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Success story? Mmm, a risky concept in relation to the health of a mind like mine. Instead I’ll settle for a story hopefully of worth to anybody with lives blighted by the use of anti-depressants.


I’m a 67-year-old man, a heavy drinker since my mid-twenties without ever descending into true alcoholism. The loss of my mother in childhood, possibly to suicide, led to a breakdown at eighteen from which I emerged prone to panic attacks, agoraphobia and moderate depression with manageable suicidal ideation. I’ve long wondered whether Pure O or personality disorder might form part of the picture as well. Depersonalisation and derealisation definitely have.


My survival into my mid-sixties has been mainly achieved by the enjoyable and judicious use of alcohol, an understanding partner, loyal family and friends and the relative generosity of the British social security system. I’ve worked intermittently and helped rear two children. If I’ve very often felt life isn’t really my medium, I’ve been able to appreciate and enjoy much about it. Nothing’s stopped me from being able to eat, run, talk, laugh at times, feel satisfaction at times, appreciate companionship, relish the natural world and the world of ideas and art.


As for love? Possibly. I think so. I’m not sure.


As a twenty-year-old, after a summer’s encounter with psychiatry, I told myself it would be a good idea to try and steer clear of that profession and the medication it favoured. Until nearly two years ago, I was sticking to my guns, my only AD experience a few days on amitryptiline for insomnia relief after developing tinnitus. Waking up one night feeling my heart was about to explode out of my chest cut that experiment short.


Very rarely did I consult a doctor about anything but curiosity about how alcohol might be damaging me prompted me to ask one what my rather red palms might indicate. Liver damage, he said, Did I want to get help for my drinking? I declined but my readiness to gamble with my health meant the health anxiety that had always snaked through me started to intensify. To the point I became convinced I had developed liver failure and would soon need dialysis, a frightening prospect and one which meant becoming a distinct burden to my family. My fear became even more pervasive, throwing me into such a volatile state I felt myself a danger to others.


I attempted to kill myself, failed, and felt now there was no choice but to seek medical help. After tests showed my liver and kidneys were normal, and I acknowledged I was being racked by insomnia and low mood, it was virtually certain ADs would be prescribed. Aware of the ambiguous reputation of these drugs, and the mounting number of horror stories connected to withdrawal, I wondered could I get away with refusing them. No, I decided. My family needed some sign of a determination to avoid another suicide attempt. To sweeten the deal I told myself ADs just might take the sting out of my possible Pure O.


“ We’ve had good results with sertraline” said my doctor. “You’re being taken care of now. Your sleep will improve and the bad thoughts will go away”.

I was prescribed 50mgs a day and the first tablet made my heartbeat uncomfortably stronger. There quickly followed a marked deepening of my depression, unspeakable nightmares during my scraps of sleep and a general sensation of having been overwhelmed by something alien and malign. I had felt tired before. Now I felt thoroughly exhausted. Then, after four weeks use, came the effect obliging me to withdraw as fast as I could – homicidal rage.


My withdrawal lasted three weeks: one week 25mgs daily, one week 12.5, one week 6.25, all approximate doses achieved with a kitchen knife on a chopping board.


And then began the fifteen or sixteen months of miserable endurance which extinguished the embers of belief in a God left from my Catholic boyhood.


Life felt more than anything else like a downright curse. I went to bed at night hoping if I managed to fall asleep that I would die in my sleep. I woke in the morning

utterly disappointed to be still alive.


The Glenmullen symptoms of WD checked in fiercely. Brain zaps, cortisol spikes, panic attacks, visual disturbances, aural hallucinations, unsteady gait, increased tinnitus, hyperacusis, rage attacks, tearfulness, pronounced irritability. I read Stuart Shipko and realised the restlessness and dread haunting me must be akathisia.


I lived an hour at a time and when I couldn’t stomach that, I lived a minute at a time.

For almost a year. Telling nobody because I doubted that anybody not experiencing what I was experiencing could possibly understand.


I experienced certain sensations, lasting from seconds to minutes, which would probably be termed DP but which I would be unable to describe properly in a thousand years. Wrong, empty and diabolical wouldn’t even be a start.


