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Icip

Icip: Has anyone with these symptoms had them improve, or completely go away?

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Maui

Hi icip,

Thank so much for the reply.  When I am reading something, it's like I think it say mom. They I reread and it says man. It's like at first I think it says one thing then reread because it would make sense. Then I see the correct word .These symptoms arent constant they come and go. Its working me tho. 

I do have the head pressure at times too. I'm hoping it all resolves, since this is a small dose.

Thanks!


June 2007- w/d from Paxil 20mg (various w/d symptoms on & off for over a year ) 

2014- started Citalopram 10mg

2019- Citalopram no longer working, random symptoms popping up.

Dec. 2019- starting weaning off citalopram.

End of Feb. 2020-completely off

 

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Icip
3 hours ago, Maui said:

Hi icip,

Thank so much for the reply.  When I am reading something, it's like I think it say mom. They I reread and it says man. It's like at first I think it says one thing then reread because it would make sense. Then I see the correct word .These symptoms arent constant they come and go. Its working me tho. 

I do have the head pressure at times too. I'm hoping it all resolves, since this is a small dose.

Thanks!

Maui,

 

If you’re tapering, you will experience symptoms. I cold-turkeyed and am stuck with these indefinitely, weaning off gradually should make things a little less intense for you but with each reduction may come a worsening of symptoms, or even new. The longer you stay in a dose for, the more stable you’ll become.

Check elsewhere on this site for the ‘10% taper’ - this is what the moderators here recommend.

Your central nervous system has become destabilised with it receiving less of the drug which it has become dependent on. It’s just a case of letting it calm down whether that’s on a lowered dose, or when you hit that 0.0mg mark; it can take a while.

 

No Problem, if you start an introduction I’ll be sure to follow to see how you do over the months :))

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Hi all if anyone is keeping up with this still,

 

Is anhedonia able to come on as a withdrawal symptom later on in the process of withdrawal, when was not present from the start?

 

My first couple of weeks were spent crying most days/nights. I spent a good week wholly in bed and you guessed it, sobbing. I had so many (chemical maybe) emotions. These are now gone, but I’ve been met with what I think is even worse; emotional flatness or ‘anhedonia’.

 

Ive just watched a film that should has turned me into a sobbing mass - but my eyes could only muster maybe a pin-prick or two of moisture.

 

I would be so grateful if anyone would be able to answer this through knowledge or experience, I’m being riddled by the ‘this will be permanent’ thoughts again heh. Thank you.

 

(Film I mentioned was ‘Marriage Story’ on Netflix, I massively recommend anybody to watch. Adam Driver is amazing, I however struggle to get Kylo Ren out of my head tho :). I think it’s my new favourite film - is just a shame that I’ve had to experience it like this for the first time).


[Edit] - In general, I feel flat and dull. Head is slow and sometimes empty (is getting a little more vibrant but slowly). This is all recent, I just thought anhedonia was a symptom of altered brain activity, not a symptom of the healing/destabilisation itself after being on an antidepressant for such a short amount of time. I am most probably wrong.

 

Thank you,

 

Icip.

Edited by Icip
Added more information.

Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Main symptoms now:

 

Intermittent anxiety/dread (minor, just takes spending a day in bed for it to dissipate).

 

Tinnitus (but greatly reduced; I can go about my day without it bothering me much).

 

Brain fog/cloudy thoughts - Is getting a lot better, still not myself, it just feels like I’m a few gb of ram short of 16gb (a little slower + not much room/will to think). This is noticeably getting better by the week.

 

Joint pain - still horrid, it doesn’t hurt till it hurts if that makes sense. You forget about it then as soon as you start walking, it feels like you had never sat down. I could live with this for the rest of my life if it meant a full deduction of other symptoms.

 

Anhedonia - started just before Christmas, is getting a lot better.

 

Ability to focus (maybe comes under brain fog) - a lot lot lot better, I no longer feel a pressure in my brain when concentrating for too long/thinking, or when processing too much information.

 

Light sensitivity (photophobia) - getting better, glare has returned to ‘normal levels’.

