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extremethinking: came off a Moclobemide after two weeks, have never felt worse

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(this might be long, triggering, depressing or anxiety provoking, self loathing and more just wanted to give a heads up)


I have not been in a good mental place since a young age but has got worse over time. I finished school and started to decline, still trying but eventually I guess I either succumbed or gave up, or maybe it was inevitable, but I pretty much became housebound ever since. It is not agoraphobia in the sense. I can and do leave the house, but it is rare and maybe 10mins a day. Main reason is Social anxiety, depression and just awful self esteem. I don't want to self loathe, I know people have it much worse and still fight day to day. I respect that honestly.


So on to medication, I have been on 5 SSRI's, 2 TCA's, 2 SNRI, 2 MAOI. These are the only prescribed drugs I've been on. 


Without going into each specific one most of them have done little. Some did help. but I was young, came off them and didn't realise till months later they were helping. I have made a mess of my medication history for not sticking to all of them long enough or at high enough doses or taking them for granted when a few may have helped.


I had the most success with MAOI, Nardil. I was on it for 6 months, it was not a cure but it has been the best thing I have tried. Motivated, less depressed, slightly less anxiety. Unfortunately it felt like it was becoming less effective (or so I thought) and the GP did blood tests and it raised my live enzymes to dangerous levels, so he said either reduce dose or come off. I did, quite quickly and although my original symptoms returned, I did not have withdrawal symptoms or discontinuation syndrome. I am grateful for that. 


Decided to try another MAOI Moclobemide. Psych said it is weaker than Nardil and does not reach as broad or deeply on neurotransmitters as Nardil does, so might not be potent enough I but gave it a shot. it is known to be one of the least toxic AD's, decent side effect profile etc despite it being a MAOI. There really is not a lot of bad information to find on it online. Most information you get is that is was like a sugar pill or incredibly weak


I begin taking the Moclobemide. Start on the smallest dose. first few days are fine, no sides. A week in I began feeling pretty numb. I'm also not surrounded by people or responsibilities like working, but I'm feeling pretty bad. I just accept its initial feeling and try to power through. It doesn't change and I begin to feel worse, more numb, just bad. Again I told myself I need to give it more time, but it comes to a point that you cannot. Too much. So after thinking a lot, I decide I need off. I stopped the medication cold turkey. I thought its low dose, only been 14 days and its a med that is deemed 'mild' . So that was my reasoning. 


towards the end and the 7 days its been since stopping (feels like a month) well I don't know, I want to say hell but that could mean anything to anyone its so relative. Lets just say I feel like I'm in a constant bad trip but without the hallucinations. All I can think about is death. Not wanting to die, but how everything is an illusion. Any sense of meaning, joy, love, pain means nothing. Its not even real. Once I die, its all over. All I can think about is this 24/7. I'm crying most hours of the day. I feel like I've opened Pandora's box or been unplugged from the Matrix and the reality is living hell. I want to go back but I cant.


I have spoken to the GP . All they said is we can book you in to see your Psych and start therapy in 2 months. That is a long time. I understand resources are finite and I am not priority, but still...


I have a small bit of hope that this is not permanent, its just meds, it will go away. I'm not even sure it is, I feel it has unlocked some deep existential depression and I cant put it back.


I do not feel suicidal, although if it does get worse and I keep thinking/feeling like this I don't see how it wont end in death. And if it doesn't, everything eventually ends in death anyway so it would just be a delay or temp fix if things got better...this is my way of thinking now. I think about my family and their death, how they will have never existed, how memory ceases to exist, growing old and decaying. All the time. Every hour, when I distract myself it still at the forefront. it is like a demon is my mind and it has decided it wants to stay. I thought my depression was bad before and not leaving the house & having no life was bad. But this seems to be on a whole differently level, like something humans are not meant to even think about or experience. 


All of this from Moclobemide, low dose, 2 weeks. It just goes to show how everybody reacts differently and how complex the interaction of biology is with chemicals. I went cold turkey on the highest dose Paxil and felt nothing ( and I know many have suffered with Paxil withdrawals, very badly).


