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frederike01

Hello everyone! Ok it's a long story but i'll give it a shot! my name is Frederike. Oh and my english might be not THAT good, but...i'll try my best! =) . When i was very jong (about 12 years old) i started to develop anxiety combined with OCD. At that age it wasnt very harmfull yet but it got worse when i got older. I went to a psychologist at 13/14 but that didnt really help. so i stopped going. But my anxiety didnt left me so i went.

 

The psychiatrist prescribed me fluvoxamine when i was 15 years old. I also started to experience 24/7 derealisation. The meds. didnt really work i think but i thought maybe it would be worse without them and i dindt know how hard it was to get off back then so i kept taking them. my anxiety OCD en derealisation didnt disapeare or get any better.

 

i try'd to stop several times but the next day after lowering my dose my derealisation would become so bad i couldnt stop if i wanted to continue to function. and the docters told me: well, then keep taking them. So i took the pills for many years and after taking them for about 8 years my anxiety and derealisation slowely worsened.3 years ago all of a sudden i felt really bad and anxious i had to stop working. I went to my dokter and firt we desided to higher my dose. i was on 125 mg fluoxetine. But that dindnt work at all. It made me feel even worse.

 

so i decided to lower my medication (with my dokter)and maybe switch to some other meds. i was on 175 mg. fluoxetine at that moment.I decided i didnt want to switch but i wanted to stop taking the meds. because they never really worked and i wanted to solve my problems for real.i wanted to know wich part of my problem was really mine and witch part maybe the meds. i knew i would never get better if i would start trying some other meds. i was afraid i would even get sicker.

 

So i went from 175 to 0 in about 5 weeks. Even though i felt so so bad i kept on lowering because my docter told me : after quitting the withdrawal will last for only 3 weeks.Then they will disapear.Wel that was the breaking point. i went totally insane,experienced continue panic and anxiety OCD and derealisation at the worsed levvel.my symtomes had NEVER been this severe.So i went into a mental hospital. They gave me paroxetine. i was ok with it bacause i wanted to "ficks" this way to fast lowering of my medication, and dicided to take it and then slowely taper off when i was back home.

 

In the end I was on 50 mg. paroxetine and 1,5 mg lorazepam. but it never really covered up the mess quitting fluoxetine made.Only a little.At that time i didnt know paroxetine is the worst drugg (SSRI) to get of but I found out soon enough. I found a good therapist (not a psichiatrist) and dicided to slowely taper off meanwhile fixing myself with therapy. All this time i could not work or function. every single step i took on lowering was a hell.

 

I am on 0,5 mg lorazepam now and 3,5 mg. fluoxetine. When i was on 14 mg paroxetine i couldnt get any lower. even lowering 0,2 made me feel to terrible. so i siwtched to fluoxetine because it would be easyer to get off. the switching was hell. then i started lowering from 14. every week i took off 2 mg. until i was on 4. ( i did this again in a clinic).i thought it would be way to quick for me but i felt no extra withdrawal symptomes. wich i almost couldnt believe.

 

Then after going home ( at 4 mg.) i broke down again. obviously the withdrawal started wayyy later.So here i am, feeling worsed then ever. Not knowing when this hell will stop and whether i will still be alive by then. Starting new medication is no option at all because whatever psychiatric drug i put into my body, my body just cant take it.So this my story in short thermes. right now i'm on 0,5 mg lorazepam and 3,5 mg fluoxetine. Hope to speak to you soon!

Edited by KarenB
tags added (by SG). paragraph breaks by Karen

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scallywag

Welkom frederike!
 
Thank you for writing such a detailed report of your history with antidepressant drugs.
 
I'm sorry that you've had to deal with the results of how little we actually know about these drugs. The symptoms from stopping these drugs -- fluvoxamine, paroxetine and fluoxetine -- are unpleasant and last longer than anyone would want.
 
A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years.
Please put your withdrawal history in signature
 
 
Some questions for you:
 

When -- on what date -- did you reduce your doses to the current doses?

