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TrishF: My Pristiq nightmare thus far


TrishF

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I first want to say thank you to all of you in this forum.  You have been instrumental in preserving what sanity I have left.

 

I started Pristiq with samples given by my PCP when going through a rough period with my job.  I have suffered incredible loss over the past few years.  I had been living and working in the Caribbean for over 10 years, doing freelance work, while maintaining a home here in the US.  

 

About three years ago I lost everything, due to circumstances beyond my control, and then made some very bad decisions made afterwords, fueled by way too much alcohol and prescription benzos.  I was hospitalized several times there, and went through all of my meager savings, plus lost my house due to the economy.  

 

Because of the economic downturn and operating a sort of luxury service, I never could get my business back up and running, and came back to the states with nothing but my dog and two suitcases.  I went to stay with family, but that did not work out well, I had been pretty much estranged from them for almost 30 years, and they had no nderstanding of what I was going through.  During this time I had seen several pdocs and been prescribed various medications, none of which helped me at all.  

 

ANyway, I ended up in Arizona, where i used to own my home, penniless and basically homeless.  I found temporary housing, found a job, (very underemployed), got a place to live and got my dog back.  The job I got turned out to be seasonal, and though my employer found me some other work, I have bben struggling to stay afloat.  

 

In August of last year my pcp gave me Pristiq, since I didnt have insurance to cover it, and told me it would help.  I just took his word for it, and took the meds for 8 months, but was having all kinds of bizarre side effects, waking dreams, sleeping 14 hours a day, doing nothing but working and watching tv and walking my dog.  I asked him about the medication, and he had no idea, said I could just quit anytime, that the side effects were just symptoms of my depression. Then I started researching and found this site and others.  

 

After a month of deliberation, switching to a new Dr., and calls to all kinds of pharmacies and mental health hospitals for information, I could get no help and decided to f=go cold turkey on the 18th of April.  I only now am finding myself able to even write about the black hole of utter hopelessness I have been in.  I may have had problems before, but NEVER this complete feeling of total apathy, hopelessness and despair.  I think the only thing that has kept me going is having to take care of my beautiful dog, and reading what I have read here and in those other forums that I am not alone. I am still barely functioning, but at least have the energy to actually do something besides force myself to go to work.

 

I finally got in to see a pdoc here, and he suggested I go on Wellbutrin for the time in being (150mg) to help with the malaise and energy problems.  I am giving it a go, but I am so afarid of any medications at this point.  I only agreed to try this because I was so hopeless, and the fact that it doesn't effect seretonin I am hoping it helps me through while that part of my brain "heals" .  I also have started taking 5-HTC and fish oil, which seems to help as well.  At least I am not in bed all day.  

 

i used to be a vibrant, energrtic, enthusastic person, but I feel like that part of me is gone, and I am scared I will never get it back, and never have a full life again.  I am now 51, and afraid all the excitement and joy in life is gone.  Anyway, that's my story till now.  Thanks for whoever is listening.

Edited by Karma
added member name to topic and added paragraph breaks for readability

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Assuming that you mean 5-HTP, please be careful with this stuff.  Here's a topic on it and related supplements:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/?hl=tryptophan. Most of us here have tried just about every supplement out there and have found that very few help and many are aggravating. High quality fish oil and magnesium seem to be the most universally useful, although some very sensitive people have had a bad reaction to those as well.

 

Pristiq is a horrible drug to take and even worse to discontinue, but be assured that you will eventually get better and be yourself again. No one can predict how long that will take, but you aren't permanently damaged.  Anhedonia and apathy are very common antidepressant withdrawal symptoms (see our topic here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/).  As you can see from my signature, I was also on Pristiq for a time and then was switched to Lexapro, another pill from Hell.  I tapered off Lexapro far too fast and ended up in withdrawal from early December of 2011 to date.  I'm much, much better now, but I still have lingering apathy and am not the creative person I used to be.  These areas of functioning are apparently the last to come back, but they do come back.  I've had brief windows of normalcy lately and hope to be done with this by the end of the year.

