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Rhi: Incremental success

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Rhiannon

Rhi's Introduction topic

 

I want to crow, or at least jabber excitedly, about the improvements I'm finally seeing in my health and mental/emotional wellbeing as a result of my taper. But I'm not "fully recovered from withdrawal" so I was hesitant to post in this area.

 

Then I decided what the heck. Recovery doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are all kinds of success stories. I know people will be encouraged by what I have to say, as I am encouraged by others. So here it is.

 

As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages.

 

Neurontin completely savaged my ability to learn and remember things. Benzos and Lamictal are still making that something of a challenge, but the Neurontin was the worst. It also gave me the lack-of-impulse-control of a two-margarita drunk, and you can imagine what that did for my personality and peoples' impressions of me. I did and said stuff even just two years ago that makes me shudder to think now and thank my lucky stars I didn't get in more trouble.

 

After I got down below 100 mg, all of this settled down a lot, especially the cognitive stuff. When I finally came all the way off Neurontin back in April, after about three months of recovery I seemed to stabilize out fully. My point is, though, I got the lion's share of my improvement not when I quit completely, but during the taper itself.

 

Now I'm experiencing something that just makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I've gotten my motivation and enthusiasm back! After 20 years on antidepressants, I had forgotten what it felt like to actually WANT to do stuff! I used to go along with stuff proposed by other people, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I could experience "enjoyment" (something ADs cripple in me), but I usually felt like I would just have soon have stayed home, and left to my own devices that's pretty much what I did. It was hard, because my poor kids wanted to get out there and experience life. Fortunately their dad and some of my friends used to take them places and give them some adventures. I just never really wanted to do much.

 

Which was weird, because before Prozac and Xanax, you couldn't keep me at home. I was always wanting to go out and do things. I was also very social, loved being with other people, got along well with them. Then for 20 years I became the opposite--agoraphobic, uncomfortable and awkward with people, socially anxious.

 

Well--I'm getting myself back! I'm still on 2.7 mg of Celexa, but the zombie effect is lifting. You have NO idea how great it feels, and I don't think words can do it justice.

 

Over about the past six months I've noticed that I'm back to being comfortable in social environments--more than comfortable, I love being with people, and people seem to enjoy me too. It's so much fun being a social human being again!

 

And for the first time in 20 years I want to do stuff! When I have a day off work, instead of hanging around the house, I want to get out and explore the world, get out and try something new, meet people, see things, do things, touch the world, feel alive, explore, have fun!

 

It's GREAT.

 

So I'm here to testify (can I get a witness?--okay, that's a southern US cultural reference, ignore it if you don't get it) that at least for me, it's been possible to get back a lot of myself, a lot of what I lost on the "meds", just by slowly and carefully lowering my doses and getting down to low doses.

 

The lower the doses go, the better I feel.

 

There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening.

 

For the first time in 20 years, you can't keep me at home, and I delight in social interaction. Just like how I remember myself being before they put me on the drugs.

 

I'm not even going to go into the kind of karma that people earn by stealing 20 years from someone's life just so they can make money. That's not what this is about, although I have to say I feel pretty PO'd about it.

 

I just want to say that you may not have to wait until you get to the end of your taper to enjoy a lot of benefit. And that tapering faster so you can get all the way off faster--it might not be worth the price, since tapering slow enough that you can still maintain a life and good health may turn out to be worth it when you get to a lower dose and you're functioning well enough to actually ENJOY that life and that health.

 

And I want to say that YES, it's worth it. You can get yourself back. I've heard it from others, I've seen others do it, and I'm experiencing it myself. Hang in there! it's worth it!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added link to intro topic

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Jemima

Fanastic, Rhi! This should give lots of people hope, including me.


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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dalsaan

What a great post. I'm so happy for you Rhi.

 

I'm feeling much better too, have been microtapering and making better progress than

when I was doing 10% decrements.

 

I am sleeping more, feel better able to cope, less vigilant, more secure etc

 

I also feel like I have a lot more personal agency, rather than just coping with life

I am more actively creating the life I want to lead.

