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Why and when did you decide to come off drugs?


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FatherOfLewis

My experience with medication has been positive. I took Adderall and Lexapro for 9 years and it was the best I've ever felt. I switched to Wellbutrin (+ Zoloft eventually) and was feeling great. I've heard about people taking Antidepressants for 20+ years and feeling fine.

 

I want to quit taking antidepressants mostly because the stories on here make me think:

1. They can't be a long term solution.

2. They'll eventually either make me numb or otherwise mentally uncomfortable.

3. I'll eventually need lots of different drugs just to control all the withdrawal effects or side effects.

 

These are all fear based. I have a family and need to be functional for them, and the meds help me do that. It is a fearful thing to consider that I have to get off of them or else Hell will come knocking.

 

So I wonder if hearing the "why's" could perhaps calm my fears. I'd prefer to do this from a place of peace, not fear.

 

Why do you feel the need to quit antidepressants?

2005 - 2014 Adderall XR 15mg + Lexapro 20mg on/off, but mostly ON
2014 - Tried to quit for the "last" time; tapered Adderall very slowly, but was depressed and slow and sad on just the Lexapro 20mg.
2015 (early) - Switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg. Began having increased GAD symptoms, irritability, and insomnia.

2015 (Nov) - Wellbutrin XL 150mg + Zoloft 25mg. Sleep restored, started feeling better.

2016 (Feb) - Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. Fast tapered off Zoloft. Increasing GAD and reemergence of insomnia.

2016 (May) - Off all meds. CT'd Wellbutrin as psych agreed it was probably causing my GAD. Slept well for awhile. Eventually had early morning wakefulness and greatly increasing GAD, and finally a panic attack, so started an anti anxiety (probably would have held off a little longer had I remembered all I'd previously learned on SA).

2016 (June) - Buspar 30mg as 10mg 3x daily. Eventually started having crazed "obsessive" episodes, which finally landed me in the hospital.

2016 (July) - Zyprexa 10mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

2016 (Aug) - Zyprexa 2.5mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

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SquirrellyGirl

FatherOfLewis,

 

This forum is for people who have chosen to come off psych meds and are at peace with that decision.  It isn't for us to try to convince you to come off of yours if you think you are fine on them.  You can learn about the scientifically-based cons on sites like MadInAmerica.com, rxisk.org and cepuk.org.

 

I chose to come off because I finally recognized the anhedonia and physical fall-out from being on these meds for 20 years.  I tried to come off too quickly and was in protracted withdrawal for 10 months, a terrifying time that left me bewildered to say the least, and when I realized that withdrawal had caused me such devastation, I knew I no longer wanted to ingest a substance that could do that to me if I didn't take it.

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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FatherOfLewis

Heya SG,

 

My problem is I'd really like to be at peace with this decision. Thank you so much for answering my question :-) . I would prefer to not have to experience anhedonia before being able to work my way off the meds. But maybe it's too late for that :-/

 

Question... is life able to go on while you do this? Do you feel a little bit better every dosage reduction, or is it constant pain/anhedonia?

2005 - 2014 Adderall XR 15mg + Lexapro 20mg on/off, but mostly ON
2014 - Tried to quit for the "last" time; tapered Adderall very slowly, but was depressed and slow and sad on just the Lexapro 20mg.
2015 (early) - Switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg. Began having increased GAD symptoms, irritability, and insomnia.

2015 (Nov) - Wellbutrin XL 150mg + Zoloft 25mg. Sleep restored, started feeling better.

2016 (Feb) - Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. Fast tapered off Zoloft. Increasing GAD and reemergence of insomnia.

2016 (May) - Off all meds. CT'd Wellbutrin as psych agreed it was probably causing my GAD. Slept well for awhile. Eventually had early morning wakefulness and greatly increasing GAD, and finally a panic attack, so started an anti anxiety (probably would have held off a little longer had I remembered all I'd previously learned on SA).

2016 (June) - Buspar 30mg as 10mg 3x daily. Eventually started having crazed "obsessive" episodes, which finally landed me in the hospital.

2016 (July) - Zyprexa 10mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

2016 (Aug) - Zyprexa 2.5mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

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Heya SG,

 

Question... is life able to go on while you do this? Do you feel a little bit better every dosage reduction, or is it constant pain/anhedonia?

 

 

whew lad! tough question. i would venture its the 2nd biggest one on the minds of all who come here, right behind "should i hold/reduce/up my dosage." its one that really can only be answered by you. i can give you my thoughts though.

 

 "is life able to go on while you do this?"

 

life goes on regardless, universal constant and all that. so the question becomes how much life can you handle? some find they can handle less and others more. i personally seem to be throwing myself at life in response to my withdrawal symptoms but i have read about others who retreat out of necessity. its all relative and we do what we must to get through. there is no playbook to recovery, only a few vague guidelines. the rest is up to the individual. listen to your body and don't rush. if you feel you can't handle something life throws at you it might be a good idea to work around it.

 

"Do you feel a little bit better every dosage reduction, or is it constant pain/anhedonia?"

 

judging from what I've read here its a mixed bag. you'll likely experience both in the pattern of windows and waves. much like recovering from a physical injury, there will be good days and bad. no one can know for sure as so much depends on the individual. some variables i have noticed that might factor in would include: age, sex, health, length of time you were on the medication, length of time you took to come off the medication, if you have come off the medication before and gone back on, whether or not you have a supportive spouse, family friends ect…, your own disposition, your own situation in life, diet, determination, past experiences, how you manage stress, how you perceive the world and everything happening in it…… and on and on. i think you get the idea.

 

its all very relative. however this site is a great source of information and support for those who choose to use it. the most important and beneficial thing you can do is assess your situation, research, and make a plan based on informed decisions. be prepared to roll with the punches and don't compare you experience to others. there really isn't a right or wrong way. its your journey and your life and if you choose to continue to use the medication i say more power to you. 

38 year old male

50mg sertraline for seasonal affective in spring of '13 through spring of '16

began uninformed taper mid march '16 ending 6 weeks later around may 1st

withdrawal symptoms began july 4th '16

reinstatement of sertraline at 25mg on july 7th '16

august '16 - present: many setbacks even more victories

currently holding at 25mg and ill hold there forever if I have to

looking forward to the day I can begin tapering

 

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SquirrellyGirl

I will add that if you are currently fine on meds but want to come off, your best chance at maintaining yourself in a satisfactory state is to do the 10% per month taper that is advocated here on SA.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The whole idea behind such a slow taper is to avoid developing disabling withdrawal symptoms:  Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

The ideal way to use these meds is to take them for the short term for the worst cases of depression and/or anxiety.  Beyond the short term, the nervous system makes oppositional changes to counter the elevated levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters so that homeostasis is once again achieved, with the drug built into the system.  Most peoples' depression would resolve naturally without medication, so odds are that you would have been fine anyway and maybe your perception was that the drug was keeping you that way when in fact you may have been fine without it.  "May..."  Unfortunately, many of us, myself included, bought the cool-aid about "needing" the drug for the long term and just kept taking it (them) indefinitely. I suspect the long term perceived positive benefit is largely placebo.  Combine that with people experiencing depression/anxiety when they do try to come off (known WD symptoms, not relapse) people are further compelled to believe they need the meds to be ok.

