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andy013: 4 years off and counting...


andy013

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Hey, I don't post much on here. I used to be a member on PaxilProgress. I thought I would start a topic to post some updates. I will post my original story and 3 year update below. The short version is that I took 10mg citalopram for situational depression (I had dropped out of college) for about 6 months and then I stopped. Ever since I stopped I went into hell and experienced some very debilitating symptoms. I am now just over 4 years off and I have been unable to work or live any kind of functional life during this time.

 

In my update 1 year ago I was feeling optimistic at the time since I have been going through a little bit of a good period. Now 1 year later I feel less optimistic about my future. Since last year I have noticed very little improvement.

 

The worst symptom for me is my inability to socialize which I fear will never recover. I always feel very withdrawn and act awkward in social situations. I have to think of what to say and try very hard to act normal. Before the drugs it just came naturally without thinking. This is a very strange symptom and I've not seen many other people mention it. It makes it very hard for me to have friendships with other people. I had a few periods early on where it went away almost completely for a week or so and it was as if someone turned a light back on in my brain. However, I have not really noticed any improvements in the past year.

 

Something that is also very strange is that when I go into social situations for any period of time, it will trigger many symptoms and I will start to feel very bad. I wouldn't even believe it, if it wasn't happening to me but something as simple as socializing can cause physical symptoms. The symptoms generally don't come on till a few hours later. I will often notice my mood being lower than normal then I will start to feel cold and shivery and my appetite and sex drive will go down very low. In general I just feel very bad and know something is wrong. It generally takes a few days (away from social situations) before I feel back to normal.

 

I also often get mouth ulcers. I have had about 2 or 3 a month on average for the past 4 years. They tend to go hand in hand with some pretty brutal fatigue where I just feel like I can barley lift my arms or do much of anything.

 

Sexual function is also reduced from normal and intermittent. Sometimes my sex drive will feel close to normal but most of the time it's a little low.

 

I have difficulty concentrating and find it hard to focus on things for any length of time.

 

I also still have many other symptoms that come and go. I get migraines frequently, my appetite is often quite low even at the best of times, I often have digestion problems and constipation regardless of my diet.

 

I feel like if I didn't have the social withdrawnness and symptoms triggered after a social situation then I could live a much more functional life despite the other problems. It is obvious to me that my brain is screwed up big time after going through all this for years. It's funny because I know if this had not happened to me and I was reading this then I probably wouldn't believe it was possible. I'd probably just think I am some crazy guy with social anxiety who is attributing it to drugs. I guess anyone who has been through this withdrawal knows how messed up the whole experience is.

 

In the early period of withdrawal I read a success story by LossLeader that kept me going. He recovered after 4 and a half years. Now that I'm approaching that point I feel like perhaps these remaining symptoms are permanent. I guess I will need to hang in there for another year or two and see if things change or not. I have thought as a very last resort I may try and go back on the drug. Many of you will think that it crazy. I think it is as well. I don't even know if I would have the guts to do it. At the same time I think maybe I am just dependent on those drugs now and perhaps it would help me live a normal life for a while. I guess I would only consider that option if I knew for sure that I was never going to get any better over time and I felt like my life was still severely limited. I'll have to wait and see how things go.

 

 

 

 

3 YEAR UPDATE:

 

Wow, I can't believe it's been 3 years already. I've never done one of these update posts until now because I didn't really have anything to report. This is the first time I've felt like I could post a genuinely positive update.

I still experience withdrawal symptoms everyday of my life. However, I have been doing better on average over the past 6 months than ever before. It's hard for me to know if it's healing or if it's me managing the symptoms better. I recently started using a 10,000 lux light box every morning and it has significantly helped me with some of my symptoms. It's really the only thing in withdrawal that has had any kind of positive impact. It increases my energy levels, significantly reduces the foggy headiness and prevents some other symptoms from being as intense. I tried sitting at a bright window but it didn't have the same effect. It's really quite difficult to get that kind of bright light naturally. I would definitely recommend trying it although you need to be careful as it can make me feel restless and a little hyper if I sit at it for too long.

The main symptoms that I still experience are social problems and what I call "black dot" periods.

The social symptoms have been there for years now. I find it difficult to relate and socialize normally like I could before. I feel withdrawn from people and find it difficult to have a conversation. It's like the social part of my brain is turned off. Using the light box has definitely helped with these symptoms a little but I still feel like I have a long way to go. I have had one or two times where the symptoms has gone completely but the rest of the time it is there constantly.

The "black dot" periods are called such because I started marking black dots on my calendar whenever I felt bad, just as a reminder when I was looking back over the months to see how I felt. I began to notice that whenever I go out into a social situation (generally it's me going to work), when I come home I begin to get symptoms that night and then the next day I can feel quite bad. The symptoms are: fever, increased thirst, constipation, increased foggy headiness, insomnia, decreased sex drive and eventually depression. They come on gradually as the hours pass, like someone his turning a dial and slowly the intensity of the symptoms increases.

My only way of understanding this is to think that somehow serotonin is being "used up" and slowly depleting. Perhaps my brain can't recycle it the way it's supposed to.

Besides from these symptoms I still get many others: fatigue, mouth ulcers, digestion problems, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, low sex drive...and many more. I tend not to worry as much about these symptoms because I feel like they don't disrupt my life as much as the main the two I listed. Those main 2 symptoms really prevent me from living a normal life, the rest of the symptoms are not constant and don't tend to cause me as much problems day to day. Obviously they still suck but I guess I'm just used to them by this point.

More recently I have a couple of periods of hyper sexuality and extreme horniness. I noticed it was shorty after being out sun bathing that I began to feel very horny and it lasted for a few weeks. In general I do believe that I can fully recover in this area now as I have experienced normal function on several occasions. It's hard to say though because every week I go to work and then afterwards my sex drive is lower for a few days, so it is constantly fluctuating based on other symptoms. Things have definitely been gradually improving over the years though and I have hope that it will continue to improve.

If you told me a year ago I would be doing as good as I am today I don't think I would have believed it. Despite all the symptoms I still have I am thankful that I am doing better now and feeling more stable.

I still have a long way to go. I have no doubt that I have brain damage from these medications. There's really no other explanation for all the symptoms I have had. I think it could take me another 3 years to fully recover or maybe longer considering how slow and gradual the progress has been so far, but if you told me right now I would be fully recovered at 6 years I would be so thankful. There have been many times even very recently where I have doubted and thought that this was permanent. Even now I don't know if I will ever fully recover. Some symptoms have improved, others have been constant for a long time. I really have no idea what the future holds for me and all I can do is try and get through the next year and see how I feel then. I do believe full recovery is possible, all I can do is wait and see if it happens.



Recently I posted my story on the guardian website, I will paste it here as I have never really posted a full story of what happened to me. It's quite long, feel free to read it if you wish. The short version is I took 10mg of citalopram for under 6 months total. After I discontinued it I began getting many withdrawal symptoms that have lasted for years.

