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jkun41: Discontinuation symptoms - panic & anxiety


jkun41

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Hi Everyone. Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone on this website. The last few months have been hard, and in my times of worry and panic my google searches (bad I know!) often lead me here.

 

I apologise, as this is going to be a bit long...

 

A little about me: I am a 28yo male, 5'11, 210lbs.I have a 4yo little girl who's my world, and a very patient and understanding wife who suffers with her own form of anxiety and panic.

 

I decided to start going back to school this year in order to get a better career (was working part-time.) After a rocky first semester back, I decided to see my school's accessibility office for some help. I have had a bad habit of just quitting school when things get too difficult (I flushed 3-years of University down the drain, as well as a few other wasted semesters in college.) I wanted this time to be different, so I got in touch with an academic counsellor as well as a therapist. 

 

Now before I go on, when I was a kid (9-10) i had anxiety and panic attacks to the point that I'd run home from school. I had a massive fear of being sick and throwing up and constantly felt nauseous. However, since then my anxiety has been almost entirely social, and I've become very good at masking even that. It's not that I can't go out or have a conversation with someone (example: it was mentioned in a job interview one time and my interviewer told me he couldn't tell at all and that I seemed rather outgoing); it's more so that I just don't like going out, or being in crowds, and when I have to be in them (i.e. job and school.) I get anxious and usually avoid the situation. This is why I primarily work part-time and do so poorly in school. I managed this best near the end of high school when I was an honours student, but got progressively worse when I moved away for University. I also gained a lot of weight which made me very self conscience (I went from 180lbs to 240)

 

Anyways, so when I seen a therapist in January 2017 he "diagnosed" me with moderate-severe social anxiety (obviously) and helped me get accommodations for school. I then made a very poor decision in asking to try medication. My brother has OCD/anxiety and has reacted very well to Zoloft, so I figured I would try it. Frankly I was sick of disappointing my wife and daughter and wanted to try something new when it came to succeeding in school.

 

On January 21st I started 50mg of Zoloft (Sertraline). I also made some lifestyle changes with my diet and exercise (I weighed around 240lbs in January - I now weigh 210)

 

Honestly, I didn't really notice a difference either way, though admittingly, it may have been what helped push me into my lifestyle change. My diet had dramatically improved, I was exercising, and I was feeling better about myself. To be honest, my attendance wasn't all that better with school, but I was finishing assignments and passing my classes. My wife also said I seemed to be more "awake" when I was around and out of the fog I was stuck in, but neither of us knew if that was due to the medication, lifestyle, or both.

 

Near the end of February I got the flu. I also upped my dose to 100mg ONCE prior to getting sick. I then missed my dose twice and was considering just ending it. The following night (after missing my doses twice) I was watching an episode of something with my wife when one of the main characters had a stroke due to complications of gunshot wound. This set me off.

 

I had my first panic attack in about 15 years. I felt dizzy, my legs went weak, weird tastes in my mouth, tense neck, arms felt heavy, shortness of breath, etc. The first thing I went for was the Zoloft (50mg). After battling the urge to call 911 I was able to "come down" over the span of a couple hours and a couple gravol to help with nausea and make me tired. The next day I felt like crap, but felt mostly normal for about a week.

 

I then had another (smaller) panic attack which I attributed to too much working out; my body was exhausted, and I noticed that when I felt over tired I would get anxious. But thoughts of panic and anxiety were (and still are) stuck in the back of my head now.

 

I seen my therapist, and he agreed that the flu in combination with the dosage change (up once, off twice) probably caused the weird symptoms. He assured me that it didn't sound like a stroke, and that from what he could tell I had very few risk factors for such a thing. We also agreed to stay on 50mg until things normalised. This was beginning of March.

 

Unfortunately now I had seen how Zoloft can affect your brain, and I had started reading about SSRI's. I don't know if it was in my head (likely)or if the Zoloft was causing it, but my left arm constantly felt stiff. Then on St. Patricks Day (March 17th) I felt just horrible. Sluggish, tired, short of breath, arm stiffness... You can see where this is going. As absurd as it sounds now, later that night I thought I was having a heart attack.

 

Before I continue into my current tale of hypochondria, I'd like to mention that I rarely went to the doctor. To the point it was a detriment. I haven't seen my family doctor in about 10 years, and had been to a clinic twice in that span.

 

So, this night 911 was dialled. I got an EKG to show that my heart was/is fine, and then sat waiting for 11 hours to see a doctor  (it was an especially bad night as there were a lot of traumas due to all the drunkenness.) The doctor told me it was panic, that chest pain can happen, offered me a couple Ativan (which I turned down) and sent me on my way. He also said to stick with the medication.

 

I stuck with it for another few days until I had another (smaller) panic attack and then decided to taper off. I couldn't wait to see my therapist. I started taking 50mg every other day until March 29th.

 

On the 29th I found myself in another panic attack which lead me to a mental health outreach (they did their best but weren't all that helpful) and then Urgent Care (not the Emergency Department.) I have long had what I thought was a hernia (pain below my left rib cage and I can push a bulge inward - I have had this for years.) They checked my vitals, assured me everything looked good, and then did an Ultrasound which didn't show a hernia (this has actually made me more anxious cause I still don't know wtf it is.) A doctor then prescribed me Pantoloc to help with my stomach.

 

I then cut down to 25mg every other day. I figured I got through the horrible day, so it was a good time to continue my taper.

 

I seen my therapist again, who agreed with my taper and also agreed that I should completely wash out instead of going on something else. We also started seeing each other every two weeks instead of three.

 

I fully stopped the Zoloft on April 16th.

 

I made another visit to the doctor exactly a week later due to continued stomach pain, and was told they couldn't find the cause and that my complete blood count looked good. I may be getting a scope to check it out but am waiting to hear back.

 

April was a horrible month. I often laid in the dark. I experienced random sadness, anxiety, weak limbs, tingling, headache, dry mouth, etc. I managed to push through these symptoms and finished all my exams and projects and passed all my courses. I was taking gravol nearly every day for nausea, as well as heartburn medicine, and also 4-5 prescribed Ativan.

 

Starting the last few days of April I began feeling a bit better. I started working full time (for the summer) on May 8th. Opposite of April, May was a pretty good month. I had figured out some ways to bring my body "down" from anxiety as well was some positive thinking. I still thought about my health daily, but didn't let the thoughts consume. I was finally able to sit down and watch some shows with my wife again (I had trouble doing this the couple months prior.) My therapist agreed that it seemed like I was over the hump. I also had not taken gravol nearly the entire time, completely went off the pantoloc, and only occasionally took Zantac for heartburn.

