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Arbor: introduction

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arbor
Posted (edited)

Hi--I'm so glad this site exists.  I took my last dose of Prozac on December 15, 2018.  3 days later, what I call the Horror, began.  I had been on ssri's for over 20 years during which time I had become constantly sick.  It never occurred to any doctor that my illnesses were medication related.  Eventually I began to link studies of the ssri's to my problems.  I tapered over a 6 month span, and now realize with the discovery of SA that it was probably too quick.  I'm frightened because I still don't sleep well, suffer from akinesia, bone-crunching depression, suicidal ideation, especially in the night and mornings,  tinnitus, extreme weight loss, blurred vision, and obsessive ruminations.  This mental state is a million times worse than anything I experienced before starting on Zoloft.  At that time, my husband had been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and during the first 2 years Zoloft did seem to help me cope.  After that, it never worked the same, though the dose was consistently increased.  Eventually my doctor had read that Zoloft was associated with an increased risk of stroke in those over 60, and he switched me to Prozac.

 

Over these years I lost my hair, had an oophorectomy for cysts on my ovaries, had appendix removed, two heart attacks, and was put on Enalapril for HBP, Metformin for diabetes.  I always had digestive problems during this time--including hiccups!  And terrible sweating--

 

Three days after my last dose of  Prozac, I was admitted to ER with BP of 250/150ish.  Administered clonidine.  Back to ER again about a week later with same high BP which had never gone down.  My urine was pink.  My body and mind could barely function.  I  was given a diagnosis of Serotonin Syndrome by the ER toxicologist.  Since then I have tapered off the Ace inhibitor in 2019, and Metformin, the last dose being in March 2020.    About 8 months in, it seemed I might be improving somewhat, but the final withdrawal from Metformin has set me back again.  A couple of months ago, the mental nightmare had become so unrelenting I considered reinstating, but haven't.

 

I still can't watch movies, read novels, or enjoy music the way I did.  But the good news is that my blood pressure is now normal.  This month I've slowly returned to my job part time after nearly a year away. 

 

Thank you for all that you all contribute here.  I hope I can offer support as well.  Your journeys mean a ton to me--life rafts, in fact.

 

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from July to December)

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

 

Happy to be here, Arbor 

 

 

Edited by Gridley
added drug info from 2nd post (hidden), resized font, added spacing

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Gridley
Posted (edited)

Welcome to SA, Arbor.

 

To start, using the following link, please put the drug information in your post into your drug signature.  That way, it will appear with all your posts, which is helpful to the moderators.  Please also include dosages and the rate at which you tapered the Prozac, Gabapentin and Citalopram and the final dose you were on when you stopped taking these three drugs.

 

The symptoms you describe are typical of withdrawal.  This likely stems from your fast taper of Prozac and also possibly from the  Gabapentin.  You will heal but unfortunately we can't predict how long it will take.  Time is the cure.  So that you have  better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on psychiatric drug withdrawal and healing from it.

 

Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome ...

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

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.  

 

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

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, 11month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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arbor

Thank you, Gridley so much for your reply.  I'm doing my best to understand how to get my meds list onto a signature.  I thought I had done so.  Now when I try to add anything, nothing works.  Also, stupidly, I wrote Citalapram instead of Enalapril.  How to I fix that?

Appreciatively,

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Gridley
1 hour ago, arbor said:

I'm doing my best to understand how to get my meds list onto a signature.

Sorry, I forgot to provide the link.  Here it is.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Please add the dosages if you have them.  Don't forget to press "save" when you've finished.

 

1 hour ago, arbor said:

Also, stupidly, I wrote Citalapram instead of Enalapril.  How to I fix that?

 

Everywhere in your post that says "Citalopram" should read "Elanapril"--is that correct?  If so, let me know, and I can make the changes.


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, 11month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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arbor
1 hour ago, Gridley said:

Everywhere in your post that says "Citalopram" should read "Elanapril"--is that correct?  If so, let me know, and I can make the changes.

