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rattledbytherush: Trying to time this all responsibly


rattledbytherush

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Hello,

 

I've been on antidepressants off and on for about 11 years. I'm 25 now and started when I was fourteen, just months after I started transitioning into adolescence. My parents put me on them so I didn't have that much of a choice. I also never received therapy while taking medication. I've been in therapy for about 3 years and have a wonderful woman who is willing to help me through all of this. However, I'm having some reservations about coming off of medication because I've tried it so many times unsuccessfully. I have been taking 50mg of Sertraline for the last two years and tried to wean once, while I was living with my boyfriend of the time. It didn't work out at all, and I had to take unemployment for several months because of it. I haven't given up yet, but I don't know when I should even start thinking about trying to come off again.

 

 

Reasons I want to taper include:

-my depression/anxiety have identifiable origins based on life experiences

-possible lowered sex drive

-stomach problems

-lack of emotional coping skills/feelings of inherent helplessness (lack of self-sufficiency) that require more than medication

-a desire to feel things fully and work towards developing long term emotional strength

-feelings of inadequacy, self-hate, and guilt continue to be prevalent and resurface regardless

-I want to use the strengths I already have to overcome challenging life situations and overcome old belief systems

 

Reasons I'm apprehensive about tapering:

-still learning to deal with triggers

-still unhappy with myself/my relationships

-still trying to come out of an eating disorder

-need to retain my job to stay financially independent

-I don't have a psychiatrist (much less one who will help me with this)

-I'm terrified that I'll be doing something irresponsible and cause my family/friends to suffer

 

 

My goal is to gain sustainable strength of character, and to live my life as fully and lovingly as possible. I'm a little freaked out and isolated feeling, as I can't talk to most of my family about this. If anyone has any messages of hope and some solid advice, please help me. The last thing I ever want to do is to go through this alone again. 

 

 

Obviously I have a lot of mental/emotional baggage to keep working through. If anyone has another forum that would be a safe support for the types of things I mentioned above, that would be greatly appreciated too.
 
Thanks so much for reading this.

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi rattled , welcome to the site.  

You've come to exactly the right place for information , support and advice about how to taper off

ad's SLOWLY  and SAFELY.   Most (if not all) of us have stopped ad's too quickly in the past too , so

we know what you've been through.   

 

The suggested rate of decreasing is no more than 10% at a time , so it's a longish process.  The idea

is to do small decreases and allow your system to recover and stabilize after each one.

It's great that you're going to begin this process from a stable place , and you won't be alone this time.

 

Perhaps start by reading the following links:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

Tips for tapering off zoloft(sertraline)

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

If you click FOLLOW at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts here.

 

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

Hi rattledbytherush

 

Welcome to SA. I must say I'm impressed by your thoughtfulness in all of this. That's a strength and a positive sign to me.

 

How have you tried to come off before? What kinds of dose reductions did you make, how often and what withdrawal effects did you experience?

 

I wouldn't worry to much about not having a psychiatrist, many of us don't or haven't found them useful. If you have a therapist that you can work with, that's great

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

welcome rattled...

 

firstly i am very sorry that you were started on medications whilst you were barely even a teenager - I am sure your parents thought they were doing the right thing.. but now you have to deal with the consequences.

 

I am very impressed with your insight at your age, and your emotional goals - bravo to you. I am glad you have a therapist with whom you feel you can work - you are laying down good foundations for success.

 

there is no need to be overwhelmed - if you follow the links above and taper your dose at 10% or less your withdrawal symptoms should be manageable.  But, please don't rush - you have lots of time.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Thanks for the replies.

 

The first time I tried to come off was about seven years ago, when I was 19. I quit cold turkey off Lexapro 20mg, and had the most horrible nausea, fatigue, headache, mood swings, and uncontrollable bouts of crying. After giving it a good month completely off, I went back on Citalopram 20mg, which was recommended to me for its milder side effects. I tried to come off again when I was 21 and began taking meds every other day, and experienced the same side effects plus "brain zaps" and panic attacks which I had not previously had a problem with. I learned that this was also the wrong way of tapering, but instead of going back to my full 20mg dose, began to taper at 10% after doing research. Once I was completely off, I developed bulimia for about six months and have been struggling with binge eating ever since (almost 5 years now). I have tried the 10% method a few more times but without supervision and guestimating doses based on cuts I've made into the pill with exacto knives. I have gone through unemployment twice while trying to do this, and had one psychiatrist who said she would help me but let me know at every session how she disapproved of my decision. 

