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Tommygdawg: Violent Thoughts and SSRIs


tommygdawg

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Hey all,

 

New here, searched out this site because I absolutely need to hear that I'm not going to lose my mind. A basic bit about me: I'm almost never angry and not quick to temper or frustration, I'm basically a pacifist, I love people and I love my family and my dog. Yay me!

 

I have depression and OCD. My obsessive thoughts have been over numerous topics, especially sickness and germs (mainly throwing up). I took Effexor for a while and it seemed somewhat helpful with the depression but eventually went off of it. In the past few months I've had a pretty nonstop episode of extreme and unbearable anxiety and as a result constant nausea, which is great for someone who fears stomach conditions. Fearing that I couldn't handle this much longer, I decided to try out SSRIs again, specifically Lexapro. I don't have a psychiatrist, so my MD prescribed Lexapro 10mg a day.

 

Within 3 days I began to get easily ten times more anxious, I feared I would lose my mind, and I started experiencing violent thoughts (and thus a new fixation was born). They weren't accompanied by any emotions; ie I didn't feel angry at people or short-tempered. I just would see household objects and images would flash in my head of me hitting people over the head with them.

 

This, combined with a news report I had heard (at the time of taking the Lexapro) about a local man who just went off the deepend one day and killed six people, absolutely terrified me. It terrified me because I couldn't stop fixating over the idea that I would lose my mind, and what if it was just like that local man? The fear that everything I believe in, everything that makes me me, could vanish in a flash and I'd just become a raging lunatic absolutely crippled me. I suspect that there may be some psychosomatic symptoms here as well: I irrationally feared I'd become violent and so I started picturing violence, much like how I irrationally fear I'll get sick so I feel like I'm about to throw up.

 

So I stopped the Lexapro on day 5 or 6. The violent thoughts waned a bit. I was able to fixate on them a little less and I felt like maybe I could get back to just being afraid of germs, but I still had a really terrible generalized anxiety. So I went on Wellbutrin, and here those violent thoughts are really creeping up on me again.

 

I'm seeing a therapist now, but honestly guys I'm terrified. Also one other thing I've really noticed a lot with these thoughts, I've become hyper aware of the fact that I have choices. In a restaurant a silly image flashed in my head of me throwing my credit card at the cashier. Not even violently, but just throwing the card. And I had a moment of realization where I thought "I could actually do that if I wanted to." That realization really terrifies me when it comes to the violent thoughts. Has anyone experienced that kind of thing, especially on SSRIs?

 

Sorry for the novel, all. I just had to get it out there.

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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Welcome Tommy!

OMG, that sounds terrible in a different way. I am going through millions of tourture from lexapro but never had that beast from it!

 

I'm glad you found us and try to get it out here! This forum and people here are my lifeline and I believe you will feel so too to get great information, support and understand!

 

I'm so sorry about the horrible reaction you got from these poisons! Our more experienced members will come along with advice.

 

Hang in there,

 

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi tommy and welcome to SA.

 

The volunteer staff will move your post and put it where it will be seen by more people.  Once it has been moved if you click Follow this Topic (top right) you will be notified when someone replies.

 

Thank you for completing your signature.  To enable the staff to assess your individual situation, it would be helpful if will list your drug history as drugs, dates, doses and how you decrease/increased them.  Doing this will help them to offer suggestions based on these details.

 

You can use your Intro/Update topic to ask questions, be supported by other members and staff and as a journal of your progress.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Welcome Tommy!

OMG, that sounds terrible in a different way. I am going through millions of tourture from lexapro but never had that beast from it!

 

I'm glad you found us and try to get it out here! This forum and people here are my lifeline and I believe you will feel so too to get great information, support and understand!

 

I'm so sorry about the horrible reaction you got from these poisons! Our more experienced members will come along with advice.

 

Hang in there,

 

Lex

 

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's experiencing issues, though I'm not glad for other reasons. Wouldn't wish this on anyone, I'm just glad it's not the violent stuff for you. I thought before "how much worse could this possibly get?" and then...it got worse. Thanks for chiming in so quickly :)

 

Hi tommy and welcome to SA.

