Jump to content

Holly18: My journey with antidepressants and withdrawal (12 years on ADs)


Holly18

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

When i was 14 i was diagnosed with OCD and depression, and two years later, at 16, was prescribed Prozac. I dont remember the dosage but i remember i felt it gave me some relief from my symptoms. soon enough i found out about the sexual side effects - mainly loss of libido and ED. thus began my journey to find the 'right' medication. i tried many many different antidepressants of all types and all had sexual side effects varying only in the intensity of them. but, after i tried to quit taking antidepressants a couple of times and found out that i cant (at the time i believed i were my symptoms returning, now i know it was withdrawal), i continued taking ADs. my psychiatrist assured me that the sexual side effects and only temporary and go away when you quit, so i wasnt that stressed about it.

 

skip forward 11 years, it now February 2020 - Im about to get married and im feeling fine mentally and physically (with the exception of the sexual side effects). my fiancee is of course bothered by those side effects and often feels like im not attracted to her or dont like having sex with her even though i explain to her about the effects of the pills im taking. at this point im taking venlafaxine xr 150 mg. several years earlier i was prescribed venlafaxine xr and the dosage quickly rose to 300 mg a day. because of side effects i cut down to 150 mg.

 

anyway, February 2020 i decided it was time for me to quit (i must note that at this point in time i heard about pssd, and it made me extremely stressed so it was another factor in deciding to quit). went to my psychiatrist who agreed to "help" me quit. he suggested i get down to 37.5 mg venlafaxine for two weeks and then quit - i, not knowing better and just wanting to get it over with, agreed with the plan.

going down to 37.5 mg made me feel immediately better - i started feeling again (didnt realized how much of a zombie the pills made me) and i was hopeful.

01.03.2020 i quit completely. for the first two weeks clean i felt moody and cried alot but was fine otherwise. for the next two weeks things started going downhill - covid hit my country and i was put on unpaid leave. things started looking bleak and i was feeling a little bit down. the psychiatrist assured me it was normal and will go away soon. 

one month post-jump withdrawal hit me like a truck. i became depressed, extremely anxious, lost all apetite, was unable to control my feelings, and developed a terrible stomach ache, nausea and nerve pain (constant pain all over my body), couldnt concentrate and became constantly confused. things seemed hopeless at this point. being unsure what to do i talked to my psychiatrist again, and again he assured me it will go away soon. another month passed like that and things didnt seem to change.  i realized i cant trust my psychiatrist and i started looking for advice online. this is when i came across this site. i realized i practically cold-turkeyed and wanted to reinstate but my wife opposed saying we have come too far to give up now. she was seeing positive changes in the way i treat her (although we didnt have sex at all during this time as i was in extreme pain) - i was more loving and caring and she didnt want me to become a zombie again. at this point i told my wife i wanted to temporarily move in with my mom untill i feel better - i wanted to be close to my family. we both moved in with my mom for a month. during the third month things only got worse i became more and more suicidal and the psyhcological and physical pain only got worse. i couldnt take it anymore. i had to reinstate.

this time i talked to my gp, and she put me on 37.5 mg venlafaxine xr and told me to up the dose to 75 mg after two weeks. three days after i reinstated, the physical symptoms subsided and i felt much better (although the psychological symptoms continued for another month).

 

although i felt better, my struggle wasnt over - the symptoms came back in waves lasting from a couple of weeks to a month. finally i asked to be put on prozac instead (because i felt like venlafaxine wasnt doing me any good and i knew that down the line prozac will be easier to quit). i started at 10mg prozac and again, because of the sexual side effects that never really went away i decided to taper down. this time much slower. i tapered 1 mg to 0.5 a month depending on how i felt until i reached 4 mg prozac (all the while the waves persisted). when i got to 4 mg i experienced a big bad wave and i upped my dose back to 6 mg until i felt better, waited a bit and started tapering again, even slower. again i reached 5 mg and experienced a big bad wave. reinstated to 6 mg. again, holding a little bit at 6 mg until i felt better and tapering again. once again i reached 5 mg and currently having a bad wave.

