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PsyGuy: SSRI withdrawal


PsyGuy

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm about 2 months into being 100% off antidepressants (specifically Paxil for 10 years, then a combination of Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro over the past year because the Paxil "just stopped working") I tapered with my psych down 1/2 dosage for a month then cold turkey.

 

The withdrawal effects are brutal for me. Specifically the constant anxiety/panic. It's hard to concentrate at work when I'm in a steady state of fear. Along with that, I will get uncontrollable crying spells out of nowhere, anything minor will set me off and I'll sob like a little girl (I'm 6'2" 235lbs).

 

Has anyone experienced this before? I feel like I'm going crazy and just dont know what to expect 2 months into my cessation. Does this last for a prolonged period of time, will it get better soon?

 

Also, I'm eating a clean diet and exercising daily, it helps a little but not a whole lot.

 

Thanks!

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome PsyGuy,

I moved your introductory post to a Journal thread of its own. This way more people will notice it, and you can maintain your own journal.

 

It sounds like you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Many of us are here because we tapered too fast while believing we were doing it right. Sadly, most doctors don’t have a clue and often advise tapers that are too fast. We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Also see:  What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

What was the last drug you were on, and what dose did you stop from? When did you last take it? Are your symptoms getting worse?

 

Its hard to say how long withdrawal symptoms will last. Everyone is different, but if you have been on these kinds of drugs for over 10 years and then stopped, basically CT, its possible that it could take several more months or even a few years before you are fully recovered. You will get better eventually, but it could take a while. On the other hand, you might start to feel better sooner.

 

It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

When we have a few more details, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions. I’m glad you found us, we’re here to support you.

 

Petunia.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello PsyGuy,

 

I get anxiety and random crying spells a lot - and they definately are symptoms of withdrawal.  This is very hard for you when you are at work, not sure how I'd manage that.  I've seen it suggested that sipping ice-water with magnesium citrate throughout the day can be calming (just start at a very low dose so as not to over-relax your bowels :P).  Or you can check out other ideas here:  symptoms-and-self-care

 

I've found that having a whole bunch of tools/coping strategies is great - you can pick and choose, and usually something will work, even if just enough to get you through the moment.  I had to write lists down and stick them on the wall till I learnt the new habit of caring for myself, rather than just shutting down.  

 

Also I think each time we do even a little thing to care for ourselves, it gives our brains more to work with as they heal.  Our brains need all the nurturing they can get right now.   

 

Take care,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, PsyGuy.

 

When you were on Lexapro (that was the last drug, correct?), were you stable? Or did you have withdrawal symptoms then?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Altostrata,

 

I don't think I was ever stable on the 3 months I was on Lexapro. Basically what happened was I was on Paxil for 10+ years and throughout that time it worked OK. my dr. kept increasing dosage thought the years, then one day "it just stopped working". I was having massive panic attacks, constant anxiety, worry, fear, afraid to leave my house.

 

So my dr. kind of had me sample more SSRIs to see if anyone of them might "stick". They did not help much, they more or less seemed to catapult me into a state of mania in my opinion. I couldn't sit still, my mind was constantly racing, and felt like I was going crazy.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment

Hey PsyGuy

I'm experiencing similiar symptoms. Off meds for 5 months. Windows and waves. Work is tough. Hard to keep it together when you're losing it inside.

I'm in a wave now. It's tough. No sleep and intense anxiety. No one in my life gets it. They think I'm a freak and they stay away... Hard not to feel sorry for oneself .... I'm also a solid guy with a history of being pretty tough - but this sh*t is unbelievably badass.

18 years on Zoloft then it quit working and started giving me anxiety.

