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  1. 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
  2. ______________________________________________ MOD NOTE: Please see this post by Altostrata ______________________________________________ This initiative (described below) is similar to this site, but focusing on helping people find each other in person, where they live. Additional great info on tapering and withdrawal. ****Announcing the Launch of Inner Compass Initiative and ICI’s The Withdrawal Project!**** Inner Compass Initiative (ICI) is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides information and resources to help people make more informed choices regarding all things “mental health” and to support people who wish to leave, bypass, or build community beyond the mental health system. Its first major effort, The Withdrawal Project (TWP), is a comprehensive online hub for safer psychiatric drug withdrawal. The resources on the ICI and TWP websites include a detailed layperson’s “Companion Guide” to safer tapering from psychiatric medications; mini-booklets that provide detailed, critical information about psychiatric drugs, psychiatric diagnoses, and the mental health industry; and two networking platforms to help people who are thinking critically about the mental health system or seeking support for psychiatric drug withdrawal to find each other in their local communities. Visit ICI at www.theinnercompass.org Visit TWP at withdrawal.theinnercompass.org
  3. "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??????????
  4. 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
  5. I took paxil 12.5 mg for 10 months due to problem of panic attack in closed spaces. then i slowly withdrawn from it in 1 month. I am not taking any medication for 7 months except due to some depressive events i took paxil 12.5 mg for 10-15 days 2 months back. Now i have heart palpitations and stomach cramps. I had headache but now that has gone away in one week since i started eating walnuts. I hope slowly my other physical symptoms will also go away. The only thing which makes me sad is anxiety sometimes due to emotions and also the fear of relapse. Please tell when will i become emotionally stable. I have heard that after 3 months situation starts improving. Is it true?
  6. Hi, I tapered down from 75mg (already down from 150mg a year ago) in the last few months. Took my last pill last saturday. The symptoms are ok to handle, but the worst thing is the itching pain in my legs and arms. It feels like there is not enough blood circulation. I have to keep moving them, mostly at night. As soon as I lay down it is unbearable and I can’t sleep. Does anyone have tips or knows what this is? I tried taking asperine, tiger balm, massage, sauna... I also have very low muscle strenght and endurance. I can only walk for about ten minutes and then exhausted. Maybe also related to blood circulation and O2 in the blood? thanks,
  7. Started off on Clonazepam 0.5mg twice a day in Nov 2015 due to acute panic attacks linked to relationship and work related anxiety. Felt okish. Was put on prozac 10mg at night, additionally. Wasn't feeling all that great. By January 2016, started getting counseled by a psychologist at work. She tried to help me take a deep dive into the core reasons of my sudden, debilitating anxiety. It did help as I started working on them steadily. She then referred me to another psychiatrist who stopped clonazepam and Prozac and put me on escitalopram 10 mg at night and etizolam 1mg in the mornings. I was improving but nowhere close to being totally normal. He said it'll take 6-8 weeks, I ignorantly believed him and continued. In the meanwhile, got everything related to my palpitations and blood pressure checked. Things were ok except slightly high BP, which then made me insanely fear blood pressure readings and get more worked up and increase the anxiety more so. By May 2016, had issues with my sleep cycle so he added mirtazapine 3.75mg (1/4th) for my sleep. Continued this and the sleep got better but the anxiety plateaued and didn't improve (Should've realised the real reasons by now, sadly I didn't). On my next visit, he changed the whole prescription and I was put on chlordiazepoxide 5mg twice a day, zoloft 50mg at night for 2.5 months. Felt ok finally and by Dec 2016, in my haste to stop the meds( hated taking any sort of medicine), I quit taking any of them. Didn't know about any withdrawals whatsoever. Never visited the doctor again. After about 1.5 months (mid Jan 2017), suddenly woke up one morning feeling totally disoriented and severly sleepy even after 8 proper hours of sleep. Never had the slightest idea of what was happening. Continued in such severe misery for 5 months. Had sleep studies done (mild apnea), and tried some sleep apnea "gadgets" for 2 months. No relief. Nov 2017 and I was told I had moderate PLMD. Tried pramipex 0.25mg at night until March 2018. No change. Visited a psychiatrist in April 2018 and he started my back on escitalopram 10mg and lorazepam 1mg (temporarily to help my chronic insomnia since Dec 2017). I felt better initially as I slept more but was fatigued during the day. Felt better in the evenings. He put me on mirtazapine (AGAIN!) as my sleep wasn't getting better. I was taking 3.75mg (1/4th) and then 1.875 mg (1/8th). I felt close to 85% normal but had notoriously put on 4 pounds in a month during Apr-May 2018. He thought of stopping it as I was on a vry low dose. Put me bk on escitalopram 5mg, supposedly low. I feel disgusting again after I wake up. Don't trust doctors at all now. Did my own research and am using Mg transdermal, omega 3, B12 and D3 supplements. Have started excercise to lose weight. Should I stop escitalopram and start mirtazapine 1.875 mg again? That's what seemed to help me maybe
