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Saspian: 35 Years too Long


Saspian

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I am now 70 years old and practically half of this time has involved the consumption of anti depressants and benzodiazepines

 

It has been a long and crazy haul engaging pills to overcome familial, social, and psychological problems, when in fact these medications largely exacerbated the essential difficulties, providing at best, a totally unproductive escapism.

 

I am convinced that many of the anti depressants I took 'worked' by making me feel so weird and rotten I temporarily forgot the other form of suffering. Serzone seemed to help a bit but was taken from the market because of a series of fatal liver failures.The mono amine oxidase inhibitor (reversible) drug Moclobemide (not available in U.S.A.) also helped a bit but a liver function test showed a significant spike in some liver enzymes, so off them round six months ago.

 

My favoured crazy med was always the benzos, despite the vicious way they treated me and the roller coaster ride I bought myself. Tranxene saw me put myself into rehab some 18 years ago in order not to get sacked from my job and admittedly from that point things have improved in a slowly increasing bumpy manner as both meds and alcohol were substantially reduced.

 

The withdrawal issue is a key issue with benzos. Many doctors see withdrawal as the need to up the dose or try a new anti depressant, which, in my view,simply initiates another downward spiral.Much of my benzo consumption has been not to feel normal, let alone high,but to relieve the bad feelings caused by the drugs. A classic vicious circle.

Withdrawal, for me, included flu like symptoms, numb face, tremor, agitation, echo voice,anger,inhibited communication, sense of dis orientation etc.

 

On the credit side my dosings of valium, serepax, tranxene, Xanax, ativan etc were, in the main, well within the limits.

Just as well over 3.5 decades! Were it not for this I do not think I would be alive now: plus the fact that within the drug scenario I was paradoxically fitness and food conscious.

 

Well now day 12 off a 3 year term on valium reduced to a daily average of about 3.5 mgs daily, with some long free periods and hoping this is the end but smart enough not to be too cocky...................... :)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for posting your Intro, Saspian.

 

Someday when you feel up to it, please add your drug history to your signature, like so:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature

 

That will appear in all of your posts, making it easier for the rest of us to respond intelligently to your questions and comments. Adding a link to your Intro is also helpful, as this is where your ongoing saga continues and the link makes it easy to find. (I lost my Intro a few times until I figured this out). To add further comments about your situation and progress, find your Intro and scroll down to the "Add Reply" button at the bottom of the page, enter your post, scroll down just a bit, click on "Preview Post" if you wish, and then "Add Reply" to post.

 

Now that I've gotten all that off my chest, welcome! I'm 67 and it's good to meet someone in my own age group. My own experience with psychoactive drugs has only been two years, and it's been mostly a nightmare. Just trying to imagine what you've been through makes me cringe.

 

In case you haven't noticed it already, we have a special Discussion for benzo users:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/

 

Although this forum is focused on antidepressants, it's my understanding that some of the better known benzo forums have been less than helpful to some of our present members, and so we started our own. And then there's the drug cocktail thing. At first, I was also put on benzos (Ativan, generic name Lorazepam) in addition to Remeron (a very strong antihistamine) and Pristiq, a not unusual combination of benzos and antidepressants. In the current psychiatric climate, it is difficult to avoid ending up on a combination of benzos and antidepressants.

 

I'm glad you found us.

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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thanks for posting. wow, you have a lot of experience with these drugs. how are you feeling nowadays?

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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Thank you for posting your Intro, Saspian.

 

Someday when you feel up to it, please add your drug history to your signature, like so:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature

 

That will appear in all of your posts, making it easier for the rest of us to respond intelligently to your questions and comments. Adding a link to your Intro is also helpful, as this is where your ongoing saga continues and the link makes it easy to find. (I lost my Intro a few times until I figured this out). To add further comments about your situation and progress, find your Intro and scroll down to the "Add Reply" button at the bottom of the page, enter your post, scroll down just a bit, click on "Preview Post" if you wish, and then "Add Reply" to post.

 

Now that I've gotten all that off my chest, welcome! I'm 67 and it's good to meet someone in my own age group. My own experience with psychoactive drugs has only been two years, and it's been mostly a nightmare. Just trying to imagine what you've been through makes me cringe.

