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☼ About Altostrata -- withdrawal syndrome since 2004


Altostrata

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Hello @Altostrata I'm new to this site and just read your post. Thank you so much for your compassion and efforts to expose the corruption of the psychopharmaceutical industry that is wreaking havoc on our lives. Thank you so much for this forum which is a lifeline for so many of us. You mention in your post that in late 2007 you found a psychiatrist in San Francisco who treats withdrawal syndrome and that he aided in your recovery. Can you please tell me the name of the doctor or any others you could recommend? Thank you so much in advance 🙏 

Summer 2016 - summer 2018: put on Lexapro, going from 5 mg up to 20 mg over the span of the 2 years (had visited shrink for help with obsessive thinking, was not diagnosed with anything in particular, just prescribed Lexapro 15 mins into first session)

Summer 2018: tapered down by 2.5 mg every few weeks

Protracted withdrawal ever since. 0-14 months began with a massive panic attack that landed me in ER, followed by prolonged anxiety, mental fog and a skin rash on my back. Was regularly consuming alcohol as did not know I was in WD. From then onwards, hit with worse myriad symptoms. Currently at 22 months and have electromagnetic sensitivity, brain zaps, brain fog, memory problems (especially name recall), twitch in right eyebrow, daily waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. with fast heartbeats and "sticky" negative memories, suicidal thoughts, rage episodes, temperature dysregulation, physical numbness & weakness, libido loss.   

 

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A YouTube video from a few years ago:   Alto Strata's Paxil Prolonged Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome (8 minutes)   Transcript here which you can copy and paste into a translato

Well done Altostrata, for introducing your website for people who are suffering from withdrawals symptoms, from those evil drugs and for giving hope to others, thank you, God bless you 🙏

We're all predisposed to mental illness. Mental illness can be diagnosed in a ham sandwich.   Much later after I was taking Paxil, I found the symptoms for which I was prescribed it by my GP

On 2/12/2020 at 12:41 PM, SolarPlexus said:

 

Hello @Altostrata I'm new to this site and just read your post. Thank you so much for your compassion and efforts to expose the corruption of the psychopharmaceutical industry that is wreaking havoc on our lives. Thank you so much for this forum which is a lifeline for so many of us. You mention in your post that in late 2007 you found a psychiatrist in San Francisco who treats withdrawal syndrome and that he aided in your recovery. Can you please tell me the name of the doctor or any others you could recommend? Thank you so much in advance 🙏 

Well done Altostrata, for introducing your website for people who are suffering from withdrawals symptoms, from those evil drugs and for giving hope to others, thank you, God bless you 🙏

  • 13th of August 2019 started to take 20 mg citalopram
  • 😀24th of August 2019 down to 10mg stopped citalopram altogether on the 30th of August 2019
Quote

Short term citalopram

 

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  • 2 months later...

Gosh, that is moving. Thank you for sharing and putting a hand out to lift others to safety. 

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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Just watched the clip. Great to be able to put a face to The Mighty Altostrata. I share lots of wd stuff on my own f.b page. Would you mind if I shared this? I've never heard of brain zaps being thought of as similar to epilepsy. I know you're a smart cookie so I think I might be kind of stupid for asking this but I must ask anyway. Are you saying brain zaps are like epilepsy from a very knowledgeable standpoint? I found it really interesting. Also, what you said about being sensitive to other drugs I must agree with. At the dentist a few years ago I was meant to have 4 shots of anaesthetic for what I was having done and had to abort after 1. I was still in withdrawal pretty well and it just made tears flood from my eyes and brought my emotions back to the worst of it for some time, it took me about 15 minutes to recover from that anaesthetic. Luckily I could do what I had to do at the dentist without the rest.

Gussy

On effexor for at least 11 years. Last few years going through ivf treatment dose has ranged from 150-200mg. Mainly 150 though. Tapered from about 175mg mid jan 2017 to zero mid april 2017. 2&1/2 months of straight hell. Getting there now though.

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ChessieCat
38 minutes ago, Gussy said:

I've never heard of brain zaps being thought of as similar to epilepsy.

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201710/what-causes-brain-zaps

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I watched your video.You're a strong and brave woman.It's great to know that there are some people like you in this doomed planet.I couldn't catch the train 'cause it was too late for me when i realized that i was dealing with withdrawal.But I'm sure that this website will be helpful for people who are suffering from this problem.And I hope I will be healed one day.

2012 - 2016

Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After CT I had my first mania attack.)

2016 - 2017

Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After CT I had my second mania attack.)

October 2017 - January 2018

Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After CT I had a movement problem)

March 2018 - April 2018

Bupropion (150 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (My movement problems were resolved but I became angrier than usual while I was using them)

April 2018 - July 2018

Prozac (20 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After I CT'ed because of different problems which were related to my vision and finger jerks my movement problem came back.)

September 2020 - ...

I'm on Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (2.5 mg).

