Jump to content

Hopefulfor2morrow: How to cope with clear brain damage after usage of antidepressants


Hopefulfor2morrow

Recommended Posts

I have been on meds for about 16 years.

 

I am nearly 36, live with my mum and is currently jobless. I do not recognize myself anymore. It feels as if this is one crazy nightmare. I used to be smart and the envy of my peers. Today, they are married, have jobs and seems happy. For a guy that is competitive, this is enough to make me think it's over.

 

I started using fluoxetine when I started university. I felt great and in my first year I was a top achiever. After that, in a very subtle way I started to struggle academically. My goal was to get a PhD. I thought when I was 27 I would be done.

 

However what followed after my fourth year was hell. I decided to get off my medication very gradually during my 6th year as this is what people tell you. Even getting off gradually did not help since my brain was already damaged. My original symptoms were in overdrive and now I could not get anything into my brain, spending hours to study or solve problems.

 

I started making bad career choices. Without going into detail, I eventually got my Phd when I was 32. It can only be described as hell. I struggled to be interested in my work, I could not solve problems as quickly as my peers. My memory was severely impaired. My vision was weird. I told this to my psychiatrist who got angry with me and said that it is my disease. I could tell no-one, because nobody would understand. I started to focus only on getting my Phd. Although I wanted to be social and even have a girlfriend it was just to difficult. I had several panic attacks which I did not had before. I felt extremely frustrated. I wanted to be as smart as I used to be and all I got was that people moved ahead of me at rocket speed and I could not do much about it. I cried several times out of desperation. I wanted to tell people that I am not this person, but I had to keep it quite.

 

Last year I made the choice to get off this poison for good. I did not tell my psychiatrist. I did it very slowly. Today I start to feel a bit more like me, but it feels nearly impossible to even attempt to get my life back. This morning I had to take an aptitude test during a job interview, and I struggled even with very simple questions. Probably I won't get the job, but what can I do? I tried my best, but is that now enough?

 

I desperately need hope and a way to make up for all this lost time. It drives me crazy. I struggle to solve problems quickly, I cannot remember things, I feel lonely and lost, I cry a lot, I am unmotivated and I don't feel empathy anymore as I used to. From the outside I might seem like a loser, but I am not. I used to be very successful. I have lost all direction. I just trust and believe that God will make it better. I am scared. Probably I should not have done a PhD, because it turned out to steal a lot of time. Now I feel old and a failure, and it's not fair. Sometimes it seems logical to kill myself. I am totally messed up.

 

Please, if there are someone that can just give me hope and support, please do. I still want to be able to live a normal life. Bless you.

Edited by scallywag
tags; previous edit added paragraphs for readability

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

Hopeful,

 

Glad you found this website.  I can very much relate to your situation.  Seven years ago I was in a graduate program at MIT, was going through a stressful personal relationship and instead of taking time off from school, I turned to psychiatry.  Seven years later I am still struggling through the loss of my cognitive and critical thinking abilities.  My short term memory and executive function are shot and my tolerance for change/new things is gone.  Some things will get better with time.  What I've found are most helpful are eating a clean diet and mild exercise. 

Year 0:      Social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, NO depression, NO suicidal ideations

Years 1-2: Ativan (benzo) <1mg as needed, not abused but developed physical dependence

Years 2-3: Paxil (20mg) augmented with Adderall XR (10-20mg) due to withdrawal from Ativan

Years 3-Present: Severe depression, headaches, psychiatric hospitalization, lost job, etc.

 

Link to comment

You will heal. I quit different medications a year ago and was a total looney. I still am a looney but not tjay much. Give yourself lots of time

Citalopram (Sepram): 2005 10mg, 2008 20mg, 2010 30mg, 2011 20mg, tapered 2012 for two months quit in August 2012, restarted Oct 2012 with 10mg, January 2013 20mg, February 2014 40mg, tapered in August 2014, quit in December 2014

Suprium: Oct 2012 50mg, cold turkey after one month, December 2015 50mg, quit March 2016

Xanax: Oct 2015 2mg used it when needed, quit November 2015

Opamox: January 2016 15mg 3x day, tapered in March 2016, quit April 2016

Tenox: 3 weeks in February 2016 cold turkey

Lyrica: One month in Spring 2016 cold turkey

Abilify: 2 weeks in Spring 2016 cold turkey

Mirtazapine: June 2016 - mid April 2017 cold turkey

Link to comment

Hi!

