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Prozack: some explicit questions


Prozack

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I have been taking different antidepressiants for a decade, wellbutrine and lamotrigine for 5 years and I have tried some antipsyhotics, but has started to refuse them, because I have seen that they weren't helpful. I am withdrawing from these drugs. I have been about 1 year off, however I stopped taking wellbutrine some months earlier. I didn't quit cold turkey, however it could be more slowly...

 

The reasons for my questioning is the fact that everyone who is withdrawing, is confused: "Is it a symptom or not?"

 

1. It's hard to make decisions for me and it is so sick... If I am thinking about one banal decision, it seems an option A will be right. But lately I start thinking again, I doubt about this decision. I become tired of thinking over and over again and I implement an option A. But when this is already done and there is no way back, my feelings become more and more unbearable (panic, fear, disappointment...) and then my thinking become twisted: "Was an option A the right one? Was an option B better? Did I make a decision to quickly... This form of (not) making decision is literally generic for me, when I have to decide everything. My question: is this a symptom of WD or not? Has anyone experienced something similar? And if it is symptom, is this depersonalization or derealization? Both? Or is it just anxiety?

 

2. I realized that before my "treatment" I had, understandably, some feeling of being a person, but during the treatment I was feeling like I am someone else. Now, when I am withdrawing, I don't know who am I...  In the past I was sure about some aspect of my life, like they are important for me. But now... I am confused about everything... The personal opinions or positions are not the key there, but the feelings are. Has anyone experiences something similar? And which symptom is that? DP/DR again?

 

3. How to act in terms of making decision. If we know about DP/DR and also that these meds are shrinking the brain (cognitive decline) how smart is to create decisions like changing a place for living or taking a new job. Sometimes I think that, objectively, am not enough reliable, so it's time to wait... On the other hand I think that not making decision will make my negative feelings more intense: I will feel more am more vulnerable and confused and also dehumanized... What to do?

 

4. I've read that a lot of you don't or didn't sleep well. Personally I don't know yet. I wake up by myself not by alarm, I don't drink caffeine and my sleeping last long enough. On the other hand, I have a feeling of having enough  sleep. I often want to sleep more, but I can't anymore. My explanation is that during withdrawing you simple can not sleep well because of stress, just because stress is something permanent for persons who are withdrawing. Sometimes stress is stronger, sometimes weaker. But it is present simple all the time. Does this explanation makes any sense?

 

5. And another thing . We know that perceptions connected with traumatic events are rising anxiety. And for someone who is withdrawing this is present in a higher degree. But there are two reasons for it. First one is that because of lack of receptors for serotonin and dopamine, the nervous subsystem for calming down is injured. And another cause is that REM sleeping in suppressed by antidepressants and we know that this phase is important for cutting of the traumatic memories. I know it's hard for answer, but is there any idea which  cause is more important? Has anyone who is withdrawing simple cut off some traumatic aspects of his life, like changing a traumatic job, where he was employed during taking antidepressants? Was his stress, a common WD symptom, then reduced? I know that there is not clear cut example. But is there any usable story?

 

6. What about brain scan? I know that it doesn't show a lot, but what if brain damage is more serious as we think? Are there any known examples of serious brain damage that happened to people who had been taking these drug? We don't know the whole mechanism of these drugs, after all...

 

7. Sorry, because I haven't find answers by myself. But for me it's hard to focus, my short term memory is very ***** up, my concentration is poor, and I simple can't read: I read and everything fade and I become tired... Hard to explain. But again. Do you think this was caused by drugs or not?

2009-2010: Asentra (50 mg)

2011: Cipralex (10 mg)

2009-2011: tried Zyprexa (5/2.5mg), Kventiax  (50/25mg) and Abilify (low dosage), but started refusing these drugs relatively quickly because of being zombie

2012-2016: Prozac (60 mg)

2016-2017: Alventa (75 mg)

2016: just tried Cymbalta and Ludiomil

2017-2019: Mirtazapine (30/45mg)

2012-2018: Wellbutrine (300 mg)

2014-2018: Lamotrigine (50/100/150 mg)

 

Supplements: B12 and D2

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  • Moderator

Hi Prozack-- Welcome to SA, I'm so glad you found us. I'm sorry to hear that you are having strong symptoms from your drugs. We really need some more information about your situation before we can come to any conclusions. Things like which drugs were take when, how much, how did you stop taking them.  It's important for us to get a timeline of what happened so we can workout the best response.