 

My parents remind me constantly of how many suicides took place in my family, and my mother has BPD/suicidal/self harm tendencies and has warned me over and over about the dangers of not being medicated. I know my family has good intentions and just want to see me happy, and so they have tried to get me to accept that I will probably need to be on them for life.

 

I have many diagnoses including PTSD, anxiety, chronic depression, OCD--what I've come to understand as the "standard" DSM lot; I get different diagnoses from every doctor. My family doctor has tried to throw Xanax or Lorazepam at me a few times, but I've politely refused them. I know that my brain works differently than a lot of people's, and I know that the odds are against me based on genetics and any neurological damage that was done early on in my adolescence. But I'm not giving up, and I think having the right group of supportive people can be a powerful catalyst for successful change.

 

Based on really skewed perceptions and childhood experiences, I know it's going to take a while to "rewire" in a sense. I have a great therapist who I plan on working with as long as I need to in order to eliminate fear of such intense and crippling invasive thoughts/intense emotions. I just don't know when the right time would be for me to think about trying this again.

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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Hi Rattledbytherush,

 

The decision to reduce medication can be so difficult and I know this only too well because like you Ive been on meds for a long time. You've been on different medications since a young age so I guess at 25 you maybe want to get to know you without the medication there to see who you are and how you feel? I started Paxil when I was 18. I am now 31 and slowly reducing. At 18 I knew nothing of side effects or withdrawal problems, I wasnt told and I didnt have the maturity or insight to really give it another thought. Coming off antidepressants as you probably know can be a really slow process but thats okay- if you make a decsion to come off you do it at your own time, slow and steady. Like you I wrote a list of reasons I wanted to stop Paxil. I wrote my reasons in a journal and I still look back at those reasons when I need to remind myself of why I started this journey.  :) My advice to anyone thinking of coming off antidepressants would be to do some research which I suspect you have already done, both on your medication also on how to withdraw slowly and also build up a support network if you can because thats so so important. It sounds like you have a great therapist and it can be really helpful to be able to see someone face to face to talk things through. Close friends you trust (who know about your mental health) can also be a big support and try to surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and dont bring you down. As you mentioned, timing is really important in all this and I think you just have to be sensible about it. Try to find a time when things are pretty quiet and you dont have loads going on. I wouldnt recommend starting withdrawal a week before a job interview or just as you're about to move house :) It ideally needs to be a time when things feel relatively stable for you. Listening to your body is really key. You know your mind and triggers better than anyone else so paying attention to how you feel is very important. I am due to do another reduction this week but Ive decided to hold off for a while as Ive felt a little down the past few weeks so I know now isnt a good time to be changing dose. This is a hard process but it can be made easier by having access to the right support and also having some knowledge about how to withdraw very slowly. Ive found this site really helpful, its always great for asking questions and getting advice so hopefully you can find support here. Maybe as Fresh suggested do a little reading around the 10% taper and see if that makes sense for you. I tried to come off Paxil a few times but both times I went far too quickly, it has to be a slow and gradual process so that with smaller reductions you reduce the nasty withdrawal effects.  Whatever you decide, make sure its a decision you are making for you and no one else- and also remember that there is no rush. If you decide now isnt the right time thats okay. It is a tough decision I know but I hope you find this site helpful and  keep in touch about what you decide. 

2002 started 20mg Seroxat for anxiety. Attempted 1st withdrawal in Autumn of 2006. Went to 0 in around a month-hell. Massive crash. Reinstated.

 

May 2013 started 10% taper with liquid seroxat as follows:

May 2013- 18mg                Aug 2015- 7.7mg           Jan 2017- 3.2mg

July 2013- 16.2mg             Oct 2015 -7mg               (This is where it gets a bit hazy..

Aug 2013- 14.6mg             Nov 2015- 6.4mg            I continued to do a slow wean but

Oct 2013- 13.2mg              Jan 2016- 5.6mg            didn't keep records of all my further

Jan 2014- 11.8mg              Mar 2016- 5.2mg           reductions, have filled in what I remember)

March 2014-10.6mg          May 2016- 4.6mg          Aug 2018- 0.8mg

May 2014- 9.6mg               July 2016- 4.2mg          June 2019- 0mg

Dec 2014-8.6mg                 Nov 2016- 3.6mg         

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Rattle.

 

When you write about your previous attempts of tapering you mention doing 10 % cuts but you don't say how long you waited between the cuts.

 

Those periods of holding are actually key because they allow our brain to regrow. Coming off of drugs after years of being on can also take years.

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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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Hey Rattled - I know what you mean.  The outside pressure to take the meds is pretty intense, eh?

 

Especially with that old "family history."