  • 0,5 mg lorazepam
  • 3,5 mg fluoxetine

Do you take the lorazepam all at once? Do you split the 0,5 mg and take it at 2 or more times during the day?

 

Some information for you to read:


What is withdrawal syndrome

Introduction to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)
 

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

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frederike01

Thank you scallywag for your reaction!

 

I put this in my signature. It contains the answers to your questions to.

 

2003 starting fluvoxamine 125 mg mainly for anxiety. August 2013 highered the dose:175 mg. did not work. then started tapering off. Every 3 days i tapered off 25 mg until zero.Very very!! bad withdrawalsymptoms. after a week i went back to 75 mg. hoping it would soften my withdrawal. Did not work. so i went to a mental hospital.Somewhere in december 2013 i started taking 1,5 mg lorazepam before sleeping and two times 0,5 mg during the day. And i started paroxetine 50 mg. It never really took away the breakdown of stopping fluvoxamine way to fast. im tapering off ever since. the tapering off paroxetine i did intuitive.... 28-02-14:  50 mg .>45mg. /21-03-14: 45mg. >40 mg./ 14-05-14: 40mg. >35mg./ 20-06-14: 35mg. >30mg./ 01-09-14: 30mg. > 25 mg./ 30-10-14: 25mg. >22,5mg./15-11-14: 22,5mg. > 20mg./ 31-04-15: 20mg. > 17,5mg./ 28-04-15: 17,5mg. > 16mg./  28-07-15: 16mg. >15mg.  then i tapered off with 0,5 untill 14mg. on 16-10-15.it was not possible to taper off any further with paroxetine so in the end i decided to switch to fluoxetine 14 mg. I lowered the lorazepam till 0,5 before sleeping during tapering off paroxetine but i dont have the exact data's. I tapered off 0,25 each time. Lowering fluoxetine: 23-02-16 i tapered off 2 mg and did the same thing every week ( so in 5 weeks) untill 4 mg. way to fast again  :(  right now i'm on 3,5 mg. fluoxetine and 0,5 mg. lorazepam and feeling indescribably bad. I dont know how to move on anymore. Hopefully i can find some support or people i can relate to! :)

 

what i find the most difficult is that i'm so afraid the symptoms i experience are my own in stead of withdrawal. all this time i havent been able to work and function normally. And i never got better after the first way to fast taper off fluoxetine.

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scallywag

What you experienced when you came off fluvoxamine in 2013 were symptoms of a CNS (central nervous system) adjusting to fluvoxamine no longer being present, also known as withdrawal.  The first response of many medical professionals to patients who have anxiety and/or depression is to prescribe drugs rather than refer the individual for counselling and non-drug therapies. It's very unfortunate that you experienced this.
 
While you're tapering the last mg of fluoxetine, you can learn new ways of managing stress and worry and find ways to deal with and reduce your anxiety. Please read the topic on non-drug techniques and browse the Symptoms and self-care forum.

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

Thank you for posting your medical history in detail.  As you noted, your tapers were fast and turned out to be too fast for you. :(

 

You have 2 choices:

  1. You can stay at your current dose of fluoxetine -- 3,5 mg --
    or
  2. You could increase your fluoxetine dose slowly to try to decrease your symptoms.

 

If you stay at your current dose, your CNS (central nervous system) will adjust to the current level of fluoxetine and your symptoms will weaken. They may not disappear, but with enough time they will probably weaken and become easier to live with. We can't tell you how long this will take or what symptoms will weaken.

If you want to try to decrease your symptoms, you *could* increase your fluoxetine dose by a small amount (0.5 - 1 mg) and stay at that dose for 7-10 days. Keep notes of when you take the fluoxetine and about your symptoms -- what time of day they occur, what time of day they get stronger or weaker.

 

If your symptoms haven't changed after 10 days, try another increase and take 7-10 days to hold and observe.  Once you notice that your symptoms have lightened or weakened, stay at that dose for 2-3 months before starting to taper again. That is a good time to start developing new methods to deal with the anxiety that occurs for  you.

