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NoMoreADS: How long does the insomnia last after getting off antidepressants?


NoMoreADs

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I stopped taking Paxil 6 months ago. Since then, I've been unable to sleep more than about 4 hours a night. Has anyone gone through insomnia every night like this for this long? How long does the inability to get a sufficient amount of sleep last after getting off all psychiatric medications?

Edited by scallywag
tags added

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ho NoMoreADs, and welcome to SA,

 

I've moved your topic into the Introduction thread so it will get more notice.  If you click "Follow" top right you will be notified when someone responds.

 

How did you stop Paxil in February this year?  Did you cold turkey?  Please add this detail and the dose/s to your signature.  Thank you.

 

Are you getting any other withdrawal symptoms apart from the insomnia?  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

I'll give you some links to check out and you can ask questions here in your Intro/Update topic as well as journal your progress.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Sleep Hypnosis, Guided Meditations, Calming Videos


Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Ho NoMoreADs, and welcome to SA,

 

I've moved your topic into the Introduction thread so it will get more notice.  If you click "Follow" top right you will be notified when someone responds.

 

How did you stop Paxil in February this year?  Did you cold turkey?  Please add this detail and the dose/s to your signature.  Thank you.

 

Are you getting any other withdrawal symptoms apart from the insomnia?  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Symptoms Checklist

 

I'll give you some links to check out and you can ask questions here in your Intro/Update topic as well as journal your progress.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

Sleep Hypnosis, Guided Meditations, Calming Videos

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Hi, thanks so much for your response and the links. I tapered over the course of about 10 or 12 weeks. The only withdrawal symptoms I'm getting now are a result of the sleep deprivation. Every few weeks, I get just about 6 hours of sleep and all of the symptoms I feel as a result of the sleep deprivation dramatically improve over night. 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

Hey nomoreADs

 

I am 2 and 1/2 years out after stopping Zoloft and zyprexa and I still have lots of problems with sleep.  my first 6 months or so I had those 4 hr sleep nights all the time. My sleep now is often shallow and I wake almost hourly.  Sometimes I get 6 to 7 hours in two shifts plus a nap.   Sometimes I only get 3 or 4 hours still.  I used to have nights without any sleep quite frequently, but lately not as much.   In 2 1/2 years I think I have had more than 8 hours of sleep in a day like 3 or 4 times.  it sucks.  My dreams are all screwy and depressed and tormented.  My memory and cognitive abilities are not what they used to be.  The prolonged insomnia has been causing problems with my heart and my blood pressure has increased by 25 pts. since I quit the pills in feb 2014.  I also have a double row of horrid bags under my eyes and look terrible.  Not everyone has the same problems, but there are a lot of us who still have severe sleep issues quite a while after wd.  I hope you start to see some improvement.

 

Derek (poetjester)

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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Hey nomoreADs

 

I am 2 and 1/2 years out after stopping Zoloft and zyprexa and I still have lots of problems with sleep.  my first 6 months or so I had those 4 hr sleep nights all the time. My sleep now is often shallow and I wake almost hourly.  Sometimes I get 6 to 7 hours in two shifts plus a nap.   Sometimes I only get 3 or 4 hours still.  I used to have nights without any sleep quite frequently, but lately not as much.   In 2 1/2 years I think I have had more than 8 hours of sleep in a day like 3 or 4 times.  it sucks.  My dreams are all screwy and depressed and tormented.  My memory and cognitive abilities are not what they used to be.  The prolonged insomnia has been causing problems with my heart and my blood pressure has increased by 25 pts. since I quit the pills in feb 2014.  I also have a double row of horrid bags under my eyes and look terrible.  Not everyone has the same problems, but there are a lot of us who still have severe sleep issues quite a while after wd.  I hope you start to see some improvement.

