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Jubbachub - Reached Peace at 6 months Cold Turkey


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Friends, I'm here to tell you that I consider myself recovered (for the most part) from severe withdrawal and adverse reactions to multiple medications. Let me tell you my story:

 

When I was 18 I was prescribed 10mg of Escitalopram (Lexapro) for health anxiety. The medication never really helped me, just gave me side effects (sexual and weight gain mainly) but I took it as directed for 4 years. I spoke to my doctor about cutting down, and was advised to wean off over a few weeks and stop. I did as directed and experienced what I now know was withdrawals. At the time I didn't know what was happening, and due to the anxiety around the withdrawal symptoms, was advised to go back to the medication on the basis that I was having a relapse (yes I know, no need to say it).

 

When I reinstated, my body rejected the medication, and I essentially became incapacitated with unremitting symptoms. I was then given a variety of benzodiazepines, and tried on a bunch of different medications, all of which made me considerably worse. The symptoms I experienced through this process were:

 

-Auditory and visual hallucinations 

-Distorted senses

-Disassociation

-Paranoia

-Brain zaps

-Amnesia

-Insomnia

-A severely degraded memory

-Intrusive tormenting thoughts

-Flashbacks

-Sleep paralysis

-Night terrors/sweats

-Ringing/buzzing sound in my head

-Body temperature regulation issues

-Couldn't hear properly

-Depersonalisation

-Derealisation

-Psychosis

-Limb/muscle weakness

-Feeling weightless (like I was floating)

-Suicidal thoughts

-Severe Anxiety

-Uncontrolled body movements/twitches -Burning nerve pain

-Mood swings/crying spells/extremely amplified emotions

-Inability to cope with stress

-Balance issues

-Vision problems

-Fast heart rate (resting constantly around 110bpm, normally 50bpm)

-Unable to make decisions

-Difficulty rationalising/understanding information

-Poor concentration

-Slurring words

-Hot flushes

-Anhedonia

-Food and drink sensitivities

-Extreme fatigue

-Rapid weight loss

 

After about 3 months of this agony and becoming a guinea pig to psychiatry, I quit all medication cold turkey as a very last resort (Prozac and Ativan). I then swore to myself that I would not go back under any circumstances.

 

My recovery pattern was something like this: After stopping all medication, the psychosis, uncontrolled body movements and paranoia resolved for the most part within about 2 weeks. I then went through about 2 months of all the other symptoms cycling, I was barely functional, getting up to drink water if I could. All I wanted to do was die. At the end of that 2 months, I would say that 50% of my symptoms had gone and I was left with mainly amnesia, crying spells, heightened emotions, very poor memory, flashbacks, poor stress tolerance, disassociation, depersonalisation and derealisation. Still in utter misery with flickers of hope every now and again. Within the 3 months of the 50% symptoms cycling I had some great improvements. Windows and waves broke up into cycles. Windows I felt almost 'normal', but waves were still as bad. At 6 months off cold turkey I had what I'd call my final wave. I had almost every symptom come back up. Being honest, I almost ended my life. It was like being back at the start of it all, and I felt hopeless. If it hadn't been for a phone call I received from my mother at the time, I don't think I'd be here. When that wave ended, I felt sense of peace. It was almost like a final surge of all symptoms before reaching glory.

 

Look, I want to tell you that at that point I was 100% recovered but It's not that simple. After that last wave I'd say that I hit 80% recovered. I still had some residual issues in relation to sleep, memory and occasional flashbacks, but nothing that significantly impacted my quality of life. I'm now back at work, and have a lovely new partner that I can start life again with. I'm now 7 months off, and still have some lingering symptoms, but I think that what's left will also dissipate in time. I do however believe a few things sped my recovery along which I want to share with you.

 

Acupuncture. For me, this would have to be the main thing I feel that sped up my recovery. Every time I was in there I went through a lot of emotional release and symptoms would sometimes ramp up, but I always came out a little bit better.

 

Ekhart Tolle: Listening to Ekhart Tolle and practicing the power of now was a big help in stepping out of the mind. Tuning into meditation when all else failed helped.

