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  1. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  2. Hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to start with a quick synopsis of my medical background below. I took SSRI antidepressants for 17+ years. I started with Prozac for 5 years from 15-21. Then I took Escitalopram from 22-32. Along the way I was put on Trazodone, Buspar, Ambien and Wellbutrin as well. All in an attempts to control my anxiety/depression and inability to sleep. Also a little mental history - I was bullied from about the age of 9 to the age of 16. It's pretty obvious in hindsight why I was depressed/anxious. I thought the people in this world were mean. I thought everywhere I went was an unsafe place because at this time it was. In response to this I took up boxing and working out so I could become stronger than my bullies. In all honesty it worked. As soon as I became strong and in shape I became popular out of nowhere, which was an interesting transition. Anyways, that's another story for another time. At 15 I visited the doctor because I always held things to myself because I never told my parents I was being bullied or that life outside of my bedroom sucked. They just thought I was sad/depressed. Depression also runs deep in my family. My mother has been on an extreme cocktail of antidepressants since she was about 20. Although this cocktail has been quite a rollercoaster for her as well. She thought this was the only way to help. I had no one to talk to and I felt like the world was an unsafe and scary place so when the doctor prescribed anti depressants and the anxiety disappeared I thought it was a miracle. At this time the extreme side effects didn't matter to me. The fact I lost my ability to feel empathy because I was numb didn't matter because I didn't like people enough to care to empathize with them. I thought I was going to make it in this world on my own come hell or high water. This idea set me off on a path of perfectionism, egocentrism, hedonism and drug abuse. This life is not meant to be lived alone. To make sure this story doesn't become a novel I'm going to go ahead and summarize it here. For 16 years I went on a binger of sorts. Chasing all the highs this world has to offer. Whether this be dating multiple women, chasing drugs and festival culture, chasing adrenaline highs in the form of mountain biking, power lifting or cliff diving. I kept chasing thrills to fill the emotional void left by the SSRI. I also had to be perfect at this point. I had to have a straight A's in college. A quick aside (I had a long period of alcohol addiction that ran in parallel with my SSRI usage from about 16-21). This caused me to fall behind in life so I felt like I had to catch-up quick, mixed with the perfectionism created from early bullying it caused an immense amount of anxiety in my day to day life. I wasn't allowed to rest, make a mistake or simply apologize when I was wrong. This caused insane amounts of chaos in my relationships throughout these years. Finally when I hit about 31 I decided I had enough of this chaos. A 6-year relationship and all of my life long friendships finally collapsed on me. They were built on a false human. They were built on a man that didn't exist. I see myself as two people honestly. The person that was on anti-depressants is not the same human I am off them. Honestly in my mind half the withdrawal is realizing you built a life not suitable to the person you are off the medicine. I moved to a new area and started a new life. I also quit my anti-depressants. I began hiking and looking inward. It took about 6 months from the insomnia, brain zaps, panic attacks and extreme social anxiety to subside. I managed these symptoms with extreme self inquiry. I also started walking daily. I'm running out of time to write this so let me summarize this pretty quickly here. I'm not perfectly better now. I think anxiety/depression are a part of existence now. I accept there will be days I'm tired/scared and will have panic attacks, but I've learned to sit with these emotions and understand this too shall pass. Getting of my anti-depressant also gave me my empathy back. I built closer connections with people than I've had in the past 17 years. It was extremely hard to rebuild a social support system and a new life while quitting the SSRI though. I would say overall life feels deeper now though. In summary: 1) Took SSRI's for 17+ years. Felt like a zombie. I won't say it was all bad. If you are suicidal and have no other options I would say these are better than that alternative. If you believe you have any other options though I would urge you to try them all out. 2) Quit SSRI's at 32. Created a new life. 3) Anxiety/depression still exists but I now just believe these to be a part of life as opposed to something to get rid of. 4) Found a social support system that saved me, built around the real me. Sorry for jumping around so much on this post. I was trying to work from home at the same time. So I kept jumping back into it. If anyone has any questions feel free to let me know!
  3. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  4. Rhi's Introduction topic I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area. Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is. As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages. Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble. After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself. Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much. Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious. Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice. Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again! And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun! It's GREAT. So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses. The lower the doses go, the better I feel. There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening. For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs. I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it. I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health. And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!