Yes, thank you.


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Gridley
18 minutes ago, arbor said:

Yes, thank you.

Done.


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, 11month taper is 100% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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arbor

thank you, Gridley, and for being there--(I'm just acquainting myself with your thread, and marvel at your progress.)

yours, Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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JackieDecides
On 8/21/2020 at 6:44 PM, arbor said:

I still can't watch movies, read novels, or enjoy music the way I did.  But the good news is that my blood pressure is now normal.  This month I've slowly returned to my job part time after nearly a year away. 

 

I'm glad things are a little better! going slowly is the way to do it.

 

I eased my way into music, last year only being able to tolerate gentle classical guitar or something - these days when I feel sorry for myself, I try to feel grateful that now I can enjoy any kind of music - hard rock included. 

 

reading, I am still not back up to ...well, don't know if I was ever normal but I read some challenging things!

 

last year I started with children's books I had already read, as new ones were too hard. could NOT focus! found old Ginnie & Geneva for free at openlibrary.org, that kind of thing. 

 

 

now, I read new novels all the time and can write posts about them in reading groups.  if I push myself, I can read some challenging things, but not too hard. 

 

I'm glad you found this group. I haven't been regular here lately, but I saw your PM and wanted to read your thread.

keep posting! 


Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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arbor

Thank you, Jackie.  I really appreciate this.  I'll try some guitar music.  I used to love classical guitar.  Also, I love that your so-called Bipolar 11 went away when you cut the lexapro--

 

 I've been reading your thread all morning.  Your journey really touches me.  Are you still working as a caregiver?  I can't think of a job I respect more.  Is the Dalles working out for you?  I realize you're focusing more on life and less online, so I don't want to take you away from that.  Your encouragement has been a big help.  

Thank you.  

I'm having a hard time focusing this morning.  I feel so frightened that this deep despair will never leave.  You had been reading Claire Weekes, so I'll look up her work today.

Sending you warm pre-Covid hugs,

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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HardTimes

Hey Arbor!

I just wanted to thank you for posting on my thingy. I didn't know how to call you out with the "@" symbol to say thanks, so I'm posting here. 

 

I think our situations are quite different, but I just wanted to say how impressed I am by your courage in coping with all this. My god, you've been through the wringer! Makes my complaints seem like peanuts. Of course, the feeling of hopelessness and despair can feel horribly similar for everybody, even if their situations are different. But I just wanted to point out that for you to be here today posting, going back to work, adding bits and pieces to the recovery process - all that is itself a remarkable achievement which indicates your own strength, courage and will. You are inspirational! 🙂

 

I hope you continue to make progress. 


20 years on small citalopram (10mg)

2019 sometime I dropped to 5mg with no problems. Stayed on that for 6 months or so

Feb 2020 went from 5mg to zero, thinking I had "tapered".

Feb - Current: occasionally using .125 or .25 benzo to treat bad symptoms

May - June 2020 - sometimes taking sleeping pills, thinking I had a sleep problem, not SSRI withdrawal

Entire month of August - Attempted reinstatement, but apparently I increased dose too fast, which ended in really horrific depression

No drugs at all since then... but now several w/d symptoms are resurfacing...

BUT TRYING HARD TO STAY POSITIVE!!!

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arbor

Good morning, HardTimes, 

This was a particularly difficult morning after difficult sleep, so finding your message has been such a boon (first time I think I've ever written that word).  Gratitude from the bottom of my heart.  I don't know that I could continue if it weren't for this site, and for messages like yours.  I'm hoping and believing your reinstatement will go well.  Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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JackieDecides
On 8/28/2020 at 8:03 AM, arbor said:

Thank you, Jackie.  I really appreciate this.  I'll try some guitar music.  I used to love classical guitar.  Also, I love that your so-called Bipolar 11 went away when you cut the lexapro--

 

 I've been reading your thread all morning.  Your journey really touches me.  Are you still working as a caregiver?  I can't think of a job I respect more.  Is the Dalles working out for you?  I realize you're focusing more on life and less online, so I don't want to take you away from that.  Your encouragement has been a big help.  