 

Derek (poetjester)

 

Hi Derek,

 

Thanks for responding. While It's never good to hear that someone else is suffering and especially for over 2 years, it's nice to know that I'm not alone. Is there anything that you do that helps improve your sleep? Is there anything that makes it worse? The first 5 months were horrific. For those first 5 months, my vision was completely blurry from sleep deprivation 6 or 7 days a week. I just felt trapped. in the past month I've improved enough to the point that my vision isn't totally blurry every day of the week, but I still can't sleep enough to function. My eyes still don't focus properly as a result of the sleep deprivation which makes everything impossible. I'm amazed that I haven't jumped off a bridge at this point to be honest. 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

hey nomoreADs

 

I know the wanting to jump off a bridge feeling all too well myself.  I still have it these days, probably more so than before, because after 2+ years of this crap, of watching my health deteriorate and sleep deprivation continue to torment me, it gets frustrating.  I just want to get my health back and live a normal life again, but for now, I just have to try and accept that my life has changed.   I suffer from fatigue and many days I am just wiped out and useless.  On the bad sleep days, I feel like a zombie and there is a lot of bumping into walls around the apt. and staggering and lurching around and even on better sleep days I tend to sway a little when I go walking.  I feel like a big tree that's about to topple over due to sleep deprivation cutting away at my strength and well-being.  Try to hang in there, though.  If I have made it this far so can you.

 

  I never really had the vision problem except for one night when I tried Tylenol pm for sleep.  I got like 5 hours of lousy sleep on it and when I woke my eyes were all clouded over and it took an hour and a couple cups of coffee to clear up my eyesight.  I have tried a lot of different things to improve my sleep.  Long night walks of 4 to 8 miles help tire me out.  It's easier to get to sleep, and once I went 8 miles and achieved my best night of sleep, probably 7-8 hours of restful sleep.  I can't always duplicate the results, but it helps for sure.  As gross as this may sound, masturbation helps me get deep sleep at times.  It releases a chemical called Prolactin into the brain.  It doesn't always work, but sometimes after pulling one off, I get that same sensation I used to always have before the meds of sleep stealing over me.  When it works, I get 4 to 5 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep and the next day I can nap for a couple of hours.  It's great, but unfortunately it doesn't always work.  Lately, it hasn't been helping much for sleep and whether or not to pull one off is kind of a torment in it's own right.   I am a poet and I took that famous line of Shakespeare's and put my own twist on it to describe the dilemma. 

 

To masterbate or not to masterbate                                                                  William Shakespeare

That is the question

Whether it is better to fraud the rod and blow the wad

Or to suffer through insomnia with sleeps that barely constitute a nod.

 

Not being able to nap even when I haven't sleep much continues to be a source of constant frustration.  Lately though, my sleep has gotten a little more consistent.  I will get a 4-5 hour chunk at night and then get up for a couple hours, have some cereal and a cup of coffee and then fall back to sleep for another 1-2 hours.  I can function ok on those days.  On days I don't get much for sleep, I am a wreck.  My memory is lousy and I constantly screw things up in the kitchen and lose things  around the apt and will cry a lot out of just how maddening this all is.  Most of the 2+ years I have been suffering from seeing things immediately upon closing my eyes.  It's like some demented version of cartoon network going off in my brains as soon as I close my eyes to try to sleep and it makes sleep next to impossible.  I looked up the condition online and it's called hypnagogia (sp?).  It's more prevalent during bouts of sleep deprivation, but has also been linked to gluten intake.  It's total torment.   I hope you don't have it.  I have to keep opening and closing my eyes when I lay down,kind of like changing channels on a tv, to try to make these horrific visions go away and often I just have to get up even while I am totally exhausted because I can't get these visions out of my head. They are hard to describe, but are totally unpleasant and wicked.   

 

I have tried meds a few times since I quit the Zoloft/zyprexa.  It's always about the same, I get 3 to 4 hours of sleep, but then wake up groggy and dizzy all the next day.  It happened with remeron and trazadone and ambien.  I quit taking all of them within a day or two.  I keep wondering if I should take something else or maybe go back on the Zoloft/zyprexa, but those drugs had plenty of lousy side effects for me and I am sure most anything else probably would, too.  It seems better to just be clear of them and hope for improvement as regards my sleep.

 

I was sober from 1998-2014.  I actually quit drinking when I started taking Zoloft and zyprexa, but lately I have found that having 2 to 3 pints of beer at the local bar helps me get to sleep.  Last night, I had three beers and slept about 6 hours straight without waking, which is pretty good for me.  I can't do it all the time, but 2-3 times a week I will go to the bar and have a few beers.  No more than 3 for sure though.    Last week, the bartender bought me a shot of Jameson.  I tried twice to refuse it (I haven't had a shot of liquor since 1998) but the other 6 people in the bar were all staring at me, expecting me to take it.  I didn't want to make a scene, so I accepted the shot.  No good.  I had a sh*tty night of little sleep, but when I stick to 2 or 3 beers it usually helps me drift off to sleep without all the worry.  Granted the next morning flatulence can be pretty horrific, but it's still nice to get a little sleep.  It kind of loses its affect if I go out too many nights in a row. 

