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Elisabeth1: life without and after 33 years seroxat


Elisabeth1

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Hi everyone!

33 years ago, I was put on 20 mg seroxat per day after a very shocking event.

The doctor told me that I would need to take it the rest of my life. I believed him far too long, but after 3 attempts to stop in all these years I finally succeeded, starting Jan 1 2019.

By Jan 2020 I was on 2 mg...celebrating life on holiday when I had a severe fear attack! Never had that before . My dr pursuaded me to start ssri again.... first venlafaxine, then certraline, mirtazapine and finally prozac...but I could not sleep anymore and felt terrible. In July 2020 I managed to stop taking prozac and ever since I have not taken any ssri's anymore...BUT the panic came back every now and then - real fear for almost everything! I feel very down some days and then suddenly that stops...Have you heard of waves and windows??

I could not find it on this site but it explains the sad feelings, high irritation level and sudden changes in my moods. I hope to read some positieve feedback on how to cope with this, other than taking oxacepam to make me feel calm again... 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed success story link

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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Hi, Elisabeth.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

On 2/2/2021 at 2:04 AM, Elisabeth1 said:

Have you heard of waves and windows??

I could not find it on this site but it explains the sad feelings, high irritation level and sudden changes in my moods.

 

Please see:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Toxic Antidepressants - Neuro-emotions

 

These links may also help explain withdrawal symptoms:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

 

You may find some helpful information to handle your symptoms here: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements, as many members report their nervous systems are simply too fragile to handle them. However, magnesium and fish oil tend to be calming to the nervous system and many people report they do help. Please only add in one supplement at a time and at a small dose. For more, please see:

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Are you off all drugs now? You mentioned "taking oxacepam to make me feel calm again," so I just want to get clarification.

 

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. 

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Please continue to use this thread to ask questions and let us know how you're doing. 

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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Dear Shep,

 

First of all, I am extremely thankful for your message that I found this morning, after lying awake for 5 hours.... I have been struggling ever since last year Feb, when I experienced my very first anxiety attack. The year before, in January 2019, after 31 years, I decided to slowly lower my 20 mg seroxat use. It did not really help me anymore and I did not feel well at all. The doctor disagreed, so I had to do it all by myself. Very slowly, in my opinion, I lowered from 20 - 2 mg in 1 year. No, that wasn't very easy at all but compared to what happened after this, it was!

So in Feb 2020 I was on 2 mg seroxat, on holidays with my husband....then I realized that I felt strange...I did not enjoy it very much, I was irritated for no reason and it felt like my brain had lost its filter. It was a strange experience. THen the 2nd week this turned into an anxiety attack. This lasted 3 days. The doctor on the island gave me xanax.... I took it twice but realized that this was only helping me for 6 hours. Via the insurance company at home we were transported back to the Netherlands (I am Dutch).

THen the rollercoaster started - the doctor told me to stop seroxat and he put me on Mirtazapine. This caused sleeplessness, or at least that was what I thought. He switched to Venlafaxine Sertraline and later to Prozac. In July 2020 I was convinced that the medicins did more harm than good, so I lowered and finally stopped taking the prozac.

Meanwhile I looked for help. Unfortunately this turned out to be a challenging thing. 

One doctor said: you are depressed ; take those pills the rest of your life because you can not live without them. The other schrink said: they are all rubbish those pills. Come see me every week for at least 1 year because I am the only one who can calm you down.....  both not very helpful at all.

Meanwhile, I turned into a person that I have never been (59 years old now, so I do know what I have been like before). Fear, sad, emotionally imbalanced, a lot of crying, suddenly feeling very sad - guilty - and then suddenly I feel okay again... all the symptoms that I found on this forum! 

While the psychologist was trying to convince me that I have a personality disorder and kept talking about my past, I felt that this was not right! They could not explain my wild emotional rides at all so this made me feel even worse. What the heck is wrong with me? Am I really going grazy??

Luckely I have been supported by a few people that really listen to me and are there for me. 

Then last week I suddenly realized: I AM AN EX ADDICT! Ofcourse, THAT is what is going on!! My brain has been changed in these 32 years and suddenly has to deal without anti depressants. My eureka moment did give me an afternoon without fear, but the next morning it was back again to wake me up and start my grinding negative thoughts.

 

These last week was a very bad wave - several times I told my husband that I was not sure how long I would be able to take this. Feeling so sad and not knowing when it ends... 

