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What is withdrawal syndrome?


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GardeniaBlossom

The explanation that Rhi wrote is so helpful! Thank you!

After being on (over 25) psychiatric meds continuously during a 16 year period, I began in July 2014 to taper off 1mg Klonopin. In September 2014, I came off Brintellix, Trazadone, Zoloft, Proprityline & Hydroxyzine in 2 weeks on my own without knowledge on how to taper properly. I've been off all psych "meds" since 10/2014 and am currently experiencing protracted withdrawal.

 

Medication history: Vibryd, Wellbutrin, Lithium, Prozac, Xanax, Celexa, Cymbalta, Trileptal, Lamictal, Abilify, Zoloft, Trazadone, Citalopram, Effexor, Seroquel, Klonopin, Paxil, Brintellix, Protriptyline, Lexapro, Pristiq, Buspar, Clonidine, Lorazepam, Notriptyline, Hydroxyzine, Serzone.

 

Introduction: http://bit.ly/1SIxWwl.

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Good description of antidepressant withdrawal:   http://npanth.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/phases-of-ssri-withdrawal/ Phases of SSRI WithdrawalMarch 14, 2012 — npanth   Not all people experience wi

This is actually very good, except that for many people (especially people with multidrug histories, long histories on the med, previous attempts to CT or rapid taper, and/or started as teenagers befo

Our esteemed member and moderator Rhi's description of the neurobiology of withdrawal syndrome:  

Am i "growing a new brain" while tapering? Seems very controversial. Hopemits true. i just wanna be my old self again...

Partner suddenly died 2014. Severe depression AGAIN (had previous episode 10 years ago). I was given escitalopram but could not bear the side effects, so i ask for an ECT (not sure if this helped). During the treatment and my hospital stay I was given Depakote mood stabilizer.  PDOC says I need to take it for two years. After 4-5 months I have a hard time with the Depakote. Hard to get up in the morning. Depression again or Depakote effects? So stopped Depakote (did not know about tapering then)

 

Januray 21, 2015. Severe depression again, started Pristiq 50mg and clonazepam 0.5 mg nightly. Had confusion, suicidal thoughts, thoughts about death, and find it hard to understand the TV, much more type in a computer.

 

Had adverse reaction to most antidepressants: muscle pain/spasms, irritablity, restlessness. Also Tried Prozac, Zoloft, Escitalopram years ago.

Started to taper pristiq and clonazepam after four months:

5th month:

2 weeks - 3/4 tablet PRISTIQ   (deducting the clonazepam also, so hard to cut)

2 weeks - 1/2 tablet PRISTIQ   (crumbs of clonazepam nightly)

2 weeks - 1/8 or less (hard to cut really) (zero clonazepam)

Then jump off pristiq.

I just wonder why I was cured during the 10 year period (2004-2014) I have no depression symptoms and no meds either. Pdoc said I might be biploar 2 but it is a "grey" area. Aren't bipolars supposed to be on maintenance meds?! Damn this diagnosis. I am tapering Pristiq either way.

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  • 5 months later...

I have a question, does everyone heal? Or are there people who stay like this for the rest of their lives? i see here many people suffering for more than 5 years. 

Several ssri's, antipsychotics, opiads and benzo's since 2003.

Flurazepam: rapid taper after 6 weeks usage in beginning of march 2015

Trazodone: rapid taper from 50ms to 0mgs end of july 2015

Current medication:12 mgs seroquel (from 25mgs)

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People do tend to heal. This can be very slow and frustrating and take many years, which is why we urge people to taper slowly rather than gamble on recovery from withdrawal syndrome.

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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SalvadorAlcantara

Withdrawal occurs because your brain works like a spring when it comes to addiction. Drugs and alcohol are brain depressants that push down the spring. They suppress your brain's production of neurotransmitters like noradrenaline. When you stop using drugs or alcohol it's like taking the weight off the spring, and your brain rebounds by producing a surge of adrenaline that causes withdrawal symptoms.

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People do tend to heal. This can be very slow and frustrating and take many years, which is why we urge people to taper slowly rather than gamble on recovery from withdrawal syndrome.

