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Apathy, anhedonia, emotional numbness, emotional anesthesia

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Adiip

I have an interesting theory that I wish to debate/discuss, not sure if it has been thought of yet, but here goes.

 

I am currently experiencing emotional numbness, which In truly believe is a coping mechanism of the brain/nervous system and is part of healing.

 

Emotions shut down to give you a break from stimulation so your system can heal.

 

The part I find interesting is that emotional numbness is what ssri's and some other anti-depressants cause. Is this how they work?

 

I am starting to think that ssri's cause your brain to go into protection mode, they induce a mechanism that your brain produces naturally when injured or threatened by stress.

 

It may have nothing to do with seretonin at all?

 

Does increasing seretonin in the brain indirectly cause your brain to go into this 'protection  mode"? And is that how you physically heal from depression/anxiety?

 

During my experience with emotional numbness, I have experienced a reduction in my physical symptoms.

 

I am starting to think that I am being shut off from my emotions until my body and nervous system are strong enough to cope with them.  I find this truly inspiring! It stops me from intellectually fearing the numbness and makes me feel a trust for my body, a trust that it knows exactly what its doing to get me well again.

 

Also, I think why people feel they are damaged by the ssri's when they are experiencing emotional numbness is because it is the exact feeling that the drug produces also.

 

Trust yopur body, have faith in it and the universe that it knows what its doing at all times.

 

My recovery the first time was sped up by looking at my withdrawal symptoms as symptoms of recovery.


Took 6 - 10mg a day of xanax (and have been on every single ssri) for 5 years at age 17 (now 35)

Rapid taper, major withdrawal, recovered after 4 years.

Great life/career, had breakdown 10 months ago (which felt like acute withdrawal)

Took Citalopram for 6 weeks, hated it, tapered, left with emotional numbness.

STILL LOVE LIFE.

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Mort81

Interesting, I have found that since I've been in WD I am far more susceptible to all stress but I think that's only because I don't feel healthy enough to deal with things yet and my life has been thrown totally upside down . One thing I am sure of, is that if I knew from day 1 that what I was experiencing was withdrawal than I would have been able to deal with things alot better and maybe I wouldn't have been so succeptable to all the emotional and physical symptoms that were consuming me . Joining this site and not listening to my doctors anymore has given me clarity and I now think I am able to look at my symptoms as a process towards healing like you said.

 

I know alot of people experience emotional numbness while on SSRI. I never did for some reason. I am pretty new to this so the whole scientific side is interesting to me but I am learning. I like hearing from everyone on here.


Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th . PPI Dexlant  30 mg taper has begun. Cutting 20% currently.  using zantac as needed.  Benzo is currently 0.10mg 

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Adiip

Yes, the more you look at them as they are, which are symptoms of recovery, the better you'll be and you will have a better understanding of your body than you did before. When it is over you will be better, and stronger than you were before.

 

Emotional numbness is a funny one, sometimes I feel like my old self, just without emotions!

 

I guess being numb isn't all that much of a bad thing, you don't experience anxiety either! You still intellectually feel things though, I was talking with a relative about my late Aunty today and had a good cry, it still felt like a relief on some level.


Took 6 - 10mg a day of xanax (and have been on every single ssri) for 5 years at age 17 (now 35)

Rapid taper, major withdrawal, recovered after 4 years.

Great life/career, had breakdown 10 months ago (which felt like acute withdrawal)

Took Citalopram for 6 weeks, hated it, tapered, left with emotional numbness.

STILL LOVE LIFE.

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Mort81

Ya your totally right if your numb than when anxiety or panic hits , your body doesnt go into complete fight or flight mode which is awful, and Its amazing that you can cry , it relives so much tension and feelings. Whenever I can cry , even if its just a little bit , I feel better


Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th . PPI Dexlant  30 mg taper has begun. Cutting 20% currently.  using zantac as needed.  Benzo is currently 0.10mg 

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akakoom

I have an interesting theory that I wish to debate/discuss, not sure if it has been thought of yet, but here goes.

 

I am currently experiencing emotional numbness, which In truly believe is a coping mechanism of the brain/nervous system and is part of healing.

 

Emotions shut down to give you a break from stimulation so your system can heal.

 

The part I find interesting is that emotional numbness is what ssri's and some other anti-depressants cause. Is this how they work?

 

I am starting to think that ssri's cause your brain to go into protection mode, they induce a mechanism that your brain produces naturally when injured or threatened by stress.

 

It may have nothing to do with seretonin at all?

 

Does increasing seretonin in the brain indirectly cause your brain to go into this 'protection  mode"? And is that how you physically heal from depression/anxiety?

