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Grief and loss of capacity from adverse drug effects.


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Alto grief theory has come a long way since the days of Kubler-Ross.  I have studied grief theory - formally.  Worden's stage /task theory is in favour at the moment as is Stroebe and Schut's Dual Process Model. And there are others. I had to abandon my studies 18 months ago when I crashed so I'm not 'au fait' with it all right now, but there are others.


There is resistance in accepting any form of grief or bereavement too.  Then the powerful emotions begin to flood in.  I've often seen emotions that strike me as being grief while a person is going through w/d.  It would take a lot to disentangle what is neuro-emotion and what is 'normal' grief - and I'm not claiming to have made any miraculous discovery. I'm just interested, that's all. Is that a crime?

I was making a reply to you when once again my message disappeared this is happening to me a lot on here lately I cannot even guess the cause but I do not like it. 


I do not want to get into the crime aspect of this post or the backchat ...I don't know what that term means.  I would like to talk about grief as it seems to apply to my life while in withdrawal. 


I had a few people die when I was in the first year of my cold turkey from effexor and I think the grief process was different than what it would have been had I not been in withdrawal.  I have processed it differently doing it bit by bit as I am able and I am comfortable with that till now at least.  


I think there is a sort of grief some of us have as to how the use of Ads has affected our lives being drugged for years because we could not get off the drugs without mental issues is bad enough with all the side effects mania  and misunderstanding that happen living life in an altered state of drug use.  For me the grief come in and hits hard when I learned I went thru and did all that needlessly for lack of a bit of truth.  Had I known some simple truths we now know about these drugs I could have missed so much pain for myself and for those I love.  I could have lived a completely different life for much of those 25 years.  There is grief in that and empty sort of eating at your guts grieving the loss of ones own life even though your alive.  Loss of opportunity in so many aspects of life that were stolen by drug use all based on a lie of not only no withdrawal but the off label use for treating pain ugh it makes me want to hurl... it is too much. I was such a stupid and needless loss of a life ...loss of my life of love of satisfaction from serious study and work .. too much loss.


As I say this grief is real I do not see it connected to neuro emotion which to me is a physiological state of upheaval.. yes there were times in withdrawal where I had both the intense loss of my own life and neuro emotion co-inhabiting but for the most part they are not the same thing or even part of the same loaf of bread.  They are two different types of food ... one comes on like a sugar high I cannot control the other is made of veggies and sticks to my bones hard and long... for want of a bit of truth I have lost 25 years ..there is a slow burning grief in that and it does not go away.


That is my distinction on this topic and while it may not be about paxilprogress closing so it may not belong here I was something I really needed to say.


I wish you all peace 


If Mods think this should be moved some place new by all means move it. 

Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 


There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I felt like I was going through grief all over again over my sisters death when it happened a few years ago and I already went through that process ( as soon as a wave was gone so was the grief).





I've had this experience too.  I remember when I was in the midst of withdrawal depression it felt very much like grief, both for my mother and my sister.  This seems to be common even now whenever I am "triggered" by something, though I'm not in withdrawal any more.  In my opinion we never truly stop grieving or "get over" it, though life does return to normal at some point.  It rises to the surface again at various times and feels quite potent.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs can often cause feelings of grief for various reasons.


My marriage ended while I was still on Lexapro and I thought that I'd  got over the loss and moved on, I had even started a new relationship.  But about a year into withdrawal, I found myself grieving the loss of my marriage and family on a much deeper level.


I'm also grieving the loss of my ability to be the kind of parent I used to be, before withdrawal.  I've lost 4 years of my daughters life because all I've had the capacity for is the barest essentials to keep a home running and food available.  Me, as an engaged, emotionally supportive, proactive parent disappeared when withdrawal symptoms became overwhelming, all I could do from that point was watch from the sidelines.


When I really think about it, I'm sad and grieving many losses caused by these drugs, some from their effects while taking them and some from the devastation its caused to my life by coming off them too fast.


How is grief showing up for others?

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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  • 9 months later...

I am in a constant state of grief of what I have lost to these drugs. It is mainly over losing the ability to be a mother to my children. Of course there is everything else that has gone with it; the loss of life overall, but I have screamed and howled a lot over the loss of being that mother I once was. I am sure my children have also grieved in some way.

2008 - Doctors appointment with stress induced anxiety led to Citalopram prescription.

Severe adverse reaction

Mirtazapine prescribed - adverse reaction but told to stay on.

Poop out - December 2013


Currently on 13.5mg,

April 12mg

May 10th - 11mg

June 10th - 10mg

July 8th - 9mg

September - 0mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Oh Muddles........hugs.  And I know.......or knew........how that felt........being so zombified for so long with a school aged child.  He is grown now but still..........


Your kids will remember "that mother that you once were".........or remind them when you feel better how you "could" be........or "once were" and will be again.  They do grow up in spite of us........and do manage to find their way.........


Love.  I almost have to be an old hippy hipster to let go of so much....... :)   It is okay to feel too though........a little screaming and howling is okay.  Fine even. 


signed: been there, done that, probably will again with hopefully less suffering.


As far as the original post goes........I don't know..........grief is complicated and individual.  Current ideas for coping within the mental health circles seem to involve moving into relationships or repairing other relationships........I don't even know about that..........if I agree or disagree........ :huh:

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing


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Well this explains a lot..

CD off meds in July 2015, not on any medication since. Went through WD nightmare, now dealing with normal anxiety, but decided not to leave this forum yet because I want to support and give hope to others. ♡

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