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  1. Hello, new member here, hoping to find some wisdom and support in my post medicated life! My medication history in a nutshell: I have been on antidepressants around 15 years, most of them lived on a combination of progressive Citalopram doses (10-40 mg), Bupropion 150XR, and Lorazepam 0.5 mg for occasional anxiety management. Began taper 6-1-2020 of Citalopram, completed 8-15-2020. Went off Bupropion 10-1-2020, did not taper due to extended release and significantly lower doses not readily available. Lorazepam was not used frequently enough to require and sort of cessation plan. The Citalopram taper was rough, as usual, something I tried and failed many, many, years ago. However, I did not get brain zaps this time, I think it was due to the effect of the Bupropion, which is good as a support drug for tapering (i.e. it is used to help quit smoking). The only current medication I am taking is a 24 hour antihistamine, Zyrtec 10 mg one time a day, before bed. Why taper off, why now? I am currently unemployed, thanks to COVID, so have some time to ride this thing out and see if I can get healthy and free of the medications. I had been dealing with a lot of side effects of the drugs, kind of a laundry list of the normal side effects for these drugs, but here is a list of the primary ones I was dealing with. Kind of difficult to nail this all down, been on this stuff a LONG time. Agitation/Irritability Decrease in sexual desire or ability GI problems, constipation, semen leakage during bowel movements Dry mouth/increased thirst increase in the frequency of urination lack of emotion Tiredness/Drowsiness/lethargy/Yawning Restlessness, twitching. Weight gain Why am I here? I am off of the meds, but have dealt with a fair bit of discontinuation syndrome. Have any of you found anything that helps you get through the next few months/years after discontinuation? I am not super big on supplements, but open to logical ideas based in science or real life experience. I have a relative who takes a handful of expensive supplements daily, I am not going down that route as I don't believe in flushing expensive pee down the toilet. I currently take NOTHING other than the allergy pill. No vitamins, no caffeine, little to no alcohol, no nicotine, etc. My primary issues at present are that I am sleeping a lot, lack ambition and energy to do things even though I have the desire to work or take on projects. I do have some anxiety presently, very manageable at home but more difficult in a work environment--it is situational. Once I start on something, and I get engaged in it, I have no problem staying focused and completing it. The daily grind of just being alive and present is difficult, I have occasional, mild, suicidal thoughts such as questioning if it is all worth the effort. That said, I have never attempted suicide and would say I am at very low risk, but my mind can wander there or identify with musicians or artists who address the subject (i.e. 13 Reasons Why). What next? I have an appointment with my doctor in a few days, the first since I completed the taper, I talked it all through with her before the taper, but it went so well that I have not had intermediate appointments. Part of the reason for not having more appointments, during my taper, was the feeling that there really is nothing she can do to make it any better. The taper also went very well, in my opinion. I still feel that the doctors are limited in what support they can give you, other than going back on the meds, what are my options in seeing an MD? Some of my side effects are getting much better now, for example I noticed my dry mouth issues are gone and I have been more regular as far at GI issues!
  2. Hi all, I am new here and found this site through a FB group. I feel like I need some help or insight because I'm currently lost and feel really hopeless. I tapered too quickly over the course of 5 months off of remeron/mirtazapine, I was on 15mg and got down to 7.5mg but I took a big jump in order to get to 7.5mg. I was crying everyday, vomiting, having two to three anxiety attacks per day, lost my appetite, had headaches, nausea, among other symptoms. I was a complete mess. I decided to reinstate after speaking to my doctor, I've been back on 15mg for three months now and I just feel so numb. No motivation to do anything. The nausea is gone and randomly crying but my nausea and anxiety is still there. It's gotten to the point I haven't left my bed for a week because I feel short of breath and have muscle aches. So after 3 months of being back on 15mg remeron I don't know if I should continue taking it at this dose because I can't go on feeling like this, or if I should try cutting down again? I am scared to cut down due to my fragile mental state of mind right now, but I also want to get better so I don't know if staying on this will help me?
