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Colchada: The Mighty Battle with Panic Disorder


Colchada

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My journey began 22 years back.... In 1996 I survived rape but began the journey of anti depressants... I was on and off them until 2008 never really had withdrawal symptoms or anything bad when I would stop taking them but I wasn't really taking them long term to take any effect good or bad.

 

Fast forward to late 2007 my life literally fell apart. I was under huge amounts of stress due to work and personal reasons, had a young son and a 9 month old daughter and very little sleep. One night for no immediate reason I lost all sense of self. My husband rushed me to hospital thinking I was having a stroke as I literally couldn't walk, talk, see or hear properly, I was terrified. At ER they said my heart rate was 182 where it should be +- 80. I was having the mother of all panic attacks! After they got me calm they kept me in for a week under observation. This was the start of a very frightening experience. 

 

I no longer had control over my mind, it is very hard to explain, but I felt like I was living in a bubble and was not part of the outside world (I mean this literal!) The psychiatrist I was seeing at the time had they best way to explain it, he said "is it like being stuck in a very bad acid trip" and although I have never taken acid I readily agreed that yes it was that dreamy like feeling and disassociation from oneself and life that I imagine drugs would do to you. The thing is when you are trying to raise a family and hold down a job and you have taken absolutely no drugs whatsoever but this becomes your reality. It was the most frightening feeling in the world! I lost a year of my life, I was even scared of my kids... After a few more severe panic attacks that required hospital stays the docs put me on Cilift 20mg. After 3 weeks on it I started to get better. I finally got my life back. I could enjoy things again and when I did have panic attacks they were very mild and manageable. And so my illness was named as severe panic and anxiety disorder.

 

Through the years I have tried to taper and get off Cilift because I don't like popping a pill a day to keeps all these demons at bay, but I was never successful. I had a very stressful job and lots of road travelling so I accepted I couldn't do it.

 

Fast forward again to Jan 2016, my family and I relocated to Malaysia. I am now a stay home mum and home school my kids. So no job stress etc. I decided to stop poisoning my body with the chemical Cilift. I am not stressed, my life is very calm and happy (sometimes borderline boring haha). Hence the reason I thought I could do this with ease..... I am wrong.

 

From Jan I began taking 20mg every second day for 3 months. Then I took 20mg every third day for 3 months, then I took 10mg every third day for 2 months, minimal side effects, then on 31 Aug 2016 I stopped completely. I am Cilift free for 45 days today... a cause to celebrate one would think??? NO!

 

So the first 2 weeks were okay, mild withdrawals nothing I couldn't handle. Week 2 brought anger, white hot rage, for no reason at all!! So I done some online research and read that St Johns wart 300mg a day would help with the withdrawals, they helped somewhat for a few days. This week however, this anger and rage has started to consume me. I can't sleep well because I have about 100 different things running through my mind and they are ALL filling me with so much anger. I cry at the drop of a hat. I am constantly nauseous (I've been blaming malaysian food haha), have a permanent headache and tense shoulders. My poor kids do not know what has happened to their happy, calm reasonable mother and they certainly do not like this new shouty, anger filled one. So on top of everything else I am filled with guilt that I am failing them because I am constantly mad and on edge. My husband is looking at me like I have been dropped from another planet because I am so unreasonable and my emotions are all over the place.

 

I really do not want to reinstate the cilift as I feel I have climbed this huge mountain and I really don't want to "go back". And I haven't had a panic attack, not one, and seriously, this is why I was on the meds in the first place! All these things I'm going through right now is what this damn drug has done to my brain!! And last reason is.... they do not sell cilift in Malaysia so I can't get any even if I wanted it hehe!

 

What I want to know is there something natural that I can take that will help alleviate some of these intense emotions until the cilift is completely out of my system and how long will I feel so all over the place. I need my stability back. I need to feel in control of this daunting ride again! Help!

 

Thanks for taking the time to read about me and all help, advice or ideas will be greatly appreciated!!