  5. Hi, im from Brazil, so my english is not very good. Id like to know if anyone ever took two antidepressants togheter. The reason i ask is because im on paroxetine 40mg and venlafaxine 37.5. I have been on paroxetine since 2017 on and off, always trying to quit, but recently i changed the doctor, i was in severe WD from paroxetine,( i CTed from 20 mg, initiali i was taking 40 mg and started lowering dosage and was feeling so good, i was so stupid i couldturkeyd from 20 mg), and he asked me to try venlafaxine, but had no reliefe, made me so anxious, like akathisia. Now i went back to my old doctor, and he asked me to go back to paroxetine, and i went, but he said o should stay o venlafaxine too, otherwise id have some problems. Now im taking both along with zolpiden( sleeping piil, not benzo) and dont know much what to do. My plan is to continue taking both AD untill i stabilize and then start tappering venlafaxine. And then much time later start tappering paroxetine again( witch is the drug im more sensible to, since im taking it for more or less 3 years.) Any advices would be so helpfull, im from brazil and doctors here have no ideia what is withdrawal. My worst symptom is severe dizziness.
  6. Hello, I did a relatively quick taper from Lexapro using 1 mg per week water titration from 10mg with my final dose mid-November. Acute withdrawals lasted a couple weeks then subsided. Around Christmas the weeping and depression set in with a vengeance. At the same time insomnia started. I could not sleep unless I took 50mg of Seroquel. i am still battling the insomnia but ironically last night I slept 7 hours without having to take meds. Today is my 5th day of reinstatement on 5mg of Lexapro. Seroquel as stopped a week ago and replaced with Ambien, which I have not taken for 2 days. The insomnia is taking it's toll on me. My T3 thyroid is starting to go low, I am having cold temperature intolerances, hair is falling out, strange "feelings" in my hands and legs from time to time, and inability to relax or make myself comfortable. It's like I am always in a restless state. Since I have reinstated the weird feeling in my hands and legs are subsiding and are more flair up in nature. I felt relaxed when I woke up this morning and when I layed down last night. I do have the typical startup anxiety/tiredness that is all too familiar. the head fog is very bad also. How long will I know whether or not this reinstatement is going to work? Also, how long should I stay at 5 mg before I go to 10 mg and plan to hold there? I did not want to reinstate but the insomnia will put me to an early grave if I do not get it under control. Dr. Shipko's blog also scared the crap out of me. If I would have read that back at the end of last year, I would have never goin off in the first place.
  7. I am posting this basically as an introduction to my situation and perhaps just to find some sort of support or encouragement from the excellent people here. After being on a myriad of psychiatric medication for 13 years, I discovered the untold dangers of these drugs when I started feeling that they were taking a toll on my normal functioning and cognition. I spent most of these years going back and forth from one drug to another, in varying doses (see my use history below). I was never really able to identify withdrawal symptoms when coming off some of the drugs (despite the fact that several were fast tapered) apart from my withdrawal from Xanax, Valium and most lately, Fluoxetine. I had no idea about proper tapering until discovering this forum. Currently, I am a psychological mess who is on a cocktail of drugs and about to enter a psychiatric hospital for the fourth time. The past two weeks have been a hellish experience: unbearable anxiety and depression, an inability to think clearly or perform everyday tasks, complete loss of appetite, inability to converse with people, anhedonia, disrupted sleep, poorer coordination, of and alcohol misuse to numb the pain, to mention a few. During the past few months, I have simply been looking forward to night time, when I can take my 150mg of Trazodone and 10mg of Zolpidem to feel relief from it all. Unfortunately, the past few nights have seen me increasing the dosage of these drugs. Yesterday morning, I started straight back on 20mg of Fluoxetine (again, I had no idea about the possible kindling effect until I happened to come across it later in the day). After switching drugs several times and stopping and starting, I can only imagine that I am certainly susceptible to this effect? Tonight, I found myself awake after only 1 hour of sleep, despite taking 10mg Zolpidem and 250mg Trazodone. My nervous system feels overexcited (I am thinking probably from the reinstatement of the Fluoxetine?) and with