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keepinghope: withdrawing from Prozac


keepinghope

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Hi everyone. I was prescribed Prozac 20mg back in 2002, for what I think now was pretty mild depression when I was at University. I remember my flatmate going to the Dr's about her lethargy and getting prescribed Prozac - a couple of weeks later she was enthusing about her new-found energy and encouraged me to go and get it. "All you have to do is cry in front of the Dr and say you can't sleep or do anything" - god how I wish now I'd ignored her. 

 

Fast forward 13 years with severe depression and self-harming which started not long after going on Prozac, which just reinforced to me and my GP that I needed the drug, and many years later several failed attempts to get off it, I felt I was over the depression (if I'd ever had any to start with but what the Prozac had exaggerated), and hadn't self-harmed for many years. My last attempt to get off Prozac in 2013 had caused me severe anxiety, anger and paranoia, ultimately having to go back on the drug because my Dr said I'd relapsed. I hadn't heard of SSRI withdrawal back then. 

 

I tried again in July with a tapering plan of 6 weeks from my GP. I now know from reading forums like this that it was probably way too quick, but I've come so far I really don't want to go back on it. 

The anger and tantrums in the first few months was unbelievable, I was so irritable I don't know how I didn't lose my job. I had lots of rows with my mum (who I'm living with for financial reasons) and on one occasion hit her on the arm, I couldn't believe I'd sunk so low as to hit my 70 year old mum. We've discussed the withdrawal since and she's very supportive, I just feel such a burden and I'm terrified of doing something similar again. 

The anger has got a lot less recently, and sometimes I've had an hour or so when I've felt like 'me' again, almost happy and content. 

Christmas and the New Year has been hard, with flu symptoms, awful anxiety that wakes me up and hits me with a terrible feeling of dread and panic. 

I'm due to start a new job tomorrow and I can barely get out of bed, I feel so wiped out. I can't eat and every time I try and make myself eat I have to rush to the toilet straight after. 

 

One thing that has helped a bit has been the videos linked to on these forums - from Baylissa at recovery-road.org 

I practically have the 'affirmations for recovery' on repeat. This too, shall pass..

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Hi Keeping Hopeful,

 

WELCOME ????????????❤????

 

Congratulations on getting a new job despite your struggles & the very best of luck tomorrow. Do you mind telling me what area is it in? I hear how hard & determined you are to get through this time.You sound like a very tenacious person. Anger can be a very intense emotion.You must be very grateful to have a mother who can confide in about your medication & w/d symptoms. My heart goes out hearing so many people in pain from w/d of medications that were prescribed initially to make individuals feel better.????

I've started taking antidepressants in 2001. I took Cipramil for 3 years. Elflexor for 1 year. Lexapro 10mg - 20mg since 1992 approximately.

 

STARTING DOSE 20mg Lexapro 2016

 

19mg Lexapro (3rd January 2016)-Taper 5%

18mg Lexapro (8th February 2O16)-Taper 5%

17mg Lexapro (? March 2016) - Taper 5% -

16mg (16th May 2016) Taper 5 %

17mg (21st August 2016) + 5%

16mg (3rd January 2017) - 5%

15mg (4th February 2017) -5

14mg (6/02/18) -5%

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello KeepingHope,

 

It's good to have you here - you'll get a lot of support, and I'm also really glad to hear of the strong relationship you have with your mother.  Connections with others are key to us finding the strength to get through hard times.  The small times of feeling good that you've had are an encouraging sign on healing.

 

You are right that skipping doses causes more instability.  Doctors just seem to keep on recommending it anyway :mellow:

 

So it looks like you are about 4 months out from your last dose.  The odds of Reinstatement working get less as time goes on, but it might pay to read about it and see what you think.  Otherwise your option is to 'wait it out' and that can take quite a while.  It differs for each person but it can be many months or even years, depending on individual circumstances.  I don't say this to scare you, but to ensure you have all the facts for making an informed decision.  

 

Either way, you will find lots of good ideas in the self-care forum to ease your way through this.  Many people find Magnesium and fish-oil helpful.  Cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, heavy exercise etc will also help.  Stability is what your central nervous system wants most of all right now.  It can heal, it just needs time and care.  

 

I note you have stomach upsets.  Our gut is very much linked to our brain (and heart) via the Vagus nerve.  Healing that contributes to healing from w/d.

 

That's probably enough for starters :) Have a read and come back to this thread to ask questions - this can be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress.  One step at a time...

 

Hugs,

Karen

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

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

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

8 month hold.

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

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

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

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

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

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Hi everyone. I was prescribed Prozac 20mg back in 2002, for what I think now was pretty mild depression when I was at University. I remember my flatmate going to the Dr's about her lethargy and getting prescribed Prozac - a couple of weeks later she was enthusing about her new-found energy and encouraged me to go and get it. "All you have to do is cry in front of the Dr and say you can't sleep or do anything" - god how I wish now I'd ignored her. 

 

Fast forward 13 years with severe depression and self-harming which started not long after going on Prozac, which just reinforced to me and my GP that I needed the drug, and many years later several failed attempts to get off it, I felt I was over the depression (if I'd ever had any to start with but what the Prozac had exaggerated), and hadn't self-harmed for many years. My last attempt to get off Prozac in 2013 had caused me severe anxiety, anger and paranoia, ultimately having to go back on the drug because my Dr said I'd relapsed. I hadn't heard of SSRI withdrawal back then. 

