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Have you recovered from being on antidepressants long term and/or high dose?


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On 7/28/2018 at 10:44 AM, freespirit said:

There's already another thread on this

 

Thanks freespirit, I've merged the two.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from July 2021:  Pristiq 0.13mg

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 Oct 2015 

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

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

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My massive reply. I am so sorry. Now I've come from the end of this I can see how much pain I still have regarding all the years past. I'm certainly not living in the past and I'm so grateful we are a

On 7/27/2018 at 12:53 PM, myndfull said:

Peachy -- I took three years, eight months to get off Celexa. I was on the stuff for about 21 years, and that includes the time I tapered. Most of that time I took Paxil.

 

I got very low in my daily dose and finally stopped taking the medicine about three month ago. I'm healing nicely, though my recovery will probably take another year or two.

 

There were many times when I wanted to give up. I didn't. I'm happy I didn't.

 

I can tell you without a doubt that we heal and we get better. I'm aware of that now, in recovery, especially. I see lots of positive change just in the last month.

 

Myndfull

 

Thank you Myndfull!

Did you have symptoms throughout your taper, like me? Would you mind sharing some of your symptoms, and what has resolved for you thus far??

THANK YOU for the response. Truly, It made my day...

XX

Peachy

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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16 hours ago, Peachy said:

Thank you Myndfull!

Did you have symptoms throughout your taper, like me? Would you mind sharing some of your symptoms, and what has resolved for you thus far??

THANK YOU for the response. Truly, It made my day...

XX

Peachy

Peachy -- Since I've been through the mill, so to speak, symptoms-wize; I find it easier to simplify when speaking of them. Symptoms cycle through: there's depression and then there's anxiety. And then there's a combination of the two. Depression includes anhedonia, depersonalization, derealization, disassociation, etc. Anxiety includes tinnitus, insomnia, bad dreams, stomach issues, headaches, akathisia, brain fog. Etc. Both of them make me see myself and the world through a negative lens. All becomes negative. And that's not myself. Since that negativity is not the real me, I've had to remember, almost hour by hour, for the last three years or so during my taper that the negativity is caused by something that isn't me. Neuro-emotions.

 

Objectifying your symptoms is key to seeing them clearly. It's not you, it's them. You can fight them, but you shouldn't fight yourself.

 

In fact one of the key insights I've gained from my taper is that I (we all) must be kinder. And kindness starts with the self. When you accept that the symptoms are going to be around for a while, they begin to have less of an impact.

 

I'm still cycling. That is, I still get depressed for no good reason (clearly caused by withdrawal), and I still get the buzz of anxiety. I can usually tell the latter's on board when my insomnia gets worse and the buzzing in my right ear gets louder.

 

However, all of my symptoms have lessened, some of them to the point where they're almost gone. Headaches, for example. Gut problems, too, are almost non-existent. My insomnia ramps up cyclically, but where I was getting three or five hours of sleep, I'm now on a bad night getting six. I don't think any of my symptoms have completely resolved. Though I'm much, much better than I was. 

 

What's happening is that the symptoms are fading. Think of the word laceration. Now, think of the word scratch. 

 

So, when I think of my symptoms I think of intensity. Nothing I've had is all that intense anymore. I'm still in withdrawal, my brain/CNS is still healing, but the intensity and duration of what I'm feeling have become more manageable. If I'd been in the hospital for the duration of my withdrawal, they've have now sent me home.

 

One of the major differences post-jump is that the differences come more quickly and all of them are in the positive direction (there were many times during my withdrawal when I couldn't tell if I was getting better, and there were plenty of times when I thought that I was getting worse). Now, I can sense that I'm truly getting better, not just hoping I'm getting better. It's a different state of mind. I'm returning to normal. 

 

Oddly, this situation of second guessing what is withdrawal and what is my "normal" is a bit frustrating. There are days when I feel really good. Get a lot of stuff done. Think positively again about myself and the world, etc. And then there are days when I'll wake up with a mild malaise that I know is withdrawal and I'll think, "Oh, come on. Enough is enough!"

 

I imagine at some point in my recovery that I'll begin to ask myself if what I'm feeling is withdrawal or not withdrawal, that that might be a bit "creepy" not knowing for sure. But I'm not complaining. I'm in a much better place now than I was and I'm very hopeful for the future.

 

You'll get there, too!

 

 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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On 2/9/2018 at 10:23 AM, RealMe said:

Thanks, DBNO.  We sure do.  I wonder if there are any more "older" people on this forum.

Hey RealMe... I just signed up today and yes there are!! I'm 72 and just starting my journey up the "SSRI FREE MOUNTAIN".  Not sure I have the will (or wont) power to see this through a multi-year process but, according to my cardiologist, I'd best at least reduce my dosage.  At my age there seems to be a risk associated with ADs called "QT prolongation" which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.  Past 20+ years has included Zoloft, Paxil and now Celexa.  Dropped from 20 to 10 mg. 1 month ago and even that has been somewhat difficult.  Usual symptoms found all over this forum including worsening tinnitus.  Going to stick with it though!  At GP's suggestion I might start Wellbutrin to help the anxiety.

 

OLD DUDES RULE!!!

2000 - 2005  Zoloft

2005 - 2014  Paxil

2014 - Present - Celexa 20 mg. to 10 mg. June 2018     

 Image1.jpg.347e93e6fdb5fb407c57fcdd9e1f980a.jpg

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."  Winston Churchill

 

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10 hours ago, DewinCA said:

Hey RealMe... I just signed up today and yes there are!! I'm 72 and just starting my journey up the "SSRI FREE MOUNTAIN".  Not sure I have the will (or wont) power to see this through a multi-year process but, according to my cardiologist, I'd best at least reduce my dosage.  At my age there seems to be a risk associated with ADs called "QT prolongation" which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest.  Past 20+ years has included Zoloft, Paxil and now Celexa.  Dropped from 20 to 10 mg. 1 month ago and even that has been somewhat difficult.  Usual symptoms found all over this forum including worsening tinnitus.  Going to stick with it though!  At GP's suggestion I might start Wellbutrin to help the anxiety.