 

As for all the questions above, it's the drugs. Those are all very common responses to taking the drugs and withdrawal syndrome. We have found that this is not a good time to be making big life decisions, moving, changing jobs, changing relationships. It is very hard to think clearly, and as you've seen very easy to start second guessing things. We always recommend trying to put those sort of things off as long as possible.  Sometimes they cant be avoided, but quite often it is the drugs making us restless that is causing the desire for change. If there are abusive relationships involved, either domestic or on the job personal safety is a big consideration.  Because of today's employment climate quitting a job just "because my boss is a jerk" is not a good idea, we all need the security of the income and trying to get a new job while in ADWD can be a real trial.

 

All the other things you mention DR/DP, brain fog, sleep, traumatic ideation and the like are all common WD symptoms that we need to learn to live with and work around.

 

So please give us some more information and if you would fill in a drug signature so we can get to know you.

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 Prozack: some explicit questions
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi and welcome to SA,

 

I've created your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.

 

3 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

So please give us some more information and if you would fill in a drug signature so we can get to know you.

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Once we have more details we can provide links to topics which you might find helpful.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 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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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 9/5/2020 at 3:51 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

Things like which drugs were take when, how much, how did you stop taking them. 

 

 

Please provide addtional information about how you stopped.  State if cold turkey.  If you tapered, please state what period of time ou tapered for and the last dose you took before stopping.

 

Q:  Are you currently taking any drugs or supplements?  If you are taking supplements please add those to your drug signature.

 

2009-2010: Asentra (50 mg)

2011: Cipralex (10 mg)

2009-2011: tried Zyprexa (5/2.5mg), Kventiax  (50/25mg) and Abilify (low dosage), but started refusing these drugs relatively quickly because of being zombie

2012-2016: Prozac (60 mg)

2016-2017: Alventa (75 mg)

2016: just tried Cymbalta and Ludiomil

2017-2019: Mirtazapine (30/45mg)

2012-2018: Wellbutrine (300 mg)

2014-2018: Lamotrigine (50/100/150 mg)

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 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.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Also during this year:

 

Have you been sick?

 

Do you drink alcohol?

 

Use illicit drugs?

 

Been taking antibiotics?

 

Do you drink beverages containing caffeine, eg cola drinks, energy drinks, strong and/or lots of coffee?

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 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.

Link to post
4 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Please provide addtional information about how you stopped.  State if cold turkey.  If you tapered, please state what period of time ou tapered for and the last dose you took before stopping.

 

Q:  Are you currently taking any drugs or supplements?  If you are taking supplements please add those to your drug signature.

 

My last combination (45 mg mirtazapine and 150 mg lamotrigine, 300 mg wellbutrine) was cancelled in the next way: firstly wellbutrine 2018: cold turkey; then lamitrigine: I was taking 100 mg for 1 or 2 or 3 moths (don't remember exactly, sorry) and then 50 mg also for 1 or 2 or 3 months.

 

The last drug that was being tapering was mirtazapine: about 1 or 2 or 3 moths (don't remember exactly) I was taking a spitted pillow (22,5 mg) and then a a half of this half (11,25) also 1 or 2 or 3 moths.

 

4 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Also during this year:

 

Have you been sick?

 

Do you drink alcohol?

 

Use illicit drugs?

 

Been taking antibiotics?

 

Do you drink beverages containing caffeine, eg cola drinks, energy drinks, strong and/or lots of coffee?

 

I don't have any illness, don't drink alcohol, don't use illicit drugs, didn't take any antibiotic.

 

I was drinking a lot of beverages containing caffeine during my "treatment". Since 2018 I drank only one cup of tea per day. Now I consume caffeine very rarely.

