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Steelhead: Reinstatement; Two Years Out from Cold Turkey?


Steelhead

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I realized I posted this in the wrong place the first time. Sorry for the double post.

 

I have been on some type of ssri since 1993. Yep almost 20 yrs. The longest of the meds being Effexor for 14 yrs. I decided to taper off of this evil medicine to stop a life time of eyeore like living. Yes Disneys eyeore. Slow and unemotional. I realize now I did many things wrong during this process. I started the two week taper on my doctors direction on December 20th 2011. Way to fast. I could barely function. Zaps, dizzy, nausea on and on. I truely thought I was dying from some horrible brain disorder. Several trips to ER cat scans blood work, heart eco, stress tests. U name it I was tested for it. After 4 months of agony to say it lightly phys doc decided to put me on lexxapro. You already know before I say it that it didn’t go well. I actually tapered off of it over a 5wk period. The doctors recommendation was to increase my dosage. Wrong answer. I have now been off of all meds since the end of July.

I am still in major major withdrawl. I must be Hercules to endure this living hell. I have to stay positive about the positive outcome that might come. I have symptoms from the second I wake up until I go to bed. My family and lifestyle is in serious jeopardy if this doesn’t go away or at least decrease slightly. The only thing that helps my head is a steady stream of asperine. I realize aspirin is not good long term either.

It is almost impossible to write down or even explain symptoms like my head is so fuzzy I can’t see straight. The medical community, naturopathic, main stream no one has a clue about ssri discontinuation syndrome. It is very disheartening to say the least. I’m not sure what I am asking for because there really seems to be no answers to when this will go away or subside if ever.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

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I was on lexxapro XR 37.5 mg. 14 plus yrs

 

Withdrawl symptoms:

Anxiety

Severe depersonalization

Head aches

Difficultly focusing

Difficulty in finding words during conversations

Complete loss of apatite. Yet starving.

Bowel issues

 

Currently taking: (2 1/2 months)

Mega multivitamin

1200 mg fish oil

Vitamin B12

Zinc

Vitamins don't seem to reduce any symptoms.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Steelhead. Thank you for introducing yourself.

 

Did the Lexapro help Effexor withdrawal at all?

 

Two supplements many people find helpful in withdrawal are fish oil and magnesium.

 

You need to take a lot of fish oil, probably three times as much as you're taking now.

 

Are you taking B12 every day? Take it apart from the multivitamin to see if you have any effects from it. This can exacerbate anxiety.

 

If the multivitamin is high in B vitamins, they might be exacerbating your symptoms, too.

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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I have had issues sleeping as well. I am actually afraid to sleep at times because I wake from either some type of bad dream or wake with a massive overwhelming feeling of dread. Dreaming is actually a new thing for me. Then of course I can not fall back asleep, toss and turn and have anxiety because I cannot sleep. And so on the vicious cycle goes.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

Link to post

Thank you so much for your reply. I feel very much alone during this hellish time. Knowing someone is really out there that can understand is monumental to me. Thanks again.

 

The lexxapro in my opinion is what started all this stuff; so no it did not help.

Yes I am taking the B12 twice daily seperate from the multi vitamin. I will stop tonight taking it. I will double the fish oil.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

Link to post
  • Administrator

If you don't feel a soothing effect from the B12, if I were you, I'd stop it.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Steelhead,

 

You are definitely not alone. I share several of the same symptoms and its not easy but with the help and support on this site you will be fine.

 

I have those dreams that wake me too and it feels like the dreams wake me. It's frustrating to say the least! I also understand being so hungry and not eating, another frustration. I use nutrition drinks, have you tried? Something like Ensure or Boost is good but you can get store brands.

 

For help with sleep, I keep my bedroom dark and cool. There's a section under "symptoms..." With lots of suggestions and information.

 

Welcome and hope you feel better soon,

 

Tezza

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just wanted to say welcome and you have found a good group of people here Steelhead. Reaching out is huge. I'm sorry that you are going through this. This is a great forum with plenty of educated support and experience.

 

I have been on an SSRI since 1995. I'm currently tapering lexapro. I just started. I am taking it a day at a time. One of the things you will hear from people here is that everyone's recovery/ experience with these powerful drugs is unique.

 

When you are feeling up to it visit the Symptoms and Self Care thread. You might find something there that might help you.

 

Again, welcome and you are definitely not alone.