 

I tried again in July with a tapering plan of 6 weeks from my GP. I now know from reading forums like this that it was probably way too quick, but I've come so far I really don't want to go back on it. 

The anger and tantrums in the first few months was unbelievable, I was so irritable I don't know how I didn't lose my job. I had lots of rows with my mum (who I'm living with for financial reasons) and on one occasion hit her on the arm, I couldn't believe I'd sunk so low as to hit my 70 year old mum. We've discussed the withdrawal since and she's very supportive, I just feel such a burden and I'm terrified of doing something similar again. 

The anger has got a lot less recently, and sometimes I've had an hour or so when I've felt like 'me' again, almost happy and content. 

Christmas and the New Year has been hard, with flu symptoms, awful anxiety that wakes me up and hits me with a terrible feeling of dread and panic. 

I'm due to start a new job tomorrow and I can barely get out of bed, I feel so wiped out. I can't eat and every time I try and make myself eat I have to rush to the toilet straight after. 

 

One thing that has helped a bit has been the videos linked to on these forums - from Baylissa at recovery-road.org 

I practically have the 'affirmations for recovery' on repeat. This too, shall pass..

Dear keeping hope,

 

We have many shared experiences. My experience of 'anxiety' and 'depression' also started at Uni. Upon reflection, I believe that the stress that I was suffering was appropriate to the context and demands on me at that time.

 

I have also taken Prozac, to the detriment of my personality and temperament. It caused a lot of anger in me that was never felt or expressed previously.

 

I am so glad to hear that you have a supportive mother. 

 

Try not to berate or reprimand yourself for drug induced behaviours that were beyond your control. So many of us have behaved out of character in a drug induced state. Forgive yourself and keep your energies focused on your healing.

 

I hope that your new job is good for you. Take one day at a time. You are more capable than you believe. Be patient and kind to yourself. It is the very least that you owe yourself.

 

Dr Claire Weekes got me through many anxious periods in my life and still does. She is very compassionate, down to earth and her advice really makes sense. She also has a wonderful character and way about her! Here is a video that I hope will provide you comfort and reassurance:

 

[bad link removed]

 

Some of her audios can be found here (scroll page to third box)

 

http://www.junior-anxiety-depression-exchange.org.uk/relax.html

 

I have replied to your PM. I will be thinking of you tomorrow as you start your new job and will light a candle for you.

 

Take the very best care of yourself & don't be a stranger.

 

Huge hugs,

 

Tilly x

Edited by JanCarol
outdated link removed

1999 - 2004 Paroxetine 20mg  -> 2004 - 2007 Citalopram 20mg -> 2007 -  short term Trazedone use (insomnia) -> 2007 - 2009 Fluoxetine 20mg  ->

2009 - Jan 2012 Citalopram 20mg  (Spring / Summer 2012 protracted withdrawal & related agoraphobia) -> 2012 - September Restarted Citalopram - unbearable start up effects. Discontinued in under 1 week -> Oct 12 -   October 2014 Escitalopram - 10mg prescribed. Started on 5mg and worked up to 10mg in 2.5mg increments  -> Oct 2014  - 5mg; 30/03/15 2.5mg; 15/04/15 3.5mg; 20/05/15 2.9mg;  19/09/15 2.8mg; 30/10/15 2.7mg; 13/11/15 2.6mg. Holding until March.

Diet:  mostly pescatarianl & lots of veg. Weekly offal for b vitamins.  Turmeric, nigella seeds, avocados, apple cider vinegar, coconut products daily. Lots of fluids: water, lemon juice, coconut water, herbal & green tea (decaffeinated).

Supplements: vitamin C 4000mg, Omega 3 fish oil - high DPA & EHA, vitamin E 400iu, vitamin D3 5000mg (Winter only - from sun in Spring / Summer), probiotics.

Current Symptoms: chronic fatigue, erratic sleep, extreme photophobia, eye floaters, noise sensitivity, tinnitus, cognitive & speech difficulties, dizziness, irregular gait, poor co ordination, severe facial and upper body muscle tension, head and neck pressure.

Coping Strategies: good nutrition, cooking, gardening & growing my own food, cycling, dancing, yoga, photography, sewing & creative pursuits, self massage, pampering, meditation, journalling, nature, cuddling cats & humans, laughter & humour, gratitude, self care, aromatherapy, audio books, word games & believing in myself, my potential and my future.

 

"Everything I need is within me" - Shakti Gawain

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Hi, thank you all so much for your replies, they meant such a lot and helped get me through my first day at the new job. I've been having a bit of a bad week so have been struggling to find words to post again, but I'm feeling a bit more positive again now.

