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NewMorning: My journey


NewMorning

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Note: I apologize if this it too long! Maybe just skim it? Kind of felt cathartic to write this all out...

 

So I finally wanted to introduce myself, and share my personal journey with SSRI drugs, and my history of withdrawal. Over the past 6 months or so, I have found this community to be incredibly helpful, to be able to read about what others are going through, gain courage, and know that I'm not alone in this process. Until now, I didn't necessarily want to engage personally in sharing my history, but as I'm finding this process to be getting more difficult, I think that it might be a good idea for me. And also just to ask some questions, perhaps get some advice, and simply add my voice to consensus that these drugs are very very powerful. (Possibly more on my personal opinions on them later).

 

When I was 18 years old (I'm now 34), it was suggested by my family doctor that I be put on 20mg of Paxil, because at the time I was a slightly shy, and a little bit angsty, typical of a teenager. Looking back on that first meeting with my doctor, I was perfectly normal, dealing with typical issues of someone my age. But for some reason I was told I have a chemical imbalance of serotonin, and that by going on these drugs, it would work to correct that. I was told there are very few side effects, and if at any point I wanted to taper off, that I could do so without any lasting effects. I even remember him telling me that if there is in fact NO imbalance in your brain chemistry, that these drugs simply won't work. Any although I was at first lenient to try them, I did because of his reassuring encouragement. And over the next few years, I feel that they did help to improve my mood. I look back on my early 20s as quite a happy time in my life.

 

Perhaps around 22 years old, I was feeling good about my life, and wanted to try to taper off to see how I could function without them. As I tapered from 20mg to 15mg, and then to 10mg, I started to develop extreme heart palpitations. And I began feeling powerful bouts of anxiety, that I honestly never experienced before in life. I didn't even really know what anxiety was until then. I remember working at an overnight job I had at the time, and literally laying on the floor because every 4th heart beat, my heart would be skipping.

 

Returning to my doctor for help, I was told that this is simply my baseline mood returning, and that I might need to be on the drugs for life, like a diabetic takes insulin. I was completely skeptical of him saying that, because I didn't feel that way before I started on the drugs. I guess I thought that possibly in the background, my subconscious was becoming more depressed and anxious, and that tapering from the drug was starting to reveal that.

 

I reluctantly went back up to 20mg, and returned to feeling pretty good overall. I was however becoming extremely drowsy all the time, and I even remember often times going to sleep when I got home from work, and sleeping all the way until I had to wake up again for work. I thought that I was just one of those people who needed lots of sleep to feel healthy.

So throughout my early to mid 20s, I believed that I had a chemical imbalance, that simply needed to be corrected through these drugs. And averaging about once a year, I would try, depending on my moods, to start a taper, because deep down, I really wanted to know what life was like without behavior altering drugs. But without fail, every time I would start to feel absolutely awful, and would just return to my original dose.

 

In 2011, in complaining to my doctor of being tired all the time, he suggested I try changing over to 10mg Cipralex, because he said it had less drowsy effects. I stayed on that dosage until about 2013, when I started becoming more aware of the public consensus on what these drugs are doing, and started to really do my research. i decided I needed to do an incredibly slow taper, to get off these drugs forever. I stepped down by 1/4 of a tablet, trying to adjust to the new dosage, and stepping down again, over the course of about 2 years. Then on January 21st of 2017, I took my last 1/4 of a Cipralex tablet.

 

At first I actually felt absolutely amazing, I felt like I was becoming human again, and I felt like emotions were coming back that I hadn't felt for 15 years. But that really only lasted a couple of days, and I started to crash HARD. That was just over 5 months ago now, and that was by far the darkest time in my life. I felt absolutely horrid, I was in a constant fog, the slightest loud sounds were unbearable, I was having horrible nightmares, and I honestly don't know how I made it though the work days. It felt like my brain had a terrible sunburn, and was completely sensitive to every stimulus and emotion. I'm pretty sure everyone at my work thinks I'm completely insane, but somehow I manage to keep going...

 

So now 5 months drug free, although I'm certainly doing 'better' than I was in January and February, I'm starting to worry that I will never again be able to enjoy life like I once did. I haven't sensed joy, happiness, or hope since at least year, I'm starting to view the future as a dark, bleak, lonely road to nothingness, and it's becoming very hard to cope. This community however does keep me going with the thought that one day, perhaps a year away, or two, or three, that I will eventually look back on this as the dark period, and be incredibly grateful that I made it through to the other side. 

 

In the meantime, I'm starting to find less joy in the things I once cared so deeply about (music, visual art etc), and I'm solely focusing on how to get through the days. Which makes me feel awful, because in the meantime, my peers are happily moving ahead, and enjoying life. Maybe that's selfish, but it feels real... I know that I should feel grateful just to be alive, and I am, but I wish I had my strength back...

 

Thank you if you took the time to read, and hopefully one day I can post a success story. Best of luck to everyone on their journey!

 

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

NewMorning -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

Thanks for taking time to post your story with paroxetine (Paxil) and escitalopram (Cipralex). I'm sorry that you too are one of the people whose normal life reactions were medicalized.

 

It's good to read that you're feeling better 5 months after your last dose. Your discontinuation -- decreasing dose by 25% -- must have been difficult.  Was your last dose (January 2017) 2.5 mg? That's a heckuva drop with escitalopram, perhaps the strongest existing SSRI med.

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

How your brain responds to psychiatric drugs - aka "Brain remodeling"

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants

 

Members discuss emotional flatness here: Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

 

As you've probably read, symptoms can take many months to resolve. While that's going on, it's a good idea to develop techniques to deal with both the symptoms and whatever it was the medication was supposed to treat. Here are a few related discussion topics:

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.

Guided meditations, calming videos

The Dr. Claire Weekes Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

Change the channel - dealing with cognitive symptoms.

 

You've probably found our Success Stories forum, where others have posted their recovery from withdrawal to experiencing hope and joy.  Know that one day, you'll be joining their ranks. (((hugs)))

 

I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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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If you are already feeling a bit better I think that shows you will continue to feel better and better. There might be some steps back but it sounds like general movement is upwards and eventually it will resolve . 

