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Researchers seek prolonged antidepressant withdrawal cases

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An Italian researcher is collecting anecdotal case reports of prolonged antidepressant withdrawal syndrome for important research papers now in progress.

 

Please send your case report immediately -- instructions and an e-mail address are given below. Reports may be in English, French, Spanish, or Italian.

 

The research effort is led by Dr. Carlotta Belaise, a colleague of Dr. Giovanni A. Fava and frequent co-author with him of scientific papers challenging the long-term use of antidepressants.

 

Dr. Belaise is a research fellow in the Affective Disorders Program of the department of psychology at the University of Bologna in Italy. Her research team is collecting data on antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, "which we strongly believe is a very important, common and delicate clinical problem."

 

"A couple of manuscripts on this important issue are in progress."

 

They also have been gathering anecdotal reports from Web sites such as this one.

 

Please send your case report immediately in an e-mail (no attachments, please), in this format:

 

  • Your pseudonym (to use if your report is published)
  • The date of this report
  • Your current age
  • Gender (if female, menopausal?)
  • Psychiatric drug history
  • What dates and how did you taper off each medication?
  • Your symptoms in the earlier phase of withdrawal
  • Your current symptoms
  • Which symptoms have gotten better? Which have gotten worse? What treatments have been helpful?
  • Is there anything else you would like to say about withdrawal and withdrawal syndrome?

Your identity will remain confidential. Researchers may contact you through your e-mail address for clarification, if necessary, and possibly for longitudinal follow-up periodically to track your recovery. Your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose. Your e-mail indicates your consent to be included pseudonymously in these papers.

 

Send your e-mail to this address:

 

withdrawal.cases-4.png

 

For some background information, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/531-send-your-withdrawal-case-report-to-researchers/ If you have questions, send them to me or post them below in this topic.


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

E-mail your experience with prolonged antidepressant withdrawal to be included in major journal articles by respected medical researchers. For instructions and e-mail address, go to this page.

 

One way to change medicine is to collect case reports of prolonged antidepressant withdrawal syndrome and convincing doctors with the evidence opposing the received wisdom that withdrawal symptoms are mild and last only a few weeks. A team of researchers in Italy is doing just that.

 

Leading the researchers, Dr. Carlotta Belaise is a colleague of Dr. Giovanni A. Fava, long-time critic of the widespread long-term use of antidepressants. Among other papers, she co-authored The concept of recovery in major depression, which suggests that, with supportive psychotherapy, patients may be tapered off antidepressants after 3 months of drug treatment.

 

Dr. Belaise's research team at the University of Bologna in Italy has been gathering anecdotal material about prolonged withdrawal syndrome from various patient support Web sites.

 

Your case report, containing the information outlined here, will make their evidence stronger.

 

For credibility, it is important that reports be traceable. The researchers may contact you at the e-mail address you give for further information or to track your recovery over time. This longitudinal information will help answer the questions of how long recovery takes, what is the process of recovery, and whether anything can be done to hasten it.

 

Collating a pattern of symptoms is also central to devising methods of treatment.

 

According to e-mail from Dr. Belaise, "We are actually very interested in collecting data on withdrawal syndrome which we strongly believe is a very important, common and delicate clinical problem.

 

She is aware information about prolonged withdrawal syndrome is ignored, or as she put it "boycotted."

 

"...as clinicians, psychotherapists and clinical researchers, we have the duty to collect all the

material in order to protect our patients. We strongly believe it is time that whistleblowers' comments and reports [are integrated with] data from RCT's (randomized controlled trials) which are, in most of the cases, manipulated. A couple of manuscripts on this important issue are in progress."

 

One of the planned papers incorporates reports from patients contradicting psychiatry's assumptions about antidepressant withdrawal syndrome -- that cases lasting longer than a few weeks are inconsequentially rare. "A review of the literature on this issue is also planned, including an updated analysis of neurobiological mechanisms behind the syndrome."

 

Do this now. Follow these instructions and e-mail your own case report today.

 

Please post a pointer to the instructions at

http://tinyurl.com/3gevq6u
on any other sites or blogs you know of that touch upon the difficulties of antidepressant withdrawal.

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

Coincidentally, the NY Times had an article on the Italian city of Bologna today:

 

http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/travel/36-hours-in-bologna.html?src=me&ref=general

 

"VIBRANT, independent and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Bologna is a dynamic counterpoint to more popular, touristy cities like Rome and Florence. About 50 miles north of Florence, the city is as famous for its cuisine as it is for its fiery left-leaning politics. Market stalls brimming with asparagus and fava beans, specialty shops selling cured meats, and osterias serving fresh pasta with the city’s signature ragù (known as Bolognese in the rest of the world) offer compelling reasons to linger. And then there are architectural masterpieces like the church of Santo Stefano and the iconic Due Torri (Two Towers)...."

 

Yum!


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

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compsports

Coincidentally, the NY Times had an article on the Italian city of Bologna today:

 

http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/travel/36-hours-in-bologna.html?src=me&ref=general

 

"VIBRANT, independent and home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Bologna is a dynamic counterpoint to more popular, touristy cities like Rome and Florence. About 50 miles north of Florence, the city is as famous for its cuisine as it is for its fiery left-leaning politics. Market stalls brimming with asparagus and fava beans, specialty shops selling cured meats, and osterias serving fresh pasta with the city’s signature ragù (known as Bolognese in the rest of the world) offer compelling reasons to linger. And then there are architectural masterpieces like the church of Santo Stefano and the iconic Due Torri (Two Towers)...."

 

Yum!

 

Not to get off topic but wouldn't it be nice if we could have an SA meeting there?

 

Anyway, I will check out the link you posted.

 

CS


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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cinephile

How wonderful this is! I'm so proud of you Alto. I just KNOW a large inspiration for this study was from you, even if it was indirectly. I just know it. This most be a very emotional time for you.

 

I'm going to print this out and pass it around to people at the convention tomorrow and Sunday.


Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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Altostrata

Thank you, cine. I'm sure many factors converged to make this happen.

 

As for myself, I've been working on this, corresponding with researchers including Dr. Fava, for 5 years. The cases I collected on another site, recently deleted, are a large part of those Dr. Belaise has now.


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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Baxter

Alto - you are a hero. One of the last still working since I came into the online in 2007...Gianna Kali, Philip Dawdy. and others have moved away from the fray. Thank you so much for continuing the battle.


 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

*don't remember doses

2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

19 mg Celexa October 7, 2018

18 mg Celexa November 5, 2018

17 mg Celexa  December 2, 2019

16 mg Celexa January 6, 2018 

15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

14 mg Celexa April 24, 2019

13 mg Celexa June 28, 2019

12.8 mg Celexa November 10, 2019

12.4 Celexa August 31, 2020

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Altostrata

I would love to go to Bologna some day.


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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Claudius

I would defintately go if I feel a little bit better than today. To meet some SA fellows and see that beautiful city!


10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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cinephile

Alto - you are a hero. One of the last still working since I came into the online in 2007...Gianna Kali, Philip Dawdy. and others have moved away from the fray. Thank you so much for continuing the battle.

Thank you for saying this. I feel the same way. The thing about Alto is she's consistent AND persistent...even while in withdrawal hell! She has survived so much and done so much. And she's so bright and focused and well-balanced. Really, just an amazing spirit that won't -- CAN'T -- be broken.

 

Thanks again Alto. We all appreciate what you do. And you do it well.


Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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Altostrata

Well, I don't know what to say. :blush:

 

Thank you for the kind words.

 

At least some attention will be paid to all this suffering!


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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mcsquared

I'm wondering if you can provide an outside link for this study so people can ask questions without having to join this community first.

I was hoping to spread word of this study to my network but limiting it to people on this community would give a very skewed sample.

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squirrel

My story was on the other site. Would I need to send it again?


Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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Altostrata

I'm wondering if you can provide an outside link for this study so people can ask questions without having to join this community first.

I was hoping to spread word of this study to my network but limiting it to people on this community would give a very skewed sample.

 

mc2, guests should be able to see the posting, no registration needed. They should be able to use the links as well.

 

Thank you for your suggestion. I've added a link. Guests may send questions to me.

 

What questions do you have?

 

My story was on the other site. Would I need to send it again?

Yes, please, it would be helpful to have the information in the format above.

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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poodlebell

Hi

 

I have sent my w/d story today

 

thanks for this

 

poodlebell

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Altostrata

Well done, pb!


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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Phil

Is this only for people who are already off ssris?


Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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Altostrata

Is this only for people who are already off ssris?

 

Prolonged withdrawal syndrome follows SSRI discontinuation.

 

Phil, if you mean people who are having great difficulty tapering off psychiatric drugs -- personally I think those stories are valuable, too. You might send yours in and perhaps it will inspire the researchers to follow another line of inquiry as well.


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

Folks who are new here may not have noticed this.

 

If you have prolonged withdrawal syndrome, please send your case to the researchers.


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

Bumping this topic to bring it to everyone's attention.

 

If you would like to post a pointer to this topic on other sites, the short URL is http://tinyurl.com/3zuaxo9


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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jfrank17

Alto, I see this was posted a year ago. Do you know if they are still collecting stories?


Self-tapered off Effexor after being on for 9 years around 2001

Medication-free until 2006

In 2006 went through divorce and placed on Celexa 20 mg and p.r.n. clonazepam

Stayed on 20 mg until 2011 when began cutting in half and taking 10 mg (Didn't really notice withdrawal symptoms)

Began to plan to come off in spring/summer 2012, continuing 10 mg Jan/Feb.

Tapered to 5 mg March/April (about 1 week mild withdrawal symptoms).

Tapered to sliver of tablet, estimated 2-2.5 mg in (1-2 weeks of withdrawal symptoms progressively diminishing and then stopping)

May 18, 2012: Stopped Celexa.

July 5, 2012: Reinstated Celexa at 5 mg.

July 13, 2012: Increased Celexa to 10 mg.

August 30, 2012: Increased Celexa 15 mg.

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Altostrata

The last I heard, the paper was being reviewed.

 

I'll check to see if they still want 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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jfrank17

I would love to hear what their research has discovered.


Self-tapered off Effexor after being on for 9 years around 2001

Medication-free until 2006

In 2006 went through divorce and placed on Celexa 20 mg and p.r.n. clonazepam

Stayed on 20 mg until 2011 when began cutting in half and taking 10 mg (Didn't really notice withdrawal symptoms)

Began to plan to come off in spring/summer 2012, continuing 10 mg Jan/Feb.

Tapered to 5 mg March/April (about 1 week mild withdrawal symptoms).

Tapered to sliver of tablet, estimated 2-2.5 mg in (1-2 weeks of withdrawal symptoms progressively diminishing and then stopping)

May 18, 2012: Stopped Celexa.

July 5, 2012: Reinstated Celexa at 5 mg.

July 13, 2012: Increased Celexa to 10 mg.

August 30, 2012: Increased Celexa 15 mg.

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Altostrata

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

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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