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strengthandhope: life destroyed by unsafe taper


strengthandhope

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strengthandhope

Hi there,

 

 I was started on Remeron in July 2015 for sleeping difficulties due to worsening depression due to an abusive relationship.  I attempted to cold turkey the Remeron in Nov 2015 and was up for 7 days.  I was also experienced flu-like symptoms, severe anxiety and intense fear.  I had to restart the Remeron per my MD suggestion.  

 

I was doing ok for a couple months but still battling with depression.  By Feb 2016 I had sought out an intensive outpatient program for treatment.  I was told it was ok to tape my Remeron AND Lexapro (I have been on an SSRI for 20 yrs, Prozac first, then Lexapro).  I was tapered off Lexapro in 3 weeks and the hell began shortly there after.  

 

I began to experience the worst nausea of my life, insomnia, balance and co-ordination changes, visual distortion and blurriness, weakness in my arms and legs, burning in my arms and legs, headaches, persistent tinnitus.  I was told to restart the Lexapro and to resume Remeron at 15 mg (I was down to 3.75 mg, too).

 

 I ended up in the ER 5 times with mild serotonin syndrome. Once discontinuation started my body was unable to tolerate the original doses of medication.  After 3 months of literal torture, the inability to drive or work, testing by neurology, emergent ophthalmology, rheumatology, endocrinology and I am still suffering.  My testing has come back normal. I had 2 brain MRI's, EEG, visual testing which most recently included a VEP for which I will see a neuropthalmologist at the end of the month.  

 

I am devastated.  I was NEVER informed about Discontinuation Syndrome. The first time I presented to the ER they thought I was having a stoke.  I would have never done such a rapid taper had I known that I could hurt myself in the process.  I went from being a high functioning professional who worked out  5x/week to nearly bed-ridden.  This has been the most devastating thing that could have ever happened.  

 

I was healthy before this.  I had NEVER been in an ER.  Has anyone else suffered this type of scenario?  I feel so alone and broken by this entire process.  The visual issues are the most upsetting to me.  My vision is blurred and just not quite right I never had any issues with my vision until I attempted to wean off medication.   Does anyone else have a similar story?  Could you offer some hope.  My eyes and vision are very important to me as I am sure they are important to everyone. I have this terrible feeling when I go out to a store or drive due to my vision.  It's as if my perception of visual input is "delayed" by my brain.  As if I it's not processing the information as quickly as it did before discontinuation set in.  Anyone's story would be helpful.

 

Thank you for listening. Peace and love.

Edited by JanCarol
tags added, white space
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Has anyone else suffered this type of scenario? 

Yep I have lived that.  I am surprised your getting to see a neurop so quickly... I was told I had to go thru the proper channels and sent to a neurologist by the opth...that took a year he was not interested I am sure he want to chalk it all up to a psych problem.. that is the general rule.  There is something on Healy's site about eye sight problems it may be of some use for you to look there. 

 

After such a long time on ADs this is wd... sadly I did not know what it was either the fact you found us here at SA so quickly is rather amazing to me. Good googling ... I have alerted the mods your here so they will be along shortly to start you up. 

 

During on bad day in wd I called the health line here in Canada to talk to the nurse she said to  go to the ER she thought I was having a stroke too... call an ambulance she said now. I wasn't .. it was wd. 

peace

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

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

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

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus
SquirrellyGirl

Hi there,

 

 I was started on Remeron in July 2015 for sleeping difficulties due to worsening depression due to an abusive relationship.  I attempted to cold turkey the Remeron in Nov 2015 and was up for 7 days.  I was also experienced flu-like symptoms, severe anxiety and intense fear.  I had to restart the Remeron per my MD suggestion.   I was doing ok for a couple months but still battling with depression.  By Feb 2016 I had sought out an intensive outpatient program for treatment.  I was told it was ok to tape my Remeron AND Lexapro (I have been on an SSRI for 20 yrs, Prozac first, then Lexapro).  I was tapered off Lexapro in 3 weeks and the hell began shortly there after.  I began to experience the worst nausea of my life, insomnia, balance and co-ordination changes, visual distortion and blurriness, weakness in my arms and legs, burning in my arms and legs, headaches, persistent tinnitus.  I was told to restart the Lexapro and to resume Remeron at 15 mg (I was down to 3.75 mg, too).  I ended up in the ER 5 times with mild serotonin syndrome. Once discontinuation started my body was unable to tolerate the original doses of medication.  After 3 months of literal torture, the inability to drive or work...

