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kevinbigfoot: Kevin Bigfoot’s Intro


kevinbigfoot

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Hey everyone, been lurking on this forum for about 2 weeks now. Was reluctant about posting my intro but here goes:

I have been on Lexapro, Pamelor, Effexor, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin at varying points from the ages of 16-22. For the past year and a half, I’ve been AD free, although I smoked marijuana every day and drank on the weekends quite a bit. I’ve also had Hallucinogenic Persistent Perception Disorder(HPPD) since I was 17 because of a bad acid trip, although it has been quite easy to ignore and I got used to it quite quickly. I’ve never been severely mentally ill throughout my 22 years of life, although I’ve had GAD and MDD since I was about 14, which was the reason I went on AD’s a couple years after that. I’ve always been incredibly creative, empathetic and funny, although quite hedonistic and self-indulgent because of my depression. 

 

Now the reason I’m here; about a months and a half ago I developed bladder problems and had migraines which, mind you, were never a problem before. My doctor insisted I try reinstating my Zoloft at 50mg/day and work up to 100mg to deal with the anxiety I was having as a result of my emerging health problems. I did, taking my doses at 10:00 for two mornings, until the night after my second dose. That evening I had what may have been a petit mal seizure, and a few hours later I developed severe muscle cramps and contractions, along with being in an incredibly excited state in which I couldn’t stop speaking, as well profuse sweating all over my body. I was able to fall asleep eventually, and woke up with what quite literally was the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life, which I know now to be akathisia. Coincidentally, I had an appointment with my PCP that morning which my mother was able to get me too. The visit was pretty unremarkable, and was given 50mg of Hydroxyzine to help with my sleep. That night , I took one tablet of Hydroxyzine and started having minor visual and auditory hallucinations. Obviously, didn’t take any more. Since then I have had a myriad of withdrawal/AR symptoms including:

 

-Akathisia (Has resolved for about three weeks now)

-DP/DR (I get bouts still but has not been as bad as the first couple weeks)

-Hair loss

-Dark circles under my eyes

-Sweaty feet and hands

-Joint pain and popping

-GI issues

-PSSD

-Fatigue spells

-Suicidal ideation

-Obsessive thoughts

-Social withdrawal

-Morning anxiety

-Sleep disturbances

-Vivid, disturbing dreams

-Worsened HPPD

-Lost muscle tone

 

Thankfully, things have started to ease up, and I hope they will continue to do so. I have not taken any supplements besides Vitamin D, which I believe I had a bad reaction to, although I can’t say. Any advice and support would be greatly appreciated, you all are the strongest, bravest people on Earth, and I know I can get though this. Much love to all.

All of these are CT’s with no problems:

2016 - 5mg Lexapro / 4 months

2017 - 25mg Pamelor / 3 months

Early 2020 - 25 to 100mg Zoloft / 6 months

Mid 2020 - Effexor XR 75 mg and Wellbutrin 150 mg / 2 months

July 2021 - Adverse Reaction to 2 doses of Zoloft

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  • getofflex changed the title to kevinbigfoot: Kevin Bigfoot’s Intro
  • Moderator

Hello Kevin, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm really glad you have decided to discontinue the Zoloft right away.  You obviously had a severe reaction to it.  It may be that your nervous system has been kindled.  Not to worry, it will heal and recover in time.  Kindling means that when a person goes on and off mind altering substances repeatedly, the subsequent withdrawals become more severe.  You were able to get away with going cold turkey in the past, but finally your system said "enough!" and reacted very badly when reinstating Zoloft.  Therefore I suggest you avoid all mind altering substances in the future, including recreation drugs, alcohol, medical marijuana, etc.  

 

Can you please give us specific information about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Happening in Your Brain

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. This is extremely important. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Acknowledge, Accept, Float

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

On 8/12/2021 at 9:44 PM, kevinbigfoot said:

Thankfully, things have started to ease up, and I hope they will continue to do so.

I'm very glad to hear this.  You are fortunate.  Some people with adverse reactions take months or years to recover.  Do not be surprised if your symptoms come back, as recovery tends to occur in windows and waves.  If this happens, please be patient and give it time.  If it were me, I would be extremely careful about taking any more psych meds that the doctor tells me to take.  Here is a video about the attitudes of most doctors to psych meds: 

 

Attitudes of Doctors

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • 2 months later...