 

But we have people in here tapering who also have "family history" (I'm one of them).  Yes, sometimes I'm a little too loud.  Sometimes my thoughts get stuck.  But I like myself much better the further I go.  I am more interested in life and living, the lower my doses go.

 

Here's the thing (and it's what I told my psychiatrist today):  I may always stay on low-dose lithium.  She laughs at me and thinks it's useless (because of no "therapeutic levels" in my blood), but I'm doing well, better than expected, considering part of my support team (my karate dojo) has not been an option this year.

 

Maybe think about it as being on the lowest possible effective dose?  Make that the goal, and see where you go as you explore your process?

 

It's not always all or nothing.  The tricky part is convincing doctors that 2 mg of Sertraline is all you need....(you have to be pretty well to pull that off!)

 

Oh yes, please, to help us when you post - please enter a signature line, including when you have made dose changes, and when your last change was.  That way we don't have to go back and figure out what you are on or doing or when...

 

How to complete your Signature

 

Complete your Signature from Phone or Tablet

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the responses. as far as the 10% reduction goes, I have to say I actually probably haven't committed enough to have seen results. The history provided says I've tried 25% reduction rates, and I realised after looking back that I was much more erratic and impatient than I thought off paper.

 

However, I did begin tapering at 10% back in May of 2014, but my psychiatrist (who I saw maybe four times) actually reccomended a bigger cut. From the beginning, I let her know I already had a counselor and was looking to her for more pharmacological knowledge. After I declined her therapy services (which she said she normally required with psychiatry) she seemed more reluctant to help me out, and when I complained of withdrawal symptoms she said that I was probably not at the right place in my life to come off of them. She may have been right, but I was frustrated because I wasn't getting the dosage/side effect information I was asking for.

 

So, thus far no medical practitioner except my current therapist has offered much help. I've considered the possibility that a minimum dose might be the route I have to take, but to be honest I'd rather see how things go if I try this slower.

 

I want to get my undergraduate degree, learn how to eat and excersise right, and cultivate meaningful and honest friendships, and coming off medication seems terrifying but hugely possible if I prioritise these things.

 

I'm not sure when I want to pull the trigger on tapering again, but I will definitely be under some sort of supervision, probably with my counselor I have now. I don't want to try again too soon, but I also don't want to wait Long enough for serious digestive issues and neurological effects to become irreversible. I suppose I'll just know when I know :|

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 1 month later...

Hello all.

 

 

I haven't been on this forum for a while. I've been doing a lot of healing and practicing over the last month or so. I am still on a steady dose of 50mg sertraline daily, but have let my GP know that I want to start tapering off within the next year.

 

It was funny speaking to him because he gave me his outlined plan, which was to alternate from 50 to 37.5 every other day, and then from 37.5 to 25mg every other day, and so on and so forth. He said it would probably take a few months. I told him that this was way too fast for me, and said that I had a 10% reduction rate in mind based on research and personal experience. I told him I was prepared for it to take years. He seemed surprised but totally behind me. I really like him too, but it's still a funny reminder of how much the medical community truly lacks practice and experience in the mental health field.

 

I have a game plan in mind, as my eating disordered/addictive behaviors are starting to subside. I feel like I wait for these behaviors to completely "go away" before tapering, I'll only be reinforcing the fact that I can't survive without meds. I do want to be careful. I am taking millimeter steps at this point to feel things out. Actually feeling things and listening to my gut and trusting MYSELF is weird.

 

To cut out all the intellectualized BS--I'm scared as hell. I'm shaking just thinking about it. 

 

My GP said that whenever I'm ready to get a prescription for the liquid form of sertraline (which I requested), to check back in with him. I think I'm probably going to wait one more month and make the appointment. I'm scared because a lot of good things are happening in my life right now that I don't want to mess up…including learning to be a more centered person in general. I have to remember that medicine isn't my personality, and it isn't the foundation on which I exist as a human. I'm reading up on DBT skills and practicing "radical acceptance" of any and all emotions, no matter how frequent or intense. Tough stuff to nail down.

 

I think I'm just looking for reassurance today upon deciding to commit to this. I guess I'm the one who has to offer myself that confidence ultimately. But, if anyone has any sagely advice or however many cents ya got, I'm listening.

 

Thanks guys ^^

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator Emeritus

HI RBTR

 

That's great news.  Well done on being assertive with the doc.  Just a thought regarding changing over to liquid.  I've read on this site that it can cause a minor problem and that it may be best to do a transition to reduce this possibility.  Hopefully someone who knows more about this can post their thoughts.