 

 

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

 

I have suffered from depression 3-4 times in my life. I experienced anxiety problems at university which led me to avoiding assignments and then eventually dropping out. After dropping out I became depressed for a number of months, but eventually after seeking some talking therapy and more importantly starting to look more optimistically towards the future the depression lifted and I began to move forward in my life.

However this pattern began to repeat itself when I began a new course and the original anxiety problems returned. In general the depression would last 4-5 months and then go away on it's own.

After this occurred several times I ended up going to my doctor who was very persistent in trying to convince me to take an SSRI anti-depressant. I didn't really believe that my problems were caused by anything physical in my brain. I was quite sure that I was depressed because of psychological problems / my way of thinking. I felt like a massive failure and I felt hopeless towards the future because I couldn't control my anxiety and get myself to complete assignments and projects. When I started to feel hopeful again that was usually when the depression would lift.


However since this experience had happened several times and I didn't know how to deal with the anxiety I began to doubt my belief that it was all just psychological. Perhaps I do have something wrong in my brain. Maybe that's why I've been having these problems moving forward in my life. Perhaps I should listen to the doctor and trust his expertise. He told me these drugs were very safe and effective and I'd be feeling great in no time.


I resisted taking the drugs at first and requested talking therapy on the NHS. A few years prior I had requested this during my first period of depression and I was put on a 9 month waiting list. By the time the appointment arrived I was feeling better so I cancelled it. This time I got referred to some form of social worker who asked me a variety of questions most of which were related to illegal drug use. It was not helpful for me and I was not contact for any follow up.

After several weeks the depression became too much and I couldn’t face going into my part-time job. I had to visit my doctor to get a sick line. I felt like it didn't make much sense for me to be off sick but not taking the treatment that my doctor had prescribed so I began taking the medication.

For the first few weeks I had a number of somewhat minor side effects. I had some mouth ulcers, a but of nausea, headaches, dizziness and hyper sexuality (feeling very horny all the time). After a while those things seemed to die down and I felt more or less the same as I had before I started the medication.

I returned to my work and told them I was feeling much better, but that was a lie. The truth was I wasn't feeling better at all, I felt the exact same. However it was becoming more stressful for me to stay off work since they started saying they were going to get a nurse to interview me to determine if I was really ill. I just wanted to hide my head in the sand because of the depression. I thought it would be easier to just return to work and get back in my comfort zone rather than going along that road.


After about 4 months on the medication I had begun to feel better. I have no idea if the medication made any difference or not, since the pattern was very similar to the previous times I had been depressed and I got better without drugs. I had also began to email a CBT therapist on a regular basis and I felt like that was helping me to look more optimistically towards the future. The truth is I don't think the medication made much difference, but it's difficult to say.

I returned to my doctor and since I was feeling better I asked him about discontinuing the medication. Previously this and how long I would be on the medication was not discussed besides a vague "long term" when asked how long I would need to take it. I was concerned about long term effects and I thought it best to minimize the time on the drug especially if I wasn't experiencing any noticeable benefit. My doctor said that I could quit the drug cold turkey and that there would be no withdrawal effects since I was "on such a low dose". I was a little sceptical of this as I had heard of other people experiencing withdrawal symptoms. He said if I wanted I could cut the pill in half for a few weeks and then stop after that. I decided that was a more sensible approach.

Almost immediately upon discontinuing the drug completely I began to feel extremely unwell. I felt spaced out. I felt disconnected from people in social situations. I was very depressed, but it was quite different than any time I had experienced it before. I couldn't feel any emotions. I felt like half my brain was switched off. I was sure that it was a withdrawal symptom from discontinuing the medication.

I decided to wait for the next 8 weeks to see if it resolved on it's own. I figured that if it takes 6-8 weeks to go on the drugs then perhaps it's the same going off. However on the last day of week 8 I felt just as bad as on very first day. I had noticed no improvement and there was no sign that anything would change. It was one of the worst 8 week periods of my life.

At this point I was sure that the symptoms I was experiencing now were caused by the medication and not a return of the original condition as some might propose. I had started googling "SSRI Withdrawal" and I found a number of sites that recommend slow weaning. I now felt like the best course of action was to go back onto the medication, wait till I was feeling better and then wean down slowly over a period of months to try and minimize any problems.


I started the medication again after talking to my doctor. He didn't really believe in withdrawal from SSRIs but was happy for me to go back on the treatment. The first couple of weeks I didn't notice much difference. I still felt terrible. At the end of the third week I began to get impulsive suicidal thoughts, I would almost describe it as a 'depression attack'. It was one of the scariest experiences I've had in my life. It felt like someone else was implanting thoughts in my mind. Out of nowhere thoughts of harming myself would pop into my head and I would need to hold myself back from acting on them. I was genuinely afraid that I was going to harm myself or someone else.

This period seemed to pass after a day or so and I thought that it may have just been me adjusting to the medication and that now I might begin to feel better. However at the end of the fourth week I got another 'depression attack' this time worse. The impulsive suicidal thoughts were back along with a number of physical symptoms: sweating, fever, diarrhoea, nausea and insomnia. Something was seriously wrong. I immediately stopped the medication as I was terrified that I would harm myself if this continued.

In hindsight I believe I reinstated on too high a dose. Even though it was the same dose as I was taking previously (10mg), it had been over 2 months since I had stopped.

I made a doctors appointment but I saw a locum instead of my usual GP. He told me that suicidal thoughts were a reported side effect in my age group and that I should no longer take
the medication.

I was quite worried at this point that the original emotionless depression that I had experienced when I first stopped the medication would return, but for some reason it didn't. At first I felt a bit better, I didn't feel depressed and the suicidal thoughts were gone. However over the coming weeks and months I began to notice more and more symptoms that I had not had prior to taking the medication.

This is where the real problems for me began, in withdrawal.

One of the first things I noticed was sexual dysfunction. In the first weeks off my sexual function went completely to zero. My penis was completely numb. I couldn't feel any "good feelings" at all from stimulation. I couldn't get an erection and I couldn't orgasm.

I began to notice other problems as well. I began to get very angry at even little things. I could feel my mind racing with anger and if something set me off I would feel on edge for the rest of the day. I remember shouting and screaming at people in my work which is completely out of character for me.

I began to get regular mouth ulcers and migraine headaches. I had these when first going on the medication as well but they seemed to go away after the first few months. Now they were back on a much more regular basis than I would normally get them.

I also experienced fevers and flu like symptoms that would come on for short periods of time mostly at night and then be gone by the next morning, only to return again the following night. My face would feel very hot like I was burning up and I would be sweating a lot. I would also get increased thirst and very frequent urination (sometimes I remember going 20+ times a day). I even got tested for diabetes because of how bad these symptoms were.

I experienced regular periods of fatigue. It felt like I had taken something that said "may cause drowsiness" on the label. My entire body just felt drained of energy and it was a struggle just to get out of bed.

