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stillwithdrawing : post acute withdrawal


stillwithdrawing

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hi everyone,

 

I'm relieved to stumble on this site! I was first prescribed antidepressants in 1995, at age 16, after one 15 minute consult in which I was not offered any alternatives. I was sold a bill of goods on the origins of human sadness and its supposedly necessary chemical solution. I believed in the chemical imbalance theory. I believed these meds were safe. I was mistaken.

 

Prozac induced manic-like symptoms. Within weeks, I was in a cycle of self-harm and risk-taking behaviors that were so unlike me. I began dressing differently, talking differently, my sleep wake cycle was off, I broke out in a horrible acne-like rash, the list goes on. My doctors didn't consider the possibility that the drug might have been the problem. My reaction to Prozac was seen as clear evidence of newly identified, underlying conditions called anxiety disorder and possible bipolar II.

 

Doctors added sedating drugs, including very harsh antipsychotics and benzos. THe next 13 years was complete hell. I lost cognitive function, sexual interest and identity, my hair fell out, I developed chronic skin diseases, extreme fatigue, dissociative experiences, loss of athletic ability, muscle spasms twitches and tics, more debilitationg bouts of sadness (what else could anyone expect after all this?!), etc. I have been in and out of doctors offices, ER's psychiartic wards, and therapists offices, all of which, unfortunatly did me no good as no one considered that the drugs were my problem.

 

As years went on I began to trust health care providers less, and trust myself more. This has been the most important factor in my journey towards wellness!

My gut told me these drugs were the problem. My doctors told me, it would not be safe for me to come off, that I needed the drugs, and that depression and bipolar were my problems! After, 15 years I saw how crazy THEY WERE!! I stood my ground and turned to peer support networks for help.

 

After three years of tapering off of lamicatal, topomax, klonopin, zoloft, wellbutrin (i have been on most drugs at some point) I am emotionally more whole than I have ever been. However, physically, I am sick. I feel like I have the flu at least half of the time. Is my immune system shot? I am in month 2.5 of med free. I imagine I could get better, or worse. I work and pray for recovery every day.

 

Anyone else feel like they have the flu during or after taper?!!

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Hello stillwithdrawing,

 

I am very sorry to hear that you had such a rough and long period of being in the grip of those darn meds.

But first off, welcome to the forum. You have found the right place to get information and help for your (hopefully short) wd journey :)

 

It is very normal to have flu like symptoms when you are in wd. I had them myself and they are completely gone by now.

 

Did you taper off all the meds parallel or one after another? It is very important to go slow, so the chances of none or a milder wd are much better.

End of 2008: Remeron 15mg for around 2 months. Unorthodox taper, no problems.
End of August 2009: Lexapro 10mg for only 4 days. Panic attack after 3 pills. Severe gastro problems in the morning for 3 days after last pill. 2 weeks later strong w/d symptoms set in.

Acute WD lasted around 3.5 years. I am feeling much better today, 5.5 years out, but still have some symptoms left.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, stillwithdrawing.

 

Maybe is correct, flu-like symptoms are a very common withdrawal symptom, usually attributed to SSRIs.

 

Did you have withdrawal symptoms as you were tapering? What was your tapering method?

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you for your replies. To answer your questions, I can't say I had much of a method for tapering. I had an intense fear of and anger towards doctors. I didn't trust any one. I was told not to come off. I didn't have it in me, energy or $$, to find a doctor who would support me in coming off. This wasn't entirely rational, and it lead me to doing this on my own. Somewhere in my quest to wean myself off, I got a hold of The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs. A wonderful resource which I learned about only after having gotten through the worst of it.

 

I came off the lamictal first. Then topomax--which was awful, then the benzos. I came off benzos too quickly, over the course of a year, but at the time didn't know how many problems could come with withdrawing in this way. i experienced horrific post acute withdrawal. I actually thought I was dying and going crazy at the same time!

