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Cooper: Hi, my introduction and recent crash and burn by Cooper


Cooper

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Hi

 

Iv been reading this forum for a few weeks now since my recent attempt to quit sertraline, which failed miserably, and thought I'd write down my experience thus far

 

I've been on AD for about 11 years now for anxiety, and due to a recent relationship breakdown exasperated by the sexual side effects of these drugs I decided to quit them thinking I would just return to 'normal'. And boy was I in for a surprise

 

I was on citalopram 40mg for most of this time, then around the start of this year i asked to be switched to a different med to try to help with my loss of labido. They first gave me Wellbutrin for a few weeks which didn't help my anxiety and then was switched to sertraline 50mg, which iv been taking until now. I only took 50mg for a few days but decided this was a large dose, so have been taking half tablets 25mg ever since.

 

I managed to switch ADs with no problem at all, a few electrical shocks but nothing of note, but found being on sertraline didn't change my labido at all. So as said I thought I'd try to get off the meds and just deal with the anxiety and try to get my sex drive back, but this was the start of my nightmare!

 

I started by halving my 25mg for about a month, with no real problems and even found I got my sex drive back for about 3 weeks or so, but my real problems started when I began to run low on my medication. I took 12.5mg every other day for about a week or so and then my last 2 doses I took every 3 days but I only had about 3 doses left and when I'd run out I stopped.

 

I was ok for the first week or so but realised something was wrong when I suddenly became more impotent than normal. I decided to push on with my attempt thinking this would get better in time, though pretty soon I noticed the symptoms of what I now know is WD getting much worse. I had lots of head pressure and floaty feelings, plus electrical shocks and brain zaps. I also developed a severe pain in my groin and crotch regions and my 'crown jewells' felt and looked like they were shrinking!! Add on to this severe akathisia, depression, lethargy, frequent spells of crying and being upset and constant suicudal thoughts and it was a recipe for disaster.

 

I made it 18 days of been off the meds completely before I had to go to the doctors and get some more to reinstate, all before I discovered the wisdom of this website. It's now been 3 weeks and 5 days since reinstatement, I took 25mg for my first dose, then 12.5mg for my next 2 doses, before deciding to just go back to 25mg doses where I had been for many months.

 

To date I still feel weird and spaced out, am still pretty much impotent, have severe tinnitus and feel generally not right. Like most I feel better in the evenings than mornings, but I sleep alot better now and am a whole lot better than when I was in full withdrawal.

 

I realise I completely screwed up this attempt to get off these meds but the real worry for me now is the sexual dysfunction as this is of course very big downer. Just wondering if any other members have stopped their meds too quickly and found that it affected their sexual functioning but have found things to get better upon reinstatement??

 

I realise I'm still very much at the beginning of my journey having only reinstated less than 4 weeks ago, so am hoping I havnt done any permanent damage before I can start a proper taper. I am now very sensitive to caffeine which makes my urinal tract sensative and ache, so I know I'm not stabilised as yet. Plan to stay on 25mg a day until the new year and see how I am then, but any advice or support would be of great appreciation :)

 

Thanks for reading my story

Been on citalopram 40mg for 10 years then 25mg sertraline for just under a year

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA Cooper.

 

Yes, we see many people going through very similar things you describe, some even worse. Thank you for filling in your signature. Adding a date of your reinstatement might be helpful.

 

Apart from CT-ing, you are doing everything right: reinstated in not too long period and are patiently waiting to stabilise. 

 

I'm a bit hesitating to share this story with you because this member had it very rough but I will since it shows that even after such rough periods people recover (and coincidentally sertraline and PSSD are part of the story:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3523-success-recovery-from-protracted-zoloft-withdrawal-and-pssd/

 

I tried to tough it out for 40 days after my CT so it took me a few months to start getting better. It's not uncommon. 

 

I found this thread very helpful and soothing while I was waiting to stabilise: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

 

Also a lot of people find magnesium and omega 3 helpful. Caffeine is best avoided because it can intensify anxiety. The plan to wait is good but we have learnt it's best to throw away the calendar and just go by your body by carefully observing the symptoms. 

 

You will find  a lot of friendly support here and people going through the same situation. Once again welcome.

 

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi bubble

 

Thanks for reading my post and replying, am feeling very very anxious about everything and pray I can stabilise back to the point I was at before my attempt to come off these horrid drugs.

 

Unfortunately these problems are consuming my thoughts 24/7 and its frankly exhausting. Am just trying to tick off the weeks and hope I feel better as time passes before trying for a proper taper which I am itching to get going on, but realise I need to wait for some normalisation before trying

 

Thanks again

Been on citalopram 40mg for 10 years then 25mg sertraline for just under a year

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Apart from feeling anxious about everything, what other symptoms do you have now? Do you feel like things are a bit better (at least now and then) than 4 weeks ago?

