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heedinghealth

Hello, I’m glad to have found a forum for AD tapering/wd support.  I was misdiagnosed and poly-drugged for years. I was on 4 psychotropic drugs for at least 15 years. I tapered off Trileptal in 1/19.  Long taper off a Benzo. Started 6/19, took last dose on 6/6/20.  Taking it one day at a time.  Currently on Wellbutrin and Vibryd...uggh. 
I don’t even want to consider tapering off these right now, as the Benzo taper has done a number on me. I’m frustrated because I recently learned one should taper ADs before a Benzo.  There’s no purpose in ruminating about this, I’m just glad to be off 2 out of 4!  
I joined the forum so I can be as educated as possible (obviously, experience is the best teacher and people who have taken these prescribed drugs know far more than the medical community...at least that’s what I’ve found with Benzos)

I also want to be able to be an encourager and offer support to others. 

Edited by Gridley

Poly-drugged in 2005.  Misdiagnosed as BP.

Correct diagnosis:  PTSD, depression 

-Trileptal (OFF as of 1/2019)

-Xanax 0.5mg 1x/day-crossed over to Valium in 6/2019.  Long, slow taper.  Acute WD began on 4/6 when I went down to 1mg.  Took last dose at 0.25mg on 6/6/20.  
-Been on various SSRI’s for over 25 years. 
-current: Vibryd 40mg, Wellbutrin XL 450mg

-Dr. just kept upping my dose, thank goodness I couldn’t go higher! 🤗

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, heeding health.  Congratulations on being off two of your drugs. You're right, there's no use ruminating about your past tapers.  Just be glad you're off.

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

When you say the benzo taper has done a number on you, do you mean you're experiencing withdrawal?  What are your symptoms?

 

Here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

 The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

 

For whenever you're ready to taper off the other two, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When you're ready to taper again, please let us know and we can give you specific instructions about tapering vibryd and wellbutrin.  We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.

 

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 (glycerinate is a good form) 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.

 

If anxiety is one of your symptoms from your benzo taper, I found this restorative yoga pose to be helpful with withdrawal anxiety.

 

10 minute Restorative Yoga for Relaxation | Up the wall

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Oct 13: 8.1 mg 

Taper is 56.8% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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heedinghealth

Thank you for your response. Regarding the Benzo, my symptoms were pretty manageable until I hit 1mg in 4/20. Acute lasted 3 weeks (DP, tremors, low BP,  nauseated, Benzo belly, fatigue,  intense anxiety, agoraphobia, tinnitus, crying spells, insomnia, cortisol surges,  resurfacing memories of things I haven’t yet reprocessed through EMDR,  felt like floor was moving underneath me,  dizziness)  Most of these have subsided and I’m only on day 6 after taking last dose.  Taking it one day at a time. I know I will heal. 

Poly-drugged in 2005.  Misdiagnosed as BP.

Correct diagnosis:  PTSD, depression 

-Trileptal (OFF as of 1/2019)

-Xanax 0.5mg 1x/day-crossed over to Valium in 6/2019.  Long, slow taper.  Acute WD began on 4/6 when I went down to 1mg.  Took last dose at 0.25mg on 6/6/20.  
-Been on various SSRI’s for over 25 years. 
-current: Vibryd 40mg, Wellbutrin XL 450mg

-Dr. just kept upping my dose, thank goodness I couldn’t go higher! 🤗

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to heedinghealth: introduction
heedinghealth

Questions about tapering AD after Benzo taper

 

Hello, just asking for some feedback on the following questions:

1) If people have tapered a Benzo first (per doctor’s instructions), did you ever feel like you reached some equilibrium before starting an AD taper?

2) How long does one generally wait, after a Benzo taper, to start an AD taper?  I was thinking at least one year?? I know this could vary based on symptoms. 
 

I might be a little jaded, but don’t really trust the psych med community. My current provider stated “AD w/d is much different/easier, than Benzo w/d.” 

 

Thank you very much 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

Poly-drugged in 2005.  Misdiagnosed as BP.

