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nicolaud: post withdrawal symptoms


nicolaud

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Hi all,

 

As can be seen from my signature I am now nearly 1 year off valium after a slow taper that lasted a year and a half and a rather speedy taper off celexa ( which may have been too fast in hindsight ).

I was put on anti depressants to treat panic attacks and GAD which was brought on by excessive binge drinking in 2000. I then continued drinking while on anti depressants ( changed ads a few times but the main one I took during that time was paxil 20mg for about 8 years ) and began taking valium to treat the withdrawal from valium in 2006.

It is very tough going for me and I feel I am getting worse with time and I am considering reinstating an antidepressant or trying lithium on the advice of my psychiatrist.

I have become more and more isolated as a result of high anxiety and the inability to experience pleasure in anything I do and have become extremely impatient, restless and discontent with automatic negative thoughts and severe cog fog.

Any advice or suggestions are welcome...

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

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By the way I stopped drink in September 2012 and thats when I began tapering off my meds and also when my troubles began..

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

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Congrats on getting off all of these drugs, you went through a difficult time and deserve to be recognized for your efforts. 

 

I'm not really an expert on the subject, but if I had to guess I'd say that you're still going through withdrawals and that reinstatement of an antidepressant risks an adverse reaction and making your life even worse.  This whole process of discontinuation can take many years to totally end.  Taking more drugs isn't very likely to do anything other than numb you out in the short term, while creating additional problems when you need to get off of it again in the future.  You can make what ever decision you think is best for your life, but my opinion is that psychiatrists are probably the very least well equipped professionals to help you with your situation, considering that they created it in the first place.

 

Exercise, meditation, and some cognitive behavioral therapy, combined with very strong distraction techniques (i.e., find ANYTHING that can distract you) would be my own personal route before going  back on medication if I were in your situation.

 

Good luck. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Nicolaud , welcome to the site.

 

I can't see your signature so have no time frame , could you have another go at it?

 

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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Yes managed finally to get my signature done

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for doing your sig nicolaud.

 

For someone who's been taking antidpressants for 15 years , it's quite likely that you may be experiencing protracted withdrawal.  Lots of

people find they do get worse between 9 and 12 months out.

 

If there is any way you're able to manage without reinstating , I would try that as a first option.  

The lack of joy/pleasure you describe is anhedonia , it's part of a healthy recovery process.

You'll find lots of helpful suggestions and ideas in the Symptoms and Self Care section to try for the symptoms you're having problems with.

Give it your best shot before considering more meds - you've come so far already.

 

You might try magnesium . . . there's a thread on it in the Symptoms section.

 

:)

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 nicolaud, I'm sorry you're still having withdrawal symptoms, but at 9 months off after a fast taper, it would not be unusual, it does sound like you may be in protracted withdrawal.  What dose of Celexa did you jump from?

 

I noticed in your signature that you are taking vitamins and supplements. Sometimes, withdrawal can cause sensitization to some of these, especially some of the B vitamins and the more activating herbs. What are you taking at the moment?

 

As others have mentioned, at 9 months off, there is no guarantee that reinstating the drug will actually work, its possible that it could make you feel even worse, and starting a new medication could also have adverse effects in a nervous system sensitized by withdrawal. We don't recommend using other drugs to treat withdrawal symptoms.

 

Time and taking care of yourself the best you can is what we find works well to aid recovery.  Do check out the symptoms and self care section as Fresh suggested, you will find a lot of good ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.

 

Petunia.

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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Thanks for doing your sig nicolaud.

 

For someone who's been taking antidpressants for 15 years , it's quite likely that you may be experiencing protracted withdrawal.  Lots of

people find they do get worse between 9 and 12 months out.

 

If there is any way you're able to manage without reinstating , I would try that as a first option.  

The lack of joy/pleasure you describe is anhedonia , it's part of a healthy recovery process.

You'll find lots of helpful suggestions and ideas in the Symptoms and Self Care section to try for the symptoms you're having problems with.

Give it your best shot before considering more meds - you've come so far already.

 

You might try magnesium . . . there's a thread on it in the Symptoms section.