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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Hi Steelhead - wanted to welcome you as well. It takes courage to place the first post, so glad you did. I am new here and it's been very helpful to just be a part of!!

300mg lamictal 160mg strattera 50mg prestiq

Taper off of all three over last 4-6 months

Last dose 8/25/2012

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Steelhead,

 

Boy can I sympathize with the loss of appetite. Between that and the constant indigestion and stomach issues, its been a real barrel of monkeys for the past 3 and a half months. Many of us can relate. Feel free to contact anytime for support!

 

Welcome.

 

:)

Short term low dose Klonopin use back in 2004
Acute, protracted withdrawal after discontinuing
Began Lexapro in 2005 to ease Benzo withdrawal
Took 2 years to stabilize
Rapid taper from Lexapro in July/August 2012
Return of anxiety, insomnia and cardiac issues
Failed reinstatement early August 2012
Acute withdrawal for 9 months; intermittent symptoms for another 6

Relief on February 9, 2014 after addition of Taurine

Almost complete remission of symptoms w/addition of 12.5mg Atenolol daily

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  • 1 year later...

18+ years on SSRI's / Benzo's.:

     After two years, One month and a handful of days I still have issues on a daily basis.  I have had a hell off a run over the last couple years dealing with life free of meds.  Its one thing going through withdrawals from quitting the medicine and another learning to live without the meds. I deal with head pressure and headaches almost all day everyday among other things.  This continued pain coupled with continued panic disorder and a stressful job overwhelm me at times.  I have been in a bad wave for several months straight now and it is wearing me down.  Some times the positive affirmations, exercise, eating right just still doesn't cut it.

     I truly cringe at the thought of taking this medicine that has literally almost killed me.  I have sworn to myself on many occasions I would never take these meds again.  I read a post by Alto about tapering and was looking for some dialog about reinstatement after so much time and if it could help ease my pain so far in.  What are your thoughts about reinstating at a low level and tapering for a long time.  I realize the tapering schedules are based on a 10% reduction at a certain period of time.  If I have been off meds for so long what  dosage would I start with.  The next question is every doctor I have been involved with denies withdrawals so how would I even start a dialog about this?  Thoughts Please.

    

     

 

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Steelhead,

I merged your original thread in with this new one, its one intro topic per member.  Your previous thread provides good background information about your situation, it will help us to offer the most appropriate suggestions.

 

Please would you add your drug and withdrawal history to your signature, that helps people understand your context when they read your posts.  Instructions for how to do that are here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm sorry to have to welcome you back Steelhead, but I'm glad you posted before going back on medication.

 

  I have been in a bad wave for several months straight now and it is wearing me down.  Some times the positive affirmations, exercise, eating right just still doesn't cut it.

 

 ......  What are your thoughts about reinstating at a low level and tapering for a long time.

 

Its not unusual for a bad wave to occur this far out, it can take a long time for a damaged nervous system to regain its former resilience and if stress increases in life for a period of time, it can cause a new wave of symptoms, or an increase in current symptoms.

 

It sounds like you have been doing well up until this current wave.  Have a read back through your thread and see if you can recognize the general pattern of progress which has happened since you first posted.

 

Reinstatement this far out rarely works, in fact I don't know of anyone who has even tried it, apart from me.  I tried starting Prozac after being off SSRIs for just over 2 years and being in protracted withdrawal, it didn't work, made me feel worse, I developed violent urges which I'd never had before.  So then I tried reinstating Lexapro, the drug I was previously on, but then I felt even worse, I became suicidal within 3 days and that really scared me.

 

So I don't recommend trying it.

 

 

  Some times the positive affirmations, exercise, eating right just still doesn't cut it.

  

 

I agree with you, withdrawal symptoms cant be eliminated by wishful thinking, going to the gym or eating lots of salad, sometimes, some of what we do, or don't do can help to support recovery or distract us from symptoms while they go away on their own, but when they get bad, the best we can do is accept them and do whatever we need to do to get through each day, each hour and sometimes each moment.

 

I think that this is just a bad wave and it will pass eventually, maybe leaving you feeling much better than you were before it began.

 

Have a look at our symptoms and self care section and see if you can find something there to help you get through this rough patch:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

Especially read through the 'windows and waves' thread, which is one of the topics pinned at the top of the list.