 

The volunteer staff will move your post and put it where it will be seen by more people.  Once it has been moved if you click Follow this Topic (top right) you will be notified when someone replies.

 

Thank you for completing your signature.  To enable the staff to assess your individual situation, it would be helpful if will list your drug history as drugs, dates, doses and how you decrease/increased them.  Doing this will help them to offer suggestions based on these details.

 

You can use your Intro/Update topic to ask questions, be supported by other members and staff and as a journal of your progress.

 

Thanks, Chessie! Appreciate it :)

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi tommy,

 

Just wondering why you went of the Effexor.  It would seem that you have ended up suffering withdrawal symptoms from a too fast taper of Effexor, ended up taking Lexapro because of the withdrawal symptoms of that and then ended up on Wellbutrin also because of the Effexor withdrawal.

 

AD drugs change our brains.  If the drug is removed too quickly then we suffer withdrawal symptoms.  These can occur several and even many months after stopping the drug.  This site recommends a 10% taper of the previous dose with a 4-6 week hold to stabilise.  This allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  These few things might help you to understand why a slow taper is the best option:

 

Brain Remodelling

 

 

Video: Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

One of the volunteer staff may suggest reinstatement of Effexor (depending on the reason why you stopped it) so I'll give you the link to the information so you can have a read:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Tommy,

 

Thanks for putting your signature in - very helpful.  Each of those stops and starts has left your Central Nervous System in a cumulatively worsening state.  So now it's feeling quite destabilised and that's what's causing you the insistent and violent thoughts (and other withdrawal symptoms). 

 

Nervous-Systems can only take so much before they freak out, so what yours needs now is stability.  Your sig says you started welbutrin in March, but when exactly?  A few days, or a few weeks ago?  CC is right that reinstating Effexor may be a better idea that trying to stabilise on a different drug. 

 

For now, don't make any more increases of welbutrin.  Let's just figure out the details and then make a plan to help you a)stabilise and B) eventually taper safely. 

 

Many people find Fish oil and Magnesium useful during withdrawal, so you could start on those.  You might also like to read Non-Drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms and Neuro-emotions.  Knowledge is power...

 

Have a read, and coming back to this thread to discuss further.  It's a lot to take in at once. 

 

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.

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Hi Tommy - I had them during and after a reaction to SSRIs. I won't go into detail in case I trigger your anxiety but I basically went from a happy, pretty relaxed mum, who quietly, respectfully disciplines her children without ever raising a hand to them to being terrified of doing craft with them in case I hurt them.

 

It's OCD-style intrusive thoughts. They pass. I haven't been troubled by them for a long time now.

 

Ultimately, you COULD throw the credit card at the cashier but you CHOOSE not to, every day. The choices you make defines you, not the meaningless thoughts you may have, no matter how strange they are or real they seem.

 

I found this site really useful when I was going through it:

http://www.ocdspecialists.com/bizarre-thoughts-and-me-confessions-of-an-ocd-therapist/

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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Thank you so much, everyone. I really appreciate the thought-out responses. And Farout, thank you for your empathy and also attempts not to trigger my anxiety. I really appreciate that, and it's also great to know that this is in some way common. I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it's nice to know others can understand. Your experience sounds very similar to mine. In fact, I do freelance film work. I got a new light for film purposes a few weeks ago that didn't work and my mom asked if I wanted help fixing it, and I declined because I was afraid of myself being close to her. It's such a bizarre feeling.

 

Regarding more detailed drug timelines. It's interesting that you all think it may be regarding the Effexor. When I tapered off of it last year it was sometime around summer I believe, maybe late spring. I stopped taking it because I felt like it wasn't too effective in managing my depression and I felt that perhaps my depression had become situational, ie maybe something I could work on without the Effexor. Even after I stopped taking the lowest dosage pill I could get I felt terrible with withdrawal symptoms for quite some time, dizziness, "brain zaps", inability to focus, etc.

