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  1. Hi All, I've been reading this forum for a while and the topics here have been indispensable, especially regarding dealing with withdrawal symptoms as I prepare myself for a slow taper off of my remaining dose. Pre-backstory I’m in my early 20s and I just graduated college in late 2014 with a high GPA and a degree in Computer Science. I’ve got a strong resume with projects under my belt. I should be starting my career right now but can’t due to antidepressant withdrawal, but I keep telling myself that I will get better and it will happen, I just need some more time to heal mentally and spiritually. Backstory On January 1st of this year (2015) I suffered the first panic attack of my life. I’ve always had weird heart flutters and missed beats, so I thought I was having a heart attack and dying. The day that I had this awful panic attack, I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t eat much that day (triggers, I know). I also smoked pot regularly (I am clean now) which in retrospect I figure could be messing with my seratonin. I had bad depersonalization that day, basically forgot who I was for a few hours, and over the next month or so I was bedridden feeling shaky every day, suffering a chain of panic attacks in bed. I was immediately prescribed ativan (lorazepam) to help dull the panic attacks, and shortly thereafter, desperate for something to stop the chain of panic attacks, I was prescribed Lexapro. I took the Lexapro 5mg for the first week and 10mg for the second week, and basically over the next few months my panic attacks got generally better but my mental health got generally worse. My doctor upped me to 20mg Lexapro and I got so disoriented and out-of-it that my mom had to start walking me up to the door of my therapy appointments, because I didn’t feel like I could do it alone. I decided to taper down off the Lexapro because my panic attacks had basically vanished, the Lexapro was causing some bad side effects (at higher doses making me confused and disoriented all the time, at the lower doses mostly just preventing me from getting decent sleep, so I was feeling tired all the time). I felt like the panic attacks would probably not come back, since I was on a good new pattern of diet, exercise, supplements (fish oil, magnesium, probiotic and multivitamin), and I also stopped smoking weed completely, which I think may have been a big contributor to the initial panic attack. Anyways, I had miraculous success taking the dosage down from 20mg to 10mg, from 10mg to 5mg, and from 5mg to 2.5mg, with almost no withdrawal effects. The side effects improved steadily with each dosage decrease, and I’m very grateful that I had so little trouble getting down this far. The big trouble started happening about a month ago. I had thought that I had tapered down successfully from 2.5mg because I felt pretty great for 3 weeks on 1.25mg (¼ of a 5mg pill) with no discernible withdrawal symptoms (Sept 9 2015 to Sept 29 2015). On my psychiatrist’s suggestion, I dropped the lexapro completely (0mg) on Sept 30 and I felt worse and worse for about 4 days. On the 4th day I almost had a panic attack, and I felt so depressed and shaky that I took a small fragment of my pill to try to stave off the symptoms. Literally 15 minutes after taking the pill fragment I went from feeling terrible to feeling great, browsing the internet on my phone. So I stabilized again on 1.25mg after about 5 days, or so I thought. 1.25mg (¼ of a tiny 5mg pill) is terribly difficult to measure - there was one time I wasn’t sure if I even took my pill fragment or if it fell on the floor, since it was so small I couldn’t feel it on my tongue. So I started pushing it against the roof of my mouth so I could be sure it was actually in my mouth. But that made it start to disintegrate before it hit my stomach, so… basically I think that my true dosage was getting really uneven. I felt really tired some days and needed naps, and other days I felt mostly fine. So I figured I could get a more consistent dose if I switched to the liquid, which my psychiatrist prescribed for me. Latest Chapter So on 10/28/2015 I switched to the liquid. I figured that the liquid form would be much more readily absorbed by my body than the pill fragments and I was right. I started out with 1.2mg of the liquid and it felt like way too much (cloudy head, sleepy all day), so over the course of 2 days I lowered it to 0.9mg, which felt pretty fine for 5 days. I felt like I was getting better and that I could even start driving and running errands around town with my mom again if I just waited a few more days. On 11/4 I made a really, really stupid headstrong decision. I felt like I could reduce my symptoms even more if I just reduced the dose by a tiny bit further. So that day I cut from 0.9mg to 0.8mg (which in hindsight was a HUGE cut especially considering how recently I had changed the dose before that). The depression came back in such full force that I immediately had to put the dose back up to 0.9mg 2 days later, but reupping the dose didn’t help at that point. I continued to get worse and worse (more depression/anxiety) until my mom pointed out that I was only eating like 800 calories every day - I knew that my appetite was shot, but I had no idea I was eating so little. On 11/11 I started counting calories and now I’m getting at least 2000 per day, with an ultimate goal of 2500. I upped the lexapro from 9mg to 9.5mg daily and the crippling depression is partway gone now. Anyways now it’s 11/14 and I think I’m seeing some progress, but I can never be sure, and these symptoms are very difficult to work through every day. Today Over the last few days, every morning I wake up nauseous and depressed, and every night I get anxious and need to take a 0.5mg lorazepam to calm down. Progress is slow for me and I’m impatient, but I keep trying to remind (convince?) myself that my body is working very hard to right itself chemically, and that if I just hold this dose and don’t do anything else stupid with it, I will feel a little better by next week, and yet a little better by the week after. I could really use some reassurance though :/ My First Question I’m taking 0.95mg in 2 doses daily (0.475mg at 11am and 0.475mg at 1:30pm). On 0.95mg I feel like my seratonin levels are very unbalanced (depressed/hopeless in the morning, decent around noon, anxious by afternoon/evening). When I accidentally took my second lexapro dose at about 4pm one day instead of 1:30pm, that night I went into a drug-trip kind of sleep (almost like an alternate reality) which was a little scary but most of all exhausting and made me feel disoriented and confused and anxious the next day. As of the last few days, I wake up after vivid dreams exhausted, not at all rested, depressed, and with a burst of adrenaline. Will my body actually be able to get used to such a low 0.95mg dose taken mostly towards the beginning of the day like this? If I just stick it out for another week or two, my mood will start to level out again so that I’m not getting these big daily mood swings, right? If not, where do I go from here? Thank you everyone for your support.
  2. Hi everyone, I'm wanting advice on how to taper if my withdrawal symptoms are delayed - ie they occur several months after the taper is completely finished. If I have no symptoms during taper, should I proceed to the 'Fast Taper' guidelines (4 weeks x2, then 3weeks x2, then 2 weeks x2, then weekly until done)? In the past I have thought I was relapsing, and resumed the medication. Now I understand it was probably WD from too fast a taper (4 months). Any thoughts? Tikki Tikki
  3. December 15 started lexapro 5mg for panic attacks and anxiety. One week after notice mild hamstring soreness two weeks after severe hamstring soreness, (maybe restless leg)?, and full body joint pain. I was basically bedridden and went to a clinic where they tested me for the flu, I tested negative. I quit taking the pills after two days of this. The symptoms subsided a bit over the next week then suddenly got bad again a week after discontinuation. I had Burning skin sensation, severe restless legs or hamstring pain, and joint pain that feels like theflu. Currently I'm a few days from three weeks after stopping and can barely sleep because the pain is so great. I'm terrified this is something else because no Dr will admit that this **** drug is poison and "there is no documented case of this happening" WELL ITS HAPPENING TO ME SO DOCUMENT IT! The pain I would describe is me, a 27 year old male, feels like I just turned 99 years old. I'm calling my mom daily crying about not being able to sleep and being in constant pain. Has anyone had anything like this after a short and low dose? I'm really afraid I have some other terminal illness. Besides anxiety about this pain, I haven't actually had a panic attack in a while.
