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frantic: Really struggling months after adverse reaction to Mirtazapine


frantic

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Hey there guys,

 

I'm as desperate as they come and don't know where else to turn now since I've spoken to just about everyone already. 

 

I'm 31 years old (male) and made a few really bad / stupid! decisions after being misdagnosed with an illness last year (which actually was REALLY anxiety) which ultimately lead me to becoming really anxious and a little depressed in August last year.  I've generally been a worrier and do obsess about things so I sadly dealt with the situation horribly which made me even more anxious by October 2014.  I had seen psychologists and so forth and was taking Valium on and off to help with the anxiety for those 2 months, but sadly the psychologist wasn't too good with physical symptoms (which I had plenty of) and didn't really re-assure me enough.  I was going to the gym and meditating from time to time but I didn't stick to it religeously, instead focusing on the illness I thought I had and trying to resolve it (which instead just made me really REALLY anxious).

 

At this point, I was desperate for some help, so I saw a doctor who suggested a strict daily exercise and meditation regime (both wise), along with a new psychologist (who was actually really good) and Mirtazapine 15mg each night.  He said I should be fine within a month ...

 

After a week or so, I started feeling better, but I was noticeably feeling worse in the mornings and much better in the afternoons.  I did mention this to the doctor who didn't think anything of it.  However, by end of the second week on Mirtazapine, I started getting ridiculously anxious (bordering on insane).  I went back and spoke to the doctor who suggested I double the dose.  Naturally, this sounded wrong to me so instead I spoke to a few pharmacists who suggested I stop the medication.  I did this (no tapering) after 26 days at 15mg.  The next week was particularly bad, brain zaps, burning sensation in the forehead and a few other things but those went away.  I also noticed some loss of hearing a few days prior to stopping the drug, although everyone assures me that this is not the drug and more likely that my eustachian tubes have blocked up due to the anxiety.  This is still the case months on though and my hearing is still not at all what it used to be which has devastated me.

 

However, months after all of this, I have been left severely depressed and without interest in doing anything, not work, exercise, meditation, my hobbies, watching tv ... nothing.  I feel completely hopeless and cry heaps.  I have thought about the S word so much more since then and have honestly destroyed my family and friendships.  As sad as it sounds, the S word is really the most appealing option right now, it's the only thing that makes me a little happy when I think of it.  Everyone in my family is upset, angry .etc themselves now.  I struggle to even feel love for those around me who I know that I love with all my heart.  The best I can do is play games or go for walks which helps to distract me a little.  Going for walks is more of an escape from the household but I don't walk with any sort of pleasure, it's just a way to be alone.  There are times that I just blankly stare and just feel numb as hell.  There are other times where I'm extremely jumpy and agitated and can't stop pacing.  I have not smiled willingly since late October last year, I just can't bring myself to do it, I have no reason to smile.  I was once a successful, smart and very happy person and now I'm simply nothing.  Anytime I see an old photo or anything that reminds of me of a time prior to August last year, I break down pretty quickly.

 

The fact that this entire experience was self-induced due to me not staying calm and taking advice of those around me (e.g. avoid medical tests, exercise daily .etc) has also left me extremely angry (furious!) at myself which has also increased my anxiety.  I chose to see the doctor for the anti-depressants as recommended by a friend who's wife is a psychiatric nurse and that also kills me, because only a quick Google search would have revealed the dangers in taking these drugs!  I truly think I would have recovered by now had it now been for those drugs.

 

Almost everyone I've spoken to (psychologist, doctors, pharmacists) insist that there's no way the drug is in my system anymore and that all the things I'm feeling are me and not the remains of the Mirtazapine.  Is this true?  I feel like the Mirtazapine has permanently damaged my brain and am incredibly paranoid about what it's done to me now.

 

I have done significant research on AD drugs since then and honestly have no desire at all to take anymore of them.  Yet, I can't live like this and keep torturing my family who are the most giving, loving and caring people in the world.