 

Well done, too, on getting some tools under your belt.  And of course, don't forget to update us on how things are going.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

You write very eloquently and have a great attitude.  You might be interested in the book "Healing Without Freud or Prozac" by David Servan-Schreiber.  He looks at a number of non-med treatments for anxiety and depression that have some scientific research to support them.  While it only covers a small range of the available non-med options, I think it shows that there are many options other than medication, especially for people who think they are doomed to a lifetime on meds, or who have been told they will need meds for life.

 

It's great that your GP is supportive of slow tapering and will prescribe the liquid for you.  You don't have to taper by 10% drops, some people taper by 5%, 2.5% or even slower.  The smaller drops are easier for the body to adjust to, so withdrawal symptoms tend to be milder.  I tried 10% drops and failed, but by going much slower, my taper is now working.  You also don't need to drop according to a schedule.  In general it is better to hold on a dose until stable, rather than rushing into the next drop.  Using liquid makes this easier, as you can adjust your dose easily whenever the time is right.  The key is to listen to your body and find what works best for you.  And be very patient!  Slow and steady wins the race - remember the tortoise and the hare!

 

As ChessieCat mentioned, it is recommended to switch to liquid at the same dose you're currently taking, in case the difference in formulation requires some adjustment by the body, due to different absorption rates, and so on.  Once stabilised on the liquid, you can then make the first dose cut.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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I didn't know that about liquid. Thanks so much for letting me know!

 

Yeah, my main goal in all of this is to preserve my quality of life. I have a great therapist who is supportive of my decision. Even on 50mg daily I still get frequent crying spells, but I've learned that I actually need them due to past childhood experience I didn't realize was so traumatic. She says it can take years to empty out all those mental toxins. So on top of withdrawal symptoms I'm going to be dealing with PTSD/depression stuff anyway too. So that will be hard, but I want so badly to finally work through it all organically and not see my emotions as something so bad like I was taught a long time ago.

 

I've also heard that a lot of acupuncture practitioners have great knowledge about AD withdrawal and how to deal with it. Anyone have any experience with that?

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Some members have found acupuncture helpful with relieving withdrawal symptoms. We have a discussion topic on it here: 

Acupuncture - Surviving Antidepressants

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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  • 7 months later...

Hello everyone,

 

Been quite a while. Life has been quite crazy since the new year. 

 

I've done a lot of treading into some painful traumatic territories and experiences growing up. I guess it's one of those things almost everyone has to do at some point. Because I've been facing demons in the most direct way I ever have, the question of tapering got put on hold. Im extremely glad that I waited, because I would have probably broken down with two jobs and an eating disorder relapse.

 

Currently I'm working with both my long term therapist and a fairly new nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders. I moved without help to a new town by myself to live with roommates I had never known prior, landed a new job, took out a loan to get myself on my feet, and am soon going to be taking a long break from my long term relationship in order to do the last bits of healing. Leaving the relationship has me really scared, but I also feel like it might be an opportune time to try to taper again.

 

I have contacted a psychiatrist here in town, and I have my fingers crossed that she has a holistic attitude and will help me taper. I am prepared to take 5 years to do this if I have to. I've been at 50mg Sertraline for the last two years with complete consistency. My goal is to take as long as I need in order to be as symptom free as possible.

 

The only reservations I'm still having are surviving being without my significant other who's been a crutch for so long, and training under strenuous circumstances in order to advance my work position. We haven't broken up yet, but we have already discussed taking a break, so he knows it's coming at some point. I find myself getting panic attacks just thinking about being stuck on SSRIs--and it's prompting me to do something, even if it's just a small move. I don't want to be cured over night, I just want to get the ball rolling and it's driving me crazy. On one hand, I feel the need to time everything perfectly and maybe wait even longer until I've figured out this relationship stuff to start tapering. On the other hand, my wanting to begin the tapering process is making me want to break up sooner. I'm overwhelmed, but I know that procrastinating isn't going to help either.

 

Either way, my therapist has always believed I can taper, so there's that. I'll be talking to her later this week so this post is really just me being anxious out loud…haha. But if anyone has any words, I'd much appreciate. 

 

Thank you all as always!

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 11 months later...

Hey guys. Haven't been on here for almost a year. Hope everyone is well.

 

I have had a lot of situations happen this past year that have sent me into what I feel is true adulthood. (Really, I'm mostly talking about money, lol.) I could sit here and talk about all kinds of things, but straight to the point: I am ready to start my taper. 

