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BunnyMom: withdrawal hell - when does it end?


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So encouraged to find this site about experiences of withdrawal from antidepressants, because I am feeling so alone in my struggle to be drug-free right now. It is a lot of pain!


I abruptly stopped long-term antidepressant pharmacotherapy when I read that new emerging symptoms I was having while on the meds, could actually be induced by dangerous drug-drug interactions of the medications I had been prescribed by my psychiatrist - and taking regularly. I had become more and more active over the summer, and it got to the point where I was getting up at 3AM to start work, working till 8 or 10PM, working on weekends, excited all the time about new projects, talking a mile a minute, and having unusually great success at all my activities, feeling euphoria a lot of the time - but it was just abnormal levels of activity and I got concerned, and looked it up.


I was thinking of writing a book about my new state of mind, "Unbearable Happiness", then Googled about what other people with this experience were writing, and found many, many links to people writing about their psychological disorder of mania - and not in a good way, but from bipolar. I looked up my meds on drug-drug interaction sites, and found mania is a potential drug-drug interaction of the meds I was taking, and became distressed. What if I was developing mania from the drugs, after having depression for most of my life? What if I started doing dangerous risky manic things?


So now I am in withdrawal at about 4 weeks after stopping all of them completely, all at once.

I'm not feeling depressed, nor manic, but am feeling sick as hell physically. I live along with a house bunny and parakeets, as my daughters are grown and have moved on.


I had been prescribed and taking a high dose of 2 different kinds of antidepressants, venlafaxine at 300 mg/day an SNRI, plus generic prozac at 80 mg/day an SSRI, along with risperidone at 2.5 mg/day for about 5 years, all intended to treat a psychiatrist's diagnosis of depression, and later, schizoaffective disorder. When I read that these  medications are clinically contraindicated - not to be taken together - because of serious drug-drug interactions, and that the doses I had been taking were very high, I stopped taking them. That was about a month ago.


Since then, I get waves of sleepyness coming over me a lot. Every hour or so when I try to work at something, and often I am just sleepy and napping all day long, and have trouble concentrating on things I would like to do, in addition to unbelievable constant pain. It eases up when I take advil and Benedryl, but how much of that can you take? Not a lot.


I am home from work (I'm a research scientist) and most of the time unable to do my normal things like cook and clean and exercise because of the pain and fatigue. I have sneezing and coughing and GI upset all the time, but no fever or anything like that. Pulling myself together to go out into public is a real effort. I have pain all over my body - electrical pricks all over the surface of my skin, deep pains in my muscles, aches in my joints, terrible headaches, and the only relief comes from going to sleep, and I am sleeping a lot. But then I have the worst nightmares of my life, with horrible things happening to all my prior loved ones and pets, and wake up terribly disturbed. I think my nerve cells are all in disarray.


I used to meditate and do yoga but right now, I can't seem to do them at all.

What has been helpful to you, if you have been going through antidepressant medication withdrawal? How long does it last?


With gratitude,


In withdrawal from a combination of antidepressants and antopsychotic:

Venlafaxine (300 mg / day) past 5 yrs, currently med-free for 1 mo

Prozac (800 mg / day) past 5 yrs, currently med-free for 1 mo

Risperidone (.5 to 3.5 mg / day) past 5 yrs, currently med-free for 1 mo


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  • ChessieCat changed the title to BunnyMom: withdrawal hell - when does it end?
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Welcome, @BunnyMom


That is indeed a peculiar cocktail mixed by your psychiatrist, and it appears to have induced hypomania.


First, good thing you can sleep. A grueling sleeplessness is a more common withdrawal symptom. Body and muscle pain and fatigue are common, too.


When people develop withdrawal syndrome from going off their drugs too fast, we generally suggest reinstatement of the drug at a low dose. This often reduces withdrawal symptoms. But you went off 3 drugs at once.


Probably your lowest-impact drug was fluoxetine, which is available in a prescription liquid. Would you be willing to try a test dose of 1mg, to see if it might help? You'd taper off any reinstatement by tiny amounts later, after your withdrawal symptoms subside.

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

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  • 4 months later...

Hope you found an answer.

3mg Risperidone Mid May-July 8 2022.- 6 weeks

5mg Abilify only one time at hospital (July2022)

Haloperidol (Haldol) 5mg in the am 10mg at night. Started March 30,2023.

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