the terrible restlessness this brought I found myself taking another 10mg Zolpidem to try and knock me out. It has not helped and I am still wide awake. I realise that increasing the dosages of these drugs is a recipe for long-term disaster but the pain is horrendous. I know that tomorrow, when I get into the hospital, I will most likely meet a new psychiatrist who will be the same as most of the rest and want to increase dosages or rapidly switch things up. I will let her know that this is not the route I want to take and hope that she is informed and empathetic to my concerns. I have a deep sense of hopelessness at my situation right now and feel completely trapped. At the same time, I don't feel like I am ticking any of the right boxes to be able to taper down. So my thinking is that the first step needs to be restarting on the lowest dose of fluoxetine (here in South Africa I believe this is only available at 10mg) in order to try and 'stabilise' the reinstatement and possibly get back into productivity that will allow me to save my very valued job and relationships. Of course, my biggest concern is that I have dosed highly on the Trazodone and Zolpidem for the past three nights, and that alcohol has also played an insidious role in my life for the past few months. In addition, I had ketamine infusions in December due to thoughts of ending all the pain, so this further complicates this terrifying situation. I truly want to be off the drugs and other treatments but I realise that my case is particularly complicated and I don't know how to go about solving it. Any thoughts and observations would be deeply appreciated. 2008 - Escitalopram 20mg2009 - 2011 Epitec 200 mg (fast tapered, no noticeable WD symptoms) and Seroquel 200 mg (fast tapered, no noticeable WD symptoms).2012 - 2019 Intermittent use of Escitalopram 20mg. Prescribed Xanax 1mg for anxiety in 2018. Was on them for 2 years. Developed tolerance, cravings and withdrawal when attempting to stop. Tapered off with Valium bridge in 2021. Fast tapered off Valium after six weeks. 2020 - Trazodone 150 mg and 10mg Zolpidem nightly (still taking). 2021 - Fluoxetine 20 mg (fast tapered, experiencing delayed withdrawal six weeks later). IV Ketamine infusions for debilitating depression. 2022 - more frequent overuse of Trazodone and Zolpidem, together with alcohol. Reinstatement of 20 mg Fluoxetine caused insomnia and akithesia on night 1. Supplements: Vitamin B Complex; Magnesium Glycinate; Vitamin C; Lions Mane Mushrooms; Omega 3.
  8. Hello everyone. Sorry for being abrupt with my introduction, but I just checked some threads that are similar to my situation and I'm freaking out. Male. 31yrs old. After 11years of paxil usage my doctor told me to come off it since apparently the med wasn't doing its work anymore. He suggested to quit paxil cold turkey and start venlafaxine. No paxil withdrawal at all. I took venlafaxine for 12 days, but I stopped after reading about side effects and horrible withdrawals. I went to a dif doctor who put me on mirtazapine, so I stopped venlafaxine cold turkey. That meant 28 days of brain zaps. After a month and a half of taking 15mg of mirtazapine nightly I started to notice emotional blunting and numb feet. I tried to go from 15 to 7.5mg and I had a sleepless night. I kept trying every now and then til I got to sleep at least 5 hours. I maintained the 7.5 dose for a week, then jumped to 3.75mg, stayed on that dose from another week and this past week I have been alternating between 3.75 and 0. I have been experiencing intrusive thoughts and panic attacks in the mornings. The emotional blunting hasn't lifted. My doctor prescribed Prozac as an AD and quetiapine for sleep, but I refused to take an antpsychotic as I'm aware of the permanent brain damage they might cause. I can cry a bit in very extreme circumstances and chuckle every once in a while, but most of the time I'm flat. Please give me some hope on getting all my emotions back once I'm completely off the drug. I'm terrified of the other mirtazapine "no emotions" posts.
  9. Hello. I quit sertraline cold turkey on November 6 after three years of taking it. I was with a 50 mg dose. I am suffering abstinence symptoms since the end of December. Right now the dominant one is a terrible insomnia. I only manage to sleep some hours when I take zolpidem. I am becoming super sleep deprived and I am afraid of the future impact that this will have in my life. I tried supplements: one with various vitamins (Magnesio Ok +), Passiflora, 5 htp, fish oil and melatonin. I also took lexotan some days (doctor’s advice) and victan for panic attacks. The only thing that makes me sleep last days is Zolpidem, but not for much hours. Before my situation becomes worst, what do you think I should do?