 

At any rate, by going so slow as to not even notice the change, even though it might take a couple of years to get to zero, wouldn't this be better than staying on the drug indefinitely?  

 

I DO feel better on nearly 50% of my reinstatement dose (and 1/10th the highest amount of Effexor I was ever on) than I felt when I reinstated.  I am not relapsing while tapering, and I am definitely on "sub-therapeutic" dosages of both meds.

 

I have a question for you, FatherOfLewis:  what initiated your taking the meds to begin with?  Were you always plagued by depression from childhood and finally began taking the meds, or were you functioning fine but had an event or chronic stressor that triggered your condition, necessitating meds?

 

If you do choose to come off meds or reduce your dosages (also beneficial), then it would be best to create an Intro for yourself complete with filling in your signature block with your med history:  Read This First.  See the stickies at the top of the list.

 

Again, it's a personal decision.  I have relatives who have been on these meds for years.  One stays on because coming off is too hard, while another is of the belief that they really help him.  

 

Probably the best thing to do to help you decide one way or another is to watch youtube videos of Robert Whitaker or read his book Anatomy of an Epidemic.  I believe he is the founder of MadInAmerica.com.  http://www.madinamerica.com/robert-whitakers/

 

Copenhagen, Denmark. May 14, 2014.

Anatomy of an Epidemic
Part One: The Roots of the Epidemic
Part Two: The Long-term Effects of Psychiatric Drugs
Part Three: Psychiatric Drugs and Children
Part Four: Q & A with Peter Gotzsche

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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FatherOfLewis

 

At any rate, by going so slow as to not even notice the change, even though it might take a couple of years to get to zero, wouldn't this be better than staying on the drug indefinitely?  

...

 

I have a question for you, FatherOfLewis:  what initiated your taking the meds to begin with?  Were you always plagued by depression from childhood and finally began taking the meds, or were you functioning fine but had an event or chronic stressor that triggered your condition, necessitating meds?

 

 

SG,

Added my signature and have an intro page (http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12543-fatheroflewis-my-meds-roller-coaster-help-and-advice/)

 

I would greatly prefer to just go slow, but what happens if my med poops out while I'm doing it? Otherwise yes, the plan is to get on 1 med, then start tapering... using a compounding pharmacy I guess?

 

I originally took the meds for ADHD, but the Adderall XR made me get super happy then super depressed, so they gave me Lexapro with it :-\. I've had issues with GAD my whole life though; as a kid I'd worry about just about everything. It didn't cause issues until college though; late 2004.

 

I just don't know what to do. I want to get off of meds, but mostly because I read all this stuff on here and it looks like it just can't be a long term option. That seems to be the case in your experience? I've not yet come to the point of being emotionally numbed by the meds, so I'm just going on what I read online and how much I'd like to avoid such numbness... (actually, the zyprexa numbs me, so if that's what it'll feel like when the SSRIs/SNRIs stop helping and start numbing, I don't want it).

2005 - 2014 Adderall XR 15mg + Lexapro 20mg on/off, but mostly ON
2014 - Tried to quit for the "last" time; tapered Adderall very slowly, but was depressed and slow and sad on just the Lexapro 20mg.
2015 (early) - Switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg. Began having increased GAD symptoms, irritability, and insomnia.

2015 (Nov) - Wellbutrin XL 150mg + Zoloft 25mg. Sleep restored, started feeling better.

2016 (Feb) - Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. Fast tapered off Zoloft. Increasing GAD and reemergence of insomnia.

2016 (May) - Off all meds. CT'd Wellbutrin as psych agreed it was probably causing my GAD. Slept well for awhile. Eventually had early morning wakefulness and greatly increasing GAD, and finally a panic attack, so started an anti anxiety (probably would have held off a little longer had I remembered all I'd previously learned on SA).

2016 (June) - Buspar 30mg as 10mg 3x daily. Eventually started having crazed "obsessive" episodes, which finally landed me in the hospital.

2016 (July) - Zyprexa 10mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

2016 (Aug) - Zyprexa 2.5mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

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My experience with medication has been positive. I took Adderall and Lexapro for 9 years and it was the best I've ever felt. I switched to Wellbutrin (+ Zoloft eventually) and was feeling great. I've heard about people taking Antidepressants for 20+ years and feeling fine.

 

I want to quit taking antidepressants mostly because the stories on here make me think:

1. They can't be a long term solution.

2. They'll eventually either make me numb or otherwise mentally uncomfortable.

3. I'll eventually need lots of different drugs just to control all the withdrawal effects or side effects.

 

These are all fear based. I have a family and need to be functional for them, and the meds help me do that. It is a fearful thing to consider that I have to get off of them or else Hell will come knocking.

 

So I wonder if hearing the "why's" could perhaps calm my fears. I'd prefer to do this from a place of peace, not fear.

 

Why do you feel the need to quit antidepressants?

 

 

I'd been on meds since I was 18yrs old, and I am now 60.

Depression is a self limiting disorder, there's no reason on God's green earth for me to have been so heavily medicated nor for so long.

on some level, I always suspected that I was being drugged for no good reason, but assumed the drs knew best, and besides, every previous attempt at going off the drugs was a disaster.

 

But the ultimate deciding factor for me was that I was sleeping up to 20hrs a day, could not feel anything at all. I knew that I had to be over medicated and I was right. I had been on lexapro for over a decade at this point.

 

I am now off lexapro since May- the middle or end of May, if I recall correctly, so it's only been a couple of months.  And I am probably about 80% recovered I believe, from the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

I would have been better off going slower but I found that out too late. and it's been ok. Not a lot of fun, mind you, but ok.

 

I know you will read stories of ppl on here who have had symptoms for longer, but remember, the ppl who are suffering the most have the most reason to come here and post.

 

The good stories, the ppl who don't have as much trouble, they tend to just go on with their lives and forget to update or really, don't have any reason to come back here.

 

I would not be here today, in fact, If a post had not popped up on FB!!

 

 

I have very few "waves" now, it's mostly wide open windows. I now can feel things &  I only sleep when I'm actually tired. Amazing!! lol

I have some issues with mild anxiety but I'm finding ways to deal with that, I listen to meditation/hypnosis tapes at night. Try to eat right and get some mild exercise and just take care of myself.

 

Now, If I feel a little down, the first thing I think is: have I been eating too much sugar? (usually that *is* the reason!!) if I"ve been eating well then I wonder, do I have any unresolved feelings of grief or loss (which can be anything, not just a death, I have feelings of loss for the years I was over medicated, for example)

If I start to think negatively, I force myself to change my focus, go out into nature, watch a comedy show, call a friend, etc

 

these are the things I wish someone had taught me decades ago, instead of literally shoving drugs down my throat.

