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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone. I am 58 years old. Here is my history on 20 mg prozac. When I got married I kept bottling up anger and then dumping it on my husband. I had and have many issues due to abuse, neglect, molestation, etc. from childhood.  

 

Finally, after a year of this, he told me this was going to have to stop or the marriage wouldn't work. We went to counseling, I was given prozac 10 mg., then up to 20 mg. per day. It numbed me enough to lower the frequency and intensity for us to stay together.

 

After 23 years on prozac 20 mg per day with my children now grown I decided in May of 2018 to get off. It seemed to me that the prozac was constantly jacking up my anger at my husband, and this anger was scary, and my blood pressure was high when I have typically had low blood pressure. Usually I missed 2-3 doses per week because I am forgetful, so I tapered off quickly (mistake)  over the next 6 weeks.

 

All was going well and my husband was taking the wall down he had put up between us.  I loved not being mad at him all the time!  Our marriage was becoming sweeter every day.

 

I felt my feelings again and was enjoying life and was dealing with issues that were causing the anger because I could be introspective, focused, and rational. And concentration was now easier. This went on until late September.

 

In late September, 3 months off of prozac, I was plunged into horrible depression and anxiety. I didn't know what was happening. I had never felt this way before. I was unable to get out of it. It overcame me and consumed me 2 days a week, then 3, then 4. I was up all night with anxiety, often suicidal, and was getting by on 0,2,3 hours of sleep for the next two months. The suffering and despair were beyond description.  I lost over 20 pounds in six weeks because I was sick to my stomach due to depression/anxiety(I was not even overweight). My hair started falling out.

 

Finally, December 5, after my bp went up to 180 due to my panic over being trapped in this horrible state, my sweet husband took me to a doctor 300 miles away who used supplements instead of traditional medicine. He was an M.D. He gave me supplements that helped me get through that period but that did not take the suffering away completely, just made it to where I wasn't suicidal any more. For the next three months I worked with God and His word on issues and began doing volunteer work to get the focus off myself. My sleep hours improved to 6-8 hours most nights. But always that horrible anxiety would wake me up at 4-5 in the morning. What a nightmare to start every day like this. It was like an ugly satanic merry go round.  My blood pressure stayed normal now too. This went on until the end of February.

 

In February a crushing depression came up. The doctor adjusted the supplements when we visited him again. He said  the anti anxiety one was pushing me down too low now. He also gave me a St. John's wort combo supplement. Now,  on March 13, I am again having horrible, nearly debilitating anxiety and severe depression (but again, who wouldn't be depressed?). I am still able to do the volunteer work, even if I fall apart later in the day.  The depression is better than the one in January, but I feel like I have back-pedaled. This week I have begun talk therapy. 

 

My husband is now my best and closest friend, and has patiently helped me and put up with me through this. 

 

I dont ever want to go back on antidepressants, but I am still in the middle of a huge battle. 

 

It has now been almost eight months since I started and I am still on the satanic merry go round. I am taking it one day at a time. But I am in dire need of encouragement. I know God will deliver me in time. But it would be so encouraging to talk to others who really understand what I am going through. The isolation is very hard. Not even my best friend knows what I am going through, or even that I was ever on antidepressants at all. I am still losing weight, though I am able to eat more(I am a walking stick). But I am getting more and more bald spots in my hair from it falling out because of the stress. 

 

So that's where I am as of March 2019.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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ChessieCat

Hi Tweet and welcome to SA,

 

To get you started please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

Once we have the details of your drug history we will be better able to offer suggestions.

 

Please post telling us that you have created your drug signature so that we don't miss seeing it.  Thank you.

 

This is your own introductions topic where your can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Tweet.

 

You probably realize now that you developed Prozac withdrawal syndrome. You now have post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

 

We are very familiar with the morning anxiety. See Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing cortisol spikes

 

How have your symptoms changed over the last few months? Do you find your symptoms come in waves? Typically, you may have spells of unpleasant symptoms in The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

On 3/13/2019 at 6:51 AM, Tweet said:

He was an M.D. He gave me supplements that helped me get through that period

 

What were these supplements?

 

Are you taking St. John's Wort now? How much are you taking? When did you start it?