 

Im not off yet - am on 4.5mg but I agree we should celebrate the wins, all of them and

whenever we can.


Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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alexjuice

I am so very proud of you, Rhi! You're an inspiration.

 

I know that the past is littered with wreckage from all you've been through -- mine is too and so is everyone else's -- and I am beyondwords happy that you have reached the mental/emotional place that you live in today.

 

You deserve all good things and there's plenty of time for you to achieve your goals.

 

I'm sorry for the time you've lost. I know how that feels too. But I am really, amazingly inspired by the work you've put into reclaiming your life. Maybe most people will not ever understand the degree of suffering and struggle this massive and soul-searching entwinement with Drugs has wrought. But we understand it here.

 

I feel happy. I am excited for you that the clouds are parting. To think that more light is still to come!

 

:-) -- happyface

 

Alex


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Aria

Rhi.

 

I am so very happy for you. We do heal. I am completely off 6 meds and my mind is clear.

 

It's so nice to feel the way I do now. I also shudder to think what I used to say or acted when blasted on the psyche drugs. My impulse control was gone and I blurted out embarrassingly awful stuff I don't do now. I still remember some of what I said. I do have a psyche drug induced neuro-muscular illness but even through it's a dreadful disease I can think clearly again''' I'll take how I am now. Having the ability to think and be ourselves is priceless. :P


Poly drugged for 18 years with every psychiatric drug in the PDR. C/t off Seroquel, tapered trazodone, celexa, dalmane, ativan (among others) and have been drug free for years. I thank the heavens I survived.

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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Barbarannamated

Rhi,

 

Thank you for this terrific message!

 

B


Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Skyler

As you can see from my sig, I'm in the process of a very long taper off five meds, with a long time yet to go. But I am ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED at my improvement so far. Even though I'm still taking low doses of four psychiatric meds--I'm not sure I can find the words to describe how much better I'm doing and how happy I am at these lower doses, relative to how I was when I was taking those so-called "therapeutic" dosages.

 

There's a lot of room between "all" and "nothing", and that's the room where slow tapers play out. It was my hope that by tapering extremely slowly like I have been, all the meds together like I have been, that this would happen, that I would gradually and safely emerge from the nightmare miasma of "non-me" that the drugs had trapped me in. And it's happening. After two and a half patient years of tapering, it's definitely happening.

 

Excellent news. Speaking as someone who is tapering 3 psychotropics, going slow is the 'onliest' way. There are judicious gradations of slow, but any faster than turtle speed will drive me into a dead stop very quickly.

 

I'm using what is pretty much a step wise reduction strategy, and the ability to come off the higher more toxic doses thereby is reason enough to use this approach. Thanks for pioneering the way, so those of us who follow have a clearer path.


As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Barbarannamated

"Onliest way". :D


Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Rhiannon

I just want to add that it's just getting better. Even though I am now the slowest turtle in Turtleville.

 

In particular my social interaction...I haven't had that since before I started Prozac.

 

I'm comfortable with people now, I feel natural with them, I feel like they mostly like me, probably, at least enough, at least there's a place for me with them. And if I feel awkward around people it's okay, I just kinda hang out with it, pretty soon we find a way to connect. And if they aren't crazy about me, well, that's okay, I'm not always crazy about every single person I meet either.

 

The thing that's most distinctly different is that there is some kind of...well empathy's not exactly the right word, but a way of "being with" or feeling the "with"-ness of my fellow members of my species. And being able to see things from other peoples' point of view--and feeling like that matters. Something about the ADs took that away. I think it may be related to the way ADs get in the way of bonding and relationships. Something ADs screw up.

 

It's almost exciting, actually. I find myself seeking people out just because it feels so good to be a human hangin out with other humans. The hermit's not home any more (although I do enjoy my alone time, and I still need it).

 

I just have to say to those of you on this journey: hang in there. It's worth it. The turtle really does win the race. I'm excited about what I will get back next. (Hopefully some of my former cognitive sharpness, as I get down on the Lamictal and benzos further.)


