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AldstadtGirl: Prozac withdrawal-severe muscle and joint pain especially at night


AldstadtGirl

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AldstadtGirl

Hi everyone,

 

I could really do with some support/advice. I started tapering prozac (20mg down to 2.4mg, 10% decreases every 6 weeks until June) in April 2020. Have been on and off it for 23 years; each attempt to come off in past was disastrous. I was pretty much fine until January and then started having serious neck pain. Right side of head, ear, occiput, between spine and shoulder blade, and radiating down right arm into ring and pinky finger. Over months has also affected right lower back and right hip. Have seen multiple chiropractors to no avail. I can see that my head is not sitting centere over my spine but is off to the right. Severe anxiety, depression and agitation really started kicking in in July. Went through a huge binge eating phase, and now total anorexia. No appetite at all and losing weight fast. CNS extremely sensitive to everything. Diarreoha every morning. What is terrifying and utterly destroying me is that for the last 8 nights I wake up at midnight after 2 or 3 hours of sleep with SEERING, BURNING, UNBEARBLE pain down right side of my body: ear, jaw, neck, shoulder, arm, fingers, lower back, waist, hip and into leg. I am in so much agony I cannot find any relief in any position. I am forced to get up and try to stretch what feels like the whole right side of my body collapsing or disintergrating. It goes on for hours until  I fall into a light, restless sleep at around 3 or 4 until maybe 6. I had a contrast MRI of head and neck yesterday but results not out yet. Has anyone had this type of experience? Does it stop? Without sleep I don't know how long I will last. Would so appreciate some insight. Doing this alone in a foreign country....feeling at wits' end. Doctor trying to persuade me to go into a clinic but deathly afraid of letting go of some element of normality, eg, job, though barely managing that.

Edited by arbor
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  • arbor changed the title to AldstadtGirl: Prozac withdrawal-severe muscle and joint pain especially at night
  • Moderator

Hello AldstadtGirl,

 

Welcome to SA. 

I'm so sorry you're going through all this pain, and disruption of your nervous system.  These symptoms are typical of psycho-drug withdrawal for many people.  It's important to know that terrible as these experiences are, you can expect with time to heal.  Time and a ton of patience are our allies.  

To get you started and to give you pertinent information, could you summarize your medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in a list format.  

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

When you have your signature completed, I can share your situation with the other moderators for their insights about how you may want to proceed.  I, personally, strongly suggest wariness when it comes to entering a clinic.  Here are some links you may find useful:

 

Body pain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Paresthesia: pins & needles, numbness, burning sensations ...

 

Perhaps you've already seen this link on Prozac:

Tips for tapering off Prozac

 

And as another option that may or may not be helpful for going forward:

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 3 that many of us find helpful are magnesium, omega-3, and melatonin. 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

Melatonin

 

You may want to browse the self care section as there is a lot of information and experience that can be useful:

symptoms and self care

 

 

This is your Introduction site where you can ask questions and connect with other members.

I'm glad you've found us. 

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, AldstadtGirl said:

Hi everyone,

 

I could really do with some support/advice. I started tapering prozac (20mg down to 2.4mg, 10% decreases every 6 weeks until June) in April 2020. Have been on and off it for 23 years; each attempt to come off in past was disastrous. I was pretty much fine until January and then started having serious neck pain. Right side of head, ear, occiput, between spine and shoulder blade, and radiating down right arm into ring and pinky finger. Over months has also affected right lower back and right hip. Have seen multiple chiropractors to no avail. I can see that my head is not sitting centere over my spine but is off to the right. Severe anxiety, depression and agitation really started kicking in in July. Went through a huge binge eating phase, and now total anorexia. No appetite at all and losing weight fast. CNS extremely sensitive to everything. Diarreoha every morning. What is terrifying and utterly destroying me is that for the last 8 nights I wake up at midnight after 2 or 3 hours of sleep with SEERING, BURNING, UNBEARBLE pain down right side of my body: ear, jaw, neck, shoulder, arm, fingers, lower back, waist, hip and into leg. I am in so much agony I cannot find any relief in any position. I am forced to get up and try to stretch what feels like the whole right side of my body collapsing or disintergrating. It goes on for hours until  I fall into a light, restless sleep at around 3 or 4 until maybe 6. I had a contrast MRI of head and neck yesterday but results not out yet. Has anyone had this type of experience? Does it stop? Without sleep I don't know how long I will last. Would so appreciate some insight. Doing this alone in a foreign country....feeling at wits' end. Doctor trying to persuade me to go into a clinic but deathly afraid of letting go of some element of normality, eg, job, though barely managing that.

Welcome to SA AldstadtGirl, 

what you are going through sounds horrendous, I am really sorry you are dealing with this. I am hoping that the MRI results will show that this is just WD and nothing more serious (not to say that WD is not serious!). I didn't have anything as serious as the severe pain you are describing but I have had pins and needles down only half of my body. It is quite freaky when it happens like that. It resolved and I am hoping that yours will resolve too. 

 

The insomnia is very difficult as well but take heart you will survive it, it will resolve and it will not actually kill you or harm you in a big way though it will be grueling for a while. Mine became easier to handle once I accepted that and soon after it got better. I think the anxiety of not sleeping and trying multiple things such as clonazepam and supplements just threw me into bigger chaos and that made sleep worse. 

 

It might be a good idea to stop tapering for a while and hold at your current dosage. Likely some of the symptoms will resolve and that will give you courage to continue perhaps at a slower rate. 

 

I hope you get some respite soon, 
OMW

Edited by Onmyway

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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AldstadtGirl
Posted (edited)

Thank you so much OMW and Arbor for your replies. Feels very reassuring to know I am entering a supportive community of people who understand this nightmare. I was able to actually get 8 hours of decent sleep last night for the first time in 8 days! I feel a lot better today and am very grateful for the respite though I know it may not last. I woke up at 12pm with the pain starting, took 1/3 of 1mg Lorazepam, and this was enough to tip me back into sleep and presumably halt the crazy pattern of muscle tension/spasm which I believe is getting triggered nightly by the WD. The MRI showed nothing...as expected. I'm terrified of getting dependent on benzos so hope I can sleep again tonight without having to medicate. Today is definitely a window: I feel pretty much like myself right now, able to think clearly, do my work and not anxious. These are the days that keep me going. I hope there will be more and more, as yesterday I was close to the edge. Thank you again for being there. 

Arbor, I tried to input my less than 12-line signature on my profile but it keeps telling me I do not meet the criteria. Below is what I tried to paste in. Did I do something wrong? It will not save. 

 

11/1998 : 20mg Prozac .