  3. I started suffering from migraines in my early twenties, there was a new drug out called Imitrex. It was so new that my doctor had samples from the drug companies to give out to migraine sufferers. I took a box of samples home with me and set them on the counter not intending to use them ever. When my next migraine hit, I suffered for 2 days and then remembered the drug sample she had given me to try. I was so desperate for pain relief, I didn't hesitate to pop it right into my mouth and hope for the best. It was a miracle, within 20 minutes, my migraine was history. Gone were the days of suffering for 3+ days and wanting to die from the migraine pain. From then on, I continued to take triptans for the next 20 years. In the beginning, I was only allowed 9 tablets a month, they came in 50 and 100 mg tablets. I always had more then 9 migraines per month. My doctor and I devised a plan to get around the limit of 9 per month by him prescribing me two different brands of triptans (sumatriptan, rizatriptan, naratriptan) and also giving me the 100 mg and sometimes cutting them in half to extend my prescription. Little did I know that the limit of 9 is to protect your brain. I was taking up to 20-25 doses of triptan every 30 days. Triptans stimulate the serotonin receptors in your brain and this restricts blood vessels and aborts the migraine. I know they are not an antidepressant but they affect serotonin mechanisms in the brain as do antidepressants and if you have been taking them routinely for years, they should never be stopped suddenly. I wish I had know this when I first started this drug. My nightmare started in June 2020. I noticed that I was feeling fatigue that was so bad, I was having trouble walking upstairs and then the panic attacks hit. I had never had a panic attack. We thought I was having a stroke or heart attack. My hands went numb, I got severe dizziness, I couldn't stand up, I was hyperventilating and shaking. It was like an out of body experience. I literally thought I was dying. I had 10 panic attacks in the next 20 days. We called 911 the first 5 times. Next symptom was insomnia, then the vivid nightmares. I could not sleep for more than 30 minutes and sometimes I wouldn't sleep at all. I would sit in bed and my mind would not turn off. I had extreme fear like I had never experienced. When I would sleep, I would wake up and feel like my arms weren't on my body. I also would wake up feeling like I was going to stop breathing and would wake my husband up and he would stay up and watch me breathe to reassure me. During this time I also wet the bed a few times and would also experience vibrations in my body and electricity type jolts that would pulse out into my arms and legs and wake me up. I made my husband sleep on the floor by the door for a few weeks and placed items around my bed because I had a fear of sleepwalking. During the day, I could not have the TV or any music playing and I would fall apart if the phone rang. I was also having trouble with severe brain fog. I developed a tremor in my dominant right hand and my arms were numb and tingling all the way to my fingers. I though that I was going crazy. I could not figure out what was going on. One afternoon, I was lying down trying to take a nap from the exhaustion and fatigue and i dawned on me that I had not had a migraine in almost 3 months and that I hadn't reached for my triptans in a very long time. I immediately got up and did a search on if serotonin withdrawal was possible and found all kinds of posts on discontinuation syndrome. All my symptoms matched. I was faced with the decision of whether to begin taking a small amount again (even though my headaches had ceased) to try and stop the symptoms or keep going without it. I chose to keep going without it and things got worse. I developed weakness and numbness in my arms, neck, chest and lower part of my face. I also developed deep depression, agitation, detachment from reality, depersonalization, derealization, pain in my wrist joints, pain in my shoulder joints, nausea, heavy limbs, trembling, confusion, appetite loss and throat tightness. My migraines were gone for 4 months, but then they returned. I tried not to take any triptans and even went to the walk in clinic for a 3 day migraine and was given a shot of toradol which did nothing. I went home in tears and that evening I gave in and took a dose of triptan. My migraine was gone in 20 minutes. Since then, my migraines have slowly returned and I have had to take my triptans again. Over the last month, all of my psychological symptoms have ceased but I am left with these physical ones: fatigue, numbness and weakness in arms, tremor and shaking. The weakness and numbness in my arms is the most bothersome. It comes and goes but when it's bad, my fingers get so fumbly that it's hard to brush my hair or teeth. It scares me so much. I have tried to go grocery shopping 3 times in the last month and can only make it about 15 minutes before my legs become like jelly and I have to leave and go home. I have been to a my primary care provider, neurologist, endocrinologist and have an appointment with a rheumatologist. I have had a brain CT Scan, abdominal CT Scan, Brain MRI with and without contrast, EEG, EMG, NCS, TTE, EKG and about 20 tubes of blood drawn all with normal results. I have never been through such torment in my life, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Paxil 1999 - Took for only 2 months - Quit cold turkey Celexa 1998 - Took for only 1 month - Quit cold turkey Triptans 20 years - Up to 25 times per month
  4. "I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
  5. Hello Sorry for my poor english I took Seroxat at the request of the doctor because I was suffering from slight anxiety and took it because I trusted the doctors and I took the medicine for 4 months and the last dose of the medicine was 18 months ago: Previous symptoms: - Extreme anxiety, I have never experienced anything like it in my life -Dark Depression (I've never experienced something like it in my life) -Panic -Tinnitus -Eye floaters -A slight electrical sensation in the head -Insomnia Current symptoms: -Eye floaters -Lack of pleasure -Insomnia(Very bad) -Tinnitus(Little improvement) Does it disappear over time or will it last forever? thank noh1995
  6. https://www.facebook.com/innercompassinitiative/?hc_ref=ARRdIIjHYzgACJg-XE4ALjq7mDuGx2nKOqs1uEG3SG5KNfs-cTophiNVJCkdIAwSLro
  7. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  8. 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.