 

 

I get that, but I did so many cold turkeys in my past (before I knew all this) and that's why I'm wondering. On the benzo forum they did enquiry's and 98 % is healed after 2 years. But I wonder how this is with antidepessants. Because it seems to be longer lasting am I correct? 

Several ssri's, antipsychotics, opiads and benzo's since 2003.

Flurazepam: rapid taper after 6 weeks usage in beginning of march 2015

Trazodone: rapid taper from 50ms to 0mgs end of july 2015

Current medication:12 mgs seroquel (from 25mgs)

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It is impossible to compare benzo withdrawal and antidepressant withdrawal. They are alike in many ways, but there are no statistics about relative severity or recovery time.

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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reachingforthestars

Does anyone know what is the average time to heal from withdrawal after long term use (10+ years)? So so much more intros comparing to success stories makes me little desperate... 

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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There is no average time. No statistics have been collected. It's probably a  normal curve, with some people recovering within some number of months and others within some number of years.

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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  • 4 months later...

I've been on AD:s for nearly two decades. Slowly slowly I experienced increasing side effects from the drugs. Eventually I was not functioning at all. After being a zombie for a whole year I realized the drugs were the major cause and I started tapering them. During tapering I have begun to feel much better - with many ups and downs, two steps forward, three steps back, one step forward and so forth.

 

I wonder - does anybody else find it difficult to distinguish between side effects and WD symptoms?

 

Some symptoms I clearly see as side effects: sexual dysfunction, visual symptoms i.e blurred near vision, restless legs

Typical WD symptoms: body zaps, blood pressure falls, dizziness, headache 

 

Symptoms that I think I've had both as wd and as side effects: brain fog, trouble concentrating, difficulties with planning and organizing, heart palpitation, tiredness, feeling like a zombie, emotional numbness, bruxism. 

 

I guess I'm asking the question because I often find it hard to know when to do the next dose reduction. When are you stable enough? I guess if you have mostly side effects then you should drop the dose, If it's mostly WD then you should hold.

 

Wow I managed to write this! :D  I've been pondering this for quite some time and I haven't been able to put the words down until now! Yey!

Edited by KarenB
merged topics and added bold to reflect lost title

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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SquirrellyGirl

I'm waiting to see what the more experienced mods say, but I find this a perplexing question, too.  

 

You've got start-up symptoms when taking a new drug, due to the drug causing neurochemical imbalances; these often go away as the nervous system attempts to bring about homeostasis through remodeling.

 

Then you've got residual side effects, such as insomnia and sexual side effects.  Perhaps due to a drug being activating or interfering with the normal progression of signaling in the case of sex (not sure if a mechanism has been proposed...).

 

Then you have poop out or what some call tolerance withdrawal, where what seems like withdrawal symptoms arise even though the dosage hasn't been changed, usually with chronic use.  Not sure what the mechanism for that is since the nervous system has done it's best to attain homeostasis in the presence of the drug and the dosage hasn't changed....I know some take exception with the "tolerance withdrawal" terminology since apparently that is a benzo thing.

 

Then you have withdrawal symptoms from tapering too quickly or cold turkey, caused by the imbalance once again due to the drug no longer holding up it's end of things as far as the nervous system is concerned.

 

There certainly is a ton of overlap, though as I alluded, some symptoms are not necessarily due to imbalance but due to interference/toxicity.  It's a mess to figure out!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Wow, thank you Squirrely, I like your answer :-) It surely is a complex thing and the drugs mess up our brains a lot. From this mess of symptoms our new brain is trying to grow and heal.... No wonder many of us are having such a hard time. A nervous system gone hay-wire! 

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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Great question and answer!

It's been my constant struggle for years only found the next day that my analysis was wrong.

 

This is the hardest part in working with tapering, both direction and schedule. Eventually I had to flow with my body's reaction every minute, and go with the one less turturing (well, even both are very intel oracle most times).

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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SquirrellyGirl

LexAnger, I think your auto-correct went goofy!

 

Mjau, I think you answered your own question at the end.  

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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ingridphoenix

I've been on AD:s for nearly two decades. Slowly slowly I experienced increasing side effects from the drugs. Eventually I was not functioning at all. After being a zombie for a whole year I realized the drugs were the major cause and I started tapering them. During tapering I have begun to feel much better - with many ups and downs, two steps forward, three steps back, one step forward and so forth.

