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MeAngel Prozac Withdrawal Help.


MeAngel

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I took Fluoxetine (Prozac) 10 mg for a little over 4 months for mild depression and anxiety (should have went to couseling instead). I've not really had any real mental health issues. In hindsight, it was a mistake. Started taking it in January, stopped beginning first week of May. I did not take it consistently. Only when I remembered to take it. I stopped taking it cold turkey about 5 weeks ago. When will my withdrawal symptoms fully subside? I still have a bit of mental/physical fatigue, dizziness, mild anxiety, blurred vision, neck pain/stiffness and dull headache. My symptoms are worse in the morning and lessen around evening. Also, I'm not quite able to fully experience true emotion--other than sadness, that I had previous to antidepressants.  How long does this go on, and what can I expect? This was my first antidepressant ever. So I have no other experiences to compare it to and no one else to ask about this stuff. Doctors kind of brushed me off :( I have improved slightly since the withdrawal began 5 weeks ago. But,  the remaining symptoms linger and I'm wondering how long this all might last? Please help me if you can? I need to hear from people who understand and can provide insight, comfort, and hope. Please help. What can I expect?

 

Also, right now, I only take vitamin B complex to help with my energy levels and D3 for a deficiency. Nothing else. My diet has improved nutrition wise, and I've lost 20 pounds in a litle over a month as a result. But no worries there, I had a little extra to spare. Fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, water, and the occasional granola bar when I catch a sugar craving. That's my daily diet since this all began. I'm 31 years old.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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Welcome, MeAngel.

 

I moved this to act as your Introductions topic.

 

Since you've had withdrawal syndrome for so long, you're probably not going to get back to normal soon. What we see is recovery is very slow and gradual, in fits and starts, with lots of frustrating setbacks.

 

Emotional anesthesia after going off antidepressants is very, very common.

 

How have your symptoms changed since you went off Prozac? How is your sleep?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take supplements, and how much.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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I took Fluoxetine (Prozac) 10 mg for a little over 4 months for mild depression and anxiety (should have went to couseling instead). I've not really had any real mental health issues. In hindsight, it was a mistake. Started taking it in January, stopped beginning first week of May. I did not take it consistently. Only when I remembered to take it. I stopped taking it cold turkey about 5 weeks ago. When will my withdrawal symptoms fully subside? I still have a bit of mental/physical fatigue, dizziness, mild anxiety, blurred vision, neck pain/stiffness and dull headache. My symptoms are worse in the morning and lessen around evening. Also, I'm not quite able to fully experience true emotion--other than sadness, that I had previous to antidepressants.  How long does this go on, and what can I expect? This was my first antidepressant ever. So I have no other experiences to compare it to and no one else to ask about this stuff. Doctors kind of brushed me off [ :(] I have improved slightly since the withdrawal began 5 weeks ago. But,  the remaining symptoms linger and I'm wondering how long this all might last? Please help me if you can? I need to hear from people who understand and can provide insight, comfort, and hope. Please help. What can I expect?

 

Also, right now, I only take vitamin B complex to help with my energy levels and D3 for a deficiency. Nothing else. My diet has improved nutrition wise, and I've lost 20 pounds in a litle over a month as a result. But no worries there, I had a little extra to spare. Fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, water, and the occasional granola bar when I catch a sugar craving. That's my daily diet since this all began. I'm 31 years old.

Edited by scallywag
**moved from standalone topic in "Off-topic" forum

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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5 weeks withdrawal is considered "long" after 4 months of Prozac use??? Oh gosh. I should have never posted here. Just killed the bit of hope I had. :(

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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I think I will stick with prayer.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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My sleep is fine. I also had sinus problems and severe headaches at one point. That has gone away. The headaches are dull now. Barely notice them at times. Sinus trouble, breathing trouble, palpitations have stopped. Sleep also improved. I used to wake up at 2 am like clock work in the beginning.

 

The way I see it, I took these pills at the lowest dose, for a short time--4 months. I can't see how it would take any less than 4 months time to heal, nor do I expect it to go on longer than 4 months. That's just my theory. Perhaps I have too much faith in my prayers, but I don't believe any of this is permanent for me.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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Welcome, MeAngel.

 

I moved this to act as your Introductions topic.

 

Since you've had withdrawal syndrome for so long, you're probably not going to get back to normal soon. What we see is recovery is very slow and gradual, in fits and starts, with lots of frustrating setbacks.