 

Unfortunately the last three weeks have been dreadful. I feel like I have taken a huge step back. I started having muscle twitches, some brain fog, fatigue, and the vision in my right eye seemed strained; as if it was hard to focus but not necessarily blurry (this actually started in April, but with the increased anxiety started really bothering me end of May.) I also got a nice new symptom of muscle twitches, which of course spiralled my thoughts into ALS, MS, or brain tumour; the latter two both being a possibility for twitches and eye trouble.

 

Earlier this week I went to the hospital yet again. My head has been, and still is feeling "weird." My right eye has been bothering me a lot. I've been getting head aches, some mild dizziness, and increased trouble sleeping (jerked awake, vibrating feeling, etc.) My head and body feel extremely agitated, to the same degree they were in April. I am hypersensitive in everything. I have random thoughts of if I am going crazy, or seeing things right, etc.

 

So, the hospital did another blood test, as well as a CT Scan. Both of which came back good. They also scheduled me an appointment with their clinic, where I got to go over everything with a Resident who consulted the doctor, and then referred me to a sleep clinic (I've had sleep problems since I was kid and am extremely likely to have sleep apnea, this isn't news to me,) as well as an x-ray on my chest to check for a hiatal hernia in regards to my stomach issues. This was Tuesday. I also noticed that my right pupil often goes bigger than the other, especially when anxious, but forgot to mention this to the doctors, so now I am worried the CT is wrong and there is something wrong with my brain. Note: the pupil is not blown, it still reacts to light.

 

I have now had two more panics attacks yesterday and today. My stomach is a mess (nauseous, bloat, etc.). Headaches, and my pupil continues to go bigger than the other. I had to come home an hour early from work due to panic and anxiety. 

 

I see my therapist again next Thursday, and my family doctor next Friday.

 

Now, my question for you folks is:

 

Is it normal to have relapse like this with discontinuation symptoms? I was only on 50mg for a couple months, and have now been off it completely for almost two months. I am feeling more anxious now because at least before I could blame discontinuation.

 

Has anyone ever had pupil issues coming off of SSRI's?

 

Should I trust the doctors and stop thinking they're missing something?

 

Could stress from a new job and staring at a computer all day be playing a part?

 

I really just want to be normal for my wife and child.

 

Thanks everyone for your advice...

Edited by baroquep

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • scallywag changed the title to jkun: Discontinuation Symptoms - panic & anxiety
  • Moderator Emeritus

jkun -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)

 

It is normal to have symptoms after discontinuing even after a short time on an SSRI medication. You've had a not uncommon experience with SSRI medications, sadly.  Some people do have paradoxical reactions -- increased anxiety in response to a medication prescribed to "treat" anxiety. Other people are very sensitive to variations, as may have happened with your one-day increase and the two missed doses at the end of February. I've put together a quick summary of your history with zoloft. Is this correct?

 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 29: 50 mg every other day

April ??: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

 

If it is correct, please copy and paste it as a signature. We ask that people put their medication and tapering history in their signatures so that we can get an overview "at a glance." Click the link below to create yours.

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Your symptoms are likely caused by a too rapid decrease in Zoloft. We usually suggest that people decrease the dose by no more than 10% per month to minimize the risk and intensity of symptoms. You can read more about that in these topics:

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

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline).

 

The information at these links provide helpful descriptions and analogies for what we understand underlies discontinuation/withdrawal symptoms:

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

Youtube video, 4 minutes: Healing from antidepressants.

 

People often seek advice from doctors when symptoms arise after stopping a medication. Doctors frequently diagnose these symptoms as relapse of the original condition or as a new condition. It's common enough that we've created this discussion topic:

Is it withdrawal or relapse?.

 

Vision issues and visual symptoms are not unknown. A discussion topic: Visual symptoms.

 

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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Thanks so much for the response. This community really is something special, and though this is my first time posting, it's not my first time here. I'll take a look at the supplementary reading you gave. Also, you were mostly right; I think I made some mistakes during my initial post. I just looked at my notes (yes I was keeping a journal during the tapering,) and the exact dates are:

 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

 

I am updating my signature now.

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Your posting signature looks good. Thanks for doing that!

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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I found this really interesting from the remodelling your brain post:

 

Quote

It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

My last appointment with my therapist I said pretty much the same thing. It feels like I am relearning my body and how I physically and mentally react to things. The easiest example: when I am tired. I still get anxious when I am feel overly tired from a busy day. On another occasion I was feeling anxiety because I was pondering on how our brain works and how it makes our bodies move; silly things like are we really in control of our bodies.

 

I also appreciate the link to the vision post, as the tunnel and blurry vision have been present especially during an attack. Though I am still a little worried as I haven't heard anyone else experience the weird pupil.

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Mentor

if it helps any, I did a search for unequal pupils and learned that it's pretty common and that it can be caused by many medications.

 

I have had all sorts of odd eye symptoms that are quite annoying but I'm learning to not stress out about them.

 

the good news is, you will heal and eventually all of these symptoms will just be a bad memory

:)

 

 
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jkun41

When I read your post, it took me back to how I felt when I cold turkey'd Effexor XL. My heart goes out to you and how you are suffering. Since I am many years post withdrawal, I can honestly say it does get better and recovery does happen.

But I also want to say that I have PTSD from my withdrawal and I feel like I am back in it....that is how traumatic it was for me.

 

Daisy

Effexor XL 2009-2012. CT 150mg Effexor XR  2012, Effexor XR  75mg  2012  then rapid taper to 0, Reinstated Effexor XR 13mg then updosed to 20mg, Tapered to 18mg Effexor XR 4/9/12, Off Effexor XL ?Reinstated  Effexor XL 150 mgs  August  2012, Crashed in November 2012, Prozac 40 mgs 2012 to Feb 2018, Buspar 60  mgs 2012-stopped 2015, Remeron 7.5 mgs as needed for sleep-stopped Feb 2017, Prozac 50 mgs Feb 2018 to March 2018, Lexapro 5 mgs March 18 2018 to May 17th 2018, Lexapro 2.5 mgs  May 18th to May 26th 2018, Prozac 10 mgs May 15th 2018, Prozac 5 mgs May 19th 2018 to current day May 28th 2018,  Xanax 0.25 mgs to 0.5 mgs daily for over 15 years. Increased Xanax to 1.5 mgs Sept 2012, Tapered Xanax to 0 mgs  May 2013.Reinstated Xanax Feb 2017 at 0.125 mgs as needed, Gradual increase of Xanax to 1.5 mgs daily till May 22nd 2018, Xanax 1.25 mgs daily. Holding

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone. Feel free to check my post history for my first post 5-6 weeks ago. 