 

I wonder - does anybody else find it difficult to distinguish between side effects and WD symptoms?

 

Some symptoms I clearly see as side effects: sexual dysfunction, visual symptoms i.e blurred near vision, restless legs

Typical WD symptoms: body zaps, blood pressure falls, dizziness, headache 

 

Symptoms that I think I've had both as wd and as side effects: brain fog, trouble concentrating, difficulties with planning and organizing, heart palpitation, tiredness, feeling like a zombie, emotional numbness, bruxism. 

 

I guess I'm asking the question because I often find it hard to know when to do the next dose reduction. When are you stable enough? I guess if you have mostly side effects then you should drop the dose, If it's mostly WD then you should hold.

 

Wow I managed to write this! :D  I've been pondering this for quite some time and I haven't been able to put the words down until now! Yey!

I'll be - same thing going on in my mind today - and I quit the ADs for same reason as you - this conversation confirms it - no taper for a while until my brain catches up. Some WD symptoms you listed I experienced whilst on the meds. 

oh well - let us both wait then until we feel stable again - then take the next plunge - well, 10% ;)

I shall follow your post - knowing I have a partner on this journey somewhere in this world who is at the exact same spot I am - I feel less alone.

Let's do this, Mjau, shall we? :)

Getting off Amitriptyline 25 mg, on 12.5 mg now. 50 mg to 25 mg; Cymbalta 60 mg, currently 30 mg/day for 15 days. Decided to cut open remaining 60 mg capsules and take the little tablets inside. 6 = 30 mg. If need be, I can up the dosage, but aside from a bit of toe pain I am ok.UPDATE: >>>>> Amitriptyline 25 mg 1992- ??? ----- 50 mg until March 21, 2016. 2016 - then 25 mg <<<<<went to 20 mg of Amitriptyline, and down 5 tiny tabs of Cymbalta. (less than 30 mg now. cut Klonopin to 1/4 mg now. Trazadone 50 mg 4/14/16Variety of ADs, Buspar, Effexor, Celexa, Zoloft, Wellbutrin (to quit smoking. Success!) Cymbalta, Klonopin from '95 to present.Norco (Vicodin or Hydrocodone) '92 to 2014 - cold turkey - minor issuesHad 1 day with withdrawal symptoms - dealing mostly with Side Effects. April 7, 2016: now taking Ami 12.5 and Cymbalta 30 mg. (in bead form) still 1/2 mg Klonopin. Melatonin 10 mg (have been for years). 1 Trazadone 50 mg for sleep. Amino Acids, Omega 3,6 and 9 w/DHA. Turmeric and Ibuprofen for pain,Tramadol, 50 mg, as needed (PRN) - take maybe 1 per day for Fibro pain. Had one day of very swollen calves and ankles, one day of lumps on calves, all better. Today the toes, lasted 2 hrs, now gone. Important to note I am getting off these drugs BECAUSE of multiple side effects. BM much better, I have an appetite and crave healthy foods again. More energy, but not nervous. Sleeping great, much easier to rise, ok with 7 hrs/sleep, used to need 9 or 10.No burning toes 2nd day. Doing well so far. 4/14/16. legs, ankles still an issue, but less so. <p>
4/21/16.>>>> went to 4 tablets Cymbalta and 15 mg Ami and cut Klonpin to 1/8.
UPDATE: 5/5/16 - 15 mg Amitriptyline, 3 tablet Cymbalta (there are 12 in a 60 mg capsule,) very little Klonopin, 50 mg Trazadone, 10 mg Melatonin, Inositol and Ashwagandha. Tramadol PRN.
---- feeling great - no addl. symptoms , only 3 times something like you all list here. leg/ankle swelling still an issue, but not so much-----

6/5/2016 - All done, except for Trazadone. 50mg/nt is all. It is next, in a couple of months. No more Tramadol either - that was unintentionally, but hey, I am not complaining. I am using Kratom once or twice daily.

6/13/2016 - 25 mg of trazadone. 
Doctor is happy for me how well this is all going. :) Almost done with it all!!