 

OLD DUDES RULE!!!

Hi DewinCA,

Welcome to SA.  If you want to taper off ADs safely with the least amount of suffering, you have come to the right place.  How did you develop tinnitus?  Tinnitus in my case immediately followed Wellbutrin being increased from 150 to 300 mg.  I have no scientific proof that Wellbutrin caused it, but that certainly was my experience.  It was like someone flipped a switch.  

There are lots of ideas here that help with anxiety and other symptoms.  Reading success stories on this forum, walking in the sunshine, meditating, socializing and watching comedies are some that help me.  Dropping from 20 to 10 mg in one month is quite a hefty reduction.  Moderators here with lots of experience recommend 10% reductions or less.  It is tempting to go fast, but it is safer and a lot less painful to go slowly.  I was on "medications" for many, many years, so going slowly was not an unreasonable idea for me.  I wish you the very best in reaching your goal.  Just ask a lot of questions here, and you will get lots of help.

Best wishes, fellow survivor!

RM

Alcohol periodic excessive 1963-1976, Valium sporadic 1964-1973,  Imipramine off & on 1982-1985, Fluoxetine 10mg-80 mg. Oct., 1995-Jan., 2014; Cymbalta, other ADs 1/2014-3/2014; Abilify 5 mg. 3/2014 - 8/8/17; Trintellix 20 mg. 3/2014 - 9/2017; Propranolol 60-80 mg. sporadically Sept-Oct, 2017; Seroquel few days Sept 2017 (c/t); Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sept, 2017 updosed to 300 mg. few days till c/t Oct 8, 2017, fish oil, vitD, vitE Oct 16, 2017-pres. Lipoflavonoid 4/2017-pres.  Fluoxetine 10 mg. Sept-Oct 8, 2017, 20 mg. 10/9- 10/15; 10 mg. 10/16 - 12/29;  9 mg. 12/30 - 2/9; 2 mL liquid (8.1mg) 2/10 - 3/7; 1.8 mL (7.29 mg) 3/8 -3/20; 1.6 mL (6.561mg) 3/20-4/2; 1.4 mL (5.9 mg) 4/3-4/14; 1mL (4 mg.) 4/15-4/22; .9mL (3.6mg) 4/23-5/1; .81mL (3.24 mg) 5/2-5/24; .73mL (2.916mg.) 5/25-6/8; .65mL 6/9-6/23; .6mL 6/24-7/17; .58mL 7/18-7/28; .525mL 7/29-8/13; .5 mL 8/14-21; .45mL 8/22-31; .4mL 9/2-21; .35mL 9/22-10/4; .3mL 10/5-28; .25mL 10/28-11/10; .2mL 11/11-11/24; .18mL 11/25-12/3; .1mL 12/4-12/18. Zero-12/19/18-present.

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gentlehermione
20 hours ago, DewinCA said:

Not sure I have the will (or wont) power to see this through a multi-year process but, according to my cardiologist, I'd best at least reduce my dosage.  At my age there seems to be a risk associated with ADs called "QT prolongation" which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. 

 

 

A too rapid taper off Effexor, withdrawal-induced arrhythmias and subsequent reinstatement of Effexor - unfortunately four times the initial dose was prescribed! - was most likely what caused my SCA in August 2017. I must say that in spite of the struggle I've experienced since I stopped taking ADs, I'm very, very relieved to be rid of them. Wishing you all the best in your endeavour.

 

Here's my thread:  

 

 

Effexor XR 75mg 1997-2012 

Effexor XR 37.5mg 2012-2017 (tapered off over six months - finished taper July 2017)

SCA Aug 12th, 2017

Cymbalta 30mg Aug 2017 - Nov 2017 (CT Nov. 17th for medical reasons)

Metoprolol 50mg Aug 2017 - Feb 2019 tapered down to 25mg June 2019 then tapered down to zero. Off Metoprolol as of Jan 2020        

Amiodarone (anti-arrhythmic med) 200mg Nov 2017- May 2018

 

Supplements: Omega 3, vitamin D3, magnesium

What helps me: Manual lymphatic drainage massage, acupressure, meditation, homeopathy (my psychiatrist is also a certified homeopath), a healthy diet when possible organic, yoga, walking my dogs every day and gardening.

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@myndfull 

Thanks for the kind and thoughtful response! It is all so helpful. I'm trying to figure out how you tapered from your timeline. Did you do a slow taper the entire process? I know you said that you took 3.5 years? I ask bc I was tapering faster (no more than 1mg a week) at first and suffered horribly. I since have moved down to .25mg a month or less. Did you experience symptoms throughout the entire process like me, or just at the end?

 

Some people don't get WD until they go off entirely. I have been unstable since the very first cut. I'm wondering if others out there are are also experiencing horrible WD throughout there taper, and not just at the end when they jump off. I'm better the slower I go, but I'm still hypersensitive to each cut and have new symptoms all the time. I'm always scared that since I have been having the symptoms since the beginning, that means I am worse off and the others. Does this make sense? 

 

I would love anyone's feedback here on their experience with this!

 

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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hi Peachy

I was on lexapro too, it was the most difficult one to get off of, of all the psych meds I've ever been on. And I've been on a lot!
as you can see from my signature, from the age of 18 and I am now 62. I have recovered from getting off ALL of those drugs. 

