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tetamarie: I am new here!


tetamarie

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Hello all! I am glad to have found a place to tell my story and maybe to find answers and to know I am not alone! so here goes. I was put on zoloft around 13 years ago to treat PMS. I was on it for a year or so. Then i started having panic attacks, which I had never had before. My doctor then switched me to effexor. I took 75mg for years, then in 2004 my dose was raised to 150mg, at that time my mom was dying from cancer and there was alot going on and my doctor thought i needed it. From then till June of 2011 I took 150mg effexor xr nightly. In November of 2010 I had a hysterectomy and was in menopause within 3 days at 35 years old. My doctor told me i would be fine on effexor and wouldn't need hormones because effexor is prescribed all the time for menopause. I stayed on it till i finally realized it was not handling the meno symptoms very well and my body needed hormones. All my doc could think about was the fact that i needed to stop smoking and wanted me to try wellbutrin. I told him I was not going to be on 2 ADs at the same time. He said ok stop taking the effexor and in a month you can start the wellbutrin. Now over the 12 years I had missed a does once in a while. i knew you couldn't just stop, so i had to figure out some way to taper, the doc knew nothing to help me. On June 1st I took 75mg, did that for a week and went down from there till by the end of June i was off.(Never did start the wellbutrin.) I think it was too fast but I didn't know any better. During the taper phase I had all the physical symptoms but emotionally I was feeling ok, actually more alive. Then about mid July all hell broke lose. I woke up every morning in panic mode and stayed that way all day. I slept well at nite because I was worn out. I couldn't eat, body just would not accept food, but I did lose most of the extra 30 pounds the effexor put on me!! I could not think straight at all. I was off work at the time because of summer break, i work at a school. I really didn't think i could go back in August if I was still like this. I went to the doctor after 2 weeks of this and he said get back on the effexor.O gee Big help! I thought about it though but it had been nearly 2 months at that point and I kinda felt like a winner...lol. I then started looking into the hormones and did end up on estrogen and that is still a roller coaster ride in itself. i am still trying to find a balance with the estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

It has been 8 months since my last dose of effexor. Between the effexor withdrawal and the hormones there are alot of days I don't know who I am anymore! My personality is gone.

All my life I was active. I worked full time(still do), I have 3 boys, a husband, a home and a farm. I was always busy, cleaning house, working outside, raising my sons and being with family and friends. I know that may not sound like fun to some but it was my life and I miss it. I am not like I was before taking effexor and I am not like I was while taking it. Its like I am someone new and I have to say I don't care much for it. I was never depressed before and now I do believe I am. I get up and go to work because my kids go to school where i work. I don't drive anymore because it makes me panic. My oldet son is 17 and if it weren't for him or my husband driving, I don't know what i would do. I keep the couch warm. Thats all I ever do. I have no desire or energy to do anything. I feel disconnected from people and things in my life. I don't do things the same way I used too. I don't have the same kind of relationships with people like I used too.I get confused and can't think straight. I know menopause can cause the same feelings, but even after the surgery I didn't feel this way till after stopping the effexor. Now with all that said, while on effexor I was kinda cold hearted and mean. I hated my husband most of the time. I spent money like I had it to spend. I still had panic attacks every once in a while. I gained 30 pounds. I was always worn out and needed a nap and I yawned all the time,I could sleep 10 hours and still feel tired. My sex life left town. So life on it wasn't that great either, I just didn't realize it till I was off. I can cry for hours if I let myself think about how I acted sometimes. There were people who thought I was mad at them all the time. What just about kills me to the core is the fact I raised my kids for 12 years on this. As you can imagine, I think about the what ifs alot and I wonder if I could have a better mom.

I know hormones affect neurotransmitters and vice versa. I have read that ADs deplete the brain of neurotransmitters. So I don't know what I am working with and I sure don't know how to fix anything.

Ok, I feel like I wrote a book on here. Sorry if I rambled or if it doesn't make sense. Thanks for letting me let it out!!!

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  • Administrator

Thank you for joining our community, tetamarie, and telling your story.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this. You've been off Effexor since June 2011?

 

The susceptibility to panic does sound like withdrawal syndrome. You may be light-sensitive. Some of us find light stimulation will trigger feelings of anxiety or panic (we call this neuro-emotion, generated from neurological hypersensitivity, to distinguish it from real emotions).

