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Withdrawal or relapse? Or something else?

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

 

what is a normal response to a huge amount of stress and pain in my life.

 

Indeed and that is the rub. What IS the norm? Whose norm? What benefit is there were you to be able to sort out what is "normal depression" and what is wd "neuro emotion"?

 

I think what Alto is referring to is the use of the word "depression" as a psychiatric catch all for all manner of feelings which pharma has convinced them (and us through advertising) that there is a "pill" for.

 

It became easier for me to endure it when I gave up and just held the notion as best I could that whatever I was feeling was "neuro emotion" and therefore not a normal response to situations. I am done with the medical/psychological concept of "depression" for the remainder of this lifetime.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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MissSerene

This thread is helpful and hopeful. I'd also like to be finished with the word/concept "depression." I often tell myself that I feel depressed, then ask myself what I really mean. Is my energy low? Do I feel apathetic, numb? Am I sad, afraid, or have I lost my appetite? Am I swamped with false beliefs about myself and life that stem from my personal history and the crazy stuff I saw and learned?

 

A little more than halfway through taper (milliliters wise), I am struggling with a lot of intense emotions that the Prozac (and also a benzo, several years ago) were likely dampening. But the crying spells and fear alternate with days of just feeling not really interested in much, or motivated. Not looking forward to anything. Just getting by. Fear that this is all there is. 

 

I so want to feel alive again. For me, this is where the terror of, "It's not withdrawal, this is just who I am" kicks in. Maybe I am just a depressed, anxious person. Sorry to sound so down...Rough day today.  


Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

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Junior

 

One way to distinguish between a neuro-emotion from withdrawal and "normal" depression (I hate that word, it's a psychiatric term to describe every kind of sadness) is that neuro-emotions come in intense waves without apparent emotional triggers.

But what if there ARE emotional triggers? Many people in withdrawal also have stressful or painful life circumstances. I am having a very hard time sorting out what is withdrawal, what is "depression" (I hate the word too) and what is a normal response to a huge amount of stress and pain in my life. It's all one big mess. And so am I.

 

FWIW I don't see how a person can consider it as what we have known as clinical depression in the past while in w/d. My guess is that it's a combination of the brain trying to re-balance itself together with neuro/emotional responses to 'normal' life experiences.


Personal history of GAD and 4 melancholic depressive episodes - two treated with Amityptline

Family history of Bipolar Disorder - goes back at least 3 generations

Adult son with autism, ADHD, intellectual disability and Bipolar II

Put on Aropax / Paxil in July 1997 for anther episode.  Decision to stay on it - worst decision of my life.

Began to poop out in late 2008. Switched to Lexapro March 2009.  Made me suicidal.  Tried Cymbalta for 19 days. Horrible w/d.

Found PP and RI'd Aropax at about the same time - August 2009.  Began slow taper in 2010. Crashed in 13-11mg range in mid 2013.  Switched to Citalopram 21 Oct 2013 in an attempt to stabilise.

 

There are things that are known, and things that are unknown; in between are doors - Anonymous

 

https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/longing-for-life/id958423649  My book about my unsuccessful journey through IVF

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WatchingTV426

MissSerene, I am sooooo with you here. I am having a difficult time understanding the difference b/t "real" anxiety problems or "real" depression and w/d, especially when say life events happen that might make someone anxious or depressed even if w/d weren't present. If we're not using the term "normal" depression, then what is the condition that describes the debilitating sadness, apathy, etc. that so many people experience? Same for anxiety? Don't some people, unmedicated and without therapy, endure like this for years (or, worst case, scenario, kill themselves?) 

 

Why are some people more prone to these sorts of conditions than others? If it's not brain chemistry, then what? I really want to understand this, as I've suffered with mental health problems since I was a child, and I've been taking this awful garbage since I was 24, and am now 32. 

 

As a separate note, I don't know a lot about panic disorder, which my sister has but doesn't talk much about in specifics, but I know she carries on with her everyday life (has a teaching job, runs her kids around, etc.) but the catastrophic thinking and worrying (about health issues) eats her alive. It's gotten increasingly worse for years, the worst of it triggered 2 years ago by her husband having cardiac arrest on her living room floor b/c he had a genetic abnormality no one knew about and her having to save his life while on the phone with 9/11, in front of their two children. She's tried therapy several times to no avail, and her PCP had her on 20mg of Celexa which wasn't doing much so now she's seeing a psychiatrist who upped the dose and has added other things. This has been going on for years, untreated by drugs for a long time, and it just kept getting worse and worse. She's improved some but definitely isn't "great," and she's experiencing side effects. My question is what would be the current thinking behind something like this--this seems like there is obviously something very wrong, something like "normal" panic disorder going on? 


Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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Petunia
Why are some people more prone to these sorts of conditions than others? If it's not brain chemistry, then what? I really want to understand this, as I've suffered with mental health problems since I was a child, and I've been taking this awful garbage since I was 24, and am now 32. 

 

 

I think the answer to this question is an unpleasant truth that most of us probably don't want to think about because its complex, painful to face, but more importantly, difficult to 'fix', without a lot of hard work, soul searching, courage, time and energy, which we probably don't have.  Its much easier to hang onto a medical sounding diagnosis, take our 'medicine', even though it doesn't really fix anything and just keep going the best we can.

 

I think Rhi said it best in a recent post here:

 

(paraphrasing)  Our emotions are not diseases but complex and normal reactions to very complex and unnatural life conditions in the modern world.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7913-video-about-depression-and-the-brain/?p=120086

 

If some people seem more prone to experiencing ongoing unpleasant emotions, then I would suggest its because they have probably been exposed to more extreme kinds of unnatural, harmful, difficult or dysfunctional situations at some time in their life, and this, combined with their own unique character and level of sensitivity, causes a normal, ongoing emotional response and pattern of behavior, given the circumstances.

 

The biggest problem I think, for a lot of people, might be with identifying what these unnatural, harmful and dysfunctional situations are or were, because in our family, culture or society, things which are often harmful to individuals, but benefit the group, get accepted as normal, and so they become 'invisible'.

 

My unfortunate reality is that I was born into a dysfunctional family.  From the outside, it looked fine, and to me, as a child, I didn't know anything was wrong because I didn't know any different.  But behind closed doors, the emotional environment and dynamics were strange, unpredictable and destabilizing.  There were no chemical imbalances back then either, but difficult emotions and patterns of learned behavior which naturally emerged through fear based control, emotional abandonment, dishonest communication and a lack of warmth or concern for anything beyond physical survival.  I've struggled through most of my life, weighed down by self doubt and high levels of anxiety... anxiety not caused by a chemical imbalance, but by unconscious beliefs about myself and life, planted there by my parents through their behavior and style of parenting.  Add to that some traumatic events, lots of stress, ongoing lack of support, bad choices..... given the circumstances, things have turned out as one would probably expect.

 

I've also had a difficult time letting go of the idea that all my problems in life have been caused by a chemical imbalance.  But the reality is that human problems are complicated and not caused by simple imbalances inside of individual brains.  If there are any imbalances they are usually found outside of brains, in the distribution of power within the environments which are supposed to support us.

 

 

 


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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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WatchingTV426

Petu, 

 

This is intelligent and thoughtful. I appreciate this. It gives me something to think about, especially as I have been high-anxiety probably forever, and suffered from OCD since childhood. Since both of my sisters have mental health concerns, as well as my dad, and a male cousin on my mother's side is schizophrenic, it seemed kind of "logical" to me that these sorts of things "ran" in my family--and, indeed, maybe they do, but not in the way that I've been thinking, i.e., b/c we have chemically imbalanced brains.  

 

My guess is that everyone's brain is balanced slightly differently, can handle stimuli slightly differently, and reacts to things in its own way. What things one has to react to, as you say, and how sensitive an individual you are, is going to determine a lot of outcomes. Thanks for this response. 

 

WTV 


Started Zoloft 07/06, continued through 07/08 (2-month taper, going downhill 6 weeks after stopping [w/d?]) 

Lexapro started 12/08, Lexapro increased/Buspar and Topamax added in '09, continued through 08/10 (3-month taper, disastrous results after 3 week [w/d?]) 

