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It is possible to taper & wean. What I'm not sure about is whether it's possible to actually feel normal! Mirtazapine worked for depression & sleep for 15 years & then it didn't. A compounding pharmacy made me 3mg Mirtazapine capsules & I dropped 10% a month for ten months.

 

I'm now planning on the same tapering timetable for Trazodone, 10% a month. My sleeps are still awful.

 

I'm 72. I doubt I'll ever be able to wean Alprazolam. 86% relapse. Perhaps cognitive decline or even dementia.

 

I don't blame my docs. It might have been easier to taper & wean earlier on but, then again, it might not.

 

Frankly, I blame it on pharma...& on capitalism.

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1mg 2019-present

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  Congratulations for getting off mirtazapine!  How did you feel while you were tapering off, and how are you feeling now?  When you wonder about the possibility of feeling normal, it suggests that you had/have withdrawal symptoms.  What month in 2022 did you get entirely off mirtazapine? It sounds as though you reached tolerance with the mirtazapine.  

 

We suggest that you make sure you are fully recovered from your mirtazapine taper, before starting another taper.  Check out these links to understand why this is important: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

It sounds as though you did a linear taper with your mirtazapine, meaning that you reduced by the same amount with each taper.  (3 mg) This site suggests that you taper by 10% of the current dose no more than once every 4 weeks, so that the reduction becomes exponentially smaller.  For example, when you do your trazodone taper, it would be 45 mg, 40.5 mg, 36.45 mg, etc.  

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Trazodone

 

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:

 

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

 

 

 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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@unblocktheplanet

Welcome to SA. Congratulations on getting off Mirtazapine. I agree with Getofflex and hold for a while to let your CNS heal before you tackle the Trazadone. Better to go slow and allow recovery. 
 

Best wishes. 
NB

😪Zoloft 20mg 2/21, BuSpar ( bad reaction) 

Klonopin 1mg 2/21 CT Zoloft in hospital put on Remeron, clonodine and Trazadone 75mg 3/21 Taken off Remeron & Clonodine 3/21 put on Prozac 20mg.

Klonopin .50mg take .25mg twice daily 

8/21 crosstapered to Lexapro (highest dose 25mg) Tapered Trazadone 7/21

1/22 tapered down from 25mg to  10mg Lexapro in 3 weeks. (still holding at 10mg)

started Effexor 37.5. ( on Effexor total 5 weeks)

2/22 told to stop Effexor and go directly to 20mg Cymbalta for two weeks. 3/5/22 30mg Cymbalta.
Estradiol .5mg 2016

Started liquid Lexapro 5/10/22

Back to pull form Lexapro 5/22/22 (couldn’t tolerate liquid) 

*Resumed Lexapro 10mg BMS Taper on 6/27/22 2.5% =126mgpw

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Thanks for the welcome & links, gettoflex & ninabird. I see from your sigs you've both been through the wringer, too, and are even now on spin-cycle. So thank you deeply for your care & time for me.

 

Yes, linear taper. I live in Thailand where there are no compounding pharmacies. My Canadian doc, of 40+ years, prescribes compounding & my daughter mails meds to me. This is a dodgy system, I know. It's not technically legal & meds could always be confiscated or go astray in the mails.

 

Final month's Mirtazapine taper finished in February 2022: 3mg. I've had deep distress since April 2018. Frequent & early wakings, deep depression, anxiety nearly to panic. So it's hard to say if I was suffering from Mirtazapine withdrawal or just suffering! These symptoms went in cycles for some years; the cycles continued much the same during withdrawal.

 

A little off-topic: Until...one shrink tried Vortioxine. Took it for about eight weeks, felt worse, & tapered off. This was followed by, well, a devil drug, Quetiapine. I have not searched the forum but Q is FDA-approved for MDD. It has 56 pages (!) of sometimes permanent side effects not related to dose or duration.

 

Shrink is conservative. Quetiapine's lowest clinical dose is 150mg. I was started at 12.5mg for three weeks, then 25mg for three weeks, then 50mg for three weeks. When I upped to 75mg, half the clinical dose, I didn't even know myself.

 

I stuck it out for five days & then tapered myself down to zero in three weeks, a little fast perhaps after four months on this poison. AstraZeneca's clinical guidelines for this drug are nothing short of criminal & I'm lucky my shrink did not follow them. As it is, I feel like Q broke my brain, onset dementia maybe.

 

Back on topic. I can only accomplish a linear taper with Trazodone here, 10% per month. No idea how tough it will be but T is not helping with depression, anxiety or sleep.

 

Might either of you suggest how long I should wait to heal from Mirtazapine before tapering Trazodone? 20 years is a long time on a drug.

 

I've always been a supplements guy. Shrink wanted a two-month washout. I've reintroduced Magnesium citrate 150mg b.i.d. for a month, then Vitamin D 5,000 IU & Vitamin K MK-7 45ug. I was taking Omega-3 with 500mg EPA/250mg b.i.d.; likely reintroduce that next, followed by high-potency B-complex and so on.

 

I have not tried an orthomolecular psych regimen* but lots of people swear by it. Anybody here? I like to keep it simple. In any case, I'm a lifelong fishetarian.

 

Incidentally, this may be of interest. I did five Ketamine infusions, unfortunately, to no effect. Was worth a shot. Only other thing on offer here is (yikes!) ECT. I have sort of convinced myself of mental illness & have some genetics for precisely what I'm going through.

 

I was a yoga teacher in my youth. In addition, I have recently returned to meditation. Sometimes I even get a few moments of calm. As in Altostrata's post, I think negative core beliefs are common to all of us. We're all sort of damaged. PTSD which cannot be related to a single event.

