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Gladstone: Lexapro made me sickly sweet


Gladstone

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Hi everyone.

I started on this SSRI road in fall, 1998. I had a perfect storm of a year that left me depressed but mostly anxious as heck. I believe the resistance I had to EVER taking a psych med may have stood me in good stead if I had had the luxury of time: CBT therapy, supplements, REST. But I was desperate to be "normal" for my 11 year old child.

 

I had been seeing a counselor for years. Basically I talked and talked about my rotten childhood, my nasty inlaws and the job I hated. That was therapy. Sometimes my therapist brought in people she liked to test my spit, read my irises, or wave crystals over me to find out what part of my body held my issues.

 

I had never been to therapy before and this lady had been doing this for decades. I had no idea (wasn't a computer owner/user back then) that therapy could be as Dr David Burns described, a process of me challenging my thoughts and getting unstuck. Instead I spent years talking and crying, until my perfect storm of a year finally sent me into a wall. My therapist convinced me to try an AD.

 

Funny but I remember that day so perfectly. A friend offered to go with me, the Dr was so gruff I was terrified, and after filling out my depression test he gave me sample packs of zoloft & told me to come back in six weeks.

 

That night I took half of one 25mg sample as he told me and felt the nausea of a week's worth of morning sickness. My inner voice said,"Heck no. I'm tossing this crap!" but I didn't. Soon I was up to 50 mgs and then 100mgs. I got the new scripts from my gyno so I wouldn't feel like I was really taking head meds.

 

Soon it's 2006. My kid is off to college, I'm 60 pounds heavier. I live like a 1950's sitcom. I used to write, I used to work, I used to aspire. But on AD's I cleaned, cooked, watched TV and was the nicest lady you ever met. Ask for a favor? I was your gal. Besides I was home all day. Reading, watching TV, ironing my husband's shirts. My only perturbance came if I had a physical "symptom" such as a rash or a hemmorhoid. (Seriously) Then I was on the net, crying, wondering if my sore shoulder meant something so dire I was about to cash in my chips. I wanted to live, even if life was in a little house in the suburbs with my only friends my pets and my cyber buddies. (My husband and I have a good marriage but he works long hours, but less than the 70 he worked per week when I had my 1998 "breakdown." Funny the psych doc never asked me if I was lonely as heck...)

 

I decide that 2006 is a great time to wean off of zoloft and be me again. We're empty nesters, I have no job, easy right? So I titrate down over the course of a few weeks. I just want this crap OUT of me. First brain zaps. Then that raw feeling. Followed by hypersexuality. Followed by obesessive thinking. Finally I'm weeping at everything. Then, like an explosion, I have suicide ideation for the first damn time in my life.

 

Terrified I search for a psych doc who will take my insurance. No luck, but I find a nurse practitioner, who has me alternate zoloft (which I quickly ran back to-- 100mgs) with lexapro until I was up to 20 mgs. Whew. No more of that. From then on I got my lexapro from my gynecologist so I wouldn't feel like I was taking head meds.

 

This past year I slowly realized that I was no longer me. In fact, I had become even more of the nicest lady you ever met. I found relatives online I hadn't seen, literally, since they were kids and flew them to visit. Both wanted to move to my area so I said,"Sure!" Moved them into our extra bedroom. One slept til noon and borrowed money constantly. The other thought maybe he'd like to get his GED and start community college. Sure! How much do you need? (By the way? We are totally middle class. Not rich, any extra buck we have goes into our retirement fund, not Birkin bags or trips to Europe. Middle class). But I was acting like Lady Bountiful, even as a little voice said,"I don't want two 30 somethings underfoot. I don't want to give money to able bodied young folks. I'm being suckered here..."

 

I was also without a job, still,or goals or a purpose. My husband or my facebook friends suggested volunteering. But I had no energy for that. I had energy for housework and TV. Maybe net surfing. I smiled at everyone in the grocery store. I was the nicest lady ever. I gave up nice clothes & make-up long ago. Told myself my pony tail and gray roots and KMart uniform of shorts & t shirts was because I was an Earth Mother type. Realized actually it just didn't matter. Wasn't I the nicest lady, ever?

 

So I bit the bullet and search for a Dr who will guide me off of meds. My plan was to walk in, sort of nice but firm, and tell him that I'm sure that 14 years of medication has stripped me of "me" and that my life issues had resolved from the time I was put on zoloft. I wanted a weaning schedule, the name of a god CBT therapisat, and that was it.

