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Hope4Healing:Long term SSRI user quit a year ago and now I have a benzo dependency


Hope4Healing

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Hello group.

I was on SSRIs for seventeen years and I tapered off of them in January 2014 over a three month period.  In hind sight I believe I tapered too fast for having been on them for such a long time.  I was taking them for depression and anxiety; I have an anxiety condition (according to the pdoc I was seeing back then) that was caused by bad experiences (trips) while on psychedelic drugs during my high school years.

Anyway, after taking Prozac for a few months my pdoc switched me to Celexa and I stayed on it for most of the time I was on the SSRIs.  I switched back to Prozac after learning that Celexa can cause heart problems (abnormal electrical activity).  This was two years before I tapered off the SSRIs.  I was also anticipating quitting the SSRIs so this was added incentive to switch back to Prozac.  My memory had gotten very bad and I thought that the SSRI was causing it.  But I was also drinking a lot and also smoking a lot of pot.

Shortly after my last dose in Jan 2014 I started feeling symptoms of depression returning. Also, my memory got even worse.  I felt really bummed because I felt like I had wasted the last 17 years of my life partying my life away.  I never have gotten married and I have no children so with the absence of the SSRI I saw my life in a new light.  It's hard to explain.  It's like when I was on the SSRIs, I was insulated from the full effect of reality and so nothing really seemed to faze me.  I acted recklessly and did a lot of dumb stuff while on SSRIs and drinking alcohol.  It's like while I was on the SSRIs I was looking at life through rose colored glasses and when I quit the SSRIs the glasses came off.  My symptoms slowly got worse.  It was like hitting a brick wall in slow motion.  The depression didn't get a whole lot worse but my anxiety kept increasing.  I started taking Klonopin to help with the anxiety. 

In September 2014 I started a new job and my stress level went through the roof.  I began taking the Klonopin on a daily basis; usually .5mg at night and sometimes a dose during the day if I was feeling really stressed.  In November 2014 I noticed that when I went a few days without taking Klonopin I would start experiencing severe anxiety along with trembling in my stomach, muscle twitches and tinnitus. I was also having trouble sleeping.  The symptoms would go away when I took the K again and I finally realized that I had developed a benzo dependency.  It was quite devastating to realize I had added a benzo dependency to my SSRI withdrawal.  I increased my K dosage to .5mg twice daily.  When I told my GP in November that I was having increased anxiety he said he could no longer treat me for this and that I would have to see a pdoc.   

I went to see the my new pdoc and he thought I needed to go back on an SSRI.  It had almost been ten months since I had stopped Prozac and I was hesitant to start again.  He talked me into taking a small dosage of Prozac, 10 mg per day.  I took the Prozac for 7 days but the side effects were terrible.  My anxiety increased, my head felt heavy, I had headaches, my thumb and leg wouldn't stop twitching, even my eyesight became wobbly because my eyeballs were twitching.  After 7 days I couldn't handle it anymore so I stopped taking the Prozac.  The sx went away after a couple of days.  I guess it's too late to reinstate an SSRI because it's been a year now.  I considered a very small dosage of Prozac by titrating it in water but I haven't decided if that's what I'm going to do.  My pdoc doesn't think that I should have a problem quitting the Klonopin because he doesn't think I was on it long enough at a high enough dosage to form a dependency on it.  He's quite wrong on that account.  I did a dry cut taper of 6.25% of my 1.0mg dosage in mid December and tolerated it ok.  I had a few bad days around days 8 and 9 but other than that I did ok.  I decided to do a liquid taper using milk after reading some of the benzo boards so I changed half my daily dosage to liquid. I started by taking a .25mg dry dosage plus .25mg liquid (minus 3.5%) and began tapering immediately.  After around a week I realized that I had tapered too fast too soon so I went back to my original dosage (.25mg dry dosage plus .25mg liquid (minus 3.5%)) twice daily and am waiting to stabilize.  It's been 7 days already and I have some good days and some bad days where I feel pretty anxious but not having the bad physical side effects.

I would like some advice on how to proceed from here.  Should I try to go back on Prozac (2ml day) liquid or should I just tough it out.  I know I tapered too fast after reading some of the posts here.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Hope4Healing and welcome to SA,

 

thank you for filling in your signature. I studies it and looked and read what you wrote and this is what I think.

 

Tapering over 3 month period after you were on drugs for 17 years is way too fast for the brain to regrow itself. Maybe you put a wrong year in your signature or I don't understand something in line 3: November 2014 - tapered off 10 mg Prozac over a 3 month period, last dosage January 2014

 

Maybe you meant November 2013? Reinstating 1 year after discontinuation is not really likely to work. It seems that you used Klonopin to manage withdrawal from Prozac. Benzos create dependency quickly. 

