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12to27: 15 years and counting!


12to27

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Hi! I was, "diagnosed," with depression when I was an extremely shy and moody 12 year old, and prescribed anti-depressants. Throughout my adolescence, I would mistake normal teenage sadness/moodiness for depression, which would either result in a high dose, or different drug, which never resulted in any difference in my feelings. I have always been described as, "sensitive," which scared me from trying to taper off earlier. I have decided that 15 years of messing with my mental chemistry has been enough. I tried cold turkey in December of 2012, which resulted in intense flu-like symptoms, and extreme lethargy for a week before I started taking 20mgs of Celexa again. November of 2013 I decided to seek help from a lovely psychiatrist who has been vital to my taper off process. She recommended we taper off over 3 months, but I insisted on doing it slower in hopes that it actually works this time, which might have been a bad idea. I went from 20mg, to 15mg, to 10mg, to 5mg, to 2.5mg over 5 months, and took my last 2.5mg 9 days ago. Throughout this process I started to have instances where I felt hostile, then frustrated, then got hurt feelings. This has been exacerbated over the past week, and I have developed the same flu-like symptoms and lethargy I had last year, in addition to dizziness, weird headaches, nausea, decreased range of motion in joints. My work performance has decreased, I am offended by everything and react combatively. I feel so dramatic, and I am afraid my fiancé is going to leave me. I read online that the worst of it starts after the drug is mostly out of your system and lasts up to 3 weeks. Do you find this to be true?

Paxil-2 years

Cymbalta-2 years

Zoloft-3 years

Prozac- 3 years

Wellbutrin- 6 mos

Effexor- 6 mos

Celexa- 4 years and counting...

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Check ur inbox :) I can help

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

Hi 12to27, welcome to our community.

 

I cannot confirm the information you found online.  We see members who start withdrawals during initial weaning and also those who experience significant withdrawals after discontinuing the drugs.  We recommend a slow taper of no more than 10% of the previous dose to minimize withdrawal symptoms while discontinuing these drugs.

 

While your original thought to slow down the taper to avoid withdrawal symptoms was good, you still discontinued more rapidly than we would advise, especially in light of the many drugs you've been on and off of.  The symptoms you describe from discontinuing celexa are withdrawal symptoms.  I recommend that you re-instate at the last dose where you were stable, which appears to be 2.5 mg.  Monitor your symptoms and if you don't experience some relief in about a week, then increase to 5 mg. 

 

Once stable, you will do a slow taper of no more than 10% of your previous dose and hold for about 4 weeks to minimize withdrawal symptoms.  Here is our thread on tapering off of Celexa: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2022-making-a-celexa-solution-yourself

 

Thank you for including your drug withdrawal history in your signature.

 

You'll find lots of support here.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Thanks MrAnxious, I replied!

 

Thanks Karma! I have pretty much never felt that stable, I have always been super sensitive, which is why I want to try not being on drugs. The physical side effects of vertigo, muscle spasms, headache and lethargy are what I presume are my withdrawal symptoms. I worry that since I put up with it for a week, I don't want to go through it again... :(

Paxil-2 years

Cymbalta-2 years

Zoloft-3 years

Prozac- 3 years

Wellbutrin- 6 mos

Effexor- 6 mos

Celexa- 4 years and counting...

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  • Moderator Emeritus

The emotional stuff is likely to be withdrawal as well. No one can say how long it will last and toughing it out is no way to treat your nervous system. So I agree with karma on the reinstatement at whichever level you were at and not in withdrawal

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

First: For someone who was on psych meds from age 12 to age 27, with multiple drug and dosage changes, I have never seen a taper of less than a year succeed, and usually it takes longer. So I'm not surprised to hear you're having trouble. You tapered very fast.

 

Second: Please take a look at the charts in this paper (the charts start at about page four). You will see that from 2.5 mg to zero is a much more drastic change than from 20 mg to 15 or 15 to 10 or 10 to 5. It's under 5 mg that the receptor occupancy really starts to drop and from 2.5 mg to zero is a drastic decrease. Here's the link: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

 

Third: How fast the drug is out of your system is irrelevant. Your brain has been shaped and modeled around the chemistry that these drugs create. It has grown around the drugs the way a plant grows on a trellis. This happens to people at any age due to normal neuroplastic adaptations, but when you take a growing, developing young brain, I suspect the effects are very deep. Genes that would normally be expressed have been turned off and left dormant, and others have been turned on. Receptors that should have been present, never grew at all. Cells grew differently than they would have without the drug. All of those changes must be gradually reversed, and that's going to take some time.

 

Here's something to read about that:

http://beyondmeds.com/2011/03/31/trellis/

 

and this: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6447-best-of-sa/?p=89767

 

Please reinstate, give your brain the support it needs, and learn about tapering. Then take your time and taper at a rate that allows you to safely regrow a brain that's designed for your natural chemistry. If you were my kid (and mine are your age) I would insist you take at least three years.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

If you think one week of this is bad, I can almost guarantee that there will be many more like it and even worse without reinstatement. I "tapered" off of Lexapro, a very similar drug to Celexa, over three and a half months and it's taken two and a half years to get close to normal again. I was disabled for about the first four months, unable to do much beyond getting out once in a while to get necessities, unable to sleep for two to three days at a time. Yes, I definitely mean to scare you. I hate to see anyone going through this hell unnecessarily.

 

Please read our topic on reinstatement: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/ You have approximately thirty days to go back on the drug safely, so please don't delay.

 

Welcome to the forum. I hope you'll listen to the advice here and save yourself months to years of misery.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

In my experience the people who are able to get off ADs with just a few weeks of WD symptoms generally have been on them for a relatively short time, did not take them when they were young and their brains were developing, and have no prior history of previous tapers or CTs. 

 

What seems to be typical is that someone with an uncomplicated history (less than a year on the med, no prior history, no other psych meds, and an already adult brain) can go on and off two or three times with tolerable initial withdrawal, although they often have a delayed "relapse" effect down the road (actually a delayed withdrawal, but it's diagnosed as a relapse). Then after the third time or so everything is just too destabilized and they get hit with protracted withdrawal.

 

I know it's a lot to take in, what we're saying to you, when it's so different from what you were expecting and hoping. We have all learned this stuff over many years working with hundreds and hundreds of people (some of us into the thousands), so we've had lots of time to absorb it all.

 

I'd highly recommend reinstating at 2.5 mg now and then taking some deep breaths, and then taking a few months to really learn about psych meds and tapering. If after reinstating and doing some learning you decide you want to CT at 2.5 mg after all, you can do it three months from now just as easily as right now.

 

If we're right and you're in for hell, then you'll have saved yourself a lot of suffering for many years (well, or more likely, what I would predict, would be that you'll end up back on meds, probably stronger ones, and headed towards a predictable course of worsening disability, which is what usually happens.) If we're wrong, all you've lost is three months. Not much given that you've been on meds for 15 years. And you only get one brain.

 

Your call.

 

I strongly recommend that you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, as soon as things settle enough and you have the time.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh, and check out this website: http://cepuk.org/

 

It's new and I keep forgetting to mention it, but it's as good as the Whitaker book and has videos. I like videos. :-)

 

This one is very short and bottom line:

http://cepuk.org/2014/05/16/video-research-show-effects-long-term-use-psychiatric-drugs%E2%80%A8%E2%80%A8/

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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