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JenJen: my introduction


JenJen

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I'm new here.  I have been on various SSRIs for 22 years and depressed since I was at least age 12.  I went off the latest SSRI, generic Lexapro, because I have gained 30+ pounds over the last few years, needed at least 12 hours per day of sleep and still wasn't happy.  I am on the max of Bruproprion.  It doesn't seem to have any unwanted side effects.  It is supposed to be at least weight neutral when taken without other drugs.  The physical withdrawal effects are brain zaps, ringing in the ears, dizziness and nausea.  These aren't 24/7 and they may be subsiding.  Hard to say.  I tapered from 10mg of Lex to 5mg to 5 every other day.  I did this starting beginning mid-June.  

 

My struggle is that I fear my depression is returning.  I feel like I will never be OK.  

 

I also don't want to become anti-psych med or anti doctor but I wonder if I wasted years of my life on meds that never worked or if this is the way it will always be.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to JenJen: my introduction
  • Moderator Emeritus

JenJen -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

I'm sorry that you've had such a long ride on the SSRI train. For a limited number of people, these drugs are life-saving. For the rest of us, they create expensive pee, solve few of the problems for which they were prescribed, and create problems we never would have had without them, aka "side" effects.

 

Lexapro is one of, if not the most, potent SSRI medications on the market today. Discontinuing it is NOT a walk in the park.  The symptoms you are experiencing are withdrawal from Lexapro. Please read these topics about withdrawal symptoms:

What is withdrawal syndrome.

Glenmullen’s withdrawal symptom list.

 

To answer your questions, we need to know more about your history with medications. A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Probably, your best bet now is to allow yourself to stabilize on bupropion.  That may take some time:

How long to stabilize after reinstating or updosing.

 

You may experience a pattern of periods feeling great (windows) in between periods of symptoms (waves).  You can read what others have said about their experience of this in this topic:

The Windows and Waves pattern of stabilization.

 

Should you want to taper off bupropion at some point in the future, the following topics will be relevant:

Before you begin tapering -- what you need to know.

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin XR, SR, XL (bupropion)

 

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.

 

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.

 

Edited by scallywag

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

Link to post

Thanks so much.  I have read that most people take about 3 months to get over the withdrawal.  Looking back that was my experience with cymbalta.  Thanks so much.

 

Today has been tough but the hardest part is the depression.  I have been going to therapy and doing many things for the last 23 years and feel adrift now that the meds no longer work.

 

 

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hey JenJen - withdrawal is one of the hardest things you can do.  The 3 months to get over withdrawal often has a sting in the tail.  It's different for everyone but tapering slowly is the best way to get all the way off - and stay off.  Quick tapers can come back in 3, 6, 9 months and a little stressor can throw someone into a deep diving tailspin.  The taper is a way to come off slowly and carefully, so that the drop offs and symptoms - you can control them so that they are not so severe.

 

Yes, there are stories of people who got off in a month or three.  But I question - how long were they on the drugs?  How long did they stay off?  Or were they back in distress within a years time?  (that's what happened to me, the many times I came off various antidepressants)

 

Please go back to taking a steady dose every day.  Even if it is the 5 mg, that will be better than Every-other day dosing, which is destabilizing.

 

If you are having symptoms, you have been tapering too fast.  Please pick a dose and hold there.  These drugs don't work like aspirin, take it and it's gone a few hours later - they remodel your brain, and there are (as you've experienced zaps, you can understand this) a number of corrections and repairs your body and brain will have to make in order to be well again.

 

The goal is not to come off quickly - it's to come off well.  You start healing as soon as you decide to take charge of your own treatment.  

 

When I came here, I had about 25 years of drugging, on and off (but I could never get away, the depression always came back - I know now that was withdrawal!).  I decided that I was unhappy on the drugs, and I might as well be unhappy without the drugs.  So I started the SA tapering plan.  I was tapering a total of 2 years for 2 drugs.

 

Now, 3 years later, I am off the drugs, and the depressions still tickle at me - because it is an ingrained survival strategy I learned through years of stress and still have to unlearn - but it's not the overwhelming mudslide that it used to be.  Most of the time I'm happy, well adjusted, engaged, and involved in my life - and I have regained my passion for living.

 

Here's a few more links.

