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Dr. David Healy on prolonged antidepressant withdrawal syndrome (2009)


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Dr. Healy has long warned of the dangers of antidepressants. This is from 08/20/09 correspondence with our member squirrel, reposted with her permission

 

Dr. David Healy on protracted antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

Dr. Healy is a professor in Psychological Medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine, Wales, director of the North Wales School of Psychological Medicine, and former secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology. He is the author of The Antidepressant Era, The Psychopharmacologists, The Creation of Psychopharmacology, Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (Johns Hopkins Biographies of Disease), Psychiatric Drugs Explained, and Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression (Medicine, Culture, and History), as well as many scholarly articles published in medical research journals.

 

He has been invited by the MHRA to advise the UK health service on antidepressant withdrawal and antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. A formal recommendation with citations will be released shortly.

Background

It is now generally accepted that antidepressants can cause physical dependence and a withdrawal syndrome, so that stopping antidepressants can commonly lead to withdrawal problems, that these problems may be severe in some instances but are generally less severe, and that these problems may last for months but are more often over within weeks. This piece outlines what is known about states of persisting difficulty and what can be done to remedy them.

 

First, it has been known since the 1960s when dependence on and withdrawal from antipsychotics was first outlined that in addition to classic states such as tardive dyskinesia that might be revealed by withdrawal, a variety of stress syndromes and persisting affective disturbances that have been termed tardive dysthymia, tardive akathisia and other tardive syndromes might also emerge.

 

Second, by the time enduring problems emerge after antidepressant discontinuation, the character of the initial problem has commonly changed. The initial problems often centre on phenomena that have been termed electric zaps, and electric head, but later these recede into the background and are replaced by a restless or dysphoric state consistent with a tardive dysthymia or tardive akathisia.

 

It should be noted that in addition to the abnormalities of sensation common in the initial phases, many of those affected complain of anxiety and depressive symptoms also. It may not be clear to patients or their doctors that these later onset depressive states are new developments, as they may often appear continuous with early onset withdrawal states and may even harder to distinguish from an original depression than the initial withdrawal state was.

 

Enduring states of this type can follow discontinuation from almost all antidepressants active on the serotonin system. The problem has not been as apparent on other antidepressants but this may reflect frequency of usage of SSRIs rather than anything else.

 

The problems appear more common in women than in men but this again may reflect frequency of usage.

 

The characteristic symptoms include “depression”, depersonalisation, agitation/akathisia, a generally labile state and stress intolerance.

 

Enduring problems can follow either abrupt or tapered discontinuation of treatment. One difficulty lies in knowing how common such states are.

 

A great number of individuals presenting to their doctors with these disorders are in all likelihood being told they have a recurrent affective disorder and are probably commonly being put back on an antidepressant.

 

This will happen for three reasons. First the problems will often look “depressive”. Second, most physicians simply do not think that higher order neurological problems of this sort could persist this long. Third, the problems at this point may seem to physicians to be different to the original problems on withdrawal and those affected may be persuaded of this. This interpretation is made more likely by the fact that most people will have had slightly better periods before a bad period leads them to seek help. But even tardive dyskinesia goes through good and bad phases.

 

Finally, this scenario overlaps with problems that can appear after stopping benzodiazepines, where the acute phases of withdrawal, which overlap with acute SSRI withdrawal, differed in profile from more chronic syndromes. The profile of chronic post-benzodiazepine difficulties is similar to that of chronic post-SSRI problems, with the chronic syndromes being more apparent in women.

 

Treating Severe Discontinuation Difficulties

In terms of the initial treatment of severe discontinuation difficulties, there are serotonergic and non-serotonergic options.

 

The serotonergic options as outlined in a number of withdrawal protocols involve going on a serotonin reuptake inhibitor such as fluoxetine or imipramine, often in liquid form and tapering extremely gradually.

 

A second option involves moving to a tricyclic antidepressant or an antihistamine or St John’s Wort on the basis that these share antihistaminic and serotonin reuptake inhibiting properties in common but are less potent (“gentler”) than SSRIs.

 

A third option involves treating with agents acting on different systems. Apparent success has been reported with choline-esterase inhibitors or lamotrigine. These have appeared in some instances to ease withdrawal problems in individuals who have found it very difficult to get off treatment.

