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Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please.


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I don't argue if people like their drug. Usually they don't want to hear about the drawbacks. It's better for you to save your attention for those who want it.

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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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Mentor

I don't think there's many young people here so I'm updating you guys on the yougster's world

 

This is a song released a few weeks ago by a very popular artist:

 

https://youtu.be/Gh8Gl2GwB6s

 

 

The lyrics go:

 

"I'm running low on serotonin
Chemical imbalance got me twisting things
Stabilize with medicine
There's no depth to these feelings…"

 

That's all I'm gonna say...

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Mentor
On 6/3/2014 at 2:08 AM, Petunia said:

"Contemporary neuroscience research has failed to confirm any serotonergic lesion in any mental disorder, and has in fact provided significant counter evidence to the explanation of a simple neurotransmitter deficiency.

 

Modern neuroscience has instead shown that the brain is vastly complex and poorly understood. While neuroscience is a rapidly advancing field, to propose that researchers can objectively identify a “chemical imbalance” at the molecular level is not compatible with the extant science. In fact, there is no scientifically established ideal “chemical balance” of serotonin, let alone an identifiable pathological imbalance. To equate the impressive recent achievements of neuroscience with support for the serotonin hypothesis is a mistake."

 

From: 

Serotonin and Depression: A Disconnect between the Advertisements and the Scientific Literature

Jeffrey R Lacasse,  Jonathan Leo

Published: November 08, 2005

 

This excerpt alone is one of the most important things that the medical community need to be awakened to.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • Mentor

I think we need to find some gratitude amongst all these lies.

 

Here's what I mean:

 

 

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey

 

As long as we can't measure neurotransmitters levels in the brain and how they change over time etc... surely we will never know for sure if it is a chemical imbalance or not - and hence we cannot rule it out...

 

From a scientific perspective, the windows and waves pattern definitely lead me to believe it's more a chemical factor than a physical change in the brain. The reason being:

 

-It's a known fact that chemically, the balance in the brain can change a lot very rapidly, depending on the circumstances (happy/sad/frustrated/scared/relaxed etc).

-It's also a known fact that the way the brain is physically wired changes over time - but on a much longer time horizon. For example, weeks or months of therapy can drastically help retire your brain, but this won't be done over night.

 

For me the windows and waves patterns are definitely a sign that it is more likely due to chemical changes than physical ones. Consider the following:

 

-The rapidity of the onset of symptoms in a wave: one event such as exercising too much, an argument or stress factor, a piece of bad news or even changes in the weather, can trigger a wave that last for days. these things also trigger a change in neurotransmitters produced (almost instant) - but they don't however affect your brain physically to the point of rewiring it in a certain way . people who get depression etc don't develop such a condition in the space of a few seconds, where as a wave can be initiated in a matter of an instant - just like your chemical balance can change in a matter of minutes. 

The same way, symptoms can vanish over night.... 

 

To me it's likely physical changes would lead to a much more linear progress in terms of remission. of course it could fluctuate a bit, but it's hard for me to believe you could have a normal month and then back to feeling bad upon waking in the morning for no reason. 

 

As for anyone who doesn't believe in the chemical balance changing majorly and rapidly in the mind, or affecting how you feel / your emotions in a super rapid way - a simple example is found in many recreational drugs for which we know how they affect the mind. For example cocaine will give a powerful feel good boost within seconds, ecstasy also depending on how it's taken... the come downs also back the chemical balance aspect as you can feel properly awful, they usually come by waves too, but it goes away after a day or two as things even out in your mind.  

 

The point is: to me the rapidity of onset and how quickly the symptoms go away points towards chemical changes rather than any physical changes to the brain. 

 

The way I see it it also doesn't really matter: we'll never know for sure, and even if we did, it wouldn't really make the healing faster. 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Mentor

We are sitting on one of the biggest scandals in human history.

- Escitalopram 10mg from ages 15 - 21

- Severe crash after 4 month taper to 0

- Reinstated, stabilized, slowly tapering.

 

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." - Hellen Keller

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@HugHK, this is a very interesting discussion (referring to your last post in this thread). I am wondering all the time about the windows and waves and how it is possible to have them on such a regular schedule. You referred to people with depression, well as far as I know, many people with depression (or anxiety) also have a similar daily variation in their symptoms. Usually, mornings are the worst and evenings are best. I used to hung on some mental health forums and many people said that they cannot even eat before a certain time in the afternoon because of how bad their condition is, but after a certain hour it is improving. They don't call it windows and waves but to me, it resembles them a lot. Definitely similar to what I have been going through lately (before 5PM - blah, and then after 5PM things start to rapidly improve and I eventually end up in the nearly if not completely normal state). 

