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Rexy: Can anyone help?


rexy

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During 2002 to 2003 I had a major depressive episode. My general practitioner, prescribed the antidepressant Celexa. I suffered from the depression but also from many side affects of the Celexa; confusion, increased anxiety, rapid heart rate, increased paranoia, etc. My doctor sent me to a therapist and prescribed Xanax to counter some of the side affects. My therapist called my doctor and requested that he change my medication, as she could not distinguish my depression from my side affects. My docor switched me to 100 mg of Zoloft daily and I was at this dose until the winter of 2008. While the side affects did not completely go away, eventually I did adapt to the drug and recover enough to continue working.By 2008, I had started feeling exhausted all the time and feeling “fuzzy headed”. I had trouble concentrating and keeping things straight at work. I was making minor errors and misjudgments but nothing terribly serious, just annoying. If I sat for any length of time I would fall asleep or grow very groggy. My doctor said that this happens with the antidepressants and that I needed to change medications. He prescribed Lexapro at 10 mg daily. I did notice that the sleepiness and groggy feelings dissipated but I was more irritable. However, I did not complain because overall I felt better. I have since learned that Celexa and Lexapro are essentially the same drug only Lexapro is much, much stronger.At the end of July 2008, many stress factors arose in my life. My mother had a stroke, my dog became very ill and nearly died and my partner developed blood clots in his leg. The final clincher was that while I was trying to clean out the gutters of my roof, I fell from the ladder. I broke the humerus and radius of my left arm and struck my head on the concrete drive, losing consciousness. While in the hospital, Akron General Medical Center, I was put on Morphine and Vicodin.From mid to late August of 2008, after being released from the hospital, I went to my docor for symptoms of depression, increased anxiety, and panic attacks. My doctor increased the Lexapro to 20 mg per day. My symptoms only got worse! I had excruciating anxiety, racing heartbeat, nausea, etc. I went back to my doctor and he increased the Lexapro to 40 mg per day and prescribed 0.5 mg of Xanax three times per day. At this point my entire body and mind began to collapse. I could not sleep. The Xanax did not work at all. The physical and emotional pain skyrocketed to levels I would never have felt possible. My doctor suggested a psych evaluation although he did not seem to think it was warranted nor did he seem to believe how bad my symptoms were.On the 9th of September 2008, I could not stand the pain any longer. Nothing was getting better and everything was getting worse. I went to see a psychiatrist, where I talked to one of his therapists. The psychiatrist told me I was seratonin toxic, to stop taking the Lexapro for 2 days, take 50 mg of Zoloft the third day, and then start taking 100 mg of Zoloft daily after that. He also is the one who told me that I should not have been on Lexapro since I had not tolerated Celexa originally; that Lexapro was essentially a concentrated form of Celexa.For about a week I did feel somewhat better, but around the 18th of September all my symptoms came back. The therapist at the psyciatrist's office told me that I was going through Lexapro withdraw, which for some people could be very severe. The psychiatrist prescribed Hydroxine Pamoate (25mg four times a day) and Diazepam (15 mg) for sleep.My symptoms only got worse. I was living in Hell. I was shaking, my heart was pounding so much it hurt in my chest, I was paranoid, anxious, and felt like I had the worst flu possible. I was confused and frightened. I was disoriented in my own home, so I went to the emergency room. They said they thought that I was having some type of drug reaction but they were not able to reach my psychatrist or the person who was covering for him, so they released me after I had spent all day in the ER after I seemed to be more stable.I am not sure of the date, but it was around this time that I returned to work. I did not want to, but my coworker was in need of an emergency gall bladder surgery, and since only two of us could run everything in the lab, I felt obligated. My symptoms continued. It took everything I had to push myself on, to get out of bed and go to work. I cried most of the day at work, or walked endlessly back and forth in the hallway trying to not think about what was happening to me. I was convinced I was going crazy and the doctors either did not realize it or did not want to tell me.I went to psychologist where I work, and he tried to help me by getting me an appt. through a hospital intensive outpatient therapy. I started being treated by a different psychiatrist. He increased the Zoloft to 150 mg once a day and 0.5 mg of Xanax four times a day.The symptoms continued.I began to try and find some type of relief by looking on the internet, not an easy task as the internet, TV or other stimulation made me sick to my stomach. I came across a book by a Dr. Breggin titled “Your drug may be your problem”. I read that these SSRI drugs and other psych drugs can actually make some people’s conditions worse. I had been diagnosed with severe depression and generalized anxiety disorder. People quoted in the book had been similarly diagnosed and actually got better by weaning off their medications. I felt I had nothing to lose. Everyday felt impossible to live through and every morning I cried because I had not died during the hellish night before. I started looking for a psychiatrist who would help me wean off these drugs. I wanted to see if I could get better. I found a psychiatrist who was willing to help me withdraw if that was what I wanted.I slowly weaned off down to 50 mg of Zoloft. I did get better. It was very slow,18 months or more, but a little at a time, the symptoms got better. Some of the symptoms even went away. Unfortunately, I am stuck at 50 mg. Lowering the dose or raising it seems to worsen my condition drastically.Many of the symptoms remain. I have days where I do well but then the crying, the sleeplessness, the anxiety, etc come back. I do not watch TV because it is over stimulating and I become very paranoid. The same with movies or even music that is loud. Large crowds cause me to have panic attacks. I still have trouble concentrating at work and keeping track of what I am doing. I can not multitask without making mistakes. I panic in large meetings at work, which causes me to have bouts of crying and panic. Any stress exacerbates my problems. If I do make a mistake, I am unable to let it go. Because I lose track of what I am doing and I am dealing with patient results, I often end up repeating a test several times to make sure I did it correctly. Many times I don’t know what causes the symptoms to flair up. I go to bed feeling fine, only to wake up with anxiety, my heart pounding, and crying that continues throughout the day. My boss has sent me home many times because of my condition.Lately, another work stress has been making my symptoms worse. The county I work for may be eliminating our laboratory jobs. I will not be able to learn a new position. My ability to learn new things is already impaired and with this stress, that ability is only degenerating.I no longer know what to believe. I am better at the lower drug levels, but under this stress I don't feel capable of reducing further. The withdraw is very painful. What do you people think. Is it just me, my mind. That is what all the doctors keep telling me. I think they feel I just am being uncooperative. I am so confused now and I don't know what to do. I still suspect it is the drugs at least partly. I go through cycles. I feel ok for about two weeks and then have two weeks where I don't feel well again. I am so discouraged.