I also had many digestion problems. I would get periods of constipation one day and then the next it would be diarrhoea. I also had a complete lack of appetite for many months and only ate because I made myself.

I had insomnia that would come and go at for periods at a time. I also had violent nightmares and intrusive violent thoughts. Just like the suicidal thoughts, I would be thinking about something completely normal and then a very violent or graphic image would pop into my head. It was extremely disturbing.

I developed social problems. I could no longer relate to people or connect with them. I had to think about exactly what to say in conversations where as before it would just come naturally. I found myself acting strangely withdrawn in social situations. When I experienced depression before I would withdraw somewhat so this was almost like the social effects of depression without the low mood.

I would also experience regular acute periods of depression. This never happened to me prior to taking the medication. I would always become depressed for a period of months and then it would lift, but I would never get it for just a few days only for it to go away again.

I got regular headaches and dizziness. I would also get weird tingling feelings in my head at times (not electric shocks like others describe, more like pins and needles in my brain). As well as that I would sometimes experience the sensation that my mind was racing with thoughts
and I felt restless.

Almost everyday I experience a feeling of pressure in my head, like someone is firmly pressing on my temples. It can feel like I'm foggy or cloudy in the head and it can cause concentration problems. Sometimes if it got really bad I would feel myself completely spacing out and unable to do much of anything besides lie down.

I have experienced so many symptoms I am sure there are some I have missed out.


At first I don't think I realized just what was going on. I noticed many of the symptoms but I thought they would go away after a few weeks or months at worst. They didn't.

After about 6 months I had noticed some minor improvements but all of the symptoms were still there and they were extremely debilitating. The symptoms would not progress linearly like a more traditional illness. Instead they seemed to come and go at random. Some weeks I would be feeling a little better only for the next to feel worse again. Many of the symptoms remained constantly but simply varied in intensity week to week.

This pattern continued over the next several years.

Today I am approaching the 36 months mark since I stopped the medication. I still experience symptoms every day. Some of the symptoms have improved or reduced in intensity but others still remain. Over the last 3 years I have been unable to return to study or full-time work because of these symptoms. I have been completely disabled. I have no social life and have lost contact with all of my friends. I feel like I have been in a coma or a state stuck between life and death. I am very lucky to have a family that have supported me through this. If it wasn't for them I know for sure I would have taken my own life by this point.

Everyday of my life I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from ever taking that SSRI. It was the worst mistake I have ever made and I will regret it till the day I die.

I have no idea if I will ever fully recover or how long it will take. Some other members of SSRI support groups have taken many years to recover after bad withdrawal experiences, but they give me hope that I too may eventually recover.

I would not recommend ever taking an anti-depressant. I would not give these drugs to my worst enemy.


My situation would still be bad if doctors had warned me of this potential harm before taking the treatment, but what makes it worse is that they didn't. They aren't even aware of it. They think me and the thousands of other people who have experienced this are lying or delusional or some combination of both. Doctors do not listen to patients experiences. I feel like I have been left for dead by medicine. Withdrawal symptoms from these drugs need much further study.


Another thing that concerns me is that many times the withdrawal symptoms can be misinterpreted by both doctors and the patients themselves as the original condition returning. Many of the withdrawal symptoms can mimic depression or anxiety. Patients see how bad they feel when the stop their medication and use that to reinforce the belief that the drugs are helping them to treat an underlying illness. The reality may be that they are dependent on the drugs and when they stop them they enter withdrawal. What can make this worse is that it seems quite common for withdrawal symptoms to be delayed (sometimes by months) after stopping the medication.

I often wonder how many positive reports of SSRI use may be the patient treating the drug dependence rather than any illness. I tend to take those positive stories with a grain of salt unless they have been off the drugs for a year or more and are continuing to do well.


I hope my story has been informative to you. I don't know what can be done about these drugs. If you are on them, don't stop suddenly whatever you do. The people who I've read about who have had the most success have weaned down very slowly (over 4 years sometimes!). That seems to be the best approach for remaining functional while coming off them. I would not go cold turkey unless you want to go to hell and back. If you a considering taking them, run for your life. I would seriously suggest finding alternative ways to deal with depression.

Edited by scallywag
tags

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Hello Andy013 and sorry to hear about your ongoing problems.  I understand your thoughts about going back on medication, like you I wonder myself if that is the only way to feel "normal".   Just over a year completely off Seroxat and things are just not getting better, if anything worse.   This last month or so insomnia has become a massive problem.   Night after night I just want to sleep, but lie there, my body pulsating and sweating.  I went away a few days recently and it was ruined by lack of sleep.  It must be really discouraging for you after being off AD's for over 4 years,  and concerns me that my symptoms will also drag on for years.

 

I also feel really withdrawn and lack the motivation to do things.   I don't know if what I feel is a result of years on seroxat, or if I used to be like this before.  I don't know how to face the rest of my life at all.  I couldn't face going back on seroxat after all I went through to get off it.  I can't advise you about if things will get better, as you are longer off them than I am.  Perhaps other people can do that. It is all so dispiriting.   I have tried all sorts to sleep but nothing working so far.  

 

I know how you must feel as I too wonder if these feelings are permanent.  I don't like being me and feeling like this at all.

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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  • Administrator

Welcome, andy.

 

When you felt sexual after sunbathing, did you feel it was your body being healthy?

 

If so, you might look into vitamin D supplementation -- your body make vitamin D from sunlight and it's a building block for other hormones. Start with a very low dose and see how you do.

 

Have you looked into possible causes of the mouth ulcers? That also suggests a vitamin or nutrient deficiency. You may wish to start a topic in the Symptoms and Self-Care forum http://tinyurl.com/3hq949zto discuss this.

 

How is your sleep?

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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Because of my nerve pain I did not read through your entire post - but I read your 4 year update.  this is an important thread that needs to be read by people on this forum - just because this brave soul has endured this hell for 4 years and is still around to talk about it.

 

Hang in there, I'm at 2 years and still far off.

 

I just wanted to let you know I'm grateful for your 4 year update and hope that you'll fully recover by this time next year.

 

Love and hugs.

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Hey thanks for the replies. I just want to say that I've been feeling a bit down lately so I may have came across a bit negative in my last post. I have definitely improved since 2 years ago. I feel better physically overall. Alexander, I too used to get insomnia at times and for the most part I sleep fine now. I think I was just hoping to be at least living a functional life at this point.

 

Alto, yea, I have been experimenting a little with vitamin D since then. I can't take it as an oral supplement as I have quite a severe negative reaction even at low doses but I did manage to find a cream that you can rub on and absorb through your skin. I don't seem to get the negative reaction that way (just as I don't from the sun) and I've had a little success with it with some improvements but it is a bit early to say at this point.