 

I'm currently not on any supplements and haven't had a blood test since July last year (before this crap started).  In July, the only problem in my blood work was very low Vitamin D (14) which should have been a clear indicator that I was suffering from a seasonal anxiety/depression, but the doctor never connected those dots and neither did I.  The only thing I have in mind right now is getting a fresh blood test done and also getting my testosterone levels checked.  Perhaps also discussing an omega 3 supplement with my new doctor (who is much more against big pharma than the previous idiot).  I'd also be interested in seeing an ENT specialist about my ears,  to confirm with certainty what's going on there.  However, these hardly seem like the answer to getting past this.

 

I really don't know what anyone can offer me now.  I have been through 2 psychologists (one of which was as good as they get) and read just about everything there is about depression and anxiety on the web, but I struggle to get myself up to do anything about it.  I just feel completely furious, numb, hopeless and devastated all the time.  I wake up in hell every single day and think about who I used to be and how I've destroyed everything great around me, everything that I've worked for, everything that my family has worked to give me!

 

Anyway, thanks heaps for reading and am open to suggestions and advice.

Edited by scallywag
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All I can say is I took mirtazapine for about six weeks at one stage and wit kinda helped for a few weeks but then made me feel like death warmed up and bad chills also... I would eat as much as you can.. eat and drink healthy... It sound like you had a reaction to the drug same as a lot of people do... The doctors don't always tell the whole story.. while the drug has left your body the effects it can have on the body and cns can take longer to go.. hopfully someone will come on here and give you some advice.. I would just try and rest.. eat well and hopefully time will heal the system.. sometimes that don't happen over night.. hang in there friend... :-)

Citalopram 15mg Feb 2009 to Feb 2013 stopped cold turkey... no withdrawal till july.. Hell on earth

Citalopram 5mg July for two weeks ... Living Hell

venlafaxin 37mg august two weeks even worst Hell

Zoloft november 2013 till Jan 2014 Hell

mirtazapine Feb for 6 weeks.. fatigue

Over the next six month tried nearly very antidepressant could not tolerate anything

tried fish oil, 5htp , nearly every herb, you name it I bought it.. system could not take anything..

Oct 2014 to November 2014 trazodone.. ooo nooo !!!

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It sounds like you may be recovering from an adverse reaction to the drug. Even though it has left your system, it may have destabalized your nervous system.

 

Welcome. There is a lot of good info here. :)

2005-Zoloft bad reaction.....2006-Lexepro......2012-Upped Lexepro.......2013-Upped Lexepro......2/2014- Attempted Taper Lexepro...2/2014- Updosed Lexepro.......3/2014-Ativan.....5/2014- CT switch from Lexpro to Effexor.....

5/2014-7/2014-Tapered Ativan from 1mg to .25mg.....6/2014-Bad reaction to Effexor........7/2014- Rapid taper Effexor every other day......7/5/2014- Off Effexor.......7/2014-12/2014 - Ativan .25mg.......12/25/2014 -Taper Ativan by 4% due to paradoxical reaction .24mg...11/18/2015-Taper Ativan 1% CURRENTLY ON: .2376mg Ativan taken in 6 .0396mg doses.

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Yes, people do recover from this. A mod will be along soon to help out.

 

I would just try and rest, eat very well, and do some gentle excercise if you feel up to it. :)

 

You may want to look around and read a bit in the forum. It may help you understand what you are experiencing.

2005-Zoloft bad reaction.....2006-Lexepro......2012-Upped Lexepro.......2013-Upped Lexepro......2/2014- Attempted Taper Lexepro...2/2014- Updosed Lexepro.......3/2014-Ativan.....5/2014- CT switch from Lexpro to Effexor.....

5/2014-7/2014-Tapered Ativan from 1mg to .25mg.....6/2014-Bad reaction to Effexor........7/2014- Rapid taper Effexor every other day......7/5/2014- Off Effexor.......7/2014-12/2014 - Ativan .25mg.......12/25/2014 -Taper Ativan by 4% due to paradoxical reaction .24mg...11/18/2015-Taper Ativan 1% CURRENTLY ON: .2376mg Ativan taken in 6 .0396mg doses.

