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AshleeM

AshleeM: Celexa discontinuation syndrome and reinstating

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AshleeM

Hi, this is my first post on here. First, I want to say thank you to everyone who is bold enough to post on here, look beyond western Medicince, and having the courage to fight this absolute nightmare of a battle. This forum has helped me tremendously.  Now I want to shed some hope. 

 

Ive been on Celexa for 10 years at 20mg. It helped me through nursing school as I became depressed seeing suffering and dying people for the first time. What should have been a short stent with and AD and therapy turned into an10 year ordeal with at least one unsuccessful attempt to wean off. 

 

Being the nurse that I am,  I attempted to take my tapering into my own hands and went down 5 mg a month. I was absolutely great during the whole tapering and had one really good week completely off of the Celexa then it all came crashing down week two after my taper. I experienced extreme panic attacks and doom, chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, feeling numb, derealization, crying spells, severe agitation, mood swings that you can’t just snap out of no matter how hard I try, fatigue, a really bad itchy rash, memory issues, sleep paralysis, and just feeling so uneasy in my skin like nothing could be comfortable or peaceful. It’s like the nervous system thinks you’re about to get on a plane that will crash only you’re safe and in your own home. I felt like I had had 20 cups of coffee at times.  

 

Here is my hope. After reading some stories on here and hearing about how some people are on this journey for years at a time, I became very discouraged. How could I live like this for even a minute longer? Which is how I feel during a wave.  It often seems it will last forever but the waves do pass. I have experienced the waves and windows and try to soak up every minute of every window. 

 

I decided last night to reinstate at 5mg to help with the discontinuation bc at the time the wave I was in was just unbearable. I am glad I did it. I already notice a difference. I felt pretty good today and have hope that a slower taper from 5mg over a longer time will help. It was nice to be able to work today and not have panic and/dizziness and I didn’t want to snap at anyone. Thank goodness.

 

I don’t want to be on Celexa. I wish it was something I could just move on from but I now know after my second attempt to taper, that this will be a longer process than I though and that in time I will get my life back. 

 

Discontinuation for me has been hard. I realized I am not Superman and reinstated. It can look like a set back (which I felt at first) but I truly believe it was the right choice for me with noticing a difference and feeling better overnight. This is my story and everyone is different. I know it all depends on how long you’ve been off. I reinstated 6 weeks after my last dose. I believe the sooner the better. I hope this helps someone on here. Praying for all of you. There truly is no pain or torture than we all have been so unfortunate to know. It will get better. 

Edited by Shep
added username to the title

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Gridley

Hello, AshleeM and welcome to SurvivingAntidepressants.

 

I have moved your post to our Introductions and Updates section, where more people will see it.  This is your page for questions and updates.

 

I'm glad your reinstatement worked well for you.  It was definitely to your advantage to do it soon after cessation.  It is definitely not a setback but rather progress.  Now you can do a slow taper.  

 

We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.

 

 

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

 

At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
  
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

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AshleeM

Hello, 

 

The last 2 days have been horrendous! My WD symptoms landed me in the ER (and I’m an ER nurse by the way). I was having severe chest pain, palpitations, and extreme weakness and dizziness. It was so bad and this was after a few weeks of good days to where I’m starting to think I’ve got this behind me. 

 

Ive been in withdrawal from 20mg of Celexa since 11/17 and every menstal period I notice in increase in my WD symptoms. My heart checked out fine yesterday but the chest pain was and still is so bad! 

 

Im interested in the AD and hormone/thyroid relationship. I truly believe hat WD has sent my body into metabolic crisis.  I’m currently awaiting my saliva cortisol test results but my reverse T3 is elevated so it looks like I have autoimmune thyroiditis! 

 

I had to leave work today! It’s just so bad! I feel so awful! I reinstated to 5mg a couple of months ago Becaue WD was too much to bear! So all of this is on 5mg of Celexa!

 

ashlee

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ChessieCat

Please create your drug signature as requested by Gridley.

 

On 30/12/2017 at 6:29 AM, Gridley said:
We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.

 

 

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

 

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  I use a search engine and include survivingantidepressants.org in my search term.

 

pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal

 

thyroid-symptoms-hypothyroid-hashimotos

 

thyroid-problems-misdiagnosed-as-psychiatric

 

If you search for chest pain you will find several more topics.