 

at this point im feeling hopeless - i just want this poison out of me. extremely afraid of pssd and things are looking bleak. i read all the resources on here, reading success stories but im still feeling lost. i feel like u really messed up my brain for good. i just never really returned to myself since i quit venlafaxine. im moody, stressed, anxious, depressed, confused and the symptoms always come back. there are times when i feel normal but they never last. im doing talk therapy and it helps, but still the waves always return.

 

let me finish by saying that English is not my native tongue so i apologize for my mistakes.

 

 

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Hello Holly18,

 

Welcome to this support site. Sorry that you are suffering this much from withdrawal. I see that you jumped a lot in dosage in venlafaxine. You stopped CT at 37,5 mg and switched to prozac.

 

All these these changes disturb the CNS. The more changes in dosage and meds we make, the more disturbance and the more withdrawal effects can occur. 

 

The good news is: You will heal!     But it takes time and discipline!

 

I advice you to make a longer period of holding this dosage of prozac. The withdrawal effect will slowly go away. They may come back again and change to other WD effects. This is normal. You will probably have waves and windows. But the longer you hold, the more you will heal. When you feel more stable, you will be able to continue the tapering process. Slowly and listening to your body! Everybody reacts different to tapering.

 

We can help you with advice how to taper then. But first hold for a longer period until you really start feeling better and more stable.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

Link to comment

Hey Go2zero,

 

Thanks for the support.

I do feel like my CNS is completely fried, and it's scary and frustrating. 

Every little bit of stress (which has become increasingly hard to manage) sends me down a bad spiral. 

I really hope I can heal but it often feels like it won't happen. 

 

For how long do you think I should hold my current dose? My default is holding a dose for a month. 

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Lots of us experience this unfortunately when we go down too fast or stop too fast. It takes time. How much time nobody can tell unfortunately. Everybody reacts different. You should hold until you feel better for at least 2 weeks, I suggest. Going down further, going up in dosage, changing meds, everything will make the disturbance of your CNS worse. 

 

Reckon in months for a hold period. It is extremely important that your CNS can calm down. That won't happen when you continue tapering or change dosage or meds.

 

Try to avoid stress as much as possible, because that can also make things worse. Try to relax, do you things you like to do (or otherwise what you liked to do when you were feeling better). Meditation techniques can be very helpful. 

 

Many members find some relief in using fish oil  and or magnesium.

 

 

 

 

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

Link to comment

Hey @Holly18 thank you for stopping by my thread!

I am really sorry this happened to you. It is horrible when the life gets turned upside down.

Just want to send you some positive vibes. You will definitely heal! 
A lot of people on here say that eating healthy and really regular is a big help in a faster recovery and generally having some sort of routine. I am working on that myself 🙂

Wish you all the best

2010-2020: Venlafaxine (between 37.5mg and 225mg (CT twice from low doses 2018, 2020) and Trazodone (between 25 and 50mg, CTd twice without problems)

April 2021: Crash with OCD, anxiety, akathisia after taking benzo and microdosing mushrooms

11th June-2nd July(3 weeks total): Seroquel 150mg, Seroquel XR 50mg, Trazodone 150mg, Zoldem 10mg

July 2nd-Feb 15: Venlafaxine between 37,5 and 75mg, Olanzapine between 2,5 and 5mg

August 22nd: introduce 0.5mg Lorazepam (0.25 10am, 0.25 7pm) December 7th: stop morning dose Lorazepam without problems

January 10: Reduce evening dose from 0.2mg to 0,15, cant sleep and take 1.5mg Lorazepam, plus forgot to take my Venlafaxine that day

--> severe crash with suicidal akathisia

go up with Lorazepam to 4mgs, starting 4mgs on March 28th

February 15th: increase Venlafaxine to 93,75, tried 150 with bad reaction, slight increase seemed to settle the akathisia a bit

June 14 lose sleep, return of akathisia in full force 20th June increase Lorazepam to 5mg 

current medication: Venlafaxine 93,75mg (8am) Olanzapine 3mg (9:30pm), Lorazepam 5mg taken 4x daily at 8-12-17-21:30 o'clock

Link to comment

@Go2zero@Neon

Thanks alot guys,

today i woke up feeling much better. I believe im at the end of this current wave (which lasted 3 weeks). I was able to go out on a light jog, study (im a grad student) and had some appetite back (which is great since i lost so much weight the last year and a half).