 

Take a look around our 'Symptoms and self-care' forum for some non-drug tips on how to feel better, and when you feel up to it, please add your drug history to your signature, like so: 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/281-bts-please-remind-posters-about-signatures/

 

Welcome to the forum, TrishF.  I'm so sorry that you're going through this, but I'm glad that you found us.  You'll find lots of solid information here and gentle, friendly, support.

 

 

 

 

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Thank you, Jemima, and I will add my med history soon.  I am only taking 100mg of the 5-HTP twice a day, and I thought it might help with the withdrawal since the Wellbutrin doesn't influence seretonin?  What do you think about taking the Wellbutrin? I am completely alone here, and have no support system.  I also have very limited resources, since I have re-started from literally nothing, and do not have a car, can't afford one.  I feel so trapped with no escape from my thoughts.  I also used to do alot of creative activities, painting, crafting, jewelry making, but just have no creative impulses at all right now.  I can't even get into a movie or a book right now.  The only thing I do is go  to work (waitressing) because I have to, and walk my dog.  And now with it being over 110 in Phoenix, I can't even walk it off.  I would love to find some way to occupy my days, since I work night shifts (which also goes against my natural body clock), but with my limited mobility and the the scarcity of jobs here, plus I do have benefits which are essential right now.  I just don't have it in me to try to even go out and present myself for a new or additional job.  It is such a catch-22.  I have never in the past had any problem in achieving anything I set out to do, and have quite a resume of success, but I just feel no self esteem or in touch with any of my old identity.  It is so frightening.  I almost went to the hospital several times in the past couple of weeks, but for my beautiful dog who is everything I have left, and no one to take care of him.  I hate to sound so negative, but I just cant help it.  I just don't see any hope or light or another side to this.  And I never on my worst days of my life felt this complete detachment from life and self.  I wish I had never put that poison in my body!  I'm just so thankful you here dont think I am crazy, because no one else in my life can understand, and just think I should pull myself up  by my bootstraps.  I avoid anyone I used to know because I don't want anyone to see me this way.  I know the loneliness doesn't help, but I dont know what else to do.

Thank you again for your empathy. 

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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I tried to modify my signature and all I get is a page of gobbledygook?

 

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I tried to modify my signature and all I get is a page of gobbledygook?

 

I'm sorry.  There seems to be a technical problem and entries in the signature area are turning up in Chinese.  I've reported it to our technical support people.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you, Jemima, and I will add my med history soon.  I am only taking 100mg of the 5-HTP twice a day, and I thought it might help with the withdrawal since the Wellbutrin doesn't influence seretonin?  What do you think about taking the Wellbutrin? I am completely alone here, and have no support system.  I also have very limited resources, since I have re-started from literally nothing, and do not have a car, can't afford one.  I feel so trapped with no escape from my thoughts.  I also used to do alot of creative activities, painting, crafting, jewelry making, but just have no creative impulses at all right now.  I can't even get into a movie or a book right now.  The only thing I do is go  to work (waitressing) because I have to, and walk my dog.  And now with it being over 110 in Phoenix, I can't even walk it off.  I would love to find some way to occupy my days, since I work night shifts (which also goes against my natural body clock), but with my limited mobility and the the scarcity of jobs here, plus I do have benefits which are essential right now.  I just don't have it in me to try to even go out and present myself for a new or additional job.  It is such a catch-22.  I have never in the past had any problem in achieving anything I set out to do, and have quite a resume of success, but I just feel no self esteem or in touch with any of my old identity.  It is so frightening.  I almost went to the hospital several times in the past couple of weeks, but for my beautiful dog who is everything I have left, and no one to take care of him.  I hate to sound so negative, but I just cant help it.  I just don't see any hope or light or another side to this.  And I never on my worst days of my life felt this complete detachment from life and self.  I wish I had never put that poison in my body!  I'm just so thankful you here dont think I am crazy, because no one else in my life can understand, and just think I should pull myself up  by my bootstraps.  I avoid anyone I used to know because I don't want anyone to see me this way.  I know the loneliness doesn't help, but I dont know what else to do.

Thank you again for your empathy. 

 

I'm not sure what to say about taking the Wellbutrin.  I would think it might be too stimulating, but if you think it's helping it's probably best that you continue taking it.  You're doing a remarkable job of keeping the basics of your life together -- holding down a job, paying the rent, and taking care of your dog.  I don't think there would have been any way that I could have worked during my withdrawal, although I did take care of my beautiful little cat, no matter what.