 

my first diagnosis at age 18 was "adjustment reaction to adolescence" or in other words, having a hard time as a teenager - but I was forced to take stelazine (one of the earlier anti psychotics) against my will.

it only got worse after that :/ so many drugs, so many side effects, so much of my life lost- no, stolen, from me.

I leave the full list out of my signature because I find it both depressing and extremely infuriating. it was wrong, it was all wrong.

 

these drugs were never meant to be taken long term, NO long term research was ever done on what they do to your brain.

For me, that's reason enough not to be on them long term.

 

I hope my story gives you hope. I can tell you, I entered into this with the positive outlook that whatever came my way as far as WD symptoms,  I could handle it

and that it was only going to be temporary

as my brain healed

 

and it **has** healed and continues to do so.

 

I think that may help, just like the placebo effect, in the outcome that you have, if you decide to go off the drugs- to have that kind of a positive outlook.

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Aug 2021, loving life ❤️ 
 
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Junglechicken

1) Because they do more harm than good.

 

2) I would have been better off with long-term counselling/psychiatric care (blah blah).

 

3) These are toxic substances that can and do de-stabilise your CNS unless tapered 100% correctly.

 

4) Knowing whether you are tapering correctly is like playing Russian roulette. Everyone's brain chemistry is different, as is their reaction to each AD(s).

 

Therefore I have regrets because I did not ask the MD questions re: side effects etc., I trusted that this medication would be risk free.

 

Equally, I think MDs are negligent for NOT giving patients the heads up re: what the risks are if they do decide to opt for AD treatment as opposed to counselling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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Hi FOL,

I think you ask a very good question. When I first found this site, I was wondering the same thing. I had read Anatomy of an Epidemic and You're May Be Your Problem. I understood the evidence for the problems these drugs cause as demonstrated in those books, but I wanted to know how this all was playing out in actual people's lives. What was spurring people to make this huge change that ran so contrary to popular culture?

 

I was a little let down when I started reading individual stories on here because most of them focussed on the difficulties of withdrawal, and very few mentioned why they were putting themselves through this hell to begin with. In retrospect it made sense. Most people only find this place when suffering severe withdrawal symptoms. It literally takes up your entire consciousness.

 

So anyway, I'm pleased you brought it up.

 

I, personally was not doing well at all on the meds. I was working out 1 hrs a day four days a week at one of those "boot camp" programs and eating nothing but lean protein and vegetables. Physically I was probably in the best shape of my life. I was also taking a butt load of amphetamines, but still managed to sleep most of the day away. I didn't care about anything or anyone. I forgot what it felt like to get excited about anything. You could tell me I won a million dollars and I'd just shrug and think of all the potential problems it would cause.

 

Something was obviously wrong. I remember lying in bed one day thinking that if this was all my life was ever going to be, I really didn't want to bother. It was then that I stumbled across the two books I mentioned previously, and knew I had to try to get off the drugs.

 

It hasn't been easy. I've made lots of mistakes, but slowly I've been regaining so many things I thought I had lost forever. I know I'm already so much better off than I was when I was overloaded with all those drugs, and I'm excited to see where the rest of my journey will take me.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

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SquirrellyGirl

It hasn't been easy. I've made lots of mistakes, but slowly I've been regaining so many things I thought I had lost forever. I know I'm already so much better off than I was when I was overloaded with all those drugs, and I'm excited to see where the rest of my journey will take me.

 

Patricia, this brought tears to my eyes, and how wonderful it is to feel such emotion!  It is amazing how we somehow don't have awareness of the fact that many of us can't feel real joy on these drugs.  Your description about winning the lottery was dead on for me!  Apathy.  I felt excited to read that you are starting to regain so many things lost to the meds!  

 

I've said it before, but Peter Breggin calls it "spellbinding," when we simply don't notice the negative impact the drugs are having. 

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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For me personally the antidepressant worked very well and I regret coming off it.

Not only is my anxiety worse than before the meds but I'm stuck with withdrawal symptoms for God knows how long :(

If I had known I would have taken it for life. Or never started it at all.

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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FatherOfLewis

Hi FOL,

I think you ask a very good question. When I first found this site, I was wondering the same thing. I had read Anatomy of an Epidemic and You're May Be Your Problem. I understood the evidence for the problems these drugs cause as demonstrated in those books, but I wanted to know how this all was playing out in actual people's lives. What was spurring people to make this huge change that ran so contrary to popular culture?

 

I was a little let down when I started reading individual stories on here because most of them focussed on the difficulties of withdrawal, and very few mentioned why they were putting themselves through this hell to begin with. In retrospect it made sense. Most people only find this place when suffering severe withdrawal symptoms. It literally takes up your entire consciousness.

 

So anyway, I'm pleased you brought it up.

 

I, personally was not doing well at all on the meds. I was working out 1 hrs a day four days a week at one of those "boot camp" programs and eating nothing but lean protein and vegetables. Physically I was probably in the best shape of my life. I was also taking a butt load of amphetamines, but still managed to sleep most of the day away. I didn't care about anything or anyone. I forgot what it felt like to get excited about anything. You could tell me I won a million dollars and I'd just shrug and think of all the potential problems it would cause.

 

Something was obviously wrong. I remember lying in bed one day thinking that if this was all my life was ever going to be, I really didn't want to bother. It was then that I stumbled across the two books I mentioned previously, and knew I had to try to get off the drugs.

 

It hasn't been easy. I've made lots of mistakes, but slowly I've been regaining so many things I thought I had lost forever. I know I'm already so much better off than I was when I was overloaded with all those drugs, and I'm excited to see where the rest of my journey will take me.

 

PatriciaVP, thank you SO much for your response. I was thinking of getting back on Adderall because it was a wonder drug for me for 9 years and I only got off of it out of fear that it and the Lexapro were causing long term harm to me. But your story makes it sound like it's possible for this lethargy to push through Adderall. This makes me both sad and feel better informed.

 

could try getting back on Adderall and an SSRI, in hopes that perhaps my body is different, and it'll work for the rest of my life. But I'm not sure I can count on that.

2005 - 2014 Adderall XR 15mg + Lexapro 20mg on/off, but mostly ON
2014 - Tried to quit for the "last" time; tapered Adderall very slowly, but was depressed and slow and sad on just the Lexapro 20mg.
2015 (early) - Switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg. Began having increased GAD symptoms, irritability, and insomnia.

2015 (Nov) - Wellbutrin XL 150mg + Zoloft 25mg. Sleep restored, started feeling better.

2016 (Feb) - Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. Fast tapered off Zoloft. Increasing GAD and reemergence of insomnia.

2016 (May) - Off all meds. CT'd Wellbutrin as psych agreed it was probably causing my GAD. Slept well for awhile. Eventually had early morning wakefulness and greatly increasing GAD, and finally a panic attack, so started an anti anxiety (probably would have held off a little longer had I remembered all I'd previously learned on SA).

2016 (June) - Buspar 30mg as 10mg 3x daily. Eventually started having crazed "obsessive" episodes, which finally landed me in the hospital.

