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WiggleIt

Cold turkey or rapid taper success stories?

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EnglishSteve

Is this the success story section ?

Dear me. So much of this site makes for distressing reading.

I wonder how many desperate people who aren’t members, but are in an acute fragile state due to negligent doctors  end up here reading some of this.  It’s like you don’t think you can get emotionally lower but you fail to see the trapdoor you’re standing on.

 There are, I’m sure, many kind and helpful people on this site, I know I’ve been helped by two and I’ve only been a member for one day. But I really am going to have to be careful about what I read. I’ve been through that trapdoor a few times already today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

This topic is not the Success Stories section. It is within the Success Stories section, which contains hundreds of topics, some of them complaining about the Success Stories.

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thecowisback
On 3/13/2018 at 5:20 AM, anongrl5590 said:

 

Hi there -

Well I am about 18 months out since my CT. I still have about half of the symptoms I started out with but they are progressively getting better although VERY slowly. A lot of my physical symptoms have improved but I still have some that still hit me pretty hard every now and then. Mainly my mental symptoms are the ones that are driving me nuts. I don't really get much of a break from the mental symptoms. I am just chugging along everyday trying to survive as usual. But again, I have noticed improvements. I am definitely not where I was few months ago. I hope things keep progressing in the right direction. 

How are you now?

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GonnaBeOk

Found this group too late after CT Prozac from Jan-April 2018 (May as well have been CT). Was on Prozac many years (as well as many drugs over prior years). Did not know I was in withdrawal because I attributed my withdrawal symptoms to my having chronic Lyme (and likely poor brain function from coming off Prozac wayyyyyy too fast—my withdrawal symptoms are horrible! Can’t believe I did not connect the dots! ). Im not currently treating Lyme. I’m looking for any success stories of people with similar experience who CT long term use of SSRIs and are improved now. Can anyone link me to such success stories on this site?

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Altostrata

Merged similar topics.

 

Please use search in the Success Stories forum to see outcomes of cold turkey.

 

Clearly, people do survive cold turkey. If it killed people, that would be a public health crisis even psychiatrists couldn't ignore.

 

Same with rapid taper. In fact, rapid taper is the norm. Most likely recovery follows a bell curve, with a small number having no problems at all; a large number, possibly a majority, recovering within a few weeks or months; a substantial percentage take months to a couple of years to recover; and a minority taking many years to recover.

 

Before you go off drugs, there is no way to predict which group you'll be in.

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WiggleIt

Oh my gosh!!!!  I can't believe it!  All those years ago, I was searching for stories of surviving cold turkey, and now I can say I DID survive!!!  How crazy to see this thread that I started because I was terrified, but now I can look back at my past self, and others like me, and I can say with confidence that they can make it through.

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Rezten
13 hours ago, WiggleIt said:

Oh my gosh!!!!  I can't believe it!  All those years ago, I was searching for stories of surviving cold turkey, and now I can say I DID survive!!!  How crazy to see this thread that I started because I was terrified, but now I can look back at my past self, and others like me, and I can say with confidence that they can make it through.

Is your success story posted in here?  

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WiggleIt
1 hour ago, Rezten said:

Is your success story posted in here?  

 

I have not written one.  I've wavered back and forth on whether to write one or not, to be honest.  Mentally and emotionally, I've recovered from meds, but there has been lasting physical damage, so I'm never really sure whether to consider myself a "success" or a "partial success" or a "total success."  What I do know for sure is that I'm much, much better.  It's stunning what psych meds do.  It's shocking that I lived through it, but I did, and I feel truly honest about telling others that it gets better.

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Rezten
8 minutes ago, WiggleIt said:

 

I have not written one.  I've wavered back and forth on whether to write one or not, to be honest.  Mentally and emotionally, I've recovered from meds, but there has been lasting physical damage, so I'm never really sure whether to consider myself a "success" or a "partial success" or a "total success."  What I do know for sure is that I'm much, much better.  It's stunning what psych meds do.  It's shocking that I lived through it, but I did, and I feel truly honest about telling others that it gets better.

Thank you for those encouraging words.  I can understand why you may not want to post.  I'm feeling very scared and discouraged and your post here gives me some hope.  But I also feel like others may heal but I wont.  

 

I'm sorry you still have some lasting issues. Hopefully those will go away as well.