 

Rose9975 - thank you for your kind words. The new job's a marketing assistant position in a University, I only ended up going in for 2 days as no one was expecting me so they told me to start again this Monday when the manager was back! Then I felt awful for the rest of the week thinking it was because they wanted rid of me. It's all been compounded by the fact that I had 2 job offers and I feel I made the wrong decision - I'm just having to keep telling myself things happen for a reason and hope another job at the other place (which seemed lovely) will come up. Fingers crossed! I hope your taper is going well, hugs to you and thanks again x

 

KarenB - thank you so much, oh I wish I'd found this place before going off the fluoxetine on such a cack-handed taper! It's such a wealth of info, I'm finding the self-care forum in particular really helpful. And after several failed attempts to come off it feels wonderful to know I'm not really the fruitloop I seem to turn into off the medication! I knew it wasn't me, but the Dr just wouldn't listen, and I felt like I couldn't trust myself. If this whole experience has only taught me one thing its that I'll never blindly trust a Dr over my own instinct again, ever. I have a feeling this is the start of a whole new learning journey though!

Thank you for the links, I'll have a read, and will keep reinstatement in mind if things get worse and I feel I can't cope.

Hope you're doing well, and thank you again for such a lovely welcome. Hugs x

 

Tilly - thank you so much for your post and your PM. I read it Monday at work and smiled for the first time in so long. I can't view the YouTube vid but the audio files of Dr Weekes are fab! I see what you mean about her character, it really comes through, compassionate but strong, not flaky at all! I've been searching for her on YouTube and she does a lovely one called 'an encouraging talk before bed: let tomorrow be what it will' - I'm going to listen to it again now

Prozac made me angry too, it's only now that I've had a couple of good moments (like the 'old me') that I see just how irritable and short-tempered I was for practically the whole time I was on it. Coming off it seems to magnify the anger for me, I'm still getting periods of being really snappy but its getting less (fingers crossed).

Will email you as soon as I can, hope you're doing well, and thank you again for your words, they really helped me so much x

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Few things I've noticed since being in WD:

 

Good things:

 

-My weird starey 'crazy' (as called by a few people!) eyes that I've had for 10+ years have gone! I'm no longer accused of being on drugs or having eyes too big for my head! Has anyone else noticed their eyes went a bit wider/pupils more dilated/more 'stare-y' on SSRIs?

 

-Over the past couple of days my appetite has started to come back. Still have an upset stomach sometimes, usually in the morning.

I'm also starting to crave certain foods - fish is one of them and that started a month or so ago before I'd heard of fish oil being good for WD. Only really craving white fish like sea bass and bream though, and I'm not sure that contains any omegas?

Lately I've also been craving fruit juice (probably not so good) and marmite on wholemeal toast (and I'm usually a strictly white bread person!) Marmite is supposed to be high in b vitamins so I wondered if that might be why? Or it could be that I've read about b vitamins and then started wanting marmite, knowing it contained them. I'm not sure.

I'm going to try the fish oil and magnesium supplements, hopefully they will help a bit.

 

-Sleep is still disturbed throughout the night but I'm finding I drop off easier, even after waking up in the early hours with a huge adrenalin surge. I didn't think I'd ever get used to those, it was like nothing I'd ever experienced, but it happens now and I can breathe through it almost, and talk myself down a bit.

Will try a sleep mask and earplugs because as soon as its light I'm awake, same with any noises in the night.

 

-I feel more, in a bad way but also in a good way. I seem to be more compassionate; the other day I looked at my mum and just felt such love for her and appreciation for her support. I mean I felt things before on fluoxetine but not as profoundly.

 

Not so good things:

 

-I'm weepy a lot of the time. Anything can set me off, a happy film, even a ruddy advert. And it's not normal crying, it's gut wrenching bawling like a baby. I found it really scary at first, now I just try to laugh at myself when it happens. Nothing makes you look crazier than laughing and sobbing at the same time!

 

-I don't seem to want to go out at all. I could happily stay at home 24/7. The weird thing is though I'm usually more anxious when I'm at home, and when I have to go out, although it's awful at the time I feel better for it later. I've wondered if that could just be relief to be back home though? Or that when I'm at work, for instance, I'm not thinking about my symptoms as much?

I also tend to worry a lot prior to when I have to go out, like to work tomorrow. For no reason in particular, just a vague sort of dread at having to DO something.

 

-Dry skin and lips. This could be absolutely nothing to do with WD but thought I'd write it down just in case others have the same thing. My lips especially are a mess, and no amount of lip balm seems to be helping. I had really bad flu over Christmas which is when the dry lips started, but from what I've read on here it might not even have been flu, but WD?

 

-I re-started smoking a few months ago when the first bits of anxiety kicked in. I'm smoking probably 2-6 a day, some days nothing, but I know it's probably not helping, but at the time I'm smoking I feel calmer and more grounded. I know tobacco has been used in the past as an anti-depressant herbal remedy, I wonder if this is why I started smoking soon into withdrawal?

 

-Sometimes I find myself panicking that I haven't even hit the worst of it yet. In a way, I guess it's good that I am prepared for things to get worse, but it does add to the worry and dread about the future.

 

Things that I've found have helped a bit:

 

-The 'bloom in wellness' videos on YouTube by Baylissa Frederick - something about her voice is so soothing and comforting to me. Also the Dr Weekes audio files Tilly posted above, great for when I'm feeling anxious and that I'll never be 'normal' again.

 

-This forum! Just knowing I'm not alone, or going crazy, has helped beyond measure. Thank you all and I hope I'll eventually be able to give as much support back as I take.

