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Goldensun - my Avanza withdrawal nightmare


goldensun

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Hi I am new here and I just want to say how greatful I am that I came across forum. I have found lots of useful advice, and I wish to thank everyone for being brave enough to share their stories.

 

I have finally found the courage to share mine, so I will try and keep it brief.

 

I started Avanza 30mg for post natal depression.  The doctor prescribed this antidepressant because I was having horrendous trouble sleeping. It did make me sleep but that did not last for very long. I feel all the Avanza did for me was to completely numb my feelings.

In September 2011, I decided I had enough of feeling empty and not being able to connect with my husband and kids. Under my doctors advice I withdrew from the drug over a 3 month period. The end result was disastrous, I don't think I closed my eyes for 3 months, I had lost 8kg in weight and I had the worst nausea and back pain. I finished up at the hospital twice because I could not stand the stomach cramps and the back pain any longer. The upside was that emotionally I felt great and could connect with my family and actually "feel" my feelings again. I had felt the best I had felt in years. I could feel joy, pain, I could laugh again, and cry again. Unfortunately the physical symptoms were too great and I had to reinstate again at 30mg.

 

I have made several attempts even at a slower rate than before, since then to reduce my medication, but I failed every time. Eventually after much searching, I found a doctor that was prepared to write a script for liquid Avanza. I am currently reducing 0.5ml or 0.5 mg a week. I still suffer greatly from withdrawal symptoms, and I guess the worse physical one is the insomnia, but I also suffer greatly from lower back pain which can be quite unbearable at times. The worst emotional side effect is the feeling of "nothingness".

 

My biggest issue is my own patience, as I can see how good I am going to feel once I am free from this poison, but that time is so far away. I have learned one thing though, and that it pays to go slow, and even though this is the hard way, in the end it is the easy way. Every now and then I get glimpses of my old self and I get frustrated that I want to be like that all the time NOW!

 

The other thing that has truly disheartened me, is my doctor's determination to keep me on this stuff, and claims that I have to be dependant on it for the rest of my life, or to try another one if I am not happy with this one. It makes me cry when I stop and think of the wasted years, of enjoying my children growing up. Not being able to feel true happiness and sadness an being able to connect with my family on a deep and satisfying level.

 

I truly feel sorry for anyone who has gone through this, and until you go through it I don't think you can understand what it is like. My family certainly have a hard time trying to understand.

 

So there is my story, I hope someone can offer me advice on how to stay sane until I reach the end of this journey, as I am tired of  feeling sick all the time, and never sleeping properly.  The hardest thing for me is wanting to be able to reach out to my family but not being able to truly connect and communicate how I feel.

 

I also wish to offer advice and support for anyone else going through this hell.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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  • Administrator

Hi Goldensun, welcome to our community.

 

I applaud you for getting your med in a liquid for more controlled tapering.  We recommend a 10% taper from the previous dose and holding in between - you can do less, but this is a good guideline. If I am reading your post correctly you are tapering by .5 mg each week ... and from 23.5 mg that is less than 10% over a month.  But, you appear to be having some symptoms from your taper and you might want to hold for a few weeks to see if those symptoms resolve before continuing your taper.  We find that sometimes the drops in meds result in a cumulative effect and when you were doing fine all of the sudden symptoms catch up with you.

 

Here is our general topic on tapering.  It has some good information and ideas that you may find helpful: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

Here is our topic on specifically tapering off of mirtazapine which is avanza http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2028-tips-for-tapering-off-remeron-mirtazapine/?hl=mirtz#entry26029.

 

I know you want to be off of this drug as soon as possible, but our recommendation for tapering is meant to help you come off of the drug with minimal withdrawal symptoms.  Since you have attempted tapering and failed before your system may be a bit sensitive, so treat it gently.

 

Please use this thread as your journal to update your progress and ask your questions.

 

So glad you found us - 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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Hi Karma

Thank you for your kind words and support. I know 0.5mg is less than the recommended 10% cut of the previous dose, but I am very comfortable at this pace, and it is only when I do a bigger cut than this, I suffer terribly from withdrawal symptoms.