 

Let us know what you decide and how you're doing. :)

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Pieter

Hello Frederike,

 

Leuk om een landgenoot tegen te komen. Ik kan je verhaal goed begrijpen. Lijkt redelijk op dat van mij...(see my story).

 

The point is: when do the WD-symtoms go away? I understand that in the longrun they will go away. As long as you taper slowly...

I wish you a very well recovery and lots of patient.

 

Peter

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frederike01

Hi Scallywag,

 

Thank you for your reply. Sorry i answer this late i replyd to you earlier and i probbable pushed the wrong button or something. My whole tekst was gone =/ haha. ****. So i'll try again .

 

Yes, I know a lot about the withdrawal syndrome, but what i still find the most difficult is you never know for sure what exactely is withdrawal and what are your own symptoms. I still can't believe this is how i feel and these symptoms are my own. And yes, i know they're probably  not. But a lot of times i'm still scared they are. i read something in a topic about how to know wheter your symptoms are withdrawal or not. They say when your symptomes are not constantly the same and changing you know it's still withdrawal. But after my latest to fast tapering off, my symptomes are almost constantely very severe for 4 months now. They definetely don't get better yet. And i thought you can experience your firt "window" only after 18/24 months after quitting. (more or less). So i dont really get the answer they give in the topic.

 

I dont think it's a good idea to increase my dose. I will keep switching and in the end i know it will not help. It also did not work when is stared other medication after tapering off to fast. plus, everything i change or do with meds. will make me feel worse. My body/brain just won't take it anymore.

I that a frequently used technique?

 

I will stay on this dose untill i feel a little better again. Whenever that may be. :(  i don't have a choice.

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frederike01

Hoi Pieter.

 

Inderdaad leuk hier een landgenoot tegen te komen!

Pfoe, dat praat en schrijft ook een stuk makkelijker zo in het Nederlands.

 

I read your story, and indeed it's pretty simillar to mine.

How are you doing now?

 

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Pieter

Hoi Pieter.

 

Inderdaad leuk hier een landgenoot tegen te komen!

Pfoe, dat praat en schrijft ook een stuk makkelijker zo in het Nederlands.

 

I read your story, and indeed it's pretty simillar to mine.

How are you doing now?

 

Hoi Frederike,

 

With me it is sort of the same. Phiscally I feel unstable: lots of dizzyness, headaches and tinnitus. I need to do something. At the moment I try to focus on gardening, walking with my dog and some socializing. It's not all bad. I like to have some fun.

 

I you like to change thoughts and experiences maybe we can call of email in Dutch. Just let me know.

 

Best of luck,

Pieter

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scallywag

frederike Thanks for your message and questions.

 

I'll answer them here in your post that all the information is in one place. First some questions for you:

 

  1. Do I have the time correct? You've been taking 3,5 mg fluoxetine since March.
     
  2. Are you still taking 0,5 mg lorazepam once per day?
     
  3. What are your symptoms now?  Are they stronger or weaker than when you first posted in July?

 

You are experiencing withdrawal symptoms because you went through two fast tapers in the last year, paroxetine to 14 mg and fluoxetine 14 mg - 4 mg.

 

About updosing:

Sometimes symptoms improve when the dose is increased; sometimes they stay the same or get worse. It is the tactic that most doctor use but they increase by much larger amounts. I can't answer your question if increasing dose is a frequently used tactic.

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frederike01

Sorry for my late reply again Scallywag. I'm in the middle of a move and i feel very bad at the same time so it's pretty hectic.

I''ll try to answer your questions.

 

1: I am taking 4 mg fluoxetine since March. In July i tapered off with 0,5. So i am on 3,5 mg since July. I should have stayed on 4 mg instead. But i can't change that anymore.

 

2: Yes i'm still taking 0,5 mg lorazepam each evening.

 

3: ok. Summarize my withdrawal symptoms.....I think i can better summarize the symptoms i DONT have... :o  lol. Ok, i will try to make a list, but i'll probably forget some symptoms bacause there are so many of them and they are switching ofcourse.

