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thejoyoftapering: fluoxetine -- Establishing a current dose


Thejoyoftapering

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Hi everyone,

 


TLDR:

1. Is 10mg of fluoxetine a day a reasonable starting dose for someone who's been trying unsuccessfully to taper at 40mg per week?

2. Could the days of missing doses been causing my nervous system harm, considering fluoxetine's half life i.e. is skipping days feasible with fluoxetine tapering?

 

Edit: My longest steady dose (over the 3 years) of fluoxetine was 20mg per day but I am not sure, my memory is hazy. 


 

The long story: 

I've been on fluoxetine for about 3 years. Over the last 10 months, I've had a very disrupted dosing of fluoxetine. My best period was last December when I was happy on 40mg of fluoxetine weekly but my doctor told me to stop suddenly, which I did. Early this year I was back on fluoxetine and taking it for the most part daily. However, I craved the happy balance I had taking it weekly as I had minimal side effects (mostly sleeping too much) but I was able to practise my CBT effectively for my OCD. Sadly, since May I've had a few bad attempts at reducing my dose and this was all before I learned about tapering properly. I had just thought tapering made sense so I tried it my own way but I was not prepared for the horrible withdrawal symptoms I've had recently. Last month I was on as little as 40mg every two weeks but I think I've been feeling the aftermath of that recently. I updosed (again before learning about this site and tapering properly) and I went on daily fluoxetine at 20mg for a couple of weeks.

 

The last month I was on 40mg each week and I found symptoms were bad around day 5/6. So, having found this website, I want to taper properly. Each time I had a withdrawal symptom I always ran back to fluoxetine like a good little addict and up-dosed like an ignorant buffoon. In any case, I am ready for the 10% taper and have invested in a Gemini 20. I will dry cut for the first few months. I am just deciding what my current/starting dose should be because I've made such a mess of things over the last few months and with fluoxetine's long half life, it is hard to know where I am. My proposition is:

 

Starting today, taking 10mg per day (I got tablets from the pharmacy as opposed to pills so I can divide them easily).

 

I'm sorry for my messy post but my record keeping has been regular but erratic this year so I am piecing bits together to get a picture of what the hell I've been doing with this powerful drug. 

 

Thank you all for this place. I've read so much the last week and it is nice to know people are going through what I am and are doing so well.

Edited by scallywag
moved from Tapering forum

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

thejoyoftapering -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
 
I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.
 
I'm trying to understand your question.  Here is my interpretation:

 

You stopped taking fluoxetine 40 mg a few weeks ago after several other discontinuations in the last 6-12 months. Your question is about a suitable dose to reinstate so as to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms.

 

Would you please confirm that this is the correct interpretation *or* provide the correct one? Thanks.

 
A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? If you can't remember actual dates, please include approximate time frames such as "early March" or "mid-August". Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years. Please put your withdrawal history in signature

 

From what you've posted, it seems that you've been reading different topics around the forum. Here are a few links for quick reference:

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

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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Hi Scallywag,

 

Thank you for responding. I've just written my signature and I believe that summarises things fairly well. I'm sorry my initial message was not clear. Your initial guess at an interpretation was almost correct (again sorry for the confusion!)

 

 "Your question is about a suitable dose to reinstate so as to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms." 

 

Yes it is but my last reinstatement dose was 40mg every four days. However, yesterday and today, because of my concerns about skipping days as a tapering method, I've decided to reinstate at 10mg every day. I just wanted to know whether that was a reasonable starting dose for tapering based on my last reinstatement dose of 40mg every four days.

 

I'm sorry if I've muddied things even more, suffice to say, clarity of thought is something I miss from my pre-SSRI days!

 

Cheers!

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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Hello again,

 

Edit: weird font size :P

 

Although little time has passed since my original post, I've learned a lot from this website and I've thought about my situation. At this time, I think tapering is a bad idea. I have decided to reinstate fluoxetine at 20mg a day, as that was an effective dose, with an option to go back to 40mg a day if needed for stability.

 

My OCD is almost completely under control with CBT. However, my recent withdrawal symptoms have been the most terrifying experience of my life. If I could choose between starting my CBT journey over with crippling OCD, or fluoxetine withdrawal symptoms, I would choose OCD. OCD destroyed years of my life but it is still more tolerable than fluoxetine withdrawal.

 

Fluoxetine is difficult to work with because the longer half life, in my opinion, makes things more difficult because I need to wait several weeks to find out if a reduction is going to creep up on me and ruin my life. I can see that by reinstating I am postponing the inevitable. However, my circumstances are far from stable and life is very stressful. How much of that is due to me ignorantly messing around with dosages the last 10 months or so, I am not sure. But there are practical steps I can take to make my life more stable and ensure I have the support I may need next time I withdraw.

 

Also, next time I try to withdraw, I never want to experience withdrawal symptoms again, which is possible if I am cautious with my tapering. 

 

I wish you all the best of luck in your brave withdrawal journeys and I aim to return here in 6 to 12 months time, once I've experienced stability again. 

 

Out of interest, I would like to know what dose you would have recommended to start tapering with. 

 

Thank you again.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Joy,

 

What is most likely causing your issues is skipping days, not the dose size.

 

From Post #1:

Last month I was on as little as 40mg every two weeks but I think I've been feeling the aftermath of that recently."

 

"September 2016: Very unsettling and frightening withdrawal symptoms that had me reinstating at 40mg fluoxetine every 4 days"

 

If you were taking 40 mg every 4th day, the average of this would be 10 mg daily, although taking the dose every fourth day is not recommended by SA as it messes with your brain.

 

"I've decided to reinstate at 10mg every day"

 

To me this sounds like a good dose and if you take it daily and at a regular time, take this dose at least for a couple of months to allow your brain a chance to stabilise.  You could then taper by 10%.

 

"I have decided to reinstate fluoxetine at 20mg a day, as that was an effective dose"

 

My thought is to not go on to 20 mg a day.  I think it would be worthwhile sticking to the 10 mg daily.

 

"with an option to go back to 40mg a day if needed for stability."

 

The stability you need is taking your dose daily.