 

-Seaweed baths. Not sure why these help me, but they do! I get my seaweed from Just Seaweed - a guy up in Scotland who collects it for a living - wouldn't mind that job myself! He sends it with a net bag, you just run a hot bath stick some seaweed in (in the bag, otherwise you'll be picking seaweed out of your plug hole for ages) and relax. The seaweed releases a gel that makes your skin really soft, plus all the minerals are supposed to be absorbed through your skin. Not sure how true that is but I don't think they're recommended for anyone with an overactive thyroid because of the high iodine content.

I absolutely love the smell of seaweed, but if you don't then these baths probably aren't for you, as they are quite aromatic!

 

Think that's it for now. All the best to all of you in your withdrawal. One day at a time x

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi KH,

 

It's funny you mention Marmite, because around about the beginning to middle of December I was eating Vegemite every day. :)  I've also noticed that sweet things taste overly sweet and I have a sweet tooth so I think my sense of taste is returning.  Loved your comment about leaving the seaweed in the bag.  It reminds me (seaweed in the bath being like tea leaves) of when I was about 12 (I'm 58 now) my mum and I visited an elderly lady and she served afternoon tea.  Strong tea with tea leaves in the cup and really dark fruit cake (which I didn't like then).  I couldn't work out whether to wash the cake down with the tea or cover up the tea with the cake.  And no, I can't remember what I did, possibly just alternated, but I am fairly sure I suffered (being polite) and did get through them.  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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Hi CC

 

Thanks for your reply, weird about the marmite/vegemite! Its reassuring to know our bodies might just be able to tell us what they need to heal, I'm going to keep listening to the cravings and see how I get on. I'll probably be the size of a house by the time I'm finished

I'm the same with the sweet things, I've completely gone off them as they taste too sweet at the moment, and I was a huge chocolate fiend for most of my life.

Lol at your tea story, I would've been exactly the same although I don't know if I'd have been so polite as to get both down! I can't stand tea or fruit cake, and the thought of tea with leaves floating in is doubly worse. I did drink a cup of tea out of politeness once years ago, I felt so ill afterwards!

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Hi Keepinghope, Have you definitely decided not to reinstate? 

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Hi AliG, I think so. From reading other reports I'm worried that things can get a lot worse after reinstating this far out, and I'm feeling on a fairly even keel for these past 2 days, although that might be because I've just had 5 days off work.

I know things can still go very very downhill, but I'm trying my best not to think that far ahead at the moment.

 

The last time I cold-turkeyed and ended up going back on 3 months later, I was a wreck, mostly because I thought I was going mad as I knew nothing about withdrawal then. Now I know better, I'm a bit calmer about the symptoms, but still worried about if/when things get worse. It's like choosing the worst of two evils, and I'm terrible at decision-making at the best of times!

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Might have spoken too soon, anger seems to be back with a vengeance.

Does anyone have any good coping tips for dealing with the rage? It's been the worst part of all this.

I know no one can say what I should do, but do most think that reinstatement and a very slow taper might be the best way to go? I'm worried this anger will get worse.

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Hello,

Although I am at a different point then you in this process I feel like I can relate to a lot of what you had posted....when I had tapered too quickly last time and did not know about withdrawal symptoms I ended up reinstating original dose....partly because I felt like I was losing it...although my symptoms may not always be the same I try to avoid my triggers as much as humanly possible...for example try to avoid the triggers that cause the anger (although I know it is hard and sometimes impossible)

I went through a bout with my withdrawals (even though I am still tapering about 1.5 months ago when I left a job of 23 years to start something new...and that dread of going out and doing things before they happen, etc.

when I get the rage I try to seperate myself from others because I know it will escalate if I don't. I try to reason and process in my mind but that doesn't always work ....

I did find reinstating and I was on it for awhile again until I regained the confidence to begin a slow taper (mine is slow and never ending but am fearful of ending up how I was before when I dropped too quickly...

08/2014 10 mg 8/28/14 switched to liquid 2.5 timeline-9/6/14 2.30=9.2 ...10/03/14 2.07=8.28 ...11/1/14 1.9=7.611/3014 1.72=6.88 ... 12/26 1.54=6.16... 2/16 1.46=5.84 switch to 5% per 3 wks3/14/15 1.38=5.52 ... 4/4/15 1.30=5.2 ...4/25/15 1.24=4.965/16/15 1.18=4.72 ... 6/6/15 1.12=4.48...6/26/15 1.06=4.24 switch to 5%ish per two weeks7/15/15 1.0=4. 7/30/15 .96=3.84 8/13/15 .91=3.64 or .90=3.60 8/29/15 .86=3.44 9/12/15 .82= 3.28 9/26/15 .78=3.12 10/11/15 .74=2.96 10/25/15 .70=2.8 hit a wall been holding since12/26/15 2.5% decrease .68=2.72 1/9/16 .66=2.64 2/6/16 .63=2.52 3/3/16 ,60=2.4 3/26/16 57=2.28 4/30/16 .54=2.16mg 6/4/16 .52=2.08 8/5/16 updose .75=3.0. 9/6/16 1.00=4.0 5mg 2/10/17 6mg 2/17/17 8 mg 3/17/17 7mg ? 3/18/17 6mg 4/1/17 5mg @4/17 4.5mg=1.12 5/19/17 4 mg=1.00ml 7/15/17 .98=3.96

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Thanks for your reply Icandothis, I hope you're getting on well at your new job and with your taper.