It seems like the waves are getting longer and harder... now I start to understand the reason behind it all... truly an eyeopener.

 

I would love to know how you handle those hard waves... all I can think of is to concentrate on my breath and this will help for some time if I manage to stay with my breath. I am hoping that you have suggestions to help me through them.

 

Again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for this forum and the willingness to help eachother! 

 

XxX Elisabeth1

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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19 hours ago, Elisabeth1 said:

Then last week I suddenly realized: I AM AN EX ADDICT! Ofcourse, THAT is what is going on!! My brain has been changed in these 32 years and suddenly has to deal without anti depressants. My eureka moment did give me an afternoon without fear, but the next morning it was back again to wake me up and start my grinding negative thoughts.

 

Yes, you are spot on here. But I would switch out the word "addict" for the word "dependent." This is a brilliant post about the dependency effect of antidepressants:

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

20 hours ago, Elisabeth1 said:

I would love to know how you handle those hard waves... all I can think of is to concentrate on my breath and this will help for some time if I manage to stay with my breath. I am hoping that you have suggestions to help me through them.

 

You may want to check out some of Dr. Claire Weekes work. Dr. Claire Weekes comes highly recommended for helping people learn how to manage and cope with anxiety. 

 

Dr. Claire Weekes - How To Recover From Anxiety

 

And this is a great short video on acceptance. 

 

Dr. Claire Weekes: How to accept the physical symptoms of nervous illness video (1.5 minutes)

 

And you can find loads more out there on YouTube by googling Dr. Claire Weekes. 

 

Dr.Claire Weekes - How to overcome Anxiety - (YouTube - 1 hour, 20 minutes)

 

For breathing exercises, please check out Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness videos. Here's a short one you can use throughout the day as needed:

 

The Breathing Space by Jon Kabat Zinn video (4 minutes)

 

And there are tons more out there on YouTube. 

 

Are you taking any supplements? In my first post, I listed the links for the fish oil and magnesium threads. If you're not already taking them, you may want to add in one at a time and at a low dose and see if that helps. 

 

Please let us know how you're doing over the coming days. In time, these symptoms will fade out. 

 

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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Thank you very much for the information Shep!

 

The supplements I take daily are magnesium citrate, vit D3, and multivitamins.

I ordered magnesium to put in to my bath with lavender oil...looking forward to that.

 

Today I had my first anxiety free visit to the shops. So happy to experience progress.

 

As I read all the stories I realized that I should stop taking oxacepam as well. 

So last night I just took the magnesium before bed... yes, I did wake up after a few hours and stayed awake for some time, but I decided to not focus on it, but stay relaxed...it helped me to fall asleep again. This morning, I woke up not feeling stressed and worried, as I did the last few weeks.

 

Finding this forum has given me a very positive boost!!  

 

Thank you!

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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Hi and welcome Elisabeth!

 

It must have been really hard to experience all those symptoms whilst not knowing what was going on for so many months! I had a very similar experience where after tapering last year I suddenly started having panic attacks, felt emotional unstable and was very easily agitated. This went on for about three months until I started experiencing more debilitating symptoms like dizziness, derealisation and crippling anxiety. For me it was also a huge relief to find this site and to finally understand what was going on!  You might already know, but Seroxat, Paxil are brand names for the substance Paroxetine. Knowing this might help you finding relatable stories here.

 

It is really good to see that you are already seeing improvements! When a new wave hits and I feel like I took 3 steps back again reminding myself of this progress I made helps me to stay positive even though my WD (withdrawal) is trying to make me think otherwise.

 

I think the most helpful advice I got here was to be gently to yourself. To accept that there is not much I can do to make me feel better in a wave and that I have to make myself as comfortable as possible to sail through the storm.

 

Things that I could do and helped me when in a wave are:

- Stopped drinking caffeine (For me this helped a lot with feeling restlessness)

- Stopped drinking alcohol

- Talking to my wife/family/friends about how I feel

- Stopped watching the news and any kind of show/movie with violence or triggering effect on me

- Taking two glasses of magnesium citrate (without calcium) dissolved in water which I drink gradually during the day

- Stopped taking multivitamins (some vitamins are uplifting)

- Breathing exercises like Shep mentioned

- Watching/reading about anxiety/WD coping techniques (I found comfort in watching The lovely grind: (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuPoxyZksrRlDJojuJeNs2g)

- Keeping a log of my windows and waves

 

You can also find a lot of success stories here: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/28-success-stories-recovery-from-withdrawal/

 

You can be really proud of yourself for being free of paroxetine and making such good decisions as tapering, not following blindly what your uninformed medical professionals were telling you and getting through the WD symptoms!