 

To help reduce the light sensitivity, you may wish to wear sunglasses a lot of the time, particularly those that block blue light, and turn down lights as much as possible in the evening. We have a few topics on this in our Symptoms and What Helps forum, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/304-light-sensitive-try-blocking-out-blue-light

 

People here are also using meditative breathing to help cope with neuro-anxiety.

 

Over time, withdrawal symptoms fade away -- but it can take a while.

 

Have any of your symptoms changed in 8 months?

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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Yes, I haven't had any effexor since June 2011. I am dealing with alot of depression at this point. I still get anxiety from time to time which can lead to a panic attack but that does seem to have calmed some. I know this site isn't about hormone replacement so i dont want to harp on it, but in my case at this point the hormones have a impact on me and my anxiety and depression. I wish I knew which was hormone related and AD withdrawal, because oddly enough they share some the same symptoms. Brain zaps for example from the loss of estrogen. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gotten off effexor before the hysterectomy then maybe there wouldn't be the confusion. I just know I feel weird. I didn't know about the light connection, I will check that out!! thank you!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hi tetamarie!

sounds to like you have done really well to survive the last 8 months whilst working full time! I sure could never have done that!!. Sure, the surgical menopause could be causing some of your symptoms, however it is much more likely that your symptoms are effexor related. Coming off 150mg over a couple of weeks is pretty darn fast.

 

I second Alto's suggestion of meditative breathing to help ground you when feeling anxiety

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Administrator

Brain zaps from estrogen withdrawal? Never heard of that.

 

tetamarie, do you mean some of your symptoms are from the HRT? Did you get more depressed when you added progesterone?

 

One of the characteristics of withdrawal symptoms is they seem to come in waves.

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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peggy, it has been very hard to work during all this, if not for the group of girls i work with, i could not have done it. they helped me so much. then there is my son who drives me, i could not have gotten to work without him!!

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Alto, i have read that when the estrogen receptors in our brains don't get the estrogen its used too getting, we have electrical shock sensations throughout our body, not just the head. maybe i shouldn't call it brain zaps, but i have heard other women describe it that way too. before i started any hormones at all, i was a complete mess. the first hormone they start you on is estrogen, it helped alot with anxiety and the foggy brain but not completely. they added progesterone at a very high dose. the anxiety went away, but the depression set in. when i told the doc he pulled me of the progesterone and added it again a month later at a low dose. he also added testosterone. that was a month and half ago. now i am just a depressed, pissed off mess. Progesterone and testosterone help with anxiety but can also make a person depressed and angry.i sure haven't found the right balance yet. when you go through that they want to put you on a antidepressant. they offer me one all the time. and when i say heck no, they look at you like your crazy. but i don't want to go the route again in my life.

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  • Administrator

Right, depression can be a side effect of progesterone. Did it go away when you quit progesterone before?

 

Also, going on and off HRT hormones can cause withdrawal.

 

I sympathize with you, tetamarie. At least you might be able to find some info about the antidepressant withdrawal recovery process here.

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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  • 2 months later...

Hello all, Hope everyone is doing well!! I first posted in March, I think, about my effexor journey. I have been effexor free 10 months now. I really want to be proud of that fact but here's the deal. A few days ago a very close friend of mine stayed the evening at my home and was in utter shock by me! She told me very honestly how much I have changed this past 10 months and not for the better. I already knew this, I have to live it everyday. I could go on and on about the things that I used to do, the way I used to act and the way my life was all those years before effexor use and during effexor use. But I won't because you all have probably been through the same thing.

 

I am in menopause due to having my ovaries removed and that in itself causes dramatic changes in a womans body and mind!! I am using hormones but it is still not the same.

 

 

I quess my point is I miss the old me. I don't know if I was on effexor for so long that I became used to the me that I was while on it or not, but thats the only me I have known for so long, that I feel completely lost now.

 

When my family and friends talk about the way I used to be or the way we used to do this or that, it makes me want to be like that again because now I have no interest in anything, no spark, no desire, and I miss it. I just wish I was like the old me but without an AD. I know I am not alone and am probably being a big baby about the whole thing, sorry, but thanks for letting whine a bit!!