The anger's gone now and it seems I've circled back to a couple of days of doing ok and then back to anxiety/crying/low mood. It's like I'm stuck in a loop.

Next time I get the rage again I will try avoiding triggers and seperating myself a bit.

 

New job is not going well and there's lots of extra things that I''m expected to do (like work Saturdays with no time off in lieu). I took a sick day today. I don't even feel capable of making a decision about what to do next.

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Hope.  At 4.5 months , you're " borderline", for reinstating, in my opinion. If it were me, knowing what I now, know , I would " give it a shot" at a low dose. Maybe between 1-5mg. I can't see that you have much to lose , at this point. This " withdrawal " can go on for years, otherwise. I would experiment, and see. The worst is that you have a bad reaction , in  which case you know for sure, that you're system is sensitized and can quit immediately.

Ali

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Thanks Ali. I'm going to try it, I have an appointment booked at the docs this afternoon.

 

I don't want to make a rash decision when I'm not feeling in the right 'head space' but I think I'm going to give my notice on my new job. It's just not going to work for me due to commitments I have at the weekend. If they'd told me about the weekends at interview I would never have taken the job - I had another job offer (great part time job at a charity) but I turned it down to take this one, I had a bad feeling about it but this one was more money, and other people said it'd be a better career prospect for me...

 

Kicking myself now. When will I learn to listen to my gut?! Couldn't give a fig about career prospects, I want to be self-employed doing my animal business.

 

At least this has confirmed to me what I want to do, and what my priorities are. Sometimes when I'm feeling the clouds lift a bit, I wonder if the upheaval of WD can be used as a time to reassess our lives, what works for us and what doesn't, who we really want to be and what we really want to do.

Antidepressants allow us to trudge on regardless, blank to any damage we might be doing to ourselves.

Without them it's so much harder to keep up the pretence.

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi keepinghope , welcome to the site.  

I believe you're doing yourself a huge favour by trying to reinstate.  It will hopefully save you many months of suffering.

You'll be able to maintain things as you taper off slowly.

Remember , after so many years , your brain simply isn't used to having to manage by itself.

 

Please read the thread on reinstating here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

Please note , we suggest starting at 1 or 2mg as a starter dose.  

In the event that you have an adverse reaction , a small dose will leave your system less disrupted than a bigger one.  

You may find you are able to stabilize on a far smaller dose than most doctors think is "a therapeutic dose".

 

This thread may be helpful too -  how to make liquid from tablets or capsules http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

bw ,  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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Hi Fresh, thanks for your post. 

 

Back from the doctors, not much help, just a leaflet on anxiety and a leaflet for IAPT (NHS self-referral service for CBT-type courses)

 

I couldn't get another prescription for fluoxetine, instead she offered citalopram. She didn't even explain why properly, but just said citalopram was newer and better. I didn't take her up on her offer, I thought it wouldn't be a good idea to switch to a completely new med?

 

Wouldn't sign me off work either. Oh well, onwards ever onwards. Thanks for the support on here, it means a lot. 

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Switching to a new med can cause further instability for your CNS.  Are you able to get a script from another doctor for fluoxetine? 

 

But wow, a leaflet for anxiety!!  You should have no problems at all with that in your hand :rolleyes:.

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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  • 3 months later...

Hi everyone!

 

Haha KarenB, yes I felt invincible with that anxiety leaflet in my hand lol. Aren't Docs the best ;) 

 

Just thought I'd pop back and post a quick update. I didn't reinstate in the end, and I just want to make clear I am not advocating that route for anyone else as I know that it is the riskier option. 

 

But... I'm doing ok. Slowly stopped obsessing over my symptoms and just got on with life in a way. The new job actually turned out really supportive - I gave my notice in, but they offered me part time work for 6 or so months, so I'm working on my business on my days off. 

 

Apart from the odd day of anxiety or short-temperedness i'm pretty much 'me', no drastic difference outwardly to the 10+ years I was on Prozac, but I feel subtly different too, in a good way.

I do still have blips, it's not all sunshine and flowers! Usually it's when I push myself too hard at work, or don't eat properly or go to bed at a decent time - basically when I'm not looking after myself as well as I should be. If this whole process has taught me anything it's the importance of looking after yourself, and knowing where your current limits are and not pushing past them, although I'm still learning where my limits are at the moment, and keep getting reminded that I'm not back at 100% just yet!

 

Reading back on my posts I'm a bit embarrassed by how melodramatic some of them are  :blush: Funny, when you're in the moment, it seems so all-consuming. It was good for me to take a step back from this site and get myself back out in the world again - it helped me try to stop focusing solely on myself. 

This site did help me tremendously though - particularly the posts on self-care and all the links to qi gong and guided meditations etc, and also just knowing that I wasn't alone, that there were so many people going through the same thing, that it wasn't me going crazy and that it would, eventually, pass.

 

I'm aware that things may get worse and I might crash again at some point, but I don't obsess about it - if it happens it happens and I'll deal with it then, and get over it then too. I feel a lot stronger in a way. 

 

Anyway, enough waffle, just wanted to say hello and thanks to all of you and all the best, and it can and will get better in time. If I can offer any support to anyone please do get in touch. 

