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Tapering off Celexa - summer


summer

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In 1990, I was working for a real estate company. As the

project was coming to completion, many of us were laid off. Around that time I

remember going to see my GP (don't remember why), and she suggested that I was

"clinically depressed" and should consider taking Prozac. I was stunned that

she wanted me to take an antidepressant, but trusted her... so I started taking

20mg and eventually went up to 40mg.

 

From 1990 to around 2001, I took 40mgs of Prozac, with very few side effects.

Don't really remb any. I do remember feeling calmer than I ever felt in my life.

 

In 2001, I tried a few other ADs for very brief periods of time, but

eventually went back to Prozac.

 

Around 2004, I started taking Paxil, 20mg, and stopped the Prozac. In 2005, I

was reading via the internet all the terrible things people were saying about Paxil and I stopped taking it,

or as they say, I CTd it. About four days later all hell broke loose. I couldn't leave the bathroom

and I remember feeling awful! I had not a clue that I should have tapered

the Paxil very slowly. My pdoc at the time told me to go back on 20mg Paxil and

within two weeks, I started feeling better.

 

I started a very slow taper from Paxil in early 2006. I moved to CA during that

time also, and started seeing the pdoc I see now. When I was down to 5mg of

Paxil, I started taking 20mg of Prozac, and stopped the Paxil completely. It

worked really well for me... I had no problems with this switch.

 

In 2008 I decided I wanted to get off the Prozac. I did so fairly slowly and had no problems weaning the Prozac.

 

When I had been off the Prozac for around three months, I started feeling very

depressed. Having no idea at the time that this was withdrawal related, I told

my pdoc that I was feeling depressed and wanted to go back on an AD. I can't

remb now why Celexa was decided upon, but I started taking 20mg.

 

I tried getting off the Celexa last year, but the drops were too large and I

ended up back on 20mg. Currently, I'm on 15mg and working my way down.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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""In 1990, I was working for a real estate company. As the

project was coming to completion, many of us were laid off. Around that time I

remember going to see my GP (don't remember why), and she suggested that I was

"clinically depressed" and should consider taking Prozac. I was stunned that

she wanted me to take an antidepressant, but trusted her... so I started taking

20mg and eventually went up to 40mg. ""

 

Hi Summer,

 

Wow, you had some fun I see on the psych med merri go around. And of course, no one realized you were experiencing withdrawal. What a surprise.

 

All sarcasm aside, did your GP realize that it is normal to be depressed when losing a job? Sorry for asking a silly question but I couldn't resist.

 

Imagine if people like her said, "you know Summer, there is a great support group for people who have lost their jobs that you might want to consider joining." Ah, we can fantasize can't we?

 

Good luck with the Celexa taper.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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My pdoc at the time told me to go back on 20mg Paxil and

within two weeks, I started feeling better.

Sum, after the reinstatement you went back to feeling like previously, or some of the WD symptoms remained?

2000-2008 Paxil for a situational depression

2008 - Paxil c/t

Severe protracted WD syndrome ever since; improving

 

 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once”

Albert Einstein

 

"Add signature to your profile. This way we can help you even better!"

Surviving Antidepressants ;)

 

And, above all, ... keep walking. Just keep walking.

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My pdoc at the time told me to go back on 20mg Paxil and

within two weeks, I started feeling better.

Sum, after the reinstatement you went back to feeling like previously, or some of the WD symptoms remained?

 

Yes, I went back to feeling like I felt before... no WD symptoms remained.

 

 

I should also mention that I gained about 15 pounds during the time I was on Paxil. Once I was off the Paxil, the additional weight seemed to disappear - took around a year - wish more had disappeared with it.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Another question, summer -- what made you experiment with ADs other than Prozac in 2001?

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Another question, summer -- what made you experiment with ADs other than Prozac in 2001?

 

I really had to give this some thought... I seem to remember feeling that I needed a change - that Prozac wasn't working as well. I also remb starting to read about this "miracle" drug that was doing wonders for people... Paxil...:rolleyes: I felt great when I was on it. It was only when I CTd that I started having problems.