  10. Currently prescribed by neurologist for Akathisia: 7.5 mg Zolpidem (Ambien) 3 x day (tapered from 30 mg Dec, 2020-Feb, 2021) 600 mg Gabapentin 80 mg Propranalol 1.25 mg Clonazpam 22.5 mg Mirtazapine (Remeron) Fast 2 month taper off Cymbalta Spring, 2020 due to Tardive Dyskinesia Akathisia began Summer, 2020 Neurologist had me stop other medications abruptly (Clonazepam, Doxycycline, prednisone) Began with propranalol and meds increased through Fall, 2020 to above current dose. Thinking I should continue taper zolpidem first, as this would be the drug removed if I had to be hospitalized, but don't know how to reduce it past just breaking the tablets. (Neurologist thinks I should stay on it, or fast taper in 4 weeks. Neurologist also thinks I can just stop the mirtazapine if I choose, with no taper) I can't find specific info on dry or liquid taper for zolpidem.
  11. I'm new here and appreciate the time people take to help others who are struggling! As of June of this year, I discontinued paroxetine after slowly reducing to about 1 mg. Now I'm having severe anxiety and insomnia again. It's so bad so that I went to the Dr. to get a prescription. She prescribed lexapro (generic) and ambien (generic). Now after reading more about lexapro I don't think it's a good idea to take this. I might just try the ambien because of the severe insomnia, constant waking and feeling of dread. The Dr. is very cautious with meds, and knows I don't want to be on this stuff. But, she thinks it's more important that I get rest even if I just take the meds for a short time. But I know the risks. I've tried every natural supplement under the sun--nothing works. I've tried ibuprofen and a little benedryl but it doesn't help much. Should I reinstate paroxetine to 5 mg instead of lexapro (generic)? Or just try 2.5 mg of ambien (generic)? i desperately need sleep.
  12. Hi, Just curious if anyone can provide some help. I've had a rough 2015. I was in the ER with a couple of incidents of low sodium. As some of you might know, Lexapro and other SSRIs contribute to that. I've been on Lexapro for 15 years. I also had a night time drinking problem. My Dr told me to quit Lexapro in June which I did cold turkey. They didn't tell me otherwise. I had dizziness for a month but that's it. I tried it back up on my own in September but quit after a week cause of the symptoms. Then with my Dr's help I quit booze. Forgetting about the issues with low sodium he strongly urged me to go back on it cause I would be stressed from quitting booze. I did and gave it up 12/3/15 cause of the side effects again. I had some withdrawal from being on it for only a week. Anyways, due to incredible anxiety and insomnia for a week straight I went back to Lexapro on 1/1/16. Part of the stress is due to a new job opportunity to start in January if I want it. High stress gig. I was given meds to help with the low sodium issues. My long winded question is this? Was the stress due to withdrawal or a relapse of stress? I don't know which is the answer I want but I'm scared cause I'm not myself and have been in bed for weeks. Christian
  13. Hi, everybody. I've been off citalopram for eight weeks now, but I'm still taking Zolpidem. This is my history with medication: On 2012, I started having panic attacks after the loss of a loved one. I had had a few in the two previous years, but I didn’t understand what I was feeling and they were undiagnosed. My GP prescribed 0.50mg of Alprazolam twice a day. I took it for a couple of months, got better and stopped. On 2015, when I was getting my Master’s, I started suffering from anxiety and severe insomnia (which I had always been prone to throughout my life). My psychiatrist prescribed 20mg of Citalopram. After an initial period of increased anxiety, I felt like I was myself again. I gained maybe five or six pounds, but had no other side effects. I took it for six months and stopped after I got my degree. I tapered slowly and was fine for about six months. On September 2016, after a bad fight with my husband and while we were going through a stressful period, my insomnia returned. I took Zolpidem (started with 10 mg, then took 12.5) and sometimes Clonazepam (0.25mg or 0.50) to cope. After two months with no real improvement I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to take an antidepressant again. This time, she put me on 10mg of Lexapro (liquid form). I was on Lexapro for about six months, until May 2017. During this period, a lot of weight, almost thirty pounds. Then, I started tapering off very slowly, one drop every two weeks. Every time I started taking one less drop, I would be fine for a couple of days, then felt very anxious, then would go back to feeling normal. On September 2017, my