Thank you.  

I'm having a hard time focusing this morning.  I feel so frightened that this deep despair will never leave.  You had been reading Claire Weekes, so I'll look up her work today.

Sending you warm pre-Covid hugs,

Arbor

 

 

Arbor, I though I had things set so if you post I get a notification but apparently not. I'm so sorry I just saw this post now. I can't keep up with all the people and everything on the internet! 

 

I currently work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and the job here is not working out in a long term way. it's OK for now but hours are low and at some point I have to make a guess about what to do next, when nobody knows what's going to happen. 

 

but this thread is for YOU - please post about how you are finding Claire Weeks and generally about yourself. 

 

(I can't focus for a damn this morning, this hazardous air quality has been going on too long!!) 


Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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arbor

Thank you, JackieDecides--Can you believe what we're going through now with the fires?  Not only brain fog, but brain smoke--days on end.  Where will the displaced survivors find new homes--

The Claire Weekes approach is making a big difference.  Not giving my fear power.  I think w/d triggers the brain's fear centers, so I'm accepting that I have to ride out my anxieties and not make stories out of them.  Hardest at night and in the morning.  This site is so helpful in letting me know that others have gone through--many still are, and more will--the same thing, and it's not just about me.

 

I am routing for you finding a better job situation.  Job stability makes such an enormous difference.

Best wishes,

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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HardTimes

Hi Arbor! 

Just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about you lately. I'm glad to hear you've found an approach that is proving helpful. Though I'm sorry that you're in a place filled with fires and smoke! I don't know if it is helpful to have something else like that to focus on - sometimes larger, exterior issues can help take us "out of our heads" for a little bit, even if it is a very hard situation for so many. 

 

You're absolutely right about trying not to let the anxieties snowball into "stories"! Easier said than done though, I know. I find it particularly difficult in the mornings. From what I've read on hear it looks like what is happening is that the hormone cortisol is released in the early AM to help us wake up, but because my nervous systems is hypersensitive, I overreact to it and wake up way too early, way too hot, and often very grumpy, irritable and somehow nervous about trying to get anything done. As the day goes on things often improve, sometimes to the point where I simply can't believe I was being so strange just a few hours earlier! Coming to the realization of just how "chemical" our perspectives and anxieties are is one of the real eye-openers of this whole process for me. 

 

Hang in there, and I like that phrase "ride out my anxieties and not make stories out of them". Good stuff!

 


20 years on small citalopram (10mg)

2019 sometime I dropped to 5mg with no problems. Stayed on that for 6 months or so

Feb 2020 went from 5mg to zero, thinking I had "tapered".

Feb - Current: occasionally using .125 or .25 benzo to treat bad symptoms

May - June 2020 - sometimes taking sleeping pills, thinking I had a sleep problem, not SSRI withdrawal

Entire month of August - Attempted reinstatement, but apparently I increased dose too fast, which ended in really horrific depression

No drugs at all since then... but now several w/d symptoms are resurfacing...

BUT TRYING HARD TO STAY POSITIVE!!!

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arbor

Dear HardTimes!  Your message must've arrived exactly when I was waking and struggling with the very same symptoms you described.  I so appreciate your putting it into words, and already , receiving your message, I feel better.  Thank you for the well wishes about the fires.  Portland is just smothered under a dark thick poisonous mass.  I'm glad for you that you're in France.

Meanwhile, this is big news that you are now drug free.  Please let me know if I can be helpful.  

Thinking of you,

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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JackieDecides
On 9/16/2020 at 1:18 PM, arbor said:

The Claire Weekes approach is making a big difference.

I'm so glad for you! what book or books are you reading?  