  4. Hello all, after much reading and looking around I finally mustered the courage and concentration to post my account. It all Started around August of 2016. My doctor had put me on Viibryd due to the sexual side effects that I had experienced from being on Trintellix. I have to say, I really did well on Trintellix . Everything was coming together. I think I was in a really good place in my life and everything felt like it was going to fall into place sooner or later. During this period I remember having an overwhelming sense of optimism. So believing that antidepressants are harmless off I went onto my next one, Viibryd Boy, little did I know the hell that would ensue. Shortly thereafter I started to experience hair falling out. Then the hip, and joint paint. All the while feeling like a numb zombie the entire time. I talked to my doctor about the side effects. She stated the hair loss was not a known side effect of the Viibryd therefore it was not possible. The joint and the hip pain she said would go away just like the extreme gastro side effects I had in the beginning. She recommended I go to the “therapeutic” dose which was 40 mg. Me being the good little guinea pig I was, I obliged. This only spiraled into further and stronger side effects. The straw that broke the camels back was that one day I started to feel severe burns in my skin. It really felt like my skin was burning, not just an itchy rash but actual burning sensations. All over my arms, back, and scalp. I had enough! At this point I said to myself I would no longer take whatever this poison was, I simply couldn’t. I was terrified. So at that moment I decided that no withdrawal could be worse than the hell I had been through in the past 2 months of taking Viibryd. So I decided that the best thing to do was to quit all antidepressants, cold turkey. Boy do I regret that dearly. I think it was a couple of days after my last dose that I began to experience erectile dysfunction. I didn’t really begin experiencing any real withdrawal symptoms until after about 3 weeks. Then it all hit me hard like a ton of bricks. First was the eye problems/pain. For me I couldn’t see out of my contact lenses anymore. It’s almost as if my eyeball had swollen, I remember the contact lenses would just not fit, it felt like they were just dancing around my eye. I could not get them to stabilize and I just couldn’t see properly. I think for me, aside from the horrible anxiety, this was the most devastating symptom. I know I experienced at least a dozen symptoms simultaeously these are only a few of them. - Hair loss - Not being able to see in low light - dozens of eye floaters - sensitivity to loud noises - Seeing Halos - Erectile dysfunction - constant brain fog - memory loss - carpel tunnel like symptoms - pins and needles under my feet, legs, and arms - hand pain In the cold - dizziness/off balance And the the list goes on and on but these We’re the lasting side effects. I’m happy to report that most of these symptoms have greatly diminished. Had this been a couple of months ago I would’ve said many were completely gone. However, it appears that I was experiencing what is referred to on this site as a window. Fast forward 2 years and I was inpatient I’m the psych ward for suicidal ideation. This hospitalization further taught me that doctors really don’t know what the hell theyre doing, especially when it comes to psychiatry. It has been over 2 years since my last dose of Viibryd and I’m still dealing w/ the overwhelming withdrawals symptom till this day. Some days are better some days are worse, but I can definitely agree w/ the windows and waves. So here I am reaching out to you guys because I thought by now I would be completely healed. Sadly I have to report that I have not. Furthermore, I have to say I am so impressed w/ the layout, organization, and overall insight of those that contribute to this forum. I feel like I finally understand what is happening to me and I am compelled to share my experience. I also hope to find answers and serve as support for those going through this hellish journey! May we all heal and be restored to our previous lives.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. "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??????????
  8. misscathleen

    misscathleen: taper

    Hello, I'm a 39-year old mom of 2. Been on lamictal since my 3-year old was born in 2014 and when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression (ppd). Wasn’t ever diagnosed with bipolar, but had bad experience with an SSRI and my pdoc suggested lamictal was the way to go. I had very mixed feelings because I was nursing, but I felt so terrible and needed something. I have two daughters and need to be available to them. I made it up to 225mgs and that’s when the last of the ppd symptoms subsided, which was morning anxiety. Been at 225mgs, taking my entire dose at night, for about 2 years. Since all this started, I’ve had moodiness around the time right before or right after my menstrual cycle, which leads me to believe my symptoms were/are due to hormonal shifts. I’ve been talking about tapering for at least a year and my pdoc finally agreed. I started to taper with the help of my pdoc in late Feb 2018. She suggested to taper from 225mgs to 200. Did that for a few weeks and felt good so I started a little more aggressive taper by myself. Moved down to 175mgs and stuck there for 2 weeks, still felt great. Tapered again to 150 and felt fine for 2-3 days and then (2 days ago) I was hit by a ton of bricks. Headaches, dizziness, weird sensations almost out of body, fogginess, morning anxiety, general feelings of blah. Last night I took 150 and then went back up to 175mgs by taking 25mgs this morning because I feel so awful. I plan to hold at 175mgs at night until otherwise suggested. I found your site a while back and it made me aware of the importance of a slow taper. But then I was feeling so great I thought I might be one of the “lucky ones” and didn’t need to taper so slowly. Apparently not! So I’m back and committed to a slow taper even though I want to be off this medicine like crazy. I’m looking forward to hearing any feedback, and I’m in need of help on how, mathematically, to taper. I get the 10% reduction over 4 weeks but the math confuses me. Thanks for reading this!
