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Nathalou

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Dear everyone,

I am truly grateful for finding this site in my search for answers and support!

 

Let me fisrt introduce myself and my story. My name is Nathalie, I am 27 years old and live in Belgium, Europe. When I was 21 years old, I was a little lost and sufferd mild anxiety. I came into the cabinet of a well-meaning young psychiatrist who prescribed me Sertraline (Zoloft in the States I believe). I cannot exactly recall the dosage I was on but I do believe that I was on between 75-150mg (gradally increasing then decreasing the dosage) for the frst three years. The the last three years I was on from 50mg down to 25mg. The last three years I did not see the Doctor, the prescription was renewed every time just lke that.The last two years I was on 25mg. He also gave me Xanax 0,25 mg to 'take when needed", however I think I only finished one box during the 6 years so I took it very sporadically, maybe once or twice a month if I was a little anxious. I want to stress that I have never had clinical depression, severe anxiety nor sleeping problems nor have I EVER experienced migraines in my life. I do believe, in my heart, that I never needed these medication. However what is done is done and I cannot undo the past.

 

So, this summer, I decided to taper down on my own. I did not know about WD syndrome, the only thing I knew from experience was feeling dizzy and headachy if I ever forgot to take the Sertraline during a few days. So I began cutting the pill (25mg) in half, then in fourths. I cannot recall how long I tapered, maybe during two months. I took the last quarter of 25 mg in the beginning of september 2014. I felt just normal and nothing changed until mid november. In mid november I had 4 days of headache and what I try to describe as dizzyness but which is also sort of a brainfog, seconds of feeling like falling in a black whole and loosing sensation of stability. Then these symptoms passed for two weeks. Begin december, I was walking to tango class one sunday and a violent headache struck me. This headache went on for a week and gradually I began feeling this 'dizzy" sensation again and nauseated. It would fluctuate day by day and during the day aswell. For about a week I hade muscle pains (mainly in ly arms) and joint pains and sensation of pins a needles somtimes in legs, feet, arms and hands). It lasted about 4 weeks and during this time I saw a neurologist and had a scan and an IRM of my brain and bloodtest done. All results came back normal. AH, I also began feeling pressure in my nose and sinuses, sometimes very severe, sometimes nothing.  Begin of january I had about 3 weeks of feeling more or less fine again, heaache subsided and I only felt the dizzy feeling a few times. 

 

Two weeks ago, the symptoms hit me like a freight train. Severe headache on one side of head/face/ear. Severe severe pain like throbbing in head and ear (to the point where my hearing diminushes for a little while during the pain, and I have ringing in y ears). Pressure in my ears and sinuses and forehead. Feeling like knives in my head. Nausea comes and goes, headache comes and goes but is always present in some degree. Sometimes one sided, sometimes unilateral. Pressure over nose, eyes and in ears is present, also fluctuating during the day. Same ith the feeling of dizzyness and foggyness in head.The muscle pain/ins and needles sensation is only presnet lightly and does not bother me.

 

These headaches and dizzyness is beginning to get the best of me. BECAUSE of these symptoms, and the severity of them, I get extremely anxious. For the last week, I can only sleep for about 2-5 hours/night because of my heart racing at 200/hour. The symptoms are frightening me, are making me anxious and depriving me of sleep. The lack of sleep makes me so very very sad and depressed. It is a vicous cycle. I have a job that I love, a family that I love and I am getting engaged next year. I imagine that these symptoms will be going on forever, will make me mad. 

I am normally very positive of a person but at night, when I think too much and try to sleep but cannot even though I am exhausted, I get very dark feelings. I imagine I will get internated in psychitrist hospital and that my boyfriend will leave me because I complain of headache all the time every day.

 

I need reassurance, tips on how to manage these symptoms and how to manage the anxiety that comes with it. I am afraid I am doomed for a lifetime of this... I am in a fog and cannot see clearly and objectively. I do believe it is withdrawal because I connot find another medically logical explanation (nor can the doctor). Is it what they call a wave? I did contact the head of unit psychiatrist of a big university hospital in the town I live, to know if someone specialized in antidepressant withdrawal. She basically told me that no such thing existed and that my previous anxious state was returning. I am afraid to go to a psychiatrist because I know in my heart that I am not depressed nor mad, although the SYMPTOMS are making me anxious and depressed.