 

We have a subsection here that deals with tapering benzos so I will move your thread there. You will get more advice on how to proceed with your taper. Holding and waiting to stabilise is a good decision. 

 

Other more experienced members will give you specific advice on tapering Klonopin regarding its half life and so one. 

 

Exchange of good and bad days sounds like windows and waves pattern of recovery so it's a positive sign. More here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

You will find a lot of friendly support here.

 

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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Hello Bubble.

 

Thanks for the response. Yes I started my taper in November of 2013, not 2014.  I wished I had known back then that three months was too soon to taper.  I would have tapered over a two year or longer period if I had known that is what is was going to take.  I would have done anything to have avoided this living hell I find myself in today.  So, at this point,  I don't even know if my symptoms are from SSRI withdrawal or Klonopin withdrawal.  Probably both.  I guess I don't have many options now or than to just do a slow taper off of Klonopin.  It seems like the Klonopin isn't helping my symptoms now, it's just keeping withdrawal at bay.  Today's not a good day so I'm feeling pretty down.  Gotta keep my head up.  Can't give up hope. 

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

After 17 years on AD there is no doubt that 1 year after discontinuing you are still suffering from withdrawal. I agree with you that Klonopin is keeping that withdrawal at bay but it's not just. Withdrawals can be awful so it's a lot.

 

I wouldn't taper it as we don't taper anything while feeling so symptomatic. It means that our brain is struggling badly as it is and tempering with the drug is not helpful. I totally understand the issue of dependency but now it is important to stabilise for as long as it takes. 

 

What are your main symptoms these days?

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Since you have been on SSRIs for a long time and are still dealing with symptoms after their discontinuation I have moved your thread back here. More members can see your updates and offer their support and suggestions.

 

Apologies for moving you around! :)

 

You can get a more specific advice on Klonopin situation if needs be in the benzo subsection. 

 

You might want to explore Symptoms and self-care section for ideas on how to deal with the symptoms you might have.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

Keep us posted.

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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Hi Bubble. 

Thanks for moving my message back to the Introductions and updates forum.  I am actually a member of a benzo support group and have been getting good information from them.  I joined this forum because I started thinking that my symptoms weren't just from the benzo dependency and that I might also be suffering from SSRI discontinuation syndrome.  After reading on the benzo board for a while and reading their suggestions about the necessity of slow tapering I started thinking that I had tapered too fast off of the SSRIs considering I had been on them for so long.  You confirmed that I did indeed taper too fast and now I'm faced with SSRI withdrawal as well as a benzo dependency.  At this point I don't really know what the underlying cause of my symptoms are.  When I started taking the benzos (to deal with the anxiety from not being on Prozac anymore) they made me feel better but never 100%.  I would say that on my best dasy I'm at around 60% - 70% at best.  So I'm definitely dealing with SSRI withdrawal.  I know the the w/d symptoms for SSRI withdrawal and benzo withdrawal are very similar.

 

Right now my main symptoms are:

1.) An inability to get good sleep and not sleep as long as I'd like to.  I wake up between no later than 7:00am, regardless of the time I went to sleep.  I wake with cramps in my gut (IBS?) and a slight feeling of dread.  Once awake it is impossible to go back to sleep.  Once I get up and start moving around the cramping subsides significantly.

2.) A constant, gnawing feeling of anxiety.  It's manageable but still quite uncomfortable.  I also feel a slight sensation in my body that can best be explained as being right on the verge of having the shakes or trembling.  Also, if I encounter a stressful situation like a problem at my job or a confrontation with someone it will set off my anxiety response and I will be at a higher level of anxiety for the rest of the day.  

 

Those are my main symptoms.  When I tapered off of Prozac, I never encountered the brain zaps (I used to get these when I was on Celexa and missed more than a day of dosing) or other bad physical symptoms until I started my new job in Sept. '14 (increased stress)  and started taking Klonopin regularly.  Before Sept. '14 (7 months after stopping Prozac) my main symptoms were depression and a feeling of hopelessness along with IBS in the mornings.  My memory is so shot right now I can't remember very well what I was experiencing.  There was that one episode in early April when I woke up with severe anxiety and cramping in both of my flanks.  I actually thought I was having kidney issues and went to the ER.  They diagnosed me with having a mild episode of diverticulitis (which I was in fact having but that was the least of my concerns at that time.)  I seemed to get over that episode for the most part but never got back to feeling physically as good as I was feeling before that episode.

