Jump to content

ComingHome


ComingHome

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I first want to thank you so very much for creating and maintaining this website.  I've just completed a fairly rapid and not thoroughly planned taper off Paxil, with my last dose in October 2015.  I've been on ADs since 1996.  20 years!  I'm feeling much grief over these lost years - I have not been myself at all, thus my pseudonym - I feel as though I'm coming home to my self.  

 

The taper and following 2-3 months were as I expected having attempted it before - painful and nearly debilitating physical symptoms (you name it, I've felt it), and an emotional nightmare, facing my own darkness - but I was still experiencing a more or less steady improvement.  But about two weeks ago, just when I thought my legs were under me again, I was swamped by a wave of symptoms, worse than before.  If I hadn't stumbled onto this site, I'd have run to my doctor, confessed that I'd stopped taking meds, received well-intended speech about thinking of myself as 'being like a diabetic, you just need to accept that you'll need medication the rest of your life," and returned to medication and catatonia of my spirit.  

 

Instead, I've read this site voraciously, and dared to believe that I can make it this time.  And guess what?  The wave seems to be receding, and I did it - I stuck it out.  I think I'm going to make it.  Today is a good day so far. I know I might not feel this way this evening or tomorrow, and that's why I've joined this site, for help when I'm riding out the waves.  

 

Here's a bit of my story.  I was first prescribed Paxil in 1996 for postpartum depression.  I tried to discontinue after a year or so, and was alarmed to find I'd become some sort of monster in the meantime.  I was told ADs aren't addictive, so this couldn't be withdrawal, and that I needed to accept that I might just need to stay on medication the rest of my life.  I was switched to Effexor (manufactured by the evil spawn of Satan).  And this began a pattern of switching meds, upping dosages, adding garnishes to the drug cocktail.  Has anyone else heard this?  "There's a new medication that just been released - this will complement what you're already taking, and just take the edge off the [name the side effect from the last drug prescribed]."  Over the past two decades, I've been on and off a dozen or so different medications.  

 

I tried to taper off many, many times.  I wanted so badly to wake up and be able to touch my own life and live in my own skin.  I wanted my children to know their true mother.  I wanted my spirit to come unfrozen and be alive again - I wanted to feel, even if what I felt was sadness.  SSRIs do indeed take the edge off.  They take the edge off sadness and anxiety.  They also take the edge off joy and compassion.  And in a sick little irony, they take the edge off motivation.  So while somewhere inside I so wanted to be free of them, I just couldn't quite.... get there... begin... convince my doctor... find help... stop.  And when I did try everyone would say, "maybe this just isn't the right time... you're under too much stress right now for this... why don't you just stay on them until next [name the season]... there's nothing to be ashamed of... "  

 

Here's what works for me.  I'm very hesitant to suggest specific supplements since we all react differently, and our bodies are all hypersensitive while we're going through withdrawal, but here's what I'm experiencing and what seems to be working for me:  

 

flu-like body aches - 800 mg of ibuprofen.  That's a lot, I know.  Probably have to taper off that one too.  Talk to your doctor.  A very warm bath with Epsom salts is a mighty cure for this as well, but a little hard to accomplish in the office.  

 

brain zaps - mostly the passage of time works best.  Also Omega 3 from fish oil.  Lots of it.  I take 3000 mg/day, and make sure it's higher in EPA than DHA.  Spend more to get higher quality. 

 

dizziness - I just hold onto something to make sure I don't fall.  I have a spinning sensation with any lateral movement of my head, and also experience an odd sense of the ground dropping out from under my feet, like an elevator descending too quickly.  I also have short burst of a lurching sensation.  

 

fatigue - please, please tell me what works for you.  It is debilitating.  Some mornings I literally cannot move.  I told someone this recently and she thought I was speaking metaphorically, as in "I'm so tired, I feel as if I can't move.  But some days I literally cannot move - my body is so tired I cannot make it move.  I lie in bed berating myself - if I can't get up I can't go to work... if I can't go to work, I can't support my kids... I'll lose my house... I'll have nothing... I cannot move.  These are the worst of times for me, the thing that is most difficult to manage.  

 

brain fog/ cognitive decline - haven't found a thoroughly successful solution here.  If I didn't know that this is the result of long-term AD use, I would think I have early dementia.  This is also the symptom that frightens me the most, as I worry it will be irreversible.  I would especially appreciate your thoughts on this one - will it get better?   I think good diet and sleep helps most, but then there's...

