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ryanl: Needing some help with Lexapro Withdrawal


ryanl

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Hello,

 

I have been reading this site for a couple weeks and figured it was time to join for some support as well as for some information.  I have been through hell over the past year and am kind of getting even more worried as I pass a year in this state. 

 

I am trying to figure out if my story is normal or if I am unique.  I suppose due to the subject and complexity of each case every story is different.

 

Last year - 12/18/2013 - I went in for a routine physical to my family Dr. and went over everything regarding my body.  He asked how my mental health was and I explained to him that I was going through a stressful time due to a busy holiday season with work, being between houses and starting a new relationship.  Please keep in mind that I am 31 years old at this point and the strongest drug I have ever been on was advil for a headache or some antibiotics for a cold.  He thought I should go on an antidepressant to get through the rough spot.  I started taking the Effexor and 4 days later started having panic attacks during the night, which I have never had a day in my life.  I stopped taking the Effexor per the dr's instructions.

 

Over the next week I felt horrible and had more anxiety and depression than I ever had before.  I basically felt like I had been ran over by a bus and didn't know what the hell was going on.  Because of this I went back to the dr and they put me on 10mg of buspar.  I really did not feel any difference with buspar however looking back on it I can see where I had an overall increase in anxiety as well as depression.  I talked to the Dr again and he increased the buspar dose to 20mg.  This increase put me over the edge and basically caused me to feel like I was going crazy and started doing things I wouldn't ordinarily do - including breaking up with my girlfriend for no reason other than I could figure anything else out to take the pain away. 

 

Over the next month I slept very little and went back to my Dr. to explain to him how I was feeling and something was wrong.  The Dr again put me on Effexor 37.5 MG.  Again I went down hill further quickly and felt like somebody other than who I had been for the past 31 years. 

 

5 days later I had an apt with a psychiatrist and because I was in transition (which I know now) with the Effexor I felt horrible and was basically begging him for something to make me feel better.  He stopped the Effexor and started me on 50mg of Zoloft which basically put me so far down I could not get out of bed.  I took the Zoloft for a week and went back to the Dr where he stopped the Zoloft and started me on 10mg of Lexapro. 

 

Because the Dr. pounded so hard in my head that it took 30-40 days to start working I did not realize that I was going further down hill with the Lexapro but was holding out for the 30-40 days. 

 

To make a long story short every month from 3/1/2014 on the Dr. kept increasing my dose to the point of 5/1/2014 where I was placed on 20mg of Lexapro.  I stayed on 20mg until 7/15/2014 where I felt so bad with symptoms of apathy, anhedonia, zombie like, the usual sexual side effects, couldn't care less about anything and no emotions to name a few and I decided to say enough was enough and I needed to get off Lexapro.  I understood fully that I needed to taper but at the same time wanted to get off as soon as possible because I could not live my life like that.

 

I will put my taper schedule at the bottom ( for some reason I could not put in my signature) after I am done here. 

 

Today I have been finished with Lexapro since 10/20/2014 and I have felt pretty bad ever since.  I am getting to the point where I need some confidence from somebody who has gone through this hell as well and can give me some confidence to know it will eventually end.

 

My current symptoms include apathy, anhedonia, diarrhea, a constant cough, dry mouth, body ached - especially in my legs, pains in my feet, severe depression, severe anxiety, the feeling that I could have a panic attack at any time, anger, irritable, weight gain, detaching from my friends and family, not nearly the person I used to be at work, confusion and an over all lack of confidence.

 

Basically this past year has broke me in two and I am determined to get back to the person I have been for the past 31 years.  I feel like I am only a portion of who I used to be.  I am a person who is/was very motivated and couldn't be stopped.  I was active in the outdoors and now I could care less. 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I know already that the amount of transition I have experienced - up and tapering - is more than I should have went through over a year. 

 

It should be noted that I have been going to therapy since this all started.  I have also started on a natural supplement regimen laid out by my chiropractor who is a friend and somebody I trust.