 

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.

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Tweet

I started on Standard Process Min-chex, 2x3 for anxiety, Douglas Labs 5-Htp plus formula 1x1 and Neuroscience Kavinace as needed for anxiety and sleep. These helped alot. I was no longer suicidal pretty quickly. After 70 days I was having crushing depression and much less anxiety. Getting ideation about wanting to die. Then he switched me to Standard Process Min-Tran(less of a downing effect) 2x3 and gave me Nevaton for depression. Nevaton includes St. Johns wort but I quit it because Happy Camper pills or just caffeine ( which I had formerly quit since symptoms started) lifted my mood better. He stopped the 5Htp because he said I was saturated with it at this point and if needed to take it again after 4 months. I am getting by on 5-8 hours of sleep by alternating Bachs Rescue Remedy, Bachs mustard, Kavinace, melatonin, Natural Calm magnesium powder. A couple of nights a week I will still get less than 5 hours though. I have tried every sleep aid known to man lol. 

As usual I took Shaklee multi, e, d-3 daily as well.

 

 

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Tweet

Thank you so much for the reply, by the way. I feel like I am alone on the planet, and have been afraid to even look at replies, thinking you all will say I really blew it (I know) and need to reinstate.

How do I find success stories on just long term prozac?

Are the success stories just mixed drugs? It has been so scary doing google searches because no one appears ever to have successfully gotten off. My natural MD says he has seen 80 per cent get off. I am so glad I found this site!

Thank you again.

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Does anyone else have their hair falling out? I figure it is the high cortisol? Wondering if I will go bald.

My hair is usually thick, healthy, and mid-back in length. It is very thin, hairline receded and getting bald spots.

It is rough, frizzy and the ends are stringy and uneven. 

How bad will this get?

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ChessieCat

I merged the new topic you created with your original Introduction topic.  This keeps your history in one place.  Each member has only 1 Introduction topic.  Please ask questions and journal your progress in this topic.

 

There are many existing topics on this site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.  Seaching hair loss found this topic:  hair-problems-hair-loss-poor-condition-body-hair-excessive-growth

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Tweet

Thank you for your guidance, ChessieCat. I am not very technically savvy!

I have experienced the windows and waves, and recently had a 2-week wave of depression/anxiety that was as bad as in the early months. I felt like I was going backwards. But I am now almost to an entire week of feeling perfectly normal, though a bit

"racy" and keyed up at times. It is truly a blessed reprieve. I have been preparing magnesium powder in a little jar with lid before bed to chug when I wake up to go to the bathroom at 2:30-3:00 a.m. I use the powder mix it with water, shake the jar, and chug it. 

I do this because I get a severe cortisol attack of anxiety at 4:00 a.m. that has always waked me up to start my day at 4:00 a.m.  since the wd began. I read here that magnesium reduces cortisol activity.  It works!! I have not had the rush and have been sleeping through to 5:30, 6:00.  I think this is helping me feel better and may help my hair loss.

The brand is Natural Calm magnesium powder.

Last week I started talk therapy and this also seems to be helping.

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Tweet

Has anyone tried lunesta while in paws? Any problems?

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ChessieCat

Please note that SA is a site for reducing / getting off drugs.  It's better to try non drug techniques instead of relying on a drug to solve issues.

 

What non drug techniques are you using/trying?  If it for sleep issues, Sleep problems - that awful withdrawal insomnia

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I need encouragement. Once again, I acted up and ruined the day (Easter Sunday) for my whole family. I woke up depressed and anxious, as usual, not having been able to shut my mind off for the last 4 nights in a row. Last night I had slept pretty well though, so why act up today? 

I began thinking about my husband a few weeks ago saying we need to cut back on eating out. This meant I need to pack everyone lunches for after church (1.25 hours away) instead of eating out. I was not exactly happy about the added stress and had not been handling it well, but was trying. I get very agitated, depressed and anxious when cooking gets too complicated these days, go figure. This Sunday morning I was convinced since he said nothing about doing something special that he was going to make me pack lunches again, and not do anything special so I was already mad at him when he woke up. We hadn’t even talked about it yet! I had no real idea what he had planned yet! But here I was, unable to bridle my anger, hurt, and disappointment. I made a few wry comments and it was revealed to me that they had planned to take me out to the place of my choice for our anniversary dinner the next day, Monday. This still didn’t get me off my husbands trail!