 

Let me precise that reinstating the drug is NOT an option for me, as I am almost 5 months off and decided that I will never go back on. I kindly ask not to suggest this. I need positive stories, support on coping and a kind listening soul in the midts of this madness. Am I going mad? Can Sertraline withdrawal occur like this, few months AFTER stopping the drug?

 

I have been to a chiropractor to help with headaches and I try aromatherapy for sleep, since I refuse to take also the Xanax. I take omega3 and magnesium supplements and I have a healthy diet, lots of water and herbal teas and no alcohol nor caffeine. 

 

I apologise for any error as english is not my mother tounge. Faith and hope to all of you warriors out there.  :wub:

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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Hi Nathalou

 

I'm very sorry to hear you're struggling like this!

 

I was also on Sertraline, though on a smaller dosis and for a shorter period of time. I got a delayed reaction as well of about 2.5 months, although, looking back, I can see there were small signs of withdrawal beginning in the months leading up to it. I also deal with a lot of head symptoms even now, almost 2 years off. It's extremely frustrating and has put my life to a standstill.

 

Like you I get very anxious because of these withdrawal symptoms. My anxiety is definitely worse than when I began the meds. I have talked to several psychiatrists as well and receive no understanding. It's a long, hard road, but we can get through it. You will get lots of understanding here. Some people are lucky and heal quite quickly! So far, I don't seem to be one of those people, unfortuneately.

-

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Nathalou, you are not going mad! The symptoms you described are very common to withdrawal. The dizziness, head stuff, anxiety, depression....it is all sadly part of it. I am struggling with the dizziness and head stuff and have had anxiety off and on since trying to quit and/or taper for years. I try to manage the symptoms as they come up. I am not a veteran here, so there will be others with better advice, but you are not alone and you have come to the right place for help!

 

Try to rest and accept that this is happening to your body, but that you will get through this and be okay. It is the drug, not you. Hang in there! Praying for you.

1998- Began taking 20 mg. of Paxil for homesickness 2001-CT and crash/hospitalized 1 week for anxiety. Tried quitting, changing to other ADs, gave up. 2014 -Weaned @ 10% every 4 weeks. Latest 5-14 11.7 mg., 6-14 10.5 mg., 8-21 9.5 mg., 9-17 7.7 mg.,10-14 6.9 mg., 11-14 6.2 mg., 12-14 5.6 mg., 1-15 5.0 mg. 2-15 4.5 mg. (miscalculated may actually be 3.3), up-dosed to 3.7 3-17-15. Hydroxyzine HCl 25 mg. as needed (antihistamine) for anxiety.

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Welcome Nathalou,

Wow your English is very good.

Yes this is wdl symptoms it is totally not you.

Getting the drug out of the body does not mean the enemy is gone ...the brain has been left in an impaired state and chemically altered it needs time to heal a slow taper would do this , meaning wdl is minimised  a fast taper leaves one unstable while the body tries to heal.

Sorry you are in this difficult place ...correct me if i am wrong but you had 6 yrs use and a 2 month taper. Thats i hate to say it a too fast taper (10% per month decr is rec here) for these brain altering chemical ..but who amongst us ever knew that.The wdl symptoms are also delayed funny how that 2 month delay comes up time and time again.

 

Yep at 5 months off it is a tricky time to decide what to do and i admire your resolve to state 'ri is not an option' I think its that kind of resolve that may well enable you to survive this as i also removed that option from the table. However we dont want to be playing wack a mole here so you will need to extend that desire to all chemicals doctors are offering including benzos. imo

Wdl in some cases may last for several years then again it may not....

 

Your cns and brain are impaired and trying to recover so its wise to  wrap it in cotton wool and try to avoid  even small stressors.

 

"I did contact the head of unit psychiatrist of a big university hospital in the town I live, to know if someone specialized in antidepressant withdrawal. She basically told me that no such thing existed and that my previous anxious state was returning."

You must be going to the same doctor as the rest of us because we all got told the same nonsense...best to avoid these clowns at this time they are totally clueless. But i think you are onto it. One thing these drugs seem to initiate is the growth of  'special antennas'...i call them my 'BS antennas'. Yours are clearly operating and fully functional already!