 

Not so fast. My plan went away as soon as the Dr began asking me about my childhood. I had gone over that ad nauseum in therapy and had no desire to go that route. Instead I wanted to talk about the fact that I had as much amotivational syndrome as a 16 year old pot head, that I clenched my teeth, battled headaches, had memory problems, and was tired of not wanting sex, or being able to sip a freaking half glass of wine. I am in the prime of my life but waste every day dusting knick knacks and making casseroles. I'm the Nicest Lady Ever. I want to be ME again, who was a creative spitfire who dreamed dreams and had no desire to spend an entire afternoon scrubbing tiles.

 

But what happens when anyone asks you to recount your childhood pain? You tear up. You're human. Then he asked about my weeks off of zoloft. Bam. "You have a chemical imbalance and will need medication for the rest of your life." The insulin comparison. But he did allow that should go down to 15 mgs to see if that would alleviate the bruxism and apathy. "We can do that," he said,"Or add another med. But ;lets try dosage reduction first. It's safer."

 

BTW, my insurance would have no part of his,"10 mg lexapro, take one & a half per day." More than one pill is not ok, you see, no matter the explanation. So I got a pill splitter to chop my 20's into 10's and then one of the halves in 5's.

So far? Nothing but tiredness. No zaps, no dizziness, no anxiety.

 

Now what I have to do is find a psych doc who will do what I want, which is monitor and schedule my taper. No "insulin" story, no encouraging me not to even think of aspiring to a life beyong watching The View on the treadmill and making supper. Someone who may understand that I always thought wrong, the traps of distorted thinking, and it was THAT, the aiming low, the not standing up for myself, the low self estemm that brought me to anxiety.

 

I want encouragement, I want a Dr who recognizes what the last few years of scientific research has taught us about AD's. Crap, I want a life. I want to care. I hope like anything there is a Dr in this town (or in the closest big city) who will honor my desires.

 

If not I'm going to lose the little bit of light I have. You know what the Nicest Ladies get? A whole lot of footprints on their backs. As Maya Angelou said,"(You) alert bullies that there's a victim in the vicinity."

 

My first post is a rant, but I feel as if women have been, in many ways, swept back into the 1950's. "Take this honey, so your husband can go to work and not worry about you at home."

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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  • Administrator

Thanks for joining us, Gladstone.

 

These are well-known adverse effects of antidepressants:

Instead I wanted to talk about the fact that I had as much amotivational syndrome as a 16 year old pot head, that I clenched my teeth, battled headaches, had memory problems, and was tired of not wanting sex, or being able to sip a freaking half glass of wine.

We have topics in the Journals section about this.

 

If you find a doctor who will help you taper gradually off Lexapro, please let us know, to add to our list http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

Unfortunately, these doctors are few and far between. Most know nothing about tapering and will get you into trouble again.

 

Here's some info about Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram) Any doctor can write the prescription for the liquid, or you can DIY with tablets.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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You are a VERY GIFTED WRITER. Hold tight to that creative expression to help you through this.

 

So much of your experience resonates with me although I never became the perfect 50s homemaker or wife. I lost everything, found nada.

 

You'll be back. ;)

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Thanks for the kind words, guys. I know that literally millions of American women are on SSRI's but still it's easy to feel like the only one. This site is awesome.

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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Thanks for the kind words, guys. I know that literally millions of American women are on SSRI's but still it's easy to feel like the only one. This site is awesome.

 

Only a handful realize that what we've being putting in our bodies for a decade or more has actually been making us sicker or, worse, robbing us of our very reason for being. Therein lies the rub.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Gladstone - i hope you don't mind me saying that I enjoyed reading your story!!

Finding an experienced CBT therapist and spending a lot of time here reading will put you on the path to success - I am sure of it

 

I wish you a successful taper

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Gladstone. You'll find lots of support and good information here.

 

My sympathies regarding Lexapro. I was started out on Pristiq, Remeron, and Ativan during a hospitalization for depression (which, by the way, was caused by Lipitor making my cholesterol level way too low) and then switched to Lexapro by my PCP. I was on it ten months and I know that SSRI-induced numbness all too well. I remember watching myself - as if from a distance - at work and wondering why I was doing or saying certain rather stupid things, but unable to stop it. I'm grateful that I never did anything really wild, like blowing a big bundle of money.

 

I'm an aspiring writer myself, and I agree that you write very well.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome to the forum, Gladstone. I agree, your writing is brilliant!

