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cleansteve Odd compilation of symptoms...or maybe not


cleansteve

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I'm kinda confused about whether I am having withdrawals or have something else going on. I've been telling myself I'm having withdrawals, and can't seem to find anything that defines an illness I might have, but I'm looking for support and feedback to reassure me I'm doing the right thing. I have the following symptoms:

 

-Morning...cortisol/adrenaline/anxiety

-Which sometimes continues throughout the day

-Dry kinda pasty mouth

-Sore tongue

-Loose stool

-Persistent negative thoughts

-Cog fog

-Insomnia (I take 5mg of Ambien)

 

The thing is my SSRI use was really spotty for the last 18 months. I went on and off a number of times looking for some relief of depression and anxiety. I never had withdrawls when I went off. I took Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft, Abilify, Buspirone, Risperdal, Baclofen, Gabapentin, Hydroxzine and Lithium. I mostly took Zoloft but in all this bouncing around I never did more than 8 weeks straight of anything. That said I was probably taking a SSRI of some sort about 250 days in the last year. I probably took a mood stabilizer when I wasn't taking an SSRI and a lot of the time I took both. Some times my depression or anxiety got worse as we increased the dose so I took less or stopped until I felt better. Again, no withdrawal that I noticed. The last round was Zoloft, which I took for about 6 weeks and then went c/t. That was maybe 7-8 weeks ago and I'm still feeling pretty off (see above symptoms). To be honest, the line of when I went on and off of this med or that is pretty blurry. Now that I look at that list of drugs I took I'm pretty sure I am (or should be) in some sort of withdrawal. <Editorial/ Can you believe a Psychiatrist prescribed me all this stuff??? /Editorial> So please tell me what you think? Do I need to hunker down and go through the withdrawal process? That is what I've been doing and plan on doing but someone to tell me "yep, your in withdrawal" would boost my confidence in all this. I have enough anxiety without worrying about if this is withdrawal or something else.

 

Love and Blessings to all

Light anxiety and depression treated with:

 

- Every SSRI under the sun -

-- Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft

-- Only took Zoloft for more than one script

 

- Mood stabilizers -

-- Abilify, Buspirone, Risperdal, Baclofen, Gabapentin, Hydroxzine and Lithium

-- Never new why I was doing these and didn't take for long

 

- Benzos -

-- 1mg Ativan - PRN

-- 5mg Valium - PRN

-- Took in moderation and don't believe I got hooked...

 

Never really needed all this but well intentioned doctors were trying to help.

 

Car accident Feb 2013

- Took 80mg of hydro/oxycodone for 10 days

 

Off all drugs except Ambien April 2013. Taking 5mgs a night

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  • Administrator

Welcome, cleansteve.

 

I moved your topic here as your Intro topic, to ask questions and track your progress.

 

Anyone who's been on an antidepressant for more than a month is at risk for withdrawal syndrome. Your symptoms are classic withdrawal symptoms.

 

Going on and off antidepressants or taking them inconsistently can make your nervous system susceptible to this kind of sensitivity.

 

How much Zoloft were you taking? If I were you, I'd immediately take a low dose to see if that can help. It comes in a liquid or, if you have any tablets left, you can make your own liquid -- see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

You should also give up on your doctor. See this list http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

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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  • Administrator

Hi Cleansteve,

 

Welcome to the forum. As Alto said, "yep, you're in withdrawal." If you can share how much Zoloft you were last on, we can make a suggestion of a low dose to go back on to alleviate some of your symptoms. From there you will allow a little time to stabilize and then you can taper off slowly so that you avoid these uncomfortable symptoms.

 

Unfortunately we can believe that a psychiatrist prescribed all of these drugs ... we see people on this site all the time that have been unceremoniously switched from one drug to the other without any thought about tapering off or the consideration of withdrawals.

 

You will find lots of support here.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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I was on 50mg of Zoloft. Towards the end I started having increased anxiety so I was told to bump it to 100mg. I did so for maybe 2 or 3 days and then just said forget it. I don't need or want the stuff. So I went back to 50mg for 2 days then a couple days at splitting the 50's so I'd say 2 or 3 days at 25mg was my taper. Do i really need to go back on the zoloft after being off for the 6-7 weeks? I'm totally open to whatever gets me feeling decent and completely off this stuff and if reinstating and doing a better taper is the way to go I'll do it. I have had a few hours of windows in the 7 weeks but I would have expected more by now.