 

After leaving my LTR of 3 years, I found solace through the pain I let happen alone. I have successfully begun my eating disorder recovery and learned that, despite what any therapist/doctor/whoever tells you, YOU will know what works for you, and you will know when it is working because your heart will tell you. For me, it was going out and socialising, truly listening to friends and not obsessing over my tiredness/body/disposition, and breaking off a new relationship when my boundaries were not being respected. It has been a releasing of perfectionism, and more than that, an acceptance of limitations. It seems as though the atmosphere of change is upon me.

 

Two questions:

 

Since I have access to a compounding pharmacy, is it better to use their encapsuled doses than switching to liquid?

 

And, is it safe/necessary to use 5htp as a "bridge"?

 

I look forward to staying in contact and sharing my experience.

 

xo, 

 

rbtr

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome back rattledbytherush!

 

Quick answers to your questions:

  1. Making your own liquid gives you more control but can be a bit fussy to learn; buying compounded capsules is convenient, especially if travelling internationally (customs, etc.), but is usually more costly.
     
  2. We don't recommend 5-HTP as a bridge, or at all, really.

Some relevant topics:

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .

Using an oral syringe and other tapering techniques].

compounding pharmacy thread.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to rattledbytherush: Trying to time this all responsibly
  • 2 months later...

Hi!

 

I think I've officially decided to take the plunge. I keep telling myself to wait a little longer, but I kind of feel like if I do this slowly, it's not going to be as dreadful as I think. 

 

To recap since ive been inconsistent on this forum:

 

I've been on different ssris since 2004. Unsuccessful tapers throughout the years; 50 mg of sertraline for the last three years with no attempts at tapering. 

 

I have no limit on how long I expect this to take, but a two year minimum is my personal rule. I'm thinking that I'll want to hold at each dose for a month or two, and maybe check back in on the level of dose cuts at the 25 mg mark. 

 

I Guess I'm going to feel what I'm going to feel through this process--windows, waves, and physical sensations. I think that having had breakdowns due to tapering before will help me stay calm about symptoms this time around. For the first time in my life, I am really enjoying being alive. I want to preserve that spirit and want this to be as smooth of a transition as possible. 

 

Im going to get my prescription next week. My GP called in a 47.5 mg (10% reduction) prescription of sertraline liquid form. I have been on pills for a very long time. Do you all think I'll be okay doing this, or should I ask for a 50mg liquid first?

 

xo

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's best to make one change at a time.  When changing from tablets to liquid it is good to do a cross over by doing 3/4 tablet + 1/4 liquid for a few days, 1/2 + 1/2 for a few more days and then 1/4 tablet + 3/4 liquid for few more.  Then it might be worth holding on the liquid for 2-3 weeks to make sure you are stable before making a reduction.

 

Just so that you are prepared for how long this will take I have used the Tapering Calculator - Online and if you make your first reduction in 4 weeks time (mid November), taper by 10% and hold for 4 weeks you will be down to 0.82mg mid November 2020.

 

It will also be important to listen to your body and make allowances for stressful life situations which may arise.

 

I have just recently reduced to 18mg (started at 100mg) and I am actually feeling real excitement for the first time in a very long time.  I won't be off completely until about mid 2020, but because I am feeling improvement in myself and only experiencing very mild withdrawal symptoms, I don't mind that it will take me so long to get off.

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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Ah, okay. I guess I should use a scale to weigh the tablet and ask the compounding pharmacy for a 1/4 dose and build from there? Or perhaps making my own liquid is better?

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 1 month later...

Alright. Step one complete--liquid has been acquired. 

 

So I did what is maybe a hazardous transition, from 50mg tablet straight into 50mg liquid. I've been doing this for about a week now. Unfortunately, I've been sick for three days after having the nastiest hangover. Some nights I can have five drinks and be fine; others, like this one, I got extremely sick and have felt like I have had the flu all week. I'm feeling like the medication switch could be exacerbating this.

 

At any rate, this is a good opportunity to take care of myself regardless of where symptoms are coming from. I suspect this sick feeling will probably return on some level with each dose adjustment. 

 

Once all symptoms are gone on this dose (2.5 mL), I'll be making the cut down to the 45 mg equivalent. 

 

Hopefully I'll be alive and kicking again soon :P

 

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 3 weeks later...

Today is day six of my official taper: 2.5ml---->2.25ml. 

 

So far I'm not feeling any different. I feel really good about the process this time. I'm feeling inspired these days to take a hard look at lifestyle choices. All habits add up over time, and small decisions matter, especially to those of us that are more sensitive than the general population. I have found a few things are really helping me stay calm and collected lately:

 

aromatherapy/nightly rituals--just simply lighting a candle, burning incense, and getting a warm blanket and doing some deep breathing

 

getting really good at French exits

 

getting REALLY good at saying no. This one is the most helpful because I think so much of my depression initially was due to having boundaries crossed and feeling helpless, feeling like my time and space and emotions were being invaded. Nowadays I remember that I'm an adult, I live in my own house, and I choose my friends carefully. I know I'm a naturally solitary person, and I'm now thriving that way instead of wondering why I'm so weird.