 

Managing Tardive Dysthymia

The management of tardive dysthymia is a different problem to managing severe withdrawal. At present it is not clear what if anything might help the difficulties some people seem faced with 6 months or more into the discontinuation period.

 

Faced with ongoing problems, people commonly ask whether it might be worth going back on the original antidepressant and starting a new and even more gradual taper.

 

This seems problematic for two reasons. First going back on something that has caused such difficulties, perhaps through some vulnerability of the taker’s serotonergic or a related system, seems risky.

 

Second at least some of those who have gone back on treatment have needed to go back on a higher dose than previously in order to alleviate problems and in some instances a return to the original medication has not alleviated the problem.

 

Generally the longer the interval off the drug, the less likely it has been that reinstituting the treatment will lead to a resolution of the symptoms.

 

If an individual does return successfully to treatment, the question is what next.

 

Based on experience with the management of withdrawal from antipsychotics, one option might be to remain on treatment indefinitely. There are several drawbacks to this.

 

In the case of the antidepressants it is not at present known if ongoing treatment increases the risk of premature mortality or other disorder. The risks of fractures or haemorrhages seem slightly increased, and perhaps more substantially increased if combined with other treatments like aspirin.

 

If the taker has found the SSRI helpful but also emotionally blunting, this would be a significant impairment to quality of life to have to live with.

 

A second option is to turn to an antihistamine, such as chlorpheniramine, or to a tricyclic antidepressant, such as dosulepin or imipramine, or to St John’s Wort. The rationale here that a small amount of serotonin reuptake inhibition is all that is needed to produce a helpful anxiolytic effect in those suited to drugs of this type. SSRIs are in fact almost grotesquely overpowered for the purpose – using one is rather like having a sports car in a 30 mph zone.

 

Third turn to a completely different therapeutic principle. Among the options are drugs active on the cholinergic system, calcium channel blockers or dopamine agonists.

 

Choline-esterase inhibitors may help tardive dysthymic states, in that they have been reported to offer a benefit in tardive dyskinesia, and have been helpful in some cases of SSRI withdrawal.

 

Calcium channel blockers have been reported to benefit some individuals with enduring problems after antipsychotic withdrawal.

 

Dopamine agonists or stimulants are used in restless legs and related syndromes, and restlessness is often a component of the problems facing individuals after stopping antidepressants.

 

The final point concerns the likely duration of a tardive dysthymic episode. Based on the precedent of tardive dyskinesia, and of the difficulties some patients faced on discontinuation from benzodiazepines such states may last for 1-4 years. In older individuals there is a possibility they may last indefinitely. In younger individuals, they are more likely to clear up in a 12-36 month timeframe.

 

The resolution of difficulties may require something like a synthesis of new receptors to replace receptors that have been jettisoned in the face of physiological stressor of the SSRI. Whatever the mechanism recovery does happen but may take years and seems likely to be facilitated by activity of various sorts and most probably an avoidance of psychotropic medication – including antihistamines and other compounds.

 

Pregnancy – a Special Consideration

The issues above are particularly complex for women considering pregnancy, given evidence that serotonin reuptake inhibitors increase the risk of birth defects, spontaneous abortions, primary pulmonary hypertension and neonatal withdrawal syndromes.

 

Although more women on antidepressants have perfectly normal babies than have babies with one of the above problems, there is also the issue of the toll that 9 months of worrying might take on a mother and the effect of this on the relationship between mother and child.

 

Women contemplating pregnancy or suspecting or finding themselves pregnant and anxious to withdraw may have very real problems in the event of a significant withdrawal. A cross taper to fluoxetine liquid is problematic in that fluoxetine is also linked to an excess of birth defects and the other problems found with Seroxat.

 

 

MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

 

Managing New Affective Episodes

Another issue that needs to be addressed is the emergence of what is in fact a new affective episode rather than a flare-up of tardive dysthymia.

 

In this case, it seems likely that if someone got well on a serotonergic agent in the first instance, they are more likely to show a better initial response to another such agent than they are to respond to an agent from a different class.

 

This raises the question of whether the short term benefit is worth taking given the likely longer term problems. To some extent this issue depends on what the alternatives are.