  8. Hi. Was taking 4 mg of risperidone for two months. Suddenly stopped taking it for a week (didn't notice any withdrawal). Then took 2 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Then took 1 mg for two weeks (approved by psychiatrist). Have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms. Asked psychiatrist if it was okay for me to suddenly go from 4 mg to 2 mg, and then 2 mg to 1 mg. She said it was okay since I hadn't been showing any symptoms. I have read that withdrawal symptoms can surface after months or even a year after you stop taking it. I am not sure what that person's credibility was. I have also read, from a .org website that the withdrawal symptoms are mild and rare. I have stopped taking the 1 mg for almost a week, and I am wondering if I will be alright. I have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms, and I feel like I will still be seeing my psychiatrist for a little while at least. I am also wondering if it is true that withdrawal symptoms can surface months or even a year after you stop taking the medication. That just seems far-fetched to me. Any help is appreciated!
  9. Hi everyone, Very happy to have found this forum, as I feel my doctor has been a bit too aggressive with medication changes recently and I am not sure what to do. As history, I was put on 10 mg of Zyprexa when hospitalized for a psychotic episode Spring 2017. That was followed by 10 mg of Lexapro for depression and anxiety. When I later had insomnia the Lexapro was increased to 20 mg. I gradually reduced the Zyprexa to 2.5 mg with the support of my doctor. I recently moved across the country and began seeing a new psychiatrist for general support but also due to continued depression, anxiety and a new bout of insomnia. She had me stop the Zyprexa 2.5 mg and replaced it with Seroquel (same class, more sedating), but I had a paradoxical reaction to the Seroquel (has also happened to me with every sleep med), so we discontinued it and never resumed the Zyprexa, so I am withdrawing. She also had me change from Lexapro to Zoloft to try to assist with sleep about 2.5 weeks ago--stopped Lexapro and started Zoloft at 25 mg with intent to quickly increase to 100 (equivalent to Lexapro 20). I immediately started having palpitations which only increased as I increased the dosage to 100, insomnia worsened, so we reduced it back to 25. The palpitations continued (though not as badly) and I developed allergy type symptoms (sneezing, cough, runny nose) and increased anxiety. I felt I was reacting to the Zoloft, so we decided after less than 2 weeks to switch me back to the Lexapro--a known entity. We did a quick taper of the Zoloft (12.5 mg one day, nothing the next) then resumed Lexapro at 10 mg for 2 days five days ago. My doctor advised me to decide whether to increase it more thereafter depending on how I felt. I was still having palpitations at 2 days on 10 mg Lexapro and thought perhaps I was having Lexapro withdrawal from the change attempt and low dose of Zoloft so increased to 15 mg, have been there for 3 days. Palpitations and anxiety are worse (I have had them medically checked and my heart is ok) and then I found this site and realized I have probably been withdrawing from Lexapro over the last 3 weeks and reinstating at a high-ish dose might not be the best idea. I have also taken 1 mg of Ativan a few times in desperation to relieve anxiety and insomnia, but do not want to become dependent on it. I am lost here! Not sure whether to go up or down on the Lexapro (intuitively down feels best, with the possibility of increasing later). I would be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks so much for reading!
  10. 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??
  11. Hello! Seeking advice and support having discovered how dependent I am after over 20 yrs of taking paroxetine. Withdrawal symptoms of extreme sustained insomnia, excessive sweating and intense anxiety are making life unbearable and I am horrified at how ignorant I have been about my meds. I now realise GP probably made things worse by suggesting a change to mirtazapine before returning to paroxetine. GP suggested back to 20mg but I couldn't bare the thought of possibly having to repeat the withdrawal so decided on ½ dose (10mg). Not sure if I've done the right thing as still have severe symptoms after 7 days. I now realise all these changes were far too fast but do I hang on to this dose to see if I stabilise and how long do I give it?? I'm just beginning to realise that this is likely to be life changing....not what I'd planned at 58....as may well loose my job and it's a huge strain on family and friends. It's confusing and frightening. See gp on Thurs and feel it would be good to have an idea of what I should be aiming for re medication. He gave me propranolol (a beta blocker) for the anxiety but I've since discovered it could be contributing to the insomnia. Has anyone got any experience of that? With thanks and hoping to be able to share experiences!