It will get better but we are talking months perhaps many months. Be patient. Not easy eh.

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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Unfortunately you  came off a drug that your body and brain modeled itself around for a long time in too short a time to give it a chance to adjust. Everything you are describing can be attributed to withdrawal syndrome and it will persist like this for a very long time, months or years it is hard to predict. The symptoms will come in waves, recede and then come back again, that is how the body adjusts to the absence of the drug.

 

The only 'cure' for the symptoms is to reinstate a small amount of the drug, wait till your body stabilizes and then do a slow taper off the drug to minimize the symptoms. But since you have said you will not reinstate under any circumstances then we can only refer you to our Symptoms and Self care forum for non-drug techniques to help with withdrawal syndrome until your body completes its adjustment.

 

Unfortunately, we know of no pill or supplement that will resolve this and we usually only recommend a good quality fish oil supplement and magnesium supplement because nearly every one can tolerate them and they are the most helpful.

 

Here are some helpful links to give you more information:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

Some additional reading is recommended: "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Whittaker will give you an idea about how widespread this problem is.

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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Hexal- Thank you for your kind words. To be honest, your post frightened me a little but I suppose healing takes place even when we don't believe/can feel that it is. I have read that the brain has amazing neuroplasticy possibilities. There is a lovely site called Recovery Road, by Mrs Baylissa Frederick. She suffered horrendous benzo withdrawal for a long time but got through it and created the site. She has since then spoken to many thousands of people struggling with benzo/AD withdrawal and says that healing does happen for everybody; in time. Her mantra through the recovery prcess was 'This too shall pass".

 

AlaskaMomo- thank you! even though today I am very deep down in the ditch, I must hold on to the hope that healing will happen. But tears stream down my face when I think of the time that is currently being robbed from me, I am only 27 years old...I am merely surviving on a day to day basis. Get up, shower, suffer, go to work, suffer and try to hide it, go home, eat, try to sleep but fail. For the first time today I called in sick, because the anxiety kept me up all night in it's horrendous claws. I know that I must surrender to the symptoms, fall into acceptance that they are here and present and that being frightened, sad and insomniac will not make things better. Thank you for prayers,I need thembadly. Will pray for you.

 

nz11- yes you are correct, 6 years on, 2 month taper. Certanely I had done it differently had I only had the slightest clue what was to awate me....Noone had ever warned me, I didnt research because I had no clue.I say firmly I don't wan to reinstate although I struggle everyday to resist it. One more day without is a victory but ony Lord knows what a diffict one. Part of the cause that I dont want to reinstate is that I do not ever want to speak to a psychiatrist ever again whilst alive.

Today  went to another doctor who wanted to put me on anti-epileptic medication (!!!) for my headaches. I kindly declined. Then he proposed codeine instead. Lastly, an anti-depressant. I smiled, shook his hand turned my back and said goodbye. Criminal doctors...I feel optimistic although, that I have had one 2 week window since it all started. I mainly need reassurance, someone to tell me that I am not doomed for life. You know what I mean? In the darkest and deepest moments of the night, when insomnia and horrendous anxiety have me in their claws, I think maybe I should just jump off the balcony, if my life is to be like this forever. But then comes morning and I realize that that was NOT me, Nathalie, speaking. It was WD. Maybe I feel like this since I havn't slept for a week, maybe insomnia exacerbate all of the symtms.

This to shall pass, this too shall pass,...

 

cymbaltawithdrawal- I am too afraid to reinstall. To afraid too see psychiatrists. To afraid to do any more harm to my suffering brain.Thank you for support.

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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Hi Nathalou . . . welcome.     A lot of people seem to get worst hit with withdrawal symptoms between 6 and 9 months after stopping AD's , so things may get worse before they get better.    If you ride out the withdrawal process it's pretty likely that you won't be able to work for a while at least . . . be prepared for this.  It will also be important for your partner to develop a working knowledge of the w/d process.

There's loads of information on this site - way too much to digest in one go.   Get familiar with the different sections , it will help you to make good decisions.

We're all in it too.    You're in great company.

Best wishes ,     Fresh

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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Fresh- thank you! i am lucky to have supportive family and life partner. I al aware that this is very fortunate and that not everyone has this luxury.