 

I have been very fortunate that the physician's assistant I see for my pmeds was willing to work with me to help me taper off of my meds. She has even stood up to the pdoc at the practice to tell him that I'm very sensitive to changes in the meds when he wrote a note on my chart that we shouldn't be messing around with 6.25 mg changes in Effexor dosages. He is really going to flip out when he finds that I've been decrementing by 2 mg liquid dosages LOL.

 

You may have to find a doc who is at least open to a journey of tapering off of these meds. I have found that following the guidance on this forum has enabled me to work with my provider to find a safe path off of my AD. I'm not happy about having to do it by 2 mg doses right now, but it beats the heck out of withdrawals and at least I am continuing to make progress.

 

You need to be your own advocate and based on your writing above, you certainly have the spunk and the drive to do it.

 

Let me know how I can help.

 

Love and light,

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Oh to find a practitioner who won't give me the "chemical imbalance" speech. The field of psychiatry is a minefield for patients. I mean, you want to do the right thing, so you go to an expert on the brain for a brain med. But, unlike other physicians who just want to treat you and go to the next patient, psych docs can be with you for an hour, taking notes and observing. If you tell your orthopedist, "I don't need any more painkillers, they seem to slow down my physical therapy" he or she will probably agree, owing to the addictive nature of those drugs. The doc may add,"Well if the pain gets unbearable, call me" and that's that.

 

The doctor is not going to say,"Well, Clyde, since that car accident, you're different. You tooled around for 45 years relying on aspirin for pain, but it's different now. You see, that accident altered your brain receptors. Your molecular structure. Your DNA. Hell, Clyde, if you try to go off of painkillers you'll end up a twisted knot of spasms in a hospital somewhere. No, Clyde. Wanting to be med free is admirable, but you're broken now. Try to accept reality."

 

But psychiatrists CAN say similar things. And I find it slightly intimidating. In fact I wouldn't see a shrink period if it weren't for the fact that I want to wean off lexapro responsibly.

I sit there wondering if he sees my (normal) jokey self as "in denial" or if my fiddling with my watch (normal) is a defense mechanism. I even (swear to heaven) wiped the grass clippings off of my Keds, put on make-up and wore a nice blouse, because I knew that psych docs took an inventory of our appearance and I didn't want him to scribble,"Overweight, no mascara, yard waste on feet. Ask this woman's med dose and DOUBLE it!"

 

Well I better get ready for my appointment. Not shrink, HAIR. Since stepping down from 20mg to 15mg, I've felt squicked out about my graying ponytail and I'm off to get some dye and a nice cut. Lexapro has put a basket over me but I'm determined to punch my way out!

 

Gladstone

 

PS I hope my posts don't come across as trying to be witty and self-serving. I haven't written more than a grocery list or a facebook posting in many, many months. While I write my posts here I often sit and try to come up with a word. Not because I'm trying to be creative but I simply can't remember words like "determined" or "admirable." When I was a teenager I was afraid of those dark poet thoughts, afraid of the emotion, the darkness a poet could plumb. But now? Oh to weep at a dying tree or ask the questions about our humanity instead of walking through life like a Stepford Wife's not so bright friend. We're all different, and that's ok. God made some of us to feel deeply, to notice what another person might not. I think that's how we were supposed to help one another, help the world. And I think that is the point.

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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Hi Gladstone....

 

I took Lexapro for about 2 years and I stayed home, alone. Alot of isolation and yes weight gain.

 

I don't know how much of the Lexapro kept me like a drone, staying home & watching TV. I did work, and never really missed a day. I did dress well, make-up, hair done, clothes galore.

 

So there are similarities and differences.

 

I think alot of the isolation may have been a default that I have regardless of medications.

It may have had to do with being divorced and not really knowing how to pursue a single life.

 

On Paxil - I was out the door, busy and engaging in life. On Imipramine I kept busy too and it was not a weight gainer. On Celexa (currently) I crave sugar like never before. I am building a business and see my friends.

 

However at night I watch TV which has nothing on, except junk. I should be reading, going to a yoga class.

 

By Friday I am very tired. I have interrupted sleep and it is not from Celexa. My daughter woke me up three times last night. The dogs bark when she comes home, and some nights my back hurts alot.

 

Good luck with your taper. I know people who got off Lexapro and lost a good 30 lbs.

Take it slow. You are in a very nice place to help you go thru the process ;)

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Oh, Gladstone! Keep writing! You are so ON TARGET it hurts. In that "this really needs to be said" kinda way.

 

Regarding primping for an appointment... I have had chronic pain from an accident for many years. I try to look presentable. But if i look "too presentable" (ie. any makeup) and then also say that my pain level has been significant, the response is "claims pain level of 7/10 but presents well groomed, makeup, drove self to appointment". Translation: must be seeking drugs.

