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Bruci: withdrawing from SSRIs after 35 years

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Bruci

Good books or review papers on antidpressant withdrawal?

 

Hi All, 

I'm new here and will spending time reading the many posts, but I'd like to know what are the best books on guiding someone through antidpressant withdrawal. I'm also looking for scientific studies. I have "The Antidpressant Solution" by Joseph Glenmullen, which is good, but is there anything more recent? 

Thanks Bruci 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Bruci.

 

I've removed your last name from your post to preserve your anonymity.

 

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.  A list format is best.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Regarding scientific studies, here is a link:

 

From journals and scientific sources

 

For information on withdrawal, here are several links from this site:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

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 ChessieCat
removed whate space at bottom of post

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.05mg

Taper is 99.75% 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 C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Bruci

Hello, 
This is my intro posting. I have been on various SSRIs since 1985ish and I've had enough. They lost their efficacy long ago and yet whenever I've tried to quit, I've been wracked with withdrawal symptoms. They have led to increased appetite, weight gain, slowed metabolism, insulin resistance (a direct effect of these poisons), difficulty in losing weight, sexual dysfunction, dulling of emotions, and chronicity of mood problems. I am convinced that the drugs are doing far more harm than good. 

My shrink told me I had to stay on these pills for life so I fired him. My GP says the same and I'm having problems finding professionals to guide me through a long taper. Natural medicine advocates promote ineffective "cures" for depression and, in my experience, are worthless. So I am taking the bull by the horns and going it alone. There is a risk because I have a history of suicidality and want to avoid a relapse at all costs. So I'm reading all the info here to get started. 

Currently on 20 mg Celexa and 300 mg lithium. 

 

Bruci


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Bruci.  Thanks for doing your signature.

 

This is your Introduction topic, which you should use for future posts.  Only one Introduction topic per member.  Your previous post regarding reading material will be merged into it.  

 

We're happy to help you with your taper, so you won't be going it alone.  Doctors all too often tell their patients that they're on their drugs for life, and some cite the long-debunked "chemical imbalance" theory.

Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please ...

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.  Your taper from 30 to 20 was a good bit faster than we recommend, resulting in the withdrawal symptoms you're now experiencing.  There are several links about withdrawal in my response to your previous post. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Another taper we recommend is the Brassmonkey slide, which entails four weekly 2  1/2% cuts followed by a 2-week hold.  It's a bit gentler than the 10% method.  I used it for my Lexapro taper.

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

Because your system has been sensitized by your drop from 30 to 20, I would hold where you are at 20 for at least a month before tapering. Listen to your body and see how you're feeling before tapering further.

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time, and that drug should be the more activating drug, leaving the more sedating drug in place for tapering later.  In your case, Celexa would be more activating and would be the first drug to taper.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Celexa and includes instructions on how to get the non-standard doses you'll need for your taper.

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 

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.

 

We also recommend using non-drug methods to cope with withdrawal.  Take a look at the links in the following link and see which you think might be helpful to you.

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

As I said in my previous response, this is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed whate space at bottom of post

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.05mg

Taper is 99.75% 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 C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Bruci

Thank you Gridley! In addition to Celexa, I am also taking lithium 300 mg to augment the Celexa. Do you have any information on how to taper off of two drugs? Should they be done at the same time? Seperately?

 

Thank you for so much for this valuable resource.

 

LATER: I just read your message more thoroughly. So I will taper off the lithium afterwards. I don’t feel it is as problematic. The dose is pretty low.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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ChessieCat

Hi Bruci,

 

Are you still taking Lithium?  If yes, are you getting regular liver function tests done?


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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ChessieCat
On 9/14/2020 at 1:47 AM, Bruci said:

Hi All, 

I'm new here and will spending time reading the many posts, but I'd like to know what are the best books on guiding someone through antidpressant withdrawal. I'm also looking for scientific studies. I have "The Antidpressant Solution" by Joseph Glenmullen, which is good, but is there anything more recent? 

Thanks Bruci 

 

recommended-books-on-antidepressant-withdrawal

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


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ChessieCat

 

I've just merged your 2 topics and now seen you post stating you are taking Lithium (I posted my question in the other topic).

 

19 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Hi Bruci,

 

Are you still taking Lithium?  If yes, are you getting regular liver function tests done?

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Please add the following to the bottom your drug signature so that we easily see what you are currently taking.  Thanks:

 

Currently on 20 mg Celexa and 300 mg lithium. 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Bruci
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

Hi Bruci,

 

Are you still taking Lithium?  If yes, are you getting regular liver function tests done?