 

I got to zero lexapro last October. But I'd tried to go off it several times before that, not knowing anything about withdrawal, believing the doctors that withdrawal did not exist and that my symptoms were instead a  "return of my mental illness"

 

Anyway, I  think I've been very lucky. I had symptoms as soon as i started to taper but they didn't become too bad til I jumped off at 2.5mgs, which was not a smart thing to do. Approx 3 mos later, I was thrown into acute withdrawal, with over 40 severe symptoms

 

the lucky part?  all of my symptoms got better , gradually but pretty much consistently through out the year I took to taper off of 0.3mgs (yes, you read that correctly- I reinstated at only 0.3mgs!!!) 

 

I have continued to get better and better, and in fact the most healing  and the biggest improvements have taken place for me since getting to zero.So I'm not sure why you think that most ppl have trouble once they are totally off the drug...? Perhaps you've read mostly stories of ppl who went off cold turkey? those folks do indeed seem to have an esp difficult time. But from all that I've read, those who taper have a much easier time, and some have almost no symptoms if they go slowly enough.

 

For me, personally, It will be a year in October since I've been completely off all pysch meds and I'm doing far better than I'd ever dreamed I could be. 

 

that said- It seems everyone is different, so I don't know how much help this is to you. 


From all the other threads I've read, of ppl going off of lexapro,  you want to get very very slowly when you get to the lower doses, because it's such a strong drug.  This is true for all of these drugs, but it seems to be esp true for lexapro. 

 

I do NOT think that because you've noticed symptoms with every taper, that you're super sensitive nor that you'll have more trouble coming off of the drug.

I do think that perhaps you're just more aware that there ARE withdrawal symptoms and are more on alert for them....?

I personally knew that I needed to focus on recovery more than on what my symptoms were, so I was constantly on the lookout for what got BETTER and not what was still hard. and every single day, I was able to find some improvement.

Admittedly, at first, these improvements were small but each one brought great relief.

 

I know it's hard not to be anxious while going thru this, esp since anxiety is a major symptom of WD/recovery but keep reassuring yourself that you are going to heal, that the symptoms are all only temporary

and take one day at a time, and you're going to be just fine.

 

try to pay attention to the improvements. The more you focus on those, the better you will feel and the more hope you'll have that things are going in the right direction. 

nearly everyone does get thru this just fine, it's just a very slow process.

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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11 hours ago, Peachy said:

@myndfull 

Thanks for the kind and thoughtful response! It is all so helpful. I'm trying to figure out how you tapered from your timeline. Did you do a slow taper the entire process? I know you said that you took 3.5 years? I ask bc I was tapering faster (no more than 1mg a week) at first and suffered horribly. I since have moved down to .25mg a month or less. Did you experience symptoms throughout the entire process like me, or just at the end?

 

Some people don't get WD until they go off entirely. I have been unstable since the very first cut. I'm wondering if others out there are are also experiencing horrible WD throughout there taper, and not just at the end when they jump off. I'm better the slower I go, but I'm still hypersensitive to each cut and have new symptoms all the time. I'm always scared that since I have been having the symptoms since the beginning, that means I am worse off and the others. Does this make sense? 

 

I would love anyone's feedback here on their experience with this!

 

Yes, I did a slow taper. About 80% of the time I dropped each month 10% of the last dose. Unfortunately, I suffered pretty severe withdrawal when I occasionally dropped more than 10%.  I always had symptoms. But, again, they were at times especially severe when I sped up a bit, went too fast. That happened about three times; I dropped by up to 17% one month, and 14% another, and within three weeks of drops like those I'd feel extraordinarily bad. If I had to do it all over again, I would have stuck to the 10% schedule religiously. When I was down to about 2mL (liquid Celexa) I started tapering a bit faster, about 2.5% every week or so, with a hold after four weeks (or so). I goofed there a bit, too, by going too fast. 

 

You will feel every cut. But if you stabilize on a predictive dose you will become more "situated" to the symptoms. You'll see that they come, and they go. They come, and they go. There's some "comfort" in knowing that the symptoms are similar and predictable. They're horrible, there's no doubt about that, but once those symptoms are recognized for or by their predictability, then they get a little bit easier to bear each time they occur. This is what I noticed, especially when I got below 1.5mL. 

 

I think your much lower dose is a very good idea.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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On 7/24/2018 at 2:05 AM, Peachy said:

I know we shouldn't compare stories, but it's what the with-drawl brain does best!  I really need to know that people have recovered after being on HIGHER doses for LONGER periods of time. Like 10-20 years long...

 

I am at a point in my taper, going on 2.5 years, and I still can't get off all the way, and deal with constant WD symptoms. I'm just trying to decide if I should give up the fight and try to go back up to my original dose and see if I can salvage some sort of happiness and normalcy.

 

I'm very discouraged right now, and I haven't seen a lot of recovery from people who have been on high dose, long term ssri's.

 

I hope your out there and can give me words of encouragement?!

 

 

forgot to mention:

 

I was on up to 40 mgs of lexapro, I can't recall for how long but my usual dose was 30 mgs

I would go down on my own from time to time, because I felt so numb and dead inside on the drug, but for most of the time I was on it, I was on a high dose

 

I was started on lexapro when it first came to market  in 2002 I believe..?

I have been completely off it now since  oct 2017, so I was on it for about  15 years

Before that I was on celexa , and before that I was on zoloft, so my total time on SSRIs in general was over 20 yrs

 

 

 

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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@Happy2Heal

 

Hello! I can't believe I missed your above messages. Thank you for your response! This gives me so much hope! What was your withdrawal like? It seems like you healed in only a year?! Thats amazing and crazy. But of course this makes me think I won't heal like you since I'm going on 2.5 years, and still on the drugs...

 

Would you mind telling me about your WD symptoms? Did you have horrible mental symptoms as well as physical? How did the healing process lay out for you?

