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☼ julia995: Hello - too young for this


julia955

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Hi everyone. I've been browsing this site for a couple of years and thought I'd finally join. I'd love to be able to talk with others about what I'm going through.

 

I'm only 22 but I've pretty much been through every hell imaginable in terms of SSRI use (I started when I was 5--not by choice, obviously). It really frustrates me because I never even chose myself to go on these medications, I had very bad tantrums and anxiety as a small child and a psychiatrist put me on them. As I got older, instead of being told to get therapy and try getting off them, she just kept raising the dosage. By age 12 I was on the maximum dose even though my problems weren't that severe. I remember being in middle school gaining weight, feeling tired CONSTANTLY, just not feeling like a kid at a ll, and at the time no one thought that the medication could be the reason for it. It's so upsetting because I feel as though my entire life up until this point has been taken from me and Ill never experience what it's like to be young and happy.

 

Like I said I never showed depressive symptoms before the medication but as the dose was raised I would occasionally get depression symptoms. When I was 15/16 I was switched to celexa which actually "worked" quite a bit better for me, I lost a lot of weight and felt energetic and motivated, but by the time I was 18 I really wanted off of these drugs that weren't even my choice to go on. However, as I learned the hard way psychiatrists don't have a good understanding of what's required for a successful taper. I was then on 40mg, and she lowered it all the way to 30, and then quickly after that to 20. 

 

This all happened right before I went away to university for the first time, so it was just horrible timing. My first month of college I noticed I began to feel severe chest pain. I didn't know what was happening and it was very scary. My entire freshman year I essneitllay spent in severe burning pain all across my chest and upper back. I would be doubled over crying for much of the day because of the pain. I went to see SO many doctors about it but they all said I was perfectly healthy and it must be from anxiety or just 'in my head'. 

 

I had to leave college after my first year because of the pain. By this point I was completely off of the celexa because I didn't know what was happening and I thought the pain was being caused solely by the drug itself. But the pain didn't get any better, it got worse. I basically spent the next 3 years (not an exaggeration) bedridden crying in pain. I cannot even describe in words how severe the pain was. And the problem was no one even considered that it was due to withdrawal because every doctor I went to said no, withdrawal wouldn't cause pain like that. So it was just a constant 'search' to figure out why I was having this mysterious pain.

 

Even when I went back on the celexa to see if it would help, it wouldn't get rid of the pain, but I believe that's because (as I later found), the only way to get rid of it is by going on the HIGHEST possible dose because that's the highest dose my body was accustomed to. 

 

Finally last year I tried Zoloft out of desperation (I was missing my whole youth...I feel like my situation is a lot different because I spent 18-21 bedridden in pain. I know I could "wait it out" a few more years...but I'm missing my entire youth, a period fo my life I won't get back, and I don't know how much longer my college is going to let me take time off. I should have already graduated by now :(. It's so painful to be in so much pain while other people your age are having the time of your lives.) So even though I hate these medications, I tried Zoloft in a desperate attempt to just be out of pain and be able to move forward with my life. By the time I reached 150mg my pain went away completely (after 4 months on it), but of course I have other side effects on it I do not like like loss of creativity (I want to be a musician, and I love art), not feeling emotions as deeply, and almost feeling like your'e living life in a fog. To be blunt I don't feel "myself" on it. My individual spark is gone. But, I was just so desperate to get rid fo the physical pain.

 

Anyway I made a freaking stupid decision in May to go off of it. At this point me and my doctors still didn't 100% make the connection between the pain and withdrawal, it was just a 'theory'. I thought my pain could have lessened because I had a boyfriend and friends now, was in school, feeling better, was out of pain to the point I was exercising consistently, etc. Well, nope lol. All of my pain returned this month. I'm back to being in bed with pain :(

 

I'm in a huge dilemma because I know from past experience the pain DOES NOT go away. It's weird because I don't have any mental symptoms from going off the medication. I don't feel any more anxious/depressed/etc. The symptoms are all physical for me. It's just the most severe pain imaginable. I'm sure it's some type of nerve damage because it feels like burning knives stabbing into me..no words can describe the pain. I just want the pain gone as soon as possible, but I know if I go back on the medication I have to say goodbye to who I am as a person and my musical talent. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Like I said, I have already missed so much of my life. I don't want to be bedridden from pain anymore 😞 It just hurts so much. And it's not even my fault because I never chose to go on this medication!!