 

As far as "physical" changes, if they were, we could have seen them on the imaging. These are likely chemical changes in the neurotransmitters, but it doesn't mean that they are permanent, or that one needs medication to correct them. As you said, cognitive efforts to change reactions and responses to things via therapy or self-help can change brain chemistry just as well (although the change will be more gradual). Just as stressful events can change it too, leading to a bout of depression or anxiety. That is why mental health is so difficult - so may things can affect it in different ways. And no, there are no people with "permanent chemical imbalance" from birth. Although if someone has been accustomed to react in a certain way to things (depressive or anxious) for a long time (especially from childhood), I guess you can say that their brain chemistry has become imbalanced. Again, doesn't mean they absolutely need medication; consistent behavioral and thought changes will eventually correct it, although it may take a long time (and quite a bit of work).  

 

These days my threshold for becoming anxious is very low, often I don't even need anything at all to become anxious. I think this is because my CNS is sensitized. So that is how I try to handle it. Once I feel anxiety, I acknowledge it but try to remain calm (to the best of my ability), and send back the "message" that everything is good and there is nothing to be anxious about. I feel that every time I succeed with this, my brain gets a little bit desensitized, and next time it reacts with less anxiety. Doing this over and over again little by little changes my brain chemistry toward being calmer and less sensitive. Once I started practicing this about 3 weeks ago, I feel gradual, but noticeable improvements in my physical and mental symptoms. And no need for medication, fingers crossed!

My thread: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24990-surviving82-my-story-wd-from-antidepressants-please-help/

2016-2017: sertraline for approx. 1.5 years for anxiety and OCD outbreak following birth of my son (all the way from 2mg to 200mg), rapid tapered from 150mg for about 6 weeks without issues. Approximately 2 years psych drug free.

 

Nov 2019 - Feb 2020: fluvoxamine to prevent anxiety/OCD outbreak following birth of my daughter. Had to go off due to constant somnolence.

Feb 2020 - Dec 2020: started escitalopram while rapid tapering fluvoxamine. After 9 months decided to get off due to weight gain, rapid tapered from [I think] 15mg for about 6 weeks without immediate issues.

March-April 2021: started excessive strenuous exercise and dieting regimen for weight loss. Was doing great (or so I thought) for 3 weeks until early April 2021 when out of nowhere massive panic attacks, other dysautonomia symptoms. AWFUL CRASH.   

Mid-April 2021: fluoxetine 10mg for 1 week then 20mg for 1 week. Massive side effects, suicidality. Was told to go CT. Side effects gradually started resolving.

Mid-Late May 2021: sertraline for 11 days, fine at low doses but same side effects as prozac at 25 to 50mg. Was told to either drop CT or hold at 1/4 of a 25mg pill. 

April-May 2021: trazodone 50mg PRN for sleep. Do not take every day, the only side effect I noticed is dry mouth.

June 8, 2021: stopped all psych meds. Truing to trust that with God's help, my body will heal on its own. 

September 9, 2021: reinstated escitalopram 1mg. Gradually worked up to 2.5mg by September 30. Reinstatement seems to be helping!

Other: Hashimoto thyroiditis for 11 years (on levothyroxine varying doses, between 88mcg and 125mcg), history of anxiety/GAD including health anxiety, OCD. History of autonomic dysfunction (migraines, vasovagal episodes).

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Here is a website dedicated to calling psychiatry out for their lies:

 

DEMAND CHEMICAL IMBALANCE RETRACTION

 

I saw that website linked in Dr. Jessica Taylor's recent twitter thread on this subject:

 

Dr. Jessica Taylor - twitter thread on debunking the chemical imbalance lie

 

Dr. Taylor is a forensic psychologist who is presenting some really great research debunking this lie, including a list of her favorite books on this subject. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

Another gem from Dr. Jessica Taylor, short and sweet, debunking the chemical imbalance lie: 

 

Twitter - Dr. Jess Taylor - Trauma informed approaches means asking the right questions - and not seeking to pathologise anyone

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Administrator
On 7/2/2021 at 6:46 AM, Surviving82 said:

As far as "physical" changes, if they were, we could have seen them on the imaging. These are likely chemical changes in the neurotransmitters, but it doesn't mean that they are permanent, or that one needs medication to correct them.

 

Thank you for your thoughtful post. 

 

This site has a policy of avoiding discussion of how neurotransmitters might cause various behaviors, emotional states, and psychotropic-related symptoms because

 

1. Despite decades of many publications about this topic, all outgrowths of the "chemical imbalance" theory, nobody knows anything about it. Not psychiatrists, not neuroscientists, not addiction medicine, and not people commenting about it on social media.

 

2. Despite it being a sciencey-sounding myth, there are thousands of Web sites and posts discussing "chemical imbalance" as though it was a real thing. We believe we don't need to add to this pointless, uninformed discussion by providing space for it here.

