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Hi everybody,

 

About seven weeks ago, I made a very bad bad thing... I just stopped Citalopram (20 mg if i remember well) ... abruptly (totally ignoring the desastrous consequences of such a deed).

It was pretty bearable so far, tough difficult enough. But since two days, I feel really, really bad. I can hardly sleep, feel exhausted and weak (in a very disabling way, just as if i were severely sick), terribly anxious... The point is maybe I am really sick, (I hope so so much!), my brother and mother being hit by gastric troubles (I feel pretty weird at this part of my body). I'd like to know wether the symptoms of the withdrawal can declare themselves this late, seven weeks after the last absorption of the drugs... (actually, i think of a combination of the disease and the withdrawal, therefore temporary)

But this is not the central point of my interrogations... Since I heard of the desastrous consequences of a rough withdrawal, I wonder if I'd better take this obnoxious crappy **** again, and taper off playing by the rules... Is it only possible two months after the last swallowed pill? I fear an other shock. Is it worth taking the risk? Honestly, I'm heavily reluctant to taking this again, kind of visceral blockade you see...

 

I'm ******* eighteen years old. I didn't deserve it (nobody does. It is ******* crime against humanity). I overcame tremendous hardships in my life (regarding my age, it could seem preposterous and boastful, but i can assure you life was from being gentle with me). I don't want all this progress and recover to be lost. I was beginning to become something, something impaired, but something. Being slashed and erased by the medicine, all this efforts and victories nullify, it fills me with a disgusted and immense rage.

 

Forgive me if i am somewhat rude. I am just indingnant (a bit too much...)

 

Thanks for reading

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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I hear you on this, many of us went on this crappy stuff for a myriad of unfriendly life events. For me the misery began not before after 6 weeks after quitting PAxil and the first weeks/months were already awful but still a walk in the park compared to the horror that started from about 3-4 months off.

If I could turn back the clock I would definately have reinstated and tapered in the first months. But it can be a risk indeed.

I think the moderators can give you the best advice on that.

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Welcome, myx. I agree, withdrawal syndrome is a crime against all of us.

 

Yes, you can get more severe withdrawal symptoms 7 weeks later, and the symptoms you describe could be withdrawal symptoms.

 

If you are off the drug recently, the only known way to reduce withdrawal symptoms is to go back on a low dosage, stabilize on that for a few weeks or a month, and taper more slowly from there.

 

We have several people here who are tapering very gradually off citalopram.

 

Since you are 7 weeks off, reinstatement may or may not work for you. It's impossible to predict. You are correct, it is a risk to do this.

 

Otherwise, the symptoms will go away in time. The amount of time is different for everyone. It could be a few months or longer. You need to stay calm, not add to your symptoms with worry, panic, or self-blame.

 

Are you living with your family? Are they understanding about your condition?

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I'am so agitated I can't find any sleep... it's two and a half where I live and I find myself consulting the computer in despair...

 

I live with my family (actually my mother and my brother). I think my mother understand, at least a bit, even if she tends to play down the severity of the thing. She is one of those people who can't stand difficulties. It is hard cause she doesn't bear my state, which affects her a lot, and express it in a very negative way, which is just like a stab in my heart... However, she'll never let me down. Furthermore, her attitude is comprehensible, due to all the hardships which came along her way... In short, it could be better, but it could be worse too...

 

 

Something troubles me. Yesterday, I went to a drugstore and was adviced to take griffonia simplicifolia so as to reduce my anxiety and compose myself. However, it seems to be a substiture of an AD, for it stimulates (in a natural, so unviolent way) the production of serotonine... I wonder wether it is really relevant. Consuming a product which has the same effect as the one I am withdrawing from... Wouldn't it be harmful? I consider stoping taking this product... and turn myself to some valeriane/aubepine, which I took and at least didn't me any harm. What do you think about it?

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Forgive me this double message. I'am just filled with interrogations (I crave for certainty, even though I know it would probably be impossible and even disloyal to give me some). And I can't allow any misstep. I tried to help with herbal medicine. I take ginseng, omega3, marine magnesium and griffonia simplicifolia... It is supposed to be natural and harmless support, but I wonder if, in my specific case,it is of a real help. Actually, I fear harmful effects, especially with the griffonia, which looks like a natural AD... What do you think? Is it relevant, in the very specific case of the withdrawal, to support oneself with herbal medicine and complements?