 

It's going to take some time, but you will experience improvement.  It often comes in spurts and then steps that appear to be backward, but that's all part of healing.  Whatever you do, don't allow yourself to be hospitalized again.  You'll just be stuffed with more drugs that will harm you even more.

 

There is absolutely nothing crazy about you. You're having symptoms that have been experienced by many, many people who've gone off psychiatric drugs with little or no information about how to do this the best way.  It's going  to take time and a lot of patience, but you will get better.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

I absolutely agree with Jemima. 

 

Wellbutrin can be a bit too stimulating for some people, but if you're doing okay with it, you probably shouldn't change anything right now, given your recent CT off Pristiq.

 

Given what I experienced during my years on the medications, I can tell you first-hand that psych drugs and withdrawal can cause everything you've experienced, and more. I don't think you're crazy. I relate to you more than you know.

 

I lost everything too, a few years back.  I'm 58.  Slowly getting my life back, slowly getting myself back, slowly achieving some happiness.  Very slowly rebuilding. It's been a long time coming, but it's happening.  It will happen for you too.

 

I found it helpful to read Medication Madness by Peter Breggin, to help forgive myself for some of the crazy things I did and the decisions I made while I was on the drugs.

 

HANG. IN. THERE. please.

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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Thank you, Rhi.

I seem mired in regrets right now, though I know I can't move forward by looking backward.  I read in teh "Phase of Withdrawal" by James Heaney pages that perhaps this being stuck in the past in just one of the phases of my withdrawal.  I also wonder if this sharpness of pain is because I was so numbed by the pristiq and had become so accustomed to just feeling so numb and content to be just plodding along.  I've always been a type A sort of person, so perhaps it is a good sign to at least be feeling something.  I added my signature now.  I seem to have an incredible sensitivity to any psych meds at all, and I just wish I had read about the Pristiq before blindly trusting and taking it. I just want to be totally free from any chemicals and mind altering substances, but I know now the cold turkey idea was a BAD one.  I just sincerely hope that my brain will heal.  Thank you for your encouragement.  I wish I could get past this feeling of life being behind me, and feeling so old and used up.  Again, thank you!

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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I absolutely agree with Jemima. 

 

Wellbutrin can be a bit too stimulating for some people, but if you're doing okay with it, you probably shouldn't change anything right now, given your recent CT off Pristiq.

 

Given what I experienced during my years on the medications, I can tell you first-hand that psych drugs and withdrawal can cause everything you've experienced, and more. I don't think you're crazy. I relate to you more than you know.

 

I lost everything too, a few years back.  I'm 58.  Slowly getting my life back, slowly getting myself back, slowly achieving some happiness.  Very slowly rebuilding. It's been a long time coming, but it's happening.  It will happen for you too.

 

I found it helpful to read Medication Madness by Peter Breggin, to help forgive myself for some of the crazy things I did and the decisions I made while I was on the drugs.

 

HANG. IN. THERE. please.

By the way, thank you fro the book recommendation, I reserved it from my local library.  I am at least feeling some "enthusiasm" for seeking wellness, so that is a good thing!

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There is a withdrawal symptom that I used to get, and I think other people get, that is sort of an "evil nostalgia from hell." I even used to give it a name, "dystalgia", just strictly made up. I haven't gotten it in a long time. But if I recall correctly it was this feeling of complete regret, failure, despair about my past, my life, everything that had happened to me and that I had done. Really overwhelming and it used to wash over me in waves.

 

It seems like it was maybe associated with the feeling, when around other people, that I didn't fit, that I wasn't like them and they all liked each other and fit together but I was on the outside and not really like them, in a bad and shameful and defective kind of way.  I remember having that one too, a lot.

 

Both of those are gone now. I still have to deal with regrets and anger about my past and my losses, especially as regards my daughters and the ways I was not able to be there for them when they  needed me because of what the drugs did to me.  This varies in intensity and focus, but I think that's normal for such deep grief.  

 

I've noticed lately that I am actually starting to have some self-esteem and my self-talk is becoming gentler and more humorous, which is AWEsome (I was abused as a kid so this is really cool for me!) It's much easier now for me to forgive myself for being merely a normal imperfect human.

