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boblanc: Bracing myself


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Hi been battling with depression since my early 20's and now 45. Initially I would get what I consider now minor bouts of SAD which I regret starting meds for. If I could go back in time like so many here I'd totally never start.


Anyways throughout my 20's depression and anxiety were mild until my mid thirties. In 2011 I started to get panic attack at works and thing got worse until I could barely leave my house. I was ok though alll things considered as I could work from home and get food delivered to my nyc apt. Instead of trying to let it pass I decided to go on mirtazapine which after a couple days gave me total insomnia. My psychiatrist swore to me it was my illness and not the mirtazapine as its supposed to help sleep.


Until that moment in life I never experienced insomnia at all nor did I have suicidal ideation. However after 3 months of almost no sleep with heavy benzo/z-drug usage included I was ready to take my life and to this day I have PTSD over the whole episode. Thankfully I stopped seeing that doc and stopped taking my mirtazapine. In 10 days I could sleep very well but i was still on paxil and slowly tapered the benzos till I was off.


From that point I was told it wasn't worth it for me to come off SSRIs anymore so I didn't for years until 2017 when I just felt I could do without so i did. Everything seemed fine for many months but then I went to mexico and got a stomach bug. I should have just let it be but I took flagyl and ver the next couple months I was alright but i kept waking up earlier than usual etc (i believe the flagyl did it).


2018 I decided fine lets do the paxil again but this time it gives total insomnia. I stop it but its too late I can't sleep and I need to work. My PTSD from not sleeping in 2011 comes back and i'm taking a bit of kloopin to drift off at night. In a couple weeks i'm hooked. Doctor gives me trazadone which helps and i'm back on paxil with klonopin until the paxil hopefully helps. It does six months later once I reach a high dose and i taper of klonopin and trazodone.


Sorry for dragging this out but I'm not sure what else to put here. 2021 now on lexapro because paxil raises my liver enzymes. Feel fine and sleep fine. April go in for first covid shot moderna. A few weeks  later I can't sleep without trazadone and lexapro seems to be causing anxiety all of a sudden (this is the first time I had problems with sleep while on an SSRI). Please understand I am not anti-vax and in fact am very for it however I believe it is what triggered the episode I am in which has taken over nine month now. Anyways I switched to paxil until last month when it began making anxiety worse and now on 100mg luvox + 150-200mg trazodone.


Sleeping but lightly with lots of dreams and having bouts of anxiety during the day with lots of suicidal ideation as I feel SSRIS can't help me anymore. This makes feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life. 


Do I start taking benzos again knowing that if th SSRIs don't work I will never come off and eventually kill myself once tolerance set in which it always does (I know I would, I want to do it now and I'm not going through benzo withdrawal).


Or I dunno just stop taking luvox and trazodone and brace myself for hell now? Will I ever sleep again? I know my PTSD about not sleeping will kick in and everything will be so much worse. Will I come out on the other side or will I have anxiety and insomnia for life? (which would pretty much cause me to go back to scenario one above and inevitably lead to suicide. )


I know lots of catastrophizing here and other cognitive distortions but thats alI I feel right now. I didn't take my luvox today and don't know if I'll be able to skip my trazodone tonight. Words of encouragement would be appreciated. Feel like these are the last few weeks of my life.




1998: 4 months paxil for SAD
1999: 4 months paxil for SAD
2000: 3 months paxil for SAD
2001-2010: On and off PAXIL, Lexapro for depression flareups but very inconsistent use.
2011: Went on mirtazapine, 80 mg paxil, 2 mg klonopin.
2012: tapered off mitazapine and klonopin once paxil helped.
2013-2017: 10-20mg paxil or 10mg lexapro
mid 2017:off lexapro
2018: reinstated 20mg Paxil, .75 klonopin, 150 trazodone
2019: tapered off klonopin and trazodone, switched to 50mg luvox
2020: switched to 10 mg lexapro
2021: switched to 40 mg paxil, added 150mg trazodone



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  • ChessieCat changed the title to boblanc: Bracing myself

Welcome @boblanc

I am sorry you are going through this and are suffering, but relieved you have found us. It is very important to not suddenly stop these drugs and also important to not skip doses.


Did you notice a change in symptoms after switching from Paxil to Luvox?


Have you stopped taking luvox? Have you stopped taking Trazadone? Suddenly stopping any of this drugs can cause withdrawal symptoms. I suggest taking them at the doses you were and planning a taper from there.

Tips for tapering off Luvox (fluvoxamine)

Tips for tapering off trazodone (Desyrel)


As there are common misconceptions about how these drugs work I found this post helpful to understand why it's important not to suddenly quit:

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain 


Coming off these drugs can cause many different withdrawal symptoms, often leading to doctors thinking the original condition is returning or that another mental illness has emerged.

What is withdrawal syndrome?

Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's withdrawal symptom checklist


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

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization  


Aside from a high quality fish oil and magnesium, be careful with supplements. Your central nervous system (CNS) has become sensitized from psychiatric drug use and can react unpredictably. Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and other mind altering substances can make the condition worse.

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet


Here is our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover. 

Symptoms and self care topics 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia


To help us better advise you, can you please create a signature with all of the drugs that you are taking and have been taking in the last couple of years following these instructions:

How to List Drug History in Signature



This is your Introductory topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here. Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

Edited by Kiasofia

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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