 

I know that my morning syptoms are due to elevated levels of cortisol in the morning.  I had a 24 hour urine collection cortisol test done on Dec 30, 2014 and it came back showing that my level was at 59 ug/ 24 hr.  The lab test stated that it was in the high range and shouldn't have been higher than 50 ug/24 hr.  I guess that this is due to my depression and anxiety.  

 

Sorry if I'm rambling but it helps for me to write this stuff down.  

 

Is there anyone else out there who has tapered too fast from an SSRI after taking it long term?  I'd like to hear about your experiences.  It helps to know that I'm not alone.  Thanks also to the private messages I've gotten.  I really appreciate the compassion that the folks here are showing me.   :wub:

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Member

My thread is long and filled with all kinds of silly metaphysical musings in the first half. I thought I had escaped wd syndrome until hit the beginning of year 2. But hit it did and I am now mostly recovered, for some odd reason which I shall not question. My link is in my sig, be my guest. (Truth be told, I cannot read the first several pages of my thread and I was the one that wrote it....)

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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Thanks CW for your post.  I looked at your link and went over your long journey through w/d.  I'm glad to hear the worst of it is over for you. I've been thinking for the past month that my symptoms were from the Klonopin but now I'm starting to think that they are really from the SSRI withdrawal.  I was on them for 17 years and didn't c/t but tapered over three months, which I now realize was way too quick.  But I'm told it's too late to try to get back on Prozac and do a slow taper.  It has been one year since I took my last dose of Prozac10 months and it took 10 months before my anxiety and other physical symptoms kicked in.  They coincided with my the start of my benzo dependency so I really don't know what's what.  I was going to start my benzo taper soon but now I don't know what to do.  The thing that scares me the most about staying on the benzos is the damage it is doing to my memory.  I'm 53 and I read that benzos can contribute to Alzheimers in older people.  My memory is already ready bad.  It seemed to get worse during the years I was on Prozac/Celexa.  My ability to map things in my head is practically gone.  I had a hard time remembering names but now I'm even having a hard time remembering new faces.  Recently, I've been having trouble spelling words I've known all my life.  It's kind of scary.  I'm not  feeling the terrible physical symptoms that some of the people describe.  Maybe it's the Klonopin that's keeping those symptoms at bay.  I'm confused at how to proceed at this point.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hope,

I just read through your thread.  I'm sorry you are in this tough spot and I wish I had an easy answer for you, but unfortunately I don't.  I agree that what you are experiencing is probably a combination of SSRI withdrawal and benzo dependency and at the moment the klonopin is cushioning some of the SSRI withdrawal symptoms.

 

Right now,  it seems that you are fairly functional and the symptoms are tolerable, my concern is that if you taper the klonopin now, things could become much worse.

 

I know you are concerned about memory issues, which may be caused by the benzo, but they can also be caused by SSRI use and withdrawal.  I don't want to scare you, but symptoms can become so much worse if you you push your nervous system too far.  If I were you I think I would wait and try and stabilize more before trying to taper off klonopin, even if it takes another year or two, especially if you need to remain functional to work.

 

Is there anyone else out there who has tapered too fast from an SSRI after taking it long term?  I'd like to hear about your experiences.  It helps to know that I'm not alone. 

 

Yes, that would be me.  I was on Zoloft, Serzone and then Lexapro for a total of 13 years and then 'tapered' off over about 2 months.  There were a few other drugs after that, because I didn't know I was in withdrawal and was trying to stay functional.  My nervous system 'crashed' at the end of 2011 and I'm still in protracted withdrawal, but recovering slowly.  For a couple of years I barely left my bed and had terrible daytime agoraphobia, it was almost impossible to leave the house to do what I needed to do., especially before evening.  There were some things I needed to do though and I would be in a state of terror the whole time, with hot and cold flashes and pouring with sweat, heart pounding, feeling like I was about to die at any moment.   I couldn't shower or go outside to bring in my mail. Before starting on these drugs,  I was someone who regularly traveled around the world by myself. But now I have problems driving around the corner to buy milk. I've always had some anxiety, but nothing compared with what withdrawal has been like. 

 

I'm not writing this to scare you, but want you to be aware how bad it can get for some people, if you don't take care of your nervous system and respect its limitations.  Once it falls off the wall, like humpty, its difficult to put it back together again.  If you want to read more about my experiences, the link to my thread is in my signature.