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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Hi rexy,

I am very saddened that you have endured all this suffering .. :(

But you are in the right place, with many caring knowledgeable people.

Someone will come along shortly to help you.

So please don't loose hope, just hang in there.

Sending you thoughts of healing.

Love, Lexi

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

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

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

I take no other meds.

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

at a detox clinic.

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Thanks Lexi for your kind words.

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rexy, I'm sorry you are feeling so bad, it is tragic when you think you have gone slow with 

tapering and still feel withdrawal. How long have you been at 50mg? Have you tried updosing a little?

I know it isn't what you want to do but maybe just a tiny increase to see if it makes a difference. 

Sometimes that can help to lessen the withdrawal, then a long hold to stabilise before re-starting the taper.

Stress can make withdrawal so much worse, or maybe it's the other way round but whatever way, stress and

withdrawal together are a nightmare, there's no wonder you feel so bad!

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

When were you put on Zoloft 150 mg. and how long has it been since you reduced your dose to 50 mg.? I'm not sure what to tell you to do given your sensitivity to the SSRI type of antidepressant. I feel quite certain, however, that the anguish you're experiencing now is due to these drugs, not to some flaw in yourself.  It's so easy to buy into psychiatric labels and blame ourselves for everything, but there is more and more evidence that antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs cause the problems they are supposed to solve.

 

Welcome to the forum, Rexy. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.

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

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


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

 

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

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

 

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Thank you all for your support.  It has been a very long time since I was at 150 mg.  I reduced my dosage on my own because my psychiatrist refused to help.  I allowed him to think I was taking the 150 but reduced it down to 50 at monthly intervals  of 25 mg, while looking for a doctor more open to questioning the drugs.  While I realize now that I reduced too quickly for me, I still saw small improvements each time I reduced.  I would swing back and forth emotionally, but over a period of 18 months I started to stabilize fairly well.  This was because by the time I got down to 50 mg I was so exhausted, I stopped to rest at this stage for a period of about 8 months.  

I found a new doctor, but she felt that I was having a rebound of depression.  I foolishly allowed her to increase my dose up to 75 mg this past January, which sent me into a downward spiral of anxiety,crying, insomnia, etc.  I tried to tell her that I could not tolerate the new dose, but she would not listen.  She actually told me that everyone has bad days sometimes, but one must learn to live with them.  This from someone who barely sees me for more than 15 minutes every three months.

I reduced myself down to 50 mg again, on my own; Monhly at 10 percent intervals, but I have not been able to completely stabilize yet.  

