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KarenRose: I successfully came off after years of trying


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KarenRose
Posted (edited)

 

Introduction topic:  karenrose-what-a-journey

 

Hi everyone. 

 

I guess this is my success story check in. I've been off for almost a year (just a few more weeks) and feel better than I have in years. This forum and the help I got here was literally a life saver. Thank you so much to the people who helped me when I was suffering so much I could not stand being alive anymore. 

 

I still struggle a little bit with blood sugar issues, mucus, and restless sleep but it's getting better. I am no longer depressed - amazing. Not anxious. I have had many waves but the last few ones have been tiny. I am prepared for bigger waves but no longer scared of them. And haven't had one for a while. I feel healed and withdrawal is becoming a distant memory.

 

What helped me the most to come off and to heal? I am not recommending any of it - just saying what worked for me after trying just about everything for years. In case it can inspire someone.

 

  1. Ultra slow tapering - feel free to take a look at my journey. The key was listening to my body, not the numbers. It made all the difference and I learned it here. 
  2. Whole foods super nutritious diet without allergens. No sugar, caffeine, alcohol. I used the AIP diet. Lots of clean water.
  3. EFT tapping and EMDR for pervasive trauma, emotional pain, stress and anxiety.
  4. Dancing for exercise and stress release (no need to go out - did it at home). Still working on getting back in shape.
  5. Coffee enemas for migraines and feeling toxic and achey. I know this is controversial and may not be for everyone. It worked very well for me.
  6. Meditation in the morning - five to ten minutes.

 

I was convinced at several points I could not do it. If this is you, know that you can.

 

Much support and hope,

 

Karen

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added introduction topic link

Began Paxil in 2003 plus Trazodone to sleep. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in less than two months i.e. CT. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta in 2005. Cross tapered to 20mg lexapro from 2005, Tapered off fast/CT and took amino acids, total crash.

Started Lexapro in 2008 and got to 45 mg before full "effect"

Erfa thyroid and organic paleo food, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro from 45 mg since March 2015. Came off Lexapro fully  in summer of 2016. Reinstated at 1mg.

CBD oil plus small dosis THC.

Switched to Celexa 2mg and tapered slowly to 0,05 over a year with a liquid formulation. Jumped off and crashed horribly again! 

Am now at 0,00125. Will taper slowly down to an almost non-existing dosage and then either jump off or keep going lower and lower and lower until...

As of July 29th 2019 I am med free and just fine. I jumped off at 1/1000 mg. 

As of July 7th 2020 I am feeling great and just here for a check in. 

Current dose: 0,000.

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brassmonkey

Karen-- congratulations on being off for a year now, well done.  Thank you for dropping in and adding your success story we really appreciate it.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to KarenRose: I successfully came off after years of trying
KarenRose

Brassmonkey,

 

Thank you so much for saying this and for all the help you've given me over the years. It truly is a gift.

 

I am glad my story gets to be read and hope it may inspire someone someday.

 

All the best,

 

Karin

 

 

Began Paxil in 2003 plus Trazodone to sleep. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in less than two months i.e. CT. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta in 2005. Cross tapered to 20mg lexapro from 2005, Tapered off fast/CT and took amino acids, total crash.

Started Lexapro in 2008 and got to 45 mg before full "effect"

Erfa thyroid and organic paleo food, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro from 45 mg since March 2015. Came off Lexapro fully  in summer of 2016. Reinstated at 1mg.

CBD oil plus small dosis THC.

Switched to Celexa 2mg and tapered slowly to 0,05 over a year with a liquid formulation. Jumped off and crashed horribly again! 

Am now at 0,00125. Will taper slowly down to an almost non-existing dosage and then either jump off or keep going lower and lower and lower until...

As of July 29th 2019 I am med free and just fine. I jumped off at 1/1000 mg. 

As of July 7th 2020 I am feeling great and just here for a check in. 

Current dose: 0,000.

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Happy2Heal

congratulations!!!
so glad you made it here!!

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Nov. 2020, loving life ❤️ 
 
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Cocopuffz17

Amazing to hear! Great work :) All the best in your future! 

I follow The Plant Paradox lifestyle by Dr.Gundry. This lifestyle has given me my life back and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It has enabled me to finally get off of this medication and truly live my life. Nutrition is the key to health!!!!! 

 

2008 to 2019  - 20 mg Paroxetine

 

Attempted 2 CT's around the 5-6 year mark. Were absolutely terrible and reinstated. Was never explained by the doctor the seriousness of the short half life of this drug. 

 

2017 - Attempted a tapered discontinuation of this drug and reinstated after being unsuccessful.

 

2019 - Feb. 12 - After a three month taper I am off of paroxetine. The 3 months were terrible, awful withdrawal feelings. I followed the doctors guidelines for the reduction of this drug and now know it was way too fast. 
 

2019 - Oct. 12 - 8 months off paroxetine. 75% improvement since coming off the drug. Definitely have had tons of challenges along the way. Let’s go!!!! 