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Nikki

Being the slowest turtle in turtlevilleapparently has it's rewards :D

 

Now matter how good or bad you felt, you were and continue to be an inspiration.

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

How on earth did you get down to 2.7mgs Celexa?

 

Rhi I have read alot of people share about motivation or lack-thereof. I have motivation, but I am tired all the time. I tend to grow comfortable in isolation and staying home once I get home.

 

Is it better to do one drug at a time?

 

I agree with you about these drugs running normal brain interference. There is a missing link in the brain somehow that affects our thinking. :blink:

 

I know I've got the Missing Link Syndrome. :lol:

 

Bless your heart :D


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

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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strawberry17

I've just read this post Rhi and it's great, I feel so happy for you, I remember a point in my taper where I was aware that I was feeling "joy" again, in my children, Zoloft and Prozac had killed that joy.

 

By the way, I thought I was the slowest turtle in turleville tapering off my one drug :lol:


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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SaltedGingkoNuts

I've just read this post Rhi and it's great, I feel so happy for you, I remember a point in my taper where I was aware that I was feeling "joy" again, in my children, Zoloft and Prozac had killed that joy.

 

By the way, I thought I was the slowest turtle in turleville tapering off my one drug :lol:

 

Strawberry17:

 

I just followed the link to your blog. Wow, it certainly has been a LONG process for you. I can only PRAY that when I begin my taper it won't be as long. Your blog is a FANTASTIC resource for anyone dealing with SSRI Discontinuation. Very informational! People will be able to connect with you in so many ways!

Thanks so much for sharing your testimony, it will be a help to many, many people.

 

-Sincerely, Tim :D

 

Am also attaching My story

AntiDepressant Nightmare Complete Edited.pdf


10 mg daily Fluoxetine/Prozac Jan. 2009-Nov. 2012

Went COLD TURKEY Nov. 2012-March 2013

.05-1 mg daily Lorazepam March 2013-April 2013

After approximately 21 days, stopped COLD TURKEY

Doctor put me on 20 mg daily Fluoxetine/Prozac as of 4/25/13

I decided to jump down to 10 mg daily Fluoxetine/Prozac as of 5/08/13

Will stay here for a few months, then taper to ZERO!!

 

 

I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience and research and is only my perspective

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strawberry17

Thank you Tim, hopefully your journey will be a lot more straightforward than mine.


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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Nikki

Strawberry when you said you felt "joy" coming back which had been killed off, did you mean being on AD's killed off the joy or the WD killed off joy?

 

If you could talk to me about this I would appreciate it. I have shared many times on the site about not being able to find happiness. Your statement plucked a chord with me.

 

Is it possible that the meds are keeping me in a state of a lack of happiness/joy.

 

I remember when I first started them, they got rid of anxiety and depression and joy came back.

 

Have been wondering alot about this lately. Forgot how to have fun.

 

Hugs


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

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Jemima

Great news, Rhi. I'm getting close to the end of my journey through Antidepressant Hell, and I'm also finding pleasure in being with people again. I'm not all the way back, but I can see it from here.

 

More power and joy to you!


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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ladybugqt

Thank u for this post. Inspiring is not a strong enough word! I am a physical & emotional mess & it's good to see light at the end of the tunnel!


:P LADYBUGQT :unsure:

 

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SaltedGingkoNuts

Thank you Tim, hopefully your journey will be a lot more straightforward than mine.

Hello Strawberry:

 

My journey has been a confusing one, for sure. Currently at a low-point, for sure.

 

After reinstating the Prozac, it's taken a while to know whether or not I'm feeling the same as I did before going Cold Turkey. My symptoms related to withdrawal have generally subsided - I believe - but I now deal with all-consuming pain related to my long-time diabetes (I assume).

I didn't really experience neuropathic pain before going Cold Turkey, now it's come on with a vengeance. I experience burning/freezing feet, severely painful lower-legs, arms, hands, head-aches, muscle fasciculations. Research shows that Prozac does not protect people from diabetic neuropathy pain.

So, I guess it was just God's timing that tied together my Prozac (and benzodiazapem) withdrawals with the introduction to neuropathic pain.