1998-1999: Got prescribed Paxil

2001: 60mg Paxil per/day
2003 - 2010:  (tried a cold turkey stop attempt) ended up with 20mg
2014 - 2016: Started tapering together with GP
2016: Went from 5mg to 0mg
Early 2017: Started with Paxil again 20mg
2018: Second tapering try
2018: Went from 20mg to 10mg
2019: Went from 10mg to 5mg
2020: Went from 5mg to 0mg with liquid Paxil (20% steps)
Paxil free since august 2020
 

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Hi Ymmit! Thanks for your replay.

I see you have had a bumpy ride as well...

 

Actually, most of your advises I had already figured out myself. I never drank alcohol so that was easy and half a year ago I started drinking only decaf coffee.

Tv is too much for me right now, except for non violent movies. Same with books. It is so weird! 

 

It has been a very rough year, thinking I was actually going crazy. This forum has given me some peace of mind that this is not the case.

 

Deep down I knew that my brain would need time to adjust to life without paroxetine (seems so logic!), but when you have no support you just forget about that. 

Then when my psychiatrist kept digging, trying to find a reason for my waves, I knew that there was nothing to be found! 

I have told her about my eureka moment a few days ago. She had a positive reaction and I honestly hope that she has learned from this.

 

I do fear the next wave, but I suppose there is nothing I can do about that...I just try to stay calm. Easy to say now, because when I am in it, I feel so absolutely helpless, lonely, & frightened. 

 

How are you doing now? 

 

Kind regards from a completely white Holland. The coldest winter we have had in 27 years!  

 

Have a nice Sunday 

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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On 2/6/2021 at 12:11 PM, Elisabeth1 said:

As I read all the stories I realized that I should stop taking oxacepam as well. 

 

How often are you using oxazepam? Please don't stop cold turkey if you've been taking it more than 2 - 4 weeks.

 

Let us know more about your oxazepam history.  

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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Hi Shep, 

 

In April last year my dr send me home with a recipe for oxacepam. When I returned home from the pharmacy I saw that they gave me 180!!! pills of oxacepam!

Three times per day 1 pill for 3 months.... 

I could not believe my ears and eyes and called the dr to ask if they made a mistake. Well no they did not she said. 

 

Curious, especially when you know that she diagnosed me as being depressed at the time.  

I took them during my worst times since April last year and on a few occasions I took 3 pills per day. Other than that I have always tried to keep it for emergency only and every now and then to sleep.

 

The last 2 years I have felt misled by my dr for prescribing seroxat every 3 months for all these years.

The 180 pills of oxacepam made me realize even more that I have to look after myself and not blindly trust my doctor anymore. It is sad but true.

 

So no worries about cold turkey for me. I will never ever become addicted to any sort of pills in my life EVER again.

 

Thank you for caring 💛

 

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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15 hours ago, Elisabeth1 said:

I took them during my worst times since April last year and on a few occasions I took 3 pills per day. Other than that I have always tried to keep it for emergency only and every now and then to sleep.

 

Thanks for the additional information. Just trying to gage if some of your symptoms may be from oxazepam dependency - how often have you taken this drug over the past 2 months? Once a week, twice a week, etc.? 

 

Sadly, doctors are very ignorant about these drugs. Good thing you did your research! 

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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I think that would be maybe 10-15 pills over the last 2 months... 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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  • Administrator
26 minutes ago, Elisabeth1 said:

I think that would be maybe 10-15 pills over the last 2 months... 

 

Did you happen to keep track of the days you took them? Some people develop dependency with only a few days use, so if you have more detailed information, it would help guide your path forward in knowing if it's best to simply stop or to reinstate a small amount to taper. The reason I'm hyper-focusing on this is because I'm wondering if your panic attacks may be related to the benzo. 

 

How is your sleep these days? Is it improving? 

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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Well, the panic attacks I had were before I had taken oxacepam, so there is no connection there.

 

I took oxacepam every now and then, maybe 3 per week, during the last wave (that lasted around 2-3 weeks and stopped last week) when I just felt extremely down, sad, negative, suïcidal thoughts and crying over nothing and very bad sleep.