Edited by ChessieCat
Drug tags added

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi colchada and welcome to SA,

 

There is a lot of excellent information on this site and I'll provide some information below for you to check out.  Many members arrive here in a similar position to yours and don't want to reinstate, and that is very understandable, but once they become informed many of them do successfully reinstate.  My own situation was slightly different where I halved my dose and got very bad withdrawal symptoms and I followed the advice I was given here and updosed which alleviated my symptoms and after stabilising I have been tapering successfully.

 

The drug name for Cilink is citalopram which is available in Malaysia with the name Cipram.  Found here:  https://www.drugs.com/international/citalopram.html

 

We ask all members to Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include all drugs, dates, doses, and how you decreased/increased, for the last 12-18 months and a summary of anything before that.  Please remember to update as you make changes so it remains current and can be seen at a glance.

 

What a lot of people don't realise is that antidepressants change the brain and that when people taper too quickly or cold turkey then the result is withdrawal symptoms because the brain is trying to reach homeostatis.  The only know way to reduce the withdrawal symptoms is to reinstate a small amount of the drug.  If you decide, after reading the information I will give you, that you want to reinstate, please do not go back on the dose you were last taking because it will be too much because the brain will have already made some changes.  If you post here that you want to reinstate we can suggest a small dose to try.  Once stabilised you could then do a 10% taper.  SA recommends a 10% taper of the previous dose followed by a 3-4 week hold to allow the brain to adapt to not getting the drug.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

glenmullen_symptoms_AS Appendix 1.pdf

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

This is your Intro/Update topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Hi Chessiecat

 

Thank you so much for this infomation. If I consider reinstatment, I still have about 100 20mg cilift pills left which I brought over with me. My last dosage was a half a tablet ie 10mg every second day so what would I take now?

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Colchada,

 

I've asked for the other mods' thoughts about what dose to try.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Hi Chessiecat

 

Thank you so much for this infomation. If I consider reinstatment, I still have about 100 20mg cilift pills left which I brought over with me. My last dosage was a half a tablet ie 10mg every second day so what would I take now?

 

 

Hi Colchada,

I'm not a moderator, but I have been coming off Celexa too.  I am on 35mg.   In my opinion I would start your dosage again at 10mg. (please see following post regarding dose - CC) and become stabalized before tapering again at 10%.    I came down by 5mg. before finding this site and it was too much.  It takes a steady dosage everyday to keep stable.  There are times when I feel very angry or no reason and feel like punching someone.  It usually passes quickly, but it isn't a nice feeling.  It has been 35 days since my last taper, but I'm not going down again for while.  Good to have someone else going through the same thing.  This site has helped a lot.  

Edited by ChessieCat
Added (please see following post regarding dose)

July Medications: Started taking antidepressants in 1981, also benzos off and on; antiphychotics , anti-seizure for years.   Trazodone, Lamotrigine, Klonopin for over 10 years   all at maximum dosages,:Disconcontinued Klonopin in month of February 2011,  discontinued Trazodone and Lamotrigine   in month of March 2011 while in hosptial.  Given Seroquel to "help" go off Klonopin  gradually increased to 600 mg ; doctor took me off 600 mg. Seroquel in two weeks, and switched to Resperidal  because of weight gain on Seroquel, went off Resperidal quickly,   then gradually reinstated  Seroquel to 600 mg. at my request.   Went off Seroquel by myself at 25mg. per month in 2014.     Last medication Seroquel completely off since May 2016. Also went off Morphine at the same time as last 25 mg. of Seroquel in May 2016. Started tapering Celexa 40mg. to 35mg.  on 11 Aug. 2016  ; 16 Oct. Celexa 32.5 mg.; 6 Nov. 2016:  30mg. , 50 mg abt. Feb 26 with occasional 30mg.  , : May 10, 2017 began tapering rapidly because of adverse reaction to Celexa;, 40 mg. Celexa;   May 24, 2017: 35mg Celexa.;  June 8, 2017, 30 mg. Celexa, June 22, 2017 25mg.Celexa,; July 6,2017 20mg. CELEXA, July 20: 15mg.; August 10: Sep 29 2017: 10mg. Celexa + 10mg. Prozac, 5 Oct, 2017:  5mg. Celexa + 10mg. Prozac.; Oct. 14 Celexa 0., Prozac 10mg.Took last Prozac on November 22, 2017, Jan. 31 30mg. Cymbalta........ May Cymbalta 90mg.