  12. 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.
  13. Hey everyone! Around a week ago I posted a topic about me having been on 2.5mg of Cipralex for 7 weeks after cutting down from 20mg slowly since the beginning of the year. Everything went well till I dropped to 2.5mg and felt absolutely horrible since then. Then around a week ago I decided to reinstate back up to 5mg because I think I still need to take it and use it in conjunction with therapy. Now it's been 8 days that I've been taking 5mg again and I feel horrible since yesterday. I feel like I'm going crazy. I also have other huge anxieties and headaches and stomach ache. How long is this gonna last till I stabilize again? I thought I would feel better going back up to 5mg but I feel absolutely horrible. I don't know what to do anymore I just want to feel better... any help would be appreciated...
  14. Hey everyone! I really need some answers because I've looked everywhere to try and find one answer which can relate to my question but sadly to no avail. I was on 20mg Cipralex for 7 years due to general anxiety disorder. I was feeling better last year so decided this year in February I would start tapering and weaning off. It all went great until roughly 7 weeks ago when I went from 5mg to 2.5mg. Withdrawal has hit me hard and I have been off work since then. My question is basically, after now 7 weeks is it safe to go back up to 5mg from 2.5? I felt fine on 5mg hence me wanting to move back up to it. And how long will it take for the WD symptoms to go away or just for me to feel better cos currently I'm just having a hard time functioning. I'm afraid of everything basically. Thank you for any reply
  15. This sounds a little ridiculous. But it's almost like my depth perception is so messed up that I can't see the wall out of my peripheral vision so I'm constantly running the side of my body into walls.
  16. 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?
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  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. I'm not saying that it is, but what if it were? I was watching videos and reading articles from MIA about the evils of ECT. I wanted to update and figure out my views because I've been so depressed at times that I would have accepted a tradeoff: 10% of my memories and functioning just for the pain to end. The evil tradeoff of neuroleptics and ECT. I remember being called by a friend, a father, and he was in tears over his 18 yo daughter's episode and hospitalization, as he told me "They want to give her ECT." And I, in my ignorance, said what mainstream medicine was saying at the time (and still): "ECT isn't like it used to be. It can be effective. Ultimately you will have to decide. There can be memory loss, but it can 'reboot the brain.'" Yes. I said that. So I have an interest in getting it right, how bad, how dangerous, what effects, and, the perverse one: HOW many shocks of HOW high over HOW LONG a period? (this always makes my heart sink) So I was thinking about ECT, and the "it's better now" phenomenon, supposedly improved by the use of anesthetics and oxygen. Then my brain leaped to Irving Kirsch and: A psych drug is no better than placebo (I mentioned this to my Pdoc who was quite flustered over drug info I was providing her that was going to change her practice - discontinuation of Reboxetine in the Australian market, and why - side effects, ineffective) A psych drug is no better than placebo. In one video I watched the psychologist said that there were studies done with "placebo" shocks. How does one do that, exactly? Then I thought about all the elements, and lit on OXYGEN. What if people who were withdrawing had access to oxygen, and could take 10 minutes 2x a day. Flooding the brain, cleansing it out, cleansing the blood. I wasn't even thinking about the fancy, heavy duty, ever popular hyperbaric chamber oxygen. I was just talking about a tank like Grandma used to have after her heart attack. Just a little restful time with the mask. It might teach you some mindfulness and stillness, as you sat with your tank. It might improve your organ function, including your brain. It might even help you emote (emote means: to move, or, take those feelings and MOVE them instead of sitting on them, churning with them, etc.). And here's the clincher: HOW could it be harmful? I mean compared to all of the other therapies that are offered now. I was thinking specifically about psych drug withdrawal, but if that is successful, maybe it could expand to depression? Or help with something like PTSD as combined with other therapies - it may even make a difference in autism or schizophrenia (I know, but they medicate for autism, too) Has it ever been studied before? I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, surely someone smart has thought of it? Tried it? Maybe I've just wasted your time, but I was intrigued by this thought and don't know where else I could share it. JC
  21. JanCarol

    Making Activist Art