200 mg Zoloft started around 9/10; been between 150 and 200 mg Zoloft since then, also on Topamax and Deplin, and tried things for sleep like Trazadone (worked for a while), and Ambien, Lunesta, and Mirtazapine (all failed) 

--Started tapering 200mg Zoloft--

6-26-14 (150 mg); 7-14-14 (100 mg); 8-20-14 (50 mg); 10-25-14 (25 mg); 11-18-14 (12.5 mg); 12-2-14 stopped Zoloft 

anxiety started 3 days off, depression 12 days off; both severely intensified at 5 weeks off with a work-related trigger and got progressively worse for 10 days 

Reinstated Zoloft 12.5mg on 1-15-15 (one day at 25mg) after 6 weeks and 2 days off 

Also taking 100mg Topamax and 15mg Deplin 

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KarenB

That's it.  Exactly.  The last few days I've been saying to myself and my husband 'I am very, very sad because I got very very hurt, and no one looked after me.'  It's so simple and logical, but how hard it has been to find that truth.  I love what you say about the concept of depression.  I'm done too!

Thank you,

Karen

 


It became easier for me to endure it when I gave up and just held the notion as best I could that whatever I was feeling was "neuro emotion" and therefore not a normal response to situations. I am done with the medical/psychological concept of "depression" for the remainder of this lifetime.

 


2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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awakeandaware

I  never looked at withdrawal from a mental POV. Now I am wondering if my "depression" is actually due to withdrawal from SSRIs. It did not kick in immediately after I stopped taking Lexapro, which is what threw me off. But over the past few months I have been wondering if I actually have some sort of mild bipolar (lol). I don't know if my feelings qualify as neuro-emotions, though. It's more like, many days I wake up feeling generally sad and somewhat apathetic, antisocial and just...crappy. I have zero motivation to do anything. I don't have anything to say to anyone, and generally avoid human interaction. Then some days I wake up and feel good. There is no outside trigger for any of this. I tend to have long cycles (a week or two) of apathy and/or sadness, followed by a couple days of feeling like a normal human being. Then back to blah. Does this sound like withdrawal?


Prozac 100 mg age 15-19, stopped with no taper.

Klonopin (3 mg/day) and/or diazepam (15 mg day) age 18-24. Have not taken for several years now.

Lexapro age 21-26, weaned from 20 mg to 10 mg then switched to...

Escitalopram 20 mg, weaned to 10 mg then discontinued at age 27 (have been off of EP for about 6 months).

Trazadone 50 mg age 25-27. Discontinued about 1 year ago.

Wellbutrin 150 mg to counteract Escitalopram side effects, currently still taking.

 

My intro thread:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8924-hi-my-name-isawakeandaware/

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Newbeginning

Hello everyone,

 

As I am approaching much lower doses of the 2 meds I currently take (that I'm trying to quit), Ive started to wonder: If I know some of the symptoms I have are most likely side effects of the meds, is it reasonable to expect they will fade as I decrease the dose? Or do you have to reach a dose low enough to notice a difference in those symptoms?

 

I can tell the difference between withdrawal and side effects because some of the side effects were there even before I started withdrawing. Also, the withdrawal symptoms tend to be a different set of symptoms (generally more physical than emotional, in my case). However, once I reached half of my intital Prozac dose, I have not seen much of a difference in the side effects that bothered me. That has me wondering if it could be long term damage that won't go away even after drug reduction.

 

Or could it be withdrawal even though it started before I started cutting down?

 

I'm confused and scared. I thought things would improve once I managed to decrease the prozac low enough, but I have not seen a difference yet after about 3 weeks of decreasing to 10 mg (I started at 20mg and have decreased to 10 over 5 months).

 

Any ideas or anyone willing to share their experiences much appreciated.

 

Thanks!


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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Altostrata

Side effects often occur in a definite pattern after taking the drug. For example, if you take Lexapro at 7 a.m. every day and have palpitations 4 hours later, that's an indication they may be caused by the Lexapro.

 

Withdrawal symptoms are more random.

 

Keeping notes on paper about daily symptom patterns, drug dosages, and when you take the drug or drugs can help you recognize a symptom that is caused by taking a drug or supplement.

 

You may note we often remind people to do this.


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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Petunia

There are other side effects which occur not related to the time you take the drug, like weight gain and sexual issues, so it really depends on what side effects you are referring to. Some side effects will resolve as you lower the dose, some will disappear when you are off completely and others may take a while longer, and of course everyone is different, so what occurs for someone else, may be different for you. Perhaps you will notice a difference when you get a little lower.