Unfortunately, i know its only a matter of time until the next wave hits me as usually those windows last anywhere from a week to 2 months. But im just thankful for those windows.

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Great to read that you feel better. I advice you stabilize on your current dose and see how things develop.

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Seems like the good days are over ...

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling really down and by yesterday evening I had a massive panic attack. my wife isn't home until the end of August due to work so I packed a bag, took my dog, and came to stay with my mom until my wife will be back home since I dont want to be alone when I'm feeling like that and driving to work from here isn't that bad. It feels kinda bad crawling back to mom as a grown man, but I felt I needed that support. 

 

It's stress that takes me over the edge. My life is stressful - financial insecurity, uncertain future and a bunch of sudden life changes - but the thing is, my life was always stressful, I was just able to handle it better. 

Now I'm not able to handle stress at all, it just takes over me. The rumination is just horrendous. I wasn't able to sleep much last night, wasn't able to eat today or  honestly do anything at all - I just exist. 

 

It's been exactly a month since I dropped from 5.5 mg prozac to 5 mg prozac, but I don't think I'll make any further drops for quite awhile. I'm not yet stable enough.

I was prescribed Klonopin and I take it with me anywhere I go, although I'm reluctant to actually take it. The max I'm willing to take is 0.25 mg Klonopin once a week (but usually take twice a month). What is the stance here towards taking low doses of benzos every once in a while to help with ssri withdrawal?

 

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment

Hi Holly18 ,

Do not ever regret for looking comfort to your mother, when in difficulty...

Just feel very lucky, you have such a support. 

This is not to be taken for granted!

I had done the same ,when was faced with a work burn out ,which almost cost my life. 

I was saved due to the unconditional love and support of my parents.

So take care ,you are still young and you will find your way through...

I was 40 years old then ...

Greetings from a not far away Greek island...

Citalopram 20 mg

Mid June 1994- end March 1995 Then tapering 3 months 

Mid August 1995-end August 1996 Tapering 6 months 

Mid January 2000-end September 2001 Tapering 6 months

Mid October 2003-end October 2005 Tapering 7 years. 

More detailed drug history is here - ☼-kostas

Off any drug from October 2012 

Link to comment

Hey @Kostas ,

Thank you very much for your support.

My mom is truly a big source of light in my life, and i am deeply grateful for all her love and support.

I've been through your own topic and I'm glad you made it through! Stories of people who managed to recover from withdrawal are a real treat.

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment
  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Holly18 said:

It's been exactly a month since I dropped from 5.5 mg prozac to 5 mg prozac, but I don't think I'll make any further drops for quite awhile. I'm not yet stable enough.

Best to stabilize as you say yourself. Try to avoid stress as much as possible. Since stress often worsens WD symptoms. 

 

Furthermore, WD comes in patterns of waves and windows. Symptoms come and go. But time heals! You will stabilize and then you can continue tapering.

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/?tab=comments#comment-183

 

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

Link to comment

Last several days have been a nightmare. Unable to sleep (trouble falling asleep and when I do I have trouble staying asleep), constant cortisol spikes, unable to eat, unable to concentrate. All-consuming depression and anxiety, ruminating thoughts and obsessions. Feeling extremely restless.

 

This pattern of waves and windows I'm experiencing is exhausting and I'm losing hope. The waves are long (approx 3 weeks) and the windows are short (approx 1 week) and it have been going like that for the past 18 months or so.  Honestly, I'm just so tired. 

I still have such a long way untill I'm free of AD's.

 

I try to avoid stress as much as I can, but my life is one big stress right now.

Physical activity used to be a big part of my life and helped alot with my depression and anxiety. Now that I'm too sensitive, physical activity takes me over the edge - all I can manage is walks. 

 

Took magnesium citrate for the first time today. Started at a low dose since I'm super sensitive right now to everything. If all is good will introduce fish oil too. 

