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Kali123: fourth time's a charm?


Kali123

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I found this website this afternoon after listening to an interview with the author of "Anatomy of an Epidemic" on CBC and learning about SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome. I am a 40 yo woman who has been on Celexa for 13 years (from 10-40 mgs varying over time). I have tried 3 times to taper off of this drug and have had quite serious and scary relapses each time. My previous GP told me I would have to take it for the rest of my life and I accepted that as fact until quite recently.  About 3 months ago, I began taking Wellbutrin and finally feel the strength to try to come off the SSRI again. I am starting to recognize the buried parts of myself that may have been smothered by the SSRI over the years. That said, I have 2 young children and am terrified of becoming a monster without my medications. In the past, withdrawal always meant extreme anxiety that turned into disabling depression after a matter of months, even with a relatively slow taper. Still, I am determined to recover some of the creativity, energy and confidence I had before my first major depressive episode and diagnosis. 

 

After reading many posts on this site, my goal is to taper off the Celexa extremely slowly using the 10%/ month guideline and continue with the Wellbutrin until at least a few months after I am off the Celexa to see how I am. I am hopeful that the support of a community that has been here before will help me to tough it out. 

 

Thanks for listening.

 

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kali,

 

welcome to the forum.  Looks like you have read through a lot of the important info.   Thanks for filling out your signature.   The 10% rule is a good guideline to go by.   Some people can go quicker, others need to go slower.   Its important to listen to your body, respect its wisdom and take the time you need.   

 

You do have a community behind you and we are happy to provide support

 

Dalsaan

Edited by Shep
updated with new username

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

Hi Kali,

 

Welcome and congratulations for deciding to safely taper off your medications.  I'm a little concerned about your choice of tapering off the Celexa first.  We suggest tapering from the most activating drug first, to minimize anxiety and sleep issues.  Wellbutrin tends to be more activating than Celexa.  It is energizing and often causes anxiety, agitation, nervousness, loss of appetite, and insomnia as side effects.

 

In the past you have experienced anxiety as a withdrawal symptom, so this may be something to think about.

 

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa

 

 

What dose of Celexa are you taking now?  Are you experiencing any side effects at the moment?

 

As Dalsaan mentioned, we are happy to be able to support you.

 

Petu.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username

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

Your story is, unfortunately, not unusual. I wound up on 20 years of psych meds, basically lost years for me, due to side effects and attempts to withdraw from meds.

 

It seems to be fairly common for people to get off ADs and do okay at first and then to experience a "relapse" a few months out. We see this pattern all the time. That "relapse" is actually another stage of withdrawal symptoms, but it's usually diagnosed as mental illness and people are usually put back on meds or on more or stronger meds.

 

If you taper very slowly, listening to your body, stopping whenever you get withdrawal symptoms and holding until you are stable again, you should be able to come off the meds without becoming a "monster" as you say. There will be withdrawal symptoms but they should be manageable and you will be in control of the process and be able to choose to take a break if you need to.

 

That said, I have to agree with the concerns about Wellbutrin. Like a lot of these meds, people often feel good on it at first, but over the long term it can cause all kinds of problems and actually just make things worse. I took it for many years and although it helped at first, over the years it made me sicker, more irrational, more suicidal, more anxious, less socially able to function than I was to begin with and eventually quite disabled physically and emotionally. I was on multiple meds so they all contributed, but I think Wellbutrin actually caused me more physical problems with long-term use (esophageal damage due to reflux, compromised liver function, chronic migraines, increased blood pressure) than the other ones did.

 

If I were in your position I would consider doing an alternating taper, first getting the Celexa dose down by about half, then doing the same with the Wellbutrin, and then at that point re-evaluating where you want to go next. If you do a very slow taper you may find that you feel quite well on lower doses; people usually do well on much lower doses than what is considered "therapeutic."

 

oh and PS, if you haven't yet read Anatomy of an Epidemic, I recommend it highly. Also check out the website "cepuk.org".

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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Thank you for all your replies.

