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GNz11: getting off sertraline and lithium, will I make it?


GNz11

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Hi!

I've been reading posts and discussions for a couple of weeks now, but I wasn't sure I really wanted to try again to get off my meds. I have always thought I am 'broken' and that these drugs are the only things that are keeping me together, but I am not so sure anymore. 

Here is my story and below I posted some questions about how to go on from here. Any suggestion and / or personal experience is welcomed!

 

I have always been quite a sad child. In my teens and up to my early twenties I went through many typical distress-related problems (lack of selfworth and self confidence, eating disorders, drugs, staying in emotionally abusive relationships...)

After a bad break-up with my then fiancee, I experienced a paralyzing and exhausting anxiety, preventing me to move, talk, breath. My GP prescribed my benzos to keep it under control and referred me to a Psychiatrist. After some weeks I received my first diagnosis from this psychiatrist: major depressive syndrome (based on a few question about my childhood/teens) and generalized anxiety disorder (based on the episode). He prescribed me antidepressants, told me to keep taking benzos before going to bed and that in a couple of years we would have started to withdraw.

It was 2008 and since then I have been on various antidepressants and benzos, without ever being able to withdraw.

My first (and quite naive) attempt at withdrawing was in 2009. A year after recovering from that anxiety episode, I felt very well. I graduated, landed my dream job, moved to an other city and made some new friends. I thought I didn't need my meds anymore and I started reducing them. In 4 weeks I got off paroxetine and alprazolam and not more than 8 weeks later I was devoured by anxiety about my work, could barely move, talk or eat. Sure it was a relapse of my mental illness, I resumed taking benzos and antidepressants and went back to the doctor, who told me that not everyone can get off, some people need them for the rest of their lives, like cardiopathics need cardioaspirin or diabetics insuline.

After that I changed many antidepressants (paroxetine didn't seem to work anymore on me) and many psychiatrists, and tried to make peace with the fact that I may have needed my meds forever. I didn't want to risk an other break down, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my nice job this time.

In the meantime, I had an other toxic relationship and I started to work for a new company, where I felt useless and unappreciated by my bosses. I had a nervous break down (paralyzing anxiety, desire to die...) and I was hospitalized as a precaution. Weird thing: they didn't need to rise my meds, since as soon as I was hospitalized I felt so better. My psychotherapist says I just needed to give my worries and pain to someone else to handle. In a few weeks I was back to work and managed not to lose my job (even if it was definitely not fulfilling or good and was causing more harm than good).

The second attempt at withdrawing was in 2019, under constant psychiatric control & advise, because my partner and I wanted to have a baby. But again, it was too fast: in less than two months I was at the minimum dose of venlafaxine and she advised me to get rid of alprazolam in one week. Also this attempt failed miserably, with me having three consecutive anxiety related break downs in the next 6 months. After the first I was back on antidepressants, sertraline this time, after the second I was prescribed also olanzapine and after the third also lithium. The psychiatrist told me they were supposed to work as 'enhancers' of the antidepressants (it looks like it is quite common here in Italy). I finally stabilized, gained 8 kg, lost any sexual desire, abandoned any idea of having children in the near future, lost my job.
When I felt better, I asked for an other psychiatrist opinion and the new one told me that if I wanted children I had to either accept the risk that this meds have or try to suspend them for the first trimester. I decided for something in between: I wanted to get rid of what I perceived as the most 'toxic'ones, olanzapine and lithium. During the Italian lockdown (March) I stopped olanzapine (2.5 mq), while increasing sertraline (from 100 to 125 mg), as suggested by the doctor. I had  withdrawal symptoms for two months (depersonalization, tinnitus, irritability) but I made it. I didn't worry too much because I was somehow sure that I was still overmedicated and nothing of those weird things could be a relapse. 

After some months of stability, 6 weeks ago I started reducing lithium (resilient 83, from one and a half tablet to one. Now I know it is too much but thais is what the psychiatrist told me to do). Not more than 3 days later I started  experiencing withdrawal symptoms and I am still experiencing them. Mild anxiety, difficulty to breath, restlessness, early wake up, irritability, mild mood swings, headaches.

 

So... how to go on from here?

Since I have already reduced lithium too quickly, do you think I should wait for my withdrawal symptoms to vanish? Or I can resume tapering? I am now at 83 mg of Resilient (slow release lithium)

An then there is sertraline. I am now at 125mg.

What would be a reasonable time to get rid of both of them?

Do you think that I should wait before having a baby? I am close to forty and I would like to be a mother, but now I am so afraid that my baby may become dependant from these drugs even before being born... If anyone has any experience about this... please share.