 

Doing traditional psychotherapy at the moment. Not sure the next step but I am super-scared to start another psych drug. I've been hooked on Alprazolam since August 2019; I doubt I'll ever be able to get off that one.* At 72, it's kind of the end of the line, you know. Maybe takes more courage than I have left & I should just be resigned to my misery.

 

* This may be of interest to others: https://riordanclinic.org/2014/03/supplements-accelerate-benzodiazepine-withdrawal-a-case-report-and-biochemical-rationale/

 

 

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I've had deep distress since April 2018. Frequent & early wakings, deep depression, anxiety nearly to panic.

This is quite likely to be from tapering off the mirtazapine too quickly, and not doing a hyperbolic (each reduction getting smaller and smaller) taper.  If you read my links in my first post, you will see why this happened.  

 

5 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

A little off-topic: Until...one shrink tried Vortioxine. Took it for about eight weeks, felt worse, & tapered off. This was followed by, well, a devil drug, Quetiapine. I

This is not off topic at all.  When did this happen?  Please add this info to your drug signature.  

 

5 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I can only accomplish a linear taper with Trazodone here, 10% per month. No idea how tough it will be but T is not helping with depression, anxiety or sleep.

 

This is not true, because you can make a liquid out of your trazodone tablets, and do a hyperbolic taper as we suggest. Here are the links again: 

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

Tips for Tapering Trazodone

 

5 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Might either of you suggest how long I should wait to heal from Mirtazapine before tapering Trazodone? 20 years is a long time on a drug.

If it were me, I would be extra patient, especially since you also have been through the situation with vortioxetine and quetiapine.  The more drugs we go on and off, the more sensitized and destabilized our nervous system becomes, and the more time we need to give ourselves for full healing.  I would suggest waiting at least 6 months or even longer.  I would wait until I was completely symptom free, then give it a couple of extra months on top of that.  Usually there are unfelt adjustments and recovery going on in the brain after our symptoms resolve. 

5 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I've always been a supplements guy. Shrink wanted a two-month washout. I've reintroduced Magnesium citrate 150mg b.i.d. for a month, then Vitamin D 5,000 IU & Vitamin K MK-7 45ug. I was taking Omega-3 with 500mg EPA/250mg b.i.d.; likely reintroduce that next, followed by high-potency B-complex and so on.

I would be extra cautious introducing a B-complex.  B vitamins are activating, and can cause issues like insomnia, etc, especially in a nervous system that has been through a recent taper or other psych drug changes.  Vitamin D may cause sleep issues.  Here are links on supplements:  

 

Supplements, Herbs, Vitamins, etc.

 

Topics About Tests, Supplements, Treatments, etc.

 

Vitamin D

 

5 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Only other thing on offer here is (yikes!) ECT. I

ECT

 

The only thing that will cure a nervous system from the symptoms of withdrawal from psych meds are time, patience, and natural self care things like healthy diet, gentle exercise, etc.  There is no quick fix or remedy for withdrawal.  Please read this wise post by one of our senior staff members, he is more eloquent that I am: 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/17647-tao-of-the-brassmonkey/?do=findComment&comment=552313

 

 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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Thank you, gettoflex. Firstly, I am so grateful to the founder & the mods who make this place so thorough, far more than I could ever read & absorb. And Facebook is so confusing (a billion people are smarter than I!).

 

Apologies for not yet figuring out how to quote & paste inline as you do. I compose offline which makes it tricky. You’re a pro at this, Flex!

 

BTW, I notice hardly anybody ‘likes’ on SA. I’ve found quite a few posts which are so useful to me personally, often from way back. I still ‘like’.

 

And I’ve found I can’t add my reply to some threads (https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/8048-the-pyroluria-fallacy/#comment-124098). I’d rather put my info in the right place so others can find it. How to, please?

 

I’ve found many of the books mentioned on SA—I’m a book guy—though not Glenmullen’s. Here in Thailand, it’s impossible to find most books in English. And with no pension, my budget just can’t take it. With no medical insurance, much of my money goes to public hospital for labs & docs, to Canada for prescriptions not available here (e.g., Liothyronine).

 

At the start of my deep distress from 2018, I was still taking Mirtazapine. I started the linear taper in June 2021 & weaned at end-February 2022.

 

The taper & weaning subjectively changed nothing. I may well not be ‘healed’. Exactly the same symptoms continue, no worse & no better.

 

Thank you for the links, again! (I’m 72.) I’ll read them more carefully.

 

* Sorry to be a doofus. How do I fix my signature profile, please? I also notice in my Profile that there’s a lot of my old meds info available only to mods. Is this relevant to keep?

 

I discover I had kept careful records of Vortioxetine & Quetiapine December 2021 - April  2022 but I gave the only copy to my doctor. Sheesh!

 

In any case, ‘only’ 4-5 months but those were hell-th. One of them seems to have interrupted my ‘good’ spells so I’m now all bad. And I trialed these two while I was weaning Mirtazapine.

 

We’re on this journey to stopping because we started. We started because we felt ‘crazy’. Many people still think doc is God spelled backwards.

 

I can indeed wait six months after stopping Mirtazapine to taper Trazodone. But the old pessimist is pretty sure the depression / anxiety / sleeplessness will continue. I can’t picture myself ‘symptom-free’ after four-plus years. One SA poster asks, How does one differentiate what is withdrawal, and what are the original baseline issues?“

 

I’m grateful for the caution, esp as I’ve been taking Trazodone 20 years. The linear taper for Mirtazapine apparently ‘worked’ with no major complications (also no improvement). Thus, I’d be tempted to try it again for Trazodone. The 10% hyperbolic taper info, however, definitely scares me.

 

I may well be dependent upon Trazodone in an entirely different way than Mirtazapine which could make linear taper much harder. I could try Traz linear for the first couple of months and see how it goes. If it’s problematic, switch to hyperbolic.

 

To be frank, Flex, I’m so indecisive & unconfident (and old), I’m afraid I’d screw up a liquid taper. Although…I’ve been doing Low-Dose Naltrexone suspension for eight months (up to 4mg), no improvement so far.

 

And OMG, “Rhiannon” is talking about pipettes! BUT, “music321” gives very accurate methodology here: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/page/3/#comment-299194 on August 11, 2017, same one I’m using for LDN.

 

I’m not lazy, just…nervous!

 

It was not easy to screw up the courage to drop Mirtazapine even though it stopped working; courage is equally lacking for Trazodone.

 

As a near-lifelong vegetarian (1966), I’ve been a supplements guy pretty much forever, except for before taking labs & the recent washout. I do eat healthy, do yoga & walking every day.

 

Even once I drop Trazodone, after a year, let’s say, I’ll still have Alprazolam. The benzos are certainly some of the hardest to drop, 86% relapse. I’ve been reading Heather Ashton’s manual. Although SA is not a benzo group, the Ashton method is not hyperbolic. Very interesting about the tinnitus. I’m sure I didn’t have it before Alprazolam.

 

Ah, and what are “windows and waves”, please?

 

I know you want the best for me, Flex. Thank you.

 

I’ll read your links. They’re really helpful to me making these decisions. Very grateful to you.    

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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Hello @unblocktheplanet

Welcome to SA. 

I'm sorry for what has brought you here, but I'm glad you found us!

 

58 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

The benzos are certainly some of the hardest to drop, 86% relapse.

 

I wonder where you got this statistic? 

I'm no expert, but it's possible that a posited high relapse rate might be due to these people not having tapered properly, thus incurring untenable withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Also, it's my impression that the Ashton Manual has helped some people get off benzos, but when it comes to polypharmacy and an extended history of multiple psych drugs things get more complicated and unpredictable. This is why it's important to take one's comprehensive medication history into account, and why the SA mods request detailed drug signatures. 

 

58 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Although SA is not a benzo group, the Ashton method is not hyperbolic.

 

SA has many members tapering benzos. There are some experienced moderators here who have themselves successfully tapered off of benzos and recovered. If/when at some point you would like input on a benzo taper, you may inquire further. If I were in your position, I'd put my faith in SA's recommendations. 

 

Benzos tapering and recovery

 

On 6/8/2022 at 3:12 PM, unblocktheplanet said:

At 72, it's kind of the end of the line, you know. Maybe takes more courage than I have left & I should just be resigned to my misery.

 

I don't know what it is to be you, nor what it's like to be 72. But I have to say reading this makes me feel sad. Right now you are 100% alive and human, and you are worthy of a juicy, vibrant life. What that looks like is unique to everyone, but please don't write yourself off. This big, stupid, "civilized" world we have built will do its utmost to write us off soon enough, it doesn't need our help or cooperation. I say fight the power -- and may the life force be with you.

 

In other words, resignation not accepted. As long as you're here on this planet your job description is to take care of yourself and practice love and acceptance. (As I often remind myself, it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it.) Now roll up your sleeves and get back to work, please.

 

Also, keep in mind that in WD our brains and bodies can experience what we call Neuro-emotions, which can color our thinking and moods (and vice versa). You may be experiencing neuro-fear, neuro-anxiety, neuro-panic, neuro-dread, etc. 

 

There's a helpful essay about what might be going on behind-the-scenes neurologically, physiologically, biochemically called What is happening in your brain?

 

58 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Ah, and what are “windows and waves”, please?

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

58 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

And I’ve found I can’t add my reply to some threads

 

What do you mean? I found your comment in the pyroluria thread, so your reply registered as posted. 

 

58 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Apologies for not yet figuring out how to quote & paste inline as you do.

 

To use the "quote" function, highlight the section of text you wish to select. When you release the cursor, in the lower right-hand corner of your highlighted selection, a small, rectangular, black-outlined box will appear below the text, drop-down style. Inside the box reads "Quote selection". Click on that and your chosen portion of text will automatically be transferred/pasted into the reply field at the bottom of the thread in question. 

 

I'm sorry for the distress you are experiencing. I trust you will find the support you are looking for and wish you good healing. 

A. 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Glad I found you, too, Ariel! Thank you.

 

I don’t have a reference for that 86% relapse figure but you must be absolutely right that many, if not almost all, did ineffective tapers.

 

Although I have not studied the Ashton Manual in any depth, I do not recall her addressing polypharmacy.

 

Yes, SA members are the experts from personal experience.

 

Some folks say 72 is not so old with increased population longevity. But when I crumbled in 2018 at 68, I got old really fast. That’s when Mirtazapine & Trazodone stopped working. A year later, I was hooked on Alprazolam, second time stupid, desperate for a night’s sleep.

 

In any case, thank you for your loving encouragement, Ariel, and the kick in the pants! Mirtazapine’s gone. SA’s advice is to health for at least six months, then Trazodone.

 

Mirtazapine was not so tough. Trazodone seems to be more complicated.

 

Thank you for the neuro-page, windows & waves. I may not be completely Jurassic—I found out how to reply.

 

And now you’ve pointed me how to quote inline. I’ll try it on.

 

I see you take Melatonin for sleep. My shrink told me Melatonin is ineffective for anyone who had ever take benzodiazepines. Anybody else hear that?

 

I have not looked for it here but I very occasionally take Hydroxyzine 25mg when anxiety gets too intense. Trouble is, it’s so somnolent! I read that heavy users can develop psychosis on (abrupt likely) stopping.

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment
6 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I see you take Melatonin for sleep. My shrink told me Melatonin is ineffective for anyone who had ever take benzodiazepines. Anybody else hear that?

 

Never heard that. 

 

Melatonin for sleep

 

8 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I have not looked for it here but I very occasionally take Hydroxyzine 25mg when anxiety gets too intense. Trouble is, it’s so somnolent! I read that heavy users can develop psychosis on (abrupt likely) stopping.

 

I used to take an antihistamine to help with sleep but it was not good in WD. It exacerbated various unpleasant symptoms. Glad I stopped. 

 

Antihistamines for withdrawal insomnia

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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@unblocktheplanet

Out of curiosity, what is your daily life like in Bangkok?

Do you have a local support system, and if so, what's it like? 

If this is too personal I understand. Just wondering. 

I find that WD can really exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation, and I wonder what your social network is like currently, in your immediate surroundings (not on the computer). 

Do you have any pets? Local friends? Social hobbies or activities?

<3

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Thanks for asking, Ariel, though I think your question is not simply curiosity what it’s like out here. My answer may be TMI.

 

My frequent & early wakings are a consistent feature. Nothing I’ve tried, from 300ug Melatonin to 10mg with different timings, nor aminos, has worked for me.

 

Mirtazapine & Trazodone worked for 15 years, until they didn’t. I expected to be taking them effectively for life. Don’t use Hydroxyzine for sleep but it sure makes me sleepy. No other side effects I’ve observed.

 

Hehe, what do I do?!? I’ve lived here 30 years, published many books, though it’s getting hard to find real publishers these days. And I don’t believe in vanity publishing. A book should stand on its own merits.

 

I’ve been married here for 31 years, active city life before Covid. Bangkok was vibrant & fun. These days, we’re both mostly housebound. We’ve lost interest in ‘out there’. It’s not agoraphobia or social phobia, I don’t think, more social alienation, detachment, disaffection. I was never much of a socialist anyway.

 

As you mentioned, you can’t know what it’s like to be 72. My observation is that one is born in contractions and, as one ages, one’s world contracts.

 

In youth, you’re looking out the right end of the telescope. In old age, it’s the other end. Everything is smaller & farther away. When I’m well, I can feel okay about maybe never seeing my children again; when I crash, that part hurts.

 

How come nobody told me about this? Really no one could put it into words.

 

My wife has never had any friends. Older sister lives at the opposite end of Bangkok. We have no car so rarely get to see her & our lovely university-age nieces.

 

However, this next weekend, she’s invited us to a resort in a national park. First time ‘out’ in two years.

 

81-year old parents are healthy—better than I!—but live in a far province. We talk on the phone every day & send them fruit, extravagant takeout & other goodies.

 

Only during Covid did we discover we had neighbours (Mennonites from Manitoba). They did all our grocery shopping for two years! I sunset walk every evening with another neighbour (Québecoise).

 

My sharp malaise did not start with Mirtazapine WD nor do I see that it was exacerbated. It started much before (2018) with depression / anxiety / sleeplessness. Forgetfulness, confusion, disorientation. Hard to concentrate. Zero motivation.

 

A feature of my sleeplessness is that, for the first time since I was 17, I sleep alone. My wife’s bells & whistles for work would be too disturbing. We’re still affectionate. It sounds weird but it’s okay for us both.

 

I have just one good friend (aged 77). Before Covid, I saw him every few months. Seen him twice in the past year. Am I lonely? I don’t think so, though it pinches to not want to force myself out. Yep, isolated, for sure.

 

Hobbies? Well, I write. I keep in touch. Water the garden. Harvest our mangos & bananas. Even in this state, I’m outgoing, gregarious. I chat with many strangers. But it’s shallow, of course, and somewhat fake. I’ve lost my deep well of humour.

 

Public hospital clinics are not expensive here but I’m fairly certain my complaints such as various skin, bone & joint issues are neuro symptoms. My thyroid is complicated. Maybe my adrenals, too. The clinics are a sort of hobby. And of course, I’m obsessed with reading for answers, mostly in journals, but some popular media, and SA. No social media.

 

I sit for meditation twice a day, yoga asanas 40 minutes (was a yoga teacher in my youth), 40 minutes sunset brisk walk. I’m pretty sedentary. I feel better horizontal & best in bed even when I’m not sleeping.

 

I should find something to do, right. Life-force is another hen-and-egg. I’m not so good at faking it.

 

One of the worst aspects of this distress is almost total anorexia. Muscle wasting. Everything tastes like sawdust, no motivation to cook so no desire to shop. I’ll be glad to get back on some supplements.

 

Intolerance for content. As soon as I crash, video, music, even some books, news, world events, current affairs are too upsetting. Videocalls are intolerable so I’m an email dinosaur.

 

It would be convenient to pin this on WD. And maybe it will be harder with Trazodone. I’m really, really weary of this s*it, Ariel. A year’s taper makes me 73. All in all, not much quality of life.

 

Thank you for caring, Ariel. I very much like your name. I bet your parents were romantics!

 

 

CJ

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment

Gettoflex, I’ve been doing extensive reading around SA. I’m trying to get my head around the concept of ‘windows & waves’.

 

Although insomnia has been a constant, feeling bad or good, for four years, anxiety & depression relented during good spells. These periods of bad & good have been completely random, can’t be tied to any kind of triggers.

 

I accomplished a linear taper of Mirtazapine over nine months, weaning in February. In December, doc trialed Vortioxetine, then 12 weeks of low-dose Quetiapine which I weaned over one month.

 

I’ve been feeling reliably bad since. I attributed this to my terrible reaction to Vortioxetine & then Quetiapine. Lots of physical symptoms per Dr. Glenmullen’s checklist.

 

You mention after weaning, it can take 6 to 8 months for the brain to heal. And I’m still taking Trazodone & Alprazolam which must be confusing things. Your advice was to wait out those months before starting to wean Trazodone.

 

However, this week, I had a small glimmer of energy. Motivated one day to cook (haven’t for many months), then another productive day. Followed by a slow crash day & today really, really in the pit.

 

I had been attributing my condition to the cycles I’ve experienced for four years. If I follow rightly, the present trend may be a hangover wave from Mirtazapine & the good days a window.

 

It is sooo hard to stay positive! There are so many amazing & inspiring people on SA. A good day makes the bad days seem so much worse. Just trying to get through this.

 

We all got onto psych meds for a reason. Either our doctors tricked us or we leaped at their promise to relieve our distress.

 

My question is, does the depression, anxiety & insomnia resolve after weaning? Or do we just have to develop drug-free coping strategies & live with them?

 

Thanks!

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment

Hi @unblocktheplanet

Good to read you. I'm sorry you're struggling with the instability of ups and downs. I hear you. The volatile and unpredictable nature of the WD experience is formidable.  

 

Thanks for your previous post, by the way, which I've read and re-read with interest. Feels like receiving a letter from a pen pal in Thailand. A welcome distraction from wallowing in misery!

I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply in kind. Know that your words are received and savored; your efforts are appreciated.

 

 

8 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Gettoflex, I’ve been doing extensive reading around SA.

 

When you want to get someone's attention, you tag them. See how I've done it with your handle? @unblocktheplanet  This should cause you to receive a notification (unless you have deliberately disabled your notifications). 

 

In order to tag @getofflex, you first start typing it out (including the @ sign). A dropdown menu should appear below what you're typing. Select the correct handle and voilà.

(If your text appears unhighlighted, i.e. @getofflex, the tagging hasn't been registered and will not work for a notification.)

 

BTW/FYI, if you ever find yourself with technical questions, you might ask them (and or find answers) in this thread: How to use this site

 

I will leave it to getofflex to respond to your inquiry about windows and waves. (Frankly I can get quite confused about these terms and definitions myself, so I look forward to hearing what getofflex has to say.) I'm guessing you've already read the previously shared link about windows and waves.

 

Are you familiar with this essay: Are We There Yet?

It provides an excellent overview of many aspects of withdrawal we wonder about, e.g. going over basic concepts such as stability.

 

Another good one is What is happening in your brain?

This one takes you a bit more behind-the-scenes, looking at neuroscientific ideas and function as pertaining to our experience of withdrawal. 

 

25 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

It is sooo hard to stay positive! There are so many amazing & inspiring people on SA. A good day makes the bad days seem so much worse. Just trying to get through this.

 

You are one of the many amazing and inspiring people on SA. I draw strength and hope from your presence here.

 

I know it can be so hard to stay positive, and yes, the bad days can sometimes feel like they just extinguish and render extinct all the light that ever was. I believe Altostrata, the founder of SA and a WD survivor, used to call them black holes. Try to remember this phenomenon is temporary, the bad days will pass (as they have before). It can be hard to trust in the moment (in every sense of that ambiguous phrasing). We are here to remind each other we are getting through it, and it does get better. 

 

We're in this together <3

A. 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hey Ariel, no need to reply at great length. I'm a compulsive completist--wouldn't want to leave anything out! Happy to fill you in. Ya see, Flex says emboldened--don't tag. (I'm a dinosaur, I don't know what that is, but I figured somebody would see it sooner or later.) Just as social media, I don't do notifications, just email; my ancient iPhone is just a tin can without the string. What can I say? I'm a geezer. Based on her advice, I won't start to taper Traz until November so still lots of time...to be miserable! (Gotta laugh at ourselves, eh.)

 

I think I didn't share that I worked seven years in a giant provincial psychiatric hospital--1,500 patients, 1,000 staff. I had the keys. I met my wife in the looney bin; she was in charge of the ward downstairs. In many ways, I think those places were a refuge for people who are now homeless. The only downside was they filled those patients full of poison. I refused to participate in ECT but I did observe a leucotomy. The hatch had it own farm, inmates produced most of the milk & meat. Just before my time, 1970, patients would be wrapped in sheets onto marble tables & hosed with high-pressure jets of nearly-scalding, then icy cold water. Before psych meds except for Librium. We were right on the shores of Lake Ontario so we'd take patients to bathe naked in all seasons. (I wanted to join in but...you know.)

 

I was in charge of night shift, had to stay awake until the supervisor passed by. I'd have a great steaming, high-pressure shower, then do yoga on the carpet in the common room. The 'cottage' kitchen was downstairs. My wife would cook us supper so we ate together in the quiet of the night. As I said, I had the keys. I slept on the couch until morning & hung my keys on a hook. This included the keys to the medications room & the keys to the great outdoors. I trusted them & they trusted me. My trust was never betrayed.   

 

During this time, I was deeply into Anti-psychiatry. I was part of an LSD weekend seminar with David Cooper. I had not thought about anti-psych until reminded here on SA & the whole idea of control of the mind fostered by capitalism.