Correct diagnosis:  PTSD, depression 

-Trileptal (OFF as of 1/2019)

-Xanax 0.5mg 1x/day-crossed over to Valium in 6/2019.  Long, slow taper.  Acute WD began on 4/6 when I went down to 1mg.  Took last dose at 0.25mg on 6/6/20.  
-Been on various SSRI’s for over 25 years. 
-current: Vibryd 40mg, Wellbutrin XL 450mg

-Dr. just kept upping my dose, thank goodness I couldn’t go higher! 🤗

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  • Mentor

Hi:

 

I noticed you are in Denver. I’m in Greeley. Born and raised in Longmont.
 

But, I was really curious about your benzo taper. Did you have muscle aches and feel “creepy crawly “ in your legs and arms? Night is the worst for me. I don’t sleep more than a few hours.

 

 Thank you for the information. I’m glad you’re doing well.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, 

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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heedinghealth

Hello,

Thanks for the post.  I would strongly encourage you to join the forum “BenzoBuddies.”  I’ve learned more about Benzos from their forum, than anywhere else!

I would read “What’s happening to your brain,” if you decide to join the forum. Benzos can wreak havoc on your brain and CNS. There are tons of w/d symptoms and it’s not a linear process. No two people experience w/d the same. I’m in acute w/d, as took my last dose on 6/6/20 and, while it’s no picnic, it’s manageable. Insomnia is one of the most prevalent symptoms.  Once I got a weighted blanket, my CNS calmed down enough to help me sleep better. 
I have a long road ahead of me, as I want off Wellbutrin and Vibryd! 
I’ve been on some type of SSRI for at least 25 years! 
Had I known then, what I know now, I would have said “no thank you!”

I now have a naturopath and she has helped me immensely.  Currently, I don’t take the supplements, except for the probiotics, as I don’t know if any will rev up my system. Of course, supplements, won’t ever be approved by the FDA...no money in them. The probiotics have been a Godsend due to “Benzo Belly.”

 

I’ve lived in Colorado for 22 years.  I am in Westminster and love it here!

 

Be well! 

Poly-drugged in 2005.  Misdiagnosed as BP.

Correct diagnosis:  PTSD, depression 

-Trileptal (OFF as of 1/2019)

-Xanax 0.5mg 1x/day-crossed over to Valium in 6/2019.  Long, slow taper.  Acute WD began on 4/6 when I went down to 1mg.  Took last dose at 0.25mg on 6/6/20.  
-Been on various SSRI’s for over 25 years. 
-current: Vibryd 40mg, Wellbutrin XL 450mg

-Dr. just kept upping my dose, thank goodness I couldn’t go higher! 🤗

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  • Mentor
13 minutes ago, heedinghealth said:

Hello,

Thanks for the post.  I would strongly encourage you to join the forum “BenzoBuddies.”  I’ve learned more about Benzos from their forum, than anywhere else!

I would read “What’s happening to your brain,” if you decide to join the forum. Benzos can wreak havoc on your brain and CNS. There are tons of w/d symptoms and it’s not a linear process. No two people experience w/d the same. I’m in acute w/d, as took my last dose on 6/6/20 and, while it’s no picnic, it’s manageable. Insomnia is one of the most prevalent symptoms.  Once I got a weighted blanket, my CNS calmed down enough to help me sleep better. 
I have a long road ahead of me, as I want off Wellbutrin and Vibryd! 
I’ve been on some type of SSRI for at least 25 years! 
Had I known then, what I know now, I would have said “no thank you!”

I now have a naturopath and she has helped me immensely.  Currently, I don’t take the supplements, except for the probiotics, as I don’t know if any will rev up my system. Of course, supplements, won’t ever be approved by the FDA...no money in them. The probiotics have been a Godsend due to “Benzo Belly.”

 

I’ve lived in Colorado for 22 years.  I am in Westminster and love it here!

 

Be well! 

Thanks for the information.
While Benzobuddes might be a great website, I looked around there once. It scared me to no end! I saw nothing but negativity.
But, Shep and Brassmonkey, among a lot of other mods and people have been great on here. Apace41 got me through my Lexapro taper.

I have been on something since 1996. The Xanax is my 6th and final med. I tapered Valium and had no problem, but this Xanax is a different story.
I have a weighted blanket, but right now I’m not getting much relief with it.