Nothing else has worked for me at all

prescribed: pristiq, lexapro , Abilify with zoloft, Remeron, Lithium, Vybriid, Prozac, lamactil, Celexa, Paxil and Luvox

TAPERS

Zoloft - switched to Paxil after 2 week taper - big mistake

Paxil - 10% Reduction over 20 weeks. Started Luvox on week 18

Luvox - too fast of taper directed by PDoc- 25% reduction over 6 weeks because of short time on- 4 months, never worked

-tapered off everything except Lithium 300mg by April 11, 2015

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"but this sh*t is unbelievably badass" you said it right!!!!  I am near the end of 6 months off a 2 month journey on ADs and it's been a nightmare.  I still can't leave the house by myself or drive as I feel I might lose control (I feel like a ball of frustrated energy is living inside me waiting to explode) and have high anxiety from this.  It's like my nerves are super exposed.  We will all get through this!

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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  • Administrator

It sounds like your nervous system was sensitized by going off Paxil. It's been so long, reinstatement is a long shot. If you decide to try it, you might want to try 1mg Paxil to start.

 

For taking very small doses, see Tips for tapering off Paxil (paroxetine)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Wow KT38:

you're 6 months into the withdrawal and you still have all those symptoms? I feel for you, the "not wanting to leave the house" thing is the most disturbing thIng for me. Nothing like having to go grocery shopping and ordering takeout whenever I feel I can't leave. I never thought I'd be agoraphobic.

 

LucyJed:

keep being badass. I think we're all going to need it.

 

Alto:

Do you have a list or know of one where I can get one that lists doctors specifically experienced in ssri w/d? I feel like my doctor thinks I'm crazy or lying to get drugs. She says "no one goes through withdrawal for 2 months" if I have to, I'll changes Drs.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

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  • Administrator

For doctors, see http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for the list Alto, I'm glad there are doctors out there who will outwardly recognize these problems. Sadly, none are in Ohio for me. Seems the doctors who recognize these issues mostly appear to be in the more progressive states. Go figure.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

My previous brutal symptoms (I.e. panic attacks, anxiety, and fear) have seemed to subside some. Now I'm getting hit with a massive wave of depression. I'm taking about a deep dark depression that has me scared. Has anyone ever experienced this sort of "depression wall" before? It came roaring out of nowhere a few weeks ago and it has me kinda scared. Please tell me I'm not alone....

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi PsyGuy,

 

You are not alone.  Many people experience depressive symptoms as part of withdrawal.   Unfortunately, drs often misdiagnose that as a relapse and put people back on meds.  Our symptoms forum talks about non-drug ways of dealing with depression and other emotional symptoms that we call neuroemotions.

 

Are you currently taking fish oil and magnesium?  Many people, not all, experience these as helpful.   as with anything you put into your system, start slow and build it up

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Does it feel like someone pulled out your soul and stomped on it and you feel hopeless?  That started for me around month 5.  It fluctuates between that, intense anxiety and feeling like I can't breathe, and anger.  I also have a return of extreme dizziness.  I am seeing that it is a cycle...things change and come back like a merry go round.  I took a small amount of magnesium for a few days and it really helped the anger and depression, but made my anxiety skyrocket so I stopped.  Hang in there! I give you TONS AND TONS AND TONS of credit for going to work through all this.  I can barely leave the house and I am 6 months off!

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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Hi guys,

 

Thanks for the reassurance that others feel this way too.

I have not tried fish oil or magnesium but I am on a mens multivitamin along with valerian root. Ill check them out and see what happens.

 

Yes KT38, it feels exactly like my soul has been ripped out of my chest and stomped on, that's a very accurate description. I get the anxiety a lot but not any of the anger yet. I've seen people post that frequently but I just haven't had that symptom yet.

 

I'm about 3 months out right now, you said you're about 5 months, around what timeframe did you experience your depression and anger?

