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Nicoleflys: Life after Prozac?


Nicoleflys

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First, I am very happy about finding this forum. I have had little luck in finding others who have taken SSRI's for two decades.

I am a 41 yr. Old female who had been taking Prozac for 20 years. Like many of you I had previously tried to stop taking them, but that usually ended with a full breakdown. I also thought those breakdowns were because I wasnt taking my medication because I suffered from this mental disorder that I was convinced I had. I have now been prozac free for almost 3 months.

I have no ambition, no love for life, my mind races 24/7. Am I crazy? If I ask my doc he will say take the pill.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Nicole.

 

I started taking Prozac 26 years ago...

 

A moderator should be along shortly but in the meantime:

 

You are not crazy. Withdrawal symptoms can have a delayed onset. It would be helpful if you could give more detail about your history, how much prozac you were taking and how you stopped taking Prozac. Did you taper? Quit cold turkey?

 

Here are some things about withdrawal: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

It would be helpful to the moderators as well as other people reading your thread if you created a signature. Here's how to do that: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Welcome!

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin. Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong. Taper restarted April 2021 to 18mg, July 2021 to 16mg, currently 15mg. 

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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I was on 20mgs daily until 2 years ago. The doc upped it to 40mg for awhile, than to 80mgs. I was on the 80mgs for a few months until I had very disturbing thoughts and went to the ER. I was committed until insurance ran out. I quit cold turkey shortly after my release in October.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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Welcome to SA, Nicole. I have your symptoms, plus others. WD symptoms are tough and seem endless, but its evidence that your body/brain is under construction to rebuild itself stronger than before. Keep reminding yourself that you are healing. I'm a month behind you in my CT. ((Hugs)) Let's just hold onto each other for the ride. WE ARE HEALING. BRING IT ON.

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

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I was on 20mgs daily until 2 years ago. The doc upped it to 40mg for awhile, than to 80mgs. I was on the 80mgs for a few months until I had very disturbing thoughts and went to the ER.  I quit cold turkey shortly after my release in October.

 

Years ago, I suffered protracted withdrawal (years) after quitting six years of 20 mg Prozac cold turkey. And it didn't hit me until four months after stopping. It was one of those breakdowns that you already have experienced yourself.

 

So here you are, three months into a cold turkey from 80 mg of Prozac.

 

A moderator may suggest re-instating to stabilize on a low dose to avoid such a crash. You'll have to make that decision yourself.  All I can say is if I could do it over, I would have done a long slow taper rather than a cold turkey. 

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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Welcome to SA, Nicole. I have your symptoms, plus others. WD symp, toms are tough and seem endless, but its evidence that your body/brain is under construction to rebuild itself stronger than before. Keep reminding yourself that you are healing. I'm a month behind you in my CT. ((Hugs)) Let's just hold onto each other for the ride. WE ARE HEALING. BRING IT ON.

Thanks for the uplifting words. I'm so confused I dont know which end is up. My withdrawal list would turn into a novel..lol

There are benefits to being off them for me. Im less impulsive, less suicidal, able to stay away from alcohol more thoughtfully and those are huge. You really think our bodies are healing? I so want to believe

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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You really think our bodies are healing?

 

 

I healed after quitting six years of 20mg Prozac, but it took years. At least three very rough years of WD. But that's just me. Your recovery hopefully wlll take less time. 

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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I wont do this for that long. Ill take the pill again if thats the case..ugh

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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  • Member

Nicoleflys,

 

We never recommend anyone stop taking their medications cold turkey as you have done despite what the above poster has noted. Clearday has a bit more realistic take on things.

 

You may want to read the link Addax has given you about withdrawal syndrome. A great many uncomfortable symptoms are being kept at bay by the high benzo dose you are taking, that will have to be weaned off VERY slowly and even then, you will probably still have symptoms from the prozac and seroquel discontinuation. These symptoms are not due to any 'craziness' on your part: they are your body's reaction to the discontinuation of drugs it has come to rely on for a very long time.

 

How is it that we can help you here?

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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I wont do this for that long. Ill take the pill again if thats the case..ugh

 

ugh indeed!

 

Welcome to the land of ughs! lol

 

Well if you want to re-instate and do long slow taper, this is where you can get great advice on how to do that. 

 

It is so great that you found this place. Gather as much information from fellow sufferers on here as you can. And you can make your own decisions on how to proceed. Read their stories.

 

The main thing is that you are aware now of what you are facing. I spent eleven years not knowing what had happened to me when these meds backfired on me. Being in the dark all that time made the entire WD experience SO much worse, and delayed my recovery.

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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Nicoleflys,

 

We never recommend anyone stop taking their medications cold turkey as you have done despite what the above poster has noted. Clearday has a bit more realistic take on things.