200 Zoloft; 10 mg Zyprexa; 4 mg valium as of May 2021;  Valium taper: July 16: 3.5 valium; July 30: 3 mg (paused valium taper); Aug. 23: 2.5 mg
Zyprexa: July 26: 8.75 mg; Aug. 9: 7.5 mg; Aug. 30: 7.1 mg

-------
Dec 1, 2016. 10 mg zyprexa for 1.5 month. Started taper mid-Jan. 2017. Cut 1.25 mg every 2 weeks; smaller cuts 2.5 mg down. Stopped at .6 mg. May 7, 2017: zyprexa free. 
Zoloft: Dec1, 2016, 200 mg. Started taper: Jun12, 2017: 197.5 mg; Jun19,:195 mg; July 2:185mg; July 9,:180 mg; July16,: 175; July 23: 170; July 30: 165; Aug6: 160; Aug13: 155; Aug. 20: 150; Aug.27: 146 mg; Sept3: 145 mg; Sept10:143 mg; Sept17:140 mg....Nov5: 122 mg...Dec3:112.5 mg; Jan14, 2018: 95 mg...Jan28: 90 mg; Feb21:80 mg; Mar11: 75 mg; May2:70 mg; May15: 68 mg; May28: 65 mg; Jun9: 62 mg;Jun25: 60 mg:July22: 55 mg; Aug25: 45 mg. Aug28: 50 mg...Oct 28: 38 mg; Dec.4: 30 mg; Jan8,2019: 25mg; Feb6: 23.5 mg; Apr1:17.5mg; May1:1 mg; May 5: 18;  May 18:15mg; June 16:12.5mg; Sept 10:11 mg; Sept.16:10 mg; Oct. 1: 9mg; Nov. 27: 8mg; Dec.5: 7mg; Jan.1,2020, 6 mg; Feb1: 5 mg; May 1: 2.5 mg; Jn 1: 2 mg; Jy 1: 1.5 mg

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Thank you both for the reply, it honestly means a lot to me. I think one of the hardest parts about this, is that it's impossible to relate what I'm working through, with anyone around me. Which is why this group is so helpful.

 

I think what I mean about finding less joy in the things I once cared about, is that it's becoming harder and harder to conjure up hope, and believe in a future, which makes me question the merit behind pursuing any of them. But in the moment, for instance playing music, I do become truly absorbed in it, which feels really great, and I think is a good sign that I will maintain my interests once I'm though this.

 

Overall, trying to look objectively at my progress over 5 months, I do feel like I'm improving, but in different ways. I think at first I was literally dealing with physical fight or flight emotions, (which was possibly easier in some weird way) and I wasn't even ready to start dealing with deep down psychological issues. But now I'm being overwhelmed with deep mental emotions around self worth, self hatred, finding love, excelling (or stalling/failing) in career or artistic endeavors... I suppose all in the name of progress though, and I'm grateful to fight through dealing with my emotions head on, instead of numbing, or hiding away for later, with chemicals. Anyways, enough venting for now! Thanks again!

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello NewMorning - Welcome to SA,

 

The only thing I want to add to our lovely Scallywag's reading list is, The Windows and Waves Pattern Of Stabilisation

 

It does sound as though you are having some small but real signs of improvement, and this is a reason to hope.  I think you will find many others here who are struggling with the same emotional things as yourself. 

 

Hugs,

Karen

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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Thank you so much Karen.

 

I actually went to a walk in clinic today to have a form signed, and we discussed some of the psychological issues I'm working through, and she told me that they have nothing to do with SSRI discontinuation, and simply that I need therapy (which I've done a fair amount of, as much as I could afford, and didn't find it to be much help, at least in the long term). And I would also love to continue with it, I'm open to any possible healing that I can do. The reason I didn't go to my family doctor, is because he was the one who originally put me on medication, and I have lost faith in him... Even though I think he meant well. Now I'm starting to wonder if what I'm feeling is just my 'baseline' mental and emotional faculties, and that this is how I will feel for life. And I will just need to start to develop new coping strategies. Confusing stuff. I guess maybe there's truth on both sides of the story? She really made me feel like garbage though.

 

I wish I somehow knew how my 'undrugged' mind would be at this point in life, but that's impossible. But I do know that I have physical and mental symptoms from discontinuation that I've never experienced before in my life, and it would be an AMAZING coincidence if it just so happened that these popped up right after stopping a drug I was on for over 15 years...

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Well, anyone who makes you feel like garbage might not be someone worth putting your trust in.  Here's a list of withdrawal symptoms:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

I would say that over the next few months and even years, you'll become quite happy with the 'you' that you see emerging.  That's what's been happening for me, and others on this site too.  I remember a mod telling me that when I first came here, and it's turned out to be true.  Coping strategies will be useful though, especially in the short term - so we do advocate learning some.  Did you see Non-Drug Techniques to cope with emotional symptoms?

 

At this point, I'd say that you becoming your own main health provider could be the best decision you ever make.  You are, after all, the expert on you.  You can read and evaluate what self-care will work best for you, what paths will work best for you, etc.  Personally, I've done much better ever since I started doing this.

 

Hugs,

Karen

 

 

 

Edited by KarenB
added white space cause it keeps disappearing!

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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Hello.

 

So I wanted to see if anyone might be able to give me their opinion on my symptoms and progress, to hopefully get some clarity on what's happening to me. As I wrote in my introduction, I went to a walk in clinic the other day to have a form signed, and the doctor told me what I'm feeling now is all in my head, and has nothing to do with my history with SSRIs. And that what I really need is simply therapy. (Which I agree I could use, i think many people could!). And she did set me up to see a psychiatrist in a couple weeks...

 

And I know that it's just one doctor and her opinion, but since she told me that, I've been thinking a lot about it: that the withdrawal process is completely over, and the way I'm feeling now is simply my 'normal' baseline brain, that it's now skewed or mutated because of my use of the drug, and impacted deeply from the tapering and withdrawal. I feel like I'm living in a bad dream, and I desperately want out, but I know this is real life. This is it.

 

So perhaps someone might be able to look at my signature: I was on 20mg of Paroxetine for 11 years (starting at 18 years old), and then 10mg of Escitalopram for basically 4 or 5 years. Should I expect to be completely healed at this point in my life, or given that I was on it for so long, is it completely rational and understandable that I'm still experiencing symptoms of protracted withdrawal? Postsynaptic neurons slowly working to repopulate new receptors? I would really really love for someone to say either way 'yes these are normal symptoms of withdrawal, and you'll return to feeling better, it's fitting for the amount of SSRI use in your history. Or 'no, you should be completely through the withdrawal now, this is your baseline mind'. You'll simply need to develop coping strategies to deal with 'the new you'.

 

And I'll give a brief summery of how I'm feeling right now in life, if that might help: in terms of physical symptoms, those have lessened quite a bit over the past 5 months, but I still get heart palpitations, that will come and go, sometimes they're quite brutal. My sleeping is very very light, I wake up constantly throughout the night, often with awful dreams (Obviously paxil was great at zonking me out completely for the night... ). I'm startled very easily, it's very common for someone to come into a room, and I jump out of me seat. I constantly feel like I'm in a fog, I screw up my speech often, searching for the proper word. I even find it difficult to write. My hand will simply write the wrong letter, and this have NEVER happened to me before in my life. Its a very new experience.

 

But the biggest thing by far for me is my emotional state: I have a constant sense of hopelessness and doom regarding the future. Throughout my life I have always been hopeful, and excited for the projects I'm working on, always sure that the next one will be a huge success. But now I wonder what the point is, and I see the future as dark, bleak, frightening. Just a lot of disappointment, and eventually dealing with death of my family, and my own death. I think a lot about suicide (although for now I know that they are just thoughts, and I have no plan of action) And although I'm working on mindfulness, meditation, etc, this seems to be becoming my default outlook, which is absolutely horrible when trying to find love in life. Woman want upbeat, positive, happy, joyful. I tried to 'fake it' with the last girl I was getting to know, but she eventually saw the darkness in me, and I think that was enough for her, and I really don't blame here at all.

