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Overwhelmed, demotivated, apathetic? Cannot get going on interest or action


Barbarannamated
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Now that I've been cutting again a while and I'm starting to have some withdrawal symptoms again (pretty subtle but sadly familiar) I'm back to having that same "I just can't do it. Just can't.".

Rhi,This "just can't" feeling... is it physical or psychological or a combination? This has dogged me so badly and I can't seem to push through it. And I don't have anything in life forcing me to push through it. No responsibilities or local friends urging me out. I feel paralyzed much of the time, as if my brain is not able to force body to start moving. I do only what I absolutely positively must, usually to avoid pain or further withdrawal (take meds, go to chiro when in pain, etc). It takes every ounce of energy to do so. Yesterday I sat up in recliner for several hours and that was a good day. Most are spent in bed. I have an overwhelming feeling that my entire being has given up. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 3 weeks later...

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Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I realize this has been an issue for me for many years while on SS/NRIs and after losing work. I signed up for, joined and paid for many activities, classes and groups and then never attended.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I have boxes and boxes of DVDs and books that are thousands of dollars worth of educational courses I bought and I have never looked at any of it.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

So this is why my recently purchased art supplies are still in their bag.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Those of us responding to this thread have much the same thing going on.  (apart from those who have recovered and stay here to help)    Can anyone tell me what's happening in our brain that is causing the problem?    Do anti depressants take over running how the brain works?   Then when we decide to cut back on the a/d's the brain isn't able to take up where it left off.    I presume the area's that are responsible for creating positive chemicals no longer function correctly - maybe they felt redundant to the a/d?    

 

Is w/d living with a brain that can't supply enough positive chemicals?   Or is it craving the artificial chemicals?  There seems to be no time line as to how long it takes for the brain to start functioning normally again.     It seems that our inertia and negativity to life whilst in w/d contributes to the length of time it takes to recover.  

 

I've only just started on this journey so I'm thinking OMG what can I do to help myself feel better when my brain is telling me to do nothing.    But surely doing nothing is the opposite of what we need to do.   We need to force ourselves to be active in whatever capacity we can force ourselves to.

1998 - 2000 took Paxil after moving back from overseas and feeling overwhelmed.   Tapered off and commenced exercise regime.   Said I would never take a/d's ever again. 

2003  Distressing event in marriage.    

2008   Agreed to take Lexapro 10mgs.   

May 2013  Decided to decrease Lexapro as only staying on to avoid withdrawal.     Within weeks of cutting dose to 5mgs I became highly anxious and depressed.    Increased to 10 mgs but had no effect on symptoms.   Didn't try to increase lexapro further rather changed to Paxil in November (over night change of medications).    Three and a half weeks of horrible side effects from the change to Paxil.    Intend to follow advice given here to taper slowly.   

  

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We need to force ourselves to be active in whatever capacity we can force ourselves to.

 

If we can force ourselves to be active in some way, then we probably don't have apathy, anhedonia and demotivation.  For example, I've been sitting here for over half an hour, trying to force myself to become active in this conversation.  I have some opinions and some questions myself, but the over riding consensus is..... "what's the point", its not going to help, there are no easy answers, and even getting involved isn't going to make me feel better......

 

And now, that I did scrape up enough energy to write something, I don't feel any better, actually I feel worse and wish I hadn't, because I've probably added more negativity to an already negative situation.

 

So if forcing yourself to be active helps, then that's great... go for it, but I don't think its possible to force yourself to do anything when you have withdrawal induced AA&D.

 

I guess I don't have it then.... I forced myself to comment :unsure:

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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We need to force ourselves to be active in whatever capacity we can force ourselves to.