 

I would like to start by saying things have been better. It seems so hard sometimes to admit when you're doing better, even if it's only in some areas, because anxiety likes to remind you of where you're failing. 

 

I've been off Sertraline for over three months now. I feel like things have leveled out to a degree. I've got some relaxation techniques that help (stretching, meditation, prayer.) I've been avoiding the internet to a large degree and keeping my reading to a minimum (I was searching every symptom at one point and my anxiety was much much worse from it.) I've also been opening up to family when I have an anxious thought or worry, as I've noticed it makes me feel much better than isolation does.

 

I'm at the point now where I'm not sure it's withdrawal, or the anxiety that's left over; or maybe they're one in the same?

 

My health anxiety has settled to a degree, though I still worry if there could be something wrong with my brain, and what if the medication and discontinuation were coincidence.  I would say my biggest issue now is I still have trouble not over-thinking or over-analyzing my thoughts and worries and still get fixated on them sometimes. Though the panic portion of this seems to be much more mild. I just churn things in my head rather than my body going into fight or flight.

 

I did want to ask a couple questions though, as I find it helpful to get reassurance from others who struggle with the same thing. I find myself having anxiety... about anxiety, if that makes sense. I worry about the "what-if's" a lot. For instance, the other day I felt strange (a bit of a depersonalization feeling) and then as I was walking I wondered "what if I passed out back there and now everything I see is just a dream in my head?" I didn't even get that anxious about the thought. As my therapist puts it, the brain is a random thought generator. But I of course couldn't just let it go. I hit google, read some things online, and then had anxiety the whole day about WHAT IF I go crazy? Or what if I have already gone crazy? I then of course got sad thinking of my family and what they would be going through if I "lost it", especially my daughter.

 

After doing some relaxation, and telling myself not to over-think or fixate, did some prayer, etc. I felt better before going to bed. It's hard to just flick the switch of not thinking about an anxious thought. Unfortunately the next day I woke up feeling a bit uneasy, and then got worried about the what-if of, what if I went crazy and hurt someone, or hurt a family member. I didn't even really get fixated on this thought, I just got sad that it was there. To be clear, I did not have a thought of hurting anyone, just an anxious worry of "what if I ever did?"

 

Has anyone else had these stupid worries? Any suggestions for ignoring them and learning how to turn that switch of over-thinking off?

 

Thanks in advance. God bless.

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to jkun: Discontinuation symptoms - panic & anxiety
On 7/28/2017 at 11:35 AM, jkun41 said:

 

 

Has anyone else had these stupid worries? Any suggestions for ignoring them and learning how to turn that switch of over-thinking off?

 

Thanks in advance. God bless.



I have had worries -- I catastrophize, i.e. I used to often think the worst case scenario would occur, and then got myself into anxiety due to this thinking.  I have been seeing a therapist and doing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It helps, but you have to keep the exercises up.  If you can't afford to go to a therapist, buy a book like Feeling Good by David Burns.  There is another book called Mind Over Mood, and an associated workbook. Get the books -- libraries might even have them but they are available in many stores, including online.  Read the books....but also, do the exercises, and keep doing them for numerous months often and then do them regularly. It helps retrain your mind. But, it's like physical activity. If you stop exercising your body, you will get out of shape. Same thing with these mental exercises. If you have a tendency to worry, you need to keep up doing the the exercises.  It does help. 

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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Thanks for the reply. I guess to a degree I do the same thing, thinking worst case scenario. It's annoying because it seems like I have two phases. 

 

Phase 1 - overthink and worry about worst case scenario (I. E. Does a random thought suddenly mean I am "crazy". 

 

Phase 2 - the worry of the what-if now nags and won't completely go away. 

 

I've been doing my best to make sure I don't allow such stupidity to control my life. I went out and had family time all weekend and enjoyed some time with my daughter last night, doing my best to ignore any nagging thoughts. Like everyone says, the busier you are the less you think about it. 

 

Thanks for the advice, I'll look into those books. I see my therapist on Thursday, and will feel better after unloading the past few weeks on him. I'm going to ask him about starting CBT in the next little bit. I have much better control of my body now than I did even a month ago, but need to learn to calm my mind. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • 1 month later...

Could someone elaborate a bit more on the "windows and waves" I've seen mentioned? After my last post things got better for a few weeks. Still worried alot but it was manageable. 

 

The past few days have been crap again. Alot of worry and overthinking. It's as if I've developed OCD, or always had it but it was much less severe. 

 

I keep worrying I'm going crazy. I know one of my biggest triggers is fatigue and I've been super tired the past couple weeks, but get anxious when I try to sleep. Unfortunately I had to take an Ativan today (first time in a month,) which is disappointing and frustrating. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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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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Hi again everyone. I spoke with my therapist yesterday and he agreed that I'm experiencing anxiety from alot of different angles. I told him about the OCD and he said GAD, OCD, Panic, they're all intertwined, so it makes sense that I am feeling bombarded from all of them .

 

I have been in a state of high anxiety / panic for about 4-5 days now. Shaking constantly. It started again with a fear that I could go crazy, but has once again turned into a fear of health. Except this time I am stuck between both the mental worries and physical worries. I was nearly in tears last night cause I was scared to go to sleep in case I died while sleeping. Thank God I DID NOT die, and I WONT DIE. But the fear is still there.

 

I feel gross. I had to take an ativan last night, and took one about an hour ago - the first time I have taken them on consecutive days. I want to run off to the hospital again, but I know they'll just send me away for anxiety. I'm dizzy, exhausted, splitting headache comes and goes, feel nauseous. My head feels so full like I can't think. Overwhelmed. Can this all really be from withdrawal? I have been off Zoloft since April, and was only on it for 2 months.

 

I think my biggest fear is that I am stuck this way and there is nothing that can make me better.

 

My therapist made an appointment with me with a psychologist to get some peace of mind about the whole OCD worry of going crazy. Like what if my brain is so stressed it just goes blank, or develops psychosis, (It WONT! - trying to speak positively) He also said that maybe I should speak to him about trying another medication temporarily to see if it can stabilise me for a little bit. However, with all the reading I have done I don't know if I could go on another medication again. I've also read on here that stabilising after months isn't the best course of action. 

 

I don't know what to do. I don't want to be taking an mg of lorazepam every day.