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SquirrellyGirl

LexAnger, I think your auto-correct went goofy!

 

Mjau, I think you answered your own question at the end.  

 

Actually, it was my brain that was the problem, not your autocorrect, Lex!  intel oracle....d'oh!  

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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LexAnger, I think your auto-correct went goofy!

 

Mjau, I think you answered your own question at the end.

 

 

Actually, it was my brain that was the problem, not your autocorrect, Lex!  intel oracle....d'oh!  

 

SG

SG, your brain is still better than the autocorrection :)

I re read my lines and it made me smile, an unexpected bonus for a very painful day.

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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InvisibleUnless

i cannot speak for everyone, and i know this may not even be the majority opinion here, but i personally see no distinction in the possible range of withdrawal effects as divorced from side effects of regular dosing.  to restate: i feel they may both be all-encompassing---if bad stuff can happen, it can happen after taking and continuing a drug or after taking and discontinuing it.

 

that does not mean there isnt a much greater average incidence of certain side effects during withdrawal as compared to maintenance dosing, or that certain clusters are not more common to some time periods than others (like first beginning medications, or tapering down).

 

i have had some withdrawal experiences that seem to add to what most people generally consider withdrawal effects, for instance serotonin syndrome.  while the exact mechanisms behind initial effects and withdrawal effects may differ or interact in whatever ways, i dont feel like someone could accurately and deterministically state that some side effects can only happen while actively taking the drugs in question.

 

at the end of the day, changes in the brain are changes in the brain.  some circumstances and personal factors seem to make particular outcomes more or less likely, when it comes to side effects and withdrawal effects, and i do not propose obscuring the situation by saying "we should just call them all the same thing!".  there simply seems to be a lot of latitude, and no limit to the potential for overlapping drug effects.

 

when it comes to how that all reflects on tapering efforts...i could not comment as constructively.  tapering seems a pretty personal thing---trying to discern what happens in response to particular decisions or behaviors.  other people here have more experience and can give some good investigative advice, i just wanted to chime in about the serious level of overlap present.  someone will probably point out that instability or stress introduced by tapering might lead to a greater vulnerability to side effects from normal dosing which add to the withdrawal effects that may have accompanied the reduction.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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I think there is a lot of cross over in symptoms but there are a couple I had only in wd and I have had a sever adverse reaction a failed taper and fail re instatement tho it was a shody attempt and protracted wd... 

 

Thins I recall as only in wd...

brain and body zaps

extreme noise and light sensitivity (only thing close to this is a real bad mirgraine) but wd sensitivity was much more extreme and constant

Could not speak or form thoughts properly

shaking 

having to move constantly

4 days straight of no sleep with lesser stints of 2-3 being the norm

reactions to chemicals and smells of all sorts reactions to food 

severe reactions to medications even low dose and coffee 

extreme dizziness ... fall down type

actually falling down with a loss of balance like the earth moved and I fell

severe digestive issues 

 

I could go on if thinking about this did not disrupt my peace but it does so that is the end of my list for now because thinking about is still bad for me. 

 

I wish you peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I am glad to read all your answers to my question!  :)  It puts things into perspective!

 

You all have important things to say. The drugs disrupt the normal signaling between neurons. Som effects are more quick and direct, others are slowly onsetting and vice versa in WD and then you have a mixed state adverse effects-WD crisis..... :huh: Which is kind of what my situation is. 

 

IRL I feel very alone with all this. I am so glad this forum exists. We are not alone!

1997-1999 Citalopram 20 mg

1999-2014 Sertraline 50 mg

2012 Sertraline very quick taper due to side effects. Switched to Wellbutrin 150 mg-300 mg. Reinstated Sertraline 25 mg-50 mg.

2013 Exhaustion. Wellbutrin 150 mg. Sertraline 75 mg-100 mg.

Sept 2014 Found this site. Started tapering. Sertraline 87,5 mg + Wellbutrin 150 mg 

Aug 2015 No more Wellbutrin!! Sertraline 50 mg

2016 Sertraline 35 mg (January) - 33 mg (March 21st) - 32,5 mg (July 11) - 32 mg (July 27)

2017 March 28,2 mg and holding

 

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Hey I can weigh in on this one!