insomnia returned. I also felt very anxious, had gloomy thoughts, would cry for no reason. I went back to taking Zolpidem and Clonazepam to cope (same dose as before). I also tried between 2mg and 5mg of melatonin for a while but felt no difference whatever. And I also tried meditation and exercise more steadily than in my previous attempt to quit. This time, I only stayed off antidepressants for four months. On January 2018, I went back on 20mg of Citalopram and stayed on it for a year. I gained maybe 5 or 6 pounds (on top of all those other ones that I had already gained, and which I never lost), but had no other side effects. I started sleeping well again, but had to take Clonazepam occasionally as well, especially near my period. Then, on January 2019, I lowered my dose to 10mg of Citalopram. I didn’t feel any difference. On October of the same year, I lowered my dose to 5mg and started taking 5mg of Zolpidem to prevent my insomnia from coming back. After six weeks, on November 25, I quit the Citalopram. I had a couple of days of insomnia even with the Zolpidem, but was fine otherwise. Then, on January 2nd, my insomnia came back. Even with the Zolpidem and 0.25 or 0.50mg of Clonazepam, I was sleeping badly, crying a lot. Then, I was fine again for a couple of weeks. I’ve been exercising more regularly, which I think helps. I also went back to therapy, which I had quit three years ago. Today I had possibly the worst day of this process this time around. I’m having PMS, which always makes my anxiety worse. Even with 5mg of Zolpidem (which I’ve been taking every night for months), I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. When I tried to take a nap in the afternoon (which I know isn’t advisable, but I was just so tired), I started getting palpitations, my hands felt cold and I had to pee five or six times in one hour. I took 0.25mg of Clonazepam and now I feel better. I don’t want to rely on meds all my life, but when I’m feeling this way, I confess that I miss my antidepressant. I wonder if quitting was the right choice or if I should just stay on it. I don’t want to offend anybody by saying this, but am afraid that my doctor (who I will see again in four weeks) might push me to go back on medication. Maybe this isn’t fair, since she was always very supportive when I wanted to stop and I was the one who asked to go back the last two times. I don’t want to ask again and that’s why I’m here. I’m sorry if I rambled on!
  14. Greetings all, Around July of last year i suffered a direct blow to the temple (by far the worst pain I've ever felt in my life) which lead to me having a concussion, shortly after that I smoked what I thought was weed with my roommates but it turned out to be a drug called Spice. These two events led to me having hallucinations one day and I checked myself into a hospital. Long story short they didnt diagnose me with anything they just doped me up with 8 different medications some of the ones i can remember are Abilify, Depakote, Risperdone, Zyprexa, Ativan, Vistril, and Lithium ( i can't recall the other drugs names). I was on so many meds I don't remember the first two days I was there. Long story short they held me against my will for three and a half weeks before I was able to get a different doctor and get released. Since my release I have felt emotionally numb i cant feel happiness or joy, sadness nor pleasure. I feel like I have lost some intelligence, as well as vocabulary and my creative ability. Prior to being given I was very creative all my life I enjoyed writing music and poetry, I also loved playing sports mainly football, Working out, Playing video games and watching movies. I no longer get any enjoyment what so ever from anything i once found interesting. I find it hard to carry on a conversation I feel socially unconfident due to the fact that I feel like i cant think like my brain is just an empty slate. I get major headaches that occur pretty much everyday, I have insomnia (I can fall asleep just fine but wake up at the same time every night which is 3 am). Also I have experienced a tremendous loss of libdo and interest in sex like i just dont desire it anymore, I really feel like I lost myself and I'm scared that I wont get my pre-med self back, I have been doing everything in my power to get my life and old self back I have been seeing a pdoc who prescribed me zoloft which I feel isnt working and also trazodone to help with sleep. I have also been going to counseling sessions weekly which has helped a little. I have done extensive research and have come across many people who are experiencing the same things that I am and we all have the same question can the brain recover from antipsychotics and if so how long does it take??