 

I'm starting to really despise my physical appearance. I find myself analyzing my features in a mirror for way way too long, and picking apart every single detail. And I know deep down that I'm a perfectly fine looking, maybe arguably attractive even at times, but I just can't stand to look at myself. My thoughts are constantly berating, and beating the **** out of myself. Ie: you're horribly ugly, pathetic, untalented, a fraud, a drain on the people around you etc etc. I think a lot about moving to a tiny quiet town, where I can try to affect as few people as I can, get a dog, and live very quietly, work a low key job, and just read and paint in my spare time.

 

And then just briefly some additional things: I find it horrible to be in crowds or busy streets. Making very simple decisions is difficult. If I see a couple that looks happily in love, I get a wave a fear (or perhaps some form of jealousy?) in my heart. If I see people in public looking carefree and happy, it makes feel awful. And I know all of these are irrational, unhelpful thoughts, but they seem to persist no matter what I do. I honestly feel like I'm getting worse, getting over the immediate physical withdrawal 5 months ago was a piece of cake compared to what I'm dealing with now... Maybe I'm just having a bad couple weeks? However, I am very grateful for what i DO have, compared to many other's experience with withdrawal. I can't imagine some of the awful things others have had to, or are going through, and I send out endless sympathy.

 

Lastly: I run for 35 minutes every day, meditate 10 minutes per day, eat a mainly pescatarian diet, take fish oil, vitamin C, and B complex. I'm thinking of trying a paleo diet, we'll see how that goes...

 

Sorry if this is way too long, but any opinions would be hugely appreciated!!

Edited by scallywag
merged topic, "Any opinions on my progress ..." in Symptoms

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

NM - I've moved your post/question to your introduction topic so that all your information, questions and answers are in one place. The introductions forum is the busiest one on the site so this topic, your introduction, is the best place to post questions and updates about your situation.  A tip: Post your questions or important comments first then give the story or explanation after. That way when a member or moderator previews your topic they get the gist of your post right away.

 

Emotional symptoms can loom large during withdrawal.  It's good to read that you're working to establish a practice mindfulness. Sometimes there's a combination of a cognitive symptom, rumination, at play with self-criticism and negative emotional states. For some tools and possible insight, you may want to look at this  topic on the site: Dealing with Emotional Spirals.

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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  • 1 month later...

Well, I'm finally starting to feel like I may need to go back on Cipralex, perhaps for the rest of my life. I really can't stand feeling like this anymore, and I'm starting to miss the person I was when I was comfortably at the full dose. I was not in any way happy, but at least I somehow believed in myself, and I had love because I projected an energy of hope. I now feel basically like a mental abomination. I'm so crippled with fear, doubt, self hatred, I can barely talk to anyone in my life, even my parents, and I feel like any hope of ever finding love before I die to be dwindling.

 

I am kind of scared that going back on after almost 6.5 months off might have unpredictable effects, (maybe disatrous?) but it may be the better alternative. I can't stand the person I am now. And I don't really feel like this would be withdrawal symptoms after a two year taper, and being off for over half a year... I wish to god I could know the person I would have been had I never taken drugs for so long.

 

Any thoughts or opinions would be welcome, I'm going to give it a couple more weeks, meet with a psychiatrist etc... Wishing for stronger and healthier times for everyone else out there...

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NewMorning, Sorry to hear that you are going through a rough time.  It sounds to me like you are dealing with typical post-acute withdrawal symptoms and very normal after discontinuing anti-depressants, particularly since it sounds like you may have still been on a fairly high dose of 2.5mg to 5mg when you stopped.  

 

It doesn't sound like the doctor you saw at the clinic has any understanding of just how powerful these drugs are even in small amounts.  While some people do not have any issues discontinuing these drugs, for many of us, it is a nightmare.  As well, when a person has been on these drugs long-term, the brain has learned to adapt to the presence of the drug and when it is removed abruptly (even at 2.5mg), it creates havoc in the mind and body.  I have seem some on this site who find it necessary to taper all the way down to dust before stopping to ensure a smooth landing towards the end and even then some still do experience difficulty.  

As you have been off of these drugs for 6.5 months, I would hesitate to go back on at a full dose when it isn't clear that would be necessary.  You may be able to find some relief by reinstating a small dose and then tapering back off slowly from there.  

 

If I were you, I'd wait to hear back from a moderator to see what steps you can take to help ease your symptoms and get you back on track.

 

Best regards and good luck.

 

  

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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On 2-7-2017 at 10:00 PM, NewMorning said:

 I'm starting to really despise my physical appearance. I find myself analyzing my features in a mirror for way way too long, and picking apart every single detail. And I know deep down that I'm a perfectly fine looking, maybe arguably attractive even at times, but I just can't stand to look at myself. My thoughts are constantly berating, and beating the **** out of myself. Ie: you're horribly ugly, pathetic, untalented, a fraud, a drain on the people around you etc etc.

 

For this you really need to add some more coping techniques. It seems like you don't realize yet how your brain is set against yourself. Do not turn to your brain to explain your emotions. Let the waves come, drop the explanations. These waves cannot be explained, so don't seek comfort in the false feeling of control because you "understand" why it's happening. That story teller is your worst enemy.

 

it doesn't even matter if it's your basic brain or your withdrawal brain. We're all soft wired and can change our brain structures. Start with feeling the waves instead of strengthening the neurological paths of self-destruction through these explanations.

Took my first SSRI sipralexa/lexapro/escitalopram in 2007 for depression. In 2010 the doctor switched me to paroxetine/seroxat/paxil for anxiety.

My paroxetine story from then on:

 

2010-15 from 10mg up to 20mg

jan 2016 30mg

may 2016 0mg cold turkey (don't!)

dec 2016 symptoms: anxiety, tremor (could barely stand)

jan 2017 reinstated at 7.5mg to taper in steps of 10%

...

Dose changes from may 2017 to now: 

5.0/4.7/4.4/4.0/3.7/3.5/3.3/3.1mg

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Thank you both very much for your thoughts, I really appreciate it.

 

I think it's good advice to not turn to my current mind to attempt to explain my emotions, it won't get me anywhere. I like this quote from Alan Watts:

 

"Working rightly, the brain is the highest form of 'instinctual wisdom.' Thus it should work like the homing instinct of pigeons and the formation of the fetus in the womb — without verbalizing the process or knowing “how” it does it. The self-conscious brain, like the self-conscious heart, is a disorder, and manifests itself in the acute feeling of separation between “I” and my experience. The brain can only assume its proper behavior when consciousness is doing what it is designed for: not writhing and whirling to get out of present experience, but being effortlessly aware of it."

 

I think I'm going to try to keep fighting, at the very least for a minimum of a year, before I make the drastic  and potentially life-long choice of reinstating. I think I've had a really bad week, and I'm letting it define this whole process, when I do have some good days. I have an hour long interview with a psychiatrist tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. I also think I might like to live by a words of a Disney song, the Bear Necessities. Great song and wisdom there, if I can learn to want and expect nothing, I think I could experience peace. Just music, nature, and baseball.