Wirhdrawal is tricky because it tends to cloud your judgement and your perceptions of reality. You may feel like everything is lost or that you can't feel joy any more, but as time will pass and healing will take place, you will experience an improvement of your cognitive abilities again! When I quit my SSRI I had thick brain dog and concentration issues for a few months. Then I experienced a much better time. At the moment I do have some of these issues again bit as cruel as they seem to me - considering that I had been doing so much better already- the symptoms are not really as strong as they once had been.

If you are patient and kind to yourself you will improve, that's for sure! As for the "suicidal thoughts" you mentioned- that's also typical withdrawal. Before I started with meds I hd mild panic attacks but never depression. After quitting I experience severe depression in episodes and to be honest, also had times where I didn't see any sense in my life any more. But it comes back!! Promise! How long have you been on meds?

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

Link to comment

Hi

 

Thank you all. I really appreciate the support. I am going to gym at least 2 times a week for about an hour each time. I am trying to be positive. This was not how I imagined my life. I am very sensitive about my age and this is probably time to accept it. Somewhere along the line I think I lost track of time, because it was just to difficult to keep up. I had numerous panic attacks and depression so I got disorientated. I hope I will still be able to be happy. I think healing will begin when I forgive myself and start accepting reality although it is easier said than done. I still hope to find love also. I just feel to give up on this, since I have tried to find the right woman for several years now, but this is probably off topic.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

I often have to remind myself as well that "what is the hurry?".  Look at the positives.  You got a Phd??!!!!  Hoping that you have a decent relationship with your Mum as that is often a very good thing.  You know.......this all takes time.  You were on meds for 16 years.  When you say you came off them in your 6th year......  Could you clarify a bit?  How long ago?  And what medications?

 

"clear brain damage" you say as well.  That alone doesn't sound too hopeful.  I have had some nervous system changes as a result of using medications prescribed by psychiatrists, as well as subsequent nervous system(and other system) changes, due to "hopefully cautious" coming off of my medications.  Yet.......I feel so very hopeful for today as well as my future.

 

I don't know how much time you have had to look around the site or your comfort with English........but hopefully you can look around the site here for positives and find hope again.

 

What I find good and helpful is that so many others relate.......  And so many others have gone through the same stuff in withdrawal.  And that there are some great explanations here that make it clear that I am not stuck, nor "clearly brain damaged" and all that.  

 

I don't think it's a failure that you haven't found the perfect match yet or that you live with your Mum.  Sometimes when I settle down and look at all I do have, have done, can still do.......it helps.  I don't feel like I have "clear brain damage".  I stopped looking for a dear companion and one showed up.  It's been like that before for me too.........I mean even landing here at SA at exactly the right time for me.  I didn't plan that at all.  I am going to be 60. 

 

I don't know.  I hope this helps and thanks for the space.  Oh yes.......you do have to love and accept yourself, as well as forgive yourself.  Sometimes it all is a weird design but that's life.  Isn't it grand?

 

So you cope.  Or you can learn to cope.  Or you can stay stuck.  Or maybe you can re frame things a little different.  I hope so.  I have hope that you can.  You can make progress.  I have.

 

Love, peace, healing, growth,

 

manymoretodays

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

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.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

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

 

Link to comment

Hi manymoredays,

 

I just found this site today. I did not know it exists. I think I will get through this. I just miss being smart, but hopefully that will return again. You're right, I should stay positive. Some days are better than others. Actually I am a bit angry to being in such a situation and that is why I said, "clear brain damage". I will take it day by day. Thanks. I was in my 6th year after I started to take medication. It is about 11 years ago. I was on Prozac first and then generic fluoxetine.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

Just how slowly did you get off the meds?? If you were on them 16 years, taking even just a year to get off is probably not slow enough.

Paxil 20mg from 1998-2011 

Paxil 40mg from 2011-2012 while experiencing poopout

October 2013 quit cold turkey

Oct-mid Nov 2013 great window

Late November WD nightmare 

Windows and waves pattern 

Now: 28 months cold turkey...doing decent learning to deal with the windows/waves pattern fighting it every step of the way. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Yah.....I know........sometimes it's good to just say how you feel too.......get it all out.......... :blink:

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

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.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

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

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Hopeful and welcome to the site.

 

It's been life changing and even life saving for so many of us.

 

When I first joined I did so much reading which finally explained what I have been going through for years. What is more important, it taught me that although it felt like that, my brain wasn't damaged and that it can heal itself thanks to neuroplasticity.