 

 

Once I stablized, which took about 2 years, I began to taper my SSRI's. I did this sort or accidentally. I lost insurance and ran out of money. I got a two month supply and broke it up myself. I am NOT RECOMMENDING this to anyone. I was desperate, suffering, and didn't have the support system in place. In retrospect it's easy to see that I had more options that I realized, but at the time I was under a tremedous amount of stress and couldn't find another plan. It is what it is. I'm lucky I survived.

 

I came off the wellbutrin in a month. No apparent problems; actually, I felt better. I tapered the Zoloft at a rapid rate. I went off of 100mg in 2 months. Brain zaps are finally over with. Now I just feel tired and like I have the flu; these feelings come and go. I am embarassed to share my path with you all, actually, since I know how crazy it sounds. Again it's just what happened. I can't change it. I am taking very good care of my body, (except giving into caffeine and sugar cravings...ahhh!) with exercise, sleep and lots of water. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated!!

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hey stillwithdrawing,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I really resonate with all of the hell that you've been through. I was started on meds in my teens years believed all the magicbean-type stories. I went through years of losing myself and having medical issues but never connected it back to my psych treatment. My doctors believed my symptoms, like you, proved I needed more medication... You known how the circle goes.

 

Finally, like you I took it upon myself, desperate really, to make some changes.

 

I don't know about flu symptoms, per se. I didn't get these for the most part.

 

In my case, I've found walking, generally just being, outdoors to be helpful. I drink water but also drink homemade electrolyte drinks to keep balance. There are a lot of recipes you can find if interested, just google. I also use natural foods as much as possible. Even in electrolyte drinks I avoid industrial table salt in favor of sea and himalayan salts.

 

In my case, I've found that what I consume is the primary influence on my day -to-day symptoms. For me, sugar is not good. I have failed time and again to not eat sweets. This is hard because I have digestive problems probably caused by some bad bacteria and they really want me to feed me. But also, on years of Drugs, I would binge eat poorly (5 or 6 candy bars at a time, a whole cake in two days, 50+ diet sodas a week) so I've got conditioned myself for some of it.

 

But I do feel much better when I eat well. For me this typically is a pretty restricted diet including mostly meats, homemade soups, vegggies, eggs... a few other things but it's pretty basic right now.

 

I am, I think, on day 7 sugarfree (except for 1 apple) so it's about to get a LOT harder. This, as chronic drug relapsers say, is NOT my first rodeo with the damn sugar.

 

Anyway, it's great to have you aboard. Congratulations on having the courage and self-determination to get this far and turn your life back in the right direction.

 

Hang in there.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Alex,

 

Great to hear from you. What kind of symptoms do you still have? How did you get off of sugar? Good job! I keep trying, and submit to horrible withdrawals. I start feeling much sicker and the cravings kick in like my body's looking for heroin! It's crazy. I'm willing to give it another shot. How has this helped you? What do you mean when you say it's about the get worse? Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

 

For now I'm trying to appreciate one change at a time.

 

Vanessa

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Hello stillwithdrawing,

 

I am very sorry to hear that you had such a rough and long period of being in the grip of those darn meds.

But first off, welcome to the forum. You have found the right place to get information and help for your (hopefully short) wd journey :)

 

It is very normal to have flu like symptoms when you are in wd. I had them myself and they are completely gone by now.

 

Did you taper off all the meds parallel or one after another? It is very important to go slow, so the chances of none or a milder wd are much better.

 

Silver star..Thanks for your reply. I'm glad to hear you are improving, or at least that the flu-like symptoms are gone. How long did this symptom stick around for? I'm now nearing month 3 and wondering if it's going continue for much longer. I know it's impossible to predict. Just wanting to get a sense for other people's experiences. thanks.

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Alex,

 

Great to hear from you. What kind of symptoms do you still have? How did you get off of sugar? Good job! I keep trying, and submit to horrible withdrawals. I start feeling much sicker and the cravings kick in like my body's looking for heroin! It's crazy. I'm willing to give it another shot. How has this helped you? What do you mean when you say it's about the get worse? Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

 

For now I'm trying to appreciate one change at a time.