 

I feel like I'm screwed for life, and will never have a full life devoid of both pain and of the medication. What if I just never adjust to being off of it because I started so young? I just hope some people here can offer me advice on how to eliminate it without having pain like this. I just cannot stand the pain...

 

I'm sorry this is so long but like all of you, my story is long!

 

To make it easier if someone is just skimming, withdrawal symptoms include

- severe burning / stabbing pain in upper back, chest, shoulders

- occasional hip pain and inability to walk because of it

- digestive problems (extreme bloating, heartburn)

- lightheadedness when standing up at times

- basically feel like all my nerves are on fire

- chest tightness 24/7

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to julia995: Hello! too young for this :-(
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Julia955.  I am so sorry about what has been done to you.  

 

You are not screwed for life.  We have had other members who started very young, went off the drugs, made a full recovery and are leading full, productive lives.  And you can have a life devoid of both pain and the medication.  The plan of action that I'm going to recommend is a very small reinstatement of the Zoloft to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms, then, after you stabilize (which will take several months), a very slow taper (10% of current dose every four weeks or less) to get you off the Zoloft.  How does this sound to you?

 

A question: when you CT'd off the Zoloft in May, were you at 150mg?

 

Reinstatement of a very small dose of the original drug is the only known way to help alleviate withdrawal syndrome.  The only other alternative is to try and wait out the symptoms and manage as best you can until your central nervous system returns to homeostasis.  Unfortunately no one can give you an exact timeline as to when you will start feeling better and while some do recover relatively easily, for others it can take many months or longer.  Please read:
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic
 
Reinstatement isn’t a guarantee of diminished symptoms for everyone, but it’s the best tactic available.  You’re still in the time period where reinstatement predictably works, up to three months after last dose or dose reduction.  We usually suggest a much smaller reinstatement dose than your last dose.  These drugs are strong, and when updosing/reinstating it is better to start with a small amount and increase of symptoms remain unbearable.  If you take too much it may be too much for your brain and can cause you become unstable.  Sometimes it can be hard to regain stability after this happens.
 
It takes about 4 days for a dose change to get to full state in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  
 
I'm going to ask the other moderators what dosage they recommend for you to reinstate.  Please don't reinstate without hearing from us first.
 
As I said, after you've stabilized, it will be time to taper down the Zoloft you reinstated.  At Surviving Antidepressants, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.  I'm going to give you several links to read.  Please take your time and don't be overwhelmed.
 
 
This last link explains how to get nonstandard doses you will need for your taper.
 
To help you understand the symptoms you are experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.  
 
 

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  
 

This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.
 
 
 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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Yes, for the most part I cold turkeyed off 150 (I think I spent about 4-5 days at 100mg first). Thanks so much for this reply. I'm going to reinstate a small amount I suppose, but I have a lot of concerns because- my symptoms first started (at this severity) when I decreased the celexa I was on at the time from 40mg to 30mg. Like I had the exact same symptoms now as I did then. Then when I totally got rid of the celexa, I was off it for about 3 months and had the same symptoms but when I tried to reinstate it to 20mg, and stayed on that dose for over a year, the pain didn't go away at all. Also, I only went up 150mg this time on the Zoloft because again, I stayed on other smaller doses for an extended amount of time and the symptoms didn't go away. It was only after reaching 150 and staying on it for two months did the symptoms go away. I'm worried because I was on high doses so young that now I require that just to not have pain...ugh I just can't get over the anger I have towards the people who put me on this, and how it was handled. I also have worries like because I was only 5 when I started it, my brain/body didn't develop normally and now they don't know how to.

 

I'm also concerned because at one point I was off everything for about 1.5 years and my symptoms did not improve whatsoever. As I said I was essentially bedridden during this time. I experienced zero "windows" or moments of relief, it was constant 24/7 pain never wavering in severity. It really worries me because not once did it improve to any degree.