 

 

 

Edited by Shep
added changed username to the title

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, GNz11.

 

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 – Create or Edit a signature.

 

On 11/29/2020 at 12:19 PM, GNz11 said:

the doctor, who told me that not everyone can get off, some people need them for the rest of their lives, like cardiopathics need cardioaspirin or diabetics insuline.

 

You may already be aware of this, but in case you aren't, this idea, known as the "chemical imbalance theory," has been totally disproven as a hoax created by the pharmaceutical industry to sell more drugs.

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

 

On 11/29/2020 at 12:19 PM, GNz11 said:

The second attempt at withdrawing was in 2019, under constant psychiatric control & advise, because my partner and I wanted to have a baby. But again, it was too fast: in less than two months I was at the minimum dose of venlafaxine and she advised me to get rid of alprazolam in one week. Also this attempt failed miserably,

 

The vast majority of psychiatrists taper their patients far too fast, and it is not surprising that these attempts failed.  We recommend tapering by no more that 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  Going too fast puts you at risk of withdrawal syndrome, such as you're now experiencing with the lithium taper.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 

 

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.  

 

These explain the healing process really well.

 

 

 

 

On 11/29/2020 at 12:19 PM, GNz11 said:

do you think I should wait for my withdrawal symptoms to vanish? Or I can resume tapering? I am now at 83 mg of Resilient (slow release lithium)

 

We would recommend that you hold where you are for several months to allow your withdrawal symptoms to subside.  Continuing to taper while you're experiencing significant withdrawal will just make withdrawal worse.

 

On 11/29/2020 at 12:19 PM, GNz11 said:

An then there is sertraline. I am now at 125mg.

What would be a reasonable time to get rid of both of them?

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Otherwise, if problems arise during the term you won't know the cause.

 

On 11/29/2020 at 12:19 PM, GNz11 said:

Do you think that I should wait before having a baby? I am close to forty and I would like to be a mother, but now I am so afraid that my baby may become dependant from these drugs even before being born... If anyone has any experience about this... please share.

 

 

That is beyond our scope here.  However, there are several threads on this site dealing with psychiatric drug use and pregnancy.  Google SurvivingAntidepressants.org pregnancy

 

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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can complete your drug signature, questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.
Edited by Shep
updated to reflect member's new username in quoteboxes

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, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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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  • Gridley changed the title to martac: Getting off setraline and lithium. Will I make it?
  • ChessieCat changed the title to martac: getting off sertraline and lithium, will I make it?

Hi Gridley,

 

thank you very much for all the information. I went through all the links and I am learning so many new things. I am literally overwhelmed.

 

My plan could be to wait until the withdrawal symptoms from Lithium reduction stops and then re-start to slowly tapering it (by 10% maximum at each reduction). Is there anything specific about tapering Lithium sulfate / slow release lithium? (the commercial name of the drug in Italy is Resilient, but I am not sure about the global name).

If everything goes perfectly smoothly, this may take one year. But reasonably it will take more.

Then I could start tapering Sertraline and I am afraid that it may take even more time. I have been on antidepressants for 11 years, with two failed withdrawal attempts, and I feel it will not be an easy path. I want to take it really slowly.

 

I am afraid I can not wait that much before getting pregnant. I am already close to forty. And I am so so so angry for what happened last year when I was advised to reduce my meds so quickly and ended up to resume them plus two more. I find it so absurd.......................... I lost precious time and energy, trusting someone who should have known better than this.

But before taking any decision I would like to read some more of your experiences.

 

Last thing: in these last days I was taking Magnesium and some more natural supplements, but today I decided not to take any of them and I felt a little less anxious. I will see what happens in the next days and then try with  Magnesium (maybe at a lower dose) and Omega3 oil only.

Any other thing that the community found helpful? I've read about Epsom salts. Would you recommend them for my case?

 

Thank you very much!

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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  • Moderator

 

 

On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

Is there anything specific about tapering Lithium sulfate / slow release lithium?

 

 

The following link contains some, but not a lot, of information about tapering slow-release lithium.

 

Tips for tapering off lithium

 

On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

My plan could be to wait until the withdrawal symptoms from Lithium reduction stops and then re-start to slowly tapering it (by 10% maximum at each reduction)

 

That sounds like a good plan.

 

On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

this may take one year. But reasonably it will take more.

Unortunatey, it will take more.  I know it is hard to grasp the amount of time it takes to taper safely off these drugs.  But that's the reality.

 

On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

 

Then I could start tapering Sertraline and I am afraid that it may take even more time. I have been on antidepressants for 11 years, with two failed withdrawal attempts, and I feel it will not be an easy path. I want to take it really slowly.