To answer Petru's question, I am currently on 40 mgs Celexa. The side effects I am experiencing (which I attribute to the Celexa not the Wellbutrin as they preceded the Wellbutrin) include: complete loss of libido, lethargy, loss of confidence, increased drinking and eating (the drinking is almost gone now that I am on the Wellbutrin as the combo makes me sick), creative deadness, apathy.... that sort of thing. Since I've started the Wellbutrin, I feel a bit more hopeful and motivated to try to change something. Most of the above symptoms persist, however, coupled with new symptoms like periodic vomiting, frequent nausea, occasional twitchy feelings etc. 

 

What are some of the longterm problems associated with Wellbutrin? I had a tough rampup with the drug (constant nausea) but most of that has settled down.

 

I chose to taper off Celexa first as its side effects are the most troubling to me. 

 

A little more background: I am currently a SAHM in a newish city feeling pretty stuck in my life. I have always been an overachiever and adventurer in the past (world traveller, PhD, film and tv work) but live a quite quiet and mundane existence at the moment, though filled with the joys and fullness of family. Sometimes I wonder how much of my depression is situational and how much is "biochemical" - I feel compelled to explore how I might do without these drugs. 

 

I really appreciate your thoughtful responses and interest in my particular situation.

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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SAHM - Stay at home mom

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kali,

 

Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find a lot of other members here who've experienced the same pattern as yourself--getting on a psychiatric drug, getting off, and then experiencing a supposed "relapse", which in reality, is a withdrawal reaction to getting off the drugs too fast.  I'm so glad that you found us and that you're willing to take things as slowly as necessary.  With careful tapering, you need have no fear of turning into a "monster" with your children.

 

You'll find lots of solid information here and friendly support for your journey. And please do read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. It's an eye-opener.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username

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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Hi....

 

I recently got off Celexa.  I, like you have to taper another med now.  I found celexa to be very stimulating.

 

Like the others said.....take your time.  There are some videos on youtube that I saw on another support group that show how the receptors in the brain are affected by WD, so doing is slowly is helpful.

 

Nice to meet you

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Your story is, unfortunately, not unusual. I wound up on 20 years of psych meds, basically lost years for me, due to side effects and attempts to withdraw from meds.

 

It seems to be fairly common for people to get off ADs and do okay at first and then to experience a "relapse" a few months out. We see this pattern all the time. That "relapse" is actually another stage of withdrawal symptoms, but it's usually diagnosed as mental illness and people are usually put back on meds or on more or stronger meds.

 

If you taper very slowly, listening to your body, stopping whenever you get withdrawal symptoms and holding until you are stable again, you should be able to come off the meds without becoming a "monster" as you say. There will be withdrawal symptoms but they should be manageable and you will be in control of the process and be able to choose to take a break if you need to.

 

That said, I have to agree with the concerns about Wellbutrin. Like a lot of these meds, people often feel good on it at first, but over the long term it can cause all kinds of problems and actually just make things worse. I took it for many years and although it helped at first, over the years it made me sicker, more irrational, more suicidal, more anxious, less socially able to function than I was to begin with and eventually quite disabled physically and emotionally. I was on multiple meds so they all contributed, but I think Wellbutrin actually caused me more physical problems with long-term use (esophageal damage due to reflux, compromised liver function, chronic migraines, increased blood pressure) than the other ones did.

 

 

 

Can anyone point me to information specific to Wellbutrin in terms of long term damage? 

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I don't have info specific to Wellbutrin other than anecdotal experience-- I believe "mattinsmom" has a neurologist who's very unhappy with it, and I personally did well on it at first but poorly over the longer term. And that seems to be a common pattern with ADs in general--well, psych drugs in general--as explored extensively by Whitaker in his book.  

 

So that's what I meant, not that Wellbutrin is exceptional in that regard, but that in general I personally have seen just as many reports of long term problems and worsening with Wellbutrin as with any other AD or psych meds, and certainly that was the case for me. 

 

Nobody's doing research on long term effects of these drugs, as far as I know. If there's any such research I haven't heard about it. (It could be I just haven't heard about it, but Alto's pretty good about staying on top of the research.)

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Kali.

 

Consult Dr. Google for "Wellbutrin adverse effects" for info.