If we can force ourselves to be active in some way, then we probably don't have apathy, anhedonia and demotivation. For example, I've been sitting here for over half an hour, trying to force myself to become active in this conversation. I have some opinions and some questions myself, but the over riding consensus is..... "what's the point", its not going to help, there are no easy answers, and even getting involved isn't going to make me feel better......And now, that I did scrape up enough energy to write something, I don't feel any better, actually I feel worse and wish I hadn't, because I've probably added more negativity to an already negative situation.So if forcing yourself to be active helps, then that's great... go for it, but I don't think its possible to force yourself to do anything when you have withdrawal induced AA&D.I guess I don't have it then.... I forced myself to comment :unsure:
I agree with you, Petu. Sometimes I can force myself to do something and feel a bit better, but more often, I try to do something that I used to enjoy or at least provide distraction, and I feel worse because it does not provide any positive feelings. The good things have turned negative; I am hesitant to try any more things that used to be pleasureable only to learn that they, too, are "ruined". Interestingly, "apathy" is not even recognized by psychistry. There is also extreme apathy called "aboulia" that I feel describes me much of the time. I do have brain lesions but am not sure what brain region is effected.http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AbouliaDoes anyone understand why this gets so much worse during withdrawal? I can definitely see a pattern of decreased motivation over the years ON SS/NRIs, but why so much worse after discontinuation? The wiki article recommends discontinuation of SSRIs because they decrease motivation, FYI:3. Eliminate or reduce doses of psychotropics and other agents that aggravate motivational loss (e.g., SSRIs, dopamine antagonists).

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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http://npanth.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/phases-of-ssri-withdrawal/

 

this article explains it well.   the whole blog looks helpful.

1998 - 2000 took Paxil after moving back from overseas and feeling overwhelmed.   Tapered off and commenced exercise regime.   Said I would never take a/d's ever again. 

2003  Distressing event in marriage.    

2008   Agreed to take Lexapro 10mgs.   

May 2013  Decided to decrease Lexapro as only staying on to avoid withdrawal.     Within weeks of cutting dose to 5mgs I became highly anxious and depressed.    Increased to 10 mgs but had no effect on symptoms.   Didn't try to increase lexapro further rather changed to Paxil in November (over night change of medications).    Three and a half weeks of horrible side effects from the change to Paxil.    Intend to follow advice given here to taper slowly.   

  

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I, too find it incredibly difficult to do anything, including writing this. I am in cold turkey withdrawal from cymbalta and abilify for 6-8 weeks (lost track). I'm still on a small dose of klonopin and plan to taper off that hopefully when I get a little stronger. I am experiencing all the fun physical symptoms like constant nausea, horrible headaches, upset stomach, feeling hung-over, etc. As if that's not bad enough, the depression and anxiety and panic attacks r worse than ever. It does come in waves interestingly so at first I got excited when I felt a bit better only to have hopes dashed when I couldn't get off the couch the next day. And the day after. And here I am, trying desperately to gain some insight into this hell. I pray this doesn't last years because I think id rather be on the hell of ad's than go through this for that long. My deepest respect for those of u who fight the good fight every day - even if it doesn't feel like u have any fight left.

12 years of antidepressants and benzodiazepines including Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, lexapro, lamictal, Wellbutrin, Ativan, Xanax, klonopin, cymbalta and abilify. Most recently was on 60 mg of cymbalta, 10 mg of abilify and 1 mg of klonopin 3 times a day as needed. I also take fioricet for migraines and synthroid for hypothyroid. I quit the cymbalta and abilify cold turkey 8 weeks ago which has caused severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. I want to quit klonopin and fioricet also but have been too scared to make myself more sick.

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I, too find it incredibly difficult to do anything, including writing this. I am in cold turkey withdrawal from cymbalta and abilify for 6-8 weeks (lost track). I'm still on a small dose of klonopin and plan to taper off that hopefully when I get a little stronger. I am experiencing all the fun physical symptoms like constant nausea, horrible headaches, upset stomach, feeling hung-over, etc. As if that's not bad enough, the depression and anxiety and panic attacks r worse than ever. It does come in waves interestingly so at first I got excited when I felt a bit better only to have hopes dashed when I couldn't get off the couch the next day. And the day after. And here I am, trying desperately to gain some insight into this hell. I pray this doesn't last years because I think id rather be on the hell of ad's than go through this for that long. My deepest respect for those of u who fight the good fight every day - even if it doesn't feel like u have any fight left.