 

Double vision - seemingly improving, worse when tired or with the longer I hold my eyes open. If I close my eyes and move my eyes around (which I believe maybe lubricates them a little) it goes away for around five - 10 seconds. While if I cover my eyes completely with my hands then look, it’s there instantly. From this, I’m hoping it to be dry eye which may also explain the slight photophobia: going to contact my GP about this next week.

 

I’d say that I feel like myself again, a little watered down from I a year ago maybe hehe but like me. Spent the past two days with a friend, and it’s just felt well, normal. The only symptom that still worries me is the brain fog - my head just never feels clear. I guess it’s cleared up this much and I’ve only really recently acquired my ability to think back, so it’s still early doors for more improvement.

 

I hope everyone is well ;)),

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Slight improvement, but of note to myself - I stepped out of my house today and I to the street, I didn’t feel overwhelmed, ‘spaced out’, or like I was dreaming. I have ADHD so get sensory overload quite badly, but haven’t had one episode since being in withdrawal; I had one today during a lecture.

This might have been a wave, or what as it brought along with it head pressure and an inability to think very well, however I know this will go with some sleep a sit always used to.

 

Tinnitus is still here, but improving slowly (I get episodes rarely where it’s virtually gone which are becoming more frequent). Cognitive fog is improving, memory (short-term/working) is improving, but still nowhere like it used to be. I’m feeling joy, pleasure, and have been able to make jokes/‘talk rubbish’ with them - normal teenager stuff heh.

 

So yeah, a little closer to normality. I’m still hesitant to boast though, I’m still scared that one day that will be it, my improvements stop; I’m praying though and praying for all of the lovely people on this site:)).

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Quick Update:

 

I’m pretty functional again, I don’t dissociate when outside anymore, and my eyesight is seemingly a little ‘normal’ now.

 

still having a hard time concentrating, have a little tense feeling in my head that I can normally forget about but is most prominent when trying to work/concentrate, and I do feel a little ‘off’ of sorts. Nothing new, the offness has retracted considerably, but still there.

 

Joint and muscle pain in my legs went away overnight a few days ago; I can start running again which I’m pretty happy about (just need to find the time now heh).

 

I’m still a little flat, maybe uninspired. I could be depressed or what but I still certainly have a cap on my creativity.

 

I’m pretty fed up right now. I used to have bouts of anxiety (pre-WD) where I couldn’t concentrate and felt like this (head pressure n all). It feels like I have this constantly now, hoping it will dissipate as my brain stabilises/calms down.

 

Hope everyone is okay,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Update:

 

Leg aches are back, was nice while they were gone - I used to run a lot and gave me some hope.

 

No real improvements other than slight boost in cognition - nowhere near what it was, still foggy; my head feels ‘full’ or as if it’s ‘clogged’.

Improvement in derealisation - I feel awake and alive. Again, not quite normal.

 

Tinnitus + visual troubles still persist. Throughout this, my OCD has sustained itself as strong as ever, however I’ve noticed that I’m no longer anxious about people and going outside anymore: maybe because my anxiety is centred around withdrawal? Any answers or theories on this would be lovely.

 

Brain fog/fullness coincides in intensity with head pressure, this still flares up to the point where in just want to hide in my room (as I do mostly anyway heh) n binge watch docs.

 

I think tranquillised is an ample word to describe my situation. I think I preferred chaos.

 

Thanks,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Head pressure has returned - has been worsening over the past few days along with a sense of being 'high' and a little floaty; like I've drank too much coffee. I had this after my first dose of sertraline - hoping that the symptoms are gradually weaning back to this 'pre-crash' state (also accompanied by a sense of derealisation, a teeny tiny one though). The pressure isn't exclusive to my forehead, is also present behind my eyes.

 

(Edit - tinnitus has improved substantially but definitely still there).


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Hi everyone,

 

My thread has seemed a little overly positive in recent weeks. Today, with a gradual build-up over the last few days - I've had an increase in anxiety over my situation; will this ever end? The vision problem never seem to abate, however the visual static totally lessened last night, I think and hope.

