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Rick: Long time on antidepressants


Rick

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Hey, just joined this site. I must have started anti's when I was somewhere around my mid thirties. My first was a tricyclic called imipramene. I was on that for at least tens years. It really helped me out of some dark days and I tried to quit a few times and was never successful. Another doctor put me on Welbutrin to see if I would quit smoking and it didn't seem to help with that and instead of putting me back in my old medication like I wanted put me on Celexa. I've tried to go off it a few times. The last time was about a year and a half ago stopping all at once. I did great for a few months and then suddenly couldn't sleep and thought I was going to go crazy and couldn't function at all. I just ran into this site yesterday. I really want to get off this stuff. I feel like my brain is in a fog all the time. I'm on 40mg of Celexa and 25 mg of lamotrigine. I going to do it right this time. I've complained several times to my psych about the sexual side effects of Celexa and he told me it was one of the drugs to least likely cause it. Not according to the Mayo Clinic. I don't trust psych's anymore if they are going to lie to me like that. I want to feel like a man again.

 

What happens after tapering off and quitting completely? Will I be able to deal with life on its terms?

I'm curious about nootropics. At least if I'm going to need something for my mood its going to be healthy for me and not harmful like these drugs. Right now I am taking fish oil and 800 mg of SAMe. I have really low energy and sleep way to much. For some reason today is good though and feel somewhat refreshed after weeks with no energy and lots of naps. Finding this site gives me hope and it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel. ;)

Edited by Karma
Added member name to introduction

At least ten years on 40 mg of Celexa

Around 5 years on 25 mg of Lamicatal.

Also on HIV cocktail and living poz 20 years.

Multi vitamin, 4000UI vitamin D, 100 mg of Coq 10, 4-5 grams niacin for blood lipids, 800 mg of SAMe

Prostate - 2 mg of terzosin

Stomach - famotidine 20mg twice a day

5 mg Lomotil 2 times a day.

2.5 mg Marinol a few times a week. Was on more but my tolerance became more sensitive.

Also about two weeks on 30mg of noopept and 300mg choline bitartrate, but have not see benefits

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Hi Rick,

I am sorry that you have gone through bad times ..:(

Things will get better, they always do ..

You are in good hands here, and someone with expertise will come along shortly to help you ..

Sending you healing wishes ..Lexi

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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  • Administrator

Hi Rick,

 

Welcome to the site. Here is our information on tapering off of Celexa: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/page__pid__19887#entry19887 - I see it comes in a liquid and I can tell you from my experience when you get down to lower doses the liquid is much easier to work with.

 

Here is information on tapering off of lamotrigine: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1122-tips-for-tapering-off-lamictal-lamotrigine/. A few of our mods are familiar with this drug and will be along shortly to provide additional information.

 

When you get a chance please put your med history in your signature like so http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/. When you post questions your signature will help the mods understand your history and we will be better able to give you meaningful suggestions.

 

The reason we advocate no more than a 10% taper is that it allows the central nervous system to adapt to life without the drug a little at a time. The goal is to come off of the meds gently and move on with life.

 

You'll find lots of up support and good information here - glad you found us.

 

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Rick.

 

One thing you want to do when you taper a psychiatric drug is to keep your nervous system stable. Please do not plan on adding nootropics, they also can destabilize your nervous system.

 

That goes for SAM-e as well. Several of our members have gotten serotonin withdrawal syndrome from going off SAM-e or 5-HTP.

 

I suggest you start with tapering SAM-e. How long have you been taking it?

 

Both lamotrigine and Celexa can make you sleepy and fatigued. Lamotrigine is more of a brake than Celexa but it can cushion withdrawal symptoms.

 

If I were you, after going off SAM-e, I'd start by reducing Celexa, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/ Also see the pinned topics in the Tapering forum http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/14-tapering/

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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I've been on SAMe for less than a month. Noopept and choline for about 2 weeks. Didn't know about the problem with SAMe. Maybe it was making the fatigue worse. I started the noopept because years back I was a heavy drinker so I was trying to repair some damage. I've read a bout the benefits of cocoa and took a couple of teaspoons yesterday divided and feel more alert today. Could be a fluke but who doesn't feel better after eating chocolate. :lol: I really crave it sometimes, though. Thanks for all you who have replied.

At least ten years on 40 mg of Celexa

Around 5 years on 25 mg of Lamicatal.

Also on HIV cocktail and living poz 20 years.

Multi vitamin, 4000UI vitamin D, 100 mg of Coq 10, 4-5 grams niacin for blood lipids, 800 mg of SAMe

Prostate - 2 mg of terzosin

Stomach - famotidine 20mg twice a day

5 mg Lomotil 2 times a day.

2.5 mg Marinol a few times a week. Was on more but my tolerance became more sensitive.

Also about two weeks on 30mg of noopept and 300mg choline bitartrate, but have not see benefits

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  • Administrator

If I were you, I'd step off the SAM-e 25% every few days, and go off the Noopept and choline.

 

Did you start taking lamotrigine after Celexa? If so, why?

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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The psych thought I was mildly bipolar. Short periods being way up and longer downs. Can't say it did much. I guess I'll have to get some 200mg pills of SAMe since they're coated to bypass the stomach and can't be cut in half. Found out the hard way not to take them with food.