 

My shrink thinks of himself as Dr ECT but I'm (de-)educating him bit by bit. He's a good man on the wrong path. Of course, he must not alert his colleagues. Open-minded is a crime, maybe mores here. There are so few good docs, eh.

 

The reason I asked this question about waves & windows is, like, where does it stop. People find Shep's story inspiring. Yes, it is. But I don't want to get back to a primal state where I need to be conscious all the time. Sounds exhausting. I was hoping to taper & wean my drugs & be done with it after a reasonable time, say 6-8 months. It doesn't sound like that's the case at all.

 

This is Thailand but I live in the city. Hilltribe opium is a lot safer than psych drugs, relieves one's pain and is no more addictive. Just saying...

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment
  • Moderator
Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2022 at 2:03 AM, unblocktheplanet said:

And I’ve found I can’t add my reply to some threads (https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/8048-the-pyroluria-fallacy/#comment-124098). I’d rather put my info in the right place so others can find it. How to, please?

You should be able to post to a thread, unless it is locked and the discussion is closed.  To quote inline, simply highlight a section of text, it will e highlighted in blue, and you will see a bubble under it that says "quote".  Click on that. 

 

On 6/10/2022 at 2:03 AM, unblocktheplanet said:

How do I fix my signature profile, please? I also notice in my Profile that there’s a lot of my old meds info available only to mods. Is this relevant to keep?

The profile cannot be changed.  You can change the signature box thus: 

1)click on your name in the upper right hand corner.  

2) select "account settings".  

3) select "signature" on the left hand side.  

4) type information in the box

5) click "save". 

 

 

On 6/10/2022 at 2:03 AM, unblocktheplanet said:

I discover I had kept careful records of Vortioxetine & Quetiapine December 2021 - April  2022 but I gave the only copy to my doctor. Sheesh!

 

In any case, ‘only’ 4-5 months but those were hell-th. One of them seems to have interrupted my ‘good’ spells so I’m now all bad. And I trialed these two while I was weaning Mirtazapine.

Please add this info to your drug signature, in a concise way with only dated, drug name and dose.  Just list month and year if you don't remember exact dates. 

 

On 6/10/2022 at 2:03 AM, unblocktheplanet said:

The 10% hyperbolic taper info, however, definitely scares me.

This is the safest way to taper off of psychiatric meds.  We can help you calculate the doses, if that is what scares you about it. 

 

On 6/10/2022 at 2:03 AM, unblocktheplanet said:

I could try Traz linear for the first couple of months and see how it goes. If it’s problematic, switch to hyperbolic.

Please forget the linear taper, and do the hyperbolic.  If you mess yourself up, it could take very long time to recover, as in months to years.  I tapered off trazodone several years ago, and personally for me, it was much easier to taper off of than this Lexapro is.  

 

On 6/10/2022 at 2:03 AM, unblocktheplanet said:

I’m afraid I’d screw up a liquid taper

A liquid taper is pretty straightforward.  It's actually easier than a dry taper.  

 

Here is a link explaining windows and waves: 

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

9 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

However, this week, I had a small glimmer of energy. Motivated one day to cook (haven’t for many months), then another productive day. Followed by a slow crash day & today really, really in the pit.

 

 

This sounds like windows and waves to me.  Did you read the link above?  All it means, is that we have periods of feeling good, and then periods of feeling bad.  Here is more about how our brains heal: 

 

What is Happening in Your Brain? (Explains why recovery takes so long)

 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment

@unblocktheplanet

 

6 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Ya see, Flex says emboldened--don't tag.

 

Argh. Right you are. I'm sorry, getofflex and unblock.

 

6 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I think I didn't share that I worked seven years in a giant provincial psychiatric hospital--1,500 patients, 1,000 staff. I had the keys. I met my wife in the looney bin; she was in charge of the ward downstairs. In many ways, I think those places were a refuge for people who are now homeless. The only downside was they filled those patients full of poison. I refused to participate in ECT but I did observe a leucotomy. The hatch had it own farm, inmates produced most of the milk & meat. Just before my time, 1970, patients would be wrapped in sheets onto marble tables & hosed with high-pressure jets of nearly-scalding, then icy cold water. Before psych meds except for Librium. We were right on the shores of Lake Ontario so we'd take patients to bathe naked in all seasons. (I wanted to join in but...you know.)

 

I was in charge of night shift, had to stay awake until the supervisor passed by. I'd have a great steaming, high-pressure shower, then do yoga on the carpet in the common room. The 'cottage' kitchen was downstairs. My wife would cook us supper so we ate together in the quiet of the night. As I said, I had the keys. I slept on the couch until morning & hung my keys on a hook. This included the keys to the medications room & the keys to the great outdoors. I trusted them & they trusted me. My trust was never betrayed.   

 

During this time, I was deeply into Anti-psychiatry. I was part of an LSD weekend seminar with David Cooper. I had not thought about anti-psych until reminded here on SA & the whole idea of control of the mind fostered by capitalism.

 

Whoa, amazing. Write a memoir about that time, or a screenplay?

 

6 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

The reason I asked this question about waves & windows is, like, where does it stop.

 

Haha! (bitter laugh) Where does it stop indeed.

 

6 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

But I don't want to get back to a primal state where I need to be conscious all the time. Sounds exhausting.

 

What do you mean? I'm intrigued. 

 

I'm no expert, and the way I've been feeling lately, I'd rather be unconscious, as in out, over and done. That being said, I thought the whole fuss about consciousness/enlightenment/presence is precisely that it's an easier, lighter, and much less exhausting mode of living than the opposite. Isn't it supposed to be liberating? (In theory, at least, like communism, or freedom.)