 

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  • 3 months later...
DiscJockey

Hi Karen, congrats! I just wanted to know your experience when you jumped off July 2019 what your withdrawal experience was like? The first 3 months, 6 months, to now? I read your original story which is similar to mine. Started on one med, switched over to another, poop out, fast taper, switched, horrible wd symptoms, etc. Now I am on 20mg Lexapro AND 10mg Paxil. Currently slow tapering the Paxil first and using my mg digital scale for preciseness. But wanted some assurance that going the slow route my withdrawals will not be as harsh as all the other horrible withdrawal experience I already experienced. My last horrible withdrawal experience happened 3 months ago. My doc switched me to liquid form, and the liquid form did not work well for me. Doc told me to stick it out, and I did. Then we switched back to tablets, then liquid, then back to tablet. It was a mess! Of all the past experiences, that was the worst of them all. I had to be off work and filed for disability. Now, I am stable eating a clean Paleo diet, back at work, and do a redo. At that time I successfully tapered down to 16mg Paxil. The whole switching back and forth put me in a tailspin, and I had to up dose and start over. 

Been on various SSRIs since 2012.    Jan 2012 started 50mg Zoloft for mild depression.

November 2014 was in first year law school, doctor increased Zoloft to 100mg due to my stress increasing, lack of sleep, no support.

Sept 2015 experienced a poop out of Zoloft. Quit law school. Switched doctors. New doctor started me on Lexapro. Bad start effects, lasted only a month on it. Then went on Effexor for like a month, was too much to handle, bad tingling sensation in my head.  Put me on Prozac, had bad start up effects which I now know to be serotonin syndrome. Doctor then tried to add an anti-psychotic (Risperadal). That was too strong. I would be at work staring into nothing, drooling from the mouth. 

From January 2016 to December 2016 was on different SSRIs (I really do not remember, that year was so harsh personally in my life, and all the mixture of drugs the doctor put me on) I remember last being on Effexor for about 1 month, and decided to quit cold turkey January 2017. Lasted 2 months.

April 2017 went back on Zoloft (200mg).   May 2019 switched to Lexapro (30mg).    Oct 2019 switched to Paxil (40mg)

September 2020 on Lexapro (20mg) and Paxil (9mg). 

 

 

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KarenRose
On 7/14/2020 at 1:52 AM, Cocopuffz17 said:

Amazing to hear! Great work :) All the best in your future! 

Thank you so much, Cocopuffz!! And all the best to you, too!

Began Paxil in 2003 plus Trazodone to sleep. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in less than two months i.e. CT. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta in 2005. Cross tapered to 20mg lexapro from 2005, Tapered off fast/CT and took amino acids, total crash.

Started Lexapro in 2008 and got to 45 mg before full "effect"

Erfa thyroid and organic paleo food, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro from 45 mg since March 2015. Came off Lexapro fully  in summer of 2016. Reinstated at 1mg.

CBD oil plus small dosis THC.

Switched to Celexa 2mg and tapered slowly to 0,05 over a year with a liquid formulation. Jumped off and crashed horribly again! 

Am now at 0,00125. Will taper slowly down to an almost non-existing dosage and then either jump off or keep going lower and lower and lower until...

As of July 29th 2019 I am med free and just fine. I jumped off at 1/1000 mg. 

As of July 7th 2020 I am feeling great and just here for a check in. 

Current dose: 0,000.

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KarenRose
On 7/14/2020 at 1:52 AM, Cocopuffz17 said:

Amazing to hear! Great work :) All the best in your future! 

Thank you so much, Cocopuffz!! And all the best to you, too!

 

13 hours ago, DiscJockey said:

Hi Karen, congrats! I just wanted to know your experience when you jumped off July 2019 what your withdrawal experience was like? The first 3 months, 6 months, to now? I read your original story which is similar to mine. Started on one med, switched over to another, poop out, fast taper, switched, horrible wd symptoms, etc. Now I am on 20mg Lexapro AND 10mg Paxil. Currently slow tapering the Paxil first and using my mg digital scale for preciseness. But wanted some assurance that going the slow route my withdrawals will not be as harsh as all the other horrible withdrawal experience I already experienced. My last horrible withdrawal experience happened 3 months ago. My doc switched me to liquid form, and the liquid form did not work well for me. Doc told me to stick it out, and I did. Then we switched back to tablets, then liquid, then back to tablet. It was a mess! Of all the past experiences, that was the worst of them all. I had to be off work and filed for disability. Now, I am stable eating a clean Paleo diet, back at work, and do a redo. At that time I successfully tapered down to 16mg Paxil. The whole switching back and forth put me in a tailspin, and I had to up dose and start over. 

 

Began Paxil in 2003 plus Trazodone to sleep. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in less than two months i.e. CT. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta in 2005. Cross tapered to 20mg lexapro from 2005, Tapered off fast/CT and took amino acids, total crash.

Started Lexapro in 2008 and got to 45 mg before full "effect"

Erfa thyroid and organic paleo food, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro from 45 mg since March 2015. Came off Lexapro fully  in summer of 2016. Reinstated at 1mg.

CBD oil plus small dosis THC.