 

:)

Thanks for the info and the term anhedonia to describe the lack of joy/pleasure Im feeling, I've been wondering is it perhaps tardive dysphoria brought on by ssri use over 15 years.

I'll check out the Symptoms and Self Care section and look up magnesium ( actually one of the rare supplements I havent looked into )

I see you've been through the wars as well, well done for getting through all that, whats pristiq by the way?

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

Link to comment

Welcome nicolaud, I'm sorry you're still having withdrawal symptoms, but at 9 months off after a fast taper, it would not be unusual, it does sound like you may be in protracted withdrawal.  What dose of Celexa did you jump from?

 

I noticed in your signature that you are taking vitamins and supplements. Sometimes, withdrawal can cause sensitization to some of these, especially some of the B vitamins and the more activating herbs. What are you taking at the moment?

 

As others have mentioned, at 9 months off, there is no guarantee that reinstating the drug will actually work, its possible that it could make you feel even worse, and starting a new medication could also have adverse effects in a nervous system sensitized by withdrawal. We don't recommend using other drugs to treat withdrawal symptoms.

 

Time and taking care of yourself the best you can is what we find works well to aid recovery.  Do check out the symptoms and self care section as Fresh suggested, you will find a lot of good ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.

 

Petunia.

Hi Petunia, thanks for your response.

I can't remember the actual celexa dosage but I tapered off slowly using celexa in liquid form ( possibly jumped at 2mg ).

I will have to update my signature as I no longer take vitamins and supplements ( too expensive with no tangible effects ).

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Pristiq is an snri antidepressant.   I reinstated 11 months after my last dose of cymbalta in 2013.

When you describe feeling impatient and restless , I'm wondering if you have akathisia.

You might want to do some reading on this phenomena , it often presents as physical inability to be still , an inner agitation.

There isn't anything specific you can do for it , but sometimes knowing that your experiences have names , helps you to know

you're not in this alone.

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

Link to comment

Pristiq is an snri antidepressant.   I reinstated 11 months after my last dose of cymbalta in 2013.

When you describe feeling impatient and restless , I'm wondering if you have akathisia.

You might want to do some reading on this phenomena , it often presents as physical inability to be still , an inner agitation.

There isn't anything specific you can do for it , but sometimes knowing that your experiences have names , helps you to know

you're not in this alone.

ok I'd never heard of that ad before and I thought I knew them all, must be good to get some relief from something that actually works.

I know the term akathisia and I used to have that during acute w/d. Maybe I still have it in a less intense but constantly present form.

It is a killer when trying to get back into life socially or professionally ( 2 things I have not been able to do ), hopefully it will pass at some stage soon.

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

Link to comment

SSRIs are now known to cause excessive drinking, even in people who did not drink to excess in the past. You can find out more on RxIsk.org.

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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SSRIs are now known to cause excessive drinking, even in people who did not drink to excess in the past. You can find out more on RxIsk.org

didn't need the SSRIs to drink excessively, can't blame them for that in my case lol....However they did enable me to continue drinking when otherwise I would have had to stop a long time ago due to my difficulties with alcohol withdrawal.

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Seriously considering giving lithium a try, can't go on with these s/x, its just getting worse and I feel I may be about to have a stroke, numbness of body and inability to breathe...

on various antidepressants, heavy alcohol use and benzos since 2000

Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil
Xanax 1,5mg daily
Valium 40-50mg daily
gave up alcohol Dec 2012
1 1/2 years valium taper starting at 30mg daily
jumped 09/05/2014
5 month Celexa taper starting at 20mg daily
jumped 31/07/2014
off all meds for the first time since 2000
Tough going

Link to comment
  • Administrator

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

You're not going to fix withdrawal from a previous drug by starting on a new drug, there's no guarantee it would help with your symptoms and it may make you worse, then you would have another drug to taper off and extended the time of recovery.

 

You are about 9 months off and still having symptoms, that's not unusual, there are a lot of us here in the same situation, complete recovery can take quite a long time for some people. Being patient and taking care of yourself, living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to support recovery.

Symptoms and self-care

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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