 

This is my day 5 of a clear mind, no suïcidal thoughts at all & happy feelings. 

 

My sleep is not perfect, but it seems the more I accept it as a fact and try to relax, the sooner I do get back to sleep...

 

The one thing that really did help me during the waves was acupuncture! Does anybody else experience this as well??

 

I also wonder how others cope with the waves... do they see a psychiatrist or do they stay in bed all day?

My routine was to just lie on the couch. Hardly able to talk, walk, interact with anybody without crying and constant negative thoughts.

Irritated over nothing at all - not very pleasant to be around! Even for me it wasn't.  

 

 

 

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

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  • Administrator
23 hours ago, Elisabeth1 said:

This is my day 5 of a clear mind, no suïcidal thoughts at all & happy feelings. 

 

My sleep is not perfect, but it seems the more I accept it as a fact and try to relax, the sooner I do get back to sleep...

 

This is excellent, Elisabeth. Very glad to read this. 

 

23 hours ago, Elisabeth1 said:

The one thing that really did help me during the waves was acupuncture! Does anybody else experience this as well??

 

 

Yes, some people do find it helps, other not so much. It's really individual, but it's great that you find it helpful. 

 

One problem we see is some acupuncturists want to treat withdrawal symptoms they same way they treat depression symptoms, so they may use activating techniques. For more on member experiences, please see:

 

Acupuncture 

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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Hi Elisabeth!

 

On 2/7/2021 at 11:29 AM, Elisabeth1 said:

Actually, most of your advises I had already figured out myself. I never drank alcohol so that was easy and half a year ago I started drinking only decaf coffee.

Tv is too much for me right now, except for non violent movies. Same with books. It is so weird! 

 

It has been a very rough year, thinking I was actually going crazy. This forum has given me some peace of mind that this is not the case.

That is really good! For me it was the same, I was so overwhelmed in the beginning and it took quite a while to learn what helped me to cope and to what extend I just had to try to accept the situation and not force myself. This forum was a godsend for me, making sense about what is going on helped me tremendously and there is a lot of very good advice and wisdom to be found on this forum!

 

On 2/7/2021 at 11:29 AM, Elisabeth1 said:

I do fear the next wave, but I suppose there is nothing I can do about that...I just try to stay calm. Easy to say now, because when I am in it, I feel so absolutely helpless, lonely, & frightened. 

Yeah, I totally understand. I see it a bit like a house renovation. In the beginning there is a lot to do and the workers have to make a huge mess, bring down walls, make lots of noise and whatnot which make you feel horrible. Every now and then they take a break and give you some relief and you start to see and dream of how the house is going to look like when they're done. That is of course, until the workers suddenly turn up again and pick up where they left off. At some point they will be done and each time it will be a bit less 'inconvenient' (though mistakes will be made "Oh, that was the load bearing wall..."). We have no clue how long it's going to take, but when they are working and make us feel horrible we do get closer to a finished house.

 

For me it also helped to have a positive affirmation I would say to myself in the lines of "This is WD, nothing to worry about, it will pass" when I feel really bad.

 

On 2/7/2021 at 11:29 AM, Elisabeth1 said:

How are you doing now? 

Slowly but surely getting better! It's been a bit over 6 months since I reached 0. My main improvement is that the constant anxiety when in a wave is almost gone. I still get other symptoms, but the anxiety was one of the most debilitating. I also struggled with DR a lot, here I also see a big improvement compared to a few months ago.

 

On 2/7/2021 at 11:29 AM, Elisabeth1 said:

 

Kind regards from a completely white Holland. The coldest winter we have had in 27 years!

Haha yeah, crazy! We are going to enjoy walking in, likely the last weekend, of leftover snow this weekend :)

 

All the best!

 

 

1998-1999: Got prescribed Paxil

2001: 60mg Paxil per/day
2003 - 2010:  (tried a cold turkey stop attempt) ended up with 20mg
2014 - 2016: Started tapering together with GP
2016: Went from 5mg to 0mg
Early 2017: Started with Paxil again 20mg
2018: Second tapering try
2018: Went from 20mg to 10mg
2019: Went from 10mg to 5mg
2020: Went from 5mg to 0mg with liquid Paxil (20% steps)
Paxil free since august 2020
 

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On 2/13/2021 at 11:21 AM, Ymmit said:

Yeah, I totally understand. I see it a bit like a house renovation. In the beginning there is a lot to do and the workers have to make a huge mess, bring down walls, make lots of noise and whatnot which make you feel horrible. Every now and then they take a break and give you some relief and you start to see and dream of how the house is going to look like when they're done. That is of course, until the workers suddenly turn up again and pick up where they left off. At some point they will be done and each time it will be a bit less 'inconvenient' (though mistakes will be made "Oh, that was the load bearing wall..."). We have no clue how long it's going to take, but when they are working and make us feel horrible we do get closer to a finished house.