I think the hardest part for me is none of the professionals seem to understand or believe me.  They look at me like I am exaggerating how bad I feel or making it up.  My therapist just tells me it is something I will learn to deal with.  I am not lazy.  I put myself through hell working when I was more sick than I have ever been.  The pain of breaking bones is nothing in comparison.  I do yoga every day.  I meditate everyday.  I listen to hypnosis CDs.  I'll try anything they suggest.

I am sorry for ranting on like this.  I have tried to find a group, or a therapist, or any professional in my area that will listen and understand.  They seem to be nonexistent.  I am so glad to have found this site.  I will try not to be so negative from now on.  Thanks for listening.

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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Hi Rexy....you have been through alot with drugs and the traumatic experiences that occurred in the last several years.  What happened would make anyone feel anxious and depressed.  It was an awful lot.

 

You said in your post above that you haven't stabilized yet.  Maybe that is the issue right now, not stabilizing. You can just remain where you are and give time,  time.

 

I have taken Lexapro and I have just finished Celexa.  I absolutely believe that there are many people who cannot tolerate ssri's and that there is a toxicity issue.  Doctors prescribe ssri's right off the bat.  There are other meds outside of that family of meds.

 

If you want to continue with your taper, just do it slowly in miniscule drops.  It does not have to  be 10%.  I would love to see the 10% rule vanish.  It is too much for most people and it is not written in stone.  I fist heard about it years ago on another site.  Someone's husband wrote it out and it was published on the site.  It was well meaning.

 

Does Zoloft come in liquid?  If so, the next time you drop in dose why not try 1mg.  Your poor  thing you had a concussion in addition to this.

 

There will be other members along who have taken zoloft who can help you out......

 

It was nice to meet you and with all you have overcome you sound like a very strong person.

 

Hugs

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

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Thank you Gold Star.  Having others care is very helpful and reinforcing.

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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  • Administrator

Hi Rexy

 

When you reduced by 10% was that 10% of your original dose or 10% of the previous dose?  How long did you hold in between decrementing your med?  You might have been going a little too fast and need to give yourself a little time to stabilize.

 

I find that I can only reduce my med (Effexor) by 7% at a time ... 7% of my previous dose.  My last reduction was a little over 7% and it threw me a bit and since the holidays are challenging for me I am just holding through the end of the year.  I've been weaning off of my med for over 5 years and as you will see in my signature I still have a bit of way to go.

 

Zoloft does come in liquid.  There is information in this thread about it http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

Many of us find that medical professionals do not understand what we are going through and it is difficult to find one to work with.  Sometimes the best you can do is educate yourself and find someone who can prescribe the meds as you taper off. 

 

It is very common for medical professionals to see our withdrawal symptoms and consider that validation that we need to be on the meds in the first place, and it is nonsense!  You've seen for yourself that coming off of the meds has helped to eliminate some of your symptoms.  The problem is that the pharmaceutical companies aren't willing to admit the depth of the problem of withdrawal and they certainly aren't going to educate medical professionals about it.

 

Welcome to the forum.  You'll 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Rexy, the piece of the puzzle that I would like to know more about is your benzo history. You were on a lot of Xanax and diazepam at one or another time and now on clonazepam? Can you tell me exactly (like you did about the ADs) what you were put on when, when that was cut or increased and to how much, what was changed up and down, when you were switched to other benzos, how gradually you were switched, etc.? Just a very detailed history, drugs and dosages over time, please, if you can.

 

Benzos are every bit as problematic as ADs and switching them around and going up and down on them can cause all kinds of health problems and withdrawal symptoms. This is probably contributing to your difficulties. (Benzos also make one stupid, and 1 mg of clonazepam is not a huge dose but not small either.)

 

From the history you've described so far it sounds to me like you have a pretty good chance at being able to stabilize over time and then gradually reduce your meds further to the point where you'll feel much better. It may take a couple of years though. Sounds like you're aware of the need for slow tapering, but I think you will need to consider going much more slowly from now on.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

 

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

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Hi Rexy- I too am so sorry that you have had such a rough time. You have found a very good site- I know that I have been helped enormously from it. It's so sad that one has to go through this hell to understand where we are coming from. Most of the medical establishment just doesn't get it. I have had withdrawal issues with both zoloft & lexapro. Both stink big time.  This is a little off of the topic & may not apply to you but how are your hormone levels? I recently had mine checked with a saliva test & they were off quite a bit. I am 58 & have gone on some bio-identical hormones. I have been amazed how much that has helped with my anxiety. I've also been reading on gluten intolerance. This can be a factor in anxiety and depression in some people. There is a site kellybrogan.com. She is a Dr. into holistic treatment of anxiety & depression.With me I figure that it may not take away all of the issues, but if these things can help in any way they are worth it. Hang in there - sending hugs & prayers.