 

-  Derealisation/Depersonalisation. It's like i dont exist and the world doesnt exist.

-  severe anxiety/ panic attacks in many forms

-  crying spels

-  Severe OCD

-  Continue high level of stress/ tension

-  restless leggs feeling in my whole body

-  severe fatique and at the same time to restless and tensed to rest or sleep.

-  some sort of electrical loaded feeling under my skin

-  nausea

-  stommach pain

-  Diarrhea

-  Feeling like my head is exploding because of pressure.

-  Headaches

-  depression

-  empty unendless indescribable feeling of psychic pain.

-  feelings of complete hopelessness

-  suicidal thoughts

-  Can't stand light or sound

-  feelings of being light headed or dizzy

-  not being able to process the things i see and hear aroud me. It makes me want to close my eyes all the time.

-  wanting to cry but not being able to cry. Like i'm stuck. Like something stops me from letting go off the pain and tension.

-  loss of concentration.

-  memory loss. Even the most simple things.

-  problems with rational thinking.

 

So these are most of my wd symptoms.

Some things i've never experienced before. Some things i did experience but never in this severe condition.

 

I've been doubting to higher my dose a little bit. But after your reply i've decided it's to much of a risk.....

 

:)

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scallywag

Most of the time after bouncing around one's CNS (central nervous system), the best thing is to keep everything steady -- no changes.

3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.

 

Taking the time to list your symptoms might have been discouraging. It will however be a good record to look at in 3 or 6 months to see which ones have improved or disappeared. :)

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frederike01

Thank you Scallywag. Yes that's a good idea. i will do that. And yes it was a little discouraging... But it's also helpfull and making it clear at the same time. Now i can relate to my list over about 3/6 months. So it was a good thing to do.

 

I will see how the wd symptoms might change in 3/6 months.

But according to the story's i've read and the severeness of my wd symptoms....There is also a chance it takes much longer then 3/6 months to feel enlightening right? There are so many story's, i must say they can sometimes really discourage and scare me and make me want to give up. Though i know i cant. I cant go back. There's only one way. I try to stay close to myself and my own wd story. But that's difficult. Thank god i have the best therapist in the world. He helps me to keep going and believing that one day it will be better. If it wasnt for him....I dont know where i'd be right now.

 

Thanks again!

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frederike01

Oh enlightening should maybe be improvement :P i'm not sure wich one's the right one to use. Haha

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scallywag

frederike, your symptoms may still be occurring in 3-6 months but they may be less intense or happen less often.

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frederike01

I hope so. I will let you know by then! Thank you.

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frederike01

Hi Scallywag,

 

I would let you know how i'm doing after stabalizing for 3-6 months. Actually i have no good news to tell you. Everything is still getting worse. The symptoms do switch sometimes but mostly come back again later. Some symptoms are always there....I realy dont know what to do anymore,  but i've heard myself saying that many times before. Still it's true and more true everytime. I thought  years/months ago i couldnt take it anymore, and now that i'm still here i still think the same while again im doing much worse. When will the moment of i cant take it anymore be realy there? Or will i manage to hang on untill When?

Who knows...

Well, i thought i would just let you know! :)

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Skeeter

Frederique,``

Scallywag has lost internet partially, it literally just happened.

 

The symptoms can be sort of like the game Whack-a-mole,, where a little head of a mole pops op and you whack it down with a padded hammer, and 2 others pop up and you have to hit them down too, only to have another pop up. Fun with a padded big headed hammer, no so much fun when our symptoms do that- one gets less, to have two more come back even stronger. 

 

Have you changed your meds at all in this time (if so, please update your signature).

 

Can you give the time(s) you take your meds, and how your symptoms come on and go throughout the day?  That should give us a better picture of which might be going on.  Hopeful you have noticed a pattern by now.  If you noticed a pattern earlier (since we last spoke to you), did you change anything, and if you did, did it help?

 

Best wishes,

Skeeter

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Altostrata

Hello, @frederike01, how are you doing?

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