Yes. I get a blood test every 3 to 6 months. Liver function seems OK but I was diagnosed nine months ago with fatty liver, probably due to overweight.  It’s one of the reasons I want to get off of Celexa. It jazzes up my appetite and slows down my metabolism. Also, SSRIs cause insulin resistance.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Bruci
50 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Please add the following to the bottom your drug signature so that we easily see what you are currently

Ok 


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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ChessieCat
7 hours ago, Bruci said:

Ok 

 

It's not showing up.  Did you forget to click save?


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


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Bruci
3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

It's not showing up.  Did you forget to click save?


I will do it when I get to my computer. I can’t seem to do it through my cell phone.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Bruci

Added info to my signature. 


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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ChessieCat

I've moved you posts about Vitamin C to the relevant existing topic which you can find here:  vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-or-ascorbate

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Your post has been moved to an existing discussion about digital scales.  SA likes to keeps similar information in one topic so that it is easier to find.  There are many topics already being discussed on SA.  Before creating a new topic please search to see if one already exists.  Because the site search function does not seem to work very well I prefer to use an internet search engine and add site: survivingantidepressants.org to my search term. 

 

using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Share this post


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Altostrata

Hello, Bruci.

 

If Celexa is causing your more pressing health concerns, I'd go off that first. With your very long history on the drugs and prior unsuccessful attempts at withdrawal, you may want to go even slower than our usual 10% taper, see

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

Citalopram comes in a prescription liquid for easier titration. You may want to take 20mg of your dose in tablet form and the rest in liquid, very gradually tapering the liquid. For insurance coverage, your prescriber will have to write up the prescription as divided doses to be taken at different times of day.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Bruci
On 9/16/2020 at 6:17 PM, Gridley said:

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Some have to go more slowly.  Your taper from 30 to 20 was a good bit faster than we recommend, resulting in the withdrawal symptoms you're now experiencing.  There are several links about withdrawal in my response to your previous post. 


I’m into week one of my withdrawal.  I decided to go back to 30 mg because I felt too unstable on 20 mg Celexa. 

 

So I’m gradually settling into feeling stifled, groggy, hungry, and sexually inhibited. Again. Still. 

 

I received my milligram balance today with number two gelatin capsules and I will be reducing by 10% as soon as I feel stable. My doctor is against this but he has agreed to continue my prescription of 10 mg Celexa. I’m hoping to find a psychiatrist who is more sympathetic to this approach.

 

Wish me luck!


Bruci 


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Gridley
1 hour ago, Bruci said:

I decided to go back to 30 mg because I felt too unstable on 20 mg Celexa. 

Tapering is a gradual process with lots of retreats and advances. Wait until you stabilize, then you can do the 10% taper.  


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Sept.23, 2020 at 0.05mg

Taper is 99.75% 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 C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, melatonin .33mg


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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Bruci
3 hours ago, Gridley said:

Tapering is a gradual process with lots of retreats and advances. Wait until you stabilize, then you can do the 10% taper.  


That I will! No plans to start tapering until I feel stable. This may take me 4 to 6 weeks. We’ll see. Thanks again for this forum.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Bruci

After reading some of the comments about suicidal feelings during withdrawal, I am now worried. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal intent and came very close. That’s when they put me on heavy doses of antidepressants and anti-psychotics.
 

That was 2012. Eight years later I’ve come a long way with therapy. I stopped taking Seroquel, reduced weight considerably, and now I only have Celexa to come off of.  Unfortunately, I can’t afford therapy anymore.

 

If start getting suicidal again, I don’t know what I will do. I can’t continue to live a life numbed out on antidepressants.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Erell
On 9/25/2020 at 7:25 AM, Bruci said:

After reading some of the comments about suicidal feelings during withdrawal, I am now worried. I’ve been hospitalized for suicidal intent and came very close. That’s when they put me on heavy doses of antidepressants and anti-psychotics.

That was 2012. Eight years later I’ve come a long way with therapy. I stopped taking Seroquel, reduced weight considerably, and now I only have Celexa to come off of.  Un

fortunately, I can’t afford therapy anymore.

 

If start getting suicidal again, I don’t know what I will do. I can’t continue to live a life numbed out on antidepressants.

 

Hello Bruci, 

 

I'm not saying it is an esay thing to do, but as with other WD symptoms, the key is to learn to live with them while knowing that time will help. Because symptoms always do pass.

During this process, it is really important to try to learn tools/practices that help to cope.

 

About suicidal thoughts they are just thoughts. Brutal thoughts, but only thoughts.

I found that meditation/mindfullness helped me to not identify with my thoughts. It takes practice but can really be hepfull. 

It is a matter of being the obsever of your symptoms and detach from them.

 

You can find some great ressources here

 

for-those-who-are-feeling-desperate-or-suicidal/

 

The key is to try to remember that WD symptoms are temporary. 