 

Emotional anesthesia after going off antidepressants is very, very common.

 

How have your symptoms changed since you went off Prozac? How is your sleep?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about your symptoms, when you take supplements, and how much.

You said I probably won't get better soon. What's your definition of soon?

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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Can someone, ANYONE, else who had a story similar to mine please provide me some feedback? PLEASE.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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How do I delete my account? Such a big mistake coming here

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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I am a married mother of 3 small children, so THANK YOU for telling me that I won't get better soon. I REALLY needed to hear that!!!! You could have kept that comment to yourself if you had NOTHING encouraging to say :angry: :angry: :angry:

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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MeAngel, it's clear that you are urgently seeking an answer.  A couple of things:

 

  • Once withdrawal symptoms start, you either have to reinstate the drug** or ride them out. If there was a drug or a technique or a supplement that would make your symptoms disappear, we would tell you.
     
  • For almost all people, withdrawal symptoms diminish over time.  The time period is unpredictable; it could take weeks, months, or more than a year. In a few very rare situations, withdrawal symptoms last longer.
     
  • Many but not all members at Surviving Antidepressants are dealing with difficult and complex sets of symptoms themselves and all are dealing with family, work, loved ones and friends in their own lives. Sometimes it's all they can do to post in their own thread.  It can take more than 1 day for people to connect with someone new.

In your first post you say that your symptoms have lessened since your cold-turkey jump off Prozac 5 weeks ago.  That is a good sign. What most people find is that they have what we call "waves and windows" -- waves of symptoms and windows of time that are largely symptom-free. Please read: The Waves and Windows Pattern of stabilization

 

**Are you willing to consider reinstating a partial dose of Prozac? If so, because you stopped 5 weeks ago, you could try taking [edit] 50% of your last dose for a week  a small dose around 1 mg, see posts from SquirrellyGirl, mammaP, and JanCarol (below). [end of edit] and observing your symptoms. If you get relief, then you're on the right track to hold stead at that dose for a month and then start a 10% taper.

 

Let us know what you decide.

Edited by scallywag
revise reinstatement dose to consider

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hello MeAngel, 

 

I'm sorry you got distressed by coming here.  That is not our intention.  Four months on an AD and withdrawal for five weeks leaves you in a good position.  First of all, your use was short term relative to many of us here who have been on these meds for years.  Second of all, 5 weeks is short enough that should you choose to reinstate to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, it very well may help you to do so.

 

Please read this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

It may take as little as 1 mg of Prozac to offer some relief.  We want to start you off with a very small dose to put a toe in the water and see where your nervous system is at.  Sometimes the nervous system is so sensitized by the cold turkey stop that trying a bit of the drug causes an adverse reaction, so by trying just a tiny amount, we can find that out without really destabilizing you further with a larger dose.  Secondly, your nervous system has done some healing since you came off, and we don't want to overshoot the level of healing such that you have that much further to go to come off when you resume a taper.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This video is very helpful for explaining what you are experiencing:  Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

The choice is yours as to whether to try a reinstatement or ride the waves.  We cannot tell you how your particular recovery will go, but scallywag gave you the windows and waves link which helps explain what you are experiencing.  If you think of your symptoms in terms of your nervous system trying to make adjustments and bring its own functioning back on line, that can help.  WD symptoms are signs of healing, even though they are very uncomfortable at times.  

 

Please read the above topics and we will answer any questions you have thereafter.

 

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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MeAngel, you asked:

 

How long does this go on, and what can I expect?

 

Which is exactly what I told you: Slow healing over time. Severe withdrawal syndrome shakes your nervous system up quite a bit. It didn't go back to normal within a few weeks, so obviously it has a ways to go. You might recover in 4 months or it might take longer, no one can tell.

 

The reason this site exists is because the people here all get the brush-off from doctors, who know very little about withdrawal syndrome (or don't want to know).

 

I asked you how your symptoms have changed over the last 5 weeks to gauge whether reinstatement is a good idea for you. How severe are your symptoms now?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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My sleep is fine. I also had sinus problems and severe headaches at one point. That has gone away. The headaches are dull now. Barely notice them at times. Sinus trouble, breathing trouble, palpitations have stopped. Sleep also improved. I used to wake up at 2 am like clock work in the beginning.