 

Thank you guys so much. Before finding this site I felt pretty alone.

Light anxiety and depression treated with:

 

- Every SSRI under the sun -

-- Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft

-- Only took Zoloft for more than one script

 

- Mood stabilizers -

-- Abilify, Buspirone, Risperdal, Baclofen, Gabapentin, Hydroxzine and Lithium

-- Never new why I was doing these and didn't take for long

 

- Benzos -

-- 1mg Ativan - PRN

-- 5mg Valium - PRN

-- Took in moderation and don't believe I got hooked...

 

Never really needed all this but well intentioned doctors were trying to help.

 

Car accident Feb 2013

- Took 80mg of hydro/oxycodone for 10 days

 

Off all drugs except Ambien April 2013. Taking 5mgs a night

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I would try follow Alto's advice and try reinstating at a low dose, say five to ten mgs, and see if things improve. If you do decide to reinstate try to be consistent. Taking anti-depressants on and off is bad news.

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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  • Administrator

5mg-10mg is a good guess for reinstating at this time. You might try 5mg to start for a week and see if it helps. You don't want to go too high because you might be sensitized to it and it could make you worse.

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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OK, I think this was a bad idea. I took 10mg and in about 15-20 mins had a near panic attack (which never happens). Is this possible? Could be my current crazy state getting the better of me I guess. I just feel like I've paid some pretty hefty dues to get this far and reinstating is going backwards. Can I go back to nothing now that I took this one 10mg dose or am I really jacking myself up? Why why why did I do this? I was kinda OK taking nothing and soldiering on but now I'm confused as hell. I know the on and off thing is bad bad bad, but I really don't want to be on anything. Will this one dose set me back very far? I just want to wait this out and take nothing. The days are bad but I'm skirting by and feel like life will eventually return to me. Can I go back to nothing?

Light anxiety and depression treated with:

 

- Every SSRI under the sun -

-- Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft

-- Only took Zoloft for more than one script

 

- Mood stabilizers -

-- Abilify, Buspirone, Risperdal, Baclofen, Gabapentin, Hydroxzine and Lithium

-- Never new why I was doing these and didn't take for long

 

- Benzos -

-- 1mg Ativan - PRN

-- 5mg Valium - PRN

-- Took in moderation and don't believe I got hooked...

 

Never really needed all this but well intentioned doctors were trying to help.

 

Car accident Feb 2013

- Took 80mg of hydro/oxycodone for 10 days

 

Off all drugs except Ambien April 2013. Taking 5mgs a night

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I took 10mg and in about 15-20 mins had a near panic attack (which never happens). Is this possible?

I'm no expert, but this doesn't seem like enough time for the medication to produce any kind of physiological effect. Am I wrong about this? I would guess that your reaction was psychological, or stems from the physiological stress you're already suffering from.

 

I just feel like I've paid some pretty hefty dues to get this far and reinstating is going backwards.

It can feel this way, but for a lot of people reinsletatement makes otherwise unbearable symptoms bearable and allows them to taper off successfully instead of simply giving up. It can be a way of going not backward, but forward. It's possible that reinstatement won't work for you, but the fact that you had a reaction within 15 fifteen minutes confuses things a bit. I would try 5 mgs instead of 10, and wait it out for at least a few days. If it doesn't help, or if it makes things worse you can go back to zero.

 

Can I go back to nothing now that I took this one 10mg dose or am I really jacking myself up?

Yes, you can go back to nothing.

 

. Will this one dose set me back very far?

It shouldn't.

 

I just want to wait this out and take nothing.

You can do this, but there is a danger that your symptoms will last longer than if you were to reinstate and taper more slowly. It's really up to you.

 

Now that your panic attack has subsided, how do you feel?

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I disagree, I think a single dose can have a pretty strong effect; I feel my meds when I take them and 15-20 minutes is about the time frame when I feel them kick in. For me, anyway.

 

I think you might want to try a smaller reinstatement. You haven't even hit the really bad withdrawal yet or seen how bad it can get a few months out. That's why we're all saying this; we don't get a kick out of slowing people down, we've just all seen, over and over and over, how much suffering people can get into. And unfortunately often by the time it really hits the worst, it's been so long that reinstatement is iffy and may not help.

