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JRCExperience: My story and the road ahead


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I don't believe I've ever written out my full story about my withdrawal, so I apologize if this is a bit lengthy. It all started in my ninth grade year of high school. I had just moved from my home town in Alabama to Atlanta after my parents divorce. I had no friends, no familiarity, and a broken family. When I first started attending school I was very nervous, I've never been one to be bullied or anything like that I was just socially quiet until I really got to know people. I always hated school, so when I started telling my mother I was depressed and wanted to leave the system to go into homeschooling she always thought it was just because I hated school, and she was probably right.


She ended up talking to my dad about my depression, who is a pharmacist might I add, and he talked to my uncle, who was a doctor. They decided to put me on celexa with combination of some anti-anxiety medications for the first few weeks of the medication so I could handle the side effects. I stayed on 20mg from my freshmen year of high school all the way until november of my senior year. I never really noticed a change in myself from the medication, in all honesty the anti-anxiety medications I was put on for the first few weeks got me talking to people and making friends at school.


I honestly believe I never needed this medication to begin with, which troubles me so much for what I've gone through. It was around Thanksgiving when I stopped the pill, and to be honest I never noticed anything wrong at the start. I felt fine, maybe a little moody but I didn't blame that on the antidepressant. I never believed there was withdrawal from them to begin with, but when january came around and I was a complete mess. I just remember one day sitting in my chair and thinking that I was losing my mind, it happened so quickly..


I just kept questioning my sanity and it lead to a full blown panic attack. Everything escalated from there, the shakes, the CONSTANT UNBEARABLE ANXIETY, the tinnitus in one ear (never has gone away), the strange closed eye visuals, the horrible dreams, and the list just goes on. The thing is though I stopped smoking weed around the end of december, so I just thought it might be weed withdrawal, which I was also a skeptic about, but I was ready to tie these problems to anything at that point.


It wasn't until later after some research that I realized it was the antidepressant, or maybe a combination of both. I reinstated the antidepressant and within a week or two I started to feel a bit better, not great, but better. With this new knowledge that it was indeed the antidepressant and not me losing my mind, I wanted to try to cold turkey it again. I thought to myself maybe since I knew what it was I could handle the situation and make it through. I was wrong, I was dead wrong.


I fought these unbearable symptoms for about 3 weeks until one day in my history class I just broke down into tears. I don't know why, maybe it was the fear of my sanity being gone forever, maybe it was just all dawning on me that this might be permanent, whatever it was it left me sobbing uncontrollably for about an hour. I left school immediately as it started and went come and took the pill again. I can't recall how long it was until I started to feel completely better, but it was awhile.


After being on the pill from around the end of february to september I decided to try again, except this time I had dropped to 10mg and was stabilizing there for a few months. Once i first cut the pill in september I noticed some strong emotions, strong anger, lashing out at people, it was unlike me to do those things. I knew it was the withdrawal, I blamed my dad and my mom for putting me on these pills and telling them they'd messed me up for good and I was never going to be the same, and at the time I believed it.


About a month and a half went by until it really hit me hard. Noticing a pattern? november>hell in january, september> hell in december. I'm not sure why I have a delayed reaction to what I call "the big wave", but I do, and when december rolled around I was miserable. It wasn't like before though, it was a bit easier to handle. Same symptoms, but on a lighter level. This big wave lasted for a few weeks, and now I've been about a month and a half of minor troubles. It seems so strange to me that withdrawal can last so long, and as someone who had never had these symptoms prior to the pill I know it has to be the withdrawal and not a reinstated mental health problem.