 

I would also love to know any healing modalities you incorporated?

 

ONe last question, and you don't have to answer, but are you female? I'm asking bc I have made the assumption that women have a harder time in withdrawals, mostly bc of the menstural cycle. I actually feel pretty great part of the month, and then spiral into hell during my period. Sorry if you are a guy and thats TMI ;)

 

Best!

xx

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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58 minutes ago, Peachy said:

@Happy2Heal

 

Hello! I can't believe I missed your above messages. Thank you for your response! This gives me so much hope! What was your withdrawal like? It seems like you healed in only a year?! Thats amazing and crazy. But of course this makes me think I won't heal like you since I'm going on 2.5 years, and still on the drugs...

 

Would you mind telling me about your WD symptoms? Did you have horrible mental symptoms as well as physical? How did the healing process lay out for you?

 

I would also love to know any healing modalities you incorporated?

 

ONe last question, and you don't have to answer, but are you female? I'm asking bc I have made the assumption that women have a harder time in withdrawals, mostly bc of the menstural cycle. I actually feel pretty great part of the month, and then spiral into hell during my period. Sorry if you are a guy and thats TMI ;)

 

Best!

xx

hi Peachy

I'll answer this in stages as I don't have a huge chunk of time right now and you've got a lot of questions, and my answers will likely be long

but quickly, no, I didn't heal in just a year, it's been a bit longer than that- but only short periods were really intense and really awful. This was actually my fault, as I stopped tapering when I got to 2.5mgs, that was too soon. but more about that later.

I am female, but I'm 62 now and have been in menopause er, I'm not even sure how long... .I think I was 58 when I had my last period? maybe a bit younger... it's hard to remember.  I do believe that our females hormones complicate things,  I always had a hard time before and during my period. IN fact I had a couple of psychiatrists that wanted to treat PMS with seroquel- they were all male and freely admitted that their wives were on it, as it made them "easier to live with" 

 

You WILL heal! You will probably heal faster and you almost surely will heal with less suffering if you go slowly the way you are. SO  no matter how anxious you get about how long it's taking, please try to not rush it. THAT Is what caused the worst of my suffering, being in a hurry, thinking that I was somehow 'special'  or different and could ignore the superb advice given here to go SLOW.

 

I had over 40 symptoms during acute WD, which started approx 3 mos after jumping off the lexapro at 2.5mgs. In my thread you will find several lists- I had physical symptoms and severe emotional and neurological symptoms. I had such weird things happen that I did not even have words to describe. 

I consider the year from Oct of 2016  to Oct of 2017 to be THE WORST year of my life. And I'm a survivor of almost every kind of abuse, so you know that's pretty bad.

I also should note that I tried to get off lexapro at least 3 times in the past! each time was different, but my advice after going thru it, is to NOT go back up in dose if you can possibly avoid it. I believe it most definitely will make things harder for you overall. The admonishment to stay as stable in your dose as possible is an excellent one. it is better to do a long long hold than to go too fast and feel as if you need to updose. 

that's very hard on your brain.

Try to avoid it, ok?  of course, you can recover from that as well, I did, but it's just not pleasant. Why make things harder on yourself than they need to be, right??

 

anyway for me, it always got better, as time went on, each symptom's intensity lessened, some things just went away, some came in waves, but they all improved. I didn't have too many of the waves that ppl talk about, at least not when I was going thru that last year or so. The waves came much earlier but I didn't know i was in WD at that time, so I have no record of how that went. It was rocky but not horrible is my overall impression from my fuzzy memory. sorry that's the best I can do. Maybe I don't want to remember, I don't know. I was very confused at the time, I remember that- because I was still believing the Drs that there was no WD for these drugs, that you could just stop them and you would be fine. I also remembered going off many drugs cold turkey when i was younger and not having any significant issues; that kind of contributed to my belief that I was a special case and would not have any problems at all. boy was i wrong.

 

 

I used many different things to get thru it- Claire Weekes method of accepting and floating, etc

Yoga,  a "clean" diet, meditation, read books about neuro plasticity , distracted myself when symptoms were really awful, gentle exercise helped, esp a short walk, getting out in the sun helped,  um, I'd have to go back thru the thread to see what else. I did try different supplements but I honestly think they didn't do a whole lot, I just wanted to believe so much that they did. I think the glycine made me feel calmer and I slept better, but most things didn't help or made things worse. I finally gave up on my quest to find relief in pill form and tried to look inward more and find the strength that I have within,

that we all have, we just don't know it.

I learned about a positive self talk, I am working on learning some CBT stuff now with the help of some online tools. I had terrible tinnitus and found that a sound machine helped a lot. I haven't needed that in the summer because I've got the constant drone of the fans and air conditioners LOL 

 

for most every symptom, there were things i could do to minimize my distress at least a little bit.

The worst was the insomnia, the severe anxiety and panic. For the insomnia, I just learned to accept it. It's not uncommon for ppl to have sleep issues as they age, and when you are no longer growing, you don't need as much sleep, so I just told myself it was nothing to be upset about. I am glad to report that I am now able to sleep almost normally. I still have some mild issues from time to time, but overall, I'm very satisfied with my sleep, both quality and quantity.

 

ok I think that's a good quick overveiw

I hope it helps!

 

 

what symptom are you struggling with the most right now?

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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I love this thread. Happy2Heal...thank you so much for taking the time to reply.  I’m at 2.5 yrs since stopping Lexapro (over a 2 week period after 20 yrs of SSRI use) under a psychiatrist’s care and every day since has been a living hell.  I have improved slightly but it’s at a snails pace with no real windows.  I too have recorded over 40 symptoms, most of which no one would believe if I shared, except people in this group.  Every day is a battle but I cannot give up for the sake of my wife and young kids.  Thanks everyone for sharing your stories.  