 

Supplements Cal/Mag , Potassium, , Multi Vitamin.  digestive aid, antioxidant

Medications presently taking:    Lyrica 150mg. 2x day  , Synthroid 175mcg, Nasonex 2 sprays each nostril, once a day ,     Tylenol  1,000 mg. 2x day., , Restasis eye drops 2x day,  Trazodone 100 mg, Cymbalta 90 mg. Arthrotec 50 mg., Plavix

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Genlady said:  "In my opinion I would start your dosage again at 10mg.and become stabalized before tapering again at 10%."

 

Colchada (and Genlady), 10 mg is WAY TOO BIG a dose to reinstate on.

 

Colchada has been off citalopram for 45 days now and her dose before that was 10 mg every 3rd day for 2 months.

 

The idea of reinstating is to take find as small a dose as possible which will reduce the withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.

 

Genlady, you are correct in saying:  "It takes a steady dosage everyday to keep stable."

 

It is very important to take the same dose daily at about the same time.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

 

Colchada, please let us know if you are still taking St Johns Wort and if yes, what dose?  Here is SA's link:  st-johns-wort-hypericum-perforatum

 

Please remember to complete your signature.  Thank you.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment

Well yesterday afternoon I caved. Took 5mg Cilift (quarter tab) and I did not take the St Johns Wart ( will discontinue that now). I am extremely depressed and teary today, can't seem to lift myself from doom and gloom. I have about 100 things going through my head and am feeling overwhelmed with it all. Did not sleep very well and have had a massive headache since yesterday morning, hence my decision to reinstate the small dose.

 

Will this be sufficient, when will I know whether to up the dose or stay at 5mg? 

 

Thanks for all the feedback, I am so glad I found this site, its like a great life line in a big black hole!

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Colchada.

 

My guess is a 5mg reinstatement is safe for you. Be sure to take it at the same time each day. It will take at least 4 days to reach "steady state" in your bloodstream.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Please read Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram) and the other links ChessieCat provided.

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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Hi there

 

thanks so much, will stay on the 5mg in the morning then and will let you know how it goes!

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Colchada,

 

Alto has already mentioned about the 4 days.  It is a good idea to keep notes on paper, probably for about a week to 10 days, of what symptoms improve, stay the same or (hopefully not) worsen.  This will give us a good idea if reinstatement at 5 mg is successful.

 

Good luck.  You may start to feel some improvement within the first couple of days.

 

Stabilisation does come in windows and waves, so please don't panic if a symptom or symptoms seem to worsen.  Some members panic at the first sign of a symptom returning or worsening and increase their dose.  If they had been able to ride out the wave and waited, the symptom may have resolved itself.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

Patience is a very important tool at this time.  Learning non-drug coping techniques can be very useful.

 

  1. Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms
  2. Acceptance
  3. Acceptance and Mindfulness
  4. Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System
  5. "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms
  6. Change cognitive framing - Redirect - Another Way
  7. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for anxiety, depression
  8. Cognitive Behavior Therapy lessons

Also be aware of Neuro Emotions

 

To search this site use a search engine and type in survivingantidepressants.org "topic" (eg sleep)

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hey Colchada,

 

So many of us started this journey into Darkness from trauma.  I'm sorry that it happened to you, too.

 

Other mods have talked about your reinstatement, since you were taking it irregularly.  You have received excellent suggestions from Alto, who has experience with this.  I will talk more to comfort your symptoms.

 

You wrote of your major panic attack:
 

 I felt like I was living in a bubble 

 

This is not bizarre or unusual.  In fact, one of our moderators is named "Bubble" for that very reason (if I understand correctly).   And, she also talks about times when that bubble bursts and chaos ensues.

 

"is it like being stuck in a very bad acid trip" and although I have never taken acid I readily agreed that yes it was that dreamy like feeling and disassociation from oneself and life that I imagine drugs would do to you. 