 

I think it is "change effects," or "change symptoms."

 

Like Squirrelly said, you have symptoms when you start the drugs.

 

Then, as you adapt the the drugs, these may subside (homeostasis) - but I think that those changes are always waiting for you.

 

Any time you change, then, your life, your food, your dosage, your drugs, your exercise habits, you run the risk of going into symptoms again.  The smallest changes can require an adjustment in homeostasis.

 

I have a hypothesis that people who are on a drug for a long time - and the drug "poops out" - had mitigating factors.  I'm sure there are exceptions that prove me wrong - but a death in the family, a stress at work, a change (or gradual decline) in good diet, or addition of another drug (say, a statin, or PPI, or blood pressure, or even an NSAID) can throw that homeostatis out of whack again.

 

The more times you go in and out of homeostasis, each time your system becomes more sensitive.  Maybe you were 5 years on the drug, hit a rough spot when you went in for that knee surgery,  but then had another few good years before the next "change symptom" came into play.  

 

There is also an effect when you've been adjusted by the drug for a long long time - as different systems, like your endocrine, your gut, your hormones & sleep patterns get affected by this artificial chemical.  Failures start to happen in thyroid, organs, stomach - and of course, it depends on your load from other sources, too - metals, pesticides, carpet fumes, traffic fumes - and more stress.

 

When change symptoms stack upon change symptoms, you get "tolerance," and the drug in your system goes haywire.  This is what is frequently called "side effects."  Then, you aren't sleeping as well, and all of a sudden the drug feels toxic.  But you can't withdraw too quickly, or you will get more "change symptoms!"

 

But really, it's the SAME effects that you had when you first went on the drug, only amplified.

 

When we withdraw the drug, the "change effects" come into play again, depending on how long you were on the drug, how stressful your life is around you, how well you've dealt with your traumas, your attitude (attitude counts for a lot!) towards the symptoms - these things determine how extreme your "withdrawal" will be.

 

That is why I'm very nervous around a lot of fast drug (or food, or supplement) changes!  The changes are nearly as dangerous as the drug, to me!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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I was put on Citalopram 20mg after having 4 weeks of cold turkey withdrawal from Effexor XR 37.5mg that I was only on for around 3-4 weeks. I was on the Citalopram for about 5 weeks and had a very severe reaction from it, so I did my best to taper down to 10mg for 4 days before quitting altogether.

 

I am 30 days off Citalopram and have experienced ZERO physical symptoms of withdrawal. I had some brain zaps and a little bit of a headache, but those have pretty much passed. I'm not experiencing any physical issues, just really harsh anxiety and lack of a buffer between moods.

 

Before the Effexor XR, I was feeling decent but having some issues with returning anxiety brought on by stress. I feel as though the Effexor withdrawal worsened my anxiety state and was causing panic attacks which have since ceased. I'm still dealing with leftover symptoms of either my GAD or the cognitive impairment that the stress of being on Citalopram caused.

 

Is it withdrawal if there are no physical symptoms evident after 30 days of being off of the Citalopram? The reason I ask is because I'm trying to work on this anxiety and I've been pinning it on the withdrawals, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with it. But it might, that's why I'm asking. :| I just can't help but feel confused because all of the posts that I read on here about people coming through bad withdrawals always has to do with the bad physical symptoms they are experiencing, of which I have none. No IBS issues or dizziness, no insomnia, just really bad intense anxiety and DP/DR.

Edited by KarenB
merged topics and added bold to indicate lost title

2015: Citalopram 20mg (2 months) - Venlafaxine HCL ER 75mg (3 weeks)

2016: Citalopram 20mg (6 weeks) - Sertraline 37.5mg (3 days)

I had horrible side effects from the Venlafaxine 75mg, used Fluoxetine 20mg for a week to quickly taper down the Venlafaxine to 37.5mg before discontinuing. I was switched to Citalopram 20mg 5 weeks later and was on them for around 6 weeks before discontinuing due to rare and severe side effects. The Citalopram was making me both mentally and physically ill, caused OCD-like symptoms and severely increased anxiety.