 

I guess because of my history I'm not inclined to believe reinstating a small amount is going to make any difference for the pain. If it's anything like the other times I have to go all the way back up to the high dose.

 

It's really unsettling for me because like I said I have already lost so much of my young life and when I go on the high dose medication, I'm very zombie-like, have no social life, and don't feel like I'm living. But the alternative is experiencing excruciating pain unable to do anything. I just feel so trapped. I don't want more months/years of this after all I've suffered. I am running out of time to be able to create the life I want because of my age and stuff, and I don't want to have to leave school again 😢

 

I feel like I'm some weird outlier case because I haven't seen anyone describe their experience like this. Usually the symptoms people have seem to be emotional/mental. Is there anyone else here who gets such excruciating burning pain as their only symptom? Does it mean there's been a lot of damage to my nerves and stuff? I just don't understand why it would cause me so much physical pain. 

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • Moderator

Reinstatement is a tricky proposition, and it doesn't always work.  You know your system and history better than anyone else, but as I said, we advise against going back to the full dose because it can be further destabilizing to an already destabilized brain and nervous system.  I would encourage you to wait until the other moderators have weighed in with a suggested reinstatement dose.

 

Regarding withdrawal symptoms, some people have primarily emotional/mental symptoms, others primarily physical.  In the Glenmullen link I sent previously, burning is listed as a common symptom: 

 

"Numbness, burning, tingling"

 

Regarding permanent damage to your nerves, the brain has a remarkable ability to heal itself, though it can take some time.  Google "surviving antidepressants neuroplasticity"

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg.


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Administrator

Hello, Julia.

 

Going on and off psychiatric drugs causes the nervous system to be hypersensitive to drugs and sometimes supplements and even foods. A little goes a long way, too much might cause an adverse reaction.

 

Most likely, your nervous system will react differently now than it did to the Celexa. However, your history suggests you might be a fast metabolizer via the liver enzyme 2C19, which is the primary metabolizer of Celexa and Zoloft, which is why you can tolerate high doses of those two drugs.

 

Another option might be 2.5mg Prozac, which is primarily metabolized by liver enzyme 2D6.

 

How's you sleep? Are you taking any other drugs?

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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11 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, Julia.

 

Going on and off psychiatric drugs causes the nervous system to be hypersensitive to drugs and sometimes supplements and even foods. A little goes a long way, too much might cause an adverse reaction.

 

Most likely, your nervous system will react differently now than it did to the Celexa. However, your history suggests you might be a fast metabolizer via the liver enzyme 2C19, which is the primary metabolizer of Celexa and Zoloft, which is why you can tolerate high doses of those two drugs.

 

Another option might be 2.5mg Prozac, which is primarily metabolized by liver enzyme 2D6.

 

How's you sleep? Are you taking any other drugs?

Hi, thank you for your reply, I really appreciate you taking the time to help.  I always found it strange I was on such high doses and didn't feel any extreme side effects. I had no sexual side effects, on celexa no weight side effects, etc. I am wondering if it's only because I was put on them so young so my body learned that it was 'normal' and adjusted to it? I guess I'll never know. Oh definitely no Prozac for me- before going on Zoloft this time actually I tried that and it caused me a very scary reaction and I ended up in the ER- felt very agitated and suicidal.  Like you said I guess my nervous system now is just so sensitive to certain things.

 

My sleep hasn't been great. I do get enough of it but I can't fall asleep until 3-4AM. As far as drugs, no these are the only ones, I do take some vitamin C but it doesn't seem to make things better or worse. 

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • Administrator
Just now, julia955 said:

Oh definitely no Prozac for me- before going on Zoloft this time actually I tried that and it caused me a very scary reaction and I ended up in the ER- felt very agitated and suicidal.  Like you said I guess my nervous system now is just so sensitive to certain things.

 

What dosage of Prozac did you try? This tends to confirm you are a 2C19 fast metabolizer and a 2D6 drug has a greater effect because it is metabolized at a normal rate.

 

Do you use the computer late at night?

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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I believe it was 10mg but I could be mistaken (whatever lowest dose is available in pill form). I doubt it was as low as 2.5. 