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Dear Altostrata, The support of SA has given me the heart and will to keep going in the face of SSRI withdrawal.  Dramatic as it sounds, I owe you my sanity and belief in humanity.  Even though I was late in finding SA, thanks to you, I ultimately didn't have to go through this alone.  I hope that you feel your own needs are addressed, even as you have addressed so incredibly much for all who visit SA.  I am in awe of what you have given.  Thank you.

And more thanks,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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On 9/20/2020 at 8:31 PM, arbor said:

Dear Altostrata, The support of SA has given me the heart and will to keep going in the face of SSRI withdrawal.  Dramatic as it sounds, I owe you my sanity and belief in humanity.  Even though I was late in finding SA, thanks to you, I ultimately didn't have to go through this alone.  I hope that you feel your own needs are addressed, even as you have addressed so incredibly much for all who visit SA.  I am in awe of what you have given.  Thank you.

And more thanks,

Arbor

I agree with you Arbor. Altostrata is a saint. This website has literally saved my life. I'm still in withdrawal and without this website I wouldn't have had the wisdom and strength to keep holding on. Thank you Altostrata for your incredible nobility. 

Summer 2016 - summer 2018: put on Lexapro, going from 5 mg up to 20 mg over the span of the 2 years (had visited shrink for help with obsessive thinking, was not diagnosed with anything in particular, just prescribed Lexapro 15 mins into first session)

Summer 2018: tapered down by 2.5 mg every few weeks

Protracted withdrawal ever since. 0-14 months began with a massive panic attack that landed me in ER, followed by prolonged anxiety, mental fog and a skin rash on my back. Was regularly consuming alcohol as did not know I was in WD. From then onwards, hit with worse myriad symptoms. Currently at 22 months and have electromagnetic sensitivity, brain zaps, brain fog, memory problems (especially name recall), twitch in right eyebrow, daily waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. with fast heartbeats and "sticky" negative memories, suicidal thoughts, rage episodes, temperature dysregulation, physical numbness & weakness, libido loss.   

 

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Agreed. I wish this site and Alto and the kind others who helped me could get some funding. I don't have the words to say how grateful I am to Alto (and Manymoredays) for coming to my aid, for making me feel heard, and cared about, but mainly - for GIVING THE RIGHT ADVICE! Huge appreciation and respect to you. xxx

On Cymbalta for 10 years after PND.  Original dose of 60mg was far too high.  Tapered down over years. 

Finally off October 2018

Been on 150mg Prolonged Release Wellbutrin for 3.5 years.  

 

Starting tapering journey off Wellbutrin May 2020.  Cut the tablet into 4 quarters. Found the pill cutter very inexact for this kind of tablet. Sizes varied hugely.

Tried one half in morning and the other 2 quarters at regular intervals. Abandoned that plan fast, as half an immediate release made me feel like I'd had 300 coffees.
 
Took a quarter every few hours instead. Which meant I dropped by a whole quarter. This had me bumpy for 2 weeks.
 
31st July - began skipping the middle 1/4 on alternating days. VERY BAD IDEA. Doctor's advice. Thanks to Chessiecat and Altostrata and went back to the 1/4 three times a day. 
 
15th September went down by 10%.
 
29th October went down by 10%
 
Mid December will cut by 10% again. 
 
 
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Yes, many many thanks to Alto and the moderators and this community too! Really glad I found my way here.

10/2017 - zoloft/sertraline 25mg, switched to lexapro/escitalopram 10mg

4/2018 - tapered off escitalopram over ~1mo

11/2018 - back on escitalopram, increased to 20mg

1/2020 - tapered off escitalopram over ~2-3 mo

8/27/2020 - back on escitalopram 10mg 😩

2/27/2021 - complete switch to liquid at 9.8mg

3/7/2021 - decreased to 9.5

3/14/2021 - decreased to 9.3

3/21/2021 - decreased to 9.0 and held

4/11/2021 - decreased to 8.8

4/18/2021 - decreased to 8.6 and holding for now

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Altostrata's PSSD recovery

 

Posted in the PSSD Post-SSRI topic:

 

23 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

Spruce, I think it's obvious that my recovery from PSSD was gradual, becoming ever closer to normal over 9 years. As I'm menopausal, it's not like it was when I started Paxil about 20 years ago now.

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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22 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

You know, Spruce, you don't suddenly snap back from any post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Like other symptoms, my recovery from PSSD was gradual. At about 4 years, genital anesthesia had dissipated and I had weak orgasms. I could have enjoyed a sexual relationship then, except I had much worse ongoing problems from PAWS. Sexual sensation improved over the next 5 years, as did other PAWS symptoms. Meanwhile, I kept getting older. At what point would you say I recovered from PSSD?

 

Please note that while I was recovering from PSSD, I did not have it in my head that it was permanent. I presumed it would change, like all my other PAWS symptoms.

 

If you look in the Introductions section for the PSSD tag, you will see a number of people who have recovered from that and from PGAD. It would be interesting to synthesize the arc of recovery from these cases.