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Frantic,

 

We get a lot of people here who get the same reaction from that drug and if it was up to me I would have it banned. Granted, others get the same symptoms from other drugs but the thing I seem to see that is common is something about a 'burning feeling' and the mention of 'S' thoughts (I won't mention it but we do have several places on the board where people talk these feelings out.)

 

You are definitely not going to feel like this for the rest of your life but it is unknown how long it will take to get back to some semblance of a 'normal' you without all of this ugliness. The doctors just have no clue that this drug could cause this even though it is all over the literature now that withdrawal syndrome is a real thing. I need to go back and read your first post again, I just skimmed it but I wanted to write a reply as soon as possible so you would feel acknowledged by the staff 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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Thank you so much cymbaltawithdrawal5600.  I honestly would like to see these drugs completely banned myself too, or at least very strictly prescribed where the patient must sign some sort of waiver willingly knowing the risks that the drug can cause before taking it.  My first GP (in August) prescribed me Valium and Effexor XR to take simultaneously on a daily basis!  Luckily I got a side effect from the Effexor on the 9th day so I stopped it and only took the Valium as needed, but knowing what I know now, I would have been in a world of pain with withdrawal if I had followed his instructions.

 

Honestly, most doctors here in Australia sadly seem to be drug pushers for big pharma, and as you said, they know very little about psychiatric drugs and simply prescribe what they think is a "cool choice" at the time.  For some doctors it may be Zoloft, others Effexor XR and others Mirtazipine.

 

I actually intend to bring more awareness to doctors here if I can through a website I'm building, but to do this, I need to first sort my life out :)

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Ok, I have read your thread again and the best thing you have going for you is that your sleep has not been affected (unless you have neglected to mention that), and you are young. The stuffiness in your head will subside, AD's are kind of related in a way to antihistamines and sometimes they have strange effects like that on people but those effects aren't permanent.

 

It seems as though it is the mental/emotional that is where you are having the most problems, am I right? There is no way to predict the effect these drugs have on your inner landscape when you start taking and then abruptly stop them but the effects will gradually subside. Some days they may be worse than others in kind of a 'window and wave' effect of varying lengths and intensities. Here are some links that might help explain what is happening:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

Neuro-emotion

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The drug is long out of your system that is true but it had effects on your brain chemistry that will take time to subside. I don't imagine you would want to try adding back in a small amount of the drug until the symptoms subside and then tapering slowly off that? That is usually what we suggest. There is just no telling how long you will feel like this but it is definitely not permanent. You will recover and I would suggest you never take psychoactive drugs again. I sure won't, not after what I went through. These are hard life lessons to be sure.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Thanks so much for the reply again cymbaltawithdrawal5600,

 

My sleep was affected for a while but seems to be relatively good now.  I usually get up 2 - 3 times a night to go to the bathroom.  Prior to all of this, I would usually wake up 1 - 2 times so it's not significantly worse at present.  Sometimes (not always) I do wake up with anxiety which does make it harder to go back to sleep and I end up visiting the bathroom every 30 minutes until the morning.

 

I'll definitely check out the links you posted, thanks heaps!

 

Yeah, I must admit that starting the drug on a low dose is the last thing I would want to be completely honest, especially if it really has damaged my hearing where it could damage it further.

 

Once again, can't thank you enough for your help!

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Welcome, frantic.

 

I believe JDM put it as well as anyone could, it looks like you had an adverse reaction to the drug.

 

cymbaltawithdrawal gave you some excellent advice and links. Try not to dwell on the emotional anesthesia that is so common after antidepressants. It will slowly go away. Also see "Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive 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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The one thing you need to be aware of - you need to have a handle on your thoughts about suicide. This is not worth it but you won't be able to let loose of the thoughts easily, it is the nature of wd syndrome. Read the links I gave you and try to get an understanding for how your thoughts are being distorted by the meds you took. We have a pinned topic in the symptoms forum and another in 'Off Topic' where members can talk about it if they need to. We don't do any interventions because we are an anonymous peer support board but have the number for your local suicide hotline handy and tell your family when you need support, ok?