That is a nice way to visualize the wave! But somebody needs to say it to you when you are in it right? 

 

Good to hear you are doing better.. So am I, today is day 11 of a clear mind and I am very happy about that :) I just keep my fingers crossed XxX

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Hello, @Elisabeth1 How are you doing?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks for asking!

Well, discovering this website and information on waves and windows has made my life a bit easier!!

My gut feeling was right all the time. The seroxat (and the other ssri's) and oxacepam have damaged my brain and this needs time to heal. It seems so logic to me but I felt so alone for so long on this issue!

Through your website I also came in contact with another Dutch lady with similar PAWS symptoms. This feels like a godsend to both of us.

I realize that there will be waves after the windows and found myself starting a wave again a few days ago. I try to cope with them the best I can... during this wave I feel unstable, very emotional, anxiety, very bad sleep and lots of irritations over nothing. There is not much I can do about it: I keep reminding myself that it will pass....

And, it feels like this wave is less heavy than the one about 15 days ago. Is it because of all I have learnt these last 2 weeks, or is my brain slowly recovering.... I keep my fingers crossed X

 

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment

Here is the other Dutch lady. Also tremendously happy with this site and all its information, and  my new dear friends  ( I also found a Dutch man friend on this site.)It is all so helpful and warm. We will get through this ugly nasty PAWS. Thanks very much@Altostrata

1999-2000 1 year Fluvoxamine/Luvox/ stopped CT no witdrawal symtoms maybe 2 days brainzaps

2008-2018 10 years Prozac  30 mg. Stopped bacause I was getting depressed again, went to Pdoc en got Welbutrin cut down 20 % of Prozac

after 2 month when felt litlle better cut rest of Prozac. withdrawel set in.

2018- jan 2019 took welbutrin 150 mg, did not work, tapered off with taperingstrips in 4 month.

2 month AD free then started Fuvloxamine again on july 5th 2019

2020 added Lamotrigine 150 because it did not work.

march 10 2020 CT lamotrigine

April 2020 stop fluvoxamine with a 4 month taper

AD free since 29 July 2020

 

 

 

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  • Administrator

You're welcome.

 

Please post in 

 

 

to connect with others from the Netherlands.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...

So here we are, 2 months later.

At this moment I am sort of in between a wave and a window, but for the first time I have had a window of about 26 days without any major WD symptoms!!

It seems like things are changing... slowly but surely I do feel a bit better. The waves I have had since February have not been as heavy as before, so there is progress :).

I cannot say that I am totally fine yet - my nervous system can be very easily irritated, so I do need to remind myself to keep going slow and be aware of how I spend my time (also during my windows). BUT... I am very happy to notice that things are actually changing for the better.

 

 

Quote: you will never discover new oceans, unless you are prepaired to loose sight of the shore

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment

Here comes the sun my dear friend😘

1999-2000 1 year Fluvoxamine/Luvox/ stopped CT no witdrawal symtoms maybe 2 days brainzaps

2008-2018 10 years Prozac  30 mg. Stopped bacause I was getting depressed again, went to Pdoc en got Welbutrin cut down 20 % of Prozac

after 2 month when felt litlle better cut rest of Prozac. withdrawel set in.

2018- jan 2019 took welbutrin 150 mg, did not work, tapered off with taperingstrips in 4 month.

2 month AD free then started Fuvloxamine again on july 5th 2019

2020 added Lamotrigine 150 because it did not work.

march 10 2020 CT lamotrigine

April 2020 stop fluvoxamine with a 4 month taper

AD free since 29 July 2020

 

 

 

Link to comment

Elizabeth, I just picked up your thread this morning. I just want you to know that I took my first AD, a tricyclic, exactly the same month and year you did, August 1988! I believe I was misdiagnosed with depression from the start. It was always an anxiety disorder mostly manifested as derealization symptoms. That year was the start of a long journey during which I consumed a small drugstore of different ADs. I was well for about 17 years, but the psychs kept me on Prozac the whole time for “maintenance”. Details are in my intro and signature, but I discovered SA in September 2019. At present I’m at 2.0 liquid Prozac and holding. Those of us who have such long AD histories can experience special challenges. I look forward to following your progress!

