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Samarina: Titrating off of my medication for depression and anxiety


Samarina

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Hello,

 

I am a 54 year old mother of 2 adult children, the youngest of which lives with me and has her own slew of mental health issues.

 

There are a few reasons why I am considering attempting going off of my psychiatric medications (Bupropion and Fluvoxamine) that I have been taking for about six years, and, instead, using natural supplements like 5HTP.  Prior to my current medication I was taking Paxil for about 10 years and then that plateaued so I switched to these two I'm currently taking. 

 

One of the big reasons for wanting to quit prescription medication is finances.  As I'm sure is not news to many of you, having a high deductible health insurance plan means I have to pay out of pocket for my prescriptions until I reach my deductible of $4,000 each year.  If I fulfill my deductible, it's usually not until November or December.  That's a big chunk of money that is difficult to budget for.  So, finances is one big reason.  Another is my desire to see if I can actually handle my depression and anxiety without the aid of medication, but with the aid of natural supplements, my spirituality, therapy when needed and, I hope, exercise (I lack motivation to exercise.).

 

But I am a bit afraid of doing this.  There was one time when I unwittingly went off the Paxil and that was not a smart thing to do.  I quickly got back on it.  Another, later time, I tried titrating off my antidepressant (with the help of my doctor) and managed to stay with it until I could no longer bear the constant tension, zinging and anger.  I should also mention that I was a cocaine addict for 10 years (1990 to 2000) during which time I was also using Paxil. 

 

Would you please share your experience with me if you had/have been taking both Bupropion and Fluvoxamine at the same time and have titrated or are titrating off of them, and then switched/switching over to natural supplements?  I would like to know what supplements can help with my various symptoms, which include apathy, fatigue, sleeping too much, eating too much sugar, agitation, anger, crying, worrying, and so on.

 

This is my first time using a support site like this.  Thank you for your consideration.

 

Samarina

Samarina

Currently on Bupropion (300 mg XL) and Fluvoxamine (100 mg 2/day)

Started Fluvoxamine 5 or 6 years ago; Bupropion shortly thereafter

Abilify (5 mg/day) added in about 4 years ago, then stopped it 9 months due to high cost because insurance no longer covered (no side effects from stopping it cold turkey)

Prior to that, was on Paxil for about 10 years until I plateaued on that; taking Paxil while I was a cocaine addict

Cocaine addict from 1990 to 2002, no relapse since then

When trying to stop Fluvoxamine in the past, hit with intense zings, increased anxiety, agitation, jaw clenching, anger - went back on the Fluvoxamine due to discomfort of titrating

Diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, GAD and Depressive Mood Disorder

Two siblings diagnosed with Schizoid Affect Disorder in their young 20's and both now in their 50's are incapacitated

 

 

 

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Welcome Sam,

 

A mod should be along soon to help you. In the meantime could you please take a minute to fill in your signature.

 

Also, if you enter the names of your dugs in the search box located at the top right portion of this site, you can read others stories who are on the same drugs that you are on.

 

Good luck to you,

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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  • Moderator

Hi Samarina--  Sorry it took so long for someone to get back to you. I an so glad you've found the group and Welcome.  It's nice to hear from someone who isn't in the midst of WD.  Whit a proper plan we should be able to help you get drug free with a minimum of symptoms. All the things you list in your post are symptoms of being on the drugs and should fade as you reduce your dose. Then there is the problem of the original condition which will have to be faced and worked through.

 

We have found that there is very little in the way of supplements that will help.  Magnesium and fish oil are the two most helpful.  We have a lot of other information that you should read through:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

That will get you started and probably raise a lot of questions we will be only to happy to try and answer.

 

Thank you for adding a signature block, it really makes it a lot easier for us to help you.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thank you brassmonkey for responding with all of this information.  I will study it and get back with any questions/comments about it.  I really appreciate your help.

Samarina

Currently on Bupropion (300 mg XL) and Fluvoxamine (100 mg 2/day)

Started Fluvoxamine 5 or 6 years ago; Bupropion shortly thereafter

Abilify (5 mg/day) added in about 4 years ago, then stopped it 9 months due to high cost because insurance no longer covered (no side effects from stopping it cold turkey)

Prior to that, was on Paxil for about 10 years until I plateaued on that; taking Paxil while I was a cocaine addict

Cocaine addict from 1990 to 2002, no relapse since then

When trying to stop Fluvoxamine in the past, hit with intense zings, increased anxiety, agitation, jaw clenching, anger - went back on the Fluvoxamine due to discomfort of titrating

Diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, GAD and Depressive Mood Disorder

Two siblings diagnosed with Schizoid Affect Disorder in their young 20's and both now in their 50's are incapacitated

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Samarina,

 

I'm glad you've found this site, I think you'll find good information here that can give you more courage for tapering.  And you'll get lots of support here too - we all know how hard it is when you're in a wave. 