 

Surviving Antidepressants: Of course, the support of you guys when nobody else would understand or help was a blessing. The supplements, research and coping tools on this website really kept me focused on recovery.

 

I truly do consider myself recovered. Not fully, but if you told me I'd be where I am now at the start of this I never would have believed you. I'm optimistic that the remaining few symptoms will dissipate over the next few months. I'm now happy and no longer trapped in hell.

 

I will say that what's left is a seething resentment and frustration in the medical model. The way that I was treated through the process is not okay. I try not to hold onto anger, but denial by the psychiactric system led to severe difficulties getting help for something that wasn't believed or recognised. I was left fending for myself in immense distress like a lot of you are. I'm now doing my part to try and change this and will continue to educate people when I can.

 

To all of you, I know how horrifying this experience is, and I still get upset today when I think of you all being in the state I was. I wish I could help you more, but I want you to know that you're going to be okay. I'm sure you've heard it a lot, but time really is the best healing agent for this. Do what you can, even if that's lying there incapacitated. Don't give up, It gets better.

 

In the nicest way possible, I won't be coming back to this website for a while. I came here in terror and pain, and when I visit now a lot of horrible memories arise. I need to put this behind me. But hopefully I'll return one day when I'm ready.

 

I love you all. Stay strong warriors.

 

-Jubbachub

-Started Escitalopram 10mg 2015

-Weaned off Escitalopram early 2018

-Recommenced Escitalopram 10mg mid May 2018

-Stopped Escitalopram late may 2018

-Recommenced Escitalopram 10mg early June 2018

-Took one Seroquil 25mg 

-Stopped all medication completely 23rd July 2018

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you so much for coming back to share this!  Such valuable and hopeful information.  Best Wishes to you!! Glosmom

2016 - Oct -Daughter started Risperdal (for steroid induced psychosis that never went away after stopping prednisone)

Nov - dose increases stopped at 1.5mg in Dec

2017 - Jan- weaned from 1.5 to 1.0 in 2 weeks then 1.0 to .5 in two weeks and then off. Feb. 3 weeks of increased psychosis, pacing, insomnia, other awful symptoms so late Feb  - Back on 1.5 mg Risperdal. May  - decrease to 1.25mg, two weeks later 1.0mg - symptoms started again. June - held steady at 1.25mg for 6 weeks and switched to liquid (3 ml syringe). July - started 10% taper every 3 weeks, October -  .8 mg, December - .7 mg .

2018 -Jan- 0.65 mg,  Feb- 0.59,  Mar-0.50, late April - .40mg, July- .36 mg, Aug - switched from 3 mL syringe to 1 mL syringe for more accuracy (her dad and i were not sure we were giving her the same dose when in between the 'dashes' on the 3 mL syringe.) Aug -.30 mg (3mL syr)/.44 mg (1 mL syr) difference due to med in the tip of both syringes). Sept- .28 mg (3mL syr)/.42 mg (1 mL syr). Oct - .16 mg (3 mL syr)/.30 mg (1 mL syr). Nov.- .06mg (3mL syr)/.20 mg (1mLsyr). Dec. - tip only/unmeasurable (3mL syr)/.10 mg (1mLsyr)

2019- Jan -.06 mg (1 mL syr), Feb- .025 mg (1 mL syr), Feb 27, 2019 - jumped to zero!!

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Jubbachub thank you for coming back and sharing your story. This gives us hope about every wave possibly being the last.

Congratulations  always the best to you

Russ 

March-2017-Dec-2017 ativanCT /reinstated ativan 1mg tapered 2 months/June 2017-April 2018 zyprexa 10mg switched to seroquel 200-300mg in april 2018/dec-2017-present zoloft 100mg/ quit seroquel 200-300mg cold turkey May 6 2018 reinstated seroquel 100mg around May 25 2018 since then tapered to 50mg zoloft and 50 mg of seroquel presently other medications Testosterone cypionate 2oomg every 4 days

UPDATE -August 20 2018--october 20 2018 tapered off Testosterone/Nov 7 2018 --Dec 20 2018 Lamictal micro dose 2.50mg 1 1/2 weeks then reduced to 1.25 then fast tapered as it became paridoxial.nausea- racing thoughts- agitation and insomnia.

