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Teenage years on drugs?

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Chemistry

Hey everyone, Just thought i'd post this topic on this board....

 

I've heard talk from various people assuming that adverse reactions from SSRIs whilst still a teenager, or being put on SSRIs as a teen (or even child) puts them in a worse position than if their brain was fully developed. This was my first instinct when i joined these forums last year, however everyone everywhere kept talking about how young people always heal better, faster, etc that being young is an advantage.

 

People always say "don't do drugs kids" because "your brain is still developing"... Well what does that even mean? What are the potential consequences of doing said drugs when your brain is "still developing" ? Are these consequences more persistent or brain-altering? 

 

I was always lead to believe that you can't permanently change your brain, especially when you're a kid because its so plastic and malleable. So what's the deal? if one has been prescribed an SSRI under the age of 18, and they had an adverse reaction from going on or had protracted withdrawal after coming off (all before turning 18) - do they have the same chances of recovering than someone who went on at an older age.

 

I've heard that teens have a higher chance of adverse reaction - and we all hear about the school shootings/suicides, etc - but if these kids were to get off the drugs - would they all recover back to normal? 

 

This is kind of bothering me since i went on celexa at 14 and a half... Although i haven't been the same since (just turned 18 now, 3 and a half years later) i initially didn't notice much of a difference until like 2 years later when i got off zoloft (thats when everything came crashing down - at 16). I'm wondering will i ever "feel" the way i used too... emotionally, physically, etc... I'm so sick of this PSSD and anhedonia and all the other symptoms. I'm 19 months out still waiting to see some significant improvements.. I dont care how long it takes ... I just really need to know i will recover at least 50%

 

I know no one will have the perfect answer since nobody knows for sure... But if anyone can share positive stories or experiences or even positive information in general that would be great.


2010 - citalopram 10mg 
2011 - 20-40mg, 1 month taper, PSSD & Anhedonia - Elavil 10mg during taper.
Clonazepam when needed after a month of daily use. 
2012 - Off Elavil - Zoloft (sertraline) 25mg - 50 mgs for 6 months + Buspar for a while. Pssd & anhedonia improved on zoloft, now has gotten a lot worse since a year off. 

 

Off all drugs since October 2012.

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Addax

Chemistry- I began taking Prozac at 18, while my brain was still developing. The difference between you and I is I took it well beyond the developmental point, so whatever development was going on between 18 and say 26 happened with the drug in my system. You on the other hand have stopped with maybe as many as 8 years left till your brain reaches full maturity (you may know your brain continues to develop well into your early 20s. Some have estimated all the way to 26). So your brain may barely recognize that the drug was ever there. Sort of like a bad haircut when your hair grows back. Your brain is still quit mailable, and there are still a lot of changes going on in your body. When I was your age I would have rolled my eyes at this, but celexa aside, the teenage years are rocky ones. You may not see that now (I definitely didn't at your age! He'll no!) but let me tell you, now that my friends have kids your age (16, 17, 18, 19...) I hear about how difficult and emotional teenagers are all the time. Why do you think teenagers get such a bad rap?

 

I'm not a doctor nor a psychic, but I for one have no doubt you'll recover, and that you'll do so well beyond that 50%, and likely completely. You've got this!


1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin.Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong.

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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Finn

I can relate to this. I've been wondering if I will ever feel like I used to as well. I first went on antidepressants at age 22, and I doubt my brain was fully formed then. Now I worry my brain will never go back to the way it was before the drugs.


Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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Chemistry

Really encouraging post Addax thank you. :) I really hope you're right and good analogy on the bad haircut thing ;)

 

I dont know, i guess everytime i see or hear of "permanent" anhedonia (or emotional anesthesia) cases it seems to be from either older folk who have been on the drug for years and years, or from young teens who took these drugs sometimes for a period of time... Some people's symptoms persisted into adulthood. Its a very scary thing to think about since not many stories come from people like me (teens with long term anhedonia) and there aren't that many success stories either (if any at all). However the fact that there are horror stories well, that's not very encouraging lol. I hope to see more teens overcoming these problems in the future, myself included lol. Although i totally agree what you're saying and i think it makes perfect sense.. i just can't understand how someone can continue to have no pleasure/emotions for years and years when they started at 15 or something... Anyway, i try not to think about those cases anyway since its easy to assume the worst. Maybe those cases are really rare or something. I just hope things do get better in the future thats really all i ask lol.

 

Finn, i would say 22 is a lot better than 14 lol... the development stage at that point is quite a lot different i would say. 


2010 - citalopram 10mg 
2011 - 20-40mg, 1 month taper, PSSD & Anhedonia - Elavil 10mg during taper.
Clonazepam when needed after a month of daily use. 
2012 - Off Elavil - Zoloft (sertraline) 25mg - 50 mgs for 6 months + Buspar for a while. Pssd & anhedonia improved on zoloft, now has gotten a lot worse since a year off. 