 

To make it even more complicated, an effect which began as a side effect can then sometimes return later as a withdrawal symptom.

 

By continuing to taper slowly you are moving towards minimizing side effects and giving yourself the best chance of avoiding withdrawal symptoms.


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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Newbeginning

Thanks everyone! Yes, I'm talking about side effects that only emerged over time, so I don't feel them right after I take a dose.

 

I'm talking about the apathy and fatigue. I know these are common withdrawal symptoms, but I know in my case they are side effects because they began before I experienced withdrawal. I also recall these symptoms improved when I tapered to a very low dose of effexor, only to come back after I started prozac (which I only started to help finishing the taper of effexor).

 

These symptoms have been very disabling for me and I'm worried they may not go away when I finally taper prozac to zero, which may indicate there is some enduring damage? It's very disheartening.


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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WinstonWolf

Hi,

 

So, I've completed my taper from most recent Celexa/20mg disaster.  It took about 6 weeks and I finally 'jumped off' a few days ago.  I am having trouble concentrating, self conscious (social anxiety), tired, panicky, screwing up at work, etc. (even knocked over a drink the other day and although all human beings can identify with that, I think it's related).

 

The question that's going through my mind is whether this is all likely to dissipate over the next weeks or months.  Or is this the new normal?  I can make a case for both options above.  

 

Thanks for any help offered.  You all are so supportive!

 

WW

 

 

 

 


1992 - began with prozac and tried SO MANY others that I have little recollection of dosages and taper/withdrawal details.  It's all a blur!

Here's my recent history:

12/08 - current 10mg Ambien, .5mg Klonopin (as needed…sporadic)

12/14 - 20mg Paxil 

02/15 - 10mg Paxil, 20mg Celexa     

04/15 -  d/c Paxil, 10mg Celexa

5/15   - 5mg Celexa   

Currently - 0mg Celexa, 10mg Ambien, .5mg Klonopin

Pros/Cons:

Pro - I am off Ads for first time in 20 years, yea!

Con - I am going through hell, boo!  

 

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westcoast

I think you'll get better from the AD withdrawal. You're not in Akathisia/Dread mode, it seems. Praise your favorite diety!

 

Any change in your mood since quitting? (I went thru the roof.)

 

Annnd, are you going to get off Ambien eventually? If so I'd consider waiting a while. Others can say how long.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mikey1975

Altostrata i'd like you to tell me if you think it's the depression or WD i stopped sertraline just over 2 and a half years ago i was fine for the first year and then onesided headaches started occuring with pressure round my ear and a bit of panic and moods when i feel like crying for no reason these come and go like the weathercoming up to 2 years after stopped things were getti g worse with bad palpitation feeling / internal vibrations 24 7 and have got worse as have the moods and down spells

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Iamfine

fefes, this is such an important question -- posed by spectio in her Intro topic title -- that I made it its own topic.

 

spectio, you did a great job answering the question!

 

One way to distinguish between a neuro-emotion from withdrawal and "normal" depression (I hate that word, it's a psychiatric term to describe every kind of sadness) is that neuro-emotions come in intense waves without apparent emotional triggers. You can feel fine, then blammo.

 

When the wave passes, it's as though nothing happened, like a sudden rain squall and then you have the sun again.

 

(The demotivation and a lack of feeling of reward is something else. It's a vague background neuro-emotion that gradually gets better over time.)

 

fefes, your idea of spending more time with pets is an excellent one. There was a time when I felt so bad, and so overwhelmed by human contact, I walked around the neighborhood looking for dogs and cats to pet. Even looking at photos of dogs and cats made me feel better.

 

Try to do little things like that to calm your nervous system. Don't aim to do too much. If you find it soothing, slip into the back of a church and listen to hymns. Go to the park and watch the birds.

 

Do you like to knit or crochet? Simple repetitive movements like those can be soothing, too.

My depression came in waves for years before I went to a doc about it. There were no drugs to blame it on, there were no life abruptions, I was just plain old depressed. Eventually the side effects from the meds outweighed my depression, but when I am through with tapering if I go through a depression how do I know the cause for sure? I mean obviously the docs can't fix me, maybe it's just my lot in life to go through waves of depression, it's just who I am and the sooner I accept it and learn to deal with it the better off I'll be.