 

Hello, strengthandhope

 

I am so sorry you have gone through such a horrendous journey of trying to come off these meds, under the supervision of "professionals."  When people ask if they should get off these drugs at a rehab facility over several weeks, we say NO! because it simply can't be done!  There is nothing that anyone can do to hasten coming off these drugs; a slow taper and time is all we have.

 

I wanted to move your response to create an Intro for you since your post is about your own situation, but for some reason I couldn't do so.  If you could copy your post and then go to the Intro forum and create an Intro for yourself, that will be the best way for your story to be seen and to get responses.  Read the stickies at the top of the forum to learn about creating your intro and filling in your signature block with your drug history including dosages and approximate times.  That way we can see your history at a glance.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/3-introductions-and-updates/

 

Thanks!

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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SlowandSteady

Strength and Hope your post could have been written by me. I took Zoloft for nearly 20 years. Over the years I tried to stop but had so many bad symptoms I just kept taking it. Then a couple of years ago I did some checking and realized I could taper the doses myself. So I tapered off of it over a period of about 4 months. At the same time I had gone through several personal issues coupled with a burnout coming from years of living a stressful lifestyle.

 

Then I completely crashed and burned out. For 3 months I could barely move from the couch to the bathroom. I had pain, panic attacks, low blood pressure, sensory disturbances, blood sugar issues and a lot of other things. Basically my entire system had shut down. Slight noises would trigger panic. Bathing and showering were major upsets to my nervous system. I felt sick after I ate. Doing a load of laundry was a big deal. It was hell.

 

At the time I just figured I was exhausted and kept thinking if I rest I would get better. At the time I hadn't thought I had burned out and suffered from some kind of withdrawal. So I rested for 2 months and still wasn't any better. Then I was to go back to work from the summer holiday and had to take a leave of absence because I could not function let alone work.

 

I went into the emergency one day and stared to cry because I had been suffering so long. (One previous visit to a clinic and a blood test indicated that nothing was really wrong with me). Breaking down crying was my point of frustration because being bed ridden for over 2 months and daily panic attacks had gotten the better of me. They gave me Cymbalta 30 mg.

 

My fears at this time were so intense that I was even afraid to take the medication. So it sat in the bag for about another month. Finally I started taking the Cymbalta and it basically lobotomized me but the ability to finally rest was welcomed. No more panic attacks. But a huge weight gain and wanted to sleep all the time. So after 4 months on it I decided to start weaning off it. That was 16 months ago. It has been so difficult to get off the drug that I have to taper very very slowly. And I occasionally take ativan if needed. I recently went too fast and had a lot of bad symptoms so I'm currently stabilizing for at least a month before reducing again.

 

My symptoms include visual spatial issues where I feel off in my position and my movements in relation to things around me. When I walk I can feel wobbly or like the ground is wobbly. When I move my head or turn to look at something it's like a delayed reaction in what I'm looking at and where the item is. Hard to explain. I am very very sensitive to light and sound and pretty much every external stimuli. But I can work now so I can do the work day but I come home and have to do nothing but rest. Often no TV or noise or light. My brain just rests. Ugh! What an existence!! But I feel strongly this is the healing recipe. Things will get better.

 

When you said you felt completely broken and alone I could relate. Though a few people close to me were supportive it didn't change that I felt so alone and no one could truly understand.

 

It has taken nearly 2 years of suffering and I mean suffering and my own research to understand this process and to find supportive forums like this one. I know far more now that I did when I entered that dark tunnel 2 years ago. I am amazed that reading about windows and waves and visual disturbances and so on are exactly other people's experiences too. I am not alone. We are not alone.

 

I realize this process may take some time and longer than the 2 years I've already put in. I know I'm much much better than when I started out but I am still much worse than I have ever been in my life. I'm still patiently looking to getting my vitality back. And I'm believing I will get it back because of the inspiring posts others have made.

