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Dorovo - My story, and a call for help


Dorovo

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Hello. My name is Eddie and I am a month away from being 20 years old. I was a longtime reader of paxilprogress before it closed. It's been a while since I've gotten on the internet regarding my antidepressant withdrawal. Here is my story, and the questions I have.

 

In the summer of my 17th year, I was put on Prozac. While I suffered no immediate problems on the SSRI (in fact, my grades and drive seemed to go up, as well as my libido), I foolishly decided that I would quit cold turkey one year later, as my doctor said he didn’t want me to come off of it. This turned out to be a decision I regret every day of my life.

 

I went through the brain zaps, mood swings, decreased libido, impotence, everything. After a few months, my erectile dysfunction became less of a problem. Around that time I had started taking Wellbutrin 150mg and buspar 15mg twice a day, but I’m not sure if it was that or if it was the young woman I was with at the time – I loved her very much and she was very accepting of the fact that I wasn’t very sexual at the time, which seemed to actually help my condition.

 

Fast forward a year later – I’m almost 20 years old, I have a relatively good grip around my life (no school, full-time job with good money, good friends), and I still feel the effects from flouxetine withdrawal. Though my sexual health is fine (different – I don’t get erections from simply fantasizing anymore) and I am able to perform, my biggest issues are with some of the other side effects I feel.

 

First and foremost is the “dulling” of my life. Sometimes I feel like I’m simply observing life. Nature isn’t as breathtaking, colors aren’t as vivid, and I feel somewhat empty sometimes. I can still have fun – the withdrawal has turned me into an adrenaline junkie, in fact, because doing extreme things gets some of that old fire going.

 

I still laugh, feel sad, feel happy, etc, but not without a sense of anxiety. Which is the second effect. The anxiety is absolutely awful. I have anxiety all the time, even if there is nothing wrong. Maybe it’s because I’m scared I’ll never feel the same again. I’m still trying to accept this fact – just because my life is different from everyone elses, doesn’t mean I can’t live it.

 

Third, and this sort of ties in with the second, is that drugs don’t affect me the same anymore. Smoking weed used to be so much fun to me – it was vivid and colorful and uplifting. Now, it’s a little vivid and I think positively for the initial high, but then I get anxious and fidgety. I can’t even do psychedelics anymore, I get way too anxious. I’m sure all of you know what I’m talking about. Which brings me to my questions.

 

My mother and sister are both on Zoloft, for depression and anxiety, respectively. Their lives have improved significantly since being on the drug. My sister used to rock back and forth chewing towels during her panic attacks. Now she no longer does that, feels happier, and her libido has gone up. Same thing with my mother. My mother told me I should consider trying a low dose of Zoloft alongside my wellbutrin and buspar. I told her my qualms with it, and she understands, but still thinks it would be worth a shot. I have come here to ask you for all your opinions on that – the good, the bad, the ugly, and most importantly, your experiences!

 

My second question is this – are there any supplements that you, the good people of SA, recommend for brain health and recovery? I am planning on buying some inositol and choline to “resensitize” my receptors, as the internet puts it. At the very least, I heard inositol helps with anxiety and is good for your brain, along with B vitamins.

 

And my third question – does anyone know the science as to why weed and psychedelics don’t affect me the same as they used to? Weed is hazy instead of vivid and somewhat anxious and psychedelics make me anxious as hell. I miss mary jane.

 

I thank you all for taking the time to read this – I feel each and every one of your struggles and if you have any questions or comments for me, I will be happy to address them. God bless.

Prozac 20mg Aug2012-Dec2012

Prozac 40 mg Dec2012-Aug2013

-Quit Prozac cold turkey-

-W/D symptoms include(d) PSSD, anhedonia, anxiety, depersonalization, weight loss, lack of clarity

Wellbutrin 300mg Feb2014-Nov2014

 

Currently taking: Wellbutrin (bupropion) 150mg, Buspar (buspirone) 15mg twice a day, remerol (mirtazipine) 15mg at night

 

Current progress: Pssd seems to have subsided since March2014. Anhedonia has receded. Anxiety has grown more prominant. Gaining weight. Still a lack of clarity - absence of peace of mind 

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Eddie -

 

Good move to come here and get feedback.

 

I was on Prozac for six years, and stopped cold turkey. I was fine four four months then went into acute withdrawal, which for me, lasted for years.

 

The dullness you are feeling sounds like Prozac WD to me. It can last for months, even a year or so.

 

Don't underestimate the amount of time it may require to get back to normal. It is hard to believe that Prozac can do this to you, sadly it's true. These are powerful drugs designed to alter our brains, and that's exactly what they do.  