 

I know this to be true and not just for myself. My husband does Utilization Review for Work Comp insurers and THEY LOOK FOR THESE 'INCONSISTENCIES'. Anything to disprove the patient's claim. Any evidence that there is a "psych component" to pain that will help deny care by blaming patient's psych profile as confirmed by psychometric testing and presenting "well groomed" at appointments.

 

It's a fine line we're walking. Dress appropriately for the specific doctor and, for heaven's sake, don't get your appointments mixed up! No grass clippings for the pdoc because that might indicate that you are "depressed" and require "antidepressants". However, to the pain doc, grass clippings could indicate that the pain was too bad to bend down to remove grass clippings. Just be sure it's not "golf course grass" because that would really confound the clinical picture.

 

Sadly, I'm not kidding.

 

On a related note, a young, healthy woman with no psych history recently told me she was trying to get a spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain from an auto accident. She is trying to avoid surgery and meds. Before approving the SCS, she had to have a psych eval. She joked "I guess they had to make sure I wasnt crazy first". To have to "pass" a psych eval before receiving medical treatment is WRONG! This is not just for pain treatment. Many surgeries, including transplants, require psych evals.

 

So sorry to rant on your thread.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Can I ask those of you much more veteran that I (because I'm sure it's been discussed): I know Dr's are sold by pharmacy reps on the newest, shiniest drug, but if every "improved" AD from zoloft on has been found to have the discontinuation from hell, unlike Prozac, why don't Drs who truly care about their patients just prescribe Prozac? I know thousands of doctors have heard from patients about the issues related to discontinuing these drugs. Don't they listen? Or is our withdrawal (and I'm talking patients probably in the millions) just a weak cry against the powerful drug companies and their reps?

 

The last time I was in my gyno's office I saw a drug rep being hustled back to the Dr's private office. I realized that in 20 years of seeing this doctor, I had nearly ALWAYS seen a drug rep walking past. (Usually young, well-dressed, bulging sample case, eager to peddle their wares). And I realized that that young fellow may have in his hands the samples that may launch a hundred of the doctor's patients (or more) into grueling side effects, protacted withdrawal, years of extra pounds or flattened affect or lack of a sex drive.

 

And I swear I wanted to trip young Opie when he walked past. Send him sprawling, his sample case scudding out into the hall.

 

Seriously. I never thought much of the "Big Pharma" criticism because I truly believed that doctors STUDIED these meds, stood as first line between us and Madison Avenue. Honored their Hippocratic Oath. But now? Now I believe that we are not patients needing attention, but consumers whose insurance will cover the cost of a new drug ever so much more expensive than the last. The FDA has also been complicit because as many of you have pointed out, the drug trials are short-lived for meds we're told we need "for life" because of our "chemical imbalance."

 

I think I'm remembering what anger felt like. I spent a few minutes which a new psych doc who gave me the chemical imbalance spiel with minutes. Did he draw blood? Have a lab read the results? Look them up in some big medical textbook? No. He gave his opinion on something he can't quantify. As did my last psych doc. And now I'm foggy, forgetful, and fat. That "chemical imbalance" of mine must be stronger than thyroid disease, diabetes or a pituitary tumor because it obviously demands I flood my system with a no benefit pill that's as easy to wean off of as morphine.

 

I think if the entire populace of patients on any treatment or med suddenly started researching and demanding answers the earth would shift.

 

And I do think the fact that AD's cause weight gain is a bonus to the drug companies. After all what depresses a woman about her appearance more than weight? We get fat and the doctor can add a "booster drug" to counter the weight gain. Or else there's a weight loss drug. Or weight loss surgery.

 

As an added bonus, weight gain often makes us less likely to go out, less likely to try new things. Or old things. Isn't it swell after a 30 lb gain to see it reflected in an old acquaintance's eyes? "Damn Gladstone, are you in there?"

 

The only blessing, I suppose, is that these drugs don't cause rapid weight loss. Otherwise young girls may abuse them to get that side effect.

 

Again, I'm ranting. Because this site is waking me up. And I am pissed OFF.

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Again, I'm ranting. Because this site is waking me up. And I am pissed OFF.

 

Hi Gladstone.. we are ALL pissed off. Your question is huge... Big Pharma takes us all in, including the docs with faulty research data, paid vacations for docs, you name it, they have done it. My suggestion is to start reading some of the posts in the media section. They are easier to digest than the journal articles and after you get a few under your belt, you will probably feel even more pissed! But you will also start to see how we have have been victimized. ~S

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Picturing Opie sprawled on waiting room floor. ;)

 

If you really want to get pissed off, watch Love and Other Drugs (Anne Hathaway, Jake G). It's very exaggerated, but not totally unrealistic.