 

 

 

 

*I just reread my post and the question you asked. I can hardly remember that period of time (2001). I believe my sister went on an AD, and I decided it would be a good idea if we were taking the same med. I don't remember why I tried others..

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Wow, you had some fun I see on the psych med merri go around. And of course, no one realized you were experiencing withdrawal. What a surprise.

 

All sarcasm aside, did your GP realize that it is normal to be depressed when losing a job? Sorry for asking a silly question but I couldn't resist.

 

Imagine if people like her said, "you know Summer, there is a great support group for people who have lost their jobs that you might want to consider joining." Ah, we can fantasize can't we?

 

Good luck with the Celexa taper.

CS

 

thanks CS, i would say all that, but with my english,

i think this is important to hear

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Another question, summer -- what made you experiment with ADs other than Prozac in 2001?

 

I really had to give this some thought... I seem to remember feeling that I needed a change - that Prozac wasn't working as well. I also remb starting to read about this "miracle" drug that was doing wonders for people... Paxil...:rolleyes:

 

I believe my sister went on an AD, and I decided it would be a good idea if we were taking the same med. I don't remember why I tried others..

 

So, maybe you were entering Prozac poop-out, which is what eventually happens with these drugs.

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Another question, summer -- what made you experiment with ADs other than Prozac in 2001?

 

I really had to give this some thought... I seem to remember feeling that I needed a change - that Prozac wasn't working as well. I also remb starting to read about this "miracle" drug that was doing wonders for people... Paxil...:rolleyes:

 

I believe my sister went on an AD, and I decided it would be a good idea if we were taking the same med. I don't remember why I tried others..

 

So, maybe you were entering Prozac poop-out, which is what eventually happens with these drugs.

 

Yes, could be.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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  • 1 month later...

I think I'm starting to experience a "window". The past two weeks have been very difficult - weepy, agitated, not sleeping, etc. Yesterday morning when I woke up after sleeping a couple of hours, I knew that something was different. I was tired, but something was different. Couldn't put my finger on it exactly... I just felt better, calmer. Today, after sleeping pretty well last nite, I still feel better. Maybe, hopefully, I'm turning the corner on this last drop and stabilizing.

 

I also found out that I went from being pre-diabetic to diabetic. (Yes, I've read about the connection between ADs and being diabetic, another reason I'm so anxious to get off this crap). So, I've been learning to eat better (bye ice cream) and will try to walk at least 15 minutes every day, to start.

 

Calling later today to make an appointment for the sleep study.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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So sorry to hear about the Diabetes, but, as you say, it is hopefully SSRI / w/d-induced pseudo-Diabetes, and will clear up later.

 

That's great that you're feeling better finally after your most recent drop! More power to you! :)

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Thanks Healing... today not so great. It's definitely a let down when that happens. Doable tho... I don't want to be struck down by complaining too much.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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OMG, it is *such* a let down when we feel worse after having felt better. It may be the worst aspect of this whole thing. You're doing a great job of trying to keep an even keel. Sending good energy....now! :)

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally feel like posting after several weeks of feeling agitated/depressed. I was seriously considering going back on 15mg, when I last felt good. I didn't... and today feel better than I have in a long time.

 

I had the sleep study, but won't know anything for about a week. For a while there, I had a lot on my plate, dealing with the diagnosis of diabetes just one of them. Now, things have calmed down... so, was I experiencing withdrawal, feeling depressed... how in the world do you figure it out.

 

Added to this was the fact that I was making my family crazy and dragging them down with me. Not acceptable. I suppose it's natural for them to tell me that I should go back on a higher dose of Celexa; at which point I sit and ponder if they are right.

 

I understand why some people CT just to get it over with... honestly not sure it would be worse than the last couple of weeks.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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hello Summer, do not updose, stay on this dose the time needed , even several months,

the problem is you have many changes all over the body since all these years,

for me you have to go more slowly as classic people, maybe try to diminish slowly to 10 mg, then to 5 mg, but with months and months and months, to delay the suffering,and aid repairing, i see my state at 60, all functions are messed, i do not live since three years, i survive as a vegetable,

i wish you heartly big courage my "lovely"

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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  • Administrator

You would be surprised how bad it can be, summer. Don't cold turkey, please.