 

Here is my medication schedule:

 

12/18/2014 - Family Dr. prescribed 37.5mg of Effexor

12/25/2014 - stopped Effexor due to panic attacks

1/5/2014 - started 10mg of Buspar

1/15/2014 - increased to 20mg of Buspar

2/13/2014 - started 50mg of Zoloft and increased to 30mg of buspar and 2.5mg of kolonopin - prescribed by psych

2/13/2014 - started Trazedone as needed - up to 100mg

3/1/2014 - stopped Zoloft due to bad reaction

3/1/2014 - started 10mg of Lexapro

4/1/2014 - increased to 15mg of Lexapro

5/1/2014 - increased to 20mg of Lexapro

7/15/2014 - decreased to 15mg of Lexapro

7/15/2014 - started 100mg of Gabepentin

7/15/2014 - started .5mg of xanax

8/15/2014 - decreased to 10mg of Lexapro

9/15/2014 - decreased to 5mg of Lexapro

9/15/2014 - stopped Gabepentin

10/1/2014 - decreased to 2.5 mg of Lexapro

10/15/2014 - decreased to 2.5 mg - every other day

10/20/2014 - stopped Lexapro

10/20/2014 - current - still taking some Xanax and trazedone as needed

 

Sorry if this was too much info at once but I really need to tell my whole story and have somebody listen who has been through something similar. 

 

This site is really my go to when I am having a rough day and need to know this is normal for what I have went through.  Right now I feel as though there is not a light at the end of the tunnel and need some re-assurance that it will eventually come.

 

If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask.

 

Thanks to all,

 

Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow! You have really been through the ringer! I am sorry the doctor put you through that. Males me so mad that we trust our doctors and they end up causing us harm.. You have made alot of med switches and tapered off your last med quickly. I am not surprised that you feel horribly. I tapered too quickly off only one med and I am still feeling awful after six months. I have learned that tapering ten percent every four weeks is the safest and helps curb withdrawals, but I didn't know when I stopped my Paxil. Wish I had. I wish you the best of luck. The mods will be here soon and they can give you some guidance that will help you. Welcome to the group.

2002-put on amitryptiline for fibromyalgia. 10mg.2004-stopped abruptly. Didn't think it helped.2006 approx.-put on Paxil for mild anxiety 20 mg.2007 upped to 40 mg. not sure why.2011- tapered from 40 to 10. went nuts and went back to 20mg2014- tapered from 20mg to 0 from April to The end of June.current meds- Metformin(type 2 diabetic) and low dose aspirin.Take multi vitamin and vit b12, vit. D and magnesium. 5 months off Paxil. Still suffering.recently added 1.2mg of Paxil to alleviate withdrawals.(Nov 30)Dropped to .9mg because having symptoms from reinstatement.(dec 23)<p>taper to .76mg-.8mg (Feb 3) approx. weight .010 to about .008-.009 on scale.
.6mg (march 19th.) .5mg(April 19th)
.4mg(April 27th)
.2 (June 27th)

0mg.  done taper at beginning of August.

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Omg Ryan what a journey you've had. The moderators will be here soon. Meanwhile, welcome!

Put on Prothiaden for severe depression in 1989.  Recovered.   Prescribed Paxil for another bout of depression around 2000.   Have been trying to taper ever since but always crash about 2 months after getting to zero.   Because of the crashes, for years I thought that there was something wrong with me.   Then found that the crashes were simply withdrawal.   Now following a maximum of a 10% reduction every month or so and ready to slow down any time I feel any symptoms whatsoever.  Feeling good:).

7th Jan 15 - 3.6mg

28th Jan 15 - 3.2mg

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Hi Ryan

I think you doctor broke the most important rule!

'first do no harm!'

I think you probably came off too quick.

Unfortunately it leads to a nasty dilemma as to whether to reinstate the lexapro and come off slowly, or tough it out.

(I'm sure some others on this site can give you some advice about this. It is beyond my wisdom to advise on it.)

But exercise and magnesium are both generally considered a good thing to help.

 

Cheers

 

Damien

Off all SSRIs as at November 2016.

 

Been on SSRIs (mainly Lexapro) for around 15 years.

failed attempts to go cold turkey before I got proper info on it.

Over last 2 years I've slowly gone from 20 mg Lexapro to 2.5 mg Lexapro.

on 25th Jan 2015 I've now moved to home made liquid Lexapro.

Plan is to drop roughly 0.2 mg per month over the next 1-2 years.  

25th Jan 2015 2.5 mg Lexapro liquid.

24th Mar 2016 1.0 mg lexapro (crushed tablet mixed and refilled into capsules)

Planned to be at 0.0 mg lexapro by about October 2016. 