 

3. Hundreds of neurotransmitters, many not completely identified, run our bodies and brains. Only a few have become famous, due to publicity dating from the '70s related to the psychiatric drug development leading to the sale of antidepressants in the '90s. That publicity presented the "chemical imbalance theory" as the reason such drugs would be effective. However, this theory has been thoroughly, unquestionably debunked.

 

4. Despite the hype, no psychiatric drug is as targeted as claimed. They all act on more than one neurotransmitter system. Some of these secondary actions have not been completely identified or quantified.

 

5. Throughout our bodies, neurotransmitters and other hormones are constantly running our physical processes through a complex web of interactions and feedback mechanisms. Until our bodies stop functioning, they are never in a static state or particular relationship. Any function requires a combination of such messengers. Though glamorously sciencey, imaging does not identify the activity of hormones (it mostly reveals blood flow, organs, and tissues).

 

6. Members of this site who have had neurological imaging (including Amen Clinics' SPECT imaging) for withdrawal symptoms or adverse effects almost always report nothing shows on the scans. A very few have found organ or tissue abnormalities that probably were pre-existing or coincidental and not related to the drugs (though possibly related to a history of alcohol use), and may have generated symptoms causing them to seek psychiatric treatment.

 

7. Each person is subject to biorhythms on daily, monthly, or seasonal cycles. Many of our bodily sensations are related to this. For example, there is a rise in cortisol, the activity hormone, in the very early morning, to prepare us for waking up. This gradually decreases over the day, the body slowing down until melatonin, the sleep hormone, rises when it gets dark. This is probably why people who are sensitized by withdrawal may feel more activated in the earlier part of the day and calmer towards evening.

 

These biorhythms are present in all living things and not related to "chemical imbalance". They are normal hormonal activities. Unfortunately, they may be perturbed by the effect of chemicals such as toxins, alcohol, and drugs.

 

So, to sum up, except for biorhythms, which are maintained by an orchestra of hormones, we don't refer to neurotransmitter activity to explain anything. Nobody knows anything about it, and we don't, either.

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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  • 1 month later...
On 8/1/2021 at 4:43 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Thank you for your thoughtful post. 

 

This site has a policy of avoiding discussion of how neurotransmitters might cause various behaviors, emotional states, and psychotropic-related symptoms because

 

1. Despite decades of many publications about this topic, all outgrowths of the "chemical imbalance" theory, nobody knows anything about it. Not psychiatrists, not neuroscientists, not addiction medicine, and not people commenting about it on social media.

 

2. Despite it being a sciencey-sounding myth, there are thousands of Web sites and posts discussing "chemical imbalance" as though it was a real thing. We believe we don't need to add to this pointless, uninformed discussion by providing space for it here.

 

3. Hundreds of neurotransmitters, many not completely identified, run our bodies and brains. Only a few have become famous, due to publicity dating from the '70s related to the psychiatric drug development leading to the sale of antidepressants in the '90s. That publicity presented the "chemical imbalance theory" as the reason such drugs would be effective. However, this theory has been thoroughly, unquestionably debunked.

 

4. Despite the hype, no psychiatric drug is as targeted as claimed. They all act on more than one neurotransmitter system. Some of these secondary actions have not been completely identified or quantified.

 

5. Throughout our bodies, neurotransmitters and other hormones are constantly running our physical processes through a complex web of interactions and feedback mechanisms. Until our bodies stop functioning, they are never in a static state or particular relationship. Any function requires a combination of such messengers. Though glamorously sciencey, imaging does not identify the activity of hormones (it mostly reveals blood flow, organs, and tissues).

 

6. Members of this site who have had neurological imaging (including Amen Clinics' SPECT imaging) for withdrawal symptoms or adverse effects almost always report nothing shows on the scans. A very few have found organ or tissue abnormalities that probably were pre-existing or coincidental and not related to the drugs (though possibly related to a history of alcohol use), and may have generated symptoms causing them to seek psychiatric treatment.

 

7. Each person is subject to biorhythms on daily, monthly, or seasonal cycles. Many of our bodily sensations are related to this. For example, there is a rise in cortisol, the activity hormone, in the very early morning, to prepare us for waking up. This gradually decreases over the day, the body slowing down until melatonin, the sleep hormone, rises when it gets dark. This is probably why people who are sensitized by withdrawal may feel more activated in the earlier part of the day and calmer towards evening.

 

These biorhythms are present in all living things and not related to "chemical imbalance". They are normal hormonal activities. Unfortunately, they may be perturbed by the effect of chemicals such as toxins, alcohol, and drugs.

 

So, to sum up, except for biorhythms, which are maintained by an orchestra of hormones, we don't refer to neurotransmitter activity to explain anything. Nobody knows anything about it, and we don't, either.

