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line: Recovery-Story after 10 Years of Prescription, 3 Years off


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This is my recovery-story. Today I am 35 Years old. I am German.

 

2001 I was precscripted with Citalopram 20mg for something I would today call a leaving home-starting university-finding my place combined with a shy personality and low self-esteem-situation. In addition, a relative of mine has been diagnosed with "depression", so family was not sure if my feelings were "biological" origin (lack of serotonin). Of course the psychiatrist was sure.

 

I have been on 10-20mg, depending on circumstances (a breakup made me feel very bad, but increasing from 10mg to 20mg made it even worse), always tried to stay on a "low" dosis of 10mg.

 

2005 I experienced trouble within my family and my own life, which ended up in doubling the dose again to 20mg, things got even worse again, so finally I have been send to a psychiatric institution. There I was prescripted to 75mg Venlafaxin. Ambulant treatment afterwards found it necessary to increase up to 300mg. I did not find it helpful.

 

Life stabilised 2006, so I decreased again to 75mg quite fast (not sure how, i believe 300-150-75 in 2-3 month?), 2007 to 37,5mg

 

2008 and 2009 i twice tried to quit, taking 18,75 mg for some weeks, than 0mg. Today I know that neuro-emotions from fast tapering always put be back to drugs.

 

2011 life-circumstances changed, old "problems" with myself re-emerged, I increased dosis and guess what - things got worse again. Again a psychiatric institition was said to be helpful. They found it necessary to treat me with quetiapin additionally (150mg for about 3 weeks, because of side-effecs like restless legs i begged to go back to 100mg).

 

This was the final moment for me to be sure, if I would not quit the system, the system would bring me down. I had to stop to let someone else (and myself) classify my "problems/personality" as a biological mental disorder.

 

As soon as i left the psychiatric institution, i taperd quetiapin in about 8 weeks as i remember (sorry that i am so vague about details, but is is like fade away) with horrible itching (fish-oil helped) and cognitive impairments. Then i immediately tapered Venlafaxin from 75mg to 37,5mg to 18,75mg to 0mg in about 4-6 month (sorry again for no details, i just cannot remember). I had no informations about 10% or anything about low tapering, i just did it not to fast, beacause I was already sure, that that would be no good.

 

After finally quitting in spring 2012, i had a hard time until the end of the year. First of all I remember aggression (not my personality at all), than bursting into tears, very unstable feelings, fatigue, a lot of cognitive problems like lack of concentration and confusion. I did not pay much attention to body-related symptoms, so I cannot tell (if they would have been very severe, I think I would remember them). Thanks god, sleep was always fine.

 

End of 2012 the beginning hormone-chaos of a pregnancy made me very unstable for about three weeks. Than it was ok again and everything I than experienced physically or mental I classified to pregnancy. After pregnancy every physical oder mental unusuallness I classified to breastfeeding.

 

Today I am totally emotionally stable (1,5 years after stpping breastfeeding, 3,25 years after stopping medication). I feel personal development i did not feel under drugs. Self-compassion, empathy towards myself and awareness are essential.

 

I did a lot of researching and I think a lot of my later declines are drug-related or due to fast taper. I got involved in the german withdrawal forum www.adfd.org because there are too many people still suffering from meds or from fast tapering.

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I'm happy for you reaching your goal. And it's good to see another success story!

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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Thank you for sharing and congratulations!!!

2005-2009, Lexapro 10 - 20 mg, CT WD w/severe depression and anxiety:  2010-2015, Paxil, 30 - 40 mg, tapered off at 10 mg/week, moderate anxiety and depression:  2010-2015, Clonozapam 0.25 mg, as needed for anxiety and sleep:  1/10/2015, Zoloft 25 mg, tried to increase to 50 and 75, but nausea and dizziness:  2/13/2015, Paxil 5 mg, added back after 2 weeks at zero to reduce WD:  2/28/2015, Paxil 10 mg, increased from 5 mg to reduce WD, HOLDING:  3/04/2015, Zoloft discontinued (reduced to ~12.5 mg on 2/19, ~6.25 mg on 2/26, then zero):  4/26/2015, Paxil starting 10% taper (no scale so was inadvertently at 20% taper, yikes!):  4/30/2015, Paxil 10 mg, reinstated (WD disappeared between August 2015 and May 2016)