02/2003: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg April

03/2008: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

06/2008:  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

03/2009: cold turkey.  Reinstate 20mg in 09/2009 

09/2015: 20mg to 0mg over 2 months.  Reinstate 02/16

04/2020: taper from 20mg.

01/21 at 5mg    04/21 at 2.5mg   03/21: 40mg

07/2021: single 10mg dose. Return to 2.5mg

08/2021: Holding at 2.4mg. 

Edited by arbor
abreviation
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  • Moderator

Dear @AldstadtGirl,

 

I've tightened your signature so that readers can see the outline of yours course on Prozac.  Feel free to share all reasons for taking and changing the drug as well as your reactions here in your Intro.  If I've made a mistake, let me know and I'll re-edit for you.

 

I'm so happy you're having a good day today.  This is an excellent sign, as it points to the fact that you have the capacity to recover.  Over time, I predict that capacity will lead you out of this horrible condition we find ourselves in.

 

@Onmywayhas shared good advice.  You've been through a lot.  I look forward to hearing how things are going for you.

💜 Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator
6 hours ago, AldstadtGirl said:

11/1998 : 20mg Prozac .

02/2003: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg April

03/2008: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

06/2008:  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

03/2009: cold turkey.  Reinstate 20mg in 09/2009 

09/2015: 20mg to 0mg over 2 months.  Reinstate 02/16

04/2020: taper from 20mg.

01/21 at 5mg    04/21 at 2.5mg   03/21: 40mg

07/2021: single 10mg dose. Return to 2.5mg

08/2021: Holding at 2.4mg. 

 

Hello @AldstadtGirl,

 

And welcome on SA :)

 

To help us understand your situation, could you explain your drug history :

 

- From 01/21 to 04/21 : how did you drop from 5mg to 2.5mg ? Did you do a 50% reduction ?

 

- You went back to 40mg on 03/21 : did you stayed at 40mg until 07/21 and then dropped straight from 40mg to 2.5mg ?

 

Please detail all the changes you made recently : it well help us to make suggestions to help you to regain some stability.

 

On SA we advise to make a slow and gradual taper, no more than 10% drops, please read this thread :

 

why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

 

And this one might help you to understand why we suggest slow tapers :

 

how-psychiatric-drugs-remodel-your-brain/

 

 

I'm very happy to read you're feeling better today.

Please allow your body to have some rest from tapering : you've been through a lot this year and deserve a break ☀️

 

Sending healing vibes your way 

2006 : 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam

2008 : cold turkey of both

2010 : 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Current medication :

* 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* Prozac : 6.8 mg (15 Sept 2021)/ 6.88mg (14 Aug 2021)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 2021)

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AldstadtGirl

Hi Erell,

 

Thank you for your reply and suggested reading, and thank you for your kindness and encouragement. I feel truly lucky to be among you all.

 

So here is my history in more detail to help you understand where I'm at now.

 

Having had such terrible experiences coming off Prozac over the decades (when I had absolutely no idea the WD was a thing and the doctors just kept telling me I was ill, had a genetic predisposition etc), I eventually started doing some research. My disastrous 2 month taper from 20mg to 0mg in September 2015 was what made me realise there was something much more serious going on. That WD was first time I experienced terrifying surges of rage, crippling crying spells where I would end up on the floor with what felt like physical grief pouring out of me, and terrible cognitive impairment (at times I could not speak properly, track a conversation, or read a sentence). Also, the reinstating at 10mg (then 20mg) in Feb 2016 was almost as bad a WD: anxiety through the roof, depersonalization, every muscle in my body chronically tense like a race horse at the gate, dropped from 120lb to 105lb in 3 months.

 

Once I stabilised back on 20mg (around August/September 2016 until April 2020), I got divorced (emotionally abusive marriage, somehow got a graduate degree from Oxford, and moved from Portland, OR, to start a job in Switzerland. I do think being back on my dose helped me get through these events but barely and in a sort of sleepwalk.

 

Last year in April, with the experience of the dreadful WD in 2015/16 and a a lot of research under my belt, I decided to try tapering again down from 20mg decreasing by 10% every 6 weeks or so. I ended up doing more of a 2mg decrease at a time until I got to 10mg because I was feeling completely fine. With hindsight, I guess this was maybe still too fast, but I was looking at the hyperbolic dose response curve and thought the first 10mg would not make a huge difference to the sert receptor occupation.

 

I live an extremely healthy life: I work out most days, walk everywhere, hike, go to bed early, eat only whole foods. The first hiccup in the taper was an anxiety attack out of nowhere around Xmas 2020. Then, in early January, I started to get neck pain. I was at 5mg and did not link the pain to the taper at all. I injured my neck in a yoga class back in 2008 and have had pain on and off over the years that also affects my right shoulder and hip, but I never connected the two. I now believe that the severe muscle tension and CNS disturbance caused m=by the WD is manifesting through my old injury, which is basically scar tissue built up around hypermobile cervical spine that has lost is natural curve (military neck, commonly implicated in various psychiatric conditions). 

 

I continued to taper roughly 10% at a time, but I have to admit, I became a bit lax about the math. By April I was at 2.5mg and that's when the trouble really started. I started getting more anxious more frequently, more depressed, and the neck and shoulder pain got worse. It spread into my hip and then my gait went really weird, like the right side of my body was falling relative to the left. My right foot arch dropped, and even walking was painful because I felt totally twisted. I have seen 3 chiropractors, a myofascial release therapist, and had an MRI. No improvement. Pain was mainly during the days, but I would have a day every so often when it disappeared. Along with the pain, I have noticed serious cognitive decline since April. I started a new job in February, but by April was finding it harder and harder to do. I became anxious, lost all my self-esteem, wanted to stay in bed all day and lost pleasure in most things. I also started becoming very OCD about food as well as other things. I was originally prescribed prozac in part because I was bingeing as a coping mechanism as a teenager and when I went to university (high pressure environment after years of living with bipolar suicidal mother was a tough transition). I was never offered counselling. I was just handed the pills and sent on my way. Nobody ever questioned how long I was on them. 

 

So back to May, June, July this year, at 2.5mg and having insane urges to binge. Eating huge amounts of junk, feeling completely out of control, scared and desperate. Thought maybe it was my old 'disease' coming back. Towards the end of July, still at 2.5mg and terrified by sense that I am losing grip on my life and very unwell, I hit 2 weeks of deep depression accompanied by no desire to eat at all. Have sobbing episodes where I regret many choices and actions. I started seeing a psychotherapist but there are no psychiatrists with space to see me here in this town. Very up and down the whole of August, with admittedly the odd day of feeling completely normal. General pattern is severe anxiety and dread in the morning, fatigue despite 9-10 hours of sleep, feeling of doom and hopelessness, wanting to stay in bed but unable to relax. Exercise helps a bit, but intermittent pain issues are a nuisance. On many days at around 3 or 4pm, anxiety seems to pass and I am often calm and relaxed in the evenings...a real blessing. Just about getting through my work days but often faking it and concerned they will see through me.

 

Finally, on night of 16th, I started the 8 night long torturous stretch on insomnia accompanied by right body pain like I have never experienced in my life. I was sobbing, asking god to take me it was so bad. Dark, dark thoughts. I would fall asleep exhausted from the WD life at 9 and wake up around midnight. The pain lasted anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. I would then skate on the surface of agitated sleep until 6am. By yesterday, I felt I was going mad from exhaustion. Then slept last night with 0.3mg Lorazepam. Napped again this afternoon which felt like heaven. For first time in forever felt definite downshift in CNS. But I'm now scared to go to bed in case pain returns, and I don't want to add a benzo problem to my WD. 

 

I am beyond grateful for today, and yes, it does feel like a huge WINDOW...I pray it truly is a sign of healing potential. What often drives me over the edge is the lack of knowledge about how long this will all take, and whether or not my brain can actually heal. At times I feel hopeless because, as you know, WD is a living hell I would not wish on my worst enemy. I'm just trying to take one day at a time. 

 

After the last 2 weeks and now with your advice and support, I plan to stay here at 2.4mg for a long time. I'm too tired. I need a long stretch of stability to be established before I move forwards. I guess this will take longer than I thought but I'm just come too close to the edge. I so wish I were not doing this alone. I welcome and am grateful for any advice/support/ideas/shared experiences.

 

I take magnesium glycinate as needed (at least 2000mg per day), omega 3, lavender oil caps at night, B vitamin complex, agnus castus for hormonal balance, and slow release vitamin C.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/24/2021 at 12:47 PM, AldstadtGirl said:

Hi everyone,

 

I could really do with some support/advice. I started tapering prozac (20mg down to 2.4mg, 10% decreases every 6 weeks until June) in April 2020. Have been on and off it for 23 years; each attempt to come off in past was disastrous. I was pretty much fine until January and then started having serious neck pain. Right side of head, ear, occiput, between spine and shoulder blade, and radiating down right arm into ring and pinky finger. Over months has also affected right lower back and right hip. Have seen multiple chiropractors to no avail. I can see that my head is not sitting centere over my spine but is off to the right. Severe anxiety, depression and agitation really started kicking in in July. Went through a huge binge eating phase, and now total anorexia. No appetite at all and losing weight fast. CNS extremely sensitive to everything. Diarreoha every morning. What is terrifying and utterly destroying me is that for the last 8 nights I wake up at midnight after 2 or 3 hours of sleep with SEERING, BURNING, UNBEARBLE pain down right side of my body: ear, jaw, neck, shoulder, arm, fingers, lower back, waist, hip and into leg. I am in so much agony I cannot find any relief in any position. I am forced to get up and try to stretch what feels like the whole right side of my body collapsing or disintergrating. It goes on for hours until  I fall into a light, restless sleep at around 3 or 4 until maybe 6. I had a contrast MRI of head and neck yesterday but results not out yet. Has anyone had this type of experience? Does it stop? Without sleep I don't know how long I will last. Would so appreciate some insight. Doing this alone in a foreign country....feeling at wits' end. Doctor trying to persuade me to go into a clinic but deathly afraid of letting go of some element of normality, eg, job, though barely managing that.

Hi @AldstadtGirl. I am into withdrawal for the last 5-6 months and I have had the pain in my right side of the body. It seems the source of pain is in the neck and it affects right side of my face, head, ear , shoulder, and then the pinky and ring finger , sometimes elbow then I feel strange sensations in couple of my toes. The days when pain is there I feel it when I wake up in morning. Sometimes it gets better by the night. Sometimes disappears and sometimes it's there whole day. I went for MRI and it should a small syrinx in my spinal cord. It must have been there for some time but I never had this pain before withdrawal. And the doctor told me it is too small to cause symptoms and the position of it is in C6-C7 where the neurosurgeon believes can not affect the facial nerves. Therefore I think it has something to do with withdrawal. But I totally understand you. Pleaseet me know about the result of your MRI. 

Even though I am going through some physical withdrawal symptoms,for me the brain fog has been the most difficult symptom to deal with. 

I hope you will get better soon. 

2007-2010 Sertraline(200-400 mg) and Fluxetine 80mg for OCD

2010-2015 Changed many doctors and many medicine but it was mostly Sertraline 100mg-200mg and some tranquilizers for sleep

2015-2019 mostly Sertraline lower doses (50mg -100mg) but bunch of other medicine that I do not really remember.

August 2019 -Jan2020 Ecitalopram 10mg

Jan 2020-June 2020 Sertraline 50mg

June 2020-Oct 2020 (Cold Turkey) tried to suddenly stop Sertraline 50mg but had anxiety attacks

Oct 2020- March 2021(now) Sertraline 75mg

 

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AldstadtGirl

Hi Nemet,

 

Thank you SO much for your reply and apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I'm sorry you, too, are in pain, but it is slightly reassuring to hear that someone else is having the same symptoms from WD. The MRI was clean; no sign of an issue at all. My chiropractor adjusts my C6-C7 regularly and this seems to help, which makes sense given we both have nerve pain in the ring and pinky finger. Since I last wrote, my anxiety, confusion and brain fog have over-taken the physical pain as the main symptom. I still have pain intermittently (and I now realise caffeine can trigger it and certainly makes it much worse). I'm barely able to cope with the anxiety and am seriously concerned about losing my job. I can't focus and work as a writer/editor, so not good. I find it hard to track what people are saying to me when I am really anxious, and even a tiny task sends me into a tailspin. The weird thing is the mornings are terrible, but sometimes by mid-afternoon I feel completely different. This doesn't happen every day, but last night I was sitting by the lake here with a few friends and felt really quite normal, like my old self. Sadly, this never lasts, and I always feel kind of sad when I go to bed as I know I in the morning I will be a ball of nerves again. I'm considering inpatient treatment to have some support, as being alone in covid times is definitely making this harder. Can I ask...do you find that you are affected greatly by the covid vaccine vs conspiracy theory narrative? It is fueling my anxiety a great deal. 

Thank you again for reaching out. I hope your pain symptoms will start to abate soon. 

Sending love and healing your way.

 

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@AldstadtGirl

For me also confusion and brain fog has been debilitating. It is the worst that can happen for an early career scientist. Working is very difficult and my supervisor is very dissatisfied. It has been impossible for me to open up and tell the story and I feel my career as a scientist is over, right in the beginning.  Anyways, anxiety is there but I think it has been a bit less compared to the first few months in WD. I go for ocupuncture 3times a week and I have found it helpful in coping with anxiety. I am in another country and strangely after about 10 months living here I have not been able to make friends. My husband is here but he does not really understand what I am going through and we do not have much discussions about it. He prefers to keep himself away from my hassles. 

Regarding Covid, I had the disease in December 2020. Had to be in bed for one month. I am not really aware of conspiracy theories, did not take the vaccine as well. I have decided to keep myself away from the news. 

I started doing volunteer work one month ago to help vulnerable women but I can see that I am not mentally strong yet and their problems make me overwhelmed. So I think I am going to stop it. 

Surprisingly, in withdrawal I have spent quite some time with myself and this is a good point of it. specially in this situation that I do not have any close friends nearby.In real life I have literally no one to discuss what I am going through. It is giving me some kind of self-awarness and hopefully some acceptance. When I feel hopeless, I keep watching videos of WD success stories on YouTube. 

2007-2010 Sertraline(200-400 mg) and Fluxetine 80mg for OCD

2010-2015 Changed many doctors and many medicine but it was mostly Sertraline 100mg-200mg and some tranquilizers for sleep

2015-2019 mostly Sertraline lower doses (50mg -100mg) but bunch of other medicine that I do not really remember.

August 2019 -Jan2020 Ecitalopram 10mg

Jan 2020-June 2020 Sertraline 50mg

June 2020-Oct 2020 (Cold Turkey) tried to suddenly stop Sertraline 50mg but had anxiety attacks

Oct 2020- March 2021(now) Sertraline 75mg

 

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gentlehermione
On 9/9/2021 at 2:18 PM, AldstadtGirl said:

The weird thing is the mornings are terrible, but sometimes by mid-afternoon I feel completely different. This doesn't happen every day, but last night I was sitting by the lake here with a few friends and felt really quite normal, like my old self.

 

@AldstadtGirl

 

I experienced this on a daily basis during acute withdrawal and it still happens sometimes when I'm in a wave. But it has petered out over time 🙂 

 

Kind regards and healing vibes 🤗

Effexor XR 75mg 1997-2012 

Effexor XR 37.5mg 2012-2017 (tapered off over six months - finished taper July 2017)

SCA Aug 12th, 2017

Cymbalta 30mg Aug 2017 - Nov 2017 (CT Nov. 17th for medical reasons)

Metoprolol 50mg Aug 2017 - Feb 2019 tapered down to 25mg June 2019 then tapered down to zero. Off Metoprolol as of Jan 2020        

Amiodarone (anti-arrhythmic med) 200mg Nov 2017- May 2018

 

Supplements: Omega 3, vitamin D3, magnesium

What helps me: Manual lymphatic drainage massage, acupressure, meditation, homeopathy (my psychiatrist is also a certified homeopath), a healthy diet when possible organic, yoga, walking my dogs every day and gardening.

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AldstadtGirl

Dear gentlehermione,

 

Thank you so much for validating my experience. Today was another rollercoaster; after a terrible night and sever anxiety and dissociation this morning, by 4pm I was smiling, able to feel normal (not faking being normal) talking to people, and felt like myself again. As I write this I can hardly believe the enormity of the shift between how I am experiencing reality in this moment vs this morning....it's wild. I find it hard not to attach to this state, but experience tells me I will go to bed at peace and the whole nightmare will start again at about 3am with circular, obsessive anxious thinking. It helps a lot to know that these episodes will increase in frequency. I just wonder how many more mornings of hell I will face. I am still on 2.4mg and intend to stay at this dose until fully stable. I can't handle more than this. You're so lucky you have a homeopath/psychiatrist. I cannot get an appointment with a psychiatrist here in Luzern because they are all full due to covid stress. I have a therapist but the language gap is a problem as I don't speak German. Thank you again for your support. Healing and light to you.

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AldstadtGirl

Dear Nemet,

 

I completely understand you regarding the work situation. I'm so sorry to hear you, too, are finding it hard to work. It sounds like you have a true passion for your career (I don't; I just need the job to pay for my life as I am alone) and I want to applaud you for keeping going. It's a real shame you don't feel you can be open with your supervisor. I really trust my immediate colleagues and so have told them what I'm going through, but it's embarrassing and I wonder if they think I'm not pulling my weight in the team (because I don't think I am). I have actually also told my boss, but she was not very understanding and recently, when I asked for a day off as I was too anxious to function, she asked if I should quit, which sent me into a huge panic. Also, I'm only on a contract until February, and I'm worried they will not extend it if I do not preform better and push through. My therapist wants me to go into inpatient but I'm too scared to let go of my life. I am in a foreign country too, don't speak the language and although I have friends, I feel extremely alone (as you said, few people understand this) and everything rests on my shoulders. I get overwhelmed by the tiniest thing. I too keep myself going with youtube success stories...this forum is also amazingly helpful. Have you listened to the Lovely Grind? His success videos are very positive and inspiring.

I think it makes sense that you take it easy with the volunteering; I believe we need to conserve energy for our healing and although helping others can be helpful, sounds like the volunteering is likely too much. I know I find everything exhausting all the time. It's great that time alone is bringing you some acceptance. I feel I need much more human contact after 1.5 years of home office in a tiny studio alone. I so wish I was not going through this alone. I would just like someone to be next to, to get a hug once in a while or just wake up to another heart beat in my space.

In terms of covid, I'm worried that the vaccine will disrupt my already super-stressed system even more. I don't know what to do because here the law has changed so now I cannot even go to the gym because I don't have the vaccine. I'm not sure how I will proceed but it is a constant stress for sure. Sending you lots of love and healing.

 

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gentlehermione
59 minutes ago, AldstadtGirl said:

It helps a lot to know that these episodes will increase in frequency. I just wonder how many more mornings of hell I will face.

 

@AldstadtGirl

 

Your episodes won't necessarily increase in frequency. We all experience withdrawal differently. I had to CT off my AD for medical reasons whereas you have been tapering and I would hope that puts you in a better position than I initially was in 😉

 

Hang in there!

 

 

Effexor XR 75mg 1997-2012 

Effexor XR 37.5mg 2012-2017 (tapered off over six months - finished taper July 2017)

SCA Aug 12th, 2017

Cymbalta 30mg Aug 2017 - Nov 2017 (CT Nov. 17th for medical reasons)

Metoprolol 50mg Aug 2017 - Feb 2019 tapered down to 25mg June 2019 then tapered down to zero. Off Metoprolol as of Jan 2020        

Amiodarone (anti-arrhythmic med) 200mg Nov 2017- May 2018

 

Supplements: Omega 3, vitamin D3, magnesium

What helps me: Manual lymphatic drainage massage, acupressure, meditation, homeopathy (my psychiatrist is also a certified homeopath), a healthy diet when possible organic, yoga, walking my dogs every day and gardening.

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gentlehermione
1 hour ago, AldstadtGirl said:

In terms of covid, I'm worried that the vaccine will disrupt my already super-stressed system even more. 

 

This preoccupied me very much, too. I had a mild reaction (mostly just fatigue) to my first Moderna jab and a slight "Covid arm" after the second. But the vaccination did not exacerbate my withdrawal symptoms. 

Effexor XR 75mg 1997-2012 

Effexor XR 37.5mg 2012-2017 (tapered off over six months - finished taper July 2017)

SCA Aug 12th, 2017

Cymbalta 30mg Aug 2017 - Nov 2017 (CT Nov. 17th for medical reasons)

Metoprolol 50mg Aug 2017 - Feb 2019 tapered down to 25mg June 2019 then tapered down to zero. Off Metoprolol as of Jan 2020        

Amiodarone (anti-arrhythmic med) 200mg Nov 2017- May 2018

 

Supplements: Omega 3, vitamin D3, magnesium

What helps me: Manual lymphatic drainage massage, acupressure, meditation, homeopathy (my psychiatrist is also a certified homeopath), a healthy diet when possible organic, yoga, walking my dogs every day and gardening.

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@AldstadtGirl

Regarding the gym: I live in a village area where there are no gyms. I started doing yoga at home with YouTube videos and now I am kinda addicted to it! I can't pass a day without doing yoga and sometimes I even do it twice(mornig-evening). I also ride my bicycle sometimes. Now, I do not feel the need to go to the gym. I really recommend it. Some days I just crawl from bed to the yoga mat. It might help you with your morning stress also. 

 

2007-2010 Sertraline(200-400 mg) and Fluxetine 80mg for OCD

2010-2015 Changed many doctors and many medicine but it was mostly Sertraline 100mg-200mg and some tranquilizers for sleep

2015-2019 mostly Sertraline lower doses (50mg -100mg) but bunch of other medicine that I do not really remember.

August 2019 -Jan2020 Ecitalopram 10mg

Jan 2020-June 2020 Sertraline 50mg

June 2020-Oct 2020 (Cold Turkey) tried to suddenly stop Sertraline 50mg but had anxiety attacks

Oct 2020- March 2021(now) Sertraline 75mg

 

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AldstadtGirl
On 9/11/2021 at 10:03 PM, gentlehermione said:

This preoccupied me very much, too. I had a mild reaction (mostly just fatigue) to my first Moderna jab and a slight "Covid arm" after the second. But the vaccination did not exacerbate my withdrawal symptoms. 

Thank you for sharing. I'm still hesitant but will likely be forced to make a decision soon.

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AldstadtGirl

I'm still really, really struggling. I can't sleep passed 3am at best and the agitated depression is making life a living hell. The weather is very grey here which makes everything seem worse, and I just don't know how much longer I can keep going. Work is increasingly hard to do. I have the option of taking medical leave and going into a psych clinic. I'm in Switzerland and my insurance would cover it so i guess I'm in a very fortunate position. My therapist thinks my stress level is far too high and that going inpatient would lower it and perhaps allow me to stabilise. There is no push from her to go back on meds and the intent is to support me coming off altogether. Honestly, I'm not sure lowering down from 2.4mg at this point is a good idea as I feel terrible, but sometimes I just want to get this stuff out of my system so I can heal. I'm so confused and terrified. I'd welcome some advice, thoughts, ideas. Should I consider reinstating a bit to ease these symptoms? Is the clinic a bad idea? I'm so so lost and completely alone; everything rests on me, rent, bills, everything. Struggling beyond belief.

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gentlehermione

@AldstadtGirl

 

Being alone in a foreign country and trying to deal with withdrawal is definitely a tall order!

 

Perhaps taking medical leave could reduce your stress levels, give you some reassurance and help you through this difficult phase of withdrawal 😉 It sounds like your therapist is very supportive and I would assume she would be able to advise you accordingly as to which clinic to consider. There are quite a few to choose from in Central Switzerland. 

 

Hopefully one of the mods/another member will stop by to give you some advice regarding reinstatement.

 

Wishing you strength and perseverance 🥰

Effexor XR 75mg 1997-2012 

Effexor XR 37.5mg 2012-2017 (tapered off over six months - finished taper July 2017)

SCA Aug 12th, 2017

Cymbalta 30mg Aug 2017 - Nov 2017 (CT Nov. 17th for medical reasons)

Metoprolol 50mg Aug 2017 - Feb 2019 tapered down to 25mg June 2019 then tapered down to zero. Off Metoprolol as of Jan 2020        

Amiodarone (anti-arrhythmic med) 200mg Nov 2017- May 2018

 

Supplements: Omega 3, vitamin D3, magnesium

What helps me: Manual lymphatic drainage massage, acupressure, meditation, homeopathy (my psychiatrist is also a certified homeopath), a healthy diet when possible organic, yoga, walking my dogs every day and gardening.

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  • Moderator

Dear @AldstadtGirl--I'm sorry you're struggling.  You're dealing with so much, I can understand that lightening some of the stresses might be a good idea, especially if the clinic is not pressuring about adding more drugs.  How is your recent sleep?  Are you still taking Lorazepam?  Could you please update your signature?  It looks like my editing might have erased your signature.  When you've done that, I'll bring your situation to the attention of moderators more familiar with suggesting reinstatement, or holding and continuing at a slower pace.  It does seem that tapering even more slowly than 10% could be of benefit for you, possibly making cuts between 1% - 5%.  Right now, with your sleep disrupted and other symptoms, I would recommend holding and stabilizing before considering another cut.

If you haven't already seen them, here are links that might be helpful:

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature  Please list just the drugs, dates, and dosages in a vertical list.

The slowness of slow tapers 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

13 hours ago, AldstadtGirl said:

Honestly, I'm not sure lowering down from 2.4mg at this point is a good idea as I feel terrible, but sometimes I just want to get this stuff out of my system so I can heal. I'm so confused and terrified. I'd welcome some advice, thoughts, ideas. Should I consider reinstating a bit to ease these symptoms? Is the clinic a bad idea? I'm so so lost and completely alone; everything rests on me, rent, bills, everything. Struggling beyond belief.

This is so very hard.  I know that it's much harder when you're also alone and far from home.  Believe me, I remember the desire to be free of Prozac altogether.  I bailed too quickly.  I now believe it will be easier on your system to keep even more gently tapering.  The suffering these drugs cause is shocking.  I look forward to your eventual freedom, @AldstadtGirl.

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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AldstadtGirl

I don't think I can do this any longer. The suffering is too great. I have been away from work and my flat for 5 days with a friend/ex visiting out of sheer concern. I am in extreme distress virtually all the time. I have immense crying and hopelessness episodes where everything seems dark and I obsessively look back over the last 20 years of how coming on and off prozac has led me to make bad choices. I feel completely lost with no compass and don't know who to trust. The fact that I'm suffering so much makes me think I should go back on the meds. I feel my life is unravelling. Being alone, I could lose everything. I rent a tiny studio, barely hold down my job and live in one of the most expensive countries in the world. I fear what will happen to me if I continue to be unable to function. The depression, anxiety, grief, agitation are breaking me down. I have NO joy, NO hope and see no light. If I knew this would end in 3 months, 6 months etc I could maybe keep going but what if it doesn't end? I really really don't know what to do. Scared to go into hospital in a language I don't speak, scared they won't understand what's going on with my WD. Acute care hospital called me 2 days ago saying they have a bed. I asked if I could come to talk to them first, talk to psychiatrist; they said no, we don't have those levels of resources. You either come or not. They are calling again today about another facility but like I said, I'm terrified to trust doctors again. But I can't keep going like.

On 8/25/2021 at 10:27 AM, AldstadtGirl said:

11/1998 : 20mg Prozac .

02/2003: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg April

03/2008: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

06/2008:  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

03/2009: cold turkey.  Reinstate 20mg in 09/2009 

09/2015: 20mg to 0mg over 2 months.  Reinstate 02/16

04/2020: taper from 20mg.

01/21 at 5mg    04/21 at 2.5mg   03/21: 40mg

07/2021: single 10mg dose. Return to 2.5mg

08/2021: Holding at 2.4mg. 

 

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  • Moderator

Dear @AldstadtGirl--I'm so sorry you're suffering!  Forgive me for not responding sooner.  My Wifi connection was down all of yesterday and last night.  What have you decided?  I agree with you  that if you choose to go with psychiatrists, their only approach is drugs.  It becomes very hard to maintain your freewill within their "care."  Please get back to us.  I'll be watching, hoping to hear from you.

Hugs to you, ((((((AldstadtGirl)))))

Arbor💜

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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AldstadtGirl
12 hours ago, arbor said:

Dear @AldstadtGirl--I'm so sorry you're suffering!  Forgive me for not responding sooner.  My Wifi connection was down all of yesterday and last night.  What have you decided?  I agree with you  that if you choose to go with psychiatrists, their only approach is drugs.  It becomes very hard to maintain your freewill within their "care."  Please get back to us.  I'll be watching, hoping to hear from you.

Hugs to you, ((((((AldstadtGirl)))))

Arbor💜

Thank you so much for your kind words. I now do not have the option of hospital as they said the language barrier would be a problem, but I have finally found an English-speaking psychiatrist in my town. I will see him on Tuesday. I told him briefly on the phone what is going on with me...I have no idea what his angle will be but he did say, come see me. I do think it's important I touch base with a psychiatrist. At least here in Europe they are far less likely to push meds than in the UK or US. I pray this man can guide me through this suffering a bit. I need more support. The good news is that after a truly terrible Tuesday this week, Wednesday and Thursday were much, much better, which makes me think I must be progressing. Was Tuesday a huge healing crisis in my brain? I felt like my head was on fire and the emotional pain was hard to describe. But on Wednesday, the world looked different. My problems not gone, but much greater perspective and more clarity. Yesterday, I felt able to speak like my old self (WD makes it hard for me to formulate thougths and find the write words or syntax, something which is very difficult for me as use of language(s) is my main gift and professional skill). I will keep you posted. I do want to share one more thing that I think has been helping me immensely: I've been swimming in the lake every day for almost 2 weeks now, even on colder days, and it has a significant pattern interrupting effect on the anxiety and ocd thinking. You get a huge hit of endorphins and blood gets shunted to main organs, including the brain, which is why I think it is like medicine. I truly believe it is very powerful. When winter comes for real, I will shift to cold showers but encourage anyone who feels like their brain is on fire to try this. Sending light and love to you all for staying by me and trying to help. x

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  • Moderator

Good to hear from you @AldstadtGirlYou're doing a lot on your own behalf.  I appreciate your sharing your path.  Best of luck with the psychiatrist.  Here's a link to Alto's publication I highly recommend sharing with him.

What I have learnt from helping thousands of people taper off ...

This one might also be useful to read:

How to talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

Now I'm going to jump in the shower, and on your recommendation, a COLD one!  Thank you!

 

Thinking of you,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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AldstadtGirl

Terrible day...when will this end? Is this brain damage permanent? And I'm still on 2.4mg...!! I am unravelling and cannot keep going like this. I think hospital is going to be necessary. I just want my brain back!! 

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  • Moderator

I'm SO sorry that you're having to suffer like this.  I wish I had confidence that the hospital won't set you back, make you worse, etc.   Have you considered reinstating a micros amount?  Here is the link again for that:

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

Also could you take a moment and redo and update your signature?  That way I can send your questions to other moderators.

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

I think you may have more options than are apparent when we're in unbearable pain.  Is there anything in the self care section that you find helps you?

Keep remembering:  This will pass.  It has passed for others.  You will heal.  In the meantime, I hold your recovery in my heart.

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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@AldstadtGirl I read your thread and I am so sorry that you are going through this, especially to be in a foreign country at the same time. I wanted to say I can relate to the feeling of cognitive decline, and feeling like your brain is broken and inability to form words or write. I also used to feel very proud of my ability to write and put words together, and I feel now that I've lost a lot of it. For you it must be even more difficult, since you mention you are a writer. 

 

I wanted to say I think things will get better for you, but it may be a long journey. I will tell you if you go into inpatient care, it is extremely likely you will be forced to take further medication (even if you voluntarily go to a psych hospital for treatment, they can force you to take medication by saying your insurance won't reimburse unless you follow their directions). That said, if you feel it is the best option for you, you should do that. The one thing I have learned over the past year is psychiatrists really don't know anything, they will likely throw random medications at you without any regard for side effects or long-term consequences. 

 

For me, I found small reinstatements to be helpful, however I know this can cause kindling or worse reactions in some people. But if the option is reinstating on your own or going to inpatient care, I personally would do the former. But you will need to figure out for yourself what is best. 

 

In the meantime, remember it is possible to heal! I will be thinking of you. Best wishes ❤️ 

2005 - Zoloft, 200 mg for childhood anxiety (starting at age 11)

Summer 2015 - Switched to Prozac, 40 mg  

June 2019 - Tapered to 10 mg Prozac, no adverse effects. Held for 1 year. 

June 2020 - Discontinued Prozac. Horrible withdrawal. Did not realize it was withdrawal at first. 

Nov 2020 - Reinstated Prozac 2.5 mg. Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

May 2021 - Prozac 2.0 mg. Still experiencing symptoms - some symptoms have improved, but situational factors have worsened.

August 12 2021 - Prozac 2.25 mg. Partial reinstatement as symptoms had worsened

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  • 2 weeks later...
AldstadtGirl
On 9/26/2021 at 9:07 PM, Toast said:

@AldstadtGirl I read your thread and I am so sorry that you are going through this, especially to be in a foreign country at the same time. I wanted to say I can relate to the feeling of cognitive decline, and feeling like your brain is broken and inability to form words or write. I also used to feel very proud of my ability to write and put words together, and I feel now that I've lost a lot of it. For you it must be even more difficult, since you mention you are a writer. 

 

I wanted to say I think things will get better for you, but it may be a long journey. I will tell you if you go into inpatient care, it is extremely likely you will be forced to take further medication (even if you voluntarily go to a psych hospital for treatment, they can force you to take medication by saying your insurance won't reimburse unless you follow their directions). That said, if you feel it is the best option for you, you should do that. The one thing I have learned over the past year is psychiatrists really don't know anything, they will likely throw random medications at you without any regard for side effects or long-term consequences. 

 

For me, I found small reinstatements to be helpful, however I know this can cause kindling or worse reactions in some people. But if the option is reinstating on your own or going to inpatient care, I personally would do the former. But you will need to figure out for yourself what is best. 

 

In the meantime, remember it is possible to heal! I will be thinking of you. Best wishes ❤️ 

Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words, Toast. but things are bad and getting worse. I'm now doubting the whole concept of healing. What if I simply need this medication? I am in a severe, severe dark depression punctuated by serious anxiety and agitation. I have been signed off work as I wait to hear about clinic admission. I finally saw a pyschiatrist who in the space of 24 hours told me to go back up to 10mg and then 20mg a week later because I need medication for the depression, and then said no, get off the 2.4mg, this homeopathic dose is harming you as you are only receiving side effects here (crazy crazy contradiction!!), wait four days for wash out (whatever that means, this guy is nuts), and then start taking 900mg of St John's Wort. I am utterly speechless at the nonchalance of this man who thinks he can just play with my brain like this. Utterly terrified. In the clinic, I hope there will be better doctors. I can only hope. I will not be forced to take medication (that's not how things are done here in Switzerland), but I'm considering it anyway as I feel so so bad. I feel my life is over. I am dying. I have no joy whatsoever, not having many windows at all, and if I do they are simply calm, fairly numb. No major signs of healing. I am so confused. I have major decisions to make such as should i leave this place and go be with a man who loves me in the US. With no support here I am drowning fast and will end up facing major logistical and financial issues if I continue unable to function. But terrified to make big mistakes through this lens of severe depression, apathy, hopelessness, anxiety...basically living hell. Being on Prozac does not seem to bad right now. What if I never never heal? I wonder if I would be better if I were not alone as much, if that would help with healing...but not sure. There are people on this forum who, years on, are still suffering WD...or maybe just dependency. Is it worth it? really? How many months, years am I willing to give up for ''healing''? Is it just an illusion? There are mental health issues in all the women on my mother's side and many on my father's...is this just a case of bad genetics needing support?

At a complete loss. Cannot believe this is my life.

 

11/1998 : 20mg Prozac .

02/2003: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg April

03/2008: cold turkey.  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

06/2008:  Reinstated 20mg 09/08

03/2009: cold turkey.  Reinstate 20mg in 09/2009 

09/2015: 20mg to 0mg over 2 months. Utter mess 

Reinstate 10mg 02/16, then 20mg 5/16 regain my strength and life to some extent

04/2020: taper from 20mg.

01/21 at 5mg   

04/21 at 2.5mg  

07/2021: single 10mg dose. Return to 2.5mg. Start losing my life...serious downturn

08/2021: Holding at 2.4mg. Barely surviving. Lsing sanity and everything else

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  • Moderator

Thinking of you @AldstadtGirl--I've never known anything more difficult than withdrawal.  It may still be early unfortunately to expect improvements.  But I know they are coming, and that keeping things as calm as possible helps.  Most families have mental issues among its members.  I wouldn't conclude that what you're experiencing has to do with faulty genes so much as faulty drugs and a healthy system's reaction to them.  You will make it through this, but I can't say, based on my own experience, that it's going to be pretty.  Do what you can to help yourself.  These links contain info that's really been helpful for me:

Alto’s list:

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Neuro-emotions

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system

 

Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

Ways to cope with daily anxiety

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals 

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism


Also I believe the supplements recommended are useful:

Magnesium 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Melatonin 

 

Keep in touch,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

@AldstadtGirl

i know where you are. I have been there. Some of my physical symptoms were different, but I had the thoughts, the same feelings of dread and hopelessness. I ruminated on all the worst case scenarios about where my life would end up. I had GI issues, muscle spasms, Akathisia was probably the worst…  My symptoms got better as the day went on and by evening I felt almost normal. Almost. It got to the point that I didn’t want to go to sleep at night because I dreaded the adrenalin/anxiety bursts that woke me up during the night and that it would start all over again the next day. If you go to my profile there’s a link to an article I wrote about my experience… if you read it, know that it doesn’t capture the fear and anxiety I was feeling. 
I ended up reinstating. Not all the way back, but enough to bring the horror I felt to an end. And it did end. Then I tapered back down a little, then held for several years… because my experience scared the hell out of me. It took a while to completely be free of symptoms, and even after it seemed they were gone for good, it still took me a long time before I had the courage to start tapering again.  I went from 60mg to 20mg. I’m now at 15mg.  The symptoms of my withdrawal started after I had dropped below 10mg… or maybe I had completely been off at that point. Prozac’s longer half-life means withdrawal can come on much later than you think they would. Months even. The other SSRIs aren’t like that.
It’s so SO hard to believe that it does get better when you’re where you are now. There absolutely will come a time when you will feel okay again. It might take a bit to get there and it may not be linear, but it will happen.  

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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AldstadtGirl
3 hours ago, Addax said:

@AldstadtGirl

i know where you are. I have been there. Some of my physical symptoms were different, but I had the thoughts, the same feelings of dread and hopelessness. I ruminated on all the worst case scenarios about where my life would end up. I had GI issues, muscle spasms, Akathisia was probably the worst…  My symptoms got better as the day went on and by evening I felt almost normal. Almost. It got to the point that I didn’t want to go to sleep at night because I dreaded the adrenalin/anxiety bursts that woke me up during the night and that it would start all over again the next day. If you go to my profile there’s a link to an article I wrote about my experience… if you read it, know that it doesn’t capture the fear and anxiety I was feeling. 
I ended up reinstating. Not all the way back, but enough to bring the horror I felt to an end. And it did end. Then I tapered back down a little, then held for several years… because my experience scared the hell out of me. It took a while to completely be free of symptoms, and even after it seemed they were gone for good, it still took me a long time before I had the courage to start tapering again.  I went from 60mg to 20mg. I’m now at 15mg.  The symptoms of my withdrawal started after I had dropped below 10mg… or maybe I had completely been off at that point. Prozac’s longer half-life means withdrawal can come on much later than you think they would. Months even. The other SSRIs aren’t like that.
It’s so SO hard to believe that it does get better when you’re where you are now. There absolutely will come a time when you will feel okay again. It might take a bit to get there and it may not be linear, but it will happen.  

 

Dear Addax,

 

I really, really appreciate your response; I need it big time this morning after another night of endless heart-racing interruptions to sleep....OCD worry just destroying me. I've been waiting for someone to share reinstating information. I really think I will need to go up a bit in dose when I am being supervised in the clinic (too scared to do alone as I have frightening fits of hopelessness, crying and whole body muscle contraction). I just need the endless thinking to stop. I can't sleep and can't really be present at all with people because I'm stuck in the loops. I think my main WD symptoms began at 10mg, though I think it might have been anywhere up to 15mg due to the long half life issue you mention. I just can't keep letting my life unravel like this. I appreciate community members who say just hold on, but I am literally losing my ability to survive, and that's not going to help me long term, free of meds or otherwise. I've been signed off work while I wait to get into a clinic, and I can't believe how bad I feel waking up in the morning with no reason to get out of bed. Work had become unmanageable with the severe morning anxiety, but not working, not being involved with my team (albeit a remote one) is definitely not a holiday. It feels like a catch 22. 

It's so weird how similar our experiences are with the a.m. to p.m shift...and the fear (and almost grief) I feel every night when I go to bed in anticipation of the morning nightmare. I really thought I would stabilise here at 2.4mg but I guess it was all too fast after 23 years. I wonder at what dose the worrying will stop. In the past (and my god I hope it still works likes this), as soon as I wen tback on 20mg (literally within a week) the circular thoughts would just vanish. Pretty amazing. By the way, I was also initially prescribed Prozac to curb emotional binge eating. 20mg worked for this to a certain extent, but not completely. From my limited recollection, 40mg was the magiv dose here...food was just food and I frankly didn't care about it much. However, I do believe all my issues are trauma based and require deep healing, not (only) a pill. So many years have passed since I was first prescribed Prozac and I feel I've made so many wrong turns that I'm not sure I can unravel everything from here. I really don't know what I want, but most importantly need. Have you experienced this at all? In WD I change my mind about possible life options at least 3 times a day. I have HUGE decisions to make and I am utterly crippled by my anxiety and resulting indecision, second guessing. Did you find this abated when you reinstated a bit to decrease the anxiety? I'm hoping that will happen for me, that lowering OCD thinking and worry will allow me to see more clearly what I need/want outside of the emergency state of flight or flight. 

Thank you again for your kind supportive words. Truly helpful. xx

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AldstadtGirl
On 10/6/2021 at 2:08 AM, arbor said:

Thinking of you @AldstadtGirl--I've never known anything more difficult than withdrawal.  It may still be early unfortunately to expect improvements.  But I know they are coming, and that keeping things as calm as possible helps.  Most families have mental issues among its members.  I wouldn't conclude that what you're experiencing has to do with faulty genes so much as faulty drugs and a healthy system's reaction to them.  You will make it through this, but I can't say, based on my own experience, that it's going to be pretty.  Do what you can to help yourself.  These links contain info that's really been helpful for me:

Alto’s list:

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Neuro-emotions

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system

 

Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

Ways to cope with daily anxiety

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals 

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism


Also I believe the supplements recommended are useful:

Magnesium 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Melatonin 

 

Keep in touch,

Arbor

Dear Arbor,

 

Thank you so much for your reply...I hear you but my god, I don't think my current situation allows me to keep going with WD in this way. See my response to Addax. I think I need to make some sort of change as I've been at this dose for at while and not stabilising. My life is slowly unravelling and there is nobody to save me, so I must do some damage control. I take the supplements you suggested and cold water swimming is still helping...but overall this is too hard. I just can't do this in this way. I'm losing my way and am utterly terrified.

 

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AldstadtGirl
4 hours ago, Addax said:

@AldstadtGirl

i know where you are. I have been there. Some of my physical symptoms were different, but I had the thoughts, the same feelings of dread and hopelessness. I ruminated on all the worst case scenarios about where my life would end up. I had GI issues, muscle spasms, Akathisia was probably the worst…  My symptoms got better as the day went on and by evening I felt almost normal. Almost. It got to the point that I didn’t want to go to sleep at night because I dreaded the adrenalin/anxiety bursts that woke me up during the night and that it would start all over again the next day. If you go to my profile there’s a link to an article I wrote about my experience… if you read it, know that it doesn’t capture the fear and anxiety I was feeling. 
I ended up reinstating. Not all the way back, but enough to bring the horror I felt to an end. And it did end. Then I tapered back down a little, then held for several years… because my experience scared the hell out of me. It took a while to completely be free of symptoms, and even after it seemed they were gone for good, it still took me a long time before I had the courage to start tapering again.  I went from 60mg to 20mg. I’m now at 15mg.  The symptoms of my withdrawal started after I had dropped below 10mg… or maybe I had completely been off at that point. Prozac’s longer half-life means withdrawal can come on much later than you think they would. Months even. The other SSRIs aren’t like that.
It’s so SO hard to believe that it does get better when you’re where you are now. There absolutely will come a time when you will feel okay again. It might take a bit to get there and it may not be linear, but it will happen.  

Oh wow...I just read your story in the link you sent...unbelievable...carbon copy of my experience and thoughts. I'm devastated that this has happened to us and so many others. 

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  • Moderator

Dear, dear @AldstadtGirl--How are you doing?  Forgive me for not responding sooner.  I'm now catching up, and I just hate that you're having to go through these terrible, terrible, truly excruciating neuro-emotions.  There are so many times I feel I can't bear it a moment longer.  I'm glad you're reaching out.  Yesterday I had a glimmer that I may be getting better.  A glimmer is not much to offer you.  I keep reading the success stories.  They occasionally mention taking things one second at a time, and frankly, that's all I can do sometimes.  I admire your swims.  From what I've read, I believe they can definitely help you shorten this w/d time.

My heart is with you.  Keep us informed💗

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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