 

All I can say, as a fellow polydrug person, is to take it one day at a time and one drug at a time.  You will eventually be drug free.  I just finished a 4-year Lexapro taper and am now doing an Ativan-Valium crossover (because there is no Ativan to be found in Ecuador).  Once that's done, around 8 weeks, once I stabilize I'll start my Valum taper, which will take somewhere around 3 years.  Then I have my Imipramine taper to do, another several years.  But I am determined to be off these drugs and I will do whatever is necessary to accomplish that.

 

On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

I am afraid I can not wait that much before getting pregnant.

I understand and sympathize.   Read on the site about others' experience using the Google search I gave you.

 

On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

I felt a little less anxious. I will see what happens in the next days and then try with  Magnesium (maybe at a lower dose) and Omega3 oil only.

Everyone is different with these supplements.  Try a lower dose and see if that helps.  Epsom salt baths are recommended and are a gentler way to get magnesium.

 

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote boxes

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, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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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  • Mentor

Welcome GNz11,

 

Thank you for doing the drug signature. Can you please add what date in October you dropped from 124 mg to 83?

 

"After 4 days physical symptom. Then mild anxiety, irritability, restlessness, growing difficulty to sleep. I am now on week 6  and symptoms are still there. "

 

That's understandable you wouldn't be feeling well. I always found the not sleeping difficult. As to where to go from here, it depends on how long it takes to become "symptom stable", meaning even if you may still be having some they are manageable and not affecting your life too significantly. 

 

If you are interested in becoming pregnant, going slow will be important.  I went too fast and I didn't have a cycle for an extended time frame.  When our systems are in freefall, our body goes into survival mode, and our reproductive organs are affected like any other. So if you want a healthy and successful pregnancy where your able to hold the baby until full term, slow is the way to go! The drop down to 83 mgs is equal to about 4 monthly drops on the: "No more than 10% every 4 weeks" advisement schedule so don't be upset if you continue to have symptoms for some time, that would be quite normal.

 

Also, being angry at the past and the doctors while quite understandable generally only makes out anxiety and symptoms worse and certainly wouldn't help in a pregnancy situation. You may have already found this but if not many have found it helpful:

 

Mindfulness and acceptance

 

 

 

 

Edited by Shep
updated with member's new username

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs  8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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Hi Gridley,

Hi Colonial,

 

thank you for your replies.

I am reading a lot and what I see is quite scary. But I want to feel myself again.

 

I will definitely update my signature with the exact date for the lithium reduction. I'm not sure whether it was October 18th or 25th though.  It was a sunday, that I know, but I didn't anticipate it was something I needed to remeber. How ironic. Plus, since my last episode (or since lithium...) my memory has not been the same.

Anyway... I am considering a small reinstatement of lithium, to help with withdrawal symptoms. I've just read the window for reinstatement is short and I do not want to feel like this for months. I managed to cope for some weeks, but I don't want to risk many more on top.

I think I'll try to create a dispersion in the water.

Do you think that 5% of the dose I withdrew would be enough for reinstatement? So 2mg, more or less?

 

 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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  • Moderator
On 12/1/2020 at 8:27 AM, GNz11 said:

So 2mg, more or less?

That sounds about right.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms. -- at least the first page of the topic

 
Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote box

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, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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.

Link to comment

thank you Gridley!

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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23 hours ago, Gridley said:

 

All I can say, as a fellow polydrug person, is to take it one day at a time and one drug at a time.  You will eventually be drug free.  I just finished a 4-year Lexapro taper and am now doing an Ativan-Valium crossover (because there is no Ativan to be found in Ecuador).  Once that's done, around 8 weeks, once I stabilize I'll start my Valum taper, which will take somewhere around 3 years.  Then I have my Imipramine taper to do, another several years.  But I am determined to be off these drugs and I will do whatever is necessary to accomplish that.

 

 

Hi Gridley,

 

I have just read your full introduction.

First of all: my sincere admiration for your journey and your patience through it.