 

 

I apologize for having been so invasive tonight.

 

Thanks a lot for reading.

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Hi Myx... I'm tapering Celexa also. My suggestion is that you go back on 10mg Citalopram in the hopes of stabilizing. Stay on that dose at least a month (or more) until you are feeling better. Then, if you want to stop taking this antidepressant, taper by 10% of your CURRENT dose every four or five weeks. I'm tapering a little faster, but so far, it's working for me.

 

As for the supplements, some people can't take them, and some people can. If you decide to take a supplement, be sure to start with a very small amount to see how you feel and then add more slowly. It's really important to do this. I don't know what griffonia is, but even if it's a natural Ad, I wouldn't take it.

 

I hope you start feeling better really soon! Also, read around on this site. You'll find a lot of helpful information.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Hi Myx0atOsis,

 

I went off sertraline and bupropion cold turkey 8 months ago, and did all right (not great, but manageable) for the first few months. Then I started getting anxiety and insomnia. I tried taking St. John's Wort and it made it worse. I tried valerian, and at first it seemed to help, but then it made it worse as well. So it's hard to say with supplements. I know the griffonia simplicifolia is supposed to work because it has 5HTP, which is a precursor to serotonin. What I have heard is that once (and if) you reach the anxiety phase of withdrawal, serotonin could be stimulating, which could make your anxiety and sleeplessness worse. When did you start taking it? Did you notice anything? Ginseng is also supposed to be stimulating. I have found magnesium to be calming, and also take fish oils. The thing is everyone is different and results are hard to predict. I've been trying to reduce to not taking anything but vitamins and fish oils, seeing how I feel for a while with that, and then reintroducing slowly one thing at a time to see if it helps. Still, desperation makes me rush sometimes and try new things.

 

For me it was very late to go back and try tapering... I thought it was too risky to try, especially since there would be no guarantee that it would prevent withdrawal... seven weeks is probably a borderline situation. Hopefully more people with experience reinstating and tapering will have better answers for you.

 

I will mention that acupuncture has really helped, and it seems to have helped for a lot of people going through this.

 

Take care.

 

N.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Feeling desperately powerless and trapped. Doomed... I've arleady lost a year because of the effects of the drugs (really?)... and now I am to lost an other year, at least... if it is not my life. I am really wondering if it is a worthy struggle. Maybe too demanding: just want to go back to an approximate normality, be able to work again, experience love, indulge my passions, even if it requires several years...

 

You know, this year, I stayed home. I gave up everything. College, all... I was confused. A blurred state of anxiety, confusion, inactivity...All was so difficult, impossible, even physically. However, I was on drugs, I hadn't quit yet. So this is not attributable to withdrawal. I'm realizing I've got no excuse. It can't be the mere effect of the drug, can it? MAybe I am too weak, a nasty coward... unable to pluck up one's courage to have a normal life, lazily drifting apart... But I can't. Just can't. Why?

 

Sorry for this childish outpourings. I must be really, really weak...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Sorry I did'nt notice your message, be sure that if I had seen it I would'nt have post all of those whinings... It is very kind of you to have answered. I just intended to do like you, only take omega 3 and magnesium... I took griffonia two days long, but I was wary of this serotonine affair, I prefer, in the absence of certainty, not to take any risk...

 

I think I'm sinking into depression... I'm losing my certainties. Is the withdrawal really relevant...Oh god...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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myx, your thinking on the drug may have been influenced by it. A lot of us experience demotivation on the medication.

 

Do not blame yourself. Looking backward at this point only hurts, because our nervous systems are already so sensitive.

 

Also, those feelings of doom and hopelessness are part of withdrawal syndrome. Your nervous system is not functioning normally and tends to dark thoughts and waves of anxiety.

 

Many of us have spent those sleepless nights surfing the Web and looking for answers. That's how people find this site!