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment

I embark into month 7 tomorrow. The anger came around month 5.  I have very bad internal vibrations/panic that feels like an electric current is running through my body.  I don't have brain zaps, but maybe this is somehow connected.  It is very very uncomfortable and feels like my blood is boiling all the time.   I also have baby brain, in which I can't go and do things I used to because I forget how to (even grocery shopping...I can go, but will only do 2 aisles before I go brain dead and panic sets in just to come  home and be full of anxiety all day everyday for no reason...a lot of things still seem so foreign to me).  I have had less anger now, but I think everything comes and goes and come back again, etc... People not understanding what is going on, not even Drs., scares me and then I get more anger because the Drs put us here in the first place...they give you the drug and then leave you.   I get very snippy and irritable at times.  Again, all of this just comes over me for no reason at all.  Before all this it took A LOT of annoy me or get me scared. 

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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Hey PsyGuy

I'm having a tough time too.

After feeling better with a few days windows I thought I'd try to cut my lithium. My nervous system is still so fragile so just. 10% reduction made me very depressed and spacey and vegetative.

Bad idea.

I'm gonna go back and wait until I'm out of this hell completely.

My symptoms change weekly, sometimes chest pains, sometimes anxiety, sometimes depression...

I use magnesium, acupuncture and meditate 2x per day . Also melatonin and night helps.

I'm 6 months out .

18 years on Zoloft then it quit working and started giving me anxiety.

Nothing else has worked for me at all

prescribed: pristiq, lexapro , Abilify with zoloft, Remeron, Lithium, Vybriid, Prozac, lamactil, Celexa, Paxil and Luvox

TAPERS

Zoloft - switched to Paxil after 2 week taper - big mistake

Paxil - 10% Reduction over 20 weeks. Started Luvox on week 18

Luvox - too fast of taper directed by PDoc- 25% reduction over 6 weeks because of short time on- 4 months, never worked

-tapered off everything except Lithium 300mg by April 11, 2015

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  • Moderator Emeritus

My previous brutal symptoms (I.e. panic attacks, anxiety, and fear) have seemed to subside some. Now I'm getting hit with a massive wave of depression. I'm taking about a deep dark depression that has me scared. Has anyone ever experienced this sort of "depression wall" before? It came roaring out of nowhere a few weeks ago and it has me kinda scared. Please tell me I'm not alone....

 

Hi PsyGuy,

My recovery process has been similar to what you describe here, I've sort of cycled between anxiety type symptoms and then they have been replaced with depression type symptoms, then back to the anxiety again.... in gradually decreasing levels of intensity. Everyone's recovery process seems to be unique, and not everyone experiences every symptom. I've had very little anger and when I have, its been triggered by something I've had an adverse reaction to, for me that was trying to reinstate and after taking fish oil. But don't let that put you off trying fish oil, most people find it helps.

 

Magnesium can be calming, for me that's the supplement which has helped me the most. See King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker  and The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

You also might want to stop the multi-vitamin, to see if you feel better off them. Many of us find some of the B vitamins and other ingredients in mixed supplements can be too activating in a sensitized nervous system.

 

Make any changes one at a time, that way you will know what's helping or making symptoms worse.

 

In your signature, you have mentioned Buspar and Gabapentin, did you ever take them? Are you taking them now? If not, having them listed in your signature is confusing.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment

Thanks Petunia,

 

I think I'm at the end of my rope unfortunately. I just started a new job and my panic and anxiety is just eating through me everyday. I'm drinking more than ever now to compensate for the chaos and I know that's bad.

 

I'm seeing my psychiatrist this Friday to talk about what's going on and I'm going to see what she thinks about putting me back on an SSRI. My nerves are frazzled and I can't keep on going on like this at a new job. I have a mortgage and life to keep steady. As much as I want to get off these drugs I just don't know if I can at the moment.

 

I feel like a failure honestly. I gave it my all but the mental havoc its wrecked just can't be continued for me.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions? If I was not going to work everyday I think it would be better but I just can't take this anymore. I just want to jump out of my skin.

 

Help?

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

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It sounds like you are sensitive to SSRIs. There are a lot of people who take them fine, get off, and when they start again they get adverse reactions. When you talk to your psychiatrist mention this and see if they know about "kindling". For me, it looks like you are in the middle of an adverse reaction and withdrawal like me. The only thing my psych will prescribe me is Xanax XR if I need it ( I always need it but won't take it!). Your CNS has been blown up and it just needs time to heal. If drinking helps you, you might want to try a GABA supplement. I have never tried it but for some it helps with anxiety.