 

Yes I'm guilty of using the computer often at night, but sometimes I play music/draw/read. I also try a lot to just go to bed at 10 and even if I can't fall asleep just lie there, but I get sort of a surge of energy (cortisol maybe?) at like 11pm so I'm just lying there uncomfortably energized.

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

Link to post
  • Administrator

You might want to try melatonin, see

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

A very low dose of Prozac, even 1mg, might reduce those withdrawal symptoms, plus it will be easier to taper off than higher doses of Zoloft or Celexa.

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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50 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

You might want to try melatonin, see

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

A very low dose of Prozac, even 1mg, might reduce those withdrawal symptoms, plus it will be easier to taper off than higher doses of Zoloft or Celexa.

I'm going to try this. I'm meeting with a psychiatrist on Wednesday so I'll talk with her about prescribing a very small dose for the time being. I just really hope it will make the pain stop. I'll update here on what happens. Any idea on the usual timeline it takes for most people to feel relief? I suppose it depends on the person. 

 

And yes I have tried melatonin with mixed results. Sometimes it does help, but I always wake up the next morning with a horrible stomach ache. Other times it doesn't do much at all. I could try a different brand or dose possibly.

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, julia955 said:

And yes I have tried melatonin with mixed results.

 

What dose were you taking?  It may have been too much.  Please check out this topic:  melatonin-for-sleep

 

See also: tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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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9 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

What dose were you taking?  It may have been too much.  Please check out this topic:  melatonin-for-sleep

 

See also: tips-to-help-sleep-so-many-of-us-have-that-awful-withdrawal-insomnia

 

 

Oh interesting. I believe I was taking 3 or 5mg so I will try out a smaller dose. thank you!

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

Link to post

I wanted to add something here also because it might be helpful. My mom claims that when I first took the Zoloft at 5, it had an IMMEDIATE effect, literally within 5 minutes. Apparently she noticed immediately a drastic change, that I 'calmed down' or looked happier or something. It's so upsetting and disturbing to me that I was being fed a drug at 5 that immediately changed my emotions/basically was making me artificially high, and that was seen as a good thing...anyway, I'm not sure if that's relevant or not. Because @Altostrata said I might be a fast metabolizer because I was on high doses, and I'm not sure if this incident would confirm that or not.

 

I feel very lost and overwhelmed. I've been thinking of suicide a lot recently because the way I see it my only options are to live in disabling pain only to "maybe" have it go away in years, or to go back on drug which makes me feel dead. I have lost all my youth...I just want to be able to go out, have fun, and have normal experiences like everyone my age. I honestly feel like the emotional pain of missing out on any more life is just going to send me over the edge. I'm so trapped and am in disbelief of how much time and life I have lost and how much excruciating pain I've gone through

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • Administrator

julia, I can see why you might feel your future will be no different, but it will change.

 

Cold turkey is a risky way to go off many years of Zoloft, it can bring on severe symptoms, but even in people who have cold turkeyed, we have seen gradual improvement. Please hang on.

 

The immediate change you may or may not have felt at age 5 when you first took Zoloft is the result of giving a child a psychoactive drug. You were much smaller then and had not experienced these effects before. It may immediately have distracted you or otherwise disrupted your mood and thoughts. Your reaction does not shed light on whether you may be a slow or fast metabolizer, only that the effects were novel to you.

 

You might feel an immediate effect from 1mg Prozac. Please let us know how you're doing.

 

Prozac comes in a liquid form. You might explain to your doctor that you want to start at a very low dose and titrate up. Or, if your doctor will not prescribe the liquid, you can make your own, this topic explains Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)

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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  • 5 months later...

Hello, just giving a quick update. I have been completely off zoloft since May, so around 8 months drug-free now.

 

i am not doing amazingly, but I have had a handful of full days of no pain, which was wonderful. My emotional symptoms are mainly gone now although I did have a couple of weeks of very bad depression where I became very darkly existential and confused back in November. 

 

One thing that’s quite annoying is I just feel many of my emotions are dulled. Especially when it comes to love/passion, and sex. I don’t seem to be very into sex despite that not being a problem while I was actually on the medication. Now I don’t have much of a sex drive and just feel fairly deadened.