My Story

In 2014-15 I tapered off Lithium 1200 mg (ct), Lexapro 40 mg, Lamictal 150 mg, Seroquel 500 mg, Klonopin 3 mg (ct), and had a short stint with Viibryd that lasted about 2 weeks. I also had about a month on Brintellix during this time.

Currently taking 60 mg prozac, 100 mg Seroquel (ri 8/4/16), 3 x 20 mg Ritalin, 2 x 0.5 Klonopin, and 120 mg Geodon. Will finish tapering off Geodon next.

Psych drugs tried: Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seruquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Klonopin.

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Mikey1975

Thanks for the post so i guess the way my emotions are all over the place one minute fine then panic or anger are def signs of neuro emotions

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tryingtosurvive

Still a bit unsure if this is things ok to post here or if it should be in my thread (?)- but it is related to this topic ..

I dont know what to believe anymore how do you know it is withdrawal symptoms and not a need for meds? (the whole world around me seems to scream it is a sign that :I need the meds to function. ..:("

Social anxiety, anxiety,depressive thoughts and binge eating is becoming what destroyes what is left of my life now :((( it is not worth suffering -better take the meds again ppl around me say.

I just need to know will this really pass ? Cause ö

Last time similar symptoms have come up and "passed" was after I went back on prozac (!)after a doctor tried to change me to efexor... 8 years ago...

Very grateful to replies from ppl with experience of coming passed this without meds....

Thank you

Trying to hang in there. ....


fluoxetine since 13years followed doctors advice tapered 40 mg to 0mg in 4 months july 2015 august crasched in panic attacks etc end of september akatisia , nausea, crying alot no one told me it could be something called withdrawal I read it and also about going back to last dose No one knew if it was worth it. tried reinstate autumn 2014 5 mg prozac then 10mg since 29/11-2014 feel only worse sucidal for real, tried antihistamine 10 mg or oxascand (benso) 5 mg or valerian for anxiousness but sick feeling taking this. 6mg prozac to taper slowly down since 15/2-2014 (30ml out of 100ml water with 20 mg pill) tapered 10-20% per month until June 2015 super anxious depressed tired. Got Buspar may 2015 5mg 10mg 15mg headache etc
June 2015: 10mg buspar plus around 3 mg prozac quit this cold turkey in July 2015. One week later crying spells and suicidal. Tried 5htp.magnesium omega 3 until September. October 2015 tested vit D was 17 . Since October 2015 ONLY Vit D and magnesium . nov 2016 can laungh again! but still too anxious ,depressed or lethargic in waves can't focuS, Crying spells , scared, social fobia, bitterness. .. . Did not reinstate prozac again . Trying to survive ....

july 2016-troathpain /reflux starts...

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Petunia

trying, if you experienced social anxiety, anxiety,depressive thoughts and binge eating before you took fluoxetine or other psychiatric drugs and have done nothing to address those problems via counseling or other therapies, then they will still be there when you stop taking the drugs.

 

If your symptoms were caused by a life situation and that situation hasn't been resolved, they will still be there. Psychiatric drugs don't cure anything, they sometimes suppress uncomfortable or inconvenient thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

 

This doesn't mean you need to take medication, it just means that your original problems haven't yet been worked through and solved. If you stop taking the drugs, then most likely the old emotions and behaviors are going to resurface again.

 

See:   http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6447-best-of-sa/?p=190314

 

If what you are experiencing is different from before you went on meds, then that's most likely withdrawal related.

 

Its possible to have a mix of old symptoms and problems returning along with new withdrawal symptoms. If you haven't dealt with your original issues via counseling, therapy or self help methods, and you go through withdrawal from stopping medications too fast, they may come back, possibly worse, due to the increase of stress and nervous system instability caused by withdrawal.

 

I hope this helps clear up your confusion.

 

 


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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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george11

The depression is getting worse and i don't know what to do!Maybe i have to start med's again...I do not believe anymore that it is withdrawal.....