 

Off all drugs since October 2012.

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Finn

I saw this yesterday and thought it might interest you: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/11/coming-of-age-on-zoloft/


Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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Jemima

I haven't gotten around to reading this yet, but it seems the human brain is capable of change as long as we live: The Brain That Changes Itself  by Norman Doidge. I don't know if it's at all reassuring, but I'm 68 and 99% recovered from withdrawal.  I expect I'll get all the way there within a few months.


Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Chemistry

Still pretty worried about this. Im Past the 2 year mark and im not feeling any better. Reading other stories of people still suffering this anhedonia or pssd etc many many years out and many of them being drugged at a young age (i was only 14) is just so scary. I wish everyone got better 100%, 100% of the time. I wish i knew for sure. Will i ever feel normal/alive again?


2010 - citalopram 10mg 
2011 - 20-40mg, 1 month taper, PSSD & Anhedonia - Elavil 10mg during taper.
Clonazepam when needed after a month of daily use. 
2012 - Off Elavil - Zoloft (sertraline) 25mg - 50 mgs for 6 months + Buspar for a while. Pssd & anhedonia improved on zoloft, now has gotten a lot worse since a year off. 

 

Off all drugs since October 2012.

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nick1990

Hey guys - i know i have asked this sort of question on my own thread recently but I'm really worried that because i was on citalopram from 15 years old (25 now) does that significantly suggest i will struggle to become drug free? Ive heard from people that because I'm still young that my brain would be more effective at dealing with change and growth and recovery? There aren't many people on here who were put on drugs in their teenage years? (which could be a good indication i s'pose) Are there any successful slow tapers from young people available on here?  I'm a REAl over thinker by nature by the way ... 

I should add , one of my brothers was put on citalopram too at age 17 - 40mg and is now 23 . He has reduced to 10mg before fine, and stayed there for a good while. He then went back to 40 or maybe 45mg a year later and is in the process of reducing - now down to 35mg i think - He has had NO troubles at all reducing. 

Thanks for your responses

Nick

Edited by KarenB
Merged similar topics

Started Citalopram in 2005 (aged 15) for apparent "OCD" - 60mg 

July 2015 attempted 2 x 10% + cuts 4 weeks apart. WD symptoms intense at times. Need to slow down.

 

November 2016 - Resumed taper. 1.25 - 1.5% decrease weekly approx.

44.5mg November 2016. Jan 2017 42.5 mg. March 2017 40 mg. June 2017 37mg. September 2018 22mg. Nov 2018 Holding at 22mg to stabilise from moderate wave. January 2020 - Holding, mostly feeling fine, but still having some waves at times. 

 

February 2020 - Resumed taper , 1.5% reduction weekly/every two weeks. 

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Vigor

Hey Nick,

 

I think everyone reacts differently. I had no problem reducing my paxil dose from 20mg to 10mg before. I stayed on that for months, but when I got off altogether it was a nightmare. That is why I think so many people are OK at reinstating at 5mg doses. These drugs are very potent at any strength, so I think your brother would have a real wake up call off his antidepressant entirely. 

 

Just my opinion.


Paxil 20-30mgs since 2004.

Three previous withdrawal attempts 2008,2012 and 2015 all cold turkey.

Reinstated 10mg February 20th 2016

3/20/16-9mg 4/5/16-8mg 5/5/16-7mg 5/25/16-6mg 6/25/16-5mg 8/7/16-updose to 6mg 9/7/16 5.5mg 10/10/16-5mg 11/10/16-4.5mg

One thing that helps me is to see your withdrawal process as your own personal journey. Do not internalize someone else's withdrawal as your own. 

  

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."  - Maya Angelou

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Gumboot

I think it's very much down to the individual, but from age 17 to 21 I was taking Serenid-D (which I think is oxazepam, a benzodiazepine), at first three doses a day then two. Then I decided to stop. As I recall I saw the GP about it but I'm pretty sure the idea of tapering was never mentioned. Anyway, for a day or two I felt its absence, I remember the light being unpleasantly bright. But I never took it again, or wanted to. Over the following weeks and months my mind was so much clearer.

 

I'm now 56 and have recently reinstated citalopram, which I stopped for a couple of months after being on it for nine years. The withdrawal was too much. Different drug, much longer use of course...


Citalopram 2006 to Nov 2015, initially 10mg, mostly 20mg.

Stopped in early Nov 2015, much more anxious afterwards.

Jan 2016, reinstated Citalopram at 10mg.

March 2016, upped dose to its former level of 20mg daily.

April 2016, Propranolol 40mg prescribed as needed.

June 2016, Diazepam 2mg prescribed as needed.

July 2016, Citalopram stopped, replaced with Venlafaxine 75mg daily.

August 2016, Venlafaxine upped to 150mg daily.