 

Vanessa

 

I only have a moment but will give a more proper reply later.

 

Just wanted to say... When I said it's about to get worse, I was referring to my sugar cravings not anything relating to your symptoms. The reason...there's some uncertainty to the reason. I think that it takes food longer than the ideal time to move through my digestive system. I think I may also have an imbalance of bacteria with too many little baddies. The baddies may thrive on sugar, including sugar taken in as seemingly healthy carbs-- say quinoa.

 

So I am on a restricted diet, but I've found that the really intense cravings for me do not arrive before the 7th - 10th day. I am n day 7. Cravings easy, relative, so far. I do expect they will be worse next week.

 

IMO, it is very important that I avoid eating garbage foods with cheap sugar, like sweets, icecream, etc....

 

Hope that helps clear that part up.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Silver star..Thanks for your reply. I'm glad to hear you are improving, or at least that the flu-like symptoms are gone. How long did this symptom stick around for? I'm now nearing month 3 and wondering if it's going continue for much longer. I know it's impossible to predict. Just wanting to get a sense for other people's experiences. thanks.

 

Uh, I am sorry, I do not know anymore. I did not have it all the time and it was one of my more bearable symptoms. I only got it when I overdid it (exercise for example). But you are right, it is impossible to predict. It can go away any day and come back no more or stay for months (though usually with a varying intensity).

End of 2008: Remeron 15mg for around 2 months. Unorthodox taper, no problems.
End of August 2009: Lexapro 10mg for only 4 days. Panic attack after 3 pills. Severe gastro problems in the morning for 3 days after last pill. 2 weeks later strong w/d symptoms set in.

Acute WD lasted around 3.5 years. I am feeling much better today, 5.5 years out, but still have some symptoms left.

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Now I just feel tired and like I have the flu; these feelings come and go. I am embarassed to share my path with you all, actually, since I know how crazy it sounds. Again it's just what happened. I can't change it. I am taking very good care of my body, (except giving into caffeine and sugar cravings...ahhh!) with exercise, sleep and lots of water. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated!!

 

There is absolutely NOTHING crazy about what you've described. One piece of advice I would offer is to stay away from people who would label you as such. I had to put up with an ignorant boss who thought that depression meant you hallucinated and could axe murder a coworker any minute. (In his case that was true, but it had nothing to do with being crazy. He was a very toxic person, and my "uncrazy" coworkers shared my feelings. He has since been put in a position where he supervises no one and I retired this past Labor Day weekend.)

 

I went through over five months of having flu-like symptoms, compounded by the facts that I have hay fever, could not get prescription generic Allegra (the OTC stuff is not the same), and was tapering off Lexapro, which causes sinus congestion. I tried drinking brandy to kill the misery, which wasn't a good idea, and have since gone the herbal route, using fresh garlic in my food at least once a day, and usually first thing in the morning - when the sinus congestion and ringing in my ears is at its worst - I dump about two tablespoons of ordinary kitchen thyme into a small mixing bowl, pour boiling water over it, and then inhale the steam until the brew cools. Some Christian friends are also praying for me and I believe that has helped immensely as well.

 

Do stay away from the caffeine. I've been off the Kool Aid since December 14th and still cannot tolerate even regular tea, let alone coffee. I'm about to try chicory as a substitute coffee. It is also reputed among herbalists to cleanse the liver, and I'm sure mine could use a good purge.

 

I've used dried fruit to satisfy the sugar cravings and that seems to be okay. I've also cut way back on carbohydrates, bread and baked goods in particular. I feel much better just eating chicken or fish (my normal meat diet before Lexapro), vegetables (including potatoes) and fruits.

 

My flu symptoms are pretty much gone now, but I'm still hyperactive and can't seem to get to sleep without a pill, in my case, Ativan. I consider it quite a victory that I was able to take an afternoon nap a few days ago with no help from medication.