 

SSRIs affect the way we experience alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. While on Prozac, alcohol and other drugs can be really fun due to synergy with Prozac.  Prozac and alcohol taken together can produce an amazing euphoria and mania - I spent a year like that. Others here say the same thing.

 

But once you're off the drug and in WD, the opposite happens. Hazy weirdness and other strange reactions happen. 

 

These meds help many people. No doubt about that. But when the drugs stop working - if we reach tolerance, or decide to stop - all hell can and will break loose, and take months to years to heal. No doubt about that either. 

 

My Prozac WD lasted very long, yours probably won't. Patience is the key. Your body will heal, give it plenty of time.

 

The dulling and emptiness you have sound typical of general depressive symptoms which are so common during the months and a year or so after stopping Prozac and other SSRIs.

 

Avoid stress and substances.

 

When your body has healed, in months or a year or so from now, your dulling should slowly lift and you have a good chance to become more of your normal, old self, maryjane and all. Psychedelics could take you down some scary rabbit holes at this point in your biochemistry, and set back your recovery, so I would avoid them. 

 

But for now, it is best to let your body and brain heal from what you have done to it by basting it in Prozac for a year. Avoid substances, eat healthy, avoid stress, stay fit. Yeah right, just what a 20 year old wants to hear.

 

A moderator will be along to give advice on whether to re-instate on Prozac to reduce your WD symptoms or not. But since you are off Prozac for a year, that might not be advised. Wait for the taper pros to discuss that with you.

 

Personally, as far as supplements, if you can find TIME and PATIENCE in a pill, take that one. Others here may recommend fish oil and magnesium for supplements. I'm taking them. I do know that TIME is the best healer of all. 

 

In order to get the best feedback, take the time to go to your profile, click on My Settings, then click on Signature in the lefthand column and create a drug history like I have done for myself below.

 

Good luck -

Hell hath no fury as an SSRI scorned.....

 

Prozac:   20 mg 1996 – May 2003 CT to 0 mg; by Aug 03 CRASH then protracted WD 3 yrs

Zoloft:    2004 few weeks;, CT to 0 mg

Effexor:  2005 few months CT to 0 mg; bad withdrawal. 

Lexapro:  10 mg from 2009 – 2011; cut dose in half to:

Lexapro:    5 mg from 2011 – Feb. 2014; CT to 0 mg; 2 months of fatigue, followed by:
Aug - Oct 2014 Lexapro WD Insomnia Wave; sleeping very good from Nov 2014 - Nov 2015; broken sleep pattern Dec 2015 - Jan 2016

Dec 2014 - present: Brutal Lexapro WD ear ringing/head ringing/head pressure lasting for 14 months now.

 

24 months SSRI-free  

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Dorovo , welcome to SA.   You've landed in a place full of information and tips , so you've got a lot of reading ahead. :)

 

In response to your questions:

 

Go to the section on "Symptoms and Self Care" , and read the first few threads about magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.   This site recommends keeping supplements to a minimum , as many (even b vitamins) can be too stimulating.

 

Re question 2 ,   Dr Lucire writes:

              "It is my experience that the population that has genetic mutations in the cytochrome P450 system . . . are vulnerable to experiencing

               multiple toxic side effects from taking antidepressants , amphetamines and other drugs.  Cannabis causes further reduction of metabolizing

               capacity by inhibiting a major metabolic pathway called 3A4.

 

               (from a letter to Mr. Russell Keith , re Select Committee on Youth Suicide in the Northern Territory , 28 September  2011)

 

"Smoking weed" and "taking psychedelics" is further destabilizing your central nervous system .

 

Re question 1 , about adding another antidepressant , I would be very wary about this.   You may have "poop-out" or even rebound anxiety from the buspar.

If you can fill in your signature , people reading this can understand your history at a glance.   We want to know how long you've been taking what , what dose etc.

This is important for anyone offering suggestions and advise to know.

 

You're in very good company here  Dorovo.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Dorovo, welcome to SA.  You are not alone suffering from prozac withdrawal after a year, many people here are in protracted withdrawal and can sympathise. Taking rec drugs does not help and only makes things worse as your brain and nervous system are destabilised by withdrawal. I wouldn't recommend reinstating at this point because you are already taking 2 more drugs since quitting which may react with the prozac or zoloft drug and make things worse.

 

 I entered your drugs into the interactions checker at drugs.com and this is what came up, if you started zoloft with the other drugs you could be very sick..

It may be helping your mum and sister but they are in a completely different situation.