2016 (July) - Zyprexa 10mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

2016 (Aug) - Zyprexa 2.5mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

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FatherOfLewis

Anyone else want to share their reasons for getting off these drugs? I'd love to hear more!  :)

2005 - 2014 Adderall XR 15mg + Lexapro 20mg on/off, but mostly ON
2014 - Tried to quit for the "last" time; tapered Adderall very slowly, but was depressed and slow and sad on just the Lexapro 20mg.
2015 (early) - Switched to Wellbutrin XL 150mg. Began having increased GAD symptoms, irritability, and insomnia.

2015 (Nov) - Wellbutrin XL 150mg + Zoloft 25mg. Sleep restored, started feeling better.

2016 (Feb) - Wellbutrin XL 150 mg. Fast tapered off Zoloft. Increasing GAD and reemergence of insomnia.

2016 (May) - Off all meds. CT'd Wellbutrin as psych agreed it was probably causing my GAD. Slept well for awhile. Eventually had early morning wakefulness and greatly increasing GAD, and finally a panic attack, so started an anti anxiety (probably would have held off a little longer had I remembered all I'd previously learned on SA).

2016 (June) - Buspar 30mg as 10mg 3x daily. Eventually started having crazed "obsessive" episodes, which finally landed me in the hospital.

2016 (July) - Zyprexa 10mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

2016 (Aug) - Zyprexa 2.5mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Zoloft 50mg

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  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Peter Breggin calls it "spellbinding," when we simply don't notice the negative impact the drugs are having. 

 

 

 

Hi fatherofLewis, 

Great question. 

 

For me personally: 

1. Wanting to get off Paxil because it just wasn't working anymore and hadn't for years-- I was having depression and anxiety. Wanted to come off for years but knew how hard it was to come off. 

Missing a dose *one time* made me feel so awful that I didn't repeat that mistake for ten years. 

It also really made me think, Good Lord, this stuff is that powerful that it makes me feel like that if I miss one dose? (head swooshing, nausea, etc.)

 

2. Being diagnosed with and getting treatment for sleep apnea solved a TON of my anxiety, including virtually eliminating my OCD. That is what REALLY made me say, okay, I know I can do this. And I got a new doctor and began tapering. 

 

3. The drugs really are spellbinding, as Peter Breggin says as quoted by SG above. I'm sleepy now so can't think of an example, but in recovery and healing, I've noticed many things that are just better now that I didn't even realize were so awful on the medicine. 

 

I actually haven't read Robert Whitaker -- I will someday, but not for some time, as a) I already know the drugs are awful, and I'm already coming off of them (don't need to be convinced) and B) it will bring up a lot of anger at having been on these drugs, which I *will* deal with in time, but am dealing with plenty right now. 

 

Best of luck to you in your decision. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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  • 7 months later...

I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling...

 

I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now.

 

So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too.

 

And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think.

 

Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason.

 

I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so).

 

And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind.

 

I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like.

 

Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free.

 

And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me.

So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too.

 

SJ

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I started reducing my dose because of what I believe was mild serotonin toxicity.  After trying to reduce to 50mg from 100mg I suffered withdrawal symptoms and then found SA.  An updose to 75mg successfully relieved the symptoms.

 

As my dose got lower my serotonin toxicity symptoms started disappearing.  I knew I had been sweating a lot, but hadn't realised until it went that I had also been experiencing agitation.  I also started feeling more.  This began as starting to feel pleasure in small things and finding things funny then as I got even lower I started laughing out loud.  It wasn't until this happened that I realised that this had been missing.

 

My original plan was to get my dose down to half but after doing a lot of research on ADs I decided that I would see if I could keep tapering and get off.  I am now down to 25mg.  I have been going a bit slower than 10% because the full 10% reduction seemed to bring on withdrawal symptoms.  By reducing by just under 10% my withdrawal symptoms have been very minor.

FINISH LINE here I come!!!

🏁

Current from 11 September 2021:  Pristiq 0.04mg

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

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

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

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Good topic ShakeyJerr!

 

I too was selfish and irrational, but I was too spellbound (and selfish) to see it.  

 

I had a "breakthrough" when I watched the Sandra Bullock film, "28 Days" in 2000.  Granted, her situation was alcoholism - but when I saw the swathes of wreckage behind her, I knew I needed to start making amends.  I started finding people that I believed I had hurt - and apologizing, and asking forgiveness.

 

My best friend / doctor friend said to me about the movie - "but she was an alcoholic, she made a choice every time she drank.  You have no choice."  (she was fully indoctrinated by then, too)  But I had a feeling that I did have a choice, I could be better in my relations to others, I could take responsibility for my words and deeds.

 

I was stunned to find out how readily people were willing to forgive me - or even that what I imagined as damage - was nothing to them.  Water under the bridge.  People are often much more loving and caring than we give them credit for.

 

It actually caused me to submit more readily to the drugs - especially given my doctor/friend's statement that "I had no choice." 

 

And submit I did.

 

Until, after submitting to wellbutrin, lithium, effexor, dothiepen, reboxetine, seroquel, crestor, ezetimbe, and a PPI - I had metabolic disorder.  I could no longer run across the gym without getting puffed.  My karate - I could only stand 1x2 min round of sparring before collapsing in a heap. I lost my ovaries (surgery), I lost my thyroid (surgery) - could these surgeries have been avoided?  I should not have been given lithium with my thyroid in an active goiter!

 

I stopped the cigarettes.  Some improvement.  A consulting pharmacist (I recommend these, especially as we get older and end up on a lot of "maintenance drugs") told me that the PPI was dangerous in the long term.  I quit.  Some improvement.  I tapered the statins, and no longer wanted to kill myself.  I read Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic" and became aware that the drugs were making me worse - more chronic, more sick.

 

I started learning.  Will Hall's "Icarus Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs" inspired me.  He had done it, with livid hallucinations.  It could be done (nothing in Robert Whitaker's book tells us how to do it.)  I started hanging out in Mad In America where I found some posts by AltoStrata about SurvivingAntidepressants.  I was well on the way to a long, slow 10% taper by the time I arrived here.  I was terrified - 

 

Because I knew - I had been sick long before I submitted to the drugs and took responsibility for the wreckage I had caused in my life.  I had crashed and burned through relationships, jobs, careers, cars.  I had been taking psych drugs on and off for 15 years before I saw that movie.  And yet that movie caused me to submit more deeply to the drugs - because they told us "that's how you get better."  

I had a "Rule #1:  Take medicines as prescribed."  (FYI, Rule #2 was get enough sleep, Rule #3 was eat well.)

 

Only I didn't get better, I got sicker.  I was a fit, athletic, intelligent person before the drugs.  I had been a yogini, corporate fitness trainer, zen practitioner BEFORE the drugs.  They didn't fix it before - so how was I going to cope without the drugs now?

 

Maybe it's just that I'm older, less dramatic, less impulsive.  Maybe it's that many of my basic needs - food, shelter - are met, and I'm no longer thrashing around for answers.  Maybe it's that I became disillusioned by seeking and by trusting ANYONE in authority - whether guru or doctor.