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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Thanks KT38,

 

I agree, apparently I'm very sensitive to SSRIs and I wish I wasn't.

Are you experiencing the same things? How long have you been off them and how long were you on them? I was on them for almost 11 years and I've been off them for about 3 months and it just keeps getting worse and worse.

 

My CNS certainly does feel like it's been blown up on for sure. I don't know if she'll give me Xanax because she was very hesitant to give me a 15 day supply of ativan .5 mg.

 

I just don't know what to do, I told her last month I wake up in fear, go to work I fear/anxiety and come home in fear. I told her I'm drinking to relieve the stress but she doesn't seem to care. To me, Xanax seems to be more safe in the short term than drinking but what do I know.

 

I'm calling her today and seeing if I can get in earlier. I'll let you know what she says.

 

Thank you for your thoughts and advice. I appreciate it a lot :-)

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

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I tried 4 different ones within a 2 month period because I kept reacting badly to each one. I am now 6.5 months off and still bad. I had a very very very bad week last week after trying a small dose of magnesium for 3 days. It could have been a delayed reaction to that or getting hit even harder now. I heard people can get worse at 6-12 months so I'm just hunkering down. I am amazed you can work. I am pretty much housebound as everything is so fearful for me (coming from someone who backpacked 7 countries by herself!). Xanax is a benzo and can very addictive and extremely hard to get off so I'm trying to stay clear. I've heard people take GABA in its place. After my magnesium experience I am not touching anything (even chamomile tea makes me worse) anything. My body is super hypersensitive right now.

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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Oh no, I can't go 6-12 months like this, I'll lose it completely.

I'll lose it absolutely.

 

I hope I can get through the rest of the day at work. Only 2.5 hrs more.........I think I'm going to vomit.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello PsyGuy,

 

It is possible that you would feel better with another SSRI, but it is equally possible that you will continue to experience (possibly worsened) adverse reactions and withdrawal symptoms, due to the fact that you have become very sensitised after all the dose changes you've been through. 

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic notes that there appears to be a window at the start of SSRI use where it 'works' and people feel much better, but once that ends things usually get worse.  This happened for me - I had an initial year-long window then spent 4 years trying different SSRIs and varying dosages.  I ended up extremely sensitised, experienceing adverse reactions and had no choice but to begin tapering (extremely slowly, due to absurd level of sensitisation).  If we muck around with these drugs too long, our choices become very limited. 

 

I hate to sound all worrying etc but I do want to share what I desparately wish somebody shared with me 4 years ago.  It would have saved me a lot of pain. 

 

I'm sorry you are in this horrible place,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Hi KarenB,

 

Thanks for the info, I did not know about that window. How much worse were you after you tried all the different SSRIs for that period of 4 years?

 

Yes, we've certainly mucked around with these drugs very much. It feels like a vicious cycle that I never in my wildest dreams would've though we would all be in.

 

Looks like I'm in quite the bind here, wow.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Yeah; it's one of the hardest things I've ever had to get my head around.  And I am getting my head around it - it just took a long time. 

 

In my signature, there is a brief outline of my spiral downwards.  To flesh it out a bit I started anti-depressants out of desparation after 16 years of refusing them, for depression and rage.  In that first year things really improved and I finally felt on top of things.  Then it seemed to fizzle out, so I switched - doc said another might work better.  And it kind of helped, but I was starting to slip.  After a year it really fizzled out too, so I upped the dose.  Kind of muddled along for a year, some things getting harder, but actually feeling like I was managing, so decided to taper (with no idea how).  

 

That taper brought on horrible withdrawal symptoms (which I mistook for relapse).  I wasn't coping.  Went back on full dose, but it didn't help.  I was really lost, desparately sad, angry...  So doc suggested another switch - no improvement, in fact during that time I occasionally self-harmed which I'd never done before in my life.  I was exhausted.  Doc increased dosage - I begain to get dizzy, but still had no improvement to my depression or ability to cope with life.  I also begain to have panic attacks which I'd never had before. 

