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Abigale - new member - request for advice


Abigale

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Hello,

 

to begin with I would like to apologise for my English - it's not my native lanuage.

 

I found this site looking for some answers (on Polish sites you can't find anything sensible). I would be grateful for your advice and opinions.

 

My story:

 

One day in 1999 I started to feel panic (nothing happened that would cause this condition). I was 24/7 very anxious/panic for 6-7 months from that moment. I really don't know how I managed to survive this ( I was to affraid to commit suicide - I thought that there is no warranty that I won't feel panic after I'm dead - strange, I know).

 

After few internists ( find a hobby, etc they said) I came to a neurologist, who did all lab tests (they were ok), prescribed xanax and sent to a psychiatrist. Psychiatrist gave me paroxetine - 20 mg. So I took it for 6-7 months without any improvement and after this time disease began to wane. I discontinuated the drug by myself and nothing happend for few months.

 

The disease came back again and I was back on paroxetine, but this episode lasted for about 2-3 weeks. This time I stayed on paroxetine.

 

From 2000 to 2010 (I think) I was on paroxetine 20 mg and episodes repeated about 5 times (every time for 2-3 weeks). I was taking paroxetine 40 mg than and after some months from episode I was coming back to 20 mg.

About 2010/11 ( I don't remember when exactly) I was switched to venlafaxine XR 75 mg. I had no episode but psychiatrist thought it might help me with my libido problems.

 

From 2010/11 I had some weeks with anxiety.

 

2014 - I had horrible episode that lasted about 2-3 months after my partner broke up with me. I was put on 150 mg of venlafaxine and 50-150 mg trazodone.

 

2014-2016 - I reduced the venlafaxine to 75 mg and stopped taking trazodone.

 

And at the end on December I had another episode which lasts for now. I'm taking 150 mg venlafaxine and 100 mg trazodone.

 

And there's my problem: I'v read about long term ssri use and I'm scared that my brain is damaged. I started to feel better lately but every time I think about tardive dysphoria and trd - anxiety and desperation come back. My psychiatrist told me that I hurt myself reading about it and it's not true. But I've seen surveys...

 

Could you give me some advice?

 

1. I'm so scared right now that I think about tapering ssri. But I'm still during my episode - what's your advice?

 

2. Can I recover from almost 17 years ssri usage? Is my brain damaged?

 

3. Should I start CBT, supplementation, exercises now or when I'll start tapering. Or after tapering. What would be the best for my brain (I'm affraid that if I start now, there won't be anything left to do after my discontinuation.

 

I will be grateful for any advice.

Edited by scallywag
sw: tags; CC: added white space

1999 - Paroxetine 20 mg for about 7 month (I don't think it helped me, I had very high anxiety and less depression all that time - it was the reason I started taking ssri). Discontinuated after 7 months. A few months later I went back to a previous state so I started taking paroxetine again. This state lasted for about 2-3 weeks but I stayed on paroxetine.
2000-2010 ( I think) - Still on paroxetine. I had about 5 recurrences during that time (but they lasted for about 2-3 weeks only)During recurrences I took 40 mg of paroxetine.
about 2010/11 - switched on venlafaxine 75 mg (I didn't have a recurrence when switching but a psychiatrists thought it might solve my problem with my weak desire for sex).
2010/11 - 2014 - venlafaxine 75 mg (some weeks with anxiety)
2014 - horrible recurrence for about 2-3 months. Venlafaxine was increased to 150 mg and trazodone was added - from 50 mg to 150 mg.
2014 - 2016 I lower venlafaxine to 75 mg and stopped taking trazodone
2016 - another recurrence from end of December. I'm on venlafaxine 150 mg and trazodone 100 mg.

Link to post

Can someone advise me? I really need help.