  9. Hi All May I first thank whoever started and maintains this excellent forum, without it I would still be under the misconception that without SSRIs I have serious and disabling mental illness I was prescribed Prozac at 56 with no prior history of mental illness. It was only about a year or two ago that I realised that the 'mental illness' I later suffered was SSRI Withdrawal With the help of this forum I have started a 5% taper of 20mgs Prozac, using mini scales. Here is my brief and approximate history of SSRIs 2007 (at age 56) Prozac 20mg. For chronic fatigue syndrome. 2010/11 Stopped taking Prozac and suffered severe withdrawal 2010 Prescribed Citalopram 10mg ? For ‘ Anxiety and depression and panic attacks 2014 Discontinued Citalopram over a month 2014/15 Suffered severe withdrawal and was prescribed Prozac 20mg 2017/18 After research I decided that I have never had mental illness, only withdrawal 2017/20 Various failed attempts to ‘taper’ (missing doses) 2020 Sept Took advice from this Excellent forum and started a 5% taper using mini scales Withdrawal symptoms. Took to my bed. Flu-like symptoms, Thought I had all forms of cancer, Zaps, Inexplicable fear, Limbs shaking, Insomnia, Constant ‘stress’ Headache, Panic attacks
  10. ________________________________________________ See this post regarding mouthguard issues ________________________________________________ Hi there, all through my withdrawal my right ear has felt blocked,although is actually isnt so my doc says, but since last October i feel like my ears have both become a lot worse, constant pressure/pain in both. Today it is driving me insane as the pain is in my ears, head,jaw and gums. Ok so iv had allergies all my life ie hay fever and cat allergies but can never remember it affecting my ears like this so im not sure if seasonal allergies are to blame, but then again it was snowing this winter and they were bad then too. This comes and goes but seems to be pretty persistent for the last 9 months now and it isn't shifting. Does anyone else suffer badly with their ears? i know the blocked feeling is common in withdrawal but not sure if many have the pressure?
  11. Is bupirone an activator or sedative? trying to taper off , but it's causing me real shaking,
  12. I am a 62 year old woman who was on Amitriptyline for 20 plus years because of migraines. My doctor took me off of Amitriptyline on 8/16/20. My withdrawals have been a roller coaster ride for 4 weeks now. I’m only on vitamins. I would start feeling better then boom the floor drops out from under me. I feel my doctor weened me off Amitriptyline to soon. I was on 25mgs and she had me cut that in half for just 2 weeks. Then get off completely. I’m afraid to get on something else only to feel lousy until the new drug kicks in. I was hoping to do this without any other drugs. But can’t take it any longer. So I’m thinking I need to go back on Amitriptyline and ween off of it for a long time. After reading what everyone is saying about the weening being to short I agree. Especially since I was on this drug so long.
  13. BoomSiva

    BoomSiva: Lexapro

    Hi everybody, let me introduce my self im french Canadian (english is my second language) i been in India for almost a year and decided 4-5 months ago to taper my med(lexapro 20mg) and now i been off for 6 weeks so i dont need to explain how mess up i'am right now. I came to India to a clinic to fix my back and legs, they specialyze in musculoskeletal misaligment. they been encouraging me to stop my med and thats what i did but now i'm very mess up and they dont seem to anderstand what i'm going through. Before i stop completely my pils 6 weeks ago i was working out 2h in the morning and 3 hours at night with a small group but since i stop the med i cant really workout i feel sick and weak i cant barely workout 2-3 times a week very short workout and i feel totaly drain. Since i'm with the clinic my physicals probleme are WAY BETTER so much improvement since i been here but now i feel like i'm falling a part i have so many symptoms from WD i just dont know where to start. i have exreme fatigue even if i sleep much of the afternoon, i have pain everywhere mostly my legs my upper back, neck, headhache, stomach, intestin. I have hypersalivation very annoying ,itchy skin, at night i feel like i have small bugs craling on me not all the time it come in goes, my memory is gone cant focus, i try to not call people back home that create anxiety. the first few weeks off i had more suicidal thought now way less but its very difficult to control my thoughts and im not to confortable around people, anyway thats enought complaining for now, i'm glad i found this site now i know must of the symptoms are from WD and im not going insane.