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
10 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

My question is, does the depression, anxiety & insomnia resolve after weaning? Or do we just have to develop drug-free coping strategies & live with them?

If the depression, anxiety and insomnia are a result of our brains being destabilized from psych drugs, then yes, these will resolve after weaning, but it can take quite a bit of time for this to happen.  Did you read my links I've posted so far, that explains what these drugs do to our brains, and how recovery works?  If so, you will see why it takes so long.  

 

However, many of us, such as myself, had depression and anxiety before we ever went on the drugs, and I believe we must do something to address these, by therapy, by learning new ways of thinking and behaving, etc.  

 

This is a process we have little control over, so just try to take things as they come, and try not to overanalyze the situation.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Try doing a site search on "windows and waves".  Here is how to do this: 

 

How to do a Site Search

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment

Thanks for all the info, Flex. No rush as I won’t taper Traz until November, with your guidance eight months after weaning off Mirtazapine.

 

I am sooo glad to hear tapering Traz was not so hard on you! Mirtazapine was not hard for me during the taper, continuing with waves & windows. Fingees crossed over Traz.

 

I had read your links to windows & waves plus brain. Yes, it sounds like windows & waves to me, too.

 

These have been happening for four years, since Mirtazapine & Trazodone quit on me. So it’s not entirely due to WD but also, seemingly, tolerance.

 

In many ways, W&W almost sound bipolar: depression & hypomania. All docs have told me no, some comfort.

 

Here’s wha bugs me. Eventually people’s sigs get to “Drug free since XXXX”. But they’re still miserable, on & off. Is that just the way it is?

 

What I mean is, we got on these meds because we were depressed / anxious / sleepless (& more). Once we’ve accomplished a careful taper & wean, I can see the brain will take some time to rewire. Hope not 20 years! By then, I can donate my brain to science.

 

The old dinosaur fixed his sig. Thanks!

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment

@Ariel

Ken Kesey did it better than I, Ariel. And the book is really powerful. After writing to you, I realised I had not told you that all our sheets & towels, milk & butter came from the hospital! We brought them back to have them washed & took new ones. Some of our towels still say “Province of Ontario”! And somehow, during David Cooper’s weekend, my keys were used to 'borrow' a capacitor from the ECT machine. I had already quit. The machine was made in Switzerland. It must have been out of action a long time.

 

What I was saying is that constant vigilance is exhausting. Vigilance is yoga, of course. But I don't want to have to be on my guard all the time, that an espresso & tiramisu or a new supplement or glaucoma drops...or anything...is going to push me over the edge again. On the other hand, maybe it's just the price of being us.

 

Big recommendation: new TV series Ratched. Hoo boy!

 

I thought you could use this inspiration. I was 25…

 

1524960065_VancouverYogaCentrecopy.png.a308d33c5ccdc6e43b6e65ae4b28f75a.png

 

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Many who get off drugs end up with decent lives. Please read some of the success stories.  Home page about halfway down.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

Link to comment
4 hours ago, getofflex said:

Many who get off drugs end up with decent lives. Please read some of the success stories.  Home page about halfway down.  

Thanks, Flex. I've read dozens of success stories here on SA, e.g., Shep. As they don't work, I'd rather not be taking poison. You yourself seem to be drug-free &, well, pretty motivated!

 

You mention B vitamins being 'activating'. Does that include B12 & Folate?

 

I live in Thailand. During my four year Hashimoto's crisis 1998-2003, I was so sleepless, I would have tried heroin if I knew where to find any. Probably safer than psych drugs, too!

 

I was just about to 'tag' you, with good reason!

 

In profligate reading around SA, I came across the concept of ‘tolerance’. It was in reference to benzos.

 

However, Mirtazapine & Trazodone worked to give me stability for 15 years. Until they didn’t. Is that what’s meant by tolerance?

 

I’ve been hooked on Alprazolam 1mg since August 2019. Hard to imagine it is helping my sleep. Is it to be expected I will reach a point of tolerance for it, too?

 

I have been considering tapering Trazodone first (after healing from Mirtazapine ~November), then, after weaning Trazodone, tapering Alprazolam. Does that seem the right course?

 

Secondly, is there merit in switching from Alprazolam (short half-life) to Diazepam (long half-life) in order to taper, which I believe is the strategy of the Ashton Manual? (You may not be the local Benzo expert. If not, will you make sure someone in the know sees this, please?)

 

Background. I was ‘cold-turkey’ed from Alprazolam 1mg in 2003. Mirtazapine & Trazodone were introduced. Took four months for me to feel ‘myself’ when I was 53. Probably take much longer to recover now.

 

Thanks for all your help, Flex.

 

 

 

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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  • Moderator
17 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

You mention B vitamins being 'activating'. Does that include B12 & Folate?

Yes, large amounts of vitamin B12 can activate you and cause insomnia, and other activations symptoms.  So can high doses of folate.  

 

17 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Mirtazapine & Trazodone worked to give me stability for 15 years. Until they didn’t. Is that what’s meant by tolerance?

Yes. 

 

Tolerance, or Poop Out

 

17 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I’ve been hooked on Alprazolam 1mg since August 2019. Hard to imagine it is helping my sleep. Is it to be expected I will reach a point of tolerance for it, too?

Don't know - I'm not familiar with benzos, but I suspect yes.  

 

17 hours ago, unblocktheplanet said:

I have been considering tapering Trazodone first (after healing from Mirtazapine ~November), then, after weaning Trazodone, tapering Alprazolam. Does that seem the right course?