 

First if this is a depressive disorder that has responded to a serotonergic agent in the first instance, it is less likely to be severe and as such the risks of attempting to bring about a quick response with drugs – such as the risk of suicide – are not high.

 

It would seem best however to take a drug that has less potent serotonin reuptake inhibiting properties – such as imipramine.

 

Second, not intervening pharmacologically is a reasonable option for two reasons. One is that the natural history of such disorders is that they will resolve on average within 12-16 weeks. Another is that there is considerable evidence to suggest that those who respond without pharmacological or other interventions are less likely to relapse in future.

 

Third, related to not-intervening there are a number of things affected individuals can do for themselves. Exercising, particularly in a routine, is likely to be helpful, as is physical work generally. Diet, especially avoiding alcohol, is likely to be of some importance.

 

There are other more esoteric steps a person can take. One is sleep deprivation, which is undertaken regularly as an antidepressant treatment in many European countries.

 

Finally, CBT or other psychotherapeutic procedures may be of benefit, where they would seem to be less likely to be helpful in tardive dysthymic states.

 

Managing Withdrawal

 

A large number of doctors still halt antidepressants abruptly, possibly for 2 reasons. One, they are not aware they should taper the treatment. Second, it is not possible to taper the treatment as only a few drugs come in liquid form – fluoxetine, paroxetine and imipramine. Given that a transfer to fluoxetine liquid can cause its own problems, making liquid forms of all SSRIs available or disseminating information on how such formulations may be prepared is important.

 

Patients undergoing a marked withdrawal from antidepressants need an account of what is known about what is happening to them. Something on these lines:

Your brain has adjusted to the presence of an antidepressant and the removal of this stimulus now requires the brain to readjust. In some cases, some people readjust in the way a spring does when a weight is removed – it springs back into shape. For others the spring will get back to normal provided the weight is removed gradually. For some others, the spring will not readjust.

 

Some antidepressants appear to cause more problems than others but we do not know why this is. Fluoxetine may be helpful for some people as it makes the readjustment process more gradual but it is not helpful for all and comes with its own problems.

 

There are a number other possibilities, one of which is that problems are more likely with potent serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as paroxetine and venlafaxine, in which case the best strategy is to move to low potency serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

 

Managing Tardive Dysthymia

 

It is particularly important for patients suffering from this condition to have a name for the state and an explanation for what is happening.

 

For this reason it is proposed to name the enduring condition that can happen after discontinuation of an antidepressant tardive dysthymia. It is not clear how great the overlap might be between the tardive dysthymia linked to antidepressant, antipsychotic or benzodiazepine withdrawals.

 

That a number of people exposed to antipsychotics, benzodiazepines or antidepressants may have an enduring problem has been recognized for some decades. The risks of having an enduring problem appear slightly greater for women, and may increase with age.

 

There is no clear understanding of what happens in the brain to trigger such problems but it may be that with extended exposure to an antidepressant, some sensitive individuals lose receptors from the ends of their nerve terminals as part of an adaptive mechanism and when the drug is removed these receptors do not simply return to normal.

 

If the explanation offered above is even partly correct, it implies that with time the condition should resolve but this resolution may take months or years. It would seem intuitively sensible to suggest that activity, which helps to refashion nerve endings, would help and those affected should therefore be encouraged to be physically active and in general to live life as fully as possible and avoid shutting down or withdrawing from activities.

Activities such as walking or swimming may be helpful especially if undertaken in a graded programme that ensures there is daily activity and over time builds the activity levels up.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has he published these reccomendations?

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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The above post implies he gave this advice to the UK MHRA.

 

See also Healy 2009 Halting SSRIs withdrawal guidelines

 

I don't know where any of this was formally published. Perhaps you can research that, Bar?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 6 months later...

hi Alto

when he says "may last indefinately in older individuals" what do you think he terms "older individuals".

1999 50mg citalopram / celexa for anxiety and depression.

dec 2007 50mg - 40mg, march 2009 40mg - 30mg, july 2009 30mg - 20mg, aug 2009 20mg - 30mg, sept 2009 30mg - 20mg, jan 2010 20mg - 30mg, july 2010 30mg - 25mg (one 20mg and half a 10mg tablet), july 2010 - july 2013 25mg

 

July 2013 began tapering down in 1mg increments, dissolving the tablets in water and using a syringe as suggested by Rhi. Had a few hiccups along the way as can be seen in my thread.