  14. I went off Lexapro eleven weeks ago. I am currently having symptoms that my therapist feels is chemical rather than psychological. The most concerning is severe depression. Though I am having physical symptoms, such as side pain and yeast in urine. My labs other than that are normal, and my ultrasound on my right side was normal as well. My concentration was terrible but has improved in the past few days. My primary doctor is no real help and just wants to prescribe more meds. I am taking magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D, probiotics and a yeast cleanse. (The yeast cleanse, as well as a stronger probiotic was a change I made a week ago, due to my labs. The others as well as a milder probiotic I have been taking for years.) Things have gotten so severe over the past 2 weeks that my therapist and I are discussing inpatient treatment. I am hesitant to do this because I do not want to go back on SSRIs, and it seems like there is a gut issue that might have started this go around, which won't be addressed if I go inpatient. I had some withdrawals going from 10mg to 5mg, but not much from 5mg to 2.5mg. I had more when I totally quit, but it was tolerable until this month. I wish I had found this site before going off completely. Should I consider reinstating at a low dose? I'm at a loss as to what to do from here, but I can not live like this.
  15. 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.
  16. Bethechange2020

    Bethechange2020: introduction

    Hello all, I am a 60 y/o woman and after beeing on psych meds since my twenties I decided to get off of them as I have been stable for over a year, and also as a person who is always concerned with the health of my mind/body/spirit, and soul, I had too many concerns about the harm these psychotropic meds could be doing to me. I am currently off all of my medications since 30 days. I was taking Lexapro, Gabapentin, Mirtazapine, Lamitrogine, and occasionally Xanax. Getting off the Lexapro was so positive for me. I started to have more emotions of all kinds, which made me feel more alive and whole. The negative aspects of getting off all of my meds started to kick in once I got off of everything else, with the worst of it beginning, and still going strong, when I got off the Lamitrogene. My current symptoms, in order of horribleness, are insomnia, wailing for 15mins straight, no appetite, exhaustion, rages, panic, and a myriad of sensorial sensitivities to smells, sounds, touch, and sights. If I see a bug in the house it makes me burst into tears. At times I want to rip my skin off or jump out of it, and other times I feel completely dead inside. Basically, it's Hell, and if I thought there was no end to this I wouldn't be able to take it. I am really lucky to have a loving partner, and to live in beautiful North Carolina where I can take a walk in nature alone. I am working with a psychiatrist who is wholistically oriented, and thinks I may have issues with hormone levels, and/or my endocrine system. I also am part of a medical practice that has a yoga teacher who I feel hopeful will be teaching me some restorative excercises. I studied food and healing, and know the importance that it plays my own mental stability. I haven't had sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy, or refined foods in a month, which I am 100%certain has kept me from being hospitalized! I also stopped using industrialized "heart healthy" oils like canola and sesame, and use only virgin olive oil, ghee, and coconut oils.I briefly tried a Paleo diet because of the leaky gut theory of depression, but felt horrendous, so now I reintroduced around 1 serving daily of a non glutinous grain such as amaranth, quinoa, or millet, and feel better. I want to incorporate daily walks and yoga into my routine, which is a struggle for me as I often veg out for hours watching Netflix, etc. I don't judge myself for it, but I just don't think it helps one bit, and in fact think it makes me feel worse. It's like something that promises to help me to feel better, but actually has the opposite effect. So that's all for now. Thank for letting me join your group.