 

Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

These helped me to understand SA's recommendations:

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

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 ChessieCat,

 

I think your recommendation to stick to 10mg a day is sound. However, withdrawal has me in a corner, cowering for my life, literally. The withdrawal was the worst thing I've experienced in my life (I rarely exaggerate.) I am too afraid to attempt tapering and I have doubts I would be stable on 10mg a day. I really appreciate the links and how I should stick with daily dosing at all times. I will sleep on it and reconsider. Perhaps tomorrow morning I'll feel brave enough to try 10mg. I will keep you posted. Also, I will stay away from 40mg, as I agree with your point that the dose is likely not the issue but the regularity of dosing. I do have a good habit of taking medication the same time every morning, so I have that going for me!

 

I am grateful to you for not writing me off and for giving me encouragement, it is a nice sentiment.

 

If I am up to it I will write again here tonight but if not, I will tomorrow. Part of me wants to live in denial and pretend this traumatic period never happened! I wish you the best day possible! 

 

Speak to you soon.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Joy,

 

You're welcome. :)

 

May 2016: Started to experiment with tapering again, trying alternate day dosing, weekly dosing, my record of this period is a mess

August 2016: Managed to get down to an average of 40mg fluoxetine every two weeks (taken every two Sundays)

September 2016: Very unsettling and frightening withdrawal symptoms that had me reinstating at 40mg fluoxetine every 4 days

 

One thing that I think you need to take into consideration is that you haven't been on a consistent, daily dose for at least 4 months.  Your poor brain doesn't know whether it is coming or going :wacko:.  My suggestion would be to stay on the daily 10mg for at least 7-10 days and keep daily notes of your symptoms, what improves, worsens or stays the same.

 

Please also be aware that stabilisation in not linear.  As JC said to another member:

 

"So resist the urge, every time your symptoms change (they will change several times as you heal, see:   Waves and Windows ) to change your dose, because changes are destabilising too."

 

 

Patience and acceptance are 2 very important and helpful things.  Learning Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms can be very useful, during stabilisation, tapering and once off the drug/s:

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

This is a discussion on:  Six Mistakes I've Made in Withdrawal

 

Another thing to be very aware of is Neuro Emotions.

 

Give your brain a chance to do what it needs to do.  I believe that being anxious and stressed diverts the brain's attention away from healing.  It's too busy trying to keep us alive by going into fight or flight mode.

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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Hello,

 

Today I took 20mg of fluoxetine. I appreciate that I am not holding at the current dose, which is recommended by SA but having reviewed my diary I can see that this 10mg a day dose is still very experimental, and led to borderline withdrawal symptoms. 20mg is the safest dose I know. My life is not ready for tapering yet unfortunately because I feel that the underlined problems below apply to me:-

 

 

We strongly urge that you NOT START tapering or that you HOLD AT CURRENT DOSE if you

  • reside in a violent, abusive, or traumatic living situation 
     
  • struggle to make decisions for yourself and stick to them
     
  • are in a crisis situation which needs face-to-face support and assistance
     
  • have health anxiety, i.e. experiencing a symptom (or learning of the possibility of it) affects your ability to take effective action
     
  • start or already participate in intense emotional therapy for previous traumatic events

 

 

 

 

 

On the positive side, I have conquered my OCD using CBT, which I think, as accomplishments go, is pretty damn awesome! This means I have what it takes to solve my problems above with CBT and with practical lifestyle changes. However, I still have a lot of work left to do and I think my exposure to withdrawal symptoms have made progress grind to almost a halt recently.

 

I am so grateful to this website and I wish I had encountered it sooner as I had no idea that SSRI withdrawal syndrome could be so severe and disabling. Many years ago I took Paroxetine for a few weeks and stopped because I was sleeping 12 hours a day and barely able to stay awake the rest of the time. After two weeks without it, I had a terrible withdrawal episode. I was so frightened as it was so abnormal. I always felt it was the Paroxetine that had caused it but how could it? It was out of my system, right? Well it most likely was but my brain hadn't come to terms with its absence. Here I am many years later, going through the same kinds of symptoms again, coincidentally when I've been skipping doses and trying my own fluoxetine withdrawal. Finding this website, which I did through the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, I feel validated.

 

I will be back with news, so don't forget about me! Also, if you don't mind, I will refer people to this website from the ocdforums.org. That charity was the key in helping me recover from OCD. However, many of us OCD sufferers went down the path of SSRIs and I think it would be good to point people here to let them know that SSRIs come with a hidden price and that the kind people here can help.

 

I wish you all the best and thank you again for your help.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Now that you 've decided on reinstating 20 mg, give yourself time to get steady on it -- at least 2-3 months. Let us know how things go for you. 

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

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


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

Link to comment

Hello again,

 

I will update you here when I have news. I feel much better today but still shaken by my recent experience. Something I read here yesterday struck me though and has me thinking things through. I'm going to see my endocrinologist on Wednesday as I have hypothyroidism. It was diagnosed (after a routine blood test) about a year or two after starting fluoxetine. I can calculate when exactly but I'd need to dig through some records. I read here that SSRIs can cause hypothyroidism, although with some casual research I've learned that's rare. However, what's strange about my hypothyroidism is the following:

 

It has no autoimmune component (not Hashimoto's, this has been ruled out with tests)

It is asymptomatic (or does not present with standard symptoms)

I am male and under 50

I have none of the risk factors for developing it

My endocrinologist considers it rather strange that I have it

 

This made me think again about tapering and I think perhaps there will never be a good time to do it, so I may as well consider doing it now. With what little resources I have, I think I will consult my old psychologist to help me through the issues I will face during withdrawal. I'll hold off any decisions yet until I see my endocrinologist who is likely to shrug when I ask her if fluoxetine could have caused my hypothyroidism, Still, perhaps she'll be in a good mood and spend more than a few seconds considering it!

 

SSRIs,,, I'm trying not to get too angry about them but it just seems that the more I learn from objective perspectives on these drugs, a picture is being created that doesn't match the one I was sold when prescribed them. 

 

*shakes fist meekly in the dark whilst sighing*

 

Good night!