Switched to Celexa 2mg and tapered slowly to 0,05 over a year with a liquid formulation. Jumped off and crashed horribly again! 

Am now at 0,00125. Will taper slowly down to an almost non-existing dosage and then either jump off or keep going lower and lower and lower until...

As of July 29th 2019 I am med free and just fine. I jumped off at 1/1000 mg. 

As of July 7th 2020 I am feeling great and just here for a check in. 

Current dose: 0,000.

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KarenRose
On 7/14/2020 at 1:52 AM, Cocopuffz17 said:

Amazing to hear! Great work :) All the best in your future! 

Thank you so much, Cocopuffz!! And all the best to you, too!

 

14 hours ago, DiscJockey said:

Hi Karen, congrats! I just wanted to know your experience when you jumped off July 2019 what your withdrawal experience was like? The first 3 months, 6 months, to now? I read your original story which is similar to mine. Started on one med, switched over to another, poop out, fast taper, switched, horrible wd symptoms, etc. Now I am on 20mg Lexapro AND 10mg Paxil. Currently slow tapering the Paxil first and using my mg digital scale for preciseness. But wanted some assurance that going the slow route my withdrawals will not be as harsh as all the other horrible withdrawal experience I already experienced. My last horrible withdrawal experience happened 3 months ago. My doc switched me to liquid form, and the liquid form did not work well for me. Doc told me to stick it out, and I did. Then we switched back to tablets, then liquid, then back to tablet. It was a mess! Of all the past experiences, that was the worst of them all. I had to be off work and filed for disability. Now, I am stable eating a clean Paleo diet, back at work, and do a redo. At that time I successfully tapered down to 16mg Paxil. The whole switching back and forth put me in a tailspin, and I had to up dose and start over. 

Hi DiscJockey!

 

I am happy to help and deeply relate to what you are going through. From my experience I can absolutely validate your hope that going more slowly will be less harsh! Of course, every body and soul is different, but in my experience going ULTRA slow and low was the one thing that got me off meds in the end. I have also switched, updosed, cold turkeyed and all the rest. None of it was good for me. 

 

When I did finally jump off it was not hard at all. I had no symptoms after I jumped. And I am saying this as someone who was debilitated for 3-6 months earlier when I tried to jump off at dosages other people said were low. I did have some waves later, but they were and are minimal and I am back living my life.

 

What made this possible was waiting to "jump" until I was SURE that the last few cuts had been unnoticeable and withdrawal symptom-free. I sometime felt ridiculous measuring out my almost non-dosage in lots of water. But if we go with the metaphor of jumping, in the end I just made sure that I was very close to the ground and there was no real jump, there was just reaching stepping onto the ground. I learned to listen to myself, not doctors, not other people's withdrawals (although these were all important), but my body.

 

I support your redo and going slowly and listening to your body's own pace and reactions, not someone's schedule. 

 

All the best to you. 

 

Karen

 

 

 

 

Began Paxil in 2003 plus Trazodone to sleep. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in less than two months i.e. CT. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta in 2005. Cross tapered to 20mg lexapro from 2005, Tapered off fast/CT and took amino acids, total crash.

Started Lexapro in 2008 and got to 45 mg before full "effect"

Erfa thyroid and organic paleo food, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro from 45 mg since March 2015. Came off Lexapro fully  in summer of 2016. Reinstated at 1mg.

CBD oil plus small dosis THC.

Switched to Celexa 2mg and tapered slowly to 0,05 over a year with a liquid formulation. Jumped off and crashed horribly again! 

Am now at 0,00125. Will taper slowly down to an almost non-existing dosage and then either jump off or keep going lower and lower and lower until...

As of July 29th 2019 I am med free and just fine. I jumped off at 1/1000 mg. 

As of July 7th 2020 I am feeling great and just here for a check in. 

Current dose: 0,000.

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KarenRose
On 7/13/2020 at 8:11 AM, Happy2Heal said:

congratulations!!!
so glad you made it here!!

 

 

Thank you so much for your help and support!

Began Paxil in 2003 plus Trazodone to sleep. Tapered off as per doctor's suggestion in less than two months i.e. CT. Got zapped and depressed/anxious worse than before.

Got on Cymbalta in 2005. Cross tapered to 20mg lexapro from 2005, Tapered off fast/CT and took amino acids, total crash.

Started Lexapro in 2008 and got to 45 mg before full "effect"

Erfa thyroid and organic paleo food, lots of healthy fat, no gluten/dairy. Depression lifted.

Tapered off Lexapro from 45 mg since March 2015. Came off Lexapro fully  in summer of 2016. Reinstated at 1mg.

CBD oil plus small dosis THC.

Switched to Celexa 2mg and tapered slowly to 0,05 over a year with a liquid formulation. Jumped off and crashed horribly again! 

Am now at 0,00125. Will taper slowly down to an almost non-existing dosage and then either jump off or keep going lower and lower and lower until...

As of July 29th 2019 I am med free and just fine. I jumped off at 1/1000 mg. 

As of July 7th 2020 I am feeling great and just here for a check in. 

Current dose: 0,000.

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