 

talking to friends on a regular basis--making more time for phone calls instead of texts, getting human contact in a real way.

 

(light) exercise--the second I feel my body being too tired, I stop. But I still try each day to stretch, walk, or pose in some way that gets blood circulating. 

 

nourishing with food--which means both not obsessing and also accepting that my gut is sensitive, manifesting in both physical pain and heightened nerves. for the last month also, I've been taking a multi, omega 3s, and a probiotic daily. 

 

 

 

I'll check back in a couple of weeks. 

 

Thanks for reading, whoever finds themselves here.

 

Xo

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 2 months later...

Hello to anyone reading. 

 

Im down to 30mg (1.5mL) of liquid sertraline from 50mg back at the end of November. I’ve made four cuts so far, which would mean I’ve made one approximately every 3.5 weeks. I’m managing, but as I approach the halfway point of 25 mg, I’m thinking of going much slower. 

 

Ive noticed that I’m not feeling depressed but mentally “wound up”, neurotic, and anxious. My speech is faster around others, and I’m noticing that my social anxiety and shakiness have increased. I have been wrapped up in thought and am seeing that my feet need to touch the ground again. 

 

Im thinking that I’ll start waiting at least six weeks going forward, which would mean my next cut won’t be until April, and then in mid June, and so forth. 

 

There is is a lot of pent up energy and anger inside of me that is being released, but it’s been good on a lot of levels. I feel my creativity returning, and I am feeling as though my intuition and gut are far more powerful tools than I ever realized. There are emotions both past and present that are showing much more of themselves than before. 

 

All in all, most of my symptoms are anxiety related. Anything that I can do to get myself to slow down is what I have to focus on now. I’ve been practicing closing my eyes and listening to my thoughts, and I find that they actually do slow down when I breathe deeply and feel my body being still.

 

I am planning on doing a lot of soul searching to continue this journey with in the next few weeks. If anyone has any advice or stories to share about taming the reawakened anxiety beast, please feel free. 

 

Xoxo. 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 4 weeks later...

Down to the halfway point—1.25 mL (25 mg). It feels like a good official resting place. 

 

I feel good honestly that I even made it to this point. From so many failed attempts in the past, I’ve been discouraged and pessimistic about this working. I’m still afraid as I begin to see more and more of who I am underneath. 

 

The windows and waves are becoming apparent. I can predict that I will feel slightly sick for at least the first week of each taper now. It’s making doomsday predictions about life that when I come up for air, I realize I totally was overthinking. It feels like each time I’m learning how to sense the world around me all over again. My heart sometimes palpitates. I have a killer headache today. I can’t handle alcohol or caffeine nearly as much (better to be a cheap date?). I need more sleep to process all the emotional experiences I had in a day.

 

I have a lot to work on within as I keep going on this journey. Mostly, I have to remember to slow my mind down, consciously. I forget that my brain is rewiring and healing each time I do this, and I have to be respectful of that. I’m trying to turn the frustration over these symptoms(anxiety, anger, slower cognition) into gratitude for my body being willing to accommodate and adjust to what I’m doing. 

 

Thank you all for being here. 

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator

You are doing great. 

 

Could you please update your signature to reflect your new 25mg dose?  Here's the link:

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Oct. 20, 2022: 3.2mg

Taper is 83% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you, Gridley. I’ve updated my signature. 

 

This thread is basically my journal of progress, so I don’t expect anyone to get through my posts. I’m long winded af. 

 

At my halfway point, Ive been re-examining why I’m doing this. 

 

I have recently discovered that most of my problems with depression/anxiety stem from lifelong sensory processing issues, some of which have abated, but not all. I had ongoing trauma growing up that has been flashing its teeth more lately. It makes sense, and I wanted this. I wanted all along to confront things head on; I want to be able to cry. 

 

I feel that I am putting on less of a face for others now, and that my body and emotional mind are waking up from a long sleep. It isn’t pretty, and I have giraffe legs in all social interactions and practices. I do a lot of cringing after saying something weird, or being verbally dyslexic, or whatever. It feels kind of like grade school again, only this time I feel fully confident in identifying as someone who doesn’t necessarily fall into a neutotypical category. I am reaching for my guitar again. I am hearing the poetry in music more than before. Written passages have more weight. It is beautiful to feel more connected.