 

 

Take care ☀️

 

 


2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) 

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (long half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg) because of a big wave. 

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

 

Current medication :

7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020)

1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

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ChessieCat
On 9/25/2020 at 3:25 PM, Bruci said:

Unfortunately, I can’t afford therapy anymore.

 

If start getting suicidal again, I don’t know what I will do.

 

There are free things online, like this excellent resource.  Be sure to check out the links to extra things on the page.  I've provided some below which I think will be useful:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/suicidal.htm

 

There are lots of really good resources on this website.  Scroll down to see the different topics:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/selfhelp.htm

 

1 hour ago, Erell said:

About suicidal thoughts they are just thoughts. Brutal thoughts, but only thoughts.

 

When I was going through many months of always feeling suicidal (before withdrawal) I bought a book which I found very helpful.  The main thing that I got from it was:  It's just a feeling and feelings change.  The book is How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying To Kill Me by Susan Rose Blauner.

 

And we also need to learn how to live our life without always being fearful about something which might never happen.  This was posted by a member who experiences health anxiety:

  

On 8/2/2020 at 6:49 AM, mstimc said:

And one last piece of wisdom from my wife.  She told me that living my life afraid of being sick is just as bad as having a real disease.  That stuck with me.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Bruci

Thank you for all these resources. I am really quite frightened about this process because what I have gone through before. But I cannot continue on these drugs.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Altostrata

Suicidal thoughts are only thoughts. You do not have to act on them. If you want to go off psychiatric drugs, you will have to manage any troublesome thoughts or feelings. Learning techniques to do this is essential. If you do not feel confident you can manage your thoughts and feelings without drugs, you might want to wait on tapering them.

 

You can, of course, taper slower than the 10% per month that we suggest, if you feel you need more gradual reductions. Have you attempted to taper by 10% before?


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Bruci
3 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

You can, of course, taper slower than the 10% per month that we suggest, if you feel you need more gradual reductions. Have you attempted to taper by 10% before?


No, I am just starting this process.  I haven’t yet begun to taper. I’m currently on 30 mg Celexa down from 40 mg about five months ago and I’m suffering. So I will wait until I stabilize and then start the 10% taper. If I get worse, I will slow down. I am also doing psychotherapy to deal with the heavy feelings. I’ll do what it takes but it’s still scary. Suicidal feelings are no joke.


1980s: First diagnosed with depression. Treated with a tricyclic. 1988: Switched to Prozac 20 mg after triclyclic stopped working. 1990s to 2010: On and off Prozac. Increased dose led to side effects. 

2010: Work stress led to increased depression/anxiety. Tried several SSRIs but tolerated none of them. Put on Zyprexa. 

2011: Work burnout and breakdown. Hospitalized for suicidal depression. Switched to Seroquel. Prozac increased to 80 mg.

2017: Started psychotherapy. Helped a lot. Switched to Celexa 40 mg and lithium 300 mg. 

2019: Stopped Seroquel. Lost weight.

2020 June: Added Wellbutrin to try and correct sexual dysfunction. Could not tolerate Wellbutrin.

2020 July: Decreased Celexa to 30 mg in attempt to alleviate sexual dysfunction. Worked somewhat.

2020 August: Decreased Celexa to 20 mg. Sexual function improved but w/d effects started. 

2020 September: Maintaining Celexa at 20 mg. Experiencing w/d effects - fatigue, dysphoria, mood instability

2020 September 13: Increased Celexa to 30 mg due to w/d effects. Still on lithium 300 mg/day.

2020 October 3: Reduced Celexa to 27 mg. Started taper. 10% per month as recommended.

 

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Altostrata

Suicidal feelings are only feelings. If you feel the drugs control these feelings and you are overwhelmed by them, perhaps you should wait until you learn how to manage your feelings before attempting to taper. 

 

While tapering, you may have to cope with strange symptoms that are withdrawal symptoms. You must be able use techniques so as not to panic at odd symptoms.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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ChessieCat
17 minutes ago, Bruci said:

So I will wait until I stabilize and then start the 10% taper.

 

If you have experienced withdrawal symptoms previously it can be very scary because you don't want it to happen again.  And this is completely understandable.  However, if you are anxious about tapering it can add anxiety symptoms which you might misinterpret as withdrawal symptoms.  If this happens (ie thinking that you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when it is actually added anxiety not caused by withdrawal) it can cause a member to be even more anxious about tapering and they might think that they are "super sensitive" and that they need to go really slowly when that is not the case.  When you start tapering, you might consider starting with only a small reduction to ease your way into the process.  This can help you to gain confidence in the process and get to know your body/symptoms (without as much added anxiety) and if the small reduction went well you can make a larger reduction the next time.


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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