 

insomnia - this one always reminds me of lyrics to Springsteen's song, "Your own worst enemy has come to town."  I used to take a benzodiazepine that my doctor prescribed, but since I'm thinking a bit more clearly now, I've realized, wtf - that's the same doctor who witnessed me getting into this mess.  GABA and magnesium both help.  I take magnesium citrate.  I've read all of the suggestions on this site, and will add those to my arsenal as well.  Sometimes I lie in the dark, wracked with waves of fear, telling myself they aren't real, as Clair Weeks said, they are just chemicals showing up in my brain at the wrong time.  While that helps me remember to breathe, it doesn't help me sleep, so I stare into the gaping black jaws of an eternity of remorse/guilt/grief/fear and wish I were dead.  Except that it isn't really an eternity, because after 8 or 9 hours of that I'll dare to look at the clock so I can shut off the alarm before it goes off and sets off that extra jolt of badly timed cortisol.   Then after unsuccessfully willing myself to move for an hour or two, something superhuman kicks in and I get up and do it all one more time.  

 

anxiety & depression - two other symptoms that worry me because when I'm in the thick of it, I wonder if it's a relapse rather than withdrawal.  "Wonder" isn't the right word - I actually ruminate and perseverate.  And then I turn it over and over in my mind, like kneading a ball of clay, except it doesn't soften.  And I also think about it ALL THE TIME.  

 

ruminating and dread - I know that I could exercise or distract myself, but isn't is so much more fun to pick apart every flaw, to dissect the past ad nauseum, every mistake, every failure..? 

 

Here's what I'm learning:

 

I need to practice radical self care.  This really is life or death for me now.  I'm at the limits of what I can endure physically and mentally.  I'm learning that self care isn't some kind of undeserved pampering, or just a good idea like reducing cholesterol.  If I don't take care of my self, I am not going to make it.  This is a difficult one for me, to realize that I do want to live and to believe that I deserve to  live.  Along with a genetic predisposition, situational factors, and probable nutritional and hormonal imbalances, this lack of belief that I was worth taking care of was at the root of the original depression 20 years ago.   

 

It's okay to feel the bad stuff.  It really is.  I can feel it until it's over.  And it's okay.  

 

I'm also learning that I need a new paradigm of thought about depression, but don't even know right now where to begin with that one.  I do know that I refuse to accept that I can't get better.  

 

So that is the tip of the little iceberg called "me in withdrawal from SSRIs."  Today is a good day - I know there will be others that are not, but I'm learning that I can get through those as well.  I have a ton of questions.  

 

I am glad to be here.  

 

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment

Hi ComingHome. Welcome. Congratulations, on getting off after all this time .However, a  small reinstatement might  help , with the withdrawal symptoms and then a slow taper off, could keep you functional during this process. You said that you were working . 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

If not , there are many topics in Symptoms & Self- Care, that would be useful  to you.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/555-tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-withdrawal-insomnia/

You are in a good place for support and encouragement. Let us know what you think .

Best wishes, 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
.
         

Link to comment

Thank you, Ali.  I did use reinstatement to get me through the first three months - very small doses of fluoxetine, which helped immensely.  I would need to go to my doctor for another prescription, and I know she'd try to talk me into going back on meds.  I think a recent stressor involving one of my children kicked off the recent "wave."  I'm going to try to hang in there for now.  I see you have a 20 year track record, too!  That's encouraging to me.  I sometimes feel very sad about the time spent on them - I don't know how I let my life get away from me like that.  I complained about the symptoms, but failed to say that feeling like my real self again just feels wonderful.  

 

ComingHome

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment

ComingHome.  You can tell your Doctor what you want to do. . It's up to you . However, I understand, and it's your choice.  I find stress, particularly children, can kick off a wave. In fact , it can start a Tsunami ! LOL.  I think quite a few of us grieve for lost time. I know, I do . So much time , to the drugs  that could have gone to our children. 

I'm pleased that you are getting yourself , back .

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
.
         

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome ComingHome,

 

I can hear so much strength and determination in your words - and you are right that you will get through this.  That's totally the attitude you need. 

 

After such a long run on SSRIs I'd be seriously considering a small reinstatement, but like AliG says, the decision is yours.  The reason we suggest it is because healing doesn't happen quickly, and riding it out may leave you suffering for too long.  Stabilising and then tapering in a very gentle way so as to be functional is the aim.  I'm tapering very slowly now so I can provide better mothering for my girls, and so I can feel good in my life.  