  9. I have been on citalopram since 2009 then it stopped working. The Dr put me on citalopram and mirtazapine combination which worked for a while then that stopped working. The Dr then put me on mirtazapine and Venlafaxine 150mg XL combination which workes for a while again ans then stopped working. The Dr put me on amitriptyline 50mg saying thay would be the best drug for me while i took 8 months to slowly remove each bead from Venlafaxine capsule to come off it. As soon as I took my last beed i went into crazy angry depression. The dr increased my dosage of amitriptyline from 50mg to 150mg but the side effects were horrible and at this point i got sick of these meds and decided to quit CT. I had horrible withdrawal symptoms and i started acting like a child and not being able to walk, had balance problems. I reinstated back to 50mg amitriptyline since april 2018 and i have been getting worse. I cannot sleep. My vision is so badly affected that i have grainy vision and floaters have increased dramatically . I see after images and it's as if the lights have been turned off. When i begin to fall asleep, i start to have dreams before i actually fall asleep and my brain keep. Waking up just before i am about to sleep. I cannot follow conversations, I mishear things all the time. I am totally dependant on others and i feel people think i have gone crazy. I don't know what to do i am getting worse and worse. I often trip, lose my balance. I hardly have any short term memory and cannot do simplest of things. I cannot even watch anything on TV as i cannot follow.it I'm having major concentration problems. I don't know how. I'm writing this. I cannot work or drive. Please you have no idea how i am putting these sentences together. I need urgent help. Please advice. I have no energy, no appetite. If I'm posting this in the wrong place, please accept my appology as I can hardly read and understand things. P
  10. Hello, I'm a new member in the forum. I would like to get some advises to help me get out of antidepressant. Well, It has been more than a year (started at October 2017) since I' started taking Deroxat. I succeeded to reduce my dose to 1/4 tablet by July 2018 but when i tried to stop taking it I've got headaches and some imbalance. So, I contacted my doctor and he told me that it's a relapse and told me to go back to 1/2 (10mg) tablet (which i think it was a mistake I was just fine with 1/4 (05mg)). So, I continued to take 1/2 until December 2018 and i tried to to get back to 1/4 but this time I've got headaches so I think my brain is used to 1/2 (10mg) dosage. So by reading some articles in the internet to i decided to make my own withdrawal plan so is started by taking 1/2 a day and 1/4 the next day for now I'm OK. My question is anyone on this forum tried to this type withdrawal? I'm not sure about the fact of taking different dose each day is good idea but since too week and I'm feeling OK. Attached you can find the MS excel document that I've wrote in order to motivate my self. Thanks in advance ! Deroxat Withdrawal.xlsx
  11. Hi guys, sorry this may be a long post, I think it is okay to share my story on this. I am 21 years old, a college student about to graduate, and I have been on an SSRI for about 5 years now. I was diagnosed with ADHD and GAD when I was about 12, I have always been somewhat anxious and had issues with regulating my emotions. In 2013 my girlfriend broke up with me and I was really sad and feeling hopeless. After a few months of being down and also anxious, my doctor (pediatrician) decided to put me on 5mg of Lexapro. The Lexapro seemed to help (I think?) and I recovered somewhat quickly. Over the next few years, however, my doctor fluctuated my dosage quite a bit. I would get anxious, he would up my dosage, and then I would become a zombie and he would lower it. It did seem to blunt my emotions on a high dose. Other than that it was fine. However, the summer after my freshman college, I became extremely anxious and had an existential crisis, prompting my doctor to change me over to Zoloft and Trazodone. When starting Zoloft, I took 50mg and worked up to 100mg. It possibly helped my anxiety but my emotions became blunted again (or maybe it was depression?). I did not feel hopeless or sad, but I kind of lost the ability to have pleasure over simple things. After going through a hard time on Zoloft and Trazodone feeling empty and dull, my doctor and I decided to taper off to see if that would help. Every time I tapered, we would allow three weeks to go by to see if it helped. I went from 100mg to 75mg to 50mg to 25mg and eventually to nothing. Every time I lowered, I felt a little more in touch with my emotions. With the Trazodone, I stopped cold turkey on a dose of 50mg. When I went completely off of the Zoloft and Trazodone, I started having crying episodes, brain zaps, insomnia, anxiety, occasional anhedonia/brain fog, and severe social anxiety. After a month or two, all of these symptoms went completely away (except sometimes the anhedonia/brain fog). I was doing good and feeling very in touch with my emotions. After a few months off of the Zoloft though, the school year was coming back around, and the girl I had been dating for 2 years broke up with me unexpectedly. It devastated me and left me feeling sad and hopeless. I was crying all of the time, I was thinking about her all of the time, losing the ability to feel pleasure, and had anxiety because I still saw her every day. This continued on through the semester and I went home for winter break feeling depressed and anxious. I was feeling brain fog/anhedonia, and lost overall enthusiasm for life. It got bad enough that I knew I needed help, so I started talking to a therapist (I had seen a few before this one) and it was helping. I still was depressed, but was slowly improving. I started taking Adderall again to study for a certification exam over the break and this helped boost my mood tremendously. It cleared my mind, helped with the brain fog/anhedonia, and made me feel a little more peaceful inside (less racing thoughts). My psychiatrist decided he wanted me to take Trintellix and put me on a 5mg dose. I went back to school feeling down and anhedonic again. All the progress I made during seemed to start disappearing. I stopped taking the Adderall, and once the Trintellix seemed to start working I started becoming extremely anxious. I felt extreme depersonalization, started having weird sensory problems (visual snow, eye floaters, tinnitus, and my body started fluctuating between feeling tingly and numb) and was scared. My doctor upped my dose of Trintellix to see if that would help. I ended up taking Ativan to help with the anxiety. I was feeling less anxious but still had the sensory/depersonalization problems. Not to mention, my emotions went away again. The Ativan lowered my anxiety but made me feel completely dull and emotionless. I ended up tapering off of it and feeling better after a few months, but having a lot more anxiety/sensory issues. Since this (which was earlier in the summer), I started taking Adderall because I read a lot and it seemed my problems were kind of related to Adult ADHD. I always feel internally restless and have a hard time focusing, and taking therapeutic doses (20 mg or lower) seem to calm me down and clear my mind. Not to mention, it helps with my emotional regulation problem. Overall my academics and state of mind are improving. I have lowered the Trintellix from 20mg to 10mg over two months. I have had more sensory problems and anxiety since lowering the medicine, but it seems my emotions are slowly coming back. Every now and then, I get a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of what life used to feel like. It gives me hope. But I have been so up and down for the past 5 years, I am sick of feeling so unstable. I want to have emotions again and not deal with brain fog/anhedonia and anxiety for the rest of my life. I didn't have the former problem until taking medicine. I want the sensory problems to be gone. They only started after I started taking Trintellix. I need help with tapering off I think. Does anyone have any advice for me? I want to learn to treat my depression and anxiety in natural ways, and learn to regulate my emotions better. I want to believe I can live without taking medicine for these issues, because they only seem to exacerbate them. Do I have any hope of being stable again? I always feel uneasy inside and am constantly trying to distract my mind from this. I am sick of being anxious about these weird symptoms, everyone thinks I am crazy and writes me off. Will slowly tapering help this? I long for a day that I am not constantly thinking about being better, and can handle life's ups and downs. I am not wanting to be perfect, just to be able to not always think and worry about my mental health. I am always worrying about exercising enough, meditating enough, sleeping enough, eating well enough, and lowering stress enough. I think my issues could be related to tons of different things, but it is so hard to tell when you are put on medicines that only seem to compound the issue. School has been a big source of stress/anxiety and I am almost done, so I really want to take the time to improve my physical/mental/emotional/spiritual state of mind so life is not always this rocky. Thanks for listening, sorry this was so long.