 

Please note that I was on ADs for only sixteen months, so it may have been easier for me than many who've taken them for years. If you like to read, I highly recommend Dying for a Cure by Rebekah Beddoe, a woman who was treated with ADs for mild post-partum depression and experienced one nightmare after another until she weaned herself off the many ADs and anti-psychotics she was prescribed over the years.

 

These drugs are just a horror, doing far more damage than good, especially when they're prescribed for mild problems such as sadness, anxiety, anger, and all the other emotions that are a normal, everyday experience.

 

Hang in there! You absolutely are NOT crazy!!!

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Alex--thanks for clarification. I'll look forward to reading more of your posts. All you guys mean so much to me right now. You are giving me hope.

 

Jemima-- Great to hear from you. Today I had my first cup of decaf coffee instead of regular. This is a pretty big baby step for me. My concern is that if i don't have it, i'll be exhausted. but clearly, by drinking it, at this point, it's exhausting my body. I usually crash pretty hard. I cannot afford this.

 

I'm impressed to hear that you made changes to your diet too. I am trying to go for meats and veggies. I even thought of doing a liver detox like you mentioned. But since I just came off the meds, I'm going to wait a while and get stable. I still feel like I have the flu about half the time. It comes in waves, and can be very isolating. I don't want to complain, but the truth is, it can be rough. I'm glad to hear that your flu-like symptoms went away after several months. Do you have any idea what causes this? Is the drug still making it's way out of my body?!

 

THanks so much everyone.

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  • Administrator

stillwd, you absolutely do not have to make any excuses for yourself. ALL of us have had to figure this out for ourselves with very little help from doctors.

 

Are you off all drugs for two months now? Some have very long half-lives but it's unlikely any are still in your body in any appreciable amount.

 

The reason you have withdrawal symptoms is because your autonomic nervous system, which governs all the "autonomic" processes in your body, is destabilized. See What is antidepressant withdrawal syndrome?

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hey... just wanted to second (third? fourth?) not to be embarrassed about your story at all. It's very similar to a lot of us on here. Blame the faulty medical practices that put you in this situation, not yourself! You did a pretty good job considering how little real information there is out there about how to get off meds.

 

About the flu-like symptoms... I often felt like I had a fever, body aches, headache, general malaise... for a while I kept on taking my temperature and it was always normal. I was going nuts trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Now I know it's withdrawal. I still feel this way now and then, but it's not constant like it was before. I had the worst of it starting about four months after quitting ADs cold turkey, and I think the worst of it was over about five months after that. If I over-exert myself or don't stick to eating healthily and at regular hours, and exercising every day, it comes back. Sometimes it just seems random, but in general I think it helps to stick to a routine, drink lots of water, avoid caffeine, eat well. Yes, the sugar cravings are awful. I try to stick to fruit and healthier sweets at least.

 

Welcome to the forum!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Great to hear from you. What kind of symptoms do you still have?

 

Well, that depends on the day. One symptom is hypersensitivity. For instance, I am quite energized right now after taking 1 drop of sublingual b12 which I am trying to add to my regimen. The bottles recommends a dosage of 25-30 drops. A second symptom is sexual dysfunction. But, by far, my largest issue is with my gastrointestinal function. The gastro journey has been a long, complicated one. Main symptoms are LPR, sometimes called atypical acid reflux or silent reflux, which causes pain in the voice box, mucus in the throat and hoarseness in the voice. Also affected are bowel movements, teeth & gums, abdominal pain, joint pain. So it's a challenge.

 

How did you get off of sugar? Good job! I keep trying, and submit to horrible withdrawals.