 

So, I guess, your situation is "normal" for withdrawal syndrome.

 

Address your current situation. You have two choices: tough out this suffering, which could last months, or try a small amount of citalopram and taper more slowly, as summer suggested.

 

This may be a way to reverse the error of cold-turkey. I would look at it this way: It couldn't make your situation any worse, and if it doesn't alleviate the withdrawal symptoms, you can stop it.

 

We don't know of any drugs or supplements or herbs or cures to cure withdrawal syndrome. Many drugs, supplements, or herbs make it worse so you have to be very careful with 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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Feeling desperately powerless and trapped. Doomed... I've arleady lost a year because of the effects of the drugs (really?)... and now I am to lost an other year, at least... if it is not my life. I am really wondering if it is a worthy struggle. Maybe too demanding: just want to go back to an approximate normality, be able to work again, experience love, indulge my passions, even if it requires several years...

 

You know, this year, I stayed home. I gave up everything. College, all... I was confused. A blurred state of anxiety, confusion, inactivity...All was so difficult, impossible, even physically. However, I was on drugs, I hadn't quit yet. So this is not attributable to withdrawal. I'm realizing I've got no excuse. It can't be the mere effect of the drug, can it? MAybe I am too weak, a nasty coward... unable to pluck up one's courage to have a normal life, lazily drifting apart... But I can't. Just can't. Why?

 

Sorry for this childish outpourings. I must be really, really weak...

 

I could have written this myself many times. I can't tell you how many times a day I want to give up.

 

How long did you take Citalopram?

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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hi Myx,

 

your suffering can be worse in coming months,

i would try to reinstate as people advice,and wean later

but reinstating will not say no suffering, maybe less

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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I took Citalopram for four monthes, after having taken Effexor for about ten months, and two-three monthes of zoloft before (this only the last part of my experience of psychiatric drugs). I know it is chaotic, circomstances made me followed by lot of different psychiatrists who would shift the treatment everytime I fell in their hands (I don't know if it is proper english, I am exhausted and hope it's still comprehensible)... By the way, the first week of Citalopram, that is to say the first week off Effexor, was PURE hell. Delusion, derealization, obsession of death and near-death experiences, bedbound... Effexor is certainly the baddest thing that occured in my life...

 

I've just figured out my dose of citalopram was of 10mg, the minimal dosage, when I stopped it. Therefore I hope my cold turkey isn't as bad as it could be... It really fills me with hope.

 

As I have ever said, I'm hugely reluctant to taking drugs back. I explain: In my story, there has already been a WD syndrome: two years ago, the psychiatrist made me abruptly stop my treatment when I was doing better. The withdrawal entailed a severe cognitive deterioration that led me to taking back drugs. But I didn't tolerate it as well as before. I developped internal agitation (moderated akathisia i think), that deteriorated my daily life a lot. Furthermore I experienced two night of really, really intense akathisia (Being here, just being was so unbearable my body shouted and urged me to commit suicide). As a consequence, I'm rather traumatized by a possible intolerance, which could be worse this second time of taking back drugs.

 

By the way, do you think my internal agitation will cease at last? I fear it would be a perpetual state entailed by the drug...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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myx, it sounds like maybe the culprit isn't citalopram, you had Effexor withdrawal when you started taking it.

 

Did the citalopram help your 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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Actually, there was no transition, the day I stopped effexor I took citalopram. Yes, this state luckily faded away, and I was doing better and better, so much better that I felt I could take my life over, and abruptly went off citalopram (seven weeks ago)

 

However, I took sertraline two years ago, 6 months after abruptly having stopped the same treament (zoloft). I suffered from a severe cognitive deterioration (and only from this), but I can't figure out if it was related to WD's syndrome or actual depression (There were gloomy events in my life at that time). Since then, my treatment has been replaced by effexor, then citalopram (I hope I am clear enough).

 

I don't really understand how could effexor be the actual culprit, since it was taken over by citalopram without transition (their effect is similar, isn'it?)

 

You are disquieting me. I now fear my situation is not as simple as I believed...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Something is tormenting me. I started being on drugs at the age of 13. It lasted five years. Given that my brain was in developpement, wouldn't it have cause specific damage and made my brain unable to work without AD? (It would explain the cognitive deterioration I experienced after having stopped taking Zoloft two years ago...).