1999 - Paroxetine 20 mg for about 7 month (I don't think it helped me, I had very high anxiety and less depression all that time - it was the reason I started taking ssri). Discontinuated after 7 months. A few months later I went back to a previous state so I started taking paroxetine again. This state lasted for about 2-3 weeks but I stayed on paroxetine.
2000-2010 ( I think) - Still on paroxetine. I had about 5 recurrences during that time (but they lasted for about 2-3 weeks only)During recurrences I took 40 mg of paroxetine.
about 2010/11 - switched on venlafaxine 75 mg (I didn't have a recurrence when switching but a psychiatrists thought it might solve my problem with my weak desire for sex).
2010/11 - 2014 - venlafaxine 75 mg (some weeks with anxiety)
2014 - horrible recurrence for about 2-3 months. Venlafaxine was increased to 150 mg and trazodone was added - from 50 mg to 150 mg.
2014 - 2016 I lower venlafaxine to 75 mg and stopped taking trazodone
2016 - another recurrence from end of December. I'm on venlafaxine 150 mg and trazodone 100 mg.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Abigale -- 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.
 
Although your CNS (central nervous system), which is more than just your brain, makes changes when we're on these medications, it changes again to undo the previous changes when we stop taking the medication. It is very unlikely that you have experienced brain damage. You can and WILL recover.
 
I'll be posting questions for you, things to do, and topics to read. This will be a long post. ;)
 
When in 2016 did you stop taking trazodone? How did you stop taking it, all at once or gradually decreasing the dose?
When in 2016 did you decrease venlafaxine? How did you decrease, all at once or gradually decreasing?
 
You would be wise to start building good or better health habits before you taper:

Another part of preparing to taper is to learn and think about how you will taper. We suggest that you decrease only one drug at a time, and that you decrease by no more than 10% each month.
Taking multiple drugs? Which to taper first.
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.
Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)
Tips for tapering off trazodone.

 

It is a good idea to wait until you are feeling well -- no symptoms of anxiety or depression -- to make a decrease.

 

Thank you for posting a signature with your medication and withdrawal history. It will be important to keep that updated, adding new doses and the dates when you make a change.

 

Please read the links I've provided. If you have questions, please post them here in your introduction topic so that all your information is in one place.

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 post

Thank you so much!

 

When in 2016 did you stop taking trazodone? How did you stop taking it, all at once or gradually decreasing the dose?
When in 2016 did you decrease venlafaxine? How did you decrease, all at once or gradually decreasing?

 

I don't remember exactly when I stopped - a few months ago. I didn't know how to taper then so:

- venlafaxine - I used 75 mg and 37,5 mg for about 2 weeks and then I stayed on 75 mg

- trazodon - I started when I was on 75 mg venlafaxine. I changed the trazodon dose to 100 mg for about week and then to 50 mg (also about week) and then I stopped taking it.

 

I haven't noticed any symptoms of withdrawal, maybe greater nervousness but I had a lot of stress at work. And I didn't know they exist (except brain zaps).

 

To be honest I haven't felt like myself since I was 17.

 

Thank you for links, I'll read them carefully. Could you post some links relating to the brain healing process also?

1999 - Paroxetine 20 mg for about 7 month (I don't think it helped me, I had very high anxiety and less depression all that time - it was the reason I started taking ssri). Discontinuated after 7 months. A few months later I went back to a previous state so I started taking paroxetine again. This state lasted for about 2-3 weeks but I stayed on paroxetine.
2000-2010 ( I think) - Still on paroxetine. I had about 5 recurrences during that time (but they lasted for about 2-3 weeks only)During recurrences I took 40 mg of paroxetine.
about 2010/11 - switched on venlafaxine 75 mg (I didn't have a recurrence when switching but a psychiatrists thought it might solve my problem with my weak desire for sex).
2010/11 - 2014 - venlafaxine 75 mg (some weeks with anxiety)
2014 - horrible recurrence for about 2-3 months. Venlafaxine was increased to 150 mg and trazodone was added - from 50 mg to 150 mg.
2014 - 2016 I lower venlafaxine to 75 mg and stopped taking trazodone
2016 - another recurrence from end of December. I'm on venlafaxine 150 mg and trazodone 100 mg.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

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 post

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