August 28 2018 to Present Cannabis indica micro dose PM bedtime only.

Presently Seroquel 37.5 mg bedtime /Zoloft 47mg morning

May 2018-Present Multivitamin/ Bcomplex/Vit C 1000MG/B12 1000MCG/Fish oils 2grams/

Jan 2019-Trace mineral liquid low dose

Update dec 2019 -29mg of zoloft tapering/Seroquel 37.5 holding/1 or 2  ativan 1mg a month as needed if that.

Black seed oil-caprylic acid-/b complex/b12/multi/D/E/melatonin

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Sounds like all the symptoms I've gone through during my Poop out and Withdrawals. At the moment, I have some lingering from plethora that you listed such G.I sensitivities, breakouts, tremors, blurred vision. This give me hope, I'll finally get out of it soon. 

 

Congrats, Jub. 

 

:) 

Trintellix (Brintellix) 5mg - December 2015 to Mid July 2018

Vitamin C 500mgs daily January 2019 - March 30 2019 Boost my immune system through my withdrawal - Stopped

Up and Up 3 Billion Probiotics - Daily for IBS. - Stopped

Up and Up 30 Billion Probiotics - Daily for IBS. - Stopped

 

June 16-26 2018: C/T to take Antiviral medication for Shingles outbreak (Due to excessive stress - SSRI Poop Out). 

June 27 2018: Reinstated (5mg)

July 14 2018 last dose due to acute withdrawal symptoms. 

 

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Wow I found someone with my same story! I’m glad you are feeling well! Congrats.

2011-2014: 25-50mg Zoloft then CT via doctors advice. Some mild physical sx but fully functioning, unaware that withdrawal was a thing. Dr didn’t know why I was chronically dizzy with brain fog & advised to try Zoloft again.

2016: severe adverse reactions to Zoloft (1 dose), Paxil (3 weeks), celexa (2 weeks), buspar (1 dose), lamictal (4 doses). Ativan 12 times within a month. Also tried Xanax & klonopin a couple times. Each reaction became more severe. Kindled. Became disabled from these meds.

Drug free 12-16-2016
Month 1-20: +5% healing every month
Month 21- present: setback to acute from amoxicillin antibiotic (1 dose)
Month 32- 11 months into setback from antibiotic. Seems I was floxed by amoxicillin somehow. Horrific.

 

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Thank you @Jubbachub so wonderful to hear of your recovery. It gives me hope. Your honestly about your suffering is so important. You describe the desperation well. I am at the 8month mark, I cold turkeyed and spent nearly 3 months off .. I made so little improvement I went back on to 6mg in September but still have a litany of symptoms. I first started reducing in September 2017 from 20mg, I did a cold turkey in December 2017-February 2018 and reinstated to 10mg ( got some relief that time). It’s been a long ride. 

 

So glad you got your life back and sorry for all your suffering. I just hold onto hope now and stories like yours. It has nearly broken me but stories like yours help me hold on.

 

The desperation has been humiliating but it’s a terror everyone here fathoms. 

 

Well done for having the strength to survive it.

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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Thank you for sharing 🙏🏻❤️

Originally at 100 mg Zoloft and 150 mg xl Wellbutrin for ten years. 

Abruptly dropped 50 mg of Zoloft April 2018.

Cut Wellbutrin in half (75 mg) for a month in December 2018.

Cold turkeyed Wellbutrin January 2019.

Reinstated Wellbutrin half of 150 xl (75 mg) in January 2019 and added Xanax.

ER visit iv of 5 mg Haloperidol.

Finished Xanax taper, cold turkeyed Wellbutrin February 2019 and added 10 mg buspar twice daily.

Tapering buspar

 

50 mg Zoloft at 10:00 am

 

2.5 mg buspar at 9:00 pm 

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  • 1 month later...
laydefish

Hi @Jubbachub& Congratulations on being successful during this difficult Journey- You are truly an Inspiration to all of us healing- Thank you for sharing!

2 years Drug History Prior to Tapering:

Between 2011 & 2018 I had approximately 58 dose changes between the 4 main medications I took as well as 14 new medications add & taken away.