 

The way I see it, I took these pills at the lowest dose, for a short time--4 months. I can't see how it would take any less than 4 months time to heal, nor do I expect it to go on longer than 4 months. That's just my theory. Perhaps I have too much faith in my prayers, but I don't believe any of this is permanent for me.

 

 

You also said  I still have a bit of mental/physical fatigue, dizziness, mild anxiety, blurred vision, neck pain/stiffness and dull headache. My symptoms are worse in the morning and lessen around evening.

 

Your symptoms seem to be very much better, and could continue to improve,  There is also the possibility that you will have some 'waves' where things get worse for a time before improving again. That is how withdrawal goes unfortunately but one thing for certain is that you WILL get better but be prepared for some rocky patches, get through them and live each day as it comes.  Being able to sleep is a huge benefit, Withdrawal insomnia is torture and it is brilliant that you are sleeping.  Having little ones to look after is hard and if you feel you can't cope with the remaining symptoms it might help to reinstate a tiny 1mg as SG suggested, you can make a liquid or get liquid from your doctor, but personally I would ride it out and try fish oil and magnesium which help many people. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and  artificial sweeteners helped me as well as fish oil and magnesium.  

 

I'm sorry that you felt we didn't respond very quickly, we are worldwide  and all volunteers, Alto is the founder and puts every spare moment in here . She is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world on ADs and withdrawal,  and tells it how it is. She is the one with the expertise and we all have the utmost respect for her for starting this site and continuing to give her time for no reward, she is the consultant and we are the juniors  ;) 

 

We can't delete accounts, the software doesn't give us the option. I hope you stay and update us with your progress, there is a wealth of information and support here and lots of support. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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I am a married mother of 3 small children, so THANK YOU for telling me that I won't get better soon. I REALLY needed to hear that!!!! You could have kept that comment to yourself if you had NOTHING encouraging to say :angry: :angry: :angry:

Would you rather we lied to you like the drug doctors, and said, "This is not an addictive drug?"

 

It is a difficult tightrope to walk - recognizing that you are suffering (nearly everyone here is), and giving you a realistic picture of how dire it could be - while still encouraging you to stay the course?

 

If you are suffering this badly, a small reinstatement is probably in order.

 

Please read SquirrellyGirl's links about reinstatement.    Please also read the following links:

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)  - Prozac is available in a liquid, but if you have some lying around the house, you may wish to make your own:

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

 

You can probably get good results from 1 mg of Prozac.

 

And the B vitamins can be activating in withdrawal, as can the D.  I understand deficiency, but if you get to feel better by quitting something (instead of adding the Prozac back), wouldn't that be better?  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1068-vitamin-b-complex-supplement-reaction/

 

So if I were you, I would:

1.  Breathe.  This takes time.  We've all been through something like what you are going through right now.  (NO it is not your "original condition" - but that's another discussion for another time)

2.  Eliminate your B vitamins, and if that doesn't help in 3-4 days

3.  Consider reinstating a TINY amount - 1 mg - of Prozac.  

 

Please Please Put Your WIthdrawal History Into your Signature as a kindness to moderators.  There are many people suffering here, and a signature helps us to remember who you are and what you have been through.

 

I have to go to acupuncture now.  When I come back, I'll talk about "withdrawal" and techniques for surviving these extreme states being unleashed in you.

"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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Hey Angel, 

 

Sorry, that took so long, but I'm in recovery too (as are most people here).  Thank you for being patient with me.

 

OK.  Withdrawal.

 

Can take a long time, and sometimes doesn't kick in for months.  Many people thought they were fine coming off Cold Turkey - CT - until months later, when the symptoms hit.  Did your doctor instruct you to only come off the drug gradually?  Some of us are fortunate enough to get that instruction, but still are advised to come off too fast.

 

It sounds to me like you had classic, rather than delayed withdrawal, and the "acute phase" of withdrawal seems to be fading.  It takes about 3 weeks to make a "neuronal change" in your brain, and even longer to repair what the drugs have restructured in your chemical pathways.

 

Because you didn't take it consistently, you may have set yourself up for a rougher ride than you wanted.  Here is a post which talks about why we discourage "every other day dosing" (which is another common, but false, doctor instruction):  Every-other day dosing

 

You see, these drugs are not like aspirin - but please, read here and see how Rhi describes it, she said it best:

Rhi's description of healing the brain

 

Or another way of looking at it is in this video:  Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants)

 

They don't just stop when you stop taking them, or "detox" from them.  And, every time you make a change - in dosage, on again, off again, on again, off again, is bouncing your brain like a basketball.  If you want your brain and nervous system to stop bouncing, you need to be still.   Taking a psych drug irregularly is very hard for your mood and nervous system.  There are other changes and stressors which can make it harder, too (like the B vitamins, or life stresses).