    On BlueBalu's thread, BTDT wrote: OMG B! I just started a play tonight! I was inspired by attending a theatre festival this weekend, and so many of the plays addressed real issues, like relationships, inner demons, and feminism and taking control of your life. In one play, Florence Nightingale told her cohorts to "stop taking the pills, they are only meant to control you!" (and she, Maggie Thatcher, and Jane Austen escaped the asylum!) I thought I would start a play about withdrawal. I've never written a play before, so I will need to get help from some experts, but I can visualize how it will be. It would be best to condense it into a very potent 1-act play, and might be a way to get our voices heard in a broader audience. I'm basing the characters on composites of people here - one depressed, one anxious (and abused), one "psychotic" (I call it Emergency), one chronic pain, and an Alto-like character (again, composite, of course). It will show 5 years in these peoples' lives, and at the end, they will meet on the internet and start recovery. It shows the drug rep and the doctor, and I've just written the part where everyone gets their first prescription. The next scene, a year later, people will be manifesting side effects, and get additional prescriptions. The scene after that will be 5 years, and the characters will be on multiple scripts with debilitating effects, but the pseudo-Alto character will have figured out withdrawal, and will be helping the others to take charge of their conditions. They will be talking on the internet - with some of them talking over coffee like we do here in Brisbane. It would be nice if I could bring the emotion that a play like "Love Letters" brings, where the actors read their internet posts aloud, and their stories come alive for all the others listening. The challenge is to make the characters real and engaging, to invoke the caring of the audience, and to present the material without being "preachy." To raise awareness. I have 2 playwright/directors in mind - one did a searing expose of self injury (one of her early works - confronting, not very successful - but it sure had us talking) - and the other has done plays about "encounter groups" and "body dysmorphia / anorexia disorder issues at a lingerie sales party." Both are activist-aware, and while they cannot write the play for me - I must write what I know - they can guide me to getting it published and up and running. And hopefully, making it a good script. And if I'm good enough, perhaps one will consent to cast and direct it for me! Additionally, if it is a one-act, it will tour the "festival circuit," which means that potentially thousands of people could see the performances, where if it's a full-length play, it might never be seen, except maybe at one local theatre. I know nothing about writing plays. But I hope to have a rough draft ready in 2 weeks to show these ladies at the next festival. Btdt - you are a prophet!
  22. WuGang

    WuGang: Hello all

    Hello, I am new to this website. A little about me; I suffer anxiety, panic attacks and was diagnosed depression. Many years ago, when I was around 14-15 years old, I was placed on antidepressants (Seroxat). I was later put on Fluoxetine and Amitriptyline for close to 20 years, I'm now 33. This year I made the decision I didn't want to keep taking these drugs and arranged with my doctor to slowly stop them, one at a time of course. It took a couple of months in total with his instructions. It's now been around 2 months off the Fluoxetine and a month off the Amitriptyline. I have been struggling with the side effects since. On and off sleeping difficulties, wild mood swings, constantly angry and easy to temper, and a really bad temper! Depression. But also, problems with my mind, brain fog, difficulty concentrating. It's really hard to explain, I feel dumber since stopping the meds, I know my mind, know how it works and I can tell it just isn't right. I don't recognize my own mind anymore. I struggle to enjoy anything that I used to, struggle to understand or concentrate on the things I used to like. And to be honest, it's been scaring me, I've been really tempted to go back on the drugs just so that I can be me again. Still struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Anyway, that's a little about my story.
  23. I started citalopram about 10 years ago at 40 mg. I have spent the last four years tapering off. I was at 10 mg. for about 2 months, and then at 5 mg for about two weeks. I felt ok, so then I stopped completely. I was ok for about a week after my last dose, but then started having really, really bad irritability. I have no patience and have a lot of trouble sleeping. At night, when I'm trying to sleep, I feel very jittery. I'm assuming it took a week to get it all out of my body. So I've just read about reinstating it. I just made up the liquid solution. I thought maybe I'd start taking 3 mg each night. Wondering what everyone else thinks. Should I start back lower? If I knew this irritability would be short tem, I might try to wait it out, but it's been five days and I'm having a lot of difficulty. If I start back on 3 mg, what should my taper schedule be? How long should it take. I'm also taking 600 mg. gabpentin and low dose naltrexone. Not sure if that makes a difference.
  24. 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."
  25. 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
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