 

 

But then how do you explain the almost immediate change in 'feeling' which follows taking some drugs such as Xanax, alcohol, cannabis etc?? if you just consume them here or there they don't change the structure of your brain. And as such the only thing they would change is the chemical balance in your mind? And yet the change in the way you feel is very real - and cannot be linked to anything else than the change in chemical balance. you don't rewire your brain by drinking a bottle of wine or smoking a joint.

 

No one can rule out that psyche meds cause physical changes in the brain when they are taken for a long time (they probably do), but it also seems absurd to rule out the existence of a chemical imbalance.

 

I also disagree with your last line. There are huge amounts of research online on the effects of some neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA etc) and on the parts of the brain that are linked to them. 

 

When we reach the boundaries of scientific knowledge, we get to the point where science relies of theories that may be incorrect, in which case they can be changed later when our knowledge increases. This actually happens a lot in physics for example, and it's proof that it's important to keep on open minded approach in sciences. 

 

But to rule out the main scientific theory to this day (which is that of the chemical imbalance, based on large amounts of research on the action of specific neurotransmitters), you would need groundbreaking research / proof that the theory cannot stand. And to this point, I have not seen any of that: far from it in fact. 

 

Essentially, can't prove it at this point, and can't rule it out. which is why it is being debated in the scientific community and isn't considered a slam dunk yet.

 

Personally I'm not sure what I believe anymore, as both arguments make sense to me. Perhaps, the truth will be closer to something in between. 

 

Usually when humans have a problem, a genius comes along and solves it. Let's hope doctors crack this on in the decades to come. 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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  • Administrator

We know that psychotropics such as psychiatric drugs such as Xanax, alcohol, cannabis etc. affect the nervous system, by definition. Of course you're going to feel different after taking any of them!

 

Some people find the effects of any psychotropic beneficial, some intolerable, and some none at all. Every single one of them has been found "effective for depression", which means nothing in terms of their biochemical activity. What it says is that people can be distracted from "depression" (which is felt individually and subjectively) by a psychotropic, which causes some upset in the nervous system.

 

Another interesting pharmacological characteristic shared by all psychotropics (and many other drugs) is that any beneficial effect wears off after a while because the body naturally adapts to them. This is called tolerance.

 

A corollary of that neurobiological adaptation is that going off any regularly ingested psychotropic may cause withdrawal syndrome. The risk of protracted withdrawal syndrome is also common across psychotropics.

 

See 

Lerner, A., & Klein, M. (2019). Dependence, withdrawal and rebound of CNS drugs: An update and regulatory considerations for new drugs development. Brain Communications, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz025
 
Framer, A. (2021). What I have learnt from helping thousands of people to taper off antidepressants and other psychotropic medications. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/2045125321991274
 
Hengartner, M. P., Schulthess, L., Sorensen, A., & Framer, A. (2020). Protracted withdrawal syndrome after stopping antidepressants: A descriptive quantitative analysis of consumer narratives from a large internet forum. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/2045125320980573
 
 

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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12 hours ago, HugHK said:

There are huge amounts of research online on the effects of some neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA etc) and on the parts of the brain that are linked to them. 

 

Take a good look at this huge body of research. It is all speculative. There is no association between a single neurotransmitter and a specific part of the brain or psychiatric condition. By definition, neurotransmitters are not confined to a particular region. Their job is to be transmitters.

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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Now, I have to warn anyone reading this topic. Further discussion of "chemical imbalance" or the serotonin theory of depression or the happiness theory of dopamine is a waste of time, with no more validity than "flat earth" theories.

 

If you must, please go elsewhere to chat about it. There are plenty of sites where people (some of them PhDs) freely trade their theories about neurotransmitters.

 

Reading these comments is not a good use of staff time. We all have plenty of other things to do, including taking care of our own lives.

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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  • 5 months later...

Hi. I'm new here and looking for actual scientific evidence of the fallacy of the chemical imbalance theories. Can someone point me in the direction of studies. Thank you! 

2015 Lexapro 10 mg

2020 Lexapro 20 mg, Wellbutrin 400 mg, Abilify 2 mg, Modafinil 200 mg ☹️

3/10/22 - begin 10% taper off Abilify 2 mg.

June 2022 - off Abilify

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On 3/6/2022 at 11:02 PM, LeoTheLion said:

Hi. I'm new here and looking for actual scientific evidence of the fallacy of the chemical imbalance theories. Can someone point me in the direction of studies. Thank you! 

 

Did you look at the posts in this topic?

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

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

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

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

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

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I guess I'm a little overwhelmed by all the information! Is there one place that has links to studies or do I just have to go through all the posts? New here🙂

2015 Lexapro 10 mg

2020 Lexapro 20 mg, Wellbutrin 400 mg, Abilify 2 mg, Modafinil 200 mg ☹️

3/10/22 - begin 10% taper off Abilify 2 mg.