 

KH x

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

We really appreciate the up-date KH - it provides a lot of hope for those still in the difficult stages. 

 

It sounds like you've laid the groundwork for slow yet stable healing, and that's the best kind.  You got right to the heart of it here:

If this whole process has taught me anything it's the importance of looking after yourself, and knowing where your current limits are and not pushing past them, although I'm still learning where my limits are at the moment, and keep getting reminded that I'm not back at 100% just yet!

 

A little self-care goes a long way.

 

If you think of it, please pop back in every couple of months or so and let us know how you're doing. 

Karen

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

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

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

8 month hold.

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

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

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

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

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Dear KeepingHope,

 

Wow -- sounds like you are doing great, and also have a wonderful attitude. 

 

I would encourage you not to feel you were being melodramatic :)  It is a huge experience, one most people aren't familiar with, and certainly all-consuming whether we want it to be or not. 

 

Withdrawal is making self-care champions of us all!!! 

 

Following this thread now and hope to hear great updates (or be able to provide a helping hand if needed). Take care!!!!!  

 

2020: After 18+ years (entire adult life) on Paxil, a dangerous doctor-led "taper" in 2015, and four years tapering off the last 1 mg thanks to SA and the Brassmonkey slide, 

I AM COMPLETELY FREE OF PAXIL! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Forever.

 

2021: Began conservative, proper, CNS-respecting taper of Zoloft, led by the only expert on me -- me. Making own liquid. 5-10% plus holds.

2022: Holding on Zoloft for now. Current dose 47 mg. Hanging in, hanging on. Severe protracted PAWS, windows and waves. While I may not be doing "a lot" by outside standards, things are graaaaadually getting better

 

Yoga (gentle to medium); walks; daily breath practice; nutrition, fruits/veg; nature; water; EastEnders (lol); practicing self-compassion, self-care; boundaries; connection; allowing feelings; t r u s t ing that I, too, will heal. (--> may need to be reminded of this.)

"You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story." - Baylissa

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all, back for a bit of an update. So I'm now just over 10 months off Fluoxetine after pretty much a cold turkey, and am experiencing windows and waves - whoever coined that term deserves an award. It literally is exactly that.

 

Just coming out of a wave that started last weekend when the neighbour's 18 year old son had the house to himself for a party - I ended up in the street at 2am asking them (or more accurately screaming at them) to turn the music down. My heart was beating like crazy and I got about 2 hours sleep that night, I just couldn't calm down. Following that I've been sleeping better but getting the early-morning cortisol rushes again, and a lot of irritability. 

 

Managed to drag myself into action today to ride my horse, which I haven't done for a couple of weeks. So I'm feeling like I'm on the up again today.

 

The waves I'm experiencing aren't anywhere near as bad as the crash I had at the start of this year. They feel terrible when I'm in them, and my irritability and anxiety levels go up, but I still get a decent 5/6 hours sleep and I'm functional as long as I don't stress myself or take on too much. Stress tolerance is still low, and I try and take a few veg-hours whenever I can and not feel too guilty about it. But it's hard not to start panicking when I think about what I've got to do tomorrow, or next week, and meanwhile my to do list is getting longer and longer and I can barely summon the energy to get off my arse to go to the toilet. 

 

The windows are amazing, I've only had them for a few days at most but I feel so much better in that time than I ever did at my most stable times on AD's. I feel human again. Calm, peaceful. Then I get another wave and feel like a mouldy crumb on the kitchen floor but it's worth it for the good days.

 

I've started to get really angry about these meds, and what they've done to us. I started reading a lot of conspiracy sites about big pharma and the CIA and mind control and who knows what, but I had to stop because I just feel so powerless against it all. All these murder-suicides and school shootings and children killing themselves - of course it's because of the medication, I can't believe I didn't see it before. It's so obvious, but at the same time it sounds like crazy talk because it's so utterly awful. I wonder if they (pharma) don't need to worry themselves with what we say because by taking their drugs we've already been classified with mental disorders and therefore discredited ourselves. It's good that people like Robert Whitaker, Dr Breggin and Dr Healy are talking about this too.

 

I started self-harming with suicidal ideation AFTER beginning fluoxetine, but to the psychiatrist and the GP (and me too) it was just proof that I needed the drug. I was always angry too, still get that way a bit in a wave but on the AD (and in early withdrawal) it was a blind, uncontrollable rage, that I couldn't talk myself out of. It was almost like I was outside myself, egging myself on to do more damage. I also had intrusive thoughts - I remember years ago I kept having visions of stabbing my mum while she was asleep. I could have been one of those newspaper stories. There but for the grace of God go I, I guess.

 

I've been enjoying listening to music again these past few months and this is a song that's been helping me a lot lately. Keep on keeping on everyone x

 

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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keepinghope-

 

I have also been off Prozac for 10 months.  I was basically forced off cold turkey because I couldn't handle the change in manufactures from one generic to the next.  I am in a really bad wave right now.  It is awful.  I think I had a set back because I had a bad cold last week and I was taking cold medicine.  How do you handle the waves?  I am scared that I won't have another window for a long time. It is an awful feeling?  How do you hang on for the good days?