 

I can't really put things in a better way than you already did: 

 

"I'm learning that self care isn't some kind of undeserved pampering, or just a good idea like reducing cholesterol.  If I don't take care of my self, I am not going to make it. ... this lack of belief that I was worth taking care of was at the root of the original depression 20 years ago."

 

Part of this self-care and defense of your self-worth will be learning to hold these truths even in your doctors office :).  If this doctor doesn't listen or prescribe what you know you need, then go down the road and choose another.  It's not hard to find doctors who are willing to hand these drugs out :wacko:.  Then you can stick to your 'best practice' plan.  

 

and

 

"I'm also learning that I need a new paradigm of thought about depression, but don't even know right now where to begin with that one.  I do know that I refuse to accept that I can't get better."

 

After struggling with depression and PTSD for almost my whole life I have (in the last two or so years) managed to switch through to a new understanding which puts me in control rather than the depression.  I now believe depression to be a natural response to trauma (and to a world gone mad) which indicates a need to rest or change something in our lives or step up our self-care.  It can be managed and survived.  It is not us, it is just one part of the flow of appropriate emotions and responses to things in our lives.  It is not a mysterious force coming up to get us. 

 

If you're interested in more of my story of healing you can see my blog (link in my signature).  And speaking of which, would you also like to fill out a signature so we can see your drug and tapering history at a glance whenever you post. 

 

I'm really glad you are here and really glad you are coming home :).  This thread will be your place to ask questions and discuss your situation.

 

Welcome to s/a,

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.

Link to comment

I'm having some issues with vertigo.  I've become somewhat accustomed to frequent spells of lightheadedness, and have also had a brief "lurching" sensation of vertigo that would pass quickly, but for past 3 days have had long-lasting spells of vertigo (2-3 hours).  It feels as though I'm trying to balance myself on a trampoline - I've fallen once, and almost fallen two  more times.  It isn't positional - sitting, standing, lying down is the same.  Any suggestions for relief?  Thank you.  

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Cominghome , welcome to the site.

 

 " I did use reinstatement to get me through the first three months - very small doses of fluoxetine, which helped immensely."

 

When was the last time you took fluoxetine?  Was it more than one month ago?

 

Please could you add details to your signature of what you reinstated , when , how much etc.   plus how fast you

tapered off Paxil , doses , dates. 

The detail of the past year is useful to see at a glance each time you post , so that people read your posts in context

of your history.

 

As AliG suggested , you might want to consider reinstating a small regular dose to relieve w/d symptoms , stabilize , and then

taper off slowly in a way that avoids debilitating symptoms.

Please read this link  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

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

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

I'm having some issues with vertigo.  I've become somewhat accustomed to frequent spells of lightheadedness, and have also had a brief "lurching" sensation of vertigo that would pass quickly, but for past 3 days have had long-lasting spells of vertigo (2-3 hours).  It feels as though I'm trying to balance myself on a trampoline - I've fallen once, and almost fallen two  more times.  It isn't positional - sitting, standing, lying down is the same.  Any suggestions for relief?  Thank you.  

I love your well chosen name.  

 

I do not want to complicate things but have a few ideas to put forth for your consideration.  Things others may not think .. I am a bit different and have my own ideas. 

 

Prozac has a different effect than effexor or paxil long half life long time before wd hits.. this new way may be that... prozac wd... since you used it to taper... it is different I think when I took it first after a severe adverse reaction the wd hit and lasted a long time... it was a good time after I am sorry it was 1989 or 90 I can't recall how long now.  It may be the prozac wd hitting you now.  I did cold turkey and leaned some things about that sort of dizzy your feeling... a couple of things to treat it that seen me thru when it was really bad when I barely could make it to the store to get something I found pedialyte helped take away the sickness which not only was extreme dizziness but I felt sick Like I had an extreme hang over x 100 or needed emergency surgery to have my appendix out those are the only two things I can think of that it felt like... pedialyte is a baby fluid replacement I don't know if that brand can be bought every place or not ... it is electrolytes.. I could not tolerate the adult version it came right back up... 

Second idea was Gravol it is a drug I know I did not care one bit... 