 

I am absorbing so many information and I have some more questions:

  • I now understand I'm reducing a "brake" drug (Lithium), while remaining on a high dose of antidepressant. Actually, even higher than before, because my psychiatrist made me rise from 100 to 125mg of Setraline before cutting Olanzapine and reducing Lithium. This may contribute to my anxiety.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So... should I be tapering Setraline first?                                                                                                                                                                                The initial idea was to just reduce Lithium, which seems to be more dangerous than antidepressants for a fetus (besides having many unpleasant side effects on me, like completely erasing any sexual drive and messing with my short term memory, but also make my hands shake).  But now that I want to get off all drugs... Should I stabilize my Lithium dose and move to Setraline taper?
  • Could it be that all my three very bad episodes in 2019 were related to the sudden reduction of antidepressants? I mean... I was sure the first one was due to withdrawal, it was really obvious, even though my psychiatrist at the time briskly told me that there is no such thing as withdrawal and it was all due to the relapse of my pre-existing condition. But at the time I thought it was benzo-related. I never imagined that the fast antidepressant tapering just before the benzos cut, followed by its reinstatement at a higher dose could have led to the following deterioration of my conditions... After the first crisis the doctor doubled the antidepressant dose, and keept benzos very very low. When it didn't work (I had debilitating anxiety), she switched me to a even higher dose of a different antidepressant (setraline) and to reduce anxiety added the first brake (Olanzapine). When that didn't work too, she added the second brake (Lithium) and finally compensated the accelerator.  In less than 8 weeks I gradually reduced the few drops of benzos I was still taming to sleep.  I was so sedated that i could sleep while walking.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Am I imagining it?

Any point of view is welcomed.

Thank you very much!

 

 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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  • Moderator
On 12/1/2020 at 4:47 PM, GNz11 said:

Should I stabilize my Lithium dose and move to Setraline taper?

It is true that Sertraline, like all SSRIs, is activating and normally would be tapered first.  However, there are other factors involved in your situation, particularly the pregnancy.  Lithium has toxic effects on kidneys and thyroid.  I would stabilize (or updose if you so choose), then stabilize, then continue the Lithium taper rather than switch to a Sertraline taper at this point.  

 

On 12/1/2020 at 4:47 PM, GNz11 said:

I never imagined that the fast antidepressant tapering just before the benzos cut, followed by its reinstatement at a higher dose could have led to the following deterioration of my conditions..

 

On 12/1/2020 at 4:47 PM, GNz11 said:
  •  Am I imagining it?

 

Very likely you're not imagining it.  It's really impossible to untangle the causes and effect of all these changes your doctor put you through.  You can't imagine the number of times we're heard members report doctors' misdiagnosing withdrawal as "return of the underlying condition" or relapse.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote boxes

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, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, 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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On 11/30/2020 at 1:36 PM, GNz11 said:

And I am so so so angry for what happened last year when I was advised to reduce my meds so quickly and ended up to resume them plus two more. I find it so absurd.......................... I lost precious time and energy, trusting someone who should have known better than this.

I totally understand and feel your pain about this part!!! After I tried to get off about this time last year and I went to a new psychiatrist, I remember the look on his face....he was like...yeah...your brain just couldn't handle it without the drugs. Ugh!!! So I got back on them. And he actually prescribed a lithium also.....that luckily I didn't feel comfortable about. So I never got on it. 

 

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote boxes

2005-2017 started on AD for sleep then on and off Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, and others that I can't remember

2017 Lexapro 10 mg

2018 Jan-Tried getting off lexapro. (within about a 4-6 week period) 

2018 March- Got back on Lexapro 10mg

2018 June Switched to Wellbutrin. (don't remember dosage)

2018 August Switched to Sertraline. 25 mg, 50, 75, then back down to 50 

2019 December...back on Sertraline 25 mg 

2020 January-switched back to Escitalopram 5 mg

2020 March-December Escitalopram 10 mg

2021 Jan-started BMS taper w/2 wk hold (using liquid form)

2021 Nov 5.18 mg

Occasionally .25mg Melatonin (as needed)

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Hi @Gridley,

 

here is a quick update about my situation. I would really like to have your opinion.

 

I'm trying to reinstate 2mg of slow release Lithium Sulfate (5% of the 41,5mg I had previously cut)

I didn' find anything specific about how to taper it in the link you sent me (nor anywhere else on the internet). 

Has anyone ever heard of slow release Lithium sulfate? The one I am taking is manifactured by an Italian pharmaceutical company called Angelini (ACRAF), under the name of Resilient. I've read about slow release lithium carbonate, but couldn't find anything about L. sulfate. How can I taper it?

 

Anyway, this is what I am doing at the moment. What do you think?

Monday:

In the morning I took 125mg of setraline as usual (I didn't make any change on it), but I suspended any supplement and natural drug I was taking.

In the evening I took my lithium tablet as usual and then completely crushed the half of an other one (41,5mg).

I put it all in a glass with 40ml of water. I shaked it and left it there for a couple of hours, hoping it would dissolve at least partially. It didn't, but at least I got a jelly suspension, where for each ml there is slightly more than 1mg. 

