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KMart95: a life free of antidepressants

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KMart95

@eymen23 ,

 

Thank you for your input. I am surprised. I knew those drugs have side effects, but not to that extent. Despite how awful I feel, I don't know if that's worth it unless I start fainting more. I will be careful not to make anymore reductions until my nervous is stable enough in the meantime & see if maybe I will see improvement with a steady dose over time.

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MCK020609
On 8/12/2019 at 11:05 PM, KMart95 said:

The worst of the wave has ended. I have been able to function and do minor stuff the past 2 days. Once the reaction to the IV settled down it seemed to give me a slight energy boost. 

 

I have been focusing a lot lately on accepting my symptoms and focusing on the good. I haven't posted the full extent of what I have gone through here because many of us have gone through h*ll and I don't feel it's necessary. In the first few months I did not think I would make it through. My family had me taken by ambulance twice when I was at my worst with very dark thoughts. I have come to realize I am a lot stronger than I thought and if I can get through this, I can get through anything. I still have a very hard time accepting that I am not well enough to be independent and those thoughts go through my head several times a day , but I am going to be working with my therapist to change my mindset on that too. I wanted to list a few things that have improved or completely gone away to hopefully give someone hope who might come across my thread. I have a long way to go, and I still have very bad days, but I appreciate the good ones more than ever. So here it is :

 

- No more akasthisia / restlessness

- No more homicidal thoughts (this was terrifying)

- No more extreme dizziness

- No more depersonalization 

- No more Light & sound sensitivity  

- Rarely have panic attacks anymore 

- POTS is 75% better !! 

- Histamine intolerance is 80% better and I can eat many high histamine foods without issues 

- No more cortisol spikes in the early morning hours 

- Anger 90% better

 

What i'm still dealing with 

 

- Chronic fatigue

- Depression

- Tremors

- Weakness

- Blurry vision

- Stomach problems

- Minor brain fog 

- Trouble falling asleep

- Bouts of OCD

 

I am very grateful for this forum and the people who take their time to help myself & so many others .

Been following your posts and I'm In the same boat as you were.  You give me hope that things will get better.  How many months are you out of withdrawal?

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KMart95
20 hours ago, MCK020609 said:

Been following your posts and I'm In the same boat as you were.  You give me hope that things will get better.  How many months are you out of withdrawal?

Thank you so much ! I'm glad I can help someone. I am 11 months into it , 5 months since I reinstated 1mg and now tapering off. Don't ever lose hope :)

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MCK020609

How long after complete withdrawal did you reinstate?  I'm 6 months out of completely being off and I developed pots symptoms in the last 3 months, and have had a really bad wave the past two weeks.  

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KMart95

Today is the first day that I was able to get out of bed in about a week and i'm so proud of myself. My hormones seem to be really out of whack this week and my cycle was messed up. That combined with the 2 reductions i've done in the past month left me feeling extremely fatigued with very weak muscles. I pushed through it and managed to have a few good hours which I feel very grateful for. I've also been having strange hypo/hyperglycemic episodes so i've been reducing carb intake and eating frequent small meals. It's been a really hard month but i'm staying strong. Physical symptoms are at a high this month but mental anguish has improved.

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KMart95
10 minutes ago, MCK020609 said:

How long after complete withdrawal did you reinstate?  I'm 6 months out of completely being off and I developed pots symptoms in the last 3 months, and have had a really bad wave the past two weeks.  

A little over a month I believe. I reinstated many times unsucessfully but it worked when I reinstated only 1mg and did it without waiting too long. I have POTS now too and it comes and goes. I'll have months where it's fine and then other months where my blood pressure is extremely low and heart rate is high. Hormone fluctuations and further nervous system destabilization tend to worsen the POTS symptoms for me so I try really hard not to do or take anything to trigger a flare up. Drinking a ton of water with salt helps !

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MCK020609

I'm so sorry you continue to deal with issues.  It's so crazy and frustrating how these drugs have altered our lives.  I have been on a few different ssris and antidepressants for the last 15 years, pretty much all my adult life, and this last one I was on for 6 years.  Finally to a point in life, after working my butt off in therapy etc and felt I no longer needed the drug to cope.  Kinda a last let go of past things that held me to my childhood trauma.  So I'm struggling with how a drug that "helped" me, ended up really breaking me physically and experiencing the repercussions of that.  So sick of feeling sick, so want to have normalcy in life.  I spent the last 10 years emotionally fragile all while raising kids.  I can almost say this is harder then the emotional.  Having a body that is in utter chaos, and struggling to know how to control it, it's so frustrating and often depressing.  I do hope it gets better, and I can find some healing, trying not to worry about the timeline for that.  So heartbroken.

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KMart95

Is it safe to take a digestive enzyme containing glutamic acid?