 

What makes this so hard is that there are so many physiological symptoms to deal with. On top of discovering a new identity. 

I have erratic eating and sleeping patterns, and I have long been searching for the right balance. W/d symptoms are kind of like holding fire to my own feet in the way of self care. Where before I could get away with excessive eating or drinking and “sleep it off”, there are much clearer consequences now. I can’t ignore my body like I used to. And even if I am eating as healthy as I know how and carving out enough time to sleep and exercising, it doesn’t stop the traumatic episodes from surfacing. It doesn’t stop the constant nausea, or the brain fog, or the fatigue. This is my body working its ass off. I’m grateful. And sometimes pissed off and frustrated. And sometimes I feel totally fine. I have to be ready for anything that my body wants to tell me, or however it’s going to react. The unpredictability is scary, but it gets a little easier over time to make guesses at what might have triggered a symptom, or where I’m at on my tapering timeline that might influence some instability. 

 

In light of the unavoidable chaos that occurs on this journey, I’ve realized how important consistency is for my body. I have to repeatedly remind myself that I am (and have always been even before meds) more sensitive than a large portion of my peers. I simply can not operate on the same terms as everyone else. My whole life I have tried on so many levels to be exactly like others, pushed myself to be able to like something, or have a comparable emotional threshold, or be complicit in general opinion. I am different, and I require specific practices to keep myself thriving. 

 

In real life, that’s going to look like having a consistent diet, consistent sleep, and even a consistent way of channeling my thoughts. It’s going to mean seeking out things that are nourishing, even when I feel physically awful. It’s funny how easy it is to scroll through Instagram, or watch TV, or eat junk when I’m not feeling well, but not be able to do what my body truly wants—like be outside, draw, stretch, or sip some tea. My mind isn’t always ready, I think, for the thoughts that come up when I’m grounded and calm. So I distract my way out of it a lot. I am committed to using this process as a way to reprogram my mind by way of my heart. Those of us with highly active minds get going really fast sometimes, and slowing down feels unnatural, and to people like me, scary at times. This takes conscious reversing of habits. It is the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. 

 

To know that there are people who suffer all kinds of emotional and physical symptoms and still strive to take care of themselves day in and day out is remarkable and inspiring to me. I believe that discipline can be a way to happiness and freedom. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but the entire principle of just trying with the same level of effort all the time is a way to stay true and build strength. I’ll be working on it. 

 

Thanks for letting me shout that off a peak like a mountain goat. 

 

You all rule.

 

xo

 

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Mentor
58 minutes ago, rattledbytherush said:

I have to repeatedly remind myself that I am (and have always been even before meds) more sensitive than a large portion of my peers. I simply can not operate on the same terms as everyone else. My whole life I have tried on so many levels to be exactly like others, pushed myself to be able to like something, or have a comparable emotional threshold, or be complicit in general opinion. I am different, and I require specific practices to keep myself thriving. 

On the nose, rattled... and so hard to accept. I find myself struggling trying to be as high-performing as my friends and it just has never happened. And I am jealous of their success which I know is unhealthy for my body, mind, and relationships but there it is. I am going to meditate on this emotion and try to accept me how I am — sensitive AF.

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well...I’ve been doing what I thought was a 10 % taper for several months now, and realized I’ve been doing it wrong. I’ve definitely just been cutting by 5mg each month (or longer). 

Now that I’m seeing all the math that goes into this, I understand so much more why this is daunting to people. 

Its working alright for me at this pace, but I told myself I’d slow down after the halfway point anyway. I’m now at 20mg from 50mg, having started back in November. 

My question is, can I still keep a comparable schedule, but instead of big cuts with less frequency, make smaller cuts more frequently?

 

I am using liquid sertraline. The 10% measurements are looking more detailed than I was prepared for. Anyone know the best way to measure going forward?

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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Farmgirl, the whole theme of my taper has been to remember what it’s like to be more sensitive than others around me. It takes work and upkeep but it can be a gift, I think. As I’ve been on this journey I’ve had so much emotion come up—anger and guilt, mostly—but watching myself get through it has been essential to understanding how I innately process things. Moving through emotions is a slower process for me I think because I am thorough; I want to fully experience what I am going through before brushing it off. Inconvenient at times, but maybe that’s because I need to start adjusting how I spend my time and mental energy. I need fresh air, a journal, and quiet, to function enough to get to work. When I can treat my mental cultivation and catharsis like it’s my job too, it makes self acceptance so much easier. 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator Emeritus
14 hours ago, rattledbytherush said:

Farmgirl, the whole theme of my taper has been to remember what it’s like to be more sensitive than others around me. It takes work and upkeep but it can be a gift, I think. As I’ve been on this journey I’ve had so much emotion come up—anger and guilt, mostly—but watching myself get through it has been essential to understanding how I innately process things. Moving through emotions is a slower process for me I think because I am thorough; I want to fully experience what I am going through before brushing it off. Inconvenient at times, but maybe that’s because I need to start adjusting how I spend my time and mental energy. I need fresh air, a journal, and quiet, to function enough to get to work. When I can treat my mental cultivation and catharsis like it’s my job too, it makes self acceptance so much easier. 