2008-2010 seroxat 40mg for panic attacks

2010-2012 seroxat 20mg 

2012 stopped seroxat(cold turkey) because of feeling perfect but after 2 months the panic attacks and other symptoms started again

Reinstated seroxat on 60mg but no effect (depression induced,low mood,and many other side effects)

Effexor 300mg for 1 month didn't work

2013-2014 Anafranil 100mg (tricyclic) 5-6 months feeling good but after that not feeling very good

Add maprotiline 50mg (tetracyclic) some improvement but i stopped maprotiline because i didn't want to be on cocktail

2014 Generalized anxiety disorder stopped and reinstated anafranil 150mg

2015 April  meds free

 

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Lorin
How do you know the source of the symptoms?

Is the anxity from withdrawal or the fact that I suffer from anxiety?

thanx


2007-2015- zoloft 100 mg
5-8/2015 taper zoloft 12.5 mg every 2 weeks
3/2016 -11/16 lexapro 20 mg

taper lexapro every month by 30%

11/4/17-lexapro 3.5 mg

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coldturkmama

Anything new showing up? For example I had brain zaps, electric like shocks in my head and a bunch of other things that made me realize it was more than just anxiety.


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. 

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Lorin

i had brain zap an acna and Hard horniness
now i am with acne and anixty


2007-2015- zoloft 100 mg
5-8/2015 taper zoloft 12.5 mg every 2 weeks
3/2016 -11/16 lexapro 20 mg

taper lexapro every month by 30%

11/4/17-lexapro 3.5 mg

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ChessieCat
7 minutes ago, baroquep said:
  • Are these experiences solely experiences that were around before you ever took SSRIs, or do they include new elements as well? → If any new or different elements are present, a withdrawal reaction is very likely.
  • If nothing is new, are these experiences expressing exactly as they did before you ever took SSRIs, in terms of their intensity, what provokes them, how long they last, and so forth? → If there are differences, a withdrawal reaction is more probable.
  • How soon after a dose reduction or drug discontinuation did new or worsening problems occur? Days, weeks, months, or longer? → “Relapse” usually takes weeks, months, or longer to show up whereas withdrawal symptoms more often begin within just days, weeks, or the first month or so.
  • If taken shortly after a previous dose reduction or full discontinuation, does a reinstatement of the previous dose of your SSRI make things any better? → If reinstatement resolves newly appearing or worsening symptoms, they were most likely a withdrawal reaction.

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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JamesF

One of the most difficult things about withdrawal (AD or Benzos) is the sheer number of different symptoms.

 


Symptoms fluctuate hour by hour, day by day and month by month. They can be so wide ranging ... from neurological, digestive, sleep, cardiac, endocrine, perceptual, etc ... that it's very difficult to be sure that an individual symptom is down to withdrawal. Compare this to accidentally bumping your knee against a table, where it's quite obvious that the knee pain is due to the bump.

 


There are also symptoms that you can find no clear explanation for.  They're lumped into an umbrella categories like "neurological symptoms" or "paresthesias". But each persons individual experience will be different. In my case, these have been symptoms like bizarre whole body numbness, internal vibrations, depersonalisation, and so on. You have to assume it's down to withdrawal, since there's no other explanation and it seems to line up with the list of withdrawal symptoms, but you won't find a clear explanation of why it's occurring. And it's purely subjective, there are no tests or measurements for another person to see it. 

 


New symptoms are also difficult. Even if you reach a degree of acceptance and certainty that long term symptoms are due to withdrawal - something new can come out of the blue and cause distress.

 


With such a great number of disorientating symptoms, it's very easy to fear the worst - that severe symptoms or particular constellation of symptoms relate to some other illness. Or perhaps that another illness is being caused by long term psychiatric drug use or withdrawal itself. Either directly or simply through the exhaustion the nervous system has gone through.

And even if you do have certainty that it's related to withdrawal, it's very hard to have certainty that you will recover or that you are making the correct choices to reduce suffering. 


Psychologically, this takes it's toll. It's easy to spiral into health anxiety and hopelessness. This is especially true when sleep deprived, which many of us are. 


I had a big downswing today, and it inspired me to write this post. I'm feeling some symptoms I haven't felt often, and it triggered a great deal of anxiety that the cause was something more sinister. It was easy to forget about the general improvements I've had, any brief windows, and any reduction of other symptoms. The mind in this state simply fixates upon the severity of the current symptoms and fearfully spirals out of control. In this state, I was/am aware that anxiety makes suffering significantly worse, but this recognition did not make it any easier to interrupt the cycle. 