 

In my case, I've found that what I consume moreorless determines my symptoms. For example, I can usually temporarily resolve sexual dysfunction (for the most part) by consuming certain things but that these things then cause a worsening in other symptoms. Sugar cravings get triggered in me... Well, they might be triggered by a conditioned response to stress because when I was on Drugs I ate poorly and binged on sweets. Or they could be triggered by starving bacteria in my gut, so-called 'bad bacteria'. Or they might be caused by some neurological need for sugar to run a metabolic process disturbed by the absence of the serotonerg-affecting (and other hormones) Drugs to which my entire central nervous system has become accustomed to, de facto reliant on. Obviously, I don't have a definitive answer. Sometimes I just really want sugary treats. I especially crave carby sweets with frosting (cakes, pies, cookies, etc) and also peanut butter/chocolate candies.

 

Right now I am on day 12orso of a no-sweets diet. I eat really well for the most part. I try to stick to animal products, soups, vegetables, eggs, and a few other things. Since birth I've eaten quite daringly and this has served me well. Because of my hypersensitivity I've had to be creative with treating my symptoms and nourishing myself. Many people have trouble downing apple cider vinegar in water. I sometimes boil fish heads and tails and drink the broth. I'm lucky for this ability.

 

Don't feel bad. I started eating really poorly in August/September when I started a specific carbohydrate diet. After a week or so, I'd always break the diet and buy a pie or something. This pattern has gone on for several months and I am trying to break it. I can't tell you how I am doing it because I am not following a plan. I just didn't eat any sweets today. I'll try to abstain again tomorrow.

 

I start feeling much sicker and the cravings kick in like my body's looking for heroin! It's crazy. I'm willing to give it another shot. How has this helped you? What do you mean when you say it's about the get worse? Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

 

For now I'm trying to appreciate one change at a time.

 

Vanessa

 

Well, I certainly understand that. I have a whole thread (it's really long now) dedicated to my process and most of what I've been through is contained within.

 

As I said above, I find that what I put into my body has the strongest effect on what symptoms I feel. Many people, myself included, have learned a lot from the GAPS diet which you can read about at a site like gapsdiet.com or gapsguide.com or gaps.me... In my experience, all diets I've tried have needed tweaking. The GAPS diet is not a protocol for healing from psychiatric medication withdrawal syndrome, however it is intended to alleviate symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as depression anxiety and even schizophrenia and autism. It is mostly based on the notion of unhealthy intestinal microorganism imbalance which it's inventor Dr. Campbell-McBride believes is the root cause of autism. She is interviewed by Dr. Mercola on youtube.

 

My advice on sugar cravings would be to start food journaling. Take note of when/why your sweet cravings are triggered? Do you crave sweets after abstaining for a few days? After a stressful incident? After eating another type of food? How much sweet foods do you eat and how do you feel afterwards?

 

It's not that once you answer these questions you can get a instant solution. But you will likely see connections that can help you to guide your recovery. And we on the forum can share our knowledge to aid you.

 

However, as much as I or anyone else here can help you, you will also need to help yourself. Doctors are not much help. We here on the forum ARE helpful but we don't have all the answers, unfortunately. Each of us has a withdrawal syndrome somewhat specific to them. While there are certain symptoms under the w/d umbrella, none of us currently has exactly the same cluster of symptoms.

 

For instance, I am moderately unusual in that my sensitivity extends to b12. Others with hypersensitivity tolerate it just fine, a minority are like me. Since we all have different constitutions that interacted with different medications in different ways for different lengths of time, we are all different. The good thing is that -- despite our differences -- we are all in the same boat. The basic health problem is a shared one, but it's expressed a little differently in each of us. At least in my opinion.

 

Together we work to rebuild our health and dignity while trying to prevent others from enduring the ORDEAL. So it is a really great group to be a part of and I have learned a lot. You will too.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone,

 

I was last on here when I was maybe 4 months post withdrawal and wanted to check back in with an update at 1.5 yrs.