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KMart95

I'm struggling a lot lately. This month was the best i've ever had in regards to my mental health but the past few days i've been feeling very depressed and hopeless. I can tell that my hormones are more out of whack and i've had a massive increase in physical symptoms. I've been to the doctor multiple times because i've been plagued with debilitating chronic fatigue that just keeps worsening, but unfortunately there's not much that can be done. Also, I don't know if i'd say I have insomnia but I feel much better and wide awake at night so my sleep is really messed up. I've been avoiding coming here too often as sometimes seeing other people's suffering makes me feel more hopeless and sad. I'm just not in a good place right now. It is full blown winter here now. No snow yet but very cold and we have barely had sun all month thus far. I've always had seasonal affective disorder so the lack of sunshine and sunsetting at 5pm is really depressing for me. Hoping my next post will be a more positive update.

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KMart95

My tolerance for doing anything at all is getting worse and worse. Just doing basic things cause me to get a low grade fever and sore throat. I'm afraid this is an organic illness and nothing to do with withdrawal. I know other people get POTS in withdrawal, but my blood pools in my legs and they turn purple, which seems unusual. The only thing that was keeping me going was knowing this would get better, but it's actually getting much worse.

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eymen23

Kmart,
 

Sorry to hear about these difficult symptoms. It does sound a little like the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, but I certainly wouldn’t want to make a diagnosis. 
 

 How has your taper looked as of late? Has there been any correlation between dropping dosages and these symptoms? 
 

Edited by eymen23

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KMart95

@eymen23 ,

 

Thank you for responding. Sadly, i've been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome by an endocrinologist and a cardiologist in the past few months. I'm just baffled how I seem to have aquired so many very real illnesses in withdrawal - PMDD, CFS, POTS and histamine intolerance. It seems too ironic that they all started happening last winter when I first came off medication. 

 

I have made 4 reductions so far. I have not made a reduction in 2 weeks and I plan to hold at my current dose until after the holidays. I notice a mild increase in symptoms about 4-7 days after I make a reduction, but nothing that I would attribute to my ongoing symptoms. It's pretty much been more of a steady decline each month. 

 

I'm not sure if this is iatrogenic illness but it's very frustrating. I'm hesistant to make any more reductions at all but I probably will anyway. 

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Dack

I saw the title of this thread and became interested as I'm currently just breaking free from the SSRI Cipralex.


Today is day 3 without ANY Cipralex.  I've been on Cipralex for many years (I used it mostly for anxiety) but realize now is the right time to get off of it.  I tapered down from 20mg, to 10mg to 5mg to nothing over about 1-1/2 months.  I'm currently feeling okay, just dizziness and some mild sexual dysfunction (which I'm hoping will get back to normal in time).  I did have bad nausea and upset stomach for a week or so but that went away.

All in all not too bad really....but I want to detail why I think I'm ready to quite Cipralex, I've prepared for this day:

1) I'm currently at 1-1/2 years sober.
2) I eat very healthy (reduced meat intake, more plant based diet).
3) I go to the gym 2 times a week + ice hockey 2 times a week.
4) I take a wide range of vitamins.
5) I get really good sleeps (exercise helps with good sleeps)
6) I limit caffeine, 1 regular coffee but then cup 2 and 3 are decaf.
7) I'm now a lot more spiritual (thanks to AA and the 12 steps).
8)I continue with counselling and AA for mindfulness.
9) My new job isn't as stressful as a few previous ones.

The Cipralex helped when I was deep in a hole and even helped in the first months of my sobriety but I'm ready to move on from it.

 

I'm interested to hear from anyone who is 3 months, 6 months or a 1 year or more off Cipralex.

Regards,
Dack.

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eymen23

@KMart95

 

Sorry to hear that you’ve ended up with all these difficult illnesses since first coming off of psychiatric drugs. 
 

It’s not uncommon for individuals to become very unwell after periods of stress and I feel that the difficulty of withdrawal constitutes an intense stress for the body. These drugs impact multiple bodily systems, such as the nervous system, immune system etc. and so it’s no shock to myself that for individuals prone to difficult withdrawal, a very a real sense of being unwell can develop after stopping these drugs.

 

As an example, I have only ever had mild eczema flares on my hands during periods of intense stress (bad projects working 70+ hours a week), but I have had numerous since starting my taper in January. I’ve also had several intense viruses of which I’ve never had so many in such a short space of time. 
 

To me, this is indicative of a need to slow down and gently bring the body through the withdrawal process, as opposed to batter it against its will. Although your current taper schedule would be seen as gentle to most, given the previous cold turkey of Celexa, it is only adding fuel to what seems to be a raging fire. 
 

I can totally understand your desire to get off of Prozac and to feel like you have some sense of control over this process via your taper, but the small dosage of Prozac you’re taking doesn’t seem to the issue here. I think your body and nervous system need time to figure things out, and to recuperate from the huge knock in 2018. 
 