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi "Joy" (just read that you are a male :blush:Sorry!).  I might call you JoT from now on ;)

 

You might find some helpful information in these links:

 

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

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 Chessie,

 

No please, call me Joy, I love it - such a positive name :) I've read almost all the links posted in this thread now. My head is spinning with all this information but not because it's too complex, but because it makes so much sense.

 

I've kept my withdrawal symptoms secret because I'm ashamed of them but here they are:

 

Neuro-emotions (severe, severe, severe!)

Brain zaps (intermittent but severe when they happen)

Dizziness and fainting (no blood pressure problems, been checked dozens of times)

 

While I'm on fluoxetine:

 

Fatigue (sleeping a lot and when I'm not sleeping, finding any way I can to live my life from my bed)

I suspect it caused my hypothyroidism (I doubt I'll ever be free of that)

Suspected muscle weakness (I've seen specialists about some joint pains I had even though I'm not overweight and in otherwise good health, all they found was that my muscles were 'weak' and needed toning; I'm working on that but the origin of this problem is a mystery *glares at the fluoxetine capsules*)

Dizziness and fainting

 

The help I'm receiving

I have access to, very luckily, a network of specialists that can monitor my physical health. This, coupled with the fact that I'm diligent about eating well (no processed foods, sugar etc), and exercising regularly, means I feel I'm doing a reasonable job at keeping the engine going, so to speak.

I have no mental health support at the moment because once I learned about CBT, I was able to tackle the problem I took fluoxetine for: OCD

 

How do I know this is withdrawal?

My symptoms diminish within an hour of reinstatement, to almost imperceptible levels within 6 hours, and I can say gone within 12 hours. One could call that the placebo effect. I accept that. However, I've experienced withdrawal about 4 times now, and it worked like that each time. I'd say that's fairly conclusive.

My withdrawal symptoms have nothing to do with OCD, the main component of which is anxiety. As I said above, I would gladly have OCD back at full severity, than experience my withdrawal symptoms, the worst of which are neuro-emotions. OCD is a condition I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy yet my familiarity with anxiety and my CBT knowledge mean I can work through it with success.

 

 

My one question for today is: when does healing start exactly?

Having read the Striatal Serotonin Transporter Occupancy (SSTO) paper (Am J Psychiatry 2004; 161:826–835) I found through SA, I have seen the dramatic changes that sub 20mg doses of fluoxetine can make. However, let's say 20mg is the therapeutic dose of fluoxetine. It has 80% SSTO. Looking at the graphs it can be seen that for some subjects, doses of 5 to 10mg also gave near 80% SSTO but usually much lower. Is there a particular level of SSTO that we could estimate stimulates our brain to start healing slowly to homeostasis? I am guessing the real healing (and also the real dangers of withdrawal) start to happen when we dip below 5mg doses. The reason I ask is that in order for me to feel some hope, I just want to know what my goal dose is where I can say, 'I've made it! My brain is probably starting to reverse the damage!' I emphasise probably because I know nothing is certain here :)

 

I have read Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing) but I wondered is there a general range of dose we could estimate this regrowing period begins? Because the counterargument to saying 'regrowth starts as soon as the taper begins' is that at 80% SSTO and slightly above, where most SSRI prescriptions place us, we could say that the brain is trying to regrow. That argument then also implies that the brain tries to regrow at any SSTO, which doesn't make much sense. My instinct tells me regrowth begins to be the dominant feature of the brain at below 50% SSTO.

 

Maybe I'm an idiot but one thing's certain: I am ignorant about neurology and there may be no correlation (or more pertinently, causation) between SSTO and regrowth. 

 

I'm just shooting the ****, by myself, so please forgive me! 

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Joy and I'm happy that you're happy for me to keep calling you that.

 

"My symptoms diminish within an hour of reinstatement, to almost imperceptible levels within 6 hours, and I can say gone within 12 hours. One could call that the placebo effect. I accept that. However, I've experienced withdrawal about 4 times now, and it worked like that each time. I'd say that's fairly conclusive."

 

I can tell you from my own experience that I was suffering from withdrawal and had a baseline to confirm that it was the drug.  I am a professional typist and 3 weeks after dropping my dose by 1/2 I wasn't able to type.  I joined SA a few days before this and I was still trying to understand what I was learning.  And yes, it was overwhelming for me too but also made sense.  When I couldn't type I updosed and within 4 hours my fuzzy head (which I had had for all 3 weeks) started clearing and I was able to type accurately again.  It definitely wasn't placebo.

 

My one question for today is: when does healing start exactly?

 

From my understanding of all of this and also by how I have started feeling like my old self since tapering my dose, I believe that healing starts as soon as we commence reducing the drug.  The brain is an incredible thing and it tries to regain homeostatis.

 

From:  https://www.reference.com/science/homeostasis-example-1c0cd1ce945c8657

 

"Homeostasis is the maintenance of equilibrium within an internal environment in response to external changes. The term comes from the Greek words "homeo," which means "similar," and "stasis," which means "stable." Homeostasis occurs to stabilize the functioning and health of an organism, such as the skin, kidney or liver, and it typically comprises a system of feedback controls, according to Biology Online."

 

The brain is also neuroplastic: Neuroplasticity and limbic retraining

 

And for a bit of light hearted neuroplasticity:  Video:  The Backwards Brain Bicycle

 

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

Link to comment

Stabilising period

Chessie, you mentioned that about 4 months was a reasonable period for stabilizing. You also said that most likely my instability was due to skipping doses rather than the dose itself. It's been hard for me to find out how long it takes for my brain to stabilize because of how reckless I was with this drug (although in terms of conventional advice it was reasonable apparently - the fools!) My question today is: how long, as a very broad generalization, would you say it takes for a brain to stabilize? My guess is 4 months. I know there are no guarantees.

 

I am experiencing a lovely bunch of startup symptoms, which I'm used to by now with fluoxetine. 20mg was probably too high, so today I took just 10mg. I'm playing with fire. I am an idiot. I am awful. I know. However, I was only on 20mg for 4 days. My startup symptoms just made me feel that my body was really not used to 20mg daily and in one sense it seemed like overkill to help with my recent withdrawal. I've not experienced these startup symptoms in a while and one of them is also a continuation symptom, indigestion that interferes with my life quite a bit.