I had a concussion years ago and with it I had this form of dizzy not normal dizzy but fall down dizzy you talk of here.  I was given a drug which is like Gravol but prescription and stronger.  I could not tolerate adult gravol I could however take the child one which is 15 mg... a chewable cherry flavoured candy like pill... it is a pill don't ever forget that and it has powerful affects ... I would cut the chewable pill into !/4 pieces sometimes smaller. 

I know it works on Gabba but can't recall much about it... when I was in wd and was out some place that I needed to get home from I would take a quarter to get me home. 

 

my hat is off to you in keeping going... I could not do it and did lose everything that was before I quit as I had extreme poop out forget about that for now...

 

here is my other idea going back on a low dose if you can but not prozac...others think it is a good bridge after my experience with it I think it isn't I think its wd is delayed even longer than other drugs ... and by the way withdrawal can be delayed look that up if your not aware of it... it can hit wks or months after you stop could be that too...

 

either way if your going to reinstate a very small dose don't make it prozac there are other drugs... not sure how you would pick one but I am sure some here would help you sort it out... that is not what I do well... I could not re instate tho I tried too high a dose at the docs insisting ...much later a small dose did not work for me either but it does work for some....

 

I see how very strong and determined you are... I want you to beat this we all do.  All the choices are yours I so wish you peace.... 

 

ps 

one last thought occasionaly how one reacts to supplements changes when in wd... what use to help now hurts and has to be changed just food for thought...

 

I used advil too for brain fog one lowest dose a day but I did not work...

peace 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

Link to comment

PS I wonder if the pedialyte worked cause I needed salt... just a thought 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

Link to comment

Thank you, btdt.  I've considered the possibility of prozac w/d as well, but who knows..?  I can (and do) analyze this until the cows come home, but there are too many variables, and the symptoms themselves can come from so may different sources.  Vertigo is distracting to  the point of disabling my getting through an entire day, or getting anything done at work, but fatigue is truly disabling.  Some things seem to alleviate it, but impossible for me to track it all.  It's overall a bit better.  I'm getting an hour or two of  vertigo relief at a time now, and sometimes an entire day.  I don't have much if any relief from fatigue, and so weak by late afternoon or evening, I have trouble getting up the stairs.  

 

Cognitive improvements, however, are massive.  I continue to remember details of my life more and more clearly... my children... events... it's hard to explain - sometimes I feel like Rip van Winkle... I've woken up and have found my children grown... I have very very few concrete or fully rounded memories of the past few years.  Everything feels like I've watched it in a movie.  It breaks my heart, but I know I have to pick up and carry on with what I have in this moment.    

 

The pedialyte solution seems pretty sound.  I know that vertigo can often be a hydration problem.  I do find that I'm better when I drink a lot of water.  Staying off the computer and iphone helps as well - I think maybe the repetitive, vertical eye movements..?

 

I'm still plugging along.  This will not get the best of me.  

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment

First do no harm is a good idea...pedialyte how ever it spelled.. ( I just can't make myself care)  can't hurt you.. so it is a rather sound idea. 

 

The loss of self will never ever be something I forgive...sorry for sounding so stern but it is a bad deal all round and completely unforgivable... I get all that completely while it is nice just now recalling things it has a down side of extreme anger that you ever had to be in this position and other things... best to block that for now as the point is to carry on with a life... and I am all for that tho I could not pull it off and believe me I had been tested plenty before I am tough as nails yet I could not do it... simply could not. 

 

So easy as it goes and the gravol is a good back up plan if you can't get yourself home from some place cause your too dizzy to walk it was my security blanket. Keep the dose very very low if you try it... an adult  is 50mg a kids dose is 15 mg used 1/4 of a child dose so 3.25 mg... tiny amounts can have astounding effects once your system is sensitised.  

Do you take the advil all in one dose... I wonder what the side effects are of 800 mg... I had a stomach bleed  before wd so did not want to push the issue beyond one lowest dose possible each morning for brain fog. That would be worth looking up if your going to continue taking it. 

wishing you well 

peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

Link to comment

One more thing after my bad run with prozac I could not sleep after 2 years filled in a paper for a pain clinic and had to track my sleep wake cycles by then I was upright standing or sitting for 2 hours out of 24 and still not sleeping.  Needless to say I could not work at the pain clinic I was dx as having fibro and chronic fatigue their answer was a different kind of AD amitriptyline... right back in the fire but I did sleep.  Side effects were horrid but I slept... and could eventually get up sort of. 