 

I just wanted to add that I also take magnesium in high doses to help with restlessness and bedtime. I thought I would also share that I have recently been taking the supplement Gaba 100mg before bedtime to slow down my racing heart and enabling me to fall asleep. I usually wake up at about 2.30am every night with my heart going a million mile an hour. I then have another 1 or 2 Gaba tablets to calm things down, and usually can go back to sleep until the morning. I know what works for me will not work for everyone, but I thought this could be helpful to someone.

 

Can anyone else share their experiences of the "lack of feelings", bought on by these drugs. I find this to be the most crippling side effect and have great trouble coping, especially when I have so much to give, but are unable to get this across to others. Also has anyone had any experience with the supplement Tyrosine to help lift mood? If so I would greatly appreciate some advice.

 

Just a quick question that may be a bit left field, but has anyone had any experience or advice in taking low dose naltrexone to help ease the withdrawal symptoms?

 

Once again thanks for your kind words of support and I am very grateful for finding this forum. I know everyone needs to be patient, and in the end it is going to be better than trying to do a quick taper, but sometimes it is very difficult.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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I was just wondering if anyone is struggling with the feeling of "losing" themselves? I find this very disturbing, as I feel like an empty shell. I feel I have nothing to offer anyone, nothing to say and I don't get any pleasure out of doing anything these days. It is like the person I once was is disappearing, and that I am like an outsider looking in. I find that this is gradually increasing each day, and life just seems to be slipping through my fingers, without having achieved anything, or feeling anything or connecting with anybody. Is there anything I can do to relieve this numbness, even if it is just for a little while???

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I was just wondering if anyone is struggling with the feeling of "losing" themselves? I find this very disturbing, as I feel like an empty shell. I feel I have nothing to offer anyone, nothing to say and I don't get any pleasure out of doing anything these days. It is like the person I once was is disappearing, and that I am like an outsider looking in. I find that this is gradually increasing each day, and life just seems to be slipping through my fingers, without having achieved anything, or feeling anything or connecting with anybody. Is there anything I can do to relieve this numbness, even if it is just for a little while???

 

Hi Goldensun,

I'm sorry you are going through this.  I wish there was some advice I could give, but I'm struggling with the same feelings.  I could have written exactly what you wrote, you are not alone.  Its so difficult when no one around you understands what this feels like, it adds to feelings of isolation I think.

 

I've also been suffering with extreme symptoms since the end of 2011 and at times feel like I'm getting worse not better.

 

There are some really helpful topics in the Symptoms and Self Care section including the 'windows and waves pattern of recovery'

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

I hope you are feeling better soon.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I was just wondering if anyone is struggling with the feeling of "losing" themselves? I find this very disturbing, as I feel like an empty shell. I feel I have nothing to offer anyone, nothing to say and I don't get any pleasure out of doing anything these days. It is like the person I once was is disappearing, and that I am like an outsider looking in. I find that this is gradually increasing each day, and life just seems to be slipping through my fingers, without having achieved anything, or feeling anything or connecting with anybody. Is there anything I can do to relieve this numbness, even if it is just for a little while???

 

 

Petu's right, these could be my words too.  I'm feeling too crappy to try to address all of the things you mention here, so I'll just say that they appear to be part of the withdrawal process and should go away with time.

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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Hi Petu and Narcissus

Thank you so much for responding. I am very sorry to hear that you are suffering too. I guess the only positive thing to get out of this whole journey is that we are not suffering alone, and people out there do understand what we are going through. It is nice to feel that people do understand. You know, I have been told that I will gain something out of this whole experience, but I don't think anybody should have to go through this. I cant for the life of me work out, apart from regaining my health what else I am to gain from going through this.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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You might want to search "anhedonia" and see if that resonates with you.

 

Someone wrote that Alto suggested looking at pictures of happier times. The natural response is grief, guilt, regret. But try to put those aside and recreate the feelings that you were feeling at the time in your mind. The goal is to reactivate those pleasure circuits. Also, imagine you were feeling normal. Can you think of 3 small things you might do, like play tickle with a child, or whatever? You could force yourself to do one of those when the non-pleasure thoughts come, even if it feels very rote and inauthentic. Or you can just wait for time to bring healing...it will. The science of drug withdrawal is so young that the big goal is even convincing doctors it exists. Hopefully someday there will be evidence-based solutions to speed it up. Meditation/mindfulness may also be helpful.