 

Thanks,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

I forgot to add in my last post, I just feel quite calm - like I’m stuck or that I feel normal, but it’s a horrible normal. Vision seems dull, double vision, light sensitivity + mild after-images, I feel very empty in the head, and joint pain in legs.

 

Thanks,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

After facing what was probably my lowest day for a few weeks, today (yesterday as is the early hours of the morning here in sunny UK) has been quite nice, haven’t noticed my tinnitus really other than when focussing greatly on it - it continues to get better. Derealisation hasn’t been present, and joint pain wasn’t there either. My vision has seemed weirdly normal - yes still light sensitivity + very very very minor after images (I think most people get them to a very very slight degree) when focussing on something, then looking away.

I managed to go to the library and write 200 words of an essay which I’ve had to mitigate for my course (200/2000 heh) read for around an hour with intermittent phone break of course.


Brain fog is still very much so there, word recall is a pain (I hope this one gets especially better, I like my big words when writing academically), a sense of my brain being a solid mass with not much working inside of it was still there - but overall, it’s been quite a normal day.

 

Now I’m just worrying that the ‘windows and waves’ theory is purely based on some days we have more anxiety than other, so exasperating our symptoms, but permanent damage has still been done. I don’t know, I just want my cognition back - politics is quite literally my biggest hobby in life, it’s all I can relate daily happenings to, policies and state-leaders, I’m currently finding it hard to care and even harder to critically analyse things I should be doing so to.

Also, during waves, my entire visual field (especislly mid-late day) is grey, dull, and scary looking - my vision seems rich and familiar when feeling good. Odd.

Cognition isn’t affected by windows/waves, neither really is the tinnitus - vision, anxiety, derealisation, and joint pain seem to be.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Is it normal to feel like I’ve fried my brain? Or like some areas are cut off/permanently damaged?


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Hi all,

 

Sorry to keep posting, and possibly asking into the air - I just have so many questions and worries (I guess it’s good that my intrusive thoughts are coming back, I haven’t really had any since starting this horror) but around four weeks after taking my final pill of Sertraline (maybe more) I took St. John’s Wort for a week and a half as I had convinced myself that I had bad depression - I remember in that period that I had cold sweats on two occasions (small patches under my arms - only happened twice). I’m just so scared that I’ve given myself brain damage, I didn’t have tinnitus before this nor the visual problems (I think). I just really don’t know, nobody really does know about any of this and it sucks. I’ve been horribly suicidal for the past three days.

I met the girl of my dreams and two months later this happens, I’m half-way through a degree in Politics and I even had just learnt to love and accept myself for who I am, but now I just can’t carry on. I loved running but can’t anymore because my legs ache, and if they didn’t ache, they will start to after I’ve been (not normal aches that I used to have + still do, is seething joint pain).

I didn’t have the agitation, anxiety or irritability that comes with serotonin syndrome, I didn’t really feel any different before or after taking the St Johns Wort.

 

My I’m a mess

 

I spend everyday wishing I could die, but I really don’t want to. I’m not going to do anything stupid but I for once in four months want to feel nice in my head, comfortable in my body, and happy to go outside. I’m only 19


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

List of symptoms now almost exactly four months into this:

 

Brain fog,

General ‘numbness’ to my brain; emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety (yes, less social anxiety somehow),

 

Tinnitus (has vastly improved),

 

Double vision,

 

Photophobia,

 

Slight afterimages,

 

When tired - I see waves or ‘pulsation’ in my vision (with eyes closed)//this may be normal, I’m not sure,

 

Working memory has improved but still not what it was (memory problems seem to stem from the brain fog),

 

Poor sense of time, days don’t really feel like days, I can’t really remember how I filled each either - it’s all just one big blurry mess,

 

General poor cognition - I cant be critical of anything nor come up with new ideas; I’m normally a creative and critical person,

 

Dull coloured vision,

 

Depression - fear that this is me now, I’m no longer the sensitive, frigid, perfectionistic, and calculated student which I once was. I just feel inhuman and stupid, or braindead.

