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Bluejay: working through the pain


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Blujay's success story:  bluejay-i-survived-you-can-too


Hello Everyone,

I was pretty much amazed and so thankful when I stumbled upon this website a month ago. I read so many posts from people going through the same challenges as me and I am so grateful to get feedback and support and optimism from those who actually know what it is like to come off anti-depressants.  So first off, thanks so much for reading and helping me with your advice.  I'll try to make my story quick.


In 2009 when I was 28 years old, I suffered a vertigo episode and noticed I was constantly dizzy.  I went through many tests, brain MRI's and the physician assistant I saw told me he could 'fix crazy' if none of the tests showed anything.  We;; guess what?  I was apparently crazy!  (sarcasm) Mind you, my boyfriend and I had recently separated, my dog had died, I had moved, my friend co-workers switched to a new job and I had a new position at my job--lots of stress.  He never explained therapy, CBT or anything.  He said I'd need to be on it for life that I was anxious and it was my nature to need the medicine.  So I was prescribed 10 mg of Celexa and .5 mg of Klonopin.  I did not take the Klonopin everyday.  Around 2011 I was upped to 20 mg of Celexa.  In 2016 the meds didn't work and a new doctor wanted me switching.  I began to wonder if I could manage life without them since I went 28 years without them in the first place.  So I also wanted to get pregnant.  A year a a half ago my dr said get off the pills in two weeks.  Online, I read about horrifying things if I did that with extreme withdrawls so I made my own taper.  Honestly I can't remember exactly, but it took me 6 months to go from 20 to 10 mg then I stayed on 10 mg for 6 months to stabilize and then I weaned from 10 mg to 0 in 6 months.  A total of 1.5 year taper.  Unfortyuantelu had I known about this site, maybe my taper and experience woyuld be better now but the last month of my taper I was at 2.5 mg and felt great, was looking forward to summer and so I stopped the meds.  This same week I had a pelic/back injury to my SI Joint.  So I went into a spiral of panic from the injury and I feel like my well planned taper backfired.  I spent two months going from several doctors to get a diagnosis on my back and so I was freaking out about my back but all the while this heightened my anxiety and my depression. 


I've been off the Celeza since mid May 2018.  I still have a 15 pill prescription of Klonopin that I only take a 1/2 dose if it is extreme and have only taken about 5 pills total in the past 5 months.  


I've been having many symptoms and the most hard to deal with currently is the feeling as though I cannot breathe.  I looked it up as dypsnea.  I feel like the only way to fully breath is to yawn very deeply, but that doesn't always work and I still have such tightness in my chest.  This has been going on for about 2 months now and I can't figure out how to get past it.  Also my jaw gets so tight and I get a lump in my throat.  I also have wobbly shaking legs, jitteryness, some dizziness, shaking hands.  My thoughts are very dark, I am constantly thinking about death, not hurting myself, but the sadness of things ending and not seeing those I love.  I feel like I cannot be happy.  I am crying so much even about silly things like undercooking salmon the other day!  I feel hysterical but also, I am going to work, putting on a clam face, driving to my three therapies a week (two PT and one CBT) so I am doing a routine but it is so hard.  I wonder if this is my new normal or will I level out and get a grip and feel better.  Currently because of my anxiety and my injury I can't possible have  a child and at 37 years old I really feel like I don't know what to look forward to in my life.  I just don't know how to deal with stress and not let it take a hold of me.  I'm the type of person who likes to plan and well, that's a bad thing when you don't know how your future looks.  Meaning I guess I realizing how boring life can be at least this is how my outlook is on life right now and I am frustrated by it.


I am also thankful to be off the meds, too, though because I feel like I am fully analyzing my life and realizing I need to make more positive changes like eating healthy, doing hobbies and not relying on my boyfriend to make me happy, but this is a slow change and I am someone who wants results so fast.  I'm scared, honestly because I really don't want to live on anti-depressants and though I've been off of them completely since mid May 2018, four months, I hope things improve and am here to help others with my story and seek help from you, too.  Thank you so much for reading my story and I wish you healing and love.  Any suggestions or advice will be so GRATEFULLY appreciated!!


Edited by ChessieCat
added success story link

My Intro Story

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." ~C.S. Lewis

-8.5 years on AD

-began 10 mg of Citalopram/Celexa in 2009

-began Klonopin .5 mg in 2009 (taken a few times a month to daily at times)

-moved to 20 mg of Citalopram in 2011

-tapered myself for 1.5 years 

-Citalopram free since mid May 2018

-occasional Klonopin if major episode occurs, but really 1-4 pills a month if even, Klonopin Free 10-2018

-Dealing with physical and emotional symptoms

-Currently in CBT therapy

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Bluejay: working through the pain
  • Moderator

Welcome, Bluejay.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.
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.  
Your taper was a good bit less gradual, and we recommend jumping off at a much lower dose that 2.5mg, which would explain the withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing.  


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.  
For more information on your breathing problems, please Google "SurvivingAntidepressants  dyspnea"
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 




Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
While it is often a first response to stress to take a B-Complex, in withdrawal it can be overstimulating.
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.  At four months, you're just outside the three-month time period where reinstatement predictably works.  We usually suggest a much smaller reinstatement dose than your last dose.  If this is something you want to try, please let us know and we will suggest a reinstatement dose.  Please do not reinstate without letting us suggest a dosage.
Many members have found the non-drug techniques in the following links helpful in dealing with withdrawal.  We recommend you develop a toolkit of techniques that you can turn to when needed.
You will get better, but it will take time.  That's the reality.  

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 to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, 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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Thank you so very much for your detailed and informed reply to me and for being so quick to respond.  This means so much.  I really appreciate all that you have written here and all of the helpful information.  I will be looking over each aspect you explained as I am overwhelmed by the breadth of information here and want to really look at it to help me but I am excited to have you recommend many excellent resources on this site and am grateful to have this support network now and your feedback and encouragement.  


I will definitely be considering if I need to go back on the medicine and taper more slowly but will definitely seek your assistance here first.  My concern with this is that I am nervous I'll be hooked on the pill again.  Do many people who do this second weening able to ween off successfully again?  


Thank you so much for your help and as I go through the information I know I'll have more questions.  

My Intro Story

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." ~C.S. Lewis

-8.5 years on AD

-began 10 mg of Citalopram/Celexa in 2009

-began Klonopin .5 mg in 2009 (taken a few times a month to daily at times)

-moved to 20 mg of Citalopram in 2011

-tapered myself for 1.5 years 

-Citalopram free since mid May 2018

-occasional Klonopin if major episode occurs, but really 1-4 pills a month if even, Klonopin Free 10-2018

-Dealing with physical and emotional symptoms

-Currently in CBT therapy

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  • 1 year later...
  • Administrator

Bluejay's success story is here



As is our custom, I'll close this topic now. Please congratulate Bluejay in the Success Stories forum.

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

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