 

I'm certain the mouth ulcers are caused by the SSRI withdrawal. When I started the drug within a few days I already had ulcers inside my lip and on my tongue (very very rare for me). My doctor told me to keep taking it so I did. When I stopped the drug I continued to get them on a regular basis. I often get them when other symptoms are flaring up. I guess it is quite uncommon though.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Hi Andy,

 

I finished your entire post straight as it is both heartbreaking and informative! You have been so strong enduring for these years and still able to write a very comprehensive and logical update! I admire you!

 

I feel all your pain and suffering as I have been experiencing them myself for years even I never tried to stop the meds and have been on a ridiculous slow tapering!

 

My experience would suggest strongly NO Reinstete the citolapram. This drug is very similar to Lexopro which threw me to a 10times level of damage after dose increase from 2.7 to 4.5mg. I also heard many others about severe negative reactions to reinstate this drug even after a short time off or lower dose. No one knows how these drugs do in our system, most probably the situation will be different from years ago when you were on it the first time. It's a huge risk to take it again in my opinion even everyone is different.

 

I hope your improvement continue in a faster pace. I heard from some survivors that the healing can be sudden, once you have one symptom gone, the others just follow quickly like a miracle when it's the right time.

 

I will find the post of multi successful stories some of the members gathered here and send to you for encouragement. I have to read them frequently to keep the hope and continue pushing through.

 

Love and hugs

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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I also feel your pain wow what an update i think you have ticked every box in which we have been affected ...definitely can relate to everything for sure.

 

I have thought as a very last resort I may try and go back on the drug.

Andy dont go there!...but i think you know that already.

 

Hang in there better days are yet to come.

Thanks for posting your story.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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Hey thanks for the replies. I just want to say that I've been feeling a bit down lately so I may have came across a bit negative in my last post. I have definitely improved since 2 years ago. I feel better physically overall. Alexander, I too used to get insomnia at times and for the most part I sleep fine now. I think I was just hoping to be at least living a functional life at this point.

 

Alto, yea, I have been experimenting a little with vitamin D since then. I can't take it as an oral supplement as I have quite a severe negative reaction even at low doses but I did manage to find a cream that you can rub on and absorb through your skin. I don't seem to get the negative reaction that way (just as I don't from the sun) and I've had a little success with it with some improvements but it is a bit early to say at this point.

 

I'm certain the mouth ulcers are caused by the SSRI withdrawal. When I started the drug within a few days I already had ulcers inside my lip and on my tongue (very very rare for me). My doctor told me to keep taking it so I did. When I stopped the drug I continued to get them on a regular basis. I often get them when other symptoms are flaring up. I guess it is quite uncommon though.

 

I too was on meds for only a short time and then came off of them to experience profound withdrawals.  I had a diverse and complicated medication use history before this last time (I was put on meds at a young age, stopped, then again for 5 years, then stopped) but after all that I was just fine.  It was only this last time when I tried to just get through a mild depression for 5 months that I got brain damage :(  I could have been OK and lived a good life with a nice job, and a nice life - if I hadn't gone back :( 

 

I think that I've read that it has taken some people as long as 9-10 years to fully recover - so don't count yourself out just yet.  It can take a long time for nerves to heal from the damage caused by this medication - but it does happen.   Heck look at the guy from "A beautiful mind", it took him decades to recover from his neuroloeptics and insulin shock therapy, but even he recovered enough to teach at Princeton.

 

There's hope out there, definitely keep in touch!!!

 

Love and hugs.

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  • Administrator

andy, how is your diet? Are you eating lots of fresh green vegetables and some fresh fruit?

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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Yea, I eat lots of broccoli and kale and plenty of fruit as well.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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  • Administrator

I would do some surfing to see what the mouth ulcers are about, such as http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02954/Canker-Sores.html

 

If it's a sensitivity to gluten or other food, your health in general could be affected.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

More and more I feel hope is lost recently. I think this is the first time during the past 4 years where I have genuinely felt like things are not going to improve. Up till now I always told myself that things would be better. I read success stories of people at 4 and 5 years who were recovered and it kept me going. I told myself to just get through these bad years and eventually I will come out the other side and be living again. But it is very difficult to keep having hope the more time goes by. Some of my worst symptoms have shown very little improvement in the past 2 years.

 

If things remain as they are for me then my future does not look good at all. I cannot socialize with people whatsoever. I act very withdrawn and weird. It is so crushing to me that I cannot relate to others and form bonds the way I used to. I feel so isolated and alone and I think I always will be. I will never have a relationship. I don't really care much about sex, but I crave approval and acceptance more than anything. I don't see how I can live my life with this symptom if it does not improve. Just living as a loner my whole life seems very depressing.

 

Even if I accept the social problems I cannot even work or live because of the other problems. Simply going into a social situation for a few days leaves me feeling quite depressed and it takes days for me tor recover. I also frequently get fatigue and focus problems that make it difficult to do anything worthwhile.

 

My life over the past 4 years has been very unfulfilling. I don't see how I can optimistically look forward to the next years knowing that things will probably stay the same. This is not a life for anyone. I have no friends and no career. I just cling on to life, merely existing. What is the point in living if you feel **** all the time?

 

I am almost certain that taking an SSRI again would make me much much worse, but at the same time part of me thinks I need to try it because there is a small chance it would help me to function better than I can today. Even if I only got 1 month of normal functioning and then I went mad I think it would be worth it just to have a taste of real life again. I have already lost everything so I really have nothing to lose.  I guess I would rather take this risk and end up committing suicide than just live the way I am today for the rest of my life. If I had know back when I was on the drugs that this would last so long I never would have stopped them in the first place.

 

I think most people probably do recover from these drugs after 3-4 years. Many symptoms I had in the early years are gone, and perhaps if the symptoms that still remain didn't affect my life so much I would be able to live a functional life. Maybe I just got very unlucky in the regard.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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More and more I feel hope is lost recently. I think this is the first time during the past 4 years where I have genuinely felt like things are not going to improve. Up till now I always told myself that things would be better. I read success stories of people at 4 and 5 years who were recovered and it kept me going. I told myself to just get through these bad years and eventually I will come out the other side and be living again. But it is very difficult to keep having hope the more time goes by. Some of my worst symptoms have shown very little improvement in the past 2 years.

 

If things remain as they are for me then my future does not look good at all. I cannot socialize with people whatsoever. I act very withdrawn and weird. It is so crushing to me that I cannot relate to others and form bonds the way I used to. I feel so isolated and alone and I think I always will be. I will never have a relationship. I don't really care much about sex, but I crave approval and acceptance more than anything. I don't see how I can live my life with this symptom if it does not improve. Just living as a loner my whole life seems very depressing.

 

Even if I accept the social problems I cannot even work or live because of the other problems. Simply going into a social situation for a few days leaves me feeling quite depressed and it takes days for me tor recover. I also frequently get fatigue and focus problems that make it difficult to do anything worthwhile.

