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beconscious

In 2008 I was prescribed 1MG of Ativan Lorazapem for mild and occasional anxiety (visting the dentist, and flying)

I soon discovered its amazing ability to keep me calm in all circumstances and the no-effect impact of any stress in my life. I was 'flying high' able to achieve so much during the work day, going to be feeling amazing, and waking up feeling the same (hypomanic probobly).

 

My wife suggested that I stop taking the 0,5 to 1.0mg daily when she noticed within a few years that I was taking it routinely, to fall asleep or cope with any situation that may be stressful. So it began. I would stop the meds for a period of a few weeks thinking it was easy to jump on an off as the dosage was so low. I experience many nuisance symptoms (not knowing that I was alternating between withdrawal and probably tolerance withdrawal). I would go back on, try to come off again and end up back on.

 

By 2010 I had started to notice that this didnt feel right, I didnt feel well. I changed my life, part of my diet and joined the gym, taking up yoga classes. I did cardio and yoga consistently for 2 years, and yet the sensations remained. I had no idea what Benzos were doing to me.

 

Early 2012 I was a completely wreck, showing classic signs of a nervous breakdown. I knew work was stressful, and I had a few things in my life that I could do without that contributed to how I was feeling. By April I had to take a leave of absence from work and panic stricken thinking something was genuinely wrong with my body began doing test after test, seeing many doctors neurologists, endocronologists, chiro, naturopath etc all in an effort to discover why I was feeling the way I did.

 

By May 2012 I decided it was time to start isolating possible variables, and Ativan was first to go. Within 30 days I was having some of the most extreme withdrawal syumptoms reported. Nausea, intense insomnia, terrible anxiety, extreme photosensitivity, heat and cold sensitivity and deep depression ensued. It didnt occur to me that this was all due to the sudden cold turkey stopping of Ativan. By June I began taking Pristiq and was back at work by July slowly climbing out of the mess I had found myself in, having damaged my nervous system so severely I was beginning to show signs of MS (all withdrawal though). MRI, CT Scan etc and nothing showed up. Fast forward 5 months and I was feeling more and more stable on Pristiq. The nervous system still sensitive but definately recovering.

 

February of 2013 I decided to increase to 100MG of Pristiq just to see what the experience was like. I was on the increase for 5-6 weeks and decided it had no positive effect, I was even more tired than just the 50mg, and now I was rude to people. I tapered back down staggering the dosage every other day for about a week and rested at 50mg.

 

On March 26th 2013 I started, under my family doctor supervision, a taper that is the undesirable alternate day method. So far I am having a few symptoms, some heavyness sensations, tingling sensations down my legs as though I jumped in cold water, an increase in bowel movements and loosening of stool. My sleep is still okay, but perhaps not as sound as it used to be on the 50MG, but that could also be due to a 5 month old baby cooing all night long :)

 

I am closely monitoring the apperance of symptoms and will hold on this alternate day taper until I am happy this is stablizing. It seemed that my symptoms varied from off day to off day. Some days Id be moody in the morning and borderline hypomanic by evening. Even though this is a med day I had those rushes and sensations of high blood pressure wooshing from my abdomen to my head, especially when talking about something that excites me. This evening I had an hour worth of heavy heart beats and today I felt sickly, like I was getting a cold.

 

This is going to be some hard work, but hopefully nothing like what I experience on the accidental addiction/withdrawal from Benzos last year. What a mess.

 

I am wondering how long I should wait to begin my next taper stage and what that should look like. At first I thought 2 weeks of alternating days, but now I'm considering waiting 4, and maybe even 6 before going further. My concern is that damage to the nervous system doesnt appear right away, necessarily, and so I'd like to avoid ruining myself, and another perfectly good summer, for not weaning properly.

 

Things that have helped are:

 

An amazing wonderful boss and employer who has been with me every step of the way, making any adjustment and concession necessary for me to be healthy and to perform well.

My wife and family for understanding and being patient giving me much love and attention.

Eating well, eating clean. Consuming 2500-3500 daily of the leanest meats, the finest vegetables and drinking 8-10 glasss of water daily

Taking pharmaceutical grade fish oils purified from any heavy metals, twice daily.