  15. Am frightened Weened MYSELF off zyprexa and buproprion SIX WEEKS ago and am very sick. 24 7 headache for SIX weeks and NO SLEEP. Anxiety and manía off the charts. I keep thinking with each day i will get better. Will I? Dont want to go back on. Feel like getting worse. No money. No Insurance. Not working. Huge medical debt. Can not go back to Dr who did this to me. Will this get better? On both 4 months. On MANY MORE through the years. In January stopped 15yr opiods and 10yr benzos use. Is this zyprexa? 5.5 months off benzos and opiods is it that? Taking 10mg zolpidem to try and escape hell on earth and this headache NOT WORKING. Afraid to stop that too. Frightened to be in hospital or back on meds trying to get off of. SIX WEEKS! Can anyone tell me this will get better? Please? Living a nightmare.
  16. Hi all, I had been taking 2mg/night of pimozide, an antipychotic for a skin infection from last Sept-Nov 2017. By mid-November, my brain snapped into wakefullness and I did not sleep for 2 months straight. I stopped the drug completely because insomnia was a side effect then later turned into a withdrawal effect. Its been about 4 months of chronic insomnia now. In the first two months of insomnia, I tried herbs, alcohol, sleep hygiene, meditation, exercise, several sedating antidepressants: lorazpam, seroquel, etc. , none of which worked. I then tried Ambien/zolpidem which worked ocassionally at high doses then lost its effectiveness with a many side effects: nausea, dizziness and nightmares. I tapered off all of these since they did not work. The next month, I had some sleep 2-4 hrs/night cycling CBD oil, Ultra PM (Phenibut) and tryptophan. However now after a month of use, they are all losing their effectiveness and am needing to up the dosage to see if they will continue to work. I also tried neurofeedback therapy for 2 months but it did not resolve insomnia and was very expensive about $4K for 3x/week. I tried taking Mind Lab Pro a nootropic blend during the daytime to see if to could help repair brain, but instead has had me up 4 nights straight, when I was sleeping a little prior to taking this. Was too stimulating, trial and error I guess. I am considering reinstating pimozide to see if it will help bring my brain back into balance from withdrawal, but I am fearful that it could make insomnia worse since insomnia happened as a side effect during taking it regularly. Any thoughts or advice on antipychotic withdrawal, reinstating and how to beat chronic insomnia without meds?
  17. Hello, On March 29, 2017, I was prescribed 10 MG Ambien at ER after 3 nights of no sleep due to racy thoughts, and extreme anxiety that made me shake and my muscles twitched. I thought I was gonna die. Next day, I was prescribed 1 MG Lorazepam for anxiety. after a month, I cut Lorazepam to 1/2 pill and cut the Ambien to 1/2 pill too but was told by doctor to not cut the Ambien and just cut it after 6 months. During those months taking the pills, I experienced all side effects (extreme headches and weird sensations on my forehead, neck and ears, ramdom pain and pulses all over my body, fatigue, anxiety, more heart palpitations, abdominal pain, weightloss, etc.) The muscle twithcing did not disappear. I went to different doctors and complained about my symptoms, they said it was just stress and anxiety and told me to just take more of the Lorazepam. My blood test showed I was low in Vitamin D, low Iron, low HDL cholesterol & had slight dehydration. Everything showed "normal". I'm now taking supplements Vit D3, comfort Iron, Magnesium Glycinate, Sodium Ascorbate (non-acidic Vit. C), Omega 3 Fish Oil, some Whey Protein. I have asked my family doctor on getting off the pills and she said that I could just cut them and I won't have withdrawals since I've only been taking a small dose of Lorazepam. Starting June 26, 2017, I started cutting the Lorazepam dosage by cutting/weighing the pill deducting 0.02-0.03 MG everyday and the Ambien 0.3-0.4 MG everyday too. Since cutting the pills, I've had 0 sleep on some days which occurred every 2-5 days, extreme anxiety, heavy muscle twitching on my legs and back, extreme fatigue, depression plus all the other symptoms I had while on the higher dose of the drugs. These horrifying misery that I don't want to experience again. The Lorazepam went down to 0.22mg and Ambien to 8.2mg but my husband (who helps with the cutting/weighing) have since added doses everytime I get 0 hrs. of sleep. Since 2 nights ago, I've been taking 9.4MG Ambien (Zolpidem) and 0.27mg Loarazepam (ativan). I need help/guidance on how to taper properly, all the tips you can give on what to do to survive withdrawal and lots of encouragement (and love) to get off these drugs and heal. I want to get my old self back, the energetic, bubbly, hardworking mother of 4 that I used to be. Not the sickly, depressed, unfunctioning woman that these drugs have turned me into. I'd specially encourage those who have tapered off Ambien & Ativan successfully, to please post your tips. I appreciate any and all help that you could extend!!!