 

But first things first.

 

It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

 

I reinstated my drugs after 40 days off and that enabled me to keep my job and continue with my life. Now I'm tapering at a speed which also allows me to live my life.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

Aside from a high quality fish oil and magnesium, avoid supplements. (See King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker). They've been helpful to many of us.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover. Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You are going to get better, but it will take some time.

 

I will post a few links with relevant information which may be helpful:

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

https://www.google.hr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php%3F/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/&ved=0ahUKEwjA-euosuzTAhUpCsAKHcq2DnIQFggaMAA&usg=AFQjCNHOWUP9R-uzKFwRySvueMsH2sDShg&sig2=Xo3ypiusTWkKySt-InLaYQ

 

Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)

 

Although it will make the post huge, this article was so important for me that I'm copying it in full:

 

A lot of people, including healthcare practitioners; in fact, I guess, most people-- are operating from entirely the wrong paradigm, or way of thinking, about these meds. They're thinking of them like aspirin--as something that has an effect when it's in your system, and then when it gets out of your system the effect goes away.

 

That's not what happens with medications that alter neurotransmitter function, we are learning. What happens when you change the chemistry of the brain is, the brain adjusts its chemistry and structure to try to return to homeostasis, or biochemical and functional balance. It tries to restabilize the chemistry. For example: SSRI antidepressants work as "serotonin reuptake inhibitors." That is, they cause serotonin to remain in the space between neurons, rather than being taken back up into the cells to be re-used, like it would be in a normal healthy nondrugged brain. So the brain, which wants to re-establish normal signaling and function, adapts to the higher level of serotonin between neurons (in the "synapse", the space between neurons where signals get passed along).

 

It does this by removing serotonin receptors, so that the signal is reduced and changed to something closer to normal. It also decreases the amount of serotonin it produces overall. To do that, genes have to be turned on and off; new proteins have to be made; whole cascades of chemical reactions have to be changed, which means turning on and off OTHER genes; cells are destroyed, new cells are made; in other words, a complex physiologic remodeling takes place. This takes place over time. The brain does not grow and change rapidly. This is a vast oversimplification of the amount of adaptation that takes place in the brain when we change its normal chemistry, but that's the principle.

 

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

With multiple drugs and a history of drug changes and cold turkeys, all of this becomes even more complicated. And if a person is started on these kinds of drugs at an early age before the brain has ever completely established normal mature functioning--well, it can't be good. (All of which is why I recommend an extremely slow taper particularly to anyone with a multiple drug history, a history of many years on meds, a history of past cold turkeys or frequent med changes, and a history of being put on drugs at a young age.)

 

This isn't intended to scare people, but hopefully to give you some idea of what's happening, and to help you respect and understand the process so you can work with it; ALSO, because you are likely to encounter many, many people who still believe these drugs work kind of like aspirin, or a glass of wine, and all you need to do is stop and get it out of your system. Now you can explain to them that no, getting it out of your system is not the issue; the issue is, you need to regrow or at least remodel your brain. This is a long, slow, very poorly understood process, and it needs to be respected.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Videos

 

Patterns of Recovery

 

The Power of Neuroplasicity

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

Link to comment

Hi all, 

 

Some days are better than others. I sometimes feel guilty about decisions that I have taken based on adverse effects. For my undergraduate studies I studied chemistry and biochemistry, and while on meds was considering one day working in a laboratory. However, I had tremors, agitation and low blood pressure which prompted me to eventually decide to move into the theoretical aspects, so I did not have to work in a lab. This was never my original choice, but I was told that I have to be on meds for my "mental disease" so I had to plan my career path around it. Now, I wonder that if I was not on meds, I might actually have taken a different career path. I realise now that I always considered my adverse effects and how it influenced my life in my career choices. In hindsight this is just unfair. Now, I am not sure if I made the correct choices, but I had to consider factors that people do not usually have to worry about when making such big decisions. Sometimes, I feel down because it feels as if my life was dictated by antidepressants. Luckily I am off them now and waiting for the real me. 