 

During my experience with emotional numbness, I have experienced a reduction in my physical symptoms.

 

I am starting to think that I am being shut off from my emotions until my body and nervous system are strong enough to cope with them.  I find this truly inspiring! It stops me from intellectually fearing the numbness and makes me feel a trust for my body, a trust that it knows exactly what its doing to get me well again.

 

Also, I think why people feel they are damaged by the ssri's when they are experiencing emotional numbness is because it is the exact feeling that the drug produces also.

 

Trust yopur body, have faith in it and the universe that it knows what its doing at all times.

 

My recovery the first time was sped up by looking at my withdrawal symptoms as symptoms of recovery.

 

 

i am not sure the brain works like this.  i only took 3 pills of paxil, and i felt the anhedonia almost immediately after the first pill.  the ssri targets the serotonin  uptake ports of the synapse.  when it plugs the uptake ports, the nerves downgrade their serotonin output due to negative feedback.  less serotonin can get to the synapse so the neuron makes less serotonin next time.  the nerves eventually go to sleep.  the ssri needs to be removed from the uptake port, and that could take... who knows how long.  it may never leave.  the body doesn't recognize the chemical so it doesnt know how to fight it.  it could take years to clear the uptake ports and the nerves get back to normal functioning. 

 

the serotonin neurons are responsible for pleasure.  when they are blocked, you wont have emotions

 

ive been without emotions for a month now.  i havent felt any progress at all.  i have talked to some people who have gotten better.  but i think it takes years, not days or months.  its a long haul


March 5, 6  2015 1 10mg Paxil each day - only 2 pills total - experienced huge tingle in my head on first pill

 

numbness in my hands and feet, skin less sensitive over all... not ticklish anymore

**anhedonia, blank emotions

PSSD, anorgasmia

heartbeat rhythm problems

"To err is human.  To really foul things up requires a psychiatrist."

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8554-akakoom-lost-in-no-mans-land/

 

"When you are going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill (the only way out is through)

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Prestorb

I think these are my primary withdrawal symptoms as well, along with fatigue. And they have gotten worse since I made a cut to my dosage this past Sunday. I would love to hear experiences from some members who have seen improvements in these symptoms! I'm not seeing much of that here. Maybe those folks are just off living life, and have recovered at this point. I know this passes eventually, as all the symptoms do. Hang in there fellow sufferers!


2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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aberdeen

prestorb i find the anhedonia thicker when I've tapered sometimes too. Maybe we'll see more improvement when we're done tapering, hopefully. I do have to admit this looks like a long lingering symptom. I have read some success stories though, and i believe we will continue to heal until it finally goes away.


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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nycdreamer

I have the strangest feeling in the world and frankly had it before starting antidepressants. It feels like my chemicals are so low that I'm completely flat, not connected to my body. No feel good chemicals at all. Like literally, a brain connected to body with no juice. What on earth could be causing this? I've never heard of others with depression describe this. It doesnt feel like depression. I wonder if I could have a metabolic disorder of some sort.

 

Anyone else experience this?


Zoloft from 2006-2014.

Suffered hypomanic episode in 2014 and tried a multitude of meds.

Ended up on low dose Prozac for 1 month.

Currently withdrawing off of Prozac.

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Petunia

What you're describing sounds a bit like depersonalization, which is quite common in withdrawal, but also can happen with no drug involvement at all. We have a topic about it here:

 

Derealization/Depersonalization


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Earthworm

The disconnected part sounds like depersonalization, but the rest reminds me of a bout of anhedonia I had at one point in WD. I felt like my brain ran out of chemicals that give a sense of purpose and enjoyment... I felt nothing, cared for nothing etc. All I kept thinking about is how life is totally pointless now and it makes sense to suicide... I didn't feel sadness or anything, just that it makes sense to die since I don't feel anything anymore.


-On SSRI since April 2006.
-December 2007: SSRI discontinuation and withdrawal start.
-February 2008: SSRI reinstatement... improvement, yet withdrawal symptoms remains to this day.
-Currently taking: 16mg Citalopram, 1mg Risperidone (for insomnia).
-Current issues: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), insomnia, exaggerated physical symptoms of anxiety, muscle fatigue, weight gain, high prolactin/low testosterone

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LoveandLight

Earthworm, how long did it take for this to pass for you? X


2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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LucaDiProspero

I don't know if there is a similar topic elsewhere in the forum, anwyay I would ask you people: if you had some sudden windows with a flow of emotions and feelings, what did you do before that moment?

Were you watching TV? Did you get a shower? Did you go out?