 

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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Oh dear.  The news just seems to get worse and worse.  Petu, you' re saying I shouldn't start tapering off of Klonopin until I stabilize more.  How would you define stabilize more?  I've had two isolated days in the past two or three weeks where I felt ok (relatively speaking.)  The anxiety wasn't gnawing at me on those days and I could actually think more clearly.  Most days I have a general feeling of unease and can feel the anxiety in the background always waiting for something to trip me up and get me flustered.  Then it comes on, not to the point of panic, but it is quite uncomfortable.  How did you, or anyone else, get through this, especially for years in your case?  I don't have that kind of strength.  I guess I have to quit looking at it as a long-term ordeal and just take it one day at a time.  God help me.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm sorry Hope, I didn't want to give you bad news, was just trying to protect you from having to go through what has happened to me.  If you've had two reasonable days recently, that's a good sign, it means you are beginning to stabilize, if you remain patient and don't make any changes, the better days should increase until you are back to feeling what is normal for you, most of the time.

 

The way I'm getting through this is one day at a time.  I have to stop myself from thinking about the future and wondering how much longer its going to take because then it starts to feel like more than I can handle.  I don't have enough strength to get through years of this, but I usually have enough to handle what I'm going through right now, so that's what I focus on.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Hope4Healing.

 

My guess is you went off Prozac a little too fast and that anxiety etc. for which you were prescribed benzos was withdrawal syndrome.

 

Since you've been off Prozac for a year, there's no way to predict whether reinstatement of a tiny amount, such as 1mg or 2mg, might help or hurt.

 

Now you may also be experiencing rebound anxiety from Klonopin.

 

What is your daily symptom pattern relative to when you take Klonopin?

 

The gut symptoms might be Klonopin withdrawal or something else. What is your meal schedule?

 

Probably most of the people here have at one time gone off a drug too fast! That's how they learned about withdrawal syndrome and they're here either to recover from it or avoid it.

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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Hello Altostrata.  Thanks for responding to my post.

 

What is rebound anxiety from Klonopin?

 

My daily symptom pattern relative to when I take Klonopin is.

I usually get around 6 hours of sleep.  It seems that no matter how late I go to bed I will wake up around 7:30am in the morning.

I will wake up with cramping in my colon; I attributed this to IBS?  Also, once I wake I start feeling anxious within a few minutes of waking.  If I try to go back to sleep I may doze for a few minutes but it isn't restful so I usually just get up.  Once I get up and start moving around the colon cramps subside but the seldom completely disappear during the day.  My anxiety usually continues through most of the day.  It is manageable but seems to get worse when I encounter a problem at work or encounter any sort of stressful situation.  Sometimes in the evening my anxiety level gets pretty low but I never feel "well".  I attribute this to one of the side effects of Klonopin but it could also be part of the SSRI withdrawal syndrome.  

I usually eat a light breakfast, oatmeal or eggs. Lunch is usually a salad or other light meal with chicken as my protein source or no protein; just salad.  Dinner is  usually chicken with a green vegetable.  I try to avoid starchy carbs because I'm in the early stages of diabetes and can still control it with diet.

 

I tried reinstating Prozac 10 mg/day but the w/d effects were terrible: higher level of anxiety; cog fog; heavy feeling in my head, crushing depression.  My attempted reinstatement period was during a seven day break period from work and since my break was over I had to stop taking it as there was no way I could function in that state.  I stopped taking it after seven days and I was feeling back to my former self within a couple of days.

 

I have considered trying a 1mg or 2mg reinstatement of the Prozac but I've been told by some here that it's been too long.  I really don't want to go back on Prozac but if my symptoms don't get better I may get desperate and give it a try.  

 

I appreciate everyone's advice.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Administrator

But when do you take the Klonopin?

 

You might look here for discussion of rebound and paradoxical reactions from benzos.

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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Altostrata.  I take the Klonopin in the morning around 6:30am and in the evening around 8:00pm or 9:00pm.  I know I should space them twelve hours apart but I usually feel better in the evening and I want to get as much sleep as possible, hence the latter dose at night.  

 

Thanks again for answering my posts.  I really appreciate your help.  It's comforting to know that there are folks here with the knowledge and experience in how to deal with these psychotropic drug problems (nightmares is a better word) who are willing to help.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Administrator

Your symptoms may be rebound from the Klonopin. When benzos wear off, sometimes symptoms rebound much higher than they were originally.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hope4healing , my doctor stopped Valium during my withdrawal because she thought that feelings of intense rage I was having were a paradoxical reaction.

