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jiswell: 25 yrs antidepressant and benzo withdrawal


jiswell

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Withdrawn from 25 years of antidepressants and benzodiazepines. 

 

As of May 2019:

- 1 year off Clonazepam (tapered over 4 months with switching to Remeron as an adjunct) 

- 6 months off zero mg of antidepressants since November 2018. Tapered off 40 mg Lamotragine over 2 months. 

- Currently on Zopiclone—lowest dose only for sleep as needed. 

 

Background: 

GAD, depression, Bipolar II

First severe depression at 22. Main trigger was build up of stress overload (work/school), loss of close friend & recall of past child abuse.

I’ve tried a myriad of antidepressants over the past 25 years. I was off all meds for only a few months 10 years ago, and attempted withdrawing several other times.

I have always needed an anti-anxiety agent & am still struggling with sleep. I’ve taken time off work twice in the past several years. Worked through different psychiatrists & therapists / group therapy over the years, and re-vamped my eating habits in 2016.

 

What helps me (other than people): 

- meditation / active awareness 

- Regular exercise (walking usually) 

- my dog

- Plant based diet & avoiding general toxins

- natural supplements 

 

In that order. 

 

 

Edited by Shep
added username to title, removed instagram link

1993 - 1994 Desipramine, Moclobemide, Trazadone, Sertraline, Zopiclone

1994 - 2018 Clonazepam 

1995 - 2000 Sertraline 

1995 - 2018 Clonazepam 

2000 - 2017 Citalopram

2008 - Quetiapine

2016 - 2017 Bupropion 

2017 - 2018 Lamotragine, Mirtazapine

Sepember 2018 to present: Zopiclone  5 mg
November 2018 - November 2019: discontinued Lamotragine and clonazepam 

September 2019: reinstatement Clonazepam  & Escitalopram  

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to REAL NAME? 25 yrs Antidepressant & Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
  • Administrator

Hi, jiswell.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

If you are down to just the Zopiclone, please go ahead and start a new thread for yourself in the benzo forum. 

 

Benzo tapering and recovery

 

Please note your main intro thread here is for answering questions about your antidepressant and Lamotragine withdrawal. This forum tends to get a lot more traffic, so it's also good for general support.

 

The benzo forum is the place for getting tapering advice on benzos and z-drugs. We'll be able to help guide you through your Zopiclone taper in the benzo forum. 

 

Please let us know if you have any questions. 

CURRENTLY AWAY FROM THE FORUM

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Welcome to the Group @jiswell & Congratulations on getting off the Antidepressants!  I'm 8 1/2 months Antidepressant Free after 11 years & Benzo Free after 7 years- I feel better everyday glad your doing well!

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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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/10/2019 at 11:43 PM, laydefish said:

Welcome to the Group @jiswell & Congratulations on getting off the Antidepressants!  I'm 8 1/2 months Antidepressant Free after 11 years & Benzo Free after 7 years- I feel better everyday glad your doing well!

Thank you, and wow congratulations to you too:) 

1993 - 1994 Desipramine, Moclobemide, Trazadone, Sertraline, Zopiclone

1994 - 2018 Clonazepam 

1995 - 2000 Sertraline 

1995 - 2018 Clonazepam 

2000 - 2017 Citalopram

2008 - Quetiapine

2016 - 2017 Bupropion 

2017 - 2018 Lamotragine, Mirtazapine

Sepember 2018 to present: Zopiclone  5 mg
November 2018 - November 2019: discontinued Lamotragine and clonazepam 

September 2019: reinstatement Clonazepam  & Escitalopram  

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  • 3 months later...

Since my first post in May, I have gone back to work (gradual return over 8 weeks) and have reinstated 5 mg of Escitalopram as of last week (Sep 14, 2019). For now.

I went 10 months without ADs after 25 yrs. I thought I could cope with the supplements and exercise, other self care I’ve been doing. And OTC painkillers here and there. I haven’t been taking the Zopiclone as much, maybe every 4th day for sleep, but admit I was starting to take quarter tablets at night just to shut off my mind. Since last Fall has mostly been a struggle, except for windows I would have every several days maybe, but it would only last a few hours. Although I WAS progressing with the withdrawal. I do know that. The acute stage took about 4 months. 

 

I was on 20mg Citalopram a few yrs ago, but was on 20 mg Lamotragine when I withdrew last year over a 2 month period. Too fast!!!