In my case I suddenly had a flow of emotions once during a TV music show...I started to feel the music, the enjoyment of listening to songs. After less than an hour all shutted down. No more. What about you?


March 2010/ October 2010:

Sereupin 30mg a day, EN 15 drops a day

October 2010/ 1st November 2014:

Cipralex 50mg a day (tapered to 40mg a day in August 2013), EN 15 drops a day (switched to Lexotan 15 drops a day in September 2014)

Started Risperdal 1mg a day on the 1st November 2014.

Stopped Risperdal on the 23 November 2014 because that day, after a short mental crysis, I suddenly lost all my emotions,desires,motivation and they not come back yet.

Stopped Cipralex C/T in December 2014.

Added, tapered and stopped other drugs during the following months (also a voluntary hospitalization in January 2015 for a suicide attempt)...no changes yet.

 

 

I'm med free from 3rd December 2015

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Earthworm

Not long, only 3 days fortunately. It was triggered by my heavy weed abuse during my SSRI WD... combining these two things was a bad idea in my case.


-On SSRI since April 2006.
-December 2007: SSRI discontinuation and withdrawal start.
-February 2008: SSRI reinstatement... improvement, yet withdrawal symptoms remains to this day.
-Currently taking: 16mg Citalopram, 1mg Risperidone (for insomnia).
-Current issues: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), insomnia, exaggerated physical symptoms of anxiety, muscle fatigue, weight gain, high prolactin/low testosterone

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a99

i'm almost 14 months off and a month ago I gradually started feeling some emotions while listening to music or when I go out , the colours look more vibrant and I started feeling real again , but it doesn't last long and it's usually in the morning 


On and off prozac from 2010 -2014 .

Several failed fast tapers and reinstatements .

Cold turkey : March  2014 .

-----------------------------------------

took lysanxia 40 mg a day for almost a year
november -14- 2018 weaned to 30 mg
november -26- 2018 weaned to 20 mg
symptoms that got better : fatigue
current symptoms : severe anxiety
one rescue dose (10 mg ) december -15 -2018

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Petunia

Similar topics merged.

 

Luca and a99 its good to hear that you are starting to get your good emotions back again.


I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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forexworld12

Hi everyone, 

 

It's been  16 months and no improvement in my paxil induced apathy/emotional flatline . 

 

I really want to try some antidepressants to counteract this.. 

 

On another thread I read antipsyhotic like zyprexa can also cause such problems - anhedonia/apathy 

 

but here I found that zyprexa low dosage 2.5 mg - 5 mg is used to treat ssri induced apathy 

 

Olanzapine may do more than simply augment the antidepressant effect of fluoxetine. Marangell and colleagues41 treated 21 patients with remitted SSRI-treated MDD, with olanzapine 2.5–5 mg/day for 8 weeks for SSRI-induced apathy. Apathy was defined as a score of ³31 on the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES) and a Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) item 8 (inability to feel) ³2. Following the addition of olanzapine, both the apathy and the depression scores improved.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12019662?dopt=Abstract

 

it could be due to low dosage increases neurotransmission  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9551772

 

now the thing is I am dead scared but hopefull at the same time, has anyone ever tried a low dosage  ? 

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Redmanone

hey guys, i was misdiagnosed with shizo-affective disorder after i wound up in the hospital for a so called "weed induced psychosis". They only diagnosed me as schizoaffective to get away with shooting me up with a 256 mg loading dose and an initial 156 mg dose of invega sustenna. These two shots have devastated me. What was supposed to "calm me down a bit" has left me completely emotionless and in a state of total apathy. I suffer everyday because of these shots, a lot of times contimplating suicide and wondering what my life would be like if i hadnt gotten them. I cannot enjoy music that i once loved. Nor can i experience any sort of happiness. Im also left utterly emotionless, with the inability to even cry in my despair. The doctor who did this to me didnt know who i was or what i was like. All he knew was that i had a minor drug problem and decided to cure that by chemically lobotomizing me. The reason i smoked weed and occasionally took pills in an attempt to "self medicate" myself was because i was suffering from depression that your typical SSRI couldnt cure. I was not a hardened criminal selling drugs to kids on the street. I was just a lonely kid who needed someone to talk to. And now im reduced to an debilitated vegetable who cant for the love of things connect with my emotions. It has taken everything away from me. Who i was, what i stood for, what my beliefs were. Now my faith is put at test by my unfortunate circumstance as i await my supposed recovery. I pray everyday that i and people in my condition recover. I dont know how long it will take or if that day will ever come. All i know is that he destroyed me almost entirely as a human being that day in the hospital. The tiny sliver of hope is the only thing keeping me going. May God have mercy on us all who have to endure the atrocities of antipsychotics. :(  


Anafranil 100mg

-was injected with invega sustenna 234mg then a week later 156mg

 

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LoveandLight

Red..read Schizor's thread :)


2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Redmanone

Lol LoveandLight, i would read it again but i already read it too many times! Its such a hope inspiring account and i cant wait to feel like he does!