 

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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LOL! You're very funny Gladstone! Your story about tripping the pharma rep and cleaning the grass on your shoe made me laugh, thanks :)

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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  • Administrator

I think that back when I was a kid and we went to see Dr. D, who by the way delivered me and my sister ... he did care about his patients. I don't think he was so quick to offer drugs to his patients ... but alas that has changed.

 

As big pharma has made big money and are now threatened with their patents running out (which means their profits will be cut), they are desperate to create new markets. They want to market statins to children.

 

Where do you think the diagnosis of Osteopenia came from? Pharma marketing made it up as a disease so that they could market bone rebuilding drugs to a different generation. Before that they could only market it to people whose bone scans demonstrated osteoporosis.

 

They only have to prove a 1% improvement over doing nothing to get a drug approved and they don't have to publish the negative studies.

 

Yeah, yeah, yeah ... I think that getting angry is normal and it might be a good sign considering what you've been through.

 

And about Opie ... I'd tripped him for sure!

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Since I won't be able to start my taper (the new psych doc had me drop from 20 mgs lexapro to 15 mgs but told me, of course, I'd be on meds for life) until I find a new psych doc, I am "stuck" in neutral but loving the amount of support the posters here give one another. Just as Dr H Gilbert Welch as well as others in his physician "camp" opened my eyes to what we can do to ourselves with excessive testing and drugs for normal physical conditions, so has this site and the links provided opened my eyes to what a new breed of psych docs are saying about AD's and related drugs.

 

I sometimes want to kick myself for ever going on zoloft, but I remember the saying that,"You did the best you could at the time with what you knew." Going onto zoloft, staying on zoloft while gaining 60 plus pounds, getting my rx from my gyno,tapering off way too fast even in the thick of withdrawal hell, not ever even asking if my menopause symptoms could be related to the lexapro. (If it is scientifically proven that perimenopausal hemmorhage is intensified by SSRI's [and I'm not saying it is] there will be an outcry of epic proportions. Again, I'm not a Dr, but a drug being linked to bleeding issues in the GI tract may--just maybe-- play a part in the number of women on SSRI's who undergo hysterectomy because the excessive bleeding [like mine] left them literally housebound).

 

Hopefully there are studies on this as well.

 

But I remember two things back in the fall of 1998 that, I believe, were my very self trying to get my attention. One was as I walked into the mental health clinic to see my first ever psych doc (my therapist found him--an emergency appointment) I had to walk past the cafeteria. And for the first time in weeks my stomach growled. I thought, what I really need is to be able to go to bed for a week or so, sleeping with the aid of benedryl,maybe, and have someone bring me soup and take care of me. But I was a mom, my kid was in elementary school, my husband worked 70 plus hours per week, and there was no one who could be there. But it was a lovely, comforting fantasy.

 

The next "moment" came that night, when I cut the 25 mg sample zoloft in half as the dr said, and within an hour, felt a huge wave of such nausea I clutched the bed. (I mentioned this before but it bears repeating. Our bodies TALK to us, we just have to LISTEN). I thought,"No way. This is not the way to go. Toss the damn meds." But I knew I had to push on, because I had to be strong. There was no week of rest, there was only soldiering on, and zoloft was my gun and ammo. "Buck up, Gladstone. Fall in line."

 

I did the best I could with what I knew at the time, but boy I wish I had spent more than a few moments listening to that tiny, inner voice.

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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Gladstone,

 

So many excellent points... that inner voice that, I feel, many of us are trained to tune out in deference to "the experts". I lost mine long ago, the ever compliant little girl turned compliant woman now trying to find the fight.

 

Bleeding issues - never made that connection but have several friends who've had hysterectomies or other procedures for uncontrollable bleeding. You mentioned GI and hysterectomy. You had both, I take it? I have not researched that, but I bet there is a connection.

 

I like the way you think!

 

Edit: quick search.

 

http://www.m.webmd.com/depression/news/20041122/antidepressants-may-cause-abnormal-bleeding?page=2

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

(If it is scientifically proven that perimenopausal hemmorhage is intensified by SSRI's [and I'm not saying it is] there will be an outcry of epic proportions. Again, I'm not a Dr, but a drug being linked to bleeding issues in the GI tract may--just maybe-- play a part in the number of women on SSRI's who undergo hysterectomy because the excessive bleeding [like mine] left them literally housebound).