 

 

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AshleeM

Thank you so much. I created my signature page. 

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AshleeM

Hello, so my functional medical doctor’s PA suggested to me today to implement low dose 5HTP (50mg) every other day and take my 5mg of Celexa on the opposite days. She said I would eventually go up on 5HTP then decrease the Celexa. In theory this sounds like a good idea and I’m willing to try but I’ve been on this site for a while and haven’t seen anyone else do it. I don’t know how much she knows about AD withdrawal. 

 

Also, I have MTHFR mutation and I have the kind that (to my understanding genetically I make lower seretonin and dopimine). My goal is to not be on an SSRI at all and with a natural and functional approach be able to heal my CNS and depression/anxiety. Or does having this genetic mutation give me a life sentence of having to be on an SSRI? 

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ChessieCat

Hi Ashlee,

 

I've merged the new Intro topic you created with your original Intro topic.  Each member has only 1 Intro topic where they can ask questions and journal their progress.  Please do not create any more Intro topics.  Thank you.

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ChessieCat

SA recommends a harm reduction method of tapering by no more 10% of the previous dose following by a hold of about 4 weeks.  This allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Skipping days is not recommended.  The brain likes consistency, which means getting the same dose at about the same time EVERY DAY.  Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

Your brain has adapted to Celexa.  I doubt very much (my personal opinion) that alternating with 5-htp would "save" you from withdrawal symptoms of Celexa, because you will be skipping days, not recommended, and also making a 50% reduction, also not recommended.

 

Here is SA's discussion on the topic: 5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan

 

Many members find that as their dose gets lower they need to go slower by reducing by less than 10% and/or holding for longer.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

2 hours ago, AshleeM said:

I don’t know how much she knows about AD withdrawal. 

 

 

Well I wouldn't even be considering it until I found out how much she knows.  It may just be all theoretical and you may be her lab rat.  That's not a risk that I think is worth taking especially when it involves your health and well being.  We have members here who have lost or had to leave jobs, some have had to move in with relatives and some have had broken relationships due to suffering withdrawal.  There is a considerable amount of knowledge that has been collected from members on this site who have experienced withdrawal and also from members using the recommended taper method.   SA was started in 2011 by Altostrata.

 

This is a video of her:  Video:  Alto Strata's Paxil Prolonged Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome (8 minutes)

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AshleeM
10 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

SA recommends a harm reduction method of tapering by no more 10% of the previous dose following by a hold of about 4 weeks.  This allows the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.

 

Skipping days is not recommended.  The brain likes consistency, which means getting the same dose at about the same time EVERY DAY.  Skipping Days vs Every Day Dosing Graph

 

Your brain has adapted to Celexa.  I doubt very much (my personal opinion) that alternating with 5-htp would "save" you from withdrawal symptoms of Celexa, because you will be skipping days, not recommended, and also making a 50% reduction, also not recommended.

 

Here is SA's discussion on the topic: 5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan

 

Many members find that as their dose gets lower they need to go slower by reducing by less than 10% and/or holding for longer.  Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

 

 

 

Well I wouldn't even be considering it until I found out how much she knows.  It may just be all theoretical and you may be her lab rat.  That's not a risk that I think is worth taking especially when it involves your health and well being.  We have members here who have lost or had to leave jobs, some have had to move in with relatives and some have had broken relationships due to suffering withdrawal.  There is a considerable amount of knowledge that has been collected from members on this site who have experienced withdrawal and also from members using the recommended taper method.   SA was started in 2011 by Altostrata.

 

This is a video of her:  Video:  Alto Strata's Paxil Prolonged Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome (8 minutes)

ChessieCat,


Thank you for all of this information. I agree with you.  It didn't seem like alternating days was a good idea considering the chaos that already is my CNS. Let me ask this, Could I continue taking my 5mg daily and add the 5HTP daily or every other day to help with the production of serotonin or are supplements at this point only going to make things harder. I am afraid of Serotonin Syndrome but can I get that with just 5mg of SSRI an 50mg of 5HTP?  I do believe taking methylated b12 and folate have made WD way worse for me. I am hesitant to add another supplement at the same time wondering if it could help.  I am not going to taper from my 5mg at least until next year. I am getting married this year and having way to many life changes to continue tapering. I just read from the link you sent me.   Answered my own question. Not a good idea to start 5HTP from what I read. But again, I'm at such a low dose of Celexa that I wonder if I would be okay?