 

By the time I figured out that SSRIs were destroying me and my life, I was pretty wrecked.  Massive, debilitating sadness, anger, anxiety, exhaustion, dizziness, fear to leave home, nightmares, hot ears, neuro-emotions, memory issues, insomnia, dissociation ...  I couldn't function as a mother - my husband was doing all the cooking, child-care, groceries - everything. 

 

I was in a much worse place than I'd ever been in before I used SSRIs.  I've been tapering now for 5 months, and these last two weeks have finally given me some hope that I can manage this.  They are tiny drops - 0.4%, but it's looking like I will at least be able to function, be a mother etc. 

 

It wouldn't be surprising if you were incredibly angry about your position - the 'pushers' of these drugs have committed a massive crime.  So take your time looking at your options, see what possibilities there are for moving things round in your life, see what you might be able to do for yourself on a healing pathway.  You might be surprised in 6 months time to see that you were able to find a way through... I know I've been surprised at how things are starting to clear for me. 

 

Hugs,

Karen

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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I can totally relate to the massive debilitating sadness, anxiety, insomnia, memory issues and massive physical exhaustion.

 

What really has me worried now is I've also begun to self harm to a degree. I've recently noticed I have been pulling out strands of hair on my head that has created a small bald spot.

 

Did your self harm develop while on the drug or during the withdrawal process?

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment

Hi PsyGuy I am so sorry to hear how things are going for you. The only thing I wanted to add, and you can completely ignore me if you choose, is that I too became a very heavy drinker in order to combat the anxiety and depression. It helped to alleviate those symptoms initially but then come 2.00a.m in the morning I would wake with even worse anxiety and depression and would be unable to get back to sleep. When I went to see my psychologist and told him what my pattern was he said that my increased anxiety and depression was made worse by the alcohol and the fact that it was causing sleep deprivation. On his advise I stopped drinking and started taking Magnesium before bed. Within a few days I was sleeping throughout the night and waking up feeling much better. It is not a cure all but it is one of the things that is helping make my symptoms more bearable. I don't want to preach to anyone because I know how hard it is and I am not here to judge but just wanted to throw that in. 

 

It is hard to tell from your signature when you actually stopped taking the 20mg lexapro but it appears that you were on it for a period of four months this year. Such a rapid withdrawal would definitely make your symptoms worse. 

 

My thoughts are with you and I hope that everything goes well with your appointment. Please let us know how it goes. 

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Hi Princess,

 

No, you're not preaching at all. I completely understand the negative effects that drinking can have on the anxiety. Unfortunately it has become my last resort at times when I'm at my wits end from insomnia and daylong anxiety attacks. I've gone weeks at a time without drinking to see if that alleviated any of the symptoms and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

 

Yes, after reading the recommended tapering schedule on this website I agree that my taper was incredibly too fast. Although I trusted my psychiatrist with her advice and listened to her taper schedule. Hindsight is 20/20.

 

 

I will try the magnesium, I've heard other people mention that before. How many mg do you take of it and how long before trying to sleep do you take it?

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It was after I started tapering that I got self-harm urges, and they faded away maybe after a few months.  Hard to remember accurately, but I was very uncomfortable with them.  I knew it meant I was in a bad place emotionally, but I didn't have a real answer to it.  Not sure why it went away - perhaps because my nervous-system eventually started to settle, plus having a bit less SSRIs in me.  

 

Talking it through with my counselor also helped - she made suggestions of things to do instead of self-harm.  Eg using ice to create a feeling on my skin instead of a sharper instrument.  

 

Hair-pulling can be a specific response to extreme stress, and it could be that you are not doing it as a self-harm thing.  Just wondering.  Increasing soothing things in your life might help, though it might just need time.  I tend to think that we need to counter all the negative/difficult stuff with lots of goodness so our brains and bodies and souls know there is something good to live for, and that we are helping them all we can.  