At least ten years on 40 mg of Celexa

Around 5 years on 25 mg of Lamicatal.

Also on HIV cocktail and living poz 20 years.

Multi vitamin, 4000UI vitamin D, 100 mg of Coq 10, 4-5 grams niacin for blood lipids, 800 mg of SAMe

Prostate - 2 mg of terzosin

Stomach - famotidine 20mg twice a day

5 mg Lomotil 2 times a day.

2.5 mg Marinol a few times a week. Was on more but my tolerance became more sensitive.

Also about two weeks on 30mg of noopept and 300mg choline bitartrate, but have not see benefits

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  • Administrator

Were these ups and downs after you took Celexa or before?

 

"Mildly bipolar" -- doesn't sound like a real diagnosis.

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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Yes, I have mood swings. The manic part is never very long. Usually I can get a one track mind sort of phase and will obsess about it for 2 or 3 days until I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Spend days researching something I find interesting and things like that. Then a sudden down swing which can last for weeks. Not sure if that's really true bipolarism though. I understand a true manic phase usually last a long time.

At least ten years on 40 mg of Celexa

Around 5 years on 25 mg of Lamicatal.

Also on HIV cocktail and living poz 20 years.

Multi vitamin, 4000UI vitamin D, 100 mg of Coq 10, 4-5 grams niacin for blood lipids, 800 mg of SAMe

Prostate - 2 mg of terzosin

Stomach - famotidine 20mg twice a day

5 mg Lomotil 2 times a day.

2.5 mg Marinol a few times a week. Was on more but my tolerance became more sensitive.

Also about two weeks on 30mg of noopept and 300mg choline bitartrate, but have not see benefits

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Hi Rick....

 

Bi-polar is a term that is used very loosely these days. The antidepressants can cause symptoms that are mistaken for bi-polar behavior.

 

I was on 40mgs of Celexa which was a rather strong dose for me. And I do take imipramine.

I have them both down to 30mgs. It wasn't bad getting them there.

 

I don't know about Lamictal. I do know from the experience of others that the SAMe and the tryptophan can cause added issues.

 

"What happens after tapering off and quitting completely? Will I be able to deal with life on its terms?" Rick I have asked myself this question for a good part of 10 years and I don't know the answer. I have not been med-free. I have gotten off of one med and onto another.

 

Nice to meet you. Lots of people here with experience and understanding.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • Administrator

That does not sound like a pathological condition to me.

 

Rick, you may be interested in this article:

How to Recognize a Bad Psychiatrist -- Don’t Count Symptoms That Don’t Count

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...

Well, I had hoped to give you a report of my progress but the day I got started I ended up on the emergency room and having exploratory surgery because of an intestinal blockage.  Still weak and sore but slowly getting better.  I don't know which is worse the physical pain and weakness or the discouragement and depression of something so disabling. Recovery is so slow and it has now been a month since the operating table.  Hopefully I will be able to start the taper process again later this summer or fall..

At least ten years on 40 mg of Celexa

Around 5 years on 25 mg of Lamicatal.

Also on HIV cocktail and living poz 20 years.

Multi vitamin, 4000UI vitamin D, 100 mg of Coq 10, 4-5 grams niacin for blood lipids, 800 mg of SAMe

Prostate - 2 mg of terzosin

Stomach - famotidine 20mg twice a day

5 mg Lomotil 2 times a day.

2.5 mg Marinol a few times a week. Was on more but my tolerance became more sensitive.

Also about two weeks on 30mg of noopept and 300mg choline bitartrate, but have not see benefits

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Yes, I have mood swings. The manic part is never very long. Usually I can get a one track mind sort of phase and will obsess about it for 2 or 3 days until I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Spend days researching something I find interesting and things like that.

I do the same thing! Especially the 'research' thing! It's like I get hung up on 'whatever' for a bit, then, it's over.Welcome to the forum!
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  • Moderator Emeritus

That does not sound like a pathological condition to me.Rick, you may be interested in this article:How to Recognize a Bad Psychiatrist -- Don’t Count Symptoms That Don’t Count

Just read this...bipolar spectrum disorder MA...LOL!

 

I agree with this guy about "bipolar II" which I think is often a diagnosis given to people due to behavioral and emotional disruption caused by psych medications. It was for me--I was "diagnosed" bipolar due to a single manic episode which occurred when I was taken completely off multiple medications in the hospital and then put on different, powerful antidepressants.  It was definitely a classic manic episode, but it was iatrogenic.  While I was "high" I quit all the drugs, so an intense depression followed.  Hence I'm bipolar.

 

Except I'm not bipolar at all. There's that.

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

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 

Yes, I have mood swings. The manic part is never very long. Usually I can get a one track mind sort of phase and will obsess about it for 2 or 3 days until I'm mentally and physically exhausted. Spend days researching something I find interesting and things like that.

I do the same thing! Especially the 'research' thing! It's like I get hung up on 'whatever' for a bit, then, it's over.Welcome to the forum!

 

I totally do this, and I always have. I think it's pretty common, especially among highly intelligent and/or highly creative people. I have friends who do this too. I'm pretty sure it's not pathological. Unless you define pathological as "doing anything that EVERYbody doesn't do." (Which I sometimes think is exactly how psychiatry defines pathology.)

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

 

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

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