  17. Hi everyone, I just want to say first and foremost: thank you for creating this invaluable space. I'm feeling desperate as I claw my way out of the pit left behind by Lexapro — looking for any help, really. Long story very short, I was on Lexapro for four years, as I have pretty bad OCD and panic attacks. This summer, I made the conscious decision to taper off of Lexapro because it didn't seem to be as effective for me as it once was. Plus, the side effects were really outweighing the benefits. I tapered off 20 mg Lexapro over the course of about two months, which my former psychologist told me was "very slow" — in all honesty, he made me feel pretty bad for tapering at a rate I felt was actually too fast for me. I've been on 0mg for about two months and am struggling hard with the mental and physical side effects of withdrawal. I feel like I have brain fog, brain zaps (which really throw me for a loop), random bursts of sadness, and extreme rage. I'm more irritable now than I've ever been. I feel like I've been body-snatched. I'm a writer who feels like she can hardly write, and that everything I try to articulate is terrible. It's also been jarring to watch the person I once was seemingly wither away. For the first time in my life, I broke out in pimples. My hair fell out. I lost seven pounds. I feel like I have absolutely no control over myself, and it terrifies me. Has anyone else successfully gone off Lexapro? Does it get better? I'm desperately in need of any advice. Thanks so much.
  18. After 24 plus years of bi-polar meds, lithium and clomipramine, which I don’t think I should ever have been on in the first place, I have finally managed to come off altogether super gradually over the last year. I have been off completely for about three months and feel much better. Except for recent and increasing episodes of acute anxiety and rages. I never had those before. Nothing like mood swings or depressions that I have ever experienced. Could this be symptoms of withdrawal? No-one in the NHS, of which I am a huge supporter, seems to know anything about withdrawal. Even the local crisis helpline. Everyone is very kind and wants you to speak to counsellors. My GP is supporting me with librium which I don’t want to use but at times have no choice (I am carer to three family members and need to be well enough myself to support them). If I know what is happening to my brain and why, and how many months or years it might take, then I will cope somehow. Not knowing what is going on is crippling. The GP will just put me back on meds which I am not doing anymore. The NHS psychiatrist will only see people now who are psychotic. Please could someone advise me?
  19. Hi there! Thanks for your help! I took lexapro for about 5 months (Jan 2020-June 2020 including 1 month of taper) for some physical symptoms I was going through last year Oct- this year Jan. The physical symptoms included lump in my throat, racing heart beat that came on for no particular reasons, headache... so my doctor put me on lexapro starting at 5mg for about 1.5 months and the dosage was increased up to 10 mg for 2 months). Two weeks into medication, I developed physical symptoms including weak legs (thighs), sluggishness, vivid dreams, jaw muscle pain, muscle twitching. First I thought they were some side effects that would go away, but they never went away during my medication. At two months into medication, I asked my doctor whether these were side effects, he said no, these were just results of depression and anxiety, so I kept on taking until I realized that these physical symptoms were making more anxious. During my medication, due to these physical symptoms, i became worried and was coming down with an illness so I went through many clinical tests including MRIs (brain, shoulder and knee) and whole body x ray, 6 times of blood tests, 2 urine tests and NCS, EMG and many more. But all the test results came back normal, so then I realized that I was not sick, but lexapro was making me ill. So I talked to another doctor and he took me off lexapro through a month of taper. I thought stopping lexapro would resolve all the physical symptoms soon, but till this date (it's been already close to two months), I still am still suffering from the same physical symptoms and developed more physical symptoms. Currently I am suffering from the following; 1) weak legs (thighs) - this has improved slightly but still there and this was started after beginning lexapro 2) muscle tremor/twitching - this has improved slightly but still there and this was started after beginning lexapro 3) jaw muscle pain - this has improved slightly but still there and this was started after beginning lexapro and I have been seeing a chiropractor for this. 4) swelling on my upper left eye lid only - I started to get this during my taper and it's been two months since and have gone to two eye doctors, they both said there's nothing wrong with my eye. during a day, the size of the swelling varies (worst in the morning, towards the day, it gets better but it has never gone away for the last two months) 5) Low energy - I started having this after I came off lexapro, my arms and legs feel really heavy, sometimes it gets better during a day, but I have been getting this since coming off the medication. 6) Nerve pain/muscle tiredness - started having this since the stopping of the medication, mild - intermittent level of nerve pains in arms and shoulders, it comes and goes. 7) Random eye strain/nausea - started having this since the stopping of the medication, it comes and goes.. I was wondering whether the physical symptoms are the side effects or WD of lexapro, given that I was on it for 5 months, how long will these last? I hope these physical symptoms are just from lexapro, and praying that they will go away eventually. Thank you so much for your help! PS: I have been exercising by walking 8-12 km for my mood/health.