 

Joint/muscle pain and aches are occasionally present, but for the most part are greatly lessening.

 

This seems a little gloomy given the symptoms I listed at the start of my thread - while they still are present, they have all greatly improved - now it just seems to be a case of waiting for them to go, or if they will all ever really go. My visual problems may be down to dry eye which can easily be helped; it looks like my shutter speed has been decreased.

 

Have just found and signed the contract for my third year university house. I’m just praying that I’ll still be in academics to live there. It’s a beautiful early Victorian (19th century) stone Manor House converted into large flats for students, there’s skylights in every bedroom - I really want skylights in my house when I get older.

 

My girlfriend and I have been talking about our future; what house we’ll have, where we’ll live, marry, work, and retire. It’s really the most pleasant and special thing I’ve ever experienced, all whilst I’m in a gridlock of horror. It’s sad thinking about whether I’ll be able to work, be smart enough for her, or be able st all to handle living in the real world. I’ve had lectures on careers and I know exactly what I want to do, a political advisor in a government department, or to work in a policy thinktank (writing policy to serve different agendas, then providing to governments/political entities). I could have gotten into this area pretty easily, it just seems so far away, so does marriage, feeling free, and even feeling like myself again.

 

I have hope and I have dreams, of which I’m not going to give up on. I’ve just got to try and not give up on myself.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Maui

Icip,

Thanks for posting your updates. I read them as I have similar issues.

You may not think but from reading it seems like you are making progress.


June 2007- w/d from Paxil 20mg (various w/d symptoms on & off for over a year ) 

2014- started Citalopram 10mg

2019- Citalopram no longer working, random symptoms popping up.

Dec. 2019- starting weaning off citalopram.

End of Feb. 2020-completely off

 

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Icip

@Maui,

 

Hi, I’m glad you can get something from this. Despite me getting emotional at times (which probably doesn’t help the altruism) I’m doing this mainly to document so people can see and get a little reassurance from it.

Thank you:)) it’s nice to hear a perspective from the outside, I feel like I am, it’s just a case of feeling stuck at every hurdle which plagues myself and what seems like most members of this site.

 

Thank you and I hope you’re doing well:)) I’ll check your thread,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

New symptom: muscle twitches. Kinda scary but haven’t had any new ones for a while so it’s quite nice to know that my head hasn’t stopped trying yet. Mostly in legs, have had the odd one or two in my arms and jaw.

 

Completely gone: Muscle/joint pain and cramps. Have not had for a very long time now.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Has anyone ever felt a slight pain in their head, then noticed a slight improvement in Withdrawal symptoms? I’ve had this a few times, a gradual buildup of pain, then a sudden jolt - after, I have a noticeable ability to concentrate a little better.

 

The ‘pain from concentration’ disappeared like this. It felt like a physical or literal ‘writers block’.

 

Thanks,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Have been feeling rather suicidal for the past couple of days. Not looking for any words or positive affirmation - it just feels like I've completely ruined everything up there, i can sort of work again but i can't think like i used to; there 'not much room' to really ponder like I've become dumb. I guess the feelings of dread are back, i feel hopeless and helpless.

 

I have four 2000+ word essays due in the next 20 days along with two presentations for my course, i can't do it. I'm going to have to defer my studies till next academic term, some of my friends are looking for internships and are completing projects. I feel so awful.

This is quite incoherent, it's not even the remaining cognitive fog that's getting to me, it's the visual issues - my snow/static isn't even that bad and is just like a slight moving haze on surfaces, i especially present on textured matte surfaces like carpets or stripey trousers. After images are only mild, but the idea of having them for the rest of my life is crushing me. I see some who never regain their sight, but I'm clinging onto the two cases of it resolving I've seen for dear life. The joint pain has gone... woohoo, does that mean I'm out of withdrawal and now just stuck with staticy, my tinnitus has also not improved for a while.

 

I'm going to try a clean diet, more water also (have had two large cookies today, but that's a hell of a lot less sugar than I've been consuming daily for the past few months). Sugar has been my crux and IV drip.