March 26th, 2016: Discontinued Citalopram 20mg. Suffering from Cognitive Impairment, Memory Issues, Blurred Vision, Dizziness, Brain Fog, Increased Anxiety, DP/DR, Neuro-emotions, Heart Palpitations, Brain Zaps, Shortness of Breath, Tunnel Vision, Difficulty Concentrating or Focusing.

April 24th, 2016: Reinstated 10mg Citalopram. Withdrawal symptoms reduced, side effects returned. Insomnia, tiredness, feeling drugged. Mental clarity improved, anxiety reduced.

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Hi Liquid,

 

Yes, WD can be non-physical.  This link has people discussing their anxiety, and especially this post.

 

One thing you need to be aware of is that reading about other people's anxiety and symptoms can make your own worse.

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

 

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015  Current from 14 Nov 2020:  Pristiq 0.50 mg

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

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

 

REMINDER TO SELF:  I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

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  • 4 weeks later...
shelbytrev

I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right spot. I have a question about intrusive thoughts. Has anyone experienced or does anyone know if intrusive thoughts can present as phrases or word thoughts that pop up but as a thought in your head. Not actual voices, like hearing voices. Mine have lessoned but it's always the same phrases out of two or three that happen to me. But I was afraid I might be hearing voices in my head. My psych and therapist say I'm not. But I get worried maybe they don't know. How would I know the difference ? And I never had this issue before coming of Effexor so it's not a prior condition. When first coming off they were non stop repeating over and over in my head. Now it it much less but seems to scare me even more when it does happen cause it's like whoah where did that come from??

Panic attacks-Prozac 20mg 4 years

Effexor 75mg approx 9 years

Effexor to Zoloft 25 mg approx almost 2 weeks

Also used very low dose of Valium 1 mg sometimes 2x a day for anxiety for a month during medication changes.

Zoloft to Celexa 10 mg approx a week

Celexa to Prozac 10 mg for approx 5 weeks

Weaned off Prozac 10-5-2.5 mg

As of 1-8-2016 off everything

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Junglechicken

Hi Liquid,

 

Yes, WD can be non-physical.  This link has people discussing their anxiety, and especially this post.

 

One thing you need to be aware of is that reading about other people's anxiety and symptoms can make your own worse.

Just made that mistake and completely freaked myself out.

 

Have throat pain and the feeling of a lump of phlegm and since reading all the symptoms others have had in their throats I am beside myself with worry :0(

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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How do you discern withdrawal-depression from primary (returning) depression? I'm in 3rd week zero and have the horrible lethargy/fatigue and I know it well from my depression history. I fear it will not go away because it is the condition I started taking the med for - in which case it would be better to start taking the med again right away.

(I don't remember what I used to take before 2005. It was a few years.)

2005-venlafaxine 150 mg - for major depressive disorder

2015-venlafaxine down to 75mg

end of march - stopped venlafaxine altogether after 1 month of tapering.

beginning of march - crossfade from Vfx into brintellix 15 mg. Stopped after 1 month (Decided to stop ADs)

same time - started taking 0,625 lorazepam daily, taken at different times of the day, when most needed.

 

june 9th - reinstated 2x12,5mg/day. No change after 2 days. Some relief after 4 days. After 6 days it gets worse again. June 14th - increased to 2x25 mg/d. June 19th - Feeling all the withdrawal symptoms again.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome torvikk.

 

Many psychotropic drugs cause withdrawal; the symptoms of withdrawal are very similar to original conditions. Have you read this thread from the beginning? First post by Altostrata

 

Please start a thread in the Introductions and Updates Forum.  People are more likely to see and your question there.

 

Some questions for you to answer in your first post in your Introduction thread:

 

What drugs did you take?  How much?  When was your last one?

Did you just stop taking it or did you gradually reduce to zero? 

If you gradually reduced, how long did you take to get to zero?

 

You can write that information in your post and in a signature.  Please create a signature. When it appears below every post you make, it will help others to understand and help you.   Instructions on Making a Signature .

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • 3 months later...
reachingforthestars

I read about neurogenesis and looks like there are only few areas in the brain that can grow new neuron. 

 

"Neurogenesis does not occur everywhere in the brain but is evident in the hippocampus and olfactory bulb and perhaps in the cerebral cortex. New neurons are born not from mature nerve cells but rather develop from neural stem cells that remain in our brains throughout life. "

 

I have speculated that maybe there are two types of damage(or probably more). I feel that at first my WD symptoms were due to neurotransmitter deficiency since my body and brain had to adapt different serotonin levels with SSRI and then without SSRI. 

I feel that my receptors weren't desensitized at that point since I was so full of emotions.

But when I updosed and had bad reaction to it I lost those emotions and I think that due to updosing my receptors also became desensitized. So now I have both altered levels of neurotransmitters due to SSRI and desensitized receptors due to updosing.

 

I have tried to find studies about desensitized receptors becoming sensitized again but haven't find any... 

 

Sorry my clumsy English I hope you can comprehend what I'm trying to say...

Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

frustratedgirl: I've moved your post to a new Introduction topic. Here is the link: frustratedgirl: escitalopram.

 

Please ask questions, record symptoms, and post updates there. It's best to keep all that kind of information in one place.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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I waned to pose a question as to the length of time it took for aome people to show sihns and symptoms of discontinuation ot withdrawal symptoms. I was completwly symtpom free for about a year and have trouble guaging whether or not the symtpoms I am having, particularly insomnia are from discontinuation or not. I began having anxiety and depression about 11 months after discontinuation and insommia almost 14 months after discontinuation. I figure taking to this thread and asking others what they went through may help me find answers.

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting. My stress was Trump winning the election. Was doing pretty ok, but that knocked me for a loop And he's going to be around for 4 years (at least). My PA says a lot of her clients were affected this way! Not under my control of course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting. My stress was Trump winning the election. Was doing pretty ok, but that knocked me for a loop And he's going to be around for 4 years (at least). My PA says a lot of her clients were affected this way! Not under my control of course.

Hate to break it to you but 4 years will more than likely be 8 for you!

2005: Began switching from one ssri to the next. Very little tapering time was instructed by my psychiatrist. Tried just about every drug on the market. Some two or three times. Nothing reallly helped my moderate depression and anxiety. They only made things worse most of the time!!

2014: Began experiencing severe symptoms while still taking Zoloft, oddly enough. Was forced to quit drugs altogether.

2017: A new year begins having experienced substantial improvement. Still not sure if my symptoms were severe protracted withdrawal or a severe reaction to a med, or possibly a combination of each.

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  • 3 months later...
Bluebird2009

I truly believe there are things that we can do to help ourselves be more at ease when we are in some stages of withdrawal. I am a firm believer in meditation and/or deep relaxation as I have found it to be helpful in almost all stages of withdrawal and it was indeed the first thing I ever noticed to make an almost unnoticeable change in my suffering. The more I did it the more noticeable the change was it was in no way a miracle but small moves towards healing need to be honored and sought if we are going to survive this wd syndrome and get to a more stable place. Yes it can be that bad and I do not want to harp on that.... but we need things to see us through this. Deep relaxation was one of those things for me... the book " The Power of Now" helped me greatly with my perspective at one point so much so you will see my recommending it all over the internet to help people survive withdrawal. How much we heal is an unanswered question how much we suffer can be helped by some things we choose sometimes...not always. An important fact as surviving this is the most important thing at the end of the day.sadly not everybody makes it out.. if we are going to survive we need to have tools to help us.

Understanding what is going on is part of the tool box in my opinion this area is still lacking but some head way has been made.

 

I want any new person who comes to this thread to be hopeful but not foolish... it will be challenging to get through this. Some things that will help are understanding and some tools to try. Please heed the warning of those who came before you... we/they learned by doing and have no reason to tell you any lies if we say to start supplement low it is because we suffered from not doing so... if we say taper has to be better than cold turkey it is because we have done cold turkey... let our mistakes help you to not make the same ones.. to lessen your suffering and increase your odds of a more complete recovery. The only motive we have to be here is to help other people not have to go through the pain we have lived... well that is my reason... I think it is the same for others and support.

 

We are all learning from each other lets try to be as kind as we call everybody hurts.

 

Tools to help you:

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

 

Journals to learn from:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/16-from-journals-and-scientific-sources/

peace

Have you recovered??

Prozac for 18years with break in 1999 for pregnancy. Started to feel unwell with numerous problems 2015 and think I was in a tolerance to drug. Started to come off May 2016 and by June 2016 wasn't able to tolerate any medications at all. Was on Lansoprazole as and when need from 2001 but haven't had to take and wldnt have been able to take since June 2016

 

GP gave sertraline 25mg 6/04/17 loss of appetite, gut pain and then following morning whole body shaking and vomiting. Stopped tablet.

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Antidepressant Discontinuation syndrome guide to clinicians from David McAuley, Pharm.D

This gives me some hope that there are professionals out there trying to educate clinicians about antidepressants and withdrawal. Unfortunately, he also mentions the magical 2 weeks number of withdrawal and recommends a 25% taper rate. But otherwise this is quite comprehensive.

http://www.globalrph.com/discontinuation_syndrome.htm

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Phases of SSRI Withdrawal -- Is There a Pattern?
  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/23/2016 at 4:07 PM, Liquid said:

I was put on Citalopram 20mg after having 4 weeks of cold turkey withdrawal from Effexor XR 37.5mg that I was only on for around 3-4 weeks. I was on the Citalopram for about 5 weeks and had a very severe reaction from it, so I did my best to taper down to 10mg for 4 days before quitting altogether.

 

I am 30 days off Citalopram and have experienced ZERO physical symptoms of withdrawal. I had some brain zaps and a little bit of a headache, but those have pretty much passed. I'm not experiencing any physical issues, just really harsh anxiety and lack of a buffer between moods.

 

Before the Effexor XR, I was feeling decent but having some issues with returning anxiety brought on by stress. I feel as though the Effexor withdrawal worsened my anxiety state and was causing panic attacks which have since ceased. I'm still dealing with leftover symptoms of either my GAD or the cognitive impairment that the stress of being on Citalopram caused.

 

Is it withdrawal if there are no physical symptoms evident after 30 days of being off of the Citalopram? The reason I ask is because I'm trying to work on this anxiety and I've been pinning it on the withdrawals, but I'm not sure that has anything to do with it. But it might, that's why I'm asking. :| I just can't help but feel confused because all of the posts that I read on here about people coming through bad withdrawals always has to do with the bad physical symptoms they are experiencing, of which I have none. No IBS issues or dizziness, no insomnia, just really bad intense anxiety and DP/DR.

I have almost very little physical symptoms also. Almost all mental symptoms. I would rather have physical symptoms.

2005-2015 sertaline, 2015 to November 2018 escatalopram. Used liquid titration to drop doses. By 0.5mg at first then drops as small as 0.01mg at end of taper. Jumped of at 0.02mg

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Downbutnotout
17 minutes ago, Itzakadoozee said:

I have almost very little physical symptoms also. Almost all mental symptoms. I would rather have physical symptoms.

 

17 minutes ago, Itzakadoozee said:

I have almost very little physical symptoms also. Almost all mental symptoms. I would rather have physical symptoms.

I don’t really have them either, but people with physical symptoms also have the anxiety stuff.  Neither us good. 

 

2001 Remeron , Celexa, prozac a week on lithium. 

2014 went off effexor and trazadone in 3 weeks. 

2014 zoloft (hyper reaction) put on effexor 75 mg. Was stable until 2017 

2017  Trazadone 50 mg (June) Effexor to 113 mg (2 weeks) Effexor 150 mg for a month . Took 75 mg until November. . Lithium 10 days, Lamactil 10 day  aug-nov15 ativan

October : Prozac bridge to get off 75 mg of effexor Used 10 mg of prozac. Stopped prozac 3 wk 

Dec 6, 7 Upped trazadone from 50 to 100 mg Did it for 3 days Stopped it

Dec 7 , Dec 8 Took prozac again 0.1 , 0.1, 0.6 stopped it

Dec 11 and Dec 12 upped it to 100 again

Dec 15 , 16,17 went back to 50 mg of trazadone

December 18 Began 3 beads of effexor  Dec 25 began 5 beads of effexor take 10 mg of omneprazole daily

 

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