June 2022 - off Abilify

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8 hours ago, LeoTheLion said:

I guess I'm a little overwhelmed by all the information! Is there one place that has links to studies or do I just have to go through all the posts? New here🙂

 

Yes it can be overwhelming when we first get here and find out that we have been badly misinformed for many years.

 

There are some links in some of the posts (definitely in Post #1) so you can skim through and find them without reading the post.

 

This might be helpful:

 

https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/02/chemical-imbalance-theory-going/

 

 

 

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

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

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

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

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

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I’m always surprised at how few studies are made into how our exposure to the modern world is affecting us all in various degrees.

 

Im not talking about psychological effects from world events (although in recent years they’ve been pretty horrific), but the vast, vast amount of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis that are not prescribed by a doctor.

 

Pollution (which is now proven to kill a hell of a lot of people, yet very little has changed), cleaning chemicals (unregulated in most countries), chemicals in furniture (fire-proof coating caused severe symptoms in the UK a few years ago), all the moisturisers, conditioners, hair products and gels that we absorb into our skin. Plastics and pesticides in the food chain. The huge amount of unwarranted vitamins that people take. It’s an endless list of un-natural substances our bodies have to deal with every day.

 

Instead of looking at the obvious, medical companies seem to invent unproven theories to flog yet another chemical to assault our poor bodies with.

Oct 2018 - Jun 2020: 10 mg per day generic Escitalopram in pill form.

Jul 2020 - Aug 2020: Switched to 9 mg per day of Cipralex drops to aid tapering.

Sep 2020 - Oct 2020: Taper to 8 mg.

Nov 2020 - Dec 2020: Taper to 7 mg.

Jan 2021 - Feb 2021: Taper to 6 mg.

Mar 2021 - Apr 2021: Taper to 5 mg.

May 2021 - Jun 2021: Taper to 4 mg.

Jul 2021 - Sep 2021: Taper to 3 mg.

Sep 2021 - Jan 2022: Taper to 2 mg.

Jan 2022: Stopped taking altogether.

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  • 4 months later...

Jan 2016 - Autumn/Dec 2016 CLOMIPRAMINE

Oct 2017 - CITALOPRAM (accidental updose)

Oct 2017 - Dec 2020 MIRTAZAPINE 15mg

Dec 2020 - May 2021 MIRTAZAPINE Liquid taper to 6.75mg

May 2021 - diet change caused the taper to fail - MIRTAZAPINE pill 15mg reinstated

May 2021 - present MIRTAZAPINE 15mg with occasional use of a benzo or Zoplicone for emergencies

 

Will continue to stabilse at 15mg before proceeding with a slow taper

 

 

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Yes, trending on twitter. I hope people don't go CT

Have they  been linked to dementia?

 

2003/7 (at age 52)        Prozac 20mg. For chronic fatigue syndrome.    2007/10    20mg citalopram, 2010/11 Cold Turkey citalopram Severe withdrawal,  2011  back on citalopram 10mg, 2014  Discontinued Citalopram over a month period

2014/15                       Suffered severe withdrawal and was prescribed Prozac 20mg, 2017/18 After research I decided that I have never had such severe mental illness, only withdrawal

2017/20                       Various failed attempts to ‘taper’ (missing doses), 2020 Sept 16th started a 5% taper using mini scales, 2020 Nov Ended taper Back on 20mg Prozac

2021 Nov 24               Reduced to 19mg Prozac  from starting dose of 20mg (5% reduction)

2022 Jan 3rd              Reduced to 18mg Prozac (5.26% reduction)

2022 Feb 27th            Reduced to 17.2mg Prozac (4.44% reduction)

 

2022 Mar 12th            Reduced to 16.8mg Easier to read on Syringe 

2022 Mar 30th           Increased to 17.1mg After Symptoms  Drop of 6.7mg too much? 2022 Apr 23               reduced back to 16.8mg

2022 Jun 15               16mg  4.76% reduction

Hand on heart, "Personally I have never heard of anyone suffering withdrawal from Prozac" Dr P

 

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7 minutes ago, vincent said:

Yes, trending on twitter. I hope people don't go CT

 

Good point about the potential reactionary CT @vincent

Are you on twitter? If so, perhaps you could tweet about SA in response? 

As a means of offering interested parties a way to go off drugs safely. 

It would be useful for someone to point out that one shouldn't CT. 