 

I tried 5 htp the other night.  I managed to get 6 hours of sleep without waking although it wasn't as restful as beer sleeps or some of my rare normal sleeps.  Some people experience horrible side effects from it so you do have to be careful even though it is a natural supplement.  I took 100 mg three nights ago.

 

You might try melatonin and sleepy tea.  It doesn't really help me sleep so much, but it does kind of calm down my mind.  Also I try to drink this stuff called Natural Calm, which is magnesium powder that you mix into water and drink.  It helps me relax sometimes.  I started getting cramps of my hamstring and heart palpitations about a year into the wd.  Magnesium glycerate helps with the  cramps and a supplement called Taurine made the palpitations go away. 

 

One of the most frustrating aspects of all this wd insomnia madness is that no one seems to care about what I am going through.  It's seems to go in one ear and out the other with my family.  If a doctor had given my condition a high sounding diagnosis, then they would care, but for now I feel like they think I am just complaining and the drs I have seen have been almost entirely useless and a waste of time.  They only tell me to take the AD's again, but that's how I got here in the first place.  They seem to be a bunch of yes men who don't even want to bother trying to help me.  Nothing concerns them about what is happening to me,  and I get exhausted dragging myself around town to appts to explain my condition to these unsympathetic doctors who are full of themselves and will barely listen to me and then leave me no better than I was.  In fact, it's worst because I wasted half my day and a lot of hope thinking they would try to help and not just consider me crazy.  I feel like I am living in an episode of the twilight zone or maybe in Nazi Germany considering how little they care about helping me. 

 

I, like you, am useless for a normal job with this insomnia, but I have taken to going out to golf courses and digging through the weeds and the woods for all the lost balls. I sell what I find to area golfers on craigslist. Sounds strange, but I enjoy it and it helps me make some money for buying supplements or beers at the bar.  The strenuous labor and biking 25-30 miles a day helps me sleep better, too.

 

well, I am gonna get going, but send me a personal message if you ever want to.  If you are interested I could send you some of my poetry and humorous writing.  I do stand up at some of the clubs around mpls whenever I feel up to it, which isn't very often unfortunately.   Coincidently, I used to live in San Fran back in the early 90's.  I lived  on Hayes st.  near Divisidero and worked as a bike messenger for a few different companies in '92-'93.  I had moved out there with a few friends after dropping out of college at U-W Madison.  One friend was a transfer student at SFAI.  My friends moved back to Minneapolis after a semester and even though San Fran is a really beautiful town, I was all alone after they moved and knew no one out there and got totally homesick and moved back to the Midwest in a matter of months.

 

Derek.

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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Hi Derek,

 

hey nomoreADs

 

I know the wanting to jump off a bridge feeling all too well myself.  I still have it these days, probably more so than before, because after 2+ years of this crap, of watching my health deteriorate and sleep deprivation continue to torment me, it gets frustrating.  I just want to get my health back and live a normal life again, but for now, I just have to try and accept that my life has changed.   I suffer from fatigue and many days I am just wiped out and useless.  On the bad sleep days, I feel like a zombie and there is a lot of bumping into walls around the apt. and staggering and lurching around and even on better sleep days I tend to sway a little when I go walking.  I feel like a big tree that's about to topple over due to sleep deprivation cutting away at my strength and well-being.  Try to hang in there, though.  If I have made it this far so can you.