 

Hugely, it was the awareness - that started in 2000 with the "28 Days" movie - that I was the only one who could fix me.

 

As the drugs gradually went away (this time, no withdrawals, just minor mood swings and physical problems from my complex health condition) - my head started to clear, the skies became more open, the horizon was visible.

 

And I knew then, there'd be no going back.  If I go manic, hubby has some protocols (get me to eat, get me to sleep, get me to exercise) before we consider a p-doc.  I expect I will never need the drugs again, even though my maintenance protocol is intense.

 

It does get better, and I really believe that when I say it to others.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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TikkiTikki

Hi everyone,

 

I'm just wondering what prompted you to begin withdrawing from your ADs? I personally have found it hard to know what to think about my 'illness', my history, what doctors say and what I read here and elsewhere online. I have tapered twice before and experienced what I thought was relapse, and the last time I had such an awful time (7 weeks) before I got relief from beginning the Celexa again that people around me are very surprised I want to quit again.

 

For me, the reasons are:

 

1) weight gain. 25-30 kgs since my last taper 3 years ago. That's 60kg up to nearly 90kg - most around the middle (which I never had before). I feel AWFUL.

 

2) feeling numb/ blunted/ lacking in motivation. I feel like I can't get a grip on my life and make things happen. At times I am DESPERATELY unhappy about my social circle (or lack of) and connection with others, my career/work (kids just off to school in last few years), my health (overweight and unfit), and just feeling like a shadowy, indifferent, bland, bloated version of my real self. I do make changes, resolve to do this and that, but just can't seem to move things enough. And i've tried thinking "well, if it's all so hard, just do what you want and be happy with that." But I'm NOT happy - I feel like I'm wading through quicksand.

 

3) Did I mention the weight gain? And not just the weight gain, but the eating behaviours that go along with it. Craving carbs and sugar, compulsive eating, and the dieting and failing and feeling demoralised.

 

4) Vague indifference to people. Mostly noticed by my partner, and the our deepest-running source of discord since I began taking ADs a decade ago. Only now am I adding up that it probably has to do with the ADs, and not some fatal character flaw. I have struggled SO MUCH with this issue in the last decade and the thought that maybe it could improve if I stopped the ADs makes me want to cry with relief.

 

5) Restless Leg Syndrome. Not sure if this is directly related, but some evidence suggests it is.

 

 

Celexa (Citalopram)    40mg  - 60mg - 40mg for 7 years          Tapered (over 3 months) drug-free Aug–Nov 2013 CRASH

40mg    Dec 2013 – Jan 2017 (7 weeks reinstatement hell then relief)

2017:    20mg    30 Jan       18mg   19 April          16mg   6 May          14mg   20 May      12mg  10 Jun

              10mg   7 July          9mg    7 Aug               8mg     16 Oct          7.5mg  27 Nov         

2018:    7mg      8 Jan          6.5mg  12 Feb          6mg  17 Mar            5.2mg  14 Apr      5mg  28 Apr

             4.8mg  4 Jun           4.6mg   23 Jun         4.4mg   24 Jul          4.2mg 13 Aug      4mg  20 Aug

             3.8mg  1 Sep           3.6mg  28 Sep          3.4mg  14 Oct          3.2mg  11 Nov     3mg  5 Dec

             5mg    26 Dec          10mg  28 Dec

Added Valdoxan 25mg   12 Dec 2018      stopped 24 Jan 2019

Wellbutrin 150mg     25 Jan

 

 

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LostInTheWoods

Nice topic.

 

To be fair, I'm pretty much an ADHD guy even if I hate how widely the term is applied today in order to promote this AD stuff. Mind is almost always on, thinking and with some propension to develop those thoughts into worriness and obsessive thoughts. It was working until by time I was 27 it sent me to a crippling anxiety that manifested into somatic symptoms and those I couldn’t take before them sending me into panic attacks.

 

Establishment easy path is to apply SSRIs and call it a day. I was prescribed some, took them, for a time worked out more or less. For a brief moment it felt like the dream of being more active and extroverted but it simply does not last, those glorious moments vanish as fast as Cinderella's dress and car and what comes after is a apathetic state where you can't bother to pursue anything, love anyone or look forward to the future beyond eating, sleeping and paying your bills. I think it was the Paxilfree.org site (what happened with it? it was great reference) the one that mentioned it as the "paxil face" as the empty stare of somebody who wouldn't be able to relate with anyone except in a shallow level. And time flies when on drugs: it’s already five years and I keep drifting with the wind, without taking hold on an ideal or loved ones.

 

I'm out because I don't want to wear that face anymore and because I can’t see a bright fulfilling future as a human being where I’m attached to drugs and because as time passes on the symptoms caused by ADs are only going to get worse.. Some of those bad “hyperactive mind” habits may resurface but I’m confident on being able to deal with them now that I have been into the worst of it. Looking at it coldly, there is only one way to be a human being back again.

Name LostInTheWoods evokes both the feeling of getting stranded, forsaken and alone in an alien, hostile environment and the chance to experience awareness, tranquility and self-discovery during the experience. Just call me Lost in the posts.

 

February 2012. After a crisis, a crippling anxiety that culminated in a panic attack. Started 20 mg Paxil and Clonazepam.

Clonazepam left quickly in the 2nd attempt.

About about a year on 20 mg, begin tapering.

June 2014, after several weeks on 5 mg and trying to dose down, went CT.

May 2015.Anxiety came back again, went to psychiatrist back. Fluoxetine was tried and left because of bad reaction, returned to paroxetine. Start tapering in mid 2016.

December 2016. After like 2 months of going 2,5 mg, stopped paroxetine.

Truth to be told, descended into a downward spiral of caffeine, alcohol and masturbation.

January  26, 2017. Wave with some tinnitus that was fixed by a visit to the ENT.

April 21, 2017. Acid reflux at night was a stressor that triggered another wave.Vices have been put into check and only a drink or two a week remain.

By May 7 stabilized with a little anxiety left and some pains.

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manymoretodays

I think for me........I finally learned to listen to my inner voice.  And that......I wasn't getting better at all...... just progressively worse.

 

Then the synchronicity.......of hearing a speaker in a training say "listen to your inner voice" and then reading Robert Whitaker's, "Anatomy of an Epidemic" and knowing I could be his poster child.

 

There is probably more but in a nutshell it's kind of like my whole belief system changed over a period of time.  What I once knew to be truth or science was no longer.

 

I am very happy to report a good life at present, a decent life, and such an open canvas as to what comes next.  I can manage it so much better.  This life thing.....this being human.   I know I am through the worst of it as far as withdrawal goes now and I have every hope of a very healthy balanced life.  So good to feel connected again.

 

Thank you.  Good topic.