I also take 50-100 mg modafinil per day, no short term plans of stopping/tapering modafinil but will re-evaluate after I'm off lexapro. 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Ryan,

I'm so sorry for everything you've been through.  With all those drugs and changes in such a short time, its not surprising you are feeling as bad as you are.

 

Its difficult to know if your symptoms are a result of too many changes, or lexapro withdrawal.  It could be both.  From reading through your post I get the impression that at no time since starting on the medication have you felt well or stable.  Its true that you tapered too fast, but it sounds like you were also having adverse effects, so I'm reluctant to suggest you try reinstatement.

 

Since you stopped taking the lexapro, have your symptoms improved, stayed about the same or got worse?

 

Its possible that a small dose of lexapro may help to reduce your symptoms, then you could wait to stabilize for several weeks, then continue with a slower taper.  We recommend reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks.

 

Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of withdrawal symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work.  Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:

 

http://survivinganti...rawal-symptoms/

 

If it were me, in your situation, I probably wouldn't try it, in time, your symptoms will settle down and you will recover.  Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

How often are you taking Xanax and trazodone?  What dose and when?

 

Trazodone is also an antidepressant and needs to be taken regularly if you are going to take it.  Xanax is a short acting benzo and can cause rebound interdose withdrawal if not taken at regular intervals through the day, especially in a nervous system already sensitized by withdrawal.

 

Here are our tips for tapering off trazodone

 

But if you have only been taking it occasionally, I suggest you stop taking it.

 

What supplements are you taking?

 

Once we have a few more details, we will be able to offer some suggestions.  You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.

 

Petu.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Petu,

 

To answer your questions:

 

  • It is true that no time from starting any of the medication have I felt well or stable.  I feel that with every start, every increase or every decrease I have gotten worse.  I do feel somewhat better and less zombie like since stopping Lexapro however my depression and lack of interest and hope in life has gotten worse.  Things that I enjoyed for 31 years now seem not as enjoyable, I know I should enjoy them however when doing them it seems like I am just going through the motions.
  • Since I have stopped the Lexapro I feel have gotten worse in some areas, mainly with depression.  Even before I started taking any drugs I never felt this depressed or unmotivated.
  • I have stopped trazedone all together in the last month.  I was taking anywhere from 25mg to 100mg depending on how hard it was to sleep.  I have switched to melatonin which is getting me the sleep I need.
  • I am taking xanex only once in a great while, when I need it in anxious situations, however I will try and cut that all together also.  I was taking .5mg.
  • The supplements I am taking are all natural, from the Standard Process Company.  Without having the pill bottles in front of me I am taking cod liver omega 3, tuna omega 3, a B complex as well as a multivitamin.  I am taking these three times per day.

I am thinking I am not going back on the drugs.  I have been through too much since I took the first one and I need to cleanse by body and hopefully move on with life.  I will admit it is the hardest thing I have ever been through and I sympathize with anybody that has to go through it.  From another site I read that some people would rather have open heart surgery without Anastasia than to go through antidepressant withdrawal and at this point I would have to agree with that statement.  The hardest thing for me is understanding that it is real and that it is happening to me.  The other hard part is understanding that with time I will get back to the Ryan I remember - I hope anyway.

 

Please if you have any more questions I am happy to answer and I am willing to help anybody else that may have questions regarding my past history with this and needs help getting through it.

 

Thanks for all your reply's and encouragement.

 

Ryan

  •  
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Ryan and thank you for providing additional information.

 

I'm sorry about what you are going through but I firmly believe things will get better. Unfortunately it might take time. But you will get there.

 

I read what you wrote and agree with Petu and your own conclusion to stay away from psychotropic medication. From what you describe it seems you belong to people who should never take these drugs because it seems they only caused adverse and paradoxical reactions in you.

 

As somebody who is struggling hard with serious Xanax dependency, I can't support you enough in your decision to stay away from Xanax. It's extremely addictive. Any little benefit that it can initially bring is not worth it and it actually creates anxiety and depression itself. 

 

We have found only omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium to be most helpful and safe for people in situations like yours. Vitamins B which are normally good for a "healthy" brain can be too stimulating.

 

I can identify very much with your description of depression as never before. I have experienced it every time I stopped taking these drugs. My situation is very different from yours because I've unfortunately got stuck in the vicious circle of drugs for 15 years. Given "only" 1 year of drug exposure, you should recover much more quickly.