And of course: what therapies are recommended for neuropathy? Different antidepressants/anticonvulsants/opioids. Well, I'm not taking any more.

Since I've already abandoned much hope of ever stopping the Prozac, I'm investigating other therapies to deal with the neuropathy. 

 

We'll see how it goes.

 

-Salted


10 mg daily Fluoxetine/Prozac Jan. 2009-Nov. 2012

Went COLD TURKEY Nov. 2012-March 2013

.05-1 mg daily Lorazepam March 2013-April 2013

After approximately 21 days, stopped COLD TURKEY

Doctor put me on 20 mg daily Fluoxetine/Prozac as of 4/25/13

I decided to jump down to 10 mg daily Fluoxetine/Prozac as of 5/08/13

Will stay here for a few months, then taper to ZERO!!

 

 

I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience and research and is only my perspective

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Azgirl

Rhi this is so inspiring, you give me hope that the "want" to get out and explore will return :) I'm so happy for you..


Past: Started on 30 mg of celexa in 2003 with lorazepam for sleep, switched to clonazepam in 2007

Last few years were spent cartwheeling around with various AD cocktails and multiple ER visits

Current:  5 mg celexa, .5 mg clonazepam, 1 mg melatonin for sleep 

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WhoAmI

Wow Rhi, you have the patience of a saint. I hope I have the will power to do what you've done.

 

Congratulations!

:D


My intro link: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4644-whoami-i-hope-to-find-out/?p=57607

I've taken antidepressants since 1997. From 1997-1999~I tried wellbutrin, paxil, prozac, and maybe some others I can't remember. 1999-2009~Effexor XR 150mg. 2009-2010~Cymbalta 30mg. 2010-present~Cymbalta 60mg. (Dates are rough estimates.)

 

Began micro-taper Jul 13, 2013.

As of May 19, 2014 removing 94 beads from 60mg capsule, approx 31.8mg.

As of August 2014 removing 106 beads from 60mg capsule, approx 28.2mg.

As of July 2015 down to approx. 23mg. (20mg capsule + 10 beads from a 60mg capsule) + .5mg Ativan as needed for anxiety/panic/generally crappy anxious no good feelings.

 

Also taking:  Omega3; Magnesium; Vitamins D, E, & B12; Calcium; Estrace 2mg.

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Altostrata

philjot, I moved your posts from Rhi's topic to your own Intro topic here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4689-philjot-on-lexapro-for-paxil-withdrawal/


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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theelt712

I'm happy for you Rhi, gives us inspiration to the rest of us who are seeing incremental success. :)


I am off of all meds as of May 20th, 2013, after 5 weeks on Zoloft and a 4 week taper. Still experiencing: moderate anhedonia & PSSD, I am otherwise mostly healed. 

 

2.1 years off of medication. 

 

"If I walk away, don't hate me. I've got to see where the pain will take me.

 

I found no angels...I found myself."

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alex

GOOOOOOD!

We are the man on the moon, the pioneers...we're gonna beat Big Pharma!

 

Hugs, A.


4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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catw66

I love this story because you are someone else who put up with a lot for a lot of years like I did. I think the last 12 years for me, I got more and more socially isolated, but still managed to get out and connect here and there have relationships and friendships, but as time has gone on, it's been a challenge with the chronic fatigue, apathy, and severe depression.

 

I am happy you are seeing that all of this is worth it and your experience is certainly useful to others.

 

I made a lot of bad decisions while on Lamictal myself and I cringe when I look back as well. I stopped it due to the cognitive problems but they never really went away.

 

I think I haven't felt comfortable around other people a lot for a long time due to I feel I've been in my own private hell and I have to retreat and get my rest too much of the time and I started to feel very different from most other people in a weird way. I couldn't figure out what was going on.

 

Thank you for sharing.


Finished slow taper on 4/6/14 from 20 mg to 6 beads over period of almost a year on Cymbalta and then quit cannabis around the time I DC'd Cymbalta.