 

Thank you again

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WiggleIt
12 minutes ago, Rezten said:

Thank you for those encouraging words.  I can understand why you may not want to post.  I'm feeling very scared and discouraged and your post here gives me some hope.  But I also feel like others may heal but I wont.  

 

I'm sorry you still have some lasting issues. Hopefully those will go away as well.

 

Thank you again

 

I understand what it's like to be scared you won't heal!  I was so convinced I wouldn't and was so convinced I was the worst case here.  I thought, "Oh, others got better, but that's because they weren't as bad as me in the first place."  Thank God, I was wrong!  I did get better, and everyone who told me I'd get better... well, THOSE were the people who were right.

And I really, really recommend actually printing out your favorite success stories and highlighting the most hopeful parts.  Reading them online is great, but sometimes I really needed to hold the papers in my hand without having to scroll through a bunch of links first.  When they're in print, they're just a little easier to access, especially on days when light sensitivity makes it hard to look at a screen.

You'll get better, Rezten!  

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Rezten
2 minutes ago, WiggleIt said:

And I really, really recommend actually printing out your favorite success stories and highlighting the most hopeful parts.

That's a good idea!  Thank you.

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Itzakadoozee
1 hour ago, WiggleIt said:

 

I have not written one.  I've wavered back and forth on whether to write one or not, to be honest.  Mentally and emotionally, I've recovered from meds, but there has been lasting physical damage, so I'm never really sure whether to consider myself a "success" or a "partial success" or a "total success."  What I do know for sure is that I'm much, much better.  It's stunning what psych meds do.  It's shocking that I lived through it, but I did, and I feel truly honest about telling others that it gets better.

You are a success!

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India
On 1/12/2015 at 12:48 AM, Brandy said:

WiggleIt, I was surprised when I saw your thread. There were countless success stories on PP from rapid tapers and cold turkeys. I don't recall anyone actually posting a "success story" per se until very recent years though.

 

I was very worried and thought I was an exception who would not recover, after joining PP in 2007, almost a year after my last dose from a much-too-fast taper off paxil. At that time, normal recovery on PP was considered to be 12 months, possibly as long as 18 months. And the 10% taper was something one person was trying as an experiment after repeated failures to be able to go off faster,and not what anyone else on AD sites had done. At almost one year off, I was in the worst of withdrawal, and that continued for me beyond the one-year point. Anything beyond one year was termed "protracted withdrawal" and newbies especially would freak out if anyone mentioned their withdrawal was lasting that long. A thread started for protracted withdrawal1 yr+ was frowned upon but tolerated. Requests for a success stories section or thread were repeatedly refused on that site. (It was only many years later that some "success stories" were collected in some threads, and by that time most members were gone or rarely posted, and newer members were or had been tapering by the 10% method.)

 

I am personally familiar with many, if not most, of the cases cited from PP in the thread about success stories from other sites, and most of them are from people who c/t'd (cold-turkeyed) or tapered very quickly, though their history is not given in those posts.

 

Recovery from cold turkeys or too-fast tapers either are brief or relatively uneventful, in which case people don't generally think to seek out withdrawal groups, or can be slow, although - I cannnot overemphasize this - do not remain at the early severity for the duration, and this group (SA) is new enough (and deliberately started very small, with a membership consisting specifically of people in protracted withdrawal) that most people who went off quickly are still recovering, albeit with many of us having had substantial improvement. I think most members of this group, especially those who post actively, are doing slow tapers, or joined too recently to have recovered from their too-fast tapers or c/t's  yet.

 

There are many other considerations to bear in mind. And many reasons why many, probably most people, don't post success stories. (I am one who has never done that.) The reasons are not what you'd think, and may alleviate a lot of people's needless worries. I have drafted a post about why people don't post success stories (based on many years in withdrawal groups and having corresponded with countless people privately.) I want to proofread it later (something I should always, but only very rarely do!). I will post it in this section of the site soon.

Really illuminating

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India
On 1/17/2019 at 7:52 AM, Altostrata said:

Merged similar topics.

 

Please use search in the Success Stories forum to see outcomes of cold turkey.

 

Clearly, people do survive cold turkey. If it killed people, that would be a public health crisis even psychiatrists couldn't ignore.

 

Same with rapid taper. In fact, rapid taper is the norm. Most likely recovery follows a bell curve, with a small number having no problems at all; a large number, possibly a majority, recovering within a few weeks or months; a substantial percentage take months to a couple of years to recover; and a minority taking many years to recover.