 

Wishing you the 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

My suggestion is: Take a nice walk and take photos of anything that pleases you, then look at the photos later to remind yourself you can feel better and re-experience your walk.

 

Also, if you like kittens, puppies, etc., look at pictures of them when you feel down!

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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Thank you Meimeiquest and Alto

Even the thought of doing anything that is just "going through the emotions" is too much to bear. I have been doing this for so long now that is painful. I think I will wait until I am feeling like actually doing something with real feeling. Thanks for  your kind words and thoughts.

 

Goldensun

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you Meimeiquest and Alto

Even the thought of doing anything that is just "going through the emotions" is too much to bear. I have been doing this for so long now that is painful. I think I will wait until I am feeling like actually doing something with real feeling. Thanks for  your kind words and thoughts.

 

Goldensun

I understand this and seem to be the same way.  Even the word 'painful' is true for me too.

 

I find myself struggling with trying to get out for a walk.  It seems to help so many people, but for me, if I make myself go out for a walk when I'm already feeling negative about it, it always makes me feel worse.  I used to love walking, but now its become connected with something I'm supposed to be doing to help myself.

 

Several times I have visited my local craft store, trying to re-ignite my old creativity,  but each time I have come out feeling more hopeless and depressed because everything now seems so pointless.  I think that in withdrawal, its not possible to force ourselves to have better feelings by anything we do, they have to come back naturally in time.

 

I'm not sure if this is going to make sense, but I'll try and explain.

 

The only way I manage to ever do things and sort of enjoy them these days is to first allow myself not to do them.  Then occasionally, I will suddenly get an urge to do something 'possibly pleasant'.  If I don't wait, or think about it too much, I usually manage to do whatever it is without it being a negative experience.

 

I can't say I ever really enjoy anything these days, but to be able to do something without it bringing added pain or negative emotions is an improvement.  I'm not sure if anything really helps speed recovery, but for me, when I do manage to do something which at times is difficult, there is a subtle sense of accomplishment and control, which lessens the anxiety for a while.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi Petu

 

I feel I can relate to what you are saying on every level. I guess for me when the occasional happy times do occur, I find myself wanting more of this "good" feeling and it almost becomes addictive. I guess having an "addiction" to want to feel happy and peaceful all the time is a good thing. Why shouldn't we strive to feel pleasure and joy most of the time. At one point I could not have cared less at my lack of feelings. So at least having the urge to want to feel happy is a step forward for me, and I see this as a good sign. The frustrating part is wanting to, but not being able to. I hope one day for all of us that, that we can have our full range of emotions and once again to be able to "feel" life once more.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally got 7 hours sleep last night. For two months now I have woken every night at 2.30am on the dot, and have not been able to go back to sleep. Hopefully this is the beginning of me stabilising. I am currently at 22mg, and more than ever has the importance of going slow been emphasized to me. I tried to drop by 2mg increment, back in the beginning of June, and it has taken me two months to stabilise. Two months of only 2 or 3 hours sleep, painful back pain and feeling nauseous. This was such a stupid thing to do, because if I had kept at my current rate of reducing at 0.5mg, I would be now 4mg lower than what I was. Instead I have been spending that amount of time trying to stabilise to end back at the same dosage. I know what the right things to do are, but sometimes your craving to be off the drug overpowers you. I sympathise with everyone travelling this journey, it is such a long hard road, and some have it much harder than others but we are all in the same boat. It is nice to know that we can share our stories and offer support to others out there.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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  • Administrator

Hi Goldensun,

 

Thank you for sharing your lesson on patience ... yes, it is hard.  We get anxious to get off the meds and hurry only to have to hold for the same amount of time or more that we would have been decrementing.