 

Is there a hope of recovery, even if I was drugged during the developement of my brain? I am freaking out...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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myx, your situation is not unusual. Many of us have been on various drugs over many years.

 

No one's case is simple.

 

It could be that switching from Effexor to citalopram may have made your nervous system vulnerable to the stress of cold-turkey withdrawal.

 

It still looks like the way to reduce symptoms may be to reinstate citalopram, even at 2.5mg or 5mg and see if that helps.

 

I understand your reluctance to resume the medication. It's completely your choice.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I am very impressed of the time you spend on answering the misey of other people. Wouldn't you be a kind of superhero? ^^ I thank you so (SO) much for the time you spend on me.

 

I have decided not to follow your recommendation. I know I may make a big mistake, but I am scared to death by the drugs... It might be irrational and very stupid, but I simply can't. (mayby it is a salutary signal of my body, i hope so...)

 

I really would like to know what you think (if you think something) about the cognitive deterioration I experienced after the stop of the seroplex (though it might be real depression, as I've said...). Wouldn't it be the manifestation of the fact my brain could not work without AD? I took them during the developpemebt of my brain (13 to 18 years old)... It scares me a lot...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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....I really would like to know what you think (if you think something) about the cognitive deterioration I experienced after the stop of the seroplex (though it might be real depression, as I've said...). Wouldn't it be the manifestation of the fact my brain could not work without AD? I took them during the developpemebt of my brain (13 to 18 years old)... It scares me a lot...

 

No, myx, it is the effect of the medication on your nervous system and withdrawal. It does not mean you have brain damage or a new, terrible mental illness, and does not indicate you "need" an antidepressant for anything but to alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

 

Thank you for your kind words. Please, as we say, "pay it forward" and show kindness to others here in our community.

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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Also... you are still quite young, your brain is still in development. Even in the strictest of terms, we don't start "aging" until 25. If older people can get through this, so can you! Look into therapies such as meditation and cognitive behavioral training to get your brain working right. It's more work, but the effects will be much more profound.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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I went back to the doctor, so as to get citalopram back and please my mum. He denied categorically the possibility of a withdrawal syndrome and said I felt bad because I need (this word shocks me, particularly my rational part) to take it for what he diagnosed as the somatization of anxiety (Though the question of the origin of this alleged anxiety didn't seem to interest him)

 

So this astonishing genius prescribed me citalopram 20 mg. He told me that 20 mg of citalopram was equivalent to 10 mg of seroplex (Lexapro). Is this true? I am very suspicious...

 

I have it, but I am pretty disorientated. How could taking back citalopram lessen the symptoms of withdrawal, given that my nervous system must have already adapted itself to its absence (It's two monthes ago since I am off)?

 

n the case I take it back, I consider taking a 10 mg dose... (the half of the treatment I stopped). Do you think it's suitable or I should take back a 20 mg dose?

 

I'm sorry for all of these questions...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Different drugs do have completely different dosages. For example, I think 20mg of citalopram is "equivalent" to 50mg sertraline. So don't worry about that.

 

I don't know what to tell you about taking the antidepressant again or not. BUT, if you DO decide to take it, don't suddenly take the full 20mg. Ramp it up slowly (5, 10, 20? Or stopping when --and if-- you feel a relief of your symptoms?)

 

I would say two things:

 

1. Your doctor has no idea if it is withdrawal or not. The medical community still doesn't know enough about how the drugs work. And maybe "withdrawal" is not the right term, or the one they would like used, but what IS evident is that there are a lot of us who have symptoms come up when discontinuing antidepressants --sometimes immediately, sometimes weeks or months later-- that are NOT just a normal depression or anxiety.

 

2. Given that these drugs can have such a bad effect and can be so difficult to quit, coupled with the fact that even if they DO work for you (as they did for me), your brain changes in response to them and they stop working after a while, I think it would be best for you not to take them long-term (but of course, only YOU can decide that).