 

End December 2013, now down to 11.25mg.

Dec 2013 to present day still on 11.25 mg. I have hit, what Professor Healy terms, a shelf. I became extremely destabilised when I reduced from 12.25mg to 11.25mg. Only now, after some 15 months am I starting to really recover from it.

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Good question!

BTW, I never found this information published anywhere.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I don't know what he means by "older individuals."

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Older than my current age at whatever time I read this. ;)

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Ha! Older than me -- I'm going to be 62 in July.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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The serotonergic options as outlined in a number of withdrawal protocols involve going on a serotonin reuptake inhibitor such as fluoxetine or imipramine, often in liquid form and tapering extremely gradually.

 

I did the Imipramine. It was helpful. I have heard some horror stories about Prozac.

 

Thanks for posting this Alto.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • 2 years later...

I don't know what he means by "older individuals."

I don't see your history Alto .. how long drugged which drugs ect...so I can't figure how old you were starting Ads or how old you were when you quit. 

I have read reports of women having early menopause supposedly from taking effexor.... and wonder if part of the reason.  According to this article women have more issues with psych drugs than men.  Age and hormones ssri snri coming together to create the perfect storm.

Back to the chicken or the egg problem.

Some women in their 30s have reported menopause induced by Effexor - something I have read a lot about and posted on in the old topix forum - also found in the now gone effexoractivist forum... there is the seemingly contradicted use of Effexor to treat menopause ...both natural and chemically induced.

There are missing links here and missing clues.  Information is stepped on deleted by some entity for a reason.

I for one had sex hormone tests when I was in tolerance and cold turkey from Effexor and all had extreme results. I suspect gender specific alterations hold a key at least in part to understanding and perhaps treating tardive dysthymia.

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 2 months later...

I am trying to wean off venlor, I was on 150mg then did 75mg for two weeks and then 37.5 for two weeks, and now am taking half a capsule, mmmm head is flapping nausea and vertigo, not as bad as when I used to forget my 150mg pill in a day............but still unpleasant, how can I completely wean off this venlor with minimal side effects, some people say I should go on Prozac and use the two for a week then drop the venlor and do Prozac for a week and stop all together ????????? what would you suggest

Avananj

 

Day 5: starting counting beads on the half of the half (uncounted) of 37.5 today, I counted out 25 beads (there were 50 in the capsule), other than a bit of a heavy head all day I was fine, nausea has gone about 90% today yippeeee........lol,  as the day wore on and  10pm approached, I got more and more dizzy but not so bad I could not handle it. Tomorrow I will take the other 25 beads, and then see how I feel, only when I feel like my body has adjusted to the 25 beads will I start tapering by taking out 1/2 beads every day or every other day from 25 beads, I do feel I am one of the blessed ones with not too much withdrawals at this point, the secret is to go slowly.   Just as a matter of interest my cousin came off Effexor tapering down to 37.5 then for a week his pysch told him to take one every other day and then stop ( bit harsh I think) he said that he spent a whole week in bed with horrible flapping, and zinging  in his head and nausea, he could not tolerate bright lights as well, and said it was awful, but slowly he started feeling better....................don't think I will go this route, I still say slowly is better

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

angieb, you are tapering too fast, please start a topic for yourself in the introductions section here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/3-introductions-and-updates/

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

"The characteristic symptoms include “depression”, depersonalisation, agitation/akathisia, a generally labile state and stress intolerance.

Enduring problems can follow either abrupt or tapered discontinuation of treatment. One difficulty lies in knowing how common such states are. 

A great number of individuals presenting to their doctors with these disorders are in all likelihood being told they have a recurrent affective disorder and are probably commonly being put back on an antidepressant. 

This will happen for three reasons. First the problems will often look “depressive”. Second, most physicians simply do not think that higher order neurological problems of this sort could persist this long. Third, the problems at this point may seem to physicians to be different to the original problems on withdrawal and those affected may be persuaded of this. This interpretation is made more likely by the fact that most people will have had slightly better periods before a bad period leads them to seek help. But even tardive dyskinesia goes through good and bad phases. "

 

As I read this above I can't help but think of all the times I was put back on a drug desperate to keep my job and my home life in tack all the struggle so many times ... all while trying to over come wd from a drug I was given off label to treat pain... it seems like the dark ages of torture but it was not that long ago. 