 

Things have really gotten a lot better for me, and I believe that they can for you too.

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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Dear Altostrata,

I have a question about the Wellbutrin that I have been prescribed by my new pdoc to help me with my Pristiq withdrawal.  He told me that the Wellbutrin would help with my fatigue and malaise, which it has.  I am currently taking 150mg XL in the morning.  It has seemed to help, especially with enabling me to be able to work, which I have to do since I am completely alone here and have no support system (which I tried to explain in my intro).  I also was not aware until researching here it was a smoking cessation drug as well...I had been smoking about a half a pack of ciggarettes a day, because I was so anxious, and after almost 4 weeks on the Wellbutrin I have lost almost all desire for smoking. That said, I really want to get to the point of no meds at all.  How long can I stay on this med without having to go through a prolonged withdrawal from it as well?  I am just starting to be able to actually function again after 3 months off the Pristiq, and I am terrified of going back into that black hole of despair again.  I feel like the Pristiq had cost me a year off my life, and I don't want to lose anymore.  Thank you!!

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Hello Rhi!  Thank you for your encouragement. I just read that you have a background in pharmacology!  Wow!  Just an update on the Wellbutrin XL, it does seem to be helping, especially in enabling me to work.  It definitely is acting as a stimulant, though, and even though I am taking it first thing in the morning, and am presently working a night shift (waitressing I think I mentioned) I am still keyed up when I get home at midnight.  I am not naturally a night person at all, but this is the only steady shift I can get right now in the midst of Arizona summer.The doc prescribed clorazepam .5 , which I have taken for the past few night to go to sleep, but I am afraid to form an addiction to that.  Gosh, I wish this whole 'drugs in my body' thing just be over.  On the positive side, I have had some 'brightness' in the past few days, actually started a painting project for a co-workers' baby, and, as a side effect I was not even aware of until reading here, the Wellbutrin has almost totally eliminated my urges to smoke (which I had started again in my anxiety and stress).  Anyway, keeping on keeping on for now.

I wish I had realized what a good life I had while I was living it, and if I ever get back to that feeling of happiness and well-being, I hope to keep the memories of these past three years of agony and appreciate what I have while I have it and live in some gratitude.

Oh, and I posed the question in the Wellbutrin forum as to how long I can stay on the Wellbutrin without setting myself up for a protracted withdrawal from that as well.

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Trish--

 

I'm not Alto, but I'll tell you what I think anyway. :-)

 

If you've just been taking Wellbutrin for four weeks after a CT of Pristiq and a hellish withdrawal, I would highly recommend giving yourself a few more months of stability before beginning your next taper. I see that besides the Pristiq experience you have been on and off many drugs in the past. In my experience, both of these indicate a high risk for more difficult tapers in the future. 

 

I doubt that waiting a while would make your taper off the Wellbutrin harder than it would be if you did it now. Regardless of when you do it, you need to do a slow taper; I would start at 5% cuts at the most, then wait three weeks between, and see how your symptoms play out; then and only then gradually you can speed it up to the level that you can tolerate without worsening withdrawal.

 

If Wellbutrin was the only AD or psych med you had ever taken and you weren't still recovering from a CT of Pristiq, then yes, I would recommend starting soon. But given your history I think the risk of starting too soon is worse than the risk of waiting a while, especially since the Wellbutrin seems to have helped with your Pristiq wd.

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

I don't know where that rumor came from that I have a background in pharmacology. Wish I did. I work as a medical lab tech, and I do a lot of reading, so I do know a lot of chemistry and biology.

 

Keeping on keeping on is the best thing we can do. You do sound like you're doing better--I'm glad!

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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Hi Trisha...I would agree with Rhi (not that it is needed, she has way more experience). Any taper will go better when you start from a place of stability. I am finishing up a Wellbutrin taper. From what I've read, many people are able to step off at fairly high doses, so it apparently is not as hard as some ADs. I would just concentrate on getting well now, and not dread the Wellbutrin. Good luck! Meimei

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

You may wish to take a lower dose of Wellbutrin if this one seems too stimulating for you.

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'm sorry, Rhi, I must have misinterpreted the post I read. I appreciate all the sound advice that you have shared.