Prozac (Fluoxetine):(Aug 2016-Dec 2016: 60MG),(June 2017-Nov 2017: 60MG),(Dec 2017: 80MG),(June 2017-Sept 2 2018: 60MG),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 5 2018: 40MG),(Sept 6 2018-Sept 8 2018: 20MG),(Sept 9 2018: 0MG).

Cymbalta:(Jan 2017-May 2017: 60MG).

Cyclobenzaprine: (Aug 2016: 30MG,(Feb 2017: 30MG).

Diazepam (Valium):(Aug 2016-Sept 15 2016: 30MG),(Sept 16 2016-Oct 2017: 15MG),(Nov 2017-Aug 19 2018: 6MG),(Aug 20 2018: 0MG).

Gabapentin:(Aug 2016-Aug 3 2018: 2400MG),(Aug 4 2018-March 26 2019: 2000MG),(March 27 2019-March 30 2019: 1600MG),(May 1 2019: 2000MG)

Hydrocodone:(Aug 2016-Oct 2016: 10-325/4daily),(Nov 2016-Feb 2017: 10-325/3daily),(March 2017-April 2017: 5-325/4daily),(May 2017-April 2018: 10-325/3daily),(June 2018-Aug 25 2018: 10-325/5daily),(Aug 26 2018-Sept 2 2018: 4.5daily),(Sept 3 2018-Sept 10 2018: 10-325/4daily),(Sept 11 2018-Sept 18 2018: 10-325/3daily),(Sept 19 2018-May 1 2019: 10-325/3.5 daily).

Oxycodone: May 2018: 10-325MG/4daily). 

Please see my Intro for full drug history.

         **Forgive Yourself For Not Knowing What You Didn't Know Before You Knew It!  -Maya Angelou/

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Congrats! How wonderful for you. I understand about not coming back for a while. Please let us know when you are ready how you are doing. Peace to you.

 

Marie

10/13--10/14 Ambien. Started tapering 1/14  Jumped 10/14.  Done.                                                                              

3/14        7.5 Remeron  still taking this.                              

2/14         75 Trazodone   -    Tapered by dry cutting all the way down.

1/16        4 mg Trazodone  -  Jumped. Bad mistake. Got hit with late withdrawal 6 weeks later. Had to reinstate.

4/16        Reinstated 1 mg, updose to 2 mg Trazodone

2/19        .04 Trazodone. Walked off.  Done.

10/3/19  Started 7.5 Mirtazapine taper cut to .073 gram weight, pill weighs .076

4/5/20    New Mirtazapine Taper - Compound Liquid 7.35 mg April '20, 7.25 mg May, 7.05 mg June, 6.99 mg June, 6.78 mg July, 6.57 mg Aug, Sept 6.35 mg, Sept 6.24 mg, Sept 6.21 mg, Oct 5.99 mg, Oct 5.90 mg, Oct 5.70 mg.

1/11/21 6.05 mg Messed up taper due to syringe change. Must remember the 1 ml syringe contains 1.5mg!

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/8/2019 at 4:16 PM, Jubbachub said:

Friends, I'm here to tell you that I consider myself recovered (for the most part) from severe withdrawal and adverse reactions to multiple medications. Let me tell you my story:

 

When I was 18 I was prescribed 10mg of Escitalopram (Lexapro) for health anxiety. The medication never really helped me, just gave me side effects (sexual and weight gain mainly) but I took it as directed for 4 years. I spoke to my doctor about cutting down, and was advised to wean off over a few weeks and stop. I did as directed and experienced what I now know was withdrawals. At the time I didn't know what was happening, and due to the anxiety around the withdrawal symptoms, was advised to go back to the medication on the basis that I was having a relapse (yes I know, no need to say it).

