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  • Moderator Emeritus

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.

 

Aw thank you Barb! 

 

It's a little hard to answer your question, because I started my taper at the same time that I moved to where I live now, and I didn't know a single soul here then. So I've had to meet all new people over the years I've been living here and tapering. But it's gotten much easier to meet people lately, because I'm more "out there" where the people are. And I'm less shy--well actually I still feel kind of shy, but it's easier to talk to people and connect with them, so I'm talking to people more, and that leads to making friends. And it's much easier now to invite people to do things, or to just call someone and see if they want to get together.

 

So it's both, I think.

 

And maybe part of it was working that graveyard shift, because oddly enough graveyards are not as hard on your social life as my current schedule, evenings. I'm definitely not getting out as much on this shift.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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

 

Enjoy your life,A.

Thanks! :-)

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

"...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.

And I'm so glad to see how much better you're doing, too. We out here might even see it more clearly than you do. 

 

I'm not sure I'll ever be completely back to how I was before; actually I doubt it, since so many years have passed that things would have changed anyway. I may never get my creativity back; I'm pretty certain I won't get my full cognitive sharpness back. But right now I'm just so glad to have back so much, you know?

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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Barbarannamated

Rhi,

 

You may have said before, but i don't recall how long were you unable to work and out of the job market. This is probably not the thread to be asking this, but it came to mind from previous comments.

 

Thanks.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

"...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.

And I'm so glad to see how much better you're doing, too. We out here might even see it more clearly than you do. 

 

I'm not sure I'll ever be completely back to how I was before; actually I doubt it, since so many years have passed that things would have changed anyway. I may never get my creativity back; I'm pretty certain I won't get my full cognitive sharpness back. But right now I'm just so glad to have back so much, you know?

 

 

I wouldn't give up on regaining creativity and mental acuity, Rhi.  You're still on some drugs so your brain can't completely heal just yet.  It isn't over until it's over. I can certainly understand why you're so thrilled with regaining so much that was out of reach for so many years, though.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

 

"...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.

And I'm so glad to see how much better you're doing, too. We out here might even see it more clearly than you do. 

 

I'm not sure I'll ever be completely back to how I was before; actually I doubt it, since so many years have passed that things would have changed anyway. I may never get my creativity back; I'm pretty certain I won't get my full cognitive sharpness back. But right now I'm just so glad to have back so much, you know?

 

 

I wouldn't give up on regaining creativity and mental acuity, Rhi.  You're still on some drugs so your brain can't completely heal just yet.  It isn't over until it's over. I can certainly understand why you're so thrilled with regaining so much that was out of reach for so many years, though.

 

 

Hope you're right! I do think there's more to go--I'm still on a fairly good size chunk of Lamictal and small doses of two benzos. I'd love to get more of my sharpness back. That would be GREAT.  But yeah, I could live with where I am right now, it's so much better than the past 20 years of my life have been.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Rhi,You may have said before, but i don't recall how long were you unable to work and out of the job market. This is probably not the thread to be asking this, but it came to mind from previous comments.Thanks.B

 

Well, I worked at home while the kids were growing up, not ever quite full time. Then there were about five years when I wasn't really able to work much at all, just a little here and there. But it was enough that I didn't have a huge gap in my resume thank goodness.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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It's really good to read these stories.  Rhi, you done good, girl.  I think this is the forum I will need to visit most often.  It is one of hope. 

MDD First episode 1993                   imipramine - good - off after 15 months

MDD                       2002                   Prozac - bad; Zoloft - good - off after 13 months

MDD/A                    2005                   Zoloft - on

MDD/A                    2006                   Zoloft - pooped out; Lexapro - bad; Cymbalta - good

MDD/A                    2007                   Cymbalta + Lamictal + Abilify (poor) + Lorazepam

MDD/A                    2008 - 2011        Cymbalta + Lamictal +Seroquel + Lorazepam

MDD/A remission   2011 - 2013         120 mg Cymbalta + 200 mg Lamictal

MDD/A remission   2014                     tapered to 60 mg Cymbalta + 150 mg Lamictal by June.

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  • 7 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Just want to give a quick update--the improvements are still improving, and it seems like faster than ever, well, maybe not quite leaps and bounds, but at least some big steps and the occasional small leap.

 

Lately I seem to be noticing most that I'm getting back my zest for life more and more. Also, the ability to connect with and relate to other people, it's like I'm getting my membership in the human community back--SO cool. I didn't really realize I had lost it till it started coming back, but it seems to keep increasing too.