Hope,I strongly encourage you to write an introductory post. You are still in timeframe that you can reinstate a small does and taper slowly with the help of the forum admin. Please consider doing so because cold turkey sets you up for serious protracted withdrawal that can last years and be disabling. I did a fast taper of 1 drug and am still suffering 2+ years later. The taper months were not terrible, but I was hit with terribly debilitating physical and mood symptoms about 8 months out. Worse than anything I'd experienced prior to or on meds. B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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B-

Ty for ur response. I'm so sorry for ur suffering. I had already been considering what ur suggesting as I fear that a terribly long withdrawal is in store for me. I will do what u suggested and Ty for ur kindness. Prayers for ur recovery, friend.

12 years of antidepressants and benzodiazepines including Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, lexapro, lamictal, Wellbutrin, Ativan, Xanax, klonopin, cymbalta and abilify. Most recently was on 60 mg of cymbalta, 10 mg of abilify and 1 mg of klonopin 3 times a day as needed. I also take fioricet for migraines and synthroid for hypothyroid. I quit the cymbalta and abilify cold turkey 8 weeks ago which has caused severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. I want to quit klonopin and fioricet also but have been too scared to make myself more sick.

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I have been in such a "functional stupor" for so long that I didn't recognize I was even in one...I was so unaware that I believed living like this was normal. Have experienced apathy, anhedonia, etc., and sexual side effects that make me sad. But I hope and pray that my emotions and spirit and body will move toward normal as this slow taper continues.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

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  • 5 months later...

I can relate to so much said here.

 

I remember having severe depression and still getting some adrenaline from deadlines that would help me get my school work done. Not anymore. No amount of guilt, sense of responsibility, dread of negative consequences or any other emotion/reward/punishment seems to have an effect on me.

 

I get to feel horrible afterwards, but I don't seem to be able to "learn from the lesson" from the negative consequences, so to speak.

 

I have relied on occassionally taking a stimulant to get through this. Not the best solution, but a better alternative that living with abnormal apathy and its consequences long enough to start thinking about suicide. I need that break from the stimulant to be able to go on. Literally.

 

I remember the first time I tried nuvigil (prescription stimulant meant to be used for people with narcolepsy). I realized that for months I had not been sitting straight, but rather slouching. I didn't even have the energy or motivation to sit upright. It was quite a revelation. Might seem like a small or silly thing, but it wasn't. You get so used to the apathy that it becomes a way of life. How could I argue this is not my personality when it is all me and others see expressed in my actions?

 

Apathy is also dangerous for our health. Obesity, stress, unstable sleep patterns, no motivation to eat well, exercise, be engaged or socialize. How could it not affect every aspect of our health in the long term? I know I gained a lot of weight in the last several years and I can see this abnormal apathy could have a lot to do with it.

 

My therapist was extremely frustrated with me. I could not follow through with any of the behavioral activation and other behavioral exercises she proposed.

 

Hard to believe, understand and explain how the day has 24 hours, but they go so fast when you're not connected to reality. Everything seems a blur. Every day seems like the one before. Months and years go by and I don't recall living that time.

 

I've often wondered if it's worth living this way, but I'm not giving up. If I'm still here after all this, might as well hang on to the faintest thread of hope.

 

If anyone feels like sharing, I'd like to know more about your experiences with this. Did you try and had any luck with behavioral activation?

 

How did you conclude this abnormal apathy was due to ssri use or withdrawal vs depression?

 

Any thoughts or experiences you share are much appreciated. Best of luck in your recovery journey :)

 

 

 

 

 

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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I know exactly what you mean, bar. I was talking about this the other day with my therapist. I seem to have the interest in making a plan but I have no energy to do it. I'm wondering if this is related to the lack of sense of reward, part of emotional blunting (I'm calling it emotional anesthesia now). Druid brilliantly described it here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/510-anhedonia-or-emotional-anesthesia/page__view__findpost__p__5231

 

Alto or any moderator, I tried accessing the thread from Druid linked here and it gave me an error message. Was it deleted or is there an other way to access it?