 

Please some advice...

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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35 minutes ago, jkun41 said:

Hi again everyone. I spoke with my therapist yesterday and he agreed that I'm experiencing anxiety from alot of different angles. I told him about the OCD and he said GAD, OCD, Panic, they're all intertwined, so it makes sense that I am feeling bombarded from all of them .

 

I have been in a state of high anxiety / panic for about 4-5 days now. Shaking constantly. It started again with a fear that I could go crazy, but has once again turned into a fear of health. Except this time I am stuck between both the mental worries and physical worries. I was nearly in tears last night cause I was scared to go to sleep in case I died while sleeping. Thank God I DID NOT die, and I WONT DIE. But the fear is still there.

 

I feel gross. I had to take an ativan last night, and took one about an hour ago - the first time I have taken them on consecutive days. I want to run off to the hospital again, but I know they'll just send me away for anxiety. I'm dizzy, exhausted, splitting headache comes and goes, feel nauseous. My head feels so full like I can't think. Overwhelmed. Can this all really be from withdrawal? I have been off Zoloft since April, and was only on it for 2 months.

 

I think my biggest fear is that I am stuck this way and there is nothing that can make me better.

 

My therapist made an appointment with me with a psychologist to get some peace of mind about the whole OCD worry of going crazy. Like what if my brain is so stressed it just goes blank, or develops psychosis, (It WONT! - trying to speak positively) He also said that maybe I should speak to him about trying another medication temporarily to see if it can stabilise me for a little bit. However, with all the reading I have done I don't know if I could go on another medication again. I've also read on here that stabilising after months isn't the best course of action. 

 

I don't know what to do. I don't want to be taking an mg of lorazepam every day.

 

Please some advice...

hi junk41 you are in a serious anxiety spiral ,you have to get control of your thoughts ,they are so powerful .if you cant sleep try distracting yourself ,you cant lie in bed worrying like that ,I'm a big fan of documentaries but I have to be careful witch ones I watch because they can be stimulating and triggering ,the only one I found the other night that didn't trigger me was about Antarctica :).

go to the symptoms and self care section and read up on the non drug techniques ,we have to put in the work and practice ,you will be ok and you can not die from anxiety  I promise you that .

Take care

PB

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi jkun41, sorry to hear that you are dealing with difficult symptoms right now.  Rest assured, while not easy, what you are experiencing is very typical when an antidepressant is discontinued abruptly or doses are alternated.  Fortunately for you, you have not had a long history of antidepressant use and you are still quite young and can assure you that your symptoms will continue to resolve over time.  Unfortunately It is going to take some time for your central nervous system to recover but it looks like you are taking all the necessary steps to help in your recovery by working with a therapist and now a psychologist.

 

Unfortunately very few doctors have experience tapering off of antidepressants and often suggest that patients either start taking another antidepressant or take a tranquilizer which can, and in most all of the cases I've seen, make symptoms twice as bad.  I'm not sure that after using Zoloft for only two months, that this would be a recommended course of action.  It does take some time for withdrawal symptoms to settle down and I'd be hesitant to start another drug and risk upsetting your central nervous system any further.  If you have a reaction to the new drug or this drug does not help with your current symptoms, you could set yourself back even further than where you are now.    

 

As well, I am glad that you have a very healthy concern about the use of lorazepam, as unfortunately these drugs can be the cause of increased/rebound anxiety because of their short half-life and you can get addicted to them in as little as two weeks of daily use.  If I were you, I would attempt to use other coping mechanisms when things start getting too difficult.  While I know the symptoms are uncomfortable, it is best to use non-drug methods of coping with our symptoms.    

 

ChessieCat has given you some excellent references to explore, which I've reattached below, to see if there are other methods that you could incorporate into your daily life that would help you manage your symptoms.  Many people find that Omega 3 and magnesium help relax and calm the nervous system so you may want to see if one of those supplements help.  

 

I do hope that you find a technique to help with the anxiety that might work for you rather than continuing to take Xanax or start another antidepressant which in my opinion carries far too many risks.

 

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

Acceptance

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

OCD Obsessive Thoughts, Compulsive Behaviours

intrusive-thoughts-and-increased-panic

Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety

Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

Sleep Hypnosis, Guided Meditations, Calming Videos

 

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Magnesium

 

 

Edited by 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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Thank you for the response (to Powerback as well.) I'm feeling better currently, and God willing that continues. I am still disappointed that I took two Ativan so close together (17.5 hours apart.) I was prescribed 15 initially in April, and just used my last one (from that prescription) today, so I have little desire to make them a habit. I do recognize though that I may need some help for another day or two and have decided not to beat myself up if I need to take another. I'm hoping, and logically believing, that my head is just feeling weird from all of the stress hormones being on red alert for 3-4 days straight. 

 

Starting tomorrow I'm attempting to once again push aside Dr Google (which I had done during my best window). I have made a couple doctors appointments and will bring up my concerns then. 

 

I agree with you about medication, and would really rather not go on something else. I don't even know what tranquilizers are (in regards to psych meds) and the mere thought frightens me, lol. 

 

I've been practicing breathing and meditation / prayer for awhile now. I think I'm going to back off the more in depth dealing with your thoughts / feelings meditation for a bit and focus more on my prayer resources. 

 

I didn't let my anxiety hold me back today and travelled with my wife and daughter to my in-law's. I'm happy to be out of the house, and am believing in a positive day tomorrow. Hopefully without a benzo. 

 

Thanks for the reposted resources. I read a couple but will look at a couple more. 

 

I'll try magnesium again, however when I took Omega 3 it caused me more anxiety. I'm not sure if it was just the timing of it, or already being so hyper aware, but it was when alot of the overthinking and intrusive thoughts started. 

 

Edit: do you have an opinion on a weighted blanket? I've read they can help, especially with shaky legs. I'm thinking of investing in one. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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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Thanks. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

Link to comment

I stopped Sertraline in April after only being on it two months. Unfortunately I developed huge health anxiety which has since turned into a fear of growing crazy or my brain just switching off. 

 

Has anyone else dealt with the following after months of withdrawal:

 

Splitting headache

 

Nagging headache (more constant) 

 

Overthinking 

 

Head feeling full (not so much physical fullness, but cognitive fullness) 

 

Head sometimes feeling empty, almost blank. 

 

Feeling like my brain is being pulled backwards, like I'm falling down (seems more frequent when having panic or going to sleep.) 

 

I unfortunately once again fell into the trap of doctor google and reignited my health anxiety and fear of dying. (I'm NOT - trying to stay positive.) 