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Gridley

I would not start 5HTP while you are on an SSRI.  There is a risk of Serotonin Syndrome and 5HTP increases the activity of the SSRI.  Your serotonin levels have been messed with enough without adding another variable.  

 

I wouldn't have much confidence in the PA if she suggested skipping days or alternating between Celexa and 5HTP.  Your brain needs stability.  

The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

  •  

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AshleeM

How long after anesthesia does the exacerbation of WD symptoms last? I have to have a surgery to remove a uterine mass and I am afraid of my WD symptoms getting worse.  My biggest fear is seizure or psychosis.  I have never had either. I know my anxiety is up and im trying not to think worst case scenerios. Any info would help.  I hear propofol is good to use.

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ChessieCat

Here is SA's topic:  surgery-and-anesthesia

 

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Cruizer

I had surgery about 8 weeks ago and i am still trying to stabilize. I have no idea what drugs they used though which is poor on my behalf. Dont let that scare you though, there is so many things that make up everyones circumstances. If your nervous system is in a bad way then the stress of surgery will probably impact you. However everyone is different with how they react and you could be fine. 

I was just reading through your story. I was where you are two years back trying different supplements to see if it made me feel better. What i found is the more stuff i tried the worse i felt. Your best bet is stability. I take fish oil and try to cut out as much sugar as possible. 

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AshleeM

The good days are getting really good and are more often than bad days. But, It’s really hard when there is a bad day because when I’m feeling good, I feel that this is behind me. It’s like a giant let down. I have changed my diet. No sugar, clean, whole food diet and it has helped tremendously. It’s cloudy and gloomy today and it makes for a rough moody, sad, angry day (neuro emotions).

 

I also started on an adrenal gland supplement (adrecore) that may actually be making me worse (even though I have adrenal fatigue). I have to remember I’m sensitive right now. Plus, my saliva test may have been inaccurate bc the day I did it, I was feeling great but on days where it’s paniky/fight or flight feeling I’m certain my cortisol is high, not low! 

 

So grateful for this website. Overall I’m getting better. Hope is strong. Just waning this wave to pass! Supposed to be sunshiny tomorrow! Praying for all of you. 

 

Ashlee

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AshleeM

Does anyone have any tips on finding a therapist that understands SSRI withdrawl? I truly believe talking about this to someone other than my fiance is going to be healing. Withdrawl is more traumatic than my initial depression I had in the first place.   I just dont know how to begin to find one that will get it.  I live in Oklahoma City.  I may just have to try a few until I find one. 

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AshleeM

I’m going back up 5 more mg to a total of 10mg Celexa! I just can’t do this! This is really hard! I would rather just go back on than deal with this withdrawal!  My life on Celexa wasn’t this hard! Dealing with neuro fear, dizziness, and feel weak despite doing all of the right things, diet, working out, being with family, etc! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I want my life back! I’ve seen stories on YouTube where people went back on their anti depressants. This isn’t my goal (never has been these last two years) but I’m weary of this! It’s nothing short of hell! Has anyone else gotten back on (not reinstated to soothe withdrawl)  but to just to get back to the you before withdrawl? I didn’t have many side effects on it.  

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ChessieCat

You might want to consider updosing by a much smaller amount than 5mg.  If it was me I would try 1mg extra and see how that goes.

 

The following is just as applicable to updosing as reinstating:

 

On 10/9/2012 at 10:17 AM, Altostrata said:

Additional reasons to reinstate only a partial dose
Reinstating at a low dose reduces the risk of severe adverse reactions in case reinstatement does not work.

  • Experiencing withdrawal may have sensitized you to drugs and a larger dose will cause an adverse reaction.
  • These drugs are vastly more powerful than they need to be; often reinstatement at half dosage AT MOST is sufficient and many people do well with a lot less. You want to be taking only the lowest EFFECTIVE dose.
  • Your receptors may have adjusted somewhat (upregulated) during the time you were tapering or had withdrawal symptoms.
  • If you can stabilize on a lower dose, you have less to taper when you finally do go off.