I drew 2ml with a graduated syringe and put them in my mouth. I covered the remaining suspension with plastic and stored it in the fridge.

Result: I felt almost immediate relief. So immediate that maybe part of it was a psychological effect . Anyway I finally slept through the night, without waking up very early

Tuesday:

I woke up feeling rested and well. 

The day went well, I didn't experience any anxiety and my find was absolutely less erratic and confused than in the last week. I felt happy and relieved, I was hoping I had found a solution for my problems.

In the evening, after taking my usual tablet, I took 2 more ml of the suspension in the fridge.

I went to bed and slept well

Wednesday:

I had to wake up quite early for work, but I felt rested and well.

During the day I felt a little anxious and quite irritable, but nothing major. My mind was foggier than the day before.

In the evening I took 2 more ml from the suspension in the fridge.

Thursday:

I woke up very early in the morning, feeling tired and anxious. Throughout the day anxiety grew. I was also irritable. Not at the same level as in the past week, but definitely more than the day before. 

I came up with many possible explanations:

- The suspension works, but it is not possible to preserve it in the fridge. It  'degrades' with time and that's why my conditions are getting worse.

- The suspension doesn't work, the first positive effects were imaginary

- You can not crush slow release lithium because then it isn't slowly released anymore and you have 'peaks' of release followed by long 'valleys'

- 2mg is a too low dose. It helped at the beginning, after a 6 week withdrawal, but is not enough

I've decided to try to explore the first two options, but in the meantime I would really like an opinion about the other two.

So: yesterday evening I threw away the suspension left.

I crushed an other half tablet and I threw away what I thought was reasonably half of it, thus remaining with 10 doses of 2mg each. Again I threw away half, remaining with 5 doses. I then divided the powder in the 5 doses (hopefully) and took 1.

Also this time I felt better in less than half an hour and I slept very well

Friday:

I woke up at a normal hour, feeling rested.

I didn't experience any particular anxiety, but to be honest I felt more irritable than usual. 

Plan for the evening: take an other dose of the smashed tablet and hope it will work...

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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On 12/2/2020 at 10:20 PM, Krisseyb said:

I totally understand and feel your pain about this part!!! After I tried to get off about this time last year and I went to a new psychiatrist, I remember the look on his face....he was like...yeah...your brain just couldn't handle it without the drugs. Ugh!!! So I got back on them. And he actually prescribed a lithium also.....that luckily I didn't feel comfortable about. So I never got on it. 

 

Hi @Krisseyb, you made a good choice.

When I was prescribed Lithium I was at the third nervous breakdown in 6 months, I felt so bad and scared, I had already lost so many weeks of work.

I would have taken literally anything to make it go away. I didn't even trust that psychiatrist so much at that point, but I couldn't imagine any other way out.

Now I know better.

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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Is anyone there who can help me?

 

I really need an opinion about how to taper slow release lithium and about what is happening to me at the moment (see post above)

 

Thank you so much

 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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  • Mentor

Hi GNz11,

 

It looks like when you tried to tag @Gridley last time it didn't highlight so we'll try again. 😎

It has to come up as the blue link like that or they won't get a notification your looking for them.

Hopefully one of the med specialists can get back to you soon!

 

It looks like the med is working for at least 2 days by your symptom chart which is good but obviously you want to know if it's lasting longer.

You might have to keep a few rounds of notes from new batch to new batch to see if you can notice a pattern of how long a new batch seems to work well.

That may be the only real trial and error method of knowing for sure. 

At least you are sleeping, that is the most important!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Shep
replaced old username with member's new username

 Starting ds 2 (12.5 CR'S) = 25 MG PAXIL CR 1/21/15: 1 Pill + 10mg liquid (2 weeks) 2/4: 1 Pill + 9mg Lq (3 weeks) 2/25: 1 Pill + 8 mg lq (1 week) 3/4: 1 Pill + 6 mg lq (2 weeks) 3/18/15 1 Pill + 4 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/1/15 1 Pill + 3 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/14/15 1 Pill + 2 mg lq (2 weeks) 4/29/15 1Pill + 1 mg lq (16 days) 5/15/15 1 12.5 mg Pill ONLY (9 days) 5/24/15 12 mgs liquid (8 days) 6/1/15 11mg lq (12 days) 6/13/15 10 mg.  12/3/15 Drop from 8mg to 7.6 (24 days to) 12/27/15 7.2mgs  8/4/16 6.8mgs,  11/1/16 6.4mgs, 2/5/17 6 mgs  4/3/17 5.6mgs, 4/24/17 5.2mg, 6/13/17 4.8mgs, 9/20/17 4.4mgS, 11/23/17 4 mgs, 1/1/18 3.6 mgs, 2/15/18 3.2 mgs. 4/13/18 2.8mgs, 5/11/18 2.4mgs, 6/10/18 2.0 mgs, 8/4/18 1.6mgs,  9/27/18 1.2mgs, 12/24/18 0.8mg, 3/24/19 0.64 mg,(syringe change issue date?) 4/22/19 0.60 mg, 5/24/19 0.60 mg, 7/7/19 0.52 mgs, 8/4/19 0.44mgs, 11/4/19 0.36mgs, 2/1/20 0.28mgs, 3/1/20 0.24mgs (crash April 6) Compound started 6/28/21: 0.24mgs, 8/29/21: 0.22mgs, 10/31/21: 0.20mgs