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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14 hours ago, NewMorning said:

I think I'm going to try to keep fighting, at the very least for a minimum of a year, before I make the drastic  and potentially life-long choice of reinstating.

 

You should definitely check this with a moderator! I've read several times on the forum that the longer you wait with reinstating, the lesser the chance it will work.

 

I don't give medical advice. I do know that reinstating for me was the lesser evil.

Took my first SSRI sipralexa/lexapro/escitalopram in 2007 for depression. In 2010 the doctor switched me to paroxetine/seroxat/paxil for anxiety.

My paroxetine story from then on:

 

2010-15 from 10mg up to 20mg

jan 2016 30mg

may 2016 0mg cold turkey (don't!)

dec 2016 symptoms: anxiety, tremor (could barely stand)

jan 2017 reinstated at 7.5mg to taper in steps of 10%

...

Dose changes from may 2017 to now: 

5.0/4.7/4.4/4.0/3.7/3.5/3.3/3.1mg

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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to post an update on my situation, at the very least to have a documented timeline to hopefully look back on if I ever 'recover'. And also just to add my voice, in the hope that it could somehow be helpful to someone in the future.

 

It's now been just over 8 months since my last dose of 2.5mg Escitalopram, but it feels like it's been more like 3 years. I'm actually pretty astonished at how bad I'm doing 8 months out, I had no idea I would feel this awful for so long. I thought I would have hit the bottom of an inverted bell curve 4 months or so in, and would steadily start to feel 'happier' and 'more myself' as time went on. Unfortunately I feel much worse (overall) than I ever have in my entire life. I don't ever have 'windows' of feeling normal, or content, or sane, but possibly moments of 5 minutes or so scattered randomly (a couple times a week), where I'll feel a flash of relief.

 

Also, I generally don't voice these feelings day to day, I try to keep it to myself, especially since everyone close to me has grown weary of hearing about it, even if they don't say it. Even my mother doesn't talk to me nearly as often, and I know it's because I always end up depressing her. And if I was being honest with myself, I'm completely terrified of being this way for the rest of my life, but it feels like the most likely outcome. I may learn to appreciate life despite the suffering (which I try to do even now), but I fear that's the best I could do; never sense 'happiness' like I once did. And again the big question for me that is completely unanswerable, is: is this my normal, god given mental state, or do I feel this way because of 15 years of SSRI use? Or is that a worthless question to ask? I do know that my 17 year old pre drugged self didn't feel anywhere close to as awful.

 

To briefly list some symptoms: social ineptitude: I can't for the life of me carry on a normal conversation with anyone, including my closest family members. My speech is broken, I fumble sentences, mispronounce words, forget what I wanted to say, or just panic that I have nothing to say. That has left me feeling incredibly isolated, like I'm trapped in a gross nightmare. I left my job 3 months ago because of having too many panic attacks/heart palpitations, and I think I have guilt issues from not working. (I'm at least working on music). Now everyone I meet or talk to in life thinks I'm incredibly bizarre, and I'm very aware of people avoiding me, I used to be well liked by most people.

 

The foggyness has never gone away, and I generally just feel 'dumb'. It feels like the image of a healthy, happy mind on fire, full of love, hope, excitement for the future, and then pouring a jug of water on it, leaving it dead and smoldering. Everything feels dark, and I'm afraid of the fall approaching. Just seeing the leaves start to turn makes me feel cold and bleak. I'm starting to notice a general sense of 'giving up' on life, where nothing feels worth fighting for. I have no natural drive to improve myself, but I've made an agreement with my family that I wouldn't take my own life. So I'm sort of in a state of living death. I do carry on with the things I used to enjoy (music, reading, etc) in hopes that they'll one day become enjoyable again, and I'll still have made improvements despite my mental state. Also, I read somewhere that people experience music in their head that doesn't go away. That totally happens to me, and I wondered about it, it's interesting that it's not just me. I'll have songs in my head that play very loudly, and are incredibly persistent, even lasting days... kinda weird...

 

I miss the old me for sure, I really don't like who I am now, and I'm pretty sure no one else does either, but at least most people are nice to me. I honestly don't say it for pity at all, it's just a shame. Sometimes I think I should sell my possessions, and volunteer for the rest of life, for some good cause, at least to try to get some tangible good out of this human body and mind I'm in...

 

So that's it for now, sending out love and hope for everyone else out there:)

 

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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I was hoping to ask a couple questions of the community: does anyone know of any cases of people who were on an SSRI for a long period (like 15 years), tapered and then was off completely for around a year, and successfully reinstated? And ended up somewhere near where they were previously on the drug? Or does it simply just end up in disaster? I'm not sure if that's an okay question to ask on this forum...

 

Secondly: would it be illogical to think I'm still in a phase of 'withdrawal', even 8.5 months out? Should I ever expect to feel better just with the passing of time? I do hope to have many years of therapy, I just can't afford it at the moment.

 

Thank you very much for your help.

 

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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Just reading policies etc on this forum, I do understand the aim is to encourage non drug coping strategies. So maybe I would need to ask that question somewhere else... ? I was just wondering if there were any documented cases of someone successfully returning to their previous state after a long period of being off SSRIs.

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to vent my thoughts right now, maybe someone might have an encouraging word. I'm completely broken down, a shell of a human being. I'm not sure how people are able to carry on like this. Two nights ago I had non stop heart palpitations every 5 seconds for almost 24 hours, went to the hospital, they told me I'm just having an anxiety attack. And of course the doctor told me I need to go back on SSRIs. Even though I can't bare living like this, I'm scared as hell of death. I don't want to give up, because what if one day I could experience a normal life.

 

Deep down it seems extremely rational that I will not get better. And then I wonder if a life like this is worth living. I feel like useless garbage to myself, and the planet.

 

Does anyone have a similar story to mine, that goes on to live a 'normal' life? Is it possible? Is my attitude just such filth that I don't allow myself room to improve?

 

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi NewMorning, very sorry to hear that you are still experiencing so much difficulty 8.5 months out.  Unfortunately what you are likely suffering from is referred to as prolonged/protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome.  You can read more information on this phenomenon at the link below.  It is next to impossible to say just how long it lasts until you recover but for some it can last a number of years.  

 

I see that you did a lot of bouncing around with your doses in 2015 and 2016 and unfortunately that was likely what started the difficulties and then jumping off at 2.5mg just made things worse.  Have you given any thought to reinstating a small dose of Cipralex to help ease the symptoms you are still dealing with at this time? Reinstatement is the only method known at this time that can help to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms so that you can re-stabilized your central nervous system and then safely and carefully taper off of the drug.  

 

Surviving Antidepressants recommends tapering by 10% of your current dose with at a hold of at least four weeks before your next decrease.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at an even more conservative rate as they are very sensitive to even the smallest drops.  
 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
 

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)

Dr. David Healy on Prolonged Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) - How Long Does it Last?