 

Wishing you some peace,

Karen 

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Hi PsyGuy, I do completely understand about the alcohol. It has only been recently that I have felt that I was strong enough to stop it. I have struggled since with increased anxiety but thankfully haven't been compelled to start drinking again. 

 

I take a powdered form of magnesium which is diluted in a glass of water. I take a 5mg dose equates to 244mg magnesium as Amino Acid Chelate. I'm not sure what that means, it was prescribed to me by a naturopath. I take it one hour before bed. My nightly routine consist of having a hot shower about one and a half hours before bed. Then I sit down with my magnesium and usually within an hour am sleepy. Apparently as the body cools down from the shower the melatonin is increased which results in sleepiness. It has worked for me. 

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Hey man, i too apparently tapered too fast (from 45 mg down to 4 mg in roughly 2 months) and its been hell on earth. I am currently going through hell at the moment so its hard to come up with things to type. I wouldn't feel guilty at all about the drinking. when you are going through hell like this, you will do almost anything to get some relief. I too am also dealing with going to work during this sh-it storm, i find i say to myself "i am really surprised i haven't gone out and killed someone yet" i have a very angry agitated depression/anxiety from this WD. just remember we are fuc-king awesome people for putting up with this crap all the godamn time and while at work, we deserve medals! people have no idea how hard we have it, keep going man.. there is always an end to this bullsh-it!

(November 26 2013) Had a reaction to taking CBD oil and had a panic attack that started this whole thing.

(November 9 2014) 8.6 months on Mirtazapine, started tapering down random amounts.

(January 17 2015) *STOPPED TAKING MIRTAZAPINE* after an unstable 2 month taper.

(February 5 2015) *REINSTATED at 3.9 MG OF MIRTAZAPINE* after nearly 3 weeks of a very unstable windows and waves pattern

(February 5 2015 ) Felt better right away after reinstating, am more stable than i was at 0mg, but am still not as stable as i was PRE-TAPER.

(April 19 2015) After waiting around 2 months from Feb 5 and i started to feel ok enough, i reduced from 3.9 mg to 3.5 mg. then continued to reduce by about .4 mg every 2 or so weeks.

The reductions were going quite smoothly and i wasn't feeling too bad in general... until...

(July 13 2015) Shortly after reducing from 1.9 mg to 1.6 mg i hit a wall and my mood started to become noticeably worse in general

(August 4) after not really improving much i reduced from 1.6 mg to 1.5 mg, and i have been holding ever since.

I feel bad in general these days despite holding, and feel im not too much better than i was during January 17 to February 5 after jumping off at 4 MG.

I am questioning if taking the drug is actually making me worse, i dunno.

 

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Thanks everyone,

 

Yes, working is extremely hard going through WD. I've heard of people going on disability from this and I can completely understand why. Hang in there Spork, halfway through the week.....almost Friday.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment

Hi Everyone,

 

I need as much advice and personal experiences as I can here please.

 

Tomorrow I will be seeing my psychiatrist for the first time in over a month to discuss my worsening withdrawal symptoms and almost inability to work with them day to day at my job. I plan on being 100% honest with her as to my symptoms, frequency, duration, strength, etc.

 

This is what I am concerned about: I am afraid that she will diagnose me as bi polar when I desribe to her my ssymptoms (ie mania, racing thoughts, depression, irritability/akathisia, insomnia, inability to focus or concentrate, fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, etc)

 

I believe what I'm experiencing is what everyone on this website has come to know as our "windows and waves" of emotions. We've all experienced the highest of the high and lowest of the low through withdrawal.

 

My fear is that she will prescribe me antipsychotics to treat what she believes is bi polar (she has pushed Seroquel and Zyprexa on me before for sleep, I tried them and hated the way they made me feel). Then if I choose to not take her medications she prescribes I believe she will label me as a "non compliant" patient tell my GP and/or drop me as a patient. She is quite the bully at times but I feel she does listen to some things I say.