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

Sometimes, I feel down because it feels as if my life was dictated by antidepressants. - I know exactly what you mean! I too habe those thoughts from time to time. And sometimes they make me really angry! "I am wasting years feeling sh*tty when I could have been off so much better" "AD's destroyed my life for ever, they changed me 4-ever"... "how much could I have done, holodays, jobs and so on"... it's devastating. When I find myself in these spirals there is nothing else that helps me but to talk very kindly

to myself and to remind myself that there are so many horrible desease out there and that my body, in fact, is healthy. Don't get me wrong, mental issues (be it wd-wise or not) are horrible but at least we do have an ultimate chance to heal. This nightmare will be over some day! Or at least I will be back

to how I was before meds- wich was still lightyears better than this;)

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

Link to comment

Hi, try and be strong. I was on SSRI for just a couple of weeks and had a bad reaction. I stopped and after three months I am convinced they have changed me. We will get better and get back to our old selves. We need to avoid these ADs Merry go round. I have read enough on this forum to realise that they aren't the answer. Only we know how badly these drugs affect us, that's why we need each other. Be strong and one thing I've learnt is giving out kindness to others really helps.

2017 10mg Citalopram for two weeks.

Link to comment

I am feeling angry today. I wish I can have my life over. I wanted to be a great scientist who could make a big positive difference in this world. The meds messed me up. I could not do research without a huge struggle and eventually I was pathetic. I wanted to scream out, that it's not fair. I still feel I want to tell the world how much I suffered unnecessarily. I wanted to have a string of papers but I struggled too much. I just want to scream. I was taught to just do your best and to persevere. That is what I did and because of the meds I never got the recognition I deserve. Now, I struggle to enjoy science.

 

I am angry. I am trying to figure out why I am on this earth. From a young age I wanted to be a scientist. I knew something was wrong, but I thought if I preservere it would all work out. The doctor said I have to be on meds for life so I just had to find a way to cope. I am not happy how my life turned out. I am sooo angry and it's useless. I want recognition, but then I should have been better. I am worried that I messed up my life by deciding to go on meds in the first place. I hope God will help me figuring out what I must do. I don't even know if I am at the right place in my life now.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

Hopeful. We all feel angry at times for very similar reasons. The drugs robbed us. For you, it was your career.

 

The doctors all say you have to be on medication for life. I believe they are uneducated and some are under Big Pharma's spell also.

 

You are only 35 and still, have so much life in front of you. This is just a mere blip on the radar. It's temporary and you will hopefully go on to a brighter future in your field.

 

You have been jolting your brain around with your alternate dosing and it's not surprising that you're feeling emotional and depressed as this seems to have been going on for quite a while.Your poor brain has been struggling to keep up with all of the ups and downs over this period of time.It likes homeostasis and is always trying to move towards that state. The constant jiggling is disconcerting.

 

Did you stop on February 1st? If you did it is probably not too late to reinstate a very small amount of fluoxetine just to take the edge off your symptoms and then you could possibly taper off that slowly sometime in the future. If you are interested, please let us know and we can establish a possible very low reinstatement dose.    

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

Link to comment

Yes, I think I stopped then. I feel I just have to sit this through than reinstating. Probably reality is sinking in. The meds probably numbed me so that I did not realize what was happening. Now it's quite overwhelming.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

I know that anger and feeling trapped all too well! As Ali said- everybody feels angry and has been robbed of things... years, family, friends, job opportunities. But hope and feeling better will come back with time and then you'll feel more positive about yourself and your achivements for sure!

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

Link to comment

Hi OP, you sound pretty awesome to me, but as you well know, it's not how random people view us that matters, it's how we think about ourselves. Plus you're in the realms of the high achievers where I can imagine it's hard not to compare and contrast. 

 

In terms of the brain ability, I am living this reality right now! I studied law and loved it, could think easily and quickly. Now my mind is like treacle, it's genuinely slower and less able to reason or think deeply, it's like there is a dull beige nothingness in the space where concentrated thinking would normally take place. With the result that I am on a 3 mth trial for a job and tomorrow, I know that I won't be taken on as an employee. Too sad.

 

I started doing brain gym exercises and was concerned to find that compared to my husband who isn't naturally way more intelligent etc, I am constantly well below par for all the memory cognition exercises. 