 

  I never really had the vision problem except for one night when I tried Tylenol pm for sleep.  I got like 5 hours of lousy sleep on it and when I woke my eyes were all clouded over and it took an hour and a couple cups of coffee to clear up my eyesight.  I have tried a lot of different things to improve my sleep.  Long night walks of 4 to 8 miles help tire me out.  It's easier to get to sleep, and once I went 8 miles and achieved my best night of sleep, probably 7-8 hours of restful sleep.  I can't always duplicate the results, but it helps for sure.  As gross as this may sound, masturbation helps me get deep sleep at times.  It releases a chemical called Prolactin into the brain.  It doesn't always work, but sometimes after pulling one off, I get that same sensation I used to always have before the meds of sleep stealing over me.  When it works, I get 4 to 5 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep and the next day I can nap for a couple of hours.  It's great, but unfortunately it doesn't always work.  Lately, it hasn't been helping much for sleep and whether or not to pull one off is kind of a torment in it's own right.   I am a poet and I took that famous line of Shakespeare's and put my own twist on it to describe the dilemma. 

 

To masterbate or not to masterbate                                                                  William Shakespeare

That is the question

Whether it is better to fraud the rod and blow the wad

Or to suffer through insomnia with sleeps that barely constitute a nod.

 

Not being able to nap even when I haven't sleep much continues to be a source of constant frustration.  Lately though, my sleep has gotten a little more consistent.  I will get a 4-5 hour chunk at night and then get up for a couple hours, have some cereal and a cup of coffee and then fall back to sleep for another 1-2 hours.  I can function ok on those days.  On days I don't get much for sleep, I am a wreck.  My memory is lousy and I constantly screw things up in the kitchen and lose things  around the apt and will cry a lot out of just how maddening this all is.  Most of the 2+ years I have been suffering from seeing things immediately upon closing my eyes.  It's like some demented version of cartoon network going off in my brains as soon as I close my eyes to try to sleep and it makes sleep next to impossible.  I looked up the condition online and it's called hypnagogia (sp?).  It's more prevalent during bouts of sleep deprivation, but has also been linked to gluten intake.  It's total torment.   I hope you don't have it.  I have to keep opening and closing my eyes when I lay down,kind of like changing channels on a tv, to try to make these horrific visions go away and often I just have to get up even while I am totally exhausted because I can't get these visions out of my head. They are hard to describe, but are totally unpleasant and wicked.   

 

I have tried meds a few times since I quit the Zoloft/zyprexa.  It's always about the same, I get 3 to 4 hours of sleep, but then wake up groggy and dizzy all the next day.  It happened with remeron and trazadone and ambien.  I quit taking all of them within a day or two.  I keep wondering if I should take something else or maybe go back on the Zoloft/zyprexa, but those drugs had plenty of lousy side effects for me and I am sure most anything else probably would, too.  It seems better to just be clear of them and hope for improvement as regards my sleep.

 

I was sober from 1998-2014.  I actually quit drinking when I started taking Zoloft and zyprexa, but lately I have found that having 2 to 3 pints of beer at the local bar helps me get to sleep.  Last night, I had three beers and slept about 6 hours straight without waking, which is pretty good for me.  I can't do it all the time, but 2-3 times a week I will go to the bar and have a few beers.  No more than 3 for sure though.    Last week, the bartender bought me a shot of Jameson.  I tried twice to refuse it (I haven't had a shot of liquor since 1998) but the other 6 people in the bar were all staring at me, expecting me to take it.  I didn't want to make a scene, so I accepted the shot.  No good.  I had a sh*tty night of little sleep, but when I stick to 2 or 3 beers it usually helps me drift off to sleep without all the worry.  Granted the next morning flatulence can be pretty horrific, but it's still nice to get a little sleep.  It kind of loses its affect if I go out too many nights in a row. 

 

I tried 5 htp the other night.  I managed to get 6 hours of sleep without waking although it wasn't as restful as beer sleeps or some of my rare normal sleeps.  Some people experience horrible side effects from it so you do have to be careful even though it is a natural supplement.  I took 100 mg three nights ago.

 

You might try melatonin and sleepy tea.  It doesn't really help me sleep so much, but it does kind of calm down my mind.  Also I try to drink this stuff called Natural Calm, which is magnesium powder that you mix into water and drink.  It helps me relax sometimes.  I started getting cramps of my hamstring and heart palpitations about a year into the wd.  Magnesium glycerate helps with the  cramps and a supplement called Taurine made the palpitations go away. 