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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Was speaking with my MD / Psychotherapist earlier this week about my tapering plan. He is not on board at all. In fact, he advised me to stop reading the internet so much. Very dismissive. I presented the information I have gathered as coherently as possible and he said that if I was determined to go off there was nothing he could say. He basically guaranteed me that I would relapse. Very dispiriting.

 

I tried to argue that I don't truly believe my underlying baseline state is a one of extreme, debilitating depression (what I experienced during my previous 3 attempts) but that I was going through a withdrawal and never really got to see my underlying non-medicated state. He didn't buy it at all and I felt incredibly stuck. 

 

I don't know why I'm sharing this here or what kind of advice I am seeking. I am quite stable at the moment and afraid how his attitude will affect me should I become less solid during my taper. That said, I'm not ready to abandon the therapeutic relationship with him as I know we have done some very good work together around past traumas, family history, etc.

 

How do others deal with continuing a relationship with a medical professional who doesn't really believe in the ineffectiveness of SSRI's?

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Administrator

You're talking about 95% of medical professionals.

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

Unfortunately one of the guarantees I can give you is that doctors often mistake withdrawal for relapse. This can be difficult, particularly if they will be looking for any sign to prove themselves right. Personally I think you owe it to yourself to give tapering off slowly and carefully a go, rather than accepting being medicated all your life.

 

I will leave it to others to comment on how to handle your doctor. I just shopped around until I found a doctor who was willing to work with me on my goals and was comfortable with me having power in it. It may not be that easy where you are or in your situation so let's hear from others. I would want some assurance that he will support you in terms of providing prescriptions etc as necessary.

 

D

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

And can I say having already done good therapy around past traumas puts you in a good place to withdrawal. I discovered a need to do this part way through - not great

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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Dr. Shipko suggested the term "washout", which is a medical term implying taking all the drugs out and then resuming what is needed. Your doc has the responsibility to support you if that is what you choose to do.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I would add - what, if anything is needed.  Withdrawal has given me a great opportunity to learn non drug ways of dealing with issues and symptoms.

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

Give him a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic. (Not that it will help.)

 

I was lucky to have a good doctor for the first three years of my taper. Since then I've had to just be insistent about what I need and want, sometimes not tell them the whole truth about what I'm doing, and frankly I'm still not completely satisfied with my healthcare provider, but for now she's writing the Rxs I need and I'm doing the rest.

 

Really you are going to have to educate yourself so that you can overcome his attitude, build confidence in yourself, and do what's right for you.

 

Definitely read Anatomy yourself, it will help you understand why your doctor is so dismissive and how he's been brainwashed very intentionally at great expense by pharmaceutical companies. (Well, that, and the medical culture itself is generally very dismissive of patients anyway, as far as having any intelligence or credibility, and I speak as someone who works in healthcare. So his attitude has been reinforced by his education and is constantly reinforced by everyone he works with.)

 

And if he's at all open (which he probably won't be, I've learned not to be optimistic about that) maybe he WILL be willing to read Anatomy.

 

Personally I would not be able to have a close, trusting relationship with a therapist who was so dismissive of my thoughts and concerns. You might want to talk to him about how that feels to you and what it's doing to the therapeutic relationship.

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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Rhi - that is the core of the issue - what it is doing to the therapeutic relationship. I feel like my ideas of myself and my mental health are undergoing a huge transition as I am learning more about psychoactive drugs and I am questioning so many things that I basically just took for fact for the last decade+. My doctor, hell, even my husband, are not keeping up with these changes, and I understand that. I have spent more than a few sleepless nights running the "what if's" through my mind:

what if I cannot tolerate the withdrawal and really lose my grip again?

what if I cannot tolerate the withdrawal and when I go back on my meds they no longer work?

what if I never regain my libido and general energy?

what if I had never started taking SSRI's? would my life had been different?

what if I have already done permanent damage to my brain and I am as stable now as I'll ever be?

what if I look back at my decision to taper as the worst mistake I ever made for destabilizing my mood completely?

and on and on ad nauseum.

clearly I am a very risk-averse person, especially because I have 2 young children who depend on me both physically and emotionally.