  20. It has been nearly 4 months since I quit Lexapro cold turkey. Before that I had been on Zoloft for a few months, and before that I had been on Celexa for about 10 years. Nothing seemed to be working anymore, and I felt like I had been in a coma of sorts for more than a decade. I pulled the plug, and shortly after, all hell broke loose. Though my username might suggest otherwise, I am a 43-year-old woman. I feel I should mention that, though I still have many symptoms, I am currently coping with these at the moment. I am most concerned about the mental/emotional issues currently, but I will list the physical first. My physical symptoms were/are: insomnia for about 3 wks (sleep is better now but far from ideal); numbness in my legs and arms for about 6-7 wks; electricity-like vibrations or tremors all over my body (still have these in varying intensity); tinnitus (on and off for 2 mnths, occasional now); it was very difficult to eat ( I lost about 30lbs in 2.5 mnths); intense head pressure (2.5 mnths, occasional now); pain in my ears (fairly constant still); body twitches for about 3wks; vivid dreams that wake me up several times a night (constant since the initial insomnia lessened); feeling like something was lightly crawling all over my face and the top of my head for almost 3 months; no energy for 2 months (slightly improved now); intense heat particularly in my chest (still happens 3-4 times/wk at night); confusion and difficulty concentrating (has improved quite a bit in the last month); problems with my eyes (blurry, tired) is ongoing; diarrhea (still fairly constant); dizziness (still happens but only occasional now);and I became extremely sensitive to sound; light; smells; taste; other people’s emotions and stress (still dealing with these). I’m sure I’m forgetting things, but typing this has been a bit exhausting. Okay, now for the mental and emotional stuff. I became intensely afraid of the dark for several weeks. Thankfully that passed. I was terrified to be alone, and I am still afraid to be left on my own for too long. I experienced terror like I had never felt before. I learned to sit with it and accept it without giving a narrative to it. At first I felt at its mercy, but in January, I decided to sit with it, feel it physically while not giving it a narrative, and accept it. I kind of spoke to it. I said that I accepted that it was there but that it could feel free to leave at any time. I would ride out those waves in this way. That terror hasn’t visited me in a few weeks. Anxiety has been a constant companion. I talk to it too and treat it like I did the terror. I can settle it down eventually, but I know it’s not done with me yet. I also wake up with panic in the middle of the night. I decided a couple of weeks ago to not entertain any suicidal thoughts anymore. It is not an option, and I will not do it. I have become a bit claustrophobic, and early on, I had to keep running out of rooms or running outside. I’m getting tired, so I think I’ll jump to some of my concerns and questions. Since November, I lost my ability to daydream, and I miss that escape desperately. Will it come back? Will any spark of creativity come back? I find it hard to enjoy things, but I make myself do things to keep me occupied, like crochet. I used to be obsessed with music, but I can barely listen to it now. I can’t really watch most tv, but I have, thankfully, been able to watch gentle anime in the evenings to settle me down for sleep. When I get through this, I think I will have to write some sort of love letter about the genre keeping me going. British panel shows and British painting and pottery shows I can also handle. Will I be able to enjoy tv, music, and fiction again? I feel like I don’t remember how to be a person. Why am I afraid to be alone with my thoughts? Why do I worry from the morning how I will distract myself enough to get through another day? Where is any feeling of fun or enthusiasm? I focus on gratitude and am making every effort to be kind to myself. I also make an effort to be kind to others. I feel love for my parents and brother, and I tell them so often. I’ve journaled about past pains and traumas and chosen to forgive those involved. So I’m trying to lay the groundwork for positivity in my brain. But I feel like I’m in an unending existential crisis. I have trouble making much of an effort to do things, and I often feel like there is no point. Sadness I can feel, but happiness is elusive. It all just takes time, right? I guess I’m looking for hope. Sorry if this is a bit of a disorganized mess. Thank you, SurvivingOnAnime Lexapro 5mg for 3 months (quit November 2019) Lexapro 10mg for 14 months (July 2018 - Sept 2019) Zoloft 50mg for 5 months (March 2018 - July 2018) Celexa for 10 years (2008- March 2018)
  21. I work around a lot of physically vulnerable people, and don't want to expose them to the flu. So, in most years, I get a flu shot. But I'm nervous about getting the shot while I'm doing my AD taper. Has anyone else gotten a flu shot while tapering? Did you react differently compared with when you'd previously had the shot? Did it aggravate your WD symptoms? Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. -Mtnbkr
  22. 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.