 

You also did a CT, which is harsh, but not impossible.  If your symptoms are terrible, you can try a reinstatement - as suggested by Scallywag.  I suggested a smaller dose, because you've been getting better, as Mamma said.

 

Ultimately, you have to choose what you are going to do.  We're not doctors, we're voices on an informational internet website.  We can help you find the topics you need, but we cannot come there and choose your doses, lifestyle changes, or even make you read the links we send.  It's your body, your choice, and your health.

 

Okay, symptoms.  You listed a few, but I suggest you look at Neuro-emotion to understand why your mood is so unstable.  In withdrawal, our normal, healthy emotions become raw and amplified.  The brutal part of this - is there is a real element to them -  a grain of truth, but the chemical changes in your body make that truth seem huge and catastrophic and important and sticky and difficult.  It's just a symptom, just an emotion.

 

Additionally, the drug may have squelched your emotions, and when they return, they may come back with a fury that leaves destruction in your wake.  It is important that - if you are going to remove this drug from your life - you replace it with better coping mechanisms.

 

I call it my Toolkit.  I have suffered depressed mood since the 1970's, and I started trying psych drugs in the 1990's.  I tried to manage my mood without drugs, but once the drugs had started, my basketball started to bounce.  I started to taper in 2013, and have had a gentle descent down the cliff.  BUT - I have been terrified that the mood swings would return.

 

So I have a Toolkit.  Sometimes, I meditate (usually just before I fall asleep, listening to music or a guided meditation).  Sometimes I exercise, but gently - like walks in the park, in the sunlight - just short walks that help shift my moods.  Sometimes I take epsom salt baths, or listen to music, or bounce on a rebounder, or watch silly videos or TV shows.  I use my tools to manage my mood, and if I am about to yell at hubby, or feel that my mood is out of control, I am the only one who can change my own mood.

 

I am not a Mum.  I cannot imagine what it is like being in withdrawal for a Mum, having 3 dependant children to look after.  You probably need extra ways to take care of yourself, grabbing quiet time in the bathroom, or taking a three long, slow deep breaths when you need just a moment for yourself.  Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

And the symptoms can be all over the place!  You will have times when it gets better, then worse - or times when it is mental (brain fog) or emotional (neuro emotions) or physical (pain, digestive issues, sleep, etc.)  Symptoms shift and change as you heal, and this is normal, natural withdrawal.  Here is a list of the most common symptoms that others have felt.  There is even a PDF chart you can print out to track your symptoms as they change over time.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

You may find that you become sensitive to different things throughout recovery - like sound, light, food, supplements.  Do your best to listen to your body's needs at this time, and recovery will come.  It may take time, but pushing it will not make it go any faster.  It will come at the pace it comes.

 

Additionally, the strength of the symptoms come and go as you recover.  You might have a perfectly great hour, or day, or even week, and then a wave of symptoms will return, and you are stunned by it.  This is not a relapse, this is not depression returning - it is a wave of withdrawal, and is quite normal in recovery.  Waves and Windows

 

Lastly, here are some really well done Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you which explain in yet another way, how these drugs and the withdrawal of them from your system, 

 

This is the very basic information on withdrawal.  I've been here for nearly 3 years, and there is more on this site than I have learned.  Please, if you have questions, post them here in your thread - which is a place for you to log your symptoms, track your recovery, and ask questions about your specific case.

 

It does get better.  But you need to be patient, and gentle with yourself.

