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Harmonysmile: Iatrogenic recovery


Harmonysmile

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Gentle hugs to all embarking on this journey. We are remarkably resilient beings. My daughter and I are both currently negotiating our personal iatrogenic recovery journeys. Her`s from years of topical and oral steroid use for eczema and mine from 20 years on various antidepressants. I currently have 22 months AD free and my daughter hit her 27 months steroid free this month. Withdrawal from topical steroids produces many of the same psychological and physiological symptoms as AD withdrawal but Topical Steroid Withdrawal is far more brutal if you can even imagine. If you've never heard of TSW, (topical steroid withdrawal), Google it. These people are absolutely among the bravest people on planet earth. I have been my daughter's caregiver for the last 4 years while simultaneously going through my own withdrawal process. God brought a miracle into our lives last February and I married him last September. Frank is our strength dispenser.  He is our encourager. He is 100% dependable, positive, compassionate, durable, and determined to see us to victory. We will all reach homeostasis in time. I am privileged to be among so many who walk with courage moment by moment. My heart goes out to all of you. Keep going. Healing happens!!! 

*October, 1995 - Prescribed Zoloft 50mg 

*December, 2001- Prescribed Paxil 20mg, Ativan 2mg

*August, 2006 - Prescribed Celexa 20mg

*February, 2010 - Prescribed Cymbalta 60mg.

*January, 2014 - Began antidepressant tapering schedule

*January 1, 2016 - completion of 2 

year gradual taper from Cymbalta. 

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Harmonysmile: Iatrogenic recovery
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Hello Harmonysmile and welcome to SA,

 

Well done to both you and your daughter on being off your respective drugs.

 

Would you be able to provide some details about how got off your antidepressants?  Also what withdrawal issues did you experience whilst getting off and also since being off the drug?

 

It will be helpful to us to see your drug history.  These are the instructions of the preferred format:

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements?  Anything prior to 2 years before you becoming drug free can be just drug and start/stop years.  

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 48 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

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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Does it heal for a cold turkey?

08/13 - 01/14
Olanzapine, petril MD (Clonazepam ), Dicorate ER (divalproex). Soza 10 (Zolpidem)

02/14 - 05/14
Flunil ​20mg , Divaa OD 250 mg(divalproex), Amisulpride 50mg (1-0-2), zolfresh 5 mg , Quetiapine
05/14 - 08/14 Venlafaxine 75 xr ( 1-0-1), zapiz 0.25
10/14 Zaptra 12.5mg , Oxetol xr 150mg (0-0-1)
11/14 - 08/15
Paris CR 25 (paroxetine) , Oxetol xr 600 mg (0-0-1), nitrest 5mg , Quetiapine for a month.
09/15-11 Venlafaxine XR 75 ( 1-0-1), Mirtazipine 15, Respiredal 0.5, Lamitor 25, zillion 10.
12/15-02/16 Off Meds (C.T)

03/16-Mid April Sertraline, Aripropazole, Quetiapine, Etizolam.

After that : CT and on OTC supplements (Roadback), now on Ayurveda
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12 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Hello Harmonysmile and welcome to SA,

 

Well done to both you and your daughter on being off your respective drugs.

 

Would you be able to provide some details about how got off your antidepressants?  Also what withdrawal issues did you experience whilst getting off and also since being off the drug?

 

It will be helpful to us to see your drug history.  These are the instructions of the preferred format:

 

A request: Would you summarize your history in a signature - ALL drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements?  Anything prior to 2 years before you becoming drug free can be just drug and start/stop years.  

  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • Any drugs prior to 48 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.
  • Link to Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

Thank you for your response. I am brand new to this site and need a bit of assistance in navigation. I am an older adult and not real savvy with websites. I am not sure where to compile a list of AD history. Also I am a bit confused about listing withdrawal symptoms. . . Above you asked which symptoms I experienced during withdrawal but then two paragraphs down you ask that I leave them out? Also what is creating a "signature". Thank you for your assistance. 