 

I realize it's a small step but I'm trying to accept that it's withdrawal, so will do my best to keep my questions here. 

 

Thanks. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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So I feel a bit more calm today. Feeling a little shaky currently but I think I'm just cold. 

 

I wanted to elaborate more on this past week (and even past couple months) and maybe get a few opinions on whether you think stress and fatigue could be a cause in addition to withdrawal. 

 

Firstly, I had I really good month following the first week of June which is when I made my first post. I actually forgot to mention in my initial post that I was having anxiety at the time about over-visualizing (I. E. When you tell a story, do you picture it in your mind as you tell it? I've been assured by basically everyone that yes, it's normal.) I was having some bad panic at the beginning of June, but managed to avoid Dr. Google after this, get more involved with work, was eating a bit better and sleeping at a better time. 

 

I then got my wisdom tooth pulled at the beginning of July, which went okay except for almost fainting about an hour after which caused some anxiety. However I'm not sure I rested appropriately afterward, as it was after this that alot of the cognitive worries started. 

 

My daughter birthday party was on July 16th, and that weekend I just felt super tired and overwhelmed mentally. I also took Omega 3 that week, and felt like my brain was being overloaded, so I stopped with them. One day I worried I was thinking too fast. The next I was worried why I say what I say. I was able to kind of put these thoughts on the backburner, but unfortunately at the beginning of August the really bad intrusive thinking started (you can see my post above.) Namely I started worry about thoughts of harm, whether I loved my family, the stupidest of all was probably the what if I was crazy and dreaming or imagining everything. I'm pretty sure I had a virus at this time which didn't help. 

 

This caused me to feel really disconnected and numb for a week or so and depressed. I once again went to the hospital to have my head checked. I was sent off and told it was anxiety, sleep, and I was probably a little depressed. I had started consulting doctor google during this time again as well. 

 

I then saw a doctor at my school about my stomach issues (lack of eating, nausea, have lost 60 pounds) and he wasn't much help. He prescribed an anti-nauseant which was formerly used as an anti-psychotic so I never took it. 

 

I did however improve my eating, finished my last week of work strong (I'm back in school now) and felt good for the next 2-3 weeks. 

 

My therapist was gone during this time, so at the beginning of August I started to see a personal counsellor. He rightfully believes most of my issues are from health anxiety, and even the mental fears stem from that (I. E. I remember my grandfather having Alzheimer's and living with us when I was 4-5yo.) 

 

He suggested more meditation and helped me begin separating the emotions from the thoughts, as he helped me to notice that it's not the thoughts that are necessarily distressing, but the emotions I've attached to them. 

 

This helped for the rest of August. I don't really bother with the whole "is this real" thought anymore as I've been able to isolate the emotion from the thought. But was still googling a bit and worry about psychosis. 

 

We took our daughter out of preschool for the last week of August, and though it was enjoyable to get some family time, I think I stretched myself too thin with activity. I was sleeping less, eating less, very active, and very tired. 

 

My "meditation" was also getting a bit deeper into the whole exploring thoughts and feelings. I was using the Headspace app. Unfortunately I think the whole "living in the moment" message exasperated the over visualizing worry again as I realized how much of a "thinker" I am, and I was trying *too* hard to notice every little thing around me. 

 

Then the whole anxiety of over-visualizing started again. And this of course again turned into a worry of psychosis. I was feeling uncomfortable with the meditation and have turn back to a more prayer based breathing. I also play lumosity games to keep my brain fresh (though I realize this is probably just another compulsion of reassurance.) 

 

My daughter also started Kindergarten this week, and me and my wife started a new semester in school, though I missed all my classes this week. So I'm sure I'm subconsciously stressed about that. 

 

I mean, I can see the clear pattern of events that make me feel worse, and I also realize that things have been stressful. But in the midst of my overthinking and rumination I just worry that this is a worsening of cognitive issues I began noticing in June, and now the health fear and going crazy fear are intertwined. 

 

So this week... A return of intrusive thought of going crazy, overthinking everything (I was worried my wife couldn't hear crickets the other day when I could,) going on google every day, health anxiety, tired, not sleeping well every night, eating very little, daughter started kindergarten, and I've started a new semester at school. 

 

Do you think it's likely a mish mash of all these factors as to why I've been feeling so off this week? How can I take a step back and recuperate? 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

jkun41, I've moved your new post into your introduction topic which is the place that you should put all your questions.  We need to keep all of the information pertaining to your particular situation in one place so that the moderators can find all of your information in one thread.  If you have ongoing questions, please do not start a new topic, please ask your questions here.  You can post separately in the benzo forum for questions relating specifically to that topic but please post all of your questions relating to antidepressants in your original thread.

Edited by 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

Link to comment

My apologies. It looks like my novel was a bit too long for a reply today, lol. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi jkun41, no need to apologize, I was trying to tidy up a bit and then planned to come back to your thread, but you beat me to it!!!  From what I have been reading you are doing all the right things.  Unfortunately your central nervous system was destabilized from alternating doses, getting sick, missing doses, etc. and it is going to take a while for it to come back to centre.  It often takes a lot longer than we wish but we have to try and find the patience to just let our central nervous system do what it has to do.  We can't rush or change it, so it is best to accept it and find peace with that acceptance.  

 

One of the first things to show up for me in withdrawal was anxiety and I know how difficult it can be to manage.  You are  seeing a therapist, doing meditation among other things, so you are taking all the right steps to help yourself through the rough spots.  I tend to be an over-thinker as well until I decided that I'd had enough, it was driving me crazy, and I could no longer tolerate the incessant noise and needed to pursue some type of mindfulness therapy so that I could get out of my head.  Personally, I don't think it is a healthy way of living and at the root of a lot of problems.  I have been practising mindfulness on and off on my own and will be starting a mindfulness course at the end of September.    

 

What I have found helpful was to learn to accept my thoughts, whatever they may be, and just let them go without judging them as good or bad.  It takes a lot of practise and patience with yourself to change the way you think.  

 

As well, If we are naturally a person that tends to worry or suffer from anxiety these emotions are going to be amplified in withdrawal.  I find that when I start to feel that my thoughts are starting to ruminate, I remind myself that this is a withdrawal symptom and I will either do something to distract myself or self-soothe until I am back in a sense of peace.  It doesn't always work, but am finding that the more I practise, the stronger I get and these days, anxiety rarely rattles me.  