 

Thanks!

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • 2 weeks later...

Im glad to hear Im not the only one who cannot make decisions. I am made fun of for it...but to honest, I cant make a decision because I dont really care. I find that I often just dont care about things that everyone else enjoys. What is odd--is that I am sad that I dont care...? WTF? I feel like its a sick joke. Not only do I not really enjoy anything, but I also have to feel sorry for myself for not enjoying it! AHH.

On 20mg Prozac for 13 years.
10mg daily March 2014.
10mg every other day 5/1/14

cold turkey for 7 days

5mg daily since 5/28/14

then tapered every month--I cant even remember what the taper was at this point, but went from 5g june 1 to 0 Oct 1.

 

 

Any comments that are made by me are not professional advice/clinical or medical.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Alto or any moderator, I tried accessing the thread from Druid linked here and it gave me an error message. Was it deleted or is there an other way to access it?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Sorry NB, I only just saw this question, the link has now been fixed in the original post, or access it here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/?p=5231

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Glad to see others have what I call "paralysis of the will."

It is all I can do to keep my home safe from vermin. I don't eat very much because the prospect of the mere act of loading the dishwasher is almost devastating. Any task I have to do goes undone for days at a time. The thought of doing anything with multiple steps is crippling. My mind goes through the steps and collapses partway through, and I decide not to even try the task.

Some weekends I have only ONE goal: "Take out the trash." That's it; my whole list. And I don't always do it. I can't make myself stand up.

 

So when I hear that I should EXERCISE in order to feel better, I want to throw things (but can't make myself :)

 

I do walk my dogs, but I must say, neverly every step is an ordeal during which I want to turn around and go home. The idea of enjoying a simple neighborhood dog walk is unfathomable, with my brain shouting at me to go home, go home...





 

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

This was a good thread for me to find and I'm writing here to bump it.

 

As I often say, I can't stand it that people have had to go through anhedonia/apathy/demotivation, whatever you want to call it, but in reading other people's experience i'm reassured that it's a  withdrawal symptom and not "me"... Or at least given hope that it's a symptom and not a forever thing.  

 

I've been feeling this way for just over a month now, so my question is this: Have people gotten beyond it? Did it pass?  

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. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

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

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Keep in mind that it could be withdrawal, but it could also be a side effect of medication use (especially SSRIs), or even something else.

 

In your case Addax, since it's been just a month and happened right around the time you quit Wellbutrin, it could well be a result of stopping Wellbutrin. Not necessarily withdrawal though.

 

Why did you start Wellbutrin in the first place? I know many people who are started on stimulants because they get very sedated from using SSRIs. The wellbutrin might have masked how sedating the ssri was to you and now two years later you're off wellbutrin and either depression or the side effects of long term prozac use are showing. It's a little soon to tell. I would wait a couple more months and see how things evolve. In the meantime, try some cognitive behavioral strategies to increase motivation and see if they work. You might just need to re-learn how to motivate yourself in other ways.

 

 

For me, this has been the worst symptom to endure. Not  only is it plain depressing because of what it does to your self esteem, it also is nearly impossible for other people to understand and you're invariably labelled irresponsible, non-compliant, "not really wanting to change", and every other thing that compunds your own feelings of unworthiness and adds guilt and shame.

 

Then when I go to the dr and the screening tests show depression, I'm like: yes, I may have depression, but who wouldn't be depressed feeling the way I feel? Unable to take care of myself and having to push to do anything that can help me feel better, often not achieving anything no matter how hard I push or how many times I try?? Isn't it normal to feel depressed as a result?

 

I still struggle with this and it's taken a toll in every area of my life, but it's gotten somewhat better after about 8 months. I've struggled with it at different degrees for years, but the last 8 months were way worse. And now it's gotten somewhat better.

 

I'vbe been taking folate but I'm not sure if that helped or just time. I can't wait to be able to reduce prozac because I believe the apathy will improve at least some when I do...