  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. LINK to scottly9999's Success Story Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  14. Hello Everyone, I always intended to return when I felt that my recovery was at such a stage as to be no longer the main focus of my existence. For me that was a sign of 'success'. I probably reached that point over a year ago. This was my original thread in 'Intro's and Updates'. Like others my withdrawal developed in clear stages:- Months 0-3: Nausea, sweating, increased energy etc Months 4 - 12: everything listed in my topic. Hell on earth. My topic doesn't do it justice. Months 12 onwards: The major symptoms (acute anxiety, suicidal ideation, chronic fatigue, intense rage, an inability to function at any level as a human being) are gone. Residual issues: my sleep is lighter and more broken than it was whilst on the AD's and pre AD's. Memory problems relating to name recall. Neither issue impacts my quality of life to any great degree. Today? I feel well, my pre-drug personality has been fully restored (for better and worse) and I deal with the emotional problems that first led me to the drugs with exercise and a well-practised shrug of the shoulders. If that fails the odd hour of stewing in a pot of my own self-pity never did me any harm! Those days are thankfully rare and are alleviated by a swift kick to my own ample arse😃 I always thought I'd write more in my 'success story' but my ordeal feels very much a part of my past now. Things have returned to normal... 'normal' in this case meaning being free from the maelstrom of chemically-induced madness that is acute withdrawal from an SSRI. Looking back that is the only way to accurately describe it. My only advice (if I may be so bold) is to never ever think what you are going through will stay the same. There will be deep despair and flickers of hope. There will be false dawns and genuine improvements. REGARDLESS, YOU WILL GET BETTER. It just takes time. As a wise-owl once wrote on here 'it takes at least a year' if you cold-turkey from these drugs after prolonged use. That's pretty much what it took for me to return to a sense of normality. The improvements in the 2nd year off the drugs were immeasurable. As Claire Weekes once wrote about recovery from nervous breakdown (and which equally applies to withdrawal-induced breakdown IMHO): "Once you are on the right road to recovery, recovery is inevitable, however protracted your illness may have been" If anyone has any questions I'm more than happy to answer them. I know how much I needed some perspective and reassurance when I was in the pit of despair. For those who supported me in my thread you will never know how much I needed and appreciated it. A huge heartfelt thanks. A huge thanks also to the owners and the mods who do such a selfless and brilliant job. . To everyone else. Keep going. It will come right. xxx
  15. Frances has written a success story for mum here. Hello. I'm supporting my mum 63 who has been experiencing some severe withdrawal symptoms these past 6 weeks. I suspected possible withdrawal but I did not know for sure until 2 weeks ago after reading work by Dr Peter Breggin. Mum was on Zoloft 14 years and Lexapro 4 years over a 20 year period. After a 6 month reduction (which mum did on her own) my mum has been completely off meds now 9+ months. Mum seemed to be doing ok, although looking back I can now see withdrawal symptoms, up until 6 weeks ago when she really hit rock bottom and I had to go pick her up. Mum's been living with me for 6 weeks. Some days are good but some are bad and bad days are awful. Mum is very thin from the anxiety she experiences on her bad days. I am keeping a diary. I'm so happy to have found this group. I'm tired though and going to bed. I look forward to reading your stories and learning more tomorrow. I am DESPERATE to know how much longer mum's withdrawal symptoms will go for? We are eating a mostly organic whole food diet with a GAPS focus. We do use 5 ml whisky in 30 ml water during desperate times.... Its been 10 months since the last med was taken. Mum sleeps thank fully and experiences some very good days among the bad ones. Frances
  16. Zoloft withdrawal success - my story When I first decided to wean myself off of Zoloft, I searched the internet for stories about people who had successfully gotten off antidepressants and had trouble finding them so I promised myself that if I made it I would post my story. Tomorrow, will mark my "no Zoloft for one year" anniversary. In that time, I haven't used alcohol or any other mood altering substance either, and I'm doing fine. It hasn't been easy, and it took a while, but I made it and I was able to function, to work and to take care of myself throughout. Diagnosed with social anxiety and depression when I was in my mid 40s, I was put on Zoloft and stayed at 200mg per day for around 5 years. The Zoloft helped me. It took the edge off of my anxiety, and since my depression was the result of my anxiety, it helped with that as well. Another pleasant side effect was that I lost a few pounds. So why would I want to stop taking it? The Nurse Practitioner who prescribed the meds was puzzled. It works, why stop taking it? I can't fully answer that question, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I've struggled with addiction my entire life. Drugs, alcohol, food... maybe I felt like by taking the Zoloft I was avoiding dealing with one of the major themes of my life. Whatever the reason, I wanted to stop taking it. I'd tried twice using the NP's tapering recommendation, which was to decrease by 50mg every week for a month. I never made it past the first week because I'd have flashes of disorientation and dizziness (which I didn't mind) and then become anxious and depressed (which I did mind). She told me Zoloft didn't cause withdrawal symptoms, it was my natural state of anxiety and depression returning, so I needed to stay on the Zoloft. I knew I was having withdrawal symptoms, but they were so intense I couldn't function, so went back on the Zoloft. Then my mother told me that she had weaned herself off of Premerin by doing a very slow taper over the course of a year, so I decided to try that. My plan was to decrease the Zoloft by 25mg every month over a period of 8 months. The first month was fine. I'd have rough patches, but they were manageable. After 8 months I was off the Zoloft but a few weeks later, I started having withdrawal symptoms including what people refer to as "brain zaps." I called them "head rushes" because it felt like my brain was being flooded by chemicals. Then I became anxious and depressed again, so I decided to go back up to the lowest dosage where I felt good, which was 50mg. Then instead of tapering at 25mg per month, I reduced it to 10mg a month, and that is how I eventually got off the Zoloft. Whenever the withdrawal symptoms became uncomfortable, I'd go back up to a "comfortable" dosage then begin tapering in smaller increments, a "progressive taper," similar to what is recommended in the book "The Anti-Depressant Solution," and on this website. Eventually I had to buy a milligram scale (available on amazon), because the increments became so small. I was amazed how sensitive my body had become to the tiniest adjustments in dosage. The last month I was down to 5mg, and I stopped taking Zoloft completely February 1, 2014. One year ago tomorrow. I was on 200mg of Zoloft for 5 years and it took 2 ½ years to taper off completely. It took a long time, but I wanted to taper safely, physically and emotionally. And I did. During that time I was able to work and to meet all my social commitments. At the suggestion of the NP, I joined a social anxiety group which used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She warned that I shouldn't go off the meds without addressing the underlying cause, which made sense to me. However, I also believe that much of my anxiety and depression was situational, even though she maintained it was my natural state. When I first came to her, I was going through an extremely stressful period of my life. I was having problems finding work and didn't know how I was going to pay my rent or survive from month to month. I went on one job interview after another and I think social anxiety and depression were my way of trying to protect myself from more rejection and failure. So how do I feel now, one year later? I'm doing okay. I occasionally get a head rush, but it's very mild. I wouldn't today describe myself as either socially anxious or depressed, but I know that this is how I react to stress, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped me develop strategies for dealing with those tendencies. 12 step programs, self help books, spiritual practices like yoga and meditation, healing modalities like Reiki, and individual therapy have all been part of my healing process as well. On this journey, life has given me both challenges and assistance in dealing with social anxiety and depression. For example, as I was tapering I started dating someone for the first time in years, and we had a fun relationship which helped heal a lot of issues relating to social anxiety. Then, after two years we broke up, so that offered its challenges, but I didn't sink into depression, which was kind of amazing. At the time, I also had bed bugs which deprived me of sleep and sent my anxiety through the roof, but I survived that too. (The bed bugs did not.) My ex-boyfriend introduced me to hiking, which I loved, so I started going to hiking meet-ups and found a circle of friends who also love to hike which helped heal a different aspect of my social anxiety. Also, becoming more physically active probably helped with the depression... In other words, life went on. There were challenges and there were opportunities and often the challenges were the opportunities. The Zoloft helped me get through a very difficult period of my life, and I'm grateful for that, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But here I am, 8 ½ years later, and I haven't used Zoloft or any mood altering drugs, alcohol or coffee (all of which affect my anxiety and depression) for a year. Today, I feel optimistic and hopeful. I know life will have it's challenges but also that I have resources and strategies to assist me, and I am grateful to all who have helped me on this journey; therapists, teachers, friends, strangers, nature, and also to life itself, which Eckhart Tolle calls "the greatest guru of all." Do I have moments of fear and anxiety? Yes! Do I have moments of happiness and joy? Yes! Do I have moments of depression and sadness? Yes! Do I have moments of laughter and silliness? Yes! All of it, yes. What I was dreading is that it would be unending anxiety and depression, and that hasn't been my experience. Life is okay, with its highs and lows and all of it. Like Snoop Dogg says, "it's all good."