 

Jan. 1994 Pamelor

2000 switched to Zoloft 

2011 Zoloft pooped out- Dr. switched me directly to Lexapro15mg -had a horrible 6mths

2013 upped Lexapro to 20 mgs-pooped out

June 2013 Dr. added 150 Wellbutrin to Lexapro.

July 2013 Switched back to Zoloft 100mgs.Was still taking Wellbutrin. Lots of anxiety from the Wellbutrin

July 2013 Started to wean Wellbutrin- off by Sept.

Oct. 2013 added 400 mgs of Neurotin to the Zoloft

Jan 2014 Tapered off of the Zoloft and onto Prozac 30 mgs. Also still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Feb 2014 Reduced Prozac to 13 mgs. Still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Aug. 2014 Prozac 13 mgs. Finished with Neurotin. .7 Risperadol

 

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Thank you again to all of you.  During the period of summer a year ago 2012, when I had allowed myself to stabilize at 50 mg of Zoloft, I actually had weaned myself completely off the benzodiazepines.  I noticed it for about two weeks but was fine after that.  My reaction to my doctor increasing the Zoloft back up to 75 mg tis past January was so severe that the doctor put me back on clonazepam to help me adapt.  I waited about a month and decided I was just not going to be able to stay at 75 mg, so I started to wean back to 50 mg Zoloft.  I remained on the clonazepam as per the guidance I found on this site.  I do think that my main problem is the ad.  I had a very difficult time adapting to them at the very beginning.  They make me very anxious and I know this sounds strange but they alter my ability to cope and literally how I think.  I feel like I have been weakened or damaged emotionally.  Then all of a sudden for a couple of weeks I will feel more like my old self before the drugs.  I just never know how I am going to be from day to day.  Stress of course diminishes these good times and worsens the bad.  I so appreciate everyone's support and guidance.  Just knowing there are others struggling like me and helping each other like this is of great benefit.  I don't feel so alone.

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rexy, in my last post I suggested updosing a little but now I've read your latest posts I realise that is

not a good idea! I was very sick on Effexor but was a little bit better after each drop. 

The times you have when you feel better sound like 'windows' , there is a windows and waves pattern

of recovery, in case you haven't seen it yet it makes fascinating reading and makes sense of what is

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

 

I wish doctors would listen to their patients when they complain of side effects  :angry:

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Rexy.

 

Yes, it does appear you are sensitive to the serotonergics, such as Celexa, Lexapro, and Zoloft. (That psychiatrist made the right call but erred by putting you on Zoloft.)

 

It seems to me that probably your nervous system was stressed by the SSRIs all along. Putting you on a benzo to counter the adverse effects of the SSRIs was a terrible mistake by the GP, but they do this all the time.

 

My guess is your nervous system is still recovering from all that overstimulation from the SSRIs and the drug changes, plus you may be suffering some paradoxical reactions to the benzo. I agree with Rhi.

 

Then all of a sudden for a couple of weeks I will feel more like my old self before the drugs.  I just never know how I am going to be from day to day.

 

This is a typical waves and windows pattern for recovery from psychiatric drug damage. It's a very good sign your windows last a couple of weeks!

 

What is your daily symptom pattern now?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Mornings are the worst part of my day.  I wake up with anxiety and nausea.  Sometimes it is very light when I am in one of my "Windows".  Other times it is fairly severe with crying, paranoia, and fear.  At these times the nausea lasts most of the day, slowly getting weaker until letting up between 2pm to 4 pm.  What is interesting is that my coworkers can tell just by watching me how I feel in the morning and how quickly I begin to feel better.  They say my facial color and eyes change

  Also, when I am feeling my worst, I have severe nightmares.  They are strange in that they are continuous even when I wake up several times in between.  They start up again right where they let off.  I know this sounds strange, but when I first wake up in the morning, I continue to see my dreams forming even though I am awake.  This can last 10 to 15 minutes.  It is almost like I am awake but not awake at the same time. 

For some reason, nighttime is the time I feel the best.

I will say that over all I am soooo much better than when I was on the higher doses of ad.  It is just so exhausting to still be feeling poorly after such a long time.  I get discouraged.  But all of you are suffering the same or worse and yet you are trying to help me.  Thanks for being there even when you are dealing with your own pain.  May you all be safe.  May you all find health and ease of mind.

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi rexy, welcome! I'm so sorry for your predicament.

 

It's very common in WD for one to feel better as the day progresses, I'm totally opposite. I would feel better in the morning and worse as the day progressed.