 

Hey rattledbytherush, 

 

I love your fresh air, a journal and quiet attitude so much.

 

My motto too, there’s nothing like nature, writing down your thoughts n quiet time for processing.

 

Good for you. Good plan!! Xxx

Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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  • 2 months later...

What’s up everyone. 

 

Im finally feeling the worst that I’ve felt in a while. It is so strange that everyone’s body seems to react to different dosages at different times.

 

I have been at 18 mg for the last two months, and I have had no relief in that time. I am socially awkward, unable to be around others, and have discovered a layer of OCD within myself that is extremely important in my treatment via therapy. However, I am becoming quickly non-functional. 

 

I cant tell if the intrusive thoughts are a result of tapering or if I am just that way as a person. I shake every time I have to wake up and sleep in as Long as I can each day in order to avoid it. I effectively hate my life right now. 

 

I am wondering if reinstatement is a good idea. I am completely self absorbed by this and feel insane. 

 

If anyone one has any thoughts or words of comfort I could use them. I am suffering right now and feel alone as hell. 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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Reinstated back to 20 mg.

 

Im discovering who I am off of medication. 

 

It kind of sucks.

 

this is that time that requires patience, I think. I hear myself trying to be forgiving and compassionate. The shame I have about who I am is heavier by the day. 

 

I don’t have enough tears to cry out all the things I regret. I want to be accountable, and be a listener, and have a heart big enough to get over my own stupid ego and love others. I have to admit what I’ve done wrong and get over it.

 

i don’t know whether it’s withdrawal that I’m feeling self hate more intensely or if it’s that I’m becoming a terrible person off meds. Or if it’s that I’m waking up to what I’ve been able to feel numb about for so many years. I would like to think I still have time to correct my course.

 

I will try to be more proactive about reading your all’s stories and learning from your wisdom. I appreciate you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • Moderator

The self-hate and regret you write about are neuro-emotions caused by withdrawal.  They feel very real but they are not.  This link should be helpful to you.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14397-neuro-emotions/  

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Oct. 20, 2022: 3.2mg

Taper is 83% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator

Hello, rattled. This sounds like a great time to work with a psychotherapist who will coach you in putting that behind you, and close that door. You want to do this! This is momentum to do some life-changing.

 

At the very least, devise a ritual where you write down all your regrets and ceremonially burn them. The past is past, you need to let go of it and create a new future.

 

Also, be sure to get at least 30 minutes of gentle exercise each day. This will make a big difference in your mood.

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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  • Mentor
3 hours ago, rattledbytherush said:

I don’t have enough tears to cry out all the things I regret. I want to be accountable, and be a listener, and have a heart big enough to get over my own stupid ego and love others. I have to admit what I’ve done wrong and get over it. 

 

i don’t know whether it’s withdrawal that I’m feeling self hate more intensely or if it’s that I’m becoming a terrible person off meds. Or if it’s that I’m waking up to what I’ve been able to feel numb about for so many years. I would like to think I still have time to correct my course.

Yup, @rattledbytherush, waking up to who you are without the meds is exhilarating and alarming all at once. I, too, want to believe that there is time to correct course. I think going thru this leaves you with no alternative but to change course because we've been so changed by WD.

 

You're not a terrible person though, of that I am certain. Anybody who has the consciousness to care about being "accountable" and a "listener" and "having a big enough heart" probably already has had  them but is going thru a rough patch. Hang in there and know you are not alone.

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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Thanks for the kind words you all. 

 

I keep forgetting how hard this process is and why I’ve failed at it before. I always assume I’m going crazy and somehow never attribute what I’m going through to neuro-emotions and side effects. I have excessive guilt and anxiety to begin with, but I haven’t been giving my body/mind enough of a break lately. I’ve gotta be more patient and really work hard to remember I’m being given what feels like a double stress load just from all the physical symptoms (fatigue, racing heart, rumination, headaches, etc). Thank you for reminding me. 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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