 

Once those things had faded I felt the depression had just become kind of a constant force but low level and manageable. But then around the beginning of this year I was hit with a wave of depression/anxiety (now I know most likely more anxiety than depression) I had never felt before. All I could fixate on was "this won't end until I'm dead." And it's kind of been a spiral since then.

 

Regarding the Wellbutrin, I started on March 10th, one 75mg tablet a day. On the 17th I went up to two 75mg tablets a day. One around 1pm with lunch and the other around 8 or 9pm with dinner. I noticed that a few days after going up to two tablets is when the violent stuff started coming back in.

 

Do you guys really think it could be latent effects of the Effexor? I do know the violent stuff started right with the Lexapro which seems way too coincidental. But, I don't necessarily believe one thing ever causes anything. It could likely be a combination of Effexor withdrawal, heightened Lexapro anxiety, etc.

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Each of those stops and starts has left your Central Nervous System in a cumulatively worsening state.  So now it's feeling quite destabilised and that's what's causing you the insistent and violent thoughts (and other withdrawal symptoms). 

 

 

 

Hi Tommy,

 

Welcome and we're glad you found us. No, you're not losing your mind. 

 

Just wanted to say hi, welcome, and hang in there.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Once those things had faded I felt the depression had just become kind of a constant force but low level and manageable. But then around the beginning of this year I was hit with a wave of depression/anxiety (now I know most likely more anxiety than depression) I had never felt before. All I could fixate on was "this won't end until I'm dead." And it's kind of been a spiral since then.

 

Hi tommygdawg, 

 

I just wanted to jump in and validate that what you described above is very much what I experienced in Effexor withdrawal.  I went off over a year ago after nearly 12 years being on it, much too quickly, I might add.  My experience was unusual in that I don't remember there being any severe WD symptoms up front, not even brain zaps!  But over the first months, I began having terrible cognitive difficulties, such that i thought perhaps I had adult onset ADD!

 

It wasn't until around month six that i started having really bad anxiety, like you, unlike anything I had experienced before.  I think the first of it was triggered by a short stint with Viibryd.  I actually did get tested for ADD, and I tested negative, but the stupid psychologist suggested that there were drugs that could make me feel perfectly NORMAL and I jumped at it once again!  And so the Viibryd.  The 10 mg starting dose wasn't so bad, but when I went up to 20 mg the wheels came off the bus!  That's when I had the terrifying anxiety and insomnia, up in bed with racing, frightening thoughts about all kinds of crazy things!  I went off the Viibryd and that calmed down, but then the anxiety and depression came up again and I was truly in distress.

 

I caved and tried to take a small amount of Effexor, but because I had been taking serotonergic supplements, I ended up in mild serotonin syndrome and so stopped after just a few days.  I saw a p-doc who put me on Remeron.   That worked briefly but then didn't, and so up up and away I went on the dosage until at 37.5 mg I realized going higher wasn't going to work and so I saw him again.  I had been off the supplements for at least 6 weeks at this point, so he reinstated 37.5 mg of Effexor and I was right as rain within an hour!

 

So, one point in all of this is that other ADs can go paradoxical on you when in withdrawal from Effexor. My other point is that it can be many months out before emotional withdrawal symptoms come up, but by then we are thinking it is some kind of relapse, not realizing it could be withdrawal.   I was 10 months or so out from coming off Effexor when I reinstated, and it was a much too large dose, though thankfully I didn't have an adverse reaction to that dose.  Generally, the odds of reinstatement so far out working is low, but in my case I benefited.  

 

Also like you, I felt Effexor wasn't doing anything for me when I came off, and I definitely had more bad than good being on it and I still had depressive and anxious episodes on it.  What I didn't realize is that although it wasn't doing me any good, my body was still DEPENDENT on it, as Chessie mentioned above with the brain remodeling link.

 

As for violent thoughts, yes, I've had flashes of such, though not as strongly as you.