 I prepared a delicious breakfast for my 2 young adult sons, but the oldest one sensed my attitude, which I had thought I was hiding and announced he would not be going along because he was tired. When the younger one, already in the truck ready to go, heard this and saw me teary-eyed he said if we were not all going then he wasn’t going either.

So my husband and I sat there in the truck as it dawned on me that once again I had DONE it! Wrecked everything for everyone with my self-consumed emotions. I had a snot-slinging fit inside the truck in the driveway crying, screaming, shouting for God to kill me because the horrible guilt that I know so well by now was going to once again consume me. I slumped into floorboard in absolute loss of control. I beat the console, the windows. I begged my husband to check me in to the mental hospital because I couldn’t do this to my family anymore. He told me he would, if I wanted (he was almost crying too, he is so worn from going through this with me), but that all they would do is shoot me up with the same kind of addictive drugs and make a zombie out of me. 

He drove on to church, and the sermon was just what I needed to hear: I can do anything as a Christian because Jesus rose again. Whatever my struggles they will not and cannot last forever....I sat there and cried right in the pew. 

I wanted to salvage our day as a family so I suggested we pick up bbq and take it home where we and our sons could all eat together. It worked out well, but later in the afternoon I felt so bad I wanted to die. (Not suicidal though, just it would be nice...)

I am sooooo worn down a few weeks shy of one year after CT off Prozac. So is my family. Our marriage. 

I just hope someone here can help me to have some hope. 

It has been so long. The suffering, the uncertainty of ever being well again, the crazy thoughts and symptoms.

I am feeling better this evening, but oh how ashamed and guilty I feel.

Am I really a nut case?

Am I the only one flipping out like this? I have not really “lost it” like this since December.

I have gotten so much better since then...

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ChessieCat
6 minutes ago, Leo1983 said:

Your welcome. 

 

Also write down all the symptoms you have. Then put a tick next to the ones you have always had and then put a cross next to the ones you got when you CT the drug. 

 

Make a list of all the symptoms you got from withdrawal and then you can tell yourself these are wd symptoms and because everyone recovers ' I WILL TOO EVENTUALLY"and all these symptoms will leave when there ready. 

 

💪👍

 

 

 

 

There are printable and computer symptoms lists (including blank ones) here:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

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Danalee13
Posted (edited)
On 8/6/2019 at 12:51 AM, Tweet said:

Hey, Leo. So glad you are doing so well!

 I am about 14 months off of Prozac which I was on for over 20 years.

I am in a cycle of high anxiety for several days and then an emotional breakdown(exhaustion) and then a couple of days where I feel totally normal.

Does this sound familiar to you?

I am interested in knowing just how the anxiety left you. 

Same intensity, but fewer days in a row?

Or same number of days, but a lowering of the intensity.

Or how?

I feel so close to the finish line here, but the only obstacle is this anxiety.

Thanks for any help you can give me. 

It has been a long run kicking the poison, and I am ready to cross that finish line just like you did. (Awesome, Leo 🏆🥇)

 

 

hi @Tweet!!! I am currently in the process of coming off of lexapro. I am having a hard time with anxiety. no emotional breakdowns but just periods of INSANE anxiety which will then go away. and i thought they were over with but then they just came back a few days ago. so i definitely know the feeling you are going through as well.  I am surprised this is still happening 14 months after being off. aw :( so i have a question - how fast did you come down? AND - how long were you on it for? I came down too fast. now trying to stabilize on 5 mg. had panic mode anxiety when i first made a post on here around july 4. then it went away. then i felt lethargic but no anxiety. then lost appetite. letheragy is gone. appetite is more than back. starving all the time. BUT panics are back. ://// i'm right there with you... .