"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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Thanks to everyone who has replied to me. I am a little on edge, discouraged, frustrated, and plain old tired. So, please excuse my initial reactions. It's taking all I have to try to be positive and prayerful--believing that I will get better no matter what it looks/feels like in the moment. So, thank you for your patience and kindness. Here's a more detailed summary of my experience:

 

 

When I first was given Prozac in January, I was told nothing much about it, other than it would help my anxiety. Naively, I did not do my own research either. I wanted the quick fix. In hindsight, I should have tried more natural approaches to what I was feeling. For about two months, it did help calm me, but I became emotionally subdued and my sexual urges were non existant. Obviously, for a married woman, that was undesirable. By month 4, I started to feel like the pills had stopped working. I went back to the doctor, they told me to increase to 20 mg instead of 10 mg. I tried ONE 20 mg tablet. It made me eel very anxious, so I never did that again. I stuck with the 10mg for a little longer, before deciding that I had had enough of the pills. I didn't know about weaning off or anything. I stopped cold turkey around the first or second week of May. I was fine for about 9 days. Then I started to experience dizziness, fatigue, sinus trouble, sleep trouble (waking at 2 am nightly), heart palpitations, extreme fear and anxiety, night time tremors, headaches, blurred vision. I thought I was dying. Went to the emergency room multiple times in a matter of 2 weeks just to be told that I was fine and only given pain meds for the headache. I later figured out that I was having withdrawal symptoms after a few google searches.

 

After I knew what was happening to me, I briefly tried to reinstate to stop the symptoms for about 4 days. But, they persisted. So I just stopped for good and have been dealing with the symptoms (albeit to a lesser degree now) ever since. Now, the symptoms that remain are; a bit of mental/physical fatigue, dull headache w/ a warm tingling sensation throughout my head/scalp, stiff/sore neck, slightly blurred vision, slightly blunted emotions. I take Vitamin D3 2000 ui because I am VERY deficient. Have been taking it for about a month now after a blood test revealed I only had a level of about 8.8. I take vitamin B complex 100% daily value to help with the fatigue as instructed by my primary. My psychiatrist recently told me to take Thiamine for the blurred vision. My primary and psychiatrist believe that some of my symptoms are because I used to be a chronic wine drinker for about the last 3 years (I would drink up to a bottle by myself in a day a few times a week--on/off). Ironically, I stopped drinking wine for good around the second week of May as well. So, there is a bit of confusion as to what exactly is causing what. I am not a fan of reinstating at this point (plus I have no more pills--got rid of them weeks ago) because I feel like even though I am discouraged and not feeling my best--I am coping and don't want to lose any progress I've made. I do not believe that meds are for me. I was not in a bad mental state to begin with when i started these pills. I just was being a bit hasty and wanting a quick fix for my anxiety. I do lack in patience :( Are there any other things I should try or be aware of that may help me as I recover? What's this I hear about Magnesium helping with the headaches? I think the headaches and fatigue are the most bothersome for me right now. Could the B and D vitamins be causing fatigue and headache? What does "activating in withdrawal" mean in regards to vitamin B and D?

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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MeAngel,
 
Here's a topic with information about Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

There are topics in the Symptoms and self-care Forum on many individual symptoms. You can find them by using the advanced search function (the little cog-wheel next to the search box) I usually enter the symptom, e.g. headache, and then search only titles.

You could also use the same search technique to find the information on Vitamin D3 and the individual B vitamins.

Activating means that they affect the central nervous system. If you're having symptoms it's because your CNS is destabilized from the removal of Prozac and is adapting to the new reality of no Prozac. Throwing neuroactive substances at a destabilized CNS isn't a good idea.

3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable. applies to vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements, not just prescription pharmaceuticals.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Hey Me - 

 

It seems like your withdrawal symptoms did increase when you started the Vitamin D.

 

Most humans in the western world are deficient in it, and I am a big fan of Vitamin D for mood.

 

But in withdrawal, it can be activating.  By "activating" I mean "causes symptoms" or "makes them worse."

 

We have people here in SA who are severely Vit D deficient, but who are also severely activated by it.  Some can only take a drop at a time, on the skin.

 

One of the reasons for reacting to Vit D strongly, is a magnesium deficiency.

 

I would suggest you stop the vitamin D, and take a GOOD magnesium (not mag oxide!!) and fish oil.  Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil

 

And definitely stop the B vitamins.  B complex is a shotgun approach to a things, I believe in B vitamins, I take B vitamins (I am no longer in withdrawal) - but I take THIS kind of B6 and THAT much B1 and MORE B3, and a different amount of B5 for my different health issues.  Buying a one-size-fits-all B vitamin is cheaper, I guess, but there is definitely a sensitivity to B vitamins for people withdrawing from these drugs. 

 

You can start them up again, later, when you feel better.  And the D might go more smoothly, once you are out of withdrawal, and have your magnesium levels up (something like 80% of Americans are also magnesium deficient).   The goal right now is to soothe your symptoms.  If you look on the symptoms list I gave you, everything you have listed is on there, as a "normal" symptom of withdrawal.