Supporting the GI system with a truckload of probiotics to assist with the BM issues

Taking a mens stress supplement from my Naturopath (typical mix of bee pollens, ginsengs cinnamon and other 'inspiring' ingredients)

Sleeping consistently 10pm to 5:30am, even on weekends.

Avoiding stress, not filing up my life with 'to do's'.

Yoga once to twice weekly, and heavy lifting up to 3 times/week.

Meditation. Your life depends on this.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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bgbelden

I myself thought I had MS from the symptoms I was feeling

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lexicon

I am saddened that you are going through all that ..:(

Some of it I can identify with, as I am suffering through, also worrying about the condition of my nervous system ..

My situation is abrupt withdrawal from SSRI 'S ..But when I become stable, tapering off 2mg of Ativan awaits me .

I wish you well and that you become healthy soon ..

Thank you for the healthy tips you are sharing...:) I would love yo know the name brand of the stress formula you are taking ..I would appreciate that, so much.

Take good care ..Lexicon


Hello,
I am tapering Lorazepam, and my daily dose is 1.125 mgs.

I followed a long hold for 5 months, ( Nov-March 2019) hoping to find some stability, 

but it did not work. So I resumed my taper and hold pattern.
For the last 3 years, I have been using a daily microtaper, cutting .001mgs per day, with holds as needed.
Symptoms are head pressure, labored breathing, palpitations, abrupt surges of dizziness, this being my worst symptom for now, internal tremors, my latest nemesis, unsteadiness, anxiety, plus many other symptoms that cycle in, and cycle out consistently. Not a day passes, without grief :(

I take no other meds.

January 2013 - 15 day quick taper off 10 mgs of Lexapro, and 25 mgs of Sertraline,

at a detox clinic.

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basildev

Hi beconscious,

 

and welcome to the forum.

 

So am I understanding correctly that at the moment you are tapering down from 100mg to 50mg of Pristiq, and that you are skipping your dose every other day?

 

If so, what dose are you currently taking on the meds day?

 

I don't want to alarm you but the information gathered by experts on this forum suggests that alternating doses is the absolute worst thing you can do for your central nervous system. Your symptoms are mild at the moment but I suspect they will get worse soon if you continue this way.

 

It's always best to stick to one dose and take that dose every day. Please see the following link on how to taper off your medication:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

You've only just started your taper so if I were you I would work on choosing one consistent daily dose.


July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



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

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beconscious

Hi beconscious,

 

and welcome to the forum.

 

So am I understanding correctly that at the moment you are tapering down from 100mg to 50mg of Pristiq, and that you are skipping your dose every other day?

 

If so, what dose are you currently taking on the meds day?

 

I don't want to alarm you but the information gathered by experts on this forum suggests that alternating doses is the absolute worst thing you can do for your central nervous system. Your symptoms are mild at the moment but I suspect they will get worse soon if you continue this way.

 

It's always best to stick to one dose and take that dose every day. Please see the following link on how to taper off your medication:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

You've only just started your taper so if I were you I would work on choosing one consistent daily dose.

 

 

I bumped up to 100mg in Februrary for about 5-6 weeks and then tapered back down rapidly to 50mg over 2 weeks. In the middle of March I began an alternating taper every other day from 50mg to 0. Alternating 50mg one day, and 0 the next.

 

Thanks for your comments here. I like others and wondering when I would begin to see the negative effects of this alternating day taper method. If after 4-5 weeks of proceeding in this way all is well, then might I be okay to continue? I am unsure about how to effectively reduce the pill by 10% to slowly come down. When might my symptoms begin to peak if this is the 'wrong' way?


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

I am saddened that you are going through all that ..:(

Some of it I can identify with, as I am suffering through, also worrying about the condition of my nervous system ..

My situation is abrupt withdrawal from SSRI 'S ..But when I become stable, tapering off 2mg of Ativan awaits me .

I wish you well and that you become healthy soon ..

Thank you for the healthy tips you are sharing...:) I would love yo know the name brand of the stress formula you are taking ..I would appreciate that, so much.

Take good care ..Lexicon

 

 

Energen M is the supplement I am taking

HMF Forte is the probiotic.