 

As for dealing with withdrawal symptoms and/or depression -- it's the same techniques. If you want to live drug-free, you may have to do some things differently. It's like coping with diabetes. To avoid insulin, there's diet and exercise. To deal with depression, there's mindfulness, other coping techniques, exercise, social engagement, etc.

 

The good news is, when you find the resources in yourself to take care of yourself, you feel better about yourself and that helps keep you afloat, too.

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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hello Summer, do not updose, stay on this dose the time needed , even several months,

the problem is you have many changes all over the body since all these years,

for me you have to go more slowly as classic people, maybe try to diminish slowly to 10 mg, then to 5 mg, but with months and months and months, to delay the suffering,and aid repairing, i see my state at 60, all functions are messed, i do not live since three years, i survive as a vegetable,

i wish you heartly big courage my "lovely"

 

Hello Stan... where have you been? I've missed you! Please don't tell me that you live as a vegetable... I can't bear to hear that! There must be someone you can walk in the park with or go to a movie. If you can walk to the grocery store, push yourself a little more each day.

 

I wish you "big courage" also. Please continue to post and let us know how you are getting along!

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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The good news is, when you find the resources in yourself to take care of yourself, you feel better about yourself and that helps keep you afloat, too.

I know that... it's just "those" days when I feel awful that I tend to forget...

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Bad news/Good news -- the bad news is that I have severe obstructive sleep apnea. The good news is that hopefully this will be corrected and I won't be so fatigued all the time. The success rate is high and people report that once they get use to the sleep mask, the difference they feel is huge! I'm in the process of seeing the sleep specialist and getting fitted for the mask. Should be about a week before I get it.

 

I've been feeling fatigued, low/no motivation for a few years now. I'm excited to think there may actually be an end to this. They also attribute my early morning bad headaches to sleep apnea... so we'll see.

 

The stories I've read on the internet are mostly positive, with some down time adjusting to the mask, while some people had to try other options.

 

If anyone has had experience with this, please share.

 

In other news, I seem to have stabilized on 12 1/2mgs. The window continues... :)

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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i knew someone with a CPAP (positive ventilation),

the mask is to be adjust, and with days you feel better

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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i knew someone with a CPAP (positive ventilation),

the mask is to be adjust, and with days you feel better

 

More positive information! Thank you, Stan!

 

How are you feeling? I'm hoping you are in a "window" now. Please let me know!

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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I understand why some people CT just to get it over with... honestly not sure it would be worse than the last couple of weeks.

 

I'm catching up on a lot here, so I'm backtracking a bit. I'm glad to hear that you stabilized since you wrote that. And from what I've heard, treating sleep apnea makes a HUGE difference in how people heal, once they get used to that mask. (Maybe using a wedge pillow - they sell them in medical supply stores and pharmacies that carry medical equipment - might help in the meantime? I don't know, just a thought if there will be a delay getting fitted for the mask and receiving it.)

 

Anyway, CT doesn't get it over with - it just makes it worse and compounds the problem. When a CT works, it's that the person is lucky enough to have no withdrawal - the lucky dogs! But if you have withdrawal symptoms, they will only get worse and probably last longer if you taper too fast or CT, at least in my experience.

 

But tapering slowly doesn't just mean the amount of time between drops, important as that is.

 

I notice in your signature that you've been tapering by more than 10%. When you're ready to do your next drop (maybe after you get the apnea mask situation under control???), why not get the liquid celexa and try dropping by 10% or even lower. (Some people need to do even smaller drops, like 5% and some even found that 4% or even 3% was the amount their body could handle when they couldn't tolerate the usual 10%, and that's what I would do if I go off a med again.)

 

Unless there's something I'm not aware of, it couldn't hurt to at least try 5% drops in the future. Based on how you do on that, you could fine-tune it up or down... but just a bit. Slow as that seems, quality of life (and likely healing faster once you're off) would be well worth it (to me, anyway).

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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Having a French gentleman call you "my lovely" must be very therapeutic too, I think! :D

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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Having a French gentleman call you "my lovely" must be very therapeutic too, I think! :D

 

You betcha!

 

And, Brandy... thanks for the info re the sleep mask. I've been hearing so many unbelievably positive stories about the mask, that I can hardly wait to get it!