 

Also noticing in past months more and more feeling like my old self. Like, feeling a certain way and specifically remembering "I felt that back when I was in my 20s..."

 

And a really awesome thing: During the years on meds I did a lot of work in therapy dealing with childhood issues. I did get through a lot of stuff and noticed a lot of progress but it was always frustrating because I was still miserable. Well, now what seems to be happening is--hm, hard to explain, but it's like, revisiting those things I already thought I had worked through, but finishing them somehow, working through some extra layers all the way out, and really feeling the healing now. 

 

So I'm liking myself, feeling solid in myself, more than I ever have. On the outside I'm no longer the hottie I once was, and my body can't do what it used to be able to do, I'm not so impressive in those ways, but on the inside I am the best I've EVER been. It's a great feeling.

 

Of course there are still things I want to work on, improve, transform in myself, because that's who I am, but I think maybe it's coming less from a place of feeling shame and failure now (I do feel those things sometimes though) and more often from a new place of self-acceptance and even self-appreciation and being comfortable with myself.

 

It's not perfect but OMG, every single day I am SO grateful that I was led to the decision to come off those life-slaying meds, and to the information and support I needed to do it slowly and safely.

 

I really feel like these changes in me that feel so right and so healthy correspond to healthy changes in my brain and nervous system, which is gradually reorganizing and remodeling itself. And at lower doses, where you have to make smaller and smaller cuts, I seem to be getting bigger and bigger benefits all the time. It definitely makes it easier to be patient with the taper.

 

I am convinced that at least in my case, going so slowly has really allowed my brain to heal itself throughout the process.  So you guys have to forgive me if I seem to proselytize about slow tapers--I am just so delighted with the results for me, and I see other people do well with them too, and so much less risk of "crash and burn." I will probably keep preaching the slow taper gospel forever.

 

Anyway, yes yes yes, partial and ongoing recovery is happening, for me!

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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so good to read that! yay! :)

in 2002- 0,5 tablet cipramil for half a year, ended it uneventfully. in 2006 - citalopram for half a year, ended in horrific state, ditched the drugs CT. 2007-2008 not feeling well but drug free. in 2008 prozac 20mg + quetiapine 25mg. 2009 tried to stop, ended up in hole after couple of months, started zoloft. 2009-2011 zoloft 50mg. went to 25mg in 2011 summer, it resulted in half a year horrible suffering. reinstated, changed drugs, nothing happened. by 2012 beginning suddenly felt great and CT meds. after 4 months came suddenly most horrible human suffering that's possible. was started on prozac and questiapine. started tapering slowly, GFCF diet and Hardy Nutritionals vitamins in 2013 summer. 

current medications: 1) fluoxetine and quetiapine since Aug 2012; 2) Daily Essential Nutrients by Hardy Nutritionals 7 capsules / since May 2013 + omega3; 3) Gluten-free-casein-free diet since june 2013

 

Started withdrawing slowly since april 2013. Mostly around 10% cuts. 

April'13 - March'14: fluoxetine 40mg -> 19,5mg; quetiapine 50mg -> 40mg
April'14-March'15: fluoxetine 19,5mg -> 14,4mg; quetiapine 40mg -> 22mg

April'15-March'16: fluoxetine 14,4mg -> 7,4mg; quetiapine 22mg -> 15mg

April'16-March'17: fluoxetine 7,4mg -> 5,0mg; quetiapine 15mg -> 7,25mg

April'17-March'18: fluoxetine 5,0mg -> 4,0mg; quetiapine 7,25mg -> 0 (as of 1st Feb 2018)!!!!

April´18-March´19: fluoxetine 4,0mg - > 2,3mg. Jumped off fluoxetine 1,4mg due to pregnancy in July 2019. Oct 2019 severe withdrawal syndrome started.

Took mistakenly a complex for hormonal support that included pregnenolone dec2019-april2020. Stopped it april 2020 and immediately severe akathisia started. Have had life threatening akathisia since, 100% disabled, suicidal, very hard to hold on. 