 

My first drug I went on was Prozac, and your intro caused me to reflect back on when I had just started it and was at a session with my p-doc where I expressed concern over having thoughts as I was driving of swerving and taking out bicycle riders!  It felt compulsive!  There was no anger or hostility, just the thought that I could do that if I wanted to! It was a scary temptation!  But I now realize it was probably a side effect of Prozac!

 

We have symptoms on these drugs coming and going.  They cause imbalances while going on them, and then after our systems have become dependent, they cause similar imbalances in reverse going off!

 

I have had the odd thought even still, but not with any frequency as to cause distress.  I feel for you, though, in having to deal with such, because it can be frightening.  I think this is just yet another bad thing that these danged drugs has done to us.  But this is not US and we will heal.

 

I agree with the others that the other meds are muddying the waters.   I'm leaning towards a reinstatement of a tiny amount of Effexor for you. Since you just went to twice a day Wellbutrin and had an increase in the violent thoughts, I would drop back down to once a day.  Hopefully the more experienced mods will be able to make a suggestion as to what to do from here.

 

Glad you are here!

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Squirrelly, thank you so much for your detailed post! It's so good to know that people can get where I'm coming from and not just label me as some kind of freak or something, or not just be scared of me. Your experiences do indeed sound very familiar to mine! I wonder, is there any research or literature on the long-term withdrawal effects of Effexor or other drugs? How many psychiatrists actually even know about this possibility? I've seen warnings for the common side effects, but I've never seen a warning label that says "10 months after you stop the drug you'll want to run over people on the road!"

 

And by the way, it's coincidental you bring that up. One specific example was when I was out driving the other day and I felt a weird compulsion to (or a thought that I could do this) turn my car into a group of people running along the side of the road. It terrified me so much I'm scared to go back on the road now. How did you get through that period of having thoughts like that? Was it something that just faded with time? Did going off the Prozac help?

 

My concern with the Wellbutrin now is that I have indeed muddied the waters and I'm wondering if I shouldn't just continue to try it out for the next 2-4 weeks or so at my current dosage and see what happens?

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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This Thursday will mark 3 weeks since I started Wellbutrin. I still feel really lousy but there is a shift: Im starting to obsess a little less over violent thoughts and more over the nature of morality and why we should be good people.

 

My answers for morality seem less emotionally relevant to me (or perhaps more) because I feel like Im now a monster. The shades of gray I knew of conceptually are now very relevant to me. The violent thoughts I've had have shaken me to my core. To know that my mind is capable of that is deeply troubling to me. I used to be able to make a clear separation between myself and the "bad guys," but now I feel less able to do so.

 

I feel like I may never recover from this experience. Looking in the mirror is literally difficult for me because I'm scared of the person I will see. I worry that it will not be the person I once prided myself on being.

 

Has anyone else out there experienced this?

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Tommy , welcome to the site.

 

On March 21 you wrote: "So I went on Wellbutrin, and here those violent thoughts are really creeping up on me again." and today  " Im starting to obsess a little less over violent thoughts".

 

Which is it ... have things settled in the last 2 days?  

Starting to have violent thoughts when you started wellbutrin is a sign of toxicity , and a very dangerous symptom to manage. Unless these have stopped , I'd consider a fast taper off the wellburtrin.

Your system is not metabolizing these drugs any more ,  even if they seemed to work in the past.

 

Please could you add the date you stopped effexor in 2015 to your signature.   Many people find that reinstating is not successful after as long as 12 months.

 

bw ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Tommyg.

 

It does sound as though you had a rough withdrawal from Effexor.

 

What is your daily symptom pattern now? Please keep notes on paper. How are you sleeping?

 

You definitely need to put effort into finding a good therapist. You seem to have very self-critical, possibly self-destructive thoughts. You will need to learn to manage this if you want to live without psychiatric drugs.

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

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I dropped Effexor around March of '15, but I don't know exactly when. I don't have plans to reinstate Effexor either, and I think the Wellbutrin may be helping. I'm not necessarily interested in getting ADs completely, if I can find one that works for me I'm happy to take it. If it helps, I'll do it. I'm also pretty happy with my therapist at the moment and I think she's helping.