 

I'm glad you are able to get some decent sleep.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm so glad you're getting some decent sleep Goldensun,

 

May that continue:)

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



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

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Thanks Karma and Basildev

I am really p*ssed off about one thing. I have been in consultation with a doctor who practices naturopathy, and she was of the opinion that I was never depressed to begin with, I had been misdiagnosed. I never had any problems before my pregnancy. My problems have stemmed from hormonal problems, which have now been addressed with diet, exercise and the use of bio identical hormones. She feels that I should never have been put on antidepressants in the first place. So instead of fixing the problem, antidepressants have made everything worse, especially the numbing of feelings, which has nearly ruined my marriage and my relationship with my children. My question is, why is it that my medications have never been reassessed by my doctor in nearly 13 years. If they had been, I may have not gone through this hell, and now going through the hell of getting off them? Someone must be accountable for this. I know at the end of the day we are responsible for own health, but when you believe you are in the hands of professionals, it is hard to against what they tell you!!

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I understand completely goldensun.

 

Many of us on this forum feel the same way. It has certainly opened my eyes and I will never take what a doctor says at face value.

 

I trust the experts on this website over healthcare professionals any day.

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



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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Karma and Basildev

I am really p*ssed off about one thing. I have been in consultation with a doctor who practices naturopathy, and she was of the opinion that I was never depressed to begin with, I had been misdiagnosed. I never had any problems before my pregnancy. My problems have stemmed from hormonal problems, which have now been addressed with diet, exercise and the use of bio identical hormones. She feels that I should never have been put on antidepressants in the first place. So instead of fixing the problem, antidepressants have made everything worse, especially the numbing of feelings, which has nearly ruined my marriage and my relationship with my children. My question is, why is it that my medications have never been reassessed by my doctor in nearly 13 years. If they had been, I may have not gone through this hell, and now going through the hell of getting off them? Someone must be accountable for this. I know at the end of the day we are responsible for own health, but when you believe you are in the hands of professionals, it is hard to against what they tell you!!

 

I think most of us here can relate to your feelings about this!

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.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Well life is sure passing me by. I feel like I am stuck in this rut and things are only going to get worse as I get to the end. I so badly want to be motivated to do something. The days drift by quickly and I am not really achieving anything other than reducing my medication very, very, very ........ slowly. I hate operating like this. I feel like I am only using about 1/10 th of my potential. I feel like I am in limbo land. I know when I get to the other end things will be very much improved,  but I can't stand this bit in the middle where I am not doing anything. I am not passionate about anything in my life other than wanting to be off this ridiculous medication. It has taken over my whole world and is shutting out the people I love the most. I detest going through the motions like a robot, especially when it comes to interacting and connecting with people. Well thanks for listening, that is my rant for the day. 

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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  • Administrator

Do what you can each day, then push yourself to do a little more. This will help you heal.

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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Hi I was just wondering if anyone could shed some light on this question. Previously when I have NOT been in withdrawal and have started an exercise program and healthy eating habits, my general health would improve over time, and I would get fitter and have more energy. BUT since I have been in withdrawal, I have been walking everyday and eating healthy and my overall health has not improved one bit. It has only gotten worse. I struggle to walk half the distance I used to be able to, and I don't enjoy it anymore because it is such an effort. This kind of seems unfair, yet I know one day it will pay off. Can someone please tell me, why this is happening and when I could expect it to get better.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Goldensun,

 

That's a really good question, I've been wondering the same thing.  I hope someone can answer it, or at least has a plausible sounding theory.

 

I actually gave up trying to exercise regularly because it was making me worse.  I really want to re-join my gym, I miss the feeling of having a good workout, but I know that I'm not ready, driving there and walking in the door would be enough stress for me to handle at the moment. 

 

Like you, I've also improved my diet, taken out so much of the 'bad' stuff I used to eat on a regular basis.  I stopped eating the bad things, because when I do now, they make me feel worse, for several day after, but stopping them hasn't made me feel better.  A few weeks ago I tried having the super green shakes I used to have before withdrawal, they used to give me a lot of energy and boost my mood. But now, they make me feel nauseous.