Not sure.  

 

Frogie is our local benzo expert.  Please ask her about this.

 

Also, please search the website to answers for your questions.   How to do a Site Search

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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Thanks, Flex. I've sure been fishing SA's pool.

 

Don't mean to be in need of so much handholding. 

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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@Ariel

 

As I'm been reading through the experiences of others here, one name stands out.

 

You are so often a voice of comfort & support, Ariel. What a good heart you have!

 

CJ

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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Thanks for the kind words, @unblocktheplanet

Takes one to know one <3

 

How are you going?

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Hehe! From my reading here, I'm dead certain my heavy tinnitus arrived with Alprazolam. Deafness in the same ear came after Mirtazapine gave up. It helps to know, sort of!

 

Making full use of my first 'window' since Sept '21. Hour-and-a-half Thai massage by blind people yesterday--$6! I'm not so much into pampering. It had actually been some years pre-pandemic for my last massage. Sure felt awesome, though!

 

Just been reading this today...

 

Swami Venkatesananda:

“The ignorant mind interprets as

- ‘old age’ (which removes the pride of youth)

- ‘poverty’ (which removes the arrogance of wealth)

- ‘illness’ (which removes our reliance on physical strength)

- ‘dishonour’ (which removes the veil of vanity)

and others.

 

If the mind and heart are able to see these events as actions of divine grace instead of as calamities, we…  are instantly eligible to the boon of fearlessness.”

 

 

CJ

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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Happy to hear about your window, CJ. 

 

4 minutes ago, unblocktheplanet said:

Hour-and-a-half Thai massage by blind people yesterday--$6!

 

What's the deal with this, tell me more? I'm curious. 

 

I see your Swami and raise you a Peter Cook:

As I looked out into the night sky, across all those infinite stars, it made me realize how insignificant they are. 
 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Posted (edited)

Itchy - scratchy!

 

Weaned Mirtazapine in February after 20 years. In the last six weeks or so, I've gotten random itches. Palms of hands (wish money were coming to me!), fingers & webs between fingers are the worst. Dermatologist says I have eczema on my knees but now I itch on my shins, arms, neck shoulders, jawline, eye sockets.

 

I don't have any allergies nor have I changed my diet nor introduced any new supplement.

 

Anyone experience itchy-scratchy as a WD symptom??? Perhaps an antihistamine would help but don't like drowsy much. The itchy spots are so random, sometimes with a bump (mosquito or ant-bite?) or redness, most often not.

 

Creams? TIA!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with intro topic

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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Posted (edited)

Tapering order: Mirtazapine gone, next?

 

@Frogie

gettoflex tells me you're SA's resident benzo expert. I've finished weaning Mirtazapine. Still some symptoms so I'm giving it six to eight months before tapering again.

 

I was planning on tapering my 20-year Trazodone habit first. But I've also been strung on Alprazolam since August 2019. (Second time stupid. First time was cold turkey in 2003. Took four months to get myself back. And I was 53 not 72!)

 

Trazodone first? Thanks!

 

CJ

Bangkok

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with intro topic

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
Mirtazapine has antihistamine, α 2-blocker, and antiserotonergic activity. It is specifically a potent antagonist or inverse agonist of the α 2A-, α 2B-, and α 2C-adrenergic receptors, the serotonin 5-HT 2A, 5-HT 2C, and the histamine H 1 receptor.

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?
If you're not having an adverse reaction from the other medications, taper the most activating drug first. This is usually an antidepressant or stimulant (ADHD drug).

 

Trazadone is an activating drug.  Please read post #1 of this topic which explains how to get non standard doses:

 

Tips for tapering off trazodone (Desyrel)

 * * * * * *   PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO   * * * * * *

Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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Wow, thanks, Chessie. This is great info.

 

 

CJ

Doc is not God spelled backwards!

 

Mirtazapine 30mg 2003-February 2022

Vortioxetine 10mg December 2021

Quetiapine 12.5mg - 25mg - 50mg - 75mg January-March 2022

Trazodone 50mg 2003-present

Alprazolam 1 mg August 2019-present

Link to comment

Hi CJ,

Thanks for your delicious post in my thread. I read and re-read it with pleasure. 

 

I'm sorry to hear about the itchy-scratchy. 

I see that ChessieCat linked you up with the histamine food topic.

A lot of members find it helpful to make dietary changes for a while.

I had a brief histamine-reactive phase and making low-histamine modifications was helpful.

 

By the way, have you seen this topic? Might be worth a look as you consider which drug to taper next. 

 

 

You might also appreciate Rhiannon's thread.

Rhiannon has been tapering multiple psych drugs concurrently -- very, very slowly -- with good results. 

Success story in process (check out the drug signature):

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hello @unblocktheplanet, just wanted to say hi, I appreciate your writing style and sense of humor!  I’m a very beginner yogi just fascinated with the yogi lifestyle and tropical places.  Also, is thee a story behind your username?  Just curious!

Much healing and well-being to you.

2007-Prozac then off replaced with Zoloft 

2008- Off Zoloft replaced with Fluvoxamine 

2008-2009 50mg Fluvoxamine 

2009-2020 150mg Fluvoxamine 

2013-14 addition of Lexapro and Zyprexa

2015 back to only Fluvoxamine 

2019-2021 additional 150mg Wellbutrin 

2020-present taper off Fluvoxamine and Wellbutrin 

2022 - mid-February - stopped Wellbutrin

present- 25 mg Fluvoxamine hold

50 mcg Levothyroxine since 2014

magnesium and fish oil 

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