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Asjf

☼ Asjf: 22 years on Sertraline--now off for 9 months

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Asjf

The last few days have been a huge wave. Today in particular is bad. I woke up feeling completely and utterly hopeless. I have a very busy month ahead of me and i feel so overwhelmed by all the tasks at hand i've become pretty much despondent. Right now i'm alternating between being completely numb, depressed and unresponsive and being riddled with anxiety and full of rage. I can hear my heart pounding in my head and i feel like i'm going to vomit.

This is the worst nightmare i have ever been through.

I wish i could check out of life right now and live in a cabin in the woods with zero responsibilities. But i can't. Bills need to get payed and i have to work to pay them. Being a professional musician, the nature of my work is very random and scattered. I used to love this aspect of my work, but right now i despise it. There's always so much uncertainty around every corner and having to perform on stage in this space is almost unfathomable to me.

I've been working so hard continually on acceptance of what i'm experiencing and nuturing self love and compassion through all of this. But today i've reached a breaking point. I'm feeling very fed up and resentful of my current circumstances. I see people outside enjoying the beautiful weather and smiling and laughing and it fills me with such bitterness and resentment i just want to die.

I know that all these feelings i'm experiencing are what's to be expected in this type of healing. I know that i will heal. I know that all of this will make me stronger in the end.

But right now in this moment i am terrified that my whole life will fall apart. I can't function like this. And if this goes on for much longer, the people who depend on me will inevitably start looking to others who are able to function in my place.

Right now my life feels ruined by SSRI's. The fact that i was given these meds and encouraged to stay on them at a time when i was young, vulnerable and desperate for help from people i put my trust in, and now find myself here fills me with such anger i can hardly contain it at times. No one is held accountable for this and i'm left to sort through the wreckage of my crippled brain alone. The world really looks like a cruel and disgusting place to me right now. Yeah there are a lot of kind and loving people in the world. But sometimes i think 'Who cares!!!!' It seems to be the greedy, selfish bastards who are winning and they only care about themselves. They could care less about us casualties lying in bed at night wide awake and terrified, losing our jobs and our livlihoods and loved ones, some of us even losing our lives because we just can't go on. It's unconscionable, and yet it happens. I just saw an article talking about SSRI's being approved for infants and toddlers who show early signs of OCD. What hope is there for them?

Oh how i wish i had a time machine so i could go back to that moment when i was 17 an about to take that fist pill. I'd ****** it out of that boy's hand and throw it in the garbage and tell him "Trust me. You do NOT want this. It will only make things worse. If you take this pill you will live a nightmare that you can't even begin to imagine. There is nothing wrong with you Adrean. Don't listen to what your doctor says. He has no clue as to what he's talking about. Don't run away from the intense emotions you've been given. Embrace them. They are your power."


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Pugknows

Asjf,

 

I'm so sorry you are suffering. I was on Gabapentin, which is a predecessor of Lyrica. I have been through hell these past 10 months, but things are starting to change and improve.

 

I had horrible akathisia. It left at 8.5 months out.

 

I've had excruciating pulsatile tinnitus all day every single day for 9.5 months. Last week, the tinnitus decreased about 75%.

 

For the past two years, I've gotten 4 hours sleep every night. Last night, I slept 9 hours!

 

Albeit slowly, at a snail's pace, things are starting to improve. Eventually, this will all be behind you and you'll be able to let go of the rage because of the sheer gratitude of being 100% healed.

 

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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Asjf

Thanks Pug.

You're right.

I feel ok now. It's nighttime and i'll hopefully get a good sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Asjf

Hey everyone,

I haven't posted in awhile.

Just an update:

Things got better for awhile. Still Windows and waves but in general things were moving in a good direction.

I've been slowly weaning off of Lyrica for about 9 months now. I was on 450mg/day as my highest dose and am now about to go down to 80mg/day starting tomorrow.

I've been decreasing by roughly 10%/month. Recently the withdrawal has gotten horrible again. Jumping from 100mg to 90 was hell. And I'm really concerned about the same thing happening once I go down to 80mg. I know that worrying only exacerbates the effects, but it's been such a long road (I finished a wean off of Zoloft in Nov. 2014) and I'm just so damned tired of suffering and never knowing when I'll be body slammed again by fear, anxiety, depression, akithesia, nausea, brain fog etc.

 

I think the main reason I came back here to post if just to find a bit of hope and encouragement. Up until now the belief that eventually I will be well again has kept me going, and has kept my heart open.