 

@Faure has written to the relevant Guardian reporter about ADWD: 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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image.png.31aed3d3eb9dd12d8a70669cf261d482.png

2003/7 (at age 52)        Prozac 20mg. For chronic fatigue syndrome.    2007/10    20mg citalopram, 2010/11 Cold Turkey citalopram Severe withdrawal,  2011  back on citalopram 10mg, 2014  Discontinued Citalopram over a month period

2014/15                       Suffered severe withdrawal and was prescribed Prozac 20mg, 2017/18 After research I decided that I have never had such severe mental illness, only withdrawal

2017/20                       Various failed attempts to ‘taper’ (missing doses), 2020 Sept 16th started a 5% taper using mini scales, 2020 Nov Ended taper Back on 20mg Prozac

2021 Nov 24               Reduced to 19mg Prozac  from starting dose of 20mg (5% reduction)

2022 Jan 3rd              Reduced to 18mg Prozac (5.26% reduction)

2022 Feb 27th            Reduced to 17.2mg Prozac (4.44% reduction)

 

2022 Mar 12th            Reduced to 16.8mg Easier to read on Syringe 

2022 Mar 30th           Increased to 17.1mg After Symptoms  Drop of 6.7mg too much? 2022 Apr 23               reduced back to 16.8mg

2022 Jun 15               16mg  4.76% reduction

Hand on heart, "Personally I have never heard of anyone suffering withdrawal from Prozac" Dr P

 

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@vincent

Whoop whoop! 

This is awesome!

Way to go! 

You just put a huge grin on my face <3

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Excellent @vincentplease keep posting that. People really need to know how to get off safely. I’ll let people know if I hear back from The Guardian ☺️My letter mentioned this website numerous times. 

Mirtazepine 15mg Nov 2018 -April 2019

April - Sept 2019 Mirtazepine 7.5

October 2019 - about 4 Nov 6mg Mirtazepine 

4-13 Nov anxiety & sleep problems caused by change of brand & jumping around with doses

13 Nov 2019 to 7 Dec 2019 10mg Mirtazepine 

8-10 Dec 2019 15mg Mirtazepine 

11 Dec 2019 to 14 Dec 12.5mg Mirtazepine 

15 December 2019 to 13 June 2021 15mg Mirtazepine 

14 June 2021 started brass monkey Slide.  
2021: 23 August 12.3mg, 28 October 11.1mg, 6 Dec 10mg

2022: 12 Feb 8.5, 27 Feb 8.1, 22 March 7.7, 5 May 6.9, 25 July 5.7 (hooray!)

 

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  • Moderator

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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See also:

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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I cannot speak to the medical literature which finds no real evidence of a chemical imbalance related to seratonin levels, but I can tell you that after a lifetime of suffering near weekly depression, at the age of 40 I was placed on Prozac after two years of weekly psychotherapy failed to cure my depression.

 

Within 6 weeks, my life went from despair and sadness to complete euphoria, [LSD-like symptoms that lasted several weeks] and after several weeks I balanced out to what became my new normal and could function properly for the first time in my life. I am certain this was not the Placebo Effect, the results were so profound and dramatic as to be stunning. It changed my life dramatically for the better. How else can this be explained other than a chemical imbalance, corrected by Fluexotine? 


 

Drug History

1997–Present - fluoxetine 20mg capsules 

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I think the issue for a lot of these drugs isn’t so much the fact they don’t do anything (like a placebo), more that the people selling them don’t have any idea what they are doing. They still don’t know the mechanisms that are affecting the brain, why a majority of people get such bad long term withdrawal effects, or if they cause lasting damage.

 

The Lexapro I took definitely had an effect and made me feel ‘better’ in some respects, but honestly looking back, now I’m off it, I’m still not sure what that effect was.

 

It didn’t make me happy, didn’t make me feel normal. It was like my whole emotional system was ‘wrapped in cotton wool’.

 

Essentially my mental state was on ‘pause’ while I was on Lexapro. It acted more like a mild sedative, I guess, made me accept the status quo, rather than productively change anything in my life.

 

If the drugs were easy to stop, without the need to taper, then I’m sure the attitude to them would be different. But my withdrawal from the drugs has been very life limiting, and has actually taken twice as long as I was taking them to begin with! The withdrawal effects were significantly worse than the issues I had originally.

 

There’s no doubt that these drugs can help some people, but when that help comes with huge downsides for others, and results in long term health issues when it’s a totally unknown science, it must be questioned.

 

1 in 6 adults is the UK are now on one of these drugs - with similar figures in other countries - that’s a horrifying statistic.

Oct 2018 - Jun 2020: 10 mg per day generic Escitalopram in pill form.

Jul 2020 - Aug 2020: Switched to 9 mg per day of Cipralex drops to aid tapering.

Sep 2020 - Oct 2020: Taper to 8 mg.

Nov 2020 - Dec 2020: Taper to 7 mg.

Jan 2021 - Feb 2021: Taper to 6 mg.

Mar 2021 - Apr 2021: Taper to 5 mg.

May 2021 - Jun 2021: Taper to 4 mg.

Jul 2021 - Sep 2021: Taper to 3 mg.

Sep 2021 - Jan 2022: Taper to 2 mg.

Jan 2022: Stopped taking altogether.