 

Trying to stay positive and hopeful despite everything is very important. As well as learning to distance oneself from what we call neuroemotions.

 

I'm sure you will recognise what you are going through in the posts here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9809-neuro-emotions/

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Hi bubble,

 

I guess the worst symptom I have now and which worries me the most is the complete loss of sexual function with no desire or ability to become aroused. I can't help regretting how I have handled this attempt to come off the AD and why I didn't address it years ago instead of waiting for the breakdown of my marriage before I tried to doing anything about it.

 

I guess this relates to the neuro emotions you are talking about, but can't help but feel full of regret and hopelessness right now. Still have sensitivity in my bladder and urinary tract but on the positive it is better than in WD and some days are better than others so I'm hoping they will resolve in time.

 

Other than that I feel generally weird, like a constant butterflies in my tummy kinda feeling. Oh, and the tinnitus is pretty much constant

Been on citalopram 40mg for 10 years then 25mg sertraline for just under a year

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Cooper.

 

Has the tinnitus gotten better or worse since you reinstated?

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Believe it or not, these can help.
 

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 think I really started to notice the tinnitus once I had reinstated, amd I would say it has stayed the same this last 3 weeks or so. As said it is pretty much constant but there are times when I don't notice it.

 

Thanks for the supplement tips, I understand that the tinnitus relates to a neurological unbalance going on in my head so I know that if it subsides il be getting more stabilised and can at least think about a taper then, but hope it's sooner rather than later

Been on citalopram 40mg for 10 years then 25mg sertraline for just under a year

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Hey,

 

Just wanted to update, has been about a month since reinstatement and have been having this very weird feeling most days that I am just kind of floating, and detached mentally from my body.

 

After much reading I now realise this is depersonalisation or derealisation, where I kind of just feel not right, almost like being anxious but for no reason and a feeling of butterflies in my tummy.

 

Wasn't prepared to feel like this as I had hoped reinstatement would bring some normality back after a horrible WD episode. Feeling kinda hopeless and lost now, like I really don't want to be part of this world if I can't at least feel half normal. Not even begun to start my taper yet and already I feel like I'm up against an impenetrable barrier. Feeling very depressed about it all and is taking every effort I have just to bring myself to go to work. Feel I just want shut myself off at home and deal with this without taking on real life, but sadly that can't happen. :(

Been on citalopram 40mg for 10 years then 25mg sertraline for just under a year

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Cooper ,   it may take a while longer , but you've saved yourself a whole lot of suffering by reinstating.

I toughed it out for 5 months after the akathisia really set in , and it just kept getting worse. 

So well done on a good decision , and try to be patient with yourself.  The normality WILL come back.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

After much reading I now realise this is depersonalisation or derealisation, where I kind of just feel not right, almost like being anxious but for no reason and a feeling of butterflies in my tummy.

 

Wasn't prepared to feel like this as I had hoped reinstatement would bring some normality back

Hi Cooper,

 

At least now you know what it is so now it won't scare you as much, which may have caused you anxiety, and you will hopefully find ways to manage and hang in there.  A glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

 

And of course, you're a member of a great forum with supportive people.

 

All the best,

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks guys and gals for your kind words,

 

It is a help to know that I'm not suffering in silence, and others can relate to the distress this experience has caused.

 

I'm doing better after reinstating, it's been 5 weeks now since my first dose after 18 days without meds. Tinnitus has subsided a bit but is still present at times, pssd is still there but labido wasn't great when I went off the meds anyhow. Sensitivity to caffeine has reduced somewhat, and groin pain and urinery tract sensitivity has improved a fair bit.

 

Looking to stabilise, but am quite worried that Zoloft seems to be one of the worst offenders for causing pssd symptoms. Not made any decisions as yet but am considering switching to a different AD to do my taper on, even if this means setting me back some months before I can taper the new AD. Just the worst pssd cases seem to result from people who have been in Zoloft and I worry about being on it for another 2 years through a taper.

 

Maybe I'm being paranoid, they are all bad I guess, just worried that Zoloft seems to report the most severe symptoms and maybe another AD would be the lesser of 2 evils over the course of a taper.

 

Any thoughts?

Been on citalopram 40mg for 10 years then 25mg sertraline for just under a year

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Cooper sorry no one shared their thoughts basically they are all the same ...same church different pew.

 

How are you. Do you feel more stable now?

 

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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