 

Maybe others will have some ideas or thoughts about your situation.  Please stay in touch and post when you need support, that is what we are here for.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Petu

Thanks for your reply. In my heart I was hoping that you would say don't do it. After two years of relative hell it just gets really damn old. I can only but trudge threw this and hope my healing hurries up. I will keep getting better??

I can't write as well as most of you can in response to people wanting to cold turkey stop their meds. Please use what little I have written as an example to what the horrors cold turkey can produce. I would be happy to share this with anyone knowing that it can prevent years of pain.

Unfortunately getting this type of information out to someone at the cold turkey stage is almost impossible. My 2 week tapper after 18 yrs of use was directed by a phd doctor. In my opinion this is border line criminal neglect. I can research just as easy as a doctor can so why the hell don't they?? I have read about other countries that have accepted this but not the US? Doctors acceptance of this possible condition is paramount and I know they don't. I have spoken personally to at least a dozen doctors GP's, Therapists, ER Docs, neurologist, surgeons, specialists, naturopaths and NONE of them know of or have heard of this. I know I'm preaching to the choir but I'm certain that this has killed many people. Living through this I can understand why; it's deadly serious.

Thanks Again!!

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Steelhead, sorry you are going through this. You are right, it is criminal what they are doing yet they are still churning

out the drugs like candy.  :angry:  The doctors are educated by the drug companies, and that says it all !! 

 

You are in the right place because every one of us are at various stages of withdrawal or tapering off anti depressants. 

 

There is a wealth of information here that will help you to understand what is happening to you, I believe it is much easier to 

tolerate symptoms when you know what it is. Knowledge is power.  :) 

**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

I'm sorry, Steelhead, these kinds of problems after cold turkey are probably the worst.

 

One thing you can do is reduce stress from the job, either by redefining it, learning coping skills such as meditation, or changing jobs.

 

It's impossible to say whether any kind of drug treatment will help or hurt.

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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Stealhead I have been in the same boat after a gruesome and almost deadly cold turkey from Paxil. After several failed attempts I still did not see the light because of the total lack of informaiton from my doctors. After the last CT I refused to restart and was extremely sick for almost 2 years and lost my job.

Then some recovery started in a bizarre waves and windows pattern and now more than 6 years out I feel lots of recovery but am still on the road. I hope to embark in a new job pretty soon for the first time in 6 years and hope the waves will not make it impossile to work...

 

For me all the lessons about tapering came too late too but I am still glad I did not restart after a year or so, while some of my not so caring familiy members blamed me for "not taking my medicine" and pressure was rising. If my fonancial supply would have been cut off those days, I almost certainly would have killed myself.

So yes, you are right they are playing with human lives. And it is the worst crime in recent history.  We can only hope for recovery and educate as many people as possible.

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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Alto

I am now 46. I have worked relentlessly for my entire career and it has paid off!!! I have achieved my dream job six years ago. I love what I do. I have gained the respect of my piers and employees for many reasons. I hope to work the rest of my career at this job. I have always taken my job with seriousness to a fault at times I'm sure.

I have spent the last two years trying to maintain this dream job and life style. Don't get me wrong I still live a humble life living in the country side. You all know how difficult this can be even impossible at times but I have done it some how. At times it has felt like a miracle just getting to work in the morning.

My point and brief look into my life in the last two paragraphs is this. In your previous post you wrote " re-define your job". After reading your post on Sunday I decided to go into work with a different attitude. I fully realize that my job brings me much stress. The majority of this stress is self induced with my drive to perform at above normal levels. If I just drop my own mental level of performance one level to slightly above normal I am still above normal. I have slowed down for the last two days mentally telling myself to slow down both mentally and physically. Telling myself even just to walk a little slower has made a difference. I have had the best two days I have had in many many months. I realize this is only two days but oh my god it has been amazing not to hurt in so many ways. I also realize I have a long ways to go. After the hell of two years I am also not naive to think this is over. The level of hurt did not go completely away but it has been decreased to a refreshing level even if it's only two days. I can do this. Thank You very much!!!!!

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

Link to post

Welcome as a long time( year and half) poster and ex effexor victim : let me tell you it will get better. You are in for one hell of a rid so prepare yourself. Load up on fish oil day and night, reduce sugar and caffeine. Get family and friend support and this chat which is amazing. Exercise if you can everyday outside preferably. Eat healthy, lots of fruits and vegetables everyday. Drink lots of water and learn meditation. Best of luck, you will make it through, read my story I have made it through hell and back..I can see the light almost two years later!

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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  • Administrator
....

My point and brief look into my life in the last two paragraphs is this. In your previous post you wrote " re-define your job". After reading your post on Sunday I decided to go into work with a different attitude. I fully realize that my job brings me much stress. The majority of this stress is self induced with my drive to perform at above normal levels. If I just drop my own mental level of performance one level to slightly above normal I am still above normal. I have slowed down for the last two days mentally telling myself to slow down both mentally and physically. Telling myself even just to walk a little slower has made a difference. I have had the best two days I have had in many many months. I realize this is only two days but oh my god it has been amazing not to hurt in so many ways. I also realize I have a long ways to go. After the hell of two years I am also not naive to think this is over. The level of hurt did not go completely away but it has been decreased to a refreshing level even if it's only two days. I can do this. Thank You very much!!!!!

 

Brilliant!!

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...

It's now been 28 months sinse the beginning of my journey. There isn't a cure for what 18 yrs on ssri's and Benzo's has done to my brain. I have tried many but I'm sure not all techniques or supliments or whatever. I basically have no local support with acception of my wife and the internet. I don't even know what to look up on the internet most of the time to help myself.

What I have found to work the best for me is basically self talk. The problem with this approach is not always realizing I'm heading into a situation that needs self talk or self coaching. Before I know it I'm in a bad way with epic depersonalization or anxiety or my head just flat out hurts. For myself when I have gone thru one of these episodes it takes days or even weeks to pull back out. It has gotten better for me but now where near a recovery in my opinion.

Does anyone have a routine that they do that helps keep them grounded? Is there an app for it? I always have my phone close by so literally an app would be nice. Any suggestions of daily routines for mental awareness? Any suggestions would help.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, Steelhead.

 

Am I reading you right that you've been off antidepressants since July of 2012 and that you quit cold turkey? What SSRI were you on at the time?

 

Your brain has taken quite a battering from going off and on antidepressants and a benzo, so I'm not surprised that you're still having withdrawal symptoms. Don't give up, though. The brain knows how to heal itself--it just takes a lot more time than we'd like.

 

Reinstating the SSRI or something like it would be a bad idea so long after your last dose, but we do have a number of articles about how to heal without drugs in this section of the forum: Symptoms and self-care  Read as much as you can, including other members' stories. That alone helped me a lot after a way-too-fast taper off of Lexapro over two years ago.

 

Welcome to the forum, Steelhead.  You'll finds lots of friendly support and good information 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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Yes you are correct. Lexapro/Xanax basically cold turkey. Two week taper in Dec 2011 reinstated in July for about a month.

I have spent a bit of time on the self help topics. My issue is I typically latch onto an idea and it makes sense to me. I then use this technique but as I feel better I slowly stop using or even forget how to apply it. My memory has definitely been compromised because of these meds and I literally forget. This is why I ask about an app that can remind me to ground myself in some way. I guess I could program reminders into my phone or something like that.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Steelhead, I merged this thread with your original, one.  Its one into topic per member and its good to keep all your background information in one place.

 

I'm sorry you are still experiencing withdrawal symptoms after so long.  There are quite a few of us here who are in protracted withdrawal, its not the kind of life anyone would wish for, but we have to do the best we can as we wait for our nervous system to heal, which it does in its own time.

What I have found to work the best for me is basically self talk. The problem with this approach is not always realizing I'm heading into a situation that needs self talk or self coaching. Before I know it I'm in a bad way with epic depersonalization or anxiety or my head just flat out hurts. For myself when I have gone thru one of these episodes it takes days or even weeks to pull back out. It has gotten better for me but now where near a recovery in my opinion.
 

 

Its great that you have found something which helps and I can understand how sometimes it might not be so easy, especially when waves of symptoms hit out of the blue, that happens to me sometimes.  Depending on the situation, it can be quite traumatic and I also understand what you mean about needing time to recover from it.  Like you, I'm also getting better at handling it when it happens.

 

The two techniques which work best for me are mindfulness and acceptance.... not to stop symptoms, there's nothing which can do that, apart from time, but they help me to deal with it, live through it.

 

Short term memory problems are a common withdrawal symptom.  Programming reminders into your phone would be a great idea, also leaving notes for yourself or pinning reminders somewhere you will regularly see.

 

Welcome back Steelhead.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Administrator

How about starting a topic in Symptoms about how to remind yourself to self-talk?

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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  • 3 weeks later...
Steelhead

I am realizing that I have lost a lot of my long term memory. I also struggle with short term memory. During daily conversations I struggle with recalling recent things that should come easily. I feel very stupid at times because I have to say "I can't remember right now". I usually can remember what I couldn't during that conversation but it's to damn late usually.

I am also realizing my thought processing is very different from most people. I don't think that's necessarily bad though.

Living with this damn condition does make me think about many things in different ways than I ever did before from what I remember. I don't think I usually thought in depth about anything I just did it or moved onto the next event.

Depersonalization and derealization doesn't help either

Pretty random writing I know. 30 months off

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

How much fish oil and magnesium are you taking 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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Steelhead

I am not taking any additional magnesium other than what is in my daily vitamin. 120 mg (magnesium oxide). Fish oil is 2400 mg at night. 1200 morning.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

I am not taking any additional magnesium other than what is in my daily vitamin. 120 mg (magnesium oxide).

 

From what I understand, magnesium oxide isn't a very well absorbed form.  Most people find it better to take it separate and experiment with with dose, finding the highest possible dose which can be tolerated.  I take the citrate form, between 400 - 600mg per day.  It can have a definite physical calming effect for some people.

 

Have a look at our magnesium topic:

 

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

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

It will be 3 years next week that I have been free of any drugs. Prior to that I was on ssri's or Benzo's for 15 plus years.

I have thought and dreamed about writing a full recovery story on this site to provide inspiration to all who read it. I can't say yet that I have fully recovered. Is a matter of fact I don't think " full " recovery is ever technically achievable. Don't get me wrong I have definitely improved since the hell of cold turkey. This process of healing seams to take so long that it is very difficult for me to see improment. Thanks to my wife she is the one who can remind me of where I was. I still struggle daily with anxiety, depersonalization and just plain dealing with life. It is difficult for me to write about all of my feelings and pains that I deal with on a daily basis to varying degrees. I still wish almost daily this condition would go away! Merry Christmas everyone.

1993 diagnosed with GAD (general anxiety disorder)

Started Xanax (XR) 3-5 yrs??

Switched to Effexor 15 yrs??

Stopped Effexor / Started Xanax as needed never abused

Two weeks cold turkey taper with SSRI bridge

Reinstated SSRI July 2012 for 5 weeks.

Discontinuation Syndrome Bad!!!!!

Drug Free and Struggling!!!

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for coming back to update Steelhead, I joined your post to your original thread so your information is all in one place, its one intro thread per member.  I'm happy to hear that you are continuing to improve, but sorry you feel you haven't achieved complete recovery yet.  I'm in the same situation as you, drug free and struggling, wondering how much longer its going to take.

 

Have you had any therapy or other treatment to address the original anxiety you were having problems with?  I'm glad you have a wife who can point out your improvements and hope you continue to feel better.

 

Best wishes for the holidays to you too.  :)

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Just wanted to say hi and I am sorry for all your suffering. It is truly criminal and I know where you are at I am coming up on 2 years myself from cold turkey off ssri. I ended up in er and reinstating which made it worse finally got on a small dose of Celexa and still on small dose of benzo and working on tapering. I am still in this hell for the long run. Hang in there it will get better.

April 2013 Doc put me back on 40mg of celexa for 2.5 weeks than switched to Paxil 3 weeks adverse reaction and kindling reaction
July 2013 5mg celexa and .5mg klonopin daily

5/15/16 started lamictal and currently at 25mg daily once a day.

1/1/17 crossed over from .5mg klonopin to 10mg Valium.

3/1/17 off celexa from getting down to around .25mg.

5/25/17 started tapering the Valium from 10mg to 9mg

6/25/17 dropped down to 8mg Valium 

currently on 8mg of Valium and 25mg of lamictal once a day in the morning never could handle more than 25mg of lamictal and never really felt anything from it.

7/2/17 updosed to 10mg Valium and holding split twice a day and holding.

3/1/18 dropped Valium from 10mg to 9.5mg

4/1/18 dropped Valium from 9.5 to 9mg still on 25mg lamictal.

Updosed 6/20/18 Valium 10mg and 25mg lamictal and holding.

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  • Administrator

Steelhead, you've come such a long way. You'll be a success story yet! Happy holidays.

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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