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Hexal - Sertraline for 11 months


Hexal

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Hi

 

I was on 50 mg Sertraline for 11 months. 2 of those was spent tapering, as per the doctor's instructions (I did not know any better). Withdrawal symptoms didn´t kick in until 2 1/2 months had gone by. It started as plain dizziness but soon included headaches, weird swooshing/tingling/burning etc sensations in the head, "brain shivers" and electric shock-like symptoms particularly in my legs and feet.

 

Still trying to cope with this nonsense after almost 10 months of being drug-free...

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  • Administrator

Hi Hexal

 

Welcome to the forum.  I'm sorry you have suffered withdrawals by following your doctor's instructions.  Have you tried fish oil or magnesium to help deal with the symptoms?  Both supplements can be calming to the system.  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

and http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/.

 

You might also browse our Symptoms and Self-Care forum for other ideas to help you cope as you give your system time to heal.  You will find lots of support here.

 

When you get a moment, please summarize your drug withdrawal history in your signature.  This link will provide guidance on how to do that http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

When you post or update your thread, your signature will post and moderators and members will have ready access to your history so they can tailor any advice or suggestions to your situation.

 

Karma

Edited by Altostrata
fixed link

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; 12/17 - 75mg
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

Hi Hexal, if only doctors knew what they are doing when they recommend their 

tapering programme! Of course they are following guidelines set out by the drugs companies and they

don't want us off their drugs do they?   :angry: .

There is lots of information here and you will get lots of support. I hope this doesn't last too long for you

and you find some suggestions helpful for dealing with withdrawal. 

**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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Thanks both of you! I have been browsing the forum for a while so I have already begun using magnesium. I have been taking fish oil for years. This forum is a great help for sure.

 

One thing I have been wondering about is how to exercise during this period. I seem to remember having read here that exercising is recommened, but not extraneously. I enjoy working out for extended periods in the gym on days I feel okay-ish. It really makes me feel strong, mentally and physically, and that I can overcome this nonsense, and I get a pleasant feeling of tiredness in my body afterwards. Usually my withdrawal symptoms do not flare up because of this, on the contrary. But I'm wondering if this kind of hard workout is still not recommended, even though my body seems to think it is fine?

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  • Administrator

Great question!  As with most things associated with withdrawing from these drugs, your body is your guide.  If your body feels good and if you have a good overall sense of well-being after working out then your work out is probably fine.  The caution is around people who might throw themselves into a workout and then find that they feel depleted or their symptoms flare afterward.

 

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; 12/17 - 75mg
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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  • 2 months later...

Wanted to share this little episode with you.

 

I went to talk with a psychiatrist recently just to get his take on my situation and what I'm experiencing. I mentioned this site when we talked in order to try and explain how protracted withdrawal symdrome is a very real thing for many people, and how I found comfort in a website where this is taken seriously. As soon as I mentioned the name of this website he was immediately sceptical and wondered aloud how a site with this name could be serious about providing health information. Are you sure it is not a propaganda tool made by Scientology he asked repeatedly? I didn't know whether to laugh or cry  :). I assured him it was legitimate and while Scientology may, for all I know, be respronsible for fake anti-medicine websites that push their agenda, I tried hard to explain him that this website was definitely not a case of that. What a weird experience..

 

The weird thing is he was generally quite aware of severe SSRI side effects and also somewhat sceptical of big pharma, but a peer support site like this being legitimate was apparently too hard to fathom. It was like he couldn't get over the fact that withdrawing from antidepressants is something a lot of people have to struggle very hard to survive... Still, he promised he would "check it out", yeah right.

 

On a related note, he also did not take my symptoms seriously as a case of protracted withdrawal syndrome because apparantly I was on too low a dose (50 mg sertraline) for too short a period (11 months) in order to experience long-term side-effects...

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Hexal.

 

Well, that doctor was wrong. Perhaps you helped educate him.

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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Well, I hope so :) However, reading "Anatomy of an Epidemic" at the moment, I have my doubts about the ability of psychiatrists in general to respond to reason and facts.

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  • Administrator

Don't expect any big breakthroughs. All you can do is state your truth and request mutual respect.

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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  • 2 months later...