 

My plan is to take 10mg for 4 to 6 months to achieve stability. If 10mg is too low I will go to 20mg because it is my last known good level. I cannot take the last 10 months or so as a good indication of how I am on lower doses because it was such a mess.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It's difficult to give anyone a prediction for how long it will take for symptoms to stabilize.  There are so many factors at play for each individual. We're all doing our own one-person experiments because there is so little research or the ability to research such a thing isn't advanced enough yet.

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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Thank you for answering my question. I appreciate now how difficult such a prediction is to make and how harmful it would be to hazard a guess.

 

On the bright side, contrary to what I expected to feel, I was cheered by the thread: The Slowness of Slow Tapers. I read it last night and it motivated me to really appreciate the mental fortitude required to complete a successful taper; it also shook out of me the last remnants of what doctors and pharmacists have told me about SSRIs. 

 

I am in torment today, wondering whether 10mg is okay or whether I should stick to 20mg. There is no clear answer because my records of my doses for the last 10 months or so aren't comprehensive enough. I am agonizing over establishing a current dose because I am in for a slow taper; I expect it to take years. I am hoping that by starting at 10mg, I get to skip some of the persistent side effects I've lived without for several months. I can't be sure of that though and because of my incomplete records, I can't be certain what doses contributed to the recent withdrawal episodes. All I can deduce is that skipping doses was a big factor. 

 

What a pickle. Time will help

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Please pick a dose, stick to it, be patient and give it time.

 

Reinstating isn't going to eliminate withdrawal symptoms completely.  The idea of reinstating is to get withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.  And remember that stabilisation comes in windows and waves.

 

You've been given a lot of information in the short time you've been here.  I suggest you reread your topic from the beginning because you may pick up information which you missed the first time or it might make more sense on the second reading.

 

If 20 mg causes issues, 10 mg is possibly the better option.  Keep notes on paper of symptoms, what improves, what worsens, what stays the same.  If after a couple of weeks you feel that 10 mg isn't bringing the symptoms to a manageable level, you might want to consider a lower dose, maybe 15 mg or less rather than going all the way back up to 20 mg.

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 Chessie,

 

I am keeping notes but I'm in the process of formatting them for the forum. Yesterday I took 10mg, today I did the same. My 10mg is obtained from a 20mg tablet, my 20mg doses are obtained from 20mg capsules. The capsules are Mylan, and the tablets are EG. I have no idea if different forms and manufacturers can cause symptoms but I've suspected that changing can cause startup symptoms. 

 

Prior to reinstating I had these symptoms:

 

Neuro-emotions (severe, severe, severe!)

Brain zaps (intermittent but severe when they happen)

Minor dizziness and fainting

 

Since reinstating at 20mg I've had these startup symptoms:

 

Suicidal ideation (mostly the first 24 hours)

Intense anxiety (usually diminishes within 72 hours)

Indigestion (heartburn, rumbling stomach, belching, diarrhoea)

Dizziness

Depersonalisation

Headache (with heat and pressure)

Lethargy

 

Since yesterday (starting 10mg) I've had these symptoms:

 

More intense depersonalisation

More intense headache but the emphasis is now on heat rather than pain

More intense dizziness

Extreme lethargy

Sluggishness in thought and action

More intense indigestion

 

I am managing to exercise a bit but it's now hard. I have been rereading this thread almost religiously and the links therein. The documentary with Dr Norman Doidge about neuroplasticity was fascinating. If it seems like I'm missing something, I apologise. I hate to play the stupid card but perhaps that's the problem? Maybe I'm just a little dumb :D Well joking aside, I want to stick to 10mg because my instinct is telling me that what I'm going through now is due to fluoxetine being in my body at a daily frequency - something I'm not used to. Basically, it feels like fluoxetine has been turned up to 11, and I'm reeling from the intensity.

 

I wish you the best day possible,

 

Joy. :)

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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Please close this thread, delete my posts therein, delete the thread if possible, and close my account, thank you! 

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator

Hey Joyoftapering - what's up?

 

It is against SA policy to delete threads, but if you go away and ignore us, your thread will drop to the bottom of the pile (it's a big pile) and be ignored.

 

From:  If You Wish To Close or Delete Your Account

 

The site software does not permit members to deactivate their accounts. You will need to make a request to an administrator. Administrators can delete, suspend, or ban accounts.  If we ban you, you won't be able to see the site or log in ever again.

 
Entirely deleting your account or all your posts leaves holes in discussions, which is unfair to the community and the people who have shown concern for you. Only in very extreme cases will we delete an account with all its posts.
 
The fastest and easiest way for you to deactivate your account is to
 
1. Shut off all notifications (in your Settings)
 
2. Do not visit the site
 
3. Do not log in
 
You may wish to post a farewell message in your Intro topic for those in the community who are concerned about you.
 
You do not need to notify the administrators that you are doing this.
 

 

If there is something which has offended you, staff would like to know so that we can prevent future problems.

 

If you are feeling better, we'd like to know that too.  I hope you will reinstate your signature, as it is an important part of your story, instead of the terse message about deletion.

 

Of course, you are free to leave at any time.  I hope we've been helpful for you.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • Moderator

I know you said you were going, but I just wanted to touch on a few things:

 

You talk about hypothyroidism from SSRI's and indicate that it's rare.  It may be rare in the literature, but it is not rare in here.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1593-thyroid-symptoms-hypothyroid-hashimotos/

 

Additionally, many people report that once they are free of the drug, their thyroid symptoms improve.

 

However, let's say 20mg is the therapeutic dose of fluoxetine. It has 80% SSTO. 

 

"Therapeutic doses" are determined by pharmaceutical companies, and there is little evidence to indicate that 20 mg is better than 10 mg, or 5 mg.  Additionally, the SERT occupancy shows that very small changes in dose drop the SERT occupancy significantly.

 

"It has 80% SSTO" is an average - YMMV.

 

 I am guessing the real healing (and also the real dangers of withdrawal) start to happen when we dip below 5mg doses.

 

In my experience, the healing begins as soon as you stabilise and make a plan.  That lifted my mood immensely, just knowing I was going to do something about it, even though I didn't start right away.

