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Horatio: Introduction, survived and thriving


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I’m 58, a man, married, who survived a hellish cocktail of psych drugs for 17 years, stemming from a misdiagnosis of PTSD/trauma as bipolar disorder.  

The drugs took away who I was.  I started taking antidepressants in 1998 after being wiretapped by my religious authorities (and my ex-wife siding with them against me) and when they did nothing, a doctor diagnosed me as bipolar.  I was in a cult at the time, which I had joined in my early 20’s in a vain attempt to find the “perfect” family, one nothing like the abusive, alcoholic family in which  I was raised.  

I took a variety of meds between 1998 and 2015, including Lithium at a level (2400 mg a day for 15 years) that should have killed me.  Two hospitalizations for lithium toxicity and the doctors put me right back on.  I took depakote, Seroquel, every SSRI under the sun, tricyclic anti-depressants, anti-convulsants - you name it.  Nothing relieved the misery.  

in 2010 I began to develop tremors and by 2012 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  I stopped working in 2013.  I became suicidally depressed.  My marriage had collapsed.  My ex-wife hit me.   I never hit back. 

But there’s a happy end.  I divorced, moved,  left the cult, and re-connected with and married my college sweetheart, who had been working in the medical field for over 20 years.  She had access to top specialists.  The neurologist told me the likely cause of the Parkinson’s was the lithium although I had a positive DaaT scan for Parkinson’s, which doesn’t show up when it’s drug-induced.  He sent me to a psychiatrist who helped me stop all meds.  The tremors of Parkinson’s went away over six months or so.  I was able to start working in 2016 and, because I couldn’t get an job or even an interview (I was 53 with this horrible medical history) my wife started a company for me doing video production and editing, which I seemed to have a knack for.  Since we started the company I’ve won two Emmys (2019 and 2020).  I finally started dealing with early trauma with support groups and therapists. 

I survived.  I thrive.  Life isn’t a bowl of cherries, and of course there are struggles and tears at times, but compared to how awful it was before it’s wonderful.  


Edited by manymoretodays
name to title, added to title
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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Horatio: Introduction, survived and thriving
  • Administrator

Hi, Horatio.


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.


That's quite a story! Very glad you not only survived, but are indeed, as your title says, thriving. 


How long have you been off these drugs? 


Please add a signature.  Include drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. 

  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

Do you feel you've completely recovered now? 


Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 


My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"


And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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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  • 2 months later...

How did you taper off the depakote?

25mg Sertraline, 1mg Ativan December 10, 2020

50mg Sertaline, .50mg Ativan (once a day at night) December 11, 2020

.25mg Ativan (only at night)January 11, 2021

37.5mg Sertraline January 9, 2021

Stopped Ativan January 12, 2021

25mg Sertraline January 14, 2021

Started 15 mg of Restoril January 14, 2021 Current side effects, insomnia, hyperarousal, brain fog, night tremors, stomach cramps, lack of concentration 

January 25 re-instated Ativan .25

18.75 mg Setraline January 26

February 3, .75mg Ativan

February 16, Cross over to .375 Klonopin

March 27  Cold turkeyed off 14mg of Sertaline and .25 of Klonopin.  Put on 1000 mg of Depakote. Hated the depakote and dropped to 500 mg after 3 days.

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