I guess this is probably a dumb question, but is there any chance of reinstatement helping at 14 months off? I know this is extremely risky and probably has almost no chance of working, but I'm getting desperate. It feels like my body is screaming for stability. I still have constant body tremor, unpleasant sensations in my head, dizziness, sleeping limbs etc etc. :/

 

Because of my delayed withdrawal reaction and general lack of knowledge of WD, it took months and months before I even began to suspect ADs were the problem. So it probaby was too late to reinstate even at the point I first began to realize what was going on... Sigh. Guess there is nothing to do but wait and hope (and try to remain somewhat sane) when in protracted WD?

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hexal, I don't think I would recommend a reinstatement at this point. But if it helps, it's not uncommon for people in protracted withdrawal to experience worsening between one and two years out. I wish I had something wonderful and hopeful to say about that, but it seems that time is the only healer.

 

I really don't know enough about restarting meds in protracted withdrawal--well, actually, I don't know anything about that, so I can't really advise you on that. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

 

I just saw your post about the psychiatrist who got upset about you getting support from an Internet site and presumed we were connected with Scientology. Grr, that makes me so angry! I hate Scientology (have had family members seriously taken advantage of by them) and it is super annoying to me that they got this one thing right, for all the wrong reasons. The pharmaceutical industry LOVES them because they undermine the credibility of anyone who says the drugs are problematic. (It wouldn't surprise me even a tiny bit to find out that Pharma gives money to the CCHR, actually. Scientology itself is pretty broke these days and they have to be getting money from somewhere.)

 

If you encounter this yahoo again, refer him to "cepuk.org". We do have some connection with those folks. And of course Whitaker and the Mad In America website and Healy and Breggin and all the others.

 

Sheesh. Scientology, indeed. Brainwashed psychiatrists who buy what Big Pharma feeds them hook, line, and sinker, more like it.

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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You're right, it doesn't seem recommendable from what I've read here and elsewhere. I just feel helpless and desperate, so if there was the slightest chance of it working, I might be willing to give it a shot. Then again, I have to assume my CNS has done some healing at this point (even though it doesn't feel like it), so it's probably better not to cause unneccessary setbacks for myself.

 

Yeah, the experience with the psychiatrist was weird. Because I was reading Anatomy of an Epidemic at the time, it was quite strange and somehow made perfect sense to hear a psychiatrist in real life spout this nonsense and associate AD criticism with Scientology. Sorry to hear your family members have had unpleasant experiences with them.

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Hi Hexal,

 

I'm sorry you're struggling with withdrawal symptoms. Your story sounds a little like mine (I was on 25 mg sertraline for 11 months/50 mg trazodone for maybe 9 months), and so I thought I could just share a bit of my experience.

 

A lot of being medicated/withdrawal syndrome can be described via analogy like driving a car. Your brain/nervous system is the car, and the best way I can describe it is like having a speed limit on your car. The unmedicated brain is like having no speed limit, or a really high speed limit (say 200 mph, presuming that this fictional car is mechanically capable of going that fast). On the medication, the speed limit is much lower - say 30 mph. No matter how hard you try, you're not going to be able to go faster than 30 mph. And in the instances you do try, your speed limit will kick in and oppose your efforts. Withdrawal syndrome is sort of like the gradual increasing of your speed limit. Now, you might be able to go 60 mph, so you're not back to where you were to start but doing much better than you were on the medication. I've found that this analogy is true both by how well I can think and what my body is physically capable of.

 

That being said, you are not feeling well right now, but as you have stated, this is likely a sign that your nervous system is healing itself. I can't speak to reinstating medication. I had three months of obvious withdrawal symptoms initially, and now I'm 6 months into a phase where things are slowly getting better but still nowhere where I'd hope they'd be. Maybe see if you can exercise a little and if that helps?

Prescribed:

Sertraline HCl (Zoloft) (25 mg - 1 pill) for anxiety - took from October 2012 to September 2013; tapered over the last month or so with the smallest dose being approximately quarter of a pill/6.25 mg

Trazodone (50 mg) for sleep/anxiety - took from September 2012 to February (roughly) 2013, then 25 mg from March 2013 through August 2013; tapered over 3-4 weeks or so over the last month of consumption

Zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) (10 mg) for sleep "as needed" - only took three of these total (terrible rebound anxiety the next day)

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Thanks for the encouragement, tjs19. Unfortuneately I don't really experience that type of linear progression over time, which is frustrating. And I used to be able to do more things when I was in the early stages of withdrawal, like exercise for example, which I find very difficult these days. But yeah, I have to believe my nervous system is healing.