 

Background: I was put on Prozac at 16 (1994) for sadness (appropriate to life circumstance!). This created a manic reaction with primary symptoms of sugar/carb cravings, severe anxiety, unable to sleep, total personality change, aggression and self harm, and I became suicidal. I ended up in the ER, then in a locked ward where I was diagnosed Bipolar (this was before FDA warning was out). I was given three new meds and my life as a psych patient began. I went from being a fit and heathy girl with some understandable difficulties adjusting to a new school and to problems at home, to a physically ill, confused, numb, sexless, emotionally all over the place woman who now has an atypical case of PCOS which, coincidentally, began to show symptoms one year after being put on Prozac.

 

I've only pieced this together in retrospect as I was just a kid when I was put on psych drugs. I had no real identity, sexual or personal, so getting "sick" and being told I was mentally ill, I just didn't have anything to compare me to. IT's just so sad to think that all those years I was told and thought I was mentally ill when it was the drugs. My mind was not functioning well. Perspective, narrative, peace...these were things I didn't know. I have 17 years of vague memories of pharmacies, therapists, disappointing people, anxiety, hospitals, trying to live and struggling hard to do the little things like laundry, worsening health and this identity of being mentally ill. WHICH WAS WRONG.

 

1.5 years off all meds and I am making some progress. Physically, I feel much worse than when I was on meds, which I knew to expect. The most bothersome symptoms are extreme fatigue (could sleep 14 hrs/day), flu-like symptoms, ears ringing, aching muscles, memory problems, and I've aged, no joke, like 10 years in that last year. My BF's like....uhmm, hi?

 

Mentally and emotionally, I am much more clear. This means that I'm living through the trauma of my experience. I'm angry, grieving and sometimes feel hopeless.

 

Questions: Anyone on here had symptoms 1.5 years post withdrawal? I can't seem to shake this flu-like stuff and the fatigue!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Stillwithdrawing,

 

I moved your most recent post to your Intro thread where you began telling us your history.

 

Considering all the meds you were on for years and the rather haphazard way you tapered off all of them, I'm not surprised that you're not feeling very well yet. I was on several drugs (see below) for fifteen months, and tapered very quickly off Lexapro, ending December 14, 2011. The worst of withdrawal is well behind me, but I can still sleep 9 to 10 hours a day and have some problems with emotional numbness. (I would encourage you to get as much sleep as you can. It really seems to help.)

 

Thanks for checking in. Have you read through the Symptoms and self-care section? There are lots of good suggestions there for non-drug ways to feel better: Symptoms and self-care

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Hi Goldstar,

 

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I did read the self-care section. Lots of good ideas. I'm frustrated to report that it seems whatever I do doesn't actually make much of a difference. My perspective now is that it's just going to take time. Wondering how long... suppose that's everyone's question :blink:

 

About how long was it before you started to feel better?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi SW--

 

I just wanted to say, I lost 20 years of my life to psych drugs too. It just makes me so angry and sad to hear your story.

 

I don't think it's at all unusual or alarming that you're still not feeling fully well. I think it's pretty much to be expected. Have you seen Gia K's story? It's similar to yours. Check out her blog Beyond Meds.

 

It's going to probably take me 6 years or more to get fully off meds and maybe longer than that to be really recovered. But I'm a lot older than you are.

 

I've followed the stories of other people with stories like yours and you're actually doing pretty well given your history and how you came off the drugs. I think you're going to be fine. It just takes time. It might be a couple more years before you're really feeling fully healthy and well. But you'll get there.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone -

 

I'm back on here (thought I was scott free!) with a bad relapse. 18 months off of the last drug - i was on 12 over the years - and feeling awful this week. I am extremely lucky to have gotten some relief. And then BOOM - it's back.

 

I tried a micro dose of a benzo (this is not a recommendation) which resolves the fatigue and pain almost immediately. Has anyone else heard of this? Clearly, I'm not a fan of benzos and was at one point on a high damaging dose. But, I'm tempted to consider going back on a micro-dose. 

 

I don't feel like it's really a solution for me since I'm 35. But this is just so awful. Feel like I'm in chemo :(

 

 

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I hate the fatigue and aches, I have been having a lot of them lately. Hang in there.