 

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Well done rhi,you deserve to be proud of yourself for your persistence and patience alone

2012 put on Citalopram and diazepam for 3 months for "depression" after filling in a 3 minute form at the doctors, had a massive reaction with panic attacks and extreme anxiety,never suffered panic attacks or anxiety before citalopram.Told to quit cold turkey which led to two hospital admissions during 2012/2013

December for 6 months Seroquel dosage adjusted up and down 50mg ,150mg ,100mg, caused severe tinnitus ,told to quit cold turkey

2013 January for 12 months Lorazapam given to me like sweets,told to quit cold turkey

2013 May Zoloft for 6 months ,told to quit cold turkey, reinstated 50mg tapered 2nd time over a month (to fast but I survived)messed up my sleep

Zyprexa April 2103 5mg until august 2014 ,dropped by doctor down to 2.5mg for one month went well but sleep was very poor for 3 weeks

End of 2015 I had to reinstate back up to 5mg due to constant insomnia that wouldnt go away Started a slow taper and found an understanding doctor who listened to me while I reduced
May 2016 drug free, sleeping and doing well in life again, it can be done http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12078-finally-off-zyprexa/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Fantastic update Rhi, I am now a great believer in the turtle taper too! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Kudos. Needed to hear this now. It's crazy how it takes more "guts" to go slow than to go for the glory and slay the dragon with a quick fix. It's counter intuitive to be brave and be slow but necessary.

 

RU :)

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Rhiannon,


 


I was trying to send you a PM just now, but it seems your mailbox is full. Is there a way I could contact you? (I repeated this message here and in your previous topic, because I don't know if you visit the other thread any more).


 


All the best,


erer


  • 2,5 years of slowly tapering down Cymbalta from 60 mg. Then tried going from 8,44 mg to 1 mg in 8 days. (April 1st 2015). That's when the real hell started. Reinstated. Didn't help. I was added Ativan (2 mg 2 times a day for relentless akathisia that started with jumping Cymbalta). For years had been taking Zopitin 7,5 mg and Stilnox 10 mg for I had not been able to sleep naturally since the 1st day I started Cymbalta). Used to take Xanax occasionally.
  • All of the above were stopped cold turkey when I was hospitalized in the beginning of May 2015.
  • Prior to that I have been on and off the whole spectrum of different AD-s for 15 years (since I was 17).

My introduction.

 

Tapering:

  • Olanzapine (starting point 2,1 mg): Jan 2016  /---/ April 2018 0 mg. (From 2,1 mg to 0 mg in 1y 3mo).
  • Diazepam (starting at 5 mg) : switching to liquid May 2018;  4,6 mg (June 2018) /---/ 0 mg (Feb 2020) (From 10 to 5 - nobody knows, from 5 to 0 in 1 y 10 mo)
  • Valdoxan (starting at 25 mg): switching to liquid (Feb 2019) /---/ 0 mg (July 2020)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rhi so happy and grateful to read your account of healing. Such a gift. Thank you

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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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

HI all--

 

Just wanted to say, I'm still chugging along. Still noticing ongoing continual improvement, except in my memory. (For my first couple of years of tapering, when all my friends my age were complaining about their memory going south, mine was getting better. Not any more. Now I'm like the rest of the gray gang. sigh.)

 

I didn't make much tapering progress over this past year, mostly because it was a very stressful year full of lots of changes, but also partly because I'm down to such low doses now that I'm really enjoying life, taking on new projects, having a fuller social life, etc., and I want to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so I can keep enjoying life. (After so many years stolen from me by the drugs, I'm really enjoying being functional!)

 

But I'm still plugging away. Feeling healthy and strong, sleeping pretty well, really really enjoying having my connection with other human beings back. It's something that I appreciate so much. I didn't realize the drugs had taken it from me, until it started coming back.

 

I'm happier, and very rarely have thoughts about life not being worth living and that sort of thing. (Which is a big change from being almost constantly suicidal for most of about 20 years of my life.)

 

It's been a long road, and it's going to be as long again probably before I'm off all meds, if I ever in fact get there. But frankly if I had to stay right here I would be happy with that. It's SO much better than it was on the meds.

 

But so far anyway there doesn't seem to be any indication that I need to stop tapering, so I'm just going to keep very very very slowly slipping those doses downward. It's working so far!

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Hi Rhiannon,

 

I was trying to send you a PM just now, but it seems your mailbox is full. Is there a way I could contact you? (I repeated this message here and in your previous topic, because I don't know if you visit the other thread any more).

 

All the best,

erer

 

Hi, I don't know why my mailbox is full, I will take a look at it tomorrow or the next day. I'm working a lot of overtime and night shift time this week so it might be next week before I figure it out. 

 

I'm not on the forum so much any more these days, but since I'm working a couple of weeks of graveyard shift I'll be around for a couple of weeks, at least a bit, probably.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Dear Rhiannon,

 

thank you very much for your update and for visiting us. I'm so very happy for you. And I can't tell you enough how much your story means to me, giving me and many people here strength and hope when we need it most (and guidance of course :)

 

I've been down lately which always means resorting to the forum to find comfort and encouragement. Then I read through all threads and come across so much of your wisdom.