 

To everyone- after your comments about reinstatement, I have began to wonder. Is it really something to cosider? I also terribly afraid that it will mess me up completely. I fel lost. Could reinstating a very low dose and taper extremely slowly help with withdrawal?

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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Sorry if my post frightened you, Nathalou. I can only tell you my experience as it has been so far and I don't want to sugarcoat it. I can definitely relate to your frustration of time being wasted by withdrawal (I'm in my late twenties as well).

But we all heal in ways that are unique to us and you have the right attitude to get throught this! And you're absolutely right that we heal even when we don't feel it's occuring. We will all get through this sooner or later. Go team go! ;)

-

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Check out the section called Symptoms and Selfcare . . . there's a thread about reinstating there.  :)

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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what happened to you did happen to me actually 

but I tried to reinstate and I got much worse .I wish I never did it . now I have  neuromuscular problems.

I had sudden  headaches and vertigo .Then thinking that it was because of stopping the med cold turkey .I took a pill and it was the worst decision I took over my life . 

''I''took paxil for 30 days (did`nt felt  a lot of side effects when ''I'' stopped it)

after two weeks I developed the worst headache I ever felt (some sort of permanent migraine, tinnitus..).

after a month of headaches a decided to take another pill to see.I took a pill because i was thinking that it  was may be withdrawal and it caused me a what my doctor called `some thing like serotonin syndrome`` which never improved and caused me severe muscle problems...

in retrospect I know that it was not a serotonin syndrome , my receptor were very stimulated and reacted in weird ways

 

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Hi Nathalou,

 

Welcome to SA. I'm sorry you have been struggling but I agree that your experience is consistent with the withdrawal experience of many others and symptoms recognised by Dr Glenmullen and others.

 

Reinstatement is something to consider carefully given you are now 5 months off and are getting clear messages that your brain and nervous system are struggling. I have had positive results reinstating to address withdrawal at the 3 month mark, others have had no response or their symptoms have gotten worse. There is no way to predict what will happen

 

Here is a link to the thread http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

If you were to consider reinstating I would try a very small amount first.

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Just chiming in to say yes, it's very possible to have delayed or sporadic withdrawal symptoms, and as repugnant as it sounds you do need to consider reinstatement.  You are a few months off which imo is not too late and a risk worth taking considering the dreadful symptoms you are having.  You ripped away the drug too quickly and your body is crying out for it.  It's not always necessary to reinstate to a full dose; often half will be enough to stabilize and you can then do a very slow taper from there.  I'm not a fan of the "tiny dose" reinstatement plan although that is another option.  To me it doesn't make much sense.  So sorry you find yourself in this position.  So many of us did!  I tapered too quickly myself, never reinstated although in retrospect I wish I had, and had a pretty rough time of it. I did recover though.

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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We recommend tiny doses because sometimes they work and are safer to start with than going half particularly when someone already has activation/alerting symptoms like insomnia, increased heart rate etc

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Welcome, Nathalou.

 

As little as 5mg might help the withdrawal symptoms. We often see reinstating a very small amount helps people. This is explained fully in About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

While not guaranteed to help, taking a very small amount lessens the severity of an adverse reaction, if your system should reject the drug.

 

This is your choice, please consider it. Otherwise, please look in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum for topics about how to deal with symptoms.

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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I'm not a fan of the "tiny dose" reinstatement plan although that is another option.  To me it doesn't make much sense.  

 

Babs, here are some thoughts on that; check out the charts. Might help it make more sense.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8098-helping-out-with-the-newbies-lets-clear-up-confusion-about-reinstatement/?p=125823

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

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

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

 

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

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  • Moderator

Welcome Nathalou - you've gotten advice here from the "Best of SA" above.  There's plenty for you to look at.  

 

This is a supportive forum where many people can help you in many ways.  Some are the warm, fuzzy huggy types, others are experts in specific drug chemistry, and still others are brilliant at waiting, holding, encouraging patience.

 

I am learning that "holding" (not changing your dose) is actually HARDER work than tapering.  And it is the wiser course.  

 

Learning that you should updose is not a failure - in fact, it means that you successfully withdrew from the drug!  So successfully that your brain is now bouncing like a rubber ball.  You need to make the rubber ball still and settle down so that the rest of your taper goes smoothly.  That's why Alto said, maybe go back to 5 mg.