 

You may want to read the link Addax has given you about withdrawal syndrome. A great many uncomfortable symptoms are being kept at bay by the high benzo dose you are taking, that will have to be weaned off VERY slowly and even then, you will probably still have symptoms from the prozac and seroquel discontinuation. These symptoms are not due to any 'craziness' on your part: they are your body's reaction to the discontinuation of drugs it has come to rely on for a very long time.

 

How is it that we can help you here?

Let me correct a few things.

1. I am here for anti-depressant withdrawal as the site suggests.

2. I do not take serequel.That drug made me fat and I went through withdrawl cold turkey with that drug as well several times over already. I simply said it was prescribed.

3. I am not looking into discontinuing my high dose benzo.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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Nicole, we will all heal, regardless of HOW we quit taking the drugs. Every single day the drug that was causing you distress is out of your system, is one day further into your healing.

January 2012 - Prescribed 900mg gabapentin and 30mg Norco for lower lumber spinal stenosis pain.

September 2013 - Spinal fusion surgery, 6 levels. Hospital ramped up meds 1500mg gabapentin, 100mg Norco, 80mg Oxycontin, 25mg Fentanyl patch.

January 2014 - Sever nausea daily and with back pain every 4 hours. 2 trips to ER. First endoscopy found ulcer. Treated with Sucralfate and PPI. Second endo in May found no ulcers. Doctors said it was the opiates causing the nausea. CT'd Oxycontin, Fentanyl patch.

July 2014 - Lost 48 lbs. due to not eating because of severe nausea. GP prescribed Prozac 20mg and Ativan 2mg prn. Tried for 4 days, quit. Two week followup GP said keep taking Prozac. 4 days, quit again. Ativan taken rarely prn for anxiety and appetite.

August 2014 - Went to detox. Off opiates. Still nauseous, helmet head, drugged feeling. Doctor CT'd gabapentin. Ended up in ER. Found 2 gallstones. Gabapentin reinstated at 900mg. Tried botched up and down taper to get off Gabapentin. No tapering advice from doctor. Said to just CT again.

September 2014 - Coded on table during gallbladder surgery. Developed liver biloma due to CPR by doctor. Had bile bulb inserted for 2 wks to drain.

October 2014 - Gallbladder removed. Still nauseous, 3am cortisol surging, drugged helmet head, vertigo, breathlessness, whooshing head, heart palps.

November 8th, 2014 - CT'd gabapentin suggested by family and 4 different doctors. Was told no withdrawal is associated with gabapentin. Have been in hell ever since. No windows, just one big tsunami every day with same symptoms for 4 months.

December 26, 2014 - Found SA. At least I know I'm not insane. My family thinks I'm doing this to myself. Akathesia has become unbearable.

March 10, 2015 - In absolute daily hell with no relief. Currently taking magnesium 200mg before bedtime.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Nicole.

 

I am sorry to hear about your suffering.

 

It is not at all unusual or unexpected for people with an extended drug history like yours to develop problems and to experience withdrawal symptoms after coming off meds cold turkey. It's quite common for people to do okay immediately after coming off an antidepressant, or to have acute withdrawal but recover from it, only to be hit some months out with intense symptoms. That's how people generally end up going back on drugs and believing they have a mental disorder and must stay on the drugs for life. I myself was caught in this trap for decades as well.

 

Reinstatement can be iffy at three months out, but since you're in bad enough shape that you're considering going back on meds anyway, it's definitely something to consider. We recommend reinstating at a very low dose, since your brain has partially adapted to the absence of the drug now. Usually after a CT, the full dose can be pretty destabilizing. And these meds are actually quite powerful at low doses.

 

I would suggest in your case that you consider reinstating at something like 2-5 mg of Prozac and see if that helps smooth out the worst of your symptoms. It may take a few weeks. 

 

Once you have stabilized and your brain is no longer in chaos, you can do a safe, slow taper. If you do it carefully it's possible to get off antidepressants and stay off them the rest of your life.

 

Here are some links on tapering (we definitely do NOT recommend a fast taper or CT, but rather cutting by 10% of your current dose at a time):

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  

 

and on reinstatement:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

Also, I highly recommend that you get hold of a copy of the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker, as soon as you get a chance. I think with your history you will find it both interesting and quite a valuable read.

 

Welcome to the forum.

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

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  Nicoleflys ,  

  

I've had a similar history to yours - started on ad's in my twenties and then on and off (mostly on) for the next 25 years.

When I stopped in July 2013 , the first few months were okay , then it got worse.  The very worst symptoms didn't start till around 7 months after stopping and continued well after that.