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strengthandhope

Hello everyone,

 

 I am new to Surviving Antidepressants. I am writing to you to kindly ask if you would be willing to help me.I sought out a new psychiatrist to assist me after a ended a psychologically abuse relationship.  The psychiatrist told me she would like to see how I did off Lexapro.  I was started on an SSRI  (Prozac) 20 years prior for anorexia nervosa and exercise bulimia (in remission since 1996) and switched Lexapro in 2011 for worsening anxiety. (Mind you I was never depressed when I was started on an SSRI in 1996, I was a 20 year old young woman with an eating disorder and OCD tendencies, no one ever offered to take me off the SSRI the following year or two after, if this had happened I believe it would have saved me).  Remeron was added July of 2015 for 15 lb weight loss and sleeping issues.  I had been stabilized on an SSRI from 1996 to 2016,  She DID NOT warn me about Discontinuation Syndrome.  I presented to her on 3 separate occasions complaining of profound nausea, poor equilibrium and the feeling that something was very, very wrong.   She tapered me off Lexapro over 14 days, then started me on Zoloft for 4 days.  By the time I spoke with a friend that was deeply concerned I was in SSRI discontinuation it was too late.  I restarted the Lexapro, but my body would not accept it. 

 

 Unfortunately, I was given very dangerous advice that it was safe to discontinue an SSRI I was on for 20 years over 2 weeks. I did not understand tbe danger I had put myself in until it was too late. I subsequently ended up in the ER with profound mental slowing and was concerned I had sustained a stroke. Doctors did not know what was wrong. All testing was "normal". I had resumed the SSRI that was discontinued approximately 2 weeks after the last dose. It was too late. I ended up with hypersensitivity reaction and was admitted to the hospital 4 more times in March. Since then the neurological, cognitive and visual symptoms I have endured have been an unremitting living hell. I have lost everything as a result of the negligence of the psychiatrist who told me it was 100% safe to stop this SSRI quickly. I have now been told I have dysautonomia and an non-traumatic brain injury. I was a high functioning, attractive internal medicine physician assistant before this happened. I was living independently with my beloved cat. I have been unable to return to work and my symptoms continue to be disheartening. I was never taught about ssri discontinuation syndrome in PA school. If I had known I would never have attempted to taper this medication. 

 

My current issues are:

 

  • mental slowing and poor concentration
  • headache
  • mild nausea
  • fatigue/malasie
  • hyper pigmentation of the skin
  • ​sound hypersensitivity 
  • difficulty with any type of exertion 
  • tinnitus
  • ​decreased visual processing and the feeling that my brain is delayed in trying to interrupt visual stimuli
  • difficulty with word finding 
  • ​difficulty with coordination of fine motor movements
  • poor balance
  • decreased exercise tolerance (prior to this I was a runner)
  • difficulty reading  computer, iPad and iPhone screen with the words jumbling from tie to time
  • decreased visual clarity and sharpnessa feeling of disconnection from a warped sense of visual processing 
  • ​difficulty with visual stimuli when moving (i.e. walking or driving)
  • a sense of graying in my visual field and difficulty in low light settings
  • Hair loss (70% of my hair has fallen out)
  • skin rashes and acne (never had this issue before, rash on face and chest)

 

 

And of course, I am now feeling anxious and depressed, but honestly who wouldn't going from being a 100% functional, healthy 39 year old female with an active social and work and fitness life to having lost everything (my career, my independence, and most importantly my health)   I needed to move in with my parents to deal with the functional issues.  I am devastated.  

 

 

 

My question is how were you able to find a competent practitioner to assist you? I have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Michael Thase at UPENN next month.  He is supposedly an advanced psychiatrist in in Discontinuation Syndrome and Neuroplasticity.  Has anyone sought out his assistance?

Also, how did you go about finding a cognitive scientist to assist with short term memory and cognitive issues?  

Thank you very much in advance.  Xo

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Welcome

There will be moderators who come to help you out. In the mean time please add your signature line.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

This will help the moderators sort out your med history better.

 

I have all the symptoms you have listed, some have gotten better with time.

Started Effexor August 2012 Sept'12-150mg=extreme anxiety Oct'12 cut half-75mg severe wds

Feb 2013 68.5mg. Mar'13- 65mg. Apr'13-59mg. May'13-57mg. June '13-52mg Aug'13 49.75mg.