Robcbar1

21 years of daily SSRI use in total...

Paxil                                                                                                                                                 1995-1998

Zoloft (50 mg)                                                                                                                                 1998-2002

Lexapro (10 mg)                                                                                                                              2002-2015    (**August 2015, Lexapro “stopped working" after near death of my 1.5 yr. old son**)

Lexapro (15/20 mg) - increasing dose only made SEs worse                                                     Nov 2015 - Mar 2016

Zoloft (25/50 mg) - made derealization worse                                                                            Mar 2016 - Jul 2016

Celexa (20 mg) - made symptoms worse                                                                                    Oct 2016 - Jan 2017

Remeron (7.5 mg) - helped me eat and sleep for 4 nights, then went bad                               Jan 2018 (stopped after 2 weeks)

Lamictal (5.0 mg) - horrific withdrawal                                                                                        Jan 2018 - Oct 2020

TODAY - 100% DRUG FREE 

(Trialed Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta - severe reaction, couldn't tolerate longer than a few days)

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Robcbar1

I am so sorry for what you are going thru, and reading thru your signature, also for all that you have gone thru with the loss of your son, how tragic. I am so very sorry.

 

 

yes the symptoms are incredible, aren't they? I did see a doctor a few times, and tests never showed anything wrong but I knew what i was experiencing and it was just mind- blowingly bizarre and awful.  all of that is a vague and distant memory for me now, thankfully.

but, I was so afraid at first- afraid that I'd never get better, afraid that things might get worse

 

I would scour this forum for stories of recovery to give me hope. I found a couple of books on withdrawing from psych meds that also helped to reassure me that yes, healing was not only possible, it was very likely. It's what our bodies are designed to do

 

you will heal. I am sorry it's been such a rough haul for you, but it will get better.

I did find that focusing on what is going right, on what is improving, helped me a lot.

I like to think that it made those positive things grow and improve more, but I can't say that's the truth, I think things would have gotten better regardless

 

However, focusing on what is getting better, even if it's just a tiny bit better, will at the very least make the time more pleasant. You will feel more grateful and more hopeful, I believe.

It's just a nicer way to pass the time.

and time seems to be what is needed the most.

 

that and being esp kind to yourself, I think. 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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4 minutes ago, Happy2Heal said:

Robcbar1

I am so sorry for what you are going thru, and reading thru your signature, also for all that you have gone thru with the loss of your son, how tragic. I am so very sorry.

 

 

yes the symptoms are incredible, aren't they? I did see a doctor a few times, and tests never showed anything wrong but I knew what i was experiencing and it was just mind- blowingly bizarre and awful.  all of that is a vague and distant memory for me now, thankfully.

but, I was so afraid at first- afraid that I'd never get better, afraid that things might get worse

 

I would scour this forum for stories of recovery to give me hope. I found a couple of books on withdrawing from psych meds that also helped to reassure me that yes, healing was not only possible, it was very likely. It's what our bodies are designed to do

 

you will heal. I am sorry it's been such a rough haul for you, but it will get better.

I did find that focusing on what is going right, on what is improving, helped me a lot.

I like to think that it made those positive things grow and improve more, but I can't say that's the truth, I think things would have gotten better regardless

 

However, focusing on what is getting better, even if it's just a tiny bit better, will at the very least make the time more pleasant. You will feel more grateful and more hopeful, I believe.

It's just a nicer way to pass the time.

and time seems to be what is needed the most.

 

that and being esp kind to yourself, I think. 

 

Wow, thank you for these words.  They mean a lot.  I have a really hard time believing that I will get better, mainly because my journey has been so long and I still feel very sick (mostly psychologically).  To be clear, I did NOT lose my son, thank God.  One pistachio almost killed him when he was 1.5 yrs old but he’s a healthy vibrant 4.5 yr old these days.  ;)

21 years of daily SSRI use in total...

Paxil                                                                                                                                                 1995-1998

Zoloft (50 mg)                                                                                                                                 1998-2002

Lexapro (10 mg)                                                                                                                              2002-2015    (**August 2015, Lexapro “stopped working" after near death of my 1.5 yr. old son**)

Lexapro (15/20 mg) - increasing dose only made SEs worse                                                     Nov 2015 - Mar 2016

Zoloft (25/50 mg) - made derealization worse                                                                            Mar 2016 - Jul 2016

Celexa (20 mg) - made symptoms worse                                                                                    Oct 2016 - Jan 2017

Remeron (7.5 mg) - helped me eat and sleep for 4 nights, then went bad                               Jan 2018 (stopped after 2 weeks)

Lamictal (5.0 mg) - horrific withdrawal                                                                                        Jan 2018 - Oct 2020

TODAY - 100% DRUG FREE 

(Trialed Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta - severe reaction, couldn't tolerate longer than a few days)

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55 minutes ago, robcbar1 said:

To be clear, I did NOT lose my son, thank God.  One pistachio almost killed him when he was 1.5 yrs old but he’s a healthy vibrant 4.5 yr old these days. ;)

 

oh gosh, I am glad that you didn't lose him, sorry I missed the one word that made all the difference

 

what a frightening experience though.

 

 

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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I’m trying to get in touch with someone who beat protracted withdrawal after 15+ yrs of meds and cold turkey stop.  I’m in need of a major pep talk because I’m exhausted from this battle.  I feel like I’ve read every book, tried every supplement, every therapeutic option, etc. without any relief.  Part of my withdrawal includes zero attention span and difficulty absorbing new information.  Feels like I have concrete in my head.  

21 years of daily SSRI use in total...