 

For your headaches, I am a fan of the Epsom Salts - Another Way to Relax with Magnesium

 

But - also - congratulations on quitting the wine!  Antidepressants sometimes "drive people to drink" as they numb the pleasure centers, and people try to increase their "feelings' by using alcohol.  Alcohol can bring on a wave, and can intensify a wave, so that was very wise of you to stop.  

 

Let us know what your "coping toolkit" is.  Follow the things which make you feel better, and avoid the things which make you feel worse.

 

If you can manage without reinstatement, that's awesome, but there is also a narrow "window of opportunity" during which a reinstatement is more successful at managing symptoms.  You are in that window right now, but if your symptoms worsen in 3 months time, that window may be closed.

 

The biggest thing to try - is No Thing.  It's the hardest one of all.  It's waiting, being patient, being kind to yourself, and just knowing - this will pass, this is temporary, let it go.  The more you FIGHT it, the stronger it will get.  It's better to just accept:  "This is a symptom" or "This is withdrawal" then let it pass when it is ready, like clouds leaving the sky.

 

Brassmonkey (a moderator here) said it very well when he said:

 

One very effective technique to use is referred to as AAF. Acknowledge, Accept, Float. 

 

First the situation/symptoms need to be Acknowledged.  Through no fault of your own you are now very sick and there are going to be a lot of very unpleasant symptoms to deal with, and like any major illness getting better will now be your primary focus.  Mentally explore the situation, feelings or lack there of, symptoms etc. and get to know them.

 

Secondly you have to truly accept that is happening.  The symptoms and feeling or lack there of are going to happen no matter what you say about it, there is nothing you can do about them or the situation.

 

Lastly, let the symptoms and unpleasantness float off as you go on about your life as best as you can, believing that it will get better in time.

 

 

I hope you see the sun today.  

"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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Right now, my coping "toolkit" is is simply prayer. I pray throughout the day and pray for my healing. My ultimate faith is in God's ability to heal and restore. No matter how difficult it seems. I recommend prayer to everyone here for their toolkits.

 

I have a couple of questions, does Magnesium specifically help with headaches? Because I really don't have much trouble relaxing, I just have the weird head sensations. Also, I never did get any brain zaps  :unsure:  I just have this weird tingling sensation throughout my "brain" and a dull headache. Will the fish oil and magnesium help with that?

 

Also, for those of you in recovery, how did you know that you were fully recovered? How long did it take? Is anyone stuck with any permanent symptoms?

 

I read that the average recovery time is around 2 months after stopping use of an SSRI. Also, when withdrawal first hit, I had absolutely no appetite. I lost like 15 pounds in 2 weeks. Sadly, that symptom has faded and my appetite has returned. Of all the symptoms to fade, why that one? <_<  I was enjoying the weight loss LOL :lol:

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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Oh, a couple more things--Saturday is my birthday. Please pray that it is a good day symptom wise! Also, our family is taking a trip to Texas in a few days. We are driving. Hopefully I can enjoy the ride and not get too many symptoms around that time :D

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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Everyone is different and some people are in protracted withdrawal for years, others for months. The ones who only have withdrawal for a few weeks are likely ones who have quit their first ever drug and taken it for a short time. We have people here who have only taken a few pills and have had withdrawal for a long time. We can't give an average here because the variation is so wide, but you seem to be one who is not as badly affected as some which is hopeful.

 

 Fish oil will help the 'tingling' in the brain, I remember describing mine as 'soda pop' in my brain, or pins and needles jabbing it from inside, very unpleasant and a variation of brain zaps .I hope you have a good weekend :) 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Hi guys, I just picked up some Magnesium Citrate.250 mg. I'm supposed to take 2 a day with a meal. I took ONE with a meal today. I'm scared to take more. As of right now, I feel very sleepy after taking it, and I have a bit of a headache. I'm hoping it helps me. But, I'm so scared of any and all new meds now. I think I've been traumatized from the whole psych med experience.

 

Any suggestions guys?

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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The sleepiness should pass. Next time, take half or a quarter of tablet. Many of us are sensitive to supplements as well as medications.