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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Alto or any moderator, I tried accessing the thread from Druid linked here and it gave me an error message. Was it deleted or is there an other way to access it?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Sorry NB, I only just saw this question, the link has now been fixed in the original post, or access it here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/?p=5231

 

 

Thanks Petu!

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • Moderator Emeritus

In your case Addax, since it's been just a month and happened right around the time you quit Wellbutrin, it could well be a result of stopping Wellbutrin. Not necessarily withdrawal though.

 

Why did you start Wellbutrin in the first place? 

 

I started Wellbutrin when I re-instated Prozac in 2012 to combat the fatigue and yawning i experienced with Prozac.   But I'm at a fraction of the dose of prozac I was on then.  

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. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

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

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I'm glad this was bumped. I wanted to ask about something related.

Does anyone else have a racing mind in a static, motionless body?

If you asked me how I'm feeling, I'd say agitated. But from looking at me, you'd think I was calm. I feel mentally alert but physically wiped out. I very much want to sleep to escape this, but my mind is not tired.

I've been through akathisia and know it too well. This isn't that. It doesn't feel like depression either. It feels like my mind has been de-coupled from my body.



 

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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I'm glad this was bumped. I wanted to ask about something related.

 

Does anyone else have a racing mind in a static, motionless body?

 

If you asked me how I'm feeling, I'd say agitated. But from looking at me, you'd think I was calm. I feel mentally alert but physically wiped out. I very much want to sleep to escape this, but my mind is not tired.

 

I've been through akathisia and know it too well. This isn't that. It doesn't feel like depression either. It feels like my mind has been de-coupled from my body.

 

Oh, yes. It's hellish.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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In your case Addax, since it's been just a month and happened right around the time you quit Wellbutrin, it could well be a result of stopping Wellbutrin. Not necessarily withdrawal though.

 

Why did you start Wellbutrin in the first place? 

 

I started Wellbutrin when I re-instated Prozac in 2012 to combat the fatigue and yawning i experienced with Prozac.   But I'm at a fraction of the dose of prozac I was on then.  

 

 

 

Well, yes, but at that lower dose of prozac you may still experience tiredness. Alternatively, it can be a reaction to stopping long term use of a stimulant (wellbutrin), and it will take a few months for your brain to adapt to the change.

 

Long term SSRI use may also trigger an enduring apathy that lasts after you quit, and that may also improve with time.

 

Since you did not experience this degree of apathy until now, even though you were decreasing wellbutrin in the last 2 years, I think your prognosis is very good.

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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I'm glad this was bumped. I wanted to ask about something related.

 

Does anyone else have a racing mind in a static, motionless body?

 

If you asked me how I'm feeling, I'd say agitated. But from looking at me, you'd think I was calm. I feel mentally alert but physically wiped out. I very much want to sleep to escape this, but my mind is not tired.

 

I've been through akathisia and know it too well. This isn't that. It doesn't feel like depression either. It feels like my mind has been de-coupled from my body.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi WC,

 

Sorry to hear you're going through so much suffering. I can totally relate to the extreme apathy, but not to the racing mind stuff you mentioned. Racing thoughts can be a sign of high anxiety. Are the thoughts intrusive and trigger anxiety?

 

Also, I'm curious about something: In my experience of extreme apathy, doing intellectual work is very challenging because focus is poor and my thinking is more dull. Getting started is a nightmare. You said your mind is alert and I was wondering if in your case apathy does not affect your mental functioning as much?

 

Or perhaps your experience is similar to depression-type insomnia, when people are exhausted but can't sleep because of anxiety expressing in a racing mind. If it is like that, there's a cognitive strategy the therapist taught me, which worked some for me. It's called "Worry Time". Here's more info (page 10): http://cedar.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/schoolofpsychology/cedar/documents/Worry_website_version_colour.pdf

 

It's very simple and can help calm your mind some.

 

All the best,

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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I find it hard to start any task. I'm afraid I'll get confused or frustrated. My memory is shot.

My alert mind spends much of the day playing old tapes, rehearsing new worries, and generally creating hell for myself. I'm working on that and think I should start seeing a counselor soon. I've been in this alone for way too long. I was so angry at psychiatrists that I began to think no one could help me, but I think there's a role for some kind of therapy now.