Anafranil 100mg

-was injected with invega sustenna 234mg then a week later 156mg

 

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NewMe

I have felt flat - as I taper - Sometimes I find myself locked in stinking thinking and that is part of the flatness.

 

I am not in the best of living situations now - but that aside, I think we can expect recovery if we stick to the slow taper and put effort into it. 

 

Some stuff in life simply sucks.; I get that. I just want to be able to recover from those suck moments better. I am - but the flat meh feeling is one I perpetuate in not pushing myself to be more social. 

 

Could just be because I am an old fugger.


I'M A WEANER!  :D 
atavan PRN ,Paxil approx 20 yrs ago for major depression
Switched to Klonopin PRN through to current
Paxil wore out
Changed to Effexor 
Depakote added
enormous weight gain - flat affect - led to depression - dropped depakote
Dropped Effexor, changed to Paxil 
PDoc added mixed salts amphetamines for ADHD - took for 2 yrs - was ok at first but had to cut as symptoms too intense -  then the crash was too much. STOPPED
Vyvanse started in 2013 (APRIL) - more smooth than IR amphetamine tabs---Have not used vyvanse daily in full amt since May 2013 

Paxil CT withdrawal 10/2012  :wacko:  Klonopin CT WD

Switched Klonopin to Xanax prn  - too strong

WD CT from XANAX after taking for a while - it was awful but can be done if you hold on!

Back to Klonopin PRN - working very hard to avoid taking it at all. 

Effexor 37.5 started 02/2013, 75mg by 03/2013, 150mg by 05/2012 (approx)  :blush:

Effexor 150mg 3/10/2014 Microtaper -3beads  :unsure:

3/11/2014-4beads ,3/12/14 - 5, 3/13/14 -6, 3/15/14 - 7, 3/18 - 8, 3/22 - 10, 3/24 - 12, 4/6 - 13, 4/7 - 14, 4/11 - 16 - on 4/19 ran out of brand took generic. Bad move. Back on brand on 4/20 and updosed 2 beads. 5/1 - 15, 5/6 - 16, 5/9 -17, 55/10 -17, 5/15 -18, 5/21 -19, 5/24 -20, 6/3 - 21, 6/6 -23, 6/13 -24,6/19- 25, 6/21 -26, 6/25 -27

6/28 -28, 6/29 -30, 7/3 -34, 7/8 -35, 7/17 -36, 7/30 -41,7/31 -42, 8/2 -43, 8/3 -44, 8/5 -45, 8/14 -48, 8/26-50, 9/24 -53, 10/24 -55, 12/1 -57, (lost the tally sheet, thus taper info for some of it), 4/19-63, 4/26-64, 4/30-65 Switched to wt reduction - now @ -.068, 7/14 -.070, August 2015 -.074, between Sept & October 10 -.077, Nov. -.078(feeling great), -.090 as of 1/10/16, down to  -.101 since January 2016 (it is now 6/24/16), -.105 as of 8/13/16
 
 

Ladies, please don't underestimate the possibility of perimenopause. The symptoms can be similar to, may intensify & in some cases mimic protracted w/d from ssri's & benzo's. 

 

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LoveandLight

I'm so struggling with anhedonia, apathy and de motivation right now. It's terrible, makes me feel like a lazy, good for nothing slob but it's still better than severe suicidal depression or anxiety..if it's not one thing it flips to the other.

 

Don't want to live like this, this is just existing only.


2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Newbeginning

Hello,

 

Just want to share and give others some hope. Since I decreased prozac to half (from 20 to 10mg) the apathy has improved and my energy level too. It was not immediate. I had stopped trying to do healthy things and pushing myself, because I would get no mood improvement from it. It would take effort to push myself to do something I didn't feel like doing, only to end up exhausted and even more depressed because I didn't get any sense of reward or joy or energy out of anything I did.

 

But I decided to try again now that the dose of prozac was low enough. I pushed myself to do healthy things, and I realized I was having a sense of reward again. Baby steps. I'm not 100% energetic and motivated, but I'm better. I'm still very tired and feel down and struggle with motivation quite a bit, but I've been able to do a LOT of stuff I had not been able to do in months, if not years.