 

I've been feeling generally a bit better. I'm not entirely sure if it's the Wellbutrin or if I'm getting better at managing the POCD (or both). I'm having violent images less frequently. I still have them but generally less and I'm getting better at not freaking out about them, which helps me have them less.

 

But I must also confess to a pretty strong feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. This could just be a manifestation of the POCD, after all it used to be called the "doubters disease." And this whole experience has left me with an uneasiness about my view of the world, or rather like there's a whole in my heart now. I very strongly believe in the material world; that our brains are just protons and electrons and nothing else (to simplify). Previously, I understood that some people's electrons misfired causing these kinds of conditions, but I never experienced it myself. Well, I have, but never over an issue like this where I felt so much like I was going out of my mind. And previously I didn't know it was POCD I had. And now I know the downsides of believing that everything is either a proper fire or misfire of electrical impulses in the brain.

 

Does any of that make sense? It's tied in with my morality too. I think the anxiety makes me feel like love isn't a good enough reason to not act on the violent images, as if it's telling me to doubt everything about myself and I need to find an ever greater reason to do or not do things (even when comes to things that aren't the violent images). Which isn't possible really, it's an endless pursuit like using compulsions to ease your suffering. In fact, what I'm describing is probably a compulsion in itself. It's like it kind of destabilized my entire world view and I'm trying to figure out how to restabilize.

 

I don't know, again, is any of this making sense?

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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PS. I'm seeing some people say POCD means pedophile OCD? I thought it meant purely obsessive. Not to shame people who have pedophile obsessions at all, but I'm just unclear on the terms.

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I went and googled it after I saw your post.  It can be either.  Maybe if you use the term Pure OCD to save confusion.

 

This is from http://ocdla.com/obsessionalocd:

 

"Some individuals may suffer from “Pure Obsessional OCD” (sometimes called “Pure O”) in which they report experiencing obsessions without observable compulsions. These obsessions often manifest as intrusive, unwanted thoughts, impulses or “mental images” of committing an act they consider to be harmful, violent, immoral, sexually inappropriate, or sacrilegious. For individuals with Pure Obsessional OCD, these thoughts can be frightening and torturous precisely because they are so antithetical to their values and beliefs."

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

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 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks Chessie! Looking back on my life I think I had it but never with violence.

 

When I was a kid I was terrified for *years* that I would go to hell. I learned a mental compulsion to help: I would repeat in my head over and over "I love you Jesus" in the hopes I could convince him I loved him enough to let me into heaven. I left the faith a few years ago but still find myself repeating that mantra obsessively. This violent thing feels exactly like my childhood fear, except instead of fear that I will burn for all eternity, its fear that I will become the thing most antithetical to my world view: violent and hurtful.

 

Leading up to this issue, I had extreme anxiety and mental compulsions about stomach illness and throwing up. I nearly stopped leaving the house because I was so afraid I'd get sick, but I drew the line there and forced myself to go out. If I even hear someone mention throwing up I will feel I'll for days. I read about a professional wrestler who threw up in the ring and I freaked out reading that even though it could not possibly affect me.

 

I used to think it was purely Lexapro that introduced the violent thoughts. But I think it was likely only half of the issue. When I started taking it my anxiety increased at least ten fold. At the same time I heard of a local man who went on a shooting spree. I had an aberrant thought "I hope I don't get whatever mental illness that made him kill people". To be fair, I don't know if he even has a mental illness. But that aberrant thought spun out of control and I couldn't stop the anxiety and fear that my brain would break. So I started seeing images of myself doing bad things and it snowballed even more.

 

I just had a realization. In a way this too could be a form of my fixation on illness.

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Would you say, overall, that you seem to be slowly stabilising on the Wellbutrin at 75mg twice a day?  Wanting to check in, as earlier you mentioned the violent thoughts increased when you went to twice daily. 

 

If so, you'll want to stay at that level until you have been stable for a good while before considering any further reductions. 

 

When you are ready to taper, we can help with that too. 

 

Really feeling for you with how much you're going through right now. 