 

Here's how withdrawal works:

Intro to Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome

or if you want a short video:

Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants)

 

and to help with your depression, we have a whole section for Symptoms and Self Care and a topic devoted to Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms

 

 

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

Link to post

Thanks so much.  Withdrawal is hard but my greatest concern is the depression.  I did feel better for many years on the drugs.  Something saved me because I was angry and constantly depressed.  I think remaining depressed would have cost me my marriage.  I know it hurt me in grad school and in my career.  It was that bad.

 

I wouldn't say I was happy on the drugs but I did do better at life.  I worry about returning to a deep uncontrollable depression.  Maybe it will help that I am older and all the years of therapy and 12 step work did me some good.  I also have an eating disorder.  The anxiety and the ED are actually tolerable but the depression is devastating.  I have learned so much here.  I want to look around to see if there is anything on surviving depression.

 

I stopped the lexapro because of the side effects.  The good thing is I am no longer sleeping 12+ hours a day and I do have "windows."  

 

I don't want to become anti-medical and feel like I wasted those years of my life.  I am already a little skeptical of doctors.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Jen, you wrote in a topic on acid reflux:

12 hours ago, JenJen said:

I am learning so much here.  I have been on Omeprazole for about 3 years.  I started because I had painful heartburn and occasional projectile vomiting.  I think it was caused by the Lexapro I was taking.  I haven't had the SSRI in almost 2 weeks but still on Omeprazole.  I hope to end that as well.  I only need to Omep on certain days.  Before I took the Omep, I would have serious mid-afternoon pain.  I couldn't for instance do a. plank at the gym without wanting to throw up.  I hope to end this drug as well.

 

I am not anti-drug per se but I think they should be used only when needed.  I have noticed with many people who take long term meds never take just 1.  For me it was Lex and Omep.  I think we are given additional drugs because the first one have side effects or stop working.  Just my opinion of course.  

 

I'm not 100% clear whether you're still taking omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug.  If so, please read:

Tips for tapering off stomach acid blockers or PPIs

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

Link to post

I'm still on PPI.  Someone here suggested I work with the AD withdrawal first and save the PPI W/D for later.  I plan to do that and feel much better.  I also use a cpap if the matters.  I have been on it for 2.5 years.  I thought it would help my fatigue but it didn't.  It did help my husband sleep much better without my loud snoring and gasping for air.  My fatigue was caused by the Lexapro.  I am still in W/D but the fatigue was gone within a few days.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for clarigying.  Please add or edit a line in your signature to indicate that you are taking the PPI and at what dose.

 

Good to hear that your fatigue is better after whatever change it was that you made.

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

Link to post

The fatigue ended a few days after I tapered off lexapro.  That was one side effect that ended right away.  I certainly don't miss sleeping 9 hours a night with 2-3 hour naps

 

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post

I'm extremely worried about the depression coming back.  I have had many windows lately but I am so worried that this is just a fleeting fantasy.

 

I took A/Ds for 22 years and most of that time I had some lingering depression.  I go to therapy for help but I don't know how much it helps. I have also been in therapy for most of those 20 years.   I was thinking of Cognitive Behavior therapy as I had some success with that in the past.  I also wonder if acupuncture would help.  I know a lot of people here didn't even get on meds for serious depression but I did.  It probably started at about age 12.  My dad also had it.

 

I exercise regularly.  One thing that helps is not giving in to it but that is hard to do when I am in the thick of it.  

 

My coping skills now are;

 

Wellbutrin

Exercise

Magnesium and D3

therapy

Talking to people when I can.

Bullet Journal

 

I have also noticed that some things work well in the beginning and then the effectiveness wanes.  I actually discovered this with a trainer at the gym when we were working on an old injury.  If that happens to the body why not the mind?  Does anyone know if there is a word for this?  

 

 

 

Edited by scallywag
merged topic

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to How do I handle depression now?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Jen, You posted a new topic entitled, "How do I handle depression now?" in the Symptoms forum. I've moved your post/question to your introduction topic so that all your information, questions and answers are in one place.

 

Many symptoms of withdrawal overlap with symptoms of original "conditions. Learning techniques to cope with withdrawal symptoms will be of benefit.

 

There are probably many existing topics in the Symptoms & self-care forum about handling symptoms that are classified as "depression."

Mood and emotions:

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.

Neuro-emotions.

Insomnia and sleep:

Tips to help sleep.