 

When I reinstated, my body rejected the medication, and I essentially became incapacitated with unremitting symptoms. I was then given a variety of benzodiazepines, and tried on a bunch of different medications, all of which made me considerably worse. The symptoms I experienced through this process were:

 

-Auditory and visual hallucinations 

-Distorted senses

-Disassociation

-Paranoia

-Brain zaps

-Amnesia

-Insomnia

-A severely degraded memory

-Intrusive tormenting thoughts

-Flashbacks

-Sleep paralysis

-Night terrors/sweats

-Ringing/buzzing sound in my head

-Body temperature regulation issues

-Couldn't hear properly

-Depersonalisation

-Derealisation

-Psychosis

-Limb/muscle weakness

-Feeling weightless (like I was floating)

-Suicidal thoughts

-Severe Anxiety

-Uncontrolled body movements/twitches -Burning nerve pain

-Mood swings/crying spells/extremely amplified emotions

-Inability to cope with stress

-Balance issues

-Vision problems

-Fast heart rate (resting constantly around 110bpm, normally 50bpm)

-Unable to make decisions

-Difficulty rationalising/understanding information

-Poor concentration

-Slurring words

-Hot flushes

-Anhedonia

-Food and drink sensitivities

-Extreme fatigue

-Rapid weight loss

 

After about 3 months of this agony and becoming a guinea pig to psychiatry, I quit all medication cold turkey as a very last resort (Prozac and Ativan). I then swore to myself that I would not go back under any circumstances.

 

My recovery pattern was something like this: After stopping all medication, the psychosis, uncontrolled body movements and paranoia resolved for the most part within about 2 weeks. I then went through about 2 months of all the other symptoms cycling, I was barely functional, getting up to drink water if I could. All I wanted to do was die. At the end of that 2 months, I would say that 50% of my symptoms had gone and I was left with mainly amnesia, crying spells, heightened emotions, very poor memory, flashbacks, poor stress tolerance, disassociation, depersonalisation and derealisation. Still in utter misery with flickers of hope every now and again. Within the 3 months of the 50% symptoms cycling I had some great improvements. Windows and waves broke up into cycles. Windows I felt almost 'normal', but waves were still as bad. At 6 months off cold turkey I had what I'd call my final wave. I had almost every symptom come back up. Being honest, I almost ended my life. It was like being back at the start of it all, and I felt hopeless. If it hadn't been for a phone call I received from my mother at the time, I don't think I'd be here. When that wave ended, I felt sense of peace. It was almost like a final surge of all symptoms before reaching glory.

 

Look, I want to tell you that at that point I was 100% recovered but It's not that simple. After that last wave I'd say that I hit 80% recovered. I still had some residual issues in relation to sleep, memory and occasional flashbacks, but nothing that significantly impacted my quality of life. I'm now back at work, and have a lovely new partner that I can start life again with. I'm now 7 months off, and still have some lingering symptoms, but I think that what's left will also dissipate in time. I do however believe a few things sped my recovery along which I want to share with you.

 

Acupuncture. For me, this would have to be the main thing I feel that sped up my recovery. Every time I was in there I went through a lot of emotional release and symptoms would sometimes ramp up, but I always came out a little bit better.

 

Ekhart Tolle: Listening to Ekhart Tolle and practicing the power of now was a big help in stepping out of the mind. Tuning into meditation when all else failed helped.

 

Surviving Antidepressants: Of course, the support of you guys when nobody else would understand or help was a blessing. The supplements, research and coping tools on this website really kept me focused on recovery.

 

I truly do consider myself recovered. Not fully, but if you told me I'd be where I am now at the start of this I never would have believed you. I'm optimistic that the remaining few symptoms will dissipate over the next few months. I'm now happy and no longer trapped in hell.

 

I will say that what's left is a seething resentment and frustration in the medical model. The way that I was treated through the process is not okay. I try not to hold onto anger, but denial by the psychiactric system led to severe difficulties getting help for something that wasn't believed or recognised. I was left fending for myself in immense distress like a lot of you are. I'm now doing my part to try and change this and will continue to educate people when I can.

 

To all of you, I know how horrifying this experience is, and I still get upset today when I think of you all being in the state I was. I wish I could help you more, but I want you to know that you're going to be okay. I'm sure you've heard it a lot, but time really is the best healing agent for this. Do what you can, even if that's lying there incapacitated. Don't give up, It gets better.

 

In the nicest way possible, I won't be coming back to this website for a while. I came here in terror and pain, and when I visit now a lot of horrible memories arise. I need to put this behind me. But hopefully I'll return one day when I'm ready.