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brassmonkey

I have a personal friend (not a member of SA) who went on 40mg Paxil at the ripe old age of 6.  He maintained that dose until he was 17 at which time he did a moderately slow taper.  He's in his mid 20s now and you'd never even know it happened.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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KarenB

Six!! 


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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nick1990

that is nuts ! 6 ! good to hear that he recovered fine though. O man i wish i had taken my initial tapering slower . i think i could have avoided a lot of pain.


Started Citalopram in 2005 (aged 15) for apparent "OCD" - 60mg 

July 2015 attempted 2 x 10% + cuts 4 weeks apart. WD symptoms intense at times. Need to slow down.

 

November 2016 - Resumed taper. 1.25 - 1.5% decrease weekly approx.

44.5mg November 2016. Jan 2017 42.5 mg. March 2017 40 mg. June 2017 37mg. September 2018 22mg. Nov 2018 Holding at 22mg to stabilise from moderate wave. January 2020 - Holding, mostly feeling fine, but still having some waves at times. 

 

February 2020 - Resumed taper , 1.5% reduction weekly/every two weeks. 

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brassmonkey

He's the youngest I know of, but back at Prior Place we had over half a dozen who started in the 7-8 year range and were trying to get off in their midteens.  It's painful to even think about.  In fact we have a new member here (can't recall her name) who is the mother of a boy who is around 8 and going through WD.  I believe from Paxil.  There was a real trend a few years ago to start treating subteens with these drugs for pretty much normal childhood acting out. I can't site sources but I recall reading recommendations of treating infant level (2-4 years) temper tantrums with ADs.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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DLB

That is absolutely disgusting to happen to any child and should be illegal as hell.....


Paxil start September 2003 due to Fluoroquinolone adverse reaction that I wish doc. knew what it was. 10mg. most of the time with a few short runs of 20mg. FAST tapered 3 times and finally hit poop out or a reaction to nsaid's in Nov.2013. Started a 10% taper Jan. 2014 and have been ok until Sept 14 and went through a short hell. Now plodding through and looking for the light with unrelenting insomnia and pain, fog, loss of interests....<p>12/20/14 - .8mg.

1/01/15 - .75 mg.

1/15/15 - .42 mg. better sleep now, hope it continues...

2/11-15 - .25 mg. doing really good!! 2 weeks feel 85% of old me!

3/17/15 .14 mg. Knee pain bad!

4/07/15 .05 mg. this is so small now that I am estimating and just licking it off palm small as a "." 

4/13/15 NOTHING !!!! Took my last little micro dose on 4/12/15. ????????????????

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Darwin

hi nick i took a various amount of pharmaceuticals over the span of two years(mostly ssri's/snri's). i started when i was 15 and it has pretty much ruined my highschool experience & making me re evaluate my dreams because of the damage i had inflicted on myself while i was on the drugs. I'm 18 now & i came off all drugs cold turkey in May 2015. doing much better now. still more symptoms than i would like ,but I'm positive i will heal all the way. You will too. 


Summer 2013: started on Prozac for OCD

Fall 2013: started Lexapro due to Prozac zombie effects

 

Stopped Lexapro because of lack of empathy/emotion,anxiety,lack of concentration etc.

Fall 2014: switched to zoloft 

 

February 2015: started effexor quit C/D after 2 weeks.

April 2015: was on zoloft for a month again to try and wean a bit more slowly. DID not work.

May 2015: dumped all of my medications

July 2015: Struggling day to day with withdrawal symptoms but hopeful that I'll be better at the end of august for the next school year.

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Mjau

Hi Nick, I was around 17 when I went on Sertraline. Now almost twenty years later I am tapering.... I have experienced a lot of side effects from the ADs. With decreasing dose my symptoms have improved though I still have a lot of symptoms left. And I feel optimistic that the remaining symptoms will improve as well. It takes time! I would so much like to be free of the pills right away because one of my side effects is cognitive problems.... but I have tried too quick tapers before with really bad symptoms as a result. Going slow is the best for the nervous system!

 

As others have mentioned people react differently to withdrawal. Reading your signature it seems you get a lot of symptoms from withdrawal and therefore it's wise to go very slowly as you now do with 5% cuts. 

 

There are a lot of success stories here on this forum and on other places on the internet too - people who have been through horrible withdrawal and who then recover!


1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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Rhiannon

From what I've seen, people who started on psych drugs as teenagers and then stay on them for a long time seem to have more trouble getting off than people who started a little later--BUT (and a very important "but") AGE is a big help. If you're young, and you do a slow enough taper, you have a very good chance of doing just fine.

 

Your youth is a huge advantage, from what I've seen over the years of people tapering and trying to get off these drugs.

 

Just take it slow and listen to your body, especially once you get down to the lower doses, which is where people tend to run into problems.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Altostrata

bump


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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