 

I'm not thinking about tapering for awhile, at least until I've adjusted to the mask and have started to get the diabetes under control. I'm considering the liquid for the next drop.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Just catching up here myself .Summer I am so sorry about the diabetes and the sleep apnea but now you know what is going on you will be able to manage your symptoms better. I hope you do well with the mask and adjust easily.

Hang in there with the taper.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The more I learn about sleep apnea, the more I wonder why doctors didn't pick this up years ago. Morning headaches, which I've had for many years, is a classic symptom - along with extreme fatigue. I've been using the CPAP for about two weeks, and haven't had any headaches during this time! Well, I did have one, b/c I took the mask off during the night.

 

I was told it would take 6-8 weeks to see results. I'm already starting to see some. Getting up in the mornings is easier - not like I'm ready to run miles or anything, just less groggy, more alert, and much more ready to get up and face the day. Using the mask is a pain... but, the results seem worth it. Just not waking with a headache five days out of seven is huge!

 

Overall I'm feeling good and very grateful!

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Summer, that's great to hear! (er, I mean, read :) )

History is approximate; I didn't track my dosages.

 

1995 - started zoloft/sertraline for depression

1995-2008 - sertraline ranged from 100-200mg, may have gone as high as 250mg

2006 - 2009 - added welbutrin/budeprion SR, 150 mg

sometime in 2009-2010 - stopped budeprion c/t

sometime around 2009-2010, Tapered down sertraline w/o guidance to 50 mg, then 25mg.

~ feb 2010, stopped sertraline.

~ Apr 2010, resumed 25mg low dose (really bad business trip)

Oct 2010, stopped sertraline

Jan 2011 - another bad business trip "breaks" my sleep.

 

current issues include insomnia, anxiety, GI distress, depression.

Taking multivitamins, Vitamin D, fish oil, Chinese herbs, ~ 0.5mg melatonin in the evening.

Going to therapy and acupuncture once a week.

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Yeah for the sleep mask!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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So sorry to hear about the sleep apnea and diabetes.

 

 

Wow! Great to hear that you're obtaining substantial relief and so quickly from the CPAP.

 

BTW, I know that many drugs can directly and indirectly create sleep apnea. So many people no longer have the disorder once they have been off the offending drugs or drug combo.

 

Also, weight gain and diabetes caused by the drugs can resolve with dietary changes, exercise as well as getting off the offending drug(s). I'm sure the doctor discussed some of this with you and/or you did some of your own research.

 

Pink, so sorry re: the headaches. I can really sympathize.

 

 

Punar

To Face My Trials with "The Grace of a Woman Rather Than the Grief of a Child". (quote section by Veronica A. Shoffstall)

 

Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly. Be Afraid of Only Standing Still.

(Chinese Proverb)

 

I Create and Build Empowerment Within Each Time I Choose to Face A Fear, Sit with it and Ask Myself, "What Do I Need to Learn?"

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Ajay, Nadia, Pink and Pun... thanks guys for your encouraging comments. It's about 3:30 pm here, and I'm still feeling pretty good... not feeling like I want to crawl in bed like I usually do.

 

Maybe that's what Brandy meant when she said people using a CPAP while withdrawing have an easier time. We'll see. :)

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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  • 2 months later...

Woke with one of my not so famous stinking headaches today. Feel like crap. Sign...

 

Please... no one post that they hope I'll feel better... it's only a headache and I realize that. Just feels good to post about it.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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B)

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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  • 2 years later...

Hello... haven't been here in a long time.  I see some familiar names and so many new ones.

 

I received a PM from a friend here and replied to his message, so I found myself back on this site. 

 

I'm feeling quite well for which I'm very thankful.  I'm still taking an AD - Wellbutrin - but feel more like myself than on any other AD.  I don't feel numb or have any of the symptoms I had with other ADs.  At age 76, I've accepted and am content that I'll probably be on an AD the rest of my life.

 

At the moment, life is good.  I wish all of you the same.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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summer! So good to see you again. Very glad to hear you're feeling well.

 

How did you get off Celexa finally? When and why did you start taking Wellbutrin?

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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