 

This is also commonly reported - on the drugs, and in withdrawal.    Here is what SA members have said about Derealization and Depersonalization, and here is a Psychology Today article which describes it quite clearly:  Do You Feel like a Stranger to Yourself? Elena Bezzabova (Psych Today article on SA)

 

Also - symptoms follow certain patterns - that is - chaotic patterns.  The symptoms themselves might change - you might feel more "yourself" only to find that you are deeply fatigued, or feel like you have the flu - or maybe it will be sleeplessness, or headaches.  

 

Here is a list of common withdrawal symptoms - so that when new symptoms show up, you can check the list, to see if you can find a match to your own symptoms.  You can also print many of them out and use them as a progress chart, to track your own changes and improvement.

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's Most Common symptoms of Withdrawal

 

The other way that symptoms change is they wax and wane like the tides.  We call this the Waves and Windows pattern of healing.  You will have a few good days, and think it's going to be over, then another wave will crash on your beach and you feel miserable again.  I tell this not to scare you - but to prepare you, so that when it happens, you can say to yourself, "It's only a wave."  "It's only symptoms" and "it's only withdrawal" (and to caution you - your doctor will try to use the word "relapse," which is not correct and cannot be correct unless you have been several years free of the drugs)

 

And so my illness was named as severe panic and anxiety disorder

 

And so, here in SA we don't use these labels of "disease or disorder" that are made up by drug companies for psychiatrists to use.  Instead, we talk about symptoms, and often realize that the symptoms are caused by the drugs they give us for their "disorders" and labels.

 

One of our moderators, GiaK, has her own blog, where she has excellent advice for whole healing.  She frequently says, "Everything matters" - lifestyle, diet, spirituality, exercise, mindfulness, wellness techniques - we are a whole human body, and we have to address everything.

 

Here's what she says about undiagnosing herself: http://beyondmeds.com/undiagnosing-myself/

 

Additionally, our founder Alto says this:

"If you choose to live a life without psychiatric drugs, you will have to find non-drug ways to cope with any symptoms you have. If you believe you are seriously mentally ill, you will always easily find people who will confirm your opinion, no matter what your condition. One way or the other, you need to take responsibility for yourself."   

 

The links that ChessieCat gave you for non-drug techniques are an excellent place to start learning about what you will need in order to live a life drug free.  It's different for everyone, so I challenge you to find the Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms which work best for you.

 

Welcome to SA!  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!

Link to comment

Hi guys

 

So from Mon 19th Sept I am back on 10mg cilift but the problem is I am now suffering with excruciating anxiety, I am a wreck, cant sleep properly and feel like I have a brick in my chest. I need relief from this feeling!

 

How long will it take for me to stabilize as I cant take much more of this! What can I do do have some calmness!

 

thanks!

D

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please stay at 10 mg Cilift (citalopram) for 7-10 days. It takes about 4 days for the drug to reach a consistent daily cycle or "steady state" in your body. Then it takes another few days for your CNS (central nervous system) to respond to the new level. You need to give a reinstatement time to be effective. Again, please hold steady at this dose, 10 mg.

 

Have you read the topics ChessieCat posted above?

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

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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Well update..... Hubby rushed me to hospital on Wednesday night. Panic attack from hell! They have put me on Apo Diazepam 10mg 3 times a day and Espran 10mg in the morning. It is day 2 and I am still full of anxiety. Cant even leave the house! Walk around with a cold face cloth plastered to me. I am at the end of my tether. I need some relief. I am so agitated I cant even sleep to pass the time!  Cant watch tv or even read a book! Feel like I am going mad! Any ideas when that window of hope will appear???

 

thanks guys!

D

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hi, Colchada. 

 

I'm concerned about three things:

 

 

 

  • You were taking Cilift (citalopram / Celexa) and now you say you've been put on escitalopram (Lexapro). Did you come off the Cilift completely and replace it with escitalopram? 

 

  • Apo Diazepam is a benzodiazepine or benzo, as many people refer to them on the forum. You can become dependent on a benzo in as little as 10 days. The withdrawal from benzos can be quite severe, just as severe as coming off antidepressants. They are not meant as a long term solution. The best way to handle symptoms is by reinstating at a low dose and doing a very slow and careful taper. Adding in more drugs will complicate the problem, as well as increasing limbic kindling, which further destabilizes your already frazzled CNS. 