 

Here's our main topic:

 

Help for those who are feeling desperate or suicidal

 

and here is a place to talk:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4678-suicide-ideation/

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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Absolutely, I have used Lifeline many times for such support.  Thanks again, I'll do some reading now.

 

I have also booked an appointment with my new doctor tomorrow who I will be discussing this with further along with omega-3, magnesium and so forth.  I hope to do a full blood test tomorrow to get a proper measure of where I'm at right now too.

 

It's really disheartening that I'm still feeling this way 4 months after a short course of the lowest dose of Mirtazapine.  The doctor at the time called it a "baby dose" and was encouraging me to up it every time I saw him but I stuck to the 15mg.

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Some people are very sensitive to these drugs.

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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And one final suggestion: many members find taking between 400-600 mg of magnesium (citrate or glycinate) every day helps greatly in assisting with sleep and reducing anxiety. It is a cumulative kind of thing, it is not dramatic improvement like a drug but look at what the drugs do sometimes and that is too much. Here are the 2 things we recommend to everyone because they really do work. Start with a low dose and it everything goes ok, increase as recommended.

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

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

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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Hey there guys,

 

I'm as desperate as they come and don't know where else to turn now since I've spoken to just about everyone already. 

 

I'm 31 years old (male) and made a few really bad / stupid! decisions after being misdagnosed with an illness last year (which actually was REALLY anxiety) which ultimately lead me to becoming really anxious and a little depressed in August last year.  I've generally been a worrier and do obsess about things so I sadly dealt with the situation horribly which made me even more anxious by October 2014.  I had seen psychologists and so forth and was taking Valium on and off to help with the anxiety for those 2 months, but sadly the psychologist wasn't too good with physical symptoms (which I had plenty of) and didn't really re-assure me enough.  I was going to the gym and meditating from time to time but I didn't stick to it religeously, instead focusing on the illness I thought I had and trying to resolve it (which instead just made me really REALLY anxious).

 

At this point, I was desperate for some help, so I saw a doctor who suggested a strict daily exercise and meditation regime (both wise), along with a new psychologist (who was actually really good) and Mirtazapine 15mg each night.  He said I should be fine within a month ...

 

After a week or so, I started feeling better, but I was noticeably feeling worse in the mornings and much better in the afternoons.  I did mention this to the doctor who didn't think anything of it.  However, by end of the second week on Mirtazapine, I started getting ridiculously anxious (bordering on insane).  I went back and spoke to the doctor who suggested I double the dose.  Naturally, this sounded wrong to me so instead I spoke to a few pharmacists who suggested I stop the medication.  I did this (no tapering) after 26 days at 15mg.  The next week was particularly bad, brain zaps, burning sensation in the forehead and a few other things but those went away.  I also noticed some loss of hearing a few days prior to stopping the drug, although everyone assures me that this is not the drug and more likely that my eustachian tubes have blocked up due to the anxiety.  This is still the case months on though and my hearing is still not at all what it used to be which has devastated me.

 

However, months after all of this, I have been left severely depressed and without interest in doing anything, not work, exercise, meditation, my hobbies, watching tv ... nothing.  I feel completely hopeless and cry heaps.  I have thought about the S word so much more since then and have honestly destroyed my family and friendships.  As sad as it sounds, the S word is really the most appealing option right now, it's the only thing that makes me a little happy when I think of it.  Everyone in my family is upset, angry .etc themselves now.  I struggle to even feel love for those around me who I know that I love with all my heart.  The best I can do is play games or go for walks which helps to distract me a little.  Going for walks is more of an escape from the household but I don't walk with any sort of pleasure, it's just a way to be alone.  There are times that I just blankly stare and just feel numb as hell.  There are other times where I'm extremely jumpy and agitated and can't stop pacing.  I have not smiled willingly since late October last year, I just can't bring myself to do it, I have no reason to smile.  I was once a successful, smart and very happy person and now I'm simply nothing.  Anytime I see an old photo or anything that reminds of me of a time prior to August last year, I break down pretty quickly.