 

manymoretodays

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Great topic. I started tapering because a) my doctor repeatedly told me I couldn't, and shouldn't. And I listened to this beautiful voice inside me saying, try it. <3  I'd wanted to come off it for years. Paxil just wasn't working--I had doubts about whether it ever did work very much, but I knew stopping it would be a bear because of how awful I felt when I missed a dose (that happened maybe twice in 19 years -- it's not a mistake you make more than once or twice). After getting treated for a sleep disorder, I felt so much better emotionally that I felt strong enough to give it a try.

 

A lot of people say that they stopped meds because of side effects. I don't have any adult experience not on psych meds, so I didn't even realize all of the side effects I was experiencing. As the side effects lessen or clear as I'm tapering down, each one feels like a bonus. 

 

Thinking about this makes me feel proud -- thanks for asking the question! 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I think for me........I finally learned to listen to my inner voice.  

 

many more todays, I love that -- listening to your inner voice. <3 What a gift, and how wonderful that you're open to it. 

Current: 2019: 0.04 mg Paxil!! This is real. Soon, after taking Paxil my entire adult life, I will be free.

Long story short: After 18 years on Paxil, "tapered" almost completely off over a month, at doctor's advice in July 2015.

Self-care includes magnesium, reasonable exercise, mindfulness, this forum and nutrition/eating enough food.

Also on 100 mg Zoloft unfortunately!! (which I now will have the knowledge to taper properly)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Longer version: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety & depression caused by (undiagnosed) under-eating / eating disorder.

Doctor kept increasing dose, up to 60 mg; it never really helped but said it really was the best "med" for me.

Rapid doctor-led "taper" July 2015, down to 5 mg, with Zoloft as a "cross-taper" = Essentially a cold turkey. 

Severe withdrawal but didn't know it; believed it was my "underlying condition," and kept tapering, 5mg to 4 to 3  to 2 to 1.  

Feb 2016: Found SA! As of June 2016, tapering from 1mg at rate of 5-10% per month, Brassmonkey Slide! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Jennifer78

Thanks SJ for starting this topic. It's interesting hearing from other people & about why we've decided to give this a shot.

 

I decided to do this because I was so over medicated I couldn't even drive or take care of our 2 Goddaughters. I was falling asleep @ the wheel or just trying to take care of the girls. I also felt so numb. I couldn't think an hour ahead because I felt nothing, no joy or sadness. I didn't know what was wrong with me. I thought maybe I had a brain tumor or something. I prayed & prayed about it and it came to me one day that it was the meds. I was put on meds 15 years ago for stress and when I went to Dr and I would tell him how I felt on med he would either up the dose or add another med. I was told I had a chemical imbalance & I would need these meds for the rest of my life. I felt so awful hearing that but I thought the Dr knew better then me. I lost my health insurance in December so I couldn't afford all the meds so I stopped taking all of them except Wellbutrin. I was told not to stop Wellbutrin cold turkey because it could cause deadly seizures so that why I'm still on it. Im going to try to taper off Wellbutrin but I was advised by someone on here that I should probably get stable before I messed with tapering Wellbutrin. I don't know if or what side effects I've had from meds because I was to scared to read the med insert that listed side effects. Honestly I'm scared to death but I'm over 5 months in now so I'm just taking it day by day. I've never experienced this kind of depression or other symptoms till I stopped meds. The only time I experienced anxiety is when I did something wrong and I was worried about the consequences, now anxiety through the roof. I'm trying to focus on success stories so anyone that has posted a true success story, I can't thank you enough!!

Trazodone 100mg stopped November 2016

Lamictal 200mg stopped November 2016

Celexa 40mg stopped 12-01-16

Abilify 10mg stopped 12-01-16

Wellbutrin XL stopped 6-14-18

I have been on some type of meds for @ least 15 years.

GOD BLESS! 🙏

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Very good topic! I started weaning simply because I'm tired of the side effects. After years of searching for answers to health issues, I finally realized it's my drug that's causing my issues and nothing else. Only took 10 years of going in circles to find that out. I like to think I've drastically improved my health in the process. So there is some positives. I was conned into thinking that getting off AD'S wasn't an option and that I would be on them for life. After 2 failed attempts to wean off zoloft, I was convinced that there was no other alternative than to keep on taking it. Mind you my other attempts were no better than cold turkey (Insert doctor shaming here) Not until I found this site did I have renewed faith that it could be accomplished if done correctly. So here I am loaded with new knowledge giving it another try.

April 26th - 36.5>32.8mg Z.

Feb 4th - 40.5>36.5mg Zoloft.

Jan 5th - 45>40.5mg Zoloft.

Dec 6th - 50>45mg Zoloft.

Nov 1st - 53>50.0mg Zoloft. Sep 22/17 - 50.0>53.0mg Zoloft. Sep 18/17 - 59.0>50.0mg Zoloft.

Aug 7/17 - 65.6>59.0mg  July 18/17 - 72.9>65.6mg. June 18/17 - 81>72.9mg 

May 28/17 - 90>81mg.  May 8/17:  Started my taper. 100>90mg

1995 to May 8/17:  100mg Zoloft/day.  Working well but suspecting some signs of Tolerance this past year.

4/5/17:  Started Testosterone Replacement Therapy via T pellet insertion.  Diagnosed with Secondary Hypogonadism.

Supplements:  1000mg fish oil, 10,000iu Vit D3 with K2, 400mg Magnesium.

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ShakeyJerr

I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling...

 

I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now.

 

So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too.

 

And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think.

 

Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason.

 

I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so).

 

And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind.

 

I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like.

 

Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free.

 

And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me.

 

So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too.

 

SJ

 

I had to re-read this today. Having a real tough time and my mind is obsessing over going back on the meds just to get away from the withdrawal symptoms.

 

SJ

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

 

I'm just wondering what prompted you to begin withdrawing from your ADs? I personally have found it hard to know what to think about my 'illness', my history, what doctors say and what I read here and elsewhere online. I have tapered twice before and experienced what I thought was relapse, and the last time I had such an awful time (7 weeks) before I got relief from beginning the Celexa again that people around me are very surprised I want to quit again.

 

For me, the reasons are:

 

1) weight gain. 25-30 kgs since my last taper 3 years ago. That's 60kg up to nearly 90kg - most around the middle (which I never had before). I feel AWFUL.

 

2) feeling numb/ blunted/ lacking in motivation. I feel like I can't get a grip on my life and make things happen. At times I am DESPERATELY unhappy about my social circle (or lack of) and connection with others, my career/work (kids just off to school in last few years), my health (overweight and unfit), and just feeling like a shadowy, indifferent, bland, bloated version of my real self. I do make changes, resolve to do this and that, but just can't seem to move things enough. And i've tried thinking "well, if it's all so hard, just do what you want and be happy with that." But I'm NOT happy - I feel like I'm wading through quicksand.

 

3) Did I mention the weight gain? And not just the weight gain, but the eating behaviours that go along with it. Craving carbs and sugar, compulsive eating, and the dieting and failing and feeling demoralised.