Being well past menopause, I wasn't aware that this was occurring, but I had something related happen to me. I had a depressive crash (due to Lipitor bringing my cholesterol too low) and was put on Pristiq in the hospital. No one bothered to tell me that Pristiq (an SNRI quite similar to an SSRI) can cause excessive bleeding, particularly when combined with aspirin, and I was popping aspirin like candy because I had to drive a lot for my job and then sit at a computer all day and my back was killing me. And so, I developed a "lung infection"--from blood running down the back of my throat from my nose--and had to take off from work again and spend months running from one ignorant specialist to another trying to find out what I had and whether or not it was a contagious form of TB. (It was a lousy way to spend my time, but quite eye-opening with regard to mainstream medicine.) I believe excessive bleeding is a side effect of many antidepressants, including Lexapro.

 

I did the best I could with what I knew at the time, but boy I wish I had spent more than a few moments listening to that tiny, inner voice.

 

Hindsight is always so right-on. I had previously questioned my doctor at least twice regarding my cholesterol level because it scared me, but she just poo-pooed that, and at the time there was no information about abnormally low cholesterol on the 'Net. I, too, wish I had listened to that little voice and tossed the Lipitor, or at least cut the dose in half.

 

Here's another book you might find interesting: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Well-Person-Despite-Health-Care/dp/0773532544/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342905674&sr=1-1 We are really on our own these days when it comes to health care. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. Medicine used to be about helping people get well, but now it's all about money.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Gladstone,

 

So many excellent points... that inner voice that, I feel, many of us are trained to tune out in deference to "the experts". I lost mine long ago, the ever compliant little girl turned compliant woman now trying to find the fight.

 

Bleeding issues - never made that connection but have several friends who've had hysterectomies or other procedures for uncontrollable bleeding. You mentioned GI and hysterectomy. You had both, I take it? I have not researched that, but I bet there is a connection.

 

I like the way you think!

 

Edit: quick search.

 

http://www.m.webmd.com/depression/news/20041122/antidepressants-may-cause-abnormal-bleeding?page=2

 

GEEZ. I just looked at that article - 10% brain hemmorhages, as in twenty people???

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Bleeding issues - never made that connection but have several friends who've had hysterectomies or other procedures for uncontrollable bleeding. You mentioned GI and hysterectomy. You had both, I take it? I have not researched that, but I bet there is a connection.

 

Edit: quick search.

 

http://www.m.webmd.com/depression/news/20041122/antidepressants-may-cause-abnormal-bleeding?page=2

 

GEEZ. I just looked at that article - 10% brain hemmorhages, as in twenty people???

 

10% of 196 bleeds. Yep. According to my math, 20 people with brain hemorrhages.

 

Gladstone,

 

Are you still getting the 'chemical imbalance' spiel from docs? Psychiatrists *should* know better. It's other docs - PCPs, OB/GYNs - who havent received the memo from psychiatry - I thought.

There's quite a bit of discussion on forum about spychiatry admitting the scam. [Autocorrect aptly used Claudius' spychiatry term. ;) ]

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Yes, I'm still getting the spiel. I waited weeks to get an appointment with a psych doc who took my insurance, and he not only gave me the "imbalance" line but also said my withdrawal symptoms (from zoloft) were "proof" I needed medication for life.

 

I am searching for a new psych doc, and plan this time to tell--not ask--him/her that I'm going off of lexapro. Maybe I should add that in the next year or so I'm moving cross country. I'm so skeptical now I'm wanting to see if the doctor won't be so apt to say "chemical imbalance" if I'm not going to be around for his/her office med checks.

 

You know, when I'm NOT in a Dr's office I'm so confident and sure of the decisions I've made, but once I'm in the room with the degrees hanging on the wall...Oh crap. I fold. And I'm not a newbie to this. I've researched enough to know that the doctors disagree with one another and that we, obviously, know ourselves better than a professional who has just met us.

 

With the next psych doc I need to remember not to ramble on and give too much information. After all, they can find lots of DSM labels for anyone on earth if we just talk enough. I was wounded as a child but I don't need medication for that now.

 

Lexapro has covered me in such apathy that I've slid away from most things, leaving a whole lot of lonely. If I can try to rein that in while I'm being questioned by a doctor I'll be ok. There is, after all, no pill that can give me what I need: my self back, the ability to care, people to laugh with, a place to go each day.

 

Many doctors seemed to think there is, and I needed to disabuse them of that notion.

 

Unlike right now, it will surely help if I do not cry.