 

I was on SSRIs due to anxiety and depression and found it really important to be managing these underlying issues right from the start rather than waiting to see if they showed up.  It sounds as though you have good ideas of what you can put in place (therapy etc) so you are prepared for things when/if they happen.  I found that having established routines of yoga, hot baths, naps, counseling etc was easier than scrambling round trying to cope when anxiety/depression hit.  

 

Personally I find managing depression/anxiety easier than coping with SSRIs, so now days I feel quite capable of coping.  I just wish I'd never listened to anyone who told me I needed the drugs.  

 

Anyway, welcome, and I wish you welll,

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 Karen,

 

I apologize for not responding sooner.  When I read your response to me, it made me feel like someone really does know, understand and care about the world I live in--probably because there are so many similarities between our lives.  I just now visited your Continued Healing blog and liked the little bit I read because it resonated with me.  One of your statements really describes where I'm at now:  "If I put myself out there anything could happen.  People might walk all over me.  I’d hate myself for opening myself up to it."   I'm all about keeping a tight circle around me:  my adult daughter (but not my adult son), my sister and one close friend are the only ones I allow myself to be transparent with.  Everyone else almost always gets to see the "I'm alright" me.  Any time I entertain the notion of making new friends and possibly even dating, I quickly squelch it.  It's just too much work for me to pretend to be enjoying myself with strangers, when all I'm feeling inside is anxiety and the need to please whomever I'm with.  I find that keeping to myself (after 3 failed marriages, but one that produced my two wonderful children), is so much easier and safer.  At almost 55 years of age, I'm okay with that--I no longer feel the need or desire to be loved by or supported by a man. 

 

I've discovered in the last few years that I've probably made some people quite miserable with my depression and anxiety which were fueled a great deal by my insecurities. Boy, it had to have been as hard for my last husband to be married to me as it was hard for me to be married to him!  That last marriage lasted 5 years and ended in 2011.  I've also discovered that I'm in a better place to live life on a much more positive note when I'm not trying to handle a relationship that requires too much of me (i.e., marriage). 

 

I'm on this site not only for me, but also for my daughter, who is 19.  You see, I created a duplicate me in her, which means she has my same insecurities but also has my compassion and empathy.  She is struggling to become an adult, not yet having obtained a high school diploma.  But kudos to her for finally making herself focus on her schooling so she can get her competency based diploma, albeit, that focus is done in bits and pieces.  Because I know I am a big influence in her life (she is still living with me), I know that by my continuing to take responsibility for accepting and dealing with my mental illness in a positive manner, she will learn to do the same. 

 

I am a believer in Jesus, so I do talk to Him--a lot--which helps me to calm down, learn to trust if even just a little bit, and have hope, great hope for eternal release from my condition.  As with many of us, I grew up in an emotionally, physically and sexually abusive, alcoholic home--with my father being the perpetrator (and, yes, he was a victim, too).  Both of my parents died many years ago.  In addition to my faith in Jesus and God, I have the love and support of my oldest sister who lives an hour away, my children and my girlfriend.  Lately, more and more I've been feeling empowered and encouraged to start really living life.  Whether that includes titrating down on my meds, I don't yet know.  Because of I've had years and years of therapy but due to recent health insurance reform, can no longer afford that therapy, I am using others like myself to reach out to find and offer support.  I hope that you and I can be friends like that. 

 

I've heard that New Zealand is beautiful beyond words.  The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are also glorious!   God's beauty is one of my healing tools.

 

Blessings and love, Donna

 

 

Samarina

Currently on Bupropion (300 mg XL) and Fluvoxamine (100 mg 2/day)

Started Fluvoxamine 5 or 6 years ago; Bupropion shortly thereafter

Abilify (5 mg/day) added in about 4 years ago, then stopped it 9 months due to high cost because insurance no longer covered (no side effects from stopping it cold turkey)

Prior to that, was on Paxil for about 10 years until I plateaued on that; taking Paxil while I was a cocaine addict

Cocaine addict from 1990 to 2002, no relapse since then

When trying to stop Fluvoxamine in the past, hit with intense zings, increased anxiety, agitation, jaw clenching, anger - went back on the Fluvoxamine due to discomfort of titrating

Diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, GAD and Depressive Mood Disorder

Two siblings diagnosed with Schizoid Affect Disorder in their young 20's and both now in their 50's are incapacitated

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Donna,

 

I'm really glad you've found some useful things here - it does make a difference to know others have experienced the same things doesn't it?  It sounds like you have three close supporters there, and that's more than some may have.  You've been through a lot, so it's really encouraging to hear that you are feeling positive about your life from here on in.  I hope you find a path where you can be at ease and find some lasting healing - you deserve it.

 

And yes it is beautiful in NZ - I've never been anywhere else, but travellers from overseas here often say how it is very relaxed here too.

 

Wishing you peace,

KarenB

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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