 

i also noticed that I started getting wicked cramps around my period, like debilitating levels, which I NEVER had before withdrawal, so I think it’s related.

 

I am still struggling with the chest and rib pain, which has always been my most torturous symptom. Like I said, I have had a handful of few pain-free days, but most of the time I am in some degree of agony.

 

I’m not going to lie I have considered going back on the drug just to make the chest pain go away. Because it is so excruciating it’s made me consider suicide multiple times, just because the level of pain is unmanageable and pain medications do nothing for it. I am 23 and because of all this have not been able to graduate college or really have a young adult life. I really yearn to have no pain so I can just enjoy my life, but the problem is I don’t even know if reinstating it would get rid of my pain at this point (and as I have already discovered, I would need a very high dose for the pain to stop, meaning if I went back on Id eventually have to start this whole process over if I wanted to come off again.)

 

I am still full of anger and rage that this was done to me at 5 years old without my consent and I have been in physical and mental torture for the past 5 years as a result of that. I basically lost my young adulthood to this. The pain is so bad I just don’t think I can stand it any more :(

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to julia995: Hello - too young for this
insistpersistresist

Hang in there Julia955!  

You are remarkably tough and have every right and reason to be sad and mad about the trials you have endured (and are enduring). I am new to this forum and searched “withdrawal nerve pain” and landed on your post.  I was prescribed Zoloft 18 years ago at age 23 and have been on a low dose of that or citalopram since then.  I weaned off citalopram 2 years ago and 3 weeks after being completely off of it, developed the agonizing nerve pain in my back that you speak about.  I felt entirely alone and invalidated by my doctor.  The muscles were so tight all over and my massage therapist couldn’t believe the knots.  After 4 months without relief, I started on Zoloft and found relief at a low dose.  However, I did start feeling that these meds were doing more harm than good and regretted the fact of staying on them so long.  

 

Now I have been off the Zoloft for 5 months.  The nerve pain returned though it is not as severe as the last time.  I am going to try cbd oil, magnesium glycinate, and 3000 IU of high quality fish oil and a good multivitamin to help the nerve pain, muscle tension, and nerve healing.

 

It is a long and winding road, but you know that already.  I have to have hope that there will be pain-free days ahead.  Unfortunately, nerves take months to heal but there is hope from this site that they WILL.  You have been through hell as I can identify with the awful pain.  I am hoping you see glimpses of relief that keep you going.  There are better days ahead and the body is pretty amazing in its ability to recover.  Let your anger fuel your resolve to get through this trial, and also let yourself cry about how hard it truly is.  Though you are weary of the fight, you remain a warrior Julia955, because that is what you are.  So many of us are fighting this battle, and you are not alone.

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Orangeblossom77

Hi Julia, I get some of this rib pain and other pains as well. The doc told me the rib pain is also called 'costochrondritis' and it is not harmful, just painful.

Not sure if that helps any. The thing is, we tend to respond to pain as it can tell us something is 'wrong' as a signal, and then as we get stressed, that in turn can make pain worse. i wonder if any pain management techniques might help you, in withdrawal? there are some good books on things like relaxation and mindfulness for pain, and to try and prevent that 'cycle' which can make pain worse. Some things I find helpful are heat / cold, such as baths, distraction such as aromatherapy, reading, walking, etc. Hope this helps a little.

 

I'm withdrawing form prozac right now and my main problem is pain also and prickling feelings, more than mental in fact (vertigo as well)

Fluoxetine 20mg a day, (mornings) Amitryptilline 10-50mg (evenings) for last two years (usually lowest dose of the latter) Previously on and off Fluoxetine since 1999. Off completely for pregnancies in 200s with no problems but recently more difficult to withdraw.End 2018 Tapered to 10mg Fluoxetine (am) and 10mg Amitryptilline (evening)Co-codomol 30/500 prescribed (one to two tabs 6 hrly as required for pain)

 

Start Jan 2019 5mg Fluoxetine mornings. Stopped amitryptilline.

6th Feb 2019 Stopped Fluoxetine, 2 X 425mg St Johns Wort daily. 

9th Feb 2019 Reinstated 5mg Prozac, stopped SJW due to headaches and upset tummy.