  17. Dear SA members September 1, 2017 will mark one year of full withdrawal from Lexapro. ( I withdrew completely after 9 months of gradual tapering, after which I had very bad WD symptoms for about 10 months. please see my signature). I am very happy to say that things have gotten much much better, and that one year after full withdrawal I am almost symptom free! All the symptoms I had, waves, zaps, anxiety attacks, feelings of doom, insomnia, sweats, depression, are all but gone. I am enjoying a feeling of stability and well being for the first time in a couple of years. The past year has been enormously difficult. I am an older person and had my share of difficult times in life. And yet this was different, and yet taught me so much. I would like to share with you my learning and some of the processes I have been through. As you will see below, one of the main factors for my improvement was actually this forum. So, I write with deep gratitude to you people, for sharing your suffering and your knowledge, and with a profound wish for health and well-being for all of you. It IS possible to get better. Below is a list of the factors which have helped me overcome WDS. They are not necessarily in any specific order. It will be a bit long, so, I apologize in advance. I think this list just reaffirms everything I learned from this website, but still, I think it is important to hear everyone's version... 1. THIS FORUM. I stumbled into this forum accidentally, while searching the web for information about withdrawal (it was my second attempt.) I found this forum extremely important in providing information, support , ideas, and HOPE. It opened for me a new way of thinking. There were days this year when signing in and reading was a life saver. I didn't feel so alone and crazy. I guess there are other forums and sites, but SA did it for me, no doubt. My learning from this is: Get as much information as possible about your condition and symptoms! Knowing is power. Second: Don't be alone with your condition. Being alone weakens and frightens you. Sharing, asking questions, reading about others' experience is a powerful source of support. 2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. It was one of the most powerful tools during hell time: Being in contact with my body, via daily physical activity. In my case: daily walks (with intermittent jogging) and yoga practice. This activity was very helpful to get me out of spiraling anxiety and depression. Just being outside, seeing and breathing some nature, has an enormous tranquilizing effect. Please note: DAILY! I haven't stopped daily exercise, even though I am better now, and I never will stop. I enjoy it so much. I learned to build up a strong connection with my body, as much as possible. Although our body is suffering during WD, it is one of our most powerful allies. Our body knows! 3. MINDFULNESS. Mindful meditation was also a main pillar of strength. I have been meditating for a couple of years, but this year I took up to it regularly, (meaning, first thing in the morning, everyday, for at least 15 minutes, up to 45 minutes). Its effect is not only relaxing, but it builds a consistent, stable, observing YOU that doesn't go through the emotional rollercoaster. Slowly but surely, I developed a tiny me that could say, even during the worst moments: I see that I am feeling like hell...and not identify with the bad feelings. Just observe them and let them dissolve in time. A big part of this is being kind and nonjudgmental to yourself. Learning: If anything, this horrible WDS is a golden opportunity to know and befriend yourself. Mindful meditation is something that will stay with me for good. Not only it is enormously helpful, but it is a revelation. It is no less than re-discovering yourself and the meaning of life. BTW, there is a ton of literature about the use of mindfulness in anxiety and depression. You can research the web about it. I really recommend Jon Kabat Zin. Check him out in youtube. He wrote some very good books. 4. KINDRED SOULS. Being around people was not easy during the last year. I pretty much distanced myself from anybody that gave me, even slightly, bad vibes for whatever reason. I didn't go out to busy and noisy places. BUT I was lucky to have a couple of good and generous friends whom I told about my condition and were there for me in many ways: sharing, phoning, being with me, encouraging ..My family was a great source of hope and sense of meaning. My learning is that It was, and is, very crucial not to be alone, if at all possible. I learned to ask for help (wasn't my strong side up until then). In fact I learned to accept I NEED help from people. So, actually, this bad withdrawal trip caused me to be more close to my loved ones. 5. MEDICATION AND FOOD SUPPLEMENTS. About medications: During the course of withdrawal I also withdrew from PPI's which I was taking for 10 years ("thanks" to doctor's recommendations). So I am, for now, completely free of medications which makes me very very happy. My attitude to medications, pharma, doctors, and that whole department has changed radically. Although I realize that there are good and life=saving medications and procedures, I am now in the view that I will use them only if there is absolutely no other way. I really lost my trust in the medical system and will try to stay away from it as much as I can. I will avoid visiting a doctor as much as is in my power. I opt for alternative health care (naturopathy, chinese medication etc.) Supplements: Omega helped with brain zaps. These continued for a long while, and still pay me a little weakened visit here and there, especially before falling asleep. Magnesium helped with muscle pains at night. Taurine helped with morning anxiety. Information about supplements was obtained via SA forum. I think it is important to check on your vitamin-mineral levels and inform yourself about the benefits and effects of supplements. There is so much help obtained from supplements, and the doctors usually know nothing about it. Or dismiss it. 6. EATING WELL. My experience is that a good diet was really helpful: For me the main thing was eliminating sugars from my diet, including sugars coming from certain carbohydrates, alcohol, etc. Clearing the sugar was really powerful in stabilizing my physical-mental system. The main elements in my diet were (and remain): Vegetables and fruit, whole grains, nuts, fish. Tons of water. 7. SLEEPING AND RESTING. For the first time in my life I had sleeping problems during WD. I never experienced this before, and therefore was terrified. I worked this out by trying all kinds of natural supplements and an occasional sleeping pill when things got really bad. For a while melatonin helped. Sometimes Valerian. Then taurin and magnesium taken together. The main thing for me was NOT TO PANIC when I couldn't sleep! I learned, like with any other symptom, that it will resolve itself after a while. I stayed away from computers before sleep, took warm showers, had tea, read good books, darkened my bedroom. Even more important, - I tried not to exert myself at work or anywhere else. Resting was crucial. Not demanding anything from myself that felt too difficult. Trying to give your body and mind as much rest as possible, is I think really important. 