 

One of the most frustrating aspects of all this wd insomnia madness is that no one seems to care about what I am going through.  It's seems to go in one ear and out the other with my family.  If a doctor had given my condition a high sounding diagnosis, then they would care, but for now I feel like they think I am just complaining and the drs I have seen have been almost entirely useless and a waste of time.  They only tell me to take the AD's again, but that's how I got here in the first place.  They seem to be a bunch of yes men who don't even want to bother trying to help me.  Nothing concerns them about what is happening to me,  and I get exhausted dragging myself around town to appts to explain my condition to these unsympathetic doctors who are full of themselves and will barely listen to me and then leave me no better than I was.  In fact, it's worst because I wasted half my day and a lot of hope thinking they would try to help and not just consider me crazy.  I feel like I am living in an episode of the twilight zone or maybe in Nazi Germany considering how little they care about helping me. 

 

I, like you, am useless for a normal job with this insomnia, but I have taken to going out to golf courses and digging through the weeds and the woods for all the lost balls. I sell what I find to area golfers on craigslist. Sounds strange, but I enjoy it and it helps me make some money for buying supplements or beers at the bar.  The strenuous labor and biking 25-30 miles a day helps me sleep better, too.

 

well, I am gonna get going, but send me a personal message if you ever want to.  If you are interested I could send you some of my poetry and humorous writing.  I do stand up at some of the clubs around mpls whenever I feel up to it, which isn't very often unfortunately.   Coincidently, I used to live in San Fran back in the early 90's.  I lived  on Hayes st.  near Divisidero and worked as a bike messenger for a few different companies in '92-'93.  I had moved out there with a few friends after dropping out of college at U-W Madison.  One friend was a transfer student at SFAI.  My friends moved back to Minneapolis after a semester and even though San Fran is a really beautiful town, I was all alone after they moved and knew no one out there and got totally homesick and moved back to the Midwest in a matter of months.

 

Derek.

 

 

Hi Derek,

 

That poem was pretty hilarious and I like your golf ball idea. You seem like a really resourceful guy. You are very fortunate to have the ability to nap. I can't sleep at night or nap so it's not a good situation. Have you ever wondered if staying away from alcohol would speed up your recovery from withdrawal. As I understand it, all the psych meds have downstream effects on receptors that they aren't intended to target. For instance, your Zoloft may target serotonin receptors, but this will have a downstream effect on your GABA, glutumate, and dopamine receptors. If part of the reason that you can't sleep well is that some of these afromentioned receptors have downregulated due to the direct or  downstream effect of the Zoloft then maybe staying away from alcohol which acts on all these  receptors will help your recovery. It's just a thought and I certainly don't have all the answers, but it seems logical to me that we should be staying away from anyting mind altering so that we can heal. As a former alcoholic, I can understand that staying away from alcohol is much easier said then done. 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

Hello NoMoreAds....have you tried melatonin?

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Hello NoMoreAds....have you tried melatonin?

I sure have, but it doesn't do anything.

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

Hey NoMoreADs

 

I'm glad you liked the poem.  I'll send you some more of my poetry when I get a chance.  If you have an email address that would make it easier for me to mail you stuff.    I also wrote a 3 page story about my golf ball hunts that I sent out to my extended family that I could send your way.  It's pretty funny and details some of the strange times I have had along with a few pictures. 

 

For the first two years after quitting the meds cold turkey in feb 2014, I didn't sleep very well and was rarely able to nap.  Probably about the same thing you are going through now.  It's only a little better these days, but the accumulation of 2+ years of poor sleep has left me a shell of my former self and my memory is pretty lousy these days.   I only started having an occasional couple beers about 3 months ago, otherwise I was sober almost the entire time of withdrawal and the 14 years previous.   I was having all sorts of problems sleeping after quitting the Zoloft/zyprexa combo before I started having the occasional brews.  It sounds strange, but compared to sleepless nights of torment, two beers makes me sleepy and sometimes I will actually sleep better then when I just lay down and try to sleep. on some of those nights when I just lay down, I wake up and it feels like part of the front of my brain has been removed, like I had banged my head against the wall all night.   I just sleep so shallow and wake every hour and the sleep is essentially of a depressed nature.  It sounds strange and counterintuitive but the beer seem to help, but I definitely have to hit the sweet spot- only 2 to 3 beers and not a beer more, otherwise it's too much and I can't sleep.  This will sound very strange, but God originally told me to me to go to the store and buy some beer one day a few months into the wd to help me sleep during the all the sleeplessness when I was staggering around from exhaustion in my apt, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone since I had been sober, except for a stretch in 2005, since '98.  I would prefer to keep my sobriety, but considering how lousy I feel at times and hard it is to sleep most of the time, sometimes I just don't care a whole lot anymore.  Not that I am going to go off on a bender or anything, but sometimes a couple beers is kind of nice.  You know, if you are interested, there is a facebook page that about 60 of us from SA take part in.  We mostly just commiserate over wd issues we are having and occasionally share some of the goings on in our, now altered, lives.  Just look under Off-topic on this site and there is a link to the page.  Derek