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Hello Baroquep. Thank you very much for the reply and information. I honestly didn't know at the time that going from 1/4 of a pill (2.5mg) was a huge jump, and I think I was anxious to get it out of my system. I am very afraid of any reinstatement, because it was so hard just getting to this point. I feel like my best option is to try very hard to press on, and try to maintain as much hope as possible that I could get better in the future.

 

I guess I needed to vent today, and maybe I'm hoping for someone to tell me that they're seen a similar case, and they went on to recover. But I know it's impossible to say. It's just such a mess, but I'm going to work to get my attitude on a better track.

 

Much gratitude for your kind words.

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You might like to check out this area of the site:  Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 1 month later...

So it's been a while, I just wanted to provide a little update, mostly as a personal journal of progress. It's now been about 10.5 months since my last dose of cipralex. I'm steadily closing in on a full year.

 

On the positive side of things, I almost never think of myself in 'withdrawal' at all, and often go for many hours or days without even thinking of the idea of SSRIs, which believe me, is much different than 6 months ago. I don't talk to anyone else about them (family and close friends), which I used to a LOT. But unfortunately I can't at all think of my life as being better, or happier in any way than the majority of my life on SSRIs. And I often think I was a much 'better' person when I was on them, more personable, more light, laughed more, portrayed more excitement in my personality. Life had a lot more magic. (I try my very best however in my day to day interactions to be positive, the way I wish that I was).

 

I now am sort of constantly dull, monotone, I try to force laughter, and try to think and act positively, but it's always an effort, it never comes naturally. Positive and happy people attract others towards them, they're a light that people gravitate to, and I can't seem to find that place. My subconscious is exhausted, and it's hard to find any magic anymore. I suppose I'm biologically fated to be melancholy, but at least it's natural and drug free, the way nature intended.

 

I now think only gradual and monumental life events could start to lighten up the world. Like long term psychotherapy, consistent practice with cognitive behavioral therapy, truly settling in to a career that gives me meaning, falling in love, etc. It's tough. But still trudging through. Warm hopes for true healing to everyone out there.

 

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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Thanks for taking the time to update .

You're doing it ..you will get there, recovery is a long journey .....think years...

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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2 hours ago, NewMorning said:

So it's been a while, I just wanted to provide a little update, mostly as a personal journal of progress. It's now been about 10.5 months since my last dose of cipralex. I'm steadily closing in on a full year.

 

On the positive side of things, I almost never think of myself in 'withdrawal' at all, and often go for many hours or days without even thinking of the idea of SSRIs, which believe me, is much different than 6 months ago. I don't talk to anyone else about them (family and close friends), which I used to a LOT. But unfortunately I can't at all think of my life as being better, or happier in any way than the majority of my life on SSRIs. And I often think I was a much 'better' person when I was on them, more personable, more light, laughed more, portrayed more excitement in my personality. Life had a lot more magic. (I try my very best however in my day to day interactions to be positive, the way I wish that I was).

 

I now am sort of constantly dull, monotone, I try to force laughter, and try to think and act positively, but it's always an effort, it never comes naturally. Positive and happy people attract others towards them, they're a light that people gravitate to, and I can't seem to find that place. My subconscious is exhausted, and it's hard to find any magic anymore. I suppose I'm biologically fated to be melancholy, but at least it's natural and drug free, the way nature intended.

 

I now think only gradual and monumental life events could start to lighten up the world. Like long term psychotherapy, consistent practice with cognitive behavioral therapy, truly settling in to a career that gives me meaning, falling in love, etc. It's tough. But still trudging through. Warm hopes for true healing to everyone out there.

 

 

Hey NewMorning

 

i was reading your post and can relate to a lot of it.  when i withdrew and reinstated the drugs years ago, i developed the excessive sleeping thing that you had mentioned in your first post.  i also felt mentally clearer and had more energy originally when i got off the pills, but now feel like a shell of myself after almost 4 years of   the shallow, fragmented nightmare filled sleep that has me waking up feeling like i reside in hell or somewhere close.   i have to get outside most days just to remind myself that i am a living being connected to this earth.  otherwise, i feel like a zombie or corpse who lives in a cell and mostly just does internet searches for wd sleep and digestion solutions.  it's a bleak way to live an although the internet, with sites like this and facebook wd groups does offer some connection, it isn't much.  i find it incredibly admirable that you are even able to work through all of it. 

 

i try to stay positive too, and am friendly to everyone i come across in my day to day life, but when i am alone, i often feel the pointlessness of this all.  i am suffering and no one in my life outside of these support groups seems to care much, my family, my doctors, no one. and the suffering is not imaginary, the bags under my eyes from 3+ years of sleep deprivation are quite real and grotesque.  and like you i was hoping to find love in my lifetime, and even developed feelings for a woman who manages the grocery where i shop while i was a few months into wd (early 2014), but i later found out she has a fiancee and with my health what it is from wd, it's hard to make a huge impression when i feel like crap and half out of it most of the time and some days resemble something that crawled out from under a rock.  i haven't been on a date in 16 years due mainly to the excessive sleeping/fatigue thing that happened when i reinstated back in 2006, so to really fall for someone while my life seemed to be ending from lack of sleep in wd was a double blow.  

 

i dont' know if you have resigned yourself to riding out the withdrawal without attempting any reinstatement, but you had asked in an earlier post about anyone reinstating with any success after around a year out in wd.   you could try reading Bellatrix's introduction.  she just updated her post recently.  she had been a year out after stopping Lexapro and had reinstated at .03 mg of the liquid and slowly tiltrated up until she got to .4 mg when she said many of her wd symptoms vanished.  anyways.

 

poetjester

 

 

Court committed to take Prozac, Paxci, and Respiradol from 8/95 to 3/96.   developed severe akithisia and brain damage.  Was unable to speak and walking in circles 15 hours a day.  Went in for 5 sessions of ECT during a 10 day period in March of '96 and my forced medication was discontinued at that time.  My akithisia and brain damage cleared up within a few days of stopping the meds.

 

On Zoloft (200 mg) and Zyprexa (17.5 mg) March 1998- Feb 2014

In between was placed on Effexor 200 mg and Abilify for six months in 2004.  Developed mild akithisia which went away once I stopped the Abilify.  Developed severe GI issues in Dec 2001 and from that time on suffered from fatigue and hypersomnia where I would sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day and rarely ever left my apartment. 

 

Had tapered to 100 mg of Zoloft and 7.5 mg of Zyprexa at the time of going cold turkey Feb. 2014

Went 5 days without sleep at the beginning while vomiting all over my apt.  Had brain zaps for a number of weeks and also lightheadedness which both eventually went away.  However 2 1/2 yrs later I still struggle with insomnia, depression, and fatigue.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you nz11, I appreciate that. You're right, it's definitely a long term slow and steady climb, and I've definitely made undeniable progress mentally. I shudder to think of some of the things that were affecting me 6 months ago.

 

Poetjester, I'm really sorry to hear about your struggle, and some of the horrible things you went through in your signature. By the sound of it, as excruciatingly slow as it might be,  you seem to be making uphill progress, which is good to hear. Keep fighting, keep making small incremental positive change, and eventually you'll find yourself somewhere near where you want to be. That's what I think.