 

My life over the past 4 years has been very unfulfilling. I don't see how I can optimistically look forward to the next years knowing that things will probably stay the same. This is not a life for anyone. I have no friends and no career. I just cling on to life, merely existing. What is the point in living if you feel **** all the time?

 

I am almost certain that taking an SSRI again would make me much much worse, but at the same time part of me thinks I need to try it because there is a small chance it would help me to function better than I can today. Even if I only got 1 month of normal functioning and then I went mad I think it would be worth it just to have a taste of real life again. I have already lost everything so I really have nothing to lose.  I guess I would rather take this risk and end up committing suicide than just live the way I am today for the rest of my life. If I had know back when I was on the drugs that this would last so long I never would have stopped them in the first place.

 

I think most people probably do recover from these drugs after 3-4 years. Many symptoms I had in the early years are gone, and perhaps if the symptoms that still remain didn't affect my life so much I would be able to live a functional life. Maybe I just got very unlucky in the regard.

 

 

I appreciate your message, I read every word of it and related to much of what you've stated.

 

I wouldn't recommend going back on meds - but if you are thinking of going that way I'll make a suggestion based on my experience.  Perhaps you may wish to try adderall or another stimulant before you try an SSRI.  I was able to function very well with severe and debilitating symptoms with adderall.  Yes you will build tolerance and you will have a hell of a time getting off - but if you're on the edge between an SSRI and another drug, I'd definitely go for a stimulant (amphetamine derived - so either adderall or riddalin).  I found 5-15mg xr to be quite beneficial and incredible.  I stopped about a  year ago, because I knew it was terrible for me to take it long term (I was on it for 7 years) - but while I was on it I functioned pretty well.  I've written about adderall on this website before - and caution its use, but I think it's much healthier to take a stimulant than it is to take an SSRI.

 

Just a thought.

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There is no way I would take any other drug. The only reason I would take citalopram is because I believe I could be dependent on it, and it would be a last resort at that.

 

I have had some interesting experiences with vitamin D. A while ago a paper was published that showed that vitamin D actually increases the enzyme that makes serotonin in your brain, effectively increasing serotonin. Whether or not that is a good thing for me, I don't know. Any time I take vitamin D as an oral supplement I have an extremely negative reaction. I can become very anxious, experience depersonalization, sensitivity to light / tunnel vision as well as depression and in general just not feeling good at all.  However, when I sit in the sun for 30-40 minutes then I actually get a benefit. My sex drive goes up significantly and I feel like my mood is improved as well as my social function. I have tried using a vitamin D cream that absorbs through the skin and I experience the same effects as sitting out in the sun, even at high doses I don't get the negative reaction that I get from an oral vitamin D supplement.

 

Recently, I have been eating salmon as a way to increase my vitamin D and I also get some benefits from that. For some reason it doesn't cause the negative reaction that the oral supplements do. However I have also experienced some new weird negative symptoms from it. When I eat the salmon I become hypersexual! If anyone has PSSD I recommend you try eating salmon and see what happens. I'm not sure if tinned salmon would work, I buy the fresh smoked flakes and just eat them out the packet. At first my sex drive being very high is a welcome improvement, but after a few days it can become annoying because I cannot focus on anything and my balls start aching :o. It doesn't matter how much I relieve myself I still feel extremely horny.

 

As well as the sex drive changes I also start burning up and feeling like I have a mild fever. This is quite unpleasant and I found myself standing in cold showers often to try and cool down. I also start to feel quite nauseous. So overall it is quite a negative experience. However sometimes I would welcome it as it can be better than feeling depressed with a very low sex drive etc. and I do notice benefits in the from of my mood and social function. 

 

It is also possible that the omega 3 or something else in the salmon is responsible for some of these effects. I do know that when I tried to take omega 3 before as a supplement it just made me feel restless like my mind was racing. I'm going to continue to experiment with the salmon and vitmain D cream to try and see if I can find a sweet spot.

 

Has anyone else tried taking vitamin D or had effects from the sun / salmon? What was your experience like?

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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There is no way I would take any other drug. The only reason I would take citalopram is because I believe I could be dependent on it, and it would be a last resort at that.

 

I have had some interesting experiences with vitamin D. A while ago a paper was published that showed that vitamin D actually increases the enzyme that makes serotonin in your brain, effectively increasing serotonin. Whether or not that is a good thing for me, I don't know. Any time I take vitamin D as an oral supplement I have an extremely negative reaction. I can become very anxious, experience depersonalization, sensitivity to light / tunnel vision as well as depression and in general just not feeling good at all.  However, when I sit in the sun for 30-40 minutes then I actually get a benefit. My sex drive goes up significantly and I feel like my mood is improved as well as my social function. I have tried using a vitamin D cream that absorbs through the skin and I experience the same effects as sitting out in the sun, even at high doses I don't get the negative reaction that I get from an oral vitamin D supplement.

 

Recently, I have been eating salmon as a way to increase my vitamin D and I also get some benefits from that. For some reason it doesn't cause the negative reaction that the oral supplements do. However I have also experienced some new weird negative symptoms from it. When I eat the salmon I become hypersexual! If anyone has PSSD I recommend you try eating salmon and see what happens. I'm not sure if tinned salmon would work, I buy the fresh smoked flakes and just eat them out the packet. At first my sex drive being very high is a welcome improvement, but after a few days it can become annoying because I cannot focus on anything and my balls start aching :o. It doesn't matter how much I relieve myself I still feel extremely horny.

 

As well as the sex drive changes I also start burning up and feeling like I have a mild fever. This is quite unpleasant and I found myself standing in cold showers often to try and cool down. I also start to feel quite nauseous. So overall it is quite a negative experience. However sometimes I would welcome it as it can be better than feeling depressed with a very low sex drive etc. and I do notice benefits in the from of my mood and social function. 

 

It is also possible that the omega 3 or something else in the salmon is responsible for some of these effects. I do know that when I tried to take omega 3 before as a supplement it just made me feel restless like my mind was racing. I'm going to continue to experiment with the salmon and vitmain D cream to try and see if I can find a sweet spot.

 

Has anyone else tried taking vitamin D or had effects from the sun / salmon? What was your experience like?

 

The smoked salmon has a huge number of unknown preservatives in it - my bet is that it's one of those chemicals that's doing what it's doing to you rather than the salmon itself.

 

I eat a lot of wild caught trout, which are very closely related to salmon and for all intents and purposes, basically the same thing - and have not experienced any of the things you're experiencing.

 

Have you tried eating fresh salmon rather than smoked salmon?

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Yeah, I get the same effects from eating fresh salmon or rubbing vitamin D cream on my skin / sitting out in the sun. With the salmon it is a little more intense but I think that is just to with the quantity of vitamin D I am getting. I wouldn't expect everyone to have the same reaction to me. Before withdrawal I used to take vitamin D supplements all the time and I could eat salmon with no effect. It is clear my brain is messed up in a big way.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Yeah, I get the same effects from eating fresh salmon or rubbing vitamin D cream on my skin / sitting out in the sun. With the salmon it is a little more intense but I think that is just to with the quantity of vitamin D I am getting. I wouldn't expect everyone to have the same reaction to me. Before withdrawal I used to take vitamin D supplements all the time and I could eat salmon with no effect. It is clear my brain is messed up in a big way.