Tried to go off completely 8/13 - 8/20 (didn't work) - Reinstated 10mg on 8/21/13

Off Adderall (2010 -2013) after 3.5 years since July 12th, 2013

Taking Tramadol 50 mg since 2007 for chronic pain

Lamictal 450 mg (from 2007 - 2009)

Lexapro (2004-2007 30 mg?)

Ambien (2009-2010)

Trazadone (2010-2011 for sleep)

2008-2010 -Trials of Wellbutrin, Paxil, Ritalin, Concerta, Effexor, Risperdal, Abilify, Seroquel, Trileptal

Earlier history includes - long courses of Tricyclics, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil. Serzone, Celexa, Remeron, Zoloft for shorter periods.

Haldol, Lithium, Stelazine. Xanax, Clonipin, and Ativan have been used on and off, mostly Clonipin. Went through serious Xanax withdrawal a couple times in my life so far. Methadone (2003-2005 - psychiatrist/pain management doctor decided that was the first thing I ought to try for moderate chronic pain).  MS Contin 2005-2007 (aka Morphine)

 

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Nikki

Rhi your posts are very inspiring for me.  Thank you for being so helpful.  I just read Alex's post on Mistakes Made During WD ~ This Post ~ and Neuro Emotions (which I mention alot).

 

These 3 Posts help put things into perspective for me.

 

The WD I am currently experiencing is not bad at all compared to WD in the past.  I think what bothers me the most is having to 'cope with myself and coach myself or my thnking".  I so much wish "I could just be."

 

I have morning anxiety (broken record) which is about fear, difficulty falling asleep, forgetfulness.

 

I have joined Weight Watcher's Online again this week.  Been Juicing eveyday for awhile now.  And I did return to the Mindful Meditation Class on Thursday evenings.  In a bad WD this may not have been possible.

 

In my heart-of-hearts I would like to see what I am like without meds. Will I have more clarity and how deeply did these meds affect me and did they actually cause more anxiety?.....I honeslty don't know.

 

Or have I gone into the zone of having to stay on something due to the problems meds have actually caused over the years.

The Problem is and was the WD

 

Thanks


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

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Francis

Youve written a beautiful and inspiring story. Thank you!


2003-2010 up and down 10-40mg celexa for anxiety
2/2011 10mg
8/2011 5mg for 3 wks, then stopped completely.
middle of night waking after apx 1-2 hours of sleep (nightly), panic/jitteriness after waking
11/11 back on 30mg celexa, ambien/many supplements-insomnia/panic.
2/12 30mg celexa, many supplements (Magnesium eliminated morning tight chest/jitteriness). Off ambien!
7/12 20mg
8/12 15 mg(sleep improving,mood pos)
12/12 2.3 mg got liquid celexa!
1/13 2.1 mg
3/13 1.2 mg
4/13 down to .6 too quickly- cortisol spikes, middle of night waking, night sweats...
4/13 held at .6 for 3 weeks so far. Off most supplements as well. Withdrawal depression almost gone!

7/13 OFF OF CELEXA!!!

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Dani

I'm soooo inspired!!!!


Dec 2004 - Put on Zoloft after having a panic attack from the Birth Control Ortho Evra Patch (the doctors thought I was completely insane when I told them I think the Birth Control Patch is giving me anxiety/panic. Funny how they tell you NOW that Birth Control can indeed cause anxiety) Started at 25mg, increased to 50 mg and 100 mg in 2007. They made me too sleepy so decreased back to 50mg until 2009. Reduced to 25 mg in 2010.

Oct 2010 - Decided to come off Zoloft to try and have children. Didn't know anything about tapering because apparently, my doctor didn't know about it either. WDs included heart palpitations, dizziness, tinnitus etc. Decided to go back on Zoloft within 2 weeks of stopping.

January 2011 - Knowing a little more about tapering, I decided to stop taking taking Zoloft with my doctors help again. She told me to hurry and taper in 4 weeks because the tinnitus could become permanent. I thought this was too fast so I took another month to taper.

March 30, 2011 - Last Zoloft pill.

Had a little dizziness & sadness, but felt fine until Aug 2011 after a relative died.