 

Thank you all. This isn't as linear as I'd have hoped it to be,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Sunnyday

Hi Icip. Read through your posts and it's nice to hear you're improving, but I can see it's still difficult for you. It's so easy to feel ''ruined'' during all this like you say, and like it's beyond repair. But from my own experience it's really not. 

Improving your diet sounds like a smart move, I hope you can see some improvement from doing that. If not it's always good to stay healthy to prevent other issues.

 

WD rarely seems to be a linear process unfortunately. We kinda have to expect random waves and persistent symptoms to not get as overwhelmed by them. 

I hope you'll feel better soon, maybe you can try to focus on the improvements you've seen during all this to remember that you're still going in the right direction? And that it just takes time.

 

Take care.


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Icip

Hi @Sunnyday,

 

Thank you for your words. It's almost as if each day, i accept my symptoms in the moment and become scared of living like this for the rest of my life. I've seen cases of people with eye problems like mine who have - i guess this is the same for every symptom we face, there will always be one worst-case scenario - never had theirs go away.

 

I see that you take magnesium, I've been meaning to look into it as it's an accepted 'treatment' option for afterimages/visual migraine cases. Have you found it helpful to your wellbeing?

 

Thank you Sunny, i really appreciate your post,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Got one hour of sleep last night - up all night worrying over/watching Dr Breggin Youtube videos, and articles from Rxisk. Joint pain is back in full-swing, weirdly enough, double vision is unnoticeable. This certainly is a continuous rollercoaster of ups and downs.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

New symptom: text vibrates


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Sunnyday
20 hours ago, Icip said:

Hi @Sunnyday,

 

Thank you for your words. It's almost as if each day, i accept my symptoms in the moment and become scared of living like this for the rest of my life. I've seen cases of people with eye problems like mine who have - i guess this is the same for every symptom we face, there will always be one worst-case scenario - never had theirs go away.

 

I see that you take magnesium, I've been meaning to look into it as it's an accepted 'treatment' option for afterimages/visual migraine cases. Have you found it helpful to your wellbeing?

 

Thank you Sunny, i really appreciate your post,

 

Icip.

Yes, it's so easy to focus on the worst cases, and there is always a worst case but the odds are on your side as I see it, if you started getting this during your WD. 

 

I haven't taken magnesium the past 3 months so I honestly can't say (for no good reason, just haven't been taking supplements like I should). I did take it pretty regularly in the past but hard to say if it made a difference for me. The epsom salt baths did make a difference though, with my motor tics. It seemed to calm them down. I'm not sure that would help you, but it makes me think magnesium in any form is definitely worth a try. I believe it can help boost one's health in general if nothing else, and maybe lessen some symptoms (?). But yes I recommend trying it. And just a reminder that as low of a dose as possible at first is probably a good idea.

 

Regarding the lack of sleep and watching things related to withdrawal, do you think it adds to the worry? I find focusing as little as possible on withdrawal helps if possible. It's also good to know what we're dealing with of course, but i think it can easily become too much.


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Icip

@Sunnyday,

 

Eye problems came about during withdrawal. The only symptom of being on the drug that followed after stopping and feeling other being almost ‘normal’ was mania. I do hope so.

 

I read a couple of things on some visual snow forums suggesting it (magnesium) helps to ‘calm it down’ - not sure how well it would work for someone in withdrawal but I guess it’s all the same, over-activity.

Oh it definitely makes things harder, for a while I lost a lot of my anxiety so it was more that I was a mess and I knew it. As of recently I’m a mess, and I’m really worried about it. I think I’m in a wave, derealisation is back.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Sunnyday

Have you tried grounding for derealisation? When I had it that's what helped the most for me (and avoiding alcohol).

 

And I understand the worry. I think the best thing we can do usually is to accept it since if it is a wave, it's going to happen whether we worry or not. Unfortunately.

I try to comfort myself by reminding myself that it's okay to not feel well and that I will feel better eventually. ''It is what it is''. It's simple but it's like a counter argument in my head when the worrying starts.

 

Hopefully you'll get a window soon!