 

I hope that I was enough exhaustive this time.

The supplements will be added to signature.

2009-2010: Asentra (50 mg)

2011: Cipralex (10 mg)

2009-2011: tried Zyprexa (5/2.5mg), Kventiax  (50/25mg) and Abilify (low dosage), but started refusing these drugs relatively quickly because of being zombie

2012-2016: Prozac (60 mg)

2016-2017: Alventa (75 mg)

2016: just tried Cymbalta and Ludiomil

2017-2019: Mirtazapine (30/45mg)

2012-2018: Wellbutrine (300 mg)

2014-2018: Lamotrigine (50/100/150 mg)

 

Supplements: B12 and D2

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I suggest that you check out this area of SA:  symptoms-and-self-care

 

Especially look at the pinned topics (top of the page) Windows and Waves, and Are We There Yet, Non Drug Techniques.

 

There are many existing topics on SA.  If I am looking for a specific topic I like to use a search engine and add site: survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

You have asked lots of questions in your first post.  Try doing a search to find the topics about these on the site.  For example, brain scans, DP DR, etc.

 

You might also find these helpful:

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Is it withdrawal or relapse?  Or something else?


How do I know it's withdrawal and not relapse?

 

Acceptance

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 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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  • 5 months later...
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

  

11 hours ago, Prozack said:

I have a question for people who have been taking lamotrigine (lamictal) for years, but haven't been taking it together with antidepressiants and/or amphetamines. Or, at least, for those who has been taking lamotigine with other meds, but in lower doses. This knowledge could be useful, because, if someone takes several drugs, it's hard to say which one has the largest impact to cognitive functions.

 

You can read that lamictal is lowing metabolic activity into several regions of brain, that it cause dementia, several people are describing about their cognitive decline that happened because of lamotrigine.

 

I'm experiencing cognitive decline and my short-term memory is ***** up. And I wonder if my cognitive functions and short-term memory will come back one day...

 

So, my question is: how long did it take, until your cognitive functions and short-term memory came back? Did it even improve?

 

And! I don't recommend lamotrigine for support during withdrawal process: If you have damaged brain by any other drugs, lamotrigine will be destroy it additionally. If I look in my history, I can say s that my cognitive decline has been becoming more rapid just after I started taking lamotrigine, even I have been taking antidepressiants and amphetamines before.

 

Hi Prozack, @Prozack

Welcome back.

 

I saw your post, and wanted to respond.  So have quoted it over here.  I'm not sure the Lamictal to calm post-acute withdrawal(symptoms) topic, may apply, but have left it there as well.  That topic, it you read through is really talking about using a very small dose, and has this forum's founder recounting their experiences with it here:  https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/3769-lamictal-lamotrigine-to-calm-post-acute-withdrawal-symptoms-paws/?do=findComment&comment=11585

And then, how that helped with some of their own AD WD.......some of the rationale around that.

 

And it does seem that there is some discussion about Lamictal more generally too, so you might get some responses there.  I don't know.

 

Where is it, that I can read specifically about Lamictal causing cognitive decline and dementia?  Do you have a reference on that?  Sounds bleak.  What was the sample size?

I think there has been one article, often quoted, on long term AD(antidepressant) usage and dementia.  One article that I've seen.  Not really enough evidence to send a sweeping story of doom, to so many who have used these drugs.

And so I wanted to ask you to what you were referring to?

We like to be research backed, as much as possible, and are trying to be evidence based as well.

 

Not everything one of us experiences, is the same for another, and so.......it is difficult, eh?  Thank fully things are slowly changing, and some are taking an interest, and working hard on some of the problems with these darn drugs, and on better tapering guidelines, and such......  So hoping for change for those who come after us, and to just see a shift in the usage of these drugs!  Oh, all kinds of things I hope for, and work for I suppose.  Anyway........