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Hi O2bhapppy

 

We stopped practically on the same day, and were taking it for about the same time too! Sorry to hear you're in a bad wave at the moment. It may well have been the cold medication, I prolapsed a disc in my back a couple of months ago and was taking painkillers continuously for a couple of weeks which sent me into a bit of a wave.

 

With the waves, I've found it's a case of just battening down the hatches and waiting it out, while trying to keep hold of the thought that it will pass, but without worrying (as much as I can help it) about how long it will take to go. Part of what makes waves so awful for me is because it distorts my whole thinking process, and I won't be thinking straight but because of the wave I can't always see I'm not thinking straight, if that makes sense.  

 

I find distraction works best for me - I'll watch films or my favourite tv programmes, and will just do the minimum possible to get through the day. Dropping work down to part-time has helped a lot with keeping my stress levels down, as I find when I'm stressed and running here there and everywhere it often sets off a wave. Claire Weekes' videos about floating instead of fighting against the anxiety have helped, as have Baylissa Frederick's videos when I've been in a really bad wave. (You can find both on YouTube).

 

Try not to worry that the window won't come, it always does. Hope you're feeling a bit better today. 

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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keepinghope -

 

I have been dealing with a lot of internal shaking and it seemed that the cold medicine made it worse. 

 

Not thinking straight and not realizing it makes perfect sense.  I have had thought about hurting myself during a wave and thinking my family would be better off without me, when I know that is not the case.  Sometimes the hurt I feel during a wave is almost unbearable.   I have had a couple of windows, but they have been very short and sweet.  I am hoping for longer windows. 

 

Thank you for the video suggestions.  I will make sure to watch them.  I do try and distract myself, but I find myself talking about how I feel everyday or thinking about it.  I know that doesn't help. 

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Hi O2bhappy. I am 13 months off Prozac and experiencing many of the symptoms you describe. Had a window like no other this weekend and felt totally normal for a couple of days before returning to anxiety and inner trembling, muscle twitches etc...  I hope you are doing well. I think the ups and downs are a sign of healing since I didn't used to get the windows.  I have never felt like I did this weekend except for before I ever took a med so to feel that well was unbelievably promising.  Of course when the wave hits you tend to think the worst but I journal to remember the good times and well I felt.  I tapered quickly but am working on month 14 off all medications.  21 months off Klonopin and Prozac was the last May of 2015.  I see keepinghope is riding this same road and I have to agree.  When a wave hits all you can do is wait it out.  I would prefer to be doing things but have to just rest and watch movies etc... when it hits. Take care.  We are healing and it will improve.  I sleep most nights now instead of those endless months of insomnia.  Progress is good.  

Prozac 40mg for 20 years - Drug free as of May 2015 - Liquid micro-tapered for 18 months

Klonopin 2-7mg per day - 2011 - Oct 2014  Drug free now Liquid micro-tapered for 2 years.

Temazepam 2011 - 2012 Drug free C/T

Ativan intermittent 2012-2013 Drug free C/T

Ambien 2006 - 2013 - Drug free C/T

 

Withdrawal symptoms persist although I am off all medications. 

Windows and Waves - Life and Dysfunction

 

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ImpatientlyWaiting -

 

How wonderful to have a window like that.  I am sure it was frustrating to return to your symptoms.  Have you found anything that helps with the internal shaking?  I think it causes my anxiety to be worse.  It is like my body is in constant fight or flight mood.  I hope the ups and downs are signs of healing.  I also journal, which I find helpful.  Right not if you read my journal it would be nothing but complaining about how bad I feel.  I know that people are recovering but it is still scary thinking you won't. 

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Is muscle tightness/pain quite a common withdrawal symptom, and has anyone found anything that helps? The business I'm starting in time off from my part-time office job is quite physical outdoor work and I'm struggling sometimes - especially since prolapsing a disc a couple of months ago (not sure if that could be related to muscle tension from withdrawal?) I do know the day I prolapsed it was a pretty stressful day! 

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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Back in the wave. Woke at 6.30 this morning in a panic, couldn't get back to sleep but couldn't get out of bed either. I think about everything I've got to do today and over the next week and I seize up. I can't face any of it, all I seem to be able to do is watch as my life and everything I've worked for slowly slips away. Who the hell said Prozac was one of the easier ADs to withdraw from?! If it is I don't know how those coming off stronger meds cope. All it seems to me is Prozac withdrawal just takes longer to hit you once you're off it. 

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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keepinghope -

 

I am sorry to hear that you are back in a wave.  I know it is very frustrating.  I can relate to not wanting to get out of bed.  Sometimes it is easier just to not get up.  I have thought the same thing about withdrawing from Prozac.  I thought it was one of the easier ones.  One of the weird things I have noticed is that with my internal shaking that when I do anything like cleaning, grocery shop it makes my internal shaking worse.  Why is that?  How can folding laundry make your internal shaking worse.  It doesn't make sense to me, but then again none of the withdrawal makes since to me.  I was also diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying, which I got during withdrawal.  Every time I eat I get nauseous.  It is making all my w/d symptoms worse. 

 

Has your muscle tightness or pain gotten any better?

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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  • Administrator

Hello, keepinghope.