This seems to be a common pattern for those of us who've been taking them for so long.  We do okay initially , then start to crumble/escalate.

 

How have things been in the past few days?

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

Welcome from me too Nicole,

 

I'm a bit confused about your drug history, when did you start taking the benzo?  Did your doctor give you this to try and help with the Prozac withdrawal?

 

Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide about reinstatement.  If you want to give it a try, we can help you decide what dose to start with.  As Rhi mentioned, trying a low dose first can often be enough to help.

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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Hello Nicole.

 

I am sorry to hear about your suffering.

 

It is not at all unusual or unexpected for people with an extended drug history like yours to develop problems and to experience withdrawal symptoms after coming off meds cold turkey. It's quite common for people to do okay immediately after coming off an antidepressant, or to have acute withdrawal but recover from it, only to be hit some months out with intense symptoms. That's how people generally end up going back on drugs and believing they have a mental disorder and must stay on the drugs for life. I myself was caught in this trap for decades as well.

 

Reinstatement can be iffy at three months out, but since you're in bad enough shape that you're considering going back on meds anyway, it's definitely something to consider. We recommend reinstating at a very low dose, since your brain has partially adapted to the absence of the drug now. Usually after a CT, the full dose can be pretty destabilizing. And these meds are actually quite powerful at low doses.

 

I would suggest in your case that you consider reinstating at something like 2-5 mg of Prozac and see if that helps smooth out the worst of your symptoms. It may take a few weeks.

 

Once you have stabilized and your brain is no longer in chaos, you can do a safe, slow taper. If you do it carefully it's possible to get off antidepressants and stay off them the rest of your life.

 

Here are some links on tapering (we definitely do NOT recommend a fast taper or CT, but rather cutting by 10% of your current dose at a time):

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

and on reinstatement:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

Also, I highly recommend that you get hold of a copy of the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker, as soon as you get a chance. I think with your history you will find it both interesting and quite a valuable read.

 

Welcome to the forum.

Great info and thanks for the welcome.

As I go back and re-read my first post I realize I may have given some of you the wrong impression. Yes, Im probably still withdrawling from that ssri a little and its going to take other methods to control any "depression" that I might have. My current feelings are situational and changing what makes me unhappy is the solution. I have decided to re-focus on the positive and that is huge. I also need to make changes in other areas, as well.

I decided not to re-introduce prozac into my system since its been about 3 months. I also am laying off my benzo..only taking it prn so that obviously is helping. I have decided to feel better and in return I am. When I think of terrible withdrawals I think of heroin and cocaine. My ssri withdrawal doesn't even compare ,in terms of physical symptoms.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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Welcome from me too Nicole,

 

I'm a bit confused about your drug history, when did you start taking the benzo? Did your doctor give you this to try and help with the Prozac withdrawal?

 

Please stay in touch and let us know what you decide about reinstatement. If you want to give it a try, we can help you decide what dose to start with. As Rhi mentioned, trying a low dose first can often be enough to help.

I have been taking benzodiazepines for almost 17 years. In that time I have quit them, abused them, and taken them as needed only.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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I decided not to re-introduce prozac into my system since its been about 3 months. When I think of terrible withdrawals I think of heroin and cocaine. My ssri withdrawal doesn't even compare ,in terms of physical symptoms. 

 

 

That's great, I certainly hope that your current Prozac withdrawal continues to be tolerable, and that you continue to feel better and better.

 

My experience, and the experience of many others on here, is that the real withdrawal didn't hit us for quite a few months after stopping, especially from a cold turkey. It's called delayed onset withdrawal, and it hits out of nowhere, and can be very difficult, catastrophic, and scary. I was hit out of nowhere four months after my cold turkey, it lasted for years, and it was brutal, to say the least. I would certainly trade my SSRIs withdrawals for a heroin withdrawal sequence. As horrible as heroin WD is, it doesn't last for years, and have a bizarre windows and wave pattern. It's a slow crawl out, but you get out much sooner than the protracted SSRI WD that I have gone through. Not to mention wondering what long lasting damage the SSRIs have done to my brain. That's just me.

 

The important thing is that if that does happen to you in a month, three months, or six months from now, you will know it is from Prozac withdrawal, and not a recurrence of your initial symptoms of depression. I sure hope that doesn't happen to you. And maybe it won't.

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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Welcome.  I'm also withdrawing from long term Prozac. Still coming to terms with the fact

that withdrawal symptoms are unpredictable.I wanted to believe that "this " level of drop would cause "this" level withdrawal that would last "this" long.

However, some drops of the same amount hit me harder than others for no reason I can determine. The brain seems to adjust at different rates.