I am hoping you can maintain with the fatigue it can get completely out of hand I hope there is some good help here for you. 

peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

Link to comment

Hey BTDT,

I just want to thank you for your kind thoughts and advice.  It happens that I've had a good day, with minimal vertigo, which gives me hope that there will be more "good" days, and finally maybe a whole bunch of "good" days all in one long, continuous strand that I can begin to rely on.  And then I can begin to live that long continuous strand of days, some "good" and some "not good."  And of course, such is life.  I really want to fully feel my life, every single damn day.  Then I will begin to work on the fatigue.  

 

My best friend has plugged along with me throughout all of this, and when it's bad, she says, "maybe you should go back on meds... there's no shame in it."  No, there's no shame in it.  But neither is there shame in being sad.  Anxious.  Being disorganized, and having trouble focusing.  Daydreaming.  Worrying about my kids.  Dreaming for my kids.  Screwing up.  Succeeding.  Joy.  Nostalgia.  Missing my parents.  Missing my daughter.  Being a secretary when I should have been a doctor.  Being a poet.  Not being an artist.....  All of these things hurt, and I don't want to miss any of it.  The ultimate hurt is being completely numb for most of the past 20 years, and the pharmaceutical companies just don't give a rat's ass.  Apparently anger is one of the emotions I'm catching up on too!  As I told my well-intentioned friend," I'm sad because some sad things have happened in my life, and that's appropriate.  I want to feel the sadness, every last bit of it, not take a pill that will make my soul disappear.   

 

I chose not to reinstate because I've gone around this mountain before, and I know that reinstating will complicate things for me.  I'm glad I didn't reinstate, because I'm seeing steady, gradual improvement, but I recognize that isn't the best option for all, particularly those who haven't been hopping from one med to the next, and who haven't experienced multiple attempts to taper off.  

 

btdt, I wish you the very best.  Thank you for your sound advice and thank you for caring.  

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment

Your welcome I am told I care too much... is that possible...

 

I could have written that post think I did once or twice in the last 8 years. 

I wish you the best I sure hope you have a better time of this than I have. 

 

Going back on if it comes to that can be done on a very low low dose by some people and it seems to work.  We did not know this back when I was trying to help myself and I tried 37.5 which is huge by the recommendations of low dose re instating here now. So keep that in mind if it comes to that.. I do not think or hope ... the low dose doesn't have the same effects but for all I know it does... just if you have to ... to keep your life going... 

 

wishing you peace and healing ... I want to say fast healing but we know better... 

glad you had a better day and hope you have many more

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

Providing an update, mostly to help me document my progress:

I saw a vestibular therapist this week about the vertigo.  I don't have true vertigo, as that would be a sensation of the room spinning.  What I feel is more like a rocking, swaying sensation - kind of like being on a ship or even on an elevator that's dropping very quickly.  It's accompanied by a feeling of pressure/fullness in my head - sometimes a headache - and a really debilitating fatigue.  

 

The good news is that it isn't constant now.  I sometimes wake up with it, but sometimes am free from it in the morning, and then it hits in the afternoon as I get tired.  I'm also finding that I'll be very irritable, sometimes just before it hits.  

 

So the therapist I saw said there doesn't seem to be anything truly vestibular about it - no inner ear stuff.  I told her my thoughts about it being protracted withdrawal from SSRIs.  She (no surprise) had never heard of this.  She said it would be very unusual for the SSRIs to still be in my system (which is what everyone thinks about withdrawal!!), but I explained it's because they are not in the system... that the serotonin receptors are trying to repopulate.  I suspect a lot of people with vertigo and balance problems are left undiagnosed because the medical community doesn't know about this.  A standard question for dizziness should be "have you ever taken antidepressants," "have you discontinued ADs within the past year," and even questions about discontinuing alcohol use or reducing consumption, as vertigo is a common problem for recovering alcoholics.  All of us, whether suffering from the disease of alcoholism or suffering from iatrogenic neurological damage, are treated as though we deserve it at worst, or we just have to pay this price for not being "normal."  I don't think the answers for treating the damage will be hard to find - it's changing the attitudes of the medical community that will be the real challenge.  And perhaps also changing our own attitudes towards our suffering, so that we are empowered to insist that our experiences be validated and treated.  I'm planning to send links to this site and to some of the research out there to this therapist.  Although she didn't know what I was referring to,  she listened to me!  In 20 years, she was the second medical professional who actually listened and asked questions about what I was feeling.  (The first was an obstetrical nurse who seemed to understand the sheer misery I was going through when I had to CT Effexor when I was pregnant.)