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

interaction-3-big.png bupropion ↔ sertraline

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Zoloft (sertraline)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with sertraline. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of sertraline, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-3-big.png buspirone ↔ sertraline

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone), Zoloft (sertraline)

Using busPIRone together with sertraline can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor may already be aware of the risks, but has determined that this is the best course of treatment for you and has taken appropriate precautions and is monitoring you closely for any potential complications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

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

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

interaction-2-big.png bupropion ↔ food

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Using buPROPion with alcohol may increase the risk of uncommon side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mood and behavioral changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks. On the other hand, sudden withdrawal from alcohol following regular or chronic use can also increase your risk of seizures during treatment with buPROPion. If you are prone to frequent or excessive alcohol use, talk to your doctor before starting buPROPion. In general, you should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with buPROPion. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png buspirone ↔ food

Applies to: BuSpar (buspirone)

Patients receiving busPIRone should preferably avoid the consumption of large amounts of grapefruits and grapefruit juice. If this is not possible, the busPIRone dose should be taken at least 2 hours before or 8 hours after grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Large amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit juice may cause increased levels of busPIRone in your body. This can lead to increased adverse effects such as drowsiness.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-1-big.png sertraline ↔ food

Applies to: Zoloft (sertraline)

Consumer information for this minor interaction is not currently available. Some minor drug interactions may not be clinically relevant in all patients. Minor drug interactions do not usually cause harm or require a change in therapy. However, your healthcare provider can determine if adjustments to your medications are needed. 

For clinical details see professional interaction data.

 

I only just noticed the mirtazapine after I did this! Maybe you would like to redo it and add that to the list? http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html

**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

You need to take care of yourself, light exercise, walking swimming or cycling are good. Eat good nourishing food that is not full of additives, sleep and try to avoid unnecessary stress. You will recover from this but it takes time. Your youth is on your side and your brain will heal and recover if you treat it gently.

 

 How long have you been taking the other drugs? They may have side effects that can be causing some of your symptoms.  

**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

Hi Dorovo - I'm sorry to hear you've gone through this.  And your Mom and sister, too!

 

I come from a "line" of "genetic madness" and I'm learning not to buy it for a moment.  Environment contributes immensely, too.  The family which gave me my genes, and the ones who raised me (I was adopted) both have different forms of madness.  Sure, I was different from the others in my family - but their own stuff reinforced my stuff quite nicely, too.

 

I hope you understood that receptor stuff up there, because I sure didn't!  All I can say is:  recreation drugs & alcohol = bad idea until you are well through this trip.  

 

You are on enough (or too many!) drugs, don't go on anything else.  The anhedonia / demotivation you are feeling may be from the drugs - the buspar, the wellbutrin, the mirtazapine - as much as from the withdrawal.  Wellbutrin will contribute to your anxiety, while buspar and mirtazapine can numb you out.  Wellbutrin can also make you feel like you are watching a movie, that it's not your life, and the body you have is just going through the motions like an actor on a screen.

 

What is anhedonia?  

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/

here you will find other people not feeling the same as you do.  Or differently, but still.  You are not alone.

 

One of the delights of this forum is finding out that less is better, and slower is awesome!  You learned, the hard way, that cold turkey is not the answer.

 

May I suggest, instead of going on more drugs, that you consider a tiny tiny taper - just 10% - of ONE of your drugs?  Maybe the Wellbutrin.  And see if that takes the edge off of your anxiety.  Or, read here to decide which one you want to try and reduce first:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-which-drug-to-taper-first/

 

If you want to try a taper, read this first:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

 

 

Just try it, and see how it feels, and then - here's the trick:  DON'T DO ANYTHING ELSE FOR AT LEAST A MONTH!  Let it settle down, and see if that's the direction you want to go.

 

Another of the delights of this forum is: you are in charge.  Not your doctor, not your mother.  Not me, either.  You are it.  The only person who can make you feel better is you.  I know, it sounds cheap and dirty - but it's true.

 

Start by keeping track of your symptoms:  what time of day do you take the wellbutrin. When do you feel the anxiety?  Do you have "sessions" of depersonalization / anhedonia?  Do they come at certain times?  Certain situations? (like walking in city, or shopping, or driving?)  I'm guessing you take the buspar at night with the mirtazapine?  Or no?

 

The best thing I have to say is that you are incredibly young!  If you can reduce your meds, you won't be looking at organ damage (like I am) or a wasted life!  Even if this takes 5 years to turn it around - you will still have the best years ahead of you.  I envy you that, I didn't wake up until I was 50! (though I was pretty clued in along the way, thanks to my own self-help attitudes and a doctor friend telling me how bad these psych drugs are.....)  

 

Let us know what you can, and we will help as we can.

"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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Dorovo.

 

Wellbutrin can be a highly activating drug, causing symptoms of anxiety and jitteriness. It could very well be that your system, sensitized by withdrawal, is reacting to it.

 

btdt, I hid your post. It was unhelpful. Please don't post things in other people's topics you don't understand yourself.

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 had a bout with Wellbutrin that made me uptight and rageful.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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