 

You have to try not to be so hard on yourself, and pat yourself on the back for the things you are able to accomplish during this challenging time.  Things will get better, you will move forward but you have to treat yourself with kindness and patience and you'll move forward all the faster.  

Have you had a chance to look at the link on neuro-emotions?  It helps explain what happens to our emotions when our central nervous system has destabilized.    

 

Neuro Emotions

 

Please feel free to look around the site, there is a lot of information here that encompasses just about everything you are dealing with, the feelings of going crazy (you are not), ruminating thoughts, and the list goes on.  You can find all of the information in the symptoms and self care forum which I'll link below and encourage you to read as much as you can so you know what to expect and what steps you can take to make yourself more comfortable.  Please stop Dr. Googling, it's not healthy, most of the information is too general and the only place you should be getting a medical diagnosis is in a specialist office, not using Dr. Google.  Self care is very important as a general rule, in withdrawal it is a must.

 

Symptoms & Self Care
Symptoms:  Important topics about symptoms

 

Anyway, I am going to have to head to bed now.  I do hope that you start to feel better sooner rather than later and have a chance to enjoy the day with your wife and daughter tomorrow.

Best,

BaroqueP 

 

 

Edited by 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

Link to comment

Thanks again for the response. I've looked over the neuro emotions but will take another look. I have an appointment with the regular doctor at my school so I am going to mention a few things to him that are concerning me (have lost another 5 pounds, the head feelings, going to see if I can maybe push for an MRI.) But in the meantime I'll be doing my best to stay away from google. I unfortunately did do a search today but it wasn't for anything too full of doom, just about Ensure causing an upset stomach. 

 

I've been feeling a little gross this morning. Had some weird dreams in early morning, and have had that empty head feeling off and on, but am doing my best not to ruminate on the what if thoughts. My body feels more calm, so I guess that's a step in the right direction. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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

Link to comment

Thanks CC. My therapist is also an Md, and all in all has been pretty understanding of the concept of withdrawal. I have returned to school as a mature student though, so I'm also seeing a doctor at the school about my stomach issues and eye, so if I decide to mention it to him I'll have a look at the website. My first appointment with him I did explain everything that is going on, and he mentioned that CBT is often just as effective as medication, so I think he's somewhat open to it. 

 

I don't want to post in the symptoms forum as last time they were moved here. Feeling anxious this morning. I've read over the symptom topics of sleep disorders and brain fog, but couldn't find anything that quite matched. 

 

Is it common, or at least possible, that wd causes a sort of brain fog that makes it hard to think ahead? 

 

I know some of it is due to an anxious mind, but usually I'm always thinking 10 steps ahead. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and I felt like I couldn't even think a step ahead beyond what I was buying, and I still forgot a couple things. I don't know if that makes sense, but it was like I was too foggy to think about what I was going to do when I got home, or later that night. 

 

This turned into an intrusive thought/worry of what if I forget everything while I was in the grocery store. Who I am, what I'm getting, where I'm going etc. 

 

I unfortunately woke up anxious as well (which I know is common.) Again, I think it's just being anxious and on high alert but I woke up, half asleep, and as I was dozing back off realized my mind was going blank. I know most of you probably don't pay attention to yourselves as you're falling asleep, but would you say it's normal for your thoughts to go kind of blank when you fall asleep? 

 

The other thing that got me worried today is it has felt like my vision has "stuttered" a few times. I'm trying to tell myself that it was just the sun through the trees, but I've been worrying about it for the past 20mins or so now, in combination with my other "head" worries. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

Link to comment

Hi all. Today hasn't been a very good day, but I guess it hasn't been a horrible one either. 

 

The worry that I could forget, or that I am forgetting has been following me around. I'm doing my best to ignore it and not engage. 

 

It doesn't help that I've been feeling really foggy today as well, but considering all of the other members who have experienced this, I'm trying to accept that it's withdrawal and not something more serious. 

 

I think from the high emotions and panic last week I'm feeling a little disconnected. Almost like I'm too tired to feel to much emotion. Which sucks when I'm trying to spend time with my daughter. 

 

I did a Light workout today (10 minutes on the elliptical) and I think that drained me a bit. I also haven't eaten much. 

 

I seen my doctor today (not the one who provides therapy... The one who has been looking at my stomach issues.) He seemed understanding of the whole withdrawal issue, and agreed that CBT is probably my best course of action. He also reassured me that what I'm experiencing is normal with high anxiety and panic (I. E. The shaking legs, cog fog, etc.) 

 

He also agreed to schedule me an MRI, which is nice. Though I've been a little anxious cause I checked and seen that it can take a couple months to get in for one. 

 

Lastly has anyone noticed the following symptoms (im thinking its cog fog, but am worrying it could be something else.) 

 

Certain words seem strange to me. Both read and and when saying them. For example, I read the word "always" and it seemed strange. Almost like it was too short or missing an 'e'. 

 

Then I mentioned one of my wife's friends by name, and for someone reason felt as if I got the name wrong, and wondered if it was right. It was. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
8 hours ago, jkun41 said:

Lastly has anyone noticed the following symptoms (im thinking its cog fog, but am worrying it could be something else.) 

 

Certain words seem strange to me. Both read and and when saying them. For example, I read the word "always" and it seemed strange. Almost like it was too short or missing an 'e'. 

 

Then I mentioned one of my wife's friends by name, and for someone reason felt as if I got the name wrong, and wondered if it was right. It was. 

 

I wouldn't label it as cog fog, but I would say it is definitely a withdrawal symptom.  Previously I was able to skim over written information to get the idea of what I was reading.  Currently I can't do this and have to make a real effort to focus and read the written words.  I also find that lately I have difficulty playing word games and haven't been able to do jigsaw puzzles.  Also I find that if I'm doing something moderately complex I have to talk to myself as I do it.  I realise these aren't the same thing as what you are experiencing but thought that telling you about what I'm experiencing might help you to understand that it's withdrawal so you don't worry.

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

Link to comment

Yes, thanks for your input. That does make me feel a bit better. I had a hard time sleeping last night. Kept waking up feeling confused and as if I had forgotten something (which I realize is normal when falling asleep and waking up.) I was finally able to sleep around 2am. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

Link to comment

Hey checking in with you! How are you feeling? <3

2001- Klonopin 0.125 mg.  2011- increase to 1 mg.  2018- increase to 1.5 mg

2010- Trials of SSRI's, several.

2011- Saphris 5 mg. CT. 6/2017- retry Saphris 5 mg sublingual, begin taper August 2020 10% taper with scale, and final taper liquid sublingual, August 2019- taper complete!