 

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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Altostrata's depersonalization and  PSSD recovery

 

  

On 2/9/2014 at 6:12 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Recovery from withdrawal syndrome is so gradual and so unlike healing from anything else we're used to. Symptoms come in waves, change, and mutate into other symptoms.

 

This is confusing and discouraging. It seems we're going nowhere.

 

Yet, often when you look back on where you were 6 months ago, you can see there's been progress in healing. (Reading your Intro topic when you're discouraged can remind you of this.)

 

For example, I had intense depersonalization for several years. Early on, there were a few occasions where I did not even recognize the street where I lived for decades. One of these happened while I was driving. It was terrifying. But it did pass in a few minutes.

 

Gradually, over time, the sense of depersonalization gradually dissipated, like dark clouds getting lighter and lighter. Then, there was the day when I realized I felt fully present! What a great feeling that was.

 

Something similar happened with post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). AT first, I felt complete genital anesthesia. In the first year, feeling gradually came back. Over the following years, sexual response gradually came back. Orgasm was absent, then faint, then intermittent. Now it's restored to close to normal, and libido is present (though not like it was; I'm menopausal).

 

There were many other symptoms that faded in the same way.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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  • 5 months later...
apple1989

Nice information Altostrata

32 years old. Male. Schizophrenia: postive sympthoms at 21 and 23 years old. Then coping with negative sympthoms (anhedonia, apathy). Nowadays working and with nice social support. Also doing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and going sometimes to a Humanist Psychologist.

 

2012, 2013~ Started Risperdal 4mg, trying differents AD: scitalopram,venlafaxine, sertraline, wellbutrin

2017: Abilify 5mg

2018 - 2020: Switching to Abilify 2.5mg, other times 5mg/2.5mg alternating days...

2018: Started lamotrigine 50mg

2019: Tapering cold turkey lamotrigine 50mg

2020 - March: Lamotrigine 50mg 

2021 - March: discover SurvivingAntidepressants, thanks to Altostrata and the website's community.

Started with 3.6mg Abilify, hold Lamotrigine(50mg)

2021 April: 3.2mg Abilify, Lamotrigine(50mg)

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Shashal

Thank you @Altostrata, you are a life saver to us! 🤗

Dependence of 0.4mg Xanax night dose only within 8 weeks, felt unreasonable anxieties in afternoon. Tried twice C/T and failed with severe symptoms then reinstated and up-dosed then switched to 7.14mg Valium 6.27 7.14mg 7.4 5.92mg felt much better and got some windows  7.11 4.74mg 7.18 3.79mg 7.25 2.93mg got harder and slowed down a little 8.1 2.14mg felt good then speeded up 8.8 1.32mg speeded up too much now holding at 1.25mg felt bad but not bad as C/T  8.15 1.25mg felt a little improvement will try to continue my progress 8.22 0.79mg 8.28 0.5mg 8.29 Jumped (Never thought AD WD is a big deal so didn’t record the dosage for Trazodone )

 

9.12 Still on 100mg Zoloft prescribed by doctor who denied I was in benzo withdrawal but only anxiety from June / 25mg-50mg Trazodone on and off for sleep 9.15 Stop taking Trazodone symptoms not steady  9.16 50mg Zoloft before bed 75mg Zoloft in the morning up-dosed 25mg Zoloft to see if can replace the Trazodone  9.17 Failed, back to 100mg Zoloft in the morning, 20mg Trazodone before sleep 9.22 Got little stabilized90mg Zoloft in the morning, 18mg Trazodone + reinstated 1mg Valium for sleep 9.29 80mg Zoloft + 18mg Trazodone + 0.9mg Valium, stabilized 10.6 72mg Zoloft + 18mg Trazodone + 0.8 Valium 10.13 64mg Zoloft + 18mg Trazodone + 0.7mg Valium, blood test got positive result of D-dimer, made extra test for blood clot but nothing found, don’t know if it’s Zoloft related 10.20 Zoloft 56mg + 16.5mg Trazodone + 0.7mg Valium, only little symptoms of tinnitus, wake up early, fatigue and muscle pain. 10.27 Zoloft 48mg + 16.5mg Trazodone + 0.7mg Valium 11.3 41mg Zoloft + 16.5mg Trazodone, stopped taking Valium 11.10 36mg Zoloft + 16mg Trazodone 11.17 29mg Zoloft + 16mg Trazodone 11.24 22mg Zoloft +15mg Trazodone, D-dimer level went to normal 

12.1 15mg Zoloft + 15mg Trazodone 12.8 10mg Zoloft + 15mg Trazodone 

 

2019.12.15 Jumped Zoloft at 4mg 2020.1.4 Jumped Trazodone at 5mg  

6.1 95% healed! 

 

2021.4.6 Reinstated 1mg Zoloft and 10mg x3 Tandospirone for anxiety setback from antibiotics

2021.4.25  0.5mg Zoloft and 10mg x3 Tandospirone

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Altostrata

You're welcome.

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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