 

The very best of luck and success to you. You can do this.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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tezza

Hi bc,

 

Welcome! Here is a link on tapering Pristiq:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/876-tips-for-tapering-off-pristiq-desvenlafaxine/

 

If you wouldn't mind adding you history it would be very helpful to anyone wishing to help.

 

Link with instructions:

 

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

 

Thanks!

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basildev

Hi bc,

 

Even though you haven't had any noticeable symptoms yet, they may come in the future - sometimes they appear months out from the original taper.

 

For example, as of November 2012 I was tapering 10% per month over 4 months. I wasn't having any debilitating symptoms so I decided to get a bit cocky and reduce even more. Then after a stressful event I was suddenly hit with debilitating symptoms.

 

6 weeks later I'm still paying for it.

 

Personally, I think you're taking an enormous risk by continuing to take alternate doses as you are.

 

Think of your central nervous system as a delicate dresden china teacup - it needs to be treated with the utmost care. By going up and down in dosage as you are currently doing, you are creating tiny cracks in the porcelein...until one day it all crumbles and you're left to pick up the pieces. I don't want that for you bc.

 

You may be one of the lucky ones who can do this with no problems. However, if I were you I'd read some of the threads from people who are in severe withdrawal.

 

Please re-read the information I gave you on tapering. Tezza has given you some instructions on how to taper off Pristiq. If after reading this you have any specific questions we'd be delighted to help you.

 

Ultimately though, it is your decision.


July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



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

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Jemima

I agree with Basildev - the alternate-day dosing is one of the worst ways to get off of an antidepressant. Pristiq is a metabolite of Effexor, which is a drug that can cause severe withdrawal symptoms months after a cold turkey or too-fast taper. Please do read the topics that Tezza has referenced, especially the one on tapering Pristiq.

 

Getting the drug out of your system does not solve any problems. These drugs make changes in the structure and function of the central nervous system, which includes the brain, and those changes remain long after the drug is gone from your body. This is why a slow, gradual taper is necessary. The chemical support antidepressants provide to these artificial structures must be withdrawn very, very slowly. Otherwise the effect is like yanking a crutch away from a cripple. Bang. Down you go.

 

Welcome to the forum. You'll find solid information and friendly support here.


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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beconscious

Currently down to 1 50mg every 4 days.

 

Only noticeable symptom that persists is diarrhea and the occasional fatigue (can't make it through a complete workout at the gym).

This week I will be attempting dropping to 1 dose every 5 days. Meeting with my family doctor end of the month.

 

Sleep is okay, feeling somewhat rested. Although I drop comatose on the public transit after work each day.

I can definitely feel like this is a bit of work, mentally. Still low libido and only marginal interest in day-to-day 'fun' activities.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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Altostrata

I can't say this is a good way to taper. Good luck to you, perhaps you're one of those people with rubber nervous systems.


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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beconscious

I should add that it's important that tapering take place only after we create the conditions to be successful. The micromanaging of pebbled tapers can sometimes contribute to type-a traits that found us "in need" of drugs to begin with.

 

The cessation of any antidepressants tapered or otherwise should happen ideally only once we have set in motion other things that will support our success :

 

Exercise

Abandon and rebuild the way we eat, and what we eat

Introduce omega fatty oils, probiotics

Find something to love and get excited about

Sleep

Work on cognitive traits that will allow us to flourish, changin the way we think. Be fiercely optimistic.

 

Without these ingredients above there is no reason to taper.

Rip your life apart and rebuild. Carefully.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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Altostrata

Very true. However, if you taper too fast and trigger severe withdrawal syndrome, that healthy foundation will not alleviate symptoms. It may help you cope with them until they go away, but you're still in for months or years of unnecessary suffering.


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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Jemima

I should add that it's important that tapering take place only after we create the conditions to be successful. The micromanaging of pebbled tapers can sometimes contribute to type-a traits that found us "in need" of drugs to begin with.

 

The cessation of any antidepressants tapered or otherwise should happen ideally only once we have set in motion other things that will support our success :

 

Exercise

Abandon and rebuild the way we eat, and what we eat

Introduce omega fatty oils, probiotics

Find something to love and get excited about

Sleep

Work on cognitive traits that will allow us to flourish, changin the way we think. Be fiercely optimistic.