 

Looking at your signature, I am seeing quite an array of different drugs, on and off.  And think it's entirely possible that you have been chasing WD symptoms with other drugs for quite some time now.  It is a very real possibility.  And one, that many of us, unfortunately, don't get understanding or validation of, from those who write the prescriptions for us.  So I wanted to include some links, here on your Introduction, that you might be interested in now, or up the road sometime.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

^ the general philosophy of gradual tapering

Tips for tapering off Lamictal(lamotrigine)

 

 

Seems like you might be more concerned with the impacts of long term standard dose Lamictal, and wanting experiences around that.

 

All I've got for you is my own experience with Lamictal, at standard and increasing doses, which was used on me at one time, for "depression and mood stabilization" both.   I often, like so many here, wish I had never mentioned my struggles to a doctor, first a GP, and then on to a Psychiatrist.  That was a real life changer.  Frankly, I'm glad I finally trusted my inner voice, and my own observations, as to how much sicker I was becoming, and then finally made my way here to get off my last med(s).  Feeling good now though, and excited about the rest of my life journey.  It's taken me awhile, of course......to regain my footing, and get through the Waves and Windows of many ill informed WD's.

 

I think I started low, as it's advised, and with my psychiatrist guiding.  And then went up to 100 mg.  With each successive increase, I actually got worse......as far as "depression"/low mood, cognitive dulling, etc.  My pdoc, of course, kept wanting me to stay on it, and wanted to go higher and higher.

None of that made much sense to me, as I felt like if a little and then a little more has made me worse.......and I'm talking pretty non-functional here too, ........then how would more help?  Pdoc didn't listen, of course, but then did help me to come off of it, which I did......and honest, I think that helped more than anything else.  Knowing what I know now, that Lamictal WD, was not done in the most harm reduction manner, which I now know is important. 

 

I was on a AD at that time as well.  And had a history, somewhat like yours, of many medication trials.  Most of which slowly but surely, and even not so slowly........made me much worse, than I ever was........at the start of my "psychiatric career", as I call it. 

 

And now, on a more general note:  Yes, I had cognitive decline, brain fog, "chemical castration or incarceration", if you will........for a long time.  It tended to be variable.  But........and an important but here.......is I did get better, and come back to more baseline cognition for me.

 

And that's intended to instill some hope in you, and perhaps shift your focus to healing.  And hope. 

 

Best,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

moderator manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
additional

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

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!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

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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Thank you for your reply!

 

It seems that you can confirm a bit that lamotrigine caused you cognitive decline, however in your case it's hard to say if it was caused by or together with any other drugs. As you have seen by yourself, I am interested in long term effects... At this point I will ask you when your cognitive function has improved. How long did it take? How many years did it take?

 

I know that it is fair and correct to put a reference. Sorry, but after some searching I have found just this. It's hard to find, but I remember that I have read on this...

 

:

https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2018/03/08/lamictal-side-effects-adverse-reactions/

 

Cognitive deficits: Multiple studies suggest that Lamictal may impair cognitive performance in a subset of users. Cognitive impairment stemming from Lamictal use might be related to decreased excitatory neurotransmission, increased inhibitory neurotransmission, and reduced CNS activation.  Research indicates that: cognitive dulling; neurodegeneration; attentional deficits; language and comprehension problems; psychomotor slowing; short-term and working memory deficits; verbal fluency decline; and IQ reduction – can occur from Lamictal treatment.

 

But we can also make an implicit consequence. It's a fact, it's something general that psychiatric drug are "making a mesh" by manipulation of neurotransmitors and that these drugs are shrinking brain. It could be connected with cognitive decline and dementia. Sorry, because I haven't found more now. If I will find more, I will put it here to be correct.

2009-2010: Asentra (50 mg)

2011: Cipralex (10 mg)

2009-2011: tried Zyprexa (5/2.5mg), Kventiax  (50/25mg) and Abilify (low dosage), but started refusing these drugs relatively quickly because of being zombie

2012-2016: Prozac (60 mg)

2016-2017: Alventa (75 mg)

2016: just tried Cymbalta and Ludiomil

2017-2019: Mirtazapine (30/45mg)

2012-2018: Wellbutrine (300 mg)

2014-2018: Lamotrigine (50/100/150 mg)

 

Supplements: B12 and D2

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