*October, 1995 - Prescribed Zoloft 50mg 

*December, 2001- Prescribed Paxil 20mg, Ativan 2mg

*August, 2006 - Prescribed Celexa 20mg

*February, 2010 - Prescribed Cymbalta 60mg.

*January, 2014 - Began antidepressant tapering schedule

*January 1, 2016 - completion of 2 

year gradual taper from Cymbalta. 

 

 

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Hi Harmonysmile,

 

Sounds like you and your daughter have been through tough times. I'm delighted to read you feel like the two of you are well on your way to healing. Congratulations on your marriage to such a lovely person!

 

Regarding ChessieCat's post and your questions about it: when we create a signature, it's a little potted version of our drug taking history that appears under every post we make on this site. It just shares a little information so that people can see our experience at a glance. You'll see ChessieCat's and my signature under our posts above :) (mines a bit long, so don't copy that necessarily ;) - I must do some editing!)

 

ChessieCat also asked about your experience withdrawing from your antidepressants so we can assist and support you if necessary, and/or for you to share your successful strategies with others who are still struggling. If we include these symptoms in our little signatures, they get way too long and cumbersome.

 

Take your time around the website, and you'll get the hang of it in no time. This thread here, now called "Harmonysmile" is like your personal journal here at Surviving Antidepressants. You can ask questions in your journal and people will come and write to you here to discuss your questions and support you.  You can also 'visit' other people's journals to learn about their experiences and to offer support and encouragement.

 

Welcome to SA! xxxmollyn

 

Edited by MollyN
typo

 

Drug history

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

Withdrawal history:

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

 

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

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Gosh, thanx so much for the speedy reply! With help from others like you I just might get the hang of this :-) I will do my best to remember my AD history and post it as the "signature". Here goes. ;-)

*October, 1995 - Prescribed Zoloft 50mg 

*December, 2001- Prescribed Paxil 20mg, Ativan 2mg

*August, 2006 - Prescribed Celexa 20mg

*February, 2010 - Prescribed Cymbalta 60mg.

*January, 2014 - Began antidepressant tapering schedule

*January 1, 2016 - completion of 2 

year gradual taper from Cymbalta. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MollyN said:

Hi Harmonysmile,

 

Sounds like you and your daughter have been through tough times. I'm delighted to read you feel like the two of you are well on your way to healing. Congratulations on your marriage to such a lovely person!

 

Regarding ChessieCat's post and your questions about it: when we create a signature, it's a little potted version of our drug taking history that appears under every post we make on this site. It just shares a little information so that people can see our experience at a glance. You'll see ChessieCat's and my signature under our posts above :) (mines a bit long, so don't copy that necessarily ;) - I must do some editing!)

 

ChessieCat also asked about your experience withdrawing from your antidepressants so we can assist and support you if necessary, and/or for you to share your successful strategies with others who are still struggling. If we include these symptoms in our little signatures, they get way too long and cumbersome.

 

Take your time around the website, and you'll get the hang of it in no time. This thread here, now called "Harmonysmile" is like your personal journal here at Surviving Antidepressants. You can ask questions in your journal and people will come and write to you here to discuss your questions and support you.  You can also 'visit' other people's journals to learn about their experiences and to offer support and encouragement.

 

Welcome to SA! xxxmollyn

 

Hi there mollyn :-) I went ahead and entered my AD use history and withdrawal schedule as a "signature". Should that now show up whenever I post a comment or a reply? Please bear with me whilst I learn the rudiments of this site. Any direction you offer is much appreciated. :-)

*October, 1995 - Prescribed Zoloft 50mg 

*December, 2001- Prescribed Paxil 20mg, Ativan 2mg

*August, 2006 - Prescribed Celexa 20mg

*February, 2010 - Prescribed Cymbalta 60mg.

*January, 2014 - Began antidepressant tapering schedule

*January 1, 2016 - completion of 2 

year gradual taper from Cymbalta. 