 

Without these ingredients above there is no reason to taper.

Rip your life apart and rebuild. Carefully.

 

I have to disagree with you. What many people on this forum have found is that antidepressants interfere with all of the above, particularly the part about finding something to love that's exciting. While all of the above are good ideas (except the one about "ripping your life apart" - I mean, what for?), they may be next to impossible to execute while numbed out on antidepressants.

 

And I agree 110% with Altostrata that none of the above are going to alleviate severe withdrawal symptoms.

 

Since you still have Pristiq in your system, you'll likely not experience severe withdrawal symptoms just yet, but I would not want to be in your shoes four or five months after completely terminating Pristiq. It is a very nasty drug and delayed withdrawal syndrome is a very good possibility. It is absolutely not worth the risk.


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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beconscious

I am on day 13 of 0mg of Pristiq, after a taper schedule that began in February.

 

Last Friday was my worst day, it was the 6th day of no Pristiq and I was due to expand my schedule by 1 day. It was hellish. Cold shakes and shivers, headache, all day.

 

I took 2 advil went to bed, and when I woke up the next morning it was as though it never happened. I suffered some foggyness and confusion over the next 24-48 hours, but it quickly went away. I decided that I had reached the other side and that I would not extend any futher, but to come off completely.

 

Since then, I am less sleepy, less groggy and increasingly more energetic. Yesterday was one of my best energy days in months. I'm also less tired when I wake up.

 

So, the plan is to continue to not reintroduce any further doses, but to monitor. So far, so good.

 

*Edited to say: I'd really like my libido back. Any day is fine with me. Where is it? Also, where are those really good feelings? I'm still flat.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Today is day 24 of no Pristiq.  It has been okay. I am seeing an increase in the energy I have, now. Able to really get stuff done and make the most of my day.

Still emotionally flat with some good windows of excitement and looking forward to the future.  The only nuisance this past week has been some brain fog/confusion. I think the cause of this symptom is shared by my crappy shallow breathing.  This will get better.

 

Sleep is good. Appetite is good.  Some impaired hearing like underwater.  Irritable, although I dont mind being grump and its better than being spaced out and deeply depressed.

 

Being patient with myself, monitoring and pacing.  So far so good!


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Day 51

Light foggyness, zaps, and occasional confusion persist. Mainly at the end of the week during the weekend, and a possible correlation to eating wheat.

Energy and motivation is steadily increasing. Glimpses of good feelings but overall neither happy nor sad. Irritable and short with people but life demands are triggers for this.

Sleeping well, eating well. Overall I'm satisfied with this progress. Looking forward to putting another 2 months behind me to see how/if libido returns.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Day 54: The last 3 evenings I noticed some anxiety creeping in before bed. This is the first I have seen of anxiety for many, many months, at least in this way. I'm able to get to sleep, but after an hour of sleeping I wake up, then back to sleep again.  Yesterday I carried anxiety with me throughout the day, starting as soon as I awoke in the morning.  It tapered off by lunch, but then made a slight appearance again late afternoon.  I went for a massage which was incredibly relaxing, and this took care of all unease.  Slept like a baby, but this morning I awoke at 5:00 am (30 minutes earlier than my alarm) and had that dreaded anxiety feeling.  I rested in bed for a few minutes then got up and had some protein. I'll be damned if this is going to happen to me again.

 

It's probobly just withdrawal from Pristiq, being on day 54. I will aim to keep this under control. Looking for possible triggers like recent introduction of Maca root, a bit of alcohol and much more caffeine and sugar than usual.  Making the right diet adjustments again eliminating stimulants.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Yesterday the anxiety wasn't quite as bad as the day earlier, but what I did have was some really noticeable mood swings.

Waking up, there was a bit of morning anxiety which levels off by noon. Spending the day outside with the family was quite nice and so I was only partly on edge there.