10th Feb 2019 Started using liquid diluted Prozac and syringe, dividing doses (2 X 2.5ml) = 5mg daily

12th Feb 2019 Stopped prozac after even small doses seem to be causing a bad reaction.

17th Feb 2019 Started taking single dose 425mg SJW mornings 

 

Also taking supplements: Multivitamin, Longvida Curcumin 500mg a day, Magnesium Citrate 500mg/day, Magnesium L-threonate 50mg/day, Omega 3 (with Vit E) 1000mg/day, Vitamin D3 20000IU

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16 hours ago, insistpersistresist said:

Hang in there Julia955!  

You are remarkably tough and have every right and reason to be sad and mad about the trials you have endured (and are enduring). I am new to this forum and searched “withdrawal nerve pain” and landed on your post.  I was prescribed Zoloft 18 years ago at age 23 and have been on a low dose of that or citalopram since then.  I weaned off citalopram 2 years ago and 3 weeks after being completely off of it, developed the agonizing nerve pain in my back that you speak about.  I felt entirely alone and invalidated by my doctor.  The muscles were so tight all over and my massage therapist couldn’t believe the knots.  After 4 months without relief, I started on Zoloft and found relief at a low dose.  However, I did start feeling that these meds were doing more harm than good and regretted the fact of staying on them so long.  

 

Now I have been off the Zoloft for 5 months.  The nerve pain returned though it is not as severe as the last time.  I am going to try cbd oil, magnesium glycinate, and 3000 IU of high quality fish oil and a good multivitamin to help the nerve pain, muscle tension, and nerve healing.

 

It is a long and winding road, but you know that already.  I have to have hope that there will be pain-free days ahead.  Unfortunately, nerves take months to heal but there is hope from this site that they WILL.  You have been through hell as I can identify with the awful pain.  I am hoping you see glimpses of relief that keep you going.  There are better days ahead and the body is pretty amazing in its ability to recover.  Let your anger fuel your resolve to get through this trial, and also let yourself cry about how hard it truly is.  Though you are weary of the fight, you remain a warrior Julia955, because that is what you are.  So many of us are fighting this battle, and you are not alone.

Thank you so much for the supportive message ❤️ This is such an uncomfortable type of pain to have and I’m so sorry you’re going through it too. When the pain gets bad it is hard to remember sometimes that, although very very slowly, it has improved. When I think back to the pain I had 5 years ago when I first attempted to go off, it is undeniably better today than it was then, not necessarily in severity but duration. Back then the pain was 24/7 with zero pockets of relief. Now I get whole hours and even days sometimes with complete relief and it reminds me why I’m sticking out this tough fight. I can’t wait for the day when we are finally healed and I think we are going to have an amazing newfound appreciation for life, health, and physical comfort. 

 

I took cbd oil for a time and it definitely seemed to help calm my nerves when I was going through the worst of it- I hope you can find similar relief!

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

Link to post
9 hours ago, Orangeblossom77 said:

Hi Julia, I get some of this rib pain and other pains as well. The doc told me the rib pain is also called 'costochrondritis' and it is not harmful, just painful.

Not sure if that helps any. The thing is, we tend to respond to pain as it can tell us something is 'wrong' as a signal, and then as we get stressed, that in turn can make pain worse. i wonder if any pain management techniques might help you, in withdrawal? there are some good books on things like relaxation and mindfulness for pain, and to try and prevent that 'cycle' which can make pain worse. Some things I find helpful are heat / cold, such as baths, distraction such as aromatherapy, reading, walking, etc. Hope this helps a little.

 

I'm withdrawing form prozac right now and my main problem is pain also and prickling feelings, more than mental in fact (vertigo as well)

I’m sorry you’re experiencing pain, it is such a difficult thing to deal with. Yes, when I first got the pain, and had no idea what it was, since NO psychiatrist I saw ever warned me that withdrawal could cause pain, I actually went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack and that’s where they diagnosed me with costochondritis. They told me to take ibuprofen but it has never done anything for this pain unfortunately. It definitely helps just knowing that it’s part of withdrawal and not a heart problem. Baths are nice as well as walking, and I’m hoping to get back into light exercise soon like yoga which in the past was a huge part of my life and very soothing to me. But as we all know it can be hard to get yourself to do things when you’re in so much pain. I hope things ease up for you 

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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insistpersistresist

Thanks, Julia! I am glad you are remembering that you have come a long way and that although the progress has been painfully (no pun intended) slow, it is still movement towards healing.  I guess what we are experiencing is what I have heard referred to as a ‘healing crisis’ where things feel worse though you are recovering. 