 

We can help you here, there are many people where this has been their sole support.  It's better if you have a doctor or practitioner, psychologist or natural health support, but it's just a matter of the more support, the better.  Including your family, friends, partners, dogs and cats!

 

I have a close friend who just started Sertraline after some relationship and health troubles, and I'm so worried for her journey.  Maybe she will be one of the majority who can walk away without paying a price - but we see so many in here who do pay a price, like you have.  And I'm sorry.  I can't change the doctors and drug companies, but I can tell you I'm sorry this happened to you.  You didn't need or deserve it.

 

Please, so we can help you better, post your taper history into your signature line, so that wherever you post people will understand where you are coming from. 

 

Sorry to give you another link, but this will help:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/?p=7719

 

You've come to the right place.  You are young, and likely resilient.  You will likely be completely free of this in a year or two - and if you follow the instructions here, you will get better and better each month you are more free.

 

Maybe you will stay on 5 mg sertraline for awhile.  Getting stable and having your brain stop bouncing is the first thing.  Then you can decide what to do next.

 

Welcome!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Thank you all for your support! After a sleepless night friday of thinking yes or no to reinstating I have decided to stay true to my first wish that I will not reinstate after 5 months. I'm done with these drugs and have made my choice to never touch them again. Today was a rather good day, I slept okay and headache has been mild, dizziness/fog aswell. I can feel the head aching more this evening though. It's my most distressing symptom. My biggest challenge is accepting the symptoms as they come, not to fight them. Yesterday i had pain in the leg, went into panic mode but the pain is completely gone today. I am aware that this is the biggest problem. I must believe in my brains capacity to heal itself. Surrender to the situation with a calm and confident heart.

Also, I have decided that I am done going to doctors. I have run all possible tests and all are negative, my headache, dizziness, pressure in the head/ears, rapid eye movements can only be caused by withdrawal. A doctor advised me this week to take Tegretol for my head/face pain. For those who don't know about it it is an anti-epileptic, anti-convulsant and used for treatment for bipolar disorder... I smiled, kindly said no (to which he offered to prescribe codeine! I declined aswell. Then he proposes antidepressant...*sigh*) and walked out the door. I'm done with doctors.

 

I also recieved a private message from someone here in tge forum telling me that I should reinstate or else prepare for hell on earth, losing my job and partner. This actually frightened me to recieve, is that the purpose of this site? Are we not here to support eachother? I have been reading succes recovery stories and try to be kind and conpassionate to myself.

 

To every one, take care

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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Babs, was so happy to hear you recovered after a difficult time! I hope one day to be able to write my own success story...

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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I also recieved a private message from someone here in tge forum telling me that I should reinstate or else prepare for hell on earth, losing my job and partner. This actually frightened me to recieve, is that the purpose of this site? Are we not here to support eachother? I have been reading succes recovery stories and try to be kind and conpassionate to myself.

 

To every one, take care

This is absolutely NOT the purpose of this site and I am so sorry that you received such a message. Sadly that is obviously the experience of another member but it does not mean that will be you too. You are healing and having windows when you feel better and that is very encouraging. We find that windows tend to be short and fleeting at first,then each one is different from the last as the nervous system heals. The windows get longer and clearer and the waves lessen in intensity. We focus on the positive, the waves and hang on to the memory of them knowing that more will be on the way.  You have started to get windows, that is something to be glad about and shows you are healing and not destined to lose everything! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I also recieved a private message from someone here in tge forum telling me that I should reinstate or else prepare for hell on earth, losing my job and partner. This actually frightened me to recieve, is that the purpose of this site?

We would never condone an attempt to get someone to reinstate by making these kind of claims. No doubt it's a misguided attempt to care but it's not appropriate. Reinstating is tricky and the person has to make that decision for themselves (armed with knowledge, not over-riding fear).

 

I'm glad you are done with drs on this one. Their ignorance of withdrawal can be very expensive I the form of useless tests. Save that money for something nice for yourself

 

D

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Thank you mammaP, dalsaan. What a blessing to have found this site. I realize many others are having truly very debilitating symptoms. I am blessed to be able to walk and care for myself. I try niw to ficus, when I have a symotom, to tell myself, atleast I do not have the other symptom. Must believe it will all get well one day. Praying fir all..