 

I love you all. Stay strong warriors.

 

-Jubbachub

@Jubbachub do you have feelings your head is been hit by hammer though not painful but making horrible sounds and seem like bouncing around inside your head? Please I need your ASAP response before I go back to the crappy drug 

July 18 Risp 1/1mg day   on and of 12times didnt know it was the drug 

2m sep for 4 to September 9

Ct Sept 10 / RI 1mg Sept 15 to 16

went down to 0.5mg Sept 17/18 

CT sep 19 30mg whine drug estimate

tmj, brain zaps, itching, body pains, loud tinnitus, brain fog , tremors , body ,Td,deregulation , sleep issues due to loud tinnitus. Facial movements, clogged ear , choky , burning , discomfort,banging brain 

bruxism , teeth clenching, hedac/nerve p

 

 

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you are lucky to get back to normal after 6 months.

I cold turkey after 4 months effaxor and anfter 2.8 years i am still here as bad as ever

mild depression: took effaxor XR 75mg From nov 2016 - feb 2017 for 4 months

PSSD : Since then along with continuing withdrawal.

cognition problems, headache , fatigue, concentration problems, anhedonia, PSSD ( erection 2/10, Libido1/10, orgasm 4/10) 

no significant improvements in any withdrawal symptoms or any PSSD symptoms

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/23/2019 at 1:59 AM, hussy said:

you are lucky to get back to normal after 6 months.

I cold turkey after 4 months effaxor and anfter 2.8 years i am still here as bad as ever

What issues are you facing now? Please tell me

May 2018: 10mg Lexapro (once a day), and etizolaam 0.5 mg with proponolol 20mg twice a day

July 2018: got completely of etizolaam and proponol by weaning and using only once per day in June

October 2018: tapered Lexapro to 5mg using klonopin 0.25 mg as needed to reduce withdrawal symtoms

December 2018: quit Lexapro 5mg cold turkey and has to reinstate in three weeks used etizolaam to reduce symtoms as needed

March 2019: quit etizolaam 0.5mg cold turkey

September 2019: last does of Lexapro

November 2019: took klonopin 0.25 mg as needed to over come withdrawal symtoms sometimes 0.5mg. maximum dose of 0.75 mg per week

 

 

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On 12/5/2019 at 11:36 AM, Sani said:

What issues are you facing now? Please tell me

Extreme fatigue . Sexual dysfunction 

mild depression: took effaxor XR 75mg From nov 2016 - feb 2017 for 4 months

PSSD : Since then along with continuing withdrawal.

cognition problems, headache , fatigue, concentration problems, anhedonia, PSSD ( erection 2/10, Libido1/10, orgasm 4/10) 

no significant improvements in any withdrawal symptoms or any PSSD symptoms

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/8/2019 at 7:16 AM, Jubbachub said:

Friends, I'm here to tell you that I consider myself recovered (for the most part) from severe withdrawal and adverse reactions to multiple medications. Let me tell you my story:

 

When I was 18 I was prescribed 10mg of Escitalopram (Lexapro) for health anxiety. The medication never really helped me, just gave me side effects (sexual and weight gain mainly) but I took it as directed for 4 years. I spoke to my doctor about cutting down, and was advised to wean off over a few weeks and stop. I did as directed and experienced what I now know was withdrawals. At the time I didn't know what was happening, and due to the anxiety around the withdrawal symptoms, was advised to go back to the medication on the basis that I was having a relapse (yes I know, no need to say it).