 

Alto is AMAZING! You are in the best hands possible, IMHO. This forum is the best, you'll get lots of friendly, caring support!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I always feel better at night, I start to come round at about lunchtime then at 3-4pm can

start doing something. I've always been a night owl, even when I was young. I love it when

the world is asleep and I am creating. Not been very creative for a long long time though. 

I'm waiting to see what my 'new' brain is like!

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rexy,

 

Your symptoms sound very, very familiar to me. You are very brave to face this dilemma and are also very lucky to have found this forum. It is not "just you" … the symptoms you describe are very universal although we all have our own twists & turns. The confusuion, the nightmares, the good days and bad, feeling better in the afternoon, pain, etc etc are all a result of the drugs and withdrawal. 

 

The life situations and stress just complicate it. 

 

I am on the road to recovery from years of anti depressants and a benzo myself. The fantastic news is that it can & does get better. I can also attest to that. ALL of the symptoms that you describe can get better…again I have experienced that under tremendous job related stress and without. Either way it can be done.

 

So. There is hope. I have no advice regarding WHAT to do at this point… that is out of my league. But I would give Rhi your benzo history  

 

and pay particular attention to anyone who has "staff" next to their name and equally as important begin to be gentle with yourself. Any strategy that you can use to soothe your overly stimulated nervous system will be of tremendous help at this stage of your journey. The symptoms and self help thread were very helpful to me when I started. I can't stress this enough…. a walk, a warm bath, soothing music and a warm bath…. anything. Also… make sure that your eating habits are healthy...

 

So while you are trying to figure out what to do with the drug situation ( and good for you for recognizing what your body is telling you not the drs.) take care of the things you can control easily…like being gentle with yourself and eating right.

 

Good luck and keep us posted!!

 

RU :)

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Dear Rhi,

This is my benzodiazepine history.  I had to go back through my papers.  Sorry it took so long.

2002-2003 1mg Zoloft for one year while adapting to 100 mg Zoloft.

 

Weaned myself off xanax in 2004, but took it occasionally when really stressed.  Maybe once every two weeks, but I don't really remember.

 

In August 2008, after my fall and head injury, I was put on 0.5  mg xanax 3 times a day while my Lexapro was being increased to 40 mg per day.

 

3 months later I was told I was serotonin toxic.  Lexapro was switched to Zoloft 150 mg, 0.5 mg xanax was left at three times per day, hydroxine pamoate 25 mg 4x per day and temazepam 15 mg was added to my drugs.  After 4 days, I felt even worse so I stopped taking the last two drugs for fear I would become addicted to them also.

 

After switching psychiatrists my xanax was increased to 0.5 mg 4x per day.  Zoloft remained at 150 mg.

 

I did improve over an extended period of time, I think because I had started weaning off the Zoloft on my own down to 50 mg, but still felt very ill.  I switched psychiatrists again, looking for someone to help me.  She changed my xanax to lorazepam 0.5 mg 2x per day.  This would have been spring of 2010.  She left the practice after one year, so I was assigned to someone else.

 

She kept things the same but as I was feeling better the longer I stayed at 50 mg Zoloft, I slowly weaned off the lorazepam.  I was completely off benzodiazepines spring and fall of 2012.

 

In December 2012, I had some troubles at work.  I foolishly told my psychiatrist who then decided I was more depressed and needed to increase my Zoloft.  I argued with her but to no avail.  I was/am very emotionally vulnerable so I did the stupid thing and let her increase to 75 mg, a dose she considered taking it really slow.  The first week was fine and then all hell broke loose.  She put me on clonazepam 1mg.  She has me take 0.75 at night and 0.25 in the morning.  I could not withstand the 75 Zoloft so I tapered myself back to 50 this past summer.  She is angry, but she will have to get over it.

 

I trust no doctors now.  Therapists I have been to vary from I need to listen to my doctors to I just need to rely on God.  All that would be fine except they really have no idea what this is like, so I continue to search for someone who is in my area and who actually will believe me.

 

Thanks again for all you do.

Jrexy

1999 GP started me on prozac for depression.  Stopped b/c of severe reaction after 1st tablet.

2001 GP put me on Celexa with Xanax to stop the Hugh anxiety side affects. 

2001 my therapist asked the GP to change me to Zoloft b/c of side affects.

Zoloft was increased to 150 mg and it took several months to adapt.

Spring 2008 GP changed me to Lexapro 10 mg b/c I was so lethargic and groggy.

August 2008 GP increased Lexapro to 60 mg within two months after a cuncussion.

I became serotonin toxic.

Switched to 150 mg Zoloft with 1 mg Clonazepam.  I have been weaning off ever since.

Now at 50 mg Zoloft and 1 mg Clonazepam.

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