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Nathalou , how have the past few days been?

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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*post and replies moved from the symptoms section

 

I feel as though I'm in a window physical symptom wise. My headaches are mild, dizziness mild and no nausea. I should be thrilled! However I have been so deeply traumatized by what I have felt the last two months that I have constant adrenaline rush, my geart is racing non stop. I sleep out if exhaustion for one night, the next I'm up sll nught unable to get even one minute if sleep. I await the comeback of the physical pain, I imagine I am going mad! I just have to put my gead on the pulliw and that voice in my gead will start tellung me "i won't sleep tonight" "i gave to sleep bcs i have to go to work in the morning" etc etc. i mt us such a vucious circle and i'm trapped! If i just slept well, it would go away. I feel so tempted to take a Xanax but resist since rwi weeks now... I meditate, take baths, try to exercise etc but ut't really really bad. Help!

Edited by Petunia
added note

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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Oops so many errors while writing from my tiny iPhone with stressed out fingers. Hope it makes any sense.

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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It is not easy...i try to refraime this and ask myself:

How do i know that this is an anxiety?

I may wake up with racing heart, busy mind, my first thought is that I am anxious, but then I question this and actually recognise that I am mobilized to start new day...it has similar bodyly sensations...if I manage to get up and get busy, I feel less anxious...

But of course, there are times that I just feel anxious...

- 12.03.2021- doxepin- 50mg

- 6.11.2020- 75mg

- 16.10.2020- 100mg

- 30.09.2020- doxepin- 125mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long term of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

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It's so difficult, I am at my wits end.. Telling myself that I should be thrilled with my physical symptoms being so much less present the past few days. Instead, I'm already stressing about tonight and bedtime, afraid of another sleepless night. I can't calm down, it's as if though I have giant waves inside of y belly and chest, raging and roaring. Sleep deprivation is just horrendous, I do not wish it upon my worst enemy. I cannot see clearly in this cloud of vicious circle.

Is it never a good idea to stop this cycle with some sleep aid? Anti-histamines? Ambien? Xanax? Just need sleep and inner relaxation... feeling desperate and hopeless. Tears streaming down my cheeks. This is the only place where I can be honest and express my hurt soul..

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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Fresh- thank's for asking :). My physical symptoms seem to have become milder, no nausea, very light dizziness and only light headache. Could it be a window? However, these past weeks of suffering have taken it's toll on me mentally and I seem to have entered a state of constant anxiety with heart racing. I sleep one night of exhaustion, the next I don't even get one minute of sleep. It's disheartening since I tell myself I should be happy to feel better physically. I did have this once two years ago,anxiety causing insomnia, when I started a new job, it lasted about a week and subsided when I took some xanax. This tine it's been worse and I resist taking Xanax. I try hot baths, mediatation...but when night falls there seems there is nothing i can do to make the horrible, horrible anxiety and restlessness go away. Hoping it's temporary and will subside soon.

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nathalou, hey.

 

I've totally had anxiety in windows. Especially earlier on in the process. Some days, certain symptoms would just temporarily fall out of the picture. And if they were some of the more heavy-hitter symptoms so to speak, then I'd consider myself in a sort of window even as some of the other symptoms pummeled me. I always imagined, though do not definitively know, that when a particular troublesome symptom would fall out of the picture, it meant that the part of my brain responsible for that symptom was being focused on by my body's healing potential - that is to say, my body was paying extra close attention to that particular part of the system. Even if that isn't accurate scientifically, it was a real nice visualization. But I kind of feel like that WAS what was happening.

 

Sorry you are suffering. You will not forever.

 

Hang in there.

 

Dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I get good results from a sleep hypnosis app on my phone. I listen to that and focus on relaxing rather than trying to sleep. 'Trying' is anxiety provoking for me and leads to failing. It takes a week or so of listening every night but it's good.

 

Also anxiety is part of withdrawal. Name it as such and let it go. When you make judgements about whether you should have it or what's causing it you are investing in it. Don't feed the beast!

 

D

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nathalou,

I moved post #24 and its responses from the symptoms section, to your introduction thread here because it was related to your own situation specifically.  Please add information and updates about your changing circumstances, and ask questions here, so that all your information is in one place.