 

Altostrata, thank you for your response, does that mean I should request a different formulation than the XL? Or should I break them and take it in small increments?  I feel so ignorant of all of this, but I am so glad to at least be feeling like I can function again.  I am concerned that the energy I am feeling is all artificial, if you know what I mean.  For awhile there I just didn't really care about anything at all.  It's such a terrible thing to feel that each day is just a burden to be gotten through, I am so afraid of feeling that again.

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Thank you so much for the encouragement, and just for listening.  That means so much to me right now, I feel so alone in all of this and you all are truly a Godsend. I suppose I will just stay with what seems to be working for now. I am so thankful for this forum!

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Dystalgia!  Brilliant Rhi!
 

 

 

I feel like that part of me is gone, and I am scared I will never get it back, and never have a full life again.

 

This is a very common feeling, people here report it all the time, often in eerily similar language.  I suspect that it is the feelings and sensations (and the potential for these feelings) produced by a balanced body/nervous system that we feel as so conspicuously absent.  The consensus seems to be that this feeling of loss or depletion dissolves with the rest of the withdrawal symptoms, slowly and over time.

 

 

 

It's such a terrible thing to feel that each day is just a burden to be gotten through, I am so afraid of feeling that again.

 

Ugh, I know what you mean.  But this feeling should subside too as you recover.  

You can read up here on tapering Wellbutrin:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-sr-xr-xl-buproprion/

Welcome to the forum!

EDIT:  Sorry, I see that you've already found the Wellbutrin thread.

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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Thank you for the encouragement, Narcissus.  I at least am starting projects now, though not actually finishing them... :blink:

 

Something I have been noticing is that while I was on the Pristiq, I had incredibly vivid dreams, lasting all night, and mostly full of regret and remembrance of failure, or what restaurant people call "weeds" dreams, just being completely overwhelmed with tasks and not getting to any of them.  I have found that for the first weeks off, the dreams became less vivid, though still carried on throughout the night, even during naps when I could take them.  Now it seems my dreams are becoming more 'normal', I only seem to remember the ones close to waking, they fade quickly, and I am feeling more rested.  Just interesting to me, wondering if you have heard of the same.  Could it be part if the brain beginning to heal and function normally?  I wonder if the suppression of feelings during the day excites the mind to release those fhought and emotions while sleeping? Haven't found a topic about that, yet.

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Trisha, Did you find everything you wanted to know about the forms Wellbutrin comes in? Let me know if I can help...I've done everything to Wellbutrin there is to do except compounding (and I even got info on that) including taking the wrong tablet as I have almost every form in the house, lol. But I have only taken 10 mg today...almost done...yahoo!!! As you probably already learned, you can't split or dissolve the XL tablets. Best, Meimei

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

Hi TrishF

 

I had this when I was on a greater dose of Effexor - I had really vivid and uncomfortable dreams, but as I have continued to taper my AD I have these less and less. 

 

At one point I think these dreams were actually helpful to me because I kept having this really vivd dream of not graduating from high school over and over.  I decided that it meant I needed to complete my graduate degree in an area of great interest to me.  After graduating with my master's degree I've never had those dreams again.  But ironically I didn't start to taper Effexor until after completing that degree.  I have, however, had other vivid dreams ... and as I said, they have decreased since reducing the amount of Effexor I take.

 

Not sure why we have vivid dreams on ADs.  There are various theories out there about how ADs effect chemicals in the brain, but I don't whether they are valid or not.

 

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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As long as I've been on Effexor I've dreamed very little, or at least I've remembered very little of my dreams.  While I was at the lower doses of my taper I began to dream again, which was really quite extraordinary while it lasted.  Since I've reinstated the dreams are gone again.  All of us are affected differently.

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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Trisha, Did you find everything you wanted to know about the forms Wellbutrin comes in? Let me know if I can help...I've done everything to Wellbutrin there is to do except compounding (and I even got info on that) including taking the wrong tablet as I have almost every form in the house, lol. But I have only taken 10 mg today...almost done...yahoo!!! As you probably already learned, you can't split or dissolve the XL tablets. Best, Meimei

Hi Meimei!