Hello SA, it’s been over three months since my adverse reaction, and I unfortunately have bad news. While I have been having waves and windows as everyone describes, my windows have been getting less hopeful and my waves are getting worse. My waves consist of muscle weakness and pain, loss of positive emotions, strong apathy, flu-like symptoms, crying spells, horrid depression, bad panic attacks, anhedonia, brain fog, vision problems, DP/DR and a dead libido. My symptom pattern changes weekly and I am feeling quite hopeless, although it’s only been 3.5 months. This recent wave has lasted for about 2.5 weeks now, which is the longest yet, with no signs of letting up. As of last night, the part of my brain associated with my positive thinking feels like it’s been cut off and now anytime I tell myself I’ll be fine, my mind retorts with “No, you won’t.” My identity feels like it’s being taken from me and my personality feels like that of a scared little boy with no one in this world. I feel crushingly alone.

 

On the positive, I have been living with my family since this has started and my mother and father have been incredibly accommodating. In the first couple months, they didn’t know what to do and were getting very frustrated with me, but recently they have started to make an effort to understanding how I’m feeling and how they can help the best they can. I love them so, so much and hate that I can’t feel it. My mother especially has been my rock, and without her I don’t know where I would be. I am still in school, but that’s been very hard to keep up with as this rollercoaster continues. I guess what I’m looking for right now is reassurance, that I will get better and this worsening is only temporary. You all are the strongest people on the planet, and you deserve the world. Much love, Kevin.

 

 

All of these are CT’s with no problems:

2016 - 5mg Lexapro / 4 months

2017 - 25mg Pamelor / 3 months

Early 2020 - 25 to 100mg Zoloft / 6 months

Mid 2020 - Effexor XR 75 mg and Wellbutrin 150 mg / 2 months

July 2021 - Adverse Reaction to 2 doses of Zoloft

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  • Moderator

Hi @kevinbigfoot

Recovering from an adverse reaction can unfortunately take a while and it can be a scary and lonely process. I'm glad you have family around you and also that you have found this forum. Have you been able to read some of the links getofflex posted so you have a better understanding of what is going on?

 

We ask all members to create drug signature following these instructions: How to List Drug History in Signature so anyone reading your post can get a quick overview.

 

What I can offer you is reassurance that you will get better and this worsening is only temporary! I cannot say when it will get better, because it's so individual, but the brain does heal. Meanwhile, take care of yourself. Take one moment at a time. Don't listen to your mind. Thoughts are not truths. The heart beats. The mind thinks. It's just what it does. But it is no expert on the truth. Don't give it power. Much easier said than done of course!

 

Take comfort in being a part of this community and know you are not alone!

 

 

 

These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I have learned, not medical advice.

 

Drug history

2002-2019 Citalopram/Escitalopram, Lamictal
2019 April Escitalopram, quit at 10mg (withdrawal), Oct Escitalopram 10mg reinstated, quit after a few days (adverse reaction)

2019 Oct Lamictal cut from 200mg to 100mg
2019 Dec Lithium 83x2 mg

2020 Aug-Nov Lamictal tapered to 50 mg

2020 Nov 24 Lithium taper started, 30 Jan off Lithium

2021 15. March-31. May Lamictal tapered to 32.5 mg (holding)

2022 10. Jan started taking 25mg+5mg+2mg+0.5 liquid, 22. Jan went back to taking 25mg+5mg+half 5mg

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Thank you @Kiasofia for the response. I have had the chance to read through the info getofflex shared with me, it’s been very helpful and kept me positive in these dire times. Thank you so much for the reassurance. This is the hardest thing I’ve gone through and I hate the person I’m becoming, I’m so bitter and scared. I want to go back to making people laugh, being a good son, a good friend and good brother, but that time will come.

 

I’ve updated my signature as best I can remember. I may need to change the dates as my memory is quite foggy. My brother came home from school for the past couple days because of suspected appendicitis, but he’s okay now, turned out to be a muscle tear. Last night we had a really nice conversation and he called me “the strongest person he’s ever known”. That made me feel so incredibly powerful and gave me hope. 