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  • Administrator

Teta,

 

Have you tested thyroid function, vitamin B12 and vitamin D? ADs will take a toll on our systems. The lack of motivation and desire could be associated to vitamin deficiencies, not quite optimized hormones or hypothyroidism or a combination of all three.

 

For sex hormones you want to be in the luteal range ... not the menopausal range because that is just what is normal in that state, not necessarily where you will feel your best. In the luteal range you feel more invigorated and energetic.

 

Just saying that I would check out other possibilities before I went back on an AD.

 

Love and light,

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Karma,

 

I have had my TSH and free T3 checked and they were normal. I haven't had my B12 or Vit. D checked. How can I go about finding out if I am in the luteal range?

I had a hormone test in March and I was in range for all three hormones but they were not in the right ratio. Doctor said numbers don't mean much and he would rather go by how I feel. The problem with that is he wants to make me feel better by adding an AD. Of course. Thank you for your reply!

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Teta,

Im at about 1 year post Pristiq and anhedonia is bad. I'm still working on the hormones and this is interesting from Karma! Shoot for luteal phase - wow! I was debating with people who are against all hormone use and I was going to ask Karma's thoughts. I didn't recall if you used reproductive hormones. Did the Women's Health Initiative Study scare people off of hormones that badly? Interesting that Effexor and Pristiq were being touted/studied for hot flashes around the time that the WHI was halted (all Wyeth products including Prempro). A tad suspicious, IMHO.

Karma, I'd greatly appreciate any knowledge/guidance on reproductive hormones. Perhaps a separate thread? My doc believes I've been estrogen deficient for awhile based on my hx and family history. Noticed reduction in pain with estrogen, too.

Sorry, to go on about this. I've been researching it in past few days and am amazed that hormones are so underutilized. It's about far more than hot flashes.

Even came across a paper by Stahl advocating estrogen use for depression in women of all ages. And no COI stated or pharma sponsorship!

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2184-natural-edtrogen-as-an-antidepressant-for-women-stephen-stahl-md-phd/#entry21103

Thanks to both of you for this discussion.

 

Natural Estrogen as Antidepressant for Women, Stephen Stahl, MD

http://www.psychiatrist.com/pcc/brainstorm/br6206.htm

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Hi Teta...

 

Please don't call yourself a baby. You are far from it. Getting off Effexor is one of the hardest things to do, ever.

 

Does your friend understand what you went thru? All of us don't fee the same as we used to. Protracted WD is usually a lingering issue.

 

Thyroid and Hormones, yep they really need to be checked out. Suzane Somers said in her book, it's not so much the numbers, but how your feel, which is what your MD said.

 

I didn't know about the term luteal range. I need to check that out, next visit. I have also learned from this site about MD's not doing the deeper level of testing for the thyroid.

 

Remember it takes times to readjust after a taper from Effexor.

 

Before, during and after Paxil and on Lexapro I exercised all the time. After the Lexapro taper I lost interest.

Would like for it to come back, because when I do it, I feel better.

 

Hugs

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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  • Administrator

Karma,

 

I have had my TSH and free T3 checked and they were normal. I haven't had my B12 or Vit. D checked. How can I go about finding out if I am in the luteal range?

I had a hormone test in March and I was in range for all three hormones but they were not in the right ratio. Doctor said numbers don't mean much and he would rather go by how I feel. The problem with that is he wants to make me feel better by adding an AD. Of course. Thank you for your reply!

 

Hi Teta,

 

Here is what I do - I get a copy of all of my labs - they are mine and I have a right to a copy of them. On the lab report it will give where you tested and usually to the right it will give the normal range. If a doctor tells me that my labs are normal I take it with a grain of salt unless I see the lab myself.

 

For Free T3 (Triiodothyronine, Free) you want it in the upper quarter of the range. So if the range is 2.0-4.4 and you are at 2.1 then technically it is in the normal range, but you may be feeling hypothyroid. If your doctor is willing to treat by symptoms, then press the matter.

 

From observations of patients on the patient advocate site I participate on I've seen people begin to feel better when they get that FT3 in the upper end of that range. I feel best when I'm over the range and it freaks my doctors out ... but you should know that the normal range used to go up to 6.2. I'll cover how they come up with normal range and why it is skewed in the Thyroid post ... I'll need to find my references to validate my statements.