 

Then - the more you taper from a stable position, the more you heal.  You will heal immensely by about 1/2 dose.  I know very few who go back to full dose from there.   If you start from 20 mg, that would be 10 mg.  From 10 mg, that would be 5 mg.  That is why we recommended 10 mg reinstatement - and also these drugs are stronger than the pharma are telling.  SO - the goal dose is the dose you want to be on now, to stabilise.  That will begin your healing as you make a plan for how you are going to prepare your life for a taper.

 

Of course, it sounds like, from the severity of your symptoms, that you went into full blown withdrawal.  This destabilisation can affect any system, any time, so it is vitally important to keep as same-same and boring as possible to give your brain a chance to heal.

 

The capsules are Mylan, and the tablets are EG. I have no idea if different forms and manufacturers can cause symptoms but I've suspected that changing can cause startup symptoms. 

 

Yes, changing brands can cause problems.  Changing from brand to brand, or generic to generic.  I've seen some problems when someone switched from 2x75mg pills to 1x150 mg pills - of the same brand of drug, because of the change in the enteric coating (more surface area on 2 pills than on one).

 

So changing form - from tablet to pill, from brand to brand, might make a difference.  When you go to liquid, which you will need to do for smaller amounts, you will need to have a "switchover period" to get used to the liquid form of the drug.

 

I want to stick to 10mg because my instinct is telling me that what I'm going through now is due to fluoxetine being in my body at a daily frequency - something I'm not used to. 

 

There will be a "start up" period of 4 days to 3 weeks before it stabilises and your brain starts homeostasis.

 

Please do not bounce your doses like a basketball.  Same dose, every day, for at least 4 months.  Do not be tempted by symptoms, and changes in symptoms.  Healing comes in Waves and Windows and if you "medicate" every wave, you will be stuck on this hamster wheel a long, long time.

 

Long before then, I am hoping you will see great improvement.

 

Please, I hope you stay with us, but I understand if you truly want to leave.

 

I hope you see the sun today.

 

JanCarol

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

 

My apologies for the terse statement and signature. No one offended me; not at all. Withdrawal has hit me like a train and my life is a mess. I am persevering and deciding, by paraphrasing Churchill, to keep going through hell. I'm not fond of hyperbole or exaggeration but neuro-emotions really are the worst thing I've ever experienced. My decision to try to close this thread and leave was born of my vulnerable state of mind and poor decision making. I am here now, whether I am welcome or not. 

 

Anyway, I have been on 20mg of fluoxetine for two weeks exactly, since the 22nd of September. Above it is mentioned that startup can take 4 days to 3 weeks. I've had several days comprising huge windows (lasting several hours) and my waves were neuro-emotions that felt barely tolerable. It's been a tough couple of weeks with lots of positivity and hard work. Yesterday was a disaster and I was in tears most of it with lots of neuro-emotions that I would rate at 9 out of 10. 10 would be me reaching for bromazepam instantly at a full dose of 6mg. 

 

What I've done wrong

The last week, due to staying up later than I should, I started taking fluoxetine later in the day (around 12:00) as opposed to the morning (around 06:00). Perhaps this is a factor in the bad day yesterday.

Once a week, I have taken 3mg of bromazepam. This is a new development for the last 3 or 4 weeks since experiencing intense withdrawal. I have used bromazepam sparingly over the last few years (almost always 3mg and usually once every 4 to 6 months - truly, that infrequent!)

 

My symptoms now

Persistent headache, moderate to intense. Distraction helps a little

Neuro-emotions

A dramatic return of OCD, which I think is because my coping mechanisms (CBT) have been obliterated by neuro-emotions

 

My thoughts and ideas

I took a 10mg tablet of fluoxetine today in addition to my 20mg. This was in preparation for dropping to 10mg as my stable dose. I feel like I am going through withdrawal regardless of taking 20mg a day, not only that, the intense anxiety and OCD I have is caused by the fluoxetine. Prior to all this, for most of spring and summer, I was able to handle OCD with CBT for just 10 minutes of work a day, I was happy, without much anxiety at all. I was taking 40mg of fluoxetine each week. I am wondering if yesterday and the days of intense neuro-emotions is now just an adverse reaction to reinstating at too high a dose.

 

My question

Should I continue at 20mg, as it may still be the startup period, or should I drop to 10mg, as it may be the best dose for me to attempt stabilization on?

 

If you choose to answer my post, I would be grateful, thank you. If not, I understand, I'm not the easiest person to deal with. However, I still like to think I am nice and polite, just over-sensitive.

 

Joy.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

TJOT, You reinstated a daily dose of 20 mg fluoxetine 2 weeks ago after a time of inconsistent dosing, skipping days, etc. Improvement of symptoms can take longer than 2 weeks and is usually not linear.
The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization
 
What is your daily symptom pattern? Please take notes on paper of the time of your doses and of your symptoms. This will likely yield clues about the path forward.  Here's a post that details the kind of notes that are most helpful:
Take notes of doses and symptoms

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 Joy

Just wanted to say i am so sorry you are in this position.

 

You write so well in describing this experience and i can empathise with you .

At 6 yrs drug free i am still not the easiest person to deal with myself so dont worry about that. However i think you are extremely polite considering the iatrogenic mess your brain must be in.

 

I am glad that you found sa and glad are continuing to post.

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

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

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

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

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

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

Recovering paxil addict

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Joy, I'm pleased that you've come back to SA.  You actually need SA more when you are having trouble dealing with withdrawal.  The members here understand what you are going through and their support can be invaluable.

 

Six Mistakes I've Made in Withdrawal

 

Please try and get your signature up ASAP.  If you are having trouble doing it, jotting it down on paper first may be easier.  Don't make it too wordy because that makes it harder for us to see at a glance.

 

And a reminder:  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

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

Link to comment

Purpose: to present my detailed health diary in the format presented here as closely as possible: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1008-before-you-begin-tapering-what-you-need-to-know/#entry249388

 

NB: numbers rate a negative emotion or sensation out of 10, 1 being minimal, 10 being the worst. An absence of an emotional state means it did not occur. A list of them (separated by a comma) means they occurred around the same time, or happened in succession (within minutes of each other). A full stop after an emotion or list of them means some time has passed (usually an hour or two). Neuro-emotions are listed as NE.