Since then symptoms include brain shivers, migraine headaches on right side of head, warm/hot sensations on right side of head and ears, internal vibrations, tremor, muscle twitches, strange sensations in right side of head, anxiety, nervousness, sadness, disconnected, depersonalization, numbness on left side of body at times, neck pain, muscle/rib cage pains,  just don't feel like myself :(

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MrAnxious

Yah this is amazing !! You rock , keep it up my friend


2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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Rhiannon

Thank you to everyone for your sweet, supportive, encouraging comments. You guys are the best. This forum has been a rock for me. Alto gets All The Good Karma Points for making this place happen, and I mean that in a lighthearted way and also, as someone who believes in reincarnation and believes that the difference we each make in the world may be invisible but it is real and lasting, quite literallly.

 

The amount of harm done every time some Big Pharma corporateperson has decided to turn his eyes, to suppress data, to cherrypick patients for studies, well I could go on for pages describing all the tricks they do--it’s appalling, when you realize the stakes, in terms of human suffering, of each of those “little” decisions someone has made. And I believe that the opposite happens here, that the good done here is solid and concrete and radiates out and grows, every time someone shares their story and gives someone a hand. Every life that this forum has touched, every burden that’s been lightened a little here, radiates out and helps other lives, I’m certain of that. Perhaps it’s delusional of me to choose to believe that our decisions and acts have meaning and change the world. But it seems to be what I need to believe to live, and that's good enough for me.

 

Anyway, that probably belongs in a different section of the forum, but what I came on here to say actually was, I’m sorry I haven’t been around much, but I think I understand now why so many people just sort of fade away and don’t even write success stories. I think maybe as we get better and start to get our lives and minds and hearts back, and we begin to engage in life again, it’s not that we forget or don’t care, but when you’ve been starved for life and unable to experience happiness and real engagement in life, often for decades (which is sadly common)--and then you start to get it back--when you feel well enough to get out there and engage, the last thing you want to do is sit and write on a computer forum. (That is, “you” meaning “me.”) There’s so much to learn, so many people to talk to, so much living to be done!

 

But recovery isn’t black and white. It’s not like one day a person says, “Okay, yesterday I was sick, but today I’m all well.” We all know the roller-coaster ride of waves and windows. I’m doing well right now, but I know I will be back in the pit again, no matter how skillfully I navigate the process. So I don’t think of myself as a success story really. I’ve got a ways to go, obviously I’m not done.

 

So I think people just sort of gradually find themselves moving back into life before they really think of themselves as recovered, or ready to write a success story. I mean, I don’t know if I’m making sense, but I think I see why a lot of success stories don’t get written, and it’s not because the successes don’t happen

 

Today I stayed home, indoors, all day. (It's super cold outside right now and I'm a wuss.) I spent the entire day at home doing almost nothing--well, writing a little, catching up with some email, a bit of exercising, a bit of stretching, watching funny stuff on YouTube, watching a PD James mystery, cracking walnuts, cooking dinner, unloading and loading the dishwasher...now that I write it down I see I haven’t just been doing nothing, but I did stay home all day, because I felt like I needed the change from running around and being so active. Needed a change from being so active and doing things, needed down time. That’s crazy! When I was first in withdrawal I couldn’t get out into the world hardly at all. I still don’t do as much as I’d like to. But it’s crazy awesome that I’m so busy that I feel like I actually want to make some unstructured boring down time for myself.

 

So anyway, the journey continues. I wanted to check in with everyone. Yep, it gets better!

 

I love you guys and I’m definitely not going away. But I’m spending more time with actual 3-D life and it's very satisfying, and sometimes I'm just not around here as much because of that. I'll be back.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Meimeiquest

Good to hear, Rhi! I was wondering if you were too well or too sick to write :). Very glad it's the former!


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

I did wonder why I had not seen many postings from you, Rhi, and I am glad it is for this good reason. Things are definitely getting better for you and what a blessing it is. I will try to use your story to take heart in those times when I am so far down in the pit. I had no idea that I was not enjoying life while on the meds, now I see the difference. Things are really rough right now but I take heart in you saying they can get better.