Melatonin for sleep

 

You can search the site for symptoms and self-care techniques by using either the site search function or a web search engine.

If using a search engine such as google or bing, include
site:survivingantidepressants.org
as a search term along with your key word, e.g. "fatigue" or "cognitive behavioral therapy."

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

Link to post
  • 3 weeks later...

Been on vacation.  I had some good and some awful days.  On the bad days I felt like dirt had been thrown on my soul.  During those periods I felt hopeless and that this how my life was meant to be.  I couldn't enjoy anything on those days.  I opened up a little and got lots of hugs which help for a while.  But the doom always returns.  I started listening to relaxing music out of desperation and it helped a little.

 

I woke up hungry on Sat and didn't have that awful pit in my stomach feeling.  

 

Now I am home and I can see I have developed bad habits.  I spend too much time on Facebook.  Some friends try to provoke reactions so I have un-followed them.  For now I have unfollowed anyone or anything that gets me going.  

 

I need to devote myself to self care.  That's hard with work in the morning.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, JenJen said:

Some friends try to provoke reactions so I have un-followed them.  For now I have unfollowed anyone or anything that gets me going.  

 

Very wise.  This is added stress which you definitely do not need.  Well done for realising this and taking the necessary action.

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

 

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

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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

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

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

Link to post

Some days and some hours are easier than others.  Sometimes just getting through the work day is hard enough.  I want to something at night other than watch tv.  Or I could just say I made it though the day and don't have to do anything at night.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post

Withdrawal or Wellbutrin -  how to tell?

 

I have good days and bad days.  The good days are OK and the bad days are horrible.  Part of my symptoms are anxiety.  Nothing in particular I just feel awful and have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I can't do much or enjoy anything when this happens.  The anxiety also seems to be accompanied by anhedonia and feelings of doom.  

 

I have been on SSRIs most of the time but there was a short period when I was on Wellbutrin alone.  I had anxious feelings and couldn't focus so we added the Lexapro.  My P-doc said I was anxious because unlike SSRIs, Wellbutrin didn't have an anti-anxiety component.   I have done some research and most people say Wellbutrin is a stimulant but a few places say it can actually help with anxiety.  I take the Wellbutrin daily but do not feel anxious all the time.  I think last week was so bad because I drank a lot one night.  More than I intended - not sure how - but that was all my doing.  I feel guilty that I interrupted my recovery and possibly went backwards.  Lesson learned!

 

(Mods - feel free to move this if it belongs somewhere else. Thanks )

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

HI JenJen, sorry to hear that you aren't feeling that great.  Know that when I first discontinued Pristiq to switch to Effexor, the anxiety, doom & gloom and the feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach could get pretty bad.  Every morning I'd wake up wondering when if it was ever going to lift.  I'd like to think that it takes time for the central nervous system to recalibrate when we've made an abrupt change ... for me it probably took a good few months before I started feeling a sense of hope.  There was a period where all I could do was go to work and then basically came home to hide because the fear could be so intense.  I'm not familiar with Wellbutrin but in all honesty, I don't think any of these anti-depressants are helpful on a long-term basis and end up doing more harm than good.  Things are much better now after tapering for 11 months, I'm at 50% of my original dose and feeling a lot better, the good days outnumber the bad and I am more engaged in life than I have been in many years and it feels good.  Don't beat yourself up for drinking, none of us is perfect!!!  Guess I'm trying to reassure you that it does get better, it just takes time.  Hope things settle for you and you start to feel a little better soon.  

 

BaroqueP

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I may be feeling a little bit better.  Monday night I started taking Zyrtec for fall allergies.  The catch/cough in the back of my throat went away but its more than that.  Much of the dizziness and ear ringing is gone.  My flue-like symptoms were more like ear/nose and throat symptoms.  I am hoping for the best.  I have good and bad hours but more are better than bad.  Today I am tired but hanging in there.  I am always scared the worst will return.  I tapered and have been off the lexapro since June 10.  I don't know how my withdrawal will go.  

 

Jen Carol said 

Quote

The 3 months to get over withdrawal often has a sting in the tail.  It's different for everyone but tapering slowly is the best way to get all the way off - and stay off.  Quick tapers can come back in 3, 6, 9 months and a little stressor can throw someone into a deep diving tailspin.  The taper is a way to come off slowly and carefully, so that the drop offs and symptoms - you can control them so that they are not so severe.