 

Before you go off drugs, there is no way to predict which group you'll be in.

And also you can be on different positions on the bell curve at different periods of your life. At 22, I stopped taking 20mg of citalopram after 3 years overnight and had 0 W/D symptoms. Now I am in protracted withdrawal after 12 years of consecutive use and a too fast taper. Thank you for this analogy/post  . 

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FarmGirlWorks
34 minutes ago, India said:

There are many other considerations to bear in mind. And many reasons why many, probably most people, don't post success stories. (I am one who has never done that.) The reasons are not what you'd think, and may alleviate a lot of people's needless worries. I have drafted a post about why people don't post success stories (based on many years in withdrawal groups and having corresponded with countless people privately.) I want to proofread it later (something I should always, but only very rarely do!). I will post it in this section of the site soon.

Hi @Brandy, I would really like to read your take on why people do not write success stories. I just assumed (always the best strategy) that people got better and were so busy living again that they didn't come back. The Success Stories are a lifeline for me (22 months) and, of course, would like to read more. But eager to find out reasons there are not. Thanks! And glad you recovered.

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Altostrata

We know people do not come back after recovery because they want to put a difficult period in their lives behind them.

 

As you post in topics, particularly Intro topics, please encourage people to keep in touch as they feel better!

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India
On 2/1/2019 at 6:52 AM, WiggleIt said:

Oh my gosh!!!!  I can't believe it!  All those years ago, I was searching for stories of surviving cold turkey, and now I can say I DID survive!!!  How crazy to see this thread that I started because I was terrified, but now I can look back at my past self, and others like me, and I can say with confidence that they can make it through.

Like honey to many of our ears

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Brandy
On 2/2/2019 at 1:06 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

Hi @Brandy, I would really like to read your take on why people do not write success stories. I just assumed (always the best strategy) that people got better and were so busy living again that they didn't come back. The Success Stories are a lifeline for me (22 months) and, of course, would like to read more. But eager to find out reasons there are not. Thanks! And glad you recovered.

 

FarmGirlWorks, I apologize so much for not replying sooner. I have been through an unbelievable siege in life (not w/d-related) for far too long, and have barely been able to get to the store or do laundry for many months. Hadn't checked the email I use with this account in ages and want others who contacted me to know that I'm so glad old friends have been in touch and will write as soon as possible. I also had to do a lot of searching at home to find my password here - couldn't even remember my user name!!!

 

The fact that I had said I would post more (really thought it would be soon!) I didn't completely forget but had slipped my mind. I'm so sorry. I don't even remember when I wrote it but will have to check when I have time (don't hold your breath!) but will try to remember what was on my mind at that time. I think basically I was thinking of two things. One was well-expressed by WiggleIt on this thread:

 

On 2/1/2019 at 1:31 PM, WiggleIt said:

 

I have not written one.  I've wavered back and forth on whether to write one or not, to be honest.  Mentally and emotionally, I've recovered from meds, but there has been lasting physical damage, so I'm never really sure whether to consider myself a "success" or a "partial success" or a "total success."  What I do know for sure is that I'm much, much better.  It's stunning what psych meds do.  It's shocking that I lived through it, but I did, and I feel truly honest about telling others that it gets better.

 

Like Alto said, most people want to move on with our lives after too long of life being disrupted to an indescribable degree and often for far too long. And while still trying to cope with all the issues one needs to in life - family and so many other things.

 

I also don't want people to be discouraged by those of us who have a few remaining symptoms or problems after basically recovering from w/d. That seems to be pretty rare, based on my correspondence with people who have dealt with w/d and recovery going way back, most even before this group started and we were members of the former group PP. But for those apparent minority of us who do continue to have some issues we didn't have before w/d, that is drowned out by being back to feeling like ourselves and remembering who we really are and what we still want to do in life.

 

Many of us don't go into w/d with our health a clean slate. In my case, I was diagnosed totally physically disabled with serious chronic medical problems; in fact, paxil was prescribed for me to address physical symptoms (which I must admit it did to a great extent - but caused new ones I would never have chosen to risk had I known the risks). I was not depressed or anxious or anything. W/d caused those and I now have a much greater understanding of those with those conditions, ironically.