All of these are CT’s with no problems:

2016 - 5mg Lexapro / 4 months

2017 - 25mg Pamelor / 3 months

Early 2020 - 25 to 100mg Zoloft / 6 months

Mid 2020 - Effexor XR 75 mg and Wellbutrin 150 mg / 2 months

July 2021 - Adverse Reaction to 2 doses of Zoloft

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Also, I know you all like daily symptom patterns, so here was yesterday’s and today’s so far:

10/27

2:00pm - Woke, horrible depression and hopelessness

2:15pm - Shower

4:00pm - Walk for a bit, strong DP/DR and apathy

4:30pm - Talk to Mom and cry a lot, feel a bit better

5:00 - Homework, distracted me a little bit

6:45pm - Eat dinner, grilled chicken sandwich with mac and cheese, feel very sad and apathetic, disconnected from family

8:00pm - Go for short drive, scream and cry a lot because of my situation

8:30pm - Get home, loss of purpose and hopelessness

9:00pm - Talk to Mom again

10:30pm - Play Wii games with my brother for quite awhile, feeling better again

1:00am - Nice conversation with brother

2:30am - Bed, feel a lot better, hopeful about my future and believe that I’m going to be okay

4:30am- Finally sleep

10/28

10:30am - Wake, feel okay, no emotions but feel connected to family

12:00pm - online class in bed, try and stay awake, doesn’t work

12:30 - 2:45pm - In and out of sleep, feel very tired, have weird dream and wake with bad anxiety, puts me in bad mood

3:00pm - Shower and then watch Jeopardy with Mom

3:30pm - Have leftover pancakes Mom made for brother for lunch

4:00pm - Talk to Mom a bit, cry

4:30pm - Watch Youtube videos

5:00pm - Check SA

All of these are CT’s with no problems:

2016 - 5mg Lexapro / 4 months

2017 - 25mg Pamelor / 3 months

Early 2020 - 25 to 100mg Zoloft / 6 months

Mid 2020 - Effexor XR 75 mg and Wellbutrin 150 mg / 2 months

July 2021 - Adverse Reaction to 2 doses of Zoloft

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  • Moderator

So do I understand correctly that you have not taken any psychiatric drugs since July? Not taking anything now?

 

You can read more about adverse reactions here if you haven't already?

Adverse reactions to an antidepressant within a few doses -- how long for recovery?

 

Good to hear your brother is ok and so supportive! Having support in this situation is so important.

These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I have learned, not medical advice.

 

Drug history

2002-2019 Citalopram/Escitalopram, Lamictal
2019 April Escitalopram, quit at 10mg (withdrawal), Oct Escitalopram 10mg reinstated, quit after a few days (adverse reaction)

2019 Oct Lamictal cut from 200mg to 100mg
2019 Dec Lithium 83x2 mg

2020 Aug-Nov Lamictal tapered to 50 mg

2020 Nov 24 Lithium taper started, 30 Jan off Lithium

2021 15. March-31. May Lamictal tapered to 32.5 mg (holding)

2022 10. Jan started taking 25mg+5mg+2mg+0.5 liquid, 22. Jan went back to taking 25mg+5mg+half 5mg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @kevinbigfoot

 

I am truly sorry to hear about your struggles. I am in a very similar situation, unfortunately. I also had an adverse reaction or whatever it can be called, while being in protracted withdrawal from paroxetine. 

I am almost two months after my reaction and I am feeling to be worse than at the beginning too, even though the beginning was horrible. I am constantly reading some Success Stories here on SA, and they give me hope that it can be better. I have also found a thread which I am reading in my darkest moments to remind me that healing from adverse reaction does happen, even though you see no progress at the beginning: https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/13607-adverse-reaction-to-prozac-still-recovering/. Hope you are feeling a bit better. I wish you all the best and hope we will recover soon. 

 

Best

First diagnosed with depression disorder (dysthymia)
On SSRI since 2009 (fluvoksamine, 6yrs, escitalopram 2 yrs, paroxetine last 2,5 years),
Decided to stop paroxetine (10mg) on the 28th of May 2021, cold turkey (doctor's advice...)
Acute WD phase for around 2 weeks (mostly physical), then protracted WD symptoms but mentally I was doing good
After two months advised by psychologist to take opipramol(2 x50mg) to help with anxiety and insomnia caused by WD, low doses, it helped pretty well

Paroxetine withdrawal caused super painful PGAD and I started to feel more and more tired, exhausted and irritable

Decided to stop taking opipramol  on 17.09 and on the next day started with St John's Wort (also advised by psychologist), after 3 days (each day 900 mg) the hell started stopped SWJ and went back to opipramol on the 23rd of September (2 X 50mg) but it did not help

currently on opipramol 75mg, weaning off

 

 


Since then severe anxiety, sleep issues, inner trembling, restlessness, SI, depersonalisation, crippling depression etc. 

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