 

Recently I've found it more and more challenging to stay optimistic and have found myself feeling resigned and buying into the notion that maybe there IS something fundamentally wrong with me and that I'll never be able to live a happy and successful life with meds.

 

I've weaned ever so slowly and methodically and yet I still feel anxious, depressed and even suicidal much of the time. Being inside of ME is like a sort of Chinese water torture much of the time and on the inside I'm screaming for escape.

 

Has anyone here had the experience of weaning off of meds, getting past the withdrawal to a state of 'normal', and then later deciding that going BACK on meds was their best option?

 

I'm just weighing my options. Life has been so hard for what seems like forever and I'm just tired of living this way day after day after day.

 

Thanks for any support and I sincerely wish each and every one of you continued healing and the gift of strength and happiness.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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brassmonkey

Hi Asjf-- It is so good to hear that you've been feeling better for the most part. If your symptoms kicked up with the last drop then that is an indication that you should slow down for a little while.  It would be a good idea to wait for the symptoms to subside before taking the next cut.  These symptoms are cumulative and have a delay factor to them so if they are showing up it's time to hold.

 

It is so frustrating how long this process is.  I've been tapering for over four years now and every time I try to figure the end point it moves out six months.  It just makes me nuts.  The prospect of tripping of bad WD symptoms by speeding up is what keeps me on the straight and narrow.


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.

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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Asjf

Thanks Brassmonkey. I've decided to sit at 90mg for the time being until things stabilize. The last three days have been sheer hell.

Throughout this whole process I've had this notion that as I become acclimated to these feelings of withdrawal I'll get better at dealing with them and possibly even find a Zen space inside of it all. What I'm actually realizing is that as I deal with these feelings over time, there is a much greater potential to become resigned and beaten down, which ultimately makes the feelings worse.

I'm realizing more than ever that this kind of healing requires a very ACTIVE approach on my part. Stay focused on the positive, eat well, exercise (even when my body feels like it weighs 500 lbs and my head is foggy and my stomach nauseous). If I let my approach to healing become passive, I will start to spiral downward and it will destroy me.

All we can do is the best we can.

 

I just don't want to hurt like this anymore. I want my strength and confidence back. I want to feel inspired by what life has to offer--not terrified of what tomorrow might bring.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Hopeinahpwr

Asjf,

My symptoms to subside by early evening and I also tried to go off an AD this year at 39. Been on for years. This may not mean much to you now, but I am inspired by your story...stay strong, I will pray for you.


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

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

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

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

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Asjf

Thanks for your kind words. They mean A LOT to me. Thanks for sharing that we have something in common and please feel free to stay in touch whenever you like.

Best wishes

Adrean


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Hopeinahpwr

Asjf,

Stay strong. I know easier said than done. I envy the fact that you are 9 months free of the AD. I was two months free and what a surprise when I got hit with awful effects! But now I wish I toughed it out and didnt reup...I'd be a month in, free of the med. I too have been thinking, hey...I now know what it's gona be like, hell!...but I'll find some zen in the pain...yes, until the pain hits and throws me like a tissue in a wave! Please, I'm pushing for you...you've come to far after 22 years...keep pushing for that light!

Ben


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

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

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

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

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Hopeinahpwr

Pug,

Please see my signature and back story, kind of mirrors yours, but not quite as long. I would appreciate any feedback you can give and I am praying for you.


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

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

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

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

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Asjf

I've now been on my current dose of Lyrica for 6 weeks and have yet to stabilize. My life is an ongoing roller coaster of hell on 90mg of Lyrica. I thought that the whole reason to taper very slowly was to avoid this. It is certainly not the case here. I feel as awful now as I did a year ago when tapering (far too quickly) off of Klonopin while in the throes of protracted Zoloft withdrawal.

For god's sake. Is there any escape from this hell???

I don't get it. I've done everything right through this Lyrica wean. VERY slow and steady. Eating well. Gentle exercise. Lots of communicating about my feelings with those I care about. Yet it always leads back to this. My body feels like it's dying and my mind flip flops between feeling so dead and numb that I just want to go to sleep and never wake up or, so full of anxiety that I want to leap in front of a bus.

Seriously, in the year 2016 my best option is 'Just ride it out. There's nothing else you can do'??????