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hey NoMoreADs

 

I'm glad you liked the poem.  I'll send you some more of my poetry when I get a chance.  If you have an email address that would make it easier for me to mail you stuff.    I also wrote a 3 page story about my golf ball hunts that I sent out to my extended family that I could send your way.  It's pretty funny and details some of the strange times I have had along with a few pictures. 

 

For the first two years after quitting the meds cold turkey in feb 2014, I didn't sleep very well and was rarely able to nap.  Probably about the same thing you are going through now.  It's only a little better these days, but the accumulation of 2+ years of poor sleep has left me a shell of my former self and my memory is pretty lousy these days.   I only started having an occasional couple beers about 3 months ago, otherwise I was sober almost the entire time of withdrawal and the 14 years previous.   I was having all sorts of problems sleeping after quitting the Zoloft/zyprexa combo before I started having the occasional brews.  It sounds strange, but compared to sleepless nights of torment, two beers makes me sleepy and sometimes I will actually sleep better then when I just lay down and try to sleep. on some of those nights when I just lay down, I wake up and it feels like part of the front of my brain has been removed, like I had banged my head against the wall all night.   I just sleep so shallow and wake every hour and the sleep is essentially of a depressed nature.  It sounds strange and counterintuitive but the beer seem to help, but I definitely have to hit the sweet spot- only 2 to 3 beers and not a beer more, otherwise it's too much and I can't sleep.  This will sound very strange, but God originally told me to me to go to the store and buy some beer one day a few months into the wd to help me sleep during the all the sleeplessness when I was staggering around from exhaustion in my apt, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone since I had been sober, except for a stretch in 2005, since '98.  I would prefer to keep my sobriety, but considering how lousy I feel at times and hard it is to sleep most of the time, sometimes I just don't care a whole lot anymore.  Not that I am going to go off on a bender or anything, but sometimes a couple beers is kind of nice.  You know, if you are interested, there is a facebook page that about 60 of us from SA take part in.  We mostly just commiserate over wd issues we are having and occasionally share some of the goings on in our, now altered, lives.  Just look under Off-topic on this site and there is a link to the page.  Derek

 

Hi, what's the name of that Facebook group that some people from here are on? I wanted to check it out

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NMA

 

Here's the link with info:  private-facebook-group-for-sa-members-only

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

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

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

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

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hi NMA

 

Here's the link with info:  private-facebook-group-for-sa-members-only

 

Thanks so much

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

Did you read the link on melatonin here to help with sleep? Remember, less is more or you can get an adverse reaction. I cut my 2mg pill into 1/8ths. If you can find 1 mg pills you can cut them into quarters. They help with falling asleep but not with early morning awakenings.

Medicine History

June 2011 I was put on 10 mg Olanzapine. I stayed on that for 7 months then went down to 5 mg for 3 months and then went down to 2.5mg and slowly went down to less than .3 every few days. I have tried to come off 4 times, each time getting down to less than .3 before having to go back on at 5mg or 2.5mg. I would cut by 50% each taper. From Jan 2015 to June 2015 I reduced from about 5mg to .3 mg. This last time I went on 2.5 mg last June 2015 until July 2, 2016. July 3, 2016 I went down to 1.25mg - withdrawal hit. Up dosed to liquid 2 mg July 23, 2016.

Medicine Current

2 mg Olanzapine as of July 23, 2016

Supplements

Omega 3 1000mg, Vitamin E 400 UI, Vitamin C 1000 mg Time Released, 200 mg Magnesium Bisglycinate, Multi Probiotic, .25 mg melatonin for 3-5 days as needed

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Did you read the link on melatonin here to help with sleep? Remember, less is more or you can get an adverse reaction. I cut my 2mg pill into 1/8ths. If you can find 1 mg pills you can cut them into quarters. They help with falling asleep but not with early morning awakenings.