Paxil                                                                                                                                                 1995-1998

Zoloft (50 mg)                                                                                                                                 1998-2002

Lexapro (10 mg)                                                                                                                              2002-2015    (**August 2015, Lexapro “stopped working" after near death of my 1.5 yr. old son**)

Lexapro (15/20 mg) - increasing dose only made SEs worse                                                     Nov 2015 - Mar 2016

Zoloft (25/50 mg) - made derealization worse                                                                            Mar 2016 - Jul 2016

Celexa (20 mg) - made symptoms worse                                                                                    Oct 2016 - Jan 2017

Remeron (7.5 mg) - helped me eat and sleep for 4 nights, then went bad                               Jan 2018 (stopped after 2 weeks)

Lamictal (5.0 mg) - horrific withdrawal                                                                                        Jan 2018 - Oct 2020

TODAY - 100% DRUG FREE 

(Trialed Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta - severe reaction, couldn't tolerate longer than a few days)

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Hey @robcbar1 ~ Have you read Pug's success story?  His story is inspiring and I believe it fits with what you are looking for....I hope it is helpful to you.

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg

2021: 1/3/21: 7.8 mg (1.27% drop); 1/24/21: 7.7 mg (1.29%); 1/31/21: 7.6 mg (1.17%); 2/7/21: 7.5 mg (1.19%); 2/14/21: 7.4 mg (1.34%); 2/28/21: 7.3 mg (1.25%); 3/7/21: 7.2 mg (1.25%); 3/21/21: 7.1 mg (1.25%); 3/28/21: 7.0 mg (1.25%); 4/25/21 - 5/5/21 : generic clonazepam switch; 5/16/21: 6.9 mg (1.25%); 5/23/21: 6.85 mg (1.25%); 5/30/21: 6.8 mg (1.25%); 6/6/21: 6.7 mg (1.25%); 6/27/21: 6.6 mg (1.25%); 6.5 mg (1.25%); 7/11/21: 6.4 mg (1.25%); 7/18/21: 6.36 mg (1.25%)

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32 minutes ago, wantrelief said:

Hey @robcbar1 ~ Have you read Pug's success story?  His story is inspiring and I believe it fits with what you are looking for....I hope it is helpful to you.

Funny you mention Pug because his story is my saving grace.  We have/had almost identical timelines and symptoms, minus my painful experience with Lamictal.  I printed his story and put it on my desk as inspiration.  Weird I know, but I reread it over and over on my darkest days.  

21 years of daily SSRI use in total...

Paxil                                                                                                                                                 1995-1998

Zoloft (50 mg)                                                                                                                                 1998-2002

Lexapro (10 mg)                                                                                                                              2002-2015    (**August 2015, Lexapro “stopped working" after near death of my 1.5 yr. old son**)

Lexapro (15/20 mg) - increasing dose only made SEs worse                                                     Nov 2015 - Mar 2016

Zoloft (25/50 mg) - made derealization worse                                                                            Mar 2016 - Jul 2016

Celexa (20 mg) - made symptoms worse                                                                                    Oct 2016 - Jan 2017

Remeron (7.5 mg) - helped me eat and sleep for 4 nights, then went bad                               Jan 2018 (stopped after 2 weeks)

Lamictal (5.0 mg) - horrific withdrawal                                                                                        Jan 2018 - Oct 2020

TODAY - 100% DRUG FREE 

(Trialed Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta - severe reaction, couldn't tolerate longer than a few days)

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1 minute ago, robcbar1 said:

Weird I know, but I reread it over and over on my darkest days

Not weird at all.  I keep reading things over and over too.  I am so glad Pug's story has helped you....if he healed, you will too!  

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg

2021: 1/3/21: 7.8 mg (1.27% drop); 1/24/21: 7.7 mg (1.29%); 1/31/21: 7.6 mg (1.17%); 2/7/21: 7.5 mg (1.19%); 2/14/21: 7.4 mg (1.34%); 2/28/21: 7.3 mg (1.25%); 3/7/21: 7.2 mg (1.25%); 3/21/21: 7.1 mg (1.25%); 3/28/21: 7.0 mg (1.25%); 4/25/21 - 5/5/21 : generic clonazepam switch; 5/16/21: 6.9 mg (1.25%); 5/23/21: 6.85 mg (1.25%); 5/30/21: 6.8 mg (1.25%); 6/6/21: 6.7 mg (1.25%); 6/27/21: 6.6 mg (1.25%); 6.5 mg (1.25%); 7/11/21: 6.4 mg (1.25%); 7/18/21: 6.36 mg (1.25%)

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@robcbar1

Sounds like you and I are in the same boat, in a way. I have been tapering, but still going through hell, so it might not have mattered much if you did taper, tbh. Of course its safer. I did go cold turkey in the past, several times, and they were all awful, and I ended up with more diagnosis and more meds.

I have been on some sort of anti-depressant/ADD med combo for 15 years, and been on 20mg of lexapro for the last 10 of them. 

 

Can I ask your worst symptoms? Mine are intrusive thoughts/feelings/urges, weird disordered thinking in general, negativity and deep depression, irrational irritation and anger, and of course no memory or attention. I also now have something like fibro or chronic fatigue? 

 

I see that you tried micro dosing of Lamictal... did that help? are you glad you did it? I've been thinking about it...

 

What other therapies/ interventions have you tried? I keep reading about Hyperbaric oxygen and stem cell. I would try anything at this point. 

 

Hope we both start healing soon! I'm also at the 2.5 year mark, but I'm also still on the meds, at 5mg.

 

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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@robcbar1

and I keep reading pugs story to, as I feel I can relate to his :)

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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3 hours ago, Peachy said:

@robcbar1

Sounds like you and I are in the same boat, in a way. I have been tapering, but still going through hell, so it might not have mattered much if you did taper, tbh. Of course its safer. I did go cold turkey in the past, several times, and they were all awful, and I ended up with more diagnosis and more meds.