 

If you decide you don't want to continue taking the drugs (which in my experience, the more years you do them, the harder getting off of them will be), you have two choices:

 

1. Don't take any more and survive through the period of brain adjustment with exercise, meditation, relaxation, cognitive behavioral therapy and anything else you find that works.

 

2. Start taking the drug again with the aim of tapering it very, very slowly and hoping this will help your brain adjust in a gentler way.

 

For #2: It could be that since it's been almost two months off the drug, reinitiating the drug won't relieve your symptoms. There is no way of knowing unless you try. BUT, also, there is no way of knowing that you will be symptom free after doing a slow taper. However, there is evidence that people who do slow tapers have an easier time getting off antidepressants.

 

Whichever you choose, I would make sure you are doing what you need to do to keep your mind and body healthy... write in a journal, go for walks every day, socialize, do something productive (work, study--even if it is a small commitment), learn to meditate, take yoga, take ki gong classes, music classes... whatever! Just don't wallow at home and give in! Battle for the sun!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Excellent suggestions, Nadia.

 

myx, Lexapro is stronger than citalopram, so your doctor was approximately correct there.

 

The rest was nonsense, unfortunately.

 

I agree with Nadia, start with a low dose and see if that alleviates symptoms. If it does, there is no need to go to a higher dose, and that will make tapering easier.

 

One of the "tests" for withdrawal syndrome is that, when you reinstate the drug (within a fairly short time), symptoms cease.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I don't know what to tell you about taking the antidepressant again or not. BUT, if you DO decide to take it, don't suddenly take the full 20mg. Ramp it up slowly (5, 10, 20? Or stopping when --and if-- you feel a relief of your symptoms?)

 

 

I think that's an excellent suggestion. The choice is yours... and whatever you ultimately decide is best for you, I wish you a safe journey.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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I'd like to kown if a withdrawal syndrome of medium or even high intensity is possible even after tapering gradually...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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It is possible to have withdrawal symptoms even when you taper (or even as you taper). It depends on a lot of factors, most of which we are probably guessing about because there is still so much to be learned. The only thing studies do show so far is that you are less likely to have problems if you taper.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Yes, it is possible to have withdrawal symptoms as you taper and after you taper, even if you taper slowly. For some people, these drugs simply will not let go of their nervous systems, and they have a lot of trouble getting off of them at all.

 

However, cold-turkey and fast tapering are more likely to cause prolonged withdrawal syndrome.

 

If you're trying to calculate your chances, myx, I'd say cold-turkey got you where you are now, which is 100% chance of withdrawal syndrome. Reinstatement and tapering might cut that to 50%.

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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I've got a crucial question (one more sorry...). The meds (before the WD) inflicted me akathisia (that's why I am so reluctant to take it back). Does this torture subside with time?

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Akathisia is a very bad adverse effect. Your doctor should have immediately reduced or taken you off the antidepressant if you had that reaction.

 

Did you get akathisia at 20mg citalopram? How about 10mg citalopram?

 

Side effects are usually dose-related. If you were taking 20mg citalopram, you might try 5mg to see if the withdrawal symptoms are relieved. If you get akathisia from 5mg, stop immediately.

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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Hi Myx,

 

Sorry to read of your struggles buddy, but know that you are so not alone.

I also did cold turkey off paxil back in 2005, my doc had me do that - that lasted 4.5 months,

and i ended up back on paxil at a lesser dose, it worked !!!! and i was functioning and back to living my life again.

 

In 2007 i started tapering again, very very slowly, then the akathesia started to kick in, and the anxiety/panic, all

things i never experienced before in my life until trying to quit this drug.

In May of this year i am finally after 14yrs of taking paxil for grief issues, i was FREE of all drugs.

Its been a long, hard struggle, with many bizzarre, weird and strange symptoms mentally and physically, that

i face each and every day to some degree.

 

Cold turkey is absolute HELL,

slow tapering is comparable, but as i found out, it absolutely for me, has not been symptom free, guess id hoped it may be easier that it has been up to now, but !!! id slow ta[per again - any day of the week.

Good luck,whichever way you decide to go, the choice is yours!!!