 

Yeah, I've tried melatonin and it didn't do anything. I've also tried every other sleep med available and nothing works :(

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It's rotten that you can't sleep. You may want to consider finding ways to distract yourself from worry about not sleeping, such as TV, movies, netflix, computer/video games, relaxation and meditation recordings.

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'm 3 yrs out from a cold turkey of 40mgs of paxil this October 16th. The first 6-8months my sleep was terrible and then probably for the next year if have bouts of insomnia. I still have the odd one here and there but for the most part I'm sleeping way better than I was that's for sure.

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

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It's rotten that you can't sleep. You may want to consider finding ways to distract yourself from worry about not sleeping, such as TV, movies, netflix, computer/video games, relaxation and meditation recordings.

 

Thanks very much. TV, Netflix, and Reddit keep me entertained when I'm functioning enough to pay attention to anything and when I can sleep enough to see straight. 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

I'm 3 yrs out from a cold turkey of 40mgs of paxil this October 16th. The first 6-8months my sleep was terrible and then probably for the next year if have bouts of insomnia. I still have the odd one here and there but for the most part I'm sleeping way better than I was that's for sure.

Thanks very much. Did you have trouble getting enough sleep like me during the first 6 to 8 months or did you just have trouble falling asleep? 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment

I am 13 months off effexor cold turkey and only started  getting bad insomnia in the last month, 

I am off all meds 16 months I had been on olanzapine, Effexor zanex and assorted sleeping meds for approx 2 years.

Weaned off 375 mg effexor over two years, I had previously come off xanax, rivotrill and olazapine. Reinstated 75mg of effexor on the 22/12/16

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, how long does it take people after getting off an SSRI to be able to sleep 6 hours a night or more again? It has been 8 months for me and I sleep 4 to 5 hours a night.

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NMA, I don't have a helpful answer to your question because the truthful answer is "it depends on many variables from individual to individual."

 

You've been reaching out to others on their introduction posts.  I hope you'll get some answers. An FYI: some people are no longer posting on the site and have chosen not to get notification of new posts in their introduction topics.

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

Link to comment

Hi NMA, I don't have a helpful answer to your question because the truthful answer is "it depends on many variables from individual to individual."

 

You've been reaching out to others on their introduction posts.  I hope you'll get some answers. An FYI: some people are no longer posting on the site and have chosen not to get notification of new posts in their introduction topics.

 

Thanks Scallywag, I was just trying to get a sense from as many people as possible as to how long this lasts so that I can come up with an average number of months. I've been sleeping 4 to 5 hours a night for a long time and I feel like I'm dying. 

  • 1992-Feb. 2016- Took almost every antidepressant on the market. Cold turkeyed most of the medications I took.

Stopped taking Paxil February 8 2016. I tapered the dose from 50 mg to 0 over the course of about 10 weeks

On no medications as of Feb. 8, 2016

As of 10/23/16-Still unable to sleep more than 4 to 5 hours a night, sometimes less

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

Hey NoMoreADs how are you?

How is your sleep now?

Cold turkeyed risperidone (1m.g)and trihexyphenidyl combination drug out of ignorance,In August 2016 after one month use.

Withdrawal symptoms settled at dreamful,disturbing sleep.

Thus introduced to olanzapine for sleep.Started using olanzapine out of ignorance.

Tapering olanzapine 10 m.g from February 2017.

May 2018 :Still suffering dreams,Still tapering olanzapine at 0.625.100ml water+2.5 mg olanzapine. June 2018 22.5ml=0.57mg.July 2018 20ml,August 2018-17.5ml,September 2018-15ml,October 2018 10 ml,December 2018 7 ml, BrassMonkey slide method so far at lower doses.2 nd December cold turkeyed , only to reach minure doses as reinstatement to cutshort endless tapering process.4rth December started 1ml.

Almost no symptoms and sleep is better,So started 0.5 ml from 17-12-2018.

"0"from31-12-18.Re birth happened from 10- 2020,as rejuvenation took whole2019.Completely recovered now.

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  • 2 years later...
  • Administrator

@NoMoreADs, how are you doing?

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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