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Icip

@Sunnyday,

 

I haven't. Whilst out and feel 'closed in' - sometimes i think about my own existence and suddenly i almost feel 'awake' again - is this a form of grounding? It doesn't last very long for me, only as long as i think about it for.

 

Thank you Sunnyday, you're amazing at comforting and reassuring. You've helped a lot during this wave (i hope it's one). I've seen that you're doing so for others and i can only thank you,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Icip

Have been going through an awful wave for the past week - head pressure progressively getting worse, headaches, my vision has seemed like that of a migraine, static is bad, brain fog bad also. At my friend’s house for the weekend so is a little tolerable. It feels like everything hurts, my vision is that sensitive.

 

The back of my legs are numb too - I slept funny last night on an armchair so may be a pinched/trapped nerve; who knows.

 

I feel bad but I’m not suicidal.

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Sunnyday
On 3/12/2020 at 5:51 PM, Icip said:

@Sunnyday,

 

I haven't. Whilst out and feel 'closed in' - sometimes i think about my own existence and suddenly i almost feel 'awake' again - is this a form of grounding? It doesn't last very long for me, only as long as i think about it for.

 

Thank you Sunnyday, you're amazing at comforting and reassuring. You've helped a lot during this wave (i hope it's one). I've seen that you're doing so for others and i can only thank you,

 

Icip.

 

It probably can be a form of grounding. Being aware of one's existence in a very physical sense I guess. There are many different grounding techniques. For example holding an item and identifying the different traits that the item has is one. It's to focus on the present. So for example if you're holding a glass you could say it is transparent, cold, hard. Another one can be where you go through the whole alphabet and try to think of for example a different dog breed for every letter, or a celebrity, or different kinds of food  (or whatever you prefer).

And there is also some that are more similar to actual meditation. So for example just sitting in a chair while focusing on the sensations of your body, the feet on the ground, the skin against the clothes etc etc. Those are a few. They are very simple but it's to bring one back to the present. Can definitely be meditative. Doing it outside I found helped sometimes for me, not sure why that is.

 

And I'm so glad to hear that. How have you been doing recently?


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Icip

Hi @Sunnyday,

 

Sorry for the slow reply - whilst not great + still feeling a little rubbish on most days, my life is starting to feel a little more 'normal' again. I still have noticeable brain/cog fog, memory is improving but not as concise as it once was, my creativity is still something that feels like it's been slung out of the window though, and vision problems + tinnitus (Visual Snow/HPPD) have gotten a little worse actually barring the tinnitus which has slowly gotten a little better.

 

Healing feels like it's slowed, but i feel like i'm on the right track.

 

I'm trying to surround myself (online as we're so limited right now hehe) with my friends of whom i'm so blessed to have. I split up with my girlfriend last night as she was anything but 'healthy' for me, i felt emotionally quite drained, anxious, and it brought down my mood a lot. I think it's slowed down my healing quite substantially as she always had a bone to pick with me. Today, I've had an anxiety headache since 15:00 (showered and they've always been a huge trigger) - but before that happened - i can honestly say that I've not felt better over the course of the past five months.

 

I've tried your grounding methods - i didn't find them to work well for me. Thank you but i guess everything works differently for us all. The only one I've found to work for me is contemplating my existence hehe (I've no clue why that one works, but it works well! Albeit momentarily). Do you find that your derealisation is stronger whilst outside? For me it feels almost like I'm trapped in a box + not really outside, it might be more dissociation at this point than anything else really.

 

Thank you for checking on me, i appreciate it a lot. This is sort of a response + update intertwined.

 

How are your doing?:)

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Sunnyday

Hi Icip. It does sound like it's getting better even if it's in a slow pace as for most. And it can feel even slower since some symptoms get worse at times as well unfortunately.

 

It's good to hear that you removed someone who wasn't healthy for you. Like you say it can slow down recovery a lot. Can be a hard thing to do so I hope you're okay.

 

I usually found that the derealisation eased up a bit for me when I went for some fresh air rather than worsens it but it's probably something very individual. It's great that you actually have something that works though, even if it's temporary. 