 

This is what particularly inspired me lately. Do you remember it? :)

 

I know I just have to take it one day at a time and this will pass. At least, I'm pretty sure it will, because so far every time I hold long enough, I get to feeling pretty good eventually. But it's so hard to be patient. I want my life back NOW. Still, when you got no choice you got no choice,. 

 

Rhiannon, on 11 Oct 2012 - 6:31 PM, said:snapback.png

 

 

'Rhi', on 04 Sept 2012 - 02:00 AM, said:snapback.png

'Coleen', on 25 Aug 2012 - 7:16 PM, said:snapback.png

I ended up going back to 75 Mg. I plan on going down extremely slowly from here. I can't handle the neuro emotions- they are far too intense. Quite a hard lesson!

I think the key is tapering slowly and taking long enough breaks (holds) whenever you first begin to experience symptoms, instead of waiting until they become intolerable.

So often people think, "oh this isn't so bad, I can tough it out" and keep pushing the taper.

Who is this Rhi person? I should listen to her. Been pushing my taper a bit and having some bad days...feeling really down and discouraged and pessimistic about life. hm. Okay okay okay going to hold for a while.

 

Big hugs,

 

Bubble

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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HI all--

 

Just wanted to say, I'm still chugging along. Still noticing ongoing continual improvement, except in my memory. (For my first couple of years of tapering, when all my friends my age were complaining about their memory going south, mine was getting better. Not any more. Now I'm like the rest of the gray gang. sigh.)

 

I didn't make much tapering progress over this past year, mostly because it was a very stressful year full of lots of changes, but also partly because I'm down to such low doses now that I'm really enjoying life, taking on new projects, having a fuller social life, etc., and I want to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so I can keep enjoying life. (After so many years stolen from me by the drugs, I'm really enjoying being functional!)

 

But I'm still plugging away. Feeling healthy and strong, sleeping pretty well, really really enjoying having my connection with other human beings back. It's something that I appreciate so much. I didn't realize the drugs had taken it from me, until it started coming back.

 

I'm happier, and very rarely have thoughts about life not being worth living and that sort of thing. (Which is a big change from being almost constantly suicidal for most of about 20 years of my life.)

 

It's been a long road, and it's going to be as long again probably before I'm off all meds, if I ever in fact get there. But frankly if I had to stay right here I would be happy with that. It's SO much better than it was on the meds.

 

But so far anyway there doesn't seem to be any indication that I need to stop tapering, so I'm just going to keep very very very slowly slipping those doses downward. It's working so far!

 

So glad you are still improving....what you wrote about wanting to take on new projects is wonderful!  in October and November when I was med free my motivation and desire to do things was better.  Simple things that had seemed overwhelming for so long didn't seem that way.  Now I miss that after my crash!    When you say there doesn't seem to be any indication that you need to stop tapering...does that mean that when you make a cut you don't feel any withdrawal symptoms, increase in anxiety, or lower mood at all or does it mean you feel slight withdrawal symptoms but they are manageable and disappear quickly?  Thanks in advance for your reply and congratulations!

1995 - 2015 antidepressants and antianxiety medicine
Multiple failed attempts to quit/taper anti d/anti anxiety meds since 2008

June 17, 2016 began prozac bridge to get off of effexor xr, stopped effexor xr on June 24, 2016, could not tolerate prozac due to severe side effects so I had to stop it  Currently...300 mg ER of lithium, 1 mg of estradiol, 60 mg propranolol ER, Fish oil 2 x a day, Magnesium Glycinate,  zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d, NAC

 

 

 

 

 

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HI all--

 

Just wanted to say, I'm still chugging along. Still noticing ongoing continual improvement, except in my memory. (For my first couple of years of tapering, when all my friends my age were complaining about their memory going south, mine was getting better. Not any more. Now I'm like the rest of the gray gang. sigh.)

 

I didn't make much tapering progress over this past year, mostly because it was a very stressful year full of lots of changes, but also partly because I'm down to such low doses now that I'm really enjoying life, taking on new projects, having a fuller social life, etc., and I want to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so I can keep enjoying life. (After so many years stolen from me by the drugs, I'm really enjoying being functional!)

 

But I'm still plugging away. Feeling healthy and strong, sleeping pretty well, really really enjoying having my connection with other human beings back. It's something that I appreciate so much. I didn't realize the drugs had taken it from me, until it started coming back.

 

I'm happier, and very rarely have thoughts about life not being worth living and that sort of thing. (Which is a big change from being almost constantly suicidal for most of about 20 years of my life.)