 

Recovery happens in windows and waves. It basically means that there are initially only short periods when you get relief from your symptoms and then these periods get longer. But also you can be symptom free for a while and then they appear again, every time less strong. It is nothing to worry about. That's the way the brain repairs itself and heals:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

Anhedonia (lack of interest) and feeling of deadness, this is not me or I have just been wiped off take longest to go away. But they do. You will find this thread interesting: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/

 

Do whatever you can to stay away from Xanax. Magnesium will help you manage the anxiety: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

As I said, it might take a while, but Ryan you remember will come back, gradually and over time ;)

 

Best,

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Bubble,

 

Thank you very much for your insight.  Between you and Petu, this gives me some hope that things will get better.  I am definitely trying to be proactive in my healing and recovery as I can, however some days you feel like whats the use?

 

In writing my last response I failed to mention that I am also taking St Johns wart, Nevaton and occasionally Adderall to give me some short term relief from my symptoms. 

 

Are you saying that I should not be taking the B supplements?

 

Again, thank you all very much for your support while I go through this.

 

Ryan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I understand. This is such a tricky situation. When you have a cold, you cram yourself with loads of stuff and it all helps. But here more is often the opposite of good.

 

Regarding Vitamin B, especially Vitamin B complex please read this thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1068-vitamin-b-complex-supplement-reaction/

 

We have also seen negative reactions to St John's wort: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/652-st-johns-wort-hypericum-perforatum/There is also a topic on how to taper it...

 

I'm not familiar with Nevaton and Adderal but the general rule is: less is more. 

 

It would be helpful to have your drug history in your thread so that we can see it every time you post without having to go back to the initial post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Bubble,

 

I tried multiple times to put my history in my signature however it always said I was over 750 characters - when I was well under.

 

Any tips?

 

Thanks,

 

Ryan

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  • Member

I am not bubble but here's a tip: make your sig as short as you can, just hit the high points. Spaces count as characters and I believe line feeds do too (when you hit 'enter' to start a separate line). Try combining some of these on one line instead of separate lines and it will save characters because the dates won't have to be repeated. You also used "-" a lot and that added characters. So did adding the exact day of the month, it caused more "/" characters. And the word "of" is not really needed for understanding.

 

 

12/18/2014 - Family Dr. prescribed 37.5mg of Effexor

12/25/2014 - stopped Effexor due to panic attacks

1/5/2014 - started 10mg of Buspar

1/15/2014 - increased to 20mg of Buspar

2/13/2014 - started 50mg of Zoloft and increased to 30mg of buspar and 2.5mg of kolonopin - prescribed by psych

2/13/2014 - started Trazedone as needed - up to 100mg

3/1/2014 - stopped Zoloft due to bad reaction

3/1/2014 - started 10mg of Lexapro

4/1/2014 - increased to 15mg of Lexapro

5/1/2014 - increased to 20mg of Lexapro

7/15/2014 - decreased to 15mg of Lexapro

7/15/2014 - started 100mg of Gabepentin

7/15/2014 - started .5mg of xanax

8/15/2014 - decreased to 10mg of Lexapro

9/15/2014 - decreased to 5mg of Lexapro

9/15/2014 - stopped Gabepentin

10/1/2014 - decreased to 2.5 mg of Lexapro

10/15/2014 - decreased to 2.5 mg - every other day

10/20/2014 - stopped Lexapro

10/20/2014 - current - still taking some Xanax and trazedone as needed

 

all the above just won't fit if that is what you are trying to do. The first line, for example, could be "37.5 mg Effexor 12/14 and stopped quickly". Omit such words as "family Dr. prescribed" and "prescribed by psych", those are a 'given' and will save characters. Put something in a sig, try to save it and when you get an error, keep cutting it till it fits. That way you will see what is approximately 750 characters. Then you can edit that.

 

Try my tips and see what you find. And I just remembered too, that there is supposed to be a '12 line' limit but that is inconsistent sometimes.

 

Too, you can always add a link in your sig to your first post for the full version like you typed above.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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ok, I will try to get this completed asap.

 

It is very reassuring to hear that I will eventually get better from you all.  This is by far the toughest thing I have every had to deal with in my life and I want to get it over with as soon as possible, however I understand that it will likely not be tomorrow.  This is not like a broken leg where your brain understands it will eventually heal, there is nothing above your brain that rationalizes to know that everything will be ok.

 

I am most likely going to drop the St. Johns and move to magnesium in corporation with the Omega 3's.

 

I will keep everybody updated on my progress. 