 

Although I'm living the fall out right this very week, I still don't give up hope that healing is occurring all the time. I choose to believe that my memory and cognitive abilities will be restored. I'm going to have to be a very late bloomer... :D

 

I have high hopes for you too OP xxxmollyn

 

Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)

 

I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

Link to comment

Thanks Mollyn. It means a lot. Maybe you still stand a chance to get the job. Good luck anyway! Things will get better. I am just a bit impatient. I realized while I was on meds how it was as if my mind were trying to figure things out, but got a bit lost to find the pathway. I did eventually solve problems, but it took much longer since my mind seemed to go back and forth instead of solving the problem. It's still a bit like this. I think the meds make one's mind slower. I think one is not really less intelligent, just very slow. I think this is why I managed to get my PhD. I just had to work insanely hard, but I could do it largely in my own time, without much deadlines. Now that I am looking for a job, since I lost my job around the start of this year, I panic about the idea of deadlines. I am also worried about aptitude tests in job interviews. I know I can solve problems, but there is a time limit.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

Hi all,

 

Does anyone have an idea how long it takes to get one's cognitive abilities back? I used to be able to solve problems, but nowadays I feel anxious when confronted with a new problem. I also feel agitated as if I want to solve it and get it over with even if it is realistic that it should take longer, such as a few days or a month. How can I just relax so that I can focus on a problem? People expect me to solve problems. I cannot panic each time. I hope someone has an idea.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

that's a tough one! WD at work is specially hard. I know exactly what you mean, my reactions to stress at work- specially when a design depends on me (i am a graphic designer, so problem solving is different to me but still a lot of pressure) are huuuuuuge. things that wouldn't have stressed me out before are bombs for my nerves. I found nothing to "solve that issue" because I can't just leave work and do my tasks another day when I feel better;) So nothing left but to be gentle to myself and tell

myself WHY I am so agitated. I tend to criticize myself in a very self destructive manner (I am stupid, I am unable, I will nevee get better, I just can't react like a normal person...) so when that happens I talk loudly to myself (I am in Withdrawal . That is why my nervous system doesn't allow me to handle this situation properly. Some day, this will pass. I am a hero for withdrawing from AD's. This is what I want and in order to get there, this is what I have to go through...) When I have windows, my cognitive functions are a lot better too so as soon as you have those, you'll see that you still have it!

2005-2006: Cipralex 5 mg

2009-2010: Cipralex 5 mg

2012-2015: Cipralex 5mg, 10mg 

tapered 10mg-7.5mg-5mg-2,5-0 (I always waited for a few weeks on the current dosage until I felt stable. Steps were too big I realized too late)

Completely drug free since August 2015

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Today was a tough day. I currently do not have a job. I am busy with a course on coursera to get some skills. I sat in front of my laptop for most of the day trying to get my mind to understand something that I do not think is so difficult, especially since I have bit of a math background. I just could not figure it out. It was hell. Eventually I sweared from frustration and hit my head with my hands and cried. I just want myself back, please. My life is running out. I am doing what I can. I don't know where I am going. I used to be smart and now I feel like an idiot.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Meditation?  Do you do any form of that?  Aerobic exercise as well.......the work up a sweat......stay with it for the 10 or 20 minutes it takes to get those endorphins going.  Sunshine.  Nature.  Music.  Take a break.

 

And above all.....keep trying.......go on back to it and figure it out if the course allows.  Pat yourself on the back too.  Hug a tree......another human........an animal even.

 

You actually do have a huge job to do now..........self care and healing/recovery.

 

It gets better.  It does.  It will.

 

Cruise around the site a bit.......forgive yourself too for whatever it is you think you did wrong......how you think you are wrong or damaged.  Find a community or 2 or 3. 

 

Seems the aerobic........even without a sweat helps me so very much..........brain wise and all that.............sometimes I just do the I am kind...........I am smart.........I am beautiful thing over and over on paper or with my self talk.........and I am.  Most of all I am..........you are too...........accept that what is hard today may not be tomorrow.

 

Let us know what helped and if you were able to do the coursework on a second try.

 

Love, peace, healing/recovery, and growth or success if you will......

 

mmt

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

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.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

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

 

Link to comment

Thank you. I am implementing some of the things you suggested.

Fluoxetine: 6 years to 2006: tremors, depression, brain fog and smelly sweat. 

Tapered (probably too quickly): original symptoms of disease in overdrive, memory very bad, headaches, could not concentrate,

panic attacks and depression. 

Went for short while on Cipralex (cannot remember details)

Went back onto fluoxetine 40 mg. 

9 years on 40 mg, also for a short while on 60 mg in the last year, but got headaches, so moved back to 40 mg. 

Struggle to learn, slow of comprehension, depressed, panic attacks, bad short and long term memory, agitation, hatred. Visual disturbances. 

2015-06: 20 mg fluoxetine

2016-05: 8 months 20 mg every second day

2017-01: 1 month 20 mg every third day

2017-02-01: Stopped all together: struggle to think, solve problems, memory very bad, panic attacks, emotions rollercoaster and feel depressed. 

 

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy