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Remy: Need advice


Remy

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Hi,

 

I realize this is a long story. But I need advice on what to do. Any input is welcome. I am cracking my brain to find a way out but it's hard with so much unknown factors.

 

You can see my medical history below. I always been a bit of a scared child. Never liked on holiday cause i got homesick. Often had horrible nightmares so i had to sleep next to my mom in the middle of the night. But i had a happy childhood. When i turned 16 i started to get problems with myself and life. Started to avoid things. Well i shall not make this a new diary but lets say i had issues with myself. But i could manage to have a life. Until i reached an adult life. I was 24 and just finished university. I had a girlfriend for 1 month. And i started to get panic attacks. More and more. I had to break up with my gf. But it kept increasing until i couldnt leave the house or speak to anyone. I was so afraid for death and thought about it a lot. I had big time agoraphobia and social anxiety. The latter was weird since i always been a social kinda guy who liked to be the middle of the party. But somehow when i started to speak to my neighbor or a friend i started to get panic attacks. Since i couldnt leave the house for 9 months, i was miserable. The doctor gave me paxil. Something i already had before. And it took away the biggest anxiety. The fear of speaking to people was subdued a bit. but i was still scared to get outside. I was send to a mental CBT clinic. I lived there for 5 months and they let us work on ourselves with CBT. I dont think it helped much cause the CBT was limited and i was still fleeing for myself so didnt want to do anything that was good for me. But it was a safe haven and wasnt to bad (it wasnt a hospital; we actually also did fun things). After i left i was 25 and still in trouble with myself. I had to keep working on the agoraphobia even with the paxil but it was much milder. But i was still fleeing from live. And paxil changed some stuff. I spend more money then i got. I was always craving for alcohol. I got fatter. And i was never really content or happy. But i could function. The social anxiety was gone. The thoughts about death were gone. All be it that my main fears like being happy, being in a relationship or being out on holiday were still intact. I spend years after this having a bit of problem with myself and life. But it got better. When i was 30 i started a real good job instead of some weird temp jobs or getting money from the government or my parents. I worked almost full time and all though it was a bit heavy now and then with my anxiety; ..i managed. I started to get friends again, started to sport a lot. I was mildly happy but at least functional. I thought i could be last fat so i dropped in 1 month from my usual 20 mg dose of paxil to my 15 mg dose. it went well, no setbacks for some time. I dont think the drop to 15 mg every played a role. I was still functional. Until i was 34. I was just playing tennis with some friends and we went to the bar and all of a sudden i was a bit afraid to speak to them. Havent had that in years. I was uncomfortable and left the tennisbar. Next week; the same. I knew from my past that this time i shouldnt leave cause i will only strength the fear but it was hard. Two weeks later i had the same experience suddenly on a party with friends. Etc etc. My social anxiety was coming back. Also my agoraphobia, all be it less. Within 4 months i had full blown panic attacks. A bit at home, i had to call sick from work, couldnt speak to anyone, i was very very anxious. perhaps even more then before paxil 10 years before but who knows, i was also bad then.

I went to a psychiatrist and he said that perhaps paxil wasnt the right drug anymore. He suggested a new and better drug 'lexapro'. He said i could do an ssri change. So change within 1 day to lexapro. I was so bad on paxil the last few months; i was so panicky all day that i remember the doctor, the psychiatrist and the company doctor saying they thought i had severe ADHD. So i thought the change to lexapro would be good. So 15 oct 2011 i was still swallowing paxil. 16th oct i took 10 mg lexapro. And they told me that changing ssri is something they have done for years and works every time. But BAMM the next day i was sick. like the flu. Shaky and sweating and feeling horrible. But whats worse. From that day it was like the lights went out in my head. Like i suddenly lived in a dream. I saw my body and i saw the world but i was all weird to me. I saw everything like in 2d. Like a pair of eyes staring in the world. And after 1 week of this flu i felt physically better but the panic attacks started. and way worse then my original problem. I had them at home even in my safe environment. I had them 10 times a day. And not only anxiety, i was scared. Scared like a little boy. For 2 months i didnt wanna leave the house. My mother had to stay with me day and night at my place cause i didnt wanna be alone. They gave me oxazepam and increased the dosage to 15 mg lexapro. But it didnt help. i got very sever panic attacks. More then i ever experienced. And the DP/DR was insane. I was sleeping 1 or max 2 hours per night for weeks. So i had to go to the closed mental ward in the hospital. They increased my oxazepam to 15 mg. And they increased lexapro to 20 mg. But i was horrible there. Between the psychotic people, the suicides. and they didnt do anything for me. No talk, no help. Just pills pills pills and i could do some activity like drawing or music making. And i kept saying to the doctors that it all started when i i changed to lexapro. I said i was in some sort of living coma. But they didnt believe me. They said it was my original disorder returning. But i was so scared. Scared like a little boy. Which is different then being anxious. i was so drugged and the world seemed so far away from my hospital room with bars. I decided i had to leave. I wanted to take matters in my own hands. I went living with parents on january 2012. And i started to cut back on the oxazepam on which i was for 3 months total. I must admit it was not much of a problem. i really think i shouldnt find the reason in there. Then in march i tapered from lexapro from 20 to 0 mg in 8 weeks. A much to fast taper but i was only on lexapro for 6 months and the boat on the paxil taper was already sailed. My insomnia went better. My itching went better. But the insane amount of dp/dr stayed. Also my burning nerves, my adrenalin bursts, the constant anxious feeling like i drunk 100 red bull. It's there since oct 2011 (10 months now) and hasnt changed at all. Also after my last pill of lexapro (which is now 3 months ago) i started to get more of my original disorder back. thinking of death even obsessed with it. The agoraphobia. And something i never had: depression. Which is logic since i am in such a hell. Also i suddenly ponder daily over the fact that i am already 36. That my life has passed without me knowing it.

 

I have now two problems. A severe WD (which no doctor beliefs so i am all alone)on which even i doubt since i have no physical symptoms; only mentally so who knows if this is my original problem returning with a big big vengeance? But besides wd i had a big original disorder and off course its back. Which is a shame cause i worked really hard on it, paxil wasnt enough.

The problems for me are big. I am still barely able to leave my house, i cant speak to friends or strangers without so much panic that i go nuts. I have severe DP/DR and i think every day who this body belongs to. I know the answer to that question but i feel as if this body is not mine. And the DR makes me feel very dizzy and besides that i,..well i cant explain it, even not to my mother. On oct 2011 the lights went out and never went back on. Its like i see the world in 2D. like i am really drunk without the good feeling. As if i am detached from the world. And both this DP/DR end in scary questions. Like "that is my mother and father but are they real? What are they"..or i look in the mirror and think "that is the body this voice lives in, but where do i live in that head; in this nose or where". i know the answers to those questions. i am not psychotic. But it is so so scary. And been going on for 10 months now. on the lexapro i had the same feeling but i wasnt scared about it.

I talked to 3 psychiatrists already and they all say its my original disorder coming back. That much anxiety can make the mind fly and ask these questions. They all offered me small dose of antipsychotics; which i refused.

 

But now i gotta make a choice. A BIG one. I am still unable to function at all. Since may 2011 (still on paxil back then). I have anxiety all day, dp/dr, depression, agoraphobia, social anxiety, burning nerves, adrenalin bursts, a sense of pending doom, scary thoughts and i still have my original problems which i had when i was 18 (selfdestructive, a part of me enjoys this hell). Many will say; its only 3 months since you stopped lexapro. But 1.) 3 months in this kind of hell is much...2.) I have been in hell for 15 months and its having consequences. This much time alone is not good, people in jail have more outdoor time. Also my mother and father are suffering. i see them age in front of me.

 

This friday i see a new psychiatrist. i hope this one WILl listen to me. They will see if i perhaps need to get hospitalized AGAIN. But i have got to make a decision. I have no certainty this is WD. off course a part, but it can also mainly be my anxiety disorder (all though the dp/dr is weird). Furthermore i think i am breaking. I cant keep this no more. But its such a gamble,.such a gamble. What if a drug increases the dp/dr? Or the anxiety? Then i would commit suicide i am 100% sure. But if i get back on a drug; what drug to use? Most people say back on paxil. The doctor says "once a drug works,..it will always work in your life". I highly doubt that. but as soon as you come with all kinds of research and tests i printed out from the web; they stop caring. I do think that perhaps paxil is the only drug that can take away the DP/DR that paxil wd started. But is it from paxil wd or is it perhaps from adverse reaction to the lexapro? But even so;..it makes sense to get back to a drug that worked for you. BUTT this hell started when i was on paxil. The first time in the tennisbar. Was that because a year before i dropped to 15 mg? Is that possible that i could have this much severity that the doc thought i had adhd and i couldnt leave the house? i dont think so. I really think i reached tolerance on paxil. But you read stories like this one (click) that say after some time a drug will work again for you.

 

But i need advice. I am desperate. I can not live liek this no more. Imprisoned in my head with the dp/dr/anxiety and imprisoned in my house cause i cant leave. But adding a drug can make matters worse. And WD can take years I know nobody knows for 100%. But can somebody see a logic in my story.? A fresh pair of eyes sometimes see things i missed. Should i wait with the risk that wd will get better? but that can take years and me and my parents are at an end. Should i risk paxil again,.how much worse can it get? or another ssri? But lexapro was a hell. or perhaps a tca?

I think its very hard to fight a big wd and a big original anxiety disorder at the same time.

Please help me. I am at an end and desperate. Again today, day nr 563 of lying in bed or on the ground, scared like a little kid. Living in a 2d movieworld. Anxious and depressed.

1997-1999 = Paxil 20 mg

2002- may 2010 = Paxil 20 mg

june 2010-oct 2011= Paxil 15 mg

nov 2011-may 2012= Lexapro 20 mg

Off medication May 2012

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Remy,

 

Welcome to the forum... I have a question first. You say when you were prescribed Paxil when you were 25 you had already had it before. Am I understanding that correctly? If so, why were you originally prescribed the Paxil, how long did you take it that initial time, what was your experience of the first few weeks, and then, when you first went off of it, was it "cold turkey" (i.e. without a taper?) or gradual?

 

My original reason for going on ADs was different... it related to depression, but that depression was combined with deep fears and apprehension. I was a shy, overly sensitive child, and your description of not wanting to go anywhere because you felt homesick sounds very familiar. However, I never had generalized anxiety or burning nerves as you describe it until after years of AD use. What I am wondering is if maybe your original panic attacks could have been related to the Paxil as well.

 

Aside from that issue, what I hear in your story is that Paxil may have helped somewhat, but not much... and it came at a high price. I really empathize with your despair... it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation.

 

I am different from other people on this site in that I did not have major side effects from the main ADs I took, or at least they seemed worth it because temporarily I felt so much better. I think my problem came from not quitting them soon enough, and going back every time I felt bad. They always stopped working after a period of time, and for me, yes, if I let a couple of years pass between taking the certain drug combo that "worked" for me, they would work again. But then as the years passed I started to notice bad changes in my body and mind, from weight gain and fatigue to realizing I was just staying on the drugs to stay stable, feeling less alive than I had before. Then my last two attempts to quit led to horrible symptoms that I had never before experienced. Docs would say it was my original condition returning and at first I believed it. Until I really started thinking of who I was and what I was like before I ever took an AD. I was emotional, prone to depression, extremely sensitive, but I was functional and did not have burning veins or exhaustion or dizziness or depersonalization and derealization to such frightening degrees. I did not have generalized anxiety.