 

The weather here at the moment doesn't help much either, I'm really feeling the cold this year.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment

Does anyone know where I can by Seriphos 100mg capsules. The only ones I have been able to find are from Interplexus and are 1000mg.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Goldensun,

I ordered my Seriphos from iHerb, and you are right they are 1000mg.  But there is a difference in the ingredients between Seriphos and Phosphatidyl Serine (PS)

 

Seriphos is Phosphorylated Serine.

 

I don't understand the difference, but this is the product information:

 

Basic Chemistry

Phosphatidyl Serine when consumed in food, for example egg yolks, or in a capsule provides about 20% of active Phosphorylated Serine. Each 100 mg of Phosphatidyl Serine yields about 20 mg of active Phosphorylated Serine following consumption. The bulk of the weight is derived from two fatty acids.

In the intestinal tract, the various enzymes (brush border and pancreatic) clip off the fatty acids, predominantly the unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are not reassembled in the body to the stump molecule, rather different fatty acids are attached by the body to replace RI and R2.

 

You can get plain Phosphatidyl Serine in 100mg from iHerb and probably a lot of other online stores, but from what I understand Seriphos is a slightly different formulation and only comes in 1000mg.

 

Here is an article which discusses the difference:

 

http://forums.prohealth.com/forums/index.php?threads/is-there-any-difference-between-seriphos-and-phosphatidyldsrine.182334/

Edited by 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.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

I understand completely goldensun.

 

Many of us on this forum feel the same way. It has certainly opened my eyes and I will never take what a doctor says at face value.

 

I trust the experts on this website over healthcare professionals any day.

 

If doctors had any idea how often this happens, I think they would finally start to question what they're being fed by the pharmaceutical companies. I would say the majority of people on all the withdrawal forums I've been part of have acquired a profound distrust of doctors and the medical profession. I see this kind of comment over and over.  It's certainly true for me.  

 

I will never fully trust a doctor's opinion again now that I know how dangerously misinformed they are.

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.

Link to comment

Hi everyone

I just thought I would let you know that I have had success in reducing my night time awakenings with Gaba. I take two capsules before I go to bed and two more when I wake up at about 2.30am. It helps slow down my racing heart and has a calming effect on the body and mind. I am also giving Seriphos a go, but it definately keeps me awake at night, if I take it before I go to bed (even at least 4 hours). I once took Seriphos when I woke up in the middle of the night, and was awake for the rest of the night. I am now experimenting with taking it in the morning and one at lunch time. I am feeling that even the one at lunch time is too much, so may just drop it and take the morning dose. I will let you know how I go.

 

Goldensun

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
 I once took Seriphos when I woke up in the middle of the night, and was awake for the rest of the night. I am now experimenting with taking it in the morning and one at lunch time. I am feeling that even the one at lunch time is too much, so may just drop it and take the morning dose. I will let you know how I go.

 

 

Hi Goldensun,

I'm also experimenting with Seriphos.  What kind of an effect do you get from them?  When you say that the one at lunch time is too much, what do you mean?  Are you finding that they reduce your symptoms or cause you to feel worse?

 

Its interesting how these supplements effect people differently.  I tried Gaba very early on in my withdrawal (before I knew it was withdrawal), but found it didn't help.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment

Hi Petu

If I have the Seriphos at lunch time as well as in the morning, I seem to be too wired to go to sleep that night. It is like I cannot shut my brain down and get it to relax, even though my body feels relaxed. I think my heart rate must of actually slowed down a bit because even though I am still waking up frequently during the night and early morning, my heart does not feel like it is going to jump out of my chest. I just seem to wake up and then I am unable to go back to sleep. I have also found that I am having some stomach troubles as well since I started the Seriphos. I am hoping that this may go away over time. I am going to stick with this one for a while and give it a go, although I am not getting too excited at this point. Unfortunately I have had to updose to 22mg to try and get my sleep in some sort of order. I cannot survive on only 2 hours sleep a night. This whole withdrawal thing rules my life and I am so sick of it. I really hope you are doing better this afternoon, and I can only send you my best wishes as we travel this hell on earth journey. What I would give to go back in time and change my decision about going on antidepressants.