8. SYMPTOMS. Most of my symptoms are gone. They disappeared gradually and slowly. Still a weakened form of brain zap here and there. Nothing like before. The waves and windows grew more distant until completely gone. In the process, anxiety gave place to depression, So I had depressive bouts towards month 10 of withdrawal. At the moment I still suffer from tinnitus, which developed during tapering. I don't know whether it is withdrawal related or not. I try to ignore it. I remain quite sensitive to: loud noise, strong light, certain anxiety producing events (separations and endings of all sorts), toxic people, crowded places. ___________________________________________ So, I think this about sums it up. (I might have forgotten something) As I wrote in the beginning of this message, I now enjoy a general feeling of well being. I feel happy to have overcome this syndrome. I keep a cautious attitude though, because who knows, a "wave" may reappear at any given moment. But I feel more confident, as time goes by, that by now my body has pretty much recovered, and that I have obtained some resilience and some tools to deal with what may come. I don't feel euphoria or a feeling of "happy end" at all! Life goes on, with its setbacks and frustrations and good and happy moments, that's all. But the very dark and frightening feelings and sensations are gone. Paradoxically I can feel grateful for having learned so much, for having discovered new meanings for my life, for having been challenged and having taught myself to meet a serious challenge. And there will be more to come... Thank you again people for being here. I know a little bit about your suffering. Please hold on to hope and be patient. Things will change, as they always do. Even if you don't believe in it now. Thank you moderators for doing such an important and generous work. You made an enormous difference for me. I wish recovery for all of you. May you be healthy and safe. Much love to all Notalwaysso BTW I am not leaving the site. I feel part of this virtual community.
  18. Hello All, This may be slightly long but I think it's worth the read for those on/coming off ADs or with significant others on/coming off of ADs. I've been a member of the Topix discussion that was recently removed since around the middle of last year. Like many, my significant other was prescribed an AD (Effexor in this case) for generalized anxiety. This was in early February. The effects were almost immediate but as I was so unaware of the possibilities with these drugs I did not notice any troubling side effects. She had a lot more energy and her anxiety really was gone, but I did not know to relate this to emotional blunting. This girl was absolutely trustworthy and honest and I know this because we were together all the time and she hid nothing from me. We were inseparable. I came to eventually realize that within the first few days of taking Effexor she began to lose feelings for me, but that "give a ****" factor had already gone away and I was of no concern to her. Within a few months she had full blown mania, she was hyper-sexual and had begun cheating. There was no selection, just whoever would take interest in her. At the same time this started, she told me that she had lost her sex drive. I did some research, found this was a common complaint and decided to give it time. We didn't have sex for many many months, all the while she was sleeping with pretty much anyone who would give her the attention. She started drinking heavily almost immediately. I just had no idea that ADs could do this. Eventually I had a growing suspicion, but I could really find nothing online. It took a lot of very specific Google searches to find what I had suspected, but that was months into it. So fast forward after I found out about the infidelity (which was gut wrenching, agonizing, horrific to say the least - it took the life out of me). I had found the Topix discussion, printed many relevant pages and showed it to her. She almost laughed it off, she would not reply to any specific questions. Like most others, she felt new and more alive. Her friend base had changed, and many of them had been given a very different story than what was really happening. She told a lot of them that she was afraid of me, suddenly cops were showing up because her new partners were calling the cops on me, for absolutely nothing. She would scream and break things and hit me, when she had only had one beer (this stuff is BAD NEWS when mixed with alcohol). At a certain point she had not only thrown me aside, but her entire family as well. They did not understand what was happening, so I began to speak to them. In October her life had spiraled out of control and she decided to begin a taper, but only because everyone insisted and she really had no choice. For what it is worth, her doctors refused to believe me. They actually suggested we up the dose because "it wasn't working". So no help there. The withdrawal was horrible. We tried all the supplements and methods that work for some people, but they had no effect on her. She cut her dose slightly about once a month, the same week she would be softer but then the withdrawal would ramp up quickly. In this period she nearly moved out of the state with her old boss. She was planning on leaving me and I had no clue until I found an email and confronted her. That is when it really hit her. She tapered more quickly (perhaps too quickly) because she just wanted off the stuff. In December she finally quit taking it. She had the very horrible brain zaps, she was insanely moody and I was walking on egg shells non-stop. But I stuck it out. The delayed withdrawal hit around January/February but at this point she knew it was withdrawal. And she absolutely was pissed that she had been given a drug like this. She is more upset now than ever that this can happen. We found out two weeks ago that she is pregnant with my child. We are getting married, and she is dedicated to un-doing these things. We are starting over fresh. It is not easy, but it can happen. The best advice I was given was by btdt on Topix. She said do not hold them to their actions, they do not know what they are doing. My fiance echoes this sentiment now. She is more than angry that she let a GP talk her into taking these meds, and then would not listen when she was a danger to herself. But that is how the stories seem to go. Don't get me wrong, it hurts. And now that we're at the one year mark since this started, there are a lot of triggers that I have to really put in an effort into pushing aside. Simple things - songs, smells, places, weather, tone of voice, etc. I'll be around to answer any questions or comments. I want to help as many as I can.