 

In case you haven't noticed it already, we have a special Discussion for benzo users:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/

 

Although this forum is focused on antidepressants, it's my understanding that some of the better known benzo forums have been less than helpful to some of our present members, and so we started our own. And then there's the drug cocktail thing. At first, I was also put on benzos (Ativan, generic name Lorazepam) in addition to Remeron (a very strong antihistamine) and Pristiq, a not unusual combination of benzos and antidepressants. In the current psychiatric climate, it is difficult to avoid ending up on a combination of benzos and antidepressants.

 

I'm glad you found us.

 

Good to hear from you Jemima.

My Mums name was Jemina, she changed it from Jean Mena, which she did not like. She died at just on 95, a few years ago. She was heavy into the psyche meds too.

Pristiq is one I hadn't heard of; that must be a first. I tried to get into Benzo Buddies a few months back but was unable.Still not all that I/net smart and only started on forums about a year ago.

 

Will send some details re past soon;it might be helpful to others..........Cheers S. B)

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thanks for posting. wow, you have a lot of experience with these drugs. how are you feeling nowadays?

 

Hi Zeppelin.

There were some really bad old days but things are on the improve.

Was on effexor for a short while and believe withdrawal can be pretty bad,

Fortunately I was not on them very long. <_<

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  • Administrator

Hello, Saspian, welcome.

 

Thanks for joining our community. With your experience, you'll be able to tell newbies a lot about going off drugs!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Pristiq is one I hadn't heard of; that must be a first.

 

Pristiq is Effexor with a few molecules rearranged. My doctor tells me this is often what drug companies do to come up with a "new" drug when the patent on the old one expires.

 

The problem with Pristiq is that it only comes in 50 mg. and 100 mg. time-released pills and the dose can't be adjusted downward accurately when a person is ready to taper off. The are complaints in to the FDA about this and I believe there's a recent article posted on this forum about the ineffectiveness and dangers of Pristiq.

 

Ah. Here it is:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3306-prescribed-and-abandoned-another-drug-settlement/

 

There are several people on this forum who switched from Pristiq to Effexor so that they could taper off slowly. I was simply cold-switched to Lexapro, which didn't seem to do any damage.

 

It's possible that the drug was never approved at all in Australia. Countries other than the USA seem to be far saner about dealing with Big Pharma than we are.

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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I am not very much into going way-back and hope this may serve to help someone.

As a child I think I copped a fair dose in terms of both nature and nurture and it took me a very long time to work out a methodology of coping......better late than never.

 

My great grandmother was unmarried and had her kids taken from her by the church, which was common practice in those days.

The kids were literally farmed out to a property where whippings and heavy farm work were the norm and one of those was my grandmother.

 

My grandmother lost her husband in WW1, her first daughter stillborn, and brought up my mother in extreme poverty, remaining a widow until her death in her seventies.

 

My father dies on the Burma Rd a prisoner of the Japanese and I was raised by mother and grandmother, two highly disturbed women.There was continual fighting between these two. My grandmother suffered from acute anxiety neurosis and wanted me kept in doors, while my mother was hysterical at best, and sexually frustrated. Other than for my father's father there were no visitors on that side of the family and very few on the other side.As a result of her 'turns' my mother would belt herself black and blue, hold razors to her throat and scream hysterically. She would accuse my grandmother of sharing the bed with other men including a brother, when she was a child. There was much, more and our 'home' was the designated local mad house.

 

I grew up painfully shy and as a child was given barbiturates. Hey that's more than 35 years................!

The shyness persisted into puberty blues and at 15 I left home. At this time my mother had given birth to a baby girl, a love child, as the result of an affair with a local business man.

 

This is all very brief and written to indicate that bad nurturing/genes environment etc need not be the end of the world.

I am a survivor but before becoming one, I had to learn to take charge of my life as best as possible, a long and gruelling lesson, in which the part prescription drugs played was largely counter productive......... to be continued. B)

 

Dec6 day 16 nil diazepam

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Saspian-

 

I moved your latest post to your Intro, which is where all comments about personal history and progress through withdrawal are to go, much like a journal. When you post again, please locate your Intro and click on "Add Reply" at the bottom of the page to make another post.

 

I found the Intro topic to be very helpful in seeing how I had progressed, and having all the information in one place makes it easier for people to understand your background and respond helpfully to your posts.

 

Thanks.