Sep'13-48.75. Nov'13-47mg Dec'13-45..5mg

May 2014 42mg. Jun'14 40mg (depressive mood started). Aug'14 -40mg/ started brintellix 2.5mg

Oct '14 -39 Nov'14 36.89 Dec'14 34.45

Jan 2015- 31 Feb'15 29mg. Mar'15 26.72. Apr'15 24.48. May'15 22.31mg. Jun'15 20.30mg

Aug'15-18.89. Oct'15 16.96. Nov/16- 16.10. Dec/15- 15mg

Jan 2016-14.22. May'16 11.45. Aug'16-9.60. Sep/16- 8.88mg. Oct/16- 8.39mg. Nov/16- 8.13. Dec/16- 7.89

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Hello and welcome strengthandhope..........I am  sorry that you have been so badly affected. 

I am very much a newbie here also but have already learnt much from this wonderful site.

I am also in protracted withdrawal after a far too rapid taper.

It is tough but I have had some windows of recovery where the symptoms have abated...

My cognitive issues have improved somewhat.  I have changed my diet and take Magnesium and fish oil , 

these things have helped and there is progress, albeit slower than I would like.!

 

I cannot answer your specific questions but just wanted to say hi and that you are not alone with this. 

I am sure that a moderator will be along before too long. 

 

With best wishes 

 

Bruin

Anti Depressants for  25 years. Valium between 2006 to 7 tapered off over a month without too bad withdrawals.

For last 15 years 150 mg of Effexor and 30 mg of Mirtazapine. Occasional short term benzo use without habituation.

March 2015 stopped Effexor after rapid taper. 6 weeks. 

One month fluoxetine June 2015...stopped CT July 2015.

October 2013 to December 2015 Zopiclone 15 mg at night,

Dec 2015 to Early March 2016 Lyrica 75 mg at night. 

Stopped too quickly as  adverse side effects.

January to May 2016 tapered Zopiclone to 7.5mg 

Crossed over to Valium and now ..March 28th 2017 Benzo Free.

Also on 30 mg Mirtazapine and holding until have finished Benzo taper.

IN protracted WD from Effexor.

 

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Welcome.

Thanks for adding your well articulated voice to this site.

I sure can relate to all those symptoms.

i am sorry about what has happened to you. Thats a good name 'strength and hope' .

 

 

Please let us know how the meeting with Thase goes.

If he is helpful maybe you can add his name to this list

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

You are not alone.

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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome, Strengthandhope,

 

Sorry you have been so badly mistreated but you are not alone in this and will be able to derive support from our network.  You will heal from this but the negligent treatment has already caused you to suffer and it will be challenging to stem the tide as you go through withdrawal.

 

In that regard, can you please fill out your signature per the following link?  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Other than regarding Dr. Thase, did you have any specific questions you wanted to ask?  Once we see your information in more detail, we can provide any thoughts regarding potential action on your part.

 

With regard to Dr. Thase, I did some quick research and it is not clear to me that his focus is on getting people OFF meds as much as it is providing additional drugs once they are having issues.  I can't say that for sure and I don't know him personally.  In the various articles I saw from pre- 2011, he seemed to be on the "pro-drug" side more often that I'd care to see.

 

Here is an example of what I've read:

 

http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/753776_transcript

 

This does not suggest you should not go see him, but you should be careful when you receive his recommendation.

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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  • Moderator

Further to the foregoing, in 2013-1014 he took about $100K from big pharma per the attached link:

 

https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/doctors/pid/135280

 

Not a huge amount for a guy of his stature, but certainly not a guy who's saying "no meds."

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Junglechicken

Nope you are most definitely not alone.

 

The symptoms you list are all too familiar to many of us.

 

Sending you a virtual HUG.

 

JC

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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Great investigative work Andy

 

wow that guy Thase looks like hes enjoying a lot of free meals and drinks and lodgings and consulting work.

Be interesting to hear what he has to say about discontinuation syndrome....hmmmm

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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Link to post

Your psych tapered you off in 14 days?

That's terrible! What on earth are these people thinking?

 

Sorry for everything you have gone through. I hope you get to a comfortable place to do a sensible taper soon. X

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.

Link to post

Strength and Hope your post could have been written by me. I took Zoloft for nearly 20 years. Over the years I tried to stop but had so many bad symptoms I just kept taking it. Then a couple of years ago I did some checking and realized I could taper the doses myself. So I tapered off of it over a period of about 4 months. At the same time I had gone through several personal issues coupled with a burnout coming from years of living a stressful lifestyle.