For the time in being, I am going to wait to stabilize a bit, because I am feeling so much better than I was, but I was wondering if I should switch from the XL to a different type of formulation to make it easier to taper when I do.  I am doing things now to try to put myself in more of a position of security, if you know what I mean.  The other question I have is if the sleep issues will resolve a bit, The Pdoc gave me Tamazepam, which I tried one night and it had no effect at all, so I am not taking that,  and the clonezepam does work to calm me if I feel anxious, but doesn't keep me asleep.  Kind of leary of the benzo's in general.  I had been using a mild dose of xanax (.5) which would help me get to sleep, but not stay asleep, Last night I actually had no problem going to sleep with no medication at all, which was great, but I wake after about 4 hours and cant seem to get back to sleep.  It's only been 3 1/2 weeks since I started the Wellbutrin, so maybe I am still adjusting?  Right now I am just so thankful to not be stuck in the listlessness and anhedonia, but as i said before, I worry about becoming dependent on chemical energy.  Such a catch 22. Any advice is welcome, especially since you have so much personal experience with the wellbutrin in particular. I am really pleased that the Wellbutrin has been helping me with cigarette cravings, maybe I can get that monkey off my back during this time!  Thank you again!!

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Hi TrishF

 

I had this when I was on a greater dose of Effexor - I had really vivid and uncomfortable dreams, but as I have continued to taper my AD I have these less and less. 

 

At one point I think these dreams were actually helpful to me because I kept having this really vivd dream of not graduating from high school over and over.  I decided that it meant I needed to complete my graduate degree in an area of great interest to me.  After graduating with my master's degree I've never had those dreams again.  But ironically I didn't start to taper Effexor until after completing that degree.  I have, however, had other vivid dreams ... and as I said, they have decreased since reducing the amount of Effexor I take.

 

Not sure why we have vivid dreams on ADs.  There are various theories out there about how ADs effect chemicals in the brain, but I don't whether they are valid or not.

 

Karma

There has got to be some correlation in all of this, plus the disruption of the body clock.  I would be fascinated to find if there is somewhere where someone has accumulated information about this.  The dreams I have had maybe were to help me remember who I used to be?  All of this has made me respect how amazing our brains are.  Wish I hadn't screwed with mine..Thanks for the input! 

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Hang I'm there. I CT'd from Benzos last year after failing to realize I was addicted. Jumped on Pristiq to help me deal with the depression caused by my 2 year Benzo high. It was hell. I was bed ridden for a few weeks and on sick leave for 3 months. A year later I'm off all meds and life is 90% better.

 

You will recover and you may thrive. Best of health to you.

2008 Feb- 1MG Ativan As Needed

2010 Tolerance Withdrawal to Ativan begins. Source unrecognized.

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

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

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

2012 July 21st 50MG of Pristiq

2013 February 5 week increase to 100MG

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

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

2013 March 13th first 2

2013 April 26th first 3

2013 May 1 first 4-day

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

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just wanted to share an update.  I once again want to say how thankful I am for this site.  When the waves crash over me, I always find solace here in realizing I am not alone in this.  As I mentioned before I was placed on Wellbutrin to help with the malaise and lethargy of my Pristiq withdrawal.  It did seem to help for a few weeks, but as I was warned here, it has become far too stimulating, also causing me to have fits of anger and temper in the last few weeks. Also fitful sleep and insomnia. I actually had a flare up one night at work which got me into serious trouble...I previously have been a model employee, and the uncontrollable nature of my emotions and mood really scared me.  I have now switched to the immediate release version of the Wellbutrin, and have been tapering with the advice I have received here, taking the 75mg in 2 doses, and now have just started taking a quarter of the pill twice a day.   The Pristiq withdrawal symptoms have seemed to resolve, I am no longer having the morning nausea, the incessant ringing in the ears, and the constant despair.  I believe I am now in the windows and waves period of recovery.  The windows are brief, but I am now having one or two actually decent days a week.  What I have read here has given me such hope, because as some have mentioned when I am in a wave I forget I had an even brief glimpse of some sort of normalcy, What concerns me the most right now is that I have completely cut myself off from other people, other than at work, because no one wants to be around me when I am in such a negative state, and I just cant fake it anymore. I have no family or friends here, since I just moved back here after being away for 12 years, and I feel like I have nothing positive to share with my former friends here, as they have no understanding of what I have gone through.  I keep thinking one day I will be 'normal' again, but I am locked into this ego and self-involvement thing right now and feel like i have nothing to offer anyone else.  I just want to know if this is normal at this stage of recovery.  I am so so lonely.  