 

Health issues: OCD (comorbid depression), GAD, health anxiety, and hypothyroidism (not an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s, and strange because I am a male in my thirties). I deal with these problems (other than the latter) very well with CBT. I have had great success in the past. I was doing fine until I hit withdrawal and had neuro-emotions, which are severe and crippling. They did not involve anxiety for the longest time but since reinstating at 20mg, anxiety has returned. I am still using CBT when I have the emotional problems listed below, I do not need advice about those! I do not say the latter in a defensive way, it’s just to prevent someone from wasting their time advising me about them, as I don’t want to take up too much of anyone’s time. However, if an NE happens, I am learning to cope with those, I find them distressing. All I know to do is to distract myself, practice some stress related CBT and hope for the best. What I’ve learned from SA is there is no treatment for withdrawal just a lot of good advice and growing scientific evidence to help us understand it better. Right now I think time and tapering are possibly the only guaranteed solution.

 

Diet: Enormous amounts of fruits, nuts and vegetables (mostly steamed). Fish a couple of times a week. Olive oil in generous amounts daily. ~2 litres of water. No dairy, no processed food, no refined food, no alcohol, no caffeine, no soda, and no smoking. I’ve been ingesting like that for almost two years. I am a healthy weight.

 

Supplements: Although I don’t take them regularly or often, I sometimes take vitamin D (as I work indoors a lot), and B12 (as the only animal product I consume is fish once or twice a week at most).

 

Exercise: 6 days a week, aerobic and strength training.

 

22 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Happy. Anxiety 2

Afternoon – anxiety 3.

Evening – Happy, anxiety 2. Anxiety 4. Happy, slept (~00:00).

 

23 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Happy. Anxiety 6, NE 6.

Afternoon – Depression 6, NE 3. Happy. Lethargy 4, dizziness 6, NE 4, anxiety 5, health anxiety 2. Anxiety 7, health anxiety 2, NE 2. Happy, smiling. OCD 5, NE 5, anxiety 5. Stress 3, NE 5, anxiety 5, OCD 5.

Evening – OCD 5, NE 5, anxiety 5. Relaxed. Happy, excited. Happy. Happy. Relaxed, slept (~01:00).

 

24 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Happy. Slept (~09:00).

Afternoon – Awoke (~12:00), anxiety 5. Anxiety 4. Happy. Anxiety 4, NE 3. Depression 5. NE 5, depression 5. OCD 3. OCD 4, NE 2. Happy. Depression 6. Health anxiety 5.

Evening – Happy, relaxed, slept (~02:00)

 

25 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Happy, health anxiety 2.

Afternoon – Anxiety 1, NE 3. Anxiety 4, NE 3. Anxiety 6, OCD 5, NE 6, dizziness 6. Happy. NE 5. Anxiety 6. Anxiety 5, NE 5, health anxiety 5, OCD 5.

Evening – Happy, health anxiety 5. Health anxiety 2, relaxed. Happy, slept (~01:00)

 

26 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Happy. Happy. OCD 4, NE 4. Health anxiety 1. Happy.

Afternoon – Happy. OCD 3, NE 3.

Evening – Happy, relaxed, slept (~23:00).

 

27 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~11 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Happy. Happy. Happy.

Afternoon – Anxiety 3, stress 3, OCD 3, NE 4. NE 4, OCD 4. Stress 3, NE 3. Anxiety 4, OCD 6. OCD 8. OCD 8. OCD 7. OCD 3.

Evening – OCD 2, NE 2. Happy. Slept (~01:00).

 

28 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Headache 6, OCD 2, NE 2, anxiety 2. Happy.

Afternoon – Stress 8, NE 2, headache 7. NE 8. NE 7, stress 6, anxiety 5. Headache 6, NE 5, anxiety 5. Depression 7, headache 6, NE 4, stress 6.

Evening – Crying 2, NE 3, anxiety 3, stress 3, depression 3. Headache 6. Depression 4, NE 2, stress 5. NE 6, headache 6, depression 4, stress 4. NE 6. Relaxed. Slept (~00:00).  

 

29 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~7 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine, 3mg bromazepam. Headache 8. Calm. Happy. Slept (~10:00).

Afternoon – Awoke (~13:00), NE 3, anxiety 3, headache 6. Happy, anxiety 5, NE 1. Happy.  

Evening – Happy. Happy. Happy. Relaxed, slept (~23:00).

 

30 September

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~6 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Headache 6, NE 1. Happy. Happy. Slept (~9:00).

Afternoon – Awoke (~12:00), headache 4, NE 1, anxiety 5. Calm. NE 5, anxiety 5, health anxiety 3. Lethargy 4, anxiety 2, NE 5. Anxiety 6, NE 6, lethargy 7. NE 4,

Evening – Happy, NE 1. Happy. Relaxed, happy, slept (~00:00).

 

01 October

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Headache 1, happy. Happy. Anxiety 2. Anxiety 1. Happy.

Afternoon – Happy. Happy. Stress 3, NE 1, happy. Happy. Happy.  

Evening – Happy, headache 1, slept (~23:00).

 

02 October

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Headache 3, happy. Happy.

Afternoon – Happy. Vitamin B12 and D. Happy. Anxiety 3, NE 3. Calm.

Evening – Happy, slept (~01:00).  

 

03 October

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Stress 2, happy, health anxiety 3. Diarrhoea, headache 4.

Afternoon – Slept (~14:00), awoke (~15:30), headache 6, NE 2. NE 6, NE 3. Stress 1, NE 1. Calm.

Evening – NE 6, anxiety 6, health anxiety 6, headache 2, cold symptoms. NE 4. NE 3. Headache 2, dizziness 4. Headache 7, NE 2. NE 1, happy. Happy. Cold symptoms. Slept (~07:00). 

 

04 October

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~4 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Anxiety 6. Happy, anxiety 4, NE 3. Happy. Anxiety 2, NE 2. Happy.

Afternoon – Anxiety 6, NE 6. Anxiety 5, NE 5. Happy. Anxiety 7, health anxiety 6. Anxiety 5. Relaxed, NE 1, headache 4. Calm.