 

Karen

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

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

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

8 month hold.

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

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

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

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

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

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Thank you, Karen, for the support. I've some decent days lately that make me feel as though I'm stabilizing, and then I have huge setbacks. Last night I had a major anxiety attack, at least this time over the good 'ol stomach thing. I just had a thought that I would get sick and it was off to the races. I never got sick.

 

I'm just so tired of this crap. I woke up feeling ill, I almost always feel ill in some way. Either thoughts about one thing or the other or just a constant generalized pit in my stomach. Hoping that it was just a setback last night on an overall road to getting better.

Effexor: December 2012 to March or April 2015, I don't know the exact date. Dosage was 37.5mg, up to 75, to 150. Then eventually tapered down in reverse order. Had withdrawal symptoms: my eyes would hurt, I'd get dizzy and nauseous, brain zaps, etc.

 

Lexapro: February 2016, 10mg a day for one week. Began to have violent thoughts so stopped taking it. Still dealing with the violent thoughts. Have realized I've had P-OCD my whole life (and was diagnosed) and the extreme anxiety induced by the Lexapro combined with an aberrant thought sent me into a tailspin.

 

Wellbutrin: March 10th, 2016, started on 75mg a day and moved up to 75mg twice a day on March 17th. Still taking it, might be helping.

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  • Moderator

Hey Tommy - you wrote:

 

But I must also confess to a pretty strong feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. This could just be a manifestation of the POCD, after all it used to be called the "doubters disease." And this whole experience has left me with an uneasiness about my view of the world, or rather like there's a whole in my heart now. I very strongly believe in the material world; that our brains are just protons and electrons and nothing else (to simplify). Previously, I understood that some people's electrons misfired causing these kinds of conditions, but I never experienced it myself. Well, I have, but never over an issue like this where I felt so much like I was going out of my mind. And previously I didn't know it was POCD I had. And now I know the downsides of believing that everything is either a proper fire or misfire of electrical impulses in the brain.

 

Does any of that make sense? It's tied in with my morality too. I think the anxiety makes me feel like love isn't a good enough reason to not act on the violent images, as if it's telling me to doubt everything about myself and I need to find an ever greater reason to do or not do things (even when comes to things that aren't the violent images). Which isn't possible really, it's an endless pursuit like using compulsions to ease your suffering. In fact, what I'm describing is probably a compulsion in itself. It's like it kind of destabilized my entire world view and I'm trying to figure out how to restabilize.

 

 

I know you say you've had obsessions since childhood - many of us do.  But I'm going to challenge you to think differently about this.  It sounds to me like your obsessions became more "hard wired" when you take the drugs.

 

Your fears in childhood about Jesus sound like an insecure child to me (I had this, too, a symptom of being raised in a heckfire church) - not something medical.  And if you never got comfort or support for your fears, never got encouragement and safety - your child brain realized that your obsessions were serving a purpose.  To keep the fears and insecurity at bay.  It can be a learned thinking pattern or behaviour. 

 

Then, when the drugs are added, those learned behaviours can become deep channels.  A deep channel is much more difficult to reverse - but upon reading briefly (I've only read this page) - getting your drugs to a point where they are not carving deeper channels of thought and obsession - might be a good place to start.  My Dad used to say, "In order to get out of a hole, you need to stop digging it!"

 

 I'm not "therapizing" here - I think Alto's suggestion of a therapist is an excellent one - but I am challenging you to think of your "disorder" in a new way.

 

I believe that the drugs are worsening your condition, and that a taper off Wellbutrin will help relieve your symptoms.  It may be too late to reinstate Effexor, but perhaps you could try a tiny dose of it - say 9.375 mg (a 37.5 capsule divided into 4) to see if it is what your body is really craving.

 

Please see:  

Tips for Tapering off Wellbutrin

 

Perhaps some wiser mods will have suggestions about how quickly to get off the Wellbutrin, since you've been on it for just a month - long enough for it to get it's hooks in, but not a long course.  And, as to whether a tiny amount of Effexor might ease your symptoms.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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