Sorry everyone for the rant. I'm just feeling so efffing angry and discouraged right now.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Hopeinahpwr

Asjf,

 

You are not ranting, you are concerned and feeling upset. Remember, you are not alone...you are not alone. Like you said, ride it out, that's all we can do! Remember, separate the "Me" and the "Symptoms from the drug" and know that this will pass. I am praying for you as we speak! Stay strong!

 

Ben


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

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

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

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

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megb

My heart is hurting for you Asjf :( I have been there! I may be there again. I always would wrack my brain to find what I did wrong to make the symptoms come, stay or worsen. Sometimes it just SUCKS. Sucks so bad. 

 

A friend told me recently, "Have that panic attack. Don't hold it in, just have it. It isn't going to harm you - it is a natural reaction to an unstable system." So I did...and I still HATED the panic attack (coupled with horrendous insomnia and constant fear). But I had it, it didn't kill me, and I kept letting them come instead of trying to hold in what I didn't want to feel. It actually made me feel MORE in control and safer to have them after a while. I was CHOOSING to let the bear come out. 

 

Praying for you to let the bad come in and roll around for awhile and then it will go. It wont last forever friend!! We will be free one day. Don't lose hope!


Sep '18 - became pregnant  in late August, then on 9/5 insomnia/anxiety went THROUGH the roof. I tried a lot of things but here is what is current: 

Paroxetine: 6.2mg (began 9/5/18, and there was a new manufacturer of which I just found out 2 days ago) during the day

Olanzapine 7.5mg at night

Ambien: 5-10mg at night

Xanex: 5-10mg at night

Fish Oil: for prenatal things

 

  • Aug '18: Paroxetine 6.6mg, (30mg thyroid hormone, fish oil, vit D3, SBI protect, probiotic. Following AIP diet)
  • Mar '16: began taper from 20mg. Decreasing .75mg or less each month or more. Sporadically used Ambien &/or Trazodone for insomnia. 
  •  Sep'15: tried to come off slower. Used fish oil, vit D3, and regular exercise/healthy diet to assist. (Taper sched= 18mg for 60days, 15mg for 60d, 10mg for 30d, 8mg for 30d) At my 3rd week of 8mg in Nov '15, insomnia and panic attacks began. Back up to 20mg after a month of horrible withdrawal. 
  • Oct'12-Sep'15: 20mg Paxil
  • Sep'12: 1st attempt to get off, naively tried cold turkey per Dr. suggestion. Couldn't work for 2 months. Another Doc upped dose to 20mg.
  • Jun '09-Aug '12: 10mg Paxil for severe insomnia due to anxiety. Also took Ambien/Trazodone for sleep.  Other meds taken sporadically: Ativan, Abilify, Xyrem 

 

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness. 

 

 

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Asjf

Thanks for the beautiful messages of support Meg and Hope. There really is a lot of strength to be gained in knowing others 'get' what I'm going through. Yeah it still really really sucks sometimes. But in all this pain there's a beautiful humanity that emerges from a bunch of strangers holding each other up. There's a lot of kind wisdom on this site, and I'm grateful to be a member of this 'club'. Thanks


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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elbee

I'm in a similar situation as you Asjf. I just read your thread and I'm following you now. I'm pulling for you because I know how damn tough it can be. Particularly what you said about trying so hard to do everything "right" and still experiencing the pain. I had a BEAUTIFUL window for about a week or so. And I was conscious to be grateful for it when it happened! That's a good step for me! And now I'm in a wave, and it sucks, and I'm trying all the things I always try to make it better (I've found meditation too, sometimes it's a huge help, sometimes my mind just does what it does). I wish I had the answers to make it all better for you, but I don't. Yet I do know that sometimes just hearing from others and realizing I'm not alone, I'm not crazy, and I'm healing is enough to keep me going, sometimes one very slow step at a time. And sometimes, all I can find is a moment of relief. When meditating and focusing on my breath, there is that moment when the out breath fades ... and right before the in breath begins. Usually, in that moment of there being nothing to "hold on to" with my breath, I can find that moment of peace. And sometimes I'm learning to even stretch that moment out a bit ;)


My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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Asjf

Thanks for your beautiful message Elbee. I really appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Altostrata

How are you doing now, Asjf?


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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Asjf

Thanks for asking Alto.