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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I am very impressed of the time you spend on answering the misey of other people. Wouldn't you be a kind of superhero? ^^ I thank you so (SO) much for the time you spend on me.

 

I have decided not to follow your recommendation. I know I may make a big mistake, but I am scared to death by the drugs... It might be irrational and very stupid, but I simply can't. (mayby it is a salutary signal of my body, i hope so...)

 

I really would like to know what you think (if you think something) about the cognitive deterioration I experienced after the stop of the seroplex (though it might be real depression, as I've said...). Wouldn't it be the manifestation of the fact my brain could not work without AD? I took them during the developpemebt of my brain (13 to 18 years old)... It scares me a lot...

 

Yes, I agree that the cognitive deterioration that you experienced was probably a manifestation of the fact that your brain could not work properly without the AD at that time.

 

However, the brain is capable of healing and changing. This is not a fast process, however. It is a very slow process. And it requires care and patience.

 

The fact that you took these AD drugs so young does not mean that you will never be able to have a normal brain. You are still very young and your brain is capable of much healing. However, I suspect that starting so young does put you at more risk for difficult and complicated withdrawal.

 

For that reason I find myself thinking that for you, the best route will be to go back on the drug, stay on it until your brain has had time to stabilize and then take a very, very slow taper.

 

You have a history with different medications and changing medications. This kind of complex history also makes a more complicated recovery.

 

Because of your youth on the ADs, your brain developed differently. It shaped itself around the chemistry of the drugs. So you can't just remove the chemistry of the drugs and expect your brain to be okay.

 

I compare it to a plant trellis. If a plant has grown on a trellis, you can't just remove the trellis suddenly and expect the plant to be able to stand by itself. In fact, pulling out the trellis suddenly will probably injure the plant.

 

However, you can give the trellis (that is, the chemistry of the drugs) back to your brain. And then allow your brain time to heal from the trauma of having the drugs suddenly removed.

 

Not just the citalopram, but the previous drugs as well. It takes a long time to recover from suddenly quitting any drug. The Celexa did help prevent severe withdrawal, but the drugs are not perfect substitutes for each other. They all affect many different hormonal and chemical systems, in different ways. So yes, you are probably still recovering from the previous drugs and changes.

 

Once your brain has had time to stabilize and heal, then you can do a correct, very slow taper. This would be like removing the trellis one little bit at a time and allowing the plant to grow its own healthy, correct structure to support itself, so that by the time the trellis is gone, the plant would be able to stand on its own.

 

In this case the trellis is the artificial chemistry created by the drugs. Your brain has shaped itself around this artificial chemistry. You can slowly remove the artificial chemistry and allow your brain to reshape itself into a healthy and proper shape. However, this is not a fast process. I would recommend planning to take at least a year to taper, given your history.

 

I know that sounds like a long time, but these drugs have been shaping your brain for many years during crucial times of development, and you have to expect that it will take a few years more of development for your brain to correct itself.

 

I understand that you do not wish to go back on the drugs. I wish I could tell you that I thought you would be just fine if you stay off now. Unfortunately, I can't tell you that, because it would not be true.

 

Personally, I myself have deep concern about the effect of psychiatric drugs on people who take them during childhood and youth. Most people who do that have a more difficult time getting off the drugs and recovering from them. This is very understandable given what we know about the brain and its biology.

 

I have a tendency to say what I truly think, and what I truly think in your case is that if you do not take care now and do this right, you are going to find yourself going on and off more psychiatric medications, perhaps even worse ones than ADs, in the future. I fear for your future. People who do not taper slowly and carefully do not, according to statistics, usually do well.

 

I do believe that if you take the time and care to heal your brain properly now, while you are still young, you can avoid going down this path.

 

I could be wrong. I am certainly not infallible, and everyone is different. However, this is my honest opinion, based on the many, many other stories and cases of people I have read and corresponded with.

 

Forgive me for not being a cheerful happy voice. I am feeling honest today.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

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

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I like how you expanded on that trellis image, Rhi. It is a good way to envision how the nervous system becomes dependent on medications. Thanks for your honesty.

 

Still, myx, it's your decision. As you've mentioned, you've had adverse reactions before to citalopram. This may be a situation where there are no good choices.