 

I was getting a massage a year ago and this poem by John Greenleaf Whittier was hanging on the wall.  I think of it when I need strength:

 

 

“Never Quit”

When things go wrong as they sometimes will, 
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill, 
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 
When care is pressing you down a bit, 
Rest, if you must, but don't quit. 
Life is strange with its twists and turns, 
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out, 
Dont' give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out, 
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far, 
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reduced font
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  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to update again. Things are certainly improving. I can have very little to no pain if I completely eliminate ALL stressors (which in this life, can be close to impossible!) That's even in terms of my thoughts. So it does seem like my body has reached some kind of equilibrium, but it is still ultra-sensitive to any stress and the pain will come back (not as bad as it used to be though!) I suspect with time this will improve. 

 

My interest in sex and my emotions are both improving greatly even from just last month. I feel like I'm coming back to life :)

 

Period cramps are also less than they were for those few months. But I do get depressed and irritable around my period now still. I never got that before withdrawal, but then again, I was on medication for all my periods I had ever gotten since I went on it so young so it was probably just masking what are normal period symptoms.

 

I forget if I mentioned this in the original post but I also would get hip pain that came every couple months, alternating sides, that sometimes was so severe I couldn't walk. While I do still get that pain sometimes it goes away within 2-3 days (whereas it used to last 3-4 weeks before).

 

I find myself wanting to go out, to the gym, to the movies, live music, just to walk around, explore the city with my boyfriend, etc. which for me, is the MOST amazing thing because for so many years all I could do was lie in bed miserable and even though mentally I wanted to do so much I couldn't. It is an amazing gift to just want to and be able to do things and live life and I'll never take it for granted again! Before all this hit I was a super ambitious 18 year old ready to take on the world and accomplish so much. That part of me was always there even through withdrawal but now I feel like I can finally get back to pursuing all my dreams and goals. I'm excited about life now and not dreading it. The pain went from being something that took over my whole life to simply a huge uncomfortable annoyance. Baby steps!

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • Administrator

Thanks for that good news, julia.

 

A lot of people find fish oil and magnesium supplements helpful, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you. You may find both to be relaxing.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing.

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 Julia, 

 

What a wonderful update, I’m so happy for you.💚

Been on antipsychotics, benzos, antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain. 

Been cold turkeyed and put on and off all sorts of things. Was suicidal n ended up in a psych ward because I had akathisia from withdrawals. Can’t remember what I was put on but when I was released was in the same predicament with severe akathisia n was suicidal again.

Back to the ward and was given different meds. Tapered off one and have been trying to taper off Seroquel since. It’s been many, many years of tapering so far.

I’ve  tapered from 300mg of Seroquel to 7.5mg./ March 10 2019=7.25mg / 17th of April=7 mg / June 5th=6.75mg/ July 14th=6.50mg/ August 28=6.25mg/ 10th of Oct= 6.20mg/ October 21=6mg/ December 16=5.80mg/.   January 21 2020=5.60mg/April 2=5.40g/ May 29=5.20mg/ August 14= 5mg/ September 29=4.80mg/ Jan 31, 2021=4.60 mg/

 

I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. These are my own views based on what I’ve experienced myself.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Another update.

 

As per Altostrata's recommendations I did slowly try fish oil and magnesium and I had great results with both! I've been taking "Pro Omega" fish oil by Nordic Naturals and I feel it's really helped me mentally. I've also been taking a liquid magnesium that's great for sleep and gives me a really nice calm feeling. 

 

Overall there's been a nice steady improvement in all my symptoms!! I'm SO happy about this because it's now been officially a year since I've taken any medication, so it's a nice milestone. I genuinely never thought I would ever feel myself and normal again, but I feel like every single day my body is making progress. I do have setbacks, but they are becoming less frequent and more manageable.