 

The fact that this entire experience was self-induced due to me not staying calm and taking advice of those around me (e.g. avoid medical tests, exercise daily .etc) has also left me extremely angry (furious!) at myself which has also increased my anxiety.  I chose to see the doctor for the anti-depressants as recommended by a friend who's wife is a psychiatric nurse and that also kills me, because only a quick Google search would have revealed the dangers in taking these drugs!  I truly think I would have recovered by now had it now been for those drugs.

 

Almost everyone I've spoken to (psychologist, doctors, pharmacists) insist that there's no way the drug is in my system anymore and that all the things I'm feeling are me and not the remains of the Mirtazapine.  Is this true?  I feel like the Mirtazapine has permanently damaged my brain and am incredibly paranoid about what it's done to me now.

 

I have done significant research on AD drugs since then and honestly have no desire at all to take anymore of them.  Yet, I can't live like this and keep torturing my family who are the most giving, loving and caring people in the world.

 

I'm currently not on any supplements and haven't had a blood test since July last year (before this crap started).  In July, the only problem in my blood work was very low Vitamin D (14) which should have been a clear indicator that I was suffering from a seasonal anxiety/depression, but the doctor never connected those dots and neither did I.  The only thing I have in mind right now is getting a fresh blood test done and also getting my testosterone levels checked.  Perhaps also discussing an omega 3 supplement with my new doctor (who is much more against big pharma than the previous idiot).  I'd also be interested in seeing an ENT specialist about my ears,  to confirm with certainty what's going on there.  However, these hardly seem like the answer to getting past this.

 

I really don't know what anyone can offer me now.  I have been through 2 psychologists (one of which was as good as they get) and read just about everything there is about depression and anxiety on the web, but I struggle to get myself up to do anything about it.  I just feel completely furious, numb, hopeless and devastated all the time.  I wake up in hell every single day and think about who I used to be and how I've destroyed everything great around me, everything that I've worked for, everything that my family has worked to give me!

 

Anyway, thanks heaps for reading and am open to suggestions and advice.

 

Hi Furious,

 

I really really relate to your thoughts and feelings.  Except that I've been on the drug merry-go-round for many years. Every time I beat myself up about my lousy choices and/or become filled with rage at all the doctors and therapists who steered me the wrong way. 

In retrospect, I think we all do the best we can in the moment we are in. Lack of knowledge, desperation or other variables lead us to make the choices that we make when we make them. Hind sight is always 20-20.

 

Apparently, feeling like you will NEVER recover is a common distorted thought pattern in withdrawal.  As well as the thought that your brain is permanently damaged.

 

Feelings that you've lost everything or ruined everything in your life, wasted time, lost so much - it's all part and parcel of "withdrawal mind".  "Catastrophizing", as they call it in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Something I engage in quite often.

I found a helpful youtube channel to deal with this: https://www.youtube.com/user/BlissInspiration/videos

 

mindfulness exercise here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CffPR-Xp7mw

 

Hope it helps.

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

10/7/2022 - 20 mg Lexapro (brand only) Plus occasional Klonopin for anxiety and Ambien for insomnia.

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Hi Frantic,

Sorry to hear that you are feeling really bad after stopping mitrazapine. I am tappering off mirtz. I have and I am currently experiencing burning sensation in the head. I just wanted to let you know that many of us have experienced weird symptoms on ad's. I hope that this makes you feel a bit better. You are not alone. It is a good idea to have discuss taking supplements with your doctor, bearing in mind that after ad's your system can become very sensitive to supplements. Be very carefully what you take. All the best, Hopefull.

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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Welcome aboard Frantic.    I'm really happy for you that you've found this site - it's a goldmine of information and support.