 

My advice would be to stay away from the drugs that all the doctors are so happy to prescribe and find another way. Meditation, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, magnesium sulphate baths, light exercise, therapy... maybe taking Paxil again would numb part of your anxiety again, but what other, unseen damage will it continue to do? The nervous system is a delicately balanced mechanism and these drugs are like sledge hammers. Aside from the downgrading of receptors that they describe to explain why they stop working, there are other effects. Neurotransmitters and hormones act in conjunction with each other and changing one part of the equation affects the others. I think your experience with Lexapro and how the doctors reacted to what you KNEW was the problem is indicative, unfortunately, of the general tendency in psychiatry... don't trust the patient... they are, after all, mentally ill.

 

Trust your gut instinct... not the panicked side or the side that wants quick relief, but that wise part of your self that is telling you something 'is rotten in Denmark".

 

If you go to the symptoms section you can find suggestions for alternatives to dealing with your anxiety. It's not easy, I'm in the middle of that challenge myself, but it's better than continuing to alter the mechanisms of your brain and body in damaging ways with drugs.

 

I send you a hug and courage in this difficult journey!

'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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  • Administrator

Thanks, Nadia, for the good advice.

 

Welcome to our community, Remy.

 

It seems to me that you experienced Paxil "poop out." It can stop working and you might even get weird symptoms, like anxiety, when it does this. It doesn't mean your original condition is returning.

 

When you switched to Lexapro in one day, it sounds to me like you got severe Paxil withdrawal syndrome. This can happen even though you're on another SSRI. It takes some time for the second drug to ramp up and in the meantime, you can get withdrawal syndrome, with symptoms of "panic attacks," "anxiety," depersonalization, etc.

 

Sensitive doctors will overlap the antidepressants a bit, to "cross-taper" and reduce the risk of this kind of adverse reaction.

 

It sounds like you had an adverse reaction to the Lexapro, too, and that added to your activation -- that's the stimulation that causes "panic attacks" and "anxiety." (I'm using quote marks because these are adverse effects from drugs, not your original condition.)

 

You might also have withdrawal syndrome from quitting the oxazepam.

 

It's been nearly 10 months since you took Paxil, and you had a bad reaction to Lexapro, so reinstatement at a low dose of either drug to quell the withdrawal symptoms is a big question mark.

 

If you're very recently off a psych drug, reinstatement can help. Then you stabilize and taper more slowly from there.

 

Also, withdrawal syndrome often makes one's nervous system hypersensitive to medications. It's unlikely any medication is going to reverse your withdrawal syndrome, and hypersensitivity means if you try something, it's likely to make your symptoms worse.

 

Whatever you try, you must sample a very low dose at first, even vitamins and supplements.

 

You're in a difficult position. It can take a long time for someone's nervous system to settle down from all this chemical trauma. One thing you need to do is turn your thinking from worrying to taking care of yourself and healing. Worrying only adds to the withdrawal-induced "anxiety" and makes it worse.

 

If you can get magnesium citrate, putting some of the powder in ice water and sipping it during an "anxiety" wave can help. There are other suggestions for natural remedies in our Symptoms and Self-care forum.

 

I guess it might be possible for a very small dose of Paxil, such as 1mg, to soften the withdrawal symptoms, but I wouldn't hold out much hope for this.

 

I hope you can see you won't be able to count on a medication to resolve your withdrawal syndrome. Doctors don't know how to treat it -- they can barely recognize it.

 

I would NOT take an antipsychotic for your symptoms. Doctors suggest this because they don't know what else to do, but the antipsychotics incur great health risks and probably won't help at all.

 

A very, very small amount of lamotrigine (a so-called "mood stabilizer") might help because it lessens nervous system reactivity, but this is tricky. (See One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.)

 

Doctors often prescribe benzos like oxazepam for withdrawal syndrome. This is not ideal because one can get dependent on a benzo, too, or you can get a paradoxical reaction because of hypersensitivity. But since you may have gone off that too fast, this might help you. Try a very, very small dose at first and try to limit your use.

 

Is this right, you have not taken a benzo since you went off Lexapro?

 

(Please make short paragraphs in your posts, it makes them easier to read.)

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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THANKS!!

for the replies.

 

Remy,

 

Welcome to the forum... I have a question first. You say when you were prescribed Paxil when you were 25 you had already had it before. Am I understanding that correctly? If so, why were you originally prescribed the Paxil, how long did you take it that initial time, what was your experience of the first few weeks, and then, when you first went off of it, was it "cold turkey" (i.e. without a taper?) or gradual?

To be honest i dont remember much about that first period. perhaps i only took it for a few months,..perhaps 18 months, i dont remember. I think i tapered. I had no probs getting off. The panic attacks wasnt because of that. It is because i have several issues with life and myself and it all burst in adolescence. Also i was always anxious and afraid to lose control or that something might happen to me. Even as a kid.

 

 

Aside from that issue, what I hear in your story is that Paxil may have helped somewhat, but not much... and it came at a high price.

Well paxil helped. I had a huge problem before paxil. It helped me with my panic attacks. With my anxious nature, with my fears. BUT the big important thing is: paxil can make you do, but it can not make you be. So you dont grow as a person on paxil. So my deeper problems; afraid of death, afraid of getting older, afraid of having a relationship, hating yourself, feeling like a failure. Well even if paxil takes it out of your mind. it can not take it away from your subconscious. It burns inside you. So you get stomach pains, tired often, you never feel really happy even while you can function and laugh. And all though i could function; the big important stuff like getting a relationship, love someone, buy a house, a career;..it is hard cause you still feel like you cant inside. Even if the panic is gone. Thats in my opinion also the problem with CBT; but thats a different discussion ;)

 

 

My advice would be to stay away from the drugs that all the doctors are so happy to prescribe and find another way. Meditation, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, magnesium sulphate baths, light exercise, therapy... maybe taking Paxil again would numb part of your anxiety again, but what other, unseen damage will it continue to do?

No offense nadia, i LOVE your reply, very useful,..but I think you misjudge my situation. Its now been 15 months and i been hospitalized twice. And this Friday my parents and i are talking about another stay at a mental hospital with a psychiater from emergency mental help. I can NOT do much. Meaning i can not currently speak to anybody besides my parents and the doctors. I practice off course by now and then going into the supermarket. but my old agoraphobia is back; something i can beat by myself cause panic doesnt do any harm. But its a new ball game now. The DP is so big and when talking to somebody i not only get the insane panic, i also feel my mind retreating inside my skull. Like the DP gets so worse that i feel like i am in a movie, 10 secs later it feels like i am just a pair of eyes, 20 secs after that i dont feel my body and the panic keeps growing and my mind flees. It's so much harder then the normal agoraphobia panic i used to have. So therapy? I can not talk to a therapist and cant drive. Magnesium? Going to the store is unbearable for me. Etc etc. And every minute of the day i repeat to myself "how is this possible?". i am a grown man but i m often crying and calling out for my mother. Literally. In total fear as in a bad trip.

 

And the worst part is the fear. Not the anxiety. Anxiety is nothing else then like you drunk 100 red bulls and you are afraid of the panic itself. but fear is something much worse. Do you recognize that? Like a child. For me there is fear without thoughts sometimes;..like when i go from driving on a sunny road into a clouded road (dark on the ground). Then i feel fear. Or something simple as images like on tv. I see sesamestreet on tv and that vampire puppet talks; it scares me. Or an apple fell on the ground in my mothers garden. And it was rotten a bit. The image terrifies me. it is so weird. Its a sign i am really really maxed out i think. I can understand the doctor wanting to offer me antipsychotics after hearing this. off course i am not psychotic but i am on a edge.

 

 

It seems to me that you experienced Paxil "poop out." It can stop working and you might even get weird symptoms, like anxiety, when it does this. It doesn't mean your original condition is returning.

how can one know i was pooping out? i was only on 15 mg and i didnt have any physical symptoms like zaps or nausea or pain. It was just my old anxiety back; not as bad as i have it now. Just the same as when i started paxil. I so wished that idiot doctor would have increased to 20 mg paxil. Now i will never know if i pooped out.

 

 

It sounds like you had an adverse reaction to the Lexapro, too, and that added to your activation -- that's the stimulation that causes "panic attacks" and "anxiety." (I'm using quote marks because these are adverse effects from drugs, not your original condition.)

how can one tell? Its not like i went into a cbt clinic prio to paxil cause i had IBS. I was out of it then. Off course not as much as now. But i couldnt leave the house or speak to people neither back then. I have the exact same anxiety problems and fears i had before paxil. Only much worse. The only thing i didnt have before paxil was this insane sensitized CNS, the surreal feeling like you are not you and the dp/dr. But the fears are the same. I think my old anxiety disorder (which was no picknick before paxil) and the WD are walking hand in hand.

 

 

Is this right, you have not taken a benzo since you went off Lexapro?

 

Even before. The oxazepam started to work against me. I had insomnia and more panic. So tapered them without much troubles and i started to sleep again. That was like 6 months ago. havent used one since. All though i am seriously thinking of taking one now. Cause if i get hospitalized again; all they do is give me oxazepam. Better i do it myself at home in lowerdose.

 

 

Thanks again both of you. A few questions popped in my head from the replies:

 

1.) I think i need some drug. It is unrealistic to think i can keep this up. its only getting worse for me. i am at home this week and cant leave the house at all. i am shaking from fear. Constant fear and anxiety. And thoughts like "who or what am i", i even think about suicide a lot. I dont think i will do it, but the fact i am thinking about it every hour is not a good sign. I am at the end of my rope, simple. Suffering is ok. Even hell can be tolerated, but not for 15 months. I had the panic, agoraphobia, dp and dr since i switched to lexapro now for 10 months. But since i stopped lexapro 3 months ago all the feelings are back aswell. Which makes it harder cause now i also have fear.

So i dont think its realistic that i can keep up with this much pain. Perhaps if it was only the WD. But my old anxiety disorder is getting bigger and bigger every day. I can not leave the house and live inside my head more and more. How am i gonna fix this if i cant speak to people? I havent seen my family or friends in 15 months?

 

So what would be my best bet? lamotrigine will never ever be approved by the doctor and at this point no other doctor will take me (law here; long story). PAxil "worked" for me but it stopped working (maybe due to poopout; maybe cause i went to 15 mg; maybe because my problem got bigger cause i kept the reall issues unresolved inside me). Paxil has a name of not working a second time. is that true? What would be my best bet? paxil, zoloft (prozac is to stimulating i assume?) or a tca? Or is it less risky to try to relax my CNS a bit by taking 2 weeks of oxazepam. To get me outside this hell and the wd train back on rails. Is that less risky then a new AD?

 

Damn i hate to get back on these drugs but i can not take it no more. I will die this way; or worse my parents will who worry sick and have to take care of me. And who listen to me 24/7 (the fear is so big i need to talk about it much). I am in to much pain, i hope you guys believe me. I have to at now cause i am building to a climax where i need to be put down in the mental ward with antipsychotics. Every day i am losing it a bit more.

 

2.) Altostrata; i am pretty sure the depersonalization in my case is due to WD. Is this because the anxiety is so much, that the brain blocks itself? Is the amount of dp/dr i have experienced by more people here? For 10 months?

 

3.) i read here that in order to get passed the WD "Low stress, good nutrition, and as much sleep and gentle exercise as possible are key.". but how can you get low stress? i am burning from fear and anxiety. I can not CBT my way out of that. What to do? I use relaxation, breathing techniques, passionflower, magnesium. It's like pissing at a wild fire in the forest.

 

4.) I think sometimes it isnt wd but its my original disorder that has gotten 3 times bigger thanks to that useless ssri. The reason i think that is cause i have so many fears and anxiety from before. For instance my deepest fears were in the past:

- afraid to die

- afraid to take responsibility

- afraid to be mature and stand on your own.

I was afraid of life and of being mature. maybe it all has the origin in my insane fear of death and that i thought subconsciously that "i am gonna die anyway; dont make anything valuable cause it will be taken away from you".

Anyway; it was a fear but i could sidestep it. Not think about it by doing stuff and staying away from anything that means something. Fleeing. Not a great tactic but it works. I wont get happy but i wont get anxious either.

 

BUT now these fears are huge. Out of proportions. I think of them daily; every hour. Almost every minute. I can not flee from it. 1 hour ago i was watching a rerun of "king of queens" on tv and i saw a scene where they went to bed and they were in this old pyama; and they put the jewelry on the table next to the bed, and they kissed good night. A real family moment. And i went so scared. i started crying, and i felt all my nerves burning from fear and anxiety. And i thought "someday i have to do that; be a parent or a husband". i can not do that, i can not be that, it scares me. And i kept crying and crying and i felt so alone. So terrible alone i started to shake.

And that from a tv moment. And i have something like this every time. I read an advertisement that pops up unwanted on my computer about "death insurance". And i feel my stomach turning and the insane fear comes again.

 

At first i thought this was perhaps a good idea; my feelings and real issues coming out. I thought after wd i could perhaps work on them. But now 3 months later (this alls tarted after lexapro) like you can read i can not live with it. I can not have this every 15 mins.

My question: is this normal in WD? Are these my real issue (but this big???). I can not deal with this. Its to much. The wd, the original disorder and these insane fears. How is this possible?

 

I am so scared. i can not keep living like this. in a cell, in my head, in this non stop hell. And it doesnt look like this will be better in a month.

 

What to do?

 

Thanks for reading guys.

1997-1999 = Paxil 20 mg

2002- may 2010 = Paxil 20 mg

june 2010-oct 2011= Paxil 15 mg

nov 2011-may 2012= Lexapro 20 mg

Off medication May 2012

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hello Remy, I feel so sorry that you are going through this iatrogenic hell! Yes, your original anxiety disorder is still there and guess what? - it is driving the bus. But you have to take over the steering. I know that this seems possibly impossible - but the only thing i can suggest is that you stop looking forward and back and concentrate on each breath in. You can make it through if you take it moment by moment.

 

I really hope that you don't go back onto any other medication - please listen - can you think of your brain having a big gravel rash and any drug is like pouring alcohol on it - it stings. the only way out is to allow it to heal. Another SSRI or benzo is only going to aggravate it.

 

Doctors really don't know a lot about these problems and they really don't want to learn. This forum has a lot of good advice from people who have been there and have gone through exactly what you are going through, you don't have to do it alone.

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

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

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hello Remy, I feel so sorry that you are going through this iatrogenic hell! Yes, your original anxiety disorder is still there and guess what? - it is driving the bus. But you have to take over the steering. I know that this seems possibly impossible - but the only thing i can suggest is that you stop looking forward and back and concentrate on each breath in. You can make it through if you take it moment by moment.

 

I really hope that you don't go back onto any other medication - please listen - can you think of your brain having a big gravel rash and any drug is like pouring alcohol on it - it stings. the only way out is to allow it to heal. Another SSRI or benzo is only going to aggravate it.

 

Doctors really don't know a lot about these problems and they really don't want to learn. This forum has a lot of good advice from people who have been there and have gone through exactly what you are going through, you don't have to do it alone.

 

thanks peggy, you are 100% right but i simply can not do it at this point. I have been taking it moment by moment for 15 months and it has only gotten worse. And i am 1 month away of losing my job. My parents are on 3 bloodpressure pills each. My dad lost all his hair in 6 monhts. The CT switch was to heavy or my original disorder has gained strenght. But the last 15 months i been trying to work with the anxiety and the dp and other symptoms. In the hospital twice with no shoelaces and no belt. Enough is enough. Surviving antidepressants like this title says is sometimes also doing a step back so you can do more steps forward later. I am so so so tired in my head. I am done. Again;...if there is anybody else on this forum who hasnt spoken to a living soul for 15 months besides parents and someone who hasnt left the house or the 2d world they live in, and who was hospitalized twice;..i am ALL ears.

And i dont want to complain. But it just has been enough. The original anxiety and my fears are to strong for me to beat with this much WD. And i can not beat it if i cant leave the house or see someone. The dp/anxiety/fears is 5 times as big as when i started. My goal is to become antidepressant free. But the path i am on now is to hard, to painful for me and my family with zero perspective of getting better.

tell me this peggy; how can i beat my original disorder if i feel unwanted in this body>? If i look in the mirror and am scared; i dont recognize my face. I wonder where i live inside my body. What this voice is i hear in my head. Who am i,..what am i? I am so far gone. This is not the way.

 

So i really hope Altostrata will answer my questions. And i hope others will recommend what the best way to go is. two weeks oxazepam, 2 mg paxil (but it must work again then when 10 months ago 15 mg paxil didnt work no more), different ssri or a tca.

1997-1999 = Paxil 20 mg

2002- may 2010 = Paxil 20 mg

june 2010-oct 2011= Paxil 15 mg

nov 2011-may 2012= Lexapro 20 mg

Off medication May 2012

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Hi Remy...Feel for you. The anxiety and stress from it builds on itself.

 

Remy I did take Paxil for about 9 years. I switched to Lexapro from Paxil, but I did the crossover in about a month's time. I had Paxil WD and it was very rough, but it passed in about a month or so. The Lexapro worked and I was okay, but getting there was difficult. Bad anxiety, flu like symptoms and lots and lots of crying spells.

 

From what I can gather, you did it in (1) day and that was like a Cold Turkey from Paxil even though you took Lexapro. WD from Paxil will super-cede anything you take.

 

Having been in your shoes, I knew Therapy - Meditation and other treatments would help, after I became stable on medication. Your anxiety is extreme and you seem to be suffering terribly from it.

 

Thank goodness you have your family. It does help to be cared about.

 

In my current situation I am tapering down from Celexa which is a cousin of Lexapro and increasing Imipramine which is a tricyclic. Imipramine works very well for anxiety for a large majority of people. The Celexa did help depression, but I believe I am on too high of a dose.

 

This is the path I am currently on. I have taken Imipramine before for anxiety.

 

I am not prescribing this cocktail for you or anyone else. This was a carefully thought out decision I made.

 

Talk to your doctor about the Imipramine and explore every possibility you can to be informed. I don't always trust a doctor's recommendation, so I do alot of research.

 

Hope you feel better soon....

 

Nikki

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

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • Administrator

Remy, it's unlikely a psychiatric hospital will know how to treat an iatrogenic condition. If you keep on asking them to fix you, all they know is pouring on drugs, one after the other, and that's what they will do.

 

In all your dealings with doctors, I strongly recommend you insist you have drug damage and not some exotic psychiatric disorder.

 

One thing that strikes me is that you are afraid of your symptoms. It's important to understand you have symptoms because the drugs had a bad effect on you, not that you are intrinsically and permanently damaged.

 

When you are afraid of your symptoms, you make them worse. Your fear adds to the iatrogenic "neuro-emotion" generated by your misfiring nervous system.

 

You need to separate who you are from your symptoms. You are not your symptoms. Your symptoms are a nuisance that you must cope with.

 

You are still working? No wonder you are feeling such a tremendous amount of stress. Can you get a leave of absence from your job? You need to get a break from the pressure.

 

You need to accept it that you have an injury and you need to heal. As long as you keep fighting this, you're going to be adding to your symptoms.

 

I know it's hard for your family, too, but the reality is the reality.

 

Our member Claudius lives in Netherlands. You might read his story, and contact him. He is now recovering from prolonged withdrawal syndrome.

 

In http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2789-remy-need-advice/page__view__findpost__p__29447, I described the only treatments for prolonged withdrawal syndrome that I know of. Nothing is a quick cure for it. No one knows how to treat injury to the autonomic nervous system.

 

You need to use drugs very, very sparingly. In your case, since the benzo went paradoxical, it's probably not a good idea to try that. I take it the situation with lamotrigine is too complicated to explain. (In the US, it's prescribed quite widely as a "mood stabilizer.")

 

For the most part, recovery from prolonged withdrawal syndrome is a matter of self-care, patience, and willpower. Support from people around you would be great but most of us on this site don't have that since no one understands what's wrong with us.

 

If you could find a supportive psychotherapist, that would help you a lot.

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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I don't know what to tell you, Remy... my original problem was depression, not anxiety. And I have only been hospitalized once. My withdrawal has at moments been pure hell, I've doubted my sanity, but I've fought to remain more functional than most. The worst for me was about a year ago, when I spent a couple of weeks without being able to sleep (if I sat up I could dose off for a few minutes at a time earlier in the night) and in a constant state of panic, without a sense of self, feeling like I had died and was in a horrible nightmare. I don't know how I got through that, but my mother's support helped. She dragged me out to walk, she told me I wasn't going to die of panic, she made meals for me and ran baths. She forced me to do things I swore I was not capable of. Eventually I could sleep a couple hours at a time, then four hours... for two weeks last month I was able to sleep even 8 and 9 hour stretches.

 

I am now 20 months into withdrawal and things have improved, but I'm having a bad spell again. I also think of going back on antidepressants, thinking taking some drug might be the only solution to my broken self. But I know I am much, much worse now than I ever was before I tried ADs, that they have hurt my nervous system in a deep way that no one in the world really knows how to heal. In theory I am not opposed to taking a drug, but the drugs that have been developed so far are dangerous.

 

You say the drugs made you worse, yet you think the only solution is to go back on them. What do you want any of us to say? Is there a drug that is better than others? How can we possibly now how any specific drug will affect you, when the doctors themselves have no idea?

 

I hope you find the answer somehow, and I feel for your plight. The only advice I can offer is that you need to start with acceptance, and that is a very, very hard thing.

'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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Thanks Nikki for replying. I hope you will taper slowly and dont get where i am

 

@altostrata: No i havent been working. Like i said; havent spoken to anyone in 10 months besides my parents or doctor. I am now 15 months sick from work. 3 more months and i lose my job. i live alone and then i cant afford my apartment anymore. I can not get sick money from the government cause "people with mental problems should just go to work and find something they can do".

I know i sound aggressive. i am sorry about that, i hope you forgive me. Adrenalin is rushing through my body and i feel angry.

 

And yes i am scared of my symptoms. Not so much of the WD but of my huge original disorder and my personality. The main problem is not only the WD. I honestly think one day the DP/DR, adrenalin rushes, the anxious feeling, the burning nerves and the feeling of doom will pass. But my original disorder is to big. I couldnt see anyone or leave the house before paxil and now its bigger even. Off course the best way normally is to face and accept it and practice to let it pass. I done that years ago. But now in WD its to hard. Normally panic lessens in time. Now it doesnt. Normally panic is the feeling we all know with heart palpitations, anxiety etc. now it's also that, but my mind flees inside my brain. The DP/DR gets enormous when i speak to someone. And doesnt let go. So i hope you guys realize even WD aside; how hard it is if you cant leave the house or speak to someone.