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
post moved from other member's topic, removed "Hi Leo"

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On 8/8/2019 at 4:13 PM, Danalee13 said:

hi @Tweet!!! I am currently in the process of coming off of lexapro. I am having a hard time with anxiety. no emotional breakdowns but just periods of INSANE anxiety which will then go away. and i thought they were over with but then they just came back a few days ago. so i definitely know the feeling you are going through as well.  I am surprised this is still happening 14 months after being off. aw :( so i have a question - how fast did you come down? AND - how long were you on it for? I came down too fast. now trying to stabilize on 5 mg. had panic mode anxiety when i first made a post on here around july 4. then it went away. then i felt lethargic but no anxiety. then lost appetite. letheragy is gone. appetite is more than back. starving all the time. BUT panics are back. ://// i'm right there with you... .

 

 

Thanks so much Danalee!

Emotional spirals are eating my lunch now. And they are feeding off that anxiety pattern you described so we'll!😣

Sorry I missed your reply and took so long to get back to you.

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Danalee13

HI @Tweet! how have you been feeling? I took a break to get my life together and i finally feel fully stabilixed on the5 mg. Better than ever, Please know that the waves of panic do go away. I do not get them anymore. at least for the last month or so.So I am ready to come down more from 5 mg. I spent from June 13 to the present stabilizing on the 5 mg. But it was so worth it to take that time. I really needed it. so even if it takes awhile to feel okay - it is so worth it!! and know it WILL come! Youll start to notice the symptoms come less frequently and then even down to feeling a bit anxious once every two weeks!! versus daily. you will get there

 

xxx

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Thanks Danalee for the info about how anxiety leaves and that it does actually go away at some point!

I am having it at 5:30 am, 3:30 pm, and every Thursday I am just a pile of anxious, weepy, depressed mush and blaming my husband for all my woes. 

What's the point of life, he's avoiding me, we need counseling, blah blah blah. 

This will sometimes last into Friday but if so usually lifts on Friday afternoon.

Then Saturday I am like who was that person being so negative?

Then I'm fine again till Thursday.

When I am down I am so convinced of a the negative thoughts. They all seem so real! But it is my mind playing cruel tricks. Very scary knowing how out of touch with reality my thinking can get.

But overall, I feel it getting better. With God's help I am slowly taking my mind back from this evil drug!

When we last talked that anxiety was every day all day for many days at a time. 

Now it is a couple of days a week. 

I am so happy for your getting stabilized on the low dosage!

We can do this, Danalee!😀👍

 

 

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Katy398

Hi @Tweet

I am wondering how you are going. Can I ask Is anything different on Thursdays to make symptoms increase. 

Weekends are my challenge but I think that’s because I have less of a routine to prop me up. 

I’m 6 months behind you!! Dec 2018 for me. 

I FT/CT Lexapro without realising went 3.5 times slower than the doctor recommended, so felt proud of myself!!! Little did I know!!! Became scared to reinstate because I’d left it too long. 

We have very similar parallels, age, number of years on ADs, symptoms, and FT/CT. Main difference is type of SSRI. 

Just wondered what 6 months on ‘may’ look like. Obviously I can’t rely on it as we are all so different. 

Lack of sleep and anxiety are my main challenges. 

Hope your symptoms are continuing to improve.

Take care Kx

 

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Hi Katy398. I am so glad to know someone who is around my age and came off just one antidepressant CT like I did. 

I also was too far along by the time I learned about reinstatement, at which time I felt very frightened and trapped into this process. However I am now

very thankful I did not because I probably would still be suffering.

I think Thursdays and Fridays are usually a bit harder because I am getting tired from the week.

I have some big encouragement for you, though, because I feel very close to normal all the time now. 

For anxiety at a year and since(very much occasional where I am now) 

I have been using fish oil and if it is really bad a few drops of Bachs Rescue Remedy.

For sleep it has been 450 mg. Magnesium. At one year I was taking this in powder form before bed mixed with water. (Natural Calm brand) 

I would also leave a dose of powder in a glass on the counter to mix with water to slug at my 3am bathroom time and this would prevent the horrible rush of anxiety at around 5:30 every morning. 

That rush is totally gone now, by the way!😁

In answer to your question, if you are like me, and we are all different, you will feel very much better, and close to 100% within the next six months. The velocity of recovery picks up and the intensity of the waves decreases measurably. 

There will be trauma emotionally as your feelings and emotions begin to fire, and I have used this time the last 6 months to begin to control and understand my feelings, and deal with my issues-- particularly the unhealthy thought habits and patterns that got me put on the poison in the first place. 