Evening – Happy, relaxed, slept (~03:00). 

 

05 October

Afternoon – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Calm, headache 5, NE 2. NE 4, headache 7. NE 1. Depression 6.

Evening – OCD 9, NE 9, headache 8, crying 8, depression 9, suicidal ideation 8. NE 8, stress 7, health anxiety 7. NE 7, health anxiety 2, anxiety 2, calm. Took 3mg bromazepam. NE 3, calm, slept (~03:00).

 

06 October

Morning – Upon waking after sleeping ~10 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 20mg fluoxetine. Anxiety 7, NE 8, OCD 8. Calm. Headache 7, stress 5.

Afternoon – Took 10mg fluoxetine (EG Laboratories tablet). Happy. OCD 6. Headache 5, NE 1, health anxiety 4.

Evening – Diarrhoea, NE 8, anxiety 8, headache 8. Calm, depression 8, headache 5. Relaxed, happy, slept (~not sure, posting this right now!)  

 

Edit: minor corrections.

Edited by ChessieCat
Font colours for drugs

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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Thank you to all of you for the warm welcome. Nz11, your words are kind and I am so grateful to you taking the time to write here :) Thank you Chessie, Jan, and Scallywag, for volunteering to moderate this mess. I am feeling better now and in one sense, after a horrible day and evening, I am quite glad because I think it demonstrates that the 3mg bromazepam I took yesterday didn't do much for me. I'd rather get through this without any drugs and I have proven to myself that despite seeing neuro-emotions launch salvos at my entire life, I am learning to keep calm as it happens and getting better at it. Perhaps I will be able to laugh through the worst of withdrawal one day, as I see chunks of my personality disappear and parts of my life change irreversibly; after all, there's not much I can do about it!

 

My only wish now is that this thread can be of some use to someone, even so very slightly, thanks to the contributions made by you kind folks posting here. Good night, I'm off to bed now as I am sleepy and happy. Let's see what magnitude of storm tomorrow brings :D

 

Edit: Thanks for adding colours and emboldening the drugs ChessieCat, it was a nice idea!

Edited by ChessieCat
removed an obsenity which might offend

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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Hi Joy

How are you feeling today?

 

Well done on putting up a very comprehensive drug sig and recent history.

Your entries in sept all point to classic wdl symptoms.

 

It appears to me that maybe your brain has adjusted itself in the past to the 40mg daily dose which you took back in 2012 then again for 5 months this year. I assume you were stable on that in may this year which is why you decided to attempt a taper.

 

Withdrawal of these drugs is well known to be delayed and this is especially true for prozac/fluoxetine. I think the fast and inappropriate taper from 40mg took several months to surface.

 

You have tried to ri at weekly doses? then10 then 20. The wdl symptoms may have frightened you.

 

I wondered why you updosed a further 10mg to 30 mg on 6 oct and maybe that was driven by the first time entry of 'suicidal ideation' the evening before....and that may be the reason you went to bed with the benzo.

 

The updose to 30mg seems to have been accepted as you said that evening 'relaxed happy slept.'

 

Don't know how you felt today. but here are my thoughts in the absence of others.

 

Here is what i think,

 

If i were you i would decide to draw a line in the sand and not updose any more and hold on the 30.

You are playing with fire taking a benzo. So if i were you i would refuse to take the benzo again.

It may take a month or two to stabilize then i would consider if stable starting a slow informed sa- taper you may need to put aside several years to taper off.

 

Thats my best shot.

Wishing you stability

nz11

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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Hi nz11,

 

I was ruminating over my dose this morning after taking 20mg of fluoxetine because I had the incessant headache I seem to have developed over the last two months. One thing I didn't mention before because it didn't occur to me to do so, is that when I took 40mg (for example each week or every two weeks), I felt very good the same day and the day or two afterwards. The five months I took 40mg a day this year were very good. I decided to taper in May because I had changed the manufacturer of fluoxetine (not my choice) and had some startup symptoms for a week or so, with anxiety being the most distressing. As I was using CBT daily for OCD successfully, I felt that fluoxetine had done its work and needed to go; I didn't want to waste my energy on fighting my medication as well! 

 

I think you are right on the money about my withdrawal. The curse of fluoxetine is the long half-life and what appears to the ignorant sufferer (me in this case) as surprising withdrawal symptoms. Such symptoms are misinterpreted as the result of other things: a mental health problem, a lifestyle change, etc. All along, it was my brain trying to cope with the absence of fluoxetine and reaching a noticeable level of dysfunction a month or two after an overly rapid taper. 

 

As counter-intuitive as it may seem when I'm trying to taper, perhaps a 30mg a day reinstatement is closer to what my brain needs. I am willing to try anything at this point. As for bromazepam, I do rarely take it but as the last dose didn't seem to help me much, I am unlikely to take one now unless a crisis occurs (a rating of 10 on a negative emotion that I cannot handle any other way). Thankfully I've not rated anything at 10 in a long time. 

 

I am prepared for a slow, slow taper, lasting years if necessary. 

 

Thank you again for your input, I really, really appreciate it :)

 

Finally, something I want to do but I admit I am often too lazy to, is format my health diary in a way that is comprehensible at a glance. I'm just trying to work out the best way to present it. I think the one above is hard to read and could be condensed further. 

 

I read your posts about Psychiatry as Bulls*** (by the way, that was the word that was censored in my last post, sorry if I crossed a line there - I tend to swear like a trooper IRL :P) It came as no surprise to me to learn that many of the hypotheses regarding serotonin are unfounded, especially as the only thing to have helped me is CBT. I am glad that organisations such as the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, and SA exist. 

 

I am guessing from your signature that you are recovering, if so, I wish you a speedy recovery. I took paroxetine (Paxil) before fluoxetine, for about 3 weeks (I can't remember). I stopped CT and about two weeks later I had a 10/10 in severity bunch of withdrawal symptoms. It hit me like a freight train. At the time, without knowing about withdrawal, I thought I was going crazy. Deep down I knew that what I experienced was nothing like OCD, I ran to the doctor anyway for another SSRI, in this case fluoxetine. 

