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Sten: my journey with SSRI and my way off

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Hi good peopleūüôā


Sten from Norway here. Living outside Oslo, am 59 years old, and have 2 kids ( 24 and 27).  English is not my native language, so please bear with me. 


I have always been a very senitive person and did grow up in a familiy with 5 brothers. I am nr 3. My father was struggling with mental issues, and my mother was a emotional distant person. Not much comfort and love there. I got meningites age 10 and almost died, but came back. When I started to get anxiety problems ehan I wast 18-19 years, my father took med to his doctor to get this fantastic pills. That is where my Paxil period started. I was using them for many years, while studying, but still had a lot of problems with anxiety. Worked with som psycoterapists, but it did not help much. After 10 years I was told that it was a new drug that wast much better, and I started with Seroxat. It is hard for me to remember how long iI did use them, and how many times I managed to stay off, but in 2001 and managed to quit. I then started on a acupuncture education, much because I thought it could save me from the drugs and help with my anxiety. Ii was hard, and I also had a wife that never understood my problems, so in 2012 my GP said it was best if I started with Cipralex, that was sooo much better than Seroxat. I used them for 5 years, felt totally numb, flat, did not feel anything. I then tried to taper and quit, went through hell, so my brothers that also use Cipralex convinced me to restart. That was the worst month in my life.  Then after attending av Joe Dispenza workshop in Scotland I decided to try quitting again. I tapered down from march to September, and tomorrow it is one year without any drugs. What is special is that I was allowed to move in to the acupuncture school where I had been a student 15 years ago. After I quit I have had a lot of Acupuncture treatments, with focus on cleansing my blood, reduce stress and strengthen my Water energy. This is where fear and anxiety is signals of imbalance. I have had tinnitus for 20 years, and also Insomnia during this winter. It really did help with liquid melatonin from the health food store. I also take Ashwagandha - an ayurvedic supplement, and also Vit D, Ginko Biloba, and after reading this site, I have started with Milk Thistle, Vit B Complex and Fish Oil. Have had a lot of muscle pain, and it is so good to read that many of you have the same. 


I am optimistic, and must say it is interesting to start feeling again, having all kind of emotions and my kids tell me that I am much calmer and nice to be with. I hope that I can manage the coming waves, and also that I can enjoy the windows. Sending love and good energy from now colder Norway. 

Edited by Gridley

Surmontil ( Paxil) from 1981 and on and off for 10 years. Can not remember dose. Seroxat from 1992 to 2000. Think it was 10 mg.  Tapered slowly down 6 months.

No drugs until 2012 when started with 10 mg Cipralex ( Lexapro). Tapered down over 4 months in 2016, but started again late 2016. 

Tapered down from march 2019 to 24. sept 2019.  No meds since 24. sept 2019.


Supplements and support:


Acupuncture - everyday in the worst period

Ashwagandha 300 mg - 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening

Vit D - 40 ug. Gingko Biloba 100 mg 1 +1.Vit B Complex. Milk Thistle.Fish Oil

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Welcome to SA, Sten.  Congratulations on being drug-free for one year now.  That's a great accomplishment.


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


Account Settings ‚Äď Create or Edit a signature.


If the supplements you're taking are working well for you, that's great.  B complex is often too stimulating for people in withdrawal.  If you add supplements, add them in one at a time and at a low dose so you can know what effect they're having on you.  In addition to fish oil, we also recommend magnesium, which many members find calming.  Again, add it in at a low dose.


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Tinnitus and insomnia are typical withdrawal symptoms.  Here's some information on withdrawal and the healing process.



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



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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Hi Sten and welcome to SA!

 Paxil July 1997 - Oct 1998 CT (cold turkey)  Neurontin, topamax, trazadone,  ssri AD(don't remember which one) Dec 1998 - June 1999 CT all drugs

Eflexor  , Xanax  April 2000 -Aug 2000 CT 

Jan 2008- May 2013 on/off lexapro, pristiq, seroquel, lamitical, safras Quitting CT at intervals 

July 2013- Zoloft 200mg  reduced to 100mg on 4/3/20 Stopped taking 4/8/20 Seroquel 800 mg July 2019 reduced to 400mg , 4/15/2020 300mg

 5/10/2020  250mg  5/15/2020 200mg 5/20/2020 150mg  5/25/2020 100mg 6/13/2020 75mg 6/16/2020 50mg 7/19/2020 stopped.

Ambien 10mg  7/2013 reduced to 5mg 4/29/2020

Xanax 0.5mg PRN July 2013- Over 7 year period increased up to 2.0mg daily 

Stopped taking daily on 4/23/20, took 0.25 dose on 7/7/20, took 0.25 dose on 7/21/20, took 0.25 dose on 7/27/20 Stopped

Lamictal 150 mg- 7/2013 - 5/6/2020 112.5, 5/13/20 75mg , 5/17/2020 50mg, 5/28/2020 37.5mg,  6/3/2020 25mg Stopped on 6/11/2020

Propranolol 3/21/2020  Stopped CT 4/20/2020 

Benadryl  50mg  8/26/20 for itching scalp 3x daily   (10am, 2pm, 6pm 

Magnesium Glycinate 100mg x 3 daily

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