 

With that being said. Has anyone ever been in this situation before? If so, how did you handle it and what were the outcomes?

 

Thank you very much for any thoughts or experiences.

2004-2014: Paxil & Paxil CR 25-50mg

3 Months in 2014: Zoloft 50-100mg

3 Months in 2015: Celexa 20mg

4 Months in 2015: Lexapro 20mg

 

October 2015 - Present:

40mg Paxil

15mg Zyprexa

900mg Gabapentin

1mg Cogentin

1mg Ativan as needed

Link to comment

When I went back to my psychiatrist after being ripped off these drugs at the hospital out of my mind, she wasn't at all "oh sorry to hear that"....her job is to prescribe the cr@p out of these drugs.  She was going to prescribe me Lamictal because some people don't do well on SSRIs.  I told her no way, my brain and body are a MESS and need to heal. I told her I'd call her in a few weeks if I wanted to try it.  What the heck is an anti-psychotic going to do?  It'll just make me worse!  All of this nonsense over a few panic attacks, I was so mad.  I ditched her and found a new psychiatrist with 5 star rating.  She was booked for months and months, but my husband called begging for me to see her because I was literally out of my mind.    I saw her 2 months into withdrawal and I must have looked like an alien talking o her about my symptoms....just crazy overt he top stuff you'd only here in a sci-fi movie.  SHE UNDERSTOOD this was withdrawal!  She said I prob won't start to see any improvement until at least 6-8 months, since I also did not do well on the meds.  The one thing that stood out was the electric head...even if you don't have brain zaps tell them you feel like you have electricity in you.  When you start talking physical stuff, rather than mental, they will believe you more.

Dec 2014 I tried Zoloft 25mg for one week (adverse reaction - extreme anxiety and felt like I was on an amphetamine). Dr. said to quit cold turkey, so I not only quit Zoloft but also 2 weeks of Xanax .25mg -- extreme dizziness, hyperarousal and anxiety began! On Jan. 29, 2015 my psychiatrist put me on new stuff and this is how my next 2 months and 7 days looked like (I was having the same bad reactions to all of these):Effexor XR 37.5mg (3 days) - throwing up, heart palpations, night tremors/convulsions or something where whole body shakes for a second, Prozac 10mg (15 days), Prozac 20mg (7 days) - internal restlessness, electric current through body/brain (not zaps), agitation, intense fear and could no longer nap at this point (still can't today because of this), Lexapro 5mg (4 days) - same as Prozac, a horror show...extreme internal agitation, Lexapro 7.5mg (2 days), Lexapro 10mg (16 days), Zoloft 12.5mg (3 days)...she said try it again since my blood relative does well on it, Zoloft 25mg (7 days) - same as before and getting worse!! Zoloft 50mg (6 days), Zoloft 25mg (4 days and then came off cold turkey on April 8, 2015). I used Xanax .25mg about 7 times per month through all of this until June 30, 2015 (my last benzo dose). Extreme anxiety, nervous system traumatized, mental akathisia, anger triggered by nothing but the brain totally going off on its own, feeling of a pressurized electric current going through me like my brain and body are trying to explode, stress reaction x10000 to everything, waking in terror lasting all day, fear, very sensitive, brain can't keep up, don't know what to do with myself, feeling like everything is going too fast and I can't keep up, helium head, deep depression like something is ripping out my soul, out of my mind, can hardly drive or be alone, cognitive issues, simple tasks are so complex and straining, feel disturbed because the brain can't process anything right even though your brain tries so hard and it makes you go mad, episodes of deep anguish with a sick toxic poison feeling (like you have some unknown virus).

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I don't have much to add as I am still tapering but I think KT38 makes a good point when talking to a psychiatrist 

The one thing that stood out was the electric head...even if you don't have brain zaps tell them you feel like you have electricity in you.  When you start talking physical stuff, rather than mental, they will believe you more.

 

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