 

Ryan

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  • Member

Hi ryanl, here's why it is important to list all of the drugs and supplements and OTC drugs you are taking.

 

Interactions between your selected drugs
interaction-3-big.png trazodone ↔ st. john's wort

Applies to: trazodone, st. john's wort

Talk to your doctor before using traZODone together with St. John's wort. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png alprazolam ↔ trazodone

Applies to: Xanax (alprazolam), trazodone

Using ALPRAZolam together with traZODone may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience some impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Avoid driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png alprazolam ↔ st. john's wort

Applies to: Xanax (alprazolam), st. john's wort

Using St. John's wort together with ALPRAZolam may decrease the effects of ALPRAZolam. Contact your doctor if your condition changes or if you experience withdrawal symptoms such as blurred vision, trouble concentrating, loss of appetite, diarrhea, muscle twitching, numbness or tingling, or increased sensations. If your doctor does prescribe these medications together, you may need a dose adjustment or special test to safely use both medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

No other interactions were found between your selected drugs.
Note: this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with Interactions between your selected drugs and food
interaction-2-big.png alprazolam ↔ food

Applies to: Xanax (alprazolam)

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with ALPRAZolam and lead to potentially dangerous side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor. Do not drink alcohol while taking ALPRAZolam. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. You may feel more drowsy, dizzy, or tired if you take ALPRAZolam with alcohol.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png amphetamine ↔ food

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Using amphetamine together with alcohol can increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects such as increased heart rate, chest pain, or blood pressure changes. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with amphetamine. Let your doctor know if you experience severe or frequent headaches, chest pain, and/or a fast or pounding heartbeat. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png dextroamphetamine ↔ food

Applies to: Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)

Using dextroamphetamine together with alcohol can increase the risk of cardiovascular side effects such as increased heart rate, chest pain, or blood pressure changes. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with dextroamphetamine. Let your doctor know if you experience severe or frequent headaches, chest pain, and/or a fast or pounding heartbeat. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png st. john's wort ↔ food

Applies to: st. john's wort

While you are taking St. John's wort, you must not eat or drink certain foods and beverages that are high in tyramine. Eating these foods while you are taking St. John's wort can raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels. This may cause life threatening symptoms such as sudden and severe headache, confusion, blurred vision, problems with speech or balance, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, seizure (convulsions), and sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body). Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms. Foods that are high in tyramine include: air dried meats, aged or fermented meats, sausage or salami, pickled herring, and any spoiled or improperly stored beef, poultry, fish, or liver, red wine, beer from a tap, beer that has not been pasteurize, aged cheeses, including blue, brick, brie, cheddar, parmesan, romano, and swiss, sauerkraut, over the counter supplements or cough and cold medicines that contain tyramine, soy beans, soy sauce, tofu, miso soup, bean curd, fava beans, or yeast extracts (such as Marmite). Caffeine intake should be limited as well.

Switch to professional interaction data

 

Nevaton is a multi ingredient supplement containing:

 

St John's Wort

skullcap

damania leaf extract

Schisandra

 

None of which are recognized drugs and cannot be put into the online drug checker above. Many supplements cause untoward reactions in people with wd syndrome and for that reason are not recommended. In addition it is hard to determine WHICH ingredient of a multi you are reacting to. You may want to avoid taking it till you attend to the ones noted above.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Thank you for this, it is very good information.  I am going to try and back down on the supplements, especially the St. Johns and the Nevaton.  I will keep the Omega 3's going. 

 

Again thank you all for your help and insight.

 

Ryan

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All,

 

One of the hardest things in going through this is understanding that the withdrawal from antidepressants is a real thing.  I knew when coming off of the Lexapro that there was a chance this could happen but you are truly not prepared for how tough this is.  It is very hard coming to terms with the fact that this is what is making me feel so horrible.  I know the drug companies say that the withdrawal syndrome only happens in a small percentage of the population that take these drugs but I would have to believe that it is much higher.

 

The other hard part in this is actually understanding that you will get better.  I feel like I am the exception to the rule and will never get better, even though everybody and logic says I will revert back to normal at some point.

 

Anyway, I may just be writing a few statements to vent a little. I am just so sick of not knowing how I truly feel about anything right now.

 

Ryan

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It is such a long process that we all have times that feel we will never heal, myself included. I just trust that if others are feeling so much better a year or two out I will too.