With my current lack of energy, I actually feel exhausted by the thought of educating all those close to me about what I have learned about long term SSRI use - educating and convincing. But I feel like I'm preparing for a big challenge - I am stealing myself for (though trying not to resign myself to) some struggle with the taper and I need the support of people like my partner and my shrink. When I asked my husband (who is also an MD) point blank what he thought about my plans, he responded that he supported me "as long as my mood didn't crash." I don't need to explain to you how awful that kind of response can feel. 

 

In addition to having a therapeutic foundation with my doc, there are logistical reasons for staying with him (I have about $300/ year in psychologist insurance while I can see an MD/pt for free though my provincial health plan). Also, as much as we differ on this topic, it has been my work with him that has brought me to this point of willingness and motivation to change. 

 

Thank you all for listening and for offering this space for me to work through these thoughts.

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Administrator

When you hit those "what-ifs," you might consider what the alternatives might be.

 

Sometimes the only way out is through.

 

As for educating all around you -- that should not be your first priority, which is to take care of yourself. You don't have to justify yourself or get permission from anyone to do this. No one else has to agree with you. Focus on doing what's best for you.

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 weeks later...

thought I'd drop in and update. I find reading other people's progress helps me to put my own in perspective and stop blaming myself for how I'm feeling. 

 

I'm having a pretty low day although I find it hard to put my finger on what is really going on or wrong with me. I try to "tune in" to my body and come up with a foggy feeling that I cannot penetrate.

 

One thing I'm trying to sort out now is which symptoms belong to which changes. For example, I have had serious long-term symptoms that I attributed to the Celexa but I'm not sure if they are unrelated:

low libido

low energy

overeating / overdrinking

nightsweats

vivid, anxious terrifying dreams

 

When I started the Wellbutrin this spring, my mood lifted a trace and my appetite dulled a bit but the other symptoms persisted and new ones piled on like:

periodic nausea

irritability

self-loathing

 

Now that I have tapered slightly, I am noticing my appetite is very strong and I'm eating a lot of sugar / carbs. This worries me as my weight / body image is very linked to my sense of self worth (not healthy in and of itself, I know). I'm also experiencing more fatigue than ever. Do you think this is related to the taper or just a separate issue? When might I realistically expect to see a lessening of some of the Celexa side effects? Any input / guesses here would be greatly appreciated. 

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Administrator

Fatigue can be a citalopram side effect. You're still taking a substantial dose of citalopram. Be patient, do what you can to eat healthily.

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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Thanks, Altostrata.

Sick again today - sick head, that is. I'm actually wondering if it may be an exaggerated hangover from 2 1/2 glasses of wine last night. Over the last couple of years, until I started Wellbutrin this spring, I was drinking very regularly - not to the point of drunkenness but easily 1-3 glasses of wine every night. The Wellbutrin put a hiccup in that habit because I would get very sick from anything more than a glass. However, over time, I have slowly built up my tolerance again and occasionally (one every week or so) have 2-3 glasses without any ill effects. 

 

So, today's symptoms are hard to pinpoint. I feel exhausted, weak, stiff, bad headache, cotton-stuffed head feeling. Having recently gone from 35mg to 30mgs of Citalopram, I wonder if it's withdrawal.

 

I know that alcohol is a bad thing to be throwing into the mix right now, and I can say with certainty that it doesn't improve energy or mood during the day, but OH for the evenings. Sometimes, I hate to admit this, a glass of wine feels like my only pleasure right now. I tell myself that I have to take this habit in hand, because it is turning into a problem in its own right, but the pleasure and symptomatic relief given by the alcohol for a short time keeps winning out. For example, after even half a glass of wine, I feel much more relaxed, hopeful, less irritable, etc.

 

How can I possibly tackle a potential alcohol problem at the same time as this SSRI taper? I feel despair even thinking of giving everything up.

I already dropped my occasional cigarette since Wellbutrin took all the joy out of it,and now I feel like I'm being denied any little pleasure. I know this doesn't logically add up but there are my thoughts tonight. I think I will use this outlet to help me track my thoughts as much as for seeking concrete advice, if that isn't a misuse of the forum.

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Kali,

You can use your thread for journalling thoughts along with recording progress and getting advice.  All of it is helpful to keep and read through as a reminder of how far we come.

 

Alcohol can start to cause paradoxical effects for many people tapering and in withdrawal.  Some people can manage by cutting down, others have to stop alcohol completely because the adverse effects start to outweigh any 'benefits'.

 

I had to stop completely because even the smallest amount started to make me feel worse, not better and then the next day, like you wrote, it was like having a severe hangover. 

 

Things like yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques can work as well as alcohol for relaxation and stress relief.

 

Petu.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username

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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Hi Kali,

 

We are sound like we are going through the same thing. You can catch more of my story on my thread. I am a 42 year old mom of two young girls and got put on lexapro 7 years ago for post partum. I am now on celexa bc reinstating lexapro 2 months after quitting 5mg went to hell in a handbasket. Horrible reaction. So doc put me on celexa 30 mg and I have had a lot of nasty side effects from it so in November starting dosing down 2.5 mgs at time until April until I hit 10mg. Two weeks ago, s$*%t hit the fan and started in the depths of withdrawal again. Horrible tremors, anxiety, rls, just a nightmare. So now I am trying to stabilize at 15mg, and may even have to go up. The shaking is insane! So, I would encourage you to go slow. I now know it will take me years to get off this drug! So sorry you are feeling this pain too!!! And I have also been drinking too much wine as well:-( quite honestly, ssri's actually make me want to drink more than being off them...

Edited by Shep
updated with new username

May 2007 started Lexapro 10mg for 2 weeks and up to 20mg (Post Partum Depression)June 2009 Reduced to 10mgAugust 2011 Reduced to 5 mgFeb 2013 Quit Cold TurkeyApril 2013 Reinstated 5mg for 3 days only & Ambien 10mgJune 2013 Introduced Celexa 10mg for 5 days and up to 20mgSeptember 2013 increased to 30mgOctober 2013 Tapered Ambien and quit<p>

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  • Moderator Emeritus

A lot of people report craving alcohol on SSRIs. And most of us find we can't tolerate it very well during withdrawal. 

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.

Link to comment

Yes - I have drunk more heavily since I started SSRIs. In fact, prior to starting Celexa, I never kept alcohol in my home but only bought a bottle now and then for special occasions. I hesitated to see it as a problem because I hate getting drunk, and rarely even get tipsy, but I do love having a few glasses and in recent years I hardly ever skipped a day. So, I guess that is a problem. But, seeing as I was pretty much living with constant low-level dull depression, it actually seemed like a pretty mild form of self-medication. One that I enjoyed (enjoy) and leaned on.

 

So, since starting the Wellbutrin in the spring, I have had all kinds of trouble drinking and with GI issues generally. I have had periodic episodes of vomiting (unexplained because no one else gets the "flu") sometimes coinciding with a glass or two of wine and sometimes not. That all seemed to be settling down and I found that I could have a glass or so with no ill effects - perfect. However, I've been tapering for only a month and am again feeling like I can no longer predict how the alcohol will affect me.  I don't feel tipsy or drunk, in fact, I still love the feeling of a glass of wine after the kids go to bed, but the next day can be a mess. 

 

The other thing I noticed during the 13+ years I took Celexa was that I had a greater and greater tendency to overeat. I had to work harder and harder to keep my weight in check and as it is I'm probably at least 10-15lbs above where I'd like to be. One side effect I was really hoping that would go with tapering might be a reduction in eating but it actually seems that I'm eating more than ever - especially now that the nausea from the Wellbutrin is mostly gone. I get very concrete cravings for sugar and carbohydrates despite my resolve to eat very clean to assist me in my withdrawal. This is made even worse by the fact that I find strenuous exercise more difficult since starting the Wellbutrin and the taper. I get overwhelmed more easily and shaky and even see stars.

 

I recognize I'm on the long road here - I think I'm looking at being medfree if all goes well by 2017 - that's a long time to manage symptoms so I don't want to get ahead of myself here. In fact, the slowness of the taper can be discouraging. I want myself back now - warts and all. I keep thinking my girls will be three years older by then ... what will I miss experiencing in the meantime?

 

thank you again for listening, for reading. 

this forum is really important and much appreciated. I hope in time I will be able to give back as I go along.

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

Link to comment

I'm right there with ya! I am looking at a 2 year taper. Ugh! The problem for me is celexa has horrid side effects so the thought of being on this crap is depressing in itself!

May 2007 started Lexapro 10mg for 2 weeks and up to 20mg (Post Partum Depression)June 2009 Reduced to 10mgAugust 2011 Reduced to 5 mgFeb 2013 Quit Cold TurkeyApril 2013 Reinstated 5mg for 3 days only & Ambien 10mgJune 2013 Introduced Celexa 10mg for 5 days and up to 20mgSeptember 2013 increased to 30mgOctober 2013 Tapered Ambien and quit<p>

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I totally relate, about how long the taper is. And it's that constant dance between how slow to go to not crash and burn in horrible withdrawal, versus going as fast as you can to get away from the drug itself. You have to decide for yourself how to do that algebra. 

 

You can take into account the stress in your life and such. Once you have a pretty good idea of how withdrawal hits and how long it will take to resolve, you can kind of schedule your withdrawal and push the taper a little harder when you know you're going to have a little extra slack in your life.

 

The one good thing I can tell you is that the side effects of the drug do reduce as your dose reduces. So that part gets better. There comes a point when you don't have to balance withdrawal against the bad effect of the drugs because the bad effects have let up so much. That will come for you too. You don't have to get all the way off to get a lot of relief and improvement.

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.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello - back from the wilderness and thought I'd check in and say hello. I feel pretty stabilized on my current dose and decided to taper again today. I will update my signature. Overall, feeling more energy, not less, although my irritability has been through the roof. I am constantly giving myself a timeout from my kids to try to calm down. I also feel irritated with people generally - slow walkers at the market, my mom telling the same long self-serving stories, my husband looking for praise, my sister justifying her selfishness. Again, it is so hard for me to distinguish between real situational problems and my own overblown impatience / rage.

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 8/5/2014 at 3:08 PM, Kali123 said:

I also feel irritated with people generally - slow walkers at the market, my mom telling the same long self-serving stories, my husband looking for praise, my sister justifying her selfishness. Again, it is so hard for me to distinguish between real situational problems and my own overblown impatience / rage.

 

Withdrawal tends to increase our sensitivity to everything irritating.  We can feel acutely uncomfortable about things which previously we would hardly notice.  Has anyone suggested the neuro-emotions topic?  Here is a link to it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/137-neuro-emotion/

 

Its very helpful at explaining what might be going on with our emotions.

Edited by Shep
updated with new username in quote box

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.

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  • 2 weeks later...

feeling shaky and scared tonight - not sure if it is side effects or withdrawal or something else entirely

 

lately, I feel compelled to drink - I mean, I am drinking a lot or at least cumulatively a lot and it makes me feel awful but I feel completely incapable of stopping. It seems the alcohol aversion that seemed to come with the Wellbutrin has completely reversed and now I am drinking 3-4 glasses of wine every single night. I don't actually get drunk, just tipsy, but I feel rotten and low and sick the next day (well, every day now) and I vow to stop but then seem to start drinking compulsively around 5 pm every night. Honestly, it doesn't really affect my behaviour while I'm drinking (I feel more relaxed, patient, perhaps) but it definitely disables me the next day.

 

I know how wrong this is for my recovery and withdrawal. I know this is the last thing I need or should be doing. I am ashamed to be writing this. The craving for alcohol is so strong. I feel like I'm slipping now, losing control. 

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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Hello, M&M,

 

Only you can make a conclusion about whether or not your drinking is a problem. There is no shame is sharing about it. On the contrary, it would be unfortunate if you had such thoughts and feelings about your drinking and you chose not  to acknowledge them - to yourself, primarily. That you have acknowledged this to yourself and have chosen to also share this on a peer-support website shows courage on your part.

 

I can't help you with your drinking, if you do, in fact, decide it is a problem for you. But I know where you can get help: A.A. I hope that didn't sound trite - there is, in my experience, verifiable truth in those words.

 

I hope you're feeling a little better today. This is a long road we are all on - but here you will find supportive friends for your journey.

04/2013 diagnoses: severe insomnia, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, agoraphobia. PTSD (my diagnosis)

Original scripts: 30 mg mirtazapine (Remeron) (1x day), 75 mg Bupropion HCL (Wellbutrin) (2x day), and 0.5 lorazepam (1x day or as needed)

05/05/14: Onset of acute Wellbutrin withdrawal symptoms after haphazard "taper" of 6-8 wks.

05/10/14: Joined this site.

05/11/14: Reinstated approx. 25 mg Wellbutrin (1x day)

05/14/14: Switched to 12.5 mg Wellbutrin (2x day)

06/28/14: Changed lorazepam dosing to .25 mg 2x a day - seems to be reducing anxiety flare-ups

07/28/14: Dosing Wellbutrin in a (home made) solution form 12.5 mg (2x day) 08/15/14: Remeron 28 25.2 22.7 20.5 18.5 16.7 15.1 13.6 mg (home made) solution

05/16/15: Have been dosing lorazepam at .5 mg in the morning, .25 mg in the afternoon, and .25 mg at bedtime. Anxiety has increased somewhat, possibly due to tolerance.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I agree with mlrp. It's great that you feel safe enough here to share something you feel ashamed about. And you might consider going to an AA meeting...alcohol will definitely aggravate withdrawal, which may in turn make you want more alcohol, etc. It will definitely slow you down in your progress. I think you're wise to be concerned about it.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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  • 3 years later...

Remember me? I thought I'd give it one more try. I have decided to try to go off my meds again, after a failed attempt 4 years ago.

 

To give you all a very brief update on what went on after my last post 4 years (to the day!!) ago ... my drinking continued to spin out of control as I continued to reduce. By Fall 2015, I was down to about 0.5 mg  but basically a functioning alcoholic before a light came on that I was trading one set of symptoms for another. I entered outpatient treatment and returned to a dose of 10 mg celexa, 300 mg wellbutrin (I never reduced Wellbutrin) as part of my stabilization plan.

 

My alcohol recovery was fairly positive and I was able to cover a lot of ground psychologically during the process. I did not drink for the next 18 months, nor did I do any more tapering. Since that time, I have started very mild drinking again (2-3 drinks / week) and cleaned up my diet and increased my sleep and exercise. I am also now working full-time. I am ready to try to taper again. I recently read Kelly Brogan's book "A Mind of Her Own" and it has given me some confidence that I can do this. This is my plan for the time being:

- reduce Celexa 10% / month or shorter period if there are no symptoms

- continue with low / no alcohol (I will need to be very vigilant)

- anti-inflammatory diet

- early to bed, early to rise

- early morning breathing exercises

- journalling

- keep up regular exercise no matter how sh*tty I feel

- be open and curious about mind changes, try not to be afraid.

 

Will you support me on this journey again?

2001-2014  between 10-40mg Celexa, with 3 attempted tapers, 1 CT

2014-2015 added Wellbutrin 150-300 msg, started to taper Celexa

2014-2015 -continued to taper slowly to < 1 mg Celexa, BUT  increased alcohol use 

Jan 2016 - reinstated on 10 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin, eliminated alcohol, increased exercise, psychotherapy, improved diet

June 2017 - August 2018 - reintroduced alcohol (2-3 drinks / week), maintaining exercise & diet regimen

Sept 2018 - went from 10 to 9 mg Celexa, holding 300 mg Wellbutrin

.... (monthly taper sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb)

Feb 2019 - 3 mg Celexa, 300 mg Wellbutrin; Feb 28 - 2.75 mgs Celex, 300 mg Wellbutrin; March 25, 2019 2.5 mgs Celexa, 300 mg. Wellbutrin

(continued taper)

October 2019 -completed Celexa taper, started Wellbutrin taper - 200mg Wellbutrin (faster pace because of stimulating effects of Wellbutrin)

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  • Administrator

Welcome back, Kali.

 

Why have you decided to taper Celexa rather than Wellbutrin? Why was Wellbutrin added to Celexa? Why did you increase it to 300mg? How's your sleep?

Edited by Shep
updated with new username

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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  • Shep changed the title to Kali123: fourth time's a charm?

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