 

It's been a long road, and it's going to be as long again probably before I'm off all meds, if I ever in fact get there. But frankly if I had to stay right here I would be happy with that. It's SO much better than it was on the meds.

 

But so far anyway there doesn't seem to be any indication that I need to stop tapering, so I'm just going to keep very very very slowly slipping those doses downward. It's working so far!

 

So glad to hear you are still going strong. Still cannot send you a PM. I don't mean to be pushy, but I could really use some of your advice.

  • 2,5 years of slowly tapering down Cymbalta from 60 mg. Then tried going from 8,44 mg to 1 mg in 8 days. (April 1st 2015). That's when the real hell started. Reinstated. Didn't help. I was added Ativan (2 mg 2 times a day for relentless akathisia that started with jumping Cymbalta). For years had been taking Zopitin 7,5 mg and Stilnox 10 mg for I had not been able to sleep naturally since the 1st day I started Cymbalta). Used to take Xanax occasionally.
  • All of the above were stopped cold turkey when I was hospitalized in the beginning of May 2015.
  • Prior to that I have been on and off the whole spectrum of different AD-s for 15 years (since I was 17).

My introduction.

 

Tapering:

  • Olanzapine (starting point 2,1 mg): Jan 2016  /---/ April 2018 0 mg. (From 2,1 mg to 0 mg in 1y 3mo).
  • Diazepam (starting at 5 mg) : switching to liquid May 2018;  4,6 mg (June 2018) /---/ 0 mg (Feb 2020) (From 10 to 5 - nobody knows, from 5 to 0 in 1 y 10 mo)
  • Valdoxan (starting at 25 mg): switching to liquid (Feb 2019) /---/ 0 mg (July 2020)

 

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Wonderful to read your story of improvement! Gives a lot of hope!  :)

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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Rhi I am so glad for you when I gave up lithium and sodium vapor ate and diazepam and dothiepin I slowly got me back and I really like me now the same is happening with citalopram

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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I am inspired to write a book of my experiences intermingled with factual stuff I read Peter Brigg ins last one and it didn't concentrate sufficiently on tapering and was quite a poor read although still useful in some regards

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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  • 3 months later...
Hopeinahpwr

God bless you! Thank you for the hope!

Ben

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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This, at what percentage have you been tapering that has made you successful? Sure would love to know!!!! Thanks.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you so much for continuing to check in. Your patience is AMAZING and your story is inspiring! What I get from what you write is that you are being kind, gentle and patient with yourself. That's the opposite of how I've done things with myself most of my life (*whip crack*), but I'm trying to change that. My hope is that my vitality will return without the whip, and in new and better ways. I just keep feeling like I need to push myself to engage with life, not isolate, not start feeling sorry for myself. I'm finding this new approach to be a tough balance.

 

I understand through therapy (and some other resources I've found) that I've needed to grieve over a number of things, feel things I didn't want to feel before I got on the meds, and feel I wasn't able to feel while on them (and drinking, working like a madman, and finding every possible way to distract myself. I've removed all distractions (I'm not even working right now) . . . basically pulling the emergency break in my life, and even though I'm on more meds now than I was for the first 24 years I was on meds, stuff is bubbling up and out. I'm even starting to feel anger (something I wasn't "allowed" to feel as a kid . . . a very new feeling for me!). I'm guessing there is quite a bit more below the surface, so again, your patience is what I find most inspiring. Much appreciation!

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • 1 year later...

Rhiannon can you please tell me how did you taper off Gabapetin. I’m taking 100 mg twice a day and want a plan to taper off this med.

I've been taking lorazepam 4 mg,since December 20,2017.I started taking gabapentin again in January 27 for the pain in my back,and i'm still taking it,i'm taking 100 mg twice a day.But i want to get off it because the side effects.I take the first dosage of gabapentin at 12:00 noon,the side effects are diarrhea,tremors,i don't feel like doing anything, no motivation,forgetfulness,trouble concentrating,irritated,feeling down,sometimes i feel space out with this medication.My second dosage of 100 of  gabapentin is at 8:00 pm,the symptoms are the same as the one i take at noon,except for the diarrhea.I take 2 mg off lorazepam at 1:00 pm,symptoms feeling tired,i start to shake( hands,head,sometimes my whole body.The next dosage i take is at 6:00 pm,symptoms feeling tired,and the same symptoms when i take the 1:00 pm dosage.

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  • 7 months later...