 

You seem to have your priorities right -  number 1 , get yourself better first.

 

When you're ready , you may wish to become involved in a working -party aiming to have a Royal Commission into use of psychiatric drugs in Australia.

I'm interested to know more about your website :)

 

You will get through this.    If your hearing problem is related to the a/d's , it's likely to resolve along with all your other symptoms eventually.

 

I can hear that you're very down on yourself and very critical of past choices,    That's part of the package - guilt.   Try not to beat yourself up , be as kind and gentle with yourself as you can be.

 

It's not your fault.   You're in good company here.

 

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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Thank you guys, I'll definitely check out the videos.

 

The burning sensation in the head was one that I experienced the week after I stopped Mirtazapine too, it's not pleasant.

 

The doctor only recommended I supplement my Vitamin D which is now a much healthier 47.  I guess the Vitamin D deficiency is not necessarily the cause of my depression or anxiety but I suppose it's a very minor contributing factor.

 

I'll post my website soon so you can check it out and help me make it as complete as possible.

 

Cheers!

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Hey guys, you can check out the website I've put together at http://moodmaster.net/

 

Please let me know what you think and if I've missed anything.  I'd be more than happy to add more info to the site and I'll restructure it a little soon to make it a little easier to follow.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Your website is amazing Frantic.    I'll settle down and read more later , but am very impressed so far  :).

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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Your website is amazing Frantic.    I'll settle down and read more later , but am very impressed so far  :).

 

Thank you so much for the feedback Fresh, all feedback is greatly appreciated of course :)  Please note that the email address on the site isn't set up yet so just message me here for the moment.

 

I'll soon be splitting up the various headings into sub-pages so the page isn't so huge.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Isn't it weird how , in the midst of these disturbing symptom  , part of you can still function and relate on a "normal" level?    Even if your symptoms get worse ,

they will eventually go away , remind yourself of that during the tough , scary times.

 

:)

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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Isn't it weird how , in the midst of these disturbing symptom  , part of you can still function and relate on a "normal" level?    Even if your symptoms get worse ,

they will eventually go away , remind yourself of that during the tough , scary times.

 

:)

 

Yeah, it's really all about finding people you can relate to at any one time in your life and this community is amazing.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm very impressed with your website!  You've done brilliantly to put all that together while you are not feeling so well.

 

It does sound like an adverse reaction, which can cause quite severe symptoms with only short-term use of a med.  People do recover, but it can be quite a slow process, which may take many months.  It is not permanent, it is not your fault, and it is definitely the med and not "you".  Be aware that the "S" thoughts are also a symptom, and are not you, see if you can just observe them without buying into them. 

 

Time is the best healer for this.  There may be supplements that could help, but please be careful with supplements as responses can be different from normal when recovering from an adverse reaction.  If there is something you want to try, consider starting with a smaller than normal dose to see how your system responds.  Also keep in mind that supplements are just one tool that might be helpful, but there is no magic cure.  I only say this because over the years I've read many posts from people who desperately tried all sorts of things looking for a magic fix.

 

I think the advice on your website is good, your best plan is to follow it!  Be gentle with yourself, listen to your body, just do gentle exercise if strenuous exercise is too much for your system.  Try to keep active but don't try to do too much, and don't beat yourself up over anything, be really kind and gentle with yourself.  I know it is hard to be patient, but this will get better.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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Thank you so much for your reply Songbird.  I'll add this site to the links section as I think it's the best resource for those already on such meds and for those wondering how damaging they can be to us.

 

I have a tiny bit more motivation these days but still really down.  I'm being a tad more productive at work and am finding a tad bit of enjoyment in activities at home.  I think having a good doctor AND psychologist to talk to every few weeks helps, particularly since I've finally (a little too late) found an awesome doc and psychologist.

 

The psychologist I'm seeing is a chiropractor as well as a psychologist so he's really in tune with how anxiety affects the body.