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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I understand sooo well! I can advocate for other people, stand my ground, insist on answers, but when I'M the patient, I become a babbling fool. I hate that! Im a very honest person, something that does not help in this mess.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 1 month later...

Haven't been here in a while & haven't done my tapering schedule in my sig yet, sorry. I have had computer problems and home remodeling issues and dental problems since I started this journey.

 

First, since the psych doc I saw early in the summer gave me the imbalance line (but dropped my dose to 15 to help my apathy) I searched for a practitioner who would help me wean. I found a nurse practitioner and decided to simply say I was on lexapro from my gyn (true) but only for menopause symptoms (not true). She told me I could drop to 10mgs then stop, or 5mgs and then stop, but as a professional she knew that the internet WD stories were to be taken with a grain of salt. And me, twice her age maybe, who LIVED Withdrawal syndrome but didn't want to tell her that, simply nodded.

 

So I dropped to 10mgs. Felt fine. In two weeks I dropped to 5mgs. Felt fine for a few days, then I started having a raw, fluish feeling in my throat. Was it the drop in lexapro? The remodeling dust and debris? Seriously. I had to give up real Xmas trees because of sensitivity to their spores, maybe this was drywall dust and new wood finish sensitivity?

 

Not sure, I went back up to 7.5 mgs. But I'm a bit skittish here. The nurse said to stay at any dose I'm comfortable with as long as I want. So I can stay at 7.5 then use my scale to drop tiny bits per month.

 

But two things have started to bug me so I want your opinion, because there is such wisdom among you.

 

Issue one, of course, is the fear of Discontinuation Syndrome, late occuring syndrome, rebound anxiety & depression. I keep looking ahead to the holidays & think,"Should I stay here --7.5 mgs--until January?" which brings me to issue two--the freaking cost.

 

The lexapro is tolerable for an out of pocket cost plus insurance but the expensive office visits are steep. I'm trying to do the right thing by seeing a pro but I'm also paying out of pocket for much needed dental work and both costs together are crushing me.

 

Should I tell her I'm staying where I am and ask for a 6 month script? If she still wants to see me every 2--3 weeks to get those partial re-fills should I just look for another practitioner?

 

And this is another issue that bugs the hell out of me and I want your opinion, please--especially the women. I have seen mental health practitioners since I'm in my early 30's and none weighed me. This clinic weighs every patient, every time. Aso, they take your blood pressure, another first for me in mental health clinics.

 

IF I go back for med checks but refuse the BP/weight or just the weight check,will they see me as unreasonable or wacky?

 

The clinic is privately owned by a well-off Dr. Maybe the weigh-in is his private peccadillo. He is always doing drug studies and trial studies so maybe I'm just more data to compare to? I don't know. But if it were you, and you got upset after being weighed, would you say "no " to the weigh in? Am I being touchy? I just hate unecessary medical stuff of any kind. And I don't need any more stress in my life.

 

The last nurse practitioner I saw was after I crashed from zoloft withdrawal. She was the one who prescribed lexapro but warned me I'd need check-ups and blood tests regularly to check my liver function on lexapro and that scared me out of my wits.

 

I'm already dreading next week's med check. $175 to be weighed, asked if I felt like hurting myself or anyone else and being given a script good for 30 days but no more since,"I drop my patients from 10mgs lexapro to zero and they have no problems. It's a clean drug."

 

I'm in a white coat frickin nightmare. And since I am the one with the history of depression and anxiety I'm unable to decide if It's me or the system. But I do know it was a medical professional who gave me my first sample pack of zoloft well over a decade ago and since then I am the one who has had the weight gain, nausea, Discontinuation Hell, refusal from insurance to pay for non-generic, refusal from my gyn to re-fill unless I get a pap smear, and being at the mercy of the professional's biases about meds.

 

I've been on this merry go round since the 90's. Please, friends, some advice?

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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  • Administrator

Get a 6-month script.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks! :D

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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  • Administrator

You're very welcome.

 

See Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

{{Or is our withdrawal (and I'm talking patients probably in the millions) just a weak cry against the powerful drug companies and their reps?}}

 

That.

 

That, and the way medical culture (psychiatry worst of all) teaches doctors that the last person in the world who should be given any kind of credibility about their own health is the patient. (Or anyone else, really, except another doctor. Barbara knows what I'm talking about here--it's really pitiful, and so true. That whole God complex thing isn't just a joke.)