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA; Magnesium Chelate 250 mg; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; Theanine 400 mg; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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Hi Edmuns,

 

What a coincidence that we started off the same month! So there is hope for you as well (as for everybody on this forum, I am sure!!).

I had no idea about withdrawel symptoms, but realized very quickly that my symptoms were from tapering the seroxat in 2019. 

Unfortunately I did not write anything down at the time about what I felt. Every time I felt bad I just stayed at the amount I was on and waited untill I felt ok again.

THe panic attack in Jan 2020 was so overwhelming and I had never had it before, so I was pursuaded to start AD again.

I must say that Prozac was much easier to taper down than seroxat! 

So there is hope for you as well - take it as slow as you can is the only advice I can give you.

 

Have a great day 🍀

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
45 minutes ago, DutchMaddy said:

Here comes the sun my dear friend😘

🌞🌞🥰 Yessss, and for you as well!! 2021 will be our year 🍀

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Elisabeth1: life without and after 33 years seroxat
  • 8 months later...

Free from depression at last...

 

Mod note:

*And unfortunately, we cannot endorse, the use of TMS therapy for WD(withdrawal) or PAWS(protracted acute withdrawal syndrome) at this time.  We simply do not have enough evidence for it's safety  and long term efficacy to do so.

 

PLEASE SEE: 

 

Today I will write my success story for all of you.

Last year July I took my very last AD pill after 32 years of addiction; convinced that I could live without them, dispite doctors advice to keep taking them the rest of my life.

It has been a very very bumpy ride.

My biggest concern, besides insomnia, were panic attacs (which I had never had before) and severe depression during tapering and after.

My main concern has been the extreme depression - feeling sad  - crying without any reason; extremely irritable etc.

I have been searching for answers and reasons why but could not find them and felt that I was loosing faith in ever recovering.

i have seen several psychologists but no therapy helpen me any further...untill I read about rTMS (A proven technology whereby the prefontal cortex is stimulated through magnetic pulses).  

Two weeks ago I had my first of 30 treatments. Right after this first time I realized something had changed. 

I have had 2 weeks of 4 treatments per week now and my mood has completely changed! No more depression! It feels like a miracle but I am back to my old self again....

Not only for me, but also for my family and close friends, this is the best Christmas gift ever!

So please, keep faith and keep looking for solutions because I found out that miracles do happen 💫

 

Edited by ChessieCat
mod note/success story topic title/removed link

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hi Elizabeth1,  and thank you for coming back and sharing with us.

 

I do see you have been medication/drug free since July of 2020.  Congrats.

 

I'm still not clear on a few things......just how you tapered your last medication, the fluoxetine?

And then, could you just clarify for me, what symptoms you were still having up to 2 weeks ago, that you attributed to WD, or PAWS?

Much appreciated.  I didn't see many specifics on your Introduction thread since last Spring, and even before.

 

Thank you.

 

I went ahead and added a link to your Success Story to your Introduction topic now.  Introduction topic from here.

And did feel the need to add in that survivingantidepressants.org, cannot endorse TMS therapy at this time, for PAWS.

I did see your other post in the TMS topic too.  Thank you.  I will look at the links you shared, when I get a chance.

 

And oh, I wish you well.  I do.  Sincerely.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

moderator manymoretodays

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
see strike out, meant the opposite and fixed

2022 May- continuing with limited activity on site, just something I need to do right now

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.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

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

 

Link to comment

Hi there,

 

Thanks for your quick reply.

 

The fluoxetine has been tapered from approx. may to July 2020 (20 mg to zero). 

 

My last few months were very stressful - insomnia, anxiety, very irritable, depressed and suicidal thoughts. The last 2 years I have tried several different therapies (incl. CBT and ACT) without any results. 

 

For me, rTMS is the solution that I have been desperately looking for. After 32 years of AD and 1,5 years with PAWS, I am finally free from anxiety and depression and I feel back to my old self, that I had lost 34 years ago.  

I can only hope that this will help others as well ♥️

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment

I forgot to mention that, because of the proven positive test results, all rTMS sessions are paid by the health insurance companies in The Netherlands!