2011- Geodon 20 mg. Begin taper Sept 2019. 10% liquid taper. 2020: December-5 mg. 2021: Jan-4.5mg. (held Feb.for vacation). March-4mg. Apr-3.6mg. May-3.2mg. June-2.8mg. (Held July for vacation). Aug-2.4mg. Sept.- 2.2mg. Oct. 2mg

2011- Gabapentin 300 mg to present- 2020.

2014- Vyvanse 20 mg, 2020- Vyvanse 5 mg.

2016- Lithium 300 mg, June 2016 - FT.

2017- Cogentin 0.5 mg. June-August 2019- off Cogentin.

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Link to comment
On 14/09/2017 at 11:56 AM, DMV64 said:

Hey checking in with you! How are you feeling? <3

 

Thanks for keeping an eye. Yesterday sucked, but I am feeling better today.

 

I hope you're feeling better.

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

Link to comment

 Yesterday was bad. Today is better but it's starting to get a little teetering on the edge of panic 

2001- Klonopin 0.125 mg.  2011- increase to 1 mg.  2018- increase to 1.5 mg

2010- Trials of SSRI's, several.

2011- Saphris 5 mg. CT. 6/2017- retry Saphris 5 mg sublingual, begin taper August 2020 10% taper with scale, and final taper liquid sublingual, August 2019- taper complete!

2011- Geodon 20 mg. Begin taper Sept 2019. 10% liquid taper. 2020: December-5 mg. 2021: Jan-4.5mg. (held Feb.for vacation). March-4mg. Apr-3.6mg. May-3.2mg. June-2.8mg. (Held July for vacation). Aug-2.4mg. Sept.- 2.2mg. Oct. 2mg

2011- Gabapentin 300 mg to present- 2020.

2014- Vyvanse 20 mg, 2020- Vyvanse 5 mg.

2016- Lithium 300 mg, June 2016 - FT.

2017- Cogentin 0.5 mg. June-August 2019- off Cogentin.

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone. I've been trying to steer clear from the internet as it's a huge trigger for my health anxiety, so I haven't posted in a little bit. 

 

The last week has been rough, but also an improvement over the week prior, which was a small improvement over the first couple weeks of September. 

 

I had some nasty anxiety and panic in the middle of the month. After going a week without a benzo I took point-25 clonazepam and it made me feel very strange, so I didn't touch it again. Unfortunately I then had a few days with pretty severe panic attacks, so I took Ativan three days in a row. 

 

The panic has made me super anxious about dying or forgetting, but I haven't taken anything in 8 days (except for Tylenol and advil.) I'm hoping to keep pushing forward without benzos. 

 

Unfortunately we all caught some sort of flu. My daughter came home sick from school on Wednesday crying about belly pain, which caused alot of anxiety. My wife got the same thing Thursday, and I was hit with it last night. Stomach pain, back pain, pain when breathing deep, neck pain, etc. I'm trying to not let anxiety and panic take over, but the headache and brain fog are hard to ignore, though I guess that's pretty normal with a virus. 

 

Its crazy the toll stress and anxiety can take on the body. Last summer I was sick once. I've been sick three times now in the last two months. 

 

I had alot of panic yesterday due to accidently reading a story about someone who had a brain tumor and deteriorated quickly. Along with the flu setting in, it was a rough night. 

 

I've been doing ACT worksheets to help me get through some nasty thoughts. My OCD is still running pretty wild, and causes alot of DP and DR, which sucks when Im trying to have some family time. I'm trying to accept that it's worse today due to being sick. 

 

I've also been pretty sad about my brother moving away. He got a job a couple hours away, and though we will probably see each other the same, my emotions are super sensitive right now. 

 

Onto the "good" news, 

 

I've been trying to be more active. We bike our daughter to school now, so I'm usually biking 4-6km a day during the week, as well as walking alot. I've been trying to eat through my nervous stomach and ensure I have three meals a day. 

 

I haven't been to my classes very much, but have kept in touch with my academic counsellor, so I'm hoping to catch up and get back into things. 

 

I seen a psychiatrist on Monday. He reassured me that I don't display any any signs of psychosis, and even laughed because he said I've done a good job diagnosing myself and I do indeed have OCD. We went over some things from when I was kid and even prior to this experience, but he agreed with me that the Zoloft seems to have had some effect in exacerbating the symptoms. He said he likes my current approach in seeing both a therapist and personal counsellor, and thinks that therapy is the best approach right now. He did mention Cipralex and anafranil as possible medications down the road, but I would obviously like to avoid this. All in all it was a good appointment and gave me a little reassurance. 

 

My GP also scheduled me an MRI to offer some peace of mind about my brain worries. Unfortunately it will probably be a couple months from now. Which sucks, cause the whole brain going blank and forgetting everything is a huge source of my anxiety atm. 

 

I did my first exposure therapy on Wednesday and it went okay. I think it did help a little bit, and am hoping the more I do it the more I'll improve. I don't have anything scheduled next week, but I should be having an ERP session the next four weeks after that (my therapist and counsellor will be working in tandem.) 

 

I've also decided to start trying some inositol. Will begin that after the flu has passed. 

 

A few questions for anyone who has time:

 

Whether it be DP, DR, or plain old depression, have you ever experienced that feeling of being disconnected from your loved ones? I'm thinking it's just cause I've been "in my head" so much, but this often triggers anxiety for me especially when it involves my daughter. Like sometimes it feels like I've been so caught up in myself that they're unfamiliar. 

 

Also, is it normal to still be experiencing the blank feeling from time to time with my head? I know hormones going wild play a huge part, but unfortunately when my head feels spacey I start mentally checking for confusion / forgetting which makes my OCD worse. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, jkun41 said:

Hi everyone. I've been trying to steer clear from the internet as it's a huge trigger for my health anxiety, so I haven't posted in a little bit. 

 

The last week has been rough, but also an improvement over the week prior, which was a small improvement over the first couple weeks of September. 

 

I had some nasty anxiety and panic in the middle of the month. After going a week without a benzo I took point-25 clonazepam and it made me feel very strange, so I didn't touch it again. Unfortunately I then had a few days with pretty severe panic attacks, so I took Ativan three days in a row. 

 

The panic has made me super anxious about dying or forgetting, but I haven't taken anything in 8 days (except for Tylenol and advil.) I'm hoping to keep pushing forward without benzos. 