@RhiannonI’m new to the site and am on 3diff meds as well Effexor,remeron,lamictal And was wondering how your taper was goin?You are very insightful and have helped me to prepare for what’s to come as I continue this journey.

1992-1995 Tofranil : was hospitalized 

1996 Zoloft, Larazepam- CT 1996

1996-  Effexor till now

2002- Remron till now

2008- Trazodone 

2010- Zyprexa, Seroquil

2010 hospitalized then CT Zyprexa, Seroquil

2010-  Lamictal till now

2011- tapered off Trazodone

2011- tapered Effexor from 150mg to 75mg / Tapered Remeron 30ng to 7.5mg / Tapered Lamictal 50mg to 37.5mg

1/27/2017 Tapered Effexor 75mg to 31.25mg

 

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  • 2 months 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

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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  • 7 months later...

One of the most uplifting success stories I've read so far.  Thank you for sharing Rhionnon.

5/1999 to 6/7/2002 Celexa (Citalopram) 30 mg  3 years 1 month.  6/7/2002 to 6/26/2002 switch from Celexa to Zoloft then wean off.  8/2014 start Venlafaxine 225 mg.

Other Pharmaceuticals per day:  Amlodipine 5 mg

Vitamins per day:  C 2,000 mg; D3 1.25 mg; Probiotic 218 mg; Fish Oil 1,600 mg; Magnesium Glycinate 240 mg; CoQ10 100 mg; Saw Palmetto 320 mg;

Start Taper: 225 mg to 55 mg; June 5, 2018 to June 15, 2019

49 mg July 16, 2019; 44 mg August  13, 2019; 49 mg (up 11%) Aug. 26, 2019: 44 mg Sept. 10, 2019; 40 mg Oct. 8, 2019;  37.5 mg (6%) Nov. 6, 2019; 49.5 mg (up 32%) Nov 18, 2019; 44.5 mg Dec. 30, 2019; 40 mg Jan. 27, 2020; 36 mg Feb. 24, 2020; 32.5 mg March 23, 2020; 29.2 mg April 20, 2020; 26.3 mg May 18, 2020; 23.7 mg June 15, 2020; 21.3 mg July 6, 2020; 19.2 mg Aug. 4, 2020; 17.3 mg Sept. 1, 2020; 15.5 mg Sept. 29, 2020; 14.0 mg Oct. 27, 2020; 12.6 mg Nov. 24, 2020; 11.3 mg Dec. 15, 2020; 10.2 mg Jan. 5, 2021; 9.2 mg Feb. 2, 2021; 8.3 mg March 9, 2021; 7.4 mg April 6, 2021; 6.7 mg 5/4/2021; 6.0 mg 6/01/2021;

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
6 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

 

Rhi's story continues.....so I re-opened this topic. Hi, Rhi!

 

 

See more at

 

Edited by Altostrata
added link

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

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 Oct 2015 

My 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.

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Well, here I am, thanks for reopening my topics ChessieCat and Alto.

 

A (hopefully brief) update on my life since 2015: 

 

That year, in May 2015, I quit my job and took a different job in a different town, relocating a few hundred miles away--only to find that the new job was actually a pretty toxic culture and I didn't want to stay there, so after three months, and my previous job offering me a raise to return, I came back to the first job, packing and moving again. Only I moved to a different town in the area where I had more friends. It was about a 45 minute commute each way to work, but it was great to have friends close enough to drop by and visit. 

 

Then about five months after that my daughter went through a pretty rough delivery of my granddaughter, so I stayed there for three weeks, then after that, every time I had a day off from work, I was driving the 80 minutes each way to where they live to help them out during that rough newborn and baby period.

 

And we had the harshest winter in 20 years, so I was commuting to her house, and to work and home after midnight, in snow and ice. I had sold my 4WD car to get a Prius because of all the driving, so I spent that winter doing a lot of scary slipping and sliding, sometimes taking 2 hours to cover what was usually a 45 minute drive, in the dark out in the boonies. 

 

In 2017 we had a lot of changes at work, some people were laid off, there was talk of the hospital closing altogether, it was really tense for about six months. Then around the end of the year we had a married couple (two people out of a team of 12, and they were two of the four-person team of supervisors also) who had a severely ill child and were out of commission for two months, so we all had to scramble and try to get their work done as well as covering our own. One of them, the mom, chose not to come back to her supervisor job, so I accepted the position myself even though I had zero training/preparation. It was incredibly stressful. I was still spending most of my days off out of town.

 

Also in 2017 I moved in with a friend, but that didn't work out for sleeping because the grocery store next door had noisy trucks coming in at 6 am every day (and me getting home from work at 1 am)...So after six months I moved AGAIN (yes that is one hell of a lot of moving) back to the town where I work.