 

It is not an easy journey. After years of neglecting my health, my appearance, my home...it is stressful to have to face everything that has piled up. But the feeling of being able to do something about it-even if its just a tiny bit-is awesome. After years of feeling paralyzed, trapped in the prison of my own mind, it feels great to just be able to try and see even a little reward in exchange.

 

I have always thought my apathy was a side effect of the SSRIs, but it could have been aggravated by withdrawal too. After gradually tapering I have finally gotten to the point where I can see improvement. Little, but it means a lot because of what it can do to my morale. I needed a win, no matter how small, to build on it, to get the motivation to keep going and do a little more, push a little more.

 

So please don't lose hope, and please keep in mind that when you recover/heal, it won't be an overnight thing that won't require effort. When we start healing, we need to push ourselves to do things we resist doing, so our brains can gradually relearn to feel and experience rewards. If you push and get nothing out of it, your dose may still be too high or your healing may need more time, but as you go lower on your taper, try pushing yourself a little (baby steps) regularly to gauge if your brain is starting to "wake up".

 

I wish you all well. We'll keep updating if I have any changes.


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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aberdeen

I agree with Newbeginning. Im in that phase too. I still struggle daily with anhedonia, but the times when it lifts somewhat  (which is usually in the first two weeks of my menstrual cycle)....now I find pushing myself  has a positive effect whereas for so long (years) it didnt. And yes, you do end up feeling even more down when your efforts (which are SO HARD to initiate anyway) bring you nothing. Add ontop of it people telling you to get off your a$$ and make some life changes, work out, eat better, say positive sayings over and over...it DOESN'T WORK when you're in that heavy heavy anhedonic place. Its one step up from the darkest depression anyway (just without the despair and dread). Its like trying to run in water up to your neck while people on land are passing you by and judging you for your slowness. I'll never know if my anhedonia was caused by Effexor (more likely it was caused by Effexor poopout, which was extreme and intense). It set in around that time and has persisted through other meds, and now my 3+ year Paxil taper. However, Im starting to see small improvements and small or not, they ARE improvements and I'm grateful for them. For the first time in 5 years I'm going to attempt painting again, because for the first time in 5 years the idea of it doesnt cause aversion and anxiety (well maybe just a little,lol). It doesnt thrill me, but I feel I can push it now, and thats a start! I asked for art supplies for my birthday this year and plan to dust out my cobweb filled studio and give it a try.


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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Newbeginning

I agree with Newbeginning. Im in that phase too. I still struggle daily with anhedonia, but the times when it lifts somewhat  (which is usually in the first two weeks of my menstrual cycle)....now I find pushing myself  has a positive effect whereas for so long (years) it didnt. And yes, you do end up feeling even more down when your efforts (which are SO HARD to initiate anyway) bring you nothing. Add ontop of it people telling you to get off your a$$ and make some life changes, work out, eat better, say positive sayings over and over...it DOESN'T WORK when you're in that heavy heavy anhedonic place. Its one step up from the darkest depression anyway (just without the despair and dread). Its like trying to run in water up to your neck while people on land are passing you by and judging you for your slowness. I'll never know if my anhedonia was caused by Effexor (more likely it was caused by Effexor poopout, which was extreme and intense). It set in around that time and has persisted through other meds, and now my 3+ year Paxil taper. However, Im starting to see small improvements and small or not, they ARE improvements and I'm grateful for them. For the first time in 5 years I'm going to attempt painting again, because for the first time in 5 years the idea of it doesnt cause aversion and anxiety (well maybe just a little,lol). It doesnt thrill me, but I feel I can push it now, and thats a start! I asked for art supplies for my birthday this year and plan to dust out my cobweb filled studio and give it a try.

 

Hi Aberdeen,

 

By all means, try to get back to painting! I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Start slowly though. Do a little and don't expect to be able to do as much as before all at once. It's still worth it, even if you only do a little: to realize you can still feel joy and pleasure and passion about something. I think it will do great things for your mental health. And it will be a win that will boost your motivation and morale.

 

I went back to a hobby (gardening) recently. It was stressful at first because it took physical effort and I just didn't know how to do it anymore, so I got dust all over my face lol. But after persevering for a few days, I was happy to see the plants start growing and realize I could enjoy them again. And feel the reward of achieving something.

 

You're absolutely right about people judging without knowing. Even therapists have done that to me. And I've done it to myself. Ad nauseaum. Your analogy of working in water is spot on. Sometimes it feels worse: more like trying to move while buried in mud. Very hard for someone who has not gone through it to understand.

One time I read a case of someone whose drug-induced apathy was so extreme that she could not turn to the right direction to reach her destination when driving. It was like a paralysis of her will. Even a small thing like that she could not will herself to do. When I read that example I realized this was not about will power or hard work or positive attitude or any of that. It's as if the part of the brain that processes motivation, will, reward and pleasure is atrphied.