Don't know if this helps or not but wanted to share.  :unsure:

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi there! I was on Celexa and a few other ssris for 11 years and tapered off in 2 months 2 years ago and am still in hell but slowly recovering. I was put on a bunch of different drugs and reinstated Celexa at full dose with devastating effects. I have had all your symptoms and many more it's all part of it and actually I think you are doing pretty well in comparison to me. I too have been taking klonopin daily to manage the withdrawal. I started taking it before I really knew what was going on with withdrawal. You could try a low dose of prozac or Celexa but I dunno if it's worth it now or not. I am on a low dose of Celexa but don't think it ever really did much and now I have that to taper again. I would not change the klonopin for a good year to be honest till your nervous system has time to calm down you might be getting some rebound anxiety but that's all part of the ride. Take it one day at a time and one day it will be all over.

April 2013 Doc put me back on 40mg of celexa for 2.5 weeks than switched to Paxil 3 weeks adverse reaction and kindling reaction
July 2013 5mg celexa and .5mg klonopin daily

5/15/16 started lamictal and currently at 25mg daily once a day.

1/1/17 crossed over from .5mg klonopin to 10mg Valium.

3/1/17 off celexa from getting down to around .25mg.

5/25/17 started tapering the Valium from 10mg to 9mg

6/25/17 dropped down to 8mg Valium 

currently on 8mg of Valium and 25mg of lamictal once a day in the morning never could handle more than 25mg of lamictal and never really felt anything from it.

7/2/17 updosed to 10mg Valium and holding split twice a day and holding.

3/1/18 dropped Valium from 10mg to 9.5mg

4/1/18 dropped Valium from 9.5 to 9mg still on 25mg lamictal.

Updosed 6/20/18 Valium 10mg and 25mg lamictal and holding.

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I too did a lot of stupid things while on ssris and drinking a lot and doing drugs and am now in aa just a terrible ride to say the least. I don't have any kids either and feel like a bubble was lifted when I quit the Celexa and was numb to so many things while on them. I had so much fear when I came off then.

April 2013 Doc put me back on 40mg of celexa for 2.5 weeks than switched to Paxil 3 weeks adverse reaction and kindling reaction
July 2013 5mg celexa and .5mg klonopin daily

5/15/16 started lamictal and currently at 25mg daily once a day.

1/1/17 crossed over from .5mg klonopin to 10mg Valium.

3/1/17 off celexa from getting down to around .25mg.

5/25/17 started tapering the Valium from 10mg to 9mg

6/25/17 dropped down to 8mg Valium 

currently on 8mg of Valium and 25mg of lamictal once a day in the morning never could handle more than 25mg of lamictal and never really felt anything from it.

7/2/17 updosed to 10mg Valium and holding split twice a day and holding.

3/1/18 dropped Valium from 10mg to 9.5mg

4/1/18 dropped Valium from 9.5 to 9mg still on 25mg lamictal.

Updosed 6/20/18 Valium 10mg and 25mg lamictal and holding.

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  How did you, or anyone else, get through this, especially for years in your case?  I don't have that kind of strength.  I guess I have to quit looking at it as a long-term ordeal and just take it one day at a time.  God help me.

Hi H4H yeah i did a clueless self calculated taper over 9 months broke every taper rule in the book, I was left a non-functioning human being for 2 years and now in hindsight the 3 rd yr wasnt that great either but little by little things improved and i am now in my 5th yr and still seeing improvements  i am thankful to just be alive ..not sure how i survived it but i think you are right its survived one day at a time in the trenches.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Hi Hope4Healing! I'm in Houston so it's looks like we are neighbors. :)

 

I can definitely relate to your story as I also have been on an SSRI for 17 years, since I was a teenager. And for a long time in that period I drank too much and smoked A LOT of pot. It's crazy what these drugs can do to you. Thankfully, I have been sober for a few years now.

 

Considering your long history and how quickly your tapered, as well as your current symptoms I would say you are doing a lot better than most would be in your situation. Unfortunately, many people have resorted to benzo use to deal with SSRI WD only to find themselves then addicted to the benzo. The fact that you are able to get six hours of sleep (no doubt the Klonopin could be helping with that) is pretty good. As for the cramping, it's been my personal experience that WD can give you symptoms of IBS. I'm also dealing with many stomach issues, including cramping. I agree with the people who say you should probably wait a bit longer before attempting a Klonopin taper. Given the fact that you have been off SSRIs for a year now and your symptoms aren't severe, I probably would not try and reinstate.

 

I'm glad that you found us! You will absolutely get through this. Time is the greatest healer.

