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I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day.

 

But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. <_<

 

 

This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." :excl:

 

So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors.

 

 

However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me.

 

I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight.

 

There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there.

 

Meanwhile, here's what helped me:

 

#1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end.

 

#2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! :D I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy.

 

 

I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible!

 

Wishing everyone my very best,

 

Lisa B)

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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  • Administrator

Good to hear you're doing so well, Lisa.

 

You were fortunate to go off Abilify 5mg and Cymbalta 60mg in 4 months with manageable symptoms.

 

How did you sense you could go off Lamictal so quickly? A two-week taper is practically a cold turkey. Some people have a lot of trouble going off it.

 

Do you remember how you managed your reductions?

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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Good to hear you're doing so well, Lisa.

 

You were fortunate to go off Abilify 5mg and Cymbalta 60mg in 4 months with manageable symptoms.

 

How did you sense you could go off Lamictal so quickly? A two-week taper is practically a cold turkey. Some people have a lot of trouble going off it.

 

Do you remember how you managed your reductions?

 

I was going through a lot of physical changes--good ones. I had seriously changed my diet by that point (after having a terrible allergic reaction to something). But you used the right word; I sensed I could go off of the Lamictal that quickly. My mother has always taught me to know my body, so after 32 years, I've really learned to listen to it.

 

I definitely don't recommend doing it so fast, but I literally tapered from 100mg to 75, 50, 25 and then 0 at a few days each. Again, I didn't have any physical side effects, but logic says I should have. I did have an incredibly tough time emotionally--crying my eyes out daily, and though I was not suicidal, I certainly didn't want to exist. It was an absolute roller coaster as far as emotions go.

 

Honestly, I know it was by the grace of God that I made it through. I'm pretty sure He was telling me to slow down, but I was anxious and the doctor's office never called back. <_< (I'll wait to my psych comes back next month to deal with that.) Hey, I'm taking this one as a miracle! :D

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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  • Administrator

So you've been off Lamictal for about 3 weeks?

 

It is possible Lamictal is not as difficult as some drugs to go off of, but some people have a terrible time.

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

Speaking as a forum member rather than staff, I'm very pleased to see a post that cites Christian faith as a factor in recovery from antidepressants. It certainly was a mainstay for me throughout those awful days after I tapered off Lexapro far too fast, and I plan to eventually write a post about that.

 

Putting my Staff hat back on, the rapidity of your taper nearly makes my hair stand on end. I took three and a half months to get off of Lexapro and that wasn't nearly long enough. I hope that you will keep in touch and let us know how things are going for you over the coming months, and I hope very much that things only get better!

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Well done! I'm very happy for you. There is nothing like suffering in this hell that makes you sincerely call out to God for grace and mercy. I did it as well. I am a firm believer that spirituality can be a big help getting us through, whatever your religion or beliefs.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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  • 1 year later...

I am very withdrawn and don't go to church have not been in years actually I was baptized as an adult shortly before going on Effexor and becoming a stripper there is something about stripping that seems to keep a person out of church. 
Some things really do change a person.  Effexor and stripping both changed me but I never gave up on God and I don't think he gave up on me either if he had I would not be here still.  

I will say it again tho people think me mad... it was either God my dead Mother or a hallucination that caused me to quit taking all the drugs I was on in one day. 

 

I was in bed sick I had been ill about 2 years could not eat vomiting yet again in pain... who ever came to me said... 

"Keep taking those pills and you will lay in this bed and die"

Nov 17 2007 

As of Nov 18 2007 I have been psych drug free.  Yes cold turkey but I had already failed at tapering and tried a lot of other drugs docs said would help that didn't. 

 

You hold on if he brought you to it he will bring you thru it. 

peace 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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God is good!!!

 

Jan. 1994 Pamelor

2000 switched to Zoloft 

2011 Zoloft pooped out- Dr. switched me directly to Lexapro15mg -had a horrible 6mths

2013 upped Lexapro to 20 mgs-pooped out

June 2013 Dr. added 150 Wellbutrin to Lexapro.

July 2013 Switched back to Zoloft 100mgs.Was still taking Wellbutrin. Lots of anxiety from the Wellbutrin

July 2013 Started to wean Wellbutrin- off by Sept.

Oct. 2013 added 400 mgs of Neurotin to the Zoloft

Jan 2014 Tapered off of the Zoloft and onto Prozac 30 mgs. Also still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Feb 2014 Reduced Prozac to 13 mgs. Still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Aug. 2014 Prozac 13 mgs. Finished with Neurotin. .7 Risperadol

 

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  • 9 months later...

Yes! He is!!!!!!

2005-Zoloft bad reaction.....2006-Lexepro......2012-Upped Lexepro.......2013-Upped Lexepro......2/2014- Attempted Taper Lexepro...2/2014- Updosed Lexepro.......3/2014-Ativan.....5/2014- CT switch from Lexpro to Effexor.....

5/2014-7/2014-Tapered Ativan from 1mg to .25mg.....6/2014-Bad reaction to Effexor........7/2014- Rapid taper Effexor every other day......7/5/2014- Off Effexor.......7/2014-12/2014 - Ativan .25mg.......12/25/2014 -Taper Ativan by 4% due to paradoxical reaction .24mg...11/18/2015-Taper Ativan 1% CURRENTLY ON: .2376mg Ativan taken in 6 .0396mg doses.

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thanks for sharing your successful story! We need more of these to keep going! Best wishes to you. God bless.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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  • 8 months later...

I don't think you're mad :) I'm also pretty confident it was God, especially since you were able to stop everything. I agree, He is good and he never gives up on us. He knows just when we need a miracle and I'm so thankful that you are doing better!

Was on Effexor, then Welbutrin, then back to Effexor (started AD in 2008).

Currently on 200mg Zoloft (since 2012) for depression.

Planning to start a slow micro-taper.

In process of research/planning, haven't started actual taper yet.

Will update as things progress.

 

Sidenote: On provincial disability in BC, Canada, if anyone out there is in the same position and wants to swap info/stories of this experience.

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  • 3 years later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

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

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

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

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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