I'm currently still weaning off of Lyrica. I was originally on 450mg/day last April. I'm now on 70mg/day. It has been a rough road. However, in the last 4 or 5 months I've slowed my wean to 5% drops monthly and this has dramatically improved the withdrawal process. I'm having a lot more good days in a row and am actually having periods where I feel 'normal' as the amount of Lyrica in my system gets smaller (and the rate of decrease has become small and slow enough for my CNS to adjust)

 

After all of the suffering my body and mind has gone through since Nov. 14 I'm beginning to feel grateful for the humility, compassion and empathy this has fostered. My personal relationships have more substance now, and there is a lot more love in my heart for others than ever before.

 

I know I'm not 'out of the woods' yet, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel and know with certainty that I will be a 'success story' in the end.

 

Mindfulness meditation, exercise, and a conscientious diet have all be key elements in recovering. If I stay the course I know that my life will continue to move in a direction toward strength and total well being.

 

Thanks for this site. It has been key in giving me the strength and education I've needed for healing.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Altostrata

Asjf, that's an excellent attitude. I'm very glad tapering is working for you and you're getting down to a much lower dose.

 

Please let us know how you're doing.


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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LetThereBeLight

How are you doing Asjf?

 

I read your entire thread, very emotional and feeling your pain.

It prompted me to sign up to this great site and helping to sure my nightmare stories with you all.

 

I have lost 3 jobs already because of the mental health issues created by SSRIs and withdrawal from them.

 

Currently calling ambulance almost every week, last time was this morning though I did have a short arrhythmia which then caused me to panic.

 

So tired of this life and living like this.

 

I can suggest Omega 3 Rx 2 fish oil from Dr Barry Sears (The Zone Diet) as this is one of the few things that has made a major positive impact on my life.

 

Currently on 1/4 of Zoloft pill (50mg) and 21 days and hoping I can get to the next lower dose and get this POISON out of my body.

 

I agree with you Asjf, these big pharma companies have to pay what they have done to us. I wish we could all gather round and start a class action suit against the lot, they are destroying people's lives and their families and they keep forcing doctors to prescribe them by the millions like candies.

 

I will post a longer thread about myself so maybe it can help others and what I have learned helps and what doesn't.

 

Another thing you may try to balance out the serotonin in your brain is 5HTP (I use LLS brand, in powder 100mg capsules) as it has helped me quite a bit though I am still trial and error regarding the dosage and frequency.

 

Take care mate and keep rocking!

 

Jesus.


Paxil free since beginning of 2011, after 10 months taper while on cruise ships (started Paxil in 2006 due to severe anxiety caused by a Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter episode in 2006)

Currently on Zoloft (Sertraline) since March 2012. Tried to taper 5 times, all failed, currently on 6th taper attempt, at 12.5mg (1/4 tablet) since 17/09/2016.

3x heart operations for Atrial Fibrillation, Asthma, Hypermobility Syndrome, Hiatal Hernia, Acid Reflux, Arthritis

Flecainide 100mg twice daily

Verapmil 120mg once daily

Seretide 50/500 twice daily

Take 4000 mg Omega 3 fish oil daily (key to getting off of SSRIs)

Betaine HCL for digestion (only with medium to high amount of protein meals)

Vitamin C, B complex, D3, Milk Thistle, Cranberry, Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Chloride

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ChessieCat

Hi LetThereBeLight,

 

Yes, please do start your own Intro/Update topic so that we can learn more about you.

 

People tapering antidepressants and other psych drugs or after getting off these drugs need to be extremely cautious about taking supplements, prescription (eg antibiotics) and over the counter drugs.  This is the link to SA's topic 5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan.

 

The only supplements that SA recommends are:  Omega-3 Fish Oil and Magnesium.  It is best to start these separately and at low dose in case people have a bad reaction.


REMINDER TO SELF:

I don't need the drug now, but my still brain does.

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

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

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Hopeinahpwr

Asjf,

I'm so glad to hear you are doing well! I am praying for you!

Ben


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

84mg from October 2016

82mg from February 2017

79mg from April 2017

77mg from June 2017

75mg from July 2017

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

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

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Asjf

Thanks guys. It's been a particularly difficult stretch. I've really learned through all of this that even very long windows (several months of feeling good) may still lead back to waves of very difficult states of mind and body.

But, the silver lining is that these waves are yet another reminder for me to live in the moment. When I'm in the moment a wave is just another temporary space in which my life is happening. That's it. Sometimes life is easy and inspired and blissful and sometimes it's dark and riddled with fear. To me the REAL path to freedom is not found in grasping happiness and desperately holding on to it, but instead welcoming everything from joy to despair as a valuable part of the entire human experience. If I knew this 20+ years ago I never would have taken that first mind-altering pill, because I wouldn't have had any reason to. If I had only known that pain and fear was not an enemy but instead a valuable tool in finding 'the now' of life my journey would have looked very different up until now.