 

 

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Kostas
8 hours ago, AshleeM said:

I’m going back up 5 more mg to a total of 10mg Celexa! I just can’t do this! This is really hard! I would rather just go back on than deal with this withdrawal!  My life on Celexa wasn’t this hard! Dealing with neuro fear, dizziness, and feel weak despite doing all of the right things, diet, working out, being with family, etc! I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! I want my life back! I’ve seen stories on YouTube where people went back on their anti depressants. This isn’t my goal (never has been these last two years) but I’m weary of this! It’s nothing short of hell! Has anyone else gotten back on (not reinstated to soothe withdrawl)  but to just to get back to the you before withdrawl? I didn’t have many side effects on it.  

Hi, 

When I was on Celexa on /off, years ago, 

I went back to my original dose of 20 mg, without major difficulty. 

I restarted it after being off for a year, but without having withdrawal symptoms! 

As soon as started  feeling unwell, I restated them, after 4 months of trying to ignore the symptoms, without much difficulty. 

I did it totally 3 times in my period of 13 years been on this drug. 

But that's me! 

Now I am off it for 5 years and functional 90%.

Best of luck. 

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AshleeM
1 hour ago, Kostas said:

Hi, 

When I was on Celexa on /off, years ago, 

I went back to my original dose of 20 mg, without major difficulty. 

I restarted it after being off for a year, but without having withdrawal symptoms! 

As soon as started  feeling unwell, I restated them, after 4 months of trying to ignore the symptoms, without much difficulty. 

I did it totally 3 times in my period of 13 years been on this drug. 

But that's me! 

Now I am off it for 5 years and functional 90%.

Best of luck. 

Kostas,

 

this was ao helpful! Thank you so much! I will try a taper again at some point! Right now isn’t the time! Way to go for you getting to where you are! That inspires me! 

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AshleeM

I have a huge victory! I haven’t been able to work since January (when my withdrawl became hell on earth) and today I just finished an 8 hour shift taking care of spinal surgery patients. Other than a little bit of dizziness, and a tiny bit of chest tightness, I was able to get through the shift very well. I was able to concentrate on things. I was able to remember what I needed to do for the most part and I didn’t have an ounce of anxiety or mood changes. Fight or flight was pretty calm. No palpitations. No pain. No headache. And I wasn’t living in impending doom. I believe I am out of withdrawl but still struggle from time to time with what I believe is an limbic system injury caused by a rapid taper of Celexa. 

I hope this helps anyone reading! For so long I didn’t think I could heal from this and feel like myself again. There were times I downright thought I was dying. I prayed and prayed to get on the other side of this and in those dark times, I clung to stories of others’ progress and victories. I don’t think I’m completely out of the woods yet and as we know there are bad days that come out of nowhere and I am aware of that but for the first time in a long time, I’m slowly but surely getting back to myself. I believe in neuroplacticity and the brain being able to heal itself! It’s finally working for me. 

I also used my time with my patients today to educate them on their antidepressants and benzos even as I gave them to them (which was really hard). I can make a change in someone’s life, even if it’s just one. 

I know all of this will serve a purpose. I didn’t think I would ever get back to the bedside and I DID it!! Hold on tight. This can get better!! Remember, you’re not broken. There is always hope and you’re not crazy. This whole thing has a sure fire way of making you think you’re going to lose your mind but remember that you wont and that the strongest people are among us. If we can overcome Anti-depressant withdrawl, we can do anything!!

Thank you to everyone that posts on here. It’s been one of the single most healing things in my journey for the short time I’ve been in this group! 

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mirage

Hi AshleeM.Thank you for coming back and telling this great news! It is exciting to hear someone getting back to living the life they had before the meds. I can feel your happiness and relief! 

 

One of my most difficult symptoms is dizziness. Which, I think, was one of yours? I have had about 4 bouts of severe vertigo with mine over the year. I am seeing improvement, but this, is my toughest issue. 

 

I am making progress. I'm off a smidge over a year ct from Wellbutrin. I am, for sure better, than I was at this time last year...horrible! I am even better than I was a few months ago. That said, I'm still pretty far off from who I was before this. I am determined that I will be back to my, fun, loving life. One day at a time. 

 

Any things you think helped you through would be greatly appreciated. 