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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  • Administrator

Saspian, what a harrowing story.

 

Yes, so many of us have had to overcome awful histories. It can be done.

 

Thank you so much for sharing that. It must have been difficult.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thank you for sharing your story, Saspian. What an inspiration. I look forward to reading future posts from you.

 

Sparrow

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I think you will be a highly valuable forum member as well. Again, welcome.

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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Thank you for sharing your story, Saspian. What an inspiration. I look forward to reading future posts from you.

 

Sparrow

 

Hi Sparrow.

Just looking at your taper. Looks as if you are going really well. I am 18 days off diazepam today and feeling so-so.

In the old days withrawal used to commence around day 11. My longest period clean would be about 1 month.

A few years ago I did a really slow taper, getting down to about .1 mgs of valium over more than a month after which nil provided me with a hell of a low..... Slow and easy is smart but don't be disappointed if you cop some rebound anxiety. Just look at the progress you have made.

 

 

Nil benzos day 18. ;)

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I am not very much into going way-back and hope this may serve to help someone.

As a child I think I copped a fair dose in terms of both nature and nurture and it took me a very long time to work out a methodology of coping......better late than never.

 

My great grandmother was unmarried and had her kids taken from her by the church, which was common practice in those days.

The kids were literally farmed out to a property where whippings and heavy farm work were the norm and one of those was my grandmother.

 

My grandmother lost her husband in WW1, her first daughter stillborn, and brought up my mother in extreme poverty, remaining a widow until her death in her seventies.

 

My father dies on the Burma Rd a prisoner of the Japanese and I was raised by mother and grandmother, two highly disturbed women.There was continual fighting between these two. My grandmother suffered from acute anxiety neurosis and wanted me kept in doors, while my mother was hysterical at best, and sexually frustrated. Other than for my father's father there were no visitors on that side of the family and very few on the other side.As a result of her 'turns' my mother would belt herself black and blue, hold razors to her throat and scream hysterically. She would accuse my grandmother of sharing the bed with other men including a brother, when she was a child. There was much, more and our 'home' was the designated local mad house.

 

I grew up painfully shy and as a child was given barbiturates. Hey that's more than 35 years................!

The shyness persisted into puberty blues and at 15 I left home. At this time my mother had given birth to a baby girl, a love child, as the result of an affair with a local business man.

 

This is all very brief and written to indicate that bad nurturing/genes environment etc need not be the end of the world.

I am a survivor but before becoming one, I had to learn to take charge of my life as best as possible, a long and gruelling lesson, in which the part prescription drugs played was largely counter productive......... to be continued. B)

 

Dec6 day 16 nil diazepam

 

This story has made me count my blessings.God Bless You...

C/T Celexa and Trazadone on Jan.29th 2014
Prescribed 1mg of Klonopin every 6 hours on Jan.29th
Began tapering Klonopin April 18th..stretching time between doses...at first one hour for 2 weeks then a half hour for app.10 days then another half hour 10days later.
Presently at .25 three times a day..6 2 and 10pm. Trying to stabilize.
Also still taking gabapentin 300mgs 2xs a day..

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Hi Saspian,

I am new here. I hope I can call myself a survivor. Man what a story you have been through hell.

 

I am sending prayers and blessings your way

Skier

Oxy addiction in high school. Went to rehab in 2001. Never touched them again.

2009 Suicide Attempt hospitalization started on 50 mg Zoloft Was on some other meds in the hospital don't remember

Just stayed on Zoloft over time dose went up to where I am know 200mg daily

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Thanks guys; bad things are really bad while they are happening. When we learn something from them we can gain a lot as human beings. If I regret the time it took, then I am revisiting the past, which should be seen only as a teacher not a handicap. :lol:Nil valium day 19

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks guys; bad things are really bad while they are happening. When we learn something from them we can gain a lot as human beings. If I regret the time it took, then I am revisiting the past, which should be seen only as a teacher not a handicap. :lol:Nil valium day 19

How are your withdrawal symptoms... I left you a message in the benzo section below.

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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Thank you for sharing your story and experience Saspian. I am glad you joined us here, your experience can be very helpful. I was at Benzo Buddies for a bit, and I say it's just as well you are here instead. I finished my AD stuff too and now on the Benzo withdrawals. Good to have you here :)

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

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

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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