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I think there is an easy explanation to why the chemical imbalance myth is so hard to kill. Imagine you are a psychiatrist. Maybe you are even a psychiatrist with a social media presence where you from time to time posts about the latest research in biochemical composition and function of the CNS. it makes you look all sciency and more heavy-hitter-like. In your clinical work you have close to a thousand patients. Each week you explain to new patients that an antidepressant might help, and lets be honest, now and then you reach for the chemical imbalance explanation, especially when it comes to 'difficult' patients: It is a nifty, quick explanation, it sounds plausible and with some medical semantics in the mix it also sounds sort of impressive. 

 

So as a psychiatrist you have hundreds of patients walking around out there with SSRIs in their bloodstream and they all believe the chemical imbalance explanation because you told them so. Until they don't. What the F do you do in that situation? If you are going to backtrack on the chemical imbalance explanation it is not only a huge blow to your professionalism but also a blow to your character as a human being: You are person who bends the truth to make your professional life a little easier. That is a diagnostic criteria for NDP - and that you know... because you are a psychiatrist. 

 

A much more convient solution is to hold on to the chemical balance theory in a slightly modified form (E.g. "serotonin systems plays very important roles in how our brains process different emotions",thank you Dr Bloomfeld). Even though psychology as a science is in a reproduction crisis, solid results do exist: one is confronted with facts that threatens our worldview, we tend to keep the worldview and find ways to dismiss the facts. So in conclusion I think psychiatry as a profession will move forward and away from biochemical explanations, but only one retirement at a time. 

2004: (apr): Citalopram 20 mg, June 60 mg., dec 20 mg

2004 (dec): Mirtazapine 15 mg.

2014 (Jun): Citalopram stop cold turkey. Began 10 mg Vortioxetine

2017: (dec): Mirtazapine 15 mg ->30 mg (after three day stint on psych ward)

2020: (aug): Vortioxetine 10 mg stopped cold turkey. 

2020 (dec): Mirtazapine 30 mg -> 15 mg (GPs instructions)

2021 (feb): Mirtazapine reinstatement 26,25 mg

2022 (Jan): Mirtazapine (5% taper): 14. Jan 24,9 mg, 6. feb 23,7 mg, 1. marts 22,5 mg, 15. marts 21,3 mg, 2. april 20 mg, 26. april 19. mg, 25. may 18.1 mg, 26 jun 17 mg - HOLD UNTIL I AM IN PHYSICAL SHAPE.

 

Have always taken fish oil capsules. Do not drink alcohol when tapering. 1 multivitamin pill a day. Try to eat healthy, but impossible on mirtazapine.

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I suggest that you read the following book which gives the history of how these drugs came into being used as psychiatric drugs.  They didn't start trying to create these drugs for how they are used today.  They were developed for other things and they observed the effects and they ended up being used for depression etc.

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic - Robert Whitaker

 

I also suggest that you watch this video.  Irving Kirsch and his cohorts got the unpublished clinical trials via Freedom of Information.  Pharmaceutical companies are only required to submit 2 clinical trials but can do as many as they like.

 

Also, I watched a video the other day about statins and before the actual drug trial was done the participants were giving the drug (pre-trial) and any of them that had a bad reaction were not included in the real trial.

 

Another thing I have learned is that if a participant drops out of a clinical trial with bad effects they are not included in the trial data UNLESS they had to go to hospital.

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

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

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

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

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

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

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7 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

I suggest that you read the following book

I have read both Whitaker and Kirsch. The anatomy of Epidemic is a good book IMO. And Kirschs studies I find brilliant. I don't find it believeble that GPs and psychiatrists can't comprehend that the chemical imbalance theory is not correct or that a biochemical description of our brain is not sufficient to describe human moods, thoughts and feelings - at least not with our current state of knowledge. If that is correct someting else must be afoot. And I think the reputational costs of leaving the chemical imbalance theory are so high both socially and individually that GPs and psychiatrists unconscious reaction is to make an emergency-save of the biochemical explanation. 

2004: (apr): Citalopram 20 mg, June 60 mg., dec 20 mg

2004 (dec): Mirtazapine 15 mg.

2014 (Jun): Citalopram stop cold turkey. Began 10 mg Vortioxetine

2017: (dec): Mirtazapine 15 mg ->30 mg (after three day stint on psych ward)

2020: (aug): Vortioxetine 10 mg stopped cold turkey. 

2020 (dec): Mirtazapine 30 mg -> 15 mg (GPs instructions)

2021 (feb): Mirtazapine reinstatement 26,25 mg

2022 (Jan): Mirtazapine (5% taper): 14. Jan 24,9 mg, 6. feb 23,7 mg, 1. marts 22,5 mg, 15. marts 21,3 mg, 2. april 20 mg, 26. april 19. mg, 25. may 18.1 mg, 26 jun 17 mg - HOLD UNTIL I AM IN PHYSICAL SHAPE.