 

For me, sometimes I think in a way there have been some real positives to this whole ordeal. I've almost been stripped down to nothing, which has given me real insight in to what I really want in my life, and has left it pretty easy to say '**** it' to the things I don't want. I have seen which friends have stuck with me through all my insanity, despite me being a weirdo, and which ones slowly backed away. Almost all of my family tries very hard, even if they don't always do a great job. And I kind of feel like a clean slate to build up a new life that I truly want, and I'm slowly filling in the details on what that might look like. I'm looking at going back to school to do some training. We're finishing up a record that I'm really proud of. I think one of the biggest challenges now actually, is my confidence is basically at zero. So I have to slowly methodically build that up from scratch.

 

As a tangent, I think one of the biggest problems (from my perspective, and maybe this is crazy obvious) of coming off of being on SSRIs for so long, is that it knocks you on your ass, throws you off the rails of life, until you have no idea who you are anymore. But meanwhile life goes on as normal for everyone else, so it's a bizarre, confusing thing to do. And a pretty new experience in the scope of humanity. It's really (arguably) providing some short term benefit, for an inevitable brutal, frightening, life altering fall off the cliff of sanity, until you can hopefully get back to where you were. (*And obviously they have potentially saved lives, and maybe should be considered in more extreme cases, it's a very personal case to case thing, but that's just my opinion).

 

I hope to really just force myself in to patterns and behavior that I know will be good for me, and ideally over time I'll find myself in a decent place. I did decide that checking these forums was starting to become a bit compulsive and not so much helpful anymore, so I stayed away. I think a healthy moderation is a good idea, but definitely at some points it was the only thing that kept me from thinking I was going completely bonkers. I'm starting to think that even just general google searching for generic answers in my life is very unhealthy, and I should use the internet just as a tool to get things done, as much as possible at least, until I'm mentally stronger.

 

As for love, it's really one thing that I have no control over, and it's difficult for even the healthiest, strongest minded people out there. Plus I think that women absolutely NEED confidence in a male partner, it's the one unquestionable deal breaker. For me I find women with insecurities endearing and interesting, but I think it's horrific to see in a guy. So I feel I just need to focus on myself, keep working hard on the life I want, and if that part comes along then great. And if it never does, I've had good love in the past, and I need to remain grateful just to be here. Plus I have that much more time and freedom;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

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On ‎08‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 6:57 AM, nz11 said:

Thanks for taking the time to update .

You're doing it ..you will get there, recovery is a long journey .....think years...

 

Yes it is NZ11.

 

It would be nice to think of it as a "project" except we don't know the end date.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

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

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  • 1 month later...

So it's been one year and 16 days since I took my last dose of Cipralex. And I can say that I have more or less been on a steady decline since then, January 21st 2017. I have never in my life felt more awful than I do right now, and I think a lot about suicide. So much that it's become incredibly exhausting, and I don't know how much longer I can continue like this.

 

I'm not sure why I'm writing on here, maybe someone could point me to some factual, scientific research that could influence me in some way. Or tell my why, exactly, scientifically, I would be making a mistake. Or maybe it's just another venting before I embark on a new psychological venture.

 

The fact is, is that I feel god awful, every single day, and it's exhausting. I believe I've tried every single thing over the past couple years, during my taper, and afterwards. My physical body is incredibly healthy, more healthy than I've ever been I'm sure, and yet I feel like I'm withering away.

 

I recently read a book called 'The Case For Antidepressants' by Peter D Kramer, which basically makes the case for SSRIs being effective over placebo, and doesn't really touch on any long term harmful effects. I've also listened to a really great mental health podcast called 'The Hilarious World Of Depression', which has great interviews with creative people who struggle with depression. The common theme among many of them, regarding their eventual recovery seems to be the choice to go on antidepressants. I understand that any positive stance on SSRIs is taboo here, but this will likely be my last post, and I'm fine with being deleted or banned, or whatever. Although truthfully, any ideas one way or the other should be encouraged, so that we may all make the best choices with our mental health, and use any tools that are available, when they are necessary. I would argue that a brain on SSRI medication is better than one that no longer exists.

 

I can very logically argue that my current psychological state is a result of 'natural' biological wiring, and would be this way had I never have touched SSRIs in my entire life. There is a history of depression in my family, and it isn't crazy to conclude that I'm extremely susceptible to falling in to a depressive state. For the past year I have tried everything I can to stay above water, but I'm drowning faster than ever before.

 

It IS sad if there is truth to the idea that my post synaptic receptors have been downregulated over the course of taking SSRIs, which has left me in my current state. It's also very possible that there is absolutely no truth to that theory. No one as far as I can tell, has the correct scientific answer. No one here does, and no one in the western medical community does. Although there has been by far more research done by the established, accepted medical community, and there is very little evidence as far as I have found, that there is any long term damage. Besides some anecdotal accounts, fringe medical doctors, and Huffpost articles. YES withdrawal is very very real, and ******* awful. I went through it, and it nearly killed me. I sympathize with anyone who has to go through it, and it's a terrible thing. I believe I had it 'easy' compared with many other people's experience. But my objective is to attempt to spend at least some of my time left here on earth, feeling okay. Above all.

 

I am meeting with a psychiatrist on Friday to discuss the possibility of starting again on an SSRI, and we'll see where that takes me. I have never in my life felt so close to death, so in some ways I have no other choice. Good luck to everyone out there, I wish the best to everyone who has to struggle with mental illness.

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

Link to comment

So sorry you are having to go through this Newmorning. I can feel your pain.

I too was on 20mg of paxil similar to you from basically 2000 - 2011 i went drug free 28 sep 2010. How could i ever forget that day. 

 

I would like to tell you that for several years especially the first two i was pretty much nonfunctional.

It does get better but we are not talking months we are talking years (in my case).

Many people report improvements in years 1-2 and more so in years 2-3.

I would also like to tell you that i too was ready at about 14 months drug free to throw in the towel. But i didn't i held on. I believe it is possible for you to hold on too. 

 

If it was me i would not ri. Keep banking drug free days. You can do it. You are doing it. You do have a choice ..you can say no to drugs and tell yourself over and over that you will make it. You are going to make it NM you are going to make it. One years drug free is an enviable position to be in. Don't give up now. You've done one year i have no doubt you can do another. 

Of course its your decision. So its up to you.

There is no guarantee that a ri or a switch will work though. And if it does then what ? Stay on for life and risk the drug giving you a long drawn out bitter brutal divorce at the time of its choosing (poopout).Or you initiate the divorce and go through another drawn out experience  and all its difficulties. 

Have you spent some time reading the success stories i would print them out and go over them with a highlighter looking for any scrap of hope. And even pin them on the wall and stick them to the fridge. 

 

2 hours ago, NewMorning said:

I wish the best to everyone who has to struggle with mental illness.

I'm not to sure what you mean here but this is not a mental illness it is a serious injury caused by chemicals given by doctors. 

 

One thing there is no doubt on,if you voice in front of a doctor that you have a mental illness or struggling with one then you will get drugs!

Furthermore you will have no problem with having a doctor believe you. No clinical assessment required.

