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Kim's brief story


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Hi, just joined up. I would welcome some support. My brief history is:

Took clonazapam (klonopin) for 22 years, tapered down, finished taper 13 months ago.

Have taken anti-depressants (mainly tricyclics) for 28 years.


My taper off the benzos went reasonably well and I have had a few troubling WD symtoms that have come and gone. I have been gradually reducing the nortriptyline. During the last few months I have developed major sleeping problems, to the point where some nights I don't sleep at all. Also during this time I have had terrible daytime sedation from just taking one medication even though I have taken this med for years without this problem. Consequently I have reduced this down to 10mg but still feel like a zombie. I briefly tried a SSRI recently instead but it too caused sedation. I am between a rock and a hard place. If I take 10mg I get some sleep but feel like a zombie during the day. If I don't take it I don't sleep. I know that the nervous system can take a long time to recover after years of benzo use. I have also read that people can develop sensitiveties to meds. I think I am just gonna have to be brave and take this last jump off the AD and try and get thru the sleeplessness. I do feel very very low and have had to stop my part time work for the time being as I am not coping.

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Hi Kim,

Welcome to this compassionate, supportive forum.

Someone knowledgeable will be here shortly to advise you.

I am sorry that you are going through unpleasant symptoms,

but rest assured that you are in the right place ..

Wishing you wellness,


I am tapering Lorazepam, and my daily dose is 1.125 mgs.

I followed a long hold for 5 months, ( Nov-March 2019) hoping to find some stability, 

but it did not work. So I resumed my taper and hold pattern.
For the last 3 years, I have been using a daily microtaper, cutting .001mgs per day, with holds as needed.
Symptoms are head pressure, labored breathing, palpitations, abrupt surges of dizziness, this being my worst symptom for now, internal tremors, my latest nemesis, unsteadiness, anxiety, plus many other symptoms that cycle in, and cycle out consistently. Not a day passes, without grief :(

I take no other meds.

January 2013 - 15 day quick taper off 10 mgs of Lexapro, and 25 mgs of Sertraline,

at a detox clinic.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi K,


Welcome! I'm sorry you're going through this. It's possible you've tapered too quickly from the AD. How did you get to 10 mg? What dose were you on before?


This link will explain how to add your med history:




Another you may find helpful:



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Hi Kim,

I'm sure you'll find support here and a lot of helpful information. After all you've done to taper I know it's difficult to consider taking another drug. Have you read the self care sections of the forum? Maybe there are some things there that may help you. There are plenty of knowledgeable people here who'll give you some advice to help you along.

Hang in there!


My intro link: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4644-whoami-i-hope-to-find-out/?p=57607

I've taken antidepressants since 1997. From 1997-1999~I tried wellbutrin, paxil, prozac, and maybe some others I can't remember. 1999-2009~Effexor XR 150mg. 2009-2010~Cymbalta 30mg. 2010-present~Cymbalta 60mg. (Dates are rough estimates.)


Began micro-taper Jul 13, 2013.

As of May 19, 2014 removing 94 beads from 60mg capsule, approx 31.8mg.

As of August 2014 removing 106 beads from 60mg capsule, approx 28.2mg.

As of July 2015 down to approx. 23mg. (20mg capsule + 10 beads from a 60mg capsule) + .5mg Ativan as needed for anxiety/panic/generally crappy anxious no good feelings.


Also taking:  Omega3; Magnesium; Vitamins D, E, & B12; Calcium; Estrace 2mg.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kim--


Please do give us a med history in your sig line.


It sounds like you're mostly recovered from your benzo withdrawal. Unfortunately it seems that withdrawing off one psych drug can sensitize one's CNS so that the next withdrawal is trickier. This may be what's happening. You may have dropped the nortriptyline too fast.  Since I don't know exactly how fast you've gone down, and from what dose, it's hard for me to say. But that's usually the problem for people, almost every time.


It also sounds like you're not taking it consistently, some days you take it and some days you don't. That's a recipe for problems. Our brains have adapted themselves to the presence of the chemical and they do best when we keep our blood levels fairly steady and just reduce slowly and gradually. Going up and down like that is like putting your brain in the blender--just seems to cause people a lot of trouble.


When you're having challenging side effects from a med, it's tempting to just quit it, but usually that leads to problems much worse than whatever the effect was to begin with.


I think probably the best approach for you would be to stabilize and then do a cautious, safe taper. It's not a perfect fix, but it's almost always what works best for people.

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

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


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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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


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

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