I'll check out the worry time lead--thanks.

And as for insomnia...I'm not sure I have recovered from the two weeks of no sleep on Ritalin/psychosis/mania last year. I always feel tired when I'm awake, and when i awaken in the morning, I don't feel as though I've slept. In my heart of hearts, I feel like I should sleep for a solid month with very little interruption!

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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  • 7 months later...

Glad to find this thread and know that I am not the only one experiencing so much of what is described here. I forced myself to run a few errands today, even though I felt exhausted, and could not WAIT to get back home and lie down! It is absolutely crazy that WD does this to people.

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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  • 6 months later...
  • Moderator

It's probably emphasized by the learned helplessness the drugs gave us.

 

Many of us learned, as I did, that there was no point - no matter what I did  - I would just "relapse" (decades passed, before I learned that this deep depression I kept falling into was withdrawal from the drugs)

 

I said this for years in one of the Murphy's laws sayings:  "You can't fall off the floor," 

 

and then the apathy says, "So why bother getting up?  At least I cannot fall from here."

 

And "fake it till you make it" can only carry you so far through fatigue that is waist deep mud to struggle through.  

 

After years of apathy management, I am pleased if I do one thing a day.  If it is more than one, I'm allowed to take a rest day.

 

It's frustrating being 1/5 (or less) as productive as a "normal" human being, but it's also self-management.  If I keep the activities low-key, the crash is less likely to follow....

 

My "one thing a day" is my survival through this.  Today it was 2:  a Xmas party and a massage (plus a little grocery shopping).  Woo!  three things today!  

 

Then there is the farcical Church of the Subgenius, whose motto is "In pursuit of Slack."  Maybe, like other "addictions," if you pursue slack enough, you'll get so tired of it, you'll get up off the couch and DO something!

"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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  • 5 months later...
  • Moderator

So I've been thinking about this.  And I think I'm over the motivation hump.  It was a gradual thing, like walking out of a tar pit.  The more I began to see, the more I wanted to see.  My natural curiosity returned.

 

By December I felt confident enough to run "My Year Of Saying Yes."  So much of my life (whether withdrawal or illness or whatever) I have had no confidence to say yes - to that party across town, to taking a class among strangers, to going to new places.  So I have been saying Yes, and I'm in a yoga class, I'm teaching a shamanism class, I'm making new friends in Tai Chi, I might even be joining a fun ukelele group (like laughter yoga, only with music) I've driven all over town (this town is made of a zillion goat tracks and no thru-fares), and my life exploded into a gigantic firework chrysanthemum.

 

Heck, I'm even cleaning out closets and organizing them!  (but the house is still filthy)

 

But when I talk to my friends who are still in withdrawal, who cannot get to that first "Yes," I tell them:  you are still in a "Year of Saying Maybe. " And that's okay too.  It's important to feel safe and well before making commitments.  

 

I'm looking forward to the end of the Year of Saying Yes.  I'm tired, and don't want to get too overextended.  I've said Yes to some travel in November that is going to be quite challenging.  But at the end of the Year of Saying Yes - I will have gained more confidence, developed some interests, friendships and community, and improved my stamina for dealing with the "outside world."

 

So there is hope, it can happen.  I think TIME is the biggest one, but also following your pleasure wherever you can is important too.  And honouring the pleasure when it does come.

"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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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I would like to have opinions or personal experiences on how to carry everyday things when apathy or little affect long-term vision after years of medication .... I'm on my third or fourth attempt to leave the psychiatric medication ... and encounter difficulties in simple things .... I try and do but I want to hear from others who feel similarly and how they have solved. thank you very much.

Edited by scallywag
moved from standalone thread
2012, after careful removal of months, I stopped taking 60mg of prisdal ... about 4 months, I became pregnant, had an abortion and I could with all the depression and anxiety that came, I went to a psychiatrist and sent me back prisdal, but I did not take the 60mg, 40mg I stayed.