All I know to be true at this point is that life only ever actually happens NOW. And when I'm fully here in the now, NOTHING can ever hurt me. The past is the past and has nothing to do with NOW and the future does not exist as it's only a fabrication of my imagination. Only NOW is real.

When I'm living in the present moment, I'm aware of my (and everyone's) deep connectedness to the entire universe and everything in it--I'm a part of the universe and therefore AM the universe. With this awareness, my pain (and happiness, and everything else that is 'ME') is only a single drop of vinegar in the ocean.

Much love to all of you in your journey. Thanks for all the support that this site provides for so many...


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Asjf

Just transitioned 5 days ago from 50mg/day of Lyrica to 45mg/day. It has been a uniquely difficult transition. Fear, fatigue, severe headache, irritability, and a 'dead inside' feeling overall, with suicidal thoughts in the mornings and late at night. It can be so discouraging at times on this journey. Thank you all for being here--even though I'm not posting much these days, it's comforting just to know that this site exists.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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scallywag

Good to see your post. I hope your post-dose-reduction symptoms settle down quickly.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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JanCarol

Hey Asjf - 

 "Trust me. You do NOT want this. It will only make things worse. If you take this pill you will live a nightmare that you can't even begin to imagine. There is nothing wrong with you Adrean. Don't listen to what your doctor says. He has no clue as to what he's talking about. Don't run away from the intense emotions you've been given. Embrace them. They are your power." 

 

Wow, that's some powerful stuff!

 

Powerful unpatienting.  Powerful embracing of who you are, and your passions and emotions.

 

Powerful acceptance of your own Power.

 

Has anyone here had the experience of weaning off of meds, getting past the withdrawal to a state of 'normal', and then later deciding that going BACK on meds was their best option?

 

Well, here's the thing.

 

The drugs can change you, to be sure.

 

The ones I know who went back on, are the ones who never got through withdrawal.

The drugs will change things, but in my experience - the change is limited, as your body will keep adjusting and trying to create homeostasis.

So - for a quick fix - yes, it might help to go back on - but in the long term - if you have had withdrawal before, kindling means that each time you withdraw, it could get harder, more challenging.

 

And, the drug is temporary.  What it relieves in the short term - it takes out of your future.  I'm sure you don't want that.  I'm also sure you are miles from that comment (which was over a year ago).

 

To me the REAL path to freedom is not found in grasping happiness and desperately holding on to it, but instead welcoming everything from joy to despair as a valuable part of the entire human experience. I

 

Yeah.  That.  That's how it is.  I'd rather be crazy than drugged.  I'd rather have the full spectrum of emotion, and the sensitivity to not inflict it upon others (one of the reasons we get drugged is that others are uncomfortable with our emotions).

 

My hubby was a professional musician, ended up doing it part time with a day job as "band work" dried up (he plays bass, keyboards, backing vocals, production engineer - a great man to have at your back if you are the front man - but he's not a front man - he needs the band.  And folks aren't hiring bands, they are hiring front men with karaoke machines here in the land of Oz). 

And I just read a resounding story about Arts and Music - confronting your fears on stage and using that power and passion to drive your recovery.  That this is more powerful than any "program" or "system."  

You have confronted your fear, anxiety and withdrawal in performance - if you can do that - you can do anything!

And it does get better!

 

So - after all of that blathering, how are you now in your taper, withdrawal and getting better?


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Asjf

You're awesome Jan. And I truly feel like I've found a kindred spirit in you. (Wiser, but kindred nonetheless:)

Thank you for your words.

 

All said, I'm doing MUCH better over all than I was a year ago. Still some VERY challenging days but constantly moving forward. I'm now down to 12.5mg of Lyrica daily. The end is in sight and I will so be completely free of pharmaceutical drugs.

I've worked very hard to cultivate mindfulness in my life and I believe the pathway to freedom is through courage to embrace all feelings and experiences and replacing preconceived notions of right/wrong/good/bad with a sense of curiousity and openness.

Thanks for your friendship and I look forward to further contact with you.