2002-put on amitryptiline for fibromyalgia. 10mg.2004-stopped abruptly. Didn't think it helped.2006 approx.-put on Paxil for mild anxiety 20 mg.2007 upped to 40 mg. not sure why.2011- tapered from 40 to 10. went nuts and went back to 20mg2014- tapered from 20mg to 0 from April to The end of June.current meds- Metformin(type 2 diabetic) and low dose aspirin.Take multi vitamin and vit b12, vit. D and magnesium. 5 months off Paxil. Still suffering.recently added 1.2mg of Paxil to alleviate withdrawals.(Nov 30)Dropped to .9mg because having symptoms from reinstatement.(dec 23)<p>taper to .76mg-.8mg (Feb 3) approx. weight .010 to about .008-.009 on scale.
.6mg (march 19th.) .5mg(April 19th)
.4mg(April 27th)
.2 (June 27th)

0mg.  done taper at beginning of August.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ryan, venting is fine! We all need to do it.

 

I agree with bubble and Petu--reinstatement is an option, but given the history you describe, I think in a year or two, if you just ride it out and take gentle care of yourself, you will be back to normal and this will all be a bad memory that you will never have to repeat.

 

It drives me crazy when doctors prescribe ADs for normal stress and bumps of life due to the normal bumpiness of life. That's not mental illness, that's just LIFE for crying out loud. ADs have never been studied for that kind of use and there's no evidence of any benefit. They treat them like "happy pills" when they are actually powerful disruptors of normal nervous system function and endocrine function.

 

I highly recommend you get hold of a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker. It will explain a lot about what's happened to you, particularly the chapters on how these drugs were invented, how they are marketed, and how the pharmaceutical industry has taken over guiding and controlling the education of doctors about how and when to use their drug$.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh, and the writings of Peter Breggin are good too.

 

And elsewhere in this forum--and in peoples' threads here in the Intros section--you will find plenty of discussion of AD withdrawal syndrome. Wander around and look through back pages.

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

Hi R,

 

I have also had a similar 18 months to you been chucked and various meds, never feeling better but increasingly worse. I was never depressed until I took ad's or felt mentally ill but you trust in these docs and take the pills.

 

Luckily I found this place about 2 months ago, after a fast taper from lexapro. I have kept my head low reading on here and learning it takes a while to stabilise.

 

I am just starting to have some decent windows now and hope to taper my final a/d in the new year.

 

I didn't believe that I would ever feel well again but I am now having little signs of improvement so hang in there ( it ain't easy) but stay positive and what I have learned the most be patient!!

 

Stay strong.

 

G

Started diazepam when needed june2013

Various antidepressants citalopram, sertraline amytriptaline upto nov2013

Dependant on diazepam 3 mg daily with amitryptaline 10mg march2014

Start of June Changed to mirtazapine 15mg then 30mg for about 2weeks while fast taper from diazepam .5mg a week.

Back down to 15mg mirtazapine and down to 1 mg diazepam end of June.

During July tried to stop mirtazapine 7.5mg for 2 weeks then off still on 1 mg diazepam.

August back on 15mg mirtazapine down to 0.8mg diazepam

End of August escitalopram 10mg tried to cross taper from 15mg mirtazapine cut to 7.5 for 2 weeks but couldn't still 0.8 diazepam. 10/11/2014 Jumped from diazepam cutting .2 every 2weeks

10 weeks on 10mg escitalopram felt crazy!! Down to 5mg for 2 weeks and off (dreadfull mind changing) off 17/11/14

17/11/14Trying to stabise on 15mg mirtazapine

Link to comment

Happy New Years!

 

One question that I keep forgetting to ask is I see so many of you have long histories with these drugs and in comparison I have only been on these basically a year.

 

I feel because I have only been on them a year, that I should not be going through the withdrawal process as I feel I am.

 

Is withdrawal dependent on how long you have been on the drugs?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Ryan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ryan, withdrawal seems to be more variable from person to person than anything else.

 

Overall, the length of time on the  meds does predict whether or not someone will succeed in getting off and staying off them, and overall, outcomes are worse the longer people are on them, but how bad withdrawal is seems to be highly variable from one person to another.

 

And a year is plenty of time to have withdrawal problems; sometimes a few weeks is all it takes. You're not crazy or weird. There are thousands of people in the same position as 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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  • Administrator

Welcome, ryan.