The prevailing feeling, when, not anxious, is doom. Yep, that totally describes it.  So by early evening while after returning from grocery shopping doom settles in. We sit down to catch up on a tv show that has a few scary parts in it, and I can't even watch because I feel too sensitive.  So the doom continues, with just mild anxiety until just before bed.  Then I have feelings of well-being, calmness and good sensations, the kind that start in your stomach.  Going to be bed I felt energized and maybe slightly hypomanic, but I think compared to the doom feeling it was just a normal good feeling. The contrast just made it seem hypomanic.  I slept great, from 10-7:30am. Waking up this morning with a bit more (smacking my mental lips trying to figure out a word for this sensation I'm feeling) slightly anxious/doomish.

 

Interesting that the withdrawal and symptoms have migrated to this.  No more brain zaps, but really? The doom and anxiety step in? My fear is that this all seems reminiscent of last summer when I withdrew oh so terribly from Benzos, just not as bad. I'm hoping this does not escalate, but I'm thinking it wont get to that point.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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Altostrata

That emotional sensitivity is very common in withdrawal. Try to reduce stimulation and do meditative breathing when you get those feelings. It will go away in time.


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

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

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beconscious

That emotional sensitivity is very common in withdrawal. Try to reduce stimulation and do meditative breathing when you get those feelings. It will go away in time.

Thanks for this reminder, Altostrata.

 

It was 8 weeks almost to the day, since my final dose of Pristiq, that I began to notice really good feelings along side my really not-so-great feelings. So on one hand I can see my body is wrestling with the absence of the drug, and on the other I am experiencing again for the first time those great gut feelings (almost like a seratonin party is underway) after eating serotonin inducing foods.

 

It has been an experience of both good and bad, and I'm happy to just have the good. The bad I dont mind as the experience is at least authentic.  Will try not depleting my reserves so much while at work. Multi-tasking and hunting-finding behaviour seems to deplete my reserves.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Update: since my last post the anxiety and doom have all but left. Symptoms of yet-to-recover low serotonin or receptor regrowth appear occasionally. This is irritability and anger inability to concentrate and sensory overload (mainly while driving at night). Not an enjoyable symptom , but at least I am aware that its just withdrawal post regeneration and homeostasis of serotonin and receptors.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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Altostrata

Sounds like good progress over a week! Thanks for checking in, bc.


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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beconscious

Doing fine these past 3 days. Wish my good emotions would return, though. All in good time.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Some dizziness and sensations like my brain is milking all resources for concentration. Even socializing is hard. In one hand I have energy and enthusiasm and on the other I feel like my body and mind are squeezing/rinsing itself to keep up with me.

 

Some sensations of parathesia in my face, near mouth and over left eyebrow. Back of my head has that opening up sensation. I am tense and can feel muscles seizing up and some joint aches. Looking forward to putting the next month behind me. Noticing some libido return and seems to correlate with moon phases. Monitoring all other symptoms to see if there is any relationship to lunar cycles.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

More energy, libido is getting even more traction now.  The last week or so has been one of my best.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Libido turned on high last week. I overdid it, though. Really. Add 2-3 heavy lifting sessions and cardio at the gym and a tough week at the office. By the weekend I was having some zappiness in the brain and feeling drained.  Slight anxiety.  THis morning while shopping though I was going to fall down I was so buzzy and anxious.  Heading it off at the pass and resting, though.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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Rhiannon

Hang in there, it sounds like the normal pattern, waves and windows, with overall gradual improvement in spite of the bumps. 


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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beconscious

Thanks Rhi.

 

I noticed over the past several months that my worst weeks were surrounding a full moon, leading up to full moon increase in heightened anxiety, but also a mix of really solid energy.  So it could be said that the greatest intensity was around full moon lunar phases.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

It has been a few weeks since my last update.

 

Again, I'm noticing an steady incline to increasing energy levels. Having the very infrequent 'bad' day where I feel a bit sluggish and foggy.

In the worst of stress I get fatigued and after a tough week at the office I have that nervous energy, cold sick feeling as though I had 'played' outside all day in a cool autumn or spring day.

 

Easing off at the gym a bit recently. Doing a 2 week on, 2 week off regimen with some cardio and yoga.