 

Thanks for your inspiring post!


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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starlitegirlx

Rhi, you are a teacher and an inspiration. I'm so glad you have seen some major improvements! And yes, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Fact is that documenting and sharing progress along the way can be helpful to you and others you choose to share the news with. People get it in their heads about stopping the drug being the big thing, but I think there are a few other things that are very important (which I suspect you will agree with) and even dare I say more important than getting off the drug itself at least during the course of your taper. They are:

 

1) tapering at a rate that allows you to live your life to some degree rather than be housebound or bedbound or severely limited by WD of any sort

2) noticing and acknowledging improvements along the way and giving them the just attention they deserve because they are signs of recovery and they allow you to reclaim your life to varying degrees from drugs that basically stole it.

 

You have achieved both of those things and while you are still tapering which is monumental as most people when they don't taper according to how they heal generally don't do all that well and certainly are less likely to notice the kinds of improvements you have seen when bogged down with WD.

 

You are an inspiration and a testament to why tapering according to your rate of healing is the best way to go. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is an inspiring reminder.

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Barbarannamated

Rhi,

 

I echo all that's been said by others. You are a gift to this forum and the many other people you've helped through this journey.

 

Regarding your emerging social life... how and where are you meeting people? Do you find that you're connecting more easily with people you already knew or is it more a function of getting out there and meeting new people?

 

Thanks for your great post! Wishing you continued progress.


Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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alex

Thank you for posting Rhi,and you do perfect sense to me.

 

Enjoy your life,A.


4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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Jemima

"...recovery isn’t black and white. It’s not like one day a person says, “Okay, yesterday I was sick, but today I’m all well.” We all know the roller-coaster ride of waves and windows....

 

So I think people just sort of gradually find themselves moving back into life before they really think of themselves as recovered, or ready to write a success story...."

 

Thanks for putting this into words, Rhi.  This is pretty much where I find myself as well--way better, but not home free just yet. Improvement has been gradual and, again, with the ups and downs, windows and waves, et cetera, although they are much more subtle now.  I guess I'd assumed all along that one day I'd wake up feeling like my old self, but it isn't happening that way and I'm reluctant to write a success story until my much-missed creative streak returns.

 

But I'm lots and lots better and I'm very glad to see that you are, too.


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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Rhiannon

Good to hear, Rhi! I was wondering if you were too well or too sick to write :). Very glad it's the former!

 

I did wonder why I had not seen many postings from you, Rhi, and I am glad it is for this good reason. Things are definitely getting better for you and what a blessing it is. I will try to use your story to take heart in those times when I am so far down in the pit. I had no idea that I was not enjoying life while on the meds, now I see the difference. Things are really rough right now but I take heart in you saying they can get better.

 

Thanks for your inspiring post!

 

:-)

 

Yep, mostly doing pretty well. I still have the bad times, just came out of a rough period this fall in fact, but SO SO SO much better. 


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Rhiannon

Rhi, you are a teacher and an inspiration. I'm so glad you have seen some major improvements! And yes, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Fact is that documenting and sharing progress along the way can be helpful to you and others you choose to share the news with. People get it in their heads about stopping the drug being the big thing, but I think there are a few other things that are very important (which I suspect you will agree with) and even dare I say more important than getting off the drug itself at least during the course of your taper. They are:

 

1) tapering at a rate that allows you to live your life to some degree rather than be housebound or bedbound or severely limited by WD of any sort

2) noticing and acknowledging improvements along the way and giving them the just attention they deserve because they are signs of recovery and they allow you to reclaim your life to varying degrees from drugs that basically stole it.

 

 

Thank you Starlite! When I first started tapering my goal was just to be well and stable enough to work, because I have no money (lost everything during the years I was sick on the drugs) and I didn't want to end up on disability or dependent on my kids or something. But having that goal actually forced me to do number (1) above, and because of that I had to learn to do (2), and I'm so glad I ended up taking that path. Given my history, after so many attempts to quit meds in a disorganized way, without tapering, I know that if I had gone faster I would have gotten really sick. I'm glad I was forced to go slowly. 


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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