 

Please let us know which antidepressant your are now taking. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hi Shep

 

Thanks so much for your comments!

 

The anxiety is one big permanent attack there is no relief or "window" yet. Doc tried to maintain the cilift but it was making the panic worse. He said in some cases certain drugs can stop working hence why he recommended the escitalopram as he said this is better targeted for Panic and Anxiety disorder. And he also wants me to try get it to work on the lower dose of 10mg in the morning only.

 

I am completely off of cilift and only taking 10mg Escitalopram in the morning. The Ado Diazepam is 10mg 3 times a day if I need it but he is only allowing that for a week until the Escitalopram stabilises me as I am still in a permanent state of anxiety, Today is day 3 of the Escitalopram so I am praying for some relief from this anxiety soon as it is soul destroying! I am emotionally exhausted trying to talk myself down all the time!

 

Thanks!

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

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  • Administrator

Hi, Colchada.

 

I'm not sure what to recommend at this point, so I'm going to ask the more experienced moderators to weigh in. 

 

I'm glad the diazepam is temporary, due to not wanting to add benzo withdrawal to your suffering. 

 

Please keep careful track of your symptoms. This may help:

 

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist

 

Also, please read over this thread because I'm getting the vibe that you may think your panic is related to a chemical imbalance, for which drugs which fix.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4291-again-chemical-imbalance-is-a-myth-stop-the-lies-please/

 

Sending healing vibes your way. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Thanks for this info! Very interesting read. The problem with me isn't depression though Im all round happy and content. Its just these hectic anxiety and panic attacks for no reason at all. My fear is more of its starting again and getting zero relief. Its so hard to explain. 8 years ago when it started the trigger was lack of sleep (new baby) and too much red bull! The cilift helped for 8 years where I would have very infrequent attacks but I could handle them with all the natural ways like counting down etc. This time however nothing seems to bring relief hence why I am praying that Escitalopram is the answer because I am struggling to function its so bad. Luckily the doc that Im seeing isnt big on drugging the problem away hence the small dose he has started me on.

 

With 2 kiddies that I am homeschooling here in Malaysia I need to get back to normal asap and am searching for the answer on how long it will take for the light at the end of the tunnel to sow itself!  :(

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

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  • Administrator

Colchada, those "anxiety" attacks are very common withdrawal symptoms.

 

Taking too much of a drug like citalopram or escilatopram can make those symptoms worse, that is why we recommend trying a low dose first.

 

Milligram for milligram, escilatopram is several times stronger than its sibling citalopram.

 

How are you feeling now on 10mg escilatopram? Do your symptoms follow any daily pattern?

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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Hi there

 

Day by day it seems to be getting easier to cope. The mornings (like now) are hectic, full of anxiety and trying to take deep breathes to work through it. But yesterday afternoon and last night was much better. The anxiety was still there but manageable. 

 

Yesterday afternoon I did not take the apo diazepam and last night only took one. I have just taken one now though as I am struggling a bit....

 

I would say since last week Tuesday is was a daily pattern of pure anxiety and panic all day every day, but these last 2 days I have had windows of hope in the afternoon and evening. Hope that makes sense?

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

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Update on progress as at today 29 Sept 2016!

 

Have not taken any of the Apo Diazepam for 2 days so feeling a whole lot less drugged up!!

 

Finally feeling that the Escitalopram is taking effect and starting to stabilize me. I am still slightly anxious in the mornings but 100% better than I was a week ago.

 

I think I will be staying on Espram for some time to come as I absolutely cannot cope with the anxiety and panic attacks, they literally terrify me. My poor body is so bruised and scratched from me trying to get a grip on my heart rate! Crazy stuff!

 

Anyway will touch base from time to time and will keep you all in my prayers for easy healing!!

 

Take care always

Donna

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

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Glad you are feeling better.

Thanks for taking the time to update.

So glad also that you have stopped taking the diazepam.

It may take a couple of months to settle down. But you know how to taper now in a safe way so simply see this as a blip on the drug free trajectory and when you are ready you can taper wisely.

Please dont think you need to stay on this drug for the rest of your life.