Edited by eymen23

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KMart95
On 11/26/2019 at 3:18 PM, eymen23 said:

@KMart95

 

Sorry to hear that you’ve ended up with all these difficult illnesses since first coming off of psychiatric drugs. 
 

It’s not uncommon for individuals to become very unwell after periods of stress and I feel that the difficulty of withdrawal constitutes an intense stress for the body. These drugs impact multiple bodily systems, such as the nervous system, immune system etc. and so it’s no shock to myself that for individuals prone to difficult withdrawal, a very a real sense of being unwell can develop after stopping these drugs.

 

As an example, I have only ever had mild eczema flares on my hands during periods of intense stress (bad projects working 70+ hours a week), but I have had numerous since starting my taper in January. I’ve also had several intense viruses of which I’ve never had so many in such a short space of time. 
 

To me, this is indicative of a need to slow down and gently bring the body through the withdrawal process, as opposed to batter it against its will. Although your current taper schedule would be seen as gentle to most, given the previous cold turkey of Celexa, it is only adding fuel to what seems to be a raging fire. 
 

I can totally understand your desire to get off of Prozac and to feel like you have some sense of control over this process via your taper, but the small dosage of Prozac you’re taking doesn’t seem to the issue here. I think your body and nervous system need time to figure things out, and to recuperate from the huge knock in 2018. 
 

That's understandable. This whole year has been nothing but stress. Last winter the withdrawal stress was so bad I lost 10 pounds and couldn't eat or function. Once again in April I went through a very traumatic withdrawal related event that seemed to mark a steep decline in my health. It is crazy what stress can do to your body as absolutely nothing has showed up in any type of medical testing aside from blood pressure & heart rate abnormalities. I also rarely get sick but I feel like i've had a never ending flu for months.

 

I don't recall experiencing any issues bridging from Celexa to Prozac. It wasn't until I did the 4 month taper off Prozac & was no longer on any SSRI that my symptoms appeared, however i'm sure there is some Celexa withdrawal thrown in there since I was on that drug for a very long time and was never able to come off it prior. 

 

I agree and i've decided to give my nervous system a solid break in hopes that i'll at least improve somewhat. I can't help but feel like the SSRI was somehow supressing an illness I already had (to a much lesser degree) and since i've stopped it it's come on full force. I vaguely remember having mild autonomic dysfunction and i've had pretty significant fatigue since high school. I'm sure this is not the case, it's just strange regardless & it's just reiterated that I have to be very cautious not to exacerbate things any more.

 

Another issue I have faced the past 2 months, which i'm sure has contributed greatly to my increase in symptoms are sleep issues. My circadian rhythm is completely messed up and I can only fall asleep late morning (between 4-7am). Regardless of when I fall asleep, if I sleep 8 hours I feel horrible, if I only sleep 4 hours or less I feel a bit better oddly enough. I also take my Prozac at 7am & go back to sleep. When I wake up the second time I feel groggy and it takes me a long time to wake up. I need to find a way to improve my sleep patterns.

 

Anyway, thank you for the solid advice and I hope to eventually be back with better news. 

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KMart95

I finally bit the bullet and had my hormones tested. They came back totally normal and i'm pretty shocked. It seemed very obvious to me I had some sort of imbalance but I guess that's not the case. I came off birth control once before while I was still on Citalopram and had crazy panic attacks for a month so I figured they was a connection, but there is not. I've had extensive blood testing now & all is mostly normal. My blood counts show I may have some underlying infection or autoimmune issue for years now but doctor can't find the cause. I do have a bladder infection but I am hoping I can avoid taking antibiotics for that. 

This sucks but I can rule out hormones as part of the problem. I guess it's all just withdrawal. I have pretty much come to a big standstill and continue to worsen instead of improve. My mental health is better than it was but physically i'm going downhill fast.

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KMart95

Having a huge reduction in symptoms since I started taking omega 3 made from algae. It's been a week now, so far so good.

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Cocopuffz17
3 minutes ago, KMart95 said:

Having a huge reduction in symptoms since I started taking omega 3 made from algae. It's been a week now, so far so good.

That is awesome! I am still taking mine from a fish source. What brand do you get for the algae version? 

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KMart95
10 minutes ago, Cocopuffz17 said:

That is awesome! I am still taking mine from a fish source. What brand do you get for the algae version? 

I couldn't tolerate the fish oil due to my histamine intolerance so I switched to algae. It's by a brand called Whole Earth & Sea. It's a seperate range by Natural Factors I believe.

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Cocopuffz17
1 hour ago, KMart95 said:

I couldn't tolerate the fish oil due to my histamine intolerance so I switched to algae. It's by a brand called Whole Earth & Sea. It's a seperate range by Natural Factors I believe.