 

Yes, muscle tightness and pain is common. 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/
 

Darkening the bedroom to block out the morning light can diminish the morning cortisol spike, which might be worse in the summer. See Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

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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 Hello Keepinghope....I have been reading some of your posts and I saw that you had previously quit prozac and then reinstated....I have been trying to get stable since quitting prozac last september...did ok for 3 months then crashed in January....was put back on efexor in April but did not do well on it this time so I am trying to stabilize back on prozac....how long once you reinstated prozac until you stabilized or did you ever restabilize?

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

So this last month has been hellish, and now to top it off the sciatica is back with a vengeance. I've got pain and weakness in my right leg, can't drive or sit, I'm climbing the walls with it. I feel nauseous with it and can't get my breath. 

 

I've been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol for the pain but they're not really touching it anymore. I have been prescribed Naproxen (to take with Omeprazole because it apparently causes ulcers) and codeine, but haven't got them yet because I'm worried about them setting off more withdrawal stuff. However it's got to the point with the pain where I've got to take something. Which is the lesser of two evils, the Codeine or the Naproxen? 

 

Also got to go in to see the doc today and I'm worried he'll get out something like an anti-epileptic to try next - and I right in thinking that's a pretty bad idea?

 

Thanks for your reply Alto, I must get some magnesium and fish oil, it's on my to get list but I keep forgetting!

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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keepinghope -

 

I was reading your signature and you and I have very similar withdrawal symptoms. With regards to the excessive sweating, are you getting hot flashes? I get hot flashes all the time. I am wondering if it is menopause, withdrawal or both. I also feel like I cannot handle stress or anything else I need to do. I have noticed that I am feeling apathy. I just don't care about anything, this is not how I normally am. Like you said in my post I hope this gets better.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ended up having to go to A & E on the 12th because I was in so much pain from the sciatica in my right leg. Was given codeine and told I needed an MRI scan, then packed off home. Been pretty much bedridden ever since as lying down is the only comfortable position I can get in. My physio thinks it's a disc prolapse, as does the GP. My right leg is now really weak and has no achilles reflex which I think is quite common in L5-S1 disc herniations. Got an MRI scan scheduled next week so will find out more then. 

 

I've seen a Bowen therapist twice now, and the pain has diminished a bit, but I can still only stand/walk (hobble!)/sit for around 5-10 mins max before my leg goes into spasm and I have to lie down again. 

 

I'm a bit worried about the painkillers I'm on (Naproxen with Omeprazole, and Codeine, plus paracetamol) and whether they'll make the withdrawal worse, although apart from getting teary from the pain the withdrawal symptoms seem to have abated. 

Concerned about the codeine mostly; it helps with the pain (although the constipation is horrific!) but I know it's addictive and the last thing I want is to come off an SSRI and get hooked on an opiate. I've dropped the dose down from 8 a day (2 x 30mg 4 times a day)  to 4 now (1 x 30mg 4 times a day) occasionally 5 if the pain gets bad at night and I take 2 so I can sleep, but I usually just take them singly. My next step will be to try to get down to 3 a day. 

 

I don't know if this is related to withdrawal or if it's completely separate, but these bouts of sciatica (although this is a hundred times worse than the first bout I had, which my GP said was probably a disc prolapse but wouldn't send me for an MRI to confirm) seem to come during a bad wave. Guess I'll know more after the scan, if they can't find anything wrong with my spine!

 

O2 - hope you're feeling better now, I'm not sure if I get hot flashes, I just seem to be hot more often than not, not sure if it's the same thing but I've not been through the menopause yet, that joy is yet to come! The sweating issue drives me mad - seems to be my head that sweats the most. I was more sweaty on Prozac too, so I think it probably is to do with withdrawal. And a big fat yup on the apathy too. Takes me all my willpower just to motivate myself to post on here. 

2002 - Prescribed fluoxetine 20mg for mild situational depression and anxiety. Over the years also briefly swapped about on citalopram, sertraline and venlafaxine during poop out. 2012 - Cold turkeyed fluoxetine. Within 3 months was suffering from aggression, anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. GP put me back on tablets as I was 'relapsing'. I didn't know anything about WD then. Jul 15 - Wanted to quit fluoxetine again so tapered off (skipping doses) over 6 weeks under advice of GP. Aug 15 - Last fluoxetine dose end of August 2015. Dec 15 - Had my first real crash after discontinuing. Found this site. Aug-Dec 16 - Signed off work because of a herniated disc & severe sciatica. Prescribed diazepam (took for 6 days and got WD symptoms on stopping; nausea, morning cortisol spikes, anxiety, anger) and codeine which I was on for 4 mths. Can confirm - opiate WD is nasty but nowhere near as bad or prolonged as SSRI WD!
Withdrawal symptoms have included: extreme anger and irritability, lethargy, depression and weepiness, anxiety, stomach upsets, loss of appetite, excessive sweating, muscle and back pain, insomnia, cortisol surges, akathisia, inability to cope with stress.
Things that help: herbal tinctures (rose, lemon balm, chamomile and skullcap), seaweed baths & epsom salt baths, fish oil and magnesium.

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keepinghope -

 

Congratulations to us for making it a year without Prozac. We should be celebrating but I know it is difficult when you are dealing with so much. I found myself very reflective this past weekend. Thinking about all I have been through going off the medicine. I question where I would be if I were still on it. Not sure why I do that because I am better off being off Prozac.

 

I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with so much pain. I am praying that you find relief soon.

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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