 

You mention your symptoms get worse before your period. I have read before on this board that women get worse withdrawal symptoms during PMS. I time my taper so that I'm not having any withdrawal during the week before my period. So I cut the doseright after PMS is over (few days into the period). That way withdrawal is over before next month's PMS.

 

Have you had your hormones checked? You should definitely do that. It can make a big difference on how you feel. Hormones affect mood. Not just sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), but also yout thyroid and adrenal function.

 

Something that helped me a lot to keep the hope was speaking to an online friend who was more advanced in her recovery. She reminded me how I was not lazy, how she struggled with the same, how things do get better. If you ever needed that support and wanted to PM me, please feel free to do so.

 

I wish you well!

 

NB


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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aberdeen

Thank you for your reply! I relate to it all. I too have done more with my gardens this year than in years past. In fact I saw a video recently that showed my yard in the background and I was appalled! But then I realized that there has been much improvement in the last couple of years, so to see it was good.

I love the term "paralysis of the will", it really is. Its like a switch cuts out and the power is shut off, and "trying" just reinforces it. The brain is definately saying, no, this isnt gonna happen. Its truly odd. Even for pleasure, if i experience "too much" of it, I feel wired (my eyes feel like they're stretched open wide if that makes sense!) and then emotionally exhausted. Like a happiness hangover, and after only a sip or two at that.

I had a hormone panel done but it was back in the early stages when I had no idea what was happening yet and was looking for answers and everything was fine. I may have another one done though. 

If painting brings me any sense of control and empowerment (if not pleasure) than it will be worth it. I have found that I'm gettiing a small sense of it when I accomplish tasks so I may need to view it as a task for now, like excercise for the brain! 

And nice to know I can pm sometime if I have questions, thanks!


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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Newbeginning

Yes, I agree with it taking effort at first and the need to push a little to be able to reap the rewards later when it gradually gets easier . However, I wouldn't view it as task. At least for me that would be counterproductive because tasks make me feel inadequate and guilty when I don't achieve them. I also think I unconsciously rebel against what I "have" to do.

 

Instead, I view it as a small challenge to myself, or something I'm doing to show love to myself, or an effort I'm making to reap the rewards later (like when you push yourself to exercise). Framing it in any of those ways allows me to decrease the pressure of having to do it perfectly. And that makes it easier to do it.

 

Not sure I understand how you get "high" on pleasure. That doesn't happen to me, but if you're experiencing more nervous withdrawal characterized by anxiety and hyperarousal, then I can see how even positive experiences could be too arousing and exhausting to your nervous system to be comfortable-at least for now while you heal. It might be too much stimulation.

 

Yes, I definitely would suggest getting hormones checked regularly (once a year if all is normal. Even if they come up normal, it wouldn't hurt to consult with an expert on bioidentical hormone therapy and seeing if hormone therapy may help. I wouldn't messwith artificial hormones though, especially if you're experiencing withdrawal. They're strong chemicals that affect all your system. The last thing you need right now.

 

And you can PM for anything, not just questions. I know many times all I needed/need is someone to vent to about how frustrating and depressing this horrible state is...

 

Take care :)


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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aberdeen

Oh definately have to remove the "perfection pressure" Im a sucker for that one. I find if I include my daughter, who likes to paint, then the fact Im creating memories (and maybe building skills) for her is a good motivator too, and that doesnt feel like a task. We used to do this a lot before wd. 

The pleasure high thing...i believe its just too much stimulation, good or bad, kind of has the same response in me physically at times. Jitters, like a caffeine overload...if Ive had a really exciting and long conversation with someone about something that makes me happy for example. Weird but probably natural considering what the nervous system has been through.


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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Newbeginning

Oh definately have to remove the "perfection pressure" Im a sucker for that one. I find if I include my daughter, who likes to paint, then the fact Im creating memories (and maybe building skills) for her is a good motivator too, and that doesnt feel like a task. We used to do this a lot before wd. 

The pleasure high thing...i believe its just too much stimulation, good or bad, kind of has the same response in me physically at times. Jitters, like a caffeine overload...if Ive had a really exciting and long conversation with someone about something that makes me happy for example. Weird but probably natural considering what the nervous system has been through.

 

That sounds like a much nicer way of framing it, and it takes the pressure away from doing it "perectly". It becomes a game or experience that you do to bond with your girl. I just read somewhere about a woman's experience with psych meds and how for a whole year she could not relate to her children at all and it literally was as if she was not there; as if she had been in a coma in the hospital for a year. When she "came back", one of the first things she noticed was being able to "be" there with her children.

 

Here's her story if you'd like to read it (it's short): http://wp.rxisk.org/the-year-of-my-life-that-was-stolen/

 

I think being present in the moment with your daughter painting can be a form of mindfulness, and that can help retrain your brain to re-experience pleasure without excessive stimulation. It is both relaxing and experience-enhancing, both of which are the opposite of anhedonia.

 

As for perfectionism, it is a very painful trap and one that takes constant effort at being conscious about it, in order not to fall into it. I notice in your signature that you're spiritual and I assume Christian (?). This little book is Christian-inspired (based on Bible quotes) and I read it sometimes when I need a reminder of how I don't need to be perfect because God accepts me unconditionally. It's inexpensive and I'm sure you could get something out of it:  http://www.amazon.com/Grab-Broom-Lord-Theres-Everywhere/dp/1586609181

 

Click on "look inside" on the Amazon link top sample a few pages.

 

I wish you well :)


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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aberdeen

newbeginning, the books look awesome, thanks! and there's a whole series? I may have to look into them all! Yes, I'm Christian, and boy do i relate to the mom who lost touch with her daughter. Thats been very trying for me as a mom, one of the worst with the long term anhedonia. I pray every day it'll be a distant memory one day for me.


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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Newbeginning

newbeginning, the books look awesome, thanks! and there's a whole series? I may have to look into them all! Yes, I'm Christian, and boy do i relate to the mom who lost touch with her daughter. Thats been very trying for me as a mom, one of the worst with the long term anhedonia. I pray every day it'll be a distant memory one day for me.

 

I don't have kids, but I can imagine. My relationship with my mom has affected my whole life. I think no parent is perfect and kids don't expect perfection. They do need, however, to be reasaured that it's not their fault. That whatever is going on with mom or dad is not a reflection of how loved or accepted or worhy they are. Younger kids especially tend to internalize their parents' emotional pain as a personal issue and may end up feeling guilty or inadequate or just anxious about the chaos around them that they can't control.

 

The good thing is that no matter how apathetic we are, we can still communicate with those we love and let them know this is not about them, and that our love for them is unchanged.

 

That is not to say that anhedonia is not trying in relationships. It absolutely is; but its effect is much greater if we don't communicate with and reassure those we love.

 

The little book is funny and even calming. I've struggled with perfectionism all my adult life and it's hard to shake those beliefs, but this book approaches it from a different angle. Rather than challenging perfectionistic beliefs, it nurtures your emotional side, your inner child if you will, by reminding you that as a child of God you are accepted as you are and your imperfection is God's way to have a relationship with you (just like children bond with their parents in part through their dependance on them). For some reason that approach resonated with me. I guess I'm a very analytical person so trying to change my thoughts is not as effective to me as processing things at an emotional level.

 

I will check your intro thread to follow up on how you're doing. I hope you and your children will get to the other side of this closer than ever.


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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LoveandLight

I dunno if it is anhedonia that I'm experiencing. I feel like there is a void within myself..like I have disappeared totally and only negative emotions remain..I don't know if it's anhedonia, depersonalisation or both..


2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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aberdeen

Thanks for your support NB, I appreciate it. I have at times explained to my kids that I'm having issues and Ive even explained that a medication caused a lot of difficult symptoms for me as well. I dont want to frighten them away from their Dr's and future medical needs should they ever need medications, but on the other hand, they know that what I went through was difficult and that its ok to get second opinions and even doubt what a Dr has to say. They're still pretty young so I dont want to terrify them (yet,lol). 

Loveandlight, that honestly can sound like anhedonia. like your very essence of self is gone. Your passions, joys, positivity, hope, all positivity and even memories/emotions that come with the memories, it'll all sabotaged with anhedonia and the negativity is almost all-consuming. I never had depersonalization so i can't speak to that. I get DR (derealization), which is more of a sense of feeling alien, uneasy and homesick despite being in your own familiar settings. 


2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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LucaDiProspero

My God, how do you spend all the day with anhedonia?

I have many pc games to play, many books I would like to read from so much time, movies, friends I would like to meet and so on but my brain simply doesn't give me the input...it's like 'ok I'm ready to live' but my brain doesn't take the call. So I'm going around in my house all the day, from bed to couch ruminating and going desperate about my situation.

Is this a life? No!!!


March 2010/ October 2010:

Sereupin 30mg a day, EN 15 drops a day

October 2010/ 1st November 2014:

Cipralex 50mg a day (tapered to 40mg a day in August 2013), EN 15 drops a day (switched to Lexotan 15 drops a day in September 2014)

Started Risperdal 1mg a day on the 1st November 2014.