I am off of all meds as of May 20th, 2013, after 5 weeks on Zoloft and a 4 week taper. Still experiencing: moderate anhedonia & PSSD, I am otherwise mostly healed. 

 

2.1 years off of medication. 

 

"If I walk away, don't hate me. I've got to see where the pain will take me.

 

I found no angels...I found myself."

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Hi...I had the aches and pains and fatigue issues from a lenghty lexapro taper.  During the taper I found that laying down and watching TV and reading would send me into a very nice nap which got rid of the aches and recharged my batteries.

 

I don't have this from this taper which is Celexa, thank heavens.

 

I guess it's the old saying "listen to your body:. 

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Hi Still, I am turning into a broken record here, but a patient recently self-published a book entitled Unravelling CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome). It's an e book on Amazon and all about cortisol. He has a specific hypothesis about where in the brain the cortisol stimulation comes from in CFS, and I think it's different in WD, but still much that can be gleaned. $10

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

Hello, swd. I merged your new topic with your existing Intro topic. Only one topic to a customer in the Intro forum.

 

Sorry to hear you're experiencing a relapse of sorts. I would use a benzo very sparingly, even in microdoses, as it may go paradoxical on you and make you worse.

 

See our Symptoms and Self-care forum for non-drug suggestions.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi everyone -

 

I'm back on here (thought I was scott free!) with a bad relapse. 18 months off of the last drug - i was on 12 over the years - and feeling awful this week. I am extremely lucky to have gotten some relief. And then BOOM - it's back.

 

I tried a micro dose of a benzo (this is not a recommendation) which resolves the fatigue and pain almost immediately. Has anyone else heard of this? Clearly, I'm not a fan of benzos and was at one point on a high damaging dose. But, I'm tempted to consider going back on a micro-dose. 

 

I don't feel like it's really a solution for me since I'm 35. But this is just so awful. Feel like I'm in chemo :(

Hi Stillwithdrawing I am curious how things are going with you if your around how about an update.  Seems we have some things in common first 6 wks into my ct from effexor I got the flu to the extent of being in bed sick for 3 months another 3 months still fluish up... I too had a real hard hit at 18 months off.  

 

I tried one benzo when I was in wd and had a paradoxical reaction that had me pacing the floor for three days and nights... well could not be still was outside and in all around the place but no peace and no sleep.  I have not taken one since. 

 

I felt like I was dying for a good part of wd and am your comment that you felt like you were on chemo does not surprise me not one bit. I know you don't up date too often so maybe it is time for another one.  For some reason we are very much alike in history of symptoms... do you have any pain?  Just curious.... I have been sick a lot with infections and a lot of antibiotic use I wonder have you had this too... I know not trying to jinx you just curious. 

I wish you peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 5 years later...

I don't want to open a new topic, so I am asking here.

 

It seems that Stillwithdrawing was experiencing flu-like symptoms 1.5 years post withdrawal, as he put it.

 

Is it possible?

 

I have experiences something similar. But a have some mild flu-like symptoms just when I have finished my withdrawing. And then I didn't have any of them. But now I have suddenly experienced very hard flu-like symptoms. My nose and ling are healthy, so I am probably not infected.

 

So my question is: is it possible to experience flu-like symptoms more that 1.5 years after post withdrawing? In my case it happened very suddenly...

2009-2010: Asentra (50 mg)

2011: Cipralex (10 mg)

2009-2011: tried Zyprexa (5/2.5mg), Kventiax  (50/25mg) and Abilify (low dosage), but started refusing these drugs relatively quickly because of being zombie

2012-2016: Prozac (60 mg)

2016-2017: Alventa (75 mg)

2016: just tried Cymbalta and Ludiomil

2017-2019: Mirtazapine (30/45mg)

2012-2018: Wellbutrine (300 mg)

2014-2018: Lamotrigine (50/100/150 mg)

 

Supplements: B12 and D2

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