 

Wishing you strength

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to comment
9 hours ago, NewMorning said:

So it's been one year and 16 days since I took my last dose of Cipralex. And I can say that I have more or less been on a steady decline since then, January 21st 2017. I have never in my life felt more awful than I do right now, and I think a lot about suicide. So much that it's become incredibly exhausting, and I don't know how much longer I can continue like this.

 

I'm not sure why I'm writing on here, maybe someone could point me to some factual, scientific research that could influence me in some way. Or tell my why, exactly, scientifically, I would be making a mistake. Or maybe it's just another venting before I embark on a new psychological venture.

 

The fact is, is that I feel god awful, every single day, and it's exhausting. I believe I've tried every single thing over the past couple years, during my taper, and afterwards. My physical body is incredibly healthy, more healthy than I've ever been I'm sure, and yet I feel like I'm withering away.

 

I recently read a book called 'The Case For Antidepressants' by Peter D Kramer, which basically makes the case for SSRIs being effective over placebo, and doesn't really touch on any long term harmful effects. I've also listened to a really great mental health podcast called 'The Hilarious World Of Depression', which has great interviews with creative people who struggle with depression. The common theme among many of them, regarding their eventual recovery seems to be the choice to go on antidepressants. I understand that any positive stance on SSRIs is taboo here, but this will likely be my last post, and I'm fine with being deleted or banned, or whatever. Although truthfully, any ideas one way or the other should be encouraged, so that we may all make the best choices with our mental health, and use any tools that are available, when they are necessary. I would argue that a brain on SSRI medication is better than one that no longer exists.

 

I can very logically argue that my current psychological state is a result of 'natural' biological wiring, and would be this way had I never have touched SSRIs in my entire life. There is a history of depression in my family, and it isn't crazy to conclude that I'm extremely susceptible to falling in to a depressive state. For the past year I have tried everything I can to stay above water, but I'm drowning faster than ever before.

 

It IS sad if there is truth to the idea that my post synaptic receptors have been downregulated over the course of taking SSRIs, which has left me in my current state. It's also very possible that there is absolutely no truth to that theory. No one as far as I can tell, has the correct scientific answer. No one here does, and no one in the western medical community does. Although there has been by far more research done by the established, accepted medical community, and there is very little evidence as far as I have found, that there is any long term damage. Besides some anecdotal accounts, fringe medical doctors, and Huffpost articles. YES withdrawal is very very real, and ******* awful. I went through it, and it nearly killed me. I sympathize with anyone who has to go through it, and it's a terrible thing. I believe I had it 'easy' compared with many other people's experience. But my objective is to attempt to spend at least some of my time left here on earth, feeling okay. Above all.

 

I am meeting with a psychiatrist on Friday to discuss the possibility of starting again on an SSRI, and we'll see where that takes me. I have never in my life felt so close to death, so in some ways I have no other choice. Good luck to everyone there, I wish the best to everyone who has to struggle with mental illness.

 

I really hope you’re wrong. Did antidepressants work for you before? It’s hard to know whether it was the placebo effect or they really worked?  When I first went off 3 years ago, i had a big honeymoon period where i felt fabulous. Then boom.  I did try the old antidepressant which worked in my mind for 2 years. but then something happened and boom huge depression. I do think it was the placebo effect. I tried  to get back on a variety of other things and its been a nightmare. Not to scare you, but I’ll trade depression for what I’ve been through.  Don’t let the doctor take you on and off a lot of things in a short amount of time. It’s all made me manic and crazy. Now, I’m convinced going back on is not going to solve my depression.  I know it’s an attitude problem. Or believing one opposed to the other. Maybe you’ll be lucky. 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

Link to comment

Thank you both very much for your responses. So through all of this over the past couple years, I have become incredibly self aware of my mental health, and I no longer would simply 'trust' a doctor to toss me something and say 'here take this'. I have read tons of books on mental health, got my body in amazing shape, and I'm dragging along the floor of life. So I'm really just going to meet with him (he's a very well regarded psychiatrist) to discuss, but I am willing to look in to the possibility of reinstating for another block of life. As a philosophical argument: if I was too look at my current state, and pretend I'm on this magical "life drug", but the side effects make me who I am today, I would say to myself 'get the **** off this as soon as possible'. I have nearly systematically destroyed my entire life over the past while, become socially isolated, left my job, can barely speak to people in public, I'm basically a shell of a human being. (However I still push myself begrudgingly to make music and art, and I'm applying for a graphic design degree). And I can say that even far after the 'poop out' of medication, I was leaps and bounds more functional, pleasant to be around, and while not 'happy', at least I had moments. And I was more confident and brave, took chances in life, and was far less fearful.

 

I have done a lot of research in to the recent 'they are no better than placebo' argument, and they in fact are better. Not 'clinically significantly' better (which is a certain high standard that needs to be met), but measurably statistically better. As measured by the 'Hamilton Scale', which is a self reported scale concerning a psychological condition. (It's all in the Peter D Kramer book, it's kind of complicated to understand really, for me at least). And really I just know how they worked for me, and while they are very far from perfect, they had me a much more functional person. Unless I just want to continue being this tortured isolated person, maybe it would make for better art, but a miserable existence? If I could actually push myself to do it.

 

I just really don't want to destroy my brain slowly somehow, and science discovers 10 years more down the road that they're actually proven to do irreparable damage. Although if I didn't make it 10 years more, than it would be the better alternative. Ahhh!

 

Also, I apologize for using the term 'mental illness'. I personally consider depression to be mental illness, whether or not it's induced by drugs. But I completely understand what you mean, and I apologize. I think even when referring to a 'healthy' body's natural depressive response to signal for a change in one's life, that it could be considered 'illness', but really it's just a term. I really mean 'mental health' overall. Aaaaanways:)

2000 - 2011 - 20mg Paxil (with many short failed stints each year of trying to discontinue)

2011 - 2013 - 10mg Cipralex (doctor's recommendation due to severe fatigue)

2013 - 2015 - 5mg Cipralex (managed to taper down slowly, but had to hold at 5mg)

2015 - 2016 - Bounced back and forth from 2.5mg to 5mg depending on coping strength

January 21st, 2017 - 100% SSRI free

Link to comment

But this is where  pharma have fooled everyone,anything that numbs the emotions is going to register as better than placebo and show an improvement on a self rating questionnaire. Plus there is also Stockholm syndrome when completing the questionnaire. Furthermore who wants to be beaten by placebo so pharma in the drug trials ramp the dose up so high that of course they beat placebo ...i mean why take that risk when you can stack the odds in your favour.

 

One doesn't have to wait for 10 years the research is already out that long term outcomes are a worsening on all measure for those on these drugs.

yeah i agree these are just terms...just words whose meanings sadly have flown out of control. Its not so much what you choose them to mean but what people with power in your presence take them to mean which can be much worse  than we could have ever intended. How dangerous it is to say 'oh  look its raining for the 4th day in a row...how depressing.'