 

But even tardive dyskinesia goes through good and bad phases. "

I feel I have spent a good part of my life in tardive dyskinesea I should learn how to say it properly in case some time a person is interested in hearing it.... I would often go long stretches of time without medication white knuckling it all the while trying not to lose my job.. or my mind may kids suffered because of this and that is not forgivable. 
 
As I read the list of things to do to treat it.. I see that over the years I have tried most of it.. going back on meds trying benzos trying AP... I guess all that is left to me is the less often tried. 
 
"In the case of the antidepressants it is not at present known if ongoing treatment increases the risk of premature mortality or other disorder. The risks of fractures or haemorrhages seem slightly increased, and perhaps more substantially increased if combined with other treatments like aspirin." 
 
I have already had issues with both bleeding a fractures so if I was not already convinced that would clinch it... I was already convinced.  I am not convinced Ad use will not impact the length of my life even tho I am not taking them now and never will again.  I feel they have left a legacy on my body after 18 years use.  No I can't prove it I am not trying to prove anything just stating my opinion. 
 
"Third turn to a completely different therapeutic principle. Among the options are drugs active on the cholinergic system, calcium channel blockers or dopamine agonists. 

Choline-esterase inhibitors may help tardive dysthymic states, in that they have been reported to offer a benefit in tardive dyskinesia, and have been helpful in some cases of SSRI withdrawal.

Calcium channel blockers have been reported to benefit some individuals with enduring problems after antipsychotic withdrawal.

Dopamine agonists or stimulants are used in restless legs and related syndromes, and restlessness is often a component of the problems facing individuals after stopping antidepressants. "

 
I am thinking I have tried at least one of all of these.. all took time all upset my apple cart once again.  The only one I think I have not tried would be the choline esterase inhibitors... quick search bring me to this
Cholinesterase inhibitors: drugs looking for a disease? - See more at: http://www.cwhn.ca/en/node/27630#sthash.NIqw5qEb.dpuf
not comforting in any respect. 
not convinced but I never heard of them either... 
 
As for timeline maybe I will be a lifer but I know Alto was done or close at 7 years so was Charles from antidepressantfacts so the timeline needs work... I want to be hopeful. 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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The final point concerns the likely duration of a tardive dysthymic episode. Based on the precedent of tardive dyskinesia, and of the difficulties some patients faced on discontinuation from benzodiazepines such states may last for 1-4 years. In older individuals there is a possibility they may last indefinitely. In younger individuals, they are more likely to clear up in a 12-36 month timeframe.

The resolution of difficulties may require something like a synthesis of new receptors to replace receptors that have been jettisoned in the face of physiological stressor of the SSRI. Whatever the mechanism recovery does happen but may take years and seems likely to be facilitated by activity of various sorts and most probably an avoidance of psychotropic medication – including antihistamines and other compounds.

 

I think he has a point here as when I was well enough to be out and about I felt a lot better I must take into account the car accident and surgery... right at 4 years off... add to the drugs to treat this and that... bp headaches pain...infections I am srue are all part of my delay in recovering.... bummer but maybe that is reason to be more hopeful. 

 

There are other more esoteric steps a person can take. One is sleep deprivation, which is undertaken regularly as an antidepressant treatment in many European countries. 

Interesting.. wonder if I do this without think of it.

 

That a number of people exposed to antipsychotics, benzodiazepines or antidepressants may have an enduring problem has been recognized for some decades. The risks of having an enduring problem appear slightly greater for women, and may increase with age.

There is no clear understanding of what happens in the brain to trigger such problems but it may be that with extended exposure to an antidepressant, some sensitive individuals lose receptors from the ends of their nerve terminals as part of an adaptive mechanism and when the drug is removed these receptors do not simply return to normal.

 

A tipping point where there is no coming back.. maybe I hope I am not one of them even if I am I am not going to give up trying to improve and learn... like I said before I will let you know as the Fat Lady did not sing yet. 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Eff this. Tricyclics did this to me, so I don't see why they are considered a potential management tool. Really bummed about the tipping point info and about the fact that women may have less chance of recovery.