 

All the best

 

Goldensun

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for explaining that Goldensun and it does make a lot of sense, I think they may be having a similar effect on me, physically more relaxed, but mentally stimulating.  I've been finding that my dreams are more vivid and disturbing than they have been, waking up feeling in some way like I haven't really been asleep, perhaps I will cut back down to taking 1 rather than 2.

 

I've also had some digestive problems since starting, but didn't connect it until you mention it, I've been having diarrhea.

 

I'm sorry you're still having problems with sleeping, hopefully your updose will help.  I remember going through hell for the first few months, not sleeping, or only being able to sleep for an hour, then waking up suddenly in a panic.  I would hear loud noises in my head that would wake me up, but it settled down slowly.  First I was able to easily fall asleep again, but was waking up too early, about 5am and not being able to go back to sleep, then after about 6 months of that, I was able to sleep longer and even fall back to sleep.  Using ear plugs and a sleep mask helped me with that.

 

I also wish I could go back in time, knowing what I know now about medication.

 

I hope you feel better soon

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.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

HI Goldensun

 

I tried seriphos, didnt do much for me and it became activating after a couple of days.  I hope it helps you but try not to lose heart if it doesnt.  At different points in my journey I have been convinced that my sleep system was broken and that I would never get to a good place.  That wasnt true.  I am now in a much better place and know that I am capable of good sleep.

 

Try and reduce all sources of stress, focus on relaxing rather than trying to sleep, give sleep hypnosis apps or cds a go, give up anything activating (coffee, sugar etc).  Be patient with the drops, even little ones can build up if dont in quick succession.

 

All the best

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thanks Petu and Dalsaan for your replies and words of encouragement. For now I have given up on the Seriphos as over time I think it actually increased my heart rate. I am feeling a little bit better having stopped it. I have wasted so much money on supplements that sound really good, but I always find that I am very sensitive to them and they do me more harm than good. I think I must be one of those people in the small minority of cases where what works for most people does not work for me. It is a great pity because there are some excellent things we should all be taking that could help with the withdrawal symptoms.

 

I have recently have had the flu and it has really knocked me around this time. All my withdrawal symptoms have been made 10 times worse and it is taking me weeks to get over as apposed to days.

 

I could spend days reading everybody's sad stories, but I have decided to spend my time doing an online course, which I can do from home whenever I want. As I am unable to go to work while going through withdrawal, I have decided to try and make a career as a virtual office assistant working from home. I think it would be really beneficial to keep my mind occupied to something useful, instead of dwelling continuously on my health and situation. I know it is going to be a long time before I am fully recovered, so I may as well and try and make a career out of being at home all the time. Who knows maybe going through this phase in my life may produce something really good at the end, like having a successful business of my own that I can do anytime and in my pyjamas if I want to.

 

I guess I am like everybody else, I just want this to be over, so I can get on with life and start living again.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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Thanks Petu and Dalsaan for your replies and words of encouragement. For now I have given up on the Seriphos as over time I think it actually increased my heart rate. I am feeling a little bit better having stopped it. I have wasted so much money on supplements that sound really good, but I always find that I am very sensitive to them and they do me more harm than good. I think I must be one of those people in the small minority of cases where what works for most people does not work for me. It is a great pity because there are some excellent things we should all be taking that could help with the withdrawal symptoms.

 

Many of us have done exactly what you've done in our desperation to overcome withdrawal symptoms.  I spent a small fortune on supplements during my first six months of withdrawal--possibly longer--and still tend to get sucked in by anything that promises a full recovery.

 

I have recently have had the flu and it has really knocked me around this time. All my withdrawal symptoms have been made 10 times worse and it is taking me weeks to get over as opposed to days.

 

Withdrawal makes everything worse.

 

I could spend days reading everybody's sad stories, but I have decided to spend my time doing an online course, which I can do from home whenever I want. As I am unable to go to work while going through withdrawal, I have decided to try and make a career as a virtual office assistant working from home. I think it would be really beneficial to keep my mind occupied to something useful, instead of dwelling continuously on my health and situation. I know it is going to be a long time before I am fully recovered, so I may as well and try and make a career out of being at home all the time. Who knows maybe going through this phase in my life may produce something really good at the end, like having a successful business of my own that I can do anytime and in my pyjamas if I want to.