 

Original Wellbutrin Dose: 6 months from 9/14 to 3/2015, 300 XL 3/15/15: Half to 150 XL ( severe symptoms started on day 12) 4/16/15: 125mg   for 20 days to: 5/6/15:   100mg  for  15 days to: 5/21/15    75mg  for  10 days to: 6/1/15:  56.25mg      13 days to: 6/13/15: 37.25mg    7 days to: 6/20/15  28.12mg   14 days to: 7/4/15  18.75mg, 7 days to: 7/11/15; RAISE BACK TO: 28.12 to 8/14/15: 18.75mg  20 days to :9/3/15 : 12.5mg, 8/4/16 9mg 1/9/17: 8.5mg 2/8/17 8mg, 3/9/17: 7.6  4/9/17  7.2  5/27/17 6.4 6/24/17 5.8, 8/1/17 5.0, 8/29/17 4.2mgs, 10/2/17 3.5mgs, 12/28/17 2.5mgs, 2/27/18 1.7mgs,  4/19/18 0.8 mgs, LAST DOSE: 6/11/18:  3 YEARS, 2 MONTHS, 27 DAYS...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Posted in Tips for Tapering Lithium topic. 

 

Adding here for member's history:

 

On 12/6/2020 at 10:36 AM, GNz11 said:

I am trying to understand how to safely reinstate & the taper slow release Lithium sulfate, which seems to exists only in Italy.

Can anyone please help me / give me some advice?

 

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote boxes

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

https://www.myerleepharmacy.com/naples/

 

Quote

 

Myerlee Pharmacy

Compounds Made Especially for You

 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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On 12/6/2020 at 1:17 PM, Colonial said:

Hi GNz11,

 

It looks like when you tried to tag @Gridley last time it didn't highlight so we'll try again. 😎

It has to come up as the blue link like that or they won't get a notification your looking for them.

Hopefully one of the med specialists can get back to you soon!

 

It looks like the med is working for at least 2 days by your symptom chart which is good but obviously you want to know if it's lasting longer.

You might have to keep a few rounds of notes from new batch to new batch to see if you can notice a pattern of how long a new batch seems to work well.

That may be the only real trial and error method of knowing for sure. 

At least you are sleeping, that is the most important!

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much @Colonial! I wrote my previous post from my mobile and I didn't realize I made a mistake in tagging @Gridley

 

Brief update:

After 3 days with 1 tablet (83mg) +  2mgs in liquid suspension, with good effects vanishing on the third day, I tried to use 2mg of crushed lithium instead of the suspension.

It worked well for 2 days, but again in the third I didn't feel well (physical symptoms: headache, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, pulsing head / head 'too big to stay in my cranium'; psychological symptoms: mild anxiety, irritability, anger outburst)

I think I'll try to use the crushed tablet for just 2 days, then thow it away and smash an other one.

 

In the meantime I have been trying to get a hold of my psychiatrist, but she is very difficult to contact.

My idea was to explain what's happening to me and to refer her to all the articles and studies that I found here, hoping that she would be more inclined to help me through this. Maybe she knows how to obtain lower (and safer) doses of Lithium sulfate.

But at the moment all I got is a text saying she will let me know when I can call / see her and it was 6 days ago.

 

We'll see.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote box

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment

@ChessieCat thank you so much for your help!

 

I'll immediately call this pharmacy, I hope they will help me!

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment

@ChessieCat

I read on the website they do not deliver to Italy. It may still be possible, but it would be very expensive. I think that for me it would be better to contact someone in UK.