I have been on some sort of anti-depressant/ADD med combo for 15 years, and been on 20mg of lexapro for the last 10 of them. 

 

Can I ask your worst symptoms? Mine are intrusive thoughts/feelings/urges, weird disordered thinking in general, negativity and deep depression, irrational irritation and anger, and of course no memory or attention. I also now have something like fibro or chronic fatigue? 

 

I see that you tried micro dosing of Lamictal... did that help? are you glad you did it? I've been thinking about it...

 

What other therapies/ interventions have you tried? I keep reading about Hyperbaric oxygen and stem cell. I would try anything at this point. 

 

Hope we both start healing soon! I'm also at the 2.5 year mark, but I'm also still on the meds, at 5mg.

 

Hi Peachy, we have almost identical symptoms except physically I feel ok.  Derealization is my worst symptom, do you experience that?  I also have irrational fear which make driving terrifying.  I have spent over $100k on wellness centers and various therapies in my journey.  Nothing has hit the nail on the head but they all helped to keep me going I guess.  Message me if you want and I can tell you more.

 

PS - I cannot recommend Lamictal as I have reacted very badly to It.  Withdrawing even at .2 mg per month has been a beast.  It has worked for some I think but I’m not one of the luck ones.   

21 years of daily SSRI use in total...

Paxil                                                                                                                                                 1995-1998

Zoloft (50 mg)                                                                                                                                 1998-2002

Lexapro (10 mg)                                                                                                                              2002-2015    (**August 2015, Lexapro “stopped working" after near death of my 1.5 yr. old son**)

Lexapro (15/20 mg) - increasing dose only made SEs worse                                                     Nov 2015 - Mar 2016

Zoloft (25/50 mg) - made derealization worse                                                                            Mar 2016 - Jul 2016

Celexa (20 mg) - made symptoms worse                                                                                    Oct 2016 - Jan 2017

Remeron (7.5 mg) - helped me eat and sleep for 4 nights, then went bad                               Jan 2018 (stopped after 2 weeks)

Lamictal (5.0 mg) - horrific withdrawal                                                                                        Jan 2018 - Oct 2020

TODAY - 100% DRUG FREE 

(Trialed Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta - severe reaction, couldn't tolerate longer than a few days)

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@robcbar1

just messaged you

 

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/4/2018 at 8:24 PM, Happy2Heal said:

Robcbar1

I am so sorry for what you are going thru, and reading thru your signature, also for all that you have gone thru with the loss of your son, how tragic. I am so very sorry.

 

 

yes the symptoms are incredible, aren't they? I did see a doctor a few times, and tests never showed anything wrong but I knew what i was experiencing and it was just mind- blowingly bizarre and awful.  all of that is a vague and distant memory for me now, thankfully.

but, I was so afraid at first- afraid that I'd never get better, afraid that things might get worse

 

I would scour this forum for stories of recovery to give me hope. I found a couple of books on withdrawing from psych meds that also helped to reassure me that yes, healing was not only possible, it was very likely. It's what our bodies are designed to do

 

you will heal. I am sorry it's been such a rough haul for you, but it will get better.

I did find that focusing on what is going right, on what is improving, helped me a lot.

I like to think that it made those positive things grow and improve more, but I can't say that's the truth, I think things would have gotten better regardless

 

However, focusing on what is getting better, even if it's just a tiny bit better, will at the very least make the time more pleasant. You will feel more grateful and more hopeful, I believe.

It's just a nicer way to pass the time.

and time seems to be what is needed the most.

 

that and being esp kind to yourself, I think. 

 

Hey happytoheal I see you read books on withdrawals can you remember the ones they were as I would like purpose them losing hope I am 

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9 hours ago, Liamb123456 said:

Hey happytoheal I see you read books on withdrawals can you remember the ones they were as I would like purpose them losing hope I am 

 

the only one I remember was called Recovery and Renewal by Baylissa Frederick
 
 
 
 
  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • April 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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WackoSirJacko

Can I ask anyone who has succeeded - Does your nervous system get stronger when you come off? Like your resilience to stress and anxiety? Obviously you enjoy yourself more which helps, but recently I've crashed after going really well over the summer. I'm hoping that when I'm off these things that I won't be crashing into anxiety when Winter comes or when stress comes from nowhere. Stress is only partly avoidable, I'm just hoping once I'm through this that my nervous system gets more resilient.

1995 aged 18 Started 20mg Seroxat and 50mg Half Inderal Beta Blocker for anxiety / 1996 stopped beta blockers / 1997 stopped Seroxat

1999 Started Seroxat 20mg again / 2000-2016 mainly stayed on Seroxat with some drops to 15 and 10mg / Sep-Nov 2016 tapered from 20mg to 10mg / Nov 16 Major crash and massive hike from 10mg to 40mg / Dec 16 - Jun 17 struggled with insomnia and bouts of depression (not had serious depression previously) / Jun 17 Increased to 45mg Seroxat with little improvement / Mid Oct 17 lowered to 40mg, Nov 1st 17 lowered to 35mg / Mid Nov 17 back up to 40mg / Jan 2018 down to 37.5mg / 8th Feb 2018 down to 35mg / 20th Mar 2018 down to 32.5mg / April gave up cigarettes (tough) / 14th May 2018 down to 30mg / 27th June 2018 down to 27.5mg / 24th July down to 25mg / 20th August Crashed

 

Dropping 2.5mg every 4-6 weeks provided have been level for at least 2 weeks of that. After 4-6 days from drop I feel moderate increase in depression and anxiety with mood swings of up and down, sometimes excited to point of mania. Subsides over 7-21 days to base level. 