 

There are some people who are simply not suited to psychoactive drugs. These people have adverse effects fairly quickly after taking an antidepressant. Switching drugs does not help this.

 

It sounds to me like you might be one of those people.

 

Please take care of yourself and allow your nervous system to heal. To distinguish whether any drug or supplement is helping or hurting, keep notes on paper of your symptom pattern every day and when you take your drugs or supplements.

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello again,

 

I just wanted to check in.  I am not basically 5 months from stopping Lexapro and 8 months since coming down from 20mg. 

 

I think I am doing better in different aspects of my life but still feel very un motivated, dead to the world, and just plain not happy.  I have decent days here and there but overall I am not where I want to be.  I am not the person I remember before I got caught up in being prescribed and antidepressant.  I feel like I am not myself.  I feel very disconnected with people, my family, my gf , my friends and business colleagues. 

 

I know from all the posts above all of what I just stated is normal and it will eventually go away but this has been so tough and sometimes I feel like giving up .  My hope for the future just is not there.

 

I guess I would like some encouragement from people who have been through this that it will eventually get better and how I am feeling now is perfectly normal for what I have been through. 

 

I just want to be me again and get back on with my life.  I am scared that will never happen :(

 

Any words of wisdom, encouragement or confidence in knowing I am on the right track would be appreciated.  Also if you have any questions as to anything inparticular let me know.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Ryan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Ryan

 

I have experienced what you are going through both on the drugs and during withdrawal. Things have got better for me. I can now feel my emotions again, get Joy out of life and have taken up new hobbies. I can't say when that will happen for you but I am confident it will

 

I have seen people on here convinced that they were permanently damaged and couldn't recover anything of their old selves - and then they did. I had those fears and was wrong.

 

The little suns against people's user names indicates progress. It might be worth having a read through some threads. I think of Schizor, a member here who was convinced he was destined for ongoing hell and then things changed, he reconnected with friends, started enjoying himself etc.

 

It's painfully slow some times but always a prospect

 

Take care

 

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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  • 3 months later...

Good Morning,

 

I just wanted to give an update, partially for myself and partially for you to hear where I am in my recovery.

 

As of today I am 9 months away from the last dose of Lexapro and almost a year away from starting to taper from 20 mg of Lex.

 

To say the least I was hoping to feel much better than I do at this point.  I still feel as though I am not the person I should be nor the person I want to be.  I am getting through every day but feel as though this withdrawl will never go away.

 

Some of the symptoms that I am still experiencing are:

  • Exhaustion - tired all the time
  • Overall lack of emotions
  • social phobia - I have never really had this before ever in my life before Lexapro
  • lack of motivation
  • lack of caring
  • some digestive issues
  • weight gain
  • some anger issues
  • some OCD
  • relationship issues with friends/family/girlfriend
  • achy joints
  • horrible memory
  • brain fog
  • I am sure there are more but I forgot haha

 

Overall I see differences here and there but nowhere close to the Ryan I remember.

 

At 9 months since the last dose is it ok to feel this way considering?  There is still room for hope for improvement? 

 

I still to this day find it hard to believe that something I took can have this much of an effect on me. 

 

I just want the old self back.

 

Thanks.

 

Ryan

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  • Administrator

Good to hear from you, Ryan.
 
Did any symptoms improve?
 
Unfortunately, it can take many months or years for the nervous system to stabilize. See The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

Did you find fish oil and magnesium to be helpful?

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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Some days it feels as though I am getting better and see some improvement but other days it is just like many people describe, you feel like you are falling backwards in a free fall. The worst part is to see myself reacting to situations and people differently than I have in the past.  I used to have a tenacity to my personality and I feel that has been dulled.  Overall my body/mind just does not feel right.  I know a big part to getting better is my diet and healthy food will get me further than junk/processed/fast food but I don't have the motivation to eat the good stuff and the bad stuff seems to be a comfort to me when I get stressed out.  Stress seems to really turn me upside down right now as in the past I could handle tough situations very well and was seen as a leader, now I even question that.

 

I have been taking a couple different fish oils, from different depths of the sea which was recommended by my nutritionist as well as some magnesium pills.  I really cant see a definite difference but I guess it can be put in the progression upwards.

 

I understand about the windows and waves but for some reason we could talk about it for hours and see many others say they experienced the same, but it always seems to worry you and make you upset when the forward progression is stopped and turned backwards. 

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

Ryan

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  • Administrator

Yes, a wave always is very discouraging.

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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