 

I'm doing okay at the moment, some stress is all but very manageable! Thank you. 


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Icip

@Sunnyday,

 

I feel a little more normal every other week maybe, it’s slow but it’s quite beautiful to feel yourself and you emotions return. I’m really just waiting for my creativity, critical-thinking, and vision to all normalise (vision is the worst).

 

It went okay, I was more upset about hurting her, I knew and know it’s best for me. Just a little strange not having that level of closeness - I’m very lucky to have wonderful friends so being lonely has been a worry. Despite being physically isolated.

 

I think my derealisation is linked to visual-overstimulation, so I get it when outside - then not whilst in.

 

Thats good that it’s manageable? Is that a new thing for you upon feeling better? How are you managing lockdown?

 

Thank you,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Sunnyday

@Icip It really is! It's a huge relief when you start to feel like yourself again, even if it's just a very tiny bit and for a short while at a time at first. But yes, it does seem very rough with your vision especially. It makes sense that you'd get derealisation outside more often if it's linked to the issues with your vision.

 

I understand. It's important with good friends during times like that, and maybe even more during WD. Luckily it doesn't always need to be physical for us not to feel alone (even if it's probably preferable to most).

 

Yes, now most things do feel manageable unlike before. Before most things felt almost impossible to overcome and often overwhelming but not anymore. And we're allowed to go out still over here, just not being in bigger groups. But I live as if it was lockdown, haha. I'm very introverted and enjoy being alone so this didn't change much for me in a social aspect. What about you? Are you doing okay despite not being able to meet friends in person and so on?


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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Icip

Hi @Sunnyday,

 

I was helping my Dad in the garden taking apart some windows to reuse the glass (he’s a carpenter). I had no pains (other than genetic back pain!), it was sunny so was so so bright being how sensitive I am - I just stayed in the shade.

 

As much of a nice feeling that it is, do you ever worry that you’ll never be yourself again?

 

I’ve just read some posts from people in the anti-psychiatry Reddit, people who claim that they’ve forever ‘lost parts of their brain’, or personality, they’ve had to drop out of education because of it, and it’s gotten me quite down. Do you think these people are still in withdrawal but don’t know it? The brain is while amazing, such a scary concept + I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to appreciate how things hardly ever go wrong for normal people. The most complex organ in our body is also the most resilient/‘sturdy’.

 

I read things like that subreddit and just feel so ashamed and guilty that I ever took those pills for the short time which I did.

 

Ive gotten a lot better recently in many aspects, whilst simultaneously getting worse - my creativity + ability to think clearly almost disappeared overnight during a wave after I’d drank some alcohol the night before (was the last time I had done in the past four and a half months).

 

Hehe really? Me too! I could stay in my room all day everyday - I’m sociable and love my friends, but if push comes to shove, I equally love reading forums, the news religiously, my Nintendo Switch, and messaging friends. How do you like to pass time whilst alone? I’d love to get back into reading physical books - it doesn’t feel like my attention span is still quite there yet. Like my brain can’t quite ‘lock on’ to what I’m trying to process.

 

Sorry for the more negative post, I’ve been quite existential for the last few days. I’ve been well enough to ‘work’ (manual labour), but I want to go into graphic design when older, but my creativity has gone. I’m doing a degree in politics (hehe useless I know, I only figured out what I want to do with my life at the start of last summer!) and my ability to think critically and pay attention has gone, or my current thinking is that it’s ‘ruined’.

 

I know I might be a little over dramatic with this, you don’t need to counter what I’m saying as I’m really just venting this - I guess I have seven months now to recover till I restart my second year of university. It’s been five months now so hopefully that should be enough.

 

Thank you for listening Sunnyday:), are you back at work yet? Or outside of withdrawal, have anything to help pass time?

 

Thank you,

 

Icip.


Early September 2019 - One 25mg dose of Sertraline taken.

 

Early October 2019 - Five 25mg doses (pills) of Sertraline taken for five consecutive days.

 

Withdrawal/reaction happened on the 27th of October (2019) in the evening.