 

Taking a course is a good, constructive distraction, and as you say, it could turn into something worthwhile.

 

I guess I am like everybody else, I just want this to be over, so I can get on with life and start living again.

 

Yes, and it's so hard to be patient over all the time it takes.  I'm going on twenty-one months now and still not quite back to normal after a too fast taper from Lexapro.  Hang on - we'll get there!

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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I have been taking between 1 and 2 capsules daily of Seriphos for the last three weeks. Since I keep a daily journal of my symptoms, I have realised that my heart rate has increased since taking Seriphos and I have awakened more during the night, than before I was taking it. I am really scared that my heart rate will not return to normal, as before. Has anyone else experienced this and if so how long did it take for your heart rate to return to what is was before you started taking Seriphos. It has now been 5 days since I stopped the Seriphos and there have been no improvements. I would really appreciate a response as I am only surviving on 2 hours sleep a night, and would do anything to return to my normal 4 hours, which I could survive on quite well.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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I took them for 8 days and realized that they were increasing anxiety and that I was sleeping less.  The positive effect was that while I was on them, my hot flashes and sweating reduced.

 

Its been 2 days since I've taken any.  I'm falling asleep earlier, like I was before taking them, but I'm waking up every couple of hours.  I'm still sleeping more total hours off them and that happened the first night I didn't take them.  But the physical anxiety is still higher than when I started taking them, but for me it could be partly related to the fact that I'm under increased stress due my dad having bypass surgery and me having to find the strength to support my mum when I can hardly take care of myself.

 

Because you were taking it longer than me, maybe it will take a few more days before you adjust.  Perhaps the fact that you still haven't recovered from the flu is also effecting you.

 

Try to relax about it because worrying about your heart rate and reduced sleep could be increasing the anxiety and adding to the problem.  I'm sure you will be back to 'normal' (before seriphos) soon.

 

I think doing a course from home is a great idea  :)

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been taking low dose naltrexone for the last 6 months at 1.25mg every night. My doctor put me on this to help with withdrawal symptoms. For the last 2 months I have been trying to stabilise. My real only symptom has been unbearable insomnia. I have tried updosing, reducing my medication and have tried every supplement available to help combat the insomnia. Nothing seemed to worked. As my insomnia got worse, some nights I was not getting any sleep at all. I basically became non functional and could not even put a meal on the table for my family. It did not occur to me stop the naltrexone as I thought it was the withdrawal symptoms getting worse.

 

Out of desperation, 3 nights ago I skipped the naltrexone and I got 5 hours of unbroken sleep. I thought this may have been a one off, but it has been the same for the last two nights. I have noticed that my resting heart rate has gone from 80 to 62 beats per minute, and I am not waking up with my heart leaping out of my chest. My doctor also started me on amitriptyline to help with the insomnia. I tried this for a week, which seemed to help. I am glad that I worked out that it was naltrexone causing the problem, because I may have kept with the amitriptyline and then I would have had another medication to wean off as well, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting off Avanza in the first place. I just thought I would put this information out there in case it helps someone.

Started Avanza for post natal depression in 2002
Sept 2011 withdrew over a 3 month period
January 2012 crashed badly and had to reinstate at 30m
June 2012 to Dec 2012 made several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw
February 2013 have been reducing on liquid avanza by 0.5 mg a week or fortnightly
Currently at 23.5mg
29/07/13 - 22mg, whoo hoo - 1/4 of the way there
10/08/13 - 21mg
01/11/13 - 21.9mg

Have had around 12-14 Ambien since start of December 2012

Have been taking Propranolol since 6 December 2012 6 tablets a day

Had 1 dose of Seroquel 1 January 2013

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That's great news Goldensun, I'm so happy you are getting some sleep now.  Well done on figuring out what was causing your insomnia.  It scares me every time I hear a story like this, the way doctors first reaction is to add more medications to counteract the side effects of existing medications, causing increasing levels of harm.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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