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Trisha, I so feel both your courage and your pain in your writing. I wish there were easier answers. I wish we could go out to coffee together. I feel hesitant to pursue new relationships right now because I feel pretty crazy...I think getting over the feeling of crazy will take a long time. It sounds like you are doing a great job with your taper...hopefully this will all be behind you soon.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Hi Meimei!  Thanks for your kindness.  This has been such a frustrating time.  I am trying to be grateful for the small things, like a full nights sleep last night with no meds (yeah!), or being able to get out my own head for awhile.  I have tried to find support groups locally, but because of my seriously straitened financial circumstances, I have no transportation other than public. Phoenix is hard to get around in without a car.  I have tried 12 step groups, but they don't really apply to my circumstances, and even the well meaning people I have met tell me I am just locked in self pity.  Someone actually told me all I need is a man in my life!  How ridiculous, when I don't even know who I am right now.  I know it is useless to dwell on the past, but I miss the vibrant, fearless, and confident woman I used to be.  It is like I just woke up and suddenly I am 51, and the energy to start all over, and the ambition and drive just aren't there.  I try to believe there is a reason for all of this, and that I will find my way, that all of us will.  I would love to be able to just make small talk again, and worry about my hair and nails, if you know what I mean.  Anyway, here is to a virtual Latte with you (smile).

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Trish,

 

I'm in a similar situation, needing to build a new life for myself, but just not feeling up to the task yet.

 

 It is like I just woke up and suddenly I am 51, and the energy to start all over, and the ambition and drive just aren't there.

 

This is me also, I'm 51 too.  Like you, I've also lost a lot over the last several years and now find myself wondering who I am, how I got myself into this situation and scared about what lays in the future.

 

I know how difficult it can be to hear the comments of well meaning people who really don't understand what this is like.  I even do it to myself sometimes, when I find myself in those rare windows.  I tell myself that there's no reason I can't just fix up my hair, pull myself together and get back out there, but then the window closes after a few hours and I realize its not the right time.

 

You are doing well with tapering and taking care of the basics.  Its great you have a job and are able to take care of your dog and yourself as you recover.  Having windows is a good sign of healing.

 

This site is proof that you're not alone in this experience, we will all get through this and become stronger, more compassionate people.  Keep posting and reading. It helps to reinforce the sense of being understood and validated and that we are not crazy.

 

Petu :)

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you, Petu, it helps so so much to know others are where I am.  Got myself all in a tizzy again today, after two visits to doctors for other issues.  One, all of the gastric and bowel side effects from the Pristiq and other meds have caused an already existing problem to now require surgery to remedy it (I won't TMI you with all the gory details, but lets just say it is a major pain in the butt, literally), and today I saw my Opthamologist, and have inflammation in an eye I had cataract surgery on AND need to get my other eye done sooner than later.  I just went into a total state of panic, not knowing where the money and the time and even the inclination to have all of these things taken care of.  I barely have enough energy to perform my mundane waitressing job, and am barely making enough to scrape by, and can't even think about looking for a job more suited to my experience and abilities (should I say former abilities) in my present mental state.  BUT, I immediately did some reading here, and found many comforting ideas and strategies, especially being in this state I know I have a strong tendency to overreact and become overwhelmed and hopeless.  I feel like I am falling apart physically, and I am so angry that the medications have affected me so profoundly medically.  I always used to be healthy as a horse, now it is one thing after the other.  Anyway, reading here helps me put things into perspective.  The hardest thing is for me to give time time, and even though I feel so apathetic today as to whether it is worth getting all these things 'fixed', I have to hold onto believing that I will feel better again, and will care.  Sorry to dump all this here, but it helps so much to get it out and written down..  I am so so thankfull for this place, and all of you.

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello to all of you that have helped me so much.  Some updates...