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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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

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

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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Colchada,

 

I too was on Citalopram for an extended period of time.  I was on it for 8 years and had no issues.  My doctor suggested I come off since I didn't think I needed to be on it anymore  so I tapered to 0 from 20 mg in only a 6 week period.  Within 5 weeks, I went into severe depression and anxiety off the charts.  At the suggestion of the folks on this site, I reinstated at 5 mg and it seemed to be working but now I'm not so sure.  My depression and anxiety seems to be getting worse not better.  I see your doctor started you on Lexapro(Espram) and I was surprised that it seemed to be working for you.  Espram is a "derivative" of citalopram and there is a slight chemical difference in the two meds.  The pharmaceutical company that made Celexa(citalopram) altered it so they could patent the new drug but it was an "improved" version of citalopram.  I reinstated 5 weeks ago and I seem to be getting worse, not better.  I'm staying a lot more foggy brained later into the day and I used to be feeling "normal" by the afternoon but not any more.  I'm functioning and able to go to work but had a pretty bad anxiety spell yesterday morning and felt wasted for the rest of the day.  That doesn't sound like improvement to me.  How are you doing on Expram(Lexapro - US)?  Do you feel comparable to what you felt when taking citalopram(Clilift)?  

Lexapro 10 mg - 2004

Citalopram 20 mg - 2005-2016

Tapered to 10 mg from 6/16 - 6/30/2016

Tapered to 5 mg from 7/1 - 7/16/2016

Stopped taking 5 mg on 7/17/2016

Reinstated at 5 mg on 9/4/2016

Took it originally for extreme irritability but no previous depression

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Hi there

 

Sorry for taking so long to reply. Had a major relapse last week monday. Doctor upped the Espran to 20mg daily which sent me into a tailspin of 24/7 anxiety, agitation and panic attacks. On saturday we decreased back to 10mg. Still having major morning agitation and anxiety. I only really begin to relax about 7pm. I am at my wits end and am so exhaused with all of this. Hoping the meds will start to work again soon because I cant even get into my car to go out. I have no motivation to do anything

... sorry I cant give you any positive feedback at the moment cause I just feel so defeated!

 

Hope you are feeling better!!

Take care

D

From 1996 - I do not remember the names of the medicines they had me on but I never stayed on them very long to make a difference.

 

Jan 2008 to Jan 2016 - Cilift 20mg per day in the morning

Jan 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 - Cilift 20mg every second day

 April - June 2016 - Cilift 10 mg every second day

June 2016 - July 2016 Cilift 10mg every third day

1 Aug 2016 stopped cilift completely

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

15 September 2016 - 5mg Clilift

19 September 2016 - 10mg Cilift

22 September 2016 to present - Apo Diazepam 10mg - 3 times a day

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I hope your doctor will support you holding at 10 mg for a while -- dose changes can be very stressful and your CNS (central nervous system) needs time to recover.

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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  • 5 months later...

14 August to date 300mg St Johns Wart at night

...

24 September 2016 to present - Espram (escitalopram) 10mg in the morning

 

Hi Colchada,

I can see in your signature that you take St John's Wort and escitalopram.

As far as I know, these two shouldn't be taken together because of the risk of developing serotonin syndrome.

Maybe you're already aware of the risk and that's probably why you take St John's Wort at night and espram in the morning.

Can't tell if it's safe enough... just wanted to advise consulting it with your Pdoc, if you haven't already done so.

2008-2014 ..... citalopram 20mg for anxiety
sept 2014 ..... escitalopram 20mg for 6 weeks, then escitalopram 10mg
mar 2015 ..... tapering off escitalopram... 5mg... 2.5mg... 2.5mg alternate days. Too fast taper (lasted 2 months)
may 2015 ..... drug free. Waves of anxiety and depression with 1-2 week windows of better mood. Low energy. Sensitive to stimulants.
mar 2017 ..... depression transformed into sleep problems and anxiety. Sometimes obsessive thoughts.

may 2017 ..... sleep problems resolved around this time, anxiety persists.

aug 2017 ..... depression less frequent for the last 4-5 months, mood is also noticeably better. Anxiety persists, but can't blame withdrawal for that.

 

It seems the withdrawal symptoms are gone by now.


29 years old male.

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