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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Thanks to everyone who has responded to my thread since my last post: Fresh, Djones1984, ns11, and Ladybug! 

 

At least I know that I'm not the only person who acted the fool while on SSRIs.  I thought I was bullet proof while on them and it took losing my health to make me realize that I was on a path of self-destruction.  I think that a part of my memory issues is that I sustained a very bad concussion around seven or eight years ago and am still feeling the repercussions from. I was drinking daily at the time and I'm sure that I didn't give my brain the proper chance to heal since I was hung over every weekend for years afterwards.  I had bad vertigo for a few years and still have problems with it occasionally.  I noticed that when I was on Prozac the vertigo was worse and is not as bad now that I'm not taking it anymore.

 

After reading about everyone else's experience with SSRI withdrawal I am beginning realize that I am very fortunate to not be in worse shape.  The sense of darkness and hopelessness I experienced back in December isn't as bad now and although I know I have a good ways to go, I think that if I take it slowly and be careful about making any changes to my current Klonopin dosage then I'll be alright.  In the back of my mind I am still thinking that things could get worse since I'm only starting year two of my SSRI withdrawal.  I can't let that thought rule my thinking because there is something to be said for self-fulfilling prophecies.

 

I think that for me, the most important thing is to not let allow the fear take rule my mind.  When fear rules, hopelessness, anxiety and depression all become giant unmanageable monsters.  I have to have Hope in order to overcome and I know everyone is different when it comes to their source of inspiration so I won't go any further on that point.  

 

Thank you all for being my online support partners.  

 

I noticed that my weekends tend to be worse days for me for some reason.  Maybe it's because I don't have a structured schedule and I have more idle time to think about my problems.  Does anyone else seem to have this same problem?

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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Yes! I wrote something in another thread about feeling worse on weekends. It really makes me sad as I used to love my weekends and free time but now I think I just have time to feel how awful I am feeling. The weekdays while working are exhausting and difficult but do provide some structure and something else to focus on.

-1/06 - 3/07 Cymbalta. Fast taper; withdrawal symptoms after 4 mos (didn't realize was WD)

-10/07: 100 mg Zoloft; 1 mg Klonopin - tapered off Klonopin
-Tried several times to slowly taper Zoloft by 10%, then 5% every 4-6 weeks; could never get below approx. 40 mg - spring 2012 experienced major WD symptoms due to stress; tried to updose but no relief, back on Klonopin 1 mg.
-Switched over 5-6 mos from Zoloft to Citalopram. Finished Zoloft 1/13; Citalopram 35 mg and 1 mg Klonopin.
-8/13: 27 mg Citalopram; 1 mg Klonopin

-11/14: 12.6 Citalopram - began to have bad withdrawal symptoms; out of desperation increased to 1.25 mg Klonopin at the beginning of December.  12/13/14 16 mg Citalopram - going to stay here to try to stabilize; stabilized on 16 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

-7/15 - 3/16: reduced to 15 mg; ~ 2 months later w/d hit hard (probably r/t stress); 6/16 updosed to 20 mg Citalopram and trying to stabilize. Updosed to 1.5 Klonopin as well. Stabilized on 20 mg Citalopram after 4-5 months

8/17-9/17: feeling withdrawal symptoms at 20 mg Citalopram (due to stress) - slowly increased to 25 mg. No change in symptoms after 6 months (? tolerance ?)  - decided to start citalopram taper February 2018 (still on Klonopin 1.5 mg).

Supplements: fish oil; magnesium; vitamin D3; curcumin

Citalopram taper:  2/2018 - 12/2019: 25 mg - 11.03 mg I 2020: 10.89 mg - 7.9 mg I 2021: 7.8 mg - 5.26 mg

2022: 1/5/22: 5.2 mg (1.25%); 1/12/22: 5.1 mg (1.25%); 1/19/22: 5.07 mg (1.25%); 1/26/22: 5.0 mg (1.25%); 5/1/22: 4.9 mg (1.25%); 5/8/22: 4.88 mg; 5/15/22: 4.8 mg  (1.25%); 5/22/22: 4.76 mg (1.25%); 6/5/22: 4.7 mg (1.25%); 6/12/22: 4.6 mg (1.25%); 6/19/22: 4.58 mg (1.25%); 6/26/22: 4.5 mg; 7/10/22: 4.47 mg (1.25%); 7/17/22: 4.4 mg (1.25%); 7/24/22: 4.36 mg (1.25%); 7/31/22: 4.3 mg (1.25%); 8/21/22: 4.25 mg (1.25%); 8/28/22: 4.2 mg; 9/4/22: 4.1 mg (1.25%); 9/11/22: 4.09 mg (1.25%); 9/25/22: 4.0 mg (1.25%)

 

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Yes weekends are way worse for me too and have been all throughout this mess. I figure too its because I don't have structure and have a little free time to think about how I feel which feeds into the anxiety and fear. Plus my sleep schedule is usually a little different which I believe throws me off as well. Your story is pretty much exactly like mine and I can relate to all of it. I had a few concussions too which looking back threw me off for years too. It's a crazy ride but we will survive with a stronger soul!