You sound like you are doing well and healing. I’m very happy for you.

 I love Colorado. Westminster is vey nice. 
Thanks again for the information. 
 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, 

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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heedinghealth

I understand the negativity. I’ve tried to avoid the posts and just read the informational pieces.  Sounds like you’ve come a long way! Glad to hear there are people on here who can help through taper! 

Poly-drugged in 2005.  Misdiagnosed as BP.

Correct diagnosis:  PTSD, depression 

-Trileptal (OFF as of 1/2019)

-Xanax 0.5mg 1x/day-crossed over to Valium in 6/2019.  Long, slow taper.  Acute WD began on 4/6 when I went down to 1mg.  Took last dose at 0.25mg on 6/6/20.  
-Been on various SSRI’s for over 25 years. 
-current: Vibryd 40mg, Wellbutrin XL 450mg

-Dr. just kept upping my dose, thank goodness I couldn’t go higher! 🤗

Link to post
  • Mentor
Just now, heedinghealth said:

I understand the negativity. I’ve tried to avoid the posts and just read the informational pieces.  Sounds like you’ve come a long way! Glad to hear there are people on here who can help through taper! 

I avoid negativity also. It’s not good for you, especially through this.
I have come a long way, and I’ll be done with this nightmare in September!

There are wonderful people on here that know what they are doing and will be able to help you.
You found the right place.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal and Prilosec from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, 

 Xanax 1mg three times a day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) three times a day to .003 grams three times a day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

 

 

I am not a medical professional. The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • Moderator
20 hours ago, heedinghealth said:

Questions about tapering AD after Benzo taper

 

Hello, just asking for some feedback on the following questions:

1) If people have tapered a Benzo first (per doctor’s instructions), did you ever feel like you reached some equilibrium before starting an AD taper?

2) How long does one generally wait, after a Benzo taper, to start an AD taper?  I was thinking at least one year?? I know this could vary based on symptoms. 
 

I might be a little jaded, but don’t really trust the psych med community. My current provider stated “AD w/d is much different/easier, than Benzo w/d.” 

 

Thank you very much 

 

 

Hi @heedinghealth

 

1) I haven't personally tapered an AD after tapering a benzo, but I know it can take a little while to stabilize before you even want to think about tapering.

2) You are right about varying based on symptoms. Your best bet is to wait until you are stable and are minimally symptomatic from the benzo taper. This could be a few months or a year or more. AD tapers can indeed be easier than benzo tapers, but you can make it much more difficult on yourself if you start from the position of a destabilized nervous system. The taper should be as slow as it needs to be to keep you as stable and functional as possible. I would suggest waiting for a good month after you feel you have stabilized. The link that Gridley provided should be very helpful in explaining why tapering slowly is a good idea. 

 

I think you are also correct in your assessment of the psych medic community. Interestingly, many of the trials testing whether AD maintenance is effective in preventing relapse of depression are actually confounded by withdrawal. They will typically rapidly taper one group while leaving the other group on ADs. Then they misdiagnose the rapid taper group with relapse when they are suffering from AD withdrawal, suggesting this is good evidence that ADs prevent relapse! I think Hengartner may have a paper coming up on the subject ...

 

If you are interested, here is Altostrata's tutorial on what drug to taper first. Sounds like you may have already read this or something like it :) 

 

Edited by DataGuy

Remeron - 2004-2005 (bad withdrawal)

Clonazepam - 2005-2018 (jumped around March)

Olanzapine - 2014- late 2017

Domperidone - 2008-2018

Many drugs in between including Lexapro, other benzos and z-drugs.

Still suffering post-withdrawal from Clonazepam (Klonopin), Olanzapine and Domperidone. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 hours ago, DataGuy said:

I would suggest waiting for a good month after you feel you have stabilized.

 

Once you are that stage, you might also consider only making a small reduction (eg 2.5%) to start with to see how things go.  If you find that reduction goes okay then you could increase the reduction %.

So close to the end!!!

🏁

Current from 16 October 2021:  Pristiq 0.005mg

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 Oct 2015 

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.

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