I would be very appreciative if you could share any advice or experience about how to avoid these fearful spirals? And to remember that symptoms are simply due to withdrawal when in states of anxiety?

Thank you, I think many of us here could benefit from this


Jay


  • 2008: Started Citalopram 30mg
  • Sept 2014: Tapered down Citalopram over 6 months and discontinued Feb 2015
  • Severe withdrawals peaked in July/Aug 2015. Totally housebound.
  • Sept 2015: Sertraline started @ 100mg on GP advice.
  • Oct to Dec 2015: Reduced to Sertraline 50mg due to side effects. 
  • Jan 2016 to March 2017: Tapered Sertraline to 2mg @ 10% per month. 
  • Severe withdrawals peaked again June 2017. Totally housebound. 
  • Diazepam: July 2017 5mg // Aug 2017 2.5mg // Sept 2017 1mg // 12th Dec 2017 0.85mg 
  • Sertraline Reinstatement: 23 Oct 2017 5mg // 15 Nov 2017 10mg // 23 Nov 2017 15mg 

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scallywag

James -- some people find it helpful to keep a print-out/hard copy of a list of common symptoms.  You can download one from the first post of this topic: Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

Other topics that may be helpful:

Dealing with emotional spirals

Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms


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

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


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

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Petunia

Hi Jay,

 

Scallywag has linked some very good resources which should help. But I wanted to add that you have summed up the very difficult nature of this recovery process well. Its the perfect catch 22 situation. When we most need our cognitive and emotional faculties to pull us out of these downward spirals, they are just not available.

 

The way I 'remember' that symptoms, especially new ones are all just withdrawal is to assume, at first that everything is. For me, recovery is happening in a windows/waves and cycles of symptoms kind of pattern. New symptoms pop up, last an amount of time, decrease and then go away for a while. If a new or recurring symptom fits into this pattern, I assume its withdrawal. So far, everything has, apart from one thing, which wasn't fluctuating along with other symptoms. I had sudden hearing loss in one ear and an increase in tinnitus, it wasn't going away. So I went to the doctor and it turned out to be something unrelated to withdrawal, a minor blockage and easily fixed.

 

Everything else comes and goes, fluctuates in intensity and leaves completely at times in patterns which I have become familiar with.

 

Something I do, if I can remember is when I get my downswings and become confused and anxious again, I come here or other sites, groups and pages where people are discussing withdrawal symptoms, its reassuring and helps to calm me down.

 

If your recovery process has been going on a while, Facebook groups for withdrawal and recovery support can be especially helpful.


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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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swordiebrom

Diagnosed with schizophrenia,changed my beliefs, experiencing some anxiety and only able to sleep in the morning. Are these withdrawal or relapse


risperidone 5mg on 17 december 2017

4mg from 15/1/2018

3mg from 23/1/2018

2 mg from 27/3/2018

fluoxetine 20mg started 15/12/2017,stopped 15/1/2018

1/1/2019 80 mg lurasidone

2/1/2019 40 mg lurasidone

3/1/2019 stopped

29/5/2019 20 mg lurasidone 

7/6/2019 10 mg lurasidone 27/6/2019 5 mg lurasidone 30/11/2019 2 mg lurasidone 30/12/2019 1.66 mg lurasidone

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miomio
On 3/29/2011 at 11:46 PM, squirrel said:

Hi Neuro & Hopeful.

The crushing depression has left me also,tingling in limbs, muscle cramps, my mood is much better and mentally I feel so much better.my worse symptoms are feeling unbalanced (woosey) or like the floor is moving under my feet, D/P and D/R, feel spaced out and not connected.anxiety or akathesia I am not sure which, inner tremors and crippling fatigue.For the last 6 months these things can change by the hour.Think I am over the menopuse now.

I Wonder how you are Today if u are still here in this forum?!


Started Venlafaxine around  2007-2008  for around 4,5-5 years 70mg

                                                   ca .2012  Taper as doctors advise 2 weeks skip a day and stop

                                                   7 -8 later months total breakdown after sruggling a lot Hospitalized

                                                   and started on Cipralex.

Taper as doctors advise: Mai 2018  from 20 to 10 mg escitalopram to zero in one Month.

 

supplements

Magnesium citrate 600 mg

Omega 3  2000 mg

vitamin D3 sometimes

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