 

Around that time I started accelerating my Xanax taper due to wanting to please my PA (healthcare provider) who had been supportive of the slow taper but was starting to get some pressure from her supervisor (MD) to see "progress." The following September, 2018, I quit Xanax completely.

 

Two months later my landlord announced ANOTHER rent increase by $100 a month (that was 30% increase in three years at that property). I went into a panic (probably triggered by Xanax withdrawal I realize now) and hurriedly rushed into buying a mobile home in a little over-55 community, the only thing I could afford (housing prices are INSANE here, not just because it's Oregon, but this specific area is a hot tourist region). So, yep, packed up all my stuff and moved AGAIN. I did reinstate my Xanax in the middle of this, and bumped up the Valium again, but it was pretty touch and go for a while.

 

And then, again in order to try to please my healthcare provider (because keeping them happy keeps the slow taper prescriptions coming), I did a pretty fast taper down on citalopram, and quit that completely in June.

 

And got hit with WD in August, and came back here for support and advice on reinstatement. So here I am. WHEW.

 

Anyway, the point to telling that whole story is...well, first, so y'all know I have been BUSY my friends!

 

But also, I think it's a pretty damn strong testimony to the power of the slow taper, and how much healing is possible. I was able to bump and shove and bounce my way through ALL of that while still tapering very slowly and reducing my drug burden as I went.

 

Back in 2008, 11 years ago, I was at the bottom of the bottom of my whole psych drug misadventure. After multiple changes on meds and being disabled and dysfunctional and unable to work and doing a lot of crazy things and losing my house and all my life savings and being, as I had been most of the time for the years on the drugs, suicidal for months on end--in December of 2008 I attempted suicide and wound up in the hospital. If you had told me then that ten years later I would be able to look back on the past four years and everything that had happened, and not only would I not be suicidal, I would be feeling pretty optimistic and happy most of the time, AND I would have been working full time for ten years, AND I would have gotten a promotion, AND I would have bought a house--well, I would have been glad to hear it, but it would not have been very believable.

 

Given who I am, I think it's likely I will continue to bite off more than I can comfortably chew a lot of the time, and it will continue to lead to grand adventures and the occasional crash, but nothing I can't get through. Given who I am, from where I'm standing today, I think I will continue to taper slowly down on the meds until I either get off them or get to a dose that I can't reduce or die, whichever comes first. 

 

As far as recovery from the drugs (which would maybe be happening even faster if I wasn't such a maniac, but oh well): The latest things I've noticed have been 1. A new stage in non-suicidality and 2. A new sense of being grounded and alive and connected in my body.

 

When I first started tapering I was still suicidal on and off for a couple of years. Then it sort of segued into more of a "well I don't know if I actually want to DO anything about it, but if a satellite fell on my head today that would be great." And then gradually it segued into more of a "well, okay, it might be okay not to die today, but I don't really want to live a long life, I hope I don't." And intermittently among those feelings I started having occasional days where I had moments of "I like being alive actually--whoa that's weird but, okay!" Over time, the liking being alive has increased in frequency. In the past six months or so I would say that has become my baseline. Most of the time, I feel like I am happy to be alive, whatever the future holds, and I hope to live a long time to come. (THAT IS SO WEIRD TO HEAR MYSELF SAY.)

 

And I'm clear the change is not cognitive. It's organic. It's the actual natural survival instinct of the organism that I am. The world hasn't become a more happy place over the last few years, there's no logic involved. It's just the joyous survival urge of the living organism reasserting itself. It's weird, but it feels good.

 

And along with that, there's a general sense of wellbeing in my body. I feel alive and grounded and--well, I feel like ME again. I mean, not every minute. I have bad times too, although somehow even in those bad times I seem to be able to access this deep sense of overall wellbeing, to remember that it's there at least. (Also weird to hear myself say.)

 

I mean, I don't want to overcommit here, folks, but I think I might sort of kind of sometimes be HAPPY.

 

So, folks, hang in there. IT GETS BETTER! I am really optimistic now about almost everyone's chances of healing and recovery. I was in terrible shape, I had scrambled my brain on psych drugs for many years, and I am not young, yet here I am today.

 

Things aren't perfect. I still deal with withdrawal sometimes. I still have to work with my anxiety. I still have to spend "down time" periods where I just stay indoors and quiet. I wish I could do more, there is so much I want to do now and I hate having to pace myself.