 

Then I completely crashed and burned out. For 3 months I could barely move from the couch to the bathroom. I had pain, panic attacks, low blood pressure, sensory disturbances, blood sugar issues and a lot of other things. Basically my entire system had shut down. Slight noises would trigger panic. Bathing and showering were major upsets to my nervous system. I felt sick after I ate. Doing a load of laundry was a big deal. It was hell.

...

Welcome slow and steady 

 

please may a signature for yourself... 

to fill in your history 

you can find it under signature if you search I think... welcome to SA 

peace

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

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

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

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

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, strengthandhope.

 

I moved your posts here, as they had been lost in the other topic.

 

How long has it been since you've been off Remeron and Lexapro?

 

It looks to me like you have prolonged withdrawal syndrome. See What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

Dr. Michael Thase is a very prominent psychiatrist who has long been a consultant to drug companies. It's quite likely that he will claim prolonged withdrawal syndrome does not exist. If you see him, please point him to the collection of case histories in the Introductions topic.

 

It's very common that people become hypersensitive to drugs and even supplements (and sometimes foods) when they have autonomic instability from withdrawal syndrome.

 

Can you tolerate fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to post
strengthandhope

I can tolerate fish oil and magnesium. I will continue trying them. I saw a rentinal opthalmologist today who said I have mild changes to the rods and cones of my macula. He could not tell me if this is related to discontinuation of Lexapro or to toxicity attempting to restabilaze on it.

 

Thank you very much for the information on Dr. Thase. I will let you know the outcome of this meeting next month.

 

I'm very confused about why my body is unable to re-accept a medication I was able to take for many years. Is it almost like an "allergy" or hypersensitivity reaction? Also, does the autonomic NS recover?

 

I was able to mostly stabilize on Lexapro 10 mg after a month of vascilating between serotonin syndrome and acceptance is the drug. I am now on 6.75 mg of Remeron.

Link to post
strengthandhope

Thank you so very much to each and every one of you. I cannot express my gratitude. I am thankful for each of you. Thank you for taking time to respond to me. I feel very alone and afraid, but now I know I am not alone. I have another MRI/MRA scheduled 5/27 to determine whether the fluctuations in serotonin have lead to decreased platelet aggregation and possible micro hemorrhages in my brain.

Please send me good thoughts and prayers and I will do the same for you.

Xo

Link to post

Also, this article coincides with my examination. I am scheduled for an ERG and multifocal ERG tomorrow.

 

http://rxisk.org/keeping-an-eye-on-the-ball-visual-problems-on-ssris/

That is exactly what I thought when I read your intro that is also what I thought when I had vision problems but I could not get past the neurologist to the optho neurologist... same neurologist who took me off effexor ct and tried to put me on cymbalta ;) I am so impressed with your health care...impressed and admittedly jealous... I am but still happy your getting the care you deserve, that we all deserve. 

 

As for the hypersensitivity start here 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6175-limbic-kindling-hardwiring-the-brain-for-hypersensitivity/

 

follow the yellow brick road I just joined the dots to other threads today as I was thinking we need to connect this... and don't let it scare you just as some of it will not fit you when it comes to understanding the issue some of it will not fit you cause your not taking that train... I hope you don't have any of the other issues... 

 

but if you do end up at the same stop as me your still not alone. 

I wish you peace prayers are all free :)

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

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

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

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

Link to post
Junglechicken

Has anyone else suffered this type of scenario? 

Yep I have lived that.  I am surprised your getting to see a neurop so quickly... I was told I had to go thru the proper channels and sent to a neurologist by the opth...that took a year he was not interested I am sure he want to chalk it all up to a psych problem.. that is the general rule.  There is something on Healy's site about eye sight problems it may be of some use for you to look there. 

 

After such a long time on ADs this is wd... sadly I did not know what it was either the fact you found us here at SA so quickly is rather amazing to me. Good googling ... I have alerted the mods your here so they will be along shortly to start you up. 

 

During on bad day in wd I called the health line here in Canada to talk to the nurse she said to  go to the ER she thought I was having a stroke too... call an ambulance she said now. I wasn't .. it was wd. 

peace

I had exactly the same stroke sensation. I had horrendous pain in my arm and across my chest, and the health line nurse told me to go straight to ER. Again it was WD. They found nothing.