My biggest concern is that when negative stimulous happens to me, ie rudeness, tense situations, dealing with problem people, WOW! That anger and stress is off to the races almost before I can stop it! My heart pounds, etc  But I am learning to be judicious in my behavior at those times and breathe.😉

Joyce Meyers Battlefield of the Mind had so helped me. I have the sermon tape on in my car all the time!

Stay strong for it is just around the corner!

My impatience and just being sick of it all was a big deal after a year as well. 

Be patient♥️

I am so glad you got this far.

A big congrats to you!

 

 

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Katy398

Thanks so much Tweet for all your encouragement 

It’s so good to see someone in a similar situation to me is healing well. 

I start therapy  next week so fingers crossed it will support me. 

Last night I started a new sleep routine which helped. I fell asleep with meditation and took nothing. Then when I woke at 4am, I took magnesium and Neurocalm and my homeopathic remedies. It worked, I fell back into another 3 hours sleep!!!!

Lets hope it works tonight as well. 

Sleep issues, feeling cold and anxiety are my main challenges at the moment.

Thanks again tweet it was so kind to give me encouragement. I hope your recovery continues well. 

Take care Kx

 

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Tweet
4 hours ago, Katy398 said:

Thanks so much Tweet for all your encouragement 

It’s so good to see someone in a similar situation to me is healing well. 

I start therapy  next week so fingers crossed it will support me. 

Last night I started a new sleep routine which helped. I fell asleep with meditation and took nothing. Then when I woke at 4am, I took magnesium and Neurocalm and my homeopathic remedies. It worked, I fell back into another 3 hours sleep!!!!

Lets hope it works tonight as well. 

Sleep issues, feeling cold and anxiety are my main challenges at the moment.

Thanks again tweet it was so kind to give me encouragement. I hope your recovery continues well. 

Take care Kx

 

Hi Katy398!

A BIG congrats on getting some of that good, healing, sleep! That is just what your healing brain needs. Praying it will happen for you again tonight🙂.

I assume it is talk therapy you are going into next week. 

I went too for a few months and my only warning would be that they might try to get you to see a psychiatrist to get a prescription for your extreme anxiety. So don't fall for it. 

My therapist said she had never seen such intense anxiety in any patient before and really wanted to help by sending me to get lexapro, as it was so much better than prozac. (Right🙄)

But my husband and I were able to convince her to see me for a few sessions without drugs and she agreed, and eventually realized I was fine without them. (Of course she had no belief in or knowledge about paws.) 

However, after a certain point the discussions in therapy began to be counterproductive, causing more rumination when I needed to move forward instead of dredging up past or present things I was unhappy about. 

When I healed enough to face, own, and vow to deal with my intense anxiety instead of blaming my husband and circumstances for it I stopped going to

the therapist.

I asked God to help me with my lifetime problem of anxiety and He did.

That's when huge progress began.

Are you exercising at all? I began swimming again at about 12 months.

Maybe exercise would help your circulation and the cold feeling.

So good to hear from you.

Thanks for the update!

Prayers going out for you 🙏

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Katy398

Hi Tweet, 

Thanks so much for your support. I am seeing a prescription drug ‘abuse’ Coucellor no less. The abuse bit irked me initially but it’s free and finances are an issue so needs must. I’ve already had the initial session. Firstly we connected which is the main thing. He said his work supports three strands of recovery 1) The addiction ( which we both realise is not an issue for me. 2) Withdrawal symptoms 3) getting back into connecting with self and life again. 

He’s never come across ADWd obviously but he’s interested and had begun to search about it. He knows that it will be a no drug therapy from the outset. 

When you mentioned exercise and circulation I suddenly realised the obvious. It’s so strange the way withdrawal effect cognition. Up until 3 weeks ago when I hurt my back sliding an empty box! I had been walking up a steep hillside daily.  This built up to be quite strenuous over the months because it gave me a few hours   respite  from anxiety. I can walk on the flat but not the cardio uphill stuff at the moment. That must be why I am so very cold. 

Thanks Tweets for your support. We will get through this.

take care 

Warm Regards Kx

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