April 2013 Doc put me back on 40mg of celexa for 2.5 weeks than switched to Paxil 3 weeks adverse reaction and kindling reaction
July 2013 5mg celexa and .5mg klonopin daily

5/15/16 started lamictal and currently at 25mg daily once a day.

1/1/17 crossed over from .5mg klonopin to 10mg Valium.

3/1/17 off celexa from getting down to around .25mg.

5/25/17 started tapering the Valium from 10mg to 9mg

6/25/17 dropped down to 8mg Valium 

currently on 8mg of Valium and 25mg of lamictal once a day in the morning never could handle more than 25mg of lamictal and never really felt anything from it.

7/2/17 updosed to 10mg Valium and holding split twice a day and holding.

3/1/18 dropped Valium from 10mg to 9.5mg

4/1/18 dropped Valium from 9.5 to 9mg still on 25mg lamictal.

Updosed 6/20/18 Valium 10mg and 25mg lamictal and holding.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Hope  :)    I haven't been able to work for a long time , so every day is a bit like a weekend...lol.     What I do find is that when I don't have some sort of plan I tend to feel more anxious / unsettled.     Once I've decided what I'll do for the next few hours , I do feel more in control / better.   Even if the plan is to bathe , dress , then rest , that's okay.    

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hello Wantrelief.  I hope you're starting to stabilize now.  It's no fun dealing with anxiety.  Most of the time now, my anxiety is at a manageable level.  The only time it seems to get bad is when I'm sleeping; I'll be have a strange dream and I'll be stressing over a situation that isn't even real.  I wake up and have to tell myself it isn't real so there's no reason to be anxious about it.  That happens quite a bit,especially early in the morning.  

 

Well, at least I'm not the only one who has bad weekends.  I work all week long and when the weekend comes I can't relax and unwind like I used to.  There's just no rest for the weary.  

 

DJones, it does look like we both have had the same very similar experiences.  I saw in your signature that you tapered off of Celexa, which has a much shorter half-life than Prozac.  That explains why you crashed so soon after taking your last dose.  I purposely switched to Prozac before I began my taper.  I suppose it helped to keep the bad withdrawal effects away for a few months but they did catch up with me eventually.  I mentioned it before but it was kind of like hitting a brick wall in super slow motion.  I read where someone said that if you didn't have a chemical imbalance before going on SSRIs, you sure do have one when you stop taking them.  

 

Hi Fresh.  I can imagine it must be tough being home all day and having to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Hang in there! 

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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I have a question for the group, Altostrata in particular but any comments are welcome.

 

As you know, I tapered off of Prozac (3 month taper) one year ago (mid-January 2014).  I am now taking Klonopin (.940mg twice daily via liquid solution)  and have been holding on the same dosage for three weeks.  I feel ok for the most part, my anxiety has calmed down quite a bit and I am able to function at work.  Yesterday while at work I became a little overwhelmed because my memory is bad and I started worrying about all of the things I have to remember at my new job--technical information.  I started feeling nervous and had a short episode where I even felt a little bit of unreality.  I was able to calm myself down and it passed although it did shake me up quite a bit and had me on edge the rest of the day.

 

My question is, was this episode a symptom of my SSRI withdrawal or was it due to my nervous system being over-sensitized by the Klonopin that I've been taking regularly for three months now.  It is very confusing trying to sort out what is caused by what; especially considering that I would like to start a very slow taper (.0015mg daily) from the Klonopin.  I know that some of the kind people here have suggested I hold for up to a year to allow my nervous system to become more stable before I start my taper.  After what I experienced yesterday this does make pretty good sense.  

 

I know that my questions might sound redundant so please excuse me for that.  Thanks.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Administrator

Benzos are known to affect memory. You probably felt a little extra bit of anxiety because of withdrawal hypersensitivity.

 

A lot of us have found we can function passably in a work environment even though we feel impaired. Do what you can to fake it until you make it, keep calm, and you'll get by.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi ,      how was your weekend Hope?