Ty, I can tolerate the fish source but algae is how a lot of fish get their omega to begin with. So it only makes sense to get it from the raw source to me. 

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KMart95

A new symptom has appeared and it's awful - agoraphobia. I've always been an introvert but never to an extreme extent. I feel the need to self isolate and have little motivation to do anything. It's like someone has taken so much of my personality away. I am just about to hit the 1 year mark and i'm very much missing the person I used to be. 

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KMart95

An update on the fish oil - It is still working for brain fog and fatigue but the longer i've taken it i've started to notice an increase in anxiety, depression and obsessive thinking. I've also started having crazy vivid dreams with rapid eye movement that I can actually feel. I'll probably be cutting back and only taking it as needed. I've read from others here it sounds like the increase in acetylcholine can cause adverse reactions for some people. 

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KMart95

How many days can I make up of a diluted liquid at one time? Should it be refrigerated?

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manymoretodays

Hi KMart95,

 

I take it you are referring to fluoxetine?  And yes, not only refrigerated but protected from light as well(even the light that goes on and off in the fridge).  I think a brown paper bag is sufficient or use an amber tinted glass container.

If you are switching from a dry formulation, do try and factor in some kind of cross- over, and do not taper further until you have been crossed over from solid to liquid for at least a couple of weeks.

The general rule with cross overs is:

1/4 new with 3/4 old, to make total dose, hold for 3-7 days

1/2 new with 1/2 old,  hold for 3-7 days

3/4 new with 1/4 old, hold for 3-7 days

to all new or liquid

And hold a bit longer before resuming your taper.  Liquid absorbs a bit faster than solid forms.  So, you might feel a few bumps, while adjusting to the change.  With the small dose listed in your signature, you may have to get a bit creative with your cross over if you are going from solid to liquid now.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Making your own Prozac liquid
Prozac is one of the few psychiatric medications with a long history of do-it-yourself dilution in water or juice. Mixed in cranberry juice, it's been called "Cranzac."

My own personal preference would be to dilute it with water, to avoid any degradation that might be caused by sugar or acid in the juice. Also, it will be easier to see how well the Prozac is dissolved in water. (There may be particles swirling around, that's the filler in the Prozac capsule that doesn't dissolve.)

Your Prozac solution may be a little bitter -- just swallow it quickly. You might want to chase it with a little fruit juice.

For very gradual tapering, for example, you can dissolve a 10mg capsule or orally dispersible tablet in 10mL of water to make a solution with 1mg Prozac in 1mg of water. To take 1mg Prozac, use an oral syringe to take out 1mL.

Refrigerated, it's supposed to be stable for 14 days. From a pharmaceutical technician manual

Tips for tapering off Prozac(fluoxetine)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Personally, I might just go with 3-5 days on my refrigerated batch, you could stretch it to a week I think, or 7 days.  Just to be on the safe side.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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KMart95

@manymoretodays thank you, very helpful! I have a dark glass bottle I can use. 

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KMart95

@eymen23 just trying to figure out the diluting situation here and I notice that once I go down past 0.80mg the weekly reductions will be over 2.5% with a 1:1 solution. What should I do? Make a weaker solution or just go down by 1 line at a time? Working with these small doses is hard.

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KMart95

I have reached a really awful stage of withdrawal where my brain trying to repair itself is causing unbearable neuro-emotions, to the point that I don't know if I have a mental illness or not. It's a mix of ruminations and OCD thoughts. They never stop. Not even when i'm "sleeping" at night. I convince myself i'm crazy and I desperately want to escape my own brain. I would much rather go back to acute withdrawal when my worst problems were physical. This is getting to be too much for me to cope with.

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Erell

Hi Kmart,

 

I'm sorry you're going through these émotions : I know them too Well as they are my main symptoms.

They are difficult To cope and accept, but we can go through it.

Try To distract as much as you can while you wait for them To go, because they do go away ❤

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KMart95

If anyone can delete my account or tell me how to delete it that would be great. I no longer feel welcome here.

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Erell

Kmart,  can I ask why you Feel that way ?

 

Best wishes in your journey ❤

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ChessieCat

I've moved your new post about 5-htp to SA's existing topic.  Please ensure that you read Post #1.

 

5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan

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KMart95

I have made small improvements in some ways and gotten slightly worse in others. My hypersensitivity to supplements and drugs is much better so I take that as a sign that my brain is healing. I am no longer completely bedridden and don’t suffer with such intense muscle weakness anymore. Because my hypersensitivity to medications improved I was able to go back on birth control 4 months ago and I no longer have to deal with the horrific PMS and because of that my depression has lessened. I am at 0.70 in my taper and continuing to slowly go down. The only things that have really gotten worse are insomnia, digestive issues and my anxiety is difficult to manage without the medication. 

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