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Carouselisalie


Carouselisalie

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Withdrawals/ "Discontinuation Syndrome" starts in less than 4 hours. Very hard to retrieve info and express thoughts succinctly. Speech becomes circumstantial. I lose my patience with people. If I don't refill timely, all clinical symptoms return in 2 days, including morbid obsessive thoughts, suicidal ideation, and if it gets to day 4 - Panic attacks. Day 5, can't focus, overeat, oversleep, lose sense of direction. I shower but no energy for grooming. Brain feels like a hard ball jostling around when I turn my head.

On Zoloft 200 mg for 16 yrs. Lamictal 100-150 mg for 14 yrs. A few times I've lowered the dose of Zoloft from 200 mg to 175 or 150 mg for a day or 2. At 175 mg I have decreased focus/concentration within the same day. From 200mg to 150 mg, some sadness and slight confusion. 2 days at 150mg, shorter attention span, less patience, frustrated easily. I've never tried a slow, long term taper. My only experience being off meds completely has been unintentional, "cold turkey" cessation because I forgot to take them that day or forgot to order refill on time and ran out. Withdrawals start less than 4 hours off regular doses, cold turkey. Symptoms: Very hard to retrieve info and express thoughts succinctly. Circumstantial speech. Lose patience with people. If refill is delayed for several days, by day 2, I start to overeat, eat sweets late at night, oversleep, late to work. Day 2 to day 3, a gradual increase of morbid obsessive thoughts, wrenching guilt for any mistake, suicidal ideation. Day 3, I see the world through a watery lense. Nothing is clear or sharp. Night of day 4 off meds cold turkey - Panic attacks, crying, spikes of suicidal ideation. Day 5, Brain feels like a hard ball jostling around when I turn my head. I lose train of thought, lose sense of direction, get lost easily. I shower but no energy for grooming. Can't get myself together to get anywhere on time. Increasingly convinced my life is worthless. The symptoms completely remit within 2 hours after restarting meds. Never completely off meds longer than 5 days in the past 16 yrs.

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HI 

 

Welcome to SA.  I moved your post here and started an intro topic for you.  This is your own personal thread where you can ask questions, seek advice etc.   Please come back here to post whenever you need to.

 

Can you tell us a little more about your desire to come off meds and how you have done it in the past?   You can that you cant go off meds for more than 5 days - how did you come off them?

 

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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Welcome Carouselisalie,

 

Sounds like you're in a pretty tough place right now - I'm so sorry to hear that, and am glad you've found this forum. 

 

You've been on meds for a long time, as well as possibly coming of them in a too-fast way.  And the way you get withdrawal symptoms so quickly indicates that you are now quite sensitised to SSRIs.  Could you put in your signature the details of how you tried to stop each medication?  It's useful if we know whether you stopped cold-turkey, or by what amount you tapered and how quickly. 

 

Once we know that the mods can help you make a better plan to get you off meds with far less trouble.  There are good ways of doing it.  You can start by reading http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/.

 

Wishing you well,

Hugs,

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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Hello Dalsaan and Karen B.

 

Thanks for your help in placing my post and starting this thread.

 

I appreciate your information. Here are the answers to your questions, and I will change my signature with more specifics.

 

My desire to come off meds? Being chemically dependent on SSRIs means I can only feel "normal" for 30 days at a time, that is until the next refill. This has gone on for 16 yrs and will go on until I die unless something changes. It's up to a Doctor to refill the prescriptions. When there's a delay, there's a neurobiopsycho unravelling I can't tolerate very long. This means I have tenuous control over my well being. It feels like chemical enslavement. This is a terrifying way to live. A year ago I  started learning a natural technique for discharging chronic tension, involving neurogenic tremors, which calms and tones the nervous system, and with practice, offers long term benefits which include increasing thickness of the Insula, as well as magnitude and amplitude of Alpha states, which, along with other techniques, can stimulate growth and development of neural pathways which support and reinforce wellbeing without drugs. As long as Serotonin is artificially regulated in my brain, I will have no way of knowing if I am making headway, so to speak, with my practices.

 

I have never intentionally tried to get completely off meds before. A few times I've lowered the dose of Zoloft from 200 mg to 175 or 150 mg for a day. When I've tried that for 1 day, I feel some sadness and some slight confusion come over me within the same day. 2 days, I start to feel Not severe, only unpleasant. My only experience being off meds completely has been with abrupt, "cold turkey" cessation when I've run out of pills and couldn't get approved for a refill for several days, never from a taper, and never off meds longer than 5 days due to the symptoms noted in my last post. I haven't intentionally tried to taper over an extended period because I believed I would "relapse". I believed this because discontinuation mimics symptoms of a severe depressive episode. 

 

I read your taper histories. It appears you've both been suffering for a long time trying to get off these drugs. Props to you both for your perseverance. I don't think I can do this and preserve sound psychological functioning at all.

 

Well, I am here to learn as much as I can, and again, I truly appreciate your contributions.

On Zoloft 200 mg for 16 yrs. Lamictal 100-150 mg for 14 yrs. A few times I've lowered the dose of Zoloft from 200 mg to 175 or 150 mg for a day or 2. At 175 mg I have decreased focus/concentration within the same day. From 200mg to 150 mg, some sadness and slight confusion. 2 days at 150mg, shorter attention span, less patience, frustrated easily. I've never tried a slow, long term taper. My only experience being off meds completely has been unintentional, "cold turkey" cessation because I forgot to take them that day or forgot to order refill on time and ran out. Withdrawals start less than 4 hours off regular doses, cold turkey. Symptoms: Very hard to retrieve info and express thoughts succinctly. Circumstantial speech. Lose patience with people. If refill is delayed for several days, by day 2, I start to overeat, eat sweets late at night, oversleep, late to work. Day 2 to day 3, a gradual increase of morbid obsessive thoughts, wrenching guilt for any mistake, suicidal ideation. Day 3, I see the world through a watery lense. Nothing is clear or sharp. Night of day 4 off meds cold turkey - Panic attacks, crying, spikes of suicidal ideation. Day 5, Brain feels like a hard ball jostling around when I turn my head. I lose train of thought, lose sense of direction, get lost easily. I shower but no energy for grooming. Can't get myself together to get anywhere on time. Increasingly convinced my life is worthless. The symptoms completely remit within 2 hours after restarting meds. Never completely off meds longer than 5 days in the past 16 yrs.

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withdrawal symptoms do mimic a lot of other symptoms including depressive symptoms so its often mistaken for relapse.   The key principle with tapering is go as slow as you need to to avoid symptoms.   Yes I have been going a long time but I have very minimal symptoms now and much improved functionality.  If fact I believe I am stronger now than I was before I started the drugs.

 

It is possible but it takes commitment, courage, discipline and patience.  It also requires new strategies and a desire to be drug free.   It sounds like you have already started some good ground work.

 

Given you have CT'd before, even unintentionally, you may find that your system is really sensitive to change.  we normally recommend drops of 10% of the last dose but in your case I would start even lower and see if you can drop without disturbing your system.   The goal is to come off well, not fast

 

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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It's true it has been hard, and it is taking a long time, but like Dalsaan I feel a lot of strength.  Also, I had no choice but to taper because the Effexor had started to give me horrid adverse reactions, was no longer keeping depression at bay and was giving me anxiety.  It was a rock and a hard place situation.

 

But not everybody has such trouble when tapering - it's important to remember that there are many success stories.   

 

I think your ideas about why you want to discontinue meds are really sound - especially the term chemical enslavement.  Spot on.  So keep reading, keep posting questions, and you'll probably start to get a better idea of what you want to do.  There's no rush...

 

Hugs,

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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