 

and I never thought I'd type this, but I am so glad to say our air quality it up to "Unhealthy" for the first time in over a week! I see you guys are getting rain and that has to be good. 

 

 


Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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JackieDecides
On 9/17/2020 at 5:58 AM, HardTimes said:

As the day goes on things often improve, sometimes to the point where I simply can't believe I was being so strange just a few hours earlier! Coming to the realization of just how "chemical" our perspectives and anxieties are

 

loved your post, HardTimes, very good explanation of the morning anxiety


Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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arbor

Hi JackieDecides,  I'm reading Hope and Help for Your Nerves.  Yes, the air has finally cleared.  All my windows are open!  I hope your day is  going well.  I'm having some difficulty with the fact that I've just found out that a dear friend of mine has terminal pancreatic cancer.  She's the second person I know in this situation, both of whom were taking ssri's.  I found a study online showing an association between ssri's and incidences of pancreatitis which is a predisposing factor associated with an increased risk of cancer.   I'm not saying there's a correlation in their cases, but the rage I feel towards the pharmaceutical industry is difficult for me to handle at times.  Above all, I want to find peace with all this.

May you have good health and happiness--

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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arbor

After hearing that Louise Gluck had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I found this poem about recovery on the BBC

 

Do you know what I was, how I lived?  You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn't expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring--

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.
 
End
 
I look forward to us all reclaiming our health again....

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Leila
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2 hours ago, arbor said:

After hearing that Louise Gluck had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I found this poem about recovery on the BBC

 

It makes me cry... Very true and gentle poem... I join your prayer!🙏


July 2015: start citalopram 20 mg for big stress

After two year I start tapering (slow but without medical advice) and I suppose in a wrong way. First down to 10 mg, then 5 mg and 2 mg (liquid solution) and jump

At the end of January 2020: off citalopram (last dosage 2mg).

June 2020: adrenal crush. The beginning of the Hell on Earth

 

Current supplement: pill of saffron (30 mg) + 1 mg melatonin + vit. E,  EPA+DHA, magnesium bisglicinate, theanina.

Try to meditate/mindfulness, walk/run daily, CBT, acupuncture weekly (anxiety protocol) and massage.

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arbor

Thank you for your response, Leila.  My best wishes to you as we find our way through this challenging "winter"--

Warm hug,

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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manymoretodays

Hi arbor and welcome,

I loved your poem share above, so also quoted it here:  Meaning through poetry(favorites, published

We also have another topic, linked in the first post ^, to members written poetry, which is great.

Neither have seen much action, lately, so I am attempting to revive topics like those a bit.........AND loved the one you shared.

Both in the Finding Meaning forum.

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt


Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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arbor

Thanks manymoretodays--for alerting me to this link.

Arbor


Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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HardTimes

Hi Arbor,

I thought I'd reply to your comments on my intro pages here, as you talked a bit about your own situation and thought it might make more sense to have it all in your own site. 

 

Sounds like your insomnia is even worse than mine. Can you describe it a bit more? Is mostly it the kind where you wake up way too early and are still sleepy, but too wound up to sleep? Or is it mostly the kind where you just cannot get to sleep at all? Sounds like a bit of both, you eventually get to sleep, but then only stay there for a few hours?

 

I guess the other thing to bear in mind in all this is that it also makes a big difference how the insomnia impacts the following days. We are all familiar with the idea that we are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep, but this can fluctuate wildly depending on individuals, and also age. As you get older, you simply need less sleep (though you might be more inclined to have a nap in the afternoon). Teenagers, by contrast, need a tonne of sleep, particularly REM filled morning sleep (so we shouldn't be forcing them to early school days!). Some, like @dataguy, appear to have adapted quite happily to getting something more in the range of 4-5 hours, and no longer feel that it is unhealthy to get something less than 8. Mathew Walker's Why We Sleep is a very good and very trendy book on the subject, and if you can't read it now I know there are youtube videos of him talking. He's sort of a sleep superstar at the moment!