  18. I'm having a bad problem right now involving Remeron, Ambien, Xanax, Benadryl, Anxiety, Insomnia, GI problems, and fibromyalgia. I have a history of ambien use. 2 years ago I used 5-10MG of Ambien every night for 9 months. I started gradually having mild anxiety and depression throughout the 9 months so I decided to quit and then I did a 3 months taper. It was probably too fast because I had terrible anxiety throughout the process and it never stopped after I jumped. I was clean for 4 months. Then 5 months ago I had an incident which has since plunged my life down the toilet bowl and I have been terribly ill ever since, lost 30 pounds, and my anxiety and panic disorder has transformed into full blown agoraphobia. It started when I took an antibiotic for an ear infection. I had an allergic reaction and I had to start taking 50-75 mg of Benadryl every night. The next day I started a 5 day course of a different antibioitic, took corticosteroids, and took 0.25mg xanax to get to sleep. All was fine until 3 days later when I suddenly got chest/back pain, gastric burning, and a panic attack. This started a 5 month cascade of gradually elevating anxiety and gastric symtoms which was misdiagnosed as GERD. I went on many medications including prilosec, zantac, benadryl, antacids, tylenol, an experiment with librax (about 8 pills), and a few doses of muscle relaxer. I was on a cycle of using Xanax every 3 days and Benadryl every night. Every 3 days I would have a panic attack and take 0.25mg of Xanax, which has an interaction with Prilosec so it was probably actually more like 0.5mg. The gastric symptoms would strangely improve whenever I took the Xanax and then deteriorate over the next 3 days until it was time for the next Xanax. My nightly dose of 25mg-75mg Beandryl also helped and I would typically be better in the beginning of the day and then deteriorate throughout the night until it was time for the next Benadryl. At the time I thought Benadryl was just an antihistamine and did not know that it was also an anticholinergic and a mild SSRI. 3 months ago the gastric symptoms went into a constant steady state with no remissions and I started having wierd muscle twitching and electric sensations. So I went on a witchhunt to remove all of my medications in suspicion that one of them was causing my GI symptoms, which had eluded my GI doctor and all of his tests. First I got rid of the prilosec, zantac, antiacids. This didnt help. Then I tried to get off the Benadryl and that's when the **** hit the fan. Muscle stiffness and Insomnia from trying to quit Benadryl drew me back to Ambien. It started with 1mg doses and then quickly went to 2 and then 5 in a matter of days. The first day off Benadryl I had terrible anxiety and I was immediately in a state of having extreme insomnia and after a couple nights of taking Ambien or missing sleep I also had fibromyalgia, which further prevented me from sleeping as I could not find a comfortable position to sleep in. I've never had fibromyalgia in my life. For the next 2 weeks I would flop between different combinations of Benadryl and Ambien as my condition continued to deteriorate. I was averaging 2 or 3 hours of sleep per night. 2 weeks ago I saw a psychiatrist sleep doctor who Prescribed Remeron 7.5mg. I started by cutting it to 3.75mg which worked wonderfully for the first 5 days. I didnt need any Ambien and was getting 9 hours of sleep. However, I had side effects like dry mouth, dehydration, weakness, exercise intolernce, anxiety, suicidal ideation, memory issues, binge eating on junk, and daytime tiredness. Then on the 6th day I was having muscle stiffness, muscle spasms/twitches, and insomnia. I could not sleep on 3.75mg. After a drink (i dont normally drink), a hit of weed (i dont normally smoke), and then another 3.75mg to bring it up to 7.5mg, I STILL could not sleep. I could not sleep until I added 2.5mg of Ambien, and then I slept for 3 hours. This situation might have been amplified by having a steroid trigger point shot and a sedated procedure 2 days prior. Nevertheless, it scared me away from Remeron. I was scared of the side effects, the dose escalation, and possibly Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome. I also