 

I had a window this week!  I had two days with no dizziness.  The first day I was so tired - still just wiped out, but the second day not only was the vertigo gone, but the fatigue was ameliorated, and (dare I say it?) I was in fairly good spirits!  I got up and around.  I saw a job posting at work that I'm perfectly qualified for, and even considered applying.  But the following morning, I woke up feeling like crap again.  The floor was lurching under my feet - everything looked dark (literally and figuratively), I couldn't focus on anything (literally and figuratively), and I felt very depressed again.  But having that window gave me hope!  It also provided such a sharp contract between how I feel every day (sh*tty), and how I will feel one day when this is over.  

 

I've searched all of the threads on this site for help with the vertigo/dizziness.  There's a lot of good information, but I couldn't find the answers to my two questions:  Does anything help with dizziness & fatigue?  How long (typically) will this last?   I am sometimes in complete despair.  I'm grateful for the "windows" because they teach me the possibilities.  If this will not get better, I have serious reservations about my future quality of life being worthwhile.  

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I know these are two basics, but Fish oil and Magnesium really do make a difference for many people during withdrawal.  Are you taking those?  Lately I've been trying vitamin C to see if it helps with fatigue.  But the main answer is time ... not the answer anyone wants, I know.  It WILL get better; we just can't qualify how long it'll take.

 

I'm sorry there are no answers to how long w/d takes.  All we know is that after a quick taper it takes longer to recover. 

 

What self-care and supportive measures do you have in place?  Having a whole nest of things is what helps me to get through the harder times. 

 

Hang in there ComingHome,

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.

Link to comment
  • 8 months later...

I'm sure this question has been addressed before, but I couldn't find it in the forum, and right now I'm having too much difficulty thinking clearly.  After 20 years on various SSRI's, I tapered off Paxil, completing the taper about 13 months ago.  I thought I was through the worst of it, but find I'm now again experiencing very severe depression and anxiety.  I don't know if this is a "wave" or if I just need to go back on meds.  Please help - any advice is welcome.  

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

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

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...
  • Administrator

How are you doing, ComingHome?

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.

Link to comment

Hi Altostrata,

Wow, I haven't read these posts in a very long time - it's like finding an old diary.  I don't even remember making that last post.  Just wow.  I made it through the worst of the Paxil withdrawal, but then back in December 2016 I decided I was doing so well, I'd quit taking the sleeping pill that my doctor prescribed for me when I was going through menopause.  A tiny, little harmless-looking pill.... clonazepam.  Yup.  I was addicted to a benzo and didn't even know it.  I'm more embarrassed by my ignorance than I would have been if I'd just abused the damn drug.    

 

In 2010, I had gone to my doctor to see if I needed hormone replacement therapy.  I was having hot flashes and insomnia.  My doctor "didn't believe" in prescribing HRT, but boy, she sure did believe in prescribing benzos.  She said it was harmless... "benign."  She warned me not to take it every night or exceed the prescribed dose, or it could be "habit-forming." 

 

Anyway, long story short, I've been suffering from a cold turkey off clonazepam for 17 months now.  Even after my experience getting off Paxil and knowing the importance of a slow taper, I didn't know that I couldn't just stop taking that medication.  I'm embarrassed at my ignorance and naivete, but I didn't know what it was.  I thought it was some kind of medicine for menopause.  I never took it nightly... I had no idea.  I didn't know it was a benzodiazepine, and I had no idea what a benzo was.  It has been beyond horrific as only someone who has suffered from this evil drug can understand.  I'm glad to still be here.  Well, I have hopes of feeling "glad" one day.  It's still pretty bad.

 

The good news is that I'm completely medication free now, and I'll know better than to blindly trust my doctor again.  I'm now 30 months off Paxil.  If it weren't for the benzo nightmare, I do believe that I'd be fully (or nearly) healed from the SSRI.  I know we're all different, but I believe that it takes about three years to fully recover from antidepressants.  

 

But until I heal from the benzo, I can't call it a "success" yet.  I still have horrific physical and mental symptoms from clonazepam.  

 

I want to thank you, Altostrata.  This site, along with benzobuddies.org, has saved my life.  I came back here in January 2017 desperately trying to find out what was wrong with me.  Withdrawal from clonazepam didn't hit me for two or three weeks, and when it did... oh my God... how dreadful.  I was out of my mind with terror, depersonalization/derealization, horrible ideation... well, nothing that people here don't already know about.  I was terrified of my home, my children.  What I was experiencing was simply inhuman.  It was on this site that I learned what had happened to me.  