5/02/2016, Started 10% taper, reinstated to 10 mg on 5/11/16:  4/29/2017, Last dose of Paxil (working with holistic psychiatrist, lots of supplements to aid WD):  Primary symptoms: apathy, demotivation, anhedonia, fatigue, stress intolerance, moderate social anxiety

7/1/2018 Finally feeling like myself again, success!!! Praise God! Even with the stress of relocating recently, I am feeling pretty good most of the time now. Granted, I eat healthy, I exercise, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol and I try hard find a healthy balance of quiet and social times. Hang in there and keep the faith, you can do it too!

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  • Administrator

Thank you, line. When you had withdrawal symptoms, was there anything in particular that seemed to lessen them?

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

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Thank you so much for sharing.  These are the stories I need to read right now.  

Used many anti-depressants over the past 18 years. I C/T from Zoloft (25 mg) and Wellbutrin (150 mg.) (2 weeks apart-May 2015).  
I was also taking Xanax or Clonazipam several times a week.  Quit taking those at the same time as the other two.  
Tapering Amitriptyline since 2/2016.
"I would have despaired if I had not believed I would see the Lord..."  Ps. 27:13-14

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Awesome story ,we need to hear more of these.

Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th . PPI Dexlant  30 mg taper has begun. Cutting 20% currently.  using zantac as needed.  Benzo is currently 0.10mg 

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Great to hear you are doing well, thank you for sharing.  I hope we have more of these stories posted here.

20+ years of Zoloft 50-100 mg CT 03/2014 for 5 months
Back on Prozac 20 mg for 4 months CT since 11/2014
Found this forum the last day of 2014
The secret is to keep going!  Time will heal.


 
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Hello Altostrada,
 
my withdrawal symptoms were mostly affective.
 
Agression from withdrawal merged into a kind of aggression from pregnany, than merged in a kind of aggression from breastfeeding (I read articles about it, it happens because of hormones). After that, it faded away, no more aggression. Self-Controll helped - 2-3 deep breath to see, situation is not worth it to be aggressiv like that - after my outbursts, of course. But I had to apologise a lot to my husband.
 
Decreased Concentration and confusion got better 6-9 month after 0, I can not tell for sure when this left my everyday life completly. But I still have it, when I am emotionally disturbed (e.g. when there are job-related problems). I can not remember anything special that made it better. I used notes at work for every tiny thing I had to do, that helped a lot not to get lost.
 
I feel memory-problems after 10 years of AD, especially for the time under drug. Hard to explain, but it feels like I really have to think about stuff I want to remember, it does not come to my mind instantly when I try to remember something.
 
Fatigue was better after half a year after 0. I used to go swimming, perhaps that helped. Fatigue than came back again because of pregnancy.
 
Oh, and I sweated a lot in 2012 after 0, next year that was gone, too. I did nothing special.
 
If I rembember more, I will tell.
 
I am so happy I kicked this drugs out of my life.
I feel self-development, which I did not feel under drugs.

I always felt like 20 (time I started with drugs).

 

I did not take any supplements. I used fishoil for some weeks when quitting quetiapin, it helped for the horrible itching. I sometimes think i should have taken it longer, I felt no side-effects and perhaps I would have improved better earlier.

 

line

 
 
 
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Hello line,

 

thank you so much for your story!!

You doing a great job!!

Can you remember how long it takes until the waves were gone after 0 mg? And how long it takes until the waves lost their savageness?

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Hi RockSie,

 

I am sorry, I cannot tell.

 

I wanted to STOPP medication. That is what I did. I knew nothing about windows and waves when i tapered and stopped taking medication. So I did not pay attention to this and if I think back to 2012, I really can not remember if I had something I would call windows and waves. I remember a LOT of emotional stuff while tapering (starting autumn/winter 2011) and after quitting in spring 2012 and a LOT of cognitive stuff (I always wonder why they did nor fire me off my new job I had). But I had wonderfull holidays in september 2012, so I think half a year later, a lot of things had been better than the months befor.