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment

@ChessieCat

I've just read also your post in the Tapring Lithium thread. Unfortunately that's not Naples, Italy, it is Naples, Florida

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 12/7/2020 at 6:38 AM, GNz11 said:

Unfortunately that's not Naples, Italy, it is Naples, Florida

 

Oops, sorry 😏.  That's disappointing.  That would be like somebody saying Sydney/Sidney to you when there is Sydney Australia, and Sidney, Ohio, USA.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote box

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
12 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

 

Oops, sorry 😏.  That's disappointing.  That would be like somebody saying Sydney/Sidney to you when there is Sydney Australia, and Sidney, Ohio, USA.

😄 

Anyway: I've actually really appreciated your help @ChessieCat

 

Luckily in the meantime I found a lab here in Italy that can help me (they can't prepare slow release though). They just need a medical prescription.

My psychiatrist finally gave me an appointment (for next monday), so I have to hold up until then.

 

Since apparently the 'slow release glue' can't resist the crushing and that lithium is absorbed immediately by my body,  yesterday I decided to take only 1mg of crushed lithium in the evening, together with my normal tablet (83mg) and to keep the other 1mg for this morning.

Up to now I had no problem.

 

I will update my signature and keep you posted.

 

Bye!

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment

Hi!

 

Just a quick update:

today I talked to my psychiatrist. I've been waiting for this moment for the last 2 weeks and I have to say that I expected it to go quite differently...

In a nutshell: she basically didn't believe that withdrawal is a real thing and that there is scientific evidence proving its existence. 

In the end she agreed to help me get a personalized dose of lithium, but more out of kindness than out of convinction. This made me a little sad. But still... now I'll have the prescription I need 🙂 

Next steps: finding a pharmacy where they can prepare liquid lithium / 1mg tablets. This is proving very very hard, but I won't give in!

 

 

 

 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Please reduce your drug signature.  All we need is a summary without the explanations.

 

The information is helpful but there is too much information.  The idea of the drug signature is so that we can see your drug history at a glance and not have to read through it to find the information.  And having too big a drug signature makes it harder for us to see your posts.

 

I suggest that you copy and paste your current drug signature into a post here in your Introduction topic.  This will have to be done before you change it.  If you want you can copy and paste a link to the post in your drug signature.

 

What we need to see is basic information of drug name, dose and date of change of dose.  Please see these instructions:

 

Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature

 

Thank you.

 

 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder . Treated with  Paroxetine (forgot the dose) and Alprazolam (4mg in the acute phase, then reduced to 1mg before going to bed)

2009: first attempt at withdrawing both , in just one month. After few weeks: depression, unsustainable anxiety. Back on both of them, but no full recovery.

2009-2017: changed 3 psychiatrists and 3 antidepressants (Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, finally a mix of Escitalopram 10mg and Venlafaxine 75mg). Switched from Alprazolam to Flurazepam 30mg . All switches made with very short adjustment periods (3 weeks max)

2017: situational anxiety and death thoughts. Hospitalization (1 week), cut of Escitalopram, increase of Venlafaxine to 150mg a(+1month of daily IV infusion with 400mg of S-Adenosil-L-Metionina)

2019: second attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy). Psychiatrist recommended Venlafaxine from 150 to 37,5mg in 2 months, then Flurazepam from 30 to 15mg in 1 day, to 0 in 2 weeks.  After 4 days since Flurazepam 0: many physical symptoms, depersonalization, derealization. After 1 week: strong anxiety, nervous break down. Back to 30mg of Flurazepam and 75mg of Venlafaxine. Felt better for some time.  After two months since reinstatement: anxiety, depression. Switched to 100mg of Sertraline, added 2.5mg of Olanzapine. After one more month: huge anxiety and depression. Added another 2.5mg of Olanzapine and 124,5mg of slow release Lithium Sulfate. In the next months reduced Olanzapine to 2.5mg. Told I will never be able to get off these meds.

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

February/March: as for new Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed 2.5 mg of Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Decided to hold there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.

October 25th: as for recommendations, slow release Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, lighthead, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  

Mid November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org

November 30th: reinstated 2mg of Lithium (in home made suspension), on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief, but decreasing in the 3rd day using the same suspension December 3rd: switched to pill crushing, but in the 3rd day using the same crushed pill effect remain reduced. I am now throwing away the crushed lithium away after 2 days.  December 7th:  moved to 1mg  Lithium in the evening together with the normal dose  (83) and 1 mg the following morning. 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full 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.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • Shep changed the title to GNz11: getting off sertraline and lithium, will I make it?
  • 3 weeks later...

So... I don't know if there is anyone reading this, but here are two updates from my side:

  •  I am still searching for a pharmacy that can compond lithium. I even reached out to the Italian association of pharmacists, but they keep referring me to pharmacies that do not handle lithium. 
  •  I was so sure that I was doing better, that 10 days ago I decided to eliminate the 2 'loose' mg I was taking after partial reinstatement at the end of NOvember. 