 

4) Vague indifference to people. Mostly noticed by my partner, and the our deepest-running source of discord since I began taking ADs a decade ago. Only now am I adding up that it probably has to do with the ADs, and not some fatal character flaw. I have struggled SO MUCH with this issue in the last decade and the thought that maybe it could improve if I stopped the ADs makes me want to cry with relief.

 

5) Restless Leg Syndrome. Not sure if this is directly related, but some evidence suggests it is.

 

Oh, I so relate to your words.  I've recently raised the dose of medication, but all I feel is BLAH - "the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry".  

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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I stopped for many of the reasons stated: weight gain, a growing drinking problem, an "I'm always right attitude"--narcissism, paranoia, an emotional numbness, a growing dysfunctional emotional relationship with my wife and kids, a growing indifference to my job and the people I worked with, etc. Once I stopped drinking alcohol six years ago (not drinking much really--two beers a day with a snuck-in bottle of vodka once a week, but too much for me and my family), I realized I needed to get rid of the other monkey on my back--Paxil. I read Robert Whitaker's book and I was convinced I and millions of others had been duped by the money-sucking monster we call Big Pharma. I wanted them off my back, too, and out of my life.

I had a hard time at first because I was doing it all wrong--not 10% of the last dose, but eye-balling pill cuts, cutting them with a razor blade or using my wife's nail file, and I wanted it to be over as soon as possible. I'd tried to end my Paxil addiction at least three times over the years, but finally started to do it the right way three years ago--with this site's help and guidance. I've had to retire two years early--I'll be 60 in a month because I wasn't very functional at work anymore. Fortunately, the financial hardships of doing that have not been so bad.

Since I began my 10% per month taper I've lost twenty pounds. My relationship with my wife and kids is better. My emotions are all over the map, so I'm living through a windows and waves instability that gets really bad at times (I recently dropped 16% and it cost me...).  But I'm getting very low and I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. 

When I'm feeling my worst I ask myself "Has this suffering been worth it?" My wife, son and daughter take anti-dressants (SSRI's) and they're functioning pretty well. Why don't I just go back to 20 mL of Celexa a day and call it quits? Give up! (BTW: When I started my taper I shifted from Paxil to Celexa to make the transition easier.) But then I think about how far I've come. I'm generally not a quitter. I'm a bit insufferable about finishing things. I generally don't start anything unless I'm willing to work through to the end. And, again, I absolutely loathe Big Pharma and its profit-over-people culture. The only way I can punish them is to stop giving them my money. So, I carry on. 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • 4 weeks later...
ShakeyJerr
On 4/27/2017 at 6:14 PM, ShakeyJerr said:

I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling...

 

I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now.

 

So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too.

 

And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think.

 

Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason.

 

I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so).

 

And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind.

 

I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like.

 

Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free.

 

And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me.

So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too.

 

SJ

 

Having a really bad day. Had to re-read this a couple of times to remind me of why I don;t go back on these meds...

 

SJ

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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PatriciaVP

I was not doing well at all on the meds. I was working out 1 hrs a day four days a week at one of those "boot camp" programs and eating nothing but lean protein and vegetables. Physically I was probably in the best shape of my life. I was also taking a butt load of amphetamines, but still managed to sleep most of the day away. I didn't care about anything or anyone. I forgot what it felt like to get excited about anything. You could tell me I won a million dollars and I'd just shrug and think of all the potential problems it would cause.

 

Something was obviously wrong. I remember lying in bed one day thinking that if this was all my life was ever going to be, I really didn't want to bother. It was then that I stumbled across Anatomy of an Epidemic, and light finally dawned. All the exercise and nutrition in the world couldn't overcome the poisons that I was piling into my body.

 

It's been terribly hard and I wonder every day how much longer I can stand it. When I think about it, though, I realize that I have made great strides. There is clear evidence that I am healing.

PatriciaVP@AbleWriterSays My Intro

 

Zoloft 150-200 mg- on and off between 1998 and 2004.

 

Lexapro 40 mg - 2004-2013 30 mg 2013 - August 2015 20 mg August 2015- September 2015 15 mg September 2015 - October 2015 10 mg October 2015 -Nov. 1 2015. Nov. 2015 increased dose to 12.5 mg to stabilize. Dec. 28 2015 11.25 mg March 29, 2016 10 mg. August 1, 2016 9 mg. October 23, 2016 8.1 mg. Nov. 29, 2016 7.5 mg. Feb. 25, 2017 7 mg. April 9, 2017 6.5 mg. June 2017 6 mg. Aug. 2018 5.75 mg March 2019 5.5 mg Apr. 2019 5.25 mg. June 2019 5 mg Sept. 2019 4.75 mg Nov. 2019 4.5 mg Dec. 2019  4.25 April 7 2020 4mg 

 

Depakote 1000 mg 2008-2013  750 2013-Dec 2015 500 mg Dec 2015 to Feb 2, 2016. Sopped completely Feb 2 2016.

 

Adderall 40mg 2004-Feb 29, 2016. Feb 29,2016 - reduced Adderall to 20 mg based on pdoc's recommendations. March 29, 2016 - Reduced Adderall to 15 mg. April 30 reduced Adderall to 10 mgs. May 28, 2016 reduced Adderall to 5 mgs.June 8, 2016 stopped taking Adderall due to extreme agitation.

 

Amphetamine 20mg 2008 - 1/16. 1/16 - Stopped Amphetamine completely because pdoc did not renew script.

WWW.PSYCHFREE.NET 

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Looking4peace

Oh brother, the post I was looking for.

Still after over a year off Effexor (with an incorrect taper from Doctor) I continue to suffer.

my withdrawal continues to show me new emotional anguish each day. I'm exhausted from spontaneous crying, self doubt, OCD, anxiety, worry...you get the idea. I'm back to the question, do I just give in and try the Effexor again? Do I just deal with the side effects from the poison or do I suffer miserably and HOPE I come out on the other side. I'm like an emotional tornado, damaging everyone around me (perceived) waiting for the next catastrophic think to happen that will finally bankrupt me financially and emotionally.

 

I want to continue the fight, I want to see if in the end it gets better. But boy, the urge to give in and try the poison again has me feeling like an addict rather than a survivor.

 

thanks for the post, we all have such personal battles to fight here. These drugs tap into our worst fears and use it against us everyday.

 

best of luck to everyone!

please feel free to message me, something about seeing a message from others going through helps give energy to the fight

2001-Started Effexor XR (15 Years on Drug) April 1, 2016- 150 mg Effexor XR discontinued 

Started with 150 Mg-Dropped to 75 Mg after 3 weeks I then dropped to 37.5 Mg,4 weeks later I dropped off the medicine entirely.