It is a weird feeling that you are slowly seeping into insanity but being aware of it at the same time but being not able to stop it. I hope to give an update on this in time.


I wish everyone well and thank you for taking the time to read this.



Edited by extremethinking
spelling mistake

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Welcome to SA, extremethinking.


You have had an adverse reaction to Moclobemide, which mean your body can't tolerate it.  The symptoms of an adverse reaction are similar to withdrawal symptoms.  


What is withdrawal syndrome.


Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF)


The good news is that you will heal, the damage is not permanent, and the healing is more linear (fewer ups and downs) than withdrawal.  The following, written by Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, explains adverse reactions:



But I Only Took It for a Week 

I think that some of the most unfortunate members we have are the ones who only took the drug for a short time and had an Adverse Reaction. Over the years I’ve seen a good number of members join who have taken their drugs for one day to a week and then stopped.  Yet they are suffering very acute symptoms.  This is an Adverse Reaction, acute symptoms that hit immediately and hard.  Some people’s chemical makeup just isn’t compatible with psych drugs and their body immediately tries to reject them, but in doing so throws itself into chaos.


The good news is that their body will sort itself out and they will return to normal.  The bad news is, it’s going to take a long time and there is nothing that will speed up the process.  There are a lot of coping strategies and tools that will help soften the experience, but time is the only thing that will cure it.  By time, we are looking at a minimum of eighteen months, but more than likely two to three years for a full recovery


That may sound very bleak, but it’s not going to all be pain and suffering.  These people tend to have a more liner recovery. The first several months will be acute.  Then things start to improve is a noticeable manner, with life starting to resume and get back on track.  All the members I have known have made full recoveries.  They then go on to graduate college, attend med school, and start successful careers in a variety of fields.



You should know that if you do see a psychiatrist, it is very likely that he or she will know nothing about adverse reaction (just as they know nothing about withdrawal and don't believe it exists).  


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


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.


This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.




Edited by Gridley

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8 hours ago, extremethinking said:

I do not feel suicidal, although if it does get worse and I keep thinking/feeling like this I don't see how it wont end in death. And if it doesn't, everything eventually ends in death anyway so it would just be a delay or temp fix if things got better...

Hi extremethinking. I don’t want to say it’s ‘nice’ to see someone else going through the same thing, but I do want to let you know that you’re not alone. I’m about 3mths into WD from 3yrs on moclobemide, and while it worked nicely for me as an AD, what you’re experiencing as an acute reaction is scarily similar to what I’m experiencing too. That characterization of being like a bad trip is so apt... that agony of knowing there’s literally nothing you can do but sit with the pain.


It’s not much of a silver lining, but I don’t see bad trips as negative overall. One thing those have taught me is that I have a higher tolerance than I realized for sitting with extremely bad feelings and patiently waiting it out. I also remember that emerging from the other side, exhausted but still intact, can confer great joy in the mere relief.


Obviously this is different; it’s a lot harder to surrender and non-judgingly accept the darkness when it goes on for so... damn... long. I am not having much success with that at the moment. But I still have hope there will be moments of joyous relief, just like after a bad trip!


The brain is very good at remodeling itself in the presence of excess, but less so when there is deficiency. It’s a safety mechanism since more of anything can generally be more acutely toxic to neurons than a deficiency can. In the brief respites between crying spells I’ve been telling myself, “wow, my brain sure adjusted itself a LOT to protect me”. Sometimes it feels like our brains are turning against us, but actually they worked very hard to keep us safe and this is just a new process to figure out how to continue keeping us safe under new conditions.


I’ve also been finding it helpful to notice and remind myself why this is NOT the same as the original depression... the symptoms are very different, and the severity is greater despite being in a better place than I was when experiencing the trauma that triggered the most recent bout depression that led to taking moclobemide.


Enough of my two cents, there is much more useful info and advice on this forum well worth checking out.

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