal remedies, exercises, relaxation techniques anyone can recommend? I'm currently taking vitamin d, magnesium, and tumeric. Doing running, yoga, weighlifting, swimming. And trying to take it easy. Any love, support, and advice would be very much appreciated. All the best, Michael Try
  24. tryingtosurvive

    Writing a book together?

    Hi, have you too been damaged by SSRI? Would you be interested sharing your story in a book together with other people ? To get these stories out there, to warn and help others as well as informing the autorities in the debate that we are quite many who's lives has been destroyed by SSRI... Reply here or send me a pm if interested! /Trying to survive and live!
  25. Hello Surviving Antidepressant friends Around 18 months ago I posted this thread desperately seeking help for tapering gone wrong. I had been on a treatment dose of 300mg of Effexor, which I had reduced around 80%. I went to a psychiatrist to seek advice on tapering and bridging and he told me the amount I was on was almost nothing and there would be no issue if I tapered off over a couple of weeks. That caused the worst withdrawal I have ever had, including what felt like 48 hours of suicidal panic attacks and inability to sleep. My memory from that time is blurry. Anyway. After that I tapered back on to Effexor until the worst of the discontinuation syndrome subsided, which ended up being back up to 10mg, or 30 beads. I stayed that way for around 8 months before trying to go off again. I would take my dose every morning in the same place, around the same time, by pouring out the little beads onto my hand, counting them, taking them, then brushing my teeth. The next time I started going off I reduced by 1-3 beads every 3-4 days (more at the beginning, fewer at the end). I also conducted a little placebo conditioning experiment with myself, where I replaced the lost beads with white 100s and 1000s (I think Americans call them sprinkles?). I figured, after reading up on the classical conditioning mechanism in the placebo effect, that the eight months of "ritual" around taking the drug might be sufficient to allow the placebo sugar beads to have the same effect as the drug on my brain. Once there were no more drug beads I continued "taking" the 100s and 1000s each morning for a few weeks. I'm not going to recommend the placebo approach outright for obvious reasons (I am not a doctor or scientist; my understanding of the placebo effect is probably rudimentary). However, in my specific case, the experience of going from 30 beads to 0 beads, was a million times better the second time than the first. Other factors that likely helped: It was about 5 times slower than the first time; I had adjusted to the 30 bead dose before I started; I took even longer gaps between reductions of the last beads; I was not working as much as I went through this process. Now. While it was easier than the first time, it was still not easy. I felt churned up emotionally and was super irritable, I had rage flashes, my anxiety increased hugely, anhedonia returned, I had nausea, and my muscles, particularly in my legs, spasmed and twitched, often violently. I could, however, sleep for the most part, and none of these symptoms got too much in the way of life (granted I was not working very much and I work for myself anyway; it would have interfered if I worked for someone else). It helped to know that if I could just get through those few weeks then things would probably get better. These symptoms lasted around 2 weeks after the final drug dose, which was early April 2017. And things did get better. For me, most of the side effects of the drugs have now gone. Most significantly, my sense of self and my creativity have returned. It had felt like they were being numbed or muted by the drugs, and I couldn't access them. Off the drugs I now have access to them. Similarly, my ability to enjoy sex has improved, and I don't feel like that side of me is muted either. The above is really tremendous; feeling like yourself again instead of a weird muted robot alien is a big relief. However, while I consider the drug withdrawal to be 100% successful and 100% the right decision for me, I should caveat that with the following context: The drugs appeared to be muting extreme unresolved emotional distress, both from childhood stuff and from rape and sexual assault from a few years ago. The pain from this sort of exploded when the drugs went away. My primary diagnoses are anxiety and major depression, but it appears even those were symptoms of childhood stuff. When I came off the drugs it was the first time I had been drug free in around 13 years. I am highly sensitive and have a big emotional world, but I never learned how to regulate stimulation and emotion, and then had it muted by drugs. When I came off the drugs the emotions and stimulation were pretty extreme and often overwhelming. I took from that that I should learn skills of emotion regulation though, rather than that I should go back on the drugs. Even with only 3-4 months of practice, I am hugely improved and the emotions and stimulation overwhelm me much less frequently. (Now they inform my creative work and my service work, and are real positive assets for me, albeit ones that require sensitivity and management.) I have the great privilege of being able not to work for a while while I recover fully, which is lucky because I cannot currently work. I put that down to unresolved trauma that has now come to the fore rather than drug withdrawal. I am doing deep dive work with my psychologist that is helping more than any other talk therapy I've done, and I think that work will be sufficient to return me to work eventually. I see her weekly. That work is also subsidised by the government because it is about recovery from sexual trauma, meaning for now I do not pay anything for it (another enormous privilege). I have a partner who is extraordinarily supportive and gets what is happening for me. He judges fair contribution to the relationship by reference to each partner's capacity, and thinks that because he has more capacity right now it is fair that he do more housework, financial contribution etc than me. This has allowed me not to push myself beyond capacity, which has meant I have recovered more quickly. In conclusion, while I am currently not working and my capacity to do a lot of things is severely restricted, I could not be happier that I am off the drugs. I feel like I have real issues (childhood trauma and sexual trauma) that require serious work, but now I feel like I am actually properly addressing them, instead of having them be muted yet just as destructive. I also no longer have the drug side effects interfering with my ability to enjoy things, make music and comedy, have intimacy with my partner, meaning recovery feels more authentic and there is more joy in it. Things still hurt a lot, but my world feels real in a way it wasn't on the drugs. It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't come off these drugs before. In simple terms: I have hope. I can experience joy and enjoyment. I am excited about what the rest of my life might bring. Even while I know that I am in the middle of pretty extreme emotional upheaval and trauma processing, life is better than it has ever been. I am finally able to be fully, authentically myself, in ways that the drugs (and the trauma and mental health issues) got in the way of. I am optimistic.
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