 

Unfortunately we all caught some sort of flu. My daughter came home sick from school on Wednesday crying about belly pain, which caused alot of anxiety. My wife got the same thing Thursday, and I was hit with it last night. Stomach pain, back pain, pain when breathing deep, neck pain, etc. I'm trying to not let anxiety and panic take over, but the headache and brain fog are hard to ignore, though I guess that's pretty normal with a virus. 

 

Its crazy the toll stress and anxiety can take on the body. Last summer I was sick once. I've been sick three times now in the last two months. 

 

I had alot of panic yesterday due to accidently reading a story about someone who had a brain tumor and deteriorated quickly. Along with the flu setting in, it was a rough night. 

 

I've been doing ACT worksheets to help me get through some nasty thoughts. My OCD is still running pretty wild, and causes alot of DP and DR, which sucks when Im trying to have some family time. I'm trying to accept that it's worse today due to being sick. 

 

I've also been pretty sad about my brother moving away. He got a job a couple hours away, and though we will probably see each other the same, my emotions are super sensitive right now. 

 

Onto the "good" news, 

 

I've been trying to be more active. We bike our daughter to school now, so I'm usually biking 4-6km a day during the week, as well as walking alot. I've been trying to eat through my nervous stomach and ensure I have three meals a day. 

 

I haven't been to my classes very much, but have kept in touch with my academic counsellor, so I'm hoping to catch up and get back into things. 

 

I seen a psychiatrist on Monday. He reassured me that I don't display any any signs of psychosis, and even laughed because he said I've done a good job diagnosing myself and I do indeed have OCD. We went over some things from when I was kid and even prior to this experience, but he agreed with me that the Zoloft seems to have had some effect in exacerbating the symptoms. He said he likes my current approach in seeing both a therapist and personal counsellor, and thinks that therapy is the best approach right now. He did mention Cipralex and anafranil as possible medications down the road, but I would obviously like to avoid this. All in all it was a good appointment and gave me a little reassurance. 

 

My GP also scheduled me an MRI to offer some peace of mind about my brain worries. Unfortunately it will probably be a couple months from now. Which sucks, cause the whole brain going blank and forgetting everything is a huge source of my anxiety atm. 

 

I did my first exposure therapy on Wednesday and it went okay. I think it did help a little bit, and am hoping the more I do it the more I'll improve. I don't have anything scheduled next week, but I should be having an ERP session the next four weeks after that (my therapist and counsellor will be working in tandem.) 

 

I've also decided to start trying some inositol. Will begin that after the flu has passed. 

 

A few questions for anyone who has time:

 

Whether it be DP, DR, or plain old depression, have you ever experienced that feeling of being disconnected from your loved ones? I'm thinking it's just cause I've been "in my head" so much, but this often triggers anxiety for me especially when it involves my daughter. Like sometimes it feels like I've been so caught up in myself that they're unfamiliar. 

 

Also, is it normal to still be experiencing the blank feeling from time to time with my head? I know hormones going wild play a huge part, but unfortunately when my head feels spacey I start mentally checking for confusion / forgetting which makes my OCD worse. 

Hey! Just catching up here. So great to get out on the bike! I wanted to say also I really appreciate your update and ability to write so clearly. 

Also- I experience something similar with my daughter although it seems to sometimes go beyond disconnect to a kind of fear. 

I seem to be having it less lately which is welcome. 

-D

2001- Klonopin 0.125 mg.  2011- increase to 1 mg.  2018- increase to 1.5 mg

2010- Trials of SSRI's, several.

2011- Saphris 5 mg. CT. 6/2017- retry Saphris 5 mg sublingual, begin taper August 2020 10% taper with scale, and final taper liquid sublingual, August 2019- taper complete!

2011- Geodon 20 mg. Begin taper Sept 2019. 10% liquid taper. 2020: December-5 mg. 2021: Jan-4.5mg. (held Feb.for vacation). March-4mg. Apr-3.6mg. May-3.2mg. June-2.8mg. (Held July for vacation). Aug-2.4mg. Sept.- 2.2mg. Oct. 2mg

2011- Gabapentin 300 mg to present- 2020.

2014- Vyvanse 20 mg, 2020- Vyvanse 5 mg.

2016- Lithium 300 mg, June 2016 - FT.

2017- Cogentin 0.5 mg. June-August 2019- off Cogentin.

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Omeprazole 20 mg and holding, Omega 3's/fish oil, Magnesium

Link to comment

Made a poor decision yesterday and today in taking dayquil and nyquil. 

 

I actually had a decent sleep after taking one nyquil tablet. But I woke up feeling off. Kind of fuzzy and cold. 

 

I took one dayquil thinking it was the remainder of the flu that Ive been battling. 

 

I then biked our daughter to school, and I think this took too much energy out of me. Got home feeling dizzy, weak, etc. 

 

I've also been battling an OCD thought / worry of "if I can't control my thoughts, what if I can't control my actions"? Obviously I can control my actions, and this is what separates the two. But the thought still causes distress. 

 

Anyways, since getting home 3.5 hours ago I've been battling this feeling of dread and anxiety. Like a sickness in the pit of the stomach. I worried if this "feeling" was a sign something bad was going to happen, but am trying to ignore that. And I keep worrying about dying. 

 

I feel insanely tired, probably from getting over this virus and fighting off a panic attack all before lunch. 

 

Last time I had this same "feeling" of dread was when I first started my taper. I'm trying to remember if I took cold/flu medicine then too. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

Link to comment

Has been a rough couple of days. The horrible day of panic and anxiety has turned into a nasty bout of depression. I'm not sure I've felt this depressed before. Maybe for a few days at the beginning of August. 

 

Im getting hit on both sides, with OCD obesessional thoughts about existential questions (my purpose/meaning, why am I "good," what if I become "bad," what if I lose hope and harm myself, ) along with health anxiety on one side, and depression that has me feeling like crap on the other. 

 

Its not easy to work through the existential thoughts when I'm feeling so crappy emotionally. 

 

Im thinking of trying another medication. The OCD thoughts are just becoming too much to handle and causing some serious depression now. I need to live life, I need to be a good Dad and finish school. 

 

I see my counsellor tomorrow... Hopefully I can work through some of the this. 

Jan. 21, 2017: 50 mg Zoloft for moderate-severe social anxiety

end of Feb. 2017: 100 mg one time, contracted flu, missed 2 doses (50 mg); subsequent panic attacks

Mar. 22: 50 mg every other day

Mar. 31: 25 mg every other day

April 16: 0 mg

April - September: 2-3 Ativan a month. 

October - 1 Ativan

November - 1 Ativan

Completely off Ativan as of December 2017.

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