 

I talked about this on the vitamin D thread, but my worst setback ever was just this past week when I took a high dose of vitamin D3 because my doctor recommended it. It was like all my original withdrawal symptoms came back even though I hadn't felt that bad in a good 8-9 months. It was crazy and horrible. I'm now able to look back and see that I just do not have a good reaction to vitamin D supplements, and they always cause physically painful and emotionally scary reactions. So no more of that for me, and I'll just stick with sunshine and eating fish. It's crazy how something like that can affect me so much, and I don't even fully understand why! What sucks is that it takes a while for it to leave your system so I'm still stuck with some degree of discomfort for a while. I learned my lesson though. 

 

I've also started exercising regularly which I'm very happy to be able to do again, because for so long it made my symptoms worse and/or I just didn't have the energy. It's had a great effect on my mood. Overall, things are going great except for the damn vitamin D!

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

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  • Mentor

Great to hear you’re good news! Keeping away from Vitamin D sounds like a good idea.

 

R

 = medication taken now

 

2007 quetiapine to March 2019 200mg

2019 quetiapine March to present 225mg 

2007 citalopram to present 40mg 
2018 March Abilify 5mg  
2019 Abilify February rapid taper over 3 weeks from 5mg to off

2019 March Clonazepam as required, taken very occasionally, then taken 0.5mg for 2 days 28th and 29th March, now phased out

2019 1st April reinstated Abilify 0.5mg / day 

2018 to present Liquid B12 2g twice daily (diagnosed B12 deficiency) 
 

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  • 5 months later...

@julia955 any update?

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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On 7/29/2018 at 12:48 PM, julia955 said:

My mom claims that when I first took the Zoloft at 5, it had an IMMEDIATE effect, literally within 5 minutes. Apparently she noticed immediately a drastic change, that I 'calmed down' or looked happier or something. It's so upsetting and disturbing to me that I was being fed a drug at 5 that immediately changed my emotions/basically was making me artificially high, and that was seen as a good thing

It is so sad.

1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante
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insistpersistresist

Hi Julia! I just read a book that might be really good for you. It is Own Your Self by Kelly Brogan and it is absolutely empowering and truth-telling about those of us injured (temporarily) by long term antidepressant use. It is so, so good for anyone to read this, but especially us, because she is an advocate for truth and for ways to heal that are natural and lasting.  I cried while reading it because it voiced so many of my own experiences. Truly cathartic. All the best.

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14 minutes ago, insistpersistresist said:

Hi Julia! I just read a book that might be really good for you. It is Own Your Self by Kelly Brogan and it is absolutely empowering and truth-telling about those of us injured (temporarily) by long term antidepressant use. It is so, so good for anyone to read this, but especially us, because she is an advocate for truth and for ways to heal that are natural and lasting.  I cried while reading it because it voiced so many of my own experiences. Truly cathartic. All the best.

 

I love Kelly Brogan! I read a book of hers called "A Mind Of Your Own" a while back and used to read her website quite often. I didn't even know she had another book but I will definitely be checking it out, I think she is awesome. Thank you for telling me about it!

2001-2011 Zoloft up to 150mg

2011-2013 celexa up to 40mg

2013-2014-begin reducing celexa to 20mg 

2014-2016-on and off celexa up to 30mg

2017- Zoloft up to 150mg

may 2018-cold turkey Zoloft

Link to post
insistpersistresist

I read A Mind of Your Own a year ago and this new one just came out this September. Thank goodness for her, a much needed voice in this world of prescribing meds without true informed consent by patients. Glad you are finding some good relief here and there, and that you have already found her as well.

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insistpersistresist

Hi Julia. Let me know if you would ever want to communicate further as I feel this journey with pain is a shared one. This is a great forum, but if you would ever want to exchange more ideas and things that help I would be open to it.  —Laurel

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  • Administrator

Because you're feeling better, I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Julia has added her story to our Success Stories forum here

 

As is our tradition, I'm closing this topic -- please continue the conversation in Julia's Success Stories topic.

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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