 

Have always taken fish oil capsules. Do not drink alcohol when tapering. 1 multivitamin pill a day. Try to eat healthy, but impossible on mirtazapine.

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21 hours ago, DontFeedTheMonkeys said:

I cannot speak to the medical literature which finds no real evidence of a chemical imbalance related to seratonin levels, but I can tell you that after a lifetime of suffering near weekly depression, at the age of 40 I was placed on Prozac after two years of weekly psychotherapy failed to cure my depression.

 

Within 6 weeks, my life went from despair and sadness to complete euphoria, [LSD-like symptoms that lasted several weeks] and after several weeks I balanced out to what became my new normal and could function properly for the first time in my life. I am certain this was not the Placebo Effect, the results were so profound and dramatic as to be stunning. It changed my life dramatically for the better. How else can this be explained other than a chemical imbalance, corrected by Fluexotine? 


 

You can't base a scientific argument on a single case. That is absurd but I am glad the drug helped you.

 

What are your intentions? This is not a debating society. You have joined the wrong forum.

2003/7 (at age 52)        Prozac 20mg. For chronic fatigue syndrome.    2007/10    20mg citalopram, 2010/11 Cold Turkey citalopram Severe withdrawal,  2011  back on citalopram 10mg, 2014  Discontinued Citalopram over a month period

2014/15                       Suffered severe withdrawal and was prescribed Prozac 20mg, 2017/18 After research I decided that I have never had such severe mental illness, only withdrawal

2017/20                       Various failed attempts to ‘taper’ (missing doses), 2020 Sept 16th started a 5% taper using mini scales, 2020 Nov Ended taper Back on 20mg Prozac

2021 Nov 24               Reduced to 19mg Prozac  from starting dose of 20mg (5% reduction)

2022 Jan 3rd              Reduced to 18mg Prozac (5.26% reduction)

2022 Feb 27th            Reduced to 17.2mg Prozac (4.44% reduction)

 

2022 Mar 12th            Reduced to 16.8mg Easier to read on Syringe 

2022 Mar 30th           Increased to 17.1mg After Symptoms  Drop of 6.7mg too much? 2022 Apr 23               reduced back to 16.8mg

2022 Jun 15               16mg  4.76% reduction

Hand on heart, "Personally I have never heard of anyone suffering withdrawal from Prozac" Dr P

 

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I cannot speak to the medical literature which finds no real evidence of a chemical imbalance related to seratonin levels, but I can tell you that after a lifetime of suffering near weekly depression, at the age of 40 I was placed on Prozac after two years of weekly psychotherapy failed to cure my depression.

 

Within 6 weeks, my life went from despair and sadness to complete euphoria, [LSD-like symptoms that lasted several weeks] and after several weeks I balanced out to what became my new normal and could function properly for the first time in my life. I am certain this was not the Placebo Effect, the results were so profound and dramatic as to be stunning. It changed my life dramatically for the better. How else can this be explained other than a chemical imbalance, corrected by Fluexotine? 


 

Drug History

1997–Present - fluoxetine 20mg capsules 

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Chemical imbalance or not, I'm just sharing my experience. Sorry if I offended you. 

Drug History

1997–Present - fluoxetine 20mg capsules 

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4 hours ago, DontFeedTheMonkeys said:

Chemical imbalance or not, I'm just sharing my experience. Sorry if I offended you. 

Not offended. Just curious.

2003/7 (at age 52)        Prozac 20mg. For chronic fatigue syndrome.    2007/10    20mg citalopram, 2010/11 Cold Turkey citalopram Severe withdrawal,  2011  back on citalopram 10mg, 2014  Discontinued Citalopram over a month period

2014/15                       Suffered severe withdrawal and was prescribed Prozac 20mg, 2017/18 After research I decided that I have never had such severe mental illness, only withdrawal

2017/20                       Various failed attempts to ‘taper’ (missing doses), 2020 Sept 16th started a 5% taper using mini scales, 2020 Nov Ended taper Back on 20mg Prozac

2021 Nov 24               Reduced to 19mg Prozac  from starting dose of 20mg (5% reduction)

2022 Jan 3rd              Reduced to 18mg Prozac (5.26% reduction)

2022 Feb 27th            Reduced to 17.2mg Prozac (4.44% reduction)

 

2022 Mar 12th            Reduced to 16.8mg Easier to read on Syringe 

2022 Mar 30th           Increased to 17.1mg After Symptoms  Drop of 6.7mg too much? 2022 Apr 23               reduced back to 16.8mg

2022 Jun 15               16mg  4.76% reduction

Hand on heart, "Personally I have never heard of anyone suffering withdrawal from Prozac" Dr P

 

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