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Others have found that recovery goes in "windows and waves." You're in a (bad) wave right now, it would seem, but reason says that you will enter a window where you're doing better soon enough.

Prescribed:

Sertraline HCl (Zoloft) (25 mg - 1 pill) for anxiety - took from October 2012 to September 2013; tapered over the last month or so with the smallest dose being approximately quarter of a pill/6.25 mg

Trazodone (50 mg) for sleep/anxiety - took from September 2012 to February (roughly) 2013, then 25 mg from March 2013 through August 2013; tapered over 3-4 weeks or so over the last month of consumption

Zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) (10 mg) for sleep "as needed" - only took three of these total (terrible rebound anxiety the next day)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sorry you are feeling so bad Hexal,  I don't know how many times I say this every day but,,,,, this will pass.

I wish I could say it will be soon but there is no way of knowing. It is a wave, a big one by the sound of it 

but it will break.  When you get a window, even if it is just a few minutes, enjoy the moment and remember 

it. Then when the next wave hits, take your mind back to that window because it is just a small taster of what is

to come.   

  

Had to laugh, no, snort, at the scientology thing! Psychiatrists don't want to accept that these drugs are so

damaging because that makes them responsible for all the suffering by prescribing them. Ignorance is bliss for them  :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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Thanks mammaP :)

 

Yeah, it's absurd. It was my first and hopefully last encounter with a psychiatrst (AD's were prescribed by my doctor, I personally requested to see the psychiatrist for a sort of 'second opinion'. Lot of good that did me).

 

Luckily, there are a few good apples among the rotten ones. I remember reading about a psychiatrist here in Denmark who observed how much better her adolescent patients got when they tapered off their meds. So she decided to open a clinic (on advice from Peter Gotzsche, who you may know) dedicated to helping young people taper off their meds. Hopefully it has been successful.

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  • Administrator

Hexal, if you can verify that psychiatrist is helping people taper, you could add her to our list here http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

 

Oh, wanted to mention -- our Symptoms and Self-care forum is stuffed with suggestion about reducing symptoms. Nothing is a silver bullet, but there are small things that help a little....

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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  • 1 year later...

Still dealing with a lot of the same symptoms. I think there have been some small improvements, I hope so at least. But the fact that I can be in doubt whether I have seen improvements after such a long while, is quite disconcerting. Nothing to do but keep on keeping on, I guess.

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  • Administrator

Yes, recovery can take quite a while. See The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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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  • 1 year later...

9 months and withdrawal symptoms. Such dangerous drugs.

Update 8122017

Zoloft  2004. Effexor 2004-2006. Paxil 20 mg for 2006-2010. Ct 2010, bad effects back on, stable by 2011.  Poopout June 2015. Zoloft with paxil for a while, stopped Zoloft.

Sep 2016 paxil 16.2 mg alone(295 mg pill weight). Started tapering 11/14/2016.

Took off 1 mg pill weight(total pill weight of 20 mg = 365 mg and 16 mg is 295 mg). Went down 1 mg per week of pill weight so down to 291 mg by end of November. Starting getting anxiety issues starting since 12/10/2016. Hoping that a faster taper will help.

12/14/2016 - 15.95 mg (291 mg pill weight)

12/16/2016 -  15.83 mg (289 mg pill weight)

12/23/2016 -  15.67 (286 mg pill weight)

8/12/2017 -  15.34 (280 mg pill weight)

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  • 5 weeks later...

Yeah ravijaua, it is pretty mind-blowing (quite literally, perhaps?).

 

Still not feeling a whole lot of progress. I work part-time now, but I think I could have done that 2 years ago if I had pushed myself. And it's a struggle to get through the day. My heads just still feels hyper-sensitized with all the associated symptoms. But I do have some periods of feeling quite good, particularly when I'm not stressed, so I try to be thankful for those.

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  • 4 years later...
On 11/11/2016 at 8:18 PM, Hexal said:

Yeah ravijaua, it is pretty mind-blowing (quite literally, perhaps?).

 

Still not feeling a whole lot of progress. I work part-time now, but I think I could have done that 2 years ago if I had pushed myself. And it's a struggle to get through the day. My heads just still feels hyper-sensitized with all the associated symptoms. But I do have some periods of feeling quite good, particularly when I'm not stressed, so I try to be thankful for those.

How are you doing now ?

Fluoxetine 2017 sept- 2019 January CT

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