 

Could you consider trying something like 2-5 mg a day for a few days and see how that goes? It's amazing how even a very small dose can give our brain what it needs to keep from crashing into the wall. You might want to start with 2.5 mg of the liquid and just see if you can handle the side effects from that.

 

I know it's hard to imagine, but given your very erratic recent history, I suspect your withdrawal can get much worse. I would seriously consider doing whatever it takes to get stable ASAP and then, after feeling stable for a month or two, doing a very slow and careful taper.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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  • Administrator

Clearly, cleansteve, 10mg is too much. You have experienced why we suggest starting lower.

 

At this point, perhaps 2mg, as Rhi suggested.

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...

Somehow I missed these last few posts and I'm now back looking for answers.  You guys are absolutely right, I'm a few months out, 3-4, and now am feeling pretty bad.  Worse in some ways and better in others.  And since I missed all these posts I missed the wisdom of what was said.  I kind of thought I was getting better until a couple weeks ago when the panic started getting pretty bad.  After my initial attempt at trying to reinstate I got so freaked I ran from this board and just thought if I went c/t and just hunkered down I'd get through this.  And perhaps I will, but if anyone has any thoughts on whether I could reinstate or try something I'd be very greatful.  I kind of thought you guys abandoned me but it appears the emails from this site were going to my spam.  In my brain fog I never stopped to think about checking my spam folder until now.  So I apologize for ever thinking I would be abandoned.  Going forward I promise to check spam (and  get that corrected) and also check in here. 

 

I'd like to add a little more details about my symptoms and lifestyle if I may.  I am now free of all meds except testosterone cypionate and pulmicort.  No ambien to sleep and nothing else.  No alcohol either and only 1/2 a cup of coffee a day.  My symptoms are physical stimulation (light, dark, hot, cold, other) creeps me out, invasive-not-normal thoughts, anxiety and panic and some weird mental stuff I can't put a finger on.  Mental focus can be trouble at times but I have a pretty intense job as a software engineer and if you know anything about this kind of work you know it takes a lot of brain power.  I'm not sure I'm built for this kind of work any more...or maybe its the discontinuation tricking me.  Last thing I think I should note is I'm a endurance bicyclist.  Yesterday I did 120 miles and it seems like this made me feel worse afterwards.  Fortunately after 3 hours of panic on the bike the next 6 hours were pretty enjoyable and at a near normal state.  Last night and today I'm paying for it. 

Light anxiety and depression treated with:

 

- Every SSRI under the sun -

-- Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft

-- Only took Zoloft for more than one script

 

- Mood stabilizers -

-- Abilify, Buspirone, Risperdal, Baclofen, Gabapentin, Hydroxzine and Lithium

-- Never new why I was doing these and didn't take for long

 

- Benzos -

-- 1mg Ativan - PRN

-- 5mg Valium - PRN

-- Took in moderation and don't believe I got hooked...

 

Never really needed all this but well intentioned doctors were trying to help.

 

Car accident Feb 2013

- Took 80mg of hydro/oxycodone for 10 days

 

Off all drugs except Ambien April 2013. Taking 5mgs a night

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Many of our members have found that vigorous exercise is a bad idea when undergoing withdrawal. Withdrawal also disrupts hormonal systems, so I can't imagine taking a steroid at this time is a good thing either, but of course that's up to you.

 

You might try one or two milligrams of Zoloft for four to five days, but at three or four months out it's a toss-up as to whether or not it will help.  It's possible that a reinstatement may make things worse. Here's our topic on reinstatement, which you might want to read before deciding what to do--or not do:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

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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Welcome back. 

 

I'm so sorry to hear you've taken a dive down some.

 

For me, too much exercise can aggravate symptoms. I've had to stop running, which I had done for several years. 

 

Hang in there! Things will be up and down for a while, but you can get through this.

 

The mental symptoms can really make you feel like new person. (not in a good way)

I felt very odd for quite a while. 

 

A lot of the symptoms you describe, me and others here have experienced, so you are not alone.

Started Fluoxetine Jan. 2010

Tried to go off of it in Sept. 2010

Weaned too fast and was back on it by Nov. 2010

Didn't work as good the second time around.

Started to wean again in Nov. 2011 and was off for good by April? 2012

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