 

But "I hate having to pace myself, because there is so much I desire doing" -- that in itself is an absolutely delightful state, feeling the desire and the urge to engage in life and in the world, feeling so alive and so ME.

 

If it never gets better than this, I will live happily with that. And I am pretty sure it is going to continue to get incrementally better.

 

So yep. Hang in there. Healing is possible and it's worth waiting for.

 

 

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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I am so, so very happy for you Rhi. I have thought of you and have missed you.

 

I am really struggling right now, especially from awful insomnia. I forgot, did you have bad insomnia at some point?

 

Athena xx

2000-2001: Effexor              2005-2012: Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor, desipramin, Wellbutrin, mirtazepin, Lamictal, Remeron, Abilify, nortriptylin, Cipralex, Cymbalta, and others I don't remember. Really bad side effects to all.
Sept-Nov 2012: Paxil 20mg, Wellbutrin 100mg, Imovane 5mg      Nov 2012: Paxil 20mg --> 10mg
Dec 2012: Paxil 10mg-->0; 1 week later: HUGE WD symptoms. Started to get informed on the internet and back to 10mg Paxil.
Dec 2012-Jan 2013: Paxil 10mg, Wellbutrin 100mg, Imovane 2.5mg        End Jan 2013: P 9mg, W 100mg, I 2.0mg
Feb 2013: P 8mg, W 100mg, I 1.5mg      April 2013: P 7mg, W 100mg, I 1.25mg       May 2013: P 7mg, W 90mg, I 1mg    

June 2013: P 7mg, W 80mg, I 0mg       July 1/2013: P 7, W 70     July 22/2013: P 7, W 60             Aug 2013: P 7, W 50       Sept 2013: P 6.1, W 50     Oct 2013: P up to 6.3, W 50     Nov 2013: P 6.2 to 5.9, W 50      Dec 2013: P 5.9, W 40      Jan 2014: P 5.3, W40        Feb 2014: P 5.3, W 30      March-April 2014: P 5.3, W 26    May 2014: P 5.3, W 20        June 2014: P 5.3 W 15     July 2014:  P 5.3, W 14       Aug 2014: P 5.3, W up to 15     Sept 2014: P 5.3, W 14    Oct 2014: P 4.8, W 14      Nov 2014: P 4.3, W 14     Dec 2014-Jan 2015: P 3.9, W 14     Feb 2015: P 3.9, W 12    March 2015: P 3.6, W 12   April-May 2015: P 3.3, W 12    June 2015: P 3.3, W 10    July 2015: P 3.3, W 8   Aug-Sept 2015: P 3.3, W 6   Oct 2015: P 3.0, W 6   Nov 2015: P 2.7, W 6   Dec 2015: P 2.4, W 6   Jan-Feb 2016: P 2.4, W 5  March 2016: P 2.2, W 5   April 2016: P 2.2, W 4   May-June 2016: P 2.2, W 3  July 2016: P 2.2, W 2  Aug 2016: P 2.2, W 1  Sept 2016: P 2.2, W 0!!  Oct 2016: P 2.0   Nov 2016-Jan 2017: P 1.8  Feb-Mar 2017: P 1.9  April-May 2017: P 1.8   June 2017: P 1.6 July-Dec 2017: P 1.5  Jan-April 2018: P 1.6

Others: Cytomel 25mcg (thyroid), vit. C, vit D, Omega-3 fish oil, Magnesium bisglycinate , Melatonin 1mg, 81mg Aspirin, Milk peptides, L-theanine, Valericalm tincture mix, scullcap tincture, Suan Zao Ren (jujube seeds)

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11 hours ago, Athena said:

I am so, so very happy for you Rhi. I have thought of you and have missed you.

 

I am really struggling right now, especially from awful insomnia. I forgot, did you have bad insomnia at some point?

 

Athena xx

 

Yes, sleep has been a struggle on and off. It's been pretty bad at times. It seems like it always eventually resolves. Most recently when I was having some WD in August and September I had a bout of it again but it has settled down.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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Hello dear Rhi,

 

What an inspiring autobiographical sketch and resilient woman you are. The big changes in your life - under the strain of pressure to hasten your tapers - and doing just that - the fatigue and emotional turmoil of career changes and your intense period to see your daughter and grandchild through a difficult transition period. And to move from being suicidal (and making an attempt) to being happy (even if not every day?) - accepting the WD symptoms that still hang around - is outstanding.

 

I am so pleased for you and am thankful to you for your support and help to me. Without it I would be up a creed without a paddle.

 

Thank you for sharing your story.  :)

 

Giuilietta

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