 

It can be very difficult to sort out what problems are from chronic serious conditions (or new ones that could have developed over many years on an SSRI but were masked), but some I never had or even heard of and which started all at once when w/d hit me. I am still looking into them with new doctors right now, and it looks like some may have been things I was prone to physically but which the physical "shock" of w/d (especially from going off much too quickly) may have triggered them. (I'm also a whole lot older now - hard for me to believe, but quite old, and that would have happened whether I'd taken the med or not!). But I continue to find new ways to manage or modify those symptoms and as I learn more (still a work in progress after too long with doctors who did not know what to do or suggest), I will post about them. (Really! It's been on my mind, just a "work in progress" at this time.)

 

I cannot overemphasize that the few remaining conditions/symptoms are NOTHING compared to the horror I was in for too long in protracted w/d. Please everyone, don't worry about that. I also have lingering problems that I have just had to learn to live with from things like accidents and serious illnesses in my life, and that was true before I took paxil and before any of my w/d's, and I still managed to live my life as fully as possible and have wonderful jobs and experiences. Life can leave scars, but if you can move on with your life, even with limitations (which I have been dealing with literally since I was a child, and I'm a "senior" - hate that word! - now), that's what matters and I just thank god I've been able to do that as often as I could. In fact, I grasped every chance when able and have had experiences most people could never dream of. I learned early on not to dwell on what I can't do - had to recognize those things and tricky to explain to people who can do what most people can do, but if they can't accept my virtually lifelong limitations, they are not people I want as friends. Everyone else just has to accept I do what I can do and not everyone can do everything.

 

One other thing that's very important and which I remember I was going to mention when I posted what you quoted, is that when one has been through protracted w/d with so many symptoms it's hard to remember how you used to feel, it's very hard to know when and what to post about recovery, because in cases like mine symptoms do not all go away at one time. And often they seem gone, then recur - but usually for shorter and shorter periods of time, and less and less often. You reach a point where you haven't had a symptom in six months or longer, and in fact have often forgotten about it, then suddenly it comes back as a flashback. Again - don't be alarmed if this happens! In a while it's so rare you forget about it, and when you think "Oh, no, here I go again" it's gone within weeks or days, then over time in hours.

 

I've read many accounts of people whose cases I've followed (and often corresponded with), who suddenly woke up and severe w/d was gone and never returned! But none of us know at first if we will have "flashbacks" (we had a term for that but it's been so long since I "lived" on w/d groups for support, I can't even remember the term - it had to do with waves and whatever though). And then, as Also said, we move on with our lives (often with a lot of pieces to pick up), and w/d - even for those of us with some lingering symptoms - becomes one of many memories in life as so many new things come to the fore.

 

fwiw, I had gone through benzo w/d (taken re my epilepsy) many years before I was ever on paxil, and one lasting symptom I had from it even after reinstating (albeit with a different one, but necessary in my particular case to control my seizure disorder - long story, but can't tolerate most other anticonvulsants and others don't work on my type of epilepsy) was a strange one - a gold circle would suddenly flash through my vision from the lower corner of my eye upward, then back down again. This happened very frequently and for many, many years. I could still see, just something I learned to live with. Over a great deal of time (decades) that got less frequent and then gone so long I'd completely forgotten about it, then one day I had it again - one time only! Didn't happen again for probably another six months or more. Now probably happens once every few years. No big deal and doesn't even interrupt my reading or TV viewing. But an example of how tricky it can be to post when something is gone, even though I'm now dealing with far bigger medical issues and that one is nothing more than a rare and unimportant curiosity.

 

I repeat that my case was not typical right from the start (my medical condition then and certainly now, especially after a bad accident), so don't think my story will be yours. I still hear from people who had become my world a decade or more ago (!) and they are all much, much better and moving on with their lives. W'd is just one more thing in life that happened to us, although certainly the worst or one of the worst while we were in the thick of it and could see no light at the end of the tunnel.

 

The light may not look exactly as before but it's there, and so is your life! Really!

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Brandy
On 2/2/2019 at 12:32 PM, India said:

Really illuminating

India, I just saw the notification about your post when I came here about something else! I'm so sorry I wasn't aware of it - my life has been completely crazy lately. Don't know whether I'm Job or Sisyphus lol. I hope you're doing well (I haven't been here much in ages) and that my reply to FarmGirlWorks above might be helpful to you if relevant.

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Rezten
8 minutes ago, Brandy said:

The light may not look exactly as before but it's there, and so is your life! Really!

Thank you for your post. I'm struggling a lot right now and feel this will be forever.  Your words are encouraging. 

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