 

The pharma marketing machine have defined the 'd' word for us . Pfizer (from memory i think it was Pfizer) paid off a top pdoc Spitzer who was tasked with rewriting the dsmIII and got him to validate pfizers phq9 questionnaire in this anyone who was a little bit more fidgety than normal would register as depressed. 

 

Wishing you healing

Good luck with the pdoc meeting sounds like you have spent a lot of time researching and thinking this through.

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
4 hours ago, Downbutnotout said:

Now, I’m convinced going back on is not going to solve my depression.  I know it’s an attitude problem.

 

Maybe it's the way you have worded it, but I disagree with your statement:  I know it's an attitude problem

 

I believe it is about learning/being taught and using non drug coping techniques.

 

Using the term attitude problem, at least to me, seems to mean that we have a weakness.  Whereas non drug coping techniques are distinct tools which we can use so are more definite and positive in their implication.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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I’m sorry if I insulted anyone. .I am filtering my experience through myself.  I acknowledge I have a negative attitude, and I know I have to change it. When I’m not in a depressive episode, I am more optimistic. I’ve had confidence, ambition, and enjoyed life. I was in a way different place in June. This is a long time for me to be in a depressive episode without a pill getting me out of it. (Maybe it was just a placebo, but I bought it. For decades. ) 

There are people on here like Kristine, Real Me, Frogie, LittleGrandma, Shep, you, and many other moderators who are sure of themselves and don’t convey that, even if they are feeling it inside. There there people like me and some others who are ready to give up and spend too much time thinking of why this is not going to work instead of doing the work to get out of it.  And I have not done the work I need to do. And I know others have done it, and say it still doesn’t work. So what makes the difference between the ones who succeed and the ones who give up?  

Okay, I had a almost normal few hours. I got myself out of bed. Actually, it was my husband. I have to fight!  I’m going to force myself to the freaking pool. I’ve taken a bit of magnesium, fish oil, and vitamin D today. I didn’t go manic when I took those drugs. Maybe I have a chance. You think?  I’m too old for this, but what other choice do I have? 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Maybe it's the way you have worded it, but I disagree with your statement:  I know it's an attitude problem

 

I believe it is about learning/being taught and using non drug coping techniques.

 

Using the term attitude problem, at least to me, seems to mean that we have a weakness.  Whereas non drug coping techniques are distinct tools which we can use so are more definite and positive in their implication.

Absolutely. I answered below. Yes, it’s all about learning coping skills. Never too old to learn new things. 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, NewMorning said:

Thank you both very much for your responses. So through all of this over the past couple years, I have become incredibly self aware of my mental health, and I no longer would simply 'trust' a doctor to toss me something and say 'here take this'. I have read tons of books on mental health, got my body in amazing shape, and I'm dragging along the floor of life. So I'm really just going to meet with him (he's a very well regarded psychiatrist) to discuss, but I am willing to look in to the possibility of reinstating for another block of life. As a philosophical argument: if I was too look at my current state, and pretend I'm on this magical "life drug", but the side effects make me who I am today, I would say to myself 'get the **** off this as soon as possible'. I have nearly systematically destroyed my entire life over the past while, become socially isolated, left my job, can barely speak to people in public, I'm basically a shell of a human being. (However I still push myself begrudgingly to make music and art, and I'm applying for a graphic design degree). And I can say that even far after the 'poop out' of medication, I was leaps and bounds more functional, pleasant to be around, and while not 'happy', at least I had moments. And I was more confident and brave, took chances in life, and was far less fearful.

 

I have done a lot of research in to the recent 'they are no better than placebo' argument, and they in fact are better. Not 'clinically significantly' better (which is a certain high standard that needs to be met), but measurably statistically better. As measured by the 'Hamilton Scale', which is a self reported scale concerning a psychological condition. (It's all in the Peter D Kramer book, it's kind of complicated to understand really, for me at least). And really I just know how they worked for me, and while they are very far from perfect, they had me a much more functional person. Unless I just want to continue being this tortured isolated person, maybe it would make for better art, but a miserable existence? If I could actually push myself to do it.

 

I just really don't want to destroy my brain slowly somehow, and science discovers 10 years more down the road that they're actually proven to do irreparable damage. Although if I didn't make it 10 years more, than it would be the better alternative. Ahhh!

 

Also, I apologize for using the term 'mental illness'. I personally consider depression to be mental illness, whether or not it's induced by drugs. But I completely understand what you mean, and I apologize. I think even when referring to a 'healthy' body's natural depressive response to signal for a change in one's life, that it could be considered 'illness', but really it's just a term. I really mean 'mental health' overall. Aaaaanways:)

You doon’t have to convince me that depression is an illness. I’ve lived it, more than once. Are we stigmatizing mental illness? If I would’ve know how to handle my problems, probably I wouldn’t have gone to them for help. I took them for 25 years. And if I had to do it again I wouldn’t have taken the first pill. I think that all the years, 25, of taking them have done some real damage to my brain.  I can’t even eat without worrying what food is going to do to me. I can’t take a drink of alcohol or pop because I’m worried about what it is going to do to me. I have to worry about taking supplements. What is it going to do to me? Not to mention the sexual dysfunction they don’t tell you about. All those years where I dampened that down.  Now, I am worried my cognitive abilities are really shot, and dementia  is just around the corner. If they did help, my time has run out on them. 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

Link to comment
13 hours ago, nz11 said:

So sorry you are having to go through this Newmorning. I can feel your pain.

I too was on 20mg of paxil similar to you from basically 2000 - 2011 i went drug free 28 sep 2010. How could i ever forget that day. 

 

I would like to tell you that for several years especially the first two i was pretty much nonfunctional.

It does get better but we are not talking months we are talking years (in my case).

Many people report improvements in years 1-2 and more so in years 2-3.

I would also like to tell you that i too was ready at about 14 months drug free to throw in the towel. But i didn't i held on. I believe it is possible for you to hold on too. 

 

If it was me i would not ri. Keep banking drug free days. You can do it. You are doing it. You do have a choice ..you can say no to drugs and tell yourself over and over that you will make it. You are going to make it NM you are going to make it. One years drug free is an enviable position to be in. Don't give up now. You've done one year i have no doubt you can do another. 

Of course its your decision. So its up to you.

There is no guarantee that a ri or a switch will work though. And if it does then what ? Stay on for life and risk the drug giving you a long drawn out bitter brutal divorce at the time of its choosing (poopout).Or you initiate the divorce and go through another drawn out experience  and all its difficulties. 

Have you spent some time reading the success stories i would print them out and go over them with a highlighter looking for any scrap of hope. And even pin them on the wall and stick them to the fridge. 

 

I'm not to sure what you mean here but this is not a mental illness it is a serious injury caused by chemicals given by doctors. 

 

One thing there is no doubt on,if you voice in front of a doctor that you have a mental illness or struggling with one then you will get drugs!

Furthermore you will have no problem with having a doctor believe you. No clinical assessment required.

 

Wishing you strength

nz11

You are right about that. No, it’s just guesswork. It’s not a science. Yes, they throw labels at you and prescribe terrible things. I’m not happy about what was done to me in the last few months. But there is such a thing as mental illness. Isn’t there? 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

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