 

Best to all.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Symptoms are fewer and more spread apart. Progress continues.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

These past few days I have really noticed a measurable improvement. Trying to think back to those days of persistent mind fog and it's as though it was all a dream. This weekend I enjoyed some very nice clear and positive emotions. I feel as though I'm having a dramatic overnight improvement that you read about. Good stable and upbeat emotions. Real actual feelings. Nostalgia about past good memories and hope for the future is accompanied by joy and excitement (mild, but it's getting there). I have backed off the heavy gym schedule and added a nap about twice weekly.

 

It is quite encouraging to read success stories from others and see myself experiencing the same. Time has been the best healer. Perhaps sleep, too.

 

Best to all.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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beconscious

Same steady increase in motivation. Seeing some old bursts of energy and OCD (which I strangely missed) reappearing. The things I can get done in the evening, I tell ya. I'm pacing myself at work and trying to not run myself ragged. I noticing that while the effects of stress mount and get tough they don't quite get as and any more. I keep reminding myself that for the first time in 4 years my body and mind I having to adjust and cope with daily stresses without medicine support. I am retraining the brain to live.

 

Glimpses of great emotions here and there. I have been slacking on clean eating and my body is tolerating this well, so I can see progress is being made as I'm able to abuse myself with a bit of sugar and caffeine, taking less fish oils lately. I'll be sure to get back out in front of this and return to healthier choices, though. Not worth risking relapse of WD- like symptoms.

 

As it's nearing winter I have reintroduced blue light therapy and notice an almost immediate improvement and effect while sitting in front of this magical light.

 

Libido fluctuates

Irritability fluctuates but is less frequent and less intense

Sleep is good, but for one night thanksgiving weekend where I awoke with 'that' feeling of fear and the sensation that all my legs an arms were miniscule. I had eaten before bed a truckload of pumpkin pie (canned junk) and a packaged whipped topping. I'm sure the glutimate was just far too stimulating for my sensitive GABA-glutimate system.

 

I'm feeling increasingly better by not eating so much. I had been over 3000 cals the last year to gain back some weight. After reading a post about someone's great improvement after intermittent fasting I decided to back off the cals. I noticed some of the best days were lower cal days. It was attributed to less glutimate.

 

I'm committed to this thread as I don't want to abandon it leaving future readers to wonder if anyone truly has recovered from benzo and pristiq withdrawal. It is possible. It's happening. Every month is better. Life becomes okay to good again. I'm waiting for it to become amazing!

 

Peace and health to all.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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Petunia

Thank you for another update and for documenting your progress.  Until the wider medical community acknowledges the truth about withdrawal from these medications, we have to rely on internet recovery stories for validation and support, so thank you for your commitment.

 

I'm sure your life will increase in amazingness. :) It sound pretty good already.


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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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beconscious

Almost another month has passed. My body and mind continue to heal, but I need to remind myself to take it slowly. 17 months since last Ativan and 6 months since last Pristiq. No noticeable physical or mental symptoms remain but for some mental fatigue if I combine a week of coffee, sugar and a heavy workweek. This weekend I am suffering from some mild anxiety and depression. I kicked it in the butt while standing outside in the cold air watching the Santa parade with my wife and daughter - a reminder that we need to get out of the house. Fresh air alone may have a noticeable effect depending on where you are in withdrawal and recovery. Don't set your expectations too high during the winter. Our circadian and ultradian rhythms are taking a beating as we force ourselves to the gym and expose ourselves to artificial light, pressing on, when the body wants to hibernate.

 

All the best.


2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

2011 Fall Began Attempting to Come off Ativan 1 week taper as advised by doctor. Increase to 1mg Daily.

2012 January nervous breakdown symptoms. Source unrecognized. Withdrawal symptoms.

2012 May stopped Ativan cold turkey. Severe wd symptoms occurred by end of month.

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

2013 March tapered down from 100MG to 50MG in 2 weeks.

2013 March 27th first day of alternate day taper of 50mg to 0mg.

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

2013 May 18th Last 50MG of Pristiq. Ever. Entirely drug free.

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areyouthere

Beconscious … thank you so much for this thread and your very straight forward , practical & promising updates.

 

I am behind you a ways in my recovery but can see the road you are on up ahead and it looks GREAT!!

 

Wishing you continued success and progress...

 

RU

 

ps… I find this Thanksgiving overload in  "yummy" food interfered with sleep as well. A good tap on the shoulder before Christmas!


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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