 

And every month more symptoms arrive. And i am more and more in pain. You are right i should accept it and fighting makes it worse. But i been doing that since the paxil pooped out on me and 15 months later i am at the end of my rope. I am a guy with little willpower unfortunately. It doesnt matter. I have other qualities. But willpower is not one of them.

 

Altostrato;..could you be so kind to answer my questions about fears? if fears get worse in WD? It's getting ridiculous. Just now before this website i went to facebook (my only window in the real world) and i saw a photo with a friend and his girlfriend. And i got so scared and felt rushes through my body and i felt my nerves burning and wanted to scream. From a photo??? But i think i have a personality disorder (borderline perhaps). Not a big one but a small one (been tested for that and they said i have some areas from that) so responsibilities and relations, being happy etc scares me. So i avoid them. But no borderliner in the world will scream and feel anxious from a picture on facebook. Still i feel so alone, so cared. My deepest fears are tenfold. IS that common? Its another pain that is to much for me. The fears are bursting in me. I am so afraid i am already 35 and live has passed me by and i am old. i am so afraid of dieing one day. I am so afraid of work, relationships, of growing up. I cried when i saw a job advertisements on tv. I actually caled out for my mother like a little child. WHAT is wrong with me? I am scared like a little boy that lost his mother at the mall. How i can i beat this, that every fear sparks a already sensitized CNS into havoc?

 

You say the drugs made you worse, yet you think the only solution is to go back on them. What do you want any of us to say? Is there a drug that is better than others? How can we possibly now how any specific drug will affect you, when the doctors themselves have no idea?

 

Well i was hoping by experience. I was hoping that you guys knew of the article i posted was true (CLICK). that a poopout can be "fixed" after some time and changing meds. Can someone say something about that? Cause then i can start 1 mg perhaps to try.

 

What you guys are asking form me is something i can not give. I can not stay in this hell much longer and just say "hey lose your job, stay at home on the floor in fetus position for 2 more years at your moms house (i cant pay my own) who is near a burnout herself. And fix your way out of a anxiety disorder, CT wd after 13 years of use and a personality disorder yourself." A therapist i can not speak to.

 

I am so so so sorry i dont have more strength. i wish i had. i am sorry to let you guys and my parents and myself down. But when suicide becomes more and more an option to end my pain...i have to do something. I can not kill myself without trying a drug before that. But i am so afraid of those meds. that it will worsen (is that even possible?) the situation. i am so scared. And thats also make my current situation worse. That neither option A as option B is looking doable.

Tomorrow i am seeing a psychiatrist at a hospital and i will make sure to tell this is 50% WD and 50% my original problem. And i will insist that my original disorder was large but not as large as this.

 

Sorry guys i made it so long. It is just to much for me and i need to get it out. I thank you for taking the time for me. I dont wanna die but death seems often better then the past 15 months. I dont believe in the serotonin deficiency theory, And even if i have one; ssris are like shooting with a canon at a fly. But ideally i could restart paxil. Get stable. Work on my inner fears and personality with a psychotherapist (no CBT is not enough; i told them that 15 years ago but they said its the best for agoraphobia). And when i delt with my fears;...i can taper very slowly and be medfree on my 40s.

But the fear of an adverse reaction. Well if it gets worse; i wont make it.

 

But whats weird;..every withdrawal i know of (heroin, cocain, sugar, cigarettes) gets better when you restart the product. Why not so with ADs?

1997-1999 = Paxil 20 mg

2002- may 2010 = Paxil 20 mg

june 2010-oct 2011= Paxil 15 mg

nov 2011-may 2012= Lexapro 20 mg

Off medication May 2012

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"Every withdrawal (heroin, etc.) gets better when you restart the drug."

 

I think this is a reason that many doctors fight against calling it withdrawal, because it is not quite the same as withdrawal from an addictive drug like caffeine or heroine or nicotine (although I'm sure correlations can be made). Rather, the psychiatric drug has caused organic changes in your brain [note: of course caffeine and such do as well, but perhaps the changes are simpler... this is a complex question], some of the symptoms of which can be helped by going back on the drug or not discontinuing it, some which are not fixable by the drug again or which persist even when restarting it. Most of the people on this site fall into the category of people who had adverse reactions from the medication immediately (such as your reaction to Lexapro), or people like me who were relatively fine at first but started developing more serious problems with extended use. The thing is that the action of ADs is not discrete. For example, Zoloft is an SSRI, but it has other effects, many of which doctors and researchers have NO CLUE ABOUT. And neurotransmitters work in conjunction with each other and hormones... you can't mess with one of them without upsetting the balance of the rest.

 

For me with Zoloft and Wellbutrin, I went back on many times and each time they would have an effect again if enough time had passed since I took them last, and I'd be OK for another year and a half or two. In 2008 I quit after a shortish taper and after three months of being off I had horrible anxiety and panic (totally frozen with fear and unable to function). When the first small sypmtoms started, I tried acupuncture, chi kung, and things like that, but things got much worse and my parents intervened since I was off the deep end and took me to a psychiatrist. I gave up and went back on the drugs. They made me feel bad for the first week or two (very "speedy" and twitchy), but I also took clonazepam at the same time until my brain adapted again to whatever "normality" it had cobbled together on the drugs. I then beat the worst of the anxiety after a couple of months and stayed on the drugs another two years before deciding to go off. Unfortunately I didn't research enough before this, and in the stupidest decision in my life, I went off the drugs cold turkey this time (I forgot to take my meds three days and felt OK, and thought that was an indication that I would be fine... how dumb of me, yes). I did not realize that the three-month after quitting anxiety I had had the time before was related to withdrawal. I thought it was just me developing a new disorder, or that it was related to life stress. The psychiatrist told me I was a weak person who did not know how to say no or handle anything in life. He did not believe in withdrawal. Within the first five minutes of meeting me he assumed that the broken, frail person before him was who I had always been, instead of realizing that I was a person with certain emotional challenges who was in a particularly bad crisis as a result of discontinuing drugs. I don't know how he would have "cured" me (he claimed he could)... I was too disgusted with his assessment of me to go back. There is no prescription required for ADs where I live, and I had been told by two former psychiatrists that I would have to be on medication for the rest of my life. I didn't fully believe it but it seemed to be true since every time I quit I did poorly again and had to go back.