 

Yeah I know what you mean about feeling like the brain has been changed in a fundamental way.

 

I recall in one of your earlier posts that your major symptoms right now are difficulties in communicating with other people (i'm guessign this is congnitive difficulties, memory, emotion, etc).

 

Could you please be a little bit more specific about the symptoms you are still having after all of this time?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Andy,

 

I was reading your post about fatigue in the symptoms section and was wondering what your drug history was, usually members have this written in their signature. It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

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

 

I also found another topic about fatigue:

 

severe fatigue - Surviving Antidepressants

I'm going to merge the two topics together so all the information will be in one thread.

 

Please stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Andy,

 

I've read through some of your posts and as somebody who feels quite socially anxious in a pretty much the same way you describe I was wondering if you ever tried addressing it with some sort of talk therapy?

 

It has helped me a lot to get to the root causes of why I feel so anxious and why social interactions deplete me or over overstimulate me which leads to flaring up of other symptoms or even causes physical symptoms. The thing is that we get kind of sensitised and that one bad experience pushes us on the similar track for future interactions. I don't think this can be "cured" with the passage of time. Even if it originally had to do with how your CNS was affected by the drug use, I have a feeling that it has now morphed into something else.

 

In any case, regardless of its origin, taking drugs doesn't look like a good idea for treating social anxiety. This calls for efforts to understand who we are and how we interact with others and why in more detail...

 

Take care,

Bubble 

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Andy,

 

I'm so sorry you are still suffering after 4 years. You said you feel completely disabled but, having read your entire thread, captivated from start to finish, I find the fluidity with which you express your thoughts and concepts to be anything BUT dysfunctional. It is apparent to me you are very hard on yourself, very self-critical. Do you think that your perception of your social awkwardness could be just that? Your perception? Do people run away from you like their hair is on fire? I doubt that. I've never met you and I already like you. Reading your thread, for me, was like sitting in front of a fire with a glass of wine, talking to a best friend. You can't possibly be the social outcast you refer to in the first person, even though you perceive yourself to be.

 

You suffered from depression before the SSRI, which is why you went on Citalopram in the first place. I hear a lot of that depression in your writing. Citalopram did not cure your depression. Most medication doesn't. The best one can expect of an SSRI is a numbing blunting effect. The depression is still there, you just don't give a sh*t.

 

As a result of taking the SSRI, you have lingering symptoms today, some of which were original side effects you experienced when you first started taking the drug, like mouth ulcers and decreased libido. I like the way you are addressing your current symptoms by experimenting with possible solutions, peeling off layers of the symptoms onion, one by one. You haven't given up hope and that is a good thing.

 

It is clear that the author of this thread, you Andy, have a lot to offer someone who is as honest and sensitive and compassionate as you are. Even the seemingly most outgoing people you meet have difficulty socializing at parties or in the workplace without breaking out in huge perspiration pits. You are young and will eventually meet one person who just "clicks" with you and all your quirks. You will have a relationship and will gain self-confidence, as a result. Social situations like the workplace and parties will no longer be harrowing experiences. I am not trivializing your perception of your social awkwardness. I'm 62 years old. I've been in corporate banking management for 30 years, giving speeches all over the US in front of hundreds of people. I'm just telling you the way life usually unfolds for all of us socially awkward types.

 

I guess this is a long-winded way of telling you I like you and that your current dismal outlook about your future most likely will not turn out the way you now forecast.

 

I'm not a Pollyanna who thinks life is a beautiful crystal menagerie. It's got a lot of ugly jagged chards mixed in with pretty glass. You've come across quite a few of them already in your young life, moreso than most people your age, which gives you a leg up in making wiser choices as life unfolds and gives you options.

 

You eventually will heal from withdrawal 100%. The rest of your life will then be up to you. You can choose to live the life of a monk or a monkey with lots of other monkeys. Whatever you want. You just don't feel well right now because you're still healing. Push yourself when you feel like it. Rest when you feel poorly. Give yourself all the time you need to recover.

 

You'll get there, Andy. Love, Pug

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PS - Please don't even consider going back on Citalopram or any other psyche drug. Based on your history, it will not bode well for you. These drugs do not agree with many people, and you are one of them. Going back on Citalopram so that you can have one month of normality before you jump off a cliff is not the way it will go for you. You will kindle with the first dose and fry your brain like a black marshmallow over an open fire. Don't even consider this as an "option."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Over 4 years ago I went cold turkey off of citalopram after having been on it for 6 months. Unfortunately for me, even now at 50 months off I still have many withdrawal symptoms and cannot live a normal life. More and more I have been thinking about reinstating the drug as a last resort. I know there is a chance something could go terribly wrong and I could be made much worse. That would almost certainly lead to me committing suicide. Yet, I feel like this is a risk worth taking as there is also a chance I could feel better and back to normal. My life as it is now is not really worth living. The only reason I have lasted this long is because I kept telling myself that one day it will get better and I will recover. I no longer believe that. Many symptoms I had in the first couple of years are gone now, but the remaining symptoms have not really improved in many years. I find it very unlikely that over the next year or two anything will improve.

 

I am wondering what your opinions are on this. The people here are really some of the only ones who can understand my situation.

 

I have tried pretty much everything else I can think of. I am just so tired of living in this hell every day. Everyone is going to die someday, isn't it worth the risk rather than sitting here suffering for many more years? When I started the drugs I was a naive 23 year old who has just dropped out of college. Now I'm a cynical 28 year old with grey hair. This experience has destroyed me. Everyone has a breaking point and I think I'm getting close to mine. If I'd know this would happen I never would have stopped the drugs in the first place. The biggest mistake I ever made was starting those drugs. The second biggest was stopping them. Maybe my brain is just dependent on them now.

 

I'm not sure if anyone else has ever reinstated this far out. If I do it I will try and come back here and post an update to let you guys know what happened.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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Have you tried anything natural? Like Sam-e or 5htp?

 

When I recently increased my dose I felt like I was in hell- it was horrible - but I am also sensitized to the medication now - 4 years maybe long enough??

 

 

What are your symptoms?

 

*Currently at 3.3mg off my 10mg pill of Paxil (they actually weigh 12.5mg) so I’m around 7.4 mg 

*No other supplements or vitamins 

*Taper schedule in the pdf 

Blank.pdf

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-5vShtJtwAOGA30OxIP87steLmMdFzD29F0fzAPD564

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  • Moderator

Hey Andy--  I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble.  Reinstatement is a totally personal decision and as you already know may or may not work.  You've probably already read it, but our thread on reinstatement may have some helpful information.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms 

 

As for the other alternative, this board does not consider suicide as a viable option and suggests that if you are considering this course of action that you get face to face help as we are not equipped to handle these sorts of situations.