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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The metaphor of the trellis is well chosen. I perfectly understand the issues about breaking the chemical context on which my brain developped itself.

 

The point is my life under antidepressants was even not roughly normal. As I've said, this year was a lost year. This year was hell (the upper level of hell, but still hell; Now I'm have went down, it's nice, I'm becoming an expert of the place). The point is my story is packed with withdrawals and change of drugs. I read somewhere that people suffering from developped withdrawal syndrome tend to be intolerant to the medication. I think it's my case. I think that above all, my brain needs continuity. I need continuity too. I need to see an end and follow a simple, direct trail. What you suggest is equivalent to be raped again. It may sound dumb, but it's the way I feel (not think, it's phsyical, not intellectual) it. I just can't. Besides, being on it would disquiet me so much that it would not relieve me at all. In the best case it would only switch the suffering.

 

Do not fear I take other drugs. Honestly, I'm sketching a sour smile. I am wasted enough. I'm not that dumb or masochistic. I know their danger, that benzos and neuroleptics are even worse than AD. I also DID take this horrible things, fortunately never much more than during a month. I am not particularly fond of mutilating my brain. I am likely to live, if I survive, a lousy and sour life. But taking benzos and neuroleptics is a strict impossibility.

 

I am weary of this struggle. What do I battle for? My life is broken. Not only now, but also in the future, where I would have to pay and make up the disastrous consequences of my inactivity. Would I ever be able to study again? I see every other people of my age building their lives, enjoying life and youth... What do I struggle for? To contemplate the amount of the loss once I'de be recovered? Where's the point? I am sorry, I am so despondent and desperate...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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myx, I understand your reluctance to take any antidepressants again.

 

Look at it this way: Your brain is a vulnerable organ. When you suddenly quit a drug, it has the effect of dropping it from a great height. When you slowly taper, you are gradually rolling it down a ramp.

 

Reinstating and tapering is a way to reverse history, at least partially.

 

Either way has risks for you. If you choose not to reinstate, you are choosing to deal with withdrawal syndrome for an unpredictable amount of time.

 

Either way, we're here for you.

 

(By the way, we believe the intolerance some people develop to psychiatric drugs is not "treatment-intolerant" depression -- which blames the victim yet again -- but withdrawal syndrome, at least in part.)

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 for your patient answers. I am definitely not an easy one... sorry.

 

I think I now plainly understand my story: Would you mind reconsider it?

 

My current torment is not my first withdrawal syndrome. In fact, it goes back to two years, when my psychiatrist made me abruptly stop zoloft. I spent exactly five monthes and a half off meds, and then step back in the meds spiral, for one year and five monthes. Taking back drugs brought about anxiety and akathisia...

 

I think the withdrawal process has been set off a long time ago... and was too advanced to be reversed. I reckon in my case the opportunity of shifting history has been missed... Furthermore, there is also the risk induced by taking back meds. Taking it back 18 montes ago sharply compounded my situation (akathisia...).

 

Here is my current situtation: It is still relatively manageable. My main symptom is akathisia. I can read, think, walk (yesterday I rode rollers, it was like a lull). With luck, I may be able to succeed in my studies this year, It is not that complicated and I have a comfortable advance in some of the main subjects...). Besides, since I went off drugs, I am more cognitively efficient...

 

I think going on this way may do the trick...

First AD -sertraline- in 2007at the age of 13 because of child abuse

2009-2013: intricate story of multiple wds, meds and cts, gradually became a living mess

Feb 2013: last CT from a cocktail of four drugs, symptoms are relenting but witness a constant sharpening of the brain

 

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Thank you for that clarification, myx.

 

I understand now it seems you never did get over that first spell of Zoloft withdrawal syndrome and you did poorly on citalopram afterward.

 

I now agree with you reinstating citalopram does not seem like a probable solution to your symptoms. I apologize for not understanding better before.

 

You're in a situation where, if citalopram withdrawal has compounded your symptoms, you don't have much choice but to ride them out and let your nervous system heal.

 

You are brave to continue your studies under these circumstances. We all support you in your resolve.

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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