It's just a long, swirly process. Hang in there and take care of yourself as best you can.

On 20 mg of Prozac for about ten years. Sept 2012 started reducing 10% a drop using gram scale, with average of one month holds.

When I'd reached the half way mark, taking 10 mg  powder out of the 20 mg capsules, I switched over to 10 mg capsules and cutting

down from those. Withdrawals got harder the lower I dropped.  May 2013 changed to 5% drops, holding until all withdrawal symptoms gone.

January 2015 changed to liquid prozac (concentration of 20MG per 5 mL) using a 1mL oral syringe.

Current dose of fluoxetine solution equivalent 3.4 mg. Any effort to drop below this has been disastrous so for the time being I'm staying at this level.
Adding 200 mg Tryptophan and 200 GABA a day has helped with anxiety.
Also take 1,300mg Omega- 3,  875mg  Magnesium, 1800mg Curcumin, 1000mg Vit C, 5000 Vit D.
 

 

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Hi Nicole, I am about two years out from cold turkeying a bunch of psych drugs, and I have been steadily improving. I am not the person I once was, but am much closer to it than I was two years ago. Since then I have tried a few rounds with psychiatrists but any drugs either made me cry all day or gave me akathisia. I didn't find a doctor who believed in what we are experiencing, until recently. I see him infrequently. So yes, I ended up in a mental ward during one post Effexor crisis. It does get better, slowly and surely, for almost all of us. I hope you stick around.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Nicole.

 

I am confused by your signature:

20mgs Prozac
50mgs Serequel prn
300mg Serequel at bedtime
1mg clonopin 3 xs daily

 

You are no longer taking the Prozac and Seroquel? Did you quit them both at the same time?

 

What are your present symptoms from withdrawal?

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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Welcome, Nicole.

 

I am confused by your signature:

20mgs Prozac

50mgs Serequel prn

300mg Serequel at bedtime

1mg clonopin 3 xs daily

 

You are no longer taking the Prozac and Seroquel? Did you quit them both at the same time?

What are your present symptoms from withdrawal?

That is not my full signature.. Serequel is not an issue. I was under the impression your signature should include the current meds prescribed.

My current withdrawal symptoms- easily irritable

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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The signature should indicate what you are taking on a daily basis. So from your signature, you are taking 20 mg of Prozac per day - 

 

But your thread says that you are Prozac-free for 3 months - 

 

It doesn't matter what your doctor prescribes for you, all that matters is what you actually took during your past and for how long (your psych-drug history) and what you are now actually taking -

 

For example your Signature might read "Prozac 20 mg for 20 years then CT Nov 2014"

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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I thought that I would add some of the advantages that have come with my decision to rid myself of an ssri, specifically Prozac.

1. I no longer have thoughts of suicide EVER

2. I no longer act on my impulses to act in a self-destructive manner.

3. I can cry

4. I can feel real laughter and joy again.

5. I am able to use cbt again because I'm able to think more clearly.

 

For me, the side effects of taking that drug were , by far worse, than any withdrawl.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Update: I am still Prozac free and it's the best thing I've ever done. I cannot believe the "Fog" I had been living in for so many years has finally been lifted. I also stopped taking Seroquel altogether. I had a very bad reaction when I took the nighttime dose. I woke up one morning with my face severely swollen and that lasted almost an entire 24 hrs. No more of that! I am currently taking my clonazepam prn only. Life is brand new. I see things clearer, have lost 20lbs and work out everyday. I am emotional but not depressed if that makes any sense. I can cry about something and then move on which was nearly impossible when I was in Big Pharma's grip. I CANNOT imagine taking my own life now, I have had NO thoughts about suicide period. I have Hope for the future now. I am learning new ways to cope with my anxiety instead of reaching for a magic pill. If I can do it, ANYONE can. I wish you all good luck in your recovery from the poison that your doctors are insisting you need.

I entered the world of Psych drugs in 1994 ,after the birth of my first child, having been diagnosed with post-partum depression.

I have been prescribed Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro for depression over the years, but Prozac 20mg has been a steady.

I also have been prescribed almost all of the mood stabilizers but found the weight gain intolerable so I never took them for more than a few months at a time.

I was prescribed Xanax shortly after the anti-depressants in 94. I took Xanax for almost 10 years. I was then switched to Clonopin with a dose ranging from .5mg 3xs daily up to 1mg 3xs daily.

I currently take clonazepam 1 mg prn.

 

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That's great news - very glad to hear it!

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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  • Administrator

Good to hear, Nicole.

 

You are about 6 months off Prozac, is that right? What were your withdrawal symptoms early on and how did they go away?

 

How long are you off Seroquel? Did you have any withdrawal symptoms from that?

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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