 

Loving your thread, haven't read all of it but will. Lost 20 years of my life to polydrugging on psych meds, and part of why I never questioned it was because I was horrifically abused as a child so I bought into the "must be permanently broken and these brilliant drugs will fix me" paradigm. Turns out that hard work in therapy has healed me from the abuse, but it's going to take a while now to heal from the damage the drugs have done, if I ever do; and I'll never get those years back, or my daughters' childhoods.

 

You might want to read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. It will infuriate you but it will also enlighten you. And it's well written and flawlessly researched. I recommend it highly.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ditto Alto with the 6-month script.

 

Personally I have the incredible good fortune of having a remarkable, supportive MD who supports my extremely slow taper and refills my prescriptions and trusts me to run the show myself. (She's an alternative doc and Ayurvedic practitioner as well as MD.)

 

If I didn't, I would just find a doc who would keep refilling my scrips as they are now, tell him or her this is what I'm stable on and what I'm taking, not say I'm tapering, and I'd taper off on my own, the way I basically do now anyway.

 

I know we're supposed to say "follow your doctor's advice" but when it comes to psych med tapers there are very few doctors who know as much as Alto and the other folks on this board and a few rare docs around the country know.

 

My advice is generally to learn as much as you can and you be the responsible party in charge of your taper, and work to find a provider who will cooperate with you.

 

You've cut a lot in a short time. I think it's a good idea to stabilize, especially with the holiday season coming up, and use the time to educate yourself about taper options and approaches. Then when you're ready to begin tapering again you'll know what you want to do.

 

I think you're going to do fine. Just take the time to learn now, up front, rather than jumping into a too-aggessive taper and getting yourself in trouble, crashing, and ending up back at the starting line or on an even higher dose. Learn about the monster you're facing before you jump into its cage.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thanks, too, for your reply. I really feel like an idiot going through this. If it weren't for this forum I'd have no one to share my struggles with medication with. Maybe I'll post again after the complete taper. Otherwise I'm afraid I'll bore everyone as much as I bore myself. Thanks for reading & the advice. It helps. A lot.

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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  • Administrator

Oh, please do let us know how you're doing, blow by blow.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ackkk~! i hate over controlling medical professionals -i would decline the weight check on principle and then ask if my BP was up the last time they took it - and if they say no, then i would decline that too.

 

And, i am with you on the fear of discontinuation syndrome and late emerging symptoms!

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Gladstone do you think your regular internist would prescribe a 6 month Rx for your meds?

 

The other doctor is a rip off. I am only asked to go once every six months.

 

Love the way you write.

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I really feel like an idiot going through this. If it weren't for this forum I'd have no one to share my struggles with medication with. Maybe I'll post again after the complete taper. Otherwise I'm afraid I'll bore everyone as much as I bore myself. Thanks for reading & the advice. It helps. A lot.

 

About posting: at first, I didn't post on a regular basis at all, partly because I was so sick and partly because I detest journaling. However, after I got into later, improving stages of withdrawal, I found the regular entries were a great way to keep track of progress. Even now when I'm almost over the withdrawal (some neuro-emotion remains and I still need 9-10 hours sleep a night) it helps to re-read earlier entries and see how far I've come.

 

So ditto Alto, do let us know how you're doing, blow by blow!

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I agree.. Give the blow-by-blow. It's a good way to gauge progress and your writing is very entertaining. ;)

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 4 months later...

I'm still tapering and trying to find the info on posting my tapering schedule on my profile. From July to now (15mgs lexapro to .13mgs) I have had limited symptoms when I drop a dose but I'm still scared that the withdrawal syndrome I suffered through in 06 when I tapered zoloft 100mgs in a matter of weeks will re-visit me. I allow 4 weeks between drops but still I'm very scared.

 

Every moment that I don't feel 100% asexual (as SSRI's tend to do) I am afraid that the hypomania [hypersexuality] I suffered with my WAY too quick zoloft taper is back.

 

Crappy way to live for sure.

 

I have had no zaps or strong low mood, just a day or two of snappishness or becoming very teary over things. Also my guts protest for 24--48 hours when I dop doses.

 

I will go try to find directions on posting my tapering schedule so no one gets mad at me.

 

PS The first thing I'm going to do once I feel like the real me is make a friend. And not facebook ones either. A real person who loves to laugh and dish. She's out there somewhere. :)

Zoloft 50--100mgs Oct 98 through Oct 06.

4 week taper with every WD symptom then crash.

Dec. 06 went on 20mgs lexapro

July 2012 15mg

August 10 mgs

Sept 5 mgs

Began using scale to taper

Oct. .18 mgs

Nov. .16 mgs

Dec. .15 mgs

Jan. .14 mgs

Feb. .13mgs

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