 

The very, very good news is that I'm healing.  In the past 2-3 months, I'm finally seeing incremental improvements.  I'm off all prescription medications, and I have great hopes of being fully healed again.  I have tiny windows, just glimmers really, of the dp/dr lifting, and having a sense of myself still in there under all the suffering.  The constant s. ideation leaves at times.  "Anxiety" doesn't really describe the horrors of benzo-induced terror, but it is beginning to lift as well.

 

I have great hopes of having a beautiful life again - I know it's out there, and it's just a matter of time.  Thank you for checking in on me.  

 

CH

 

 

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

You're so welcome, CH. Thanks for updating.

 

Very sorry you landed in benzo withdrawal. But despite that, you sound pretty good.

 

To pick up where you left off, how did your Paxil taper go? What was your tapering technique? How did you get past the rough patches?

 

This might help: 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/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

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.

Link to comment

My Paxil taper was almost as uninformed and reckless as the benzo cold turkey.  I had no helpful medical guidance.  My doctor once laughed at my attempts years ago to taper off Cymbalta XR, because I used to open the capsules and count the beads.  Three different physicians over the twenty years that I took antidepressants told me that I just needed to cut my dose in half every couple weeks until I was off.  So that was how I came off Paxil - I think it took six weeks or so.  I "cheated" and used a friend's Prozac, with the longer half life, to smooth the edges.  I can't even remember the details now.  As I recall, when the intense acute withdrawal symptoms were too much to handle, I'd take 5 - 10 mg Prozac to hold it at bay enough to function.  But I was off all antidepressants within a couple months.  Not the smart way to go.  If I knew then what I know now, I'd do a liquid microtaper and take years if needed.   

 

But I was able to come off Paxil without an unmanageable acute phase.  It's hard for me to remember much about it now.  I had about six months of terrible anxiety and depression - nights of no sleep and unrelenting terror.  Of course, I was an idiot, and would take clonazepam on occasion to get a few hours of "sleep."  The worst of the Paxil withdrawal didn't kick in for three or four months - that was the vertigo.  It lasted for seven months - unrelenting sensations of the ground lurching away under my feet, or a sensation of being in a free fall.  Walking was difficult- I had to stay close to the wall, or something to hold onto.  I wasn't even sure at the time that it was withdrawal-related, but now know that it was.  

 

Nothing helped to alleviate the Paxil withdrawal symptoms, nothing but the passage of time.  I'm sorry - I wish I had some advice or help to offer others.  I relied on Epsom salt baths, and I took magnesium in the form of Natural Calm - it seemed to take the edge off, but nothing really helped.  It was awful.  As bad and debilitating as the vertigo was, the nights of raw fear, akathisia, and despair were the worst, and nothing helped.  

 

After seven months or so of vertigo, it seemed to lessen a bit every day.  One day I had only a few hours of it.  The next day I came home from work... I remember standing in the kitchen leaning on the counter for support, and it all just switched off.  The lurching, rocking, rushing sensations... just gone, and my head was filled with quiet and calm.  

 

The depression and anxiety, however, didn't go away before I cold turkeyed clonazepam.  I'm not saying that I never healed from it - I just can't separate the Paxil withdrawal symptoms that began in November 2015 from the clonazepam withdrawal symptoms that began in December 2016.  

 

Sorry to be so long-winded.  

 

If I sound good now, it's because I believe in the body's miraculous ability to heal.  I believe in neuroplasticity, and believe that my nervous system will be fully repaired one day.  I know that I'm going to heal, and I have this crazy hope that there will be something redemptive in this.  I'll never forget the feeling I had in January 2017 when I realized I'd been taking a benzodiazepine for years and had become dependent.  I knew my life was taking a terrible turn, and there was nothing I could do but hold on.  But I also had a feeling of intense relief and hope - these medications had been making me very very sick for a very very long time.  I had hope at last that with time I could heal and have a decent sort of life again.  And that now seems to be the case, at least that seems to be the direction in which I'm headed.  I think that by this time next year, I should be feeling good again, and will close the door on this room of my life.  But for now, the only way out is through.