Did not find out about weaning until too late. (This was the protocol from my general practitioner)

Symptoms of withdrawal are so severe I tried to reinstate Prozac, 9 months after discontinuing Effexor XR

February 15th, 2017-Started Prozac 10mg 

February 22, 2017 -upped to 20mg one week later (no relief)  Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome - (OCD, Anxiety, Depression)

March 1st, 2017-Discontinued Prozac (Psychiatrist wanted to increase dose to 40 mg)

Currently on no medications / Currently dealing with Major Windows and Waves

Supplements: Magnesium, Cod Liver Oil, EM-1 probiotic, Restore teaspoon 3x daily,

Will begin to eliminate the following supplements 7/7/2017

vitamin D 10,000 mg, NAC 600 mg, Zinc 50 mg, Inositol 600mg x 4, B-12, Vitamin C 500 mg, GABA 500 mg, Ashwagandha

 

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ShakeyJerr
8 minutes ago, Looking4peace said:

Oh brother, the post I was looking for.

Still after over a year off Effexor (with an incorrect taper from Doctor) I continue to suffer.

my withdrawal continues to show me new emotional anguish each day. I'm exhausted from spontaneous crying, self doubt, OCD, anxiety, worry...you get the idea. I'm back to the question, do I just give in and try the Effexor again? Do I just deal with the side effects from the poison or do I suffer miserably and HOPE I come out on the other side. I'm like an emotional tornado, damaging everyone around me (perceived) waiting for the next catastrophic think to happen that will finally bankrupt me financially and emotionally.

 

I want to continue the fight, I want to see if in the end it gets better. But boy, the urge to give in and try the poison again has me feeling like an addict rather than a survivor.

 

thanks for the post, we all have such personal battles to fight here. These drugs tap into our worst fears and use it against us everyday.

 

best of luck to everyone!

please feel free to message me, something about seeing a message from others going through helps give energy to the fight

 

Write out for us here why you stopped the meds. Going through your reasons will help you understand the importance of why you did it. Then at bad times, you can come back here and re-read your own post and it will strengthen you.

 

SJ

Main thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/14472-shakeyjerr-say-hello/

History: Prozac & Lithium from 1999 to 2003. Ended up back on after 4 months because taking a beta-blocker caused immediate depression (just 2 doses - turned out I didn't even need it; I had no other withdrawal symptoms - I might have ended up med and withdrawal-free otherwise :(). - Switched to Effexor (75mg 3/day) and Seroquel (50mg 3/day) in 2010. - Did a self-taper during 2016. - Developed Discontinuation Syndrome 02/17.

Supplements: Magnesium-Glycinate 400mg split into 4 100mg doses throughout the day. Vitamin C 500mg - once per day. Fish Oil 1360 mg (950 mg Active Omega-3) - twice per day.

I'm not a doctor. I use the internet, experience, and trial & error. Seek medical advice if necessary.

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3 hours ago, Looking4peace said:

rOh brother, the post I was looking for.

Still after over a year off Effexor (with an incorrect taper from Doctor) I continue to suffer.

my withdrawal continues to show me new emotional anguish each day. I'm exhausted from spontaneous crying, self doubt, OCD, anxiety, worry...you get the idea. I'm back to the question, do I just give in and try the Effexor again? Do I just deal with the side effects from the poison or do I suffer miserably and HOPE I come out on the other side. I'm like an emotional tornado, damaging everyone around me (perceived) waiting for the next catastrophic think to happen that will finally bankrupt me financially and emotionally.

 

I want to continue the fight, I want to see if in the end it gets better. But boy, the urge to give in and try the poison again has me feeling like an addict rather than a survivor.

 

thanks for the post, we all have such personal battles to fight here. These drugs tap into our worst fears and use it against us everyday.

 

best of luck to everyone!

please feel free to message me, something about seeing a message from others going through helps give energy to the fight

hi looking4peace your forgetting the most important point ,the damage done to you from the lies spinned to you from these doctors/big pharma lapdogs .history will show it as a sham .[not saying your damaged but you get my drift].

peace to you and we never stop the fight .

PB

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Two reasons for me to get off these devil pills....

 

1. Actual health issue was misdiagnosed as anxiety

2. Adverse reaction to second A/D Pristiq

 

Health issue now fully resolved and no longer have any symptoms from it yet suffering from getting off theses poisons.

Zoloft: Sometime early in 2014 Three days only. Torture!

Lexapro: Early 2015- Mid 2015 10mg

Lexapro: Mid 2015-March 2017 20mg

Tapered too fast, Withdrawal started through April-June 2017. Told by Doctor that it was rebound anxiety and have now developed MDD

Pristiq: July 2017-October 2017 50mg (total 56 days)

Lexapro: October 2017-October 2017 10mg (6 days)

Lexapro: October 2017-October 2017 20mg (5 days)

COLD TURKEY>>>>>>>>>>>>October 11,2017

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Looking4peace

PSVT

What was the actual health issue?

2001-Started Effexor XR (15 Years on Drug) April 1, 2016- 150 mg Effexor XR discontinued 

Started with 150 Mg-Dropped to 75 Mg after 3 weeks I then dropped to 37.5 Mg,4 weeks later I dropped off the medicine entirely.

Did not find out about weaning until too late. (This was the protocol from my general practitioner)

Symptoms of withdrawal are so severe I tried to reinstate Prozac, 9 months after discontinuing Effexor XR

February 15th, 2017-Started Prozac 10mg 

February 22, 2017 -upped to 20mg one week later (no relief)  Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome - (OCD, Anxiety, Depression)

March 1st, 2017-Discontinued Prozac (Psychiatrist wanted to increase dose to 40 mg)

Currently on no medications / Currently dealing with Major Windows and Waves

Supplements: Magnesium, Cod Liver Oil, EM-1 probiotic, Restore teaspoon 3x daily,

Will begin to eliminate the following supplements 7/7/2017

vitamin D 10,000 mg, NAC 600 mg, Zinc 50 mg, Inositol 600mg x 4, B-12, Vitamin C 500 mg, GABA 500 mg, Ashwagandha

 

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Looking4peace

At 21 months out after stopping the Effexor, I feel worse than ever. My anxiety, depression and worry have reached an all time high.

2001-Started Effexor XR (15 Years on Drug) April 1, 2016- 150 mg Effexor XR discontinued 

Started with 150 Mg-Dropped to 75 Mg after 3 weeks I then dropped to 37.5 Mg,4 weeks later I dropped off the medicine entirely.

Did not find out about weaning until too late. (This was the protocol from my general practitioner)

Symptoms of withdrawal are so severe I tried to reinstate Prozac, 9 months after discontinuing Effexor XR

February 15th, 2017-Started Prozac 10mg 

February 22, 2017 -upped to 20mg one week later (no relief)  Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome - (OCD, Anxiety, Depression)

March 1st, 2017-Discontinued Prozac (Psychiatrist wanted to increase dose to 40 mg)

Currently on no medications / Currently dealing with Major Windows and Waves

Supplements: Magnesium, Cod Liver Oil, EM-1 probiotic, Restore teaspoon 3x daily,

Will begin to eliminate the following supplements 7/7/2017

vitamin D 10,000 mg, NAC 600 mg, Zinc 50 mg, Inositol 600mg x 4, B-12, Vitamin C 500 mg, GABA 500 mg, Ashwagandha

 

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Why and when did you decide to come off drugs?

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