 

 

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Perfect!! That's great Harmonysmile! So did you continue on each of the drugs until replaced by the new one, ie Zoloft until Dec 2001 and straight to Paxil and Ativan etc?

 

I'd love to know did you went about your taper and how you're feeling these days xxxmollyn

 

Drug history

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

Withdrawal history:

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

 

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

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As best as I can recall my AD use was continual from first being prescribed Zoloft until I was prescribed Paxil. After that I was not consistent about taking them as prescribed, mainly due to complete ignorance to the effects that would result in.  At that time I did not attribute the strange and uncomfortable sensations I began to experience during the time I was prescribed Paxil to the drug itself or to the inconsistent way I was using it. I knew absolutely nothing about withdrawal symptoms or really anything at all about these drugs. I learned the very hard way.

 

I was initially prescribed Zoloft by a therapist/psychiatrist who I saw after surviving a category 3 hurricane on my honeymoon in the Caribbean in September of 1995. He diagnosed me with PTSD since I was showing some behaviors that fell into that diagnosis.

 

While the hurricane experience was certainly very scary, hindsight shows me my behavior after the hurricane was attributed to anger toward my EX husband for his flippant attitude about the whole experience. I could not rely on my (ex) husband as protector. But soon after returning from our honeymoon I was put on headmeds because I was reacting to having just survived a life threatening experience no thanks to someone who chose to just sit and read a novel throughout the hurricane instead of taking protective measures.

 

So that began the next 20 years of feeling unwell and not having a clue as to why. I lost so much during these years completely oblivious to the overarching role these poisons were playing in all of it. I was diagnosed with "panic disorder" when I began to experience panic attacks but no one told me panic attacks are actually caused by withdrawal of AD. So that prompted yet another prescription.

 

And so the story continued until I purchased my first computer and was introduced to the web. 

 

I began reading stories about other people on these psychotropic medications and started making connections to my own situation. 

 

In 2014 I decided to embark on a journey back to finding me - the pharmaceutical free me. 

 

Jan. 1, 2014 I began tapering the Cymbalta.

 

Cymbalta is a capsule containing about 300 tiny beads inside. I started by opening the capsule and removing one bead. The second night I would remove two. Third night three and so forth. 

 

There were several times during my taper I would have to remain at a certain count because my nervous system wouldn't be ready to handle further reduction. 

 

I would remain at that level for a week or so then resume with the one additional bead removed every night. 

 

It took me exactly two years to taper off. 

 

January 1, 2016 was my last dose and it was only one tiny bead, about the size of a grain of salt. 

So began my experience completely tapered off of psychotropic medications. 

Sorry for the long post. This only scratches the surface on the experience as a whole, not unlike everyone else's. 

I will say the first year post taper (2016)  was very, very difficult. 2017 has been gradually improved in some symptoms and new symptoms introduced. 

 

Recovery is not linear, but in time I expect to overcome most of what these toxins have stolen from me. 

 

Hugs to you from a fellow sojourner. 

 

 

 

*October, 1995 - Prescribed Zoloft 50mg 

*December, 2001- Prescribed Paxil 20mg, Ativan 2mg

*August, 2006 - Prescribed Celexa 20mg

*February, 2010 - Prescribed Cymbalta 60mg.

*January, 2014 - Began antidepressant tapering schedule

*January 1, 2016 - completion of 2 

year gradual taper from Cymbalta. 

 

 

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It's very generous of you to post this for us all, reading about your experience over 20 plus years in just a paragraph or two is so impactful. You've done an absolutely remarkable job untangling yourself from these drugs. Like so many of us you were drugged for a pretty normal response to a really stressful situation, rather than receiving good care and building your resilience. I'm so sorry you were led down such a long, hard road.

 

I guess for me as well, it was connecting with the people here and realising that my experience wasn't unique that real healing and knowledge about myself and my predilection to rely on the quick fix were uncovered (I'm still working on that one ;) ). 

 

Thank you so much for encouraging us all with your story!

 

Drug history

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

Withdrawal history:

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

 

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

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