 

When I reinstated, my body rejected the medication, and I essentially became incapacitated with unremitting symptoms. I was then given a variety of benzodiazepines, and tried on a bunch of different medications, all of which made me considerably worse. The symptoms I experienced through this process were:

 

-Auditory and visual hallucinations 

-Distorted senses

-Disassociation

-Paranoia

-Brain zaps

-Amnesia

-Insomnia

-A severely degraded memory

-Intrusive tormenting thoughts

-Flashbacks

-Sleep paralysis

-Night terrors/sweats

-Ringing/buzzing sound in my head

-Body temperature regulation issues

-Couldn't hear properly

-Depersonalisation

-Derealisation

-Psychosis

-Limb/muscle weakness

-Feeling weightless (like I was floating)

-Suicidal thoughts

-Severe Anxiety

-Uncontrolled body movements/twitches -Burning nerve pain

-Mood swings/crying spells/extremely amplified emotions

-Inability to cope with stress

-Balance issues

-Vision problems

-Fast heart rate (resting constantly around 110bpm, normally 50bpm)

-Unable to make decisions

-Difficulty rationalising/understanding information

-Poor concentration

-Slurring words

-Hot flushes

-Anhedonia

-Food and drink sensitivities

-Extreme fatigue

-Rapid weight loss

 

After about 3 months of this agony and becoming a guinea pig to psychiatry, I quit all medication cold turkey as a very last resort (Prozac and Ativan). I then swore to myself that I would not go back under any circumstances.

 

My recovery pattern was something like this: After stopping all medication, the psychosis, uncontrolled body movements and paranoia resolved for the most part within about 2 weeks. I then went through about 2 months of all the other symptoms cycling, I was barely functional, getting up to drink water if I could. All I wanted to do was die. At the end of that 2 months, I would say that 50% of my symptoms had gone and I was left with mainly amnesia, crying spells, heightened emotions, very poor memory, flashbacks, poor stress tolerance, disassociation, depersonalisation and derealisation. Still in utter misery with flickers of hope every now and again. Within the 3 months of the 50% symptoms cycling I had some great improvements. Windows and waves broke up into cycles. Windows I felt almost 'normal', but waves were still as bad. At 6 months off cold turkey I had what I'd call my final wave. I had almost every symptom come back up. Being honest, I almost ended my life. It was like being back at the start of it all, and I felt hopeless. If it hadn't been for a phone call I received from my mother at the time, I don't think I'd be here. When that wave ended, I felt sense of peace. It was almost like a final surge of all symptoms before reaching glory.

 

Look, I want to tell you that at that point I was 100% recovered but It's not that simple. After that last wave I'd say that I hit 80% recovered. I still had some residual issues in relation to sleep, memory and occasional flashbacks, but nothing that significantly impacted my quality of life. I'm now back at work, and have a lovely new partner that I can start life again with. I'm now 7 months off, and still have some lingering symptoms, but I think that what's left will also dissipate in time. I do however believe a few things sped my recovery along which I want to share with you.

 

Acupuncture. For me, this would have to be the main thing I feel that sped up my recovery. Every time I was in there I went through a lot of emotional release and symptoms would sometimes ramp up, but I always came out a little bit better.

 

Ekhart Tolle: Listening to Ekhart Tolle and practicing the power of now was a big help in stepping out of the mind. Tuning into meditation when all else failed helped.

 

Surviving Antidepressants: Of course, the support of you guys when nobody else would understand or help was a blessing. The supplements, research and coping tools on this website really kept me focused on recovery.

 

I truly do consider myself recovered. Not fully, but if you told me I'd be where I am now at the start of this I never would have believed you. I'm optimistic that the remaining few symptoms will dissipate over the next few months. I'm now happy and no longer trapped in hell.

 

I will say that what's left is a seething resentment and frustration in the medical model. The way that I was treated through the process is not okay. I try not to hold onto anger, but denial by the psychiactric system led to severe difficulties getting help for something that wasn't believed or recognised. I was left fending for myself in immense distress like a lot of you are. I'm now doing my part to try and change this and will continue to educate people when I can.

 

To all of you, I know how horrifying this experience is, and I still get upset today when I think of you all being in the state I was. I wish I could help you more, but I want you to know that you're going to be okay. I'm sure you've heard it a lot, but time really is the best healing agent for this. Do what you can, even if that's lying there incapacitated. Don't give up, It gets better.

 

In the nicest way possible, I won't be coming back to this website for a while. I came here in terror and pain, and when I visit now a lot of horrible memories arise. I need to put this behind me. But hopefully I'll return one day when I'm ready.

 

I love you all. Stay strong warriors.

 

-Jubbachub

Thank you. I am struggling with tapering Lexapro and needed a story like this!

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