 

Help for those who are feeling desperate or suicidal.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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I feel the same. Im willing to reinstate or start up any med for that matter just to ease my symptoms. Im 37 months off and still in acute withdrawal with a long list of symptoms. Im turning 27 soon and i have no life. My life has been destroyed and i too wish that i never stopped the drug

 

What symptoms do you still experience?

Was on Citalopram 20mg since Feb 2008 - switched to Paxil 20mg in August 2010

Tapered way too fast in April 2012 by skipping days. Taper completed in 6 weeks

Tried prozac 20mg for 3 days - felt spaced out, not better.

Tried 30mg Cymbalta for 2 days. SEVERE ADVERSE REACTION

Antidepressant free since 14 August 2012

Birth control on and off during this time - Last taken 18 June 2017 - Morning after pill 

Started mainly using 0.5mg Xanax beginning 2016 for severe panic attacks and anxiety due to trauma

Xanax on and off never more than 0.5mg at a time, never taking it 3 days in a row - used sparingly 

 

6 Years antidepressant free - Still in severe withdrawal with over 60 symptoms

Severe setback started May 2018 with no let up to date. Developed many new symptoms like tremors, inner vibrations, insomnia, visual distortions and dr/dp are 100x worse, i have severe sensitivity to movement, My dizziness and vertigo got worse and it now feels like im constantly rocking on a boat, my anxiety is sky high, suicidal idiation is back, i feel extremely brain damaged 

 

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  • Moderator

Andy013 and NoMeaning25-- It is impossible for us to offer any constructive advise if we can't see what your background is.  The moderation staff does not have the time to dig back trough all your scattered posts to try and determine what drugs you took and when and how you came off of them.  All of this information is very important to determining how you should proceed.  If you won't help us, we can't hep you.  Please fill out a signature block;

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

We all want to help and sympathize with each other but endless rehashing and listing of symptoms only serves to focus on the negative aspects of WD and reinforce them.  When a fellow member is really hurting we need to bring them out of themselves and break the self pity cycle.  This is a long painful process, but we all have to dig deep and pull up every drop of inner strength.  Even when we feel that there isn't a drop left we have to wring the sponge a little harder and make it through one minute at a time and let each minute do its little bit of healing.  Time, and time alone, is the key.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Over 4 years ago I went cold turkey off of citalopram after having been on it for 6 months. Unfortunately for me, even now at 50 months off I still have many withdrawal symptoms and cannot live a normal life. More and more I have been thinking about reinstating the drug as a last resort. I know there is a chance something could go terribly wrong and I could be made much worse. That would almost certainly lead to me committing suicide. Yet, I feel like this is a risk worth taking as there is also a chance I could feel better and back to normal. My life as it is now is not really worth living. The only reason I have lasted this long is because I kept telling myself that one day it will get better and I will recover. I no longer believe that. Many symptoms I had in the first couple of years are gone now, but the remaining symptoms have not really improved in many years. I find it very unlikely that over the next year or two anything will improve.

 

I am wondering what your opinions are on this. The people here are really some of the only ones who can understand my situation.

 

I have tried pretty much everything else I can think of. I am just so tired of living in this hell every day. Everyone is going to die someday, isn't it worth the risk rather than sitting here suffering for many more years? When I started the drugs I was a naive 23 year old who has just dropped out of college. Now I'm a cynical 28 year old with grey hair. This experience has destroyed me. Everyone has a breaking point and I think I'm getting close to mine. If I'd know this would happen I never would have stopped the drugs in the first place. The biggest mistake I ever made was starting those drugs. The second biggest was stopping them. Maybe my brain is just dependent on them now.

 

I'm not sure if anyone else has ever reinstated this far out. If I do it I will try and come back here and post an update to let you guys know what happened.

So sorry you are still suffering this far out. Am 38 months out and still have some problems and I know how hard it is to endure for so long. You are a very young man with decades ahead of you one day this will be a bad memory

Someone once posted that they didn't recover until they identified and avoided their triggers. Obvious ones like alcohol and sugar others vary. Look on the food thread below. I would still be in hell if I indulged in trigger foods. Don't give up things can turn around quite quickly when you remove some of the barriers to healing. Take care

Paxil 10mg 21/2 years to June 2012 after a 2 month taper

 

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Due to personal reasons i cannot disclose my drug history

Andy013 and NoMeaning25-- It is impossible for us to offer any constructive advise if we can't see what your background is. The moderation staff does not have the time to dig back trough all your scattered posts to try and determine what drugs you took and when and how you came off of them. All of this information is very important to determining how you should proceed. If you won't help us, we can't hep you. Please fill out a signature block;

 

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

[/size]

We all want to help and sympathize with each other but endless rehashing and listing of symptoms only serves to focus on the negative aspects of WD and reinforce them. When a fellow member is really hurting we need to bring them out of themselves and break the self pity cycle. This is a long painful process, but we all have to dig deep and pull up every drop of inner strength. Even when we feel that there isn't a drop left we have to wring the sponge a little harder and make it through one minute at a time and let each minute do its little bit of healing. Time, and time alone, is the key.

Was on Citalopram 20mg since Feb 2008 - switched to Paxil 20mg in August 2010

Tapered way too fast in April 2012 by skipping days. Taper completed in 6 weeks

Tried prozac 20mg for 3 days - felt spaced out, not better.

Tried 30mg Cymbalta for 2 days. SEVERE ADVERSE REACTION

Antidepressant free since 14 August 2012

Birth control on and off during this time - Last taken 18 June 2017 - Morning after pill 

Started mainly using 0.5mg Xanax beginning 2016 for severe panic attacks and anxiety due to trauma

Xanax on and off never more than 0.5mg at a time, never taking it 3 days in a row - used sparingly 

 

6 Years antidepressant free - Still in severe withdrawal with over 60 symptoms

Severe setback started May 2018 with no let up to date. Developed many new symptoms like tremors, inner vibrations, insomnia, visual distortions and dr/dp are 100x worse, i have severe sensitivity to movement, My dizziness and vertigo got worse and it now feels like im constantly rocking on a boat, my anxiety is sky high, suicidal idiation is back, i feel extremely brain damaged 

 

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Hi, thanks for all the replies.

 

One of the worst symptoms is feeling very withdrawn in social situations and being unable to relate to people the way I could before. When I feel depressed I tend to become like this, but in withdrawal it has just persisted 24/7 even when my mood is fine. I act extremely awkward and weird even around people I know well. I don't smile or do any "normal" social behaviours. I have to think and consciously do everything myself. I never had this problem before. It is very frustrating because I can't really explain it any differently and I haven't found many others with this problem.