 

So, if you have the possibility of reinstating, stabilizing, and then doing a really, really long taper to get off the drug while at the same time working on your original problem (and for that I would recommend ACT, not CBT), then maybe that is an option. The thing is that no one on this site, no matter how experienced, can give you an answer as to how you will react. Some people have horrible reactions to some medications that pose no problem to another person. My sister was on Paxil with no problems for 6 months. I had an immediate horrible reaction to Paxil. Zoloft worked all right for me for a while, other people have severe adverse reactions from it after one day.

 

What seems generally true is that for a lot of us, after being on the drug merry-go-round for a while, our systems have become highly fragile and sensitized. What I would insist from your doctor is that he/she NOT prescribe more and more drugs on top of each other. Certainly I would stay away from Lexapro. Maybe Paxil is your best bet since it seems the worst you felt with that is just that it stopped working... you could try it very, very cautiously. Maybe there are better drugs out there, like the ones that deal with glutamate instead of serotonin. I don't know. I'm too scared to try because it's a big risk. At the same time, I too continuously hope for an answer, something that will heal me AT LEAST to where I was when I started.

 

In any case, what you describe about your fears makes complete sense. Seeing a picture and what it can evoke, etc. Those sorts of things happen to me as well on a smaller scale, though thankfully I am able to feel better in the afternoon most of the time, and I have learned to step away from the fear and observe it. It doesn't go away just like that, it's torture to go through, but at least I've learned how not to let it spiral out of control. I can't imagine what it must be like for you to deal with this on a much larger scale. I entirely understand that it seems impossible.

 

Fear is a really tough thing to go against, because it's very nature is telling you to run. I hope you find something that will make you be able, with time, to slowly accept the fear and disarm it, that you can reclaim your life. Certainly it will not be easy. I remember one time I was in a complete state of panic, the fear was completely unleashed and I was entirely prey to it. My mom shook me and slapped me and it brought me back for a moment. I hope you find something that breaks the cycle like that somehow so that you can slowly spiral in the other direction.

 

Sometimes I recite this, from the Dune novels (whether I believe it or not):

 

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

 

(I think the part I put in bold is key.)

 

I also recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

 

You'll probably say that you are too far gone now for this to be of use now, that your fear is much worse than anyone else's. But I'll put it out there in case it can help you someday. Unfortunately there is still no magic answer.

 

I relate to what you say about being someone with little willpower, I feel that all the time. But look, your posts seem to be filled with will... I think it is in there somewhere. You are exerting will by being on this site and trying to find answers. We can't really give you what you are looking for, you must find it in yourself. It's a cruel answer, perhaps, but it's true. And you are capable of much, much more than you realize.

'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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  • Administrator

Thanks, Nadia.

 

Remy, we do recommend restarting the drug at a low dose if you have recently quit the drugs. If this is done within a small amount of time, weeks rather than months, it is more likely to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

 

You've been off Paxil since October 2011. It seems Lexapro did not help your Paxil withdrawal symptoms and you felt sick on it while you were taking it, is that right?

 

If you think taking Paxil will help you, you might try a very low dose, starting with 1mg (Paxil comes in a liquid) for a week. If it seems to help a little, go up to 2mg.

 

As Nadia said, we can't predict how you'll react. Hopefully, you could stabilize at a low dose for a while, in your case some months, and then very, very gradually go off it.

 

Or, since Lexapro didn't help before, do you think it would help now?

 

Yes, withdrawal syndrome exaggerates "bad" feelings. See our Symptoms and Self-care forum for more on this. Also see What is antidepressant withdrawal syndrome?

 

"Poop out" or tolerance on antidepressants indicates your serotonin receptors have maximally downregulated. Sometimes increasing or switching the drug squeezes a little more out of them, but people tend to become tolerant again and head towards the iatrogenic condition called "treatment-resistant depression," meaning no drugs seem to help them.

 

As to your prior condition and personality: Your condition now is entirely different from whatever you had in 1997. Not only are you older, your nervous system has been changed from the medications and withdrawal syndrome. For better or worse, you are not the same Remy any more.

 

In 1997, you might have learned to control your tendency to anxiety through non-drug means. Now that your nervous system has been damaged by drugs, this is the safest route for you to take care of yourself.

 

If you were taking medications to fix what you thought of as a bad personality, you need to work on that, too, with non-drug therapy. You need to accept yourself, your current disability, and your reality. You need to learn to trust yourself. Otherwise, you'll always be fighting against your own self-doubt.

 

This is a site to support people in withdrawal. We can't do much for people who want to fix their bad personalities with drugs.

Edited by Altostrata
clarification

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nadia, that was a great post.

 

Alto also in her last sentence - Remy, perhaps you are not yet ready to accept that drugs have caused your problem. I don't mean your original problem, but where you are now. If you are considering suicide, please remember that this is a permanent end to a temporary condition - one that will have repercussions that will never end for other people around you. Please speak to your parents about this. Show your parents this thread and see if they can understand and then support you.

 

Alto has the best advice regarding restarting and tapering your drug.

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

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

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Thanks for all your advice. Doing terrible last few days so wasnt able to reply sooner.

1997-1999 = Paxil 20 mg

2002- may 2010 = Paxil 20 mg

june 2010-oct 2011= Paxil 15 mg

nov 2011-may 2012= Lexapro 20 mg

Off medication May 2012

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