 

Ah well, there's no point dwelling on the past; at the time, so many people advocated SSRIs, I thought I was doing the right thing. If I had listened to a couple of people who cared, I would not have taken fluoxetine at all!

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

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  • Moderator

Hey Joy - it's like 2 am here and I just want to say I'm glad you came back.

 

I sensed that your departure was something like "withdrawal overwhelm."

 

I don't have much to add, other than this:  Please hold, your brain will be with you shortly.  Please hold, 3 months is a good time (that makes for a good New Year's thing to look forward to - holidays are rarely the best time for tapers)

 

Healing occurs in Waves and Windows and you have had some good windows, this leads me to have great hope that you are going to get through this - but it will take time.  Appreciate the windows, write about them so that you can read about them when you are in waves.  Waves tend to try and convince you that they will last forever - but it's a lie.  They, like clouds, will always move on.

 

Additionally, in the extremes of withdrawal, there's a phenomenon called Neuro-emotion that you may wish to explore.  The spark of the emotion is based in reality, but the rumination, explosion, magnification and stickiness of the emotion is purely chemical.  Again, the best way through is to distract and wait.

 

I'm glad you're back, and look forward to hearing more about your journey.

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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I feel a little clearer mentally and I would say that your guess as to why I left is probably part of it. Honestly, I think I was in denial about withdrawal and just wanted to forget about the whole thing. I just wanted to stabilize and forget all this ever happened.

 

I am far too familiar with neuro-emotions, sadly - that's been the worst part of withdrawal. 

 

Okay, I took another 20mg today because I wanted to see if it would affect this headache I'm constantly suffering from. It seemed to make the headache worse. I took ibuprofen for it and it relieved it a little. I'm not sure what to do now. My four options are:

 

1. hold at 20mg (but set an alarm to take the medication exactly the same time every day, my dosing above is maybe too erratic - anyone have experience with this being a problem?)

2. updose to 30mg

3. updose to 40mg

4. drop to 10mg

 

Jan, if I understand clearly, you want me to hold at 20mg?

nz11, you think 30mg may be what my brain needs - I think I agree with you but I have no experience with 30mg really, only 40mg.

 

I really appreciate your suggestions, thank you. I'm not sure what to say other than my two weeks above demonstrate things are slowly getting worse on 20mg a day. Maybe I'm not interpreting it objectively enough.

 

My inclination is to either take 20mg or 40mg but in any case, set an alarm to always take the dose then, so I can at least rule that out as a problem. Also, is there a way I can receive an email notification when someone posts here? I looked through the options but notification options don't seem to include an email function. Maybe I missed something.

 

Thanks again guys. I am sleepy as hell now at 40mg but feeling emotionally okay.

 

Edit: I just wanted to add Jan that I am 100% planning to hold for a long time when I get my stabilising dose right. From the outset you've all advocated getting my brain back to a regular, steady dose, and suggested at one point to stick with it for 4 months. I agree completely; I'd be happy to stick for 6 months if necessary. Fluoxetine is a pain because it takes so long to find out if things are going right or wrong. For example, what I felt yesterday (which was not a nice day) may be to do with dose decisions made around 4 weeks ago, or more! I want to stick to 20mg but this headache is getting worse and my mood is so unstable. I cherish my windows and I have been in the habit of writing good days down since starting CBT for my OCD, it is evidence that things get better (with fighting OCD at least). In terms of withdrawal, I can only hope my recovery happens one day but I'm prepared to wait years.

Edited by Thejoyoftapering

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

Link to comment

I ticked notify by email under all notifications yesterday but I didn't receive any. I keep checking my spam folder too. Anyway, not to worry. Here's my update for today:

 

07 October

Afternoon – Upon waking after sleeping ~8 hours took 25µg levothyroxine, 40mg fluoxetine. Relaxed, sleepy, happy, headache 6. Headache 8, ibuprofen for headache. Happy.

Evening – Happy. Headache 4, anxiety 2, NE 2, health anxiety 2. Happy. Anxiety 2, NE 2. Headache 3, anxiety 4. Happy, relaxed. Slept (~soon) 

Edited by ChessieCat
Font colour for ibuprofen

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

Link to comment

I felt so normal last night and this morning!  :) I don't know why though. Was it the 40mg of fluoxetine I took yesterday? My headache is almost gone today, although that could be due to the 400mg of ibuprofen I took yesterday. 

 

I took 20mg of fluoxetine today as I think holding there seems sensible but I just wish there was a way of knowing if 40mg is really what I need as a stabilizing dose. 

 

I won't mention the 25µg of levothyroxine anymore as that is going to stay the same for 3 to 6 months. 

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please don't alternate doses. Pick one dose and hold there; give it time, 10-14 days:

  • 5 days for the new dose to reach steady state 
    -- and --
  • at least a week for your CNS (central nervous system) to adjust to the new dose.

Alternating doses, even with a drug with a long half-life such as fluoxetine, risks worsening your withdrawal symptoms.

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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Thank you for your response Scallywag but which dose should I choose based on everything I've stated above and asked? If anyone has read this entire thread and can answer my questions, I'd be very grateful. I know that is asking a lot but I hope to get some answers soon.

To anyone with OCD symptoms: Thanks to CBT with ERP learned from this book (Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT by Dr. Fiona Challacombe, Dr. Victoria Bream Oldfield and Professor Paul M Salkovskis), and the valuable help from the life-saving charity OCD-UK (http://www.ocdforums.org/), I am almost recovered from OCD. See this thread for example (although Broken was on the right track there):http://survivinganti...ehaviors/page-3. If anyone here feels they may have OCD, please seek proper support from an OCD specialist. Treating OCD requires a very specific approach and misinforming people can be very harmful. OCD sufferers need CBT with ERP.

 

Why I’m leaving: The most important information I got from a couple of threads by Altostrata. nz11 helped a lot too, as did JanCarol.

 

Best of luck to all struggling with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and I hope you keep your wits about you and only heed advice that is supported by scientific research.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

If I were in your shoes, I'd hold at 20 mg because

  • Updosing risks destabilization, and
  • Adverse effects ("side" effects) decrease with dose.

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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