  23. MOD NOTE : Toulouse's Success Story is here ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello everyone, I am a first time poster, long time Paxil user. I have been on Paxil for about 12 years or so, prescribed by my doctor to combat anxiety. My anxiety was never severe, I just fell down the slippery slope of Paxil use after what should have just been a bump in the emotional road for me. Long story short, I've decided to taper off of the Paxil 20mg (down from 40mg a couple years prior). This year my doc advised me to cut from 20mg to 10mg. (I know now, way too much and too fast). I had brain zaps, irritablilty, and vivid dreams (which I actually don't mind since they are usually pleasant) and some dizziness. After a few weeks I was feeling OK enough to go from 10mg to 5mg. I was good for about 3 weeks. But the next two weeks I suffered from severe anxiety - unlike any kind of despairing feeling I've ever had in my life! I suddenly became an emotional wreck and was just at wits end. So I went from 5mg Paxil back up to 10mg. A week or so later - hives. Hives, - small ones, on my neck or forearms. They'd go away after a couple hours so I didn't put too much worry into it. Then a week after these small hive appearances, I had a really bad outbreak of hives on my legs, which I thought was just a heat rash. I didn't take an anti-histamine, I hate the way they make me feel. Big mistake. I ended up waking up at 4 in the morning, itching terribly all over my body. I was searching for Benadryl downstairs when my wife found me - at which point I was getting dizzy and nauseous. I was going into anaphylactic shock. My wife and I both thought I was dying, my children sobbing as they waited by the front door for the ambulance to arrive. I've never had allergies really. I am allergic to cats, it turns out, but I've had my cat for 3 years (a Persian which I found to not feel allergic reactions to in the past- and who has since been living with my brother till this all gets ironed out). So this anaphylaxis was not something I was prepared for. An amulance ride later, they told me I had some kind of allergic reaction. A few weeks later, after seeing an allergist, he suspected my bizarre reaction to be caused by a medicine (not a food or other allergen). I only take Paxil, and Propecia. (which I've stopped last week to try to rule that out as a cause of the hives). I still get small areas of redness on my skin, primarily when I wake up in the AM. And for now I'm on antihistimines, which I dislike greatly. I am wondering if the traumatic, despair-like anxiety feelings I suffered, and then yo-yo-ing back to a higher dosage of Paxil did a number on my body and made me overly sensitive to histamines, or my cat. Since my allergist suspected Paxil as a possible cause of the hives/anaphylaxis, I have since tapered back down to 5mg, and three days ago down to 2.5mg. I suspect its not the actual Paxil causing the hives, but the withdrawal itself, the toll it takes on my body and mind. Just hoping putting my story out there, if anyone can relate to such a physical reaction like what I experienced, and if they too, think it is related to the Paxil withdrawl. Thanks for reading. Cheers
  24. Hi guys! Its been almost 7 months since I ct Lexapro, having only used it in 1 month om 5 mg. Its only now for the last weeks that the zaps, vertigo, flu-sympthoms and burning are starting, and becoming more severe by each day.. And I have a constant low fever since one month. (No virus.) Im burning all over my body, not sensitive to touch really.. Just feels like im on fire. And feels like breathing.. Sulfur. Not a refluxprob. (Also kinda blushing in face) All worse in my belly. Having attacks where it kinda knocks me with burning nerves all over and then goes back to constant medium-burning.. My cold sheets in bed is a blessing to naked skin! Also, notice aches and getting weaker in all my muscles.. 😕 Im so afraid! Whats going on! Have someone felt like this?
  25. After weight gain of almost 40 lbs in less than a year from Vraylar, my psychiatrist recommended stopping the medication. This medication has worked wonders for me, but I’m now at risk for metabolic syndrome as a result. I am a week into the withdrawal period and the first few days consisted of brain zaps. As the days progressed I noticed my irritability sky rocketing and started coping with smoking marijuana (I live in Vermont where it’s legal, doesn’t mean I should be doing this). Last night (Day 6) I noticed resurfacing of my PTSD symptoms, flashbacks, nightmares, fear, sadness, anger. I was able to eventually fall asleep. I weighed myself this morning and was already down almost 10 pounds. Today (Day 7) is the worst day so far. While I was able to be productive at work (working from home) I was on the verge of a panic attack all day. Muscle tightening, uneasy, and feeling the urge to scream and cry all day. I have been trying to use my DBT skills, but I feel like I am dying. My heart rate is high and I feel like my insides are shaking. I can’t get comfortable and I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. Please help.
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