 

I also experience extreme stress intolerance. More specifically, when I go into social situations during the day then later on in the evening I will begin to notice many symptoms appearing. I start to feel very foggy headed, my body temperature goes down, my sex drive goes down (although it is quite low most of the time anyway), my appetite goes down and eventually I start to become depressed. I have only noticed these symptoms being triggered by social situations. It is very unusual again to have physical symptoms like this just because I was out in work chatting briefly to people, but it is very real and has been a consistent pattern for me now for many years.

 

I also have PSSD. In general my sex drive is lower than normal and my sexual function is reduced. I have somewhat lucky in this area because I still have partial function but it is definitely not normal at all.

 

I also experience some pretty bad fatigue quite often that makes it difficult to do anything. Even playing video games and exerting any kind of mental effort is difficult.

 

I also have other more minor symptoms like low appetite, digestion problems, headaches, dizziness, insomnia and mouth ulcers.

 

 

The worst symptoms by far are the social issues and the symptoms triggered by social interaction. It prevents me from working or studying because after just 2 days in work I normally feel very depressed and I need 3-4 days to fully recover. It's weird because I have had times where I've been on holiday and I actually feel close to normal, but then I need to return to work and I start to feel terrible again.

 

I know some people will read these symptoms and be sceptical. They might believe I have social anxiety or something else. It's unfortunate but there is nothing I can say to those people that will convince them. I was never someone who was super confident in social situations, but I would at least smile and be friendly and I could build friendships with co-workers etc. Now I can't do any of that. It is like a constant depression in that part of my brain. There is no other way to describe it.

 

 

brassmonkey, there are other reasons people commit suicide other than depression. I wouldn't tell a terminally ill person to phone the good samaritans because they want to kill themselves. Talking to someone face to face will not do anything to help my situation. I have brain damage.

 

As far as my background. I dropped out of college and felt depressed. My doctor heavily persuaded me to take an SSRI. I took it for about 6 months and then stopped cold turkey. Once I stopped I went into this horrible withdrawal that has persisted for many years. I was much worse in the first 2-3 years. Things gradually got better but the social withdrawnness and the rest of the symptoms I listed have remained.

 

At the moment I am experimenting somewhat with supplements. I have noticed that taking vitamin D can give me benefits at times. My sex drive went crazy high when I first took it, but I also can get more depression and feel worse while taking it so I'm still uncertain of it's overall effect. I tried some tryptophan a short time ago but never really noticed any difference. I also tried Omega 3 but it just made me feel like my mind was racing. I will probably try everything I can think of before an SSRI as that is a last resort. Perhaps if I could somehow find a supplement that helped me enough to function I would settle for that.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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I relate to how difficult this in socially..i think I've experienced what you've described a lot and it's an incredibly painful way to live. Many well meaning people around me say stuff like 'don't worry what people think of you', or 'you are a nice person you should be confident'..thinking it's something in my thought and behaviour pattern that is leading to social isolation, but it's not that at all. I think it's impossible for someone who has never experienced these drugs to understand what this is like.

 

Hope you find something to help!

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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Thank you for sharing your experience LoveandLight! I really appreciate hearing of other people who have experienced the same thing as me. I haven't really found many people at all that understand. I even experience it around my own family! I actually think if I only had the social problems alone then I would just accept it, at least for a while, and just try to live and enjoy other aspects of life. However, because I often feel very depressed and get worn down just by being in social environments, it makes it very difficult to work, study or do anything else. Do you experience it all the time or do you have periods where you feel normal in this area?

 

Something that is really crazy is that around 18 months off of the drugs I took a very high dose of vitamin D. It triggered a very negative reaction. I got an extremely bad fever. I was literally sitting in a bath of ice water. I also had diarrhoea and nausea and just felt very bad. I think it may have been serotonin syndrome. After a week the fever began to go down but then I started to feel very depressed. This depression lasted for about a month, I just felt terrible. However, after that month the depression began to go away and I slowly noticed myself feeling better and better. For the next 2 weeks I basically felt completely normal. My sex drive was normal. My social function was normal. I was smiling and laughing and friendly. This made me certain that these problems were 100% real and caused by something being messed up in my brain. After those 2 weeks I began to slowly feel foggy headed again and back to my "withdrawal norm", social function reduced, sex drive reduced etc. At the time I figured if I just waited eventually I would feel just like I did back then, but time has went by and the improvements haven't came.

 

I'm hesitant to take a large dose of vitamin D again because the negative effects weren't really worth it, but I have been experimenting a little with lower doses. It is actually that experience that has made me think about taking an SSRI. That experience made me feel like it is possible for me to feel better. That part of my brain isn't gone it's just disconnected for now.

December 2010: 10mg Citalopram

April 2011: 5mg for 2 weeks then cold turkey withdrawal - Extremely bad depression / no emotions

June 2011: Reinstated 10mg - After 3 weeks started getting impulsive suicidal thoughts

July 2011: Cold turkey - Withdrawal hell begins...

 

January 2021: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram as last resort

February 2021: 0.2mg Citalopram for 2 days had bad foggy head so went back down to 0.1mg

Upon reducing I experienced low mood, suicidal thoughts, burning up, low appetite, very bad insomnia, mild diarrhoea

22 Feb 2021: Stopped all Citalopram after panic / depression attack and crying similar to when I reinstated back in June 2011.

 

4 April 2022: Reinstated 0.1mg Citalopram - Anxiety + foggy head

5 April 2022: Stopped Citalopram.

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(Andy,I noticed that you specifically asked for opinions, not advice, and of everyone, not just mods. lets Brass Monkey off the hook, right?)

 

What's it been like for you? The "grim, no pleasure, paltry sleep, not really tired, can't relax, don't want do anything" thing?

 

One thing we all know is how different we are over time and compared to others, so this isnt even an opinion. It is just what I did.

 

I got out of that, after almost two years of it, with a month on Wellbutrin 200mg SR daily in March. I only did it for a month because i noticed impulsivity and irritability popping up. Wellbutrin is not an SSRI or SNRI which is why i was willing to try it. The other thing that helped was coconut oil in late Dec 2014. I was not prepared for that, but after I started it the horrible head sensation I called the hell- helmet went away. (Icy-hot dread/doom).

 

Opinion-wise, a cautious trial of something sounds worthwhile to me. But dont kill yourself til you try EVERYTHING. Ketamine is losing its lustre lately but is worth reading about, imho, and trials of psilocybin as a daily antidepressant were looking good. I can''t remember or find the university where they were doing it, though...

 

What have you tried over the years?

 

[Edit: I was writing this and doing other stuff and see now that you answered this and my other question since I started.]

 

W

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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Most of the time now, Andy but other symptoms, anhendonia, depersonalisation make it difficult to 'do' normal life anyway so I'm not in a lot of social situations now anymore.

 

Where about in the uk are you? I'm in north Scotland.

 

Was wondering..you mention study - what about a home learning course where you do not need to interact with people?

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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