 

Sometimes it makes my quite nervous, that I can not tell exactly. This memory-problem is one of the serverest things I have.

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  • 1 month later...

Guten morgen line , ich bin canadianisch aber ich habe ein biscchen in deutscland gelebt. Vielen dank fur deiene geschicte. Ich moechte wissen ob deine problemes mit deine errinerrung sie haben sich verbessert? From what I understand your memory and concentration never recoveredd ?

Been on 1 year cymbalta, 1 year  pristiq, zoloft 2 years nad seroquel 2 years.Now I've been off everything since February 2015. so 6 months free. Still have insomnia, short term memory problems, brain fog these are the only problems hope they will improve.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Joey,

 

it is hard to answer, but i try.

 

My short time memory varies - if i am emotionally stressed, it can happend that i forget stuff immediatly. Others recognizes, that I am confused and that i have lack of concentration. But it is not the case the whole time! It varies, depending on circumstances.

 

My long term memory - in my opinion - could be better, too. But i think it is still getting better.

 

Finally, it is really hard to remember details from summer 2011 (after I doupled Effexor and were prescribed with Quetiapin until 2012, the time i tapered an quit and the time after 0). This time is not a black box, but it is not "complete". I can not tell it more exactly...

 

line

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Hello, Line

 

I am so happy for you to be free of the drugs!  I was on venlafaxine for 12 years and went off last year, tapered too fast and had a lot of cognitive problems which I only later realized were WD.  What I ran into many months later was a lot of anxiety, horrible insomnia and depression.  I had tried taking serotonergic supplements like SamE, 5-htp, and tryptophan, and only later did I learn that SamE could cause anxiety, so I'm not sure how much of my problems were caused by WD vs improper use of supplements.  Regardless, I was anorexic and couldn't sleep, and out of my desperation my p-doc put me on Remeron to help with the sleep and appetite.  Ultimately, that didn't work as the apathy/depression were too much, so we reinstated the venlafaxine.  It was only after that that I discovered WD and that all my problems likely stemmed from that!  So, now I am tapering two drugs!  GRRRRR!

 

So, did you have any depression and/or anxiety during your WD after you stopped taking Effexor?

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Yes I did! I tried to quit two time befor and fear/anxiety/depression made me take it again...

 

When i finally tapered, it did not know about WD either! I wanted to stopp to get pragnent. So my opinion was: ok, i had a crisis in 2011, i still have to recover from it. i want to stop medications so wholeheartedly that whatever comes back from my "old problems" (most of them drug related as I know now), I go through it. I have to learn to live with that, without drugs, whatever it means for my daily life ...

 

I had a horrible year emotionally in 2012. I was near crying a lot of time. I was unstable and little thing made me feel bad. I was nervous, disturbed, confused, depressed, everything. Doing my job was so hard, I was always tired, no concentration, lack of short-term-memory...

 

Sleep was always fine, I think that made it better to go throught it.

 

It is 3,5 years after my last antidepressant. I am fine. I am stable. I have a good life. I do not get depression or anything. I can stop it with caring about myself when seems to start.

 

SquirrelGirl, you can do it. It is not important what time it needs. It is woth it!

 

line

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Line, thank you for posting your success story!  I am so happy for you, that it is possible!  I look forward to posting my own story some day!

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • 6 months later...

Line,

Thank you for posting, you've given me hope!!!

On zoloft since 2000 for OCD/anxiety. Tapered off from 150mg to 100, 50, 25 over Dec/Jan 2015. After month n half off, began depression. Being terrified, as I never had depression before, after a few days, went back to 50mg, then five days later to 100mg. Now stable. I will stop this medication, with time and perseverance...my current taper level and timing are as follows, which includes No other Rx's, No alcohol, NEVER any illicit drugs:

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." - Viktor Frankl

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi line, how are you doing these days?

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 10 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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