I was on the Wellbutrin 150 mg for about a month, but it started really agitating my system, making me feel wired and tense all the time.  After advice here I switched to the 75mg immediate release, took that in two does daily for about two weeks, then took a quarter of a pill twice a day for another two weeks, and have now stopped completely for about two weeks.  I feel relief in many ways without being so wired, but I find I feel malaise and generally unwell since. It is better than what I was feeling previously when in the worst of the Pristiq withdrawal, but I just never seem to fell well.  I had a battery of blood tests done just a couple of months ago, when the Pristiq WD was at its worst, to rule out physical problems, and I am so reluctant to go to the Dr. again, just to find out it's all in my head if you know what I mean.  I guess I just want to know if this malaise is part and parcel of this whole withdrawal thing.  Maybe I tapered the Wellbutrin too fast, but since I was on it such a short time, and the agitation was getting so miserable, I really wanted to be done.  I also have been trying not to take the Clonazepam, fearful of having to taper from that as well...I have never taken more than two .5 pills in any 24 hour period, and have never taken them every day.  I actually went three days taking nothing at all, including supplements, to kind of see where I am, but this malingering sense of just being vaguely ill, and easily tired, just doesn't stop.   The other biggest symptom I have right now is feeling in dread, or fear, most of the time.  I do want to say, though, that I am 100 times better than I was, considering all I thought about there for a while was just giving up.  Anyway, just putting this out there.  

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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OK, now I have totally tapered off of the Wellbutrin, and I seemed to be having adverse reactions to the Klonopin as well, even only taking .5 mg and only occassionally, so I tried to stop that, too.  Now the Pdoc gave me a script for Xanax!  Told him I was scared to death of that, which I told him, and asked if icould I just taper from the Klonopin with Valium or something, and he told me I didn;'t take it that much and wasn't on it that long, so I shouldn't worry about a taper.. I had a few brief moments of feeling like I was a part of the world for a little while, and now they are gone again.  I actually bit the bullet and found a way to get a car, hoping some mobility would help in my healing.  Got the car on Friday, worked Saturday and Sunday, then had three days off, in which I just completely relapsed into apapthy, feelings of illness, malaise, etc.  Been waking up with extreme nausea, tired all the time, suicidal ideation again, like why boither, my life iwill never get better.  Went to the GP again just to make sure it wasnt or isnt something else, and she, now, tells me perhaps I do need to be on a med, for the rest of my life, and suggested Zoloft.   OMG, I just dont want to do this anymore.  could this be just another big wave?  My ears are ringing again...that had stopped for a couple of weeks!  Could the stress of making this financial commitment to the car sent me backwards somehow?  It is just SO bad again the past couple of days, even the thought of feeling "normal" makes me almost tempted to try the Zoloft.  But, I just finished reading Medication Madness, and I am terrified.  That is the best description of me right now.  Terrified of everything!  I want to exercise, get out and do things, but I just can't seem to actually DO that...And I can't stop crying.  I hope anyone who is trying to come off of this horrible medication does it the roight way and doesn't have to go through all of thi pain.  

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Trish, I'm very sorry to hear of all you are going thru.  You sure have docs who are undermining your efforts.  As you know, it will take you awhile to get stable, and having yet more drugs thrown at you is pretty difficult to say the least.

 

How often are you taking klonopin?  Was it as often as once every two or three days?  How long have you been taking it PRN.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Yes, and prior to that I have taken xanax, but never more than a couple of days in a row and never at a higher dosage than 1mg. I read what I wrote and I hate sounding so whining, I am just in such despair.

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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Trish, I'm very sorry to hear of all you are going thru.  You sure have docs who are undermining your efforts.  As you know, it will take you awhile to get stable, and having yet more drugs thrown at you is pretty difficult to say the least.

 

How often are you taking klonopin?  Was it as often as once every two or three days?  How long have you been taking it PRN.

 

Oh, sorry, it was first prescribed to me with the Wellbutrin in late June

Pristiq August 2012 till April 2012.  

Quit cold turkey.  Severe withdrawal, suffered through till June. Wellbutrin 150 mg  2 weeks,  and Klonopin .5 as needed, with target of no meds as soon as stable.

Tapered Wellbutrin over 4-5 week period.

Last Wellbutrin (17mg) Aug 9

now taking only the occasional Klonopin, having adverse reactions.

.

 

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