 

Main symptoms: Visual Snow/HPPD, derealisation, tinnitus, and brain/cog fog.

 

Drug free.

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Boris

Just a quick note on creativity.

 

I started medication while at university working computer game art. My crash happened several times while working as a graphic designer and working as an artist in the games industry where I still work to this day.

 

Yes I did find it affected my creativity but I also find that comes and goes naturally as well. I've just learnt to accept it and when it does come back it comes back very strong. I'm currently in a low creativity spot after a 6month binge so to speak.

 

Anyway my point is with the 11 years I've been dealing with this (complicated story)  I've still managed to work in a creative industry and progress up the ladder. So it is possible, you learn to adapt and work round it so don't give up on that passion even if it does disappear as it comes back. I've nearly quit twice.

 

I got myself into a right mess with medication and was on it for a long time. Your short exposure should speed stuff up hopefully. I also drank and did other stuff at the beginning of my withdrawal (wasn't aware of my actual problem.

 

Just saw you're doing politics as a degree. On a side note most creative industry's really don't care about your degree but your portfolio. Most people I work with on the art side of things have no degree. YouTube and online resources are so good now!


April 2007 -  Seroxat 20mg

August 2008 - Cold Turkey

August 2009 - Cold Turkey

November 2009 - Reinstatement adverse reaction akathesia/suicidal/anxiety

March 2011 - Start taper

November 2012 - Crash badly at 1.25mg akathesia/suicidal/extreme anxiety

January 2013 - 5mg Seroxat, 300mg  Lyrica

April 2017 - Successfully get off Seroxat with taper followed by 4 month of withdrawal 

January 2018 - Start with constant urinary urge/pain/burning/genital sensations 2 week after anxiety/akathesia ends

January 2019 - Started reducing Lyrica as I suspect it's causing frequent urination, tinnitus, fatigue, brain fog and mental decline.

December 2019 - Off all pysch meds

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Sunnyday

Hi @Icip. My eyes always seemed to be sensitive to light but that definitely got a lot worse too during withdrawal so that is very relatable. 

 

I don't worry anymore, because I am more or less back to my normal self. Some things are still lingering from the WD when it comes to changed personality that I really don't like, but I think eventually those things will go away too because so far everything has lessened (many things have disappeared completely). It's just an extremely slow and gradual process.

And I couldn't say really regarding the people on Reddit, but considering how many people have the same feeling here I would say it is very likely. Especially since the time it takes to recover can differ a lot from person to person. I think it's also a very common feeling to have while we're in the middle of it. I think almost all of us here have felt like we were ruined at some point. It's hard to hold on to hope.

 

I understand the feeling, but I don't think we should have to feel ashamed about taking the drugs considering how heavily promoted they are. I thought I had done plenty of research before taking them, but despite that I didn't find out how bad it could get until it was too late.

 

Alcohol can definitely create some setbacks so that makes sense. I'm sorry to hear that though, it's frustrating to lose one's creativity. But I have no doubt that will also return eventually.

Graphic design sounds fun! I have a part time job now online while I study. Then I do art on my free time, unfortunately I'm not making a living off that (maybe some day, I hope). I also play games occasionally. It's a nice escape from reality when needed. And like you I couldn't stay focused enough to read books during WD, so I have only been able to do that very recently for the first time in like 2-3 years.

 

And it's completely fine to vent. No pressure about responding. Hope you are doing okay today!

 

Edit: Agree 100% with what Boris said as well.


2011-2015: Escitalopram (Cipralex) 20 mg, Voxra 300 mg (quit Voxra in late 2015, no issues)

2016: Started tapering Escitalopram 5 mg at a time, every fourth week

July 24th, 2016: Escitalopram 5 mg

April 2nd, 2017: Quit last dosage (WD worsened a lot)

Ca 6 last months of 2017: Taking Diazepam 15-25 mg irregularly, less than once a month

Ca Dec 2017: Out of Diazepam, i.e free from all prescribed drugs

Now: Still drug free

Supplements: Irregular intake of Omega-3, magnesium, vitamin D.

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