2013, prisdal 40 mg,

2014 and 2015 progressive reduction plan, I leave it entirely and at 4 months of total new relapse, hard insomnia, start taking lorazepam 1mg,

2016, February making prisdal 40mg and 1 mg lorazepam.

2016, June-July, one week lorazepam withdrawal.

 

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  • 3 months later...

I relate so completely to this topic and it brings up a lot for me.. I think this is my main problem.

 

It is very hard for me to follow through on things recently due to apathy. It's even hard for me to write down symptoms that I've been having.. because it's almost like I don't care enough to name what they are or dismiss them as not being real. I don't even really know how to distinguish between what is real and what isn't.. Or how to create things or bring meaning to my life.. It feels so good to write that down because it's been really hard for me to express these things.

 

I know I'm not walking in reality and I'm living in a state of complete psych sedation.

 

I'm wiped out almost 24/7, too. Just... straight tired. Sleepy, even.. just during the day. 

 

I spend insane amounts of money. and I mean insane. I work 60 hours a week and I keep spending more than I'm making when I can comfortably afford to live. It's really just crazy.. it's even hard to motivate myself to get out of bed and eat half the time.

 

This withdrawal isn't a joke.

Original Drug Dose Apr 2016: Adderall XR 30mg, 10mg Abilify, 100mg zoloft, over 700mg caffeine

 

August 2016- 4mg Abilify, 100mg Zoloft, 5mg Ritalin Instant Release, 200-500 Caffeine

 

Sept. 2016 - 2mg Abilify, 100mg Zoloft, 5mg Ritalin IR, ~400mg Caffeine Daily

 

Oct. 2016 - 1.75mg Abilify, others remain the same.

 

Nov 2016 - 1mg Abilify, others the same

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I relate so completely to this topic and it brings up a lot for me.. I think this is my main problem.

 

It is very hard for me to follow through on things recently due to apathy. It's even hard for me to write down symptoms that I've been having.. because it's almost like I don't care enough to name what they are or dismiss them as not being real. I don't even really know how to distinguish between what is real and what isn't.. Or how to create things or bring meaning to my life.. It feels so good to write that down because it's been really hard for me to express these things.

 

I know I'm not walking in reality and I'm living in a state of complete psych sedation.

 

I'm wiped out almost 24/7, too. Just... straight tired. Sleepy, even.. just during the day. 

 

I spend insane amounts of money. and I mean insane. I work 60 hours a week and I keep spending more than I'm making when I can comfortably afford to live. It's really just crazy.. it's even hard to motivate myself to get out of bed and eat half the time.

 

This withdrawal isn't a joke.

 

How on earth do you work 60 hours a week with that degree of apathy and fatigue? What is the secret, please?? 

  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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  • 7 months later...

Bumping this excellent thread.

21 years of various psych meds.

Currently experiencing 'withdrawal syndrome' from 14 years of 0.5mg Klonopin: 1 q hs

Tapered over a year and a half dry cutting.

Hx of Imipramine (nightmare) (1992) Zoloft,(1992) Paxil (difficult to d/c)(2000) Effexor(2004-5) (also very difficult to d/c) Lamictal(2004-6), Neurontin(2004-6), Depakote(2006-2012), Remeron(2007) Various sleeping pills at different times...

 

UPDATE

Month 40 post Benzo taper

 

there have been windows, sometimes weeks of feeling 'almost normal' and the BLAM

 

windows and waves, indeed

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm glad I found this thread.  I've been struggling with this a lot recently.  Sometimes it is fatigue, sometimes lack of motivation but usually I think it is a combination of both.  There are so many things I want to do, so many projects I want to work on.  There are also a zillion things that need doing around our place.  I'm constantly beating myself up for being lazy and not getting much done.  Whenever I get a day off, I spend about half of it sleeping.  It helps to see that others experience this and it is not just ME.  Now and then I'll have a good day when I feel energetic and motivated and get a bunch of things done, and that feels great when it happens.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Overwhelmed, demotivated, apathetic? Cannot get going on interest or action
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