 

There was a time when the thought of measuring my recovery in years, not weeks or months, would have seemed unbearable.  For anyone reading who may still be in the thick of it, please take heart.  It isn't a horror show the entire time.  The worst of SSRI recovery for me lasted about seven months, and the worst of the benzo recovery seems to have lasted about 14 - 15 months.... I've been steadily improving since then.  You can do it.  Believe me, if I can survive this, anyone can.  It's a long, hard slog, but the days do pass, and life will be beautiful and sweet again.  A friend that I met on another forum had an even more horrific withdrawal than mine - he now says that he feels like a wizard - strong and wise.  There are gifts in this suffering when we come out the other side.  

 

Thank you, Altostrata, for the links to information about fish oil and magnesium.  Honestly, I'm too afraid to tip the cart with anything else.  My system is incredibly fragile and sensitive.  Earlier in benzo withdrawal, I tried many supplements.  Nothing helped, and now I'm far enough along to understand that a lot of things can do more harm than good.  I'm going to give it another year or so, and then try supplementing to alleviate any remaining depression and to otherwise try to maximize my health and well-being.  But for now, what seems best to me is to give my body the time and space it needs to heal and find its own balance again.  

 

When I learned that this is the story my life was going to tell me, I knew that it was going to be a sad and difficult journey.  But I also believed it had the power to be transformative, and that is still my hope.  

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Don't blame yourself. You did the best you could.

 

Yes, we know about sensitivity and fragility! Sounds like you are listening to your body and taking care of yourself. If there's anything we can do to help, let us know.

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.

Link to comment
1 minute ago, Altostrata said:

Don't blame yourself. You did the best you could.

 

Yes, we know about sensitivity and fragility! Sounds like you are listening to your body and taking care of yourself. If there's anything we can do to help, let us know.

Thanks, Alto

1996-PPD - Paxil
1997- Paxil poop-out - Effexor
2000- pregnant-quit Effexor cold turkey - horrific, still brings tears to remember
2002- PPD again- healthy baby, nursed 1 year, so back on AD says MD- Wellbutrin, then added Celexa. Another MD added Neurontin to 'help with sleep- periodic limb movement' not telling me it was for epilepsy and mood stabilizer. 
2007ish-complete lack of motivation and personality due to meds. Several attempts over next 8 years to taper off unsuccessfully - convinced each time that it's relapse not withdrawal by well-intended MDs. Intense craving for alcohol- only thing that made me feel like myself, but inherent problems with that of course. Attributed personality changes to depression though, and switched to Cymbalta. 
2007-2013- Cymbalta - in complete mental fog. Marriage has ended and by now seriously drinking to stay afloat.
2013- Cymbalta goes generic, went through unannounced and sudden withdrawal until I figured that one out. Switched to Paxil. Again.
2015- Paxil poop-out. Again. Switched to Wellbutrin, again, but MD assured me generic was same as original. No, it isn't. 
2015- I'm depressed on and off meds, so going to taper off for good. Went back to Paxil, and relatively quick taper until script ran out in November. 
2016- That's it. Here I am.

Link to comment

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story, CH.

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg I 2021: 7.8 mg - 5.26 mg

2022: 1/5/22: 5.2 mg (1.25%); 1/12/22: 5.1 mg (1.25%); 1/19/22: 5.07 mg (1.25%); 1/26/22: 5.0 mg (1.25%); 5/1/22: 4.9 mg (1.25%); 5/8/22: 4.88 mg; 5/15/22: 4.8 mg  (1.25%); 5/22/22: 4.76 mg (1.25%); 6/5/22: 4.7 mg (1.25%); 6/12/22: 4.6 mg (1.25%); 6/19/22: 4.58 mg (1.25%); 6/26/22: 4.5 mg; 7/10/22: 4.47 mg (1.25%); 7/17/22: 4.4 mg (1.25%); 7/24/22: 4.36 mg (1.25%); 7/31/22: 4.3 mg (1.25%); 8/21/22: 4.25 mg (1.25%); 8/28/22: 4.2 mg; 9/4/22: 4.1 mg (1.25%); 9/11/22: 4.09 mg (1.25%); 9/25/22: 4.0 mg (1.25%); 10/2/22: 3.99 mg (1.25%)

 

Link to comment
  • Mentor
2 hours ago, ComingHome said:

When I learned that this is the story my life was going to tell me, I knew that it was going to be a sad and difficult journey.  But I also believed it had the power to be transformative, and that is still my hope. 

That is radical acceptance, right there. Thanks for the hope that there is meaning in persisting.

  • 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

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy