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Tomberry: My story


Tomberry

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Hello everyone!

First of all I’m sorry if there will be some errors but english is not my first language. Hope I’ll be good enough explaining myself.

 

I’m a 32 years old guy and my troubles started many years ago, during my teens. When I was 15 i had my first panic attack and my life had really messed up since then.

The first psychiatrist i saw immediately prescribed me paroxetine, without telling me that I could start a psychotherapy first. So I started it and after about 15 years I’m still on AD and I feel very miserable. I’ll summarize as best as i can remember my drug’s history in my signature (it’s been long time and my long term memory is not at his best unfortunately…)

 

After so many AD and doctors switches, I’m currently on 100mg fluvoxamine. Psychiatrists made me do so many mistakes during the years that now i really don’t know what symptom is “mine” and what is caused by the medicines.

 

As I said, I initially started paroxetine for panic attack but now I have symptoms way much worst. Everytime i was about to get my AD off (way too fast I realize now) i started to get very sick. Brain and body zips, feeling of anguish (which is not anxiety but something more deep and scary. It’s a never ending meaningless feeling with the fear that life is not going to be good no more. To make it clearer: do you know harry potter’s dementors? It’s like a dementor’s kiss), no appetite, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, depression. The scariest part is that some of these feeling, even though are weaker when I’m on AD, are still present since the first time i felt it.

 

I’m really, really scared. I KNOW that I’m not depressed, like i feel that all the symptoms are not really mine, i can’t explain better. I really want to enjoy life and i feel lot of energy inside me. However, i feel at same time tired and scared. Feel like I’m in trap and i don’t know what to do. Worst sensation is this bubble-feeling: when my anxiety is high I feel like i was in a bubble. Everything is numb, confused. It’s like to be drunk, detached.

 

My fear is that I’m irreparably damaged and that i never can’t be fine. I recently called a centre whose doctors seem aware of AD withdrawal symptoms and after the assessment i will know what to do. In the meantime I’m really scared.

 

When I didn’t know that all my new symptoms were caused by the drugs tapering and i thought it was me (I see a psychotherapist regularly for 10 years. Trust me: my symptoms are not matching and explained with my story) i felt that i had power in some way. If it was some emotional problem - I though - i know that i could do something about it. Now that I’m aware that YEARS of bad AD’s management made me feel like this, I’m totally frightened and the anxiety and obsessive thoughts (“what if it will never end?”, “what if i’m hopeless?”, “what if i’ve been on drugs so many years and now it’s too late?”) make all this even worse. I think I’ve been traumatized since the first time I experienced withdrawal symptoms. Now, everytime I start to feel some symptom that is in some way closed to them, I start to get really scared and those obsessive thoughts fill my mind. I don’t want to experience that days once more.

 

I’m not even sure if a have a question for you. Maybe i just want other people, struggling with this who can understand me, to be close to me. I know this could sound stupid and childish, but is this going to end? Are 15 years on AD too much to have some hope to be ok?

 

Thank you a lot. I mean it.

  • 2005-2010 - Paroxetine (20mg - 30mg) + Alprazolam (variabile)
  • 2010 -  20mg Citalopram + 20mg Prazepam
  • 2011: Feb. 2011: 10mg Escitalopram + 10mg Amitriptyline + Alprazolam (up to 80gtt/day); July 2011:  15mg Escitalopram + 5mg Amitriptyline + Alprazolam (up to 80gtt/day)Sept. 2011: 20mg Escitalopram + 5mg Amitriptyline +  Levosulpiride 15gtt/day 
  • 2012: April: 75mg venlafaxine + 50mg Sertraline + Bromazepam (up to 80gtt/day); May: 150mg venlafaxine + 50mg Sertraline + Bromazepam (variable)Nov. 2012: 100mg venlafaxine - Zoloft (fast tapering or cold turkey, don’t remember) + Bromazepam (variable)
  • 2013Feb: Bromazepam (variable)May 2013: 150mg venlafaxine + 50mg Sertraline + Bromazepam (variable)
  • 2014: Fluvoxamine (100/200mg variabile) + some benzos I don’t remember
  • 2015: after fast tapering fluvoxamine —> 200mg Fluvoxamine + Risperidone (1 month, low dosage)
  • 2015 - 2018: Fluvoxamine (150mg/100mg variabile) + some benzos at needs.
  • 2018: fast tapering fluvoxamineFeb 2018: fluvoxamine off; Aug. 2018: Back to 100mg Fluvoxamine
  • 2018-2021: 100mg Fluvoxamine

 

 

 

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Tomberry: My story
  • Moderator

Hello, 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 very sorry that you are going through this.  

 

On 10/6/2021 at 6:19 AM, Tomberry said:

As I said, I initially started paroxetine for panic attack but now I have symptoms way much worst. Everytime i was about to get my AD off (way too fast I realize now) i started to get very sick. Brain and body zips, feeling of anguish (which is not anxiety but something more deep and scary. It’s a never ending meaningless feeling with the fear that life is not going to be good no more. To make it clearer: do you know harry potter’s dementors? It’s like a dementor’s kiss), no appetite, nausea, vertigo, insomnia, depression. The scariest part is that some of these feeling, even though are weaker when I’m on AD, are still present since the first time i felt it.

This makes me sad, and my heart goes out to you.  I'm confused on whether the symptoms above are how you are feeling while you are on the drug (before you started tapering), or how you felt after you started tapering the drug?  I need to determine if you were having an adverse reaction to the drug.  Thank you. 

 

I realize you are sad, and scared, and feel trapped.  These drugs do that to us.  I want to reassure you that there is hope.  You have every chance of getting off these drugs, getting better, and living a normal life.  However, it takes a great deal of patience, and time.  Before I can give you specific suggestions, I need more information from you.  

 

How many times per day do you take fluvoxamine, and are you on immediate or extended release?  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 vertical 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.   This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper so slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

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

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Tapering is best done extremely slowly, and we generally taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the taper becomes exponentially smaller.  Please don't make any changes to your drugs until advised.  

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Fluvoxamine

 

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

Considerations About Stability - Stop Jumping Around

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

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

 

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  You have come to the right place.  Doctors know little to nothing about how these drugs really work, and how to get people off them safely.  And yes, these are often soul stealing drugs.  That is why I'm getting off, I was tired of feeling like only 1/2 of a person.  You can and will recover.  We have many people who have been on worse drug regimens, and they have recovered:  

 

Success Stories

 

The key to getting off these drugs is time, and patience.  Hang in there, and we look forward to hearing from you soon. 

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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Hi! Thank you for answering me and for your kind words. I added my signature (I thought i’ve already did, sorry). If there’s something wrong, please tell me and i’ll uptade it.

All the symptoms I’ve described are appeared after i’ve tried tapering off paroxetine on 2010. Simce then, when I’m on drugs I’m pretty much fine (i survive, let’s say), but if I try to tapering them off, I got sick. Best drug worked on me is the last one, the fluvoxamine. I’m taking 100mg of fluvoxamine per day (I think they’re the extended release: tablet form, really hard to take 10% off at least i had a very precise scale).

In june I’ve tried to cut the tablet in 4 pieces and take off one part (0,25mg): two days later i’ve felt all the symptoms written above. I immediately went back to 100mg and after about two weeks i “recovered”. Sometimes, however, i feel some of that symptoms (way more weaker) even if i went back to the original dose. 

I’ll read carefully all the links you’ve posted: again, thank you so much!

  • 2005-2010 - Paroxetine (20mg - 30mg) + Alprazolam (variabile)
  • 2010 -  20mg Citalopram + 20mg Prazepam
  • 2011: Feb. 2011: 10mg Escitalopram + 10mg Amitriptyline + Alprazolam (up to 80gtt/day); July 2011:  15mg Escitalopram + 5mg Amitriptyline + Alprazolam (up to 80gtt/day)Sept. 2011: 20mg Escitalopram + 5mg Amitriptyline +  Levosulpiride 15gtt/day 
  • 2012: April: 75mg venlafaxine + 50mg Sertraline + Bromazepam (up to 80gtt/day); May: 150mg venlafaxine + 50mg Sertraline + Bromazepam (variable)Nov. 2012: 100mg venlafaxine - Zoloft (fast tapering or cold turkey, don’t remember) + Bromazepam (variable)
  • 2013Feb: Bromazepam (variable)May 2013: 150mg venlafaxine + 50mg Sertraline + Bromazepam (variable)
  • 2014: Fluvoxamine (100/200mg variabile) + some benzos I don’t remember
  • 2015: after fast tapering fluvoxamine —> 200mg Fluvoxamine + Risperidone (1 month, low dosage)
  • 2015 - 2018: Fluvoxamine (150mg/100mg variabile) + some benzos at needs.
  • 2018: fast tapering fluvoxamineFeb 2018: fluvoxamine off; Aug. 2018: Back to 100mg Fluvoxamine
  • 2018-2021: 100mg Fluvoxamine

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator

Thanks for adding your drug signature.  It looks great.  

 

19 hours ago, Tomberry said:

In june I’ve tried to cut the tablet in 4 pieces and take off one part (0,25mg): two days later i’ve felt all the symptoms written above. I

Can you please put this in your drug sig?  Thanks.  That way it's included in each of your posts, and other staff can see this and advise you correctly.  You felt the withdrawal symptoms because you decreased by 25%, which is a large decrease.  This shocked your nervous system. When you read the links above, you will understand why this happened.  Not only that, most extended release tablets cannot be broken in pieces and taken that way.  Check with your pharmacist to see if this is true for yours.  The link on tapering fluvoxamine will have instructions on how to properly measure and taper your dose.  

 

19 hours ago, Tomberry said:

I immediately went back to 100mg and after about two weeks i “recovered”. Sometimes, however, i feel some of that symptoms (way more weaker) even if i went back to the original dose. 

I'm glad that reinstating to your full dose helped you. What date did you do this reinstatement?  Please add that to the drug sig, too.  

 

I would suggest staying on this 100 mg fluvoxamine for a while, and allow your nervous system to fully stabilize.  Give it plenty of time, like at least several months.  Then, when you are ready, you can start a very slow and careful taper, as described in the links above.  We can guide you though how to do this.  In the meantime, take care of yourself, and be gentle with your nervous system.  

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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