 

Very intersting what you say about being unable to read certain books. If you'd like, you could clarify that a bit: Did you used to read a lot of novels, but now you find you can't? And is it because you can't concentrate, or you get a headache, or what? In my own case, I've had a somewhat similar experience: I'm a voracious novel reader, and love contemporary "literature" type stuff. But during the bad periods, I've found I just can't seem to keep up with some of them. I couldn't focus on the more complex ideas, or any of the fragmentary styles of writing. For a while I started just reading John Grisham novels, as they are much more story driven and easier to get lost in. But I've also found that, maybe because my emotional setup is so wired right now, I somehow sometimes connect to the stories too much, and get absurdly upset about what is happening to certain characters! Really strange. I've found something similar with TV: Where certain shows were once fine for me, now I find them too violent, too sinister and bleak. 

 

Anyway, reading buddhist books makes a LOT of sense, as they likely emphasize all sorts of things that are very good for mental health in general - detachment, calmness, disinterestedness. Buddhism is a VERY deep well from which you can draw almost endlessly, and I'm glad you've got that. The worthlessness racing mind that you experience at night needs fighting with such things! And also bear in mind how much good you are doing on this very site! It might not be what you expected to be doing at this point in your life, but I can see that you are posting on a lot of people's pages and sharing a lot! This alone makes you very worthwhile! And the person in the future you are currently in the process of becoming needs for you to hang on and go through all this terrible stuff in order to become who she is and have those adventures she is going to have. Remember that the self-destructive voice, while very much a part of you, is only seeing one part of the picture, and is very much under the influence of an unhealthy neurochemical balance! It can sometimes be a very loud voice, and hard to ignore, and when it wants to stomp and shout I guess you sometimes have to let it. But keep in mind that it is only one of the voices, one part of you, and the one you have presented to me is very much not her! The person I've met (you) is full of life and hope and eager for more good days, and I encourage you to be nice to her!

 

And I'm so glad you have a cat! I don't have pets, but live in a rural area where I can go visit cows (very, very good buddhists) and cats and dogs and various creatures. As sometimes revolting as the human world can be, the natural world, even in the form of a simple housecat, can be a source of great wonder and comfort. 

 

Ok, now I really do need to get out before the day is gone. Chin up!


20 years on small citalopram (10mg)

2019 sometime I dropped to 5mg with no problems. Stayed on that for 6 months or so

Feb 2020 went from 5mg to zero, thinking I had "tapered".

Feb - Current: occasionally using .125 or .25 benzo to treat bad symptoms

May - June 2020 - sometimes taking sleeping pills, thinking I had a sleep problem, not SSRI withdrawal

Entire month of August - Attempted reinstatement, but apparently I increased dose too fast, which ended in really horrific depression

No drugs at all since then... but now several w/d symptoms are resurfacing...

BUT TRYING HARD TO STAY POSITIVE!!!

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arbor

Thank you for this, Hard Times--A bunch of things have come up for me at work, and I haven't been able to respond as soon as I like.  Mainly, I want to say how much I appreciate your thoughts and words.  Yes, I used to have an avid reading/film life.  It was a big part of my connection with friends.  During the first year of w/d I turned to my equivalent of Grisham, which were a few mysteries.  Then I just gave those up as well.  Since w/d began, and even a bit before that when I was becoming sicker and sicker from what turned out to be iatrogenic causes, I was losing the ability to engage, to focus, and to maintain my usual equilibrium.  Even now--because of these issues--at 23 months, I can only work part time.

I wonder how the medical world expects people who have suffered so much at their hands to trust taking Covid vaccines.  I've never been against taking vaccines before, but when I hear that someone like Pfizer may be making them, I probably won't be easily persuaded.

I'm glad you have the solace of the natural world around you.

Hope you're doing ok--

Arbor

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reformatted font

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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