quit Claratin 10mg, which I'd be taking for years while going on an antihistamine witchhunt and suspected I had 'Histaminosis'. For the next 4 days I would use Ambien 2mg and then 5mg and then two nights at 10mg, and I was still only getting 3-5 hours of sleep. I was hoping my GI symptoms would go away, if I was on just Ambien for a while. They didnt. Soem of the twitching was still there too. My psychiatrist told me to go up to 12.5mg of Ambien CR. Hell no. I was already possibly getting addicted to Ambien and didnt want to cement that with a long course of high doses and cement this addiction after everything I went through over the past 2 years. Over the last 2 nights I did an experiment where I 'reinstated' Remeron at 1mg and used 1mg of Ambien. One to initiate sleep and one to maintain sleep, instead of using an unnecessarily large dose of a long acting drug to initiate sleep or an unneccessarily large dose of a short acting drug to maintain sleep. Miraculously it worked. On only 1mg of remeron and 1mg of Ambien I have gotten 9 and 10 hours of sleep during the previous 2 nights. However, today I am again having some issues with minor twitching and electric sensations throughout my body, which I woke up with, and after thinking of it too long I am having bad anxiety. I don't know whether I am having a withdrawal from Ambien, a withdrawal from Remeron, side effects of Remeron, a withdrawal from one of the previous drugs (I havent had Xanax in 2 weeks), etc. After having only about 10 or 15 doses of Ambien at an average of 3-4mg per night, am I already addicted? Am I KINDLED? Do I need to taper Ambien in order to avoid seizures or brain damage, regardless of Remeron? For how long - a week, a month, months? Am I having some rare side effect syndrome of Remeron and need to go back on just ambien? Do I need to taper the tiny dose of remeron I took for a week? Do I need to go back on Benadryl or Xanax? Did I get addicted to the Xanax every 3 days? I feel like I urgently need a professional to work all of this out and tell me which doses of what I need to take over what time frame in order to avoid harm or seizures and assure me that I'm not having Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or something like that. I want my life back. I know these all look like tiny doses and time frames to you guys but I feel like I'm going insane, or I'm going to die. What do you guys think?
  19. Hello all, About three weeks ago I had a panic attack right as I was falling asleep. I only slept four hours each night the next two days. I learned that my family has had a history of anxiety issues, and because I was having trouble calming down, I was prescribed 50 mg trazodone to be used once a day, and 10 mg zolpidem tartrate to be used as needed for sleep. These did help me sleep, but I was still only getting consistently 6 hours of sleep a night. So, I talked to a counselor and saw a doctor. They both recommended a SSRI, presuming that the anxiety was the reason I wasn't sleeping as much as I had previously, so I was perscribed 25 mg sertraline HCl (Zoloft). After taking it for four days, I decided that the long-term side effects were pretty scary (brain zaps, "lower IQ," memory issues, weight gain), and that given that my anxiety was pretty mild by this time, I decided to stop taking it and try to go with just cognitive behavioral therapy. (I'm in grad school BTW.) I've found that I can't fall asleep without trazodone (now it's been about three weeks taking it), so I'm considering tapering. Do you think the insomnia is really because I don't have the trazodone, or is my sleep anxiety playing more of a role than I am giving it credit for? Should I reconsider Zoloft? I'm not really worried about having another panic attack, but I'm not sure whether I should take a combined therapy/medication approach to the anxiety or just try to do it with only therapy. Your advice is much appreciated. (you can delete my post in the tapering forum)
  20. Hi, I have been on Paxil 40mg for 22 years. I have also been on Ambien 10mg for 7 years. About three weeks ago I reduced the Ambien by half to 5mg. Once I am off the Ambien I plan on tapering off the Paxil.
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