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

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AshleeM

Hello everyone,

 

My goal was to restart and finish my taper after my wedding. The time has come and I have to be honest, I have stabilized on 15mg and am fearful of going through withdrawl again. The other part of me is hopeful I’ll be okay now that I know how slow to taper but I also know it’s a gamble as I have already had limbic kindling and this will be my 3rd time to try to get off Celexa. 

 

I’ve learned some of us are more sensitive than others and that even with really slow tapers, some have harsh symptoms. Im praying I’m not one of them but I have become so sensitive to so much (supplements, stimuli, emotions, etc). Part of me doesn’t want to start tapering again and just stay on my 15mg Celexa but I know there has to be a better life on the other side of all of this! 

 

It’s been nice stabilizing a bit after reinstating and being able to live free of the really bad symptoms (Neuro fear and anger, dizziness, faintness etc.)  

 

My end goal is to be off of this. I will begin to taper but I am fearful. Just being honest. Anyone try 3 times to get off? Any luck!?

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AshleeM

Chest pain and palpitations got worse today. As well as dizziness and weakness. I’m in the ER. EKG came back normal and I’m sure everything else will. There is no testing for AD withdrawl. I’m so frustrated. My nervous system is shot and western medicine doesn’t know what to do and functional medicine can’t fix an emergency. I can’t just live with debilitating chest pain. What am I supposed to to? I’m frustrated and angry. I thought I was getting better. I wish this on no one!  I don’t know what the next step is other than further cardiac testing which I will do but I’m weary of this battle.

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jozeff

Sorry to hear you are suffering so much. I just read all your posts because I'm on 16.5 mg celexa and trying to taper. I went down from 25 mg to 16.5 in 85 days which I unfortunately discovered was too fast. 

Are you on 15g still? I understood that you were stable on that dose. Is it just the chest pain that's coming back? If your heart tested good there is not much reason to keep panicking. I went to a cardiologist because my heart was beating so fast sometimes at 25mg celexa. I thought my heart was exploding one day. Just pure panic. Nothing else, blood was good also. I know it's hard but you have to trust your heart and your cardiologist. I have been living like there is a timebomb in my chest..... It's absolutely awful to live like that. Your nervous system can cause many many fake symptoms. 

I hope you're doing well and that you will be stable very soon. Hope to hear some good news!!

 

 

Jozeff

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AshleeM

I have not changed my dose. I thought I stabilized. This may be side effects of being back on it. I’m certain this is my nervous system but like you said it feels like a timbomb in my chest. It just makes me wonder how do I know if something is going on with my heart. I’m 34 so chances are slim but it’s petrifying!  Thanks for writing. It brought me hope. 

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AshleeM

Please excuse me if I am posting this in the wrong spot. I apologize if I am.

 

I need anyone’s help that has any feed back. I haven’t touched my dose in months. Still at 15mg Celexa. I have been doing well and have leveled off a bit from withdrawl and making a lot of progress.  Yesterday after having a lot of palpitations so, I went to the ER and found I am in Afib! I’m only 34. I had Champaign yesterday. Could that be why? Is my nervous system off? I am so scared and don’t know what’s next. Anyone relate?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Post merged with intro

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Altostrata

Is this the first time you've had a bout of this? Suggest you see a good cardiologist for monitoring, rather than a GP.

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AshleeM

Yes this is my first time. My cardiologist just sent me home on

metoprolol. I’m home now and just feeling my heart flip flop away! It’s very scary! He wants to send me to an EP later this week. I don’t feel like I can wait that long. I think we are going to get a 2nd opinion!

 

 

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AshleeM

Please let me know if I’m posting in the wrong place. (Post moved to intro)  I’m not the greatest at understanding this site.

 

My doctor seems to believe I am suffering from Mold Toxicity. I don’t feel that I’ve been in withdrawl for a while now as I have kept my Celexa dose at 15mg since March 2017. Is it possible that all of the symptoms and illness that I have had are because withdrawl damaged my nervous system? I don’t have the emotional/psych symptoms but I’ve been ill with chronic fatigue. Is it possible my body was weakened by limbic kindling therefore unable to fight of mold and other toxins? 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

There are many existing topic on this site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to the search term.

 

chronic-fatigue-syndrome-me-cfs

 

molds

 

elevated-c4a-test-mold

 

A search of the site using the site search (unfortunately it brings up all posts with mold so some are not relevant but you can see a brief section of the posts):

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/search/?q=mold

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