 

I actually have a few questions if I may guys:

 

1. How do I know that what I'm feeling is still from the med and not "progression" of my depression?  I certainly felt anxious before the med due to the health issues I was facing, but certainly after the meds I felt a more severe depression and that "don't give a crap" attitude which I never had before.  I still have those things quite a lot now, but they are marginally better.

 

2. How common do you think adverse reactions are to psychotropic drugs?  Are there any studies that you know of which give numbers?

 

The reason I specifically ask the second question is that when I had a CT scan later last year, I was warned that there was a 1 in xxxx chance that I could have an adverse reaction to the die they used and I had to agree to this risk.  I think that this should be enforced on psychotropic drugs too where the adverse affect rate is significantly higher than almost any other pharmaceutical drug out there.

 

The most important lesson I've learned from this is, avoid conventional doctors unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.  IN most cases, they do more harm than good.  It's ideal to find a GP or practitioner who is careful when prescribing meds and also believes in clinically tested proven natural remedies (and there are heaps of them, particularly for mental disorders).

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Hello frantic. :) I had a bad reaction to two meds I took and one I took for years previously. So I have adverse reaction and now wd to deal with too. These guys tell me I will get better, and if I can so can you. I have a feeling your hearing will come back eventually, hope you feel well soon. :)

Paxil 2007-2012, somnolence for a few months so quit, anxiety gets severe again, put on citalopram (horrible reaction). Used august 2013-September 2013, quit and doctor reinstates paxil (reaction again ) on from sep to dec. Quit cold turkey and suffer problems to this day

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome frantic,

 

I love your web site, you've got a lot of great information there.  When you make your signature, you might want to include a link to your site.   

Please would you put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature.  Putting a short version of your drug and tapering history in your signature helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts.  Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

http://survivinganti...your-signature/

 

1. How do I know that what I'm feeling is still from the med and not "progression" of my depression?  I certainly felt anxious before the med due to the health issues I was facing, but certainly after the meds I felt a more severe depression and that "don't give a crap" attitude which I never had before.  I still have those things quite a lot now, but they are marginally better.

 

One way to distinguish between withdrawal symptoms and normal, but extreme emotional sensations is that in withdrawal, the emotions or neuro-emotions come in waves with no apparent triggers.

 

This topic may be helpful:

 

Is it relapse or withdrawal?

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 Frantic,  I really relate to the things you talk about.   I am 10 months off meds now and have been going through weeks of such negativity about my life.  Not wanting to do anything and, like others have said, I feel as though I've wasted my life.   I never felt so bad as this before and just want the days to end.   I don't know what happened to the real me.   I don't love like I used to and just so lost and empty it's unbearable.   I know other people feel this way after being on this site and just hope for things to change and try and be kind to myself and my partner, who has a really hard time with me of late.  So take courage.

Prescribed 20mg a day of Seroxat on 2001

August 2013 decided to taper.

Reduced by 10mg a week (adjusted over the week small amounts)

Stopped completely in April 2014

Brain and body went haywire.  

Didn't realise it was withdrawal at first.

Have not returned to ad's but can't get my life back.

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Thanks Alexander, I hear you and totally understand what you've put your loves ones through as I've done the same.  The guilt of this just makes me more depressed and angry at myself.

 

I'm trying to convince myself that I can get through this so that I can then help others get through it too and start educating people better.

 

Beyond Blue (http://www.beyondblue.org.au/) have recently started an ad campaign in Australia which talks about anxiety.  I think this is a step in the right direction.  It's all about awareness.

 

The fact that my GP diagnosed me with acid reflux when I said that I had constant chest pain and was worried it was my heart is beyond me.  The fact that I or my loved ones didn't realise that my GP was totally misinformed (and an idiot!) is beyond me.

 

I even told him on a subsequent visit that breathing calms the pain a bit, and he still didn't make the connection.  That was the point I should have made the connection myself, but again ... when you're already anxious you lose the ability to think straight.  I've seen that again and again in my case.