And, also important to tell, I have had no negative side effects whatsoever.

♥️

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
  • Administrator
On 12/26/2021 at 5:02 PM, Elisabeth1 said:

Two weeks ago I had my first of 30 treatments. Right after this first time I realized something had changed. 

I have had 2 weeks of 4 treatments per week now and my mood has completely changed! No more depression! It feels like a miracle but I am back to my old self again....

Not only for me, but also for my family and close friends, this is the best Christmas gift ever!

So please, keep faith and keep looking for solutions because I found out that miracles do happen 💫

 

17 hours ago, Elisabeth1 said:

For me, rTMS is the solution that I have been desperately looking for. After 32 years of AD and 1,5 years with PAWS, I am finally free from anxiety and depression and I feel back to my old self, that I had lost 34 years ago.  

I can only hope that this will help others as well ♥️

 

Elisabeth, I am so glad you are feeling better. However, as you can tell by other responses, the staff is uncomfortable with your narrative that the solution is rTMS, especially since you just started this treatment two weeks ago. Many people have been harmed by rTMS, which is why we linked to the TMS thread at the top of your success story. It is not something we recommend anyone with a destabilized nervous system undergo. We are concerned about you and urge caution.

 

You were having amazing windows months before you started this treatment (mentioned in this earlier post back in April) and with the window and wave nature of recovery, you may be recovering naturally. rTMS may be more risk than benefit. There is also evidence of a placebo response to rTMS (written about here - The Enhanced Placebo Effect of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation).

 

Please be cautious with this or any other "solution" for withdrawal.

 

I apologize for posting anything negative on someone's success story, but it's important to message the potential danger in using rTMS for someone dealing with withdrawal syndrome. I'm sure there are many other things you did that led to your recovery and would like to know about those. By focusing solely on a "fix" for withdrawal, it left out all of your many strengths and coping skills that kept you going along the way. These are the attributes and skills you take with you when you recover and keep you resilient and thriving no matter what comes your way.

 

 

Edited by Shep
fixed typo

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.

 

Link to comment

Shep, it is very disappointing to read that you are having doubts about rTMS - all I can do is inform you about my positive experience.

At this moment I am not interested in reading articles on placebo effects.

You might be interested to read more about the positive outcome of rTMS treatment because I experienced it myself: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29174304/

 

Thank you for your concern ❤

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
  • Altostrata changed the title to Elisabeth1 Free from depression at last...
  • ChessieCat locked this topic
  • Administrator
On 12/26/2021 at 2:02 PM, Elisabeth1 said:

My biggest concern, besides insomnia, were panic attacs (which I had never had before) and severe depression during tapering and after.

My main concern has been the extreme depression - feeling sad  - crying without any reason; extremely irritable etc.

I have been searching for answers and reasons why but could not find them and felt that I was loosing faith in ever recovering.

 

These would have been post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms, @Elisabeth1 When did they completely go away?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat unlocked this topic

It is obvious that some moderators are not at all interested in my success story.

I have decided to focus on myself from now on, knowing that many people have recovered from severe depression thanks to rTMS, and hoping that many many more will do so in the future.

I wish you all the best ❤

 

August 1988-Jan 2019 - 20 mg seroxat

Jan 2019-Jan 2020 - tapered from 20 mg  to 2,6 mg seroxat

Feb 2020 - 2,6 mg seroxat - First severe panic attack

Back on ssri: from sertraline, venlafaxine, mirtazapine to fluoxetine - no effect at all

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

It is not that we are not interested in the results that you are having with the rTMS, but it has only been a very short amount of time since you started the treatment, and you have many treatments yet to have, so it cannot yet be concluded that it has been successful, especially in the long term.

 

July 2020 - tapered down fluoxetine to 0 - finally AD free after 32 years!!

Many waves and windows but I had no clue I was having withdrawel, untill:

Feb 2021 : 17 window days - 11 wave days

March 2021: 25 window days - 6 wave days

April 2021: 15 window days - 15 wave days

May 2021: 2 window days - 8 in between and 20 wave days

June 2021:  window days -  in between and  wave days

 

Your drug signature shows that you have been experiencing an obvious windows and waves pattern since February this year which is what happens during recovery from withdrawal syndrome as the brain regains homestasis, adjusting to not getting the drug anymore.  The improvement that you have had recently might not necessarily be from the rTMS treatment but might be a window that you would have had even without the treatment.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

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.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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