Stopped Risperdal on the 23 November 2014 because that day, after a short mental crysis, I suddenly lost all my emotions,desires,motivation and they not come back yet.

Stopped Cipralex C/T in December 2014.

Added, tapered and stopped other drugs during the following months (also a voluntary hospitalization in January 2015 for a suicide attempt)...no changes yet.

 

 

I'm med free from 3rd December 2015

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aberdeen
I know this is an older song, but since wd the lyrics have circled around in my mind many times. I often wondered if it was about something similar to what we"ve been through with anhedonia. Especially when he mentions Dr's and blamelessness. Interesting! Sure can relate to it!

 

Howard Jones – No One Is To Blame Lyrics
You can look at the menu, but you just can't eat
You can feel the cushion, but you can't have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can't have a swim
You can feel the punishment, but you can't commit the sin

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame
You can build a mansion, but you just can't live in it
You're the fastest runner but you're not allowed to win
Some break the rules, and let you cut the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost

You can see the summit but you can't reach it
It's the last piece of the puzzle but you just can't make it fit
Doctor says you're cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

No one ever is to blame, No one ever is to blame

2 Timothy 1-7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Effexor 75mg to 262.5mg 2005-2010 for post partum depression

Started having poop out mid 2010, also switched generic brands, then crashed in Dec 2010 (anxiety/ "terror", intense DR, anhedonia, suicidal ideation, chills, insomnia, horrible intrusive thoughts, disorientation, ect)
Rapid "tapered" from 262.5mg Effexor in 3 months

Tried Celexa,Cipralex, then Paxil to deal with wd(this switching made things worse and added akathesia)

Found online support and started tapering Paxil 7 months after quitting Effexor (at this point was having small windows).

Paxil taper: dropped 10% every 4-8 weeks

Year 1 October 2011 to Nov 2012 20mg to 10mg

Year 2 March 2013 to Feb 2014 10mg to 4mg

Year 3 April 2014 to May 2015 4mg to 1.1mg

Year 4 June 2015 1.1mg , dropping by 10% until .5mg, after then dropped by 0.1mg every 5 weeks until 0.1mg.

Finished! Official last dose of 0.1mg on June 15/16

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Newbeginning

My God, how do you spend all the day with anhedonia?

I have many pc games to play, many books I would like to read from so much time, movies, friends I would like to meet and so on but my brain simply doesn't give me the input...it's like 'ok I'm ready to live' but my brain doesn't take the call. So I'm going around in my house all the day, from bed to couch ruminating and going desperate about my situation.

Is this a life? No!!!

 

Hi Luca,

 

Sometimes you have to push yourself to do things, regardless of what your brain says. Forget if you "feel like it" or feel motivated or have the energy. Just do it. For example, when a friend calls and asks me to go to the movies, I say yes even if I don't feel like it.

 

I don't dress nice, and I make sure its someone that won't expect me to do all the talking and that doesn't care how I dress. Someone who is just glad to see me and enjoy my company-likely a closer friend who won't judge. I also make sure it's "lay back" activity: no crowds or meeting strangers or settings where people are all dressed up or you're expected to dress up or socialize. Low stress.

 

I know going out and having some minimum socialization is good for me, so I do it. For a long time, that was easier for me than other tasks like showering.

 

You have to experiment with pushing yourself to do small things and see how it makes you feel. If it exhausts you or depresses you, then try something different or easier. Very small steps. If you find out you can handle it and/or you feel better after doing it, then keep pushing yourself to do it regularly or when you get the chance (like when a non-judgemental friends invites you out to a non-stressful event or activity).

 

We have to keep doing positive things regardless of how we feel because they promote healing and recovery. The brain needs certain things to work optimally: healthy food, exercise, supplements, socializing, learning, contact with nature, meditation, spirituality, relaxation, hobbies, etc.

 

Of course with anhedonia you won't feel like doing any of that and it will be very difficult to get started or keep it up, but it's important to find anything you *can* do, no matter how small, and do it. It makes a difference on how fast and effectively you heal.

 

I wish you well. Auguri :)

 

NB


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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servadei

I hate it. Lost all mymotivation and creativity. No longer enjoy music, movies, pc games and joking with my friends. Buying clothes and doing makeup is so hard now but it used to be one of the best things. I used to love singing, decorating my room and studying things I love. I really hate it.


CD off meds in July 2015, not on any medication since. Went through WD nightmare, now dealing with normal anxiety, but decided not to leave this forum yet because I want to support and give hope to others. ♡

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