 

Now for sex hormones ... yes, Karma takes bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. The health studies that were halted were done with synthetic hormones. Once again, the lab report will show the different kinds of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone that you were tested for. The report will give you results and then it will give several normal ranges. For Estradiol adult female you will have Follicular phase, Ovulation phase, Luteal phase, Postmenopausal and a few others. When treating with hormone replacement therapy you want to get estrogen up into the Luteal phase range. If we just stay in the Postmenpausal range then there is no need to supplement. There is some belief that if we get the estrogen up it will help protect our bone health (my bone doctor believes this).

 

Regarding the ratio of one sex hormone to another ... you do want to try to get the ratios more appropriate. I don't have quite the understanding of the ratios that I do with other things ... but I do know that if Estrogen, Progesterone and Free Testosterone are not in the right ratios it can make you feel bad.

 

Hope something here helps ... remember I'm just a patient sharing my experiences ... I advocate becoming educated about your own health and working with your doctor so that you really feel well, not just ok. Do some research, challenge the status quo and advocate for your own wellness.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Teta,

I got carried away on the hormone topic last nite and forgot to add that the red flags go up when any doc advises SS/NRIs now. There is mounting evidence that their effect is negligible in all but severely depressed (Kirsch et al), they worsen the course of depression (G Fava et al), and there are numerous serious risks with longterm use - diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiometabolic effects, etc.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Administrator

Teta, I attached your new post to your existing topic. Only one topic to a customer in Introductions.

 

Karma has excellent suggestions.

 

Without getting too technical about possible thyroid issues, if I were you I'd think about additional vitamin D3 at the very least. It's been found we're not getting enough naturally, from exposure to sunlight. This is particularly bad in the winter.

 

This can make a big difference!! Also low vitamin B12 is quite common as we get older. We get less able to absorb it from our food. Blood tests don't always show low B12. A B12 shot is low risk, inexpensive, and available from a GP.

 

See these topics Vitamin D3

 

Vitamin B12

 

Also, are you taking fish oil? The omega-3 fatty acids are essential to nervous system health and we don't get enough of them in our food.

 

....

Even came across a paper by Stahl advocating estrogen use for depression in women of all ages. And no COI stated or pharma sponsorship!

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2184-natural-edtrogen-as-an-antidepressant-for-women-stephen-stahl-md-phd/#entry21103

Thanks to both of you for this discussion.

 

Natural Estrogen as Antidepressant for Women, Stephen Stahl, MD

http://www.psychiatrist.com/pcc/brainstorm/br6206.htm

 

Bar, we can assume anything from Stahl is an infomercial. His entire career has been in the service of pharma. His point of view is pharma-centric.

 

I would definitely go after vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and fish oil first and see how they work before getting into the morass of HRT.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Teta! I just want to add, in case it's not clear from what's been said: To be feeling depressed 10 months out from quitting long-term use of an AD is not only not something to worry about, it seems to be really normal and typical.

 

This is the point when most people restart ADs and end up lifelong users.

 

Back in the pre-Prozac days, depression used to be rare, and usually only happened once. Now it's become a chronic remitting illness. There's a huge amount of evidence that this is because the ADs alter our brain chemistry (which had nothing wrong with it to begin with, but once you take an AD for a while it does). Then when you quit, it takes a long time for things to renormalize. Most people don't ride out the resulting "relapse" (which is really just withdrawal and resetting of brain chemistry).

 

So please don't assume that who you are now is who you are going to be. It can take a couple of years to heal up from long term AD use.

 

I highly recommend the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

 

You may find that some lifestyle adaptations can help with your current depression. Gentle daily exercise (even though you don't feel like it) (walking is great); healthy diet with no or very low use of sugar and white flour, lots of fresh unprocessed foods (should be do-able on a farm!); try to keep to a regular schedule; and don't expect too much from yourself and try to keep stress to a minimum. (Not a great time to take on a stressful new project if you can put it off for another year.)

 

This stuff can sometimes help but even if it doesn't, don't worry, don't despair, and if you don't like how you feel on ADs, don't start another one. This is NOT THE REAL YOU. You will heal and get yourself back.

 

By the way, PS, I totally relate to grieving how you wish you had been able to mother your kids better/differently.

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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