 

DO CBT, ONLY WAY OF ACCEPTING SYMPTOMS WITHOUT GOING NUTS AND LETTING IT SPIRAL. I can even handle consequences of having a few drinks.

 

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1 hour ago, WackoSirJacko said:

Can I ask anyone who has succeeded - Does your nervous system get stronger when you come off? Like your resilience to stress and anxiety? Obviously you enjoy yourself more which helps, but recently I've crashed after going really well over the summer. I'm hoping that when I'm off these things that I won't be crashing into anxiety when Winter comes or when stress comes from nowhere. Stress is only partly avoidable, I'm just hoping once I'm through this that my nervous system gets more resilient.

How long are you off did you cold turkey your meds 

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  • Moderator
manymoretodays
1 hour ago, WackoSirJacko said:

Can I ask anyone who has succeeded - Does your nervous system get stronger when you come off? Like your resilience to stress and anxiety?

 

Yes, I've made the choice to believe it(my nervous system), or I(as the sum of all my parts) have become more resilient to stress and fears.  Not less.  More.

Sometimes it takes making changes I've found.  Chhhchhhh......changes and changing.......yikes.......does anyone actually like changes?

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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WackoSirJacko
1 hour ago, Liamb123456 said:

How long are you off did you cold turkey your meds 

I'm at 25 down from 45 over the past 9 months on slow taper but crashed a week ago.its horrible but I think I'm handling it better.

1995 aged 18 Started 20mg Seroxat and 50mg Half Inderal Beta Blocker for anxiety / 1996 stopped beta blockers / 1997 stopped Seroxat

1999 Started Seroxat 20mg again / 2000-2016 mainly stayed on Seroxat with some drops to 15 and 10mg / Sep-Nov 2016 tapered from 20mg to 10mg / Nov 16 Major crash and massive hike from 10mg to 40mg / Dec 16 - Jun 17 struggled with insomnia and bouts of depression (not had serious depression previously) / Jun 17 Increased to 45mg Seroxat with little improvement / Mid Oct 17 lowered to 40mg, Nov 1st 17 lowered to 35mg / Mid Nov 17 back up to 40mg / Jan 2018 down to 37.5mg / 8th Feb 2018 down to 35mg / 20th Mar 2018 down to 32.5mg / April gave up cigarettes (tough) / 14th May 2018 down to 30mg / 27th June 2018 down to 27.5mg / 24th July down to 25mg / 20th August Crashed

 

Dropping 2.5mg every 4-6 weeks provided have been level for at least 2 weeks of that. After 4-6 days from drop I feel moderate increase in depression and anxiety with mood swings of up and down, sometimes excited to point of mania. Subsides over 7-21 days to base level. 

 

DO CBT, ONLY WAY OF ACCEPTING SYMPTOMS WITHOUT GOING NUTS AND LETTING IT SPIRAL. I can even handle consequences of having a few drinks.

 

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WackoSirJacko
1 hour ago, manymoretodays said:

 

Yes, I've made the choice to believe it(my nervous system), or I(as the sum of all my parts) have become more resilient to stress and fears.  Not less.  More.

Sometimes it takes making changes I've found.  Chhhchhhh......changes and changing.......yikes.......does anyone actually like changes?

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Cheers, MMT

1995 aged 18 Started 20mg Seroxat and 50mg Half Inderal Beta Blocker for anxiety / 1996 stopped beta blockers / 1997 stopped Seroxat

1999 Started Seroxat 20mg again / 2000-2016 mainly stayed on Seroxat with some drops to 15 and 10mg / Sep-Nov 2016 tapered from 20mg to 10mg / Nov 16 Major crash and massive hike from 10mg to 40mg / Dec 16 - Jun 17 struggled with insomnia and bouts of depression (not had serious depression previously) / Jun 17 Increased to 45mg Seroxat with little improvement / Mid Oct 17 lowered to 40mg, Nov 1st 17 lowered to 35mg / Mid Nov 17 back up to 40mg / Jan 2018 down to 37.5mg / 8th Feb 2018 down to 35mg / 20th Mar 2018 down to 32.5mg / April gave up cigarettes (tough) / 14th May 2018 down to 30mg / 27th June 2018 down to 27.5mg / 24th July down to 25mg / 20th August Crashed

 

Dropping 2.5mg every 4-6 weeks provided have been level for at least 2 weeks of that. After 4-6 days from drop I feel moderate increase in depression and anxiety with mood swings of up and down, sometimes excited to point of mania. Subsides over 7-21 days to base level. 

 

DO CBT, ONLY WAY OF ACCEPTING SYMPTOMS WITHOUT GOING NUTS AND LETTING IT SPIRAL. I can even handle consequences of having a few drinks.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/28/2018 at 12:08 PM, myndfull said:

I'm 61 years old. I took Paxil and then Celexa for a total of about 21 (consecutive) years. Of those 21 years, I spent the last three years and eight months tapering.

 

I am now in recovery. My three-month point post-jump is coming up. I'M GETTING A LOT BETTER. 😃 

 

Look up "myndfull" in Introductions.

Wow, that's awesome!

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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  • 6 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I've been on an AD for 25 years.  I'm now down to 4mg Pristiq (from 100mg).

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from July 2021:  Pristiq 0.13mg

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 Oct 2015 

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

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

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Some long-term success stories from SA:

 

 

 

 

 

1996-2007 - sertraline 200 mg/day

2007-3/16 - sertraline 100 mg/day

3/16-8/16 - sertraline 75 mg/day

8/16-1/17 - sertraline 50 mg/day

1/17-8/17 - sertraline 25 mg/day, St. John's Wort 700-1250 mg/day

 

8/17 - Stopped sertraline and continued taking SJW. Soon after, stopped SJW and started 400 mg SAM-e/day.

 

2/18 - Reinstated SJW (taking sporadically)

 

 

 

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