 

From a totally intelligent and logical brain, it's now foggy and stupid, incapable of rational thought.  The physical symptoms vary greatly too, and can be mistaken for almost any other illness, but chest pain is a typical one that shouldn't be!  Do some heart tests, rule that out, and then put it down to anxiety and recommend relaxation techniques and exercise!  It's REALLY THAT SIMPLE!

 

My biggest problem (apart from the fact that I feel I've ruined my body!!) is that I ultimately made bad decisions beyond the doctor's "diagnosis" which lead to my anxiety progressing which lead me to eventually try the Mirtazapine ... that ultimately lead to my depression now!! ... I struggle to accept that had I just been more cautious or listened to those around me, I'd never be in this situation.  I don't feel like fighting because I hate myself too much and I can never undo everything I've done to myself or my family, EVER!

 

I hate being in this predicament, particularly since I'm a perfectionist and demand the most from myself, I can't believe I was so incredibly stupid.  I let the anxiety take control and made one poor decision after the other.

 

We need to make our voices heard, we need to beat this crap and start a riot, people need to know about these disorders before they happen and ensure their lifestyle helps them avoid them.  Medication needs to be seen as a VERY VERY last resort when absolutely everything else has failed.  It's so damn apparent that big pharma is influential over everything our doctors do to help us, but there are those few, rare doctors, who don't get in bed with big pharma and I'm glad to have found one recently.

 

My days at the moment are just absolutely miserable.  I cry almost every day, man, I think I've cried more in the last few months than I did when I was a baby.  I've caused my beautiful family many tears of their own, and I'm constantly feeling like a bystander watching everyone else enjoy their lives.  It's almost as though I'm not here, and just looking on from above at others.

 

Letting go of the past is a huge deal for me, and has been for the last few months.  It's as though thinking about it constantly and re-iterating it will allow me to go back and fix it ... but sadly that will never be the case.

 

I appreciate that we all make mistakes and learn from them, but does the mistake really have to get this bad before we get something out of it?  I think that sometimes it really is unwarranted and unfair, but such is life.

 

Big healing hugs out to everyone, and thank you greatly for the support!  This is truly an amazing community, particularly for one who's going through such hell.  I feel for you and send out blessings, I hope we can beat this together.

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Frantic - thinking of you! Wishing you peace.

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Hi.  I agree that medication should be a very last resort.  I also feel angry with myself for letting the doctor prescribe seroxat and being daft enough to take it all those years.  Yes, I'm an anxious person but it didn't warrant such a quick prescription and repeated for years.   I went through WD without help from the doctors because when I asked for advise about WD symptoms they denied it was WD.   They really are worse than useless.

 

I relate to your feelings about your days, as though you've somehow missed out on your own life.  I know how hard you are finding it to let go of the past,  but it really doesn't help.   We just have to be kind to ourselves.   

 

Most days lately I just want to sweep away my old life and start again.  i really really  want a new life but don't have a clue what to do.

Prescribed 20mg a day of Seroxat on 2001

August 2013 decided to taper.

Reduced by 10mg a week (adjusted over the week small amounts)

Stopped completely in April 2014

Brain and body went haywire.  

Didn't realise it was withdrawal at first.

Have not returned to ad's but can't get my life back.

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Thank you so much folks.  Alexander,you hit the nail on the head, that's how I feel a lot too.

 

I've updated my wibsite http://moodmaster.net/with some more info including recommended meditation apps.  I'm having my psychologist review the content and make suggestions.  He's a really great psychologist who's been practicing for over 20 years.  I encourage you to share the page with your own psychologists and therapists to help me make it as complete as possible.

 

Just like Beyond Blue, I want to start getting the word out there about these  disorders and the dangers of anti-depressants.  We really need to stop trusting our doctors! (as sad as it sounds), most of them are just drug pushers.

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Hi Fantic,

You sound like a very kind and thoughtfull person. When you feel down just think of this. You will recover, but as you know, it will take time. The best thing you can do is take one day at the time. You can do it. Keep going. Cheers Hopefull. :)

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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