Still taking 5 mg prozac daily - I don't know how long it'll take until I stabilize, but I learned the hard way that constant dose  changes do me no good. 

 

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment
  • Moderator
On 8/9/2021 at 6:27 PM, Holly18 said:

This pattern of waves and windows I'm experiencing is exhausting and I'm losing hope. The waves are long (approx 3 weeks) and the windows are short (approx 1 week) and it have been going like that for the past 18 months or so.  Honestly, I'm just so tired. 

I still have such a long way untill I'm free of AD's.

Don't loose hope Holly18 !  This is all a part of healing. Most members here experience or have experienced this. The longer you hold, the more windows will come. And yes, these waves seem to be overwhelming and like to way never go. I know where you are. I've been there often also and most of us have. But believe me, it will get better. As long as you keep stabilizing on the current dose and take good care of yourself!

 

Nobody says it is easy. But you will get there. Once you are stable things will become more bearable. You are doing very good when I read what you wrote!

 

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

Link to comment

 

Thank you so much Go2zero. This site (the people in this site really) helped me so much with feeling less lonely in this journey. It's crazy how so many people think that AD withdrawal can't possibly last more than four weeks and that tapering is unnecessary.

 

I think I'm struggling so much because besides dealing with the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, it's the first time in 12 years that I'm not being drugged into complete apathy. I have to relearn how to deal with my naturally anxious mind and feelings without the "help" of those drugs. Withdrawal intensifies my anxieties and feelings and makes it that much more difficult. 

 

On the bright side, although being a skeptic, I think the magnesium is actually doing it's work. I've been feeling better today. Not a window yet, but the symptoms have been more manageable.  In a week or so I'll introduce fish oil too. 

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment
  • Moderator

You are certainly not alone. Make some contact with other members if you like. Supporting one another is also a beautiful thing to do for you soul and for healing. There is so much information to be found on this website how to deal with all feelings, anxiety, etc, that sometimes seem to overwhelm us. There are great ways to learn to deal with that. 

 

Think about mindfulness. Or look at videos from Mooji on YouTube.  Just suggestions. Find ways to deal with the feelings and emotions that were suppressed all this time.  Life will become more beautiful. OK, more ups and downs also in feelings probably without meds. But isn't that life?

 

Anything better than numbing ourselves with meds, don't you think?

 

These links may also be interesting

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/1112-non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/14397-neuro-emotions/

 

1993    Anafranil (Clomipramine) for a few months. Later in 1993 Paxil for a few months 1993- 2006      No medication

2006   Effexor, Cymbalta, some Benzo’s. All for short periods. Later in 2006 Lexapro (escitalopram) 10 mg and shortly after Wellbutrin XR 150mg, against side effects Lexapro 

Since 2006 until end of 2015: Several times on and off Lexapro and Wellbutrin and several slight dosage changes. Mostly taken dosages: 5mg Lexapro and 150mg Wellbutrin

2016  Dosage change Lexapro from 5mg to 2,5 mg. Wellbutrin stayed om 150mg

November 2016 – April 2017 Down from 2,5mg to 0,6mg Lexapro (in steps) without much problems. Wellbutrin down from 150mg to 66mg. Also without much problems.

April 2017 – March 2019       Lexapro 0,6 mg        April 2017 - August 2018       Wellbutrin in small steps down from 66mg in to 37,5 mg . Quite heavy WD after each step.

March 2019 – May 2019 Lexapro down from 0,6 to 0,3mg then Prozac to 0,6 mg switch because severe discontinuation effects (may also have been from Wellbutrin..)    

Wellbutrin down from 37,5mg to 35,3mg 

October 2019        Seroquel 12,5 mg for 4 weeks because of extreme sleeping problems, then weaning off in 2 weeks       Prozac up dosage to 1,2 mg

March 2020     Wellbutrin in 2 steps down from 35,3mg to 33,3mg   Extreme withdrawal affects during 8 months. Stopped tapering Wellbutrin  until total off Prozac. 

February 2020 – November 2020   Prozac down in steps from 1,2mg to 0,57mg. 