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

Link to post

Just want to wish you so much hope that you  will get through this. I tapered too fast and thought I was completely losing my mind.   I went to A and E in the middle of the night, I felt so bad in the early days.  I had been given antibiotics for an infection which had  just made my WD symptoms so much worse.  I understand those feelings of being broken and alone,  and am still struggling now.  Also relate to you btdt, two years on I am better but as you say, still worse than I ever was before.   The experiences of people on this site mirror my own so much and I take strength and hope that I will be well in the future.

Prescribed 20mg a day of Seroxat on 2001

August 2013 decided to taper.

Reduced by 10mg a week (adjusted over the week small amounts)

Stopped completely in April 2014

Brain and body went haywire.  

Didn't realise it was withdrawal at first.

Have not returned to ad's but can't get my life back.

Link to post

The quotes were from slowandsteady, not bdtd.  My mistake.

Prescribed 20mg a day of Seroxat on 2001

August 2013 decided to taper.

Reduced by 10mg a week (adjusted over the week small amounts)

Stopped completely in April 2014

Brain and body went haywire.  

Didn't realise it was withdrawal at first.

Have not returned to ad's but can't get my life back.

Link to post
strengthandhope

Hi everyone,

 

Has any experience SSRI DS related tinnitus?  I have also been experiencing this as well without remission since March 2016.  Does the tinnitus eventually go away?  

Link to post

I got tinnitus from taking quetiapine,unfortunately its not something you can cure and have to learn to live with

2012 put on Citalopram and diazepam for 3 months for "depression" after filling in a 3 minute form at the doctors, had a massive reaction with panic attacks and extreme anxiety,never suffered panic attacks or anxiety before citalopram.Told to quit cold turkey which led to two hospital admissions during 2012/2013

December for 6 months Seroquel dosage adjusted up and down 50mg ,150mg ,100mg, caused severe tinnitus ,told to quit cold turkey

2013 January for 12 months Lorazapam given to me like sweets,told to quit cold turkey

2013 May Zoloft for 6 months ,told to quit cold turkey, reinstated 50mg tapered 2nd time over a month (to fast but I survived)messed up my sleep

Zyprexa April 2103 5mg until august 2014 ,dropped by doctor down to 2.5mg for one month went well but sleep was very poor for 3 weeks

End of 2015 I had to reinstate back up to 5mg due to constant insomnia that wouldnt go away Started a slow taper and found an understanding doctor who listened to me while I reduced
May 2016 drug free, sleeping and doing well in life again, it can be done http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12078-finally-off-zyprexa/

Link to post
strengthandhope

Thanks silver star.  Do you have hope that the tinnitus may go away in the future?  Has it been constant or has it waxed and waned?  It's pretty devastating.  I also have sound sensitivity and loud noises and normal music levels are uncomfortable.  Did you also experience this in the beginning.

I am glad you hear you are doing well again!  You give me hope! 

Link to post

Hi everyone,

 

Has any experience SSRI DS related tinnitus?  I have also been experiencing this as well without remission since March 2016.  Does the tinnitus eventually go away?  

It will go away so will the sound light sensitivity but it takes time... dark glasses if you can get away with that ...if not stay home and put some foil over your windows... I did both.  lol ya almost a tinfoil hat but not quite. 

 

Time is the healer here and the tinnitus will go in time as will the light sensitivity. Sound sensitivity is almost worse... but maybe you won't get it. Lets hope you don't... if you do ear plugs or headphones maybe with sounds of the ocean. it helped me

peace

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

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

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

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

Link to post
  • 4 weeks later...

My symptoms include visual spatial issues where I feel off in my position and my movements in relation to things around me. When I walk I can feel wobbly or like the ground is wobbly. When I move my head or turn to look at something it's like a delayed reaction in what I'm looking at and where the item is. Hard to explain. I am very very sensitive to light and sound and pretty much every external stimuli. But I can work now so I can do the work day but I come home and have to do nothing but rest. Often no TV or noise or light. My brain just rests. Ugh! What an existence!! But I feel strongly this is the healing recipe. Things will get better.

...

I realize this process may take some time and longer than the 2 years I've already put in. I know I'm much much better than when I started out but I am still much worse than I have ever been in my life. I'm still patiently looking to getting my vitality back. And I'm believing I will get it back because of the inspiring posts others have made.

I have the same issue with a delayed reaction while focusing on something. I have many other symptoms that are more prominent than this one but it still sucks. You have had this for two years?