Drink helped, and then stopped helping, sometimes making things worse in a perverse way.


I felt hopeless and victimised and doomed. Time and time again I remembered the promise I had made my wife: that if I was drawn to attempt suicide again I would talk to somebody, and if I was determined to do it, I would do it away from our home. I rang the Samaritans once, very briefly, simply to technically fulfill my promise. I could see no way out.




I’m three-quarters out. Functioning pretty well, with a generally tolerable and better mood, doing and planning stuff. I enjoy alcohol again, eat and drink what I like, have the energy to jog long distances. I sleep five or so unbroken hours a night and rarely have bad dreams. I feel an important bit more removed emotionally from everybody else but if that doesn’t pass eventually I don’t think I will find it cause to despair, not with seventy not far off.


“ Look, we’re through it” wrote D.H.Lawrence.


Which is a useful touchstone, but we don’t go through WD, I go through it. And that I lives all over the world in huge numbers and in all sorts of circumstances. And can be excused for feeling abominably alone and desparate.


My small contibution, offered by somebody who’s very probably suffered less than most members of this forum and who hasn’t had money, job or child-rearing worries during WD? Try to trust time, try to trust yourself and the tendency to grow back towards the light.


Thank you, Surviving Anti-Depressants. The sometimes stern, sometimes moralistic but always infinitely precious Altostrata. The loveable Gridley. Canny canny lad Leo 1983. The wonderful Sertramean.


I read you all and you all helped. You all provided mouthfuls of water when I was most parched in my lonely desert.


Thank you Potions and Blazes Boylan. I read you too, sweet souls. I’m so sorry you couldn’t wait any longer for change and ended your impressive lives. I’ll never forget you. You do not deserve to be forgotten.


Edited by manymoretodays
name to title




sertraline 50mgs per day May 2020

sertraline  50 -0 mgs June 2020 halving daily dose by the week








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  • Moderator

Hi bobbygee,

Can you copy and paste your document here in a reply?


Thank you in advance.  It may be easier for all, to access that way.


And then I'm also wondering if you have an Introduction topic here, that I might link this to.


Thank you.  And congrats!  Very happy for you.


moderator manymoretodays


send me a PM, if you can't copy/paste and I can do it.......it may have already downloaded in my document reader. 

I am just a bit short on time now, and we are a bit understaffed right now too.

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

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

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

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays


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Posted (edited)

Hello @bobbygee


First let me thank you for taking the time to come here and share your Success Story, and let me also congratulate you for this success !


--> I've copied and paste your text in your post, it will be easier for people to read. Let me know if the result is ok for you.


--> Would you agree to create a signature ? Often people in the midst of WD are looking for similar case, or wonder what kind of drug history others have. I realise you have given these infos in your story,  a short signature with drugs and dates will help people to see your drug history at a glance.
If you agree, here is a direct link to your signature

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


Again, thank you !

Edited by Erell

2006 : 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, taper to 0.

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

- 22 Aug 2019 updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

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

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457-


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


Current medication :

* 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* Prozac : 6.92mg (23 Jun 2021)

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Thanks, Erel. I hope I've managed to provide a signature.




sertraline 50mgs per day May 2020

sertraline  50 -0 mgs June 2020 halving daily dose by the week








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  • manymoretodays changed the title to bobbygee: Fare forward
  • Mentor

The last lines of your story made me cry... Thank you for sharing this! Wish you a beautiful life!

July 2015: the 20mg citalopram for great stress begins

After two years I start tapering (slow but without medical advice) and I guess wrongly. First up to 10 mg, then 5 mg and 2 mg (liquid solution) and skips

January 2020 (I don't remember exactly the day): off citalopram (last dose 2mg).

June 2020: adrenal crash. The beginning of Hell on Earth


Current supplement:

- saffron pill (20 mg) + vit. E, omega 3 (EPA + DHA) 2g, magnesium bisglycinate 300 mg, iron , vitamin D3 (2500ui) +K7 (50 ui), vitamin C (1g) + quercitin (25 mg), theanine (as necessary).


Try meditating / mindfulness, walking every day, CBT/ACT, massage.


"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" ("And so we went out to see the stars again")

(Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy , Inferno, XXXIV, 139)

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