Jan 2021  Prozac down to:  0,55> 0,53>0,51mg,   Feb 0,47mg ,  Mar 0,42mg,   Apr 0,37, longer hold because of WD symptoms July 0,36 and hold again, Sept 19 0,35, Sept 26 0,34mg, Oct 3 0,33mg  

January 20, 2022:  Wellbutrin from 33,3 to 32,3mg

March 22, 2022 Prozac down from 0,33mg to: 0,30mg, Apr 0,29, May 0,28, 0,27, June 0,26, 0,25, July 0,24, 0,23, 0,22, 0,21, Aug 

 

Supplements: Fish Oil (3000mg), Magnesium 100 mg, 2 drops of Lavender Oil when feeling anxiety. 50mg of L-Theanine when severe discontinuation effects caused by Wellbutrin

 

Please note this is NOT a medical advice. Discuss all your medical issues with a doctor who understands psychical drugs and really knows how to withdraw from them. I wish that you will find one.

Link to comment
  • 5 months later...

It's been awhile since I last posted (over 5 months). 

Last time I posted I was at 5 mg's of Prozac and very unstable. 

At the moment I'm at 3 mg Prozac and to be honest I'm much more stable. I've been sitting on 3 mg's for the past couple of months and I won't taper any further for at least another month. 

I think using 10% dose reductions really helped me stabilise. 

 

However, being 'stable' doesn't mean I'm doing good - in fact, I'm still struggling immensely. I feel like my body is still recovering from that cold turkey back in early 2020, and that there's still a long long road ahead of me. Ocassionaly I still use benzos to calm my nerves but no more than the lowest dose once a fortnight. I'm still super sensitive to any kind of stimulus, it's ridiculous. 

 

Lately I've been under a ton of stress as I'm about to become a father and feeling awfully unprepared for it. Anyway, I've been entertaining the idea (although not seriously) of going back on a full dose of AD's. I don't know why but just thinking about it is so comforting to me even though I'll never really do it. 

 

That's all for now.

BTW, I'm still taking magnesium citrate. 

• 2009~2015: various SSRI's / SNRI's 

• 2015 - 2020: venlafaxine XR jumping between 300 mg and 225mg

• Jan 2020 - march 2020: venlafaxine XR 150 mg

• 01.03.2020 - 15.03.2020 : 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• 16.03.2020 - June 2020: nothing at all

• June 2020 - July 2020: 75 mg venlafaxine XR

• July 2020 - September 2020: 37.5 mg venlafaxine XR

• September 2020: 10 mg prozac

• October 2020 - now: have been trying to slowly taper the prozac 0.5 - 1 mg a month, depending on how I feel. got to 5 mg prozac and stuck there (had to reinstate twice).

Link to comment

Just came across your account. I'm on 225 Venlafaxine (V). I'd been on 150 from 2005 till 2016 after a very traumatic but long-time spanning event happened, which I won't go into here. I'm pretty and anxious too. I visited doc (GP), who in his wisdom, advised me to switch to fluoxetine over 3 weeks. Wow, what followed was a descent into hell.

Another wiser doc at my practice, got advice from a specialist to go back on V but a higher dose (225) where I've been ever since.

 

Although I recovered to some extent, it's been a rough time mostly. Things I lived like travel I can't contemplate (yes, I know one can't travel anyway with Covid). I've tried lots of things to help myself, psychotherapy, mindfulness, yoga exercise etc. I'm getting on in years (but physically fit), and live on my own, and I hope that I will find a way to a more content life. But enjoyment is not with me often.

 

So, I feel that V is doing me little good. When I accidentally forget a pill (using daily slow release type), I twig it, by the fact that I feel weird, or get a brain zap. Didn't know what they were till I read about them (and research seems to be acknowledging their existence).

When u describe them to someone, u get funny looks. I've now began to wonder if they are doing me harm.

 

So I've read about tapering. I came across a Netherlands site that made tapering strips. 

Doing it oneself surely depends on what formulation u get where u live (I'm in UK). My GP is pretty understanding about my situation and has offered to help me get off V, but I think she believes that one needs to do it over 2 or 3 months. From what I've read, I think I'll need a lot lot longer.

 

So, I give u my story, to add to yours and others.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy