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myndfull: Prozac to Paxil to Wellbutrin and Prozac to Celexa


myndfull

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Hello.

Here's my story:

I have general anxiety disorder (GAD--self diagnosed), though I may also be bi-polar. I had a tough time in my teen years--panic attacks, confusion, fear of people, etc., never happy. My father was an alcoholic; my youngest brother died of alcoholism a year ago. I've had my own battles with alcohol, too, but I never became the two six-packs, plus a bottle of whiskey that my father consumed every day. I quit drinking four years ago. For the past year and a half I have used medical cannabis (in a legal state with a doc's evaluation), which helps with anxiety and worry, and is the best sleep aid I know.

In my late thirties (I'm now 57) I started taking Prozac--in 1997 (I think)--using a bottle I got from a friend (his mother had a scrip but she didn't take it). I liked it. It took a lot of my anxiety away, and I ceased having panic attacks. I only had a month's supply so I went to my doc, talked to him about my use and he was happy to write a scrip for me--20 mg. of Paxil (my insurance did not cover Prozac). He said to me then that anti-depressants/SSRI's are to sad/anxious people what insulin is to diabetics. I know now that that line came straight from a drug rep's play book. I know now that it was wrong and, at least from the drug company's perspective, a lie. Paxil agreed with me and I continued taking it daily (20 mg.) until about two years ago. I had tried to quit it several times over the years--both cold turkey and by tapering—mostly because I had gained up to thirty pounds on it and could not, no matter how hard I tried, lose that weight (I have been a frequent aerobic exerciser since long before I started Paxil—I continue to exercise, but not as much as before).

Trying to stop Paxil altogether was hell. While doing so I felt a profound depression; I cried a lot, spent time in bed during the day on weekends, was twitchy, anxious, fearful, panicky—just not myself; I even began thinking vague thoughts about suicide. I had never felt these symptoms to such an extreme before beginning anti-depressants. Long ago, before beginning Paxil, I had been sad/depressed, I'd had panic attacks and problems with social anxiety, etc., but none of these symptoms were as debilitating as what I was feeling off Paxil. Shortly after getting down to about 10 mg. of Paxil (I had been using an emory board to taper down--for about six months) I couldn't stand it any more and spoke to my psych doc. She put me on Wellbutrin (which made me too hyper, despite taking it in the morning) along with Prozac (which gave me akathisia [pacing constantly]). I gave up both after about a month or so and went on Celexa, which my wife and daughter had been on successfully. I've been taking 20 mg. of Celexa for the last two and half years.

About six months ago (or so--could be less) I started to taper off Celexa, this time using sandpaper. I'd read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and it scared me into trying to quit again. About a month and half ago I jumped from about 13 to 14 milligrams of sandpapered Celexa to ten by simply breaking the Celexa tab in half. It was easier than using the sandpaper, etc. I'd been feeling a bit odd before then, though nothing too bad, but then I began feeling the old, horrible symptoms mentioned above. They weren't that intense, really, but I'd been worrying a lot about my son going back to college (smart kid, good school, but he has emotional issues—I'm afraid of him failing), and anticipating my return to work—my job is beyond stressful (I'm a teacher). These and other stressorrs convinced me that I needed to be back on the medication.

So, as of last Monday, a week ago, I've been taking my full dose again of Celexa, 20 mg., and I have felt better the last few days. BUT today I've felt horrible--two or three panic attacks, crying, a "buzzing" anxiety, a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel worse today on 20 mg of Celexa than I felt a week ago on 10 mg. of Celexa. I've imagined that I somehow forgot to fill my pill pack with Celexa for Sunday morning (today), but I don't think that was the case.

Just an hour ago I took an additional ten mg of Celexa (my wife encouraged me) to get me back up to a therapeutic dose. But it scares me what I've been feeling today. As far as I know I should be feeling my old self, the self I've known for years on Paxil/Celexa. I'm scared that my long-term use of SSRI's have damaged my brain to the point that I can't return to even the me on an SSRI, much less the me pre-SSRI.

I hope that this forum can help. I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, too, and I emphathise and wish you well. Perhaps I can help, too.

Thank you for reading this. I hope I've been clear; if you have any questions or suggestions, please post.

 

 

 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum myndfull, I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling so much. Thank you for sharing your story.

 

It sounds like you may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and/or symptoms of nervous system destabilization. For a brief introduction to withdrawal please see: Intro to antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

Many of us are here because we tapered too fast while believing we were doing it right. From reading your post, I think the sudden jump from 14mg to 10mg was too much and caused withdrawal symptoms, but then reinstating back to 20mg has further upset your nervous system.  Jumping around in dose is not advised.  20mg may now be too much for you.

 

Over time, these drugs change your nervous system. Their effects on your nervous system change as well.  These changes are temporary, but the CNS does take quite a while to right itself.

 

If I were you I would go back to 13 - 14mg and hold there for a long while, then take your time learning how to taper safely by using the resources on this site. 

 

If you have read Anatomy of an Epidemic, you would know that these drugs were never created to 'cure' anything, and at best can mask symptoms for a short while.  Ideally, people then find other healthy, long term methods to learn how to cope with life, difficult situations, painful emotions and past trauma.

 

It may take a while for symptoms to settle down again, once you start holding, at least a few weeks, possibly several months.  I would give it at least a month before you consider resuming a taper, if that's what you are still wanting to do.  The important thing is to pick a dose and stick with it until you start to feel better, jumping around increases the chaos.

 

Here is a link to our thread for tapering celexa, we recommend reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose, here you will find tips specific to celexa:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/

 

Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature.  Putting a short version of your drug and tapering history in your signature helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts.  Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

I'm glad you found us, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petu.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thank you, Petu. Good advice. I've been looking around on the forum and I'll be contacting my doc to try to get my scrip in a liquid form (it's on my insurer's formulary) and begin tapering using oral syringes, 10% every month or so. This morning I took about 16 or 17 mgs; I don't like shaving the pill over sandpaper--it's imprecise and from what I've read, precision is the way to go with tapering, especially once you get down to very small amounts.

 

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Myndfull--

 

Ditto what Petu said. Would like to add, since tapering already, and plus your history of withdrawal on past meds, your CNS is probably sensitized and 20 mg is too much. I'd say from what you've said that you might want to reinstate back to the 13 mg or so, maybe 15 mg max. You'll still have withdrawal symptoms for a while because your neurochemistry is just destabilized right now, but it should settle down over time.

 

Once you pick a dose you need to hold at that dose for a while until you stabilize. Then you can continue your taper at a more controlled and slower rate.

 

If you have any trouble getting the liquid Celexa, don't worry, it's very easy to make your own suspension in water and it's quite stable. I've tapered down from 10 mg to 0.95 mg (so far) using my own homemade suspension with no problems.

 

You do need at this point to start using a liquid so you can measure more precisely. "Eyeballing" it will give you too much variation in dose and that will exacerbate your symptoms and sabotage a taper. If you do want to dry taper, you'll need to get a milligram scale for precision (but it sounds like you want to go the liquid route, which I really recommend).

 

This is the point where I usually recommend that people read Anatomy of an Epidemic, but you're ahead of me already!

 

Given your history you're going to need to taper slowly; be thinking in terms of a year or two. It's worth it to be able to taper slowly enough that you can be functional and feel well. The last part of the taper you'll be at such low doses that you won't have to deal with the effects of the drugs and you'll be feeling pretty good.

 

Plus after so many years on these meds, your brain has thoroughly remodeled itself to the shape of the chemistry they create, like a plant growing in and on a trellis. You can't yank out that chemistry safely any more than you can yank out a trellis from a plant. It's much safer and more satisfying to remove the trellis bit by bit, allowing your brain to remodel itself back to normal slowly as the drug levels go down. These epigenetic and neuroplastic processes move more slowly at our age, but just as successfully if you take it slowly enough.

 

Good luck. You're in the right place, we have the information and support to help you.

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

And let me add: when I get the chance, I tend to go on and on about how delighted I am with the changes in myself since I've tapered down on the AD and the other meds I'm on.

 

I really notice the changes from coming down on the AD, getting back so much of my original personality and my social self and my enthusiasm for the things I used to enjoy and my zest for life in general. It is SO worth it to do this, and SO worth taking the long time to do it safely so you can do it successfully and permanently.

 

If you take your time, you won't be sorry. The investment is well worth it. It's amazing how much these drugs take away from us and we didn't even know 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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Rhi -- Thank you. I really needed the encouragement you've given.

 

The reason I'm willing to try tapering again, more seriously this time, is for the reason you state: getting the old me back. Some of that old me was anxious, unfocused, etc., but I'm that way now to some extent anyway (but in a different way, I think). I was more passive years ago, but nicer--kinder (I think; it's so hard to know for sure). SSRI's have made me feel bullet-proof at times; they've given me an over-inflated sense of myself--Paxil did that horribly. Then again, life and living give one more confidence, too, so I'm not sure to what extent the drug has changed me, and to what extent living has made me who I am at this moment. 

 

Congratulations on your successes!

 

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • 1 month later...

I've updated my signature--I'm just about to start my next withdrawal level.  I've decided not to drop 10%, but rather a more conservative 5%. I'm not sure if should hold there for a month or for less--maybe three weeks; I'll "listen" to what my body/mind tells me, and go from there. Any advice anyone has in this regard would be very welcome. I DO feel better than I did a month ago--I'm back to the "self" that I regard as normal/comfortable. However, I'm aprehensive about a drop--any drop--in the med and the corresponding symptoms that I know will come with it--I want those symptoms to be as negligible as possible, thus the 5% drop and not 10%.

 

I continue to exercise four to five times per week, and to vaporize cannabis--both of these activities help me deal with the withdrawal symptoms (though cannabis helps a great deal [its neurogenerative effects are not the least of it], it can also give me mild paranoia/panic--I usually see/perceive that as the result of the celexa withdrawl, and I can "talk" myself down from it [Note: I live in an MMJ state; I have a doctor's note, so I use cannabis legally].)

 

On another note (not sure if I should post this elsewhere; if so, let me know): The NYTimes published an interesting article about natural lithium water and how it might be something we (human beings) all need a bit of (at naturally very low doses) for it's neruogenerative effects. I'm wondering if anyone uses/drinks lithium water, or takes very low dose lithium supplements, to aid in their withdrawal. 

 

Here's the link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/opinion/sunday/should-we-all-take-a-bit-of-lithium.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=MostEmailed&version=Full&src=me&WT.nav=MostEmailed

 

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Myndfull

 

Going slow and listening to your body are key strategies. The only other thing I would say is stay open to the prospects that a 5 percent drop will cause no or few withdrawal symptoms. The trick is to find a reduction schedule that doesn't shake up your nervous symptoms. For some that's very difficult but for others it's possible.

 

Creating an expectation of withdrawal isn't helpful from my perspective, not the least because it adds a layer of preemptive stress that may act like a self fulfilling prophecy. I think holding an open curiosity to what will happen after a dose drop is a better mindset to bring to the task.

 

Also exercise is good but some people struggle with more intense exercise (because it's a form of stress). Gentle does it might be the way. Again, something you need to judge for yourself

 

I'm on your side and wishing you the best

 

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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Thank you, Dalsaan. You're right about worrying how the dosage is going to affect me. Needless. I'll see how five percent works over the next three to four weeks, and adjust as needed. I'm in no hurry.

 

I'll check back in within the month to share the results.

 

Myndfull

 

P.S. -- Dalsaan: I checked your own intro post thread and was happy to read that your own micro-tapering is slowly working. Congratulations!

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello -- It's been a year since I last posted, though I've occassionaly come to the site seeking hope and guidance.

 

I'm tapering off Celexa and using the liquid form; I'm down to 2.8 mL, so I'm getting close to finishing my taper. I've been mostly doing well, though I've had some difficult times.

 

I'm feeling withdrawal symtoms today--depression, hopelessness, inability to sympathize with others. Discord or distress of any kind hits me hard.

 

I've read that the closer you get to the end of your taper, the harder it gets. If that's true, I want to prepare myself for it--in the sense of knowing it for what it is and therefore recognizing the symptoms as symptoms, and not me going off the deep end. (I want my mantra to be: This, too, shall pass.)

 

I have two questions: (1) Does it get harder the closer you get to the finish line? If you can point me in the direction of posts that address this, I'll take it from there. (2) I've ben trying to find a graph I saw on the site the last time I logged on. The graph was extracted from a reputable peer-reviewed journal that showed the dramatic fall of ssri levels at low doses. The graph revealed, I think, the plateauing of ssri's in our system, suggesting that low doses may be as effective as (much) higher doses, and that the real withdrawal symptoms don't hit until the end of the journey (so to speak). If I'm describing this graph correctly, and you know what I'm referring to, could you direct me to the post where the graph was located?

 

Best to All,

 

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Administrator

Hello, Myndfull. Yes, it generally gets harder in the last leg. You might want to make smaller decreases or hold longer between decreases.

 

I think the graph you're looking for is Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello. I've been withdrawing from Celexa/Citalopram for about three years. I check the forum every few months and want to thank, again, those who started it. They consistently provide such great advice; they're good people. Thank you.

I'm down to 0.6 mL (from 20.0 per day). I've been using a syringe to draw a precise amount of liquid Celexa. For several months now I've been dropping 0.1 mL per month, which is more or less about 10% each drop, though it's getting to be more than 10%. I want to keep that rate of withdrawal steady so that I can end the taper by the end of October of this year. I'm so tired of this ****…I want it behind me. I’m going to try to stick with this plan.

The lower I get on volume and the closer I get to the end, the greater my need of the symptom chart I downloaded from this site. Using it has allowed me to see the patterns of my withdrawal symptoms; they're so predictable. They come and they go (though they never leave) at pretty much the same times of each month. I spend each bad day dealing with my suffering with meditation, exercise, cannabis (though lately only CBD; THC can exacerbate). I plan for the bad times (I’m in one now). Lately, I've had a resurgence of irritable bowel syndrome--IBS, which I had before I started taking an anti-depressant (Paxil was my first) and the symptom chart has helped me to see how it "tracks" with the ebb and flow of my other symptoms.

Honestly, the withdrawal symptoms have been worse. I've read here that getting close to the end means an increase in the severity of symptoms. But I've found that knowing the symptoms’ persistence and predictability has made them more manageable. Though each time I suffer a drop and feel a new "scary" difference in myself, I can say "Don't worry; it's just the withdrawal; this isn't who you are. They’ll go away.” The differences with each drop are always bad, full of anxiety and fear for the future, but they are NOT so bad as before. Perhaps I know now, intuitively, the truth of the adage: "This, too, shall pass.”

I can "take" the symptoms. What I can't "take" well are the fears that once I'm off this stuff completely I won't return to my self, that inner me that I know and like; that I feel comfortable with. The self that can sit down comfortably and read a book (I can't anymore); the one that doesn't tear up at the drop of a dime; the one that makes plans for the future; the one who enjoys the company of others; the one that overlooks "problems" in others (I've lost the company of my sisters because of my inability to break bread with their Trump-supporting husbands…my old self would have overlooked such differences).

I was never really depressed until I started withdrawing from an anti-depressant. Just a bit down. Just a bit awkward socially. Always a bit anxious.

If there's anyone who's getting very close to the end of their taper and can offer another pov of what it's like for him or her--better or worse--I'd like to hear it.

Best wishes for all.

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • 4 months later...

I'm trying to figure out when I should "jump" to zero. I'm just about to drop to .35ml from .395ml (a 10.25% drop). I have my 10% drops planned out for the next six months or so, with drops taken every four weeks (actually slightly less time than  that lately--my WD symptoms have been more manageable).

 

Question:  If you've jumped to zero, what amount were you taking just before the leap? (I'm particularly interested in hearing from those of you who are withdrawing from Celexa/Citalopram.)

 

Thank you so much!

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Myndfull, have you had a look at this link?

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Thanks, baroquep. I've read that link and it helped. I think I need about seven more months at 10% before I can comfortably stop altogether, though I'll let my body and my symptoms be the final judge.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

Link to comment

I've just spent the last hour doing the math. I want so desperately to make my jump from zero sooner than later. To do that I'd need to make larger than 10% drops; that's risky. And "rounding" down, using the marks on the syringes each month, is illogical because those tiny adjustments at my very low current dose can quickly add up -- to 12% or 14%. Etc. I did a 16% drop four months or so ago and it was very bad all around. 

 

I want to "jump" when I reach 0.1 mL and if I stick with my 9% to 11% drops I'll get there by August of 2018. Another year. That's hard to bear, that thought. I think I could make 12% drops per month, but that shaves off only about a couple months. Probably not worth it. 

 

The only thing that has given me some solace is this: That since my withdrawal symps have been more "manageable" for the last few months on 10% (because in a strange way I'm beginning to feel at these low doses that despite the withdrawal being bad, it's never as bad has it has been in the past), I have been able to drop sooner than the four weeks I've alloted. Two months ago I dropped two days before schedule; last month I dropped four or five days before schedule. Well, I'm going to drop tomorrow--10% or so--four days before I'm scheduled. 

 

Perhaps I can widen that over the next few months, shave off some time here and there. Probably won't amount to much, but it'll give me a greater sense of progress.

 

Or, I might just be fooling myself. Ah, well.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
2 minutes ago, myndfull said:

Or, I might just be fooling myself. Ah, well.

 

Think of it like driving.  If you drive at 100 kph you will cover drive reach the destination 100 kms away in 1 hour.  If you drive at a bit faster speed, say 110 kph you will get there in 0.9 of an hour, or about 54 minutes.  If the conditions are such that it safer to drive at 100 kph, for instance if it is raining, is it really worth the risk going at 110 kpm in order to save 6 minutes?

 

In the scheme of the years we spend tapering, trying to shave off a few weeks or a couple of months and risk withdrawal symptoms worsening, at least to me just isn't worth it.  I've had enough bad withdrawal symptoms to last a life time.  I'm not going to risk adding more if I can help it.

 

PATIENCE!!!

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 3 weeks later...

I keep a journal of my withdrawal experiences and I fill out Dr. Glenmullen's (spelling?) symptom chart as often as I can remember. But I rarely write anything here and I'm on this forum at least three times each week.

 

So, I'm going to keep my updates here. It'll be easier. 

 

I'm currently three weeks into a 10% drop to 0.35 Celexa. I'm getting low and I can see or sense that the end of this is getting nearer. But it's still bad. I had to leave the house yesterday because of the withdrawal. I'm up in the Sierra at a hotel "resting up." My wife and son are getting a bit too frayed from my constant anxiety: My worry about my son getting on in life (in many objectively verifiable ways, he's doing pretty well, so why do I put so much spin on that ball?), and my worry that my wife will at some point turn to me and say, "To heck with you and your symptoms. Stop telling me about your problems!"

 

My brain fog is so thick I can't see or sense anyone who isn't right in front of me. Earlier today I drove about 300 miles into the mountains and then back to the hotel, so the only thing in front of me was a semi or a bus heading to the casinos in Tahoe . Driving helps. No one in the car but me. Radio on. Or music. Can stop anytime I want to take pictures. Jeez. I do sense a growing need to be alone. Being alone I don't think as much about either my wife or my son, or about much of anything. Being alone simplifies and being simplified I feel less. And feeling less at the moment is my objective. The withdrawal feeds on emotion. 

 

I remember what I felt when I started this journey three years ago. A lot of panic attacks. A lot of dread, doom, gloom and sorrow. I don't have those feelings so much anymore. A panic attack today? Easy peasy. I think that's because I know what they are and I've rationalized them away. I tell myself they're neuro-emotions. They're not my emotions. The drug wants its fix and its not getting it. Unfortunately, it's got hold of my CNS is now doing my feeling for me. (Thank you, Celexa.) 

 

I'm at a very low dose, and people say that the hardest period in a taper is near the end at the lowest doses. I'll attest to that. I'm getting more deeply-rooted emotional responses in my withdrawal symptoms. It's almost as if I've returned to my age of anxiety--ages 13, 14, 15 and 16--that gauntlet-running time, puberty, when I didn't have much confidence, feared just about any new experience, and was a too sensitive to be around to many other people. That was a very difficult period for me, so one of the last things I want is to become a teenager again.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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On 9/10/2017 at 6:19 PM, ChessieCat said:

 

Think of it like driving.  If you drive at 100 kph you will cover drive reach the destination 100 kms away in 1 hour.  If you drive at a bit faster speed, say 110 kph you will get there in 0.9 of an hour, or about 54 minutes.  If the conditions are such that it safer to drive at 100 kph, for instance if it is raining, is it really worth the risk going at 110 kpm in order to save 6 minutes?

 

In the scheme of the years we spend tapering, trying to shave off a few weeks or a couple of months and risk withdrawal symptoms worsening, at least to me just isn't worth it.  I've had enough bad withdrawal symptoms to last a life time.  I'm not going to risk adding more if I can help it.

 

PATIENCE!!!

 

I'm back at home from my little get-away-from-myself vacation. Brought me some perspective, but my sleep deficit has added up and I'm hoping for at least eight hours sleep tonight.

 

Thank you, ChessieCat. Your "PATIENCE!!!" was the reminder I needed.  

 

I've tended--over the last year and a half especially--to simply drop on schedule. Then muddle through. I've been very good over my adult life at muddling through difficult situations. And because I know the patterns my neuro emotions take, the predictable waves and windows, I just bear it. But I'm getting tired of this mental illness in a new way and a grace-under-pressure stance is not cutting it. The patterns aren't quite the same: I have high anxiety but then my subsequent depression and anhedonia takes on new shades. A new kind of hopelessness.

 

I've decided I'm going to hold for another week and then, when I drop, drop no more than 7%. I'm going to hold there for a month or so and see if it mitigates my suffering. (Maybe I should make that 5%. Any thoughts anyone?) I haven't done that before--held for longer than four weeks and dropped so little; I've been the poster boy for 10% drops each month, come what may. 

 

I keep a doc file of the best stuff I read on SA.org and Starlitegirlx said that "...windows get longer as we progress and have healed more. ...  ...like how some people who are further into recovery have less dramatic and shorter waves." I sense that she's right. Despite my having a difficult time lately, when I'm having a window I'm feeling, more and more myself (and, yes, the windows do last longer now that I'm getting very low).

 

And Colleen said "... antidepressants numb you to a lot of feelings, which makes addressing them [the feelings] easy to defer." Yes, and perhaps this is why I'm having such a hard time lately. Two weekends ago I visited my brother for the first time in quite a while and most of what we ended up talking about were the traumas of our childhood (alcoholic parents). Throughout most of our adult lives my brother and I have to a point avoided talking about the past. And on my own I have not given much thought to those years, those events. On an AD I rarely felt the need to dwell on bad memories--"What's done is done!" But now I tend to ruminate on past wrongs that I know I can't right. 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Mentor

Hi Myndfull

I wanted to introduce myself to you, my name is Rachel.  I have been tapering since summer of 2016.  I am down to 5 mg of Zoloft and I am looking for someone that has gotten to low doses and is getting ready to jump.  I saw one of your posts on someone else's thread and thought that you would be a good person to learn from. I hope you don't mind if I follow you, if you do let me know and I won't. I understand the lower doses are harder and the jump can be cause a person to be a little wary because they don't know what to expect. I hope when you do make the jump you will keep us posted for along time afterward. You are serving as an inspiration for me.  Thank you for reading my post.

Rachel

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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Hi, Rachel.  

 

You're more than welcome. Right now this is where I want to put down my thoughts since more stories of the finish line are needed for all of us. They're the ones I seek out myself.

 

Myndfull

 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • Mentor

Thank you Myndfull.  Finish line stories are a little harder to come by.  I hope I have my own to tell someday.

Warm wishes,

RS

 

I am not a health professional in any way.  I do not give medical advice.   Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a professional medical practitioner.

 

NEW INFORMATION FOR GABAPENTIN TAPER

April 29, 2022 900 mg to 800 mg (11%), May 29, 2022 800 to 700 mg (12.5%), June 20, 2022 700 to 650mg (8%), July 20, 2022 650 to 575 (12%), August 20,  575 to 500 (13%),  Sept 20, 2020 500 to 475mg (5%) Nov 7, 2022 475 to 425 (11%), Nov 21, 2022 500mg

Medications and supplements: Gabapentin, Prednisone 5mg a day, Cortisol Inhaler daily, Azithromycin 250mg 3 times a week, Fish oil, vitamin D, Calcium.

HISTORY

Feb. 2016 to June 2016  - Was on 150mg Zoloft.  Put on Gabapentin at 900mg a day in 2016 due to antidepressant withdrawal.  As of Nov 2022 down to 600mg.

Quit Zoloft (Sertraline) June  2016,  reinstated 50mg of Zoloft July 2016.  From July 2016  to October 2016 went from 50 mg down 2.3 mg. I up-dosed in November 2016 to 12.5 mg. Held there until January 2017 when I started a much slower taper.

STARTING SENSIBLE  ZOLOFT TAPERING USING GUIDELINES FROM THIS SITE

Dec. 10 2016  - switched to Liquid Zoloft (Sertraline) @ 12.5 mg.   Jan. 4, 2020 1.875 mg (6.3%). Jan. 25, 2020 1.75 mgFeb. 29, 2020 1.625mg (7.10%).  Apr. 4, 2020 1.5 mg.  May 9, 2020 1.375 mg.  June 6, 2020 1.25 mg. (9.10%).  July 4, 2020 1.125 mg. (10%).  August 15, 2020 1.0 mg.  Oct 24, 2020 .875 mg.  Nov. 28, 2020 .75mgJan 16, 2021 .685mg (8.7%).  Feb 13, 2021 .62mg. March 12, 2021 .56mg.  May 1, 2021 .375mg.  May 29, 2021 .25mg. June 26, 2021 .0125mg. July 25, 2021 .065mg. August 22, 2021 .048mg.  October 2, 2021 .043mg.  October 10, 2021 .038mg.  October 23, 2021 .035mg.  October 30, 2021 .032mg.  Nov. 13, 2021 .030 mg.  Dec 4, 2021 .0285 mg.  Dec 11, 2021 .0265 mg. Dec 18, 2021 .0246 mg. Dec 25, 2021 .023mg. Jan 1, 2022. 0 mg. OFF COMPLETELY

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Today was mostly a good day. A bit of a window. I got some stuff done, went to a bookstore and bought some books. Listened enjoyably to some music. Read for several hours. It was peaceful and I felt much more my self.

 

Then I made dinner and after dinner my son began playing loud music in his room and then stomped down the hallway to get some food in the kitchen. He's my son; I know his moods. Lately, when he's angry--situationally or existentially--I get fearful. This is a new reaction for me. I can't relax when he's in high dudgeon. My anxiety goes way, way up, my arms start tingling, my body tightens, my tinnitus gets louder, and I want to find a place to hide. A wave. Brain fog sets in and I want to crawl to bed without saying goodnight. 

 

So much for waves and windows. They're close bedfellows those two, never very far from each other. 

 

I was thinking yesterday that if I only lived alone I could easily make the decision to jump to zero from where I am now (0.35 mL). Once situated in my fantasy land, I could stay indoors and tough it out over a year or so and then rejoin the world a new man. That's a fantasy of grand proportions. I live in the real world and must abide. 

 

I'm waiting for 7:00 p.m. and The Big Bang Theory. I didn't use to watch much TV; in fact, over my adult life I've watched very little. Now, it's all I seem to do. (I can only read when I'm having a window.) I've watched TBBT shows, each and every one of them, several times. They don't seem to get old. When basketball starts up later this month, I'll start watching the Warriors games again. In my withdrawal-state-of-mind, watching TV is calming; maybe I should say numbing. I watched a lot of TV the summer after I graduated from high school, too; back then, for the first few weeks of summer before I started a seasonal job and before college, I sat around and watched shows like The Days of Our Lives. So long as I watched, I didn't have to think about what I was going to do with my life. Now, so long as I watch I don't have to think much about how I'm feeling while in withdrawal.

 

Watching the news lately, though, is verboten. The Las Vegas Massacre. Trump. I just can't take it. I need light fare. Something to make me laugh.

 

I wanted to correct something I wrote about in an earlier post of mine. I wrote a year or so ago about needing to readjust my drops. That my symptoms were too strong and I needed to slow down, take longer between drops and drop less each time. In a recent post of mine I said the same thing not remembering that first time. Back then I wrote that I'd wait longer to drop and that my next drop would be less than 10%.  So I've been through that before. I checked my journal and it seems that the first time I needed to hold and drop less I held for six weeks on a 7% drop. After that I went back to my regular 10% every four weeks. I can't remember it much but it must have got me back on track. What's happened recently is what probably happened back then: I started to drop 12% or 16% each month thinking "What the hell; I feel okay." Then being struck down with debilitating withdrawal.  

 

Not having remembered that first time makes me think about how much--in a very general way--I'm remembering about my day-to-day existence. I'm wondering if, once this is all over (so-to-speak: will this ever be ALL over?), how much of these years will I remember? Then again, how much will I want to remember?

 

 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

Link to comment

Quick update:  Yesterday I had a window from the morning to the late afternoon. About dinner time my anxiety rose and I had a few hours of unpleasantness. Sleep last night was okay. I slept better the previous night. I don't know if I slept better because of natural adjustments my body is making (it's been three weeks, roughly, since my last drop) and I'm beginning to level out, or because of the CBD I ingested at bedtime. CBD can drop my anxiety substantially within five to ten minutes of smoking, and it's then that I can fall asleep fairly easily.

 

So what I'm feeling on 0.35 mL Celexa is an anxiety that comes and goes to some extent, but is always there. Not much anhedonia/depression, DP or DR. Sleep, as I've said, is compromised; takes me two hours to fall asleep and I get up four to five times each night. Knowing it's just anxiety, I can deal with it okay. No panic attacks--it doesn't go that far. (Also, I had a nap on Wednesday that seemed to help my mood quite a bit afterward).

 

I cut out caffeine about a year ago but I still have a "half-caf" every other day. So I'm still getting a mild caffeine buzz a few times a week. When I'm feeling well I like to have a cup of coffee or tea with caffeine; it doesn't hurt nor hinder, and I like the taste. But I've got to remember not to drink anything with caffeine in it. When I'm already feeling wired/buzzed with anxiety it only exacerbates.

 

 

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

Link to comment

Update:  Had a window yesterday. Calm, focused, mostly feeling myself. Lasted most of the day. Read a lot (Murakami) and listened to two King Crimson albums back-to-back. When a wave began in the early evening, it wasn't so bad.

 

However, I continue to have insomnia--some of the worst I've had. I took another nap yesterday in the early afternoon. They help.

 

Today I got up at 4:30 a.m. Tried to meditate but wasn't successful. Mornings are too anxious for me and meditation just can't cut through the anxiety.  

 

Today I have what has become over the last year and a half a chronic issue: IBS (irritable bowel syndrome): diarrhea, back pain, irritated bowel, stomach pain (low level), nausea, weak and frequent urination. This issue comes every two months or so, sometimes more often, then completely goes away. It's correlated with general aches and pains that stem from, I think, my full-body clench when I'm in the throes of a wave of anxiety. Within a week this will be gone; I'm certain it's withdrawal. So, I don't worry about it. The first time it happened I went to my doc and he proscribed an antibiotic and something called Flomax. I didn't take either and I was fine within a week. 

 

I don't usually think much about my physical symptoms. I certainly have them (see above), but because I've suffered from GAD since I was about 13, I've had a lot of anxiety-related physical symptoms over the years. I hate to say it, but I'm used to them. It's the anhedonia, depression, the DP and DR that rattles me. Right now it's the physical symptoms that rule the roost and I'm okay with that. Hope this makes sense. I rather not have any symptoms.

 

I will be making a drop this coming week. I'm thinking of dropping 2.5% each week for four weeks and then holding for a week or so. I haven't done that before and I want to see if it helps cut down on the severity of my symptoms.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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Hi myndfull, wow I'm so glad I dropped by your journal! It's offered me such an interesting perspective and is extremely helpful. Reading your introductory post, I could have written much of it myself esp around how you started on the drugs, the line you were given by the docs, and then finding just how very difficult they were to withdraw from (I was on 20mg paxil for 8 yrs). I also did a 15 to 10mg drop - what a blimmin nightmare, then again 10ml to 5ml - NIGHTMARE!

 

What's so interesting to me, is reading how over the ensuing years, you've patiently and methodically withdrawn from the celexa. Whereas I patiently dropped at 10% for a year, then got fed up and instead of digging deep like you did, jumped at 4ml. It's been a year now, and the anxiety (which I'd never experienced prior to now) is moderate and unnerving. I'm not sure yet whether the anxiety is increasing, it's certainly not really decreasing.  I also have really noticed a very considerable loss of memory and I guess brain fog. 

 

Ah regrets, I have a few.

 

Thanks for offering up an example of the 'sensible approach'. Reading your short journal provides great insight for me. How it would have looked if I'd followed what I know is the best and kindest way through withdrawal, it's a blimmin shame I didn't apply it to myself :) 

 

xxxmollyn

 

 

Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)

 

I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Molly -- You've dropped CT but you've survived and are carrying on with moderate anxiety. I couldn't have done that. I had to get on Celexa before I could start my taper; I tried tapering Paxil and couldn't do it. As you noticed, I dropped too quickly on Paxil in the beginning, not really knowing what I was doing, and I felt terrified. So, I could not do what you did and have survived it. For me, the fact that you CT'd off Paxil is quite something. You'll only get better; that's pretty clear from all I've read on SA. And you dropped at 4 ml. It's generally harder in the lower doses. So, "Wow" back at cha!

 

My patience for this mental illness (tapering/withdrawal) is a response to pain and suffering. What else do we learn from this experience if not patience? A few years ago when I started this journey I was scared and bewildered. Now I know what's afflicting me. My tactics, my strategies are on board. The lay of the land is clear and when it changes I'm not too surprised because I know it's going to change. I know the enemy and I'm certain that it ain't me.

 

I've tended to keep to my schedule only because I know that when I do I feel stronger, more confident that the drug (the "enemy") is not defeating me. This isn't an attitude everyone could (or should) take, and my metaphor--healing is a battle--may not be the most appropriate, but for me it's the one that has made me feel the most successful. Patience becomes my battle armor. It's my foreign policy. On my heraldic crest it must say something like: "Above all else, he carried on." (Really what I'm saying is that I have an inordinate fear of failure. But what the heck. Why not put it to some good use!)

 

Myndfull

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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4 hours ago, myndfull said:

I'm thinking of dropping 2.5% each week for four weeks and then holding for a week or so. I haven't done that before and I want to see if it helps cut down on the severity of my symptoms.

 

It would certainly be worth giving that a try.  It will also give you the option of holding for longer than a week if you hit a rough/er patch.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

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

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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 from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Hi Myndfull,

 

Stopping by your thread to say hi. 

 

You also sound strong and determined.

I hope that the goal of "getting your real self back" can be something to hold onto when things get difficult. 

 

I can definitely relate to the WD 'brain fog' and I know a lot of people here can as well. 

 

I hope the tiny drops will go well for you and help lessen the symptoms. 

It is a difficult journey but I believe you will get there! 

 

 

 

 

2020: After 18+ years (entire adult life) on Paxil, a dangerous doctor-led "taper" in 2015, and four years tapering off the last 1 mg thanks to SA and the Brassmonkey slide, 

I AM COMPLETELY FREE OF PAXIL! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Forever.

 

2021: Began conservative, proper, CNS-respecting taper of Zoloft, led by the only expert on me -- me. Making own liquid. 5-10% plus holds.

2022: Holding on Zoloft for now. Current dose 47 mg. Hanging in, hanging on. Severe protracted PAWS, windows and waves. While I may not be doing "a lot" by outside standards, things are graaaaadually getting better

 

Yoga (gentle to medium); walks; daily breath practice; nutrition, fruits/veg; nature; water; EastEnders (lol); practicing self-compassion, self-care; boundaries; connection; allowing feelings; t r u s t ing that I, too, will heal. (--> may need to be reminded of this.)

"You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story." - Baylissa

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Thanks, SkyBLue. 

 

I am going to try the Brassmonkey smaller drops method you mentioned. 

 

I'm not sure when I'll start. I've had a bad eight days or so of anxiety and insomnia. The worst insomnia I've ever had while withdrawing. When that flattens out, I'll decide. Could be tomorrow. Could be a month or so from now.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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I've read the information on SA.org about magnesium, but I have a quick question. 

 

I have a bottle of magnesium citrate, 400 mg tablets. I've been occasionally taking a pill here and there, but I haven't felt much, if any, difference in my mood. The bottle suggests that I should take two 400 mg tablets a day. I haven't done that yet. A few months ago I took an epsom salts bath that was incredibly helpful; I think I actually slept eight or nine hours that night. So, I know that magnesium can have a wonderful affect (if, indeed, it was the magnesium in the bath that helped; perhaps it was just the hot water--set and setting). I've since taken several such baths, including one yesterday, that haven't had much effect.

 

Question: What minimal dose of magnesium (pill form) do you find most helpful and how often do you take it?

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You have supported me so many times, Myndfull, and I just want to stop by and say hi. You are doing extremely well with your taper, going so slow.

Keep on!

Hugs, Amy

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg; 2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg; 2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg; 2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg; 2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg; 2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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Thanks for stopping by, Amy. Hope your adjustments brought on by being "drug free" are going as well as they possibly can. Slow and steady. Inch by inch. Day by day. We all get better.

 

Yes, I'm taking baby steps lately, and as a result the symptoms aren't so bad. Consequently, I'm in a better place at the moment.

 

There's a quote from Rabindranath Tagore I've pinned above my desk at home that's helping me focus:

 

Let me not hope to be sheltered from dangers,
but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
but for the heart to conquer it.”

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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Great quote. It really spoke to me today. 

I am happy to hear that you are in a better place. Just listen to your body and take it slow. You don't have much left now. 

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg; 2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg; 2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg; 2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg; 2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg; 2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 10/10/2017 at 9:00 AM, myndfull said:

I've read the information on SA.org about magnesium, but I have a quick question. 

Question: What minimal dose of magnesium (pill form) do you find most helpful and how often do you take it?

 

Hi myndfull,

 

I take Natural Calm powdered magnesium. I mix it in water and drink twice a day, ~162mg. in a.m. and 350 mg at night.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Supplement-Raspberry-Lemon/dp/B000OQ2DJQ/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1508796532&sr=8-4&keywords=natural%2Bcalm%2Bmagnesium%2Bpowder&th=1

 

It's really powerful. It was a turning point for me.

 

2020: After 18+ years (entire adult life) on Paxil, a dangerous doctor-led "taper" in 2015, and four years tapering off the last 1 mg thanks to SA and the Brassmonkey slide, 

I AM COMPLETELY FREE OF PAXIL! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Forever.

 

2021: Began conservative, proper, CNS-respecting taper of Zoloft, led by the only expert on me -- me. Making own liquid. 5-10% plus holds.

2022: Holding on Zoloft for now. Current dose 47 mg. Hanging in, hanging on. Severe protracted PAWS, windows and waves. While I may not be doing "a lot" by outside standards, things are graaaaadually getting better

 

Yoga (gentle to medium); walks; daily breath practice; nutrition, fruits/veg; nature; water; EastEnders (lol); practicing self-compassion, self-care; boundaries; connection; allowing feelings; t r u s t ing that I, too, will heal. (--> may need to be reminded of this.)

"You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story." - Baylissa

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Thanks, Sky. I'll get some of this.

 

I had tried and failed to stop Paxil several times (though never using a long, slow taper) and thought Celexa might be easier, so I shifted to Celexa in 2012. In August of 2014 I began a serious tapered withdrawal from Celexa (20 mg.), making monthly drops, mostly 10% of the last dose, sometimes more, sometimes less.  In July of 2016 I took an early retirement at 59 in large part because of my intense withdrawal  symptoms.

 

Three years and eight months after beginning my taper, I stopped taking Celexa on 5/12/18.

 

I am currently in recovery and I am very slowly getting better. I still have waves and some are quite bad. But overall the trend is toward healing.

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