 

A rule to remember going forward -- start taking much less (¼-½) than the bottle recommended amount of supplements and work up slowly to find the dose that works for you.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Is it possible that by going cold turkey off fluoxetine that I permanently damaged myself? I'm starting to get concerned about my lack of pleasure/enjoyment/excitement. All I can feel is anxiety, anxiousness, and sadness. I feel the urge to cry often. Yesterday was my 32nd birthday and I barely felt anything all day. I keep thinking that I don't know if I can live my life not being able to fully feel or hope. I hate to admit it, but I think I might be feeling slightly suicidal. Nobody understands how badly I feel emotionally. Everyone makes light of my pain and suffering. And I feel so sad and scared that I may have ruined my life over using antidepressants for 4 months. I can't enjoy my children, I can't enjoy life. I can pretend to, but I'm in a bad place. I don't know what to do other than pray and cry.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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It's extremely unlikely that you permanently damaged any component or process of your central nervous system.  The cold turkey stop means that withdrawal "bounces" tend to be more forceful and the time it takes to settle down is often longer than a slow, gradual taper.

 

The people who make light of your pain can, well, stuff it.  If we were on an antidepressant withdrawal phone chat line (ask your friends about the '80s and '90s), I'd ask you to put one of them on the phone and then I'd say to him/her, "Are you just cruel, lazy, or stupid? It's one of the above."  They are choosing either to be dismissive and cruel or to be lazy and remain ignorant.

 

Belated happy birthday! I wouldn't use a birthday as a gauge for comparing emotional depth.  The importance of this annual event has become less and less of an EVENT and more just another day of the week for me with each passing decade.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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I feel so unlucky. Like I make foolish mistakes. I can't believe I'm in this situation.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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You did not make foolish mistakes. You trusted a medical professional who trusted what was published in medical journals. Unfortunately your doctor has been duped by the pharmaceutical companies and you were not properly informed about the risks of being on the medication nor of the risks of going off it.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Why do I tend to feel worse in the morning and feel better in the evening? I feel my worse early morning to late afternoon. Then, I feel my best (almost normal) from around 6pm to midnight. It's so odd.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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The pattern you describe is very typical in w/d, and is related to the pattern of cortisol over 24 hours.  Everybody gets a cortisol surge in the early morning - it's our natural way of waking up.  But once in w/d, with destabilised CNS's, the surge doesn't regulate itself properly and goes overboard.  The result is too much activation for our CNS, and therefore an increase in w/d symptoms.

 

It levels out again during the day, which leaves most of us feeling better in the evening.

 

Hope you feel more (w/d) normal now!

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

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

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

8 month hold.

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

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

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

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

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

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That makes sense. Thank you!

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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MeAngel -

 

I have found that when I have a moment of feeling better, like during a window period I don't want to go to sleep.  I don't want the feeling of "feeling better" to go away because I know once I go to sleep and the morning comes I will feel bad again. 

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Me too!!! That's why I stay up to midnight. I know its probably not good, but I want to enjoy the window.

 

How long have you been in withdrawal?

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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@o2bhappy

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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I was on fluoxetine for 12 years.  I have been in withdrawal for 10 months.  Mine actually start last July when I could not tolerate the change from one generic of fluoxetine to another.  It started with nausea and hand tremors.  I ended up trying other generics of fluoxetine but my body was craving the one that I took for 12 years.  I basically stopped cold turkey in August.  I continued to have the nausea and tremors.  In November 2015 I got hit with awful withdrawal symptoms.  The nausea continued, I still had the tremors but now I had uncontrollable crying spells, anger, chills, internal shaking, insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, no appetite (I have lost 50 pounds), and olfactory hallucinations.  It has certainly been a journey that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. 

 

Withdrawal is very scary but it does get better.  I have seen small improvements in my own health.  The improvements haven't happened as fast as I would like. 

Discontinued Fluoxetine cold turkey after taking it for 12 years. Stopped taking Fluoxetine in August 2015.

My current withdrawal symptoms: Itchy skin, smell hallucination, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and anxiety. 

Synthroid for hypothyroidism.

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Wow! I'm so sorry to hear your story. I truly do wish you a full recovery!

 

I was on fluoxetine 10 mg for 4 months and stopped cold turkey. Been in withdrawal for nearly 6 weeks. I'm just praying that none of this is permanent.

On Prozac (Fluoxetine) 10 mg for 4 months Jan-May. Stopped cold turkey 5 weeks ago. Currently experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. No other SSRI history. First psych med experience.

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