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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mustangwoman

Wow Asjf!  I read through your entire thread today.  What an amazing journey!  You are a strong person and so glad you have the support of a wonderful wife, it makes a huge difference to have a supportive spouse.  This was so inspirational!  I am glad that you are doing so well now!  We are part of a circle that really know the pain these drugs can cause, and there is much comfort in having this group of friends.  Again, so very happy for you! 


zoloft 2004-08 tapered too fast(2 weeks)
Luvox 5/08 100 mg 07/10 40mg via small reductions, 08/10 39mg, 09/10 38mg, 10/10 37mg, 11/10 36mg,2/11 35mg, 5/11 34mg, 8/11 33mg, 11/11 32mg, 01/12 31mg, 03/12 30mg, 4/12 29mg, 5/12 28 mg, 8/12 27 mg, 11/12 26 mg, 1/13 25 mg, 3/13 24 mg, 4/13 23 mg,6/13 22 mg, 7/13 21 mg, 8/13 20mg, 10/13 19 mg, 11/13 18 mg, 12/13 17 mg, 1/14 16 mg, 3/14 13 mg, 9/14 10.9 mg,  1/15 10 mg, 3/15  9 mg,  5/15 8 mg. 11/15 7.12 mg.  4/16  5 mg, 6/16   4.5 mg,  9/16 4.2 mg, 1/17 3.48 mg, 2/17  3.2 mg,  4/17 2.2 mg, 5/17 2.0 mg, 6/17  1.74 mg, 7/17 1.58 mg, 9/17 1.27 mg, 11/17 1.0 mg,  1/18 0.79 mg

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Asjf

Thanks so much mustangwoman.

I'm really starting to believe that we can all be well. And as we all know, this has to do with just waiting and being patient for our minds to right the wrongs that these drugs inflict on our brains. But I also think, for me, a huge part of it is in finding a new way to live.

Hugs to you


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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mustangwoman

Awesome!


zoloft 2004-08 tapered too fast(2 weeks)
Luvox 5/08 100 mg 07/10 40mg via small reductions, 08/10 39mg, 09/10 38mg, 10/10 37mg, 11/10 36mg,2/11 35mg, 5/11 34mg, 8/11 33mg, 11/11 32mg, 01/12 31mg, 03/12 30mg, 4/12 29mg, 5/12 28 mg, 8/12 27 mg, 11/12 26 mg, 1/13 25 mg, 3/13 24 mg, 4/13 23 mg,6/13 22 mg, 7/13 21 mg, 8/13 20mg, 10/13 19 mg, 11/13 18 mg, 12/13 17 mg, 1/14 16 mg, 3/14 13 mg, 9/14 10.9 mg,  1/15 10 mg, 3/15  9 mg,  5/15 8 mg. 11/15 7.12 mg.  4/16  5 mg, 6/16   4.5 mg,  9/16 4.2 mg, 1/17 3.48 mg, 2/17  3.2 mg,  4/17 2.2 mg, 5/17 2.0 mg, 6/17  1.74 mg, 7/17 1.58 mg, 9/17 1.27 mg, 11/17 1.0 mg,  1/18 0.79 mg

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JanCarol

Wow Asjf!  12.5 mg! 

 

That is so totally awesome!!!  You will be free soon, and then think about the healing after the taper.

 

I thought of you today as I was reading.  The book is called "The Spark," by Cirque du Soleil, "Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives Within Us All" created by Lyn Heward and written by John U. Bacon.  I recommend this book, and it seems to mirror what you have experienced in climbing back onto the horse - the stage - performance - post withdrawal.

 

Here's a quote:

 

We face our fears every day.  The face is, we WANT to scare ourselves some - to reach our limits and then go beyond them.  We have to shove ourselves off the cliff before we start flying.  The greatest danger is not failing but getting comfortable!

 

I hope you see le Soleil today!


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Asjf

Thanks Jan. Will look for this book. Thanks for the words of support:)


On Zoloft 150mg-200mg from 1991-Nov. 2014. Weaned off over 40+ weeks (too fast unbeknownst to me at the time) Protracted withdrawal began in Jan. 2015 Currently weaning off Lyrica (pregabalin). Started Apr. 2015. titrated up to 400mg/day. <p>"The quality of your life is determined by the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with" -- Anthony Robbins

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Altostrata

I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to the title of Asjf"s Intro topic -- I am happy to report Asjf has posted a Success Story. Thank you, Asjf.

 

 

As is our custom, I will close this topic. Please congratulate Asjf in his success story topic.


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

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

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