  19. HollyHope

    HollyHope

    Hi all, Firstly, I am so grateful to have come across this site and I hope that by sharing my experience I might be able to help others and also gain some help and support in return . So, my story - I have suffered on and off with depression since my late teens, I have now just turned 30. I was first prescribed the antidepressant citalopram when I was 18, I took a low dose of this (can't remember how much exactly). I took this for about 6 months and then stopped as felt a lot more in control of my life and generally happier. I unfortunately relapsed about 5 years later and was prescribed citalopram again which I took for about two years. After a while I felt that it was not having much of an effect on me and my mood so my GP switched me to sertraline which I have been on since, about 4 years roughly at 50mg a day. Sertraline has worked very well me and I have been lucky that I have not suffered too many side effects while being on it. Over the years I have tried many therapies, CBT, counselling, human givens and acupuncture to help combat my depression. In all honesty I am not sure how much of an effect any of these things have had on my well being but I do find that having a safe place to talk things through in a non judgmental environment has been a blessing at times. I am currently trying Human Givens therapy with a lovely lady who I feel very secure to talk things through with. I made the decision about 2 years ago that I wanted to be, or at least try to be, medication free to give my body and mind a chance to cope alone. I first tried to taper off sertraline in March 2014, I did pretty well and got down to taking 25mg just three times a week (however, since then I have read that it is not generally a good idea to alternate the days that you take the medication as the levels of the drug are then not consistent in your body.... or something along those lines). Anyway, after splitting up with my then boyfriend in June, I had a major relapse and went back up to 50mg daily. In the summer of 2015 having been consistently on 50mg since June 2014 I decided that I wanted to give it another go and try and come off the sertraline. I have slowly tapered to 25mg over several months and I have been taking 25mg a day for the last week and a half. I am going to stay on this dose for at least one month to allow my body and mind time to adjust before making the next reduction. It has however not been smooth sailing to get to this point and I am now left feeling very anxious, agitated, unmotivated and generally quite dull (I have no sparkle!). If I had the choice I would probably chose to stay in bed all day and just sleep. Of course in realityt this is not possible as I have a full time job and bills to pay. I used to be a gym addictt and would exercise atleast 3 times a week which I found to be very good at helping to stabilise my mood. However, over the last two months I have no motivation or energy to go to the gym and feel anxious at the thought of going (I have never really suffered with anxiety before!) I know that if I start going it will probbaly help me on the road to recovery but I just feel so unmotivated. Also, over the last two months I have completly lost my libido and feel so sorry for my boyfriend who probably feels very rejected... I just have no desire at the moment and feel out of touch from my friends, family and boyfriend who have all had to put up with me being negative and agitated recently. Finally since making the reduction to 25mg I am suffering my bouts of diarrhoea almost every day . I can only assume that this is part of the withdrawal process as I did not feel like this before I began to taper. My only hope is that it will pass eventually. My symptoms are manageable currently but I know that I am not living life to the full which makes me feel pretty rubbish. I am also worried that as I further decrease the amount of sertraline I take, these things that I am feeling now will become more intense and I may not be able to cope. It is hard to discuss with my GP as she will say that I am relapsing and advise me to go back up to 50mg, I know that this is not a relapse. I have seen some people mention that it is easier to taper using liquid serttaline? I feel this may be helpful as I am unsure when the time comes how I will make the next reduction as I already half the 50mg tablet to give me 25mg and I think it would be impossible to half that tablet again without it crumbling to pieces. Does anyone know if liquid sertraline is a thing? and if so is it availabel in the UK? I would love to hear from anyone who is currently tapering or maybe you have successful got off sertraline? Is it possible? Will I ever feel okay again? This is me and this where I am currently at. Thank you so much for you time. R
  20. Hi, I've been on Zyprexa for about a month and a half now. I started off at 15MG for one month at a psychiatric facility after being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Since I've gotten out (about a month ago) I've been at 10MG for most of the last month and have recently cut down to 5MG. The side effects like tardive dyskenesia, diabetes (I am already prediabetic and genetically predisposed to it) along with potential brain shrinkage is not what I'm looking for, and I'm determined to get to the point where I can manage my own moods without medication. I have made an attempt to quit cold turkey, but unsurprisingly that failed miserably and about two weeks in I had to reinstate at 10MG to stop the overwhelming depression and eventual mania ridden with racing violent thoughts of suicide and harming others. Those two weeks were probably some of the worst weeks I've ever had. I was bedridden each day and entrenched in a deep depression rife with suicidal ideation. In an effort to avoid the horrid symptoms of withdrawal I have decided to lower my dose to 5mg, hold that for a month and then taper down to 2.5mg another month, then finally to no Zyprexa at all. Since 12-14-18 I am on Zyprexa 5mg, and things seem to be very manageable so far. The overwhelming depression I was experiencing is gone. I'm just very anxious/irritable and am vaping more frequently than usual. I intend to get off of nicotine once I get off of Zyprexa successfully. I take magnesium every night and use CBD oil twice a day. I have found that CBD oil helps immensely with anxiety, and the insomnia I had back when I quit CT. Running a mile each day or spending an hour on the exercise bike seems to help a lot with the anxiety. Am taking a 6 month leave from my senior year of high school to get off this drug. Since I just moved to a different city two hours north of where I used to live, I have no friends/support except a therapist I'm going to see in a couple days. I have already had facial/leg tremors, some weight gain, and am worried about developing TD. So glad to have found this online community - will keep updates on my mood and such going forward.
  21. Hey Guys, m 24 years old.... I was prescribed escitalopram in 2014 10mg,then after my dose was reduced to 5mg...So in December 2017 I quit it without tapering, which m now learning was a big mistake..... Everything was fine till February 5th when I had my breakup.... Suddenly my brain started behaving differently..... I started feeling like everything is Getting away from me.... Anxiety came back.... Slowly slowly symptoms began to get worse.... I used to wake up in the middle of the night, felt like crying most of the time, loose motion, sweaty hands, chronic fatigue.... Now from the last three weeks I feel like my memory is fading, it's like I don't remember all these years wt actually happened, I do remember most of the things but it just feels like I don't remember them with all the feel.... So last week I went to see my psychiatrist and he said it's a relapse case.... I told him maybe it's the withdrawal symptom then he said they only last for 10-15 days..... AND told me to get back on 10mg again.... At night I took my first dose of 10mg, the next day in morning I started shivering and feeling cold..... I went to pee and felt like m gonna faint.... There was a burning sensation under the skin of my arms and back..... I decided not to take these meds.... So m asking you guys wt is the best thing for me to do now.... Should I reinstate with the small dose and then taper it down or just hope that everything gets better with time?