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Hi Fresh. My weekend was ok. Yesterday I went to a wedding so I had a busy day. Today I wen to church in the morning and then came home and took a nap. I felt a little down today but I'm feeling a little better now. The weather was nice this weekend. Back to work tomorrow.

 

How was your weekend?

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It was quite nice , thanks for asking.    I try to do one thing a day away from home , so on sat. took dog and mother to a harbourside park , and on sunday hung out at the pool with some neighbours and their children.    Congrats on your recent one year anniversary since stopping Prozac - you're an inspiration :blush:.

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to comment

Thanks Fresh.  Are you enjoying your summer?  Hanging out at the pool sounds nice.  It's winter here but in Houston but it only gets too cold, except when a northern blows in.  The weather here is nice right now and the temperature is supposed to get up to around 70deg F.  I hope you enjoy your week.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Best summer in 20 years!     This is from someone who hasn't been able to enjoy anything a long , long time.

Re your post 6 Feb about episode of feeling overwhelmed , nervous , anxious , sense of unreality . . . has that been happening since then?

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to comment

Yes, feeling real, not feeling real, the stable fable LOL

 

It is extremely weird sometines, and I have never been diagnosed with a major mental health disorder in my life.

 

I do put it down to the windows really opening up, as the drugs are fully gone, and we become homeostatic and realised. It's a long shot, but I sickin' with it. Going through WD really helps in garnering strength.

 

It's the drugs that dun it to me, and it's the drugs I will take away (out). Man, what a con, in many cases.

 

My best to all

steeley

 

No smilies, today but BIG GRIN and GRRRRRRR!

Prescribed 30mg Mirtazapine approximately 10 years ago.  PTSD 

 

C/T 50% of dose - dreadful, hellish

Begin to reduce by 10% every 3-6 weeks

now:

5.11.14 4.50mg - going to wait a bit longer

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The weather is definitely great right now. I always say October and February are Houston's best months weather wise! Blue skies, cool breeze and mild temps. :) Gotta love it.

a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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I haven't had any more episodes of the the unreality since I last posted about it on Feb. 5.  I think it was just a moment where I felt overwhelmed and let it take me down a dark path until I realized where it was headed and was able to stop the process by changing my thought patterns.  I've not experienced the bad neuro emotions I've read about here so when negative thoughts do come on I can (sometimes, depending on my inner strength at the moment and determination) break the cycle.  For me it takes a lot of faith; faith that the feelings will pass; faith that I will feel better, even when I'm not feeling it and don't see any light on the horizon.  

 

My two biggest issues now are anxiety and depression.   The anxiety hasn't been a problem for the past couple of weeks, thank God, but the depression usually comes on the weekends.  This has been a three day weekend for me; I'm off today, and Saturday was a a down day for me.  I dreaded getting out of bed but couldn't sleep due to my cortisol spike so I finally did get up and actually got some things done.  Worked on my lawn and rode my motorcycle for around an hour.  Sunday was better because I had a full day scheduled.  Today, Monday, I have a few things to do so I'm not feeling as bad as I did on Saturday although it was hard getting out of bed.  

 

It seems that between the two, anxiety and depression, depression is harder to overcome with positive self-talk.  I saw that now because currently I'm feeling more depressed than anxious and will probably change my mind if the anxiety starts kicking in again.  What a mess. :wacko:

Anyway, I'm feeling fairly stable and I'm happy about that.

My Intro topic

1997. Started Prozac for GAD, switched to Celexa.  worked well for anxiety.
Nov 2013. Switched back to Prozac and began taper.
Feb 2014. Finished Prozac taper after 3 months.  
Apr 2014. Began taking Klonopin to help with Celexa withdrawals.
Dec 2014. Developed Klonopin dependency.
May 12, 2015. Unable to taper Klonopin; cold turkeyed in rehab clinic. Put on Gabapentin 1200 mg/day.
June 2017. Started very slow liquid titration off Gabapentin.
March 2019. Current GPB dosage 542 mg (232 am, 300 mg pm); Sept 2 2021. Current dosage 180 mg (90 mg x 2)  doing microtaper

Oct 5 2021. Major surgery (colon resection). mid Nov 2021. w/d symptoms increased along with cognitive deficits.  Post-operative complications?

Feb 10 2022. Still at 180 mg / day, switch to 3 doses per day due to constant w/d and cognitive deficits.

Link to comment
  • Frogie changed the title to Hope4Healing:Coming from the Lyrica Survivors (Pregabalin and Gabapentin Support) community

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