I was never a depressed person, I had a bit of anxiety as a kid and a few panic attacks but I outgrew them. As of right now I still have trouble coping with these issues, yes they may be light right now but who says another wave isn't right around the corner? I feel as though these withdrawals can scar people for life, and even when you do make a recovery it's still just a fear of the situation you were in and how you felt.. or maybe this is just the withdrawal talking. I appreciate anyone who would share mainly their timeline for the withdrawal,


I'm 19 years young and just hope that this doesn't last much longer, I've recently given up smoking pot again so now that my coping mechanism is gone I know I am probably in for a ride. Godspeed to it, been over a year since the first incident, hasn't left my mind since. I also wanted to note that through this time period from mid september-late november ( took a break during the big wave of withdrawal that hit early december) january-present I have been heavily smoking weed. High grade out of buckets ( very strong highs ).


For those of you that might be curious on how pot effected ME PERSONALLY, it seems to increase my symptoms of derealization and depersonalization.. It always made me feel worse but for some odd reason I kept going back to it. I like to think maybe it's because of my love for escape, and when I'm high I feel bad, but I feel like I've escaped.. I know it doesn't really make sense but what I'm getting at is I think it's been a substitute for my lack of feeling in life now. It's sort of like having a choice to suffer this way or another way where you still suffer just a little less. I'm not saying it's helped me though. The times when I'm not high and binge smoking make my symptoms so much worse. I wish everyone luck who has to go through this terrible thing that is antidepressant withdrawal.

Edited by KarenB
added paragraph breaks

(January 2012), prescribed <Celexa 20mg>. (November 22, 2014) Discontinued <Celexa 20mg> (January 10th, 2015) Reinstated <Celexa 20mg> (Late January 2015) Discontinued <Celexa 20mg> cold turkey.

(Late February 2015) Reinstated to <Celexa 20mg> (September 2015) I started my taper by dropping <5 mg> at a time. By this time I was down to <10 mg> and I decided to drop the medication. <November 23rd, 2015> After very minor withdrawal and heavy drug use <cannabis>, <cocaine>, <alcohol>, My withdrawal came crashing in. (December 9th, 2015) First day I noticed improvement in my days. This could be because I had been clean from the other drugs since the 23rd of November. (January 15th 2016) Another large wave of withdrawal hit me. (Present February 15- ) I am feeling fine for the most part now, but I'm not sure if another wave will hit soon. There seems to be a pattern following them, but the waves inbetween are very normal feeling, so that is a plus. I do not believe I will be stuck in this hell for years or even a few more months, but that's the trick with this withdrawal, it's so unpredictable. 

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Wow JR thankyou for sharing your story.


She ended up talking to my dad about my depression, who is a pharmacist might I add, and he talked to my uncle, who was a doctor. They decided to put me on celexa with combination of some anti-anxiety medications..

This is just heartbreaking to read.

In light of the black box warnings as well.


I really believe that ads are gateway drugs to other 'stuff'. illegal and legal cocktails. They change ones personality and character almost severing the conscience and pushing us in self destructive directions. Withdrawal is so traumatic that it is easy to understand how a person can reach for ways to 'take it away'


You are not alone. Well done on finding sa. You have found a safe place full of people with very similar experiences.


I appreciate anyone who would share mainly their timeline for the withdrawal,

Read my sig its summarized there.


Im a little confused are you still on 10mg or are you drug free.

You might like to fill out your drug sig. to make this clear.


 Please put your withdrawal history in your signature to help the moderators.



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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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


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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello JRC and welcome to s/a,


You've been through one hell of a time, and I'm really impressed at your ability to research some stuff and try to find a way out of it all.  It strikes me that we've had a number of young people arriving here lately - teens and early 20s.  You'd probably be interested in this thread Teenage Years on Drugs.


Would you be able to fill out a signature – drugs/dates/dosages etc - so we can see your situation easily whenever you post, and help you more accurately?  Thanks.  When we know if you are off entirely or still on 10mg, we'll be able to work out more of a plan.  Slow and careful tapering is the best way.


Many people find Fish oil and magnesium useful during withdrawal.   


Have a read of those and do your sig., then you can come back to this thread to discuss things further.  This will be your journal to record your tapering and healing progress, and to ask questions. 


You'll be able to get through this!



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.

2023 Now on 7 micro-beads of Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops.

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

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