  22. So this is me trying to figure things out in the middle of wd but I feel I need to understand this in order to be kinder to myself. I had the notion that the amount of time I was on a medication would impact how wd would go. I understand that we are all unique and how we respond to medication wd is unique to us, though this wonderful site provides tons of information on universal wd symptoms, etc. Here is what I am trying to understand. I was on both of my medications for about 10 months apiece before I started to taper. My taper of Remeron, at a high dose of 41.25mgs started in January of 2015 and I am down to 12mgs. My taper of Lamictal at a high dose of 200mgs started in July of 2015 and I am down to 50mgs. It will probably will take me into this summer to be off of both and that's what I struggle with as I know many people do. My question is, once the brain has assimilated or incorporated the drug, does it matter whether it happened at 6 months or 5 years, once the drug is fully integrated, how long you have been on it doesn't matter? So whether the brain has gotten used the drug at 6 months or 1 year, once it's used to it, it's used to it? Because the brain will use what it's being given and the drug's effect on the brain, if it's the same dosage, will not increase over time? Maybe more then one question but any thoughts or responses would be helpful. Hibari
  23. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - Ryder: Clonazepam Hi guys, This question has to do with SSRI's and supplements. I was diagnosed with Chronic OCD in January 2015. I have been on and off medication between 2009-2015. Since 2015 I was prescribed 200mg (Sertraline/Zoloft) Daytime and 2mg Clonazepam for night time sleep. At the back-end-of 2016 I felt that I was well enough to come of all medications as I just felt able enough to cope on 100mg after a while. I did Cold Turkey for most of it before admittingly and slowly going on the lower dose of 100mg Sertraline. I was afterward sent to a Dr who specialised in withdrawing people from medications. She prescribed: - L-Carneitine (300 mg) - CoQ10 (200 mg) - N-Acetylcysteine - Vitamin C - Selenium - Magnesium. - A Gluten Free Diet. With Gluten diet, I did not stick to this religiously as some of the books advocated here on this forum. Mainly Elaine Gotschall's Breaking the Viscious Cycle. (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) and the GAPS Diet advocated by Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. I am very skeptical when i read over these diets but since my Dad was on the diet, whatever was in the Pantry, I ate. I wasn't religious about it though if I ordered takeout. Back on topic, I reduced the supplements to L-Carneteine and CoQ10 in combination with SSRI Zoloft/Sertraline (100mg). I found that during the time taken them, I had trouble with Cognition and motor skills, driving, runnng and excercise. I also noticed that I couldn't stop feeling dizzy although they are supposed to aide mitochondria in the brain which the Zoloft dulls down. I also noticed real bad insomnia during the time taken these aided supplements. Has anyone else had success with L-Carneteine and CoQ10 prescribed with Zoloft? It seems that people are having great success with these two supplements to rave review, I am just wondering if Carneteine or CoQ10 has worked for anyone to either reduce withdrawal symptoms off SSRIs & Zoloft or taper off completely. **Note. I have looked through the other posts here, but most vary in opinion, so I just want this question answered. Many thanks. Ryder.
  24. Hi all— New here, obviously, and new to forums in general, not so obviously (or maybe so still, idk). Here because I've been unable to (unproblematically) leave bed for the last 48 hours and I can't concentrate on much meaningfully (there goes my work): as a result I've been viewing a lot of content about withdrawal online (against my psychiatrist's pleas—I wonder what he wouldn't want me to know. . .) and found this forum linked in an article. See my signature for my history, and please feel free to share any information you think might be helpful. An abridged account of my woes: -Since midday Wednesday (first day w/o any poison) I've been experiencing the unique blend of motion sickness/brain zaps/heart palpitations that seem to come in waves (anywhere from every 10-15 seconds to 10-15 minutes) and with increasing intensity have been accompanied by nausea and aural interference (it feels like there are broken subwoofers in my head that, with each heart flutter/kick, respond: like how loud music from within a car driving by sounds from the outside). Hands and feet are also involved in these spasms, with less frequency. -I'm sad. Very sad. Was still feeling OK enough Wednesday night to watch a movie, watched my favourite movie (have seen at least 10 times), and cried (like wept cried) through most of it (for the first time). I don't cry in response to art, news, etc., ever. Highly irregular. -I slept almost all of Thursday. I'm a 6am 7 days a week type of guy, so sleeping in til 11, then sleeping ~1-5, and barely moving for the rest of the day is troubling. Not being able to read more than a page of a book even moreso (since that is what I do, for work and for pleasure). -My appetite is nowhere and eating is hard. Were it not for the intervention of my partner, with whom I am lucky to live, I don't think I'd have eaten very much yesterday and today. She woke me up to eat breakfast this morning (Friday), and after doing so I felt slightly stronger: I even flirted with the idea of leaving the house for the library. But I crashed about an hour later, just after I'd gotten dressed, and have been in bed or shower or toilet since. What I'm thinking about/dwelling on: -I'm feeling really stupid for having done this to myself (by way of trusting this doctor, of overlooking my anxieties about psychmeds) -I'm obviously feeling fear about how long these symptoms might last: I'm supposed to board a flight and spend 10 days with her family this Tuesday. . . -I'm wondering if it would be too hasty to get the few caps I threw out out of the trash and try counting out beads for a much slower taper like I've read about some of you doing, or if I should stay this course -I'm desperate for suggestions/spells/tricks to minimize the way these feelings feel in the interim, especially the nausea and shocks: I've tried two different raw ginger cocktails thus far to no positive effect and am taking 3x the vitamin D, B12, and omega-3 I usually do -I'm grateful that the stripe of withdrawal I'm undergoing seems to be primarily embodied and not psychoemotional (my anomalous weepfest the other night notwithstanding): so far I've had no return of suicidal ideation (like what I suffered beginning the drug last summer) and i more or less feel like I recognize myself (knock on all the wood) -I'm hoping that, given all the information and knowledge collected here, it is possible to not be totally in the dark against this thing: by which I mean, that there might be a way to tell, with some certainty, based off certain signs or makers or clues, that this will be over in a week; might take a month; seems bad and requires a different strategy and soon; etc.. . In sum: is there anything I should be thinking about that it seems like I've missed? not noticed? should look out for? Thanks very much for reading and responding.
  25. I would like some advice on withdrawal please. I was on 20 mg prozac for about 5 years and 3 years ago I came off, after a 3 month taper. I started to get a serious ringing in my ears and severe insomnia and then I had a year of anxiety, terrible insomnia and intense anger which got worse and worse. The doctor said that I was obviously depressed and advised me to go back on the prozac, which after a year I did, starting with 40mg as the symptoms were so bad. A year later, one year ago, I lowered the dose and started suffering drowsyness and fatigue which lasted 5 months. Then in September I started suffering from the drowsiness and fatigue again and the doctor eventually told me that I needed to come off the prozac as it wasn’t working for me any more. That was about 3 weeks ago. I had a week tapering and then started sertraline. Since then the drowsiness has got worse, accompanied by really bad tinnitus. My query is about the year I had with anxiety, anger and insomnia. Could that have been withdrawal from the prozac? It didn’t get any better over the year – if anything it gradually got worse and worse. At the time I suspected that it was withdrawal as every so often my face would go numb, which was one of my symptoms when I first came off prozac but the doctor said that the symptoms had gone on far too long and I was just depressed/anxious again. (I had suffered form anxiety for a couple of years previously, which had led to CFS, which was why I had gone on the prozac to begin with.) Could that year have been withdrawal? In which case what do I do now? I can’t go back on prozac as it had started to have a bad effect on me. I’m a bit despairing at the moment – I have recently had to put my PhD on hold because the drowsiness got so bad and I’m dreading the withdrawal if it’s going be as bad as last time. Does anyone have any techniques which might help? I don't want to go back on, however long it takes to even out again.
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