 I was very disappointed to do this, but I weighed my options very carefully the entire time I stated back at work. I am back full time in a pretty stressful office environment/dept, and I do not want to go back sitting at home. Work does keep my mind off the symptoms, but it’s a balance of that, and also being able to sit and concentrate and read legislation and processing complaint cases. I haven’t even taken on 100% of the work, as they still have people ‘helping’ me out since my gradual return. Plus feeling agitated in meetings and feeling like I can’t speak properly, which makes me feel even more insecure about knowing my stuff, which I feel like I don’t. I never did. Really can’t tell if it’s all in my head or not. My confidence does come back at times, but I panic too much when get stuck on things I don’t know. Takes longer to let things slide. I do know the difference, it’s not just because I was off for 1.5 yrs. When I returned to the same job a few years ago after taking 2 yrs off it went like this because on meds the whole time. 

 

So I felt I wasn’t able to cope any longer. 

Plus I also am going to be taking on an assignment in the Wellness department, which really was my goal in taking on this work 8 years ago.  Mind you, my managers do know I haven’t been happy in my job—part of the reason why I had to take long term leave twice in the past 8 years. So I suppose my discontent and health issues prompted the offer on this asssignment for a few months. I am so relieved, I just hope it all the paperwork goes through ok.

went without the ADs for as long as I could. I don’t even know how I lasted this long. But it’s not the end.

Im hoping the 5 mg will be enough to bring back some of my mood. It’s only been a week, but within the first 72 hours I felt a lot of relief from physical aches I had, and my agitation went down considerably. A few days later however, it felt like it was all coming back. Hard to tell with minor side effects of insomnia and anxiety. But I do have more energy. It’s only when I go too long without eating or didn’t sleep enough where I feel like I shouldn’t be working. 

I do not want to give up this next job opportunity, it’s everything I’ve been working towards in my entire work career. 

Follow up Dr appt is next week. 

1993 - 1994 Desipramine, Moclobemide, Trazadone, Sertraline, Zopiclone

1994 - 2018 Clonazepam 

1995 - 2000 Sertraline 

1995 - 2018 Clonazepam 

2000 - 2017 Citalopram

2008 - Quetiapine

2016 - 2017 Bupropion 

2017 - 2018 Lamotragine, Mirtazapine

Sepember 2018 to present: Zopiclone  5 mg
November 2018 - November 2019: discontinued Lamotragine and clonazepam 

September 2019: reinstatement Clonazepam  & Escitalopram  

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to jiswell: 25 yrs antidepressant and benzo withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

As previously requested by Shep 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

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me -thank you.

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  • 10 months later...

I hope I have the signature right. 
since November 2019 I reinstated clonazepam 2.5

-5mg as needed daily and Escitalopram 5mg to start. Dr and I decided to increase the Escitalopram to 10 mg in Nov 2019. I had severe withdrawal symptoms and could not cope at work, thus the reinstatement. I also finished the new work assignment (6 months), and it tested me. I did not want to go back off work for financial reasons so I continue back to my regular job which is more stressful, but I am managing. I still have constant pain in my throat, neck, hips and back. Hard to focus on reading still, but a lot of my symptoms with my nerves have improved greatly. I remember not being able to even sit still at work in my chair for more than 30 min. I would get up for a short walk every hour.  


I’ve started a nutritional cleanse (plant based,

very low fat)

and it’s helping so much. I have decided to start decreasing my Escitalopram by 1 mg and hold. Titration method. I use a small cylinder with 50 ml water and put 5 mg in. I wait for it to dissolve, mix, and then remove 10ml. So far I’ve been doing this for 30 days. Mild withdrawal symptoms first 2 weeks.  Now stable. I sleep a lot. I take a lot of supplements, mainly focused on high doses of L-lysine, Vitamin C, B12, and lemon balm tincture daily. I’m not sure when to take the Escitalopram dose down again.  

1993 - 1994 Desipramine, Moclobemide, Trazadone, Sertraline, Zopiclone

1994 - 2018 Clonazepam 

1995 - 2000 Sertraline 

1995 - 2018 Clonazepam 

2000 - 2017 Citalopram

2008 - Quetiapine

2016 - 2017 Bupropion 

2017 - 2018 Lamotragine, Mirtazapine

Sepember 2018 to present: Zopiclone  5 mg
November 2018 - November 2019: discontinued Lamotragine and clonazepam 

September 2019: reinstatement Clonazepam  & Escitalopram  

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