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

Link to post
  • 10 months later...
strengthandhope

Update:

 

Never recovered. Lost my job, my house, my ability to speak to walk. I am now housebound with my parents. Unable to watch TV or read a book. I can only leave the house for doctor appointments. I sleep less than 3 hours a night. I have been diagnosed with dysautonomia. If I could go back in time I would have never started Remeron. I have never stopped Lexapro. I lost my entire life and I fear susicide soon. I believe I have Toxic encephalopathy. Permanent brain damage. Neurologists are confirming this.

 

Big pharma ruined my life. I would be better off if my heart stopped now.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for coming back with an update strengthandhope. I'm sorry you are not recovered yet. Many of us here are going through the same process, it can take a long time for some people, I'm one of them. I have also lost my entire life as I knew it through coming off these drugs too fast.

 

You will get better if you hang in there. I was also at a point where I thought my life was over, I was suffering so much, with no relief in sight, I didn't want to live any more. But time, acceptance and taking care of myself the best I can has brought me what I would estimate is about 60 - 75% recovery so far.

 

I was like you, same symptoms, same completely non-functional lifestyle, suffering almost 24/7, not sleeping anywhere near enough, unable to do the most basic of self-care routines, let alone something as complex and challenging as going out and buying food. But i survived through the worst of it and have back much of my functioning, some of even better than before.

 

Its taken years, not months, but I'm glad I continued to live because now, even though I'm not fully recovered, and still have some bad hours and days at times, I'm happy to be alive and have hope for continued recovery and a future I'm enthusiastic and curious about.

 

 

Thank you very much for the information on Dr. Thase. I will let you know the outcome of this meeting next month.
 

 

Did you eventually see Dr. Thase? I was wondering how this turned out?

 

What dose of Lexapro are you taking now?

 

It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

I will post some links with information which may be helpful. 

 

I know how difficult it can be to read, absorb and retain new information while going through this recovery process. I had the same problem and had to read the same things over and over, only to have them disappear from my memory, sometimes within minutes. I would keep tabs open with pages which were helpful or encouraging and would re-read them every day.

 

So please take your time.

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Recovery Success Stories

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

 

Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

The important thing is to trust your body, that it knows how to heal and never give up Trust Your Body: Learning to Heal

 

Videos

 

 

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing, there are many of us here going through the same slow healing process, communicating with others in the same situation can sometimes lessen the sense of being alone in our suffering. Perhaps reading the intro threads of others and offering some hope and support might be something you could do. This was, and is still helpful to me, maybe for you too.

 

Big pharma has, and still is ruining thousands and probably millions of lives, the general population just doesn't know about it yet. But most people recover, given enough time.

 

You are not alone..... and you will get better.

 

Petunia.

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

 

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey StrengthandHope - 

 

Petunia's post is so excellent - and I can affirm for you she has been there.  By comparison, my journey was a cake walk.  But I do believe we can heal, we can get better.

 

She gave you all the links that I would have given you.  Please, your signature is important for those of us who wish to support you.

 

There's only one I would add:  http://www.beyondmeds.com, the story of GiaK, who is inactive here now, but who has come back from decades of polydrugging, to a healthy, wholesome, active life.

 

It will get better, it takes time.  I hope you have a window of hope soon.

"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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Hello everyone,

 

 I am new to Surviving Antidepressants. I am writing to you to kindly ask if you would be willing to help me.I sought out a new psychiatrist to assist me after a ended a psychologically abuse relationship.  The psychiatrist told me she would like to see how I did off Lexapro.  I was started on an SSRI  (Prozac) 20 years prior for anorexia nervosa and exercise bulimia (in remission since 1996) and switched Lexapro in 2011 for worsening anxiety. (Mind you I was never depressed when I was started on an SSRI in 1996, I was a 20 year old young woman with an eating disorder and OCD tendencies, no one ever offered to take me off the SSRI the following year or two after, if this had happened I believe it would have saved me).  Remeron was added July of 2015 for 15 lb weight loss and sleeping issues.  I had been stabilized on an SSRI from 1996 to 2016,  She DID NOT warn me about Discontinuation Syndrome.  I presented to her on 3 separate occasions complaining of profound nausea, poor equilibrium and the feeling that something was very, very wrong.   She tapered me off Lexapro over 14 days, then started me on Zoloft for 4 days.  By the time I spoke with a friend that was deeply concerned I was in SSRI discontinuation it was too late.  I restarted the Lexapro, but my body would not accept it. 