 

I am a woman who was started on meds at age 32. Stopped at age 35 and have been off for 3.5 months. Was SUPER healthy prior to meds, plus athletic. Not one muscle left on me anymore, plus am now dumb.

 

Really would like to know if recovery is going to happen for me.

 

Not to be nosey about your age, Alto, but it'd be really helpful to know at what age you started withdrawal. Please tell me it was older than 35...

 

If I'm starting withdrawal at an age after the tipping point, I'll... I don't know.

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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Also, the stuff about tardive dyskinesia having good and bad spells sucked to read, because I thought I was going to have a chance to recover from that.

 

This also hints that akathisia could manifest itself later. I'm having brain zaps now, so according to Healy, things could still get worse? Christ, I already have everything else, including myoclonic jerks and scrunchy face. Can't I please be spared from the rest of hell?

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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I know all these resources are here to help us, but sometimes the information makes me want to give up and pray for death to come to me quickly and peacefully.

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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I was 54 when I went off Paxil.

 

We have a lot of people here who had a spell of akathisia and were never bothered by it again.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I was 54 when I went off Paxil.

 

We have a lot of people here who had a spell of akathisia and were never bothered by it again.

 

Thank you, Alto.  Your response really is appreciated.  Thanks for not minding me "prying" about your age.

 

I can't remember… did you slow taper, or rapid, or ct?  If I remember correctly, you went slowly and used lamotrigine, right?

 

Although Healy and Shipko are perhaps most credible on these withdrawal syndromes, is it okay for me to hate them a little when they write stuff that discourages me?  I just fear that they are the most knowledgeable, and their knowledge does not always just with the best case scenario that I hope i become.  In fact, everything they write seems to give me reason to lose hope.

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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Hi

So St. John's wort may be worth a try ? I was told to avoid this one

 

Thanks

10 months of venlaflaxine cold turkey. Prozac 20 mg for 13 years, the last 5 years taken every other day. Cold Turkey.

Hellish terror. Deep melancholic depression, chronic insomnia, swing between akathesia and chronic fatigue. Vertigo, headaches neck pain and inner tremor. Taking magnesium and vit c. Just bought seriphos not tried yet.

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Something he said really stands out to me

 

"Activities such as walking or swimming may be helpful especially if undertaken in a graded programme that ensures there is daily activity and over time builds the activity levels up."

 

When I was in school and in the military and engaged in lots of physical exercise I had no anxiety episodes. It appears that he is correct with exercise, and that nerve endings refashion themselves with physical activity. We are a society of couch potatoes. We don't do a lot of physical activity. This may account for some of our so called mental problems.

Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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Does anyone exercise, and has it helped your recovery?

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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Exercise currently sets off my symptoms too much.  But I used to loooove it.  Plus, I can't exercise now because of the muscle dysfunction the meds caused in my body.  Light stretching and walk up and down the hall a few times a day. 

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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Does anyone exercise, and has it helped your recovery?

Yes and yes.

 

I noticed in the article that he often says "may" and "possibly" and "we don't know why". Reminds me of how they tell us how antidepressants work. The truth is nobody knows much, it's all a guess and we are all doomed to some form of misery because of these drugs.

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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Great article and yes i thought it had come from the guidelines guide.

I just asked this question in my intro so thought i would post it here. 

 

Question: In this article is Healy describing/calling akathisia as 'Tardive Dysthymia' . It seems to me he is.

Are these two words interchangeable, one and the same? Maybe it is just a word for 'protracted ssri wdl' .

 

First, it has been known since the 1960s when dependence on and withdrawal from antipsychotics was first outlined that in addition to classic states such as tardive dyskinesia that might be revealed by withdrawal, a variety of stress syndromes and persisting affective disturbances that have been termed tardive dysthymia, tardive akathisia and other tardive syndromes might also emerge.

 

oh it appears he is.

Note to myself: Always reread article.

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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Exercise isn't on my radar yet.I get a negative reaction from even the lightest of activities.

Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th . PPI Dexlant  30 mg taper has begun. Cutting 20% currently.  using zantac as needed.  Benzo is currently 0.10mg 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dr. Healy's Guide to Stopping Antidepressants

wp.rxisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/RxISK-Guide-to-Stopping-Antidepressants.pdf

http://wp.rxisk.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/RxISK-Guide-to-Stopping-Antidepressants.pdf

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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  • 4 months later...

This article freightens me as I'm sure it does others. I don't understand how David Healy and maybe a couple of others are the only ones that say these negative things. It sounds hopeless. There appears to be a difference in WD symptoms that bring us here. Though all serious in their own way but if you have tarditive dysthymia (which appears that I now have) you are screwed. The other aches and pains might go away over time but the dysthymia is the one you don't want, most dehabilitating and more than likely is permanent. Of the success stories on here, I would be interested to know if anyone came out of this state.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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I do not think you can say which wins the Worst Symptom sweepstakes.

 

People do recover from tardive dysthymia. Like the other post-acute withdrawal symptoms, it takes time and can be very gradual.

 

Setting your mind to healthy habits, such as getting gentle exercise each day, is essential to support healing.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Ok. I didn't mean to say the other symptoms weren't serious at all. All of our symptoms are very serious.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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People do recover from tardive dysthymia. Like the other post-acute withdrawal symptoms, it takes time and can be very gradual.

 

Setting your mind to healthy habits, such as getting gentle exercise each day, is essential to support healing.

 

God, I hope so. Otherwise....

 

I must emphatically agree with the notion that antidepressants are often far too powerful to successfully manage symptoms in some cases. The sports car analogy makes perfect sense to those having lived through all this. I feel that I traded one set of problems for another almost as bad. And now I have something altogether hellish.

 

I would gladly trade zaps for what I'm feeling now.

 

Question:

 

"Apparent success has been reported with choline-esterase inhibitors or lamotrigine." (Above.)

 

and....

 

"Researchers have discovered a significant link between high use of anticholinergic drugs - including popular non-prescription sleep aids and the antihistamine Benadryl (diphenhydramine) - and increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people."

 

Are choline-esterase inhibitors and anticholinergic drugs related?

Began in 1998 at 20mg/day. Dropped from 20 to 10mg/day around 2006. Dropped from 10 to 5mg/day in June of 2014. Dropped from 5 to 0mg/day in June of 2015. Rough times, indeed.

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  • 5 months later...

In reading Dr. Healy's above information I noticed he said a back up plan might be celexa or imipramine....to taper off of an especially difficult antidepressant like paxil or effexor....has anyone switched from paxil or effexor to celexa or imipramine if so what was your experience?

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Downtown Girl,

 

I'm not suggesting as I'm nowhere near qualified but after I heard about FunkyBaboon's passing I read his thread. It looks like a few years back he fell into some bad Celexa WD. He tried several meds but ended up on a tricycleric (Nortriptline). I guess he stabilized.

Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010.

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue.

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Something he said really stands out to me

 

"Activities such as walking or swimming may be helpful especially if undertaken in a graded programme that ensures there is daily activity and over time builds the activity levels up."

 

 

Same here. Both have been helpful for me ever since WD. 

 

Places that are as natural and open as possible (parks/ponds for walking, swimming pools with lots of sunlight flowing in, etc.) seem to make me feel better. 

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  • 5 months later...

Downtown Girl,

I'm not suggesting as I'm nowhere near qualified but after I heard about FunkyBaboon's passing I read his thread. It looks like a few years back he fell into some bad Celexa WD. He tried several meds but ended up on a tricycleric (Nortriptline). I guess he stabilized.

Christian,

 

Funky's passing wasn't caused by AD WD, but a freak accident.

 

JC

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)  Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018  Diagnosed with: 5th August 2021 PTSD/C-PTSD Diagnosed with: March 2022 Interstitial Cystitis (IC)/Painful bladder syndrome

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  • 1 month later...

I was also told by dr Healy that once ssri withdrawal set in there was nothing anyone could do and no relatable treatment and it was unlikely to go away.

 

 

It was a email he sent saying that once ssri withdrawal became entrenched there was no treatment and was unlikely to go away by itself.

 

Was wondering if Prof Healy may have changed his view on ssri recovery.

This member may have misread the email though.

 

 

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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