2 mg seemed such a low dose, compared to the other 83mg I am still taking, and it was so difficult to measure them etc...

At the beginning nothing happened to me, but in the last 3/4 days I started experiencing withdrawal symptoms. They are mild, especially compared to those I had when I went from 1,5 tablets to 1, but now I'm scared as hell.

What if they get worse?

And... how will I reduce from here to zero mg if even 2 mg causes me these kind of problems??? 😞

 I do not want to feel like this for the next 2 years (or 5, if I want to get rid of sertraline too!!) 

 

PS: @ChessieCat I will reduce my signature asap

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

Link to comment

Here is the complete signature, before shortening it:

 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder . Treated with  Paroxetine (forgot the dose) and Alprazolam (4mg in the acute phase, then reduced to 1mg before going to bed)

2009: first attempt at withdrawing both , in just one month. After few weeks: depression, unsustainable anxiety. Back on both of them, but no full recovery.

2009-2017: changed 3 psychiatrists and 3 antidepressants (Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, finally a mix of Escitalopram 10mg and Venlafaxine 75mg). Switched from Alprazolam to Flurazepam 30mg . All switches made with very short adjustment periods (3 weeks max)

2017: situational anxiety and death thoughts. Hospitalization (1 week), cut of Escitalopram, increase of Venlafaxine to 150mg a(+1month of daily IV infusion with 400mg of S-Adenosil-L-Metionina)

2019: second attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy). Psychiatrist recommended Venlafaxine from 150 to 37,5mg in 2 months, then Flurazepam from 30 to 15mg in 1 day, to 0 in 2 weeks.  After 4 days since Flurazepam 0: many physical symptoms, depersonalization, derealization. After 1 week: strong anxiety, nervous break down. Back to 30mg of Flurazepam and 75mg of Venlafaxine. Felt better for some time.  After two months since reinstatement: anxiety, depression. Switched to 100mg of Sertraline, added 2.5mg of Olanzapine. After one more month: huge anxiety and depression. Added another 2.5mg of Olanzapine and 124,5mg of slow release Lithium Sulfate. In the next months reduced Olanzapine to 2.5mg. Told I will never be able to get off these meds.

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

February/March: as for new Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed 2.5 mg of Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Decided to hold there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.

October 25th: as for recommendations, slow release Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, lighthead, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  

Mid November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org

November 30th: reinstated 2mg of Lithium (in home made suspension), on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief, but decreasing in the 3rd day using the same suspension December 3rd: switched to pill crushing, but in the 3rd day using the same crushed pill effect remain reduced. I am now throwing away the crushed lithium away after 2 days.  December 7th:  moved to 1mg  Lithium in the evening together with the normal dose  (83) and 1 mg the following morning. 

2008:  diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder .  Since then:

  • Treated with different SSRI (Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, a mix of Escitalopram and Venlafaxine, Venlafaxine, Sertraline) and benzodiazepines 
  • One serious anxious/depressive episode, unrelated to changes in medications, culminating in a brief hospitalization
  • Two attempted withdrawal/reduction of drugs, trying to plan pregnancy, under psychiatric supervision. They both ended with a "relapse" diagnosis and the last one  (2019) ended also with a strong increase in medications (Lithium sulfate 124,5mg, Olanzapine 5mg, Sertraline 100mg)

2020: third attempt at withdrawing (planning pregnancy),  still on-going.  

  • February/March: following Psychiatrist recommendation, added 25mg of Setraline, reaching 125mg, then cold turkeyed Olanzapine. After 2/3 days: tinnitus,  'exploding' chest and head, derealization, irritability, mild anxiety. After 4 weeks: lack of concentration, tiredness, fatigue, sadness. Held there for a while and in June/July started to feel better.
  • October 25th: following Psychiatrist recommendation, Lithium  from 124,5mg to 83 mg in 1 day. After 4 days: first physical symptoms (fatigue, headache, nausea, 'exploding' chest and head).  After 2 weeks:  also psychological symptoms (mild anxiety, growing irritability, light head, difficulty to focus and to sleep)  
  • November: Discovered survivingantidepressants.org and on November 30th reinstated 2mg of Lithium , on top of 83mg dose. Immediate relief.
  • December 29th: eliminated the 2 resinstated mg. After 6 days:  general  sense of agitation, irritability, mild anxiety, insomnia, 'exploding head', mitigating after 10/15 days. Next step: mid February, from 83mg to 75mg.

 

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