 

 Unfortunately, I was given very dangerous advice that it was safe to discontinue an SSRI I was on for 20 years over 2 weeks. I did not understand tbe danger I had put myself in until it was too late. I subsequently ended up in the ER with profound mental slowing and was concerned I had sustained a stroke. Doctors did not know what was wrong. All testing was "normal". I had resumed the SSRI that was discontinued approximately 2 weeks after the last dose. It was too late. I ended up with hypersensitivity reaction and was admitted to the hospital 4 more times in March. Since then the neurological, cognitive and visual symptoms I have endured have been an unremitting living hell. I have lost everything as a result of the negligence of the psychiatrist who told me it was 100% safe to stop this SSRI quickly. I have now been told I have dysautonomia and an non-traumatic brain injury. I was a high functioning, attractive internal medicine physician assistant before this happened. I was living independently with my beloved cat. I have been unable to return to work and my symptoms continue to be disheartening. I was never taught about ssri discontinuation syndrome in PA school. If I had known I would never have attempted to taper this medication. 

 

My current issues are:

 

  • mental slowing and poor concentration
  • headache
  • mild nausea
  • fatigue/malasie
  • hyper pigmentation of the skin
  • ​sound hypersensitivity 
  • difficulty with any type of exertion 
  • tinnitus
  • ​decreased visual processing and the feeling that my brain is delayed in trying to interrupt visual stimuli
  • difficulty with word finding 
  • ​difficulty with coordination of fine motor movements
  • poor balance
  • decreased exercise tolerance (prior to this I was a runner)
  • difficulty reading  computer, iPad and iPhone screen with the words jumbling from tie to time
  • decreased visual clarity and sharpnessa feeling of disconnection from a warped sense of visual processing 
  • ​difficulty with visual stimuli when moving (i.e. walking or driving)
  • a sense of graying in my visual field and difficulty in low light settings
  • Hair loss (70% of my hair has fallen out)
  • skin rashes and acne (never had this issue before, rash on face and chest)

 

 

And of course, I am now feeling anxious and depressed, but honestly who wouldn't going from being a 100% functional, healthy 39 year old female with an active social and work and fitness life to having lost everything (my career, my independence, and most importantly my health)   I needed to move in with my parents to deal with the functional issues.  I am devastated.  

 

 

 

My question is how were you able to find a competent practitioner to assist you? I have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Michael Thase at UPENN next month.  He is supposedly an advanced psychiatrist in in Discontinuation Syndrome and Neuroplasticity.  Has anyone sought out his assistance?

Also, how did you go about finding a cognitive scientist to assist with short term memory and cognitive issues?  

 

Thank you very much in advance.  Xo

Hi There Strengthandhope

 

I am from Australia

 

You sound so much like me. I too have had to move back in with my parents and give up an executive level position because of the state of my health.  The irony of it all is that I am also a Health Professional who was caught completely unaware by antidepressant withdrawal.I had NEVER heard of it nor taught about it at University. I am now back on my medication, but tapering off really slowly. 

 

I have had absolutley huge issues with hair loss. My hair has turned baby fine and its become very 'fuzzy'. 

 

Just wanted to let you know that I have experienced what you have and I know what it feels like. I am trying to put myself back together too. 

Current Dose

0.5mcg Clonidine and 1.25 Diazepam PRN for treatment of iatrogenic hypertension. 

2010 .Prescribed Pristiq 100 mg in July by GP

2010 .Reduced to 50mg by splitting and weighing. Held at 50mg

2014. Reduced from 50-35 .Held at 35mg. 

2017. Taper from 35mg commenced using compounded Desvenlafaxine

2018. 23/06 13.5mg. 21/07  12.5mg. 25/08 11.5mg. 09/2018 10mg. 14/11 11mg (updose) 21/11 -12mg (updose)

2019. Still holding at 12mg and stuck. 

2020. January 2019 Prozac Bridge-- Prozac 2.5 to 10mg and

Pristiq 23rd Jan 6mg/ 27th Jan 5mg/ 28th Jan 3mg/ 30 Jan 0

Prozac 6th Feb 9.5mg. Vitamin D3 5000iu with K2

Magnesium Glycinate with Glycine and Passionflower  600mg 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to strengthandhope: life destroyed by unsafe taper

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