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

Nathalou, doing some breathing meditation can help us through those bad nights.

 

Have you tried Epsom salts baths? Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. This can be calming.

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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Thank you all, your support is invaluable. Yesterday I had what you would hall a breakdown. Sitting olin my Epsom salt bath and lavender oil, desperate for sleep and anxiety reliefe, I crashed. Called my parents who came and got me home. My mom wanted to take me to the ER, but I refused. She is pressuring ne into going to see a psychologist. I was so very desperate for sleep testerday that I took a xanax 25 and temesta, i just couldn't go on one more second with that severe debilitating anxiety and heart race. Done us done but I feel like a compkete looser in this process. But it was that, ir my mother would have taken me to ER were they would gave certainly polydrugged me. Feeling drowzy and cery very sad today can vearly concentrate on work. But i did get 8hrs if sleep, artificial maybe but still. Sometimes I feel maybe I am actually insane? Can't be open about this to anyone, you guys are my venting space

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You're not a loser Nathalou , and I don't believe you are insane  .... you're doing your very best to deal with a horrible situation.   Our thoughts are with you.  

Good to hear the temesta and Xanax gave you some relief.   Perhaps you could take one or the other rather than both , while you need to.  Keep it simple.

xxx

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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Thank you guys! Such interesting inputs.. I have tried all the things in the book; aromatherapy, hot epsom salt baths, walking, herbal teas, meditation, breathing, ... When the anxiety kicks in it stays. The paradoxal thing is, when the physical symptoms started I slept bad because I was afraid. Now I sleep bad because I am afraid to sleep bad and I get severe anxiety just by the thought of going to bed. The minute I put my head on the pillow, my heart races and I'm stuck.

It's a bad vicious cycle and I have to break it because it's making me mad. I do not want my family/doctors to think I a 'relapsing depression anxiety' and all that bla bla just because I get desperate when I lack sleep.

So I might just try a glass of wine tongiht... I wanted to ask, if I decide to take some sleeping aid to counter the insomnia (MAX 1-3 days, I have always been extremely vigilant when it comes to benzos/hypnotics etc) is something like Ambien better that benzo type lorazepam/xanax? I just need to get out of the cycle and I will be fine, I can feel it. If after I take the sleep aid, the problem persists, I might consider going on medical leave from work because part of the reason I ruminate at night is also because I know I have to be fresh and well rested by 07am... Takes what it takes by I will NOT go on AD again, but if my slep problem continues, I might really believe to think that I am mad and I know my family will to. They help me but do not understand this process, the process of withdrawal.

I have dreams, dreams of becoming a mother, living peacefully and calmly with my to be husband, I have dream and I hope... It will all be okay righ?

2008-2014: various doses of Sertraline between 25-150mg. Put on it initially for very mild anxiety.

Occasionnally Xanax 0.25mg, maybe twice a month.

Summer 2014: much too rapid taper off Sertraline (had no clue about withdrawal) from 25mg to nothing in about two months.

September 2014: last Sertraline pill.
End november 2014: begin WD symptoms (severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, zaps, head/face/ear pressure, severe debilitating anxiety and insomnia, muscle pains and spasm,..) 

Begin february 2015: had developed what I now know is akathisia, arrived at the psych ER severly sleep deprived. Put on a drug regimen consisting of: Sertraline 25mg, Trazolan 100 mg for sleep and Temesta 2,5 when needed.

Had a severe adverse reaction to the Sertraline reinstatement and became acutely suicidal within days. Akathisia and all physical symptoms became worse. Doctor pushed the doses further up until I, in a moment of lucidity, found a psychiatrist who believed me when I said I was in WD.

Mid march 2015: off all psych meds. Suicidal thoughts diminshed greatly, insomnia got somewhat better but akathisia is still relentless and physical symptoms quite debilitating. At least drugs are out of my system and healing can finally commence.

I avoid coffee, alcohol and exercise and am not taking any supplements whatsoever. I am just leaving my body and brain to be.

 

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  • Administrator

It's impossible to tell, Nathalou.

 

If I were you, I'd take the occasional Xanax rather than bring in other drugs to complicate your situation. The sleep drugs are similar to benzos anyway.

 

You might be interested in this topic One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

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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