 

Yes, there are stories of people who got off in a month or three.  But I question - how long were they on the drugs?  How long did they stay off?  Or were they back in distress within a years time?  (that's what happened to me, the many times I came off various antidepressants)

 

I have no proof but I feel like this is what is going to happen to me.  I was on SSRIs for 22 years and I fear it will take years to get off.  I am still on Wellbutrin and will not even think about making changes until I get over the SSRI withdrawal.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

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  • 4 months later...

Checking in-  

 

I am feeling much better.  I don't have the terrible anxiety anymore.  I feel ready to panic if I think it is returning the thought of feeling like that again is scary.  Looking back it was worse than I thought and my life was so much harder.  I wasn't suicidal but living didn't seem like a real treat either.    I have hung in for so long that I am good at it and good at hiding my feelings.  

 

I made it through the holidays, traveled for business and got a good review at work.  Even at my worst I would have done these things but I would have been miserable doing them.  I can't say I am always happy or un-depressed.  I am still working with my T. I would like to stop because I have been doing it for so many years.  It makes me feel so bad that I have needed so much time, money and energy just to hang in there.  I wonder what I would be like if I was normal.  

 

I am still taking Wellbutrin and am not ready to stop.  I am still loosing all the weight I gained and I am feeling so much better about that.  

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

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  • 7 months later...

(Mod - feel free to move if in the wrong place - moved by CC)

 

I am terrified that my depression will return.  I have had a few bad days lately and fear I will fall into the dark abyss.  I was triggered by reading Blue Dreams by Lauren Slater.  I sometimes feel so hopeless.  I have been in and out (mostly in) therapy for 20+ years.  It helps but I feel bad about myself that I need so much help.  Is anyone else afraid of depression?  Does anyone know of any support groups?  I went to Alanon many years ago and it helped with my personal problems but it is not specifically for depression?  Maybe even an online support group which I haven't found yet.  

 

Edited by ChessieCat

June 1995 Zoloft

August 1997 - to June 2017 various SSRIs

August 2000  -November 2000 - Stopped abruptly for pregnancy (returned to depressed state, serious withdrawal symptoms including raging anger, crying, loss of interest in life)

November 2000 returned to SSRI

2008 Added Cymbalta to SSRIs

June - September 2009 - stopped Cymbalta after discussing with p-doc.  Not told about tapering.  Nausea, dizziness, brain zaps, raging anger and depression for about 3 months

2011 switched to Lexapro, added Wellbutrin 

June 2017 began to taper off Lexapro doses of 10 mg,  reduced to 5 mg for 2 weeks and then 5 mg every other day - off by July 10 

July 2017 300 mg Wellbutrin, dealing with withdrawal from Lexapro

2013- September  2017 - Omeprazole - Learned my GERD was caused by Lexapro  - now happily off without rebound or any pain!

Link to post
  • Mentor

I can understand why Blue Dreams can push the trigger button. I read it too and, for me, it made me feel more understanding as to why one would choose to stay on drugs. I get it. Depression is scary and, for me, I haven't functioned well while in withdrawal. I do find that going to AA has been helpful to combat the depression, sometimes more sometimes less. Most people there have been wildly depressed and just being around others who are going thru it is helpful to me.

 

ps: I'll be gone all weekend and might not be here until next week... not being rude by not responding fast

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
5 hours ago, JenJen said:

(Mod - feel free to move if in the wrong place)

 

Your Intro topic is the place to ask questions about your own situation and where you can journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and allows mods and members to see it easily.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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

 

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

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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

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

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

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It important to learn and use non drug coping techniques.

 

AAF
Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  A concept stolen from Claire Weekes.  It is a process for handling situations that you have no control over.  Acknowledging the situation/symptom, getting to know it on a personal level.  Accepting that the situation/symptom is there, its real and there is nothing you can do about it. Letting the Situation/symptom Float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's sort of like dealing with an unwanted house guest.  At first you get to know them and make them comfortable.  Then you realize they are not making any effort to leave and there is nothing you can do, but ignore them as best as you can until they go away.

 

depression-and-anxiety-cycles

 

how